Quest for the Antarctic Circle

Valid for all trips departing October 1st, 2014 - April 1st, 2016 Last Updated: September 16, 2014
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Introduction

A massive rookery of penguins shuffles across a frozen shore; a pod of whales glides through frigid waters; dramatic landscapes float off in the distance – welcome to Antarctica. Join us on a voyage of discovery to our planet’s last frontier – a mysterious and virtually pristine paradise. Our ice-strengthened expedition ship is ideally suited to cruising this icy wilderness, and her expert staff are on hand to ensure you’ll fully appreciate all the majesty you encounter. Sail the Drake Passage past the South Shetland Islands, then really explore the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Prepare yourself for an adventure like no other – more like a private expedition than a traditional cruise.

  • Spend seven full days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula
  • Go farther south than most have ever gone
  • Spend time on deck searching for whales and watching soaring albatross
  • Get up close and personal with a variety of penguin species
  • Discover the intricacies of the Antarctic region through our on board lecture program
Duration: 14 days
Start/Finish City: Ushuaia to Ushuaia
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Marine

Small-ship adventures on the world's great seas and rivers The poles of the Earth, the wonders of the Galápagos, the mysteries of the Amazon, out-of-the-way Greek Islands and other great places are best (and sometimes only) accessed by boat. Marine trips get you there aboard small ships, exclusive yachts and catamarans.

Itinerary

Route map for Quest for the Antarctic Circle (XVQCSX)

Day 1 Arrive Ushuaia

Arrive into Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, at any time. Make your way to your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Sitting on the shores of the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia actually means 'the bay facing westward' in the language of the original Yamna inhabitants. Once a penal colony (the presidio was disbanded in the 1940s) for political prisoners as well as hardened criminals, Ushuaia is now a major tourist attraction, particularly for people such as ourselves cruising to Antarctica. The town of 40,000 is also a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers and offers magnificent hiking in Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego, the only coastal national park in Argentina.

Day 2 Ushuaia (1B,1D)

Today we will embark on the M/S Expedition. Group embarkation is set for 4:00 pm. The morning is free to do any last minute shopping or an optional excursion to the Terra Del Fuego National park or a good hike up to the Marshall Glacier. The evening is spent on board the ship watching the sunset over the Beagle Channel.

Please note while it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day on board, your Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.

Day 3-4 The Drake Passage (2B,2L,2D)

Our adventure begins with a 400 mile crossing of the passage that bears the name of the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. The M/S Expedition is at home in this part of the Southern Ocean, known for the unimpeded never ending fetch of the winds that encircle the Antarctic. At some point on the second day we cross the Antarctic Convergence, a meeting of cold polar water flowing north and warmer sub-antarctic water moving in the opposite direction. It is the largest biological barrier on earth and is marked by a change in temperature, salinity and nutrient levels. The north flowing Antarctic waters predominantly sink beneath southward moving sub-antarctic waters. While further south associated areas of mixing and upwelling create an ocean very high in marine productivity. When we pass this zone, we have entered the most nutrient rich waters on the earth- the Southern Ocean.

Wandering, Black-browed and Light-mantled Sooty Albatross, Prion's and Cap Petrels are among some of the species of seabirds that may join us in our journey as we cross into Antarctica.

As we make the passage you have time to become acquainted with the ship and frequent the common areas that include the lounge, dining hall, library and lecture hall where we meet our guides, ship’s crew and expedition staff. We also begin the lecture and information sessions to learn the extraordinary human and natural history of the Antarctic region.

Day 5-6 Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands (2B,2L,2D)

This is what we've all been waiting for - a chance to step foot on the Great White Continent! Over the next four days we will navigate southwards making stops in the South Shetland Islands then through the Bransfield Strait and to the Antarctic Peninsula. Our goal is to attempt two excursions per day while we navigate through the area but our itinerary and daily schedule will be based on the local weather and ice conditions that we encounter.

The Antarctic Peninsula and the South Shetland Islands are abound with wildlife activity. Penguins gather with their fast-growing chicks, whales are seen in great numbers, seals haul out onto ice floes and beaches, and numerous seabirds trail in our wake. There is plenty of time to enjoy the sheer beauty and the breathtaking scenery of ice-choked waterways, blue and white icebergs, impressive glaciers and rugged snow-capped mountains. The Peninsula also has a remarkable history and, during the voyage, we will learn about some of the most important and dramatic expeditions to this remote corner of the world. Keeping a lookout from the Bridge or the deck of the ship, as we thread our way along the continent, you'll feel the same sense of excitement as many of those early explorers.

