Until now, most expeditions for tourists into the Antarctic used ships to visit penguins and massive icebergs. But now, a new way to travel, which had been reserved for station and scientific personnel will be available also for tourists: regular scheduled flights to Antarctica.

More than 35‘000 visitor from all over the world travel to the Southernmost continent. Most voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula are conducted via ship to see penguins in their natural environment. Picture: Michael Wenger
More than 35‘000 visitor from all over the world travel to the Southernmost continent. Most voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula are conducted via ship to see penguins in their natural environment. Picture: Michael Wenger

Tourists are able to fly into Antarctica from Argentina starting from 2018. The runway of the Argentinian base Marambio on the Antarctic Peninsula will receive a radar station for a secure and controlled approach of regular flights, according to a news dispatch by Argentinian newspaper “La Nación”. The flights will be conducted by the Argentinian company LADE and will use Turboprop airplanes. The Argentinian base Marambio is situated approximately 3,300 kilometers south of Buneos Aires on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula.

The base will allocate about ten percent of its existing accomodations for tourists, according to state secretary of the defense ministery, Walter Ceballos. At the moment, approximately 150 people can be accommodated at the station. Also, some of the other 13 Argentinian stations could receive visitors if the ongoing scientific work will not be affected. All environmental protocols of the Antarctic Treaty will be complied, Ceballos said.

The Argentinian station Marambio is situated on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula in the Weddell Sea. It is the most frequented station by airplanes and accommodates between 55 and 150 people per year.
The Argentinian station Marambio is situated on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula in the Weddell Sea. It is the most frequented station by airplanes and accommodates between 55 and 150 people per year.

The planes will start from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, once or twice per week and reac Marambio after a one and a half hour flight. Daily excursions and stays between three and four days are planned, said Ceballos. It will be the first regular schedulded flight service to Antarctica.

Marambio is situated on Seymour Island at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost area of Antarctica. The station, inaugurated 1969 consists of 27 buildings on an area of 20,000 square meters and is reached only by Argentinian Airforce planes which can also use wheeled landings instead of skis. It is the largest of all Argentinian stations.

Until now, only Airforce planes had landed on Marambio to supply the station and for transport of personnel. The Argentinian navy and airforce are in charge of supplying the Argentinian Antarctica program. Picture: Juan Manuel Barragán
Until now, only Airforce planes had landed on Marambio to supply the station and for transport of personnel. The Argentinian navy and airforce are in charge of supplying the Argentinian Antarctica program. Picture: Juan Manuel Barragán

Source: Die Welt / dpa