Enjoy an Antarctic cruise to the Peninsula and South Shetland Islands.

Discover all the highlights of Antarctica on this South Pole cruise aboard the The Ushuaia ship.

Recently refurbished, this ice-strengthened polar vessel sails from the Argentine city of the same name.

Sail across the Drake Passage on a journey to see icebergs and wildlife and prepare to experience a life-changing trip.

There are two itineraries to choose from, a shorter 10-day cruise and a longer 20-day cruise including South Georgia.

Read our blog about Antarctica costs, planning, and more.

More on South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

There will be time to explore Antarctica’s amazing scenery, pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, as well as a see wide variety of wildlife.

Not only penguins and seabirds you should also spot Weddell, crab-eater and leopard seals plus Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.

You will visit the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands aboard the Ushuaia, which has a maximum capacity of 90, guaranteeing an intimate experience.

From the southern spring onwards, large birds and sea mammals gather at breeding colonies.

The ceaseless daylight of the southern summer makes exploration in this incomparable landscape a trip of a lifetime.



Trip Highlights

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  • Variety of itineraries to Antarctica to suit everyone's budget and dates.

  • Exceptional staff and crew help bring your Antarctica experience to life.

  • Enjoy life aboard a small ship - maximum 90 guests - so you spend your time exploring and not waiting.

  • Visit classic highlights and learn all about the region in daily lectures.

  • See beautiful icebergs of many colours and hues floating in pristine seas.

  • Incredible wildlife from whales to penguins and seals.

This was a fantastic trip and fully lived up to expectations. The crew and lecturers were extremely helpful and knowledgeable and imparted their knowledge of this beautiful land with enthusiasm.

R. Clowes, Antarctica Cruise

Videos

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia, visit Beagle Channel and Mackinlay Pass (D)

Board the Ushuaia in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff.

After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinley Pass.

Days 2-3: Crossing the Drake Passage (2 x B,L,D)

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence.

The Drake Passage is a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. It also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.

As we sail across the passage, our lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.

The Ushuaia’s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.

The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams.

With favourable conditions in the Drake Passage, our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

Days 4-7: Exploring South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula (4 x B,L,D)

The South Shetland Islands are a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries, beaches ruled by Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals make every day spent in this amazing island group unforgettable.

Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island and the chance to swim in the hot springs of Pendulum Cove is a truly amazing experience.

King George Island, the largest of the South Shetland Islands, features colonies of nesting Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, Blue-eyed Cormorants, Antarctic Terns and Southern Giant Petrels and is home to scientific bases of many different countries.

Macaroni, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins as well as elephant seals await you at Livingston Island.

 

Antarctic Peninsula

The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers.

You have plenty of time to explore its wonderful scenery, a pristine wilderness of snow, ice, mountains and waterways, and an incredible wide variety of wildlife.

Apart from penguins and seabirds you are very likely to see Weddell, crab-eater and leopard seals as well as Minke, killer (orca) and humpback whales at close range.

We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways (depending on the ice conditions): the Gerlache Strait, the Neumayer Channel, and the Lemaire Channel, the latter are narrow passages between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers.

We plan to make at least two landings per day.

Possible landing sites may include Paradise Bay, perhaps the most aptly named place in the world and we attempt a landing on the continent proper.

After negotiating the iceberg-strewn waters of the Antarctic Sound, we hope to visit the bustling Adélie Penguin (over 100,000 pairs breed here) and Blue-eyed Cormorant colonies on Paulet Island. The Nordenskjöld expedition built a stone survival hut here in 1904. Today its ruins have been taken over by nesting penguins.

Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

Day 8-9: Crossing the Drake Passage (2 x B,L,D)

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage.

Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures.

Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past few days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Day 10: Arrive Ushuaia early morning, disembark, ends (B)

Arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning and depart the Ushuaia after breakfast.


Polar Circle Itinerary

Day 1: Depart from Ushuaia, visit Beagle Channel and Mackinlay Pass (D)

Board the Ushuaia in the afternoon and meet your expedition and lecture staff.After you have settled into your cabins we sail along the famous Beagle Channel and the scenic Mackinley Pass.

