Polar Latitudes is one of the few operators that require all operational staff to be certified as crew under the International Maritime Organization’s STCW standards. Furthermore, they are the first polar operator to adopt the Polar Tourism Guides Association (PTGA) guide qualification framework, a world-first in training and certifying polar guides in the skills and experience required for this unique industry. World-class marine biologists, environmental scientists, ornithologists, and modern-day explorers are all part of the Polar Latitudes expedition team – highly experienced, synced to your needs and interests, and with safety always top of mind.
Some of the bases that we may visit on your voyage offer postal service, but we can’t guarantee we’ll get to one. Your Expedition Leader will let you know if you’re visiting a base that offers posts, and how you can send mail. In some places, you may need cash, usually US Dollars or Euros. You can always send postcards once we disembark in Ushuaia!
WILL I BE ABLE TO PURCHASE EXTRA BATTERIES OR FLASHCARDS ON BOARD?
While you may find the batteries or flashcards you need in stock in our Gift Shop, we strongly recommend that you bring extra supplies of everything, (including an extra charger) as the availability of these items is very limited, and cannot be guaranteed.
WILL I BE ABLE TO USE MY CELLPHONE DURING THE VOYAGE?
It is highly unlikely that you will have cellular service once we leave Argentina. There is a telephone in your cabin, which has access to an outside line; however, there may be times when phone service is limited or unavailable.
WHAT TYPE OF ELECTRICAL OUTLETS ARE ON BOARD?
The Seaventure has dual 110/220 voltage and both US (two flat pins) and European (two round pin) style sockets in each cabin. The Island Sky is 110V, with US (two flat pins) sockets in each cabin and USB ports for device charging. Please do not bring any small appliances such as hairdryers, irons, coffee makers, curling tongs, or steam pots, as these items will damage the ship’s electrical system and are strictly forbidden on board. There is a small hairdryer provided in your cabin.
ARE YOUR SHIPS INTERNET ACCESSIBLE?
Yes! Our ships feature wireless networks accessible from your personal computer or smartphone from virtually anywhere onboard. There are also two public computers available in each ship’s Library which may be used for email and the Internet (but not for uploading photos.) 200 free MB of WiFi data is included in the cost of your voyage. Additional data packages can be purchased from the hotel manager on board; rates begin at about USD $20 for 200 MB. Please note, due to weather and location, there may be times when Internet service is very slow or disrupted.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE A DIETARY NEED OR RESTRICTION?
We can accommodate most dietary requests such as low salt, gluten-free, and low cholesterol, and we include Vegetarian, Meat, and Fish options on all of our menus. Please enter any dietary limitations, from preferences to severe food allergies, when completing your medical information form. Please note that we are unable to offer Kosher meals.
IS THERE A GYM OR SPA ONBOARD?
Yes! Sea venture offers a fitness center with cardio equipment and free weights, a sauna, and an outdoor heated saltwater pool.
DO YOU HAVE LAUNDRY FACILITIES ONBOARD?
Yes. Laundry service is available onboard; however, the ships do not have dry cleaning facilities. There is no self-service laundry facility onboard the ships and no irons for passenger use.
CAN I SMOKE ONBOARD THE SHIP?
There is absolutely no smoking permitted anywhere inside the ships (including the balcony areas,) on Zodiacs, or on landings. International law dictates the allowed designated area for smoking on commercial vessels; this location will be clearly identified during the Safety Briefing at the beginning of your voyage. Repeated non-compliance with our smoking policy will result in a $1000 penalty added to your shipboard account. The Expedition Leader and Captain also reserve the right to disallow participation in off-ship activities.
WILL MY SUITE HAVE PORTHOLES OR WINDOWS?
Only Suites designated as “Porthole Suites” have portholes, the rest have windows. We cannot guarantee the number of portholes or windows in your cabin. Windows and portholes do not open.
DO YOU OFFER TRIPLES OR QUADS?
Sea venture offers a limited number of Triple staterooms which can be configured with 1 queen bed and 1 single bed or 3 single beds. The exception to this is cabins 409 and 411 which have 1 fixed queen and 1 single, making them better suited for families.
HOW COLD WILL IT BE INSIDE THE SHIP?
Not cold at all! The entire ship is climate-controlled for your comfort, and all cabins feature individual temperature controls.