The continent itself is roughly circular with a spindly arm, called the Antarctic Peninsula, reaching northwards towards Tierra del Fuego. South America is the nearest landmass, some 600 miles away. Considerably larger than either the United States or Europe, and twice the size of Australia, the continent is surrounded by a frozen sea that varies in area from one million square miles in summer to 7.3 million square miles in winter. Ninety-five percent of the continent of Antarctica is ice covered and contains the freshest water on earth - about 70 percent of all fresh water on earth in fact. The highest point in Antarctica is Vinson Massif, with an altitude of 16,864 feet above sea level; the lowest point is the Bentley Subglacial Trench at 8,200 feet below sea level, located in West Antarctica. Antarctica has the highest average elevation of all the continents at about 7,500 feet about sea level.

Antarctica is a continent of superlatives. It is the coldest, windiest, driest, iciest and highest of all the major landmasses in the world. It is the continent with the longest nights and the longest days. The coastal areas we visit have some of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on the continent. It is also one of the last true wilderness, also the largest wilderness areas left on earth – largely unchanged since the first sealers, whalers, and early explorers first landed on its inhospitable shores less than two centuries ago. The lowest temperature ever recorded anywhere on earth, -89.2°C, was recorded on July 21, 1983, at Vostok Station. Winds have been recorded at 200 mph in the interior of the continent and the average annual water precipitation in the interior is only about 50 mm.

Whales
Thanks to the abundance of the small, shrimp like krill as the basis of the food chain, many species of whales make the water south of the Antarctic Convergence their summer home. Some of the species found in the frigid southern waters include: the Humpback Whale who consumes over a ton of krill each day; the Southern Right Whales easily identified by the whitish callosities on the jaws and forehead; the Sperm Whales made famous in Moby Dick; the Killer Whale which is actually not a whale at all but the largest of the dolphin family; the Sei Whale which can achieve speeds up to 55 km/h over short distances; the playful Minke Whales very common in the peninsula area; and the Fin Whale who can attain a length of 25 to 27 meters making them the second largest whales.

Penguins
The common name for all flightless, aquatic birds, penguins are only found south of the equator. Penguins have been grouped into 18 species and 6 genera, with most making their homes in Antarctica and the sub Antarctic islands, though others are native to the coasts of Australia, South Africa, South America, and the Galapagos Islands. Penguins are speedy and agile swimmers, but extremely slow on land. The regions we visit aboard MS Expedition are inhabited by 6 different species including the giant King Penguin who can grow up to 1 meter in height (found on South Georgia Island); the Adelie Penguin named after French explorer Dumont d’Urville’s wife; the Chinstrap Penguin identified by the distinctive black line connecting the black cap to below the chin; the Gentoo Penguin with its orange bill and white flash above and behind its eyes; while most numerous it is the most difficult to see the Macaroni Penguin (Only on South Georgia Island) who number roughly 12 million and are easily identified by the orange tassels meeting between the eyes; and the Rockhopper Penguin (we will see only in Falkland Islands) who are similar to the Macaroni in appearance but slightly smaller and have yellow tassels.


Historical Figures
Some of the bravest and best known explorers have sailed south in search of adventure and recognition. James Cook, the most travelled explorer of his time, was the first to circumnavigate Antarctica and the first to cross the Antarctic Circle. Roald Amundsen, who led the first expedition to reach the South Pole and reached the pole on December 14, 1911. Captain Robert Falcon Scott, famous for being 35 days late, arriving at the South Pole on January 17, 1912 only to find the dark green tent and a note left by Amundsen. All five men in the Scott expedition perished on their way back from the pole. The best-known adventurer would have to be Sir Ernest Shackleton. On his attempt at the South Pole his ship, Endurance, was captured by pack ice in the Weddell Sea on January 19, 1915. The ship was destroyed by heavy ice, forcing he and his men to travel over the ice and sea to Elephant Island. However, because the island was uninhabited, Shackleton and five others made the 1300 km voyage for help to South Georgia, amazingly arriving at Stromness Harbour whaling station on May 20, 1916.

Day 7-8 Polar Circle Crossing (2B,2L,2D)

With a close eye on weather conditions, we set off southward along the western coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. Passing colossal icebergs and countless colonies of penguins we push on with our goal in mind - crossing the Antarctic Polar Circle. Few travelers have ventured this far south, but with our fully equipped ice-strengthened vessel and favourable sea conditions, we can access many remote locations other ships just can't reach.

Day 9-11 Antarctic Peninsula & the South Shetland Islands (3B,3L,3D)

We will continue our exploration of the peninsula and the then into the South Shetland as we move North again. Keeping a close eye out for wildlife we might have to opportunity to do some whale watching or even go for a polar plunge in the Southern waters.

