Information on Antarctica & the Falkland Islands

Comparison of temperatures

 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Buenos Aires292927231815151618222429
London991215182122222016128
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Antarctica21-2-8-9-10 -10 -8-7-4-3-1
London991215182122222016128

Form of government:

Argentina: Presidential democracy; federal republic; parliament comprising 2 chambers; the state premier is Mauricio Macri (President)

Uruguay: Presidential democracy, the state premier is Tabaré Vázquez (since 01.03.2015).

Antarctica: Antarctica is a non-governmental area and is subject to a system of international treaties governing international relations on this continent and its use by the international community. The system of treaties currently has 50 member states, including United Kingdom.

Capital city:

Argentina: Buenos Aires, state capital (over 3 million residents)

Uruguay: Montevideo (1.3 million residents)

Language:

Argentina & Uruguay: The national language is Spanish.

Expedition to Antarctica: The language spoken on board is English.

Climate:

Argentina: Due to its broad north-south expanse, Argentina has a wide variety of climate and vegetation zones. As a result, there are tropical and sub-tropical areas in the north and an extended moderate zone through  to cold climate regions in the south and in the Andes.

Uruguay: Moderate to warm

Antarctica: Antarctica is the coldest and driest continent on earth. January is „high summer“, and temperatures can reach just below zero.

Clothing:

Expedition to Antarctica: You can dress comfortably on board. Some guests change for dinner, but casual clothing is the norm. The weather can change during every trip, even on a daily basis. In order to cope with the weather conditions, we recommend adopting the „onion look“ approach, which will allow you to respond quickly to various temperatures and weather conditions. Your luggage should include breathable, as well as wind-proof and waterproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and functional clothing as well as thermal underwear are also recommended. On land the terrain can be slippery, so we recommend bringing sturdy shoes with you for trips on land. Hiking / trekking poles may also be of use.

Electricity:

Argentina: Mains voltage 220 V, 50 Hz. An adapter will be required.

Expedition to Antarctica: All cabins have 220 V / 50 Hz power sockets. The sockets are compatible with European plugs (2-pin). Adapters can be purchased from the on-board shop.

Phone calls:

The country code for Argentina is 0054. For Uruguay it’s 00598 and for Antarctica it’s 00672. Omit the first zero of the area code. If you are calling United Kingdom, dial 0044 and then the area code, again  ithout the first zero.

Currency/banks/credit cards:

Argentina: The currency is the Argentinian Peso (ARS). 1 peso = 100 centavos. Exchange rate (as of September 2019): 1 GBP = 70,63 ARS; 1 ARS = 0,01 GBP. You can change money conveniently in banks and bureaux de change in Argentina. They are open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Argentina has an extensive network of cash machines nationwide, where money can be withdrawn without problems using common credit cards (VISA, MasterCard) or EC cards (Maestro). Your home banks will usually charge a fee for each withdrawal. In larger cities, credit cards can commonly be used to pay without having to use cash. Hotels, restaurants and larger stores also accept EC cards. Your home banks may again charge a fee for this.

Uruguay: The currency of Uruguay is the Uruguayan Peso (UYU). Exchange rate (as of September 2019): 1 GBP = 45,45 UYU; 1 UYU = 0,02 GBP. 

Expedition to Antarctica: On arrival on board, you will receive your personal cruise card in accordance with the ISPS conditions as part of the check-in procedure. All guests must carry this card with them in all ports of call and on all landings. The card is used as a control system at the gangway so that we know at all times which of our guests are on board or on land. It also serves as a key card for your cabin and must be activated as a payment card on board. The card is the only means of payment for services available on board. Visa, American Express, Diners and MasterCard are accepted for activating the cruise card account. The credit card must be valid for at least 3 further months after the end of your stay on board. Activation with a Maestro card is unfortunately not possible. Please be aware that deductions from your credit card to pay for the on board account will be made in Norwegian Krona (NOK). The exchange rate will be as confirmed by your credit card company. On the evening before the trip ends, the final bill will be presented and you will be able to settle your account. The bill will be brought to your cabin. It is unfortunately not possible to withdraw cash on board or to change money.

Entry requirements for British citizens:

Argentina & Uruguay:

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. A duration of validity beyond the duration of the planned stay is recommended. United Kingdom nationals can spend up to 90 days as tourists without a visa in Argentina and Uruguay. Entry requirements for United Kingdom citizens may change at short notice. Legal information and/or information outside the scope of these notes regarding entry requirements can only be obtained directly from the embassy or one of your destination country’s general consulates. Citizens of other countries are advised to enquire about the applicable entry requirements from their respective embassy. You are solely responsible for applying for, and presenting, any visa that may be required. RSD assumes no liability if you fail to do this. Please note that entry is dependent upon the approval of the immigration authorities.

Expedition to Antarctica: The passport is the only valid form of identification accepted for all trips with the MS Midnatsol. Personal ID cards are not sufficient. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the planned date of return to your home country. Upon arrival on board, passports will be collected by the ship’s personnel in order to complete entry and customs formalities. Passports will be kept safe throughout the trip and will be returned to you at the end of the trip. Please carry a copy of your passport with you.