ARE YOUR SHIPS WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE?
Unfortunately, no, our ships are not built to be wheelchair accessible. There is an elevator that services all floors, but due to weather and sea conditions, it is not operational at all times.
IS THERE A FEE FOR MEDICAL SERVICES?
There is generally no charge to guests for medical consultations, rendered care, or dispensed medical supplies. The only exceptions are rare cases in which very involved, “Intensive Care” levels of treatment are required.
WHAT IF I HAVE A PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITION?
All guests are required to complete a medical questionnaire that is reviewed by our Medical staff who will contact your agent if they foresee any difficulties with the safety of your voyage. Medical information is kept on board for reference in the event of a medical problem.
For passengers that do have significant medical issues/problems, we recommend that you visit your physician to obtain the doctor’s “fit to travel” stamp of approval. As your embarkation date approaches, don’t hesitate to re-check with your doctor if there has been a change in your medical issues. It’s always a good idea to bring duplicate supplies of all your medications and necessary medical supplies.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE CASE OF A SERIOUS MEDICAL PROBLEM?
In the unfortunate event of a serious medical problem, our onboard doctor will take every possible step to stabilize the patient, who can then be evacuated to the nearest facility or airfield; either Ushuaia, Stanley, or King George Island, for more comprehensive diagnosis and treatment. Please be aware that there are limits to what our physicians can treat and evacuations in this remote area may be lengthy.
WHAT KIND OF MEDICAL FACILITIES ARE ON THE SHIP?
Each ship has a Medical Clinic, stocked with a wide range of common basic medications, including seasickness medication, and capable of supporting a wide range of medical issues. Please note, there are no lab or radiology capabilities on board.
IS THERE A DOCTOR ONBOARD THE SHIP?
Yes! Every voyage has a currently-practicing and English-speaking doctor experienced in Emergency medicine. Medical services are available 24 hours a day, and a doctor accompanies passengers on all shore landings.
QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR VOYAGES
WHAT TIME DO WE ARRIVE AT/DEPART FROM PORT STANLEY? (FSG TRIPS ONLY)
Depending upon the weather, we are generally in Port Stanley at 8:00 am and off the ship by 9:00 am. We ask everyone to be back at the Visitor’s Centre by 2:30 pm with the last bus leaving at 3:00 pm. If you want to book sightseeing we recommend you plan to be back by 1:00 pm to allow sufficient buffer time. Please note, any activities planned that day will cut into your time in town. We will offer a guided trip out to Gypsy Cove for some bird watching and history, and you can visit the Falklands Islands Museum & National Trust in town, which is free. Your Expedition Leader will confirm the exact arrival/departure times that day.
WHAT TIME DO WE DISEMBARK IN USHUAIA?
Disembarkation is usually at 8 am on the final day of your itinerary. We strongly recommend booking flights no earlier than 12pm to account for possible delays getting back to Port.
WHAT KIND OF CAMPING EQUIPMENT DO YOU PROVIDE?
We provide insulated sleeping bags, rated to -20 ° F (-29 ° C), sleeping bag liners, insulated sleeping pads, 4-season mountaineering tents, dry bags for pillows and clothes, and a limited number of mountaineering bivy sacks (for any brave souls who wish to sleep out!) We also bring one portable toilet for the group. For more information on our Camping program, please click here.
WHAT KIND OF KAYAKING EQUIPMENT DO YOU PROVIDE?
We carry a mix of single and tandem kayaks and provide dry suits, paddles, personal flotation devices (PFDs), pogies (neoprene gloves), and booties. For more information on our kayaking program, please click here.
WILL WE SEE THOSE AMAZING GLACIERS I SAW IN THE BROCHURE/ON THE WEBSITE?
You will visit amazing, unbelievable places every day, but probably none of them look exactly like the pictures you’ve seen before. Antarctica is one of the most unpredictable places in the world, which is what makes it so special and keeps us excited to go back year after year. Glaciers calve, penguins move, ice melts, snowfalls, the wind blows, and all these factors change the landscape making every trip a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
WHAT WILL THE WEATHER BE LIKE ON MY TRIP?
Weather in Antarctica can be very unpredictable, and we don’t get the same type of forecasts that we’re used to in most other parts of the world. We get information about general conditions and trends in the areas we visit, and we make our own forecasts in real-time based on the data we have at the moment. Average temperatures in Antarctica during our sailing season are between -5 C (23 F) and 5 C (41 F).
