Currency

On bases: national currency, or US dollars, euros and British pounds.

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than US$13,000

  • Cruises start at US$5600 for 10-day voyages (three days for the sub-Antarctic islands and the Antarctic Peninsula) with quad-share accommodations and shared bathrooms
  • Fly-overs start at AU$1200

Midrange: US$13,000–35,000

  • 20-day voyages (Falklands, South Georgia, sub-Antarctic islands, Antarctic Peninsula) start at US$13,000
  • Higher-end cabins: from US$16,000
  • Fly-cruises: from US$11,000

Top End: More than US$35,000

  • High-end tours include 20-day cruises with balcony suite (US$25,000 per person, double occupancy), inland flights to South Pole (US$50,000), and guided climbs of Vinson Massif (US$42,350)

Bargaining

Most tour prices are all-inclusive, but at the last moment some deals can be had. This is your chance to bargain.

Money

Each ship runs its onboard economy differently, but in general you sign for items and pay at the end of the trip. These bills can usually be settled with cash, traveler’s checks or credit cards; check with your operator.

ATMs/banks No access in Antarctica; take cash and credit cards.

Bases National currency or US dollars, euros and British pounds.

Currencies on land Chile and Argentina each have their own currency (with the same name: peso). Falkland Islands uses British pound (£) or local pound (FK£).

Tipping Some tips are included in some cruises (check with your operator). Although optional, when not included in your fare, it’s considered appropriate to tip crew and staff for good service. Near the end of the voyage most tour operators distribute guidelines (eg US$10 to US$15 per day).

Exchange Rates

Since there are no banks or currency exchanges in Antarctica, you will simply be at the mercy of your tour operator's exchange rates for anything related to cash, or your credit card company's fees for overseas transactions. Check ahead.

Tipping

Some tips are included in some cruises (check with your operator). Although optional, when not included in your fare, it’s considered appropriate to tip crew and staff for good service. Near the end of the voyage most tour operators distribute guidelines (eg US$10 to US$15 per day).