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Poseidon Expeditions - your polar cruise operator

Сan you go to Antarctica? Check-list for travelers

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Ready for your next adventure? Discover Antarctica on an epic expedition cruise and see another continent from your must-travel list. It’s one of the most remote places on Earth and a magnificent area to see unique wildlife – but how do you get there? Read on and get ready to pack your bags!

First of all: yes, you can visit Antarctica 

You can’t call yourself an avid expeditioner without having visited Antarctica. It’s the pinnacle of polar travel and you’ll follow in the footsteps of brave historic explorers like Sir Ernest Shackleton, Robert Falcon Scott and Roald Amundsen. And best of all: you’ll get to experience the beautiful scenery, iconic wildlife and all the excitement of a real polar expedition in comfort and style from aboard your small expedition ship, the Sea Spirit. 

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While you can’t just pack your bags and hitchhike (or stow-away) to Antarctica, it’s actually quite easy to organize a trip. You’ll have to book airfare to the departure port Ushuaia or Buenos Aires in Argentina since most expeditions leave from there. You won’t need a visa, but you do need to get permission to set foot on the White Continent. But don’t worry! Your trusted polar expedition cruise operator will arrange for all necessary permits. All you need to bring is yourself, your equipment, an average level of fitness and your adventurous spirit!

Basic Antarctica travel restrictions 

The good news is there aren’t too many hoops to jump through to visit Antarctica. Once you reach the departure port and board our small expedition ship, we’ll take care of all permits, accommodation, excursions, delicious gourmet meals, workshops, seminars, entertainment and anything that will make your experience outstanding. What do we need from you? You’ll have to arrange airfare from your place of residence, purchase travel insurance and obtain a visa to enter Argentina if necessary. But don’t worry, we can assist with this leg of your journey as well. Let us know if you need help with corresponding with the respective consulates or advice on booking flights. We are a highly experienced polar cruise operator and we know how to help take the burden off. Oh, and by the way, the first night prior to our cruise is on us – we’ll book you into a quality hotel at the departure port.

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Сan you go to Antarctica without special permission? 

You’ll definitely need to get a permit for exploring this beautiful polar gem, but we’ve got you covered. As one of the top polar expedition cruise operators we’ll organize everything.

Here is what we’ll need you to take care of yourself (…but please feel free to contact us if needed):

• Airfare to and from our departure port Ushuaia/Buenos Aires in Argentina (depending on the cruise): price depends on your country/place of residence
• Visa for entering Argentina: usually around 150 USD at your local consulate (this may vary and higher fees may apply if you arrange it via a visa agency)
• Travel insurance that includes trips to polar regions, evacuation and repatriation with a coverage of no less than 200,000 USD
• PCR tests for travelling (if applicable, since these regulations change frequently, please check with the countries you are travelling through)
• Covid-19 vaccination (required for travelling aboard the Sea Spirit)

Do you need to be vaccinated?  

Yes. Please understand that in order to minimize risks and ensure the safety of all travelers and crew we do require everyone to be vaccinated. We accept all types of vaccines that are currently used worldwide and your certificate must indicate the final shot to have been made no later than 14 days before departure. Please also forward us a scan prior to departure and have a printed copy ready on departure day so everything goes smoothly and you are ready to board our ship without any delays. For more information on Covid-19 safety, please check out our Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocols

How do you get to Antarctica? 

There’s lots of ways to get there, but let’s focus on the most convenient ones. After all, you’re looking for a fun adventure and not an arduous and difficult journey. And, please, do not attempt to make it to Antarctica on your own homemade raft….

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Flying 

If you want to be able to say you visited Antarctica and take some beautiful pictures to prove your conquest, you can choose a charter flight to the White Continent. Some operators offer to fly directly to the Antarctic Peninsula and then just board a short cruise around the area. This is an option for those who absolutely cannot overcome seasickness and want to skip the Drake Passage.

