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Cheap flights from Antarctica

Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent, containing the geographic South Pole. It is situated in the Antarctic Region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14.0 million square kilometres, Antarctica has a land mass nearly twice the size of Australia. It is the fifth largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America, extending to all but the northernmost reaches of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, with the highest average elevation as opposed to all the continents. The frozen land of Antarctica is made up of 98% ice that is 1.2 miles thick, and is considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 millimetres. Temperatures peak at -89 degrees Celsius.

There are no permanent human residents in the continent, although 1,000-5,000 people alternately (for a short time) reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Only cold-adapted organisms survive, including many types of algae, bacteria, fungi, protista, and certain animals such as mites, nematodes, penguins, seals, and tardigrades. No significant plant life or native land mammals, reptiles, and amphibians reside in this point of the Earth, although the shoreline is temporary refuge to migratory birds and penguins, while the Southern Ocean surrounding it is home to many fish and marine mammals, including whales.

Where to go

Visitors to the Antarctic region, particularly to Antarctica, are governed by the 1958 Antarctic Treaty which establishes the continent as a peaceful and cooperative international research zone. There are no cities per se, just some research stations which are maintained for scientific purposes only and do not provide any official support for tourism. Laws of the nation operating each research station apply here. Leisure travellers meanwhile are handled by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. The association regulates non-research travel to the region, handling almost 80 companies who operate various tours coming and going to and from the continent.

It is a novelty to visit the continent as it is the southern end of the Earth. Boasting with no less than breath-taking scenery broken only by a handful of scientific bases, those who brave rough sea crossings to travel to this continent will be rewarded with amazing scenery and tremendous unique wildlife. Migratory birds here and there, along with species of penguins and seals welcome those who dock at the shorelines, while spectacular views greet passengers from up above. Upon landing or arrival though, do not expect optimum comfort – as the cold and dry weather is treacherous and there are no provisions for dining, activities, and others.

Approximately, there are 28 airport landing facilities in the continent along with 37 Antarctic stations with their own helipads. However, there are no scheduled commercial flights from the continent. No airlines formally provide flights from Antarctica as the destination do not have provisions (as of the moment) such as a formal airport to transport and provide service to passengers. Additionally, Antarctica has no permanent settlements for the services to continue.

All travellers who visit the region by air usually stays on air and do not land in ice land (vista tours), while those planes carrying passengers which actually land leave the same day through the same plane and only stay for a short period of time.

Similarly, there are no long haul flights from any of the airport landings, helipads, heliports, and aerodromes in the continent. No scheduled commercial flights come from Antarctica, and no airlines provide services as there are no permanent settlers in the region.

How to get out

The only way to get out of the continent is exactly how a traveller went in. Usually, those who stay long in Antarctica are researchers with their own helicopter or plane services provided by the country sponsoring their facilities. Leisure travellers who fly over or fly down in Antarctica are taken back to their departure airports by the same plane that provided services for them. A handful of airlines such as Antarctica Flights provide charter tours to interested passengers. For cheap flights, check out Skyscanner. Skyscanner is an online resource of the cheapest flights from over 600 airlines worldwide.

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