BEFORE YOU GO
If you're interested in a trip to Antarctica, you've come to the right place.
Below you'll find all the information you need about how to pack for your adventure, what to prepare for logistically with your flights and travel documents, and the nitty-gritty details like whether or not you'll need waterproof boots. Take a look and let us know if you have any additional questions! We're always happy to chat and can be reached directly at 1.888.870.0903.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE?
Summer weather in Antarctica is normally around 30° F. You can expect cold, sunny days and brisk winds which can quickly turn into stormy weather and even a few snow flurries. You should be prepared for quick changes in conditions. Check the forecast before you fly for the most accurate information.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
Because of the changing weather, it is best to wear several layers of light, warm base-layer clothing with a wind- and water-proof jacket. Don't forget gloves and a warm hat that will cover your ears from the wind.
Q: DO I NEED ANY SPECIFIC GEAR?
Most landings in Antarctica are "wet," meaning you'll be stepping into the water. The boat will provide you with waterproof boots.
Q: HOW MUCH CAN I PACK?
For flights to and from Antarctica, the total luggage allowance is 44 pounds per person. This can be divided between one larger bag (with or without wheels) and one piece of carry-on luggage.
Q: WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT UV PROTECTION?
When traveling to South America and Antarctica, good quality UV filtering sunglasses are essential. Glacier glasses like these ones have leather flaps at the sides to stop the light from passing through. Don't forget sunblock, too!
Q: WHAT'S THE DEAL ON TIPPING?
Tipping is a personal and individual matter; the decision to tip and how much to give is entirely yours. In South America it is normal to leave a 10% tip at a restaurant and not tip your cab driver. Gratuities for your guides can be paid in USD cash in lump-sum at the end of your trip or added to the final shipboard account and settled by credit card, which will then be distributed evenly among the crew. The suggested amount is $10-12 per person, per day.
Q: HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING?
Aside from tipping money, it’s a good idea to carry about $400 per person in U.S. bills. Make sure your bills are 2005 or newer to prevent fraud issues. The main international credit cards are widely accepted. If you'd like some spending money while in Chile, Casas de Cambio where you can quickly exchange USD for Chilean Pesos are prevalent. Come with a few options so you’re not scrambling, and remember to store everything in a money belt or pouch for safe keeping.
Q: IS THERE LAUNDRY AVAILABLE?
Yes! Once on board you will find a laundry bag and a price list in your room. Laundry is returned within 48 hours. Please note that your selected clothes will be washed at 40 degrees and dried.
WHAT TO EXPECT
- All airport/hotel transfers while in Punta Arenas
- 2 overnights at Cabo de Hornos Hotel on Day 1 and Day 8
- Welcome dinner, including drinks, on Day 1
- All scheduled flights as indicated on the itinerary
- Ship cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula as indicated on the itinerary
- Daily buffet breakfast and lunch on board ship
- Daily served dinner on board ship
- Wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
- Coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water, and snacks on board ship
- All guided shore excursions and lectures and entertainment on board
- Comprehensive pre and post voyage information material
- All government and hotel taxes and service charges
- Waterproof boot rentals for wet landings
- Gratuities and personal items
- Optional extras: snowshoeing and sea kayaking excursions | must be pre-booked before departure
- Dinner in Punta Arenas on the final evening
- Beverages purchased at the ship’s bar, premium exports & champagne
- Laundry services available - payable direct
- International flights
- Travel insurance
THINGS YOU'LL NEED
- Well-insulated gloves
- Beanie or other type of hat that will cover your ears
- Sunglasses with high anti-UV protection
- Wind resistant, waterproof pants
- Wind resistant, waterproof jacket (ski jackets work great)
- Wool or fleece sweater
- Thermal long underwear
- Quick drying socks
- Regular slacks or jeans and comfortable shoes (for on-board)
- Lip balm with SPF
- SPF 30 or higher
- Spare batteries & memory cards for cameras (the cold temperatures can reduce their life span!)
- Extra money and money belt to securely carry all passports
- Normal prescriptions and traveler’s meds for heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, and sea-sickness
- Small backpack to carry belongings during excursions
Remember! Your carry-on should include your passport, money, toiletries, camera, and a spare set of clothes.
THE FINE PRINT
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Check-in time for all international flights is 3 hours prior to departure time. This allows for delays at the security screening units in each terminal. There is no first class fast track through security screening, so get there early to avoid any stress.
The scheduled flight to and from Antarctica is subject to a weight limit of 44 pounds that cannot be exceeded for safety reasons. If this limit is exceeded, travelers can leave extra luggage at the hotel in Punta Arenas where it will be safely stored, free of charge. Considering the space limitation on the airplane, we recommend bringing soft duffle bags or backpacks with waterproof cover, instead of hard suitcases which can be cumbersome and heavy, but either will be accepted. All flights are subcontracted to independent aviation companies who are entirely responsible, and therefore liable, for all aspects of the operation.
First of all, take a deep breath. You’ve already packed a spare set of clothes, your passport, money, and camera in your carry-on. Next, provide the airline with contact and delivery information for your first stop. Let our ground operator there know that your luggage has been lost, and they will track it while you enjoy your stay.
Both Chile and antarctica are healthy and hospitable regions to visit. However, health concerns throughout the world change regularly so we strongly recommend that you consult your physician regarding medications and immunizations that are recommended or mandatory. you can also check the Center for disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov/travel). The following vaccinations are highly recommended:
- Hepatitis A & B
- Malaria prophylactic
PASSPORT & VISAS
Neither Chile nor Antarctica require a visa for entry. Before you leave home, make several photocopies of your passport. We also recommend bringing at least two extra 2x2 passport photographs. This will facilitate the replacement of your passport in the event your passport is lost or stolen. Keep your passport, money, vouchers, and international air tickets in a money belt or pouch. Most hotels provide safety security boxes for your convenience.
- Your passport must be valid for six months after your date of entry into antarctica
- Please have 2-3 blank pages in your passport, you world traveler you!