Day 12-13 The Drake Passage (2B,2L,2D)

Today we leave Antarctica and head north across the Drake Passage. In between bird watching and whale watching and enjoying some final lectures by our expedition staff, this is a chance to relax and review the adventures of the past week before returning to Ushuaia. Remember, the best way to experience the wildlife of the Drake Passage is to be on deck keeping a look out for Albatross, Prions and Whales!

Day 14 Depart Ushuaia (1B)

And so our adventure comes to a close. We'll say our goodbyes as we disembark in Ushuaia in the morning.

What's Included

12 nts aboard the MS Expedition. Arrival transfer from airport in Ushuaia to hotel. 1 nt accommodation with breakfast in Ushuaia. Zodiac excursions with our expert expedition team. Lecture and educational programs. Waterproof boots supplied for men's USA sized 8-14 & women's USA sized 3-9. Expedition parka. Antarctica destination guidebook.

Highlights

Spend seven full days exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, go farther south than most have ever gone, spend time on deck searching for whales and watching soaring albatross, get up close and personal with a variety of penguin species, discover the intricacies of the Antarctic region through our on board lecture program

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Flight Information: When packing your luggage please note that the weight restriction on the domestic flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia is only 15 to 23 kg (33 to 50 lbs) per person, depending on the airline. Please note that the airlines will generally charge for excess baggage. We suggest trying to leave luggage that you do not need at your hotel in Buenos Aires, if you have overnighted there.

2. Medical questionnaires are required for all passengers traveling to Antarctica.

Group Leader Description

A carefully chosen team will lead our voyage. Our expedition ships boast an international team of professional naturalists and lecturers. Their goal is to provide an informed and balanced interpretation of the destination, accomplished through stimulating lectures, day-to-day briefings, and informal discussions. Your lecturers and Expedition Leader will cover all aspects of the voyage including ornithology, marine biology, geography, geology, history and the environment, as well as practical things like photography. The expedition staff work conscientiously with you on deck and in the field, improving your observational skills to allow you to experience all that the destination has to offer. Their strong sense of ethics and ecological knowledge make for stimulating and mindful conversation whether onshore or at the dinner table. The Expedition Staff will pilot the Zodiac landing craft used for shore landings and Zodiac cruises; they are experienced drivers who operate the Zodiacs in a responsible manner.

Group Size Notes

Max 134 aboard the MS Expedition.

Meals Included

All meals included aboard the MS Expedition. Breakfast included at the hotel.

Meals

Onboard our expedition ships you’ll find a diversity of gourmet international cuisines prepared and catered by professional chefs; all meals are included in the price of your expedition. Dining is casual, tables are unassigned and the dining room is capable of seating the entire passenger compliment at one time. There is always a selection of different meals available, and vegetarians will find plenty of options. Special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice, please advise us at time of confirmation. Coffee, tea and water are all provided free of charge. All other beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic are not included and can be purchased in the dining room, pub, or lounge.

Transport

MS Expedition, Zodiac, bus.

Local Flights

Local flights are not included in the price of this trip. Please make sure that you arrive into Ushuaia on Day 1. If you require assistance booking local flights please contact your G Adventures representative. From our experience we have found that there are regular delays in flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and we highly recommend you fly into Ushuaia at least 1 day prior to the sailing of the expedition ship.

Please note that internal flights in Argentina generally allow less luggage than international flights.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Twin-share hotel (1 nt), aboard the MS Expedition in quad-, triple-, twin-share cabins, or suites (all with en suite bathrooms and porthole or window) (12 nts). Please note that all cabins consist of twin-size berths and are ocean-facing. Suites have 1 queen-size bed.

Joining Hotel

Hotel Albatros
Av Maipu 505
Ushuaia
Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Tel: 02901 423206


****For the February 19, 2015 departure for this tour, due to lack of availability at Hotel Albatros, we will split the group into different hotels. You will be notified closer to departure (approximately 30 days prior) which hotel you will be using in Ushuaia. If you have requested pre nights, you will be staying at the same hotel your tour will begin at.

Joining Instructions

A NOTE ON FLYING INTO USHUAIA
From our experience we have found that there are significant delays especially in high season on flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. We highly recommend booking your travel arrangements to arrive into Ushuaia earlier in the day on Day 1. We are happy to book additional pre-tour accommodations should you want some additional time in Ushuaia.

All international flights flying into Buenos Aires arrive at Ministro Pistarini Airport (EZE) in Buenos Aires. Please check with your airline as to which airport your domestic flight will be flying out of.

