Travellers enthused by the world’s extremes could do worse than booking an itinerary that takes fliers from the Arctic to the Antarctic in four swift legs on a single airline.
The low-cost carrier Norwegian has been boasting of its ability to operate the journey this week after starting services to Ushuaia, making it the only airline to fly to both the southernmost and northernmost airports in the world.
Back in March Norwegian launched flights from the Argentinian capital to Gatwick. Travellers can then continue to the Norwegian capital, Oslo, and onward again to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle, the world’s most northernmost airport.
The entire journey from north to south would cover 9,800 miles and take approximately 25 hours on four flights, using Boeing 737s for all legs bar the 14-hour service between London and Buenos Aires, which would be on a 787 Dreamliner. The airline said a one-way trip can be done from £398.50 (hand luggage only).
Svalbard to Oslo: depart 12.40; arrive 15.35 (£78.10)
Oslo to London Gatwick: depart 18.45; arrive 20.05 (£26.40)
London Gatwick to Buenos Aires: depart 22.30; arrive 8.10+1 (£249.90)
Buenos Aires to Ushuaia: depart 18.35; arrive 22.15 (£44.50)
Of course, anyone wishing to visit the White Continent itself would need to book a place on one of the 36 Antarctica-bound ships that depart Ushauai each year. The town has its own draws, however, namely fresh seafood, hiking in the nearby Tierra del Fuego National Park, and its Maritime Museum.
The 7,839-mile route, likely to use a 787 Dreamliner, would bisect Antarctica before arriving at the west coast of Australia. However, the return leg from Perth to Buenos Aires would probably skirt the contient’s frozen shores to take advantage of the strong easterly winds that circle it.
The purpose of the route would be to connect South America with Asia, using Perth as a stop-off on the way to Singapore, but Norwegian now needs permission from Australian and Singaporean authorities.