No single government controls Antarctica, so visitors do not need visas; visas may be required, however, for countries visited before or after a cruise.

Customs Regulations

Check the regulations of your gateway countries; those are the ones that apply.

It is prohibited to bring alien species to Antarctica or to take anything from the environment when you leave.

Visas

No single government controls Antarctica, so visitors do not need visas. All tour operators, yachts, researchers and independent expeditioners of countries that are signatories of the Antarctic Treaty must have a permit from their country (permit rules vary).

  • Cruise-ship passengers are covered under permits applied for by the operator.
  • Japanese nationals must register with their Ministry of the Environment if they are on a tour authorized by any country other than Japan.
  • Yacht passengers/crew, expeditioners, researchers and anyone visiting by air should check with their national government to ensure their paperwork is in order.

If uncertain about your status, check with your tour operator. Also, you may need visas for countries you visit before/after your cruise.