Most flights that continue to Ushuaia depart from the domestic airport (J. Newberry - AEP). Please check with your airline to make sure which airport you are flying out of. On arrival at the International airport, there is an airport shuttle service, Manuel Tienda Leon, available at an approximate cost of USD $10.00 each way. It is about 30-40 minutes drive between the airports, so please allow yourself enough time.

Please also confirm the luggage restrictions for your flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia as domestic flights generally allow less luggage than international flights.

ARRIVAL INTO USHUAIA
G Adventures is happy to offer you a complimentary airport transfer if you are arriving on Day 1 of the tour or have booked pre-night accommodation through G Adventures.

Joining Instructions with complimentary transfer: 


Upon arrival into Ushuaia City Airport (USH) please collect your luggage and look for a G Adventures representative. Please make sure you have advised your booking agent of your arrival flight details into Ushuaia so we are expecting you. Be sure to keep all your important documents (i.e. passport) and medication in your hand luggage, as your main luggage will be transferred separately to the hotel.

Joining Instructions without complimentary transfer:

Ushuaia City Airport (USH) is located only 5 km outside of the city. Local taxis can be hired at the airport for transportation into Ushuaia at a cost of about $10 USD. On your arrival to Ushuaia please make your way to the hotel listed on your voucher. Information will be available on the notice board at the hotel. Luggage tags and other information will be available for you 1 day prior to embarkation.

Your luggage will be transferred for you from the hotel to the expedition ship on the morning of Day 2. Please have your luggage in the lobby of the hotel by 9:00 am on the morning of Day 2. You will have the morning free to enjoy the city of Ushuaia and the surrounding countryside.

Embarkation time is set for 4:00 pm and passengers will not be able to board the ship before that time due to refueling, provisioning, and preparing the ship for your stay. For information on activities, restaurants and services you can consult either the tourist information office or your hotel. Due to new port security regulations you are no longer allowed to enter the port area on your own so make sure you are on time at the designated parking lot across the pier to catch the 4:00 pm group transfer to the ship. More details will be provided with your hotel welcome letter.

On embarkation day, you should dress for changeable weather. Once aboard, you will find your luggage stored in your assigned cabin, please ensure that all your luggage is accounted for on arrival.

Should you run into any delays please contact the starting hotel about your late arrival.

**If you have purchased the Antarctic Pre/Post Cruise Add-On, your first night hotel in Buenos Aires will be the following:

Hotel Boca Juniors
D. Tacuari, 243
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tel: (+ 54 11) 5861 5010

Flight details for purchased Add-on:

Inbound December 20th
Flight #: AR1854
Depart AEP: 10:50
Arrive USH: 14:25

Outbound January 2nd
Flight #: AR1853
Depart USH: 14:25
Arrive EZE: 17:33


Inbound February 7th
Flight #: AR1854
Depart EZE: 10:50
Arrive USH: 14:25

Outbound February 20th
Flight #: AR1853
Depart USH: 14:05
Arrive EZE: 17:33


Inbound February 19th
Flight #: AR1854
Depart AEP: 10:50
Arrive USH: 14:25

Outbound March 4th
Flight #: AR1853
Depart USH: 14:05
Arrive EZE: 17:33

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to arrive into Ushuaia before embarkation time (usually 4pm) of Day 2 please use the emergency contact details in this dossier. We highly recommend arriving at least 1 day before sailing in order to make sure that delays do not ruin your trip as the ship is unable to wait for late passengers. If you are delayed in arriving to prebooked accommodations please contact the hotel to advise them when you will arrive. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your booking agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Operator (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

CONTACT NUMBERS

G Adventures Office Buenos Aires, Argentina
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
>From outside Argentina: +54 11 5252 3602
>From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 011 5252 3602

After hours Emergency number
>From outside Argentina: +54 9 11 3425 0380
>From within Argentina, but outside of Buenos Aires: 15 3425 0380

Finishing Point Instructions

Upon completion of the 8:00 am disembarkation in Ushuaia, passengers will receive a complimentary transfer to either the airport or a central location where luggage can be stored.

For those on morning flights, the 8:00 am transfer will bring them directly to Ushuaia airport (USH). The rest of the passengers will be transferred to the luggage storage point and given time to explore the city. These passengers should then return to retrieve their luggage and board a second transfer to Ushuaia airport at 12:30 pm or 4:30 pm, depending on their flight times. Please note that the transfer times are subject to change according to flight schedules.

With the understanding that most will be needing to connect to their International flights in Buenos Aires, you can arrange departure flights from Ushuaia starting form 09:45am onwards. Although if possible, we suggest you consider booking after 11:00am as this will provide additional time to connect.

