Firstly, congratulations if you have decided to travel to the land of the white continent and witness the glorious beauty of what we call Antarctica. A journey to Antarctica is the best gift you can give yourself and we are certain that the experience will not disappoint you.
Once the excitement of the decision to visit Antarctica has faded however, you will be posed with a rather difficult question, which is ‘What now?’ Well like travel plans to any other destination, it is important to know where and how you can reach that destination. Therein lies our answer of what are the requirements to visit Antarctica.
Here is a to-do list that you need to complete before you decide to travel to Antarctica. Don’t forget that we are going on November 6th and you can join the same trip! If you can’t join that date, you also can consider the departures of the 17th or 28th of November. (Check here for the full itinerary. Don’t forget to mention AdventureFaktory to get 10% off if you wanna go !)
Firstly, the 7th Continent is “no-man’s land”, so good news, you don’t literally need a visa for Antarctica. The requirement arises when you ask yourself the question:
How do you reach to Antarctica
The most common (and in our honest opinion the best) way to travel to Antarctica is via a cruise. Now it cannot be just any cruise. You need to opt for a cruise that has a solid expedition ship that can stand the ice and weather conditions of the place, and a crew that is experienced in sailing around the region! It is sure not a trip you want to cheap out on.
The starting point of most of these expedition ships is South America, mainly Ushuaia, Argentina, which means you will most likely need to secure a visa to Argentina.
Visa requirements for Argentina
The good news is that citizens of United Arab Emirates, Australia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, European Union and Canada do not have visa requirements to travel to Argentina. If you are a citizen of any other country, we urge you to check with the nearest Argentinian embassy for updated visa-related information and requirements as soon as possible.
Here are a few pointers you would like to keep in mind, if you require a visa to Argentina:
- As a prerequisite, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your date of arrival. As a rule, this applies for most international travel.
- Fill up the Argentina Tourist Visa application form available online on their official website.
- Make a checklist of all documents required for a tourist visa.
- Get hold of the original copy of the cruise confirmation letter from the travel company you booked your expedition with, ensuring it has the seal of the company and the itinerary.
- Get a travel insurance with good coverage. Most visas have this as a mandatory requirement. Then again, precaution is always better than cure – just saying.
- Contact the embassy via the email given on their website to schedule an appointment date. This email generally requires you to state your intention of visit and travel dates, so make sure you send these in your email.
- The embassy will then email you with all the requirements and an appointment date for a brief face-to-face interview, which you will have to appear for.
Leaving to Antarctica from Chile and visa requirements
Depending on which cruise and itinerary you want, you may also have the options to hop on a cruise to Antarctica that originates in another South American country, example Chile, to cover the Chilean Fjords or the Andean Coast. This means you would need a visa to Chile in order to visit Antarctica.
If you are a citizen of New Zealand, United States, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom or the European Union, you will be thrilled to know that you do not require a visa to travel to Antarctica if you travel via Chile.
Citizens of Australia and Canada do not need a visa to travel to Antarctica either. However, citizens of these countries are expected to pay a reciprocity tax in cash while clearing customs at the airport. (Please check with the respective local embassies for updated tax fee and the requirements)
The process of applying for a visa to Chile is quite similar to the steps you need to take for obtaining a visa to Argentina. You can follow similar steps for getting your visa to Chile but make sure you check the requirements with your nearest local embassy to be sure.
As an additional tip, we encourage you to work on your visa process at least two months prior to your date of departure. Which means if you plan to join in the upcoming expeditions by EduOutings, you should get in touch with them so they can support you in getting the documents you need. They’re very helpful and will make sure to assist you in the process if you are serious about going. This would ensure that you are not faced with any last-minute hitches.
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