Days 2-3: Crossing the Drake Passage (2 x B,L,D)

Named after the renowned explorer, Sir Frances Drake, who sailed these waters in 1578, the Drake Passage also marks the Antarctic Convergence.The Drake Passage is a biological barrier where cold polar water sinks beneath the warmer northern waters. This creates a great upwelling of nutrients, which sustains the biodiversity of this region. It also marks the northern limit of many Antarctic seabirds.As we sail across the passage, our lecturers will be out with you on deck to help in the identification of an amazing variety of seabirds, including many albatrosses, which follow in our wake.The Ushuaia’s open bridge policy allows you to join our officers on the bridge and learn about navigation, watch for whales, and enjoy the view. A full program of lectures will be offered as well.The first sightings of icebergs and snow-capped mountains indicate that we have reached the South Shetland Islands, a group of twenty islands and islets first sighted in February 1819 by Capt. William Smith of the brig Williams.With favourable conditions in the Drake Passage, our lecturers and naturalists will accompany you ashore as you experience your first encounter with the penguins and seals on Day 3.

Days 4-9: Exploring South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula, cross Polar Circle (6 x B,L,D)

Exquisite beauty and pristine landscapes are waiting for you on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula.Myriads of icebergs with different shades and shapes are floating free in the waterways around the continent. The Antarctic Peninsula’s remarkable history will also provide you with a type of excitement often only associated with the early explorers.You have plenty of time to explore its amazing scenery and a wide variety of wildlife.Apart from Adélie, Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins and other seabirds you are likely to encounter Weddell, crabeater, fur and leopard seals as well as Minke whales and orcas at close range. At this time of year it is also very likely to encounter big cetaceans, such as humpback, Finn and Sei whales in the area.We hope to navigate some of the most beautiful waterways the area has to offer, such as: the Gerlache Strait, Errera Channel, Neumayer Channel and the extremely narrow Lemaire Channel. Possible landing sites may include: Paradise Bay, which is perhaps the most aptly named place in the world with its impressive glacial fronts and mountains, Cuverville Island, home of the biggest Gentoo Penguin colony in the Peninsula surrounded by glaciers and castellated icebergs, and the British Museum and Post office Port Lockroy.As further exploration will lead us far South of the Lemaire Channel in quest of the Polar Circle, we might also visit the Ukrainian Station Vernadsky, the former British base Faradey, where the ozone hole was first spotted, the rugged Yalour Islands and south of the Polar Circle Detaille Island.On our way North we plan to explore the South Shetland Islands. The volcanic island group is a haven for wildlife. Vast penguin rookeries and seals hauling out on the shorelines make every day spent here unforgettable. Sailing through the narrow passage into the flooded caldera of Deception Island is truly amazing, so is visiting the crescent shaped island Half Moon, home to Chinstrap Penguins in breathtaking surroundings.Please note: The above itinerary is a guide only. Our exact route and program will vary to take best advantage of local weather and ice conditions and opportunities to view wildlife. Changes will be made by the Captain and/or Expedition Leader to facilitate the best results from the prevailing conditions. A daily program sheet will be issued on board. Flexibility is the key to success.

Days 9-10: Crossing the Drake Passage (2 x B,L,D)

We leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage.Join our lecturers and naturalists on deck as we search for seabirds and whales and enjoy some final lectures.Take the chance to relax and reflect on the fascinating adventures of the past few days on the way back to Ushuaia.

Day 11: Arrive Ushuaia early morning, disembark, ends (B)

Arrive at Ushuaia in the early morning and depart the Ushuaia after breakfast.


Prices From $5,210 / £4,418 per person

Enquire about booking

What's Included?

Accommodation, full board, onboard lectures and exhibits, expeditions in zodiacs, medical attention on board.

What's Not Included?

Flights, taxes or boarding taxes at airport/ports, services not specified in the program, telephone without cost, use of internet, meals or beverages not included in the menu, tips, fuel surcharge.


Accommodation

Originally built for the United States agency NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration), the Ushuaia has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 90 passengers in 46 comfortable cabins and suites.

