Antarctic Adventures

Explore Earth’s last frontier aboard the Island Sky, one of the finest vessels in Antarctic waters, featuring unusually spacious suites. Experience the White Continent in its unspoiled state—fantastically shaped icebergs, turquoise glaciers, bustling penguin rookeries and breaching whales. Accompanied by the ship’s expedition team of expert naturalists, board sturdy Zodiac craft for excursions ashore.  Optional activities include kayaking and camping on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Dates
Dec 9 - Dec 19, 2018  (11 Days)
Cost

from $7,995 per person, based on double occupancy

For more Information
travel@commonwealthclub.org

(415) 597-6720

Sunday, December 9
Arrive in Ushuaia

Arrive in Ushuaia anytime today. You’ll be staying at the beautiful Arakur Hotel & Resort, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Note that in order to arrive in Ushuaia on December 9, you will need to depart the U.S. on December 8 (or earlier if you wish to spend a few days in Buenos Aires en route).  Once in Ushuaia, explore the trails, take a spa, relax and soak in the surroundings, or head into Ushuaia and browse the Argentinean leather markets. Our optional evening briefing is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and to meet some of your fellow travelers. Enjoy a complimentary buffet breakfast in the morning.  Arakur Hotel & Resort

Monday, December 10
Embarkation

This morning, we’re free to explore Ushuaia or unwind at the resort until our mid-afternoon transfer to the ship. On board, we’ll be greeted by our Expedition Team and the Ship’s Officers. A concise safety and orientation briefing will be followed by the Captain’s welcome dinner. After dinner, we’ll relax and take in the scenery on our early evening sail through the Beagle Channel, past Magellanic Penguin, Rock Cormorant, and Sea Lion colonies. Island Sky (B,L,D)

Tuesday & Wednesday, December 11 & 12
Drake Passage

As we make our way ever closer to the white continent, numerous Polar Experts will prepare us with presentations on everything Antarctic, from wildlife to history. Eventually, we’ll cross the Antarctic Convergence where we’ll notice a distinct drop in temperature as we enter the waters of the Antarctic Ocean. Those interested in Citizen Science can take part in Sea Bird sighting surveys, or help collect salinity samples and weather data along the way. We’re likely to witness some spectacular sights, from icebergs to an array of seabirds and whale species. If we’re lucky, we may see some of them fully breach from the sea. Island Sky (B,L,D)

Thursday – Sunday, December 13 – 16
Antarctica

In the waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula, we hope to make as much time as possible to explore by inflatable Zodiac boats and marvel up close at nature’s glory. Our Expedition Leader and Captain will create a flexible itinerary based on weather, ice, and opportunity. We will aim for the most scenic bays and channels of the Peninsula with stops at penguin rookeries, seal wallows, bird colonies and whale feeding areas, as well as sites of historic and scientific interest. The trip may include picturesque Neko Harbor, sheltered Paradise Harbor, the Humpback Whale favored Wilhelmina Bay, the striking Lemaire Channel, the wildlife-filled Penola Channel, or the majestic Neumayer Channel. We may stop at an active scientific base such as Poland’s Arctowksi or Ukraine’s Vernadskiy as well as a historic base such as U.K.’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House. Adelie, Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins abound, and Weddell, Crabeater and Elephant Seals are often found hauled out to rest along with predatory Leopard Seals and the assertive Antarctic Fur Seal. Minke and Humpback Whales are frequent visitors in the late season (Feb – Mar) and Orca sightings are also common. Island Sky (B,L,D)

Monday & Tuesday, December 17 & 18
Drake Passage

As we leave this magical place and make our way north, heading again across the Antarctic Convergence and the Drake Passage, we will continue our presentation series and wildlife spotting. Sailing back to Ushuaia through the Beagle Channel, we celebrate the conclusion of our expedition with a special slideshow. Island Sky (B,L,D)

Wednesday, December 19
Ushuaia disembarkation

Morning disembarkation lets you catch a flight to Buenos Aires or stay in Ushuaia for more sights and adventure. (B)

Map

Cruise Cost:
Prices listed below are per person, based on double or triple occupancy. A limited number of twin suites may be reserved as singles at a cost of 1.7 times the per person double rate.