Cruise 

Want the real deal? Book a full expedition cruise to Antarctica! Trust us, this is the right way to discover it and will make for the best memories that last a lifetime. You’ll experience a real polar expedition aboard a small 114-passenger expedition ship, visit lectures and workshops, join citizen science projects, cruise in Zodiac boats, kayak, land on beautiful beaches and shores and enjoy unbelievable views and wildlife. Depending on your budget and availability, we have 3 epic Antarctic cruises for you:

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Essential highlights Cruise aboard the Sea spirit straight to the Antarctic Peninsula, crossing the infamous Drake Passage. See iconic wildlife and icebergs and set foot on the White Continent. This is an 11–12-day cruise for those who are on a budget and have limited time to explore. This departure also has a special Christmas and New Year cruise option! Choose your Antarctica cruise!

Going South Cruise further south than any other expedition in 15 days. Head to the Antarctic Peninsula and then push further south, attempting to cross 66º South Latitude (the Antarctic Circle). 

See it all Got some time? Want to see it all? Then we recommend the most unique cruise there is: Falklands, South Georgia Island and Antarctic Peninsula. This will lead you from the lush green homesteads and quaint British flair of the Falklands, via South Georgia (paradise on Earth with iconic wildlife and breathtaking scenery) to the Antarctic Peninsula. Reserve 21-23 days for this epic cruise and be prepared for the adventure of a lifetime! Learn more about our Antarctic wildlife adventure cruises.

Visit Antarctica with a polar cruise operator 

It’s all about the right organization. Even if you normally travel on your own and explore off the beaten path, you will need a professional to make your Antarctica cruise magical. But how to find the best polar expedition cruise provider for the adventure of a lifetime?

Size matters! Check that your cruise ship is small, but comfortable (like, for example, our expedition ship, the Sea Spirit). Only a limited number of people are allowed to land at once in Antarctica and, with a small cruise ship, you’ll avoid having to wait your turn. Most expedition ships also feature comfortable cabins of various comfort levels, lecture halls, gourmet restaurants, a polar library, gym, bar and a fleet of kayaks and small inflatable Zodiac boats for sea excursions and landings.

Experience is key! Choose a cruise provider with many years of experience in the polar regions. This is specifically important because you want everything to run smoothly in such remote places. Real professionals will also know exactly where to spot wildlife, the best areas to land and how to make it the trip of your life.

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How do you visit Antarctica?  

Preparing and packing list Your heart is set and you are ready to go. But how to start preparing for your big adventure in Antarctica? Use our check-list for first-time travelers:

1. Contact the polar cruise tour operator of your choice. You can also call or write a direct message. At Poseidon Expeditions, we’re delighted to help you personally find the best cruise that suits your taste of adventure, budget and time frame.
2. Choose your cruise. Select the itinerary, departure date, cabin category and don’t forget to book extra activities such as camping or kayaking in Antarctica. There are only a few spots on each cruise and you wouldn’t want to miss out.
3. Get your visas (if applicable), travel insurance and book your flights.
4. Get your gear. Pack warm clothes for dressing in layers, starting with thermal underwear (e.g., from merino wool, no cotton), second layers that are warm but breathable, wind- and water-proofs on top. Don’t forget hats, gloves and warm socks, sunglasses, sunscreen, any medication you require, cameras, laptops, battery packs and chargers. Don’t forget comfortable shoes and clothes for on board and consider one smart casual outfit for those special dinner or party nights aboard. We do provide special footwear for shore landings that is yours for the duration of the cruise and a warm expedition parka for you to keep after your trip as a souvenir!
5. Come aboard and start your adventure. Once your trip is confirmed, you’ll make your way to the departure port where we’ll meet you!

FAQ 

Can you legally go to Antarctica? 

Yes, you don’t need a visa and the permit that is needed can be organized by your polar expedition cruise operator

What is forbidden in Antarctica? 

We follow all guidelines and rules of the IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) and will guide you on how to comply with them. The main points include not to disturb, touch, approach, feed or harass wildlife in any way, damage plants and pollute or destroy Antarctic nature. Follow the instructions of your professional guides at all times!

Why do planes not fly over Antarctica? 

Due to harsh conditions, extreme weather and no permanent population on the continent there are no regular passenger flights to Antarctica. Most flights transport research personnel and supply the bases. The lack of infrastructure makes it difficult to recover a stranded aircraft in case of an emergency. Expedition cruises and small-scale ecotourism are a way to preserve the nature and beauty of this remote area.

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