Tour operators obtain permits for access to the various Antarctica territories their expeditions will pass through on behalf of visitors. A valid passport needs to be shown at the departure point, whether by cruise or air.
Health and Safety
The harsh climate presents the biggest threat to health and safety, with Antarctica having no history of crime and a very low threat of terrorism. It is essential you have comprehensive travel insurance that includes transfer to another country for medical treatment and repatriation. There are no search-and-rescue missions or hospitals, yet each research base has staff trained for emergencies. Serious cases of illness do require airlift. It is wise to ensure standard vaccinations are up to date prior to travel to Antarctica, although there are no specific requirements for entry.
Visitors must ensure they have appropriate cold weather gear for any time spent outdoors, with most cruises providing equipment, such as boots and goggles. Altitude sickness can be an issue in areas like the South Pole, and travelers must protect themselves against the dry air and strong UV rays which are reflected off the snow. Trips on land should always be accompanied by an experienced guide.