Triple:                     $6,995
Porthole:                $7,995
Window:                $9,495
Promenade:         $10,295
Deluxe:                 $10,695
Veranda:               $11,495
Penthouse:           $12,295
Owner's:               $13,595

$1500 discount for Window Suites and higher though December 31, 2017.

Included
One night hotel accommodations in Ushuaia at the Arakur Hotel & Resort; Early check-in (up to 24 hours prior to usual check-in time) available if requested, with confirmed air itinerary, at least 90 days prior to departure; Transfer from airport in Ushuaia to Arakur Hotel & Resort if arriving on Day 1 of itinerary; Transfer from Arakur Hotel & Resort to ship for embarkation; Group transfer from ship to airport or central location at disembarkation; Shipboard accommodations; All scheduled Landings / excursions; All meals on board; Coffee/tea/cocoa 24 hours daily; Welcome / Farewell cocktails; House wine / beer / soft drink with dinner; Expedition jacket (yours to keep); A pair of boots for use during the voyage; Services of the passenger doctor and shipboard clinic; WiFi from the public computers in the library; 100 minute WiFi card (for use on your personal devices); Daily international news service; All port fees; All landing fees; Digital Voyage Log; In Owner’s Suite, Penthouse, Veranda, Deluxe, Single and Promenade categories: champagne and chocolates on arrival, complimentary mini-bar

Excluded
Any airfare or travel expenses associated with arrival in Ushuaia; Transfer from airport to group hotel, unless arriving on Day 1 of the itinerary; Pre- or post-voyage expenses in Ushuaia; Laundry and personal expenses incurred on board; Alcohol and soft drinks on board (except as listed above in inclusions); On board communication charges such as outgoing phone calls, WiFi from personal devices in excess of the 100 minutes provided; Staff gratuities

What to Expect

Travelers to Antarctica should be in active good health. Given the remote location, medical facilities are not available. Excursions require getting in and out of zodiac boats to take you ashore. Most landings are “wet landings” where you must step into water. Boots are provided. Walks ashore involve trails, rocks, uneven terrain, and snow. Trekking poles are provided for those that want them. Travelers can opt to do a shorter walk or a longer walk on shore. Please call our office to discuss any mobility concerns you may have. 

An expert team of naturalists on board guide you on each excursion, zodiac cruise and outing and provide talks each night about what you are seeing. Travelers also take part in Citizen Science projects gathering data for research institutions. Special guest lecturer Ed Larson will share his knowledge of Shackleton and polar exploring.

Trip Educators
Edward Larson
Pulitzer Prize winning author Ed Larson is University Professor of History and holds the Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law at Pepperdine University. He holds a Ph.D. in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and law degree from Harvard, Larson has lectured on all seven continents and taught at Stanford Law School, University of Melbourne, Leiden University, and the University of Georgia, where he chaired the History Department.

Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in History and numerous other awards for writing and teaching, Larson is the author of fifteen books and over one hundred published articles. His books, which have been translated into over twenty languages, include the 2015 New York Times bestseller The Return of George Washington: Uniting the States; An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science; A Magnificent Catastrophe: The Tumultuous Election of 1800, America’s First Presidential Campaign; and the Pulitzer Prize winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. Larson’s latest book, To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration, was published in March, 2018. His articles have appeared in such varied publications as Nature, Atlantic Monthly, Science, Scientific American, Time, Wall Street Journal, American History, The Guardian, and dozens of academic journals.

A popular lecturer, Larson has taught short courses at universities in Asia, Europe, and South America; been a featured speaker at book festivals and the Chautauqua Institute; and given addresses at over 80 American universities.

