The following is to serve as a helpful guideline on our Antarctic Peninsula Private Yacht Based Expeditions. 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?
Showers are available at the Ushuaia hotel prior to and after the expedition/s, and once aboard the yacht, she has a couple of bathrooms. As this is a small vessel, please do not expect to shower everyday.
Would you let us know what food will be available?
Food is one of the most crucial factors for a trip on our Antarctic expeditions. Nutritious and filling food will be served onboard ship as well as when camping. During the planning stage we will ask you for your feedback in advance, in order for us to adjust our menus to your specific requirements or tastes.
What is the food like?
When onboard the yacht, the crew will cook all of the meals for the team and this will be nutrious of high quality. When out skiing, your guides will bring along packed lunches, snacks and hot drinks.
What are the hotels like?
We always book centrally located comfortable mid-range hotels. Once on your expedition program and aboard the yacht, you will be staying in reasonably close quarters with the other team members, crew and guides.
Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts?
Please arrange to arrive on Day 1 of the itinerary to allow time for gear check, briefings and for any delayed baggage to arrive before we set sail.
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?
For our Antarctic Peninsula departures, please plan to fly in to Malvinas International Airport (USH) in Ushuaia. It is most likly that you will have to clear customs prior at either Santiago or Buenos Aires airport. Where possible, there will be an AC representative waiting to meet you and if not; you will have to catch a taxi from the airport to the hotel as your guide will be busy with the final preparations for the expedition. Please refer to the individual trip notes and if you have any queries, do let your friendly client liaison know.
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 yacht'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 warm do we need our sleeping bags to be?
This will be clearly stated in your recommended gear list, however temperatures on the Peninsula are not as cold as on the Antarctic Continent, thus a sleeping bag rated to -10oC (14oF) will suffice.
GUIDES, PORTERS & EXPEDITION TEAM MEMBERS
How many guides will be assigned to our group?
One or two guides will be assigned, depending on your group size.
How much weight can we carry on the expedition?
Team members can expect to be exerting themselves for anything from 6 - 12 hours a day, and be capable of carrying a pack of 10-20kgs. The climbing/ski days can be long so as to make the most of the good weather.
HEALTH & FITNESS
What are the skills/prior experience required for this expedition?
To climb and ski on the Antarctic Peninsula you need to be physically fit, have an adventurous attitude, and proficient in general mountaineering techniques. Those wishing to ski on the Peninsula should be able to ski / snowboard to at least an intermediate level.
What kind of physical condition should I be in for the expedition?
To make the most of our time in this spectacular and remote location, we ask that you are in good condition and have a moderate fitness at the least.
How heavy will my pack be?
As you will only be carrying the equipment required for each climbing/skiing day, this should be approximately 10kgs on most days, or up to 20kg if we plan an overnight on land.
If we get "stuck" on the ice, what do we eat? Have you ever run out of food?
As this expedition is partially yacht based, once we get dropped off on the peninsula the yacht is never too far away. Your guides will take along additional equipment in the event that you are unabl to return to the yacht or whatever reason. This will include tents, food and items required to spend a night on the ice.
What type of communication is available on the expedition?
Your expedition guide will have an Iridium satellite phone and you are welcome to use this at US$4 per minute. As we rely on solar power and cannot guarantee that the phone will be available 24hrs a day.
I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
Your guide will send daily internet dispatches, and the Adventure Consultants NZ office receive updates from our guides while they are in the field. The best place to reach a loved one is through our office.
Will there be any power source for charging batteries, etc available throughout the expedition? What voltage requirements?
We take solar panels and sometimes battery power packs on our expeditions. Our first priority is to charge our satellite phones and expedition electrical equipment. Once onboard the ship, your cabin will have a power supply of 240V / 50Hz.
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, 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 payment on credit card, and we add a 3% fee to accept the balance payment by credit card for your expedition. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.
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 telegraphic transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card 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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