Antartica trip FAQs

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We get all of the above but out of all the destinations we visit, Antarctica is perhaps the most friendly for single travelers since over 100 people go. So if you’re solo, don’t wait for a travel partner; many single travelers journey to the White Continent so shared cabins are available at great rates. It’s a stellar place to meet adventure-minded friends for life! Most of our clients have similar interests and are on the cruise to tick off a long-standing item on their bucket list. One of our recent solo guests commented “It was easy to sit down next to a stranger at dinner or during the presentations and feel comfortable. So, if you are a single traveler and are nervous about booking a cruise to Antarctica for just yourself, fear not! This will be one of the best things you do in your life.”

We will do our best to accommodate all passengers traveling alone by finding the best roommate match possible. Some flexibility may be necessary. If we are unable to find a suitable roommate then you will be invoiced for a single supplement price.

Antarctica is actually the driest continent on earth and is classified as a polar desert. Only 12 inches on average of precipitation falls each year in the interior but along the coast can accumulate several feet. This means that you will likely have some sunny days ideal for skiing down its pristine mountains, wildlife viewing, and taking in the expansive landscape. Be sure to bring your sunglasses and sunscreen! It is also warmer and easier to get burnt than you think! Heavy rainfall is unusual; strong winds are relatively common, so it is important to pack accordingly. The average temperatures on the Antarctic Peninsula during the summer months range from approximately 23º – 40º F. The weather in Ushuaia is a bit warmer but also has the wind and rain characteristics of the Antarctic weather systems. 

If any trip must be delayed due to bad weather, canceled or delayed transportation, sickness or any other situation for which Ice Axe Expeditions cannot make provisions, all costs incurred during such delays must be borne by trip members.

Skiing/Snowboarding in Antarctica is Unlike Anything You’ve Ever Done. Our staff does our best to get everyone out to ski twice a day. Most zones ascend out of the water averaging 1000-1500 ft. (300-500m) Our guides aim to summit peaks for optimal viewing of the amazing landscapes and then ski back to the water to interact with penguins and seals. We concentrate on providing a flexible experience where you can ski as much or as little as you wish. We will ski in about 7 different locations ranging from the South Shetland Islands to the Gerlache Straits and through the Lemaire Channel to around 64 degrees South.

If you choose to ski/board, your ability level should be intermediate to advanced but you don’t need to have any touring or glacial travel experience. 30% of our participants have no or minimal backcountry experience. We have groups (4-1) designed for the guide to instruct the basics of ski touring. Most are competent skiers and there is terrain for all abilities. We offer an optional Glacier Travel Course on Mt. Shasta in May and another in Ushuaia, Argentina days before the Cruise. This is a great refresher for those that haven’t traveled in glaciated terrain in a while, and it’s also recommended if you have little or no glacier travel experience so we can get you comfortable. This is a trip of a lifetime where skiing becomes secondary and the overall experience to interact with wildlife and become ambassadors for the Last Frontier will bring memories for the rest of your life.

That is completely fine! Lots of our guests, spouses, and family members either don’t ski/board or want to mix up their activities. Beyond our ski touring option, we offer trekking and kayaking. Many guests choose to sign up for multiple activities to maximize their experience.

The krill and mineral-rich waters bring a wide variety of intriguing wildlife. Ten species of whales swim the Antarctic waters, including killer whales, minke and humpback, offering transformative water-level experiences to those exploring via kayak, or zodiac. Fur seals, crabeater seals, elephant seals, leopard seals, Ross seals, and Weddell seals are all a treat to see lounging along the shore or on ice floes. The birdlife that comes to feed on the fish drawn to the area are a variety of petrels and albatross among the terns, cormorants, and skuas; the skies are never boring. Often a rare bird can be seen far from land while crossing the famous Drake Passage. And of course Penguins! 17 types of penguins live in Antarctica and the nearby islands. We frequently see Chinstrap, Gentoo, Adelie, and Macaroni. They’ve never had predators on land, so they’re confident—and extremely curious and will regularly walk right up to our guests. This is your chance to get up close and personal with everyone’s favorite flightless bird.

We bring together 20-30 of the worlds best mountain guides from all over the world. We only use the best of the best because safety is our number one priority. To our knowledge, this is the only trip to bring together this many high caliber guides on one expedition. We keep a maximum Guide to Client ratio of 4:1, and most of the time you will be skiing in a group fewer than 8 people with 2 guides. Our guides have an astonishing list of accomplishments, from climbing & skiing Everest, to pioneering over 200 first descents on all 7 continents, and so much more. They love to share their experiences with you and be a part of your trip-of-a-lifetime. Our guides are our cornerstone, making sure clients are safe in the mountains and to show them the time of their lives. At the end of the day, we want our clients to say “that was the best day of my life,” and our guides live for those moments.

The following items are not included in trip costs.

  • Airfares to or from your home city, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Passport and visa expenses. Tourist entry fees may apply depending on your nationality.
  • Any government arrival and departure airport taxes.
  • Ski or trekking equipment.
  • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel and the welcome dinner on the evening prior to departure.
  • Baggage, cancellation and travel insurance (emergency medical and evacuation insurance is mandatory. Ice Axe can help you to arrange this insurance if you need assistance.)
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges onboard the ship or at the hotel.
  • Telecommunications and wifi charges.
  • Tips for guides, stewards, and hospitality staff.