Rates
Voyage rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and are based on passengers sharing a cabin (except in the dedicated Single Cabins). Rates for all Polar Latitudes voyages are based on anticipated fuel costs at the time of departure multiplied by a maximum daily usage. There will be no fuel surcharge for Polar Latitudes voyages if the price of fuel, delivered locally, does not exceed US$1,350 per metric ton.

Should the price go above this a surcharge, to cover only the increase in fuel costs, may apply. In this case agents will be notified immediately and passengers will have the right to cancel their reservations within 14 days of notice of increase without penalty.

Reservations
To confirm a booking a deposit of $1,500 per person is required. Final payment is due in full 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days of departure, full payment is required to confirm a booking.

Cancellations / Payments
All cancellations must be received in writing. Reservations cancelled more than 90 days to departure are subject to a $750 per person cancellation fee. Reservations cancelled 90 days or less prior to departure are subject to full fare forfeiture. In cases where payment is late, we reserve the right to treat the booking as canceled by you.

Eligibility
In general there are no specific physical requirements for travel in Antarctica. However we are traveling to the most remote region of the world and we are traveling on a ship which, at times, may be in rough seas and which has limited facilities. Passengers with unstable medical/health issues may not be appropriate for this type of expedition and are advised to exercise appropriate caution.

Passenger Medical Information
We require all passengers to submit basic medical information prior to departure. Upon receipt of that basic medical information, specific physical conditions may necessitate additional documentation from a passenger’s physician certifying fitness to travel on a voyage to Antarctica. If additional medical confirmation is requested, boarding will not be allowed absent receipt of that confirmation. PLEASE NOTE: please review our medical form at time of booking, and if there is any question regarding your eligibility contact your agent immediately and begin a dialog with us. While we cannot dispense medical advice we reserve the right to deny passage to any passenger whose individual situation is deemed to be a safety risk, or who has not disclosed accurate information as to their physical or mental condition. In such a case Polar Latitudes cannot be responsible for any expenses incurred. This includes non refundable cruise fees, airfare or any other miscellaneous expenses. If you have any questions please contact your agent for further clarification. Polar Latitudes has a pregnancy policy that women who will be in the 13th through 22rd weeks of pregnancy during the entire voyage are welcome with explicit doctor’s permission and having signed a specific waiver. Pregnancy policies of carriers (airlines, bus companies, hotels, etc) may also apply.  Please note that medical information will, of necessity, be available to designated Polar Latitudes staff. Please note that regardless of general eligibility there may be instances where environmental conditions require a level of fitness/mobility. In these cases individual participation in the landing(s) in question may be restricted by the Captain, Expedition Leader, or ship’s doctor.

Insurance
All passengers are required to carry a Travel Protection Plan. This Plan must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, evacuation expenses, and pre-existing medical conditions. Additionally passengers are strongly advised to carry insurance which should include coverage for cancellation, curtailment, trip interruption, and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to or otherwise involving a passenger. As any potential evacuation from Antarctica can cost up to $150,000 we recommend that no policy carry less than this amount of coverage. Polar Latitudes will require information as to carrier, policy number, and a 24-hour contact number. PLEASE ALSO NOTE: Travel to Antarctica carries with it a slight but inherent risk that a voyage may be interrupted after the voyage has begun. In such a case, Polar Latitudes cannot be responsible for situations outside its control, and your insurance may be your only recourse for recovery of funds.

Itineraries
Polar Latitudes’ captain and expedition team will do everything possible to complete the voyage as outlined in the voyage itinerary. However itineraries in polar regions are heavily dependent on weather and ice conditions. Occasionally conditions and or safety concerns require Itinerary changes. The Captain and expedition team will accordingly make every effort to find the best alternative to the original itinerary while keeping passengers informed and updated. Itinerary changes are not subject to passenger approval/consent, and in the event of such a change no refunds or price adjustments are possible. Placement of a booking with Polar Latitudes amounts to an acknowledgement that itinerary changes are possible.

