A little over a century ago, British explorer Robert Falcon Scott led a team across Antarctica in an attempt to be first to reach the South Pole. The operation was intense, involving dog teams and ponies that were used first for transport, and later as meat. It took the team well over two months to reach their destination. By that time, the competing Norwegian party had already arrived, claiming the glory. But the worst was yet to come: In the end, treacherous conditions and starvation killed the explorers before they made it back to base.
Lucky for today’s would-be Antarctic explorers, getting to the South Pole has gotten a lot easier, and staying there a lot more luxurious. White Desert offers four- and eight-day trips departing from Cape Town. Activities depend on the length of the trip, but can include walking through ice tunnels, visiting Emperor Penguins and even a flight to the geographical south pole. Guests stay in dome-shaped, heated ‘pods’ fitted with simple but chic decor, including a bed, desk and half-bath, and find everything else they need in separate shower, dining and lounge pods. While the trip may take less fortitude this century, you’d still be better off with a government funding the expedition: be prepared to shell out $32,000 per person for the four-day trip, and $84,000 for eight days.