When planning a vacation, some people like to head to a tropical beach and others prefer mountain destinations. However, for the very few who are looking for a more extreme destination, this resort in Antarctica has to top the list. White Desert’s Camp Whichaway is the first and only luxury camp on the planet’s most desolate continent, and it is powered completely by wind and solar. Designed to have “zero impact” on the environment, Camp Whichaway nonetheless seems to leave an indelible impact on its visitors.
The camp’s dome cabins, originally designed by Ryan Ashworth, were recently refurbished after being worn down by the harsh Antarctic conditions. Guests pay around $70,000 per person for a seven, eight, or eleven day adventure, during which they’ll spend the nights cozied up in one of the camp’s igloo-shaped cabins, situated on a 200-foot ice fall at the edge of the Shirmacher Oasis in Queen Maud Land, near the Antarctic coast closest to Cape Town, South Africa. Constructed from sturdy fiberglass, each of the six private cabins includes sleeping accommodations, a desk, and private wash area with a composting toilet. Because there is no plumbing, a composting toilet allows the camp operators to pack out all human waste at the end of each adventure, further reducing its ecological impact.
One of the camp’s communal cabins holds a lush lounge space filled with comfortable couches, occasional tables, and a wood-burning stove for heat. A second shared pod is home to the dining room, where a large round table invites all of the camp’s guest to eat (and drink) together. Finally, a shower room rounds out the camp. Restricting shower facilities to one pod, rather than private showers in each cabin, helps reduce water consumption and is more energy efficient, both important factors for a temporary, remote camp run completely by renewable energy.
On top of gourmet meals, sightseeing, and making new friends, the adventure also includes face time with some of the local wildlife, the majestic Emperor penguins living a 2.5-hour flight west of the camp. Additionally, visitors embark on a journey to the geographic South Pole, which requires a seven-hour flight (stopping once to refuel). Guests also spend their days climbing mountains, checking out blue ice caves, and taking in the expansive views while bundled up in expedition-grade gear (which, by the way, visitors must supply for themselves).
Camp Whichaway was founded by a trio of adventure lovers, who “wondered why only scientists and the odd polar explorer ever got to see the real Antarctica,” according to the back story on their website. Founder Patrick Woodhead, who led the first east-to-west traverse of Antarctica in 2002, was stuck in a tent waiting out a brutal storm in 2006 with his pals when they devised a plan for a luxury eco camp that would let a few more visitors experience the awe-inspiring beauty and devastating climate of the remote continent. Camp Whichaway opened shortly thereafter, offering a unique getaway for family trips, proposals and weddings, or the ultimate adventure quest for anyone who can afford to embark into the wildest place on Earth.
Images via Camp Whichaway