Activities
All activities conducted during a Polar Latitudes voyage are permitted by authorizing authorities and must comply with strict guidelines and regulations. As such, passengers may not conduct unauthorized activities while aboard a Polar Latitudes voyage. Additionally, the use of personal recreation equipment or technologies without clear pre-voyage consent is forbidden. The Captain, Expedition Leader and Doctor will manage pre-approved activities to Polar Latitudes’ and International Association of Antarctic Tour Operator’s (IAATO) Standard Operating Procedures, Environmental Guidelines, and permissions.

Onboard language
All voyages are conducted in English as the principal language. Our onboard staff will do their best to make the voyage as enjoyable as possible for our non-English speaking guests. However, if safety is an issue, guests not fully understanding briefings may be excluded from an activity at the discretion of the Expedition Leader or Captain. Non-English speaking groups may bring interpreters under pre-arranged conditions approved by Polar Latitudes.

On board authority
All passengers are subject to instructions or regulations given by the Captain or the Expedition team.

Photography / Video
Polar Latitudes reserves the right to use photographs and/or videos taken during the operation of the voyage for promotional purposes for the company and/or its sales agents. Passengers who prefer that their images not be used are asked to identify themselves to Polar Latitudes and its agent, prior to embarkation.

Smoking
There is no smoking inside the ship. There will be a designated smoking place outside in a sheltered area.

Alcohol
Alcohol is available for sale in our bar. Polar Latitudes reserves the right to refuse alcohol to anyone deemed to be intoxicated.

On board payments
All payments are in US dollars. Passengers may run a tab which must be paid prior to disembarkation. Payments can be made in cash or with a credit card.

Responsibility
Polar Latitudes is a qualified tour operator that organizes and administers its polar voyages. Polar Latitudes will provide services in conjunction with local operators and air and sea operators. The designated operator(s), in turn, acts only as an agent for any transportation carrier, hotel, ground operator, or other suppliers of services connected with these tours (“other providers”), and the other providers are solely responsible and liable for providing their respective services. The passenger tickets in use by the carriers shall constitute the sole contract between the carriers and the passenger; the carriers are not responsible for any act, omission, or event during the time participants are not aboard their conveyances.

Polar Latitudes and its designated service providers shall not be held liable for (A) any damage to, or loss of, property or injury to, or death of, persons occasioned directly or indirectly by an act or omission of any other provider, including but not limited to any defect in any aircraft, watercraft, or vehicle operated or provided by such other provider; and (B) any loss or damage due to delay, cancellation, or disruption in any manner caused by the laws, regulations, acts or failures to act, demands, orders, or interpositions of any government or any subdivision or agent thereof, or by acts of God, strikes, fire, flood, war, rebellion, terrorism, insurrection, sickness, quarantine, epidemics, theft, or any other cause(s) beyond their control. The participant waives any claim against Polar Latitudes for any such loss, damage, injury, or death.

By accepting passage on a Polar Latitudes voyage, the participant acknowledges these terms and conditions and certifies that he/she does not have any mental, physical, or other condition or disability that would create a hazard for him/herself or other participants. Polar Latitudes and its designated tour operator reserve the right in their sole discretion to accept, decline to accept, or remove any participant from a voyage. Polar Latitudes reserves the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants. The Captain and Expedition Leader have the right to restrict the activities of any passenger who repeatedly violates onboard or on shore protocols.

Neither Polar Latitudes, nor its service providers shall be liable for any air carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket to or from the participant’s departure city. Baggage and personal effects are at all times the sole responsibility of the participant. 

Voyage Cancellation / Interruptions
In the unlikely event that a Polar Latitudes expedition is cancelled or interrupted, all passengers are advised to work with their travel insurance providers for reimbursement.  Pending verified resolution of your claim, Polar Latitudes will provide a full refund of outstanding funds paid to Polar Latitudes. 

Commonwealth Club of CA CST #2096889-40
Polar Latitudes CST #