What to Take

Most airlines allow one checked bag and two carry-on per person. To avoid any problems at check-in and with possible excess baggage charges, please consult the airline for specific restrictions. For storage on board the expedition ship soft compactible luggage makes storage much easier.

Dress on board is informal. Plan to bring comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. Bring wind and waterproof outer layers. Beware of tight clothing that leaves no room for trapped air, which is an excellent insulator. Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibers, like polar fleece, retain heat better than cotton. When packing, we suggest that you do not weigh yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical attire that can be worn in layers.

One of the important items that you will need to bring on your voyage is a a pair of waterproof pants. It is possible to rent gear in Ushuaia for the expedition, but the quantity and quality of gear varies greatly depending on the demand. For the location of a rental shop consult with the front desk of the hotel where you are staying. If arriving on embarkation day you will NOT have time to rent the gear. You will also not have time to return the rental gear if you have a morning flight departing Ushuaia.

In the worlds most remote destinations that the G Expedition travels to we cannot offload our plastics, glass or tin waste for recycling. Therefore, we try to reduce what single use items that we use. You will see on the ship that every effort is being used to stop the use of single use plastic containers, bags and other items. In an effort to prevent plastic waste for entering the waste stream, we are asking for your help. We offer exceptional drinking water on the ship with refilling stations for your re-useable water containers. So bring your favorite water bottle! Plastic Items such as single use shampoo/conditioner plastic containers cannot be recycled, so please plan to bring any plastics back to your home countries for recycling. Please do not bring single use items that you intend to leave behind such plastic bags and throw away razors. Your participating in helping to prevent pollution and promote recycling is greatly appreciated.

Checklist

GENERAL EXPEDITION CHECKLIST

ACCESSORIES:
Binoculars
Camera and Accessories
- Memory card
- Extra battery
- Something to protect your camera from water
Plug adaptor
- Onboard is 220AC electrical outlets with European 2 pin round holes as well as 110 volt shaving sockets for electric razors only
Sunglasses
Sunblock
At sea distractions
- Personal entertainment
- Laptop computer
- Books/games/movie
Water bottle

PERSONAL ITEMS:
Personal toiletries Note: All cabins are equipped with soap and shampoo as well as hair dryers
Personal medication, vitamins
If you are prone to seasickness please consult your doc and bring medication
- Homeopathic and natural options

DOCUMENTATION:
Money (cash/travelers checks)
Credit Card
Visas
Passport
Airline tickets
Travel insurance documents
Trip details information

ONBOARD CLOTHING:
Comfortable and informal clothing onboard
Non-slip footwear for wet decks

BOOTS FOR ZODIAC LANDINGS:
Complementary used waterproof boots will be supplied for the following sized:
- Men’s USA size 8-14
- Women’s USA size 3-9
Guest must bring their own if they are:
- Men’s USA size 7 or smaller
- Men’s USA size 15 or larger
- Women’s USA size 2 or smaller
- Women’s USA size 10 of larger
Rubber, waterproof boots that are just below your knees (12-16” high or 30-41cm) with a strong, ridged non-skid sole are essential for wet landings via Zodiac. You usually have to step from the Zodiac into water, which can be up to 1 ft or 30 cm high on most landings. Do not bring heavy, cumbersome boots that make it difficult to walk. Do not bring boots with metal cleats as they cannot be used for the landings. Try out your boots before your voyage.


TRIP SPECIFIC CHECKLIST

OUTDOOR CLOTHING:
The goal is to dress for many different temperatures and weather conditions. We recommend bringing clothing in layers as the weather can vary between warm and sunny to very cold and snowing.
Waterproof pants
Warm hat
Gloves
Scarf
Warm socks to be worn inside wellington boots
Fleece
Long underwear

OPTIONAL CLOTHING:
Ski goggle for wet Zodiac rides
Walking poles

Suggested Reading

ANTARCTICA
Suggested Reading List
There are several dozen books on Antarctica that could be recommended, books dealing with various explorers and expeditions, scientific studies, etc.
________________________________________
Amundsen, Roald. The South Pole. John Murray, 1912.

Antarctica: Great Stories from the Frozen North. Reader’s Digest, 1985. Natural history, explorers, atlas and other miscellaneous information.

Asimov, Isaac. The Ends of the Earth. Weybright and Talley, 1975. General narrative of the polar regions of the world.

Bond, Creina and Roy Siegfried. Antarctica: No Single Country, No Single Sea. Mayflower Books, 1979. Photos by Peter Johnson.

Byrd, Richard E. Alone. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1938.

Campbell, David. Crystal Desert. Houghton Mifflin, 1992.

Cherry-Garrard, Apsley. The Worst Journey in the World. Constable, 1922.