The ice-strengthened polar vessel is very well appointed and provides ample deck space and an open bridge policy. The full complement of inflatable landing craft ensures superb landings and wildlife viewing opportunities on the otherwise inaccessible coastline.

Public areas feature a large dining room (one sitting), an open-plan observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment, bar and a well-stocked library. There is also a small infirmary.

 

 

Cabins

Standard: 10 twin outside cabins with portholes on deck E, semi-private facilities (bathroom shared with one other cabin), tow berths (upper/lower)

Standard Plus: 11 twin outside cabins with portholes or windows, deck E, private facilities, two ; 2 triple outside cabins with portholes or windows on deck E, private facilities, 3 lower berths.

Premier: 6 twin outside cabins with windows, upper deck G, private facilities, two lower berths. 2 Single cabins with portholes, upper deck G, private facilities.

Superior:  9 twin outside cabins with windows, upper deck G, private facilities, two lower berths. Cabin 301 1 double 1 single bed.

Suite: 4 outside cabins, window, upper deck G, private facilities, two lower berths, lounge, TV, DVD player, fridge. Suite 202 – 2 double beds; Suite 202 – 1 double 1 sofa bed; Suites 204 & 207 – 3 lower single beds.

Tour Staff

The expert captain, officers and crew are highly experienced in Antarctic navigation and have a great love of nature. There is also a specialist team of international expedition leaders and lecturers, all extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful and dedicated to the protection of the environment.

Your voyage will be directed by an Expedition Leader in conjunction with staff assistants, zodiac drivers, and a team of lecturers. Staff members are specially selected and trained to provide an eventful cruise.

A team of lecturers will accompany you throughout your voyage.

While they will give lectures and lead shore excursions, they will also be on hand to answer your questions and provide ready knowledge throughout the day and have been selected for both their professional accomplishments and reputations.

Lectures and Films Both lectures and films are offered in the specially equipped Lecture Room on Deck E. Passengers are encouraged to participate in all the ship’s activities, including the stimulating and informative lectures.


Meals

The chefs prepare excellent cuisine including many local specialties and the bar is well-stocked with carefully selected wines and spirits.

You will find the following dining options while aboard the Ushuaia:

 

  • Continental and American Breakfast Buffet
  • Buffet or Seated Served Lunch
  • Afternoon Tea
  • Three-course Dinner

 

Meal times vary depending upon shore excursions. Coffee and tea is offered throughout the day.

With advance notice, our chef will happily accommodate a variety of special dietary requests. Please note that it is imperative to inform us three weeks prior to your departure at the latest and state this request on your Booking Form. We regret that Kosher meals are not available.

There is an open seating for all meals and guest tables are unassigned.

Activity Level

Cruises are open to almost everyone.

You must be able to endure cold temperatures and living on a comfortable boat, as well as be able to embark/disembark from zodiacs.

None of the walks are strenuous but the unique terrain offers its own challenges. The fitter and more mobile you are before the trip, the more you will enjoy it.

A flexible and positive approach to changes in itinerary and weather are good to bring along.

Enquire about booking

Practical Information

Extra information - life aboard the Ushuaia

Air Conditioning and Heating

The ship is fully climate controlled. Each cabin is equipped with individual temperature controls. Please contact our staff in case you wish to change these controls to your own comfort level.

 

Announcements

All announcements are made via our Public Announcement (PA) system on board. The bridge announces interesting events and wildlife attractions. Should there be an emergency call from the bridge we will make sure that you receive it.

 

Bridge

The Ushuaia encourages you to take advantage of our open bridge policy. During the days we are underway, the officers invite you to observe the navigational operations of the ship and will gladly answer any questions you may have. We kindly ask you to respect the bridge as the working area for the officers. Occasionally, for reasons of safety, the bridge may be closed to visitors.

 

Communication

The Ushuaia is equipped with the INMARSAT system, which allows direct communication with the ship by telephone and fax from any location in the world.  For communications with the USHUAIA you will receive a list of numbers prior to your departure.

Emails can be sent and received at a per minute charge to be confirmed at the start of the sailing. The ship’s bridge a computer for your use. Emails will be sent several times a day.  Attachments, digital photos etc. can be sent, but charges may be significant. Incoming emails will be distributed several times a day.

