The first Indian cruise to Antarctica

A ship passing through the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: iStockphoto

A ship passing through the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo: iStockphoto

As it happens, about 750 million years ago, India and Antarctica were joined at the hip. Covered in ice, thick and inseparable. Cut to the present: They are at least three flights and one spectacular voyage apart. A distance that few—fewer than 200 out of 20 million—outbound Indian tourists cover every year. A poor showing by all accounts, and certainly no way to treat old, if glacial, loves.

So when The Q Experiences, a Mumbai-based luxury travel company, announced plans to send “the first Indian ship” with 200 voyagers to the seventh continent between 9-19 December this year, we were curious. Turns out, it’s an Indian ship all right—if only with a few riders. Chartered by an Indian company, with the tricolour flying aloft, it’s better to qualify it perhaps as the first luxury vessel sailing to Antarctica aimed squarely at Indians with deep pockets. Interested parties from other countries won’t be turned away either. But the largest pool of fish will invariably hold blue passports with Asiatic lions emblazoned in gold. In a country where luxury travel is expected to grow much faster than plain vanilla travel over the next decade, there are plenty of fish to be had yet, of course.

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