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You’re going to Antarctica! Now What?

February, 2020 | General

Congratulations! You’ve done it, you’ve booked your voyage to Antarctica and you probably couldn’t be more excited about it. Now that you’ve made that first important step, it’s time to delve into the next steps to ensure that your entire trip unfolds flawlessly.

There are quite a few things to cover, so we’ve split this up into a series of blogs to make the planning process that much easier for you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team via chat or email or by calling (1) 802-698-8479.

Part 1: Passports, Visas, and Air Travel

Passports & Visas

It is your responsibility to have your passport up to date and any necessary visas required before you travel. Argentina requires that your passport be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry. Nationals of the United States, Canada, most Western European countries, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa to visit Argentina. Different countries have different requirements so we advise checking with your Consulate or Embassy to confirm what you may need up to two months before your voyage.

Upon arrival, most visitors will get a 90-day stamp in their passport. Be sure that your passport is valid and has at least one blank page available. It’s always good to have a backup photocopy of your passport in your checked luggage.

Recent updates for visitors from China mean that Chinese tourists no longer need to visit an embassy to obtain a tourist visa, but they do need to pay for an ETA (Electronic Tourist Authorization) online prior to arriving.

Please click here for our current policy regarding the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Flights

Ah, the joy of air travel! In order to get to your embarkation city (either Ushuaia or Puerto Madryn, Argentina) you’ll need to book a few flights, so here are some tips to assist you in the process.

To start, you’ll want to look at flights from your country of origin into Argentina’s Ezeiza International Airport (EZE), located approximately 14 miles (22 km) south of Buenos Aires. If you have the time, we recommend flying into ‘BA’, as it’s affectionately known, and spending a day or two exploring.

Depending on your travel arrangements, you may have to travel to Buenos Aires’ smaller, domestic airport (AEP) for your domestic flight to your embarkation city – Ushuaia Airport (USH) for voyages embarking from Ushuaia, or Trelew Airport (REL) for  voyages embarking from Puerto Madryn. If you find yourself needing to change airports, we recommend allowing at least five hours between your arrival at EZE and your departure from AEP, as customs at EZE can take up to an hour and transfer to AEP is variable depending on traffic, as is the time it takes to check-in for your domestic flight. When flying within Argentina, there are two main airlines: Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM.

Some Important Considerations: You may find that you can save on airfare by flying through multiple countries and on multiple airlines. We recommend against doing this. The more connections you have to make, the higher the probability of a missed connection or lost luggage, so the most direct flights are always your best bet.

When choosing flights, it’s worth looking into the on-time record for the for the airline/flight as some flights are chronically late. You can find that info here. (And remember, we travel during the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere, so plan accordingly as your connecting cities could get snow!)

After your flights are booked be sure to enter your travel information into your online Polar Latitudes forms. This allows us to arrange for your transport from the airport to the hotel in your embarkation city. We want to make sure things go as smoothly as possible for you as you begin your journey!