 

Conservation

Please keep in mind that many of the places you are visiting on the voyages are unique. We are very proud of our outstanding reputation for conservation and respect for all the ecosystems we visit. Please assist us in maintaining this reputation. Our lecturers and staff will accompany you on shore excursions and provide you with guidance and specific information for the region. We kindly ask you to bring back any kind of garbage to the ship where it will be correctly disposed of. For cruises to Antarctica you will receive our Antarctic Guidelines with your travel documents.

 

Currency

Currency aboard the Ushuaia is US Dollar. Euro is accepted as well as the following credit cards: MasterCard and American Express (see Payment below). However, for credit card payments minimum charge is US$100.

 

Daily Program

Each evening the daily program for the next day will be presented by your Expedition Leader. Included in the program is information about the next day’s activities, events, landing times, meal times, and lecturers.

Please remember that the expeditionary nature of this voyage may result in changes to the daily program due to sea, weather, ice and local conditions. Also, your Captain and Expedition Team may deviate from the program to take advantage of unexpected opportunities such as wildlife sightings, advantageous sea conditions, or other local events.

Any changes to the daily program will be announced over the PA system. We thank you in advance for your understanding and flexibility.

 

Dress Attire on Board

Casual attire (expedition style) is the accepted apparel for the voyage. Clothing should be comfortable and versatile as described in the detailed packing list enclosed with your preliminary documentation.

 

Dress Attire on Shore

Comfortable, casual clothing in expedition spirit is the rule for attire worn on shore excursions.  The most important factor in determining appropriate clothing for your time ashore will be your route and mode of travel. Please refer to the detailed packing list enclosed with your preliminary documentation.

 

Electrical Appliances and Outlets

Electric current on board is 110 V/ 60 Hz and cabins are fitted with multi-type sockets suitable for several international plugs. However, we recommend to bring necessary converters and any special adapters with you as only a limited number can be borrowed on board.

Some outlets in public areas are 220v-240v and are clearly marked. However, they are fitted with Argentine outlets. This plug has two flat pins in V-shape and also has a grounding pin. The ungrounded version of this plug with only two flat V-shaped pins or a plug with two thin round pins also work.

 

Expeditionary Staff

Your voyage will be directed by an Expedition Leader in conjunction with staff assistants, zodiac drivers, and a team of lecturers. Staff members are specially selected and trained to provide an eventful cruise.

 

Gift shop

The gift shop on the Main Deck F is stocked with ladies and men’s clothing, film, sundry items, apparel, gift and souvenir items.

 

Gratuities

The customary gratuity to the ship’s service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage and is divided among the crew. You will receive detailed guidelines aboard.

Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. As a generally accepted guideline, we suggest US$15 per person per day. Cash US Dollars would be appreciated, unfortunately credit cards cannot be accepted.

 

Hairdryers

All cabins on the Upper Deck G are equipped with a hairdryer for your comfort. Additional hairdryers can be borrowed from the Hotel Manager.

 

Language

As part of your voyage experience, you will find many languages are spoken aboard the ship. English and Spanish are the languages used and spoken by all officers and crew (although some crew members may only speak Spanish). All announcements are made in English and Spanish and lectures are given in both languages.

 

Laundry and Valet Service

We regret not to be able to offer Laundry or Dry Cleaning services on board.

 

Lectures and Films

Both lectures and films are offered in the specially equipped Lecture Room on Deck E.

Passengers are encouraged to participate in all the ship’s activities, including the stimulating and informative lectures.

 

Library

The ship’s library on the Main Deck F contains a good selection of international titles, with an emphasis on reference material essential to your voyage. A variety of games, including playing cards and board games, are also at your disposal.

 

Medical Facilities

A qualified physician accompanies every voyage to provide both emergency and routine health care. The ship’s infirmary is located on Deck E. Office hours are posted in your daily program. In case of emergency, please call the bridge (phone #108).

There is a charge for this consultation:

  • In ship’s infirmary US$ 20
  • In your cabin US$ 25

There is an extra charge for medication. Seasickness is treated free of charge. If you are in need of constant and / or special medication, please make sure you bring a sufficient supply.

