The Dos and Don’ts of Traveling to Antarctica

Watch our webinar recording on The Dos and Don’ts of Traveling to Antarctica for tips and recommendations on how to get the best out of your trip.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Webinar Recording: The Dos and Don’ts of Traveling to Antarctica

On September 27, 2022, Renato Marin, Antarctica21’s Direct Sales Manager, hosted a webinar with our special guest panelist Jonathan Walton, one of Antarctica21’s Expedition Guide & Glaciologists.

Renato and Jonathan share their Antarctic experiences and first-hand advice and review some essential tips and recommendations for Antarctic travel to help you plan and get the most out of your once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Some of the webinar topics include:

  • How to choose the right Antarctic ship for you
  • Important details to keep in mind before booking
  • Should you fly or sail?
  • What to expect during an expedition
  • A review of Antarctica21’s itineraries

Watch the webinar!

Q&As

Although we ran out of time at the end of the webinar to answer all the attendee’s questions, here are some important Q&As about traveling to Antarctica and our expeditions.

Q: If you choose to do the kayak experience, do you also get to go on land? How much time is spent on land? How much time is spent in the kayak?
A: During each landing, guests who choose to participate in the Sea Kayaking Program will venture out first and paddle for around an hour and a half. Afterward, they will rejoin the rest of the group for the remainder of the landing, which should be around one additional hour.

Q: Which itineraries actually go ashore?
A: All our expeditions include daily land explorations of Antarctica when weather permits. Keep in mind the Antarctic Treaty regulates all human activities in Antarctica, and among many essential rules, two apply directly to ship size – an Antarctica ship with more than 500 passengers shall not make landings and, for smaller ships, a maximum of 100 passengers may be ashore from a vessel at any one time. Our ships carry no more than 73 guests per air-cruise, allowing you to have an intimate experience both on board and on the White Continent.

Q: How often are flights canceled or delayed?
A: As of March 2022, we have operated 242 flights to Antarctica. Here is the breakdown:

  • 188 flights left on the scheduled day.
  • 12 left the day before the scheduled day.
  • 30 flights had a one-day delay.
  • 9 flights operated with a two-day delay.
  • 2 flights departed with a three-day delay.
  • 1 flight left with a four-day delay.

Since 2003, we have only experienced one flight delay where clients could not fly to Antarctica. Unfortunately, this is when we would interrupt the trip and extend a full refund. Rest assured that we are prepared for any possible disruptions, and you can review the details of our contingency plan in case of flight disruptions in our brochure.

Q: Are Covid-19 booster shots required? What shots are required before traveling?
A: All guests are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and at least one booster dose is also recommended. Review this link for more information about Travel Requirements to Antarctica, Chile, Argentina, and the Falklands (Malvinas) and our Covid Prevention Measures.

Q: Does Antarctica21 provide jackets or other gear other than boots? What is the weight limit for the plane?
A: Antarctica21 does not provide jackets. However, fitted boots are provided. In addition, walking sticks are available for onshore explorations and hiking. Snowshoes and kayaks are available if guests participate in the snowshoeing excursions or kayaking program. There is a 22 kg (48.5 lbs) luggage weight limit per passenger.

Q: I’m concerned about what to pack. Also, is there an ability to purchase clothing on board the ship?
A: You can check out our Antarctica Travel Tips page on our website for a complete list of suggested packing, FAQs, recommended reading, and travel guides. On board the ships, there is a gift shop where guests can purchase some articles of clothing as well.

Q: I would love to hear the pros and cons of different times of the year.
A: In November, Antarctica is still surrounded by pack ice which sometimes limits where you can go, but the scenery is fantastic. Many Antarctic ships will not go near pack ice because they don’t have strengthened hulls, but Antarctica21 does and can sail into the ice. It is a fantastic experience.

If you want to see the wildlife, which is one of the most amazing things, December to March is the best time to go. During December, migrating penguins are back on the continent building their nests as they await the birth of their chicks. Humpback and minke whales, as well as orcas, tend to come down by late December. From January into March is when wildlife is in abundance. Late March to early April is when the sea starts to freeze, and there is little food for the wildlife to feed on so migration north begins again.

Meet the Webinar Host & Panelist

Host: Renato Marín

Renato is a Sales Manager and joined Antarctica21 in 2020. He was born and raised in Ecuador. He then spent the first part of his young adult life in northern Spain, where he attended university and graduated in Tourism Management and Marketing. He also started to work in the travel industry, in various roles, like digital marketing or market research in both the public and private sectors. In 2016 new challenges brought him to Chile. He pursued his career in the industry in different companies, from small start-ups to major tour operators performing customer service, operations, and consultative sales positions. Renato speaks Spanish, English, and German and is passionate about better understanding between people from different cultures.

Special Guest Panelist: Jonathan Walton

Jonathan Walton

Jonathan Walton, from the UK, has been actively involved with the Antarctic since 1973 and has been with Antarctic21 since 2013. So far, he has a total of 15 Antarctic Summers and 2 winters. He worked for the British Antarctic Survey as Glaciologist. His winter experiences were at Fossil Bluff, a small 4-person base, totally isolated for 9 months at a time. He also worked in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland – many years ago. He is part of a Polar family – both his father and his son have spent several seasons in Antarctica – the only British Family to have three generations working there. He has traveled about 8,000 km inside Antarctica on Skidoos, living in tents (down to -49Cº!) for months at a time. He has been awarded the Polar Medal for his Antarctic work – so have his father and his cousin. He still loves sharing his passion for all things Antarctica. He loves offshore sailing and mountain climbing, and even at his advanced age managed to climb 6000m in the Andes in 2019.

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