Flying to Antarctica on an Avro Jet – An Incredible Experience!

Flight details

  • Airline: Antarctic Airways
  • Class: Economy
  • Aircraft: Bae Avro Jet RJ85
  • Route: Punta Arenas (PUQ) to King George Island (TNM)
  • Flight time: 2H

Today we are flying to the end of the world, a continent not many get to visit. We are going to Antarctica, landing on its only gravel runway and exploring some glaciers as well. 

Read on as I take you with me on my journey to the 7th continent of the world.

How can I visit Antarctica?

To get to the end of the world, you need first to fly to one of the most southern airports in the world. From there you can book your flight which takes just 2 hours or so to Antarctica.

So, welcome to Punta Arenas, where we will start this journey. It is one of the most isolated cities in the world and it’s the gateway to Antarctica.

I checked in for my Antarctic adventure on an airline branded as Antarctic Airways. I was very excited to board our flight to King George Island.

Which Airline Takes You to Antarctica?

And pictured is our plane to take us there. The 20-year-old Avro Jet RJ85, which is operating for DAP Aviation.

They operate weekly flights to King George Island to fly scientists and occasionally tourists there, which is home to several research stations.

The airport at King George Island, called the Teniente R. Marsh Airport is the only one in Antarctica with an actual IATA code.

Let’s get on board the Avro Jet and see what it looks like from the inside.

Boarding the Avro Jet to Antarctica

Welcome on board the Avro Jet, which used to fly in Europe, but it definitely has upgraded its life now as it’s shuttling between Punta Arenas and Antarctica’s King George Island. 

The difficulty with this flight is that it is an all visual approach, which means, a planned time on the ground was around 5 hours, but if the weather changed, we’d have to pack up and leave immediately otherwise, there is a high chance that we would get stuck there. 

I had a chat with the guide, and he said he has spent two weeks in Antarctica because of bad weather once. I mean, I wouldn’t have minded getting stuck there for a full week. It would probably be pretty interesting, but probably not in the best interest of many other passengers who were traveling. 

The flight time to Antarctica from Punta Arenas is roughly 2 hours, and I was super, super pumped to see what it looks like in the seventh continent. 

We taxied to the runway for probably one of the most exciting takeoffs of my life.

What In-Flight Meal Do You Get When Flying to Antarctica

When flying to the 7th continent, there is a meal served in a beautiful box. So let’s see what’s inside.

You get a sandwich, some fruit, cheese and olives and a snack-bar

And of course, there needs to be coffee as well.

And even on the way to Antarctica the lavatory is not safe from our review. Very nice, very compact. The lavatories on the Avro are actually very, very small. But to be honest, nobody cares what the lavatory looks like on your way to Antarctica, right?

Arrival in Antarctica

We then started our descent into King George Island, one of the most beautiful airstrips on Earth, with a short 1,300-meter-long gravel runway. The strip is named after Rula Marsh, a former Arctic Explorer.

I made it, continent number seven. Welcome to Antarctica, King George Island. What a flight!

Once we landed, we headed straight to the bay where most research stations are based for a little boat trip. But taking in the whole scenery was just breathtaking. 

We also got a glimpse of the most southern Orthodox Church, which was erected in 2003 by the Russians. 

It was then time to put on my special gear and to get ready for my first-ever cruise review.

Check Out The Gear I Use When Travelling

What Was My Experience of Antarctica?

So, what is it like in Antarctica? It’s just incredible. It’s so beautiful. It’s like my personal moon landing. It’s a different world. It’s so unique. It’s so beautiful. It’s freezing cold as well, but it was just so stunning to be there and to take it all in. 

It’s just incredible. Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I’d come to the very end of the world. I was just so grateful at that moment, full of gratitude. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Nothing can beat it. It’s just incredible.

After about 4 hours on the ground in King George Island, we headed back to the boat to take our flight back to civilization.

As I sat in my seat on the Avro Jet again to fly back to Punta Arenas, I was still comprehending everything. It was a lot to take in. It was absolutely stunning, absolutely beautiful and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

I definitely have to go back for a longer trip, but this short trip was absolutely worth it. Words can’t describe how I felt.

My Reflections Visiting Antarctica – Bottom Line

As I was enjoying my coffee on the flight, the adrenaline slowly settled, and I felt quite relaxed, quite chilled, but most importantly, quite accomplished. 

Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, and finally, I travelled to Antarctica. 

Not in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined going there. And I think if I had never picked up a camera back in the days and started vlogging, I wouldn’t have been able to afford this flight.

I’m not from a very privileged background and never had money in my life. At times, I was even homeless, hitchhiking around the world. But I was always very driven by my passion to go and explore, to see the world, and to become a storyteller. 

And here I am, so there’s no excuse for you not to do it. When I started, I had nothing, I had a GoPro 2, one of the really old ones, but I just started it. And here I am now, a few million views later, a few hundred thousand subscribers later, I’m sitting on a plane flying back from Antarctica to South America.

I never really care about numbers or records or anything like that, but this one feels pretty good. But what I’m trying to say is go out there and accomplish your dreams, do it. Nothing can stop you if you really want it.

We landed back in Punta Arenas and visiting one of the most remote places on Earth made me crave more. 

So, I’ll be taking a cruise to the most remote islands in the world, including Tristan da Cunha, in an attempt to bring a little bit more variety to my content in 2024. 

What adventures or airlines would you love to see this year on my Blog and YouTube? Please let me know in the comment section below since I’m looking for a little bit of inspiration. 

Thanks a lot for following my journey, I appreciate you all.

Don’t forget to check out my Patreon page for some cool extra perks where you can join my WhatsApp group, get your Cahill keyring, early access to my videos have your name in the credits of my videos and so on.

If you’re interested in the gear I use on my travels having taken over 600+ flights, check out My Gear page.

I hope you enjoyed it this adventure to the 7th continent with me. This is it, wherever you’re off to, have a safe trip!

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About the Author

Josh Cahill is an award-winning Aviation YouTuber who is reportedly one of the most-watched flight reviewers on the internet. He organised Afghanistan’s first all-female flight together with Kam Air in February 2021 on a flight from Herat to Kabul for which he received the Aviation Achievement Award. His favourite hobby? Flying exotic airlines nobody has ever heard of.

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