A380 flies to Antarctica for New Year’s 2010

This New Year’s Eve, Qantas will be taking one of their super swank A380′s to Antarctica. Seats are for sale to the masses starting (checking watch) NOW. This special flight is the first time the double-decker jumbo jet has ever flown this far south, let alone to Antarctica. The plane will take off in Sydney and pick up in Melbourne before spending four hours doing low, figure-eight patterns over the icy, white expanses of the seventh continent. (That sounds really, really cool but also sounds kind of like landing at Heathrow in winter.) Passengers will get to greet the “dawn” of 2010 (remember, the sun doesn’t set) and revel in the rare and incredible view of the southern polar summer without packing a coat.

If you don’t catch the inaugural New Year’s flight, there will be a repeat A380 flight on January 24th or you can take your honey on a boring old split-level Boeing 747 for Valentine’s Day 2010.

One is loath to mention–but must–the doomed sightseeing Air New Zealand Flight 901 of two score and three days ago, which smashed into Antarctica’s highest mountain, leaving shattered champagne glasses icily scattered across the coldest place on earth. There, I mentioned it.

These one-time Qantas flights can be ticketed with their travel agency partners at Antarctica Sightseeing Tours.