New Flexible Reservation Policy and Risk-Free Travel
November 11, 2021
It’s a great time to plan your next polar adventure, and our new flexible booking policy makes it easy and risk-free. Valid for all new reservations made until further notice for any Arctic or Antarctic voyage aboard m/v Sea Spirit as well as North Pole cruises aboard i/b 50 Years of Victory as follows:
2022 Arctic season
2022 North Pole season
Oct 2022-Feb 2023 Antarctic season
- We will hold all new reservations for our normal period of seven days. Depending on availability on the departure date, this option may be extended.
- As of Nov 11, deposit of 20% is required by the end of the seven-day option period to confirm the reservation.
- Any time up to 90 days before the departure, you can transfer your booking to any future Poseidon cruise
- From 89 to one day before the departure, you can transfer your booking to any future Poseidon cruise for a valid COVID-related reason. Proof of the COVID-related reason is required.**
** “Flexible Reservation” transfers made less than 90 days prior to the departure are reserved for those bookings where final payment has been paid.
NB: When transferring the booking according to our Flexible Reservation Policy, the rate of the new cruise is to be applied.
For cancellation & refund policy please refer to our regular T&C.
Poseidon Expeditions’ COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols
For the 2022 Arctic Season aboard the Sea Spirit
Update: April 11, 2022
Poseidon Expeditions is committed to providing our travelers, crew and staff the utmost in health security and peace-of-mind as they explore the Arctic during the upcoming 2022 summer season.
Travel requirements for Svalbard, Norway – our gateway for many but not all our Arctic programs – are now being finalized, although we expect some additional points of clarification from Svalbard authorities. Our land-based Operations Team is reviewing logistics and protocols to ensure maximum safety for its guests. Our planned Coronavirus-related protocols are supported by guidelines and recommendations from Norway and other international health and cruise safety authorities.
As was the case pre-pandemic, travelers can book commercial flights into and out of Longyearbyen, Svalbard. See the “Pre-Boarding Requirements” below. Most flights are via Oslo, and we recommend making your airline reservations as soon as possible for the 2022 Arctic summer season.
Poseidon is also staying abreast of polar-specific guidelines and protocols regarding related to the Arctic ecosystem, through its affiliation with the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO). Our health and safety protocols are based on the above-mentioned guidelines and recommendations and as well as our own methodologies for ensuring the highest standard of prevention and care. These are further detailed below.
We are adopting the best practices for testing, screening, health checks, shipboard sanitation, as well as social distancing and other effective means of infection prevention, and to incorporate these relevant guidelines and procedures into the health and safety protocols for our Sea Spirit.
Rest assured that as health organizations and the cruise industry continue to fine-tune best practices and procedures for expedition vessels in the Arctic environment, Poseidon Expeditions will incorporate these into its standard protocols.
- In the 14-day period prior to travel, guests will be asked to self-monitor their health, conduct symptom checks and practice precautionary good hygiene.
- To embark the Sea Spirit during the 2022 summer season, guests must present a negative result of a PCR test administered within 72 hours of embarkation.
- If you have recently recovered from COVID, it is possible you will test positive in the 72-hour test described above. Contact your booking agent or Poseidon to learn what is required in order for you to join the cruise.
- Vaccination certificates (indicating final shot no later than 14 days before departure) must be forwarded to Poseidon Expeditions prior to departure – uploaded along with required personal medical forms – and available for inspection before boarding (printed copy). Minors who are not eligible to receive the vaccine are excluded from this requirement but must comply with the regulation of the local health authorities.
- Poseidon accepts all types of vaccines, but passengers are obliged to confirm that their type is acceptable in the countries of arrival or departure.
- Passengers also must comply with the national or local travel rules regarding COVID in the UK, Norway, Svalbard/Spitsbergen, Iceland or Greenland.
- At this time, no obligatory, preventative testing will take place aboard the Sea Spirit, but this could change depending on circumstances. Upon request, antigen or PCR tests are available and can be purchased onboard the ship.