Customs regulations:

Argentina & Uruguay: There are no restrictions on how much national and foreign currency you can bring in, but amounts of US$ 10,000 and over must be declared at customs. You cannot take out more than the equivalent of no more than US$ 10,000 when you leave the country. Carrying higher amounts than this is not permitted. Further customs information regarding the import of goods can be obtained from the embassy of your destination country. This is the only place from which to obtain legally correct and binding information. The customs regulations for the UK can be viewed on the British Customs (www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk) website or queried by phone.

Specific provisions pertaining to criminal law:

Argentina & Uruguay: The trafficking and consumption of drugs is a criminal offence, and offenders will be prosecuted. The possession of even small amounts of drugs is a punishable offence and can lead to long prison sentences. Conditions in prisons here are not like those in British prisons. It is forbidden to catch, keep, buy or transport wild animals without permission. These bans also cover the sale of products or souvenirs which were made from wild animals.

Expedition to Antarctica:
Alcohol regulations:
Please be aware that alcohol can only be consumed on board that has been purchased on board in the restaurant or bar. Alcohol purchased in the on-board shop or on land will be stowed and returned to you on the final day of your trip.

Smoking: Smoking is only permitted in specially designated areas of the outside decks. Please do not smoke in your cabin. Any violation of this rule will incur a fine (approx. £135). Please use the ash trays provided. Cigarette ash or butts must not be thrown overboard.

Safety instructions:

Argentina: Objects of value should not be worn openly, and only small amounts of cash should be carried. In the event of being mugged, do not resist since muggers are usually armed and will not be afraid to use violence. Be alert for pick-pocketing in busy areas and on public transport. Objects of value should not be carried in handbags or back packs, but rather in chest bags worn closely across the body. Identification documents, etc. should be kept separate from cash and stored securely (e.g. in the hotel safe). Handbags and luggage should also never be left unsupervised in areas accessible to the public, even in hotels (e.g. lobby, etc.). Particular attention must be paid when making cash withdrawals or exchanges and at tourist attractions in Buenos Aires such as La Boca (especially on working days and in less well-populated side streets off the Calle Caminito), San Telmo, the Retiro railway station and the city centre. Once darkness falls, particular caution is recommended everywhere. After dark, it is recommended that taxis be ordered by telephones (radio taxis or „remis“).

Uruguay: There has been a tangible increase in crime in Montevideo over recent years. The majority of these crimes involve robbery and theft, but these are increasingly involving weapons. If you are walking around Montevideo, it is best to do so in groups of several people and take particular care around hostels after dark. Avoid the smaller side streets away from the main roads during the day too in the old town of Montevideo (Ciudad Vieja). Avoid carrying handbags, cameras or jewellery, or carry them in a concealed manner.

Medical information:

Argentina & Uruguay:
Vaccinations: Prior to travelling, the Foreign Office recommends examining whether routine immunisations are up to date in accordance with the recommendations of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (see www.travelhealthpro.org.uk) and supplementing them where necessary. These include vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, possibly against mumps, measles, rubella, pneumococci and influenza. Vaccinations against hepatitis A are also recommended, as are vaccinations against hepatitis B, rabies and typhoid if you are planning to spend a long time in the area. We recommend consulting a tropical diseases specialist or travel physician before travelling to Argentina or Uruguay. Visit http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Travel-immunisation/Pages/Introduction.aspx for information on where to seek advice. Contact your general practitioner to arrange the recommended vaccinations for your trip.
Diarrhoeal illnesses: The majority of diarrhoeal illnesses can be avoided through consistent food and drinking water hygiene.
Mosquito-borne infectious diseases: Due to the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, all travellers are recommended to do the following:
• Wear light-coloured clothing that covers the whole body (long trousers, long shirts),
• Repeatedly apply insect repellent to all exposed parts of the body,
• If necessary sleep under an impregnated mosquito net.

Expedition to Antarctica:
Medical questionnaire:
In accordance with the guidelines issued by the IAATO and Hurtigruten ASA, all guests on trips to Antarctica must complete a confidential medical questionnaire and have a doctor confirm that they are fit to participate in the trip.
You will receive the medical questionnaire in plenty of time before departure. This must be completed and the original given to the ship’s doctor in person when you board. Boarding may be refused if the medical questionnaire is not provided.
Sea-sickness: Anti-sea-sickness tablets can be obtained from reception. If you know you get sea sick easily, please bring the medications you use with you. You can also purchase an acupressure band against sea-sickness on board („Sea-Band“).

Medical care:

Argentina & Uruguay: Medical care in major cities and in particular in Buenos Aires is generally comparable with that in Europe.
Expedition to Antarctica: An English-speaking doctor and nurse are present on board the ship at all times. The ship has a small sick bay containing essential equipment and medications to treat certain emergencies. In the event of serious medical emergencies, the nearest hospital will be contacted. Passengers will be charged for medical consultations and medications. All passengers must have personal travel / medical insurance. If you have to take medication regularly, please remember to bring with you a sufficient amount to last you in the event of any unexpected delays. We also recommend that medication is carried correctly labelled with clear instructions on how to use it in your hand luggage. If you are dependent on vital medication, please inform the ship’s doctor when embarking. Diseases on board can lead to quarantine. The instructions of the ship’s doctor and captain must be followed at all times.
Adequate worldwide medical insurance and reliable repatriation cover are essential.
Customers must ensure that they are physically and mentally well enough to undertake their chosen trip. They should find out for themselves the physical mobility levels and mental capacity required for the trip in question.

All information is subject to change/Last updated: September 2019


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