Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Airbnb wants to send you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica

The all-expenses-paid, month-long excursion is open to UAE residents and will see travellers collect snow samples, climb glaciers, spot emperor penguins and visit the South Pole

Airbnb wants to send five travellers to Antarctica for a month-long, all-expenses-paid expedition this December. Courtesy Airbnb / Christopher Michel
Airbnb wants to send five travellers to Antarctica for a month-long, all-expenses-paid expedition this December. Courtesy Airbnb / Christopher Michel

Travel accommodation site Airbnb is on the hunt for five explorers to venture to Antarctica.

If the climate crisis is something you’re passionate about then this is the trip for you. Airbnb is offering five individuals a rare opportunity to travel to Antarctica to spend an all-expenses-paid, month-long sabbatical exploring the southernmost continent on earth.

For the first time, the Airbnb sabbatical programme is open to travellers living in the UAE.

Winners will be invited to spend a month discovering the remote wilds of Antarctica. The expedition will commence with a dramatic landing on a naturally formed, blue-ice runway deep in Antarctica. From there, travellers will have the chance to visit some of the least-frequented places on the planet.

No formal qualifications are required to apply but travellers must be passionate about preserving the Earth and championing the environment.

Airbnb volunteers will collect snow samples in Antartica and visit the South Pole. Courtest Airbnb
Airbnb volunteers will collect snow samples in Antartica and visit the South Pole. Courtest Airbnb

Hike ice-covered mountains and spot blue whales

Travellers will get to take in the sheer beauty of Antarctica with visits to the two-mile-wide Drake’s Icefall and the sparkling azure corridor of Charles Peak Windscoop, while a hike to the dramatic Elephant’s Head on an ice-covered mountainous island off the coast of Antarctica will bring seal-spotting opportunities.

There will also be a visit to the South Pole, where expeditioners can circumnavigate the globe in just a few steps and spot elephant seals, fur seals, emperor penguins and blue whales that call this remote destination home.

During the sabbatical, the five participants will join Antarctic scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams on a first-of-its-kind scientific research mission.

Volunteers will help determine the extent of plastic pollution in Antartica. Courtesy Airbnb
Volunteers will help determine the extent of plastic pollution in Antartica. Courtesy Airbnb

No easy ride

Travellers should be passionate about the environment, as the trip is not going to be an easy one. “This expedition will be hard work, with scientific rigour required during unforgiving wintry conditions. We are looking for passionate individuals, with a sense of global citizenship,” explained Jones-Williams.

Volunteers will prepare for the expedition with immersion training that will take place in Punta Arenas in Chile, where they’ll learn more about glaciology and field sampling.

Saving the world's oceans

Each traveller will be a volunteer with Ocean Conservancy, a non-profit environmental advocacy group that helps protect the world's oceans and the wildlife that live there.

After the Antarctic excursion, travellers will return to Chile to work with the non-profit group to become ambassadors for protecting the ocean. They will deliver insights on how travellers and the Airbnb community can help to minimise their plastic footprint.

To apply, you’ll need to be over 18 and can visit Airbnb.com before midnight on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. The winners will be announced by Wednesday, October 30, 2019 and the trip will take place in December 2019.

The sabbatical is designed to bring greater awareness to the impact humans are having on climate in one of the world’s least understood and most isolated ecosystems. It follows an Italian sabbatical that Airbnb launched earlier in this year to send four people to Italy to spend the summer volunteering in a remote hillside village.

Updated: September 24, 2019 09:04 AM

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