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You Can Be the First to Explore Undiscovered Land in the Arctic — but It'll Cost You

Last year was all about reaching new heights in space tourism, but next year might just be about setting foot in a different frontier. With a new itinerary from Ariodante Travel, participants will drive to undiscovered lands in the Arctic, capturing new records for walking on the northernmost region of the planet, as well as taking part in scientific discoveries that will advance the understanding of climate change. The catch: the history-shattering adventure starts at $21 million.

Northern lights over Iceland
Northern lights over Iceland

Courtesy of Ariodante Travel

Designed for a single traveler who can bring two guests with them, the journey will start late this year, with a preparatory trip to Iceland to see how the specially designed Arctic vehicles are being made and learn how to drive them on ice. A polar survival training course will also be part of the orientation in Iceland.

Desert of Ice in Greenland
Desert of Ice in Greenland

Courtesy of Ariodante Travel

Then, in April 2023, the actual journey will kick off with a celebratory dinner at London's Natural History Museum attended by legendary explorers. From there, the participants will head to Svalbard in Norway before hopping over to Station Nord, a military and scientific base in Greenland, located more than 1,000 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and then stay at an ice hotel.

Map of the trip with Ariodante Travel
Map of the trip with Ariodante Travel

Courtesy of Ariodante Travel

Then, they'll head out on the seven-day driving trip, which will include a 22-person crew — who will have undergone 20 days of hard-core training, 40 days of polar prepping, and 50 days of reconnaissance to prep for the adventure. The crew will include scientists, a doctor, a chef, and videographers. The current record for the northernmost point is 83°39′45′′N, 30°36′50′′W, but this expedition will attempt to travel to islands farther north.

Greenland landscape with icy mountains
Greenland landscape with icy mountains

Henrik Lassen/Arctic Capacity Denmark/Courtesy of Ariodante Travel

At the end of the one-way trip, the explorer will be airlifted to a superyacht, where they can have guests waiting. On the yacht, they will have the option of then going to the geographic North Pole or just enjoying the cruise back home. Ariodante promises that every bit of the journey will be done in luxury, with as little environmental impact as possible.

"Driving in the high Arctic is an honor and a privilege but also an incredible challenge," Ariodante Travel founder Ricardo Araujo said in a statement released to Travel + Leisure. "To experience the sheer desolation and splendor of the scenery is beyond description. There is no place on Earth so humbling, so thought-provoking, and so completely beautiful."

He adds that upon successful completion of the trip, the participants will make history and qualify for "several Guinness Book Records" since "the goal is to discover one or several islands north of Greenland and push further what we know today as the northernmost point on land on Earth and, by doing so, expand the knowledge we have of our planet."

Driving in Greenland
Driving in Greenland

Courtesy of Ariodante Travel

In addition to pushing the limits of where any human has been, the expedition also hopes to collect scientific data from previously unexplored areas, including glaciers, that have only been seen by drones and aerial explorers, with the idea of improving knowledge of climate change, especially in terms of Greenland's formation and the melting ice caps.

And no doubt, there will be some stunning natural sights along the way, including potentially seeing the Northern Lights, as well as getting a glimpse of Arctic wildlife like polar bears, puffins, walruses, and whales.

As for the hefty price tag, that's a culmination of the more than 120 people who have been working more than 13 months to prep for the adventure, using satellites, scientific research, and Danish military assistance. The $21-million fee will also cover the seven custom vehicles being created for the journey.

"Today I'm proud to say we can achieve the impossible, and even go beyond, by taking an adventurous dream chaser to drive where no one has ever driven and discover the northernmost island on our planet," Araujo added. "The trip will provide the adventure of a lifetime."