 

Open Door Policy

The Ushuaia maintains an open-door policy. If you wish to store your valuables, please contact the Hotel Manager.

 

Passports

All passports are collected upon embarkation and kept with the purser during the voyage. Passports must be kept for administrative and safe-keeping purposes.

 

Payment: Your Personal Account

We suggest that you bring at least US$300 (in small bills). On most voyages, particularly to Antarctica, this sum will be more than sufficient spending money as we will be navigating through isolated areas where spending opportunities are rare.

For services rendered aboard the ship, you will be provided with a personal account using a “chit” system. Your purchases will be kept on record and totalled at the end of your voyage.

Your account must be settled prior to disembarkation in cash (U.S. Dollar and Euro). If you prefer to pay by credit card, please advise the Hotel Manager at the beginning of the voyage. We accept MasterCard and American Express for charges over US$100. However, we can not accept gratuities by credit card.

 

Recaps and Briefings

On a daily basis, the Expedition Team will summarize experiences ashore and update you on our plans for the next day. These informal sessions are generally held during cocktail hour.

 

Rubber Boots

A supply of rubber boots or Wellingtons, are available on board and includes a wide variety of sizes. It is recommended that you bring your own only if you require a special size. Please note that the boots on board have been used by previous passengers.

 

Safety Deposit Boxes

Safety Deposit Boxes are available with the Hotel Manager. We are not responsible for the loss of personal effects and valuables such as jewellery and cash.

 

Safety at Sea

Our highest priority during your cruise is the personal safety of all passengers and crew. Our vessel meets all international requirements as well as U.S. Coast Guard Guidelines.

Officers and crew are well trained and regularly practice emergency procedures to ensure your comfort and safety.

Within 24 hours of embarkation there will be an emergency drill which all guests are required to participate. Through this exercise, you will become familiar with procedures that must be followed in the unlikely event of an emergency.

 

Shore Excursions

Shore excursions will be outlined during recap and briefings the day before. Before disembarkation information on the length of time on land and the type of landing (“wet” or “dry”) will be announced.

Your Expedition Team will accompany you on daily shore excursions and provide you with extensive information. Please carefully follow their instructions and advice.

 

Smoking Policy

Smoking is permitted on all exterior decks with the exception of the “Zodiac Deck”.

Inside the ship, all areas, including cabins, are designated non-smoking. For safety and environmental reasons, NEVER throw cigarette butts or other (burning) materials into the sea!

 

Weather and Sea Conditions

Weather and sea conditions play important roles in expeditionary cruising. All planned activities are subject to modification or cancellation due to changing weather and/or sea conditions. We thank you in advance for your understanding and flexibility.

 

Wildlife Watch

During the time we are in areas where there is a possibility of sighting wildlife, the ships’ officers and staff are constantly on the lookout. However, please don’t hesitate to report a sighting to the bridge or staff.

If we are fortunate enough to sight wildlife, we will announce it from the bridge, regardless of the hour. If you wish to go back to sleep please do so.

 

Zodiacs

The Ushuaia carries her own fleet of zodiacs and RIB’s. Zodiacs accommodate up to 12 guests and, in the hands of our skilled boatmen, are stable, safe and manoeuvrable.

Constructed of high-performance plastimer fabrics, with several airtight compartments, they are easy to board and disembark. Their versatility, their ability to open whole new worlds of exploration make zodiacs the key to expedition cruising enabling you to go ashore and investigate some of the world’s most unique regions.

Instructions will be provided on how to properly embark and disembark these water craft.

Weather in Antarctica

Antarctica is going to be cold, whenever you go – the question is more what you want to see.

The season runs Nov-March and is the only travel window as the ice has broken up enough to let ships pass.

November is very cold and the best time to see pristine ice and snow and huge icebergs.

December-January are the most popular times to visit. There are up to 20 hours’ sunshine every day, and the relative warmth (temperatures hover around freezing) make for perfect conditions for seal pups and penguin chicks.

As you move from January towards February the chicks here fledge and many more whales start to arrive. February is warm and means you may be able to cross the Antarctic Circle.

March sees the continent head back towards sub-zero temperatures as the long nights draw in. Water is clear and good for diving/seeing whales.

