LuxuryHoused in futuristic sky pods, intrepid explorers can look forward to combining luxury travel with adventure far away from civilisation.

What it's like glamping in a space-like tent in Antarctica

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The ‘sky pods’ are described as “the retro design of the Millennium Falcon meets an otherworldly boutique retreat”.
The ‘sky pods’ are described as “the retro design of the Millennium Falcon meets an otherworldly boutique retreat”. Photo Credit: White Desert

While space travel is not readily available to the masses yet, a semblance of that will be recreated in a destination notorious for having one of the most austere weather conditions on the planet — Antarctica.

Pioneers of luxury travel in Antarctica, White Desert, has announced the launch of their third camp, Echo, set to open this November. As the first travel operator in the world to fly guests via private jet to this remote corner of the globe, one can expect more ground-breaking innovations out of their new venture.

Echo is slated to be a futuristic eco-friendly camp featuring just six heated space-inspired ‘sky pods’, equipped with ensuite toilets and floor to ceiling windows offering sweeping vistas of the snow-capped mountains and the vast icy terrain stretching into the horizon. The camp will also offer a central lounge area, dining and heated shower pods.

Each of the space-inspired sky pods sleeps two guests.
Each of the space-inspired sky pods sleeps two guests. Photo Credit: White Desert

The sky pods, inspired by space modules, are made of composite fibreglass and feature retro space-age detailing furnishings, with its white curved walls decked out with original photos taken from the International Space Station by former commander, White Desert guest and retired astronaut, Colonel Terry Virts.

“The mountains are the most beautiful I have seen across Earth, Venus and Mars,” said Virts who previously visited the Echo site with White Desert.

With the exclusivity and scarcity of Antarctica trips, the five-day tour doesn’t come cheap. Prices start from US$65,000 for a single traveller or US$780,000 for a private group of 12. However, beyond having bragging rights from embarking on one of the most remarkable and memorable trips of a lifetime, guests will also be advertently contributing to a good cause as White Desert will contribute US$1,000 per traveller for conservation, community and sustainability initiatives.

As with all their camps, White Desert has designed Echo to be dismantled without a trace, leaving no more than a transitory impact on Antarctica.
As with all their camps, White Desert has designed Echo to be dismantled without a trace, leaving no more than a transitory impact on Antarctica. Photo Credit: White Desert

This all-inclusive package will kick off in Cape Town where guests will take a five-hour private jet flight to Antarctica. Upon arrival at camp Echo, guests will be escorted to a private lounge to enjoy a martini, concocted with 10,000-year-old ice. Over the next five days, guests can partake in activities such as fat biking, skiing, skidooing, ice-climbing, guided hiking and mountaineering. Perhaps most notable of its activities is the visit to Atka Bay where visitors can get up close and personal with the 28,000 strong Emperor Penguin colony.

After a long day spent exploring the chilly wilderness of Antarctica, guests will return to the luxurious confines of the camp where they can feast on gourmet dishes whipped up by the on-site chefs.

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