What You Need to know

Expedition travel to Antarctica requires flexibility and adaptation to every-changing circumstances. Below we have created a list of important information that you need to know before you travel with us.

Planning Your Trip

Our expeditions are sutiable for adventurous travelers who enjoy full mobility and reasonably good health. Each year we welcome guests from over 40 different countries. They may travel alone, as a family, or as a part of a group. The offical expedition language onboard is English.

All particpants are required to fill and sign an online particpation form, and to reutrn it to Antarctica21 at least 120 days prior to their departure. Travelers 75 years of age and older must submit a medical certificate.


A number of national and international airlines land daily at Santiago’s airport. Two national airlines connect the capital of Chile and Punta Arenas with several daily flights. The distance between Santiago and Punta Arenas is about 3,000 km and a direct flight takes about 3 and half hours.

Travelers must arrive in Punta Arenas by 14:00 hrs (2:00 PM). Travelers who miss this deadline will not be able to participate in the trip, and no refund will be extended. On the last day of the expedition, travelers are strongly encouraged to book flights departing in the late afternoon. We strongly recommend avoiding tight flight connections. We recommend booking a flexible airfare. It is also important to check visa requirements for your country for travel to Chile prior to your trip.

Since quick changes in weather may mean delays in getting back to Punta Arenas from Antarctica, we strongly recommend that you keep your airline reservations as flexible as possible. You should book your ongoing flight from Punta Arenas either in the evening of the last day of your program, at the earliest.
Punta Arenas is situated in the Chilean Patagonia where there are several border crossings between Chile and Argentina. Overland travel from El Calafate, Rio Gallegos, Rio Grande and Ushuaia is possible but takes a considerable amount of travel time. Punta Arenas can also be reached from Torres del Paine National Park (about 5 hours by car) and Puerto Natales (3 hours by car).Although citizens of most countries do not require a visa to enter Chile, the requirements change from time to time. We recommend that you double-check with your local Chilean consulate or embassy.
A number of national and international airlines land daily at the Buenos Aires airport and several daily connections serve Ushuaia. The distance between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia is about 3,190 km and a direct flight takes about 3 hours and 40 minutes. The main Argentinean airline is Aerolineas Argentinas. Latam airline also operates in Argentina. Note that Buenos Aires has two airports that service Ushuaia; please double-check which airport your flight will leave from as they are on opposite sides of the city.

Travelers must arrive at the ship between 15:00 hrs (3:00 PM) and 16:00 hrs (4:00 PM). We strongly recommend avoiding tight flight connections. Travelers who miss this deadline will not be able to participate in the trip and no refund will be extended. It is also important to check visa requirements for your country for travel to Argentina prior to your trip.

Ushuaia lies on the southern shore of Tierra Del Fuego island, on the Beagle Channel, at the very end of the National Road n. 3 starting in Buenos Aires. This road links Ushuaia with other cities in Patagonia. Motor coach service between Ushuaia and Punta Arenas is available and takes approximately 10-12 hours, depending on border crossing.
Depending on your nationality, you may be required to pay a Reciprocity Fee to enter Argentina and/or to obtain an entry visa. The requirements change from time to time. We recommend that you double-check with your local Argentinean consulate or embassy.

Te maximum luggage weight allowed on flights to and from Antarctica is 20 kg (44 lbs.) per passenger, including hand luggage. Luggage will be weighed. For trips starting and ending in Punta Arenas, luggage exceeding this weight limit can be left in custody with Antarctica21. Tis luggage custody service is not available for Antarctica Express Air-Cruises.

Antarctica21 requires participants to be adequately covered by medical insurance, including aero-medical evacuation from Antarctica. We also urge that all travelers be adequately covered by trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

Our ship has a small, well-equipped infirmary for the attention of minor medical problems and is under the care of a licensed medical doctor. Serious emergencies require evacuation to medical centres in South America that are better equipped, which requires a very costly air evacuation procedure. This is why we ask our passengers to have an insurance policy that covers emergency medical evacuation.

