Activities: On a scale of 1 (easiest) to 4 (most challenging), the activities on your itinerary are rated Level 3. Therefore, active components such as hiking, bicycling and walking longer distances may be included, and hills and/or uneven terrain may be encountered on several days. You should be able to walk two-to-three miles and stand for long periods of time with no difficulty. Additionally, you must have good balance and be steady on your feet to move about the ship while cruising.
Pacing: On a scale of 1 (easiest) to 4 (most challenging), the pacing on your itinerary is rated Level 2. Your journey is moderately paced, and may include some early morning hotel departures, one or two on-tour flights, and extended motorcoach travel.
You should be in good health and able to walk reasonable distances, often over unpaved and uneven surfaces. Some of the most memorable sightseeing can only be accomplished on foot. The amount of walking you do, however, is at your discretion.
Medical Forms - In compliance with the Antarctic Treaty and the rules of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators all guests will receive a medical health questionnaire that must be returned to Tauck, completed in full no later than 90 days prior to tour departure. Failure to do so will be interpreted as the guest's desire to cancel their cruise and in which case all published cancellation penalties will apply. The medical questionnaire, completed fully, is a mandatory requirement "to respect safety rules of the polar zone". Any false information may lead to a refusal of embarkation of our guests at the port of departure. The medical questionnaire must be retained by the cruise ship company until the end of the cruise.
A certified French physician and nurse travel aboard ship and are available at all times, and an onboard treatment room is available. A nominal fee is charged to your shipboard account for office visits and any medication dispensed. We strongly suggest that each guest contact their physician at home to discuss their personal level of health before embarking on this Antarctic expedition.
As on any seagoing vessel, some marked motion may be anticipated in certain areas, dependent upon the weather and season. We recommend that passengers bring anti-motion medication just in case, even if you have never experienced motion sickness in the past. We suggest consulting your physician about appropriate medication.
The water on board the ship is potable, and complimentary bottled water is placed in your cabin each day. We also provide bottled water on the motor coaches.
Efforts are made to accommodate guests with special dietary needs. We must be notified of the special dietary needs prior to embarkation. The galley is not equipped to prepare or serve kosher cuisine.
Aboard ship smoking is permitted on the outer decks only. Smoking is not permitted in any interior area of the ship, including the dining room, observation lounge, or passenger stateroom balconies. In accordance with the Antarctic Treaty, smoking is prohibited on all Antarctic landings. Additionally, smoking is not permitted aboard motor coaches. These regulations pertain to e-cigarettes as well.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are no sophisticated medical facilities available in Antarctica. Travellers who are not fit for long trips for any reason, including disability, heart, or other health conditions, are advised not to join the expedition. If a health emergency would arise in Antarctica, you may have to be evacuated by air at considerable expense to you. We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ON SUPPLEMENTAL OXYGEN AND MOBILITY ISSUES: This Tauck itinerary cannot accommodate oxygen tanks, wheelchairs or motorized scooters. Oxygen tanks are strictly prohibited in many foreign countries on regional flights aboard small aircraft, such as those intra-tour flights featured on this Tauck journey. Likewise, the very limited cargo capacity on such flights prohibits the transport of wheelchairs or motorized scooters.
Guests should also bear in mind that the infrastructure in many foreign countries, particularly in developing countries, often presents severe and even insurmountable challenges for those with walking difficulties or other mobility issues. The responsibility of the Tauck Director is to ensure that the larger group enjoys a relaxing and informative journey, and he or she cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing individual assistance to any one guest. Guests requiring such individualized assistance must be accompanied by an able-bodied companion who can provide it.
VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Some of the countries visited on this itinerary may require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against certain diseases in order to enter the country. These requirements are subject to frequent change as outbreaks occur and subside in different areas, and it is therefore crucial that you obtain the very latest information on entry requirements as you prepare for your journey.
For the most current information, please consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by clicking here and the World Health Organization (WHO) by clicking here. You may also wish to visit the web sites for the embassies of the countries you will be visiting. Besides providing details on vaccination requirements, these sites can also provide information on vaccinations that may be recommended (but aren’t required) and other potential health issues for which no vaccines are available.
Any decisions relating to your health, of course, should not be based solely on information provided by a web site. It is critically important that you consult with your personal physician prior to your journey to obtain any required vaccinations and to review any optional recommendations offered by the CDC or other sources.
Please be sure to discuss your journey with your physician at least four to six weeks in advance of your departure, as certain vaccinations take time to become fully effective. Also, be certain to ask your physician for proof of any vaccinations you receive, and to pack this proof along with your other travel documents in your carry-on luggage (not in your checked luggage).
Researching and complying with vaccination entry requirements for the countries visited on this itinerary is the responsibility of the traveller and not Tauck. Tauck is therefore not responsible for any expenses incurred or disruptions to travel caused by improper or incomplete vaccinations, or by the failure to provide proof of required vaccinations.
If you do not obtain the necessary vaccinations and proper documentation, you may be denied entry into one or more countries, or temporarily quarantined until the necessary vaccinations are administered, or until proper documentation is provided.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a guidance letter that requires airlines and travel agents to disclose to consumers countries that require the use of insecticides by airlines. Please click here for more information.