Travel Tips

What Kind of Insurance Do You Need When Travelling to Antarctica?

Laura Pattara

Laura Pattara  |  24 January 2018

No one plans to get sick or hurt, but it's better to be safe than sorry

Travel insurance is a must no matter where you go yet is even more imperative for travels to remote destinations. Read on and find out what kind of insurance you need when travelling to Antarctica.

Antarctica expedition trips are among the most unique travel experiences you could ever have and, as such, boast a unique set of health-and-safety-related logistics. This is one place on earth you really don’t want to get ill or injured. But because something can go wrong (rarely as that may be) it’s imperative that you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy that’ll cover the expenses of getting you medical help and back home. Moreover, considering the fact that an expedition to Antarctica is not exactly inexpensive, you’ll surely want a policy that also covers you for unexpected trip cancellations or delays, either instigated by you or your expedition provider.

Because, sometimes, stuff just happens….so best be covered for all eventualities.



Antarctica Expeditions: why travel insurance is compulsory?

In Antarctica, serious and comprehensive medical attention is extremely expensive to receive, so most cruise ships (all of the reputable ones) will insist you purchase a very specific type of travel insurance and won’t accept a booking otherwise. Yes, travel insurance for Antarctica expeditions is compulsory!

The way we see it, reputable travel companies should refuse to accept any booking without accompanying insurance and if you come across an agent or ship happy to take you on a cruise WITHOUT insurance, now would be a good time to swim the other way. It may not be a very romantic subject, we know, but it’s a very important one. An emergency evacuation from an Antarctica cruise expedition can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. And then, you’ll still be thousands of kilometres from home. Even though there’s a 99.99% chance you won’t need it, do you really want to take the risk?

What to look for when choosing travel insurance for Antarctica expeditions?

A good, reputable insurance company should offer comprehensive Antarctica-specific insurance with cover for USD 1 million for evacuation costs and medical fees, as a minimum.

Make sure your policy includes cover for:

-        Trip delays, cancellations or interruptions. Make sure you purchase your insurance policy at the same time you pay for your expedition trip so you’re covered straight away.

-        Emergency evacuation and repatriation, for illness, injury or death, due to sudden AND pre-existing conditions

-        Baggage loss or delay en route (especially expensive photographic equipment)

-        Comprehensive cover for activities, both on board your expedition ship and on land (including kayaking, Zodiac outings etc)

-        Last minute cancellations of the whole trip for ANY unforeseen circumstances you may face

-        Departure delay outside of your control (bad weather or ship problems) Remember that you need to be very flexible when travelling to Antarctica

-        Travel to very remote destinations (ie any within the Antarctic Circle)

-        Monetary compensation in case of excessive delays, to a level you’re happy with

It’s important to note that, like all insurance policies, Antarctica expedition travel insurance policies tend to be standardized, offering a set amount of monetary compensation in case of excessive delays, etc. It’s imperative you are very familiar with the policy you purchase and how much you can expect to receive should your cruise be so delayed, for example, that you can longer join it, even after it’s set to still go ahead. Moreover, if you normally rely on your credit card travel insurance when travelling, you’ll still need to purchase Antarctica-specific travel insurance.

Cover for delays/interruptions and cancellations should also cover:

-        Natural disasters

-        Family death

-        Unforeseen illness

Your Antarctica trip will likely be a substantial financial investment on your part, so do your utmost to research your options and read the fine print, so you know exactly where you stand.

There’s only one thing that’s more priceless than visiting Antarctica, and that’s to visit Antarctica with complete peace of mind. For help in finding the right travel insurance policy for your Antarctica expedition, and to find out more about your travel options to the mesmerizing ends of the world…contact us today.


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