Nothing can prepare you for the vast, untouched wilderness that is Antarctica.
No place comes close to this white world at the end of the earth where glaciers and icebergs flaunt their immense blue and white beauty, and craggy mountain ranges break through the snow.
And where seals lie languid and smiling on the ice and penguins strut their tuxedo finery.
Get the chance to see it all, by winning a vacation for two to the world's southernmost continent.
The Straits Times, with its travel partners Dynasty Travel and Turkish Airlines, is giving away this dream vacation under its ST+ news with benefits programme to reward loyal subscribers.
This 10-day, nine-night Antarctica Expedition Cruise and return tickets to the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires is worth more than $20,000.
Highlights of the trip include:
• The landscape. Look in wonder at the frozen desert and rocky coastlines flanked by gigantic icebergs and ice floes, and glaciers glistening in the sunlight. See ice cliffs rising 900m from the water at the Gerloche Strait.
• The animals on land and in the sea and air. Watch ocean giants baleen and humpback whales hunting for krill or enjoy penguins' antics as they gather in their thousands. See seals galore and countless birds such as albatross, arctic terns and storm petrels. Take excursions from the ship to visit penguin rookeries, scout for humpback and minke whales and search for southern seal species.
• A visit to Deception Island, an extinct volcano with waters warm enough for a polar plunge. It has sparse but exceptional flora, including species of moss or lichen not found elsewhere in the Antarctic, and the most extensively known community of the flowering plant Antarctic pearlwort. Nine species of seabirds breed on the island, including one of the world's largest colonies of chinstrap penguins.
"We know that Antarctica is on the bucket list of many Singaporeans, but it is not a journey you can book confidently on the Internet," said Dynasty Travel's director of public relations and communications Alicia Seah. "That is why we decided to provide the first Singapore-chartered cruise to the Earth's southernmost continent and give people the journey of a lifetime."
The travel agency has chartered Ocean Atlantic, operated by cruise company Albatros Expeditions, which has more than 30 years of operational expertise.
The ship is an ice-class vessel - one of the strongest that sails the oceans - and it can access inlets where wildlife abounds. It can accommodate about 200 travellers.
There will be excursions on small boats and landings. Specialists will take passengers out and give indepth explanations of icebergs, rock formations and wildlife. Commentaries will be in Mandarin as well.
Return economy-class air tickets to Buenos Aires will be provided by Star Alliance member Turkish Airlines, which flies to more countries and international destinations than any other airline.
Dynasty Travel's 10-day Antarctica Expedition Cruise in November is one of its signature journeys. It has also launched a Special Charter to the Arctic - the Svalbard Expedition Cruise - which departs in July next year.
For more information, go to the Dynasty Travel exhibition booth at the Natas Holidays 2019 travel fair from Friday to Sunday at Singapore Expo Exhibition Hall 5.
Up-close with seals, penguins and whales
A visit to the wild, white continent on a luxury cruise, chartered by Dynasty Travel, will give you the chance to get up-close with penguins, seals and whales amid a breathtaking backdrop of blue and white ice.
The Straits Times, in partnership with Dynasty Travel and Turkish Airlines, is giving away a trip of a lifetime for two - a 10-day, nine-night Antarctica Expedition Cruise and return economy-class tickets on Turkish Airlines to Buenos Aires, South America*. The cruise, which is from Nov 21 to 30, is part of the ST+ news with benefits programme that is exclusive to ST subscribers.
HOW TO TAKE PART IN THE CONTEST
1. Download the SPH Rewards app.
2. Look for the giveaway in the Rewards section.
3. Press the "Join" button and tell us "why a trip to Antarctica would be a journey of a lifetime for me".
- The contest closes on Aug 12. *The domestic flights between Buenos Aires in Argentina and the resort town of Ushuaia, where the cruise departs, are not included. Accommodation there is also not included. This is so that the travellers have the flexibility to decide when to fly to and from Buenos Aires and Ushuaia if they want to arrive earlier or extend their stay.
- The winner must be a subscriber of The Straits Times, and will need to participate in a media interview before the trip, and share photos on social media during the cruise. The prize is not transferable. Other terms and conditions apply. The winner will be notified by Aug 23.