The following is to serve as a helpful guideline on our Antarctic Peninsula Basecamp Voyages. Please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!
CHOOSING A PROVIDER
How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since.
A few outfitters ‘claim’ to have the same level of experience and prestige with that of Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you a first choice for your expeditioners travelling to Antarctica?
In December of 1992, Adventure Consultants founders Rob Hall and Gary Ball ran their first commercial expedition to Antarctica in conjunction with ANI. Previous to this, Rob and Gary climbed Vinson Massif in 1990, and Rob earlier in 1989. Adventure Consultants has continued guiding since to this remote part of the world, and have an established relationship with ALE. The 2015/16 season will mark Adventure Consultants' twenty second year of expeditions to Vinson Massif, highlighting our expertise in all of the incatricities of travelling to Antarctica.
FOOD, ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES
What showers and laundry facilities will be available on the expedition?
All cabins on the Plancius and Ortelius are equipped with a private shower and toilet. A limited laundry service is also available on board.
Would you let us know what food will be available?
All meals will be announced on the ship. Normally breakfast starts at 07:30, lunch at 12:30 and dinner at 19:00. Please inform us if you have any dietary requirements, so our chefs can prepare something special for you.
What is the food like?
An international menu is served on board with meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian options available, as well as salads and fruit. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style, whereas dinners are generally seated. Occasionally we will enjoy a barbecue on the outer deck!
What are the hotels like?
Although accommodation in Ushuaia is not included in the expedition price, we can recommend several mid-range hotels and book these on your behalf.
Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts?
Please arrange to arrive on or before Day 1 of the itinerary to allow time for last minute details and for any delayed baggage to arrive before we set sail in the afternoon.
When should I book my ticket?
We generally ask you to wait until 120 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights then ensure you can make changes to your tickets and it is a good idea to purchase trip cancellation insurance, in the event that you need to cancel.
Can I get a cheap ticket online?
We highly recommend purchasing an open, fully changeable air ticket given the remote nature of where we are, the weather and possible delays. In today’s world there are few places where the environment still affects our plans and the Antarctica Peninsula one of them!
Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
Please plan to fly in to Malvinas International Airport (USH) in Ushuaia. It is most likely that you will have to clear customs prior at either Santiago or Buenos Aires airport. Transfers between the airport, hotel and harbour can be booked on request by your client liaison.
What if I am arriving early or departing late?
We can assist you with booking extra hotel room nights if you arrive early. However, on these trips YOU ARE NOT ABLE TO ARRIVE LATE, as we have to adhere to the ship's timetable and departure date.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
Yes, you will be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit. We do also have a dedicated equipment coordinator that is happy to provide advice and answers to any questions you may have.
Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared and you must bring everything on the list, as there are very limited options if additional equipment needs to be purchased in your departure cities.
How cold will it be?
In the Antarctic Peninsula Region we normally encounter temperatures around freezing during the summer months, however wind chill factor can make it seem much colder in even a light breeze.
GUIDES, STAFF & EXPEDITION TEAM MEMBERS
How many guides will be assigned to our group?
Activity groups sizes vary: for mountaineering the maximum group size is limited to 12 with 6 mountaineers per rope party; camping has a minimum of 8 and maximum of 30 campers per night; photography outings are limited to 20 participants; kayaking has a minimum of 4 and maximum of 14 kayakers.
How many passengers will be on board? Will I have to share a cabin?
Both vessels can accommodate up to 116 passengers in simple but comfortable quadruple, triple or twin cabins with attached bathrooms, with deluxe and superior options available. A single supplement is available at 1.7x the twin or superior cabin rates, otherwise single travellers will be paired with another traveller(s) in twin, triple or quadruple cabins at no additional cost).
HEALTH & FITNESS
What kind of physical condition should I be in for the expedition?
You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. Depending on the activities chosen a higher degree of fitness may be necessary.
What are the skills/prior experience required for this expedition?
Apart from a moderate level of fitness, no special skills are necessary for the core activity programme of guided shore excursions, walks and wildlife spotting and zodiac cruises. Snowshoeing, camping and the photo workshops are suited for all passengers who are outdoor activity minded; kayaking is best suited for participants with paddling ability; mountaineering requires good physical condition and is only suited for participants who are regular and strong walkersdiving participants must be advanced and experienced in dry suit and cold water diving.
What type of communication is available on the expedition?
There are facilities onboard to send email messages and make telephone calls by Iridium satellite connection. From the bridge calls are € 2.50 per minute or from your cabin € 20 for approximately 40 minutes. Pre-paid Wi-Fi access cards are available for purchase, or you can create a shipboard email account for basic email access only (no attachments).
I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
You can contact your loved ones directly by email as above. In an emergency you can reach the ship by satellite phone or email with costs paid by the receiver.
Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc available throughout the expedition? What voltage requirements?
Yes, the power supply is 240V / 50Hz. The wall plugs accommodate two thick round pins like those found in most European countries. You may need a transformer and international adapter for your particular equipment.
What insurance do we need to get?
In addition to evacuation & medical insurance we recommend to all our expedition members to buy trip cancellation insurance on sign up for your expedition. It is also highly recommend purchasing a Comprehensive Travel Insurance policy to provide cover for trip interruption, baggage loss, damage or theft, delayed flights or other such incidents that may occur during your trip. Contact us for expedition insurance advice.
Do I need evacuation insurance?
Absolutely! Evacuation from the Peninsula can cost be costly and you need to be insured accordingly to a minimum of US$100,000, as well as having coverage for repatriation and travel medical expenses.
Who do you recommend for insurance?
You will be sent information specific to your expedition as part of your welcome package and requirements differ depending on where you are travelling and your home location, so be sure to discuss cover with your Client Liaison before purchasing a policy.
What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all expeditions. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (e.g. minimum numbers are not reached) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.
FEES & PAYMENTS
Can I pay by credit card?
We can accept the trip deposit and balance payments on credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex), plus a 3% credit card transaction fee. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card online payment page.
What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents whom we have worked with in your country, should you require help with arranging your international airfare.
Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline!! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are; Internationally qualified Western Guides, proven dependable local operators, small groups sizes and safe client:guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘cheaper’ trips.
How do I sign up for a trip?
The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our office or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a bank transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card payment page. Phone our New Zealand head office on +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.
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