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Antarctica Sightseeing Flights Announces NZ Departure

Published: Tue 4 Sep 2012 11:36 AM
Experience Antarctica in a Day from Auckland
Antarctica Sightseeing Flights Announces New Zealand Departure
Auckland, 4 September 2012 – Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest and most remote destination in the world. It is also one of the most spectacular and diverse places on earth, admired by many but visited by few.
Now, New Zealanders have a unique opportunity to see this pristine location in a day trip, flying from Auckland to the south polar region with Antarctica Sightseeing Flights.
Having carried over 31,000 passengers on 110 “flightseeing” journeys from Australia during the past 18 years, Antarctica Sightseeing Flights will introduce its first day tour from New Zealand on Sunday 03 February 2013, using a Boeing 747- 400ER aircraft chartered from Qantas.
A pristine white landscape will unfold beneath the aircraft, with a typical flight offering unparalleled views of icebergs, coastal cliffs, majestic glaciers and spectacular mountain ranges, most of which have never been visited by humans.
Phil Asker, Founder and Director of Antarctica Sightseeing Flights, said there was no easier way to explore the world’s most remote location than by flying there on a one-day sightseeing trip.
“Our company is part of a group which specialises in tours to the world’s most amazing and remote destinations,” said Mr Asker, who has seen the white continent from the air almost 50 times.
“Seeing Antarctica is a lifelong dream for many people, but the cost of a cruise and the length of time spent getting there means the closest that most will ever come to seeing the world’s last great wilderness area is via the media,” he said.
Mr Asker added: “New Zealanders are adventurers and pioneered sightseeing flights to Antarctica. Since 1994, we have built upon the great Kiwi vision of exploring this spectacular part of the world, and have carried over 1000 New Zealanders on our sightseeing flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth. Now we are offering our first flight from New Zealand.”
“Our flights showcase Antarctica from the comfort of a specially-themed Boeing 747 aircraft, enabling people to fulfil in one day what is often a lifelong dream. The full majesty of the landscape is seen from the aircraft, as we fly figure-eight patterns above the ice and expert Antarctic expeditioners on board provide commentary about the terrain, as well as stories of their own experiences living and working there.”
The flight from Auckland on 03 February will accommodate 364 passengers and will be the only commercial flight operating over the Antarctic region at that time. It is expected to overfly the first sea ice about three and a half hours after departing Auckland.
Antarctica sightseeing flights can descend to a minimum of 10,000 feet above sea level, or 2,000 feet above the highest terrain for a radius of 180 kilometres. Strict conditions are met to ensure not only a safe operation, but also to minimise the impact of the sightseeing flight on the perfect environment below.
To maximise viewing opportunities, there are 19 approved flight paths, with selection based on weather forecasts the night before departure then again on the morning of departure and during the flight, when the pilots are in contact with meteorologists to obtain regular satellite picture updates showing clear areas.
Typically, the flight plan will include the Ross Sea with its great expanse of ice, the Italian research base at Terra Nova Bay, Mt Melbourne, Mt Minto, Cape Hallett, Cape Adare and the Ninnis and Mertz Glaciers. Depending upon viewing conditions, other points of interest may include the Trans Antarctic Mountains to see many spectacular glaciers, international research installations including the French base at Dumont d’Urville and the hut of explorer Sir Douglas Mawson.
In addition to the Auckland service, Antarctica Sightseeing Flights will offer five departures from Australia this summer, beginning with the signature New Year’s Eve flight from Melbourne, followed by an Adelaide flight, departing on 20 January, Perth on 26 January, Sydney on 10 February and Melbourne on 17 February.
Prices range from NZD $1,599 for Economy Class Centre to NZD $9,299 for Ice Class. All categories include full international catering and bar service.
Antarctica Sightseeing Flights are private charters operated by Qantas. They are not scheduled Qantas services and cannot be booked through Qantas.
For more information on seat classes and availability, or to make a booking, please visit www.antarcticaflights.co.nz or FreeCall 0800 000 766.
ENDS

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