Following are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Antarctica and Arctic Expedition Travel. More are added all the time. If you have your own questions you would like answered about preparing for your polar adventure, please let us know! Please note that the information here is general in nature and may not apply to every single expedition ship - so if you have a specific question you would like to check, please Contact Us!
Is a Covid-19 Vaccination required to join Antarctica cruises?
YES! All ships are requiring this - and in any case it is a requirement to entry into Argentina and Chile (and probably also your airline travel). Everyone boarding – staff, crew, and passengers – must be fully vaccinated with documentation issued by your national vaccinating authority. We can also recommend a seasonal flu shot if that is possible, since reducing your chances of getting the flu will help ensure you don’t develop symptoms that can be mistaken for COVID-19.
What about testing for Covid?
In addition to being fully vaccinated, every traveller must provide documentation of a recent negative COVID test before boarding flights or the ship. Passengers will also be re-tested on board (at no cost) by ship's medical staff - this is a requirement for re-entry into Argentina/Chile.
What are the entry requirements for Argentina?
The current immigration requirements for Argentina can be found here. Please also refer to your own local consulate and government department of foreign affairs.
As of 1 November 2021 entry to Argentina is allowed without quarantine requirements for all non-resident foreign nationals who have completed the full vaccination schedule at least 14 days before entry. A Negative PCR test at origin must also be carried out within 72 hours prior to entry and another PCR test between the fifth and seventh day after entry into the country (if you are then onboard the ship will provide this for you).
It is furthermore important that all passengers travelling to Argentina can present a health insurance extended for COVID including a Health Declaration (DDJJ), to be downloaded here.
Update Coronavirus: What Safety Protocols Are Onboard?
All ships have developed their own series of new safety protocols to assure the health and wellbeing of guests during voyages. Some of these upgrades are already underway and can therefore be specified, but others are by necessity still adapting to the ongoing stream of information and regulations regarding effective Covid-19 preparedness. New safety measures apply both before and during voyages, addressing such issues as embarkation and disembarkation, temperature screening, PCR testing, social distancing guidelines, air-filtration, and new standards for vessel restaurants, galleys, and expedition outings. All crew members, from captain to kitchen staff, will be trained on the latest COVID safety protocols.
When is the best time to go to the Antarctic and the High Arctic?
The Antarctic season runs from November through to March with all months having some special characteristics, including untouched winter snow, great whale and seal action, good weather, and even a little star gazing. The Arctic season runs from July through to September. Operating dates are carefully based on historical patterns in the ice, which allows for optimal viewing for all wildlife (walrus, polar bear, seals, whales) not to mention access to special landing sites.
How hard is it to get in and out of the Zodiacs?
Help getting in and out of the Zodiac landing craft will be given by the expedition staff. There are possible wet landings where you will be required to disembark the zodiac into ankle deep water - making rubber boots a necessary item.
Should I be concerned about Seasickness?
If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to seasickness, then it is a good idea to talk to your own doctor. Come armed with motion sickness tablets. There will be a doctor on board and each ship is equipped with a small treatment facility.
How often do we get off the ship?
You will get off the ship as much as possible, usually two to three times a day when we are around the Antarctic / Arctic coastline. Usually between two and six hours is spent at each location depending on the prevailing conditions.
Is there email/internet access onboard the ship?
Yes, on most expedition vessels there is email access available through satellite communication equipment for a charge.
I am travelling alone - do I need to pay a single supplement?
Many people come alone and some purchase the single cabin / sole use option. However for those wishing to share, almost every expedition ship offers the possibility to pair single travellers of the same gender together at no charge.
What nationalities are usually onboard?
There usually are travellers from many countries travelling on these expeditions. Most often from Europe, North America and Australia but from all over the world. A great chance to meet new friends! Unless otherwise specified the expedition staff give lectures and all safety briefings in English.
Do I need gloves?
It is best to take two or three pairs of gloves. It is important to have spare dry gloves in case one set gets wet.
Do I need a parka?
Expensive specialty gear is not required, but you should have warm, waterproof clothing available upon your arrival at the embarkation point. Several ships do include waterproof jackets and rubber/Wellington/gum boots while on board - but if not, there is also a clothing hire company in the main Antarctic port of Ushuaia. Check with us when booking your trip!
What can I expect on the cruise?
All these voyages are "expedition" style cruises. The emphasis is on wildlife encounters, personal contact with the environs, visiting sites of historical interest and to a lesser extent, scientific stations. The actual program will vary to take best advantage of local conditions, spontaneous opportunities and wildlife. Experience in Arctic and Antarctic waters shows that a flexible program is essential when it comes to dealing with the published itinerary as a guide to some of our best opportunities. No two voyages are the same and you can expect the unexpected!
How do I prepare for the expedition?
When packing, don't weigh yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire for your trip that can be worn in layers. During the booking process more detailed information will be sent to you regarding clothing lists, what to pack and what to expect on the voyage, as well as background information about the destination, wildlife etc - and reading lists for those wanting to find out even more.
Are there restrictions regarding what can be done ashore?
Yes, an overriding concern is the protection of the wildlife, environment and cultures in any of the areas visited. The expedition team will address conservation issues in the onboard briefings and will assist you ashore. Most important rules are: Do not leave anything but footprints and do not take anything but memories!
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