There is always the option of a trip into space. If the intense pre-flight training, with its heart-tingling, claustrophobic, blood-pressure-soaring, suited-up agony is not enough to make memories there’s the cost – Virgin Galactic is talking about seat prices of US$250,000 for its inaugural flight. A more comfortable way to experience the trip of a lifetime is to visit Antarctica, the most remote and mysterious place on the earth.

The huge White Continent often seems like a ghost on maps of the world but in reality it offers spectacular mountains, the world’s biggest icebergs and is teeming with an extraordinary array of wildlife: fur seals, penguins, albatrosses, sea elephants, orcas and whales live side by side on, around and under the ice.

However, a trip to the South Pole no longer requires NASA-style training (or deathly heroics in the manner of Robert Falcon Scott.) Now the five-star cruise line Compagnie du Ponant offers a tour of the Antarctic that adds French-style five-star luxury to the unforgettable scenery.

Designed with the polar destinations in mind, the ships are able to navigate the most extreme regions in total safety while passengers enjoy spacious bedrooms, a panoramic terrace, library, theater and cocktail bar with dance floor. The cherry on the cake is the food – no spacecraft rations here – the Ponant ships are like floating Michelin restaurants with exceptional vintages to wash down the gourmet cusine and the breathtaking views. Houston, we have no problem with that.