Polar Cruises - Things to Know

A voyage to the Arctic or Antarctica on board an expedition ship is a unique travel experience. These voyages are unparalleled and cannot be compared with any ordinary cruise. The better you are prepared, the more meaningful and unforgettable your experience to the polar regions will be.



Guides and Onboard Lecturers


All Arctic and Antarctic voyages are conducted by a professional expedition crew that assures passengers smooth operation and a truly enjoyable experience. Specialized speakers hold various discussions and presentations about the flora, fauna, history, geography, and geology of the polar regions.


Language


Though the majority of the ships provide services in English, there are various voyages that provide other languages as well. This information may be found in the respective voyage and ship descriptions. All travel documents are generally provided in English.


Zodiac Land Excursions


The use of Zodiac inflatable boats is a safe and easy way to embark on the land excursions offered by Arctic & Antarctic Collection. Because the local conditions may sometimes be trying, the captain always has the final word and never puts the safety of the passengers in jeopardy.


Package Changes and Fluctuations


Any changes with regard to prices, surcharges, itinerary details, or lecturers are subject to change. Please keep in mind that the itineraries published on this website are considered guidelines and may be changed with little notice depending on weather, ice conditions, or other circumstances. Additionally, the shipping company reserves the right to cancel a voyage if less than 30 passengers have confirmed. In the case of the training expedition on the Hanse Explorer, the minimum number of passengers is 3.


Gratuity


Voluntary gratuities to the crew members are not included in the package price of the voyage. Generally speaking, we recommend US$10 per person per day though guests are welcome to show their appreciation for exceptional service above and beyond this recommendation.


Medical Care


We recommend that passengers carry with them a personal kit with any medicines or medications that they may require during their voyage such as for motion sickness, pain, protection from the sun, etc. Most ships have a medic on board at all times though we recommend that you consult with Arctic & Antarctic Collection regarding any special needs you may require during your voyage. Passenger safety is a top priority of the crew and a detailed medical report is mandatory for all expeditions.


Telecommunication


Depending on the vessel, services like telephone, fax, and e-mail may be available for passengers. Radio reception may vary depending on weather conditions as well as the location of the vessel.


Means of Payment


So that passengers may enjoy a hassle-free voyage, an onboard running account will be opened for each passenger or group as preferred. This account may be settled at the end of the voyage with reception and may be paid for with any of various accepted major credit cards, American dollars, or Euros.


Clothing


In the Arctic and Antarctica passengers are advised to strongly consider the winds. Waterproof and windproof clothing may be essential depending on conditions and are the responsibility of each passenger. High rising rubber boots are also recommended and may be provided by some ships. This will shield from water and splashing during Zodiac landings.


Photography


The polar regions are a true photo paradise. However, be sure to bring a UV or skylight filter with a lens screen, spare batteries, sufficient film, and a water proof cover. Depending on your itinerary extra film may be purchased in some cities and aboard certain vessels.


Entry requirements


A valid passport is necessary for entry into the Nordic countries, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Alaska and should be valid for at least 6 months after the date of your scheduled return. Depending on nationality, a travel visa may be required for entry into the United States, Russia, Australia, and possibly others. Please consult the corresponding countries included in your desired voyage prior to booking your reservation.


Vaccination


Argentina, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and Nordic countries including Canada, Alaska, Iceland, and Norway do not require special vaccinations. Departures from Brazil do require proof of yellow fever vaccination. Please consult a medical professional prior to your departure.


Items Not Included in Package Price


Outbound and return travel to and from the vessel's departure harbor, some beverages, as well as travel and cancellation insurance are not included in the pre-established package price. A local harbor tax in Ushuaia of US$10 is also not included in the package price.


Contract Terms


Arctic & Antarctic Collection as well as various business partners must strictly adhere to contract terms that apply to all packages. It is always recommended that you consult these contract terms before reserving your polar voyage.


Insurance


Recommended voyage cancellation insurance is optional and not included in the reserved package price. Also, please insure that all international health insurance is in order prior to your departure. Additionally, ships may require evacuation insurance.


Cancellation and Rebooking Conditions


Cancellation and rebooking conditions are available on the respective information page of each vessel. Contract terms are applied by both Arctic & Antarctic Collection as well as by each shipping company and are considered accepted by the customer upon reservation confirmation.


Rates and Payment Information


All prices include any applicable value added tax.


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