Private charter jets are about more than just business and luxury travelers. Private jets are ideal for landing in remote locations that commercial airlines can’t, providing opportunities for doctors, philanthropists, and more to further their cause.

Anyone from Doctors Without Borders to Island Dog Rescue have used private planes to accomplish humanitarian missions. Private jets have been used to save animals after natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey and Maria, and to provide critical care to those in hard-to-reach and remote areas. They also take globetrotters on adventures to support lifelong learning.

And now with new private jet services offering flights to Antarctica, they’re helping more people than ever explore The White Continent.

One of the benefits of traveling to Antarctica by private jet is how much travel time you’ll shave off. Getting to Antarctica by boat takes at least 4 days, while a jet can get you there in a matter of hours from Chile or South Africa (not to mention skipping the seasickness).

Besides saving you time, flying into Antarctica offers fantastic views of icebergs floating on the open sea, which then morph into a solid ice pack, and eventually into the continent itself. And when it comes to flying, private is the only option for reaching Antarctica, as no commercial airline travels there — yet.

Read on to learn about opportunities to explore Antarctica and how increased tourism is changing the future of travel to the continent.

Adventures on The White Continent

White Desert Antarctica is one of the premiere services offering flights to the continent. Travelers fly deep into the heart of the ice pack and stay at White Desert’s Whichaway Camp before heading out for any number of adventures. Antarctic travelers can check out a colony of Emperor penguins and visit the research station at the South Pole.

Getting to one of the world’s most remote continents isn’t cheap. A trip costs around $195,000. Fortunately, there are some other ways to see the White Continent without giving up your retirement savings.

White Desert offers a 24-hour trip from Cape Town, South Africa, an excursion they call “The Greatest Day.” 12 passengers fly over icebergs to the land of continual sunshine, landing at the base of Wolfs Fang peak, a stunning geological formation of jagged kilometer-tall rocks rising out of the ice-laden landscape.

A hike to a lookout point is finished off with a champagne picnic at one of the most remote places on the entire planet. And before 24 hours is up, you’re back in the warmth of the African continent.

Other Options to Reach Antarctica By Private Charter Jet

Beyond White Desert’s options, there are a handful of private charter companies offering travel to various points in Antarctica.

Priority One can access 10 different runways on the continent, while The Explorations Company offers various tours from both Chile and South Africa.

Most recently, the Robb Report is reporting that the China-based company Deer Jet is testing business travel to the continent.

As more options to reach Antarctica arrive on the market, accessibility is likely to increase. But in a place heavily affected by a changing climate, the future of tourism on the White Continent is tenuous at best.

The Future of Tourism in Antarctica

Currently, any company that offers trips to Antarctica is supposed to follow guidelines to prevent damage to the continent’s timeless but fragile ecosystem. This includes restricted travel to a set list of specific destinations within the continent.

These guidelines, provided by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) are not mandatory. Still, the IAATO currently reports that most tour providers, including all the large operators, do comply with the regulations.

But more and more people are visiting each year, which makes sustainable tourism increasingly difficult.

One of the reasons for increased interest in travel to Antarctica? Climate change. The continent is warming faster than many other places on Earth. If current trends continue, then it’s expected the continent will undergo some massive changes in the coming years, never to be the same. So a lot of people want to go see it while they still can.

This is leading to a fear that increased demand could mean less compliance with suggested guidelines. Indeed, some imagine a much busier Antarctica in the not-so-distant future, visited daily by massive cruise ships and laden with luxury hotels and large runways for full-size commercial airplanes.

As a result, some countries attending the Antarctic treaty (the organization which determines governance of the White Continent), including New Zealand and India, have been advocating for further regulation of travel to Antarctica.

The future of tourism to Antarctica is uncertain. Will travel there be banned? Or will it be the new hot destination in 2050? Only time will tell.

Your Next Surprising Getaway

Whatever happens with tourism to Antarctica, the good news is you don’t have to go to the end of the world to relax. With Mountain Aviation, you can reach destinations all over the U.S. in style and safety.

Mountain Aviation is based in Colorado, a state known for its awe-inspiring landscapes and iconic wildlife. But the Rocky Mountains and elk are just the tip of the iceberg.

The state holds many geological secrets in some pretty tucked away places. But since private jets can land on small runways, we can get you close to all of Colorado’s wonders, including its relaxing hot springs.

Read about 5 remote Colorado hot springs to fly to right now »