What will the weather be like?
Austral summer weather in Antarctica means mostly mild temperatures. You can expect cold, sunny days and brisk winds, which may turn into stormy weather and even a few snow flurries or snow. You should be prepared for quick changes in weather conditions.
What should I pack?
It is important to pack layers. Wicking fabric is highly recommended for the base layer with a waterproof exterior layer. This will ensure you stay dry and warm during your time off the ship. On board, you can dress casually, and remember to pack anti-slip shoes as the deck can get a little wet. A detailed packing list is provided upon booking
Do I need travel insurance?
It is mandatory that each passenger has travel insurance that covers emergency medical attention, including emergency medical evacuation. This is essential because our expeditions are carried out in places where advanced medical services do not exist.
Is there an infirmary on board?
Our ship has a small, well-equipped infirmary for the attention of minor medical problems and is under the care of a licensed medical doctor. Serious emergencies require evacuation to medical centres in South America that are better equipped, which requires a very costly air evacuation procedure. This is why we ask our passengers to have an insurance policy that covers emergency medical evacuation.
Are there any baggage restrictions for the trip?
The airline allows a maximum luggage weight of 20 kg (44 Lb.) per person, including hand luggage. This weight limitation is related to a technical requirement of the flight operation. For trips starting and ending in Punta Arenas, any excess baggage may be left at the hotel where it will be stored free of charge. Because of the space limitation on the aircraft, we recommend you bring either a canvas duffle bag or a backpack with a waterproof cover.
What about my airline schedules, especially after the voyage to Antarctica?
Since quick changes in weather may mean delays in getting back to Punta Arenas from Antarctica, we strongly recommend that you keep your airline reservations as flexible as possible. You should book your ongoing flight from Punta Arenas either in the evening of the last day of your program, at the earliest.
What level of physical activity is expected during the trip?
Getting on and off the ship requires full mobility. You don’t need to be very agile but you do need to be able to walk and manage stairs independently, as well as to lift your legs over the pontoons of the Zodiacs to embark and disembark. Walks on the beach or further inland, with some low hill climbing, are available. You should be reasonably fit to be able to enjoy those activities but it will always be up to you how far you choose to walk. Physical activity will never be imposed and you can set your own pace.
What kind of meals can I expect onboard?
We are privileged to have a group of international chefs prepare a delicious selection of different cuisines throughout your trip. Please let us know ahead of time if you have any dietary restrictions. Please note: the kitchen will not be able to accommodate Kosher or vegan requests.
Do you accommodate special diets?
Dietary requests must be made on the Participation Form you receive after your booking confirmation. This information will be passed along to our staff so they can accommodate your needs while on your voyage. Note: due to the nature of our expeditions and the kitchens onboard the ships, Kosher and vegan meals cannot be accommodated.
If I suffer from a serious illness, should I inform you?
Yes. In the Participation Form you will be asked to tell us all about your health problems, either past or present, including allergies, etc. This will allow our onboard doctor to be aware of the medical needs of each one of our passengers, and allow him or her to be better prepared.
What means of communication are there onboard?
While we hope you are able to disconnect from the outside world to enjoy your voyage to the fullest, we understand this is not always possible. We have a satellite telephone and Internet services on board, available at an additional charge to guests. Please note that due to the nature of our expedition and the location we travel, services will not be to the standard you are used to at home, and as such, you should expect slow or delayed services at best.
How do I pay for services and merchandise I purchase on board?
Charges can be applied to your shipboard account. On the eve of the last day of your voyage, you will be asked to pay any outstanding expenses with a credit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Are gratuities expected?
Although not mandatory, gratuities are always appreciated. The staff and crew aboard each voyage work tirelessly to ensure you have the best experience possible. Tipping is a personal decision and the amount is at your discretion. All gratuities will be distributed among the staff and crew accordingly. You have the option of contributing in cash or charging to your shipboard account at the end of your voyage.
Will lectures be provided during the voyage?
Your Expedition Staff will deliver several interesting lectures and presentations during the voyage in order to give you as much information about the places, history and wildlife of Antarctica. This will help enhance your appreciation of this magnificent place.
What drinks are included with meals?
Wine, beer, juice and soft drinks served with breakfast, lunch and dinner onboard our ships are included, as well as coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks throughout the expedition. Note: beverages purchased at the ship’s bar are at a charge.
What about safety?
Your safety is our main concern. You will be provided with a mandatory safety session before departing on your voyage. You will be shown where the life jackets are, as well as the safety boats in case of an emergency evacuation. During rough weather, do not walk in large, open areas and be sure to use handrails both outside and inside the vessel. Always use door handles and never hold doors by their frames, as a sudden movement may prove very dangerous. Always turn on the lights upon entering your cabin in case items have moved around. Use non-slip shoes when on deck, as it can be slippery at times.
Can I smoke on board?
Smoking is only allowed on board ship in very limited designated smoking areas outside. Smoking is not allowed anywhere else on board the ship, including in your cabin. Please never throw anything overboard, including cigarette butts or ashes. It is imperative we respect the environment and leave it as untouched as possible.
What happens if the weather changes suddenly?
Because of the nature and location of our expeditions, we are always prepared for sudden changes in weather. All excursions and other activities are structured taking this into consideration, and there is always a contingency plan in place.