Then the ice freezes over once more and Antarctica is impossible to visit April-Oct.

Kit list

Good kit is vital for every trip.

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When planning for the extreme climatic conditions encountered in the Antarctica, layering is the most practical and versatile clothing system.

It’s worth remembering that our clothing keeps us warm by retaining and isolating the heat we ourselves create. To best maintain body heat, several layers of lightweight, warm and quick-drying clothing are far more efficient than one or two thick layers.

Layers should have the following qualities:

 

  1. Breathability (able to wick away the humidity produced by sweat);
  2. Isolation (able to keep in the warm air our body produces); and
  3. Impermeability (able to impede the passing of wind and water).

 

First (base) layer: This layer wicks the sweat away from our skin, thus helping keep the body dry and warm. To this end, synthetic fabrics such as polypropylene should be used.

Mid layers: These isolating layers should also be synthetic (e.g. the known polar linings such as polartec or windblock, which are light and insulate twice as well as wool). Very important layers for retaining body heat.

Outer layer / shell: Finally, the vital layer which protects us from climatic adversities. A breathable, wind-proof and waterproof anorak, such as Goretex.

 

Give plenty of thought to kit selection, and try to keep weight down.

Below is a more detailed guide.

 

Feet

  • 2 pairs synthetic inner socks (e.g. polypropylene, thermastat, coolmax)
  • 4 pairs thick loop-stitch/wool socks for cold.
  • Trekking boots – should be well broken-in, waterproof and provide good ankle support, as well as able to cope with snow and temperatures of -25 degrees.
  • Trainers/sandals, for city-wear, evenings etc

 

Legs

  • Base layer leggings (1-2 pairs).
  • Thick fleece leggings (or salopettes) (2 pairs).
  • Goretex-type over-trousers (or salopettes) (1 pair).
  • Trekking trousers (2 pairs).
  • Shorts – wear sparingly in early stages at altitude, as sun burns.

 

Body

  • Thermal base layer shirts (2).
  • Microfleece mid-layer shirt (1).
  • Shirt/T-shirt 1 or 2 for lower altitudes. Long-sleeved, collared shirt protects against sun.
  • Fleece jacket or similar (1).
  • Warm jacket (down or synthetic) with hood. For camp and upper slopes.
  • Waterproof Goretex-type jacket.

 

Head and neck

  • Broad-brimmed sunhat, essential.
  • Warm hat, fleece or wool. (N.B. Up to 30% of body heat can be lost through the head).
  • Balaclava (1)
  • Sunglasses with UV filter and nose and side-pieces. Ski goggles may be useful, too.
  • 1 pair of glacier compatible sunglasses (full coverage – ask salesperson if you are not sure)
  • Scarf for cold.
  • Bandanna  – to protect neck from strong sun.
  • 1 cap with visor

 

Hands

For the extreme cold, we recommend a 3-layer scheme:

  • 1 pair of Gore-Tex shell gloves
  • 2 pairs of removable fleece glove liners
  • Mittens allow you to keep the fingers together, and better conserve heat (though they also make it difficult to perform certain tasks).

 

Technical kit

  • Large backpack (80-90 litres) or suitcase for main belongings.
  • Daypack (at least 30 litres). Comfortable and with waterproof lining or cover.
  • Pair of telescopic trekking poles (optional).

 

Other kit

  • Water bottle (1-2 litres ).
  • Pee bottle.
  • Personal first-aid kit to include: painkillers, plasters (band-aids), moleskin, anti-biotic cream, general antibiotics (ask your GP), after-bite (tiger balm), anti-diarrhoea tablets, throat lozenges, re-hydration salts & personal medication.
  • Towel & wash-kit.
  • Wet Wipes/antiseptic hand-wash cream.
  • Sunscreen (factor 40+) and lip salve.
  • Head-lamp (Plus spare bulbs and batteries x 2 at least).
  • Penknife.
  • Alarm clock.
  • Plastic bags ‘Zip-loc’ & tough bin liners.
  • Camera and film / memory cards (take at least twice the amount you think you will need!).
  • Book, e-book, mp3 player/ipod or other for free time.
  • Binoculars.
  • Spanish/English phrasebook.
  • Extra snacks i.e. cereal bars or favourite chocolate bars.

