While many won’t have the South Pole in their immediate travel plans, this ultra-luxe Antartic glamping experience has grabbed our attention. In November 2022, travel company White Desert will launch an eco-camp called Echo, which has been heavily influenced by the seminal age of space exploration. Echo includes six cosmos-inspired pods complete with floor-to-ceiling windows, providing visitors with a full appreciation of the gorgeous landscape surrounding them. Beyond the scenery, guests can also participate in activities unique to the frozen continent. The remote retreat has been designed for clients who’ve “travelled the globe in style and understand the privilege of effecting positive change through travel”. In other words, this is for adventurous ballers who want to change up the yearly Europe trip. Italy… *sigh*
Each composite fibreglass pod has been designed for two guests, equipped with several space-age features and perks. All six sky pods will receive original photos from the International Space Station by its former commander and now White Desert guest colonel Terry Virts. Praising Echo’s robust landscape, he notes: “The mountains are the most beautiful I have seen across Earth, Venus and Mars.” Take that, Mars! Inside, each pod offers room to relax and unwind, encompassing a retro decor inspired by the golden age of Space Travel. Guests also have access to a number of common areas like the central lounge area, dining room, and shower pods.
While staying at Echo, there’s a plethora of activities and experiences at your fingertips. As you jump off the jet, guests are immediately treated to a private lounge where martinis are shaken with 10,000-year-old ice. Once settled in, a team of chefs, hosts and expert guides are at your service, helping you explore everything on offer at the camp. Throughout the stay, guests can partake in several endeavours like artic truck safari, skidoo tours, fat biking, abseiling, climbing and various expeditions. The trip also offers unique access to one of the world’s greatest, yet least observed wildlife events on the planet, the Emperor Penguin Colony. There you can walk amongst more than 14,000 penguins, watching young chicks take their very first steps.
As you’d expect, Echo is a little more expensive than your average trip to the snow. Pricing starts at $USD780,000 (AU$1.1 million) for a group of 12 or US$65,000 (AU$90,000) per person as individual guests. The package includes your five-day tour, return flights and transfers from Cape Town to Antarctica, accommodation, food, beverages and activities. You can learn more about White Desert’s offering on their website.