Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; free use of rubber boots and snowshoes; luggage transfer from pick-up point to the vessel on the day of embarkation in Ushuaia; pre-scheduled group transfer from the vessel to the airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation); all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; comprehensive pre-departure material; optional activities (camping, kayaking, snowshoeing, hiking, mountaineering and photo workshops in addition to the standard shore excursions).
Any airfare whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-land arrangements; transfers to the vessel in Ushuaia; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (mandatory); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard; fuel surcharge (your Adventure Specialist will provide details).
Payment & Cancellation
In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost
Terms & Conditions
This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.
Arrival & Departure
The Antarctica Basecamp cruise begins and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina (USH). Embarkation time is between 4:00-5:00pm on day of departure. We strongly advise all passengers to arrive the night prior to departure and get a hotel in Ushuaia to avoid baggage and flight delays. The ship sails around 6:00pm on day of departure. Disembarkation is after breakfast on final day between 8:30-9:00am. Plan flights to depart Ushuaia anytime after noon on the final day. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.
On the Antarctica Basecamp cruise, guests enjoy offered activities free of charge, including hiking, snowshoeing, photo workshops, camping, kayaking, mountaineering as well as the standard included shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
Enjoy several possibilities to be active ashore with easy, moderate and more demanding walks in the vicinity of the landing sites. The aim is to offer two hikes per day, each two-three hours long during morning and/or afternoon landings (lunches on board). Bring a proper pair of hiking boots and gaiters. Rubber boots suitable for hiking will be provided. Hikes will be guided by experienced expedition guides.
One to three snowshoe hikes per day are on offer, ranging up to two hours for the longest excursion. Snowshoes are easy to use and don’t require any technical skills. They make it easier and safer to walk on snow surfaces, especially on early departures at the beginning of the season when there are still many snow-covered hills. Snowshoes are available for everyone on board, fit all boot sizes and can be used in combination with the provided rubber boots.
Beginner and advanced photographers are welcome, with no previous experience required. Each photo workshop is limited, to maximize attention to each individual. The onboard workshop hosts 20 guests at a time, providing lectures on photography basics and equipment introductions. Off-ship workshops are limited to 14 guests per excursion, accompanying a photo expert who can give insight on better photo results. Participants with a special interest in photography will bring their personal photo equipment. During cruise days everyone will be able to listen into photo lectures in order to learn more about objects, exposures and photo composition.
The location for camps and the amount of camp nights offered depends on the weather and location of the ship, with a goal of at least one night of camping to accommodate all passengers. Everyone can participate, with no previous experience required. The maximum number is limited to 30 persons per night. The camping group will be taken ashore after dinner and returned to the ship just before breakfast. On shore, a camp will be made in a place where wildlife will not be disturbed, and expedition guides will conduct activities. Special gear and field equipment will be provided: tents, wind- and waterproof bivouac bags, mattresses, polar sleeping bags, portable field toilet (one per group), waterproof transport bag and battery-powered tent lantern. Campers bring their personal warm and protective clothes. One night is free of charge and has to be booked prior to the trip; any extra nights (if possible, as all camping is based on weather conditions) must be arranged on board.
There may be up to four full days of kayak excursions parallel to all other activities. No kayak experience is necessary, however appropriate outdoor clothing and physical fitness is essential. The maximum number is limited to 14 kayakers per outing. Special kayak gear will be provided: five single-seat and five double-seat kayaks, paddles, neoprene wetsuits, splash shirts, neoprene booties and caps, spray covers and life vests. Kayakers will bring their personal warm and protective clothes. An expedition kayak guide will supervise the activity and kayakers will be accompanied by a safety Zodiac boat.
This is a technical and more strenuous activity for mountaineers who wish to walk beyond the shore radius in order to reach glaciated areas, higher grounds and viewpoints. Mountaineers walk in rope parties under the leadership of a certified mountain guide mostly across glaciated environment in Antarctica. Depending on the landing site, glacier walks can vary from half day to full day outings. In general, there are four-five glacier excursions offered that parallel all other activities. Mountaineering knowledge is preferable, but not required. Physical fitness is essential. Special glacier equipment will be provided: ropes and carabiners, harnesses, helmets, ice axes and crampons. Participants will bring their personal protective outdoor clothes, mountaineering boots (leather or plastic) suitable for using crampons. A qualified mountain guide and assistant will supervise and guide the activity for a maximum of 12 mountaineers at a time. One mountaineering excursion is free of charge and must be booked prior to the trip. Every mountaineer will be able to take advantage of at least one outing but it can be more. Space is limited to 48-60 participants, first come first serve.
Zodiac Cruising & Shore Program
Guided shore excursions, walks, wildlife spotting and Zodiac cruises are core activities that will be offered to all passengers. Voyages are primarily defined as explorations with the goal of spending as much time ashore as possible. With their shallow drafts, the Zodiacs enable access to beaches, shallow river banks, rocky outcrops, coral reef flats, ice floes and more. Flexibility is essential for taking advantage of wildlife opportunities by using Zodiacs for both landings and cruises. Knowledgeable guides assist on these outings and provide detailed information, which is supplemented by lectures on board covering topics such as wildlife, history and geography.
Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.
Families & Children
Upon request, children under 16 years old traveling with parents may receive 40% discount in Grand Suite, Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents/adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents/adults). Some voyages may be excluded.
Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Antarctica expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.