Chester, Jonathan. Antarctica: Beauty in the Extreme. Michael Friedman Publishing, 1991. Limited copies available from Mountain Travel-Sobek.

Fiennes, Ranulph. To the Ends of the Earth: the Transglobe Expedition. Arbor House, 1983.

Fuchs, Vivian and Edmund Hillary. The Crossing of Antarctica. Little, Brown, 1958. The Common wealth Trans-Antarctica Expedition 1955-1958.

Halle, Louis J. The Sea and the Ice: A Naturalist in Antarctica. Houghton Mifflin, 1973. Account of a journey on an icebreaker to Antarctica with an emphasis on bird observations.

Harrington, Richard. Richard Harrington’s Antarctic. Alaska Northwest Publishing Co., 1976.

Harrison, Peter. Seabirds. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1885.

Huntford, Roland. Scott and Amundsen. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1980. Story of the two great rival explorers.

Huntford, Roland. Shackleton. Fawcett Columbine, 1985.

Huxley, Elspeth. Scott of the Antarctic. Atheneum, 1978.

King, Judith E. Seals of the World. Cornell University Press, 1983.

Lansing, Alfred. Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. McGraw-Hill, 1959.

May, John. The Greenpeace Book of Antarctica. Doubleday, 1988.

Mear, Roger and Robert Swan. A Walk to the Pole: To the Heart of Antarctica in the Footsteps of Scott. Crown, 1987.

Moss, Sanford. Natural History of the Antarctic Peninsula. Columbia University Press, 1988.

Peterson, Roger Tory. Penguins. Houghton Mifflin, 1979.

Porter, Elliot. Antarctica. Dutton, 1978. Narration of his experiences on an NSF expedition to Antarctica; wonderful photographs.

Pyne, Stephen J. The Ice: A Journey to Antarctica. Ballantine, 1988. Geophysical examination of Antarctica and essays on the history and landscape of this continent.

Ralling, Christopher, ed. Shackleton. British Broadcasting Corp., 1983.

Ray, G. Carleton and M.G. McCormick-Ray. Wildlife of the Polar Regions. Harry N. Abrams, 1981.

Riedman, Marianne. The Pinnipeds: Seals, Sea Lions, and Walruses. University California Press.

Scott, Robert F. Scott’s Last Expedition. Dodd, Mead 1913. The personal journals of Captain R.F. Scott on his journey to the South Pole.

Shackleton, Ernest. South: The Story of Shackleton’s 1914-1917 Expedition. Heinemann, 1970.

Siple, Paul. 90 South. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1959.

Stonehouse, Bernard. Animals of the Antarctic: The Ecology of the Far South. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972.

Watson, George. Birds of the Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic. American Geophysical Union, 1975.

Watson, Lyall and Tom Ritchie. Sea Guide to Whales of the World. Hutchinson, 1981.

Worsley, F.A. Shackleton’s Boat Journey. W.W. Norton, 1977.


Others:
Safina, Carl. Eye of the Albatross / Song for the Blue Ocean

Herzel, David. Sailor on Ice: Tom Crean with Scott in the Antarctic 1910-1913
Also available in: Kindle and Nook
http://www.amazon.com/Sailor-Ice-Antarctic-1910-1913-ebook/dp/B00AEU1K6Y
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/245578

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. Aboard the M/S Expedition laundry facilities are provided at a nominal charge.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.

ARGENTINA'S "RECIPROCITY FEE":
Effective January 7, 2013 all US, Canadian and Australian citizens are required to pay a reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina. This reciprocity tax must be paid in advance online with a credit card. Cash at the border or airport is not accepted.

ONLINE PAYMENT FORM:
https://virtual.provinciapagos.com.ar/ArgentineTaxes/

INSTRUCTIONS:
http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/pdf_varios/reciprocidad/Online_payment_instructions.pdf

COSTS:
US citizens: 160USD, valid for 10 years
Australian citizens: 100USD, valid for 1 year
Canadian citizens: 75USD for one entry and re-entries from bordering countries within 3 months; OR 150USD for a multiple entry visa valid for 5 years.

Detailed Trip Notes

Experience Counts
Accompanying the voyage is our dedicated and experienced team of expedition staff, naturalists and lecturers who share with us their knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment to the environment. Our ship is manned by officers and crew, all highly experienced in ice navigation.

Environmental Policy
We are dedicated to minimizing the impact of our expedition on wildlife and sensitive natural habitats. We operate environmentally responsible cruise and expeditions and follow all internationally agreed regulations of conduct ashore. We are all privileged visitors – and committed to the future of these extraordinary, icy realms.