The best defense against bad weather is quality gear. Click here for more information on what we recommend.
ARE CHILDREN ALLOWED ON YOUR VOYAGES?
In general, our policy is that children must be at least 12 years old to participate in a Polar Latitudes voyage. However, we may on a case-by-case basis accept children between the ages of 7-11 with additional screening and prior approval before booking, and the completion of our Child waiver by the parents/guardians. Please contact us if you wish to travel with a child under the age of 12.
WHAT TO BRING
WILL I NEED CASH ONBOARD?
No. All shipboard charges will be charged to an account, so you do not need to pay cash as you go. At the end of your voyage, you may pay your tab with cash or credit card; we accept Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. All prices onboard are shown in US Dollars.
Always be sure to carry a small amount of cash, local and US or Euro, to cover taxis, and other incidentals, which may not be payable by credit card.
CAN I BRING MY UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE (DRONE)?
No. The recreational use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or drone-type aircraft in the Antarctic is currently prohibited by the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO). Because IAATO recognizes the value of UAVs for certain commercial and scientific applications, Polar Latitudes is currently permitted for the commercial use of UAVs by trained members of our staff. Individual permits are not possible, and personal drones are strictly prohibited.
WHAT TYPE OF CAMERA EQUIPMENT SHOULD I BRING?
For detailed recommendations on camera equipment from our Photography Coaches, please see our in-depth Photography Guide.
SHOULD I BRING MY PERSONAL COMPUTER?
That one is entirely up to you. If you wish to have access to the internet from anywhere other than the Library, you will need a computer or mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Some guests also find it useful to have their computers on hand for photography storage and backup. If you do choose to bring a laptop, please be sure to take the necessary precautions to protect it from the elements.
DO I NEED TO BRING MY OWN SOAP AND SHAMPOO?
No. We provide Molton Brown of London soap and shampoo.
DO I NEED TREKKING POLES?
We do have a limited number of trekking poles on board, but if you are more comfortable with your own, please feel free to bring them.
DO I NEED MY OWN WATERPROOF JACKET AND BOOTS?
No! A waterproof expedition jacket, yours to keep, is included in the cost of your voyage and will be given to you on board. A nautically inspired and well-fitting jacket, it’s ideal for cruising, sailing, or onshore activities. This jacket, custom-designed for Polar Latitudes, is a full wind- and waterproof outer layer, with a protective collar to help keep body warmth from escaping on windy days. Please note, as this is not an insulated ski parka, we recommend wearing heavy fleece and/or thermal layers under the jacket for additional warmth in Antarctica.
We also loan you a pair of insulated rubber boots for you to use during the voyage. They are great for getting in and out of Zodiacs and are plenty warm with a good pair of thermal or wool socks.
WHAT SPECIFIC CLOTHING, SHOES, OR GEAR DO I NEED?
Our motto is – There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear. It’s never a good idea to take shortcuts when it comes to clothing – being improperly dressed can impact your enjoyment of the voyage! Dress on board the ships is casual and informal at all times.
The best clothing is a layered system with an outer layer that is waterproof. The air between the layers provides additional insulation. Base Layer – Thermal underwear and a pair of thermal socks. Mid Layer – Pants (fleece is ideal), a light cotton shirt, and a fleece. Outer Layer – Waterproof pants and a waterproof jacket. Waterproof pants are required to participate in landings. Note: Lightweight disposable rain gear will not endure more than one landing, so please bring high-quality, expedition-weight waterproof pants. Shoes – Sturdy walking shoes or sneakers with a good grip sole for the slippery deck, and the rubber boots we provide.
DO YOU REQUIRE INSURANCE?
Yes! All passengers must carry a Travel Protection Plan. This Plan must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, evacuation expenses, and pre-existing medical conditions. Additionally, passengers are strongly advised to carry a Travel Protection Plan which includes coverage for cancellation, curtailment, trip interruption, and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay, or inconvenience occurring to or otherwise involving a passenger. As any potential evacuation from Antarctica can cost up to $150,000 we recommend that no policy carry less than this amount of coverage. Polar Latitudes will require information as to carrier, policy number, and a 24-hour contact number.
The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.