Snow business: great luxury escapes for winter
So what are you doing for a winter break this year? Planning to escape to the sun? Forget it. For a real taste of ice-cold excitement, you should really discover your own snow-capped wonderland. The perfect place to start is clearly Antarctica. It has got to be one of the world’s last great adventures. With prices in the region of US$6,000 per person for a 10-day cruise (sharing a cabin), it’s clearly not cheap but the experience could prove to be priceless. “It is a desert the likes of which few have ever seen,” Prisca Campbell of Quark Expeditions tells August. “As human habitation has been limited to the past 200 years and only a few thousand people at that, the wildlife is without fear. The penguins go about their business just metres away as if the humans watching were just a larger version of the species.” Quark is just one of a number of Antarctic cruise companies that will transport you via ice-breaker to the ends of the Earth to enjoy some of the world’s most astonishing landscapes from giant glaciers to giant penguins. For Campbell the feeding behaviour of the Gentoo Penguin chicks is an unforgettable highlight. “When the parent comes ashore and calls out, each call is unique and is recognised by the chick,” she says. “But the other chicks know that the cry they hear means food is close at hand, so you see three or four chasing each other down the beach towards the adult, tripping, bumping, falling and crying. Eventually one chick is left standing. According to scientific evidence that chick is always the biological offspring. Always.” To read the full story, click on any image.