Safety First
Although expedition cruising is adventurous by nature, the safety of our passengers and staff is paramount. Our ship is equipped and maintained to cope with the most challenging conditions and is manned by experienced and conscientious officers, crew and expedition staff. The Zodiac landing craft used for shore landings are rugged and versatile and are operated by experienced drivers in a responsible manner. Onboard you will be fully briefed on safety issues and our environmental policy and you will receive appropriate and detailed briefings before every landing.

Expedition Staff and Lecturers
A carefully chosen team will lead our voyage. They are chosen not only for their local knowledge and wealth of experience but also for their great love of the Antarctic. With formal lectures, as well as informal briefings and discussions, your lecturers and Expedition Leader will cover all aspects of the voyage including ornithology, marine biology, geography, geology, history and the environment, as well as practical things like photography.

Tips for Travellers
We are all privileged visitors to these extraordinary, icy realms. As a traveller, it is your responsibility to help ensure your impact on Antarctica’s flora and fauna is minimal. The following are excerpts from the GUIDANCE FOR VISITORS TO THE ANTARCTIC:

Respect wildlife
Do not feed, touch, or handle birds or seals, or approach or photograph them in ways that cause them to alter their behavior. Special care is needed when animals are breeding or molting. Keep a minimum distance of 5 meters (15 feet) from all wildlife.

Respect vegetation
Do not damage plants, by walking or landing on extensive moss beds or lichen-covered scree slopes. They are fragile and take generations to grow.


Respect the environment
Do not collect or take away biological or geological specimens or artifacts as souvenirs, and do not dispose of litter or garbage on land.

Take photos with care
Keep low as you will appear less threatening to animals and it will also yield better photographs. Do not try to make an animal react for a photograph. If an animal’s behavior changes you are too close.

Stay Safe
Take note of, and act on, the advice and instructions from your leaders, and do not stray from your group.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

Before and after the cruise, credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work overseas. Check with your bank. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollars cash and credit cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

While on board our Expedition ship, cash and most major credit cards (VISA, Mastercard and AMEX) are accepted to clear incidental bills at the end of the cruise by the ship's Purser (ie. bar bills, laundry etc.).

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

USD $5.00 from Ushuaia
USD $18.00 from Buenos Aires

Tipping

Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. It is an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your expedition. The industry standard and suggested amount is USD $10 - 15 per person per day spent on board. Of course, tipping is a personal choice and the suggested amount is set only as a guideline. The money is collected by the Hotel Manager at the end of the voyage and distributed amongst the crew and Expedition Staff. The Officers choose not to participate in the tipping pool.

Optional Activities

All prices are per person in US dollar amounts.

USHUAIA (activities require additional time in Ushuaia):

Estancía Harberton $90 USD
Horseback riding $50-70 USD
Ski lift $15 USD
Bus to Park Entrance (Tierra del Fuego Nat’l Park) 15 USD
Ushuaia – visit to seal or penguin colonies $50 USD

Health

Please consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We require all passengers traveling to Antarctica to complete and submit our medical questionnaire. The questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/online_medical_form


Passengers with preexisting medical conditions are required to submit a medical form signed by a physician to their booking agent. It is very important that we are advised of any special meal requirements, food allergies, or prescribed medication when you confirm your tour. The ship is equipped with a small infirmary with typically required medications and limited equipment. The ship's doctor is available for visits during the day and is available 24 hours per day for emergencies.

In case of an emergency, please also bring with you a signed and dated letter from your physician (to be given to our doctor on board, as well as for any medical authorities) stating any health problems and dosage requirements. International health regulations do not currently require any inoculations for the countries that you will visit on our voyage. We suggest that you confer with your own physician to be sure your routine immunizations, such as tetanus, diphtheria and hepatitis A, are up-to-date before traveling. Older travelers, in particular, may wish to consider preventive measures against influenza and pneumonia.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

We recommend that you wear minimal jewelry and that you keep valuable items safely stored in our complimentary safety deposit box, which is located at the Purser's Desk.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Trip Specific Responsible Travel

OUR COMMITMENT TO RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL IN ANTARCTICA

As a leader in Sustainable Tourism, we are committed to ensuring that all of our marine expeditions operate in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. All expeditions aboard the expedition ship meet and exceed all environmental regulations and protocols in the regions that we visit.

The International Association of Antarctic Operators (IAATO)
G Adventures holds Full Membership Status with IAATO, an organization that advocates, promotes and ensures safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic. All operations aboard our ship adhere to IAATO’s strict rules, regulations and guidelines for operating in Antarctica. For more information visit www.iaato.org

Staff & Crew:
Our crew and expedition team act as stewards of the environment and are well versed in the strict environmental protocols on board and on land. All of our travellers are thoroughly briefed in these protocols before being allowed to participate in excursions and are always supervised by our team when on shore.