Travelers should check the entry requirements of the countries visited during their trip, based on their nationality. Antarctica Express AirCruises visit Argentina and Chile so the requirements of both countries should be considered.

Travelers are required to review the My Expedition portal prior to departure. Te participation form should be submitted upon reservation and no later than 120 days prior to departure.

Getting on and off the ship requires full mobility. You don’t need to be very agile but you do need to be able to walk and manage stairs independently, as well as to lift your legs over the pontoons of the Zodiacs to embark and disembark. Walks on the beach or further inland, with some low hill climbing, are available. You should be reasonably fit to be able to enjoy those activities but it will always be up to you how far you choose to walk. Physical activity will never be imposed and you can set your own pace.

In the Participation Form you will be asked to tell us all about your health problems, either past or present, including allergies, etc. This will allow our onboard doctor to be aware of the medical needs of each one of our passengers, and allow him or her to be better prepared.

We are privileged to have a group of international chefs prepare a delicious selection of different cuisines throughout your trip. Wine, beer, juice and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board our ships are included, as well as coffee, tea, chocolate, cappuccino, water and snacks throughout the expedition. Note: beverages purchased at the ship’s bar as well as not-included beverage purchased in the dining room are at a charge.

Dietary requests must be made on the Participation Form you receive after your booking confirmation. This information will be passed along to our staff so they can accommodate your needs while on your voyage. Note: due to the nature of our expeditions and the kitchens onboard the ships, Kosher and vegan meals cannot be accommodated.

Your safety is our main concern. You will be provided with a mandatory safety session before departing on your voyage. You will be shown where the life jackets are, as well as the safety boats in case of an emergency evacuation. During rough weather, do not walk in large, open areas and be sure to use handrails both outside and inside the vessel. Always use door handles and never hold doors by their frames, as a sudden movement may prove very dangerous. Always turn on the lights upon entering your cabin in case items have moved around. Use non-slip shoes when on deck, as it can be slippery at times.

Flights to and from Antarctica operate based on weather conditions. While historically only a minority of flights have experienced a delay, you should be prepared for that possibility.

The “Important Information” and “Contingency Plan” sections of the Antarctica21 brochure detail the plan should unfavorable weather conditions impact the operation of the Antarctic flight. Travelers should review and understand these details.

Austral summer weather in Antarctica means mostly mild temperatures. You can expect cold, sunny days and brisk winds, which may turn into stormy weather and even a few snow flurries or snow. You should be prepared for quick changes in weather conditions.

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Suggested Packing List

The average temperature in the Antarctica Peninsula area during the austral summer is about 0º C (32º F), although sometimes it may feel a little lower because of the wind chill factor. For this reason, it is best to wear several layers of light, warm clothing, with a windproof and waterproof jacket and pants as the outer layer. The suggested clothing for Antarctica is very similar to that recommended for skiing.


Due to the reflection of the sun on the snow and ice, it is important to bring sunglasses or ski googles with high UV protection.


There are high and cold winds in Antarctica. A warm cap, hat, or balaclava hood is needed.

Fleece layers

A Fleece jacket and trousers are recommended when on outdoor excursions.

Waterproof Parka

A waterproof hooded parka (similar to what is used for skiing) is recommended as your final outter layer during expeditions.

Thermal Layering

Thermal underwear, including sweatshirts, turtlenecks, socks (layering with wool, silk or synthetics fabrics, rather than cotton) are recommended.


Well insulated thermal gloves or mittens are important to bring for your trip.


Insulated waterproof trousers (ski pants) are recommened as your final outter layer for excursions.


We suggest Comfortable clothes to wear on board (temperature on board is about 20º-22ºC, or 68º-72ºF) the ship.


A swimsuit is important to pack In case you want to partake in the Polar Plunge or use the sauna.