- For the 2022 summer season, face masks are not required of guests while in the restaurant, bar or library when consuming food or beverage, and throughout the ship and on open decks when minimum social distancing can be maintained. The exception is when guests are in an enclosed area – e.g. the lecture theater and social gatherings where physical distancing is not feasible. These guidelines may change, depending on circumstances.
- Poseidon will continue to maintain a few quarantine cabins for any passengers who become confirmed COVID cases and their co-habitants.
Crew and Staff Readiness – Mandatory
- 100% vaccinated crew and staff
- Periodic antigen testing
- Self-monitoring and reporting for 14 days prior to embarkation
- Effective, results-oriented COVID-19 testing and reporting prior to embarkation, and during the season on a regular basis.
- Advanced pre-boarding health checks and screenings
- Required completion of official WHO COVID-19 course for hygiene procedures and infection management
- Well-equipped hospital suite with COVID-19 detection and testing capabilities
- Onboard physician with field medical operations and emergency experience
- Infrared temperature detection equipment
- Dedicated cabins available at all times for isolation purposes
- Regular and systematic checking of HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system
- Accelerated, higher-frequency schedule of sanitation, deep-cleaning and disinfection of all hard surfaces in cabins, lounges, restaurant & galleys, hallways, hand-railings – all high-touch points – with daily checklists maintained and recorded
- Use of UV lamps for disinfection of public areas
- Hand-sanitizing stations placed and accessible throughout the ship
- Disinfection of luggage and personal belongings prior to boarding
- Disinfection of all food products and supplies prior to loading onboard
- Limited third-party, port agent and supplier visits onboard – only authorized, essential may board the ship in compliance with boarding requirements
- Minimal crew and staff rotation during the season
- All public areas on board will undergo a two-tier sanitization and disinfecting process with thorough cleaning, fogging and wiping
Onboard Prevention and Hygiene
- Approved PCR test administered onboard, with results provided to guests for return flight to home country prior to disembarkation
- Over-crowding prevention: controlled/limited embarkation and disembarkation and queuing protocols
- Regularly scheduled temperature screenings of all passengers, crew and staff during the voyage
- Social distancing guidelines will be strongly encouraged onboard: 2-meter distancing from non-family cabin mates; controlled-capacity in library, lounge, presentation lounge; queuing protocols
- Depending on current COVID situation at time of cruise, mask-wearing in public areas and Zodiac landing crafts may be required of passengers, crew, staff and expedition team
- Frequent hand-washing or sanitizing while onboard is strongly recommended
- Restaurant seating will follow social distancing recommendations
- All meals will be served a la carte; no self-service buffets. All food & beverages will be served to guests by crew members wearing face masks & disposable gloves
- Public bathrooms will be closed. Guests will be asked to use the restrooms in their stateroom
- The bridge will not be open for passenger visitation, due to COVID
- Passenger cabin keys will be sanitized on receipt at the reception
- Acrylic shields will be installed at the reception desk to avoid direct contact with guests
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be available at all times for guests and crew. PPE includes face shields, gloves, and face masks. Depending on current COVID situation at time of cruise, PPE may be required during certain events
- Electrostatic fogging will be implemented in all public areas once or twice daily particularly during embarkation and provisions loading
Landings and Expedition Operations
Unlike tourism in established, populated destinations, expedition cruising in the fresh air of the Arctic by its very nature is unshackled from public transport, hard-surfaced infrastructure and masses of local residents and other tourists. Hence, there is virtually no chance of contamination while exploring ashore with a minimal number of other guests. Another benefit of small-ship cruising!
Reasonable and precautionary social distancing protocols will be established while in Zodiac landing craft – which are used for both shuttling guests ashore and for more extended sightseeing of bays, inlets and coves – and while ashore with trained guides and expedition staff.
Exploration and landings in the Arctic will be conducted very much like they’ve always been done with Poseidon – albeit with more attention to crowding, queuing and the number of passengers per Zodiac boat.
Task Force continues to develop best practices and procedures or expedition vessels in the Arctic environment, Poseidon Expeditions will incorporate these into its standard protocols.