How to Prepare for an Antarctic Expedition Cruise

Our recommendations to fully prepare for your upcoming expedition cruise to Antarctica

Monday, September 11, 2023

Your Antarctic expedition cruise is just a few months away. There are many things to consider before embarking on your polar journey. Here, we gathered our top five recommendations so you can be fully prepared for your upcoming expedition to the Seventh Continent.

1. Add buffer days before and after your Antarctic trip itinerary

We recommend adding an extra day before and after your itinerary. Planning to arrive at your expedition’s starting point a day early will significantly reduce the chance of you missing your trip of a lifetime. Remember, Antarctica is a remote destination home to unpredictable weather that can impact travel. Antarctica21’s air-cruises packages already include a post-expedition night. Adding a post-trip land tour in Patagonia, for example, will remove the stress of re-booking flights and travel arrangements should your return from Antarctica be delayed by adverse weather conditions, which brings us to our next point.

Antarctica landscape. Cuverville Island surroundings photographed by Monique Joris

Antarctica landscape. Cuverville Island surroundings photographed by Monique Joris.

2. Plan ahead if you are considering adding Patagonia to your trip

Antarctic expeditions are offered during a limited time of the year, the Austral summer, between November and March, which is also the high season for travel to Patagonia because of the ideal weather conditions. Many Antarctic travelers book their expeditions one and a half to two years in advance. This ensures that you can pick the travel dates that are best for you in addition to the ship and cabin that fit your desires. Similarly, airfare to remote and long-distance destinations like these two destinations is generally less expensive if you book further in advance.

Planning ahead is essential if you dream of combining your Antarctic journey with the Patagonia. Like Antarctica, Patagonia is a seasonal destination, and hotel availability can fill up very quickly, especially during the holidays and peak season. Check out our guide on combining the Chilean Patagonia with your Antarctic adventure here!

Photo by Rodrigo Moraga on an Antarctic expedition cruise.

Photo by Rodrigo Moraga on an Antarctic expedition cruise.

3. Make sure to purchase travel and medical insurance

When booking an Antarctic expedition, Antarctica21 requires all guests to take out medical evacuation insurance, and we always recommend the purchase of a comprehensive travel insurance policy to avoid any possible travel mishaps, emergencies, or disruptions. A professional travel insurance specialist can provide detailed advice and be sure to understand the difference between evacuation insurance, medical insurance, and comprehensive travel insurance when comparing policies.

Medical evacuation insurance is mandatory when traveling with Antarctica21, and we highly recommend comprehensive travel insurance. Antarctica is not only a remote destination but also home to an extreme environment, making it challenging to visit sometimes. Antarctica’s extreme climate and geographical conditions can present various risks and potential hazards. Travel insurance can cover trip interruptions, medical emergencies, evacuation, and coordination assistance in remote areas. In addition, it can provide coverage for possible pre- and post-expedition mishaps.

4. Read your pre-departure material

Read the material and avoid assuming that your Antarctic expedition operates like other trips or cruises you may have been on. The cruise materials and pre-departure materials contain essential information about your journey. In addition, the tentative itinerary will include arrival and departure details, medical forms, ship information, wildlife and environmental preservation guidelines, and much more. Review this information carefully and clarify with your booking agent any doubts you may have. Be sure to ask questions before booking and before your trip if you have any and understand what the expedition is about.

Penguins in Antarctica

Penguins in Antarctica

5. Don’t overpack!

You don’t want to be unprepared when you get down to Antarctica. However, most of our guests bring more gear/clothes than needed. For Antarctic. air-cruises, ensure that your total luggage weight, including carry-on luggage, does not exceed the 20 kg (44 lbs.) weight limit. Remember that our trips are operated during the Austral summer and in the Antarctic Peninsula, where average temperatures hover around 32º F (0º C). It is best to bring several layers of light, warm clothing that can be added or removed flexibly based on conditions. The suggested clothing for Antarctica is very similar to that recommended for skiing.

Review our Antarctica Travel Tips and additional tips from Antarctica21’s Product Delivery Manager page for more information and a detailed list of suggested packing items.

Antarctica21 guests warmly dressed for hiking on the continent.

Antarctica21 guests warmly dressed for hiking on the continent.

Ready for your expedition? If you are still in the planning stages, contact us to speak to one of our polar experts for assistance with booking your next epic journey.

Decoration A21
The Antarctic Flight Guide, Antarctica21

Download the Ultimate Guide

This essential guide includes:

  • Insider information on flights to Antarctica
  • The pros and cons of sailing and flying to Antarctica
  • Weather information and detailed flight statistics
  • Expert tips to consider before booking

Doing research for your trip? You can’t miss this guide!

Ready to Start Planning?

Antarctica is like no other place on Earth and we invite you to explore it with us. Complete this short form to receive a customized quote from our team and start planning your Antarctic air-cruise today!