Have you been watching Frozen Planet? BBC One’s landmark series has taken us on an epic expedition to the Arctic and Antarctic from the comfort of our sofas. Skyscanner brings you five ways to experience polar wonders for yourself.
1. Iceland… with Easyjet!
Now you too can do a David Attenborough thanks to a new route from Easyjet. The no-frills carrier is set to start a service to the Icelandic capital Reykjavik in March 2012. This makes Iceland possibly the most accessible place to see the scenic stars of Frozen Planet, like glaciers and snow-capped volcanoes – remember Eyjafjallajökull as the perpetrator of the ‘ash cloud’ in 2010? Lying on the cusp of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is home to wondrous sub-polar wildlife as well, such as reindeer, Minke whales, Arctic foxes and dazzling harlequin ducks.
Find cheap flights to Reykjavik
2. Polar bears… in Norway
The sun doesn’t rise until February in Svalbard. That’s pretty cool, in a way. But if you prefer your days long, this high Arctic archipelago is the true land of the midnight sun, and easily accessible by air. Svalbard is a still-unspoilt wilderness lying half-way between Norway and the North Pole, where you can sledge with huskies amongst soaring white peaks as the Aurora shimmers in the night sky. Go on safari by snowmobile, walk on mighty glaciers, go ice caving and marvel at wildlife, from walruses lazing on the beach, to one of the series’ biggest stars, polar bears. Find cheap flights to Svalbard
3. Penguins… in South Africa
Everyone loves penguins! The belly-flopping emperor penguins may nest where temperatures plunge to 70 below zero, but you don’t have to brave the extremes of Antarctica to find other members of this flightless family. You can see penguins in Chile, Peru, Ecuador, South Africa, Namibia, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand. There’ll be no thermals required at Boulders Beach, part of the Table Mountain National Park near Cape Town in South Africa, which is home to a colony of Jackass penguins. In fact, all you’ll need is your swim suit – you can combine it with a day of swimming and sandcastles. Find cheap flights to Cape Town
4. A day trip to… Antarctica
Visiting Antarctica is not easy. Ryanair doesn’t fly to Patriot Hills. South Georgia doesn’t even have enough flat land for a runway. Most people take an organised cruise through the Antarctic Ocean, weaving between icebergs to visit incredible places like Paradise Bay and Deception Island, seeing awesome wildlife like humpback whales, elephant seals and albatrosses. For a taste of the ‘White Continent’, including intimate encounters with penguins and sea lions, you can in fact do a day trip from Punta Arenas in Chile. Or become a BBC cameraman, but then you’d probably have to stay there for several months! Find cheap flights to Punta Arenas
5. Killer wildlife… a little closer to home
You don’t have to go the ends of the earth (literally!) to see Frozen Planet’s wildlife wonders. While diving with penguins under the sea ice is best left to the professionals, you can experience some of the series’ scenes here in the UK. See the spectacle of hunting killer whales from the safety of dry land on the Shetland Islands – just a short flight away. See the first flights of fledging puffins and guilemots among cacophonous colonies of seabirds on spectacular high cliffs, but watch out for dive-bombing arctic terns and fearsome skuas! Find cheap flights to Shetland