Tipping is not compulsory. If however you want to tip because you have received good service, we recommend US$10-12 per passenger, per day that you are on the ship. Tipping is best in US Dollar cash.
Your ship will have a doctor onboard. There is also a medical clinic that is stocked with a supply of common prescription medicines and basic first aid equipment. If you take regular medication please bring a sufficient supply of the medicine for the duration of the cruise.
Everyone reacts differently to sea conditions whether during the crossing of the infamous Drake Passage to Antarctica, or even during calmer seas. We advise that you come prepared. Ask your doctor to prescribe an appropriate seasickness medicine for you. Before you leave home please read your dosage instructions as most preventative seasickness medicine must be ingested ahead of time, while you are still feeling well. Be sure to bring enough medication for the duration of your voyage.
While cruising in Antarctica excursions are by Zodiac (both cruising and as a means to shore landings) and on foot so it’s important to have a waterproof outer layer, that includes waterproof pants, gloves and hat. Some cruise companies provide a waterproof parka and waterproof expedition boots for the duration of your voyage. Please check with Antarctic Travel Specialists.
Thermal underwear including sweatshirts and turtlenecks
Fleece jacket and trousers
Waterproof hooded parka
Insulated waterproof trousers
Thermal gloves or mittens
Polar cap, hat, or balaclava hood
Swimsuit (for possible hot spring dips)
Comfortable clothes to wear on board (temperature 20°-22°C or 68-72F)
Comfortable rubber-soled shoes to wear onboard
Small backpack to carry your belongings on shore excursions
Good quality UV filtering sunglasses are essential
Sun block – (protection factor 30 and above) and lip balm
The Antarctic weather is always an unknown factor and is usually very changeable. Temperatures can be cold, though not perhaps as cold as you might expect. On calm sunny days it can feel quite warm. But wet, windy weather must also be expected. During the summer months (October to March) the temperature can range from -2° to 8°. Big storms are rare, but if one comes through the temperature could drop to -8°.
An overriding concern is the protection of the wildlife, environment and cultures in all areas visited. We will address conservation issues in the on board briefings and the expedition staff will assist you ashore. Most important rules are: Do not leave anything but footprints and do not take anything but memories.
If you are using a digital camera bring plenty of memory cards. Don’t forget to take spare batteries, since cold temperatures reduce their life span considerably. If you can bring two cameras & lenses from 28 mm to 200 mm telephoto, or, if you have one, a 500 mm lens for close ups. Don’t forget a wide-angle lens to capture the real expanse of this unique continent.
When photographing, do not approach wildlife. Always respect the minimum distance of 5 meters, and get close via a zoom lens. Be aware that Antarctic conditions can be very harsh on camera equipment. Carry plenty of protection for your camera against salt spray, snow, and rain. Please bring sealable cases, waterproof day packs or ‘dry bags.’ DO NOT bring lightweight plastic or rubbish bags as these can be easily blown away and are contrary to our environmental obligation under the Antarctic Treaty.
Travel insurance is mandatory. You must be covered in case of a medical evacuation
There is no Antarctic currency. However, if you visit Port Lockroy in the Antarctic Peninsula, US dollars, Pound Sterling and Euro are accepted, as are Visa and MasterCard. Your transaction will be charged in US dollars. Onboard purchases made during your voyage (shop, laundry, communications charges, drinks, etc.), will require your signature. This will be charged automatically to your cabin and at the end of your voyage you will receive an invoice. Most ships will accept all Mastercard and Visa major credit cards, US dollars or Euro cash. Please contact Antarctic Travel Specialists for currency accepted on the cruise and ship that you have booked on.
Australian Nationals require a Tourist Card to enter Chile. This is obtained on arrival, for a fee of US$95 payable locally.