By Hugues Goosse
The Princess Elisabeth Station is located at a latitude of 71° 57′ 00″ South and a longitude of 23° 20′ 51″ East. It is thus more or less at the same longitude as Warsaw, in Poland, but nearly 14 000 km southward.
The easiest way for us to get there is first to fly from Brussels to Cape Town in South Africa. Those first two-thirds of the trip can thus be done using a standard airline company.
The flight to Antarctica is operated by a specialized company. In our case, the Ilyushin 76 TD-90 used by the Antarctic Logistic Centre International (ALCI) will take us first to the Russian base of Novolazarevskaya ( usually called Novo for simplicity) in five and a half hours.
A second flight of about one hour will finally bring us to Princess Elisabeth Station. Sometimes, when the flight schedule is very busy or weather depending, we might have to spend a few nights at the “Novo “airport” before flying out to Princess Elisabeth Station.