How to travel to Antarctica within RM 50,000?
*Please take note that the price estimation used below will change from time to time. Air fare and hotel accommodation prices change from time to time. The below estimate is a travel tips and guide. The budget can be lower or higher depending on season and availability.
Three years ago I was US$ 5,500 short on board for the Antarctica cruise and I stayed in the southernmost city in the world for almost a week. I was in Argentina for 4 weeks and it was one of my greatest adventures of all time.
While listening on a local radioyesterday, there was a talk on how much does it cost for a trip of a lifetime to Antarctica. The answer was RM 150,000! I will not mention which travel agency or the radio station, RM 150,000 is a lot of money.
Since I was there three years ago and I spent a faction of RM 150,000 so I began to research and calculate how much will actually cost if I would travel to Antarctica in January 2014. That is the best timing to visit Antarctica since it will be summer down there. Given my experience traveling in Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, I manage to estimate on how much you will be spending for the whole trip. This is an estimate for a 14 nights stay in total including 10 nights on the Antarctica cruise.
If you are interested to read about my previous articles about Ushuaia:
Okay, be realistic and I don’t give you the craps or make up the story how am I going to do it within RM 50k so I am going to itemised the budget of the whole trip for you.
Flying from Malaysia to Buenos Aires:
Since Malaysia Airlines decided to cut the route to Buenos Aires, very least option remained. KLM is the safest bet. Since it will be January 2014, I print screen the prices of the airfare available with the most expensive return airfare is around RM 7,000. Make it RM 8,000 to make it easier to calculate.
Budget: RM 8,000 inclusive of tax, more info visit KLM website.
Staying in Buenos Aires:
I stayed in a posh five star hotel like Sheraton for US$ 400 per night or homestay for US$ 50 per night. Say you stay at the posh hotel for 2 nights (one night on arrival and one night prior to departure) so your accommodation stands at US$ 800 in Buenos Aires (like a king). Plus another US$ 400 for meals and taxis (trust me this is more than enough) so you will spend roughly US$ 1,200 in Buenos Aires for 2 nights with 3 meals covered. You will get a lovely Argentine Tango dinner for US$150 per pax.
Budget: US$ 1,200 / RM 3,600 (Luxury)
Total so far: RM 11,600
Flying from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia:
I flew from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires during my last trip, it was fine. So to fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, you need to fly either with Aerolineas or Austral. So let me take Aerolineas as sample, the airfare comes to US$ 628 for return airways. Let’s make it US$ 700.
Budget: US$ 700 / RM 2,800, for more info visit http://www.aerolineas.com.ar/
Total so far: RM 14,400
Staying in Ushuaia
You need to fly to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. The cruise will set off from the port so you need to fly from Buenos Aires to there. Like in Buenos Aires, I stayed in two categories before. Posh five stars like Las Lengas or crashed to a local’s homestay and stay like a local. A night in Las Lengas should be around US$ 400 and you should stay 2 nights in Ushuaia so it makes US$800 with no regrets.
Read: Las Lengas Hotel Review
I know you love those live king crabs like I did. You probably spend US$ 100 per pax for those juicy king crabs and you can read my experience too at Fresh King Crab at La Cantina Fueguina de Freddy
Budget another US$ 500 for Ushuaia in case you want to fly with the small plane for US$ 100 per pax and I did it too.
Read: My First Small Aircraft Flying Experience with Aero Club
The extras you can contribute to the two casinos in town or you might be naughty visiting those night clubs.
In total your spend US$ 1,300 in Ushuaia like a king.
Budget: US$ 1,300 / RM 3,900
Total so far: RM 18,300
The Antarctica Cruise via Clipper Adventurer
There are limited license Antarctica cruises and I will recommend Clipper Adventurer as my friends took the cruise and survived. Some of them went twice in different occasion. From my understanding it was US$ 5,500 three years ago and for 2014 it will US$ 6,200. We understand that inflation and why don’t we budget it to US$ 7,000 (just in case).
This is the actual cruise I took in Argentina.
Budget: US$ 7,000 / RM 21,000, more info visit http://www.compareantarcticacruises.com/
Total so far: RM 39,300
For RM 39,300 you will be traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Buenos Aires via KLM economy class but you will stay and eat like a king in both Buenos Aires and Ushuaia. You will spend roughly 14 nights in Argentina. With RM 10,000 spare, you can always travel to Brazil or Uruguay or you want to spend it all shopping for those beautiful leather products. If you tone it down on the accommodation and spending, you might even make it for less than RM 40,000. Don’t worry about the language as I survived without even knowing Spanish. Don’t ask me why but they always get my sign languages. So there you have it, I managed to calculate the whole trip within RM 50,000. Hope this will help in your planning to Antarctica! This is based on per person so if you are going with a partner, you can save half on the accommodation!
The southernmost city in the world, Ushuaia. I stayed there for a week.
For your info, I travelled in Argentina with my friends from 4x4WorldExplorer.com. They travelled around the world and their upcoming trip is around Australia, visit their website for more info.