South Shetland Islands

The South Shetland Islands are a long chain of islands that are primarily mountainous and more than 80% glaciated. The islands are home to marine mammals including species of crabeater seal, leopard seal, humpback whale, and the southern right whale, as the Southern Ocean contains the greatest quantity of animal protein on earth.

Deception Island

Deception Island is an active volcano in the South Shetland Islands, off the Antarctica Peninsula. Its unique landscape comprises barren volcanic slopes, steaming beaches and ash-layered glaciers. Deception Island was an old whaler’s station and giant rusting barrels used to boil whale fat and decaying whale bones is all that is left today.

South Georgia

South Georgia is breathtakingly beautiful and not easily forgotten. Huge glaciers, ice caps and snow fields cover around 75% of the island in its summer, while in winter the snow blanket stretches down to the coast. South Georgia is surrounded by many offshore rocks and small islands that provide homes for breeding birds and mammals.

Lemaire Channel

Lemaire Channel is one of Antarctica’s most popular destinations, found between rocky Booth Island and the mountainous western coast of the Antarctica Peninsula. The Lemaire Channel is a spectacular sight with enormous sheer cliffs falling straight into the sea. Orcas and humpback whales often accompany ships as they make their way through some of the most spectacular scenery on earth.

Useful information

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Antarctica is the coldest and the windiest continent in the world. There are three climatic regions in Antarctica:

- The interior of the continent: This is the extremely cold area of Antarctica.
- The coastal areas: These areas have milder temperatures and much higher precipitation rates.
- The Antarctica Peninsula: This is the region which has a warmer and wetter climate; above freezing temperatures are common in the summer months.

If you travel to the Antarctic Peninsula during January, which is summertime, you can expect an average temperature of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (33.8 to 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit). June is the coldest part of the year, and the temperature range is typically -20 to -15 degrees Celsius (-4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit) during this part of the winter.


There are facilities on board most expedition ships to send emails and make calls via satellite connection. All costs for internet, email, or the use of the onboard cellular network (if available) are at your own expense.


Electricity outlets vary on each expedition ship. This information will be confirmed by the expedition ship in your final documentation; however it is advisable to bring with you the necessary converters and adapters.

Getting to your Antarctica gateway

Depending on your cruise itinerary, your Antarctic gateway will be Punta Arenas, Chile or Ushuaia, Argentina.
Several national and international airlines fly daily to Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benítez international airport. Two national airlines connect the capital of Chile and Punta Arenas with several daily flights. The distance between Santiago and Punta Arenas is about 3,000 km and a direct flight takes about 3 and half hours. The main Chilean airline is LATAM.

Several national and international airlines fly daily to Buenos Aires’ international airport, Ezeiza. Connections to Ushuaia are available from Ezeiza airport as well as Aeroparque domestic airport. The distance between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia is about 3,190 km and a direct flight takes about 3 hours and 40 minutes. The main Argentinean airline is Aerolineas Argentinas.

Suggested packing list

The average temperature in the Antarctic Peninsula area during the austral summer is about 0°C (32°F), although sometimes it may feel lower because of the wind chill factor. For this reason, it is best to wear several layers of light, loose and warm clothing.
The expedition ship will provide a suggested packing list with your final documentation; however this is a preliminary packing list.

Parka (usually provided by the expedition ship). You should look for a lightweight, wind and weather-resistant shell with insulation. Bright colours are more visible, and safer in polar environments. Traditionally, Polar travellers wear red.
Warm trousers. Ski pants are suitable if you have them. Otherwise, bring any sturdy trousers that can be layered between your long underwear and rain over-trousers.
Waterproof pants (trousers). This is probably the most important clothing you can pack for a trip. А pair of water-resistant rain-pants made of coated nylon are essential. These are worn like shell for your legs. Look for Gore-Tex and other synthetic fabrics that are waterproof and breathable. These materials keep out wind and water without trapping excess heat. Due to environmental reasons, it is strongly recommended to bring waterproof trousers with no Velcro at the ankle and backpacks with no mesh.
Thermal underwear. You should select medium to thick thermal underwear, long sleeve thermal top, trousers and socks. Most people prefer a lightweight version — but this depends on your personal thermostat. Polypropylene fibres are warmer when damp or wet, than silk or wool, although the CSIRO has recently developed a fine wool product called Sportwool.
Sweaters or polar fleece jacket. Wool sweaters or a polar fleece jacket of medium weight are recommended.
Mittens and under-gloves. Keeping your hands warm and dry is an important challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves should be worn underneath warm mittens so you can take off your mittens to operate your camera and maintain some level of protection against the cold. These should be loose enough to permit good blood circulation. It’s a good idea to bring an extra pair of wool mittens to wear if your other pair gets wet or lost.
Woollen cap or fleece cap. A warm cap to protect your ears.
Scarf. A warm scarf can help you to protect your neck.

Turtlenecks or t-shirts. Bring several practical turtlenecks or t-shirts for layering and use around the ship.
Ship Attire. Casual attire (expedition style) is the most appropriate apparel for the voyage. Clothing should be comfortable and informal, including shoes. There is no requirement to dress formally for any meals.  It is recommended to have a fleece and a parka in hand during the day. Cruise wear should be lightweight and easy to care for.
Slightly dressier attire, such as sports jacket or blazer and collared shirt for men, and equivalent for women, is appropriate for the Captain’s dinner.

Backpack. A waterproof nylon backpack, rucksack, or similar bag for carrying your camera and other gear. Make sure your primary shore-landing bag has shoulder straps so that your hands are free, when boarding the Zodiac. It is very important that you have some way to keep your camera dry, particularly while you are on the Zodiacs.
The use of Zip lock plastic bags to keep cameras and electronic equipment dry is discouraged for environmental reasons and is prohibited while ashore on South Georgia. Invest in a waterproof camera bag or rucksack for your valuables when going ashore.
Sunglasses. High quality sunglasses with U.V. filter is recommended even on cloudy days, as the U.V. reflects powerfully, even when you don’t expect it. We do not require glacier glasses; your normal sunglasses will suffice, but polarized sunglasses are most effective. Tinted ski/snowboard goggles are also be useful if conditions are windy, snowy, etc.
Sunblock lotion. Protective sunblock lotion for your lips, hands and face. The reflected glare from water, snow and ice can be intense and will burn the skin of passengers in certain conditions. In any regard, it is highly recommended.
Camera, battery charger. It is advisable to take with you a good supply of memory cards and spare batteries since cold temperatures can reduce their life span.
Extra pair of prescription glasses. Extra pair of prescription glasses.
Bathing suit. For hotels, aboard some ships and (just maybe) a polar plunge.
Medicines. Prescription medicines and other remedies such as seasickness medication. Be prepared for rough water — also, please bring a signed and dated letter from your physician stating any health problems and dosage of medications, for emergency use.
Binoculars. A pair of binoculars for spotting whales and seabirds from deck is highly recommended.


Please consult a medical practitioner for your specific risk to these preventable diseases and the appropriate avoidance measures. Guest travelling to Antarctica should also ensure that they have adequate travel insurance, including medical evacuation coverage, for the length of their voyage. 


It is best to come prepared before departing for your Antarctic cruise, however if you have forgotten anything or need some extra gear for your trip into the cold, there are a few hiking and outdoor gear shops that you can explore in both Ushuaia and Punta Arenas town. You can also find several souvenir shops in town where you can pick up something to remember your trip to Antarctica.


Gratuities can be made in cash and vessels allow you to charge gratuities to your on-board account and are always at your discretion. It is recommended that you budget 15-20 USD per person, per day. Gratuities are collected anonymously at the end of each voyage and are distributed among staff and crew at that time.

Travel restrictions

The Travel Corporation has partnered with the company Sherpa to provide travellers with the latest government and health restrictions. Simply enter the country you want to travel to for information on safety regulations, border closures, quarantine requirements, your travel visa, and more using the Sherpa travel tool.

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