Weather conditions in polar cruises are generally mild, with temperatures near freezing point. However, the continuous sunlight of 18 - 24 hour days adjusts your thermal temperature to the cold air. Passengers have been known to safely experience ‘t-shirt’ conditions.
At the same time, you may encounter fog, white-outs, and other adverse weather conditions.
Antarctica - Everyone reacts differently to the occasional, rough water of the Drake Passage. Passengers should consult their personal physician prior to travel to Antarctica and carry the recommended preventative medications at all times. That said, not all Drake Passage crossings are tumultuous.
The Arctic – While we are navigating between the Arctic islands we may get into rough seas. But once sheltered by islands in icebound waters, you won’t feel any ocean swell or heavy seas.
Solo travelers discover that every voyage welcomes passengers observing Polar Regions as a personal experience. Solo travelers who want to have a cabin to themselves pay a single supplement. Others must apply to our Request-Share program.
The Request-Share program matches solo travelers of the same gender who are willing to share a cabin space. Both guests save money by not paying the single supplement fee. Should we be unable to find a cabin-mate for a Request-Share traveler, the single supplement is waived.
Air flights to the starting/finishing points of our cruises are not included. We do arrange flights for travelers seeking comprehensive planning.
All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance coverage with a minimum EURO 100,000 (North Pole), $200,000 (Antarctica) and $150,000 (Arctic) emergency medical coverage. The insurance IS included in the North Pole travel package and is NOT included in the Arctic and the Antarctica travel package. See for more information here.
Some passengers need to purchase additional outdoor clothing in advance of the trip. This is an essential part of the planning process. We include the official Poseidon Expeditions parka in the cost of your expedition (please check at the time of booking) and provide water-proof boots as needed. Please be sure to review the packing list provided to you by our staff and adhere to the guidelines.
If you are pleased with the crew’s service, gratuities / ‘tips’ can be made in cash or charged to your on-board account and are ALWAYS at your discretion. We recommend that you budget 20 USD per person, per day on Antarctic and Arctic cruises and 24 USD per person, per day on North Pole. Gratuities are collected anonymously AT THE END of each voyage and are distributed among staff and crew at that time.
Leaving the ship after a polar cruise requires certain formalities; such as a Customs Inspection. We generally begin disembarkation after breakfast on the final day. This is followed by a group shuttle to the nearest airport.
We strongly recommend that homeward bound flights be booked for departure AFTER 12:00 (pm) (noon) on the final day. We cannot guarantee your arrival to the airport until the afternoon.
Yes, of course. Each ship is equipped with motor powered and paddled, inflatable landing crafts known as ‘Zodiacs’. These easy to navigate boats are used for ocean level cruising and landings. From there, you will hike tundra and ice fields.
We fully understand the popularity of shore activities and provide them as frequently as possible. Of course, seasons and weather may determine where you go ashore and how often. Please work with our sales staff to ensure your satisfaction. We strive to create an experience that best suits your lifestyle and needs.
Our Expedition Team always includes a doctor who is responsible for the health of our passengers and Expedition Team. Also, each ship has a clinic area equipped to handle foreseeable emergencies.
It is extremely important that you bring any prescribed medicines with you. While we do carry emergency supplies of common medications, we cannot access the kinds of information necessary to guarantee a surplus of the necessary medicine for all travelers on a given cruise.
Please plan for the entirety of your travel time – not just your time on the cruise.
Go to our How to pack page for more details.
There is NO requirement of formal dress at any point for an expedition cruise. If you choose, there will be welcome and farewell cocktail parties and daily dinners well suited to a dress shirt and casual slacks, or the equivalent for women.
Go to our How to pack page for more details.
Our voyages include education supplements to prepare you for shore landings and scientific discovery in the Arctic, Antarctica and the North Pole. After that, other than meals, informal activities range from bird and whale watching to movies and snacks in the evening. There are board games available in the lounge area and a bar for conversation and spirits.
The open-air decks make excellent platforms for photography and wildlife observing.
The ages of our travelers range from 20 to 80, with the majority between 45 and 65 years. An expedition cruise will have something appealing for every age group. Younger passengers will enjoy taking the best selfies and actively exploring the polar realms via kayaking, camping or hiking, while families with children will make memories together, and our older passengers enjoy the exceptional comfort of our expedition vessels.
You should strongly consider not joining the expedition if you are suffering from any life threatening condition or require walking assistance. The polar regions are a remote area with zero access to full-scale medical facilities and daily routines include steep gangways and terrain mobility. Note that we do provide a range of activities when ashore, for example, hiking.
It’s always best to pack ‘for’ the segment of your flight itinerary that has the smallest baggage allowance requirement - baggage allowances on international flights are often larger than domestic flights. Also, be sure to check with your airline to confirm what you are allowed to carry.
Our ships do have laundry facilities, so you do not need to pack clothes for every day. Baggage allowance onboard is 2 pieces per 1 person. Our advice is to be reasonable.
Go to our How to pack page for more details.
Yes, there is good advice for making sure you have a perfect penguin encounter.
Penguins are curious. Pick a spot no closer than 5 meters from the penguins. Sit or kneel — making yourself smaller and less threatening. Wait quietly, with your camera ready — they will be much more open to coming over to you than vice versa. Otherwise, you would scare them away.
Yes! We offer a first-class sea kayaking option called Poseidon Sea Kayak Club. This small-group, limited-availability, genuine adventure option is offered on selected Sea Spirit voyages to the Arctic and Antarctica. Kayakers with appropriate fitness and experience may book Sea Kayak Club for an additional fee in advance of their voyage.
Read more: Poseidon Sea Kayak Club.
Yes! Antarctica Camping is an optional activity offered on Sea Spirit voyages to the Antarctica Peninsula and must be booked in advance. Participants must be at least 18 years old. Good health and a spirit of adventure are also important qualifications. Space is limited to 30 campers per voyage, so book your camping adventure today!
Read more: Antarctica camping.
No. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones have the potential to cause more than a minor or transitory impact, particularly in wildlife rich coastal regions of Antarctica such as the Peninsula or Ross Sea areas. Their use could also detract other visitors’ wilderness experience. The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, or IAATO — of which Poseidon is a member — does not permit recreational use of UAVs or drones in coastal areas of the Antarctic; commercial and scientific use requires a permit. For this reason, Poseidon Expeditions will not allow the recreational use of UAVs or drones by its guests in Antarctica.
Yes, Poseidon is a member in good standing with IAATO, and is active in several IAATO committees. We are proud of our affiliation with IAATO, which promotes high standards and best practices for Antarctic tourism. Display of the IAATO logo is reserved for members in good standing. IAATO does not warrant the suitability of any company’s products or services and does not assume any liability for non-performance, negligence or misconduct of any owner, organizer, or operator or other party in connection with travel to Antarctica or use of the IAATO logo.
Read more here: our membership.
Cruise ship passengers do not need a visa to visit the Falkland Islands and participate in shore excursions. If you are flying into Port Stanley to board a Falkland Islands Antarctica Cruise, or if you are planning to spend additional time in the Falkland Islands before or after your cruise, you may need a visa. Visas are not required of citizens of Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, the European Union, Canada, USA and South Africa. Citizens of other countries are advised to contact their nearest British Embassy or Consulate to check visa requirements for the Falkland Islands.