Bring comfortable rubber-soled shoes to wear on board the ship.

Expedition Boots

On the first day of the program Antarctica21 staff will deliver a pair of boots for landing in Antarctica to each passenger. Boots are provided on loan and will be collected before the end of the trip.

Suggested Items and Tips

The following information is designed to answer any questions that you may have about your Antarctic experience. We hope you will find this information
useful. Should there be anything else that we can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact us – we will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

To see the wildlife you should have a good pair of lightweight binoculars (the suggested magnification is 7x or 8x). If you are passionate about photography, do not forget a good zoom lens to shoot wildlife while avoiding close approaches. Also, take with you a good supply of memory cards and spare batteries since cold temperatures can reduce their life span.

While we hope you are able to disconnect from the outside world to enjoy your voyage to the fullest, we understand this is not always possible. We have a satellite telephone and Internet services on board, available at an additional charge to guests. Please note that due to the nature of our expedition and the location we travel, services will not be to the standard you are used to at home, and as such, you should expect slow or delayed services at best.

Everyone on board the ship will work hard to make your experience special. Although this is a personal choice, it is customary for passengers to leave a gratuity to the crew, service personnel, and expedition staff as a sign of appreciation. You can make a single contribution at the end of the voyage. As a general guideline, we suggest US$15 per passenger per day. Gratuities can be added prior to settling your shipboard account, or put in an envelope and dropped in a box set out on the last days of the voyage.

For extra comfort, clients can purchase a limited number of Preferred Seats on their Antarctic flight. Preferred Seats offer a guaranteed aisle or window seat at the front of the aircraft (guaranteed empty middle seat), priority boarding in Punta Arenas, and an amenities kit. Please consult your Antarctcia sales representative for more information.

Sea Kayaking and Hiking and Snowshoeing are available as optional adventure activities on selected departures. Please consult your Antarctcia sales representative for more information.

As most landings in Antarctica are “wet landings”, the best footwear is knee-high waterproof boots. You will not need to carry them with you since Antarctica21 will provide you with a pair of thermal rubber boots before arriving in Antarctica. To ensure a good fitting, we will request your shoe size in the particpation form.

Good quality UV filtering sunglasses are essential. Glacier glasses have leather flaps at the sides to stop the light from passing through. Due to the high reflectance of UV radiation, you will also need good sun block lotion for your face (protection factor
30 and above) and lip balm.

The aircraft cabin is heated to provide you with a comfortable flight, however please bear in mind that you will be landing in Antarctica, where the temperature on average is 0°C (32°F). We suggest you wear layers of warm clothing and take with you a parka/anorak, waterproof trousers, a pair of gloves, and a cap or hat. Please ensure that you are wearing your Antarctica21 rubber boots when you disembark the aircraft.

Casual attire (expedition style) is the most appropriate apparel for the voyage. Clothing should be comfortable and informal, including shoes. There is no requirement to dress formally for any meals. Should you wish to be on the outside decks, the Antarctica21 rubber boots are ideally warm and comfortable to wear. The average temperature on board is about 20°/22°C (68°/72°F).

Seasickness is an unpleasant but very treatable condition. There are a variety of effective over-the-counter and prescription remedies for it. Remember that these treatments are generally more effective when taken BEFORE the onset of nausea; so if you are prone to seasickness, consider taking action before sailing or entering open seas. Although the ship’s doctor is available for advice, check with your personal doctor before departure about taking medication.

Please ensure you pack any personal medication for your trip.

Electric outlets on board are 220V/50Hz, and are equipped with standard U.S. two-pin system, 2-prong plug or Euro-plug and USB port. Please bring with you the necessary converters and adapters.

Icon of Particpation Form

Particpation Form

Please remember to fill out your partipcation form 120 days prior to your depature. If you have questions regarding your form, please let us know.

Icon of Visas and Passports

Visas and Passports

Upon booking please consult with your embassy or consulate regarding travel to both Chile and Argentina.

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