The World’s Southernmost Hotel Might Be Out Of My Budget…

I recently had the chance to stay at the world’s self proclaimed northernmost hotel, the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Longyearbyen. The hotel is located on the island of Svalbard, which is just a few hundred miles from the North Pole.

Radisson-Blu-Longyearbyen-Svalbard - 1

I can’t say it was the most luxurious hotel I’ve stayed at, though Longyearbyen isn’t exactly a destination you visit for a relaxing or luxurious vacation. At the same time, I do wish the hotel would have been a bit more charming, given its unique location.

Pyramiden-Svalbard - 12

Well, reader Steve sent along a link to a Bloomberg article about what’s supposedly the world’s southernmost hotel, and it looks slightly more luxurious than the Radisson Blu… and also significantly more expensive.

I thought getting to Longyearbyen was a bit of a pain, though it pales in comparison to getting to Antarctica, and in particular getting to the White Desert Camp.

You have to take a special charter flight from Cape Town, which lands on the ice in Antarctica.

White-Desert-Camp-1

On the plus side, the “camp” looks gorgeous, and all activities, food, etc., are included.

White-Desert-Camp-2

White-Desert-Camp-3

White-Desert-Camp-4

However, as you might expect, it comes at a steep price tag. You can’t just book a night here, but rather have to book a package, which will set you back 64,000EUR per person for an 8-11 night trip. Should you be interested, here’s a brochure with the full itinerary. As you can see, the most desirable dates sell out quickly, so you’ll need to book well in advance, given that there can only be 12 people per tour.

White-Desert-Availability

Here’s a sample itinerary:

Antarctica-Itinerary

While still far from cheap, perhaps I should instead aim for a cruise to Antarctica, which can be had for around $1,000 per person per night. That’s still really expensive, but then again, Antarctica isn’t exactly a destination that’s easy to access using miles & points.

Is anyone else hoping to visit Antarctica eventually, and if so, what’s your plan? Or has anyone already been, and if so, how was it?

Comments

  1. That’s my tentative plan for my next “round” birthday but that’s not for another 9 years. I didn’t even know about the plane & hotel but couldn’t afford that anyway. I’d been planning on the cruise but have too many places I want to go between now and then to have started any kind of serious planning.

  2. WHY OH WHY!! Leave Antarctica As-Is ; Lets leave that part of the world untouched by tourism. I know very few ppl visit it now, but lets not make it a popular attraction.

  3. I’ve actually stayed at White Desert twice. It’s as nice as it gets on the ice without question! It’s far from perfect of course as anything would be in that part of the world but the food is unreal and if you can swing it you’ll remember it forever! Feel free to email me with questions about it. I can even provide a small discount although it ain’t cheap any way you slice it!

  4. Did the NatGeo cruise with the fam a couple years back. Best trip I have ever done. The scenery is like walking around on a different planet. The number of whales, penguins, seals, etc. was in the the thousands and each one was still as delightful to watch as the next. Would highly recommend.

  5. We have been as part of our South America trip and it was by far the best part of it. It is simply amazing and there is nothing to compare it with. We went with a cruise, but my advise if you’re already spending the money, take a cruise with less than 100 passengers so that you can actually go on land during each excursion. There is a limit how many people can be at a place at a given time and that’s 100. If you ever go, put the camera away and just enjoy.

  6. YES! We are planning this adventure in about 2-3 years, but planned on the South American jump off point and doing the cruise. White Desert certainly intrigues us, however! Thanks for sharing this, Lucky!

  7. Why do many idiots on this website that think mass tourism of a eco-logically restricted site is good thing?

    Wait a couple a years and you’ll ruin the planet with that type of stupidity.

    Theres a reason why it’s expensive, its to prevent mass tourism occurring and ruining the purest land on this planet.

    So to the idiots saying “I recommend it”, open your damn eyes and think of the impact it will cause. I know some of you aren’t educated but don’t drop to a level where you’re ruining the planet.

  8. I actually got paid to go there and as everybody else said I loved every second of it. I was part of the Japanese contractors working with ASRC which is the polar USA contractor. Spent 2 rotations one winter and one summer. Went to the south pole once. I did not make much but it was something that I will never forget. In my opinion 60k EUR is rather cheap given the extreme conditions that people have to be in to please you.

  9. @lucky this seems awesome especially the opportunity to get to fly on a DC-3 and the flight to Cape Town looks like a 727 (from an avgeek point of view) being in Antartica also seems cool

  10. I have visited Antarctica twice, with Quark expeditions. We were on a live-aboard boat for 12 days each time (and it was not cheap) and did excursions onto the continent each morning and each afternoon. Next to the Africa, the most spectacular adventure — almost as if being on another planet. On one visit, we sent our Christmas cards from one of the stations! 🙂

    Visits to Antarctica used to be strongly regulated — only a limited number of people even allowed to visit. Other than the research stations, no one was allowed to sleep on the continent. I am horrified at the existence of this hotel, as I view it as only the first step towards the gradual decay of Antarctica by tourists.

  11. @Lucky – Please don’t encourage this further. The people visiting have an exponentially greater greenhouse impact in the area than they would elsewhere. Visiting literally means you’re melting the ice caps away. Encouraging visitation is probably 10x worse.

  12. I take it all the people whinging about climate change don’t eat meat or drive in cars/taxis?

    How about you focus on the shameful US emissions from activities that have a clean alternative readily available before demanding people boycott Antarctica?

  13. Apparently people who are illiterate care deeply about the Antarctic environment! What part of “only 12 people per tour” and €64k per person makes all of you Eco-killjoys think that suddenly the Antarctic is going to become the hot new vacation destination and get overrun with tourists?

  14. I spent two summers and three winters in Antarctica as part of scientific expeditions (two 11 month stints the last two times). Summers are busy and very active with 19 scientific research bases from different countries at work and over 400 volunteers to run the facilities. Our transportation was managed by an USAF C-17 Globemaster the first three times and by an IL-76 Transporter from the Indian Air Force the last two times. However, it was the winters which my crew and I enjoyed, where we get 5 months of isolation with only ~40 people on the US base. It’s eerily quiet, tough, cold and the closest to being alone I have ever experienced. I am not so sure that you would enjoy the experience a lot since it’s not luxurious or comfortable. However, it’s a special place and one dear to my heart since that is where I proposed to my significant other under the Aurora Australis.

  15. @Jared: I saw your documentary on Discovery and read your article on NatGeo on spending a winter in Antarctica – pretty cool! Kinda made it my goal to save up to do it with my husband for our 5th marriage anniversary!

  16. @SEM cause both of the guys are running out of original material…. can tell by the quality of posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *