Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands
30th Anniversary Signature Voyage
Before You Go
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances, unaided, over rough terrain (rocky, uneven beaches in the sub-Antarctic islands, and occasional ice and snow on the Antarctic Peninsula). Temperatures will range from 45º – 55ºF in the Falklands and South Georgia and may get as cold as 30º – 40ºF on the Antarctic Peninsula itself.
Please pay close attention to the following sections: Passport and Visa Requirements, Health Information, and Baggage Allowance.
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. The majority of Zodiac landings will be wet landings, and at times you may be required to walk ashore from ocean depths up to two feet. You must be able to walk moderate distances, unaided, and sometimes uphill, over rough terrain (rocky, uneven beaches on the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, and ice and snow on the Antarctic Peninsula).
IMPORTANT: Any major health problem, disability, or physical condition that may require emergency care must be brought to our attention prior to the trip’s departure.
Arrivals & Departures
Departure / Airport Check-In Procedures
Please arrive at the airport for your international flight three hours prior to departure and have access to your passport and airline E-ticket confirmation. Do not pack your passport or other travel documents in your checked luggage. Be certain that the check-in agent properly tags your bags through to your final destination, if allowed, and that you have all baggage and E-ticket receipts.
Arrival / Departure Transfers
Upon arrival to Ushuaia, transfers and assistance between the Ushuaia airport and our group hotel, Arakur Resort & Spa, have been arranged for everyone on this expedition.
IMPORTANT TRANFSER INFORMATION
Arrivals: The Ushuaia airport (USH) is a domestic airport in Argentina. Some inbound flights route as arrivals to the larger Buenos Aires airport, Ministro Pistarini International Airport, Ezeiza (EZE) and connect through the smaller Buenos Aires airport, Aeroparque Internacional Jorge Newbery (AEP), which is approximately 45min away. Zegrahm Expeditions will provide a shuttle transfer between the EZE and AEP airports for all guests making a direct connection in Buenos Aires and who are also staying at the Arakur Resort & Spa group hotel in Ushuaia, regardless of arrival day.
Departures: Guests will be transferred from the ship to the Ushuaia airport upon disembarkation. Transfers between airports EZE/AEP in Buenos Aires for the return flight will only be provided for guests departing on our group travel date.
If you are booking your own flights or accommodations, please forward a copy of your itinerary to Zegrahm Expeditions as well as contact information where you can be reached prior to and after the program. It is essential that we receive your flight details.
Airlines change flight times frequently and our air department will send you any updates for flights booked through Zegrahm as they are received from the carrier. Still, we recommend reconfirming the departure time of your flights with the airline directly within 24 hours of departure. This can be done easily online and will ensure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to board your flight.
IMPORTANT: Baggage restrictions for your international flights to and from Ushuaia vary per carrier, please check for luggage weight restrictions with your airline provider before departure or our air department if you are booking your international air arrangements through Zegrahm.
Extra weight can be purchased directly from the airline at airport check-in on the day of departure. However, if you purchase an international through fare with Delta, you are allowed their standard international luggage requirements
We recommend the use of soft-sided luggage, as it is easier to store. Your carry-on bag should include anything you may need in transit. We recommend you carry on essential toiletries, prescription medications, and a change of clothing appropriate for the initial activities of our itinerary in the unlikely event your baggage is delayed or is slow to be delivered to your room upon arrival.
It will be summer in the Southern Hemisphere at the time of this expedition. Though typically mild during this time of year, the weather in Ushuaia varies and you may experience sunshine, high winds, and rain showers all in the same day. The Scotia Sea around South Georgia and the Falkland Islands is quite cold, resulting in a cool, windy climate during the summer months. You should also expect a cold, windy climate in Antarctica; though low humidity and sunny days can make the day feel warm, temperatures will still be below freezing. Be prepared for wet weather during our voyage as well.
The following are average high/low temperatures in January for selected locations on our itinerary:
|Ushuaia, Argentina||55ºF (13ºC)||41ºF (5ºC)|
|Falkland Islands||55ºF (13ºC)||47ºF (8ºC)|
|South Georgia||46ºF (7ºC)||39ºF (4ºC)|
|Antarctic Peninsula||37ºF (3ºC)||31º F (-0.5ºC)|
The British pound is the standard currency on board the Island Sky. Your voyage includes most necessities; therefore, we strongly recommend that you carry most of your spending money in smaller denominations. Most credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted for payment of shipboard accounts.
The currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso (ARS); the Falkland Island Pound (FKP) is the unit of currency in the Falkland Islands, and its exchange rate is on par with the British Pound, also in circulation in the Falklands.
As of August 2019, the exchange rates are as follows:
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||0.82 British Pounds (GBP)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||45.45 Argentine Peso (ARS)|
|$1 U.S. dollar (USD)||0.82 Falkland Island Pounds (FKP)|
ATMs are a good option for obtaining local currency, especially in Ushuaia, if you have a Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card. Please have some cash available as a back-up; make sure bills are crisp, new, and without rips or holes. Also, ensure you have a four-digit PIN (Personal Identification Number) for your debit or credit card if you wish to obtain currency at ATMs.
As a reminder, itinerary related expenses have been included in the price of your trip. Therefore, we recommend that you carry most of your money in smaller denominations.
Your pre-departure information is sent approximately five months prior to departure and includes a complete packing list and gear certificate. Final documents, including a final itinerary contact list and staff biography, will be sent approximately one month prior to departure.
The electrical currents are as follows:
Island Sky: 110/60Hz with electrical outlet types A & B (American-style outlets)
Argentina: 220/50Hz with electrical outlet type I
PLEASE NOTE: Most modern electronics (cell phones, computers, and tablets) are dual voltage. Some appliances, such as video camera battery packs, will require a heavy-duty converter rather than the normal travel type. Please check your equipment to be sure you bring what is necessary for your personal needs.
International flights are not included in the cost of expedition; however, Zegrahm has a fully-staffed air department that can assist you with flight arrangements. You will need to purchase airfare from your home city/Ushuaia and Ushuaia/home city. For more detailed information, please contact our in-house air department for fare quotes, reservations, or other air-related questions.
At this time, no inoculations or prophylaxes are required in conjunction with this expedition. However, it is strongly suggested that you have an up-to-date flu shot, hepatitis A vaccination, tetanus, and diphtheria inoculations. People who travel frequently to international destinations should also consider vaccinations or boosters against meningitis, typhoid, measles, and polio. Please check with your doctor or local travel clinic to determine what is right for you. Obtain inoculations at least four to six weeks before departure for shots to take effect.
Be sure to bring a sufficient amount of your personal medications, as pharmacies are not found in the remote areas of this expedition.
The Southern Ocean, and specifically the Drake Passage, are notorious for rough seas. If you are prone to motion-sickness, consult with your physician to determine the best remedy. The ship’s doctor on board will have sea-sickness medicine, but it is best to bring your own as well.
Protect yourself against dehydration by drinking plenty of fluids whenever you can, not just when you are thirsty. This can prevent a range of medical problems associated with traveling. We will be outdoors for long periods of time, so take precautions to avoid overexposure to the sun. Bring a sun hat with a wide brim or scarf, polarized sunglasses, and a high-SPF sunscreen.
In case of serious injury or illness while traveling, it is important to understand that satisfactory medical facilities may not exist nearby. Should you require emergency medical care, it may be necessary to depart the country by international medical evacuation services. The cost of our expedition includes $100,000 of emergency evacuation cover and $25,000 cover for medical expenses. If you would like request more information about this policy, please contact our office at 206.285.4000, or you can review the pamphlet given in your final documents package.
The information herein is a guideline and is subject to change without notice. Contact your physician or local health center for current and other information concerning health precautions, immunizations, and prescriptions based on your physical condition and medical history.
Internet & Phone
Your final documentation will include contact information for our group hotel. Wi-Fi access is available on board free of charge. There are also computers on board with Internet access. However, please note that Wi-Fi and Internet access are intermittent at best due to the remote nature of this expedition.
Following are local times that apply to this expedition when it is 7:00am on the North American west coast:
|7:00 a.m.||Seattle, WA (PST)|
|10:00 a.m.||New York, NY (EST)|
|12:00 p.m.||Argentina (ART) & the Falkland Islands (FKST)|
|1:00 p.m.||South Georgia (GST)|
The main restaurant can accommodate all guests at one seating, and breakfast is served in the restaurant with a la carte and buffet options. Afternoon tea and hors d’oeuvres are served in the lounge; coffee and tea are available in the club.
Should you have any particular dietary needs, or life-threatening allergies, please let us know on your Personal Information Form, and we will do our best to prepare for them. Unfortunately, kosher meals cannot be accommodated.
It is essential to maximize the versatility of your travel wardrobe by packing clothing that can be layered. Wash-and-wear, lightweight fabrics are recommended. As you pack, consider your own internal thermostat and adjust accordingly.
Laundry services (no dry cleaning) is available and by using it, you can limit yourself to fewer outfits and not be inconvenienced by an overabundance of clothing.
Redeem your complimentary parka from our partner, New Headings. Refer to your packing list for instructions. Please note that this complimentary parka will be in lieu of receiving a gear credit for this expedition.
Clothing on Board
The ship is air-conditioned and heated throughout, with individual controls in each cabin. Comfortable and casual clothing, in the expedition spirit, is recommended. Normally, there are two shipboard occasions when you may wish to wear slightly more formal attire: the captain’s welcome aboard and farewell cocktail parties, followed by dinner. On these two occasions, business casual is an appropriate level of dress, though not required. The degree of dress is in accordance with one’s personal preference.
Throughout our itinerary, warm, waterproof clothing will be needed for shore excursions, as temperatures may be at freezing or below in some places. Bring a few pairs of pants, comfortable shirts, at least one pullover or sweater, and long underwear. Lightweight, long-sleeved shirts, long pants (no denim), and turtlenecks or sweaters that can be layered on top will add warmth.
Air is a very good insulator. It is better to trap air in several layers of light, loose clothing than in one or two heavy layers. Wool, silk, polar fleece, and other synthetic fabrics are much more effective in trapping air than cotton. When damp or wet, polyester down is a better insulator than goose or duck down.
Waterproof, knee-high boots are essential for wet landings, as you will be stepping from the Zodiac onto the shore in wet or surf conditions. If your feet get wet, they will lose heat rapidly, so your boots need to be waterproof. Muck Boot brand, Arctic Sport model are HIGHLY recommended. Do not bring “moon boots,” “Neos” brand, or leather boots. Once ashore, excursions can involve a fair amount of walking and hiking over uneven terrain and on trails where paths may be damp or icy. Where conditions warrant, your Expedition Leader will advise when walking or hiking shoes are to be used. Make sure your hiking shoes or boots are sturdy and well broken-in with non-skid soles.
Please Note: A limited number of waterproof, knee-high “Bog” brand boots will be available on board the Island Sky. However, we recommend you bring your own boots for best comfort and fit and in the event your shoe size is not available.
Regulations prohibit any Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or drone of any kind on South Georgia and in Antarctica.
Passport & Visa Information
A valid passport is required for participation in this program. It must be valid for at least six (6) months after you return home, through July 25, 2020. If you do not have a passport, or if it is not valid for the correct length of time, you should apply for one as soon as possible. You need to have a minimum of one blank page available per country for entry/exit stamps in your passport.
Visas are not required of U.S. nationals for entry into Great Britain (South Georgia and the Falkland Islands), or Argentina if traveling per the group arrangements of the expedition.
If you are traveling independently of the group or to any other countries prior to or after the voyage, check the entry and visa requirements with the local consulates of each country you plan on visiting.
PLEASE NOTE: Citizens of countries other than the U.S. should check with the nearest consulates for specific visa and entry requirements for their entire itinerary, including both the group arrangements and any travel prior to or after the program.
Payments & Cancellations
A deposit totaling 25% of the expedition fare will reserve a place for you on this Zegrahm program. The balance of the expedition fare is due 120 days prior to departure. Air fare is due at the time tickets are issued. All prices are quoted in US dollars and must be paid in US dollars.
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Notification of cancellation must be received in writing by Zegrahm. At the time we receive your written cancellation, the following penalties will apply:
- 180 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
- 120 through 179 days prior to departure: 25% of expedition fare
- 1 through 119 days prior to departure: 100% of expedition fare
Please note, fees associated with cancelled airline tickets are in addition to this and will be clearly outlined for you on your flight itinerary.
Trip Cancellation & Interruption Insurance
We strongly advise that all travelers purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance to protect themselves from an unforeseen emergency that may force you to cancel or leave an expedition while it is in progress. Information describing coverage will be sent to you upon receipt of your deposit for the expedition. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer insurance to guests residing outside the United States.
With Our Compliments
We are pleased to offer complimentary amenities to our explorers so they can be fully prepared before departing on one of our expeditions. On this expedition, we are pleased to offer a complimentary parka. Visit our Zegrahm Gear Shop to order your complimentary parka. Please refer to your packing list for more information.