The Endurance, the lost vessel of Sir Ernest Shackleton, famed explorer of the Antarctic, was found earlier last month after more than a century. The vessel was crushed by sea ice in 1915, forcing the explorer and his crew to make a now-legendary escape across the tundra.
It’s an incredible find. What’s more incredible – getting a glimpse of the Weddell Sea in all its glory, where the ship was crushed 107 years ago, accompanied by a world-renowned polar explorer (from a safe distance). The nine-night itinerary promised by new UK-based luxury tour operator The Luminaire sees the trailblazer tagging along for the sojourn as guide, storyteller and expedition leader. The only catch? They haven’t yet revealed the explorer’s name.
The journey begins in Santiago, Chile, where one gets whisked away to a luxury lodge in the peaks of Torres del Paine National Park in southern Patagonia. A full day is devoted to the appreciation of said national park, which encompasses 1800 square kilometres of icy glaciers, lakes and verdant forests before embarking on a trek along high-altitude trails shepherded by local experts. There’s even time for a sunset flight before settling in for an authentic Patagonian BBQ in the mountains.
After that, it’s all aboard the ice-breaking superyacht Legend, where the true adventure begins. On-board entertainment includes a Balinese spa, piano and whiskey bar, cinema and fully-equipped gym. There’ll also be world-class chefs to deliver fine grub, even in the austerity of the Antarctic.
The on-board submersible and helipads (with accompanying pair of helicopters) afford unique holidaying experiences, such as a sortie into the depths to see the skeletal remains of a harpooned whale.
Other highlights include heli-hikes across the tundra, gathering research as you go; a chance to see glacial calving (the breaking of ice from an iceberg); and an up close view of some 16,000 Adelie penguins. You’ll even get to visit the Vernadsky Research Base on Galindez Island for a drink at the southernmost bar on the planet.
To finish, guests can expect a helicopter expedition to the Sikorsky Glacier before being regaled with exploratory tales over dinner back on Legend with the mystery explorer; as well as an overnight camp in the wilderness.
Pricing for the nine-night expedition starts from £118,025 (S$210,129) per person. But considering how far you’ll be going off the beaten track compared to most other travel experiences (as well as the esteemed company you’ll be keeping), it might just be worth the ask.