4-Stroke Outboard Engines:
In an effort to drastically reduce environmental pollutants 4-stroke outboard engines have been installed on all of our zodiacs. Our 4-stroke outboard motors use less fuel and produce less noise pollution than 2-stroke engines. Since there is no mixing of oil and gas the exhaust is intrinsically much cleaner and friendlier to the environment.

Planeterra Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports local community projects and international charities around the world.

Sea Chart Auction:
At the end of each Antarctica departure, the Captain’s Sea Chart is auctioned and all proceeds are donated to international organizations through Planeterra.

Our end goal is to minimize the potential negative impact of tourism in the areas we operate while maximizing the positive impact of instilling a widened understanding and appreciation of these regions. During our voyages, we ask all our passengers that they see their visit to these areas as a privilege and that they share their newfound knowledge and experiences with others when they return home. We also hope that by bringing people to these regions that they continue to act as ambassadors and stewards of these areas.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

Planeterra Foundation, G Adventures' non-profit, is working with our Marine Team to support an Ocean's Health Fund. Our mission is to help support education, research, and take action in the global clean-up and protection of our planets's oceans by restoring natural habitats and supporting projects that eliminate waste such as plastic from our waterways.

Through our partners, we are raising funds to restore habitat preservation in Antarctica. We are working to eradicate the invasive rat population on the island of South Georgia. South Georgia is known for its rich diversity of wildlife and is home to over 100 million breeding birds, including the albatross. Through the introduction of Norway rats brought over by whaling and sealing vessels, severe damage to the island's ecosystem has deteriorated the habitat of hundred of thousands of these birds. We are working to eradicate the rat population on this island, supporting helicopter baiting techniques that has so far cleared the most populated 12,800 hectares, and the area of the island most inhabited for bird breeding. Through your donations, we have started Phase 2 which will clear 1,000 square kilometres and return the island to it's native form.

Working with research scientists,we are also raising funds to support an oceans cleanup program in the Pacific Gyre. Using sailing vessels to remove pollution directly from the ocean and to conduct research on fish and marine organisms we hope to help restore the oceans environments we love to explore.

For more information on these projects and/or to make a donation please visit our website at www.planeterra.org or contact us at info@planeterra.org

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Keeping in Touch on the M/S Expedition

Internet and phone onboard the M/S Expedition

The Expedition receives internet reception in Antarctica, but is sporadic in the Arctic. There is wifi in the public areas on Deck 4 & 5, and in the Deck 4 cabins (Categories 4 and 5). Passengers can bring their own laptop, sign out one of the 2 iPads on board, or use one of the 2 desktops. Your Cell Phone, for calling, will not work in Antarctica.

Internet
Onboard the M/S Expedition we use a BGAN satellite system for internet and phone, which allows passengers to surf the web and make international calls while on their voyage. Please remember that internet speeds are NOT like the speeds you have at home. We operate with a satellite so speeds can be similar to dialup. To log-on, passengers purchase an internet voucher from the Reception Desk. Once you have the internet voucher, web surfers can log-on through our internet café or with their own wireless laptop. A wireless laptop can pick up a signal anywhere in the public areas on Deck 4, Reception, Discovery Lounge, Library, and Deck 5, Polar Bear Bar.
Charges are based on the megabyte downloaded. An amount of 10 megabyte of data would be the equivalent of 5 to 10 web pages. A very graphics intensive web page might be as high as 2-3 megabytes. For example, if a web surfer were to do a Hotmail session of e-mailing, it might generate 3 megabytes in total.

Internet Packages & Prices:

10MB $20.00
30MB $50.00
100MB $130.00

E-mail:
Passengers may take the opportunity to set up an onboard e-mail account. This will be of interest to those who need to stay in touch, but are not interested in surfing the web. Passengers will have their own unique email account including email address, username and password. E-mail accounts may be accessed either through our public computers in the Internet Room, or passenger may access their account through their wireless laptop in the common areas of Deck 4 and 5, in the Polar Bear Bar. $35.00 includes set up and use of the account for the entire trip and unlimited messages. Messages over 200KB in size will be charged at a rate of .03 cents per KB exceeded.

Telephone
On board we have a telephone room on Deck 4, where calls can be made in private to any destination in the world. Telephone cards are available at reception.
Prices will change each year.
Satellite: $22.00 phone cards are available at reception, roughly 25 to 30 minute per phone card.


Fun tip
Tell your friends and family to Tweet at @G_MSExpedition and hash tag #MSExpedition while your onboard. We'll posts these for your to see!