Note: Campers and kayakers will need additional items, please ask for details.

Communication

Internet

Availability, speed and cost of internet connection varies per boat.

Cruise ships use satellites to connect. Speed and quality is dependent on weather conditions and your itinerary for the day. At best, expect slow, dial-up type speeds.

 

You may get enough connection to send a few emails / messages / texts, but uploading heavy pictures, files and web browsing will probably prove difficult.

Similarly, mobile phones will not be in range of satellites.

At present, it’s best to consider yourself out-of-range when on a cruise.

 

Dialling codes

Most cruises leave from Ushuaia in Argentina.

To call Argentina from abroad, or using your mobile phone in Argentina, follow these steps.

Example number: Buenos Aires (0)11 1234-5678, you would dial:

  • +54 is Argentina’s country code
  • 11 is Buenos Aires’ city code, minus the (0)
  • +54-11-1234-5678 is the final number you dial.

 

Argentina mobiles start with the number 15. If using your mobile phone to call an Argentine mobile, follow these steps.

Example number: Buenos Aires mobile 15-8765-4321, you would dial:

  • +54 for Argentina’s dialling code
  • Remove the 15 from the start of the mobile number
  • Add in a 9, and the area dialling code minus the (0) – in this example Buenos Aires, code = 11
  • +54-911-8765-4321 is the final number you dial.
  • From an Argentine landline or mobile, simply dial 15-8765-4321.

 

Mobile phones

If taking a mobile phone with you, check roaming rates with your operator before leaving – they can be very high.

A good way to avoid expensive charges is to bring own unlocked tri- or quad-band phone to Argentina and then buy an inexpensive SIM chip with a local number. These are available in many kiosks and locutorios and offer ability to make cheap calls as well as affordable data for the internet.

 

Post

Correo Argentino is the national, state-run postal service.

 

ATOL holiday protection

Andean Trails has two decades of experience of dealing with South America holidays.

We pay a fee to the CAA for every licensable passenger we book since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for an advance booking.

We also offer ATOL (Civil Aviation Authority) protected holidays to give our customers peace of mind when booking and travelling.

When you buy an ATOL protected air holiday package from Andean Trails Ltd you will receive a Confirmation Invoice from us confirming your arrangements and your protection under our Air Travel Organiser’s Licence number 6275.

You can read more about ATOL, who is covered and what protections you have if not ATOL-covered, on our ATOL page.

 

What is ATOL?

The CAA’s ATOL scheme offers protection to your money and your holiday if you book with us. Not everybody is covered (see ‘Who is covered?’ for more), as you must purchase an ‘air package holiday’ with Andean Trails to be protected.

And  ‘air package holiday’ is defined as including a flight and some ground services (hotel, transfer, trek etc). This is also known as an ‘ATOL-protected holiday’.

 

Who is covered?

To be covered by ATOL, you must book a flight and some ground services with us and be from the UK. If you are from the UK and only book ground services and no flights, you are not covered by ATOL (see below for more on how non-ATOL clients are covered).

If you are outside the UK and buy flights with us, you will be ATOL protected IF any of the flights booked with Andean Trails touches/stops in the UK at any point during your holiday package booked with us.

If you buy your flights elsewhere, please check with that agent if you are ATOL protected. Be careful with online flight purchases and make sure you know what protection you have, if any, before paying for flights.

Not all holiday or travel services offered and sold by us will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking.

For land only holidays not involving any air travel, in accordance with “The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992”, all UK passengers booking with Andean Trails Ltd. are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all money paid to us, arising from cancellation or curtailment of travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Andean Trails.

 

I’m not ATOL covered, what protection do I have?

If you are not ATOL covered, any payments you make to us go to a Trust account.

We can only access this money once your tour has been completed, meaning that if anything happens to Andean Trails Limited while you are on holiday, then your money is secure and you can either complete the trip or be able to make it home.

If you pay for your holiday with a credit card, some offer payment protection – please check with your cardholder.

You also should have cancellation protection written into your insurance (which we recommend you have at the time of booking) in case you need to cancel.

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