Here are some frequently asked questions about our expeditions to Antarctica. If you have a question just contact us and we’ll answer it for you.
How many people on the ship?
Vessels usually carry between 45 to 110 passengers.
What is the age range aboard?
Passengers on a typical voyage range from their 30s to their 80s – with a majority usually from 45 – 65. Our expeditions attract independent-minded travelers from around the world. They are characterized by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camaraderie and spirit that develops aboard is an important part of the expedition experience.
How much room is there for luggage?
There is storage space for empty luggage in the cabins under your bunk. Alternatively some vessels will stow your baggage safely elsewhere on the ship.
What clothes do I take to wear on the ship?
Shipboard clothing is informal and casual. Jeans, slacks, casual shirts and deck shoes or running shoes are the normal garb.
What clothes do I need in South America?
It will be mid- summer in South America. In Buenos Aires the temperature is likely to be between 20°C and 30°C or even higher. In Tierra del Fuego the weather is changeable and colder than Buenos Aires. Once again, casual clothing with a windproof or fibre-pile (polar fleece) jacket, long pants and closed shoes in Ushuaia, as it can get cold.
How do I keep myself dry and warm?
You can certainly get away with any good waterproof jacket and waterproof overpants and warm clothes underneath. Remember layering is the best way to dress in Antarctica.
Do I need to buy waterproof gear for my trip?
If you do not own waterproof gear or do not want to carry too much luggage, it’s possible to rent good waterproof jackets and over pants in Ushuaia as well as on board some vessels. We highly recommend bringing good quality fleece or thermal clothes to wear under your waterproofs.
How many pairs of gloves do I need?
It is best to take two or three pairs of gloves. Some people like to take rubber washing-up gloves or the heavier fleecy lined rubber gloves used in freezers to keep their hands dry, particularly in the Zodiacs when going from ship to shore. Light woolen or synthetic gloves in combination with heavier ski-gloves or mittens work well.
How do I keep my cameras dry?
When you are traveling from ship to shore, there is a big risk that a splash from the sides of the Zodiac will wet your camera, or worse still you could drop it in the water. A waterproof camera bag is a must and a small cloth or pack towel to dry your lens is also a handy item.
Should I bring binoculars with me?
Investing on a good pair of binoculars is recommended. Some vessels rent good quality binoculars on board. Contact us for more information.
Should I bring along my own walking poles?
Yes, if you have trouble walking over uneven ground. Some of our landings can be on slippery rocks or deep snow. We may go for longer extended walks.
Do I have to be really “fit” and in good health to join this expeditions?
You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship.
To join most excursions, you must be able to negotiate the steep gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. This will become progressively easier with practice.
What happens if I get Seasick?
Our experience is that a small percentage of people do feel sea sick and most are fine after a day or two. If you feel that your are particularly susceptible to seasickness do talk to your doctor who will advise on medication. We have a doctor on board and the ship is equipped with a small medical clinic.
What kind of medical services are offered aboard?
If you have special needs, please contact our office directly.
A qualified physician will be on board throughout the voyage. Any applicable fees for services rendered on board will be debited to your shipboard account and presented for settlement at the end of the voyage. Passengers requiring special medications should bring sufficient quantities to last the duration of the expedition. If you are under regular treatment you should bring a summarized medical history as well. It is essential that persons with any medical problems and related dietary restrictions inform us well before departure so we may brief the ship’s staff accordingly. If you use a hearing aid that might be turned off at night or would otherwise require special assistance in case of an emergency, please advise the reception desk at the time of boarding.
Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance is strongly recommended. Trip cancellation and in the unlikely event of medical evacuation can be very expensive.
I have dietary needs. Are there options for me?
Please indicate dietary needs on the Personal Information Form sent to us before boarding the vessel. The galley is equipped to prepare or serve most special dietary needs.
Are there restrictions on what can be done while ashore?
We are particularly concerned with the protection of the wildlife, environment and cultures in all of the areas we visit. Conservation issues are covered in the briefings on board and the expedition staff will assist you ashore.
“Do not leave anything but footprints. Do not take anything but memories”
What will the weather be like?
In the Polar areas the weather is always an unknown factor and it can be changeable. Temperatures can be cold, wet and windy, though not perhaps as cold as you might expect. On calm sunny days it can feel quite warm.
Is the ship air-conditioned? What is the temperature?
The ship is air-conditioned and the temperature ranges from 15° C to 25° C. We keep a good flow of fresh air through the ship by leaving some of the main doors open to the outer decks.
How do I pay my bill aboard?
In most vessels, upon embarkation, a shipboard ‘chit’ account is automatically opened for your convenience and covers all onboard purchases, including bar charges, gift shop purchases, laundry, medical services, communication, etc. An account for payment will be presented on the final day of the voyage. Final payment can be made using cash, travelers’ checks or major credit cards e.g. Visa and MasterCard. All prices are in US dollars. Personal cheques are not accepted on board.
What sort of money do I take and how much?
We recommend that you take US dollars for use in Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and on board the ship. Travelers cheques in Argentina can be difficult to change, even at hotels. ATMs are available throughout Argentina.
What should I do about Tipping?
Most vessels will recommend USD10 per passenger per day while on ship.. It is divided equally among crew and staff. Nevertheless it is a personal decision whether to tip or not.
What sort of electrical adapter should I take for my battery charger, my razor or my hairdryer?
In most of the vessels, the electrical supply on board is 220 volts 50 Hertz. You will need a European two plug (round pin) adapter. For exact information on electrical supply check your vessel description or contact us.
Do you have facilities on board to download digital images from my camera?
Some vessels do have a computer or two to download your digital images. You are welcome to bring your own storage device or laptop. There is power in the cabins for your devices.
Will we hear announcements while aboard the vessel?
Announcements on board will be made in English and relayed over the public address system including wildlife sightings, disembarkation announcements and itinerary and weather updates.
Can we visit the Bridge?
As often as maritime regulations and weather conditions allow, the Bridge is open for visits. This is an excellent area to watch ship operations and look out for wildlife.
How does the Cabin Service work?
The cabin attendants will clean all cabins on a daily basis. Towels will be changed as desired but, for environmental reasons, we ask passengers to change towels only when necessary. Bed sheets will be changed every third day.
Is there a library aboard with reference books?
Yes, most vessel have an extended list of reference Polar bibliography and the library provides a quiet room to write your journals or look at your photos.