Project Antarctica 2021 - Life onboard MV Ushuaia
This link (here) will take you though to lots of information about what to take and what to expect, including things like Know before you go, Photographic Hints, Packing List, Expedition clothing and gear for rent in Ushuaia, Reading Guide - Antarctica, Children on board the USHUAIA, Contact information for the USHUAIA, Embarkation & disembarkation information, IAATO Visitor, Guidelines, IAATO Briefing Film, Seasons in Antarctica
The following information is designed to answer any questions that you may have about the ship and life on board.
Air Conditioning and Heating
The ship is fully climate controlled. Each cabin is equipped with individual temperature controls. Please contact our staff in case you wish to change these controls to your own comfort level.
All announcements are made via our Public Announcement (PA) system on board. The bridge announces interesting events and wildlife attractions. Should there be an emergency call from the bridge we will make sure that you receive it!
The USHUAIA encourages you to take advantage of our open bridge policy. During the days we are underway, the officers invite you to observe the navigational operations of the ship and will gladly answer any questions you may have. We kindly ask you to respect the bridge as the working area for the officers. Occasionally, for reasons of safety, the bridge may be closed to visitors.
Your stewardess will make your cabin in the morning.
Change of bedlinen - Your bedlinen will be changed once a trip. If you prefer to have it changed more frequently please inform our Hotel Manager.
Change of Towels - In order to limit the use of washing powder for our environment, we only change your towels upon request. Please leave your towels on the floor if you want them changed. If you hang up your towel we understand that you will use it again. Thank you for your cooperation.
Toilets - The marine toilets are very efficient but also very sensitive. Please treat them gently and do not put anything into them except small amounts of toilet paper. Dispose of used tissues, etc. in the garbage can.
Water supply - The water from the tap is safe to drink. Fresh water is produced by evaporating and condensing seawater. Normally there is no reason for water-rationing on board, but water conservation is encouraged.
The USHUAIA is equipped with the INMARSAT system, which allows direct communication with the ship by telephone from any location in the world. For communications with the USHUAIA you will receive a list of numbers prior to your departure. On board you will find a list of important numbers and instructions for the use of your phone in the folder in your cabin. Costs will be charged to your cabin at US$4 per minute and will be paid at the end of your voyage.
Email and Internet access
Passengers may use dedicated computers to access the internet and to check their personal emails. You can purchase an internet code at the rate of $10 for 30 minutes internet access. Kindly note that there is no WiFi available.
Please keep in mind that many of the places you are visiting on the voyages are unique. We at Antarpply Expeditions are very proud of our outstanding reputation for conservation and respect for all the ecosystems we visit. Please assist us in maintaining this reputation. Our lecturers and staff will accompany you on shore excursions and provide you with guidance and specific information for the region. We kindly ask you to bring back any kind of garbage to the ship where it will be correctly disposed of. For cruises to Antarctica you will receive our Antarctic Guidelines with your travel documents.
Currency aboard the USHUAIA iis US Dollar and Euro is accepted as well as the following credit cards: MasterCard and American Express (see Payment below). However, for credit card payments minimum charge is US$100.
Each evening during the Recap the daily program for the next day will be presented by your Expedition Leader. Included in the program is information about the next day’s activities, events, landing times, meal times, and lecturers.
Please remember that the expeditionary nature of this voyage may result in changes to the daily program due to sea, weather, ice and local conditions. Also, your Captain and Expedition Team may deviate from the program to take advantage of unexpected opportunities such as wildlife sightings, advantageous sea conditions, or other local events. Any changes to the daily program will be announced over the PA system. We thank you in advance for your understanding and flexibility.
With advance notice, our Executive Chef will happily accommodate a variety of special dietary requests. Please note that it is imperative to inform Antarpply Expeditions three weeks prior to your departure at the latest. Kindly also state this request on your Booking Form. We regret that Kosher meals are not available.
The Dining Room on the Main Deck F comfortably accommodates all guests at a single seating. There is an open seating for all meals and guest tables are unassigned.
Dress Attire on Board
Casual attire (expedition style) is the accepted apparel for the voyage. Clothing should be comfortable and versatile as described in the detailed packing list enclosed with your preliminary documentation which will be sent out closer to your departure.
Dress Attire on Shore
Comfortable, casual clothing in expedition spirit is the rule for attire worn on shore excursions.
The most important factor in determining appropriate clothing for your time ashore will be your route and mode of travel. Please refer to the detailed packing list enclosed with your preliminary documentation which will be sent out closer to your departure.
Electrical Appliances and Outlets
Electric current on board is 110 V/ 60 Hz and cabins are fitted with multi-type sockets suitable for several international plugs. However, we recommend to bring necessary converters and any special adapters with you as only a limited number can be borrowed on board.
Some outlets in public areas are 220v-240v and are clearly marked. However, they are fitted with Argentine outlets. This plug has two flat pins in V-shape and also has a grounding pin. The ungrounded version of this plug with only two flat V-shaped pins or a plug with two thin round pins also work.
Emails on board the USHUAIA
Please see COMMUNICATION (above).
In case of emergency please call the Bridge (phone #108). When in port, please contact the watchman at the gangway.
Your voyage will be directed by an Expedition Leader in conjunction with staff assistants, zodiac drivers, and a team of lecturers. Staff
members are specially selected and trained to provide an eventful cruise. Here is a link to further details regarding expedition staff - https://antarpply.com/en/about-us/expedition-staff
The gift shop on the Main Deck F is stocked with ladies and men’s clothing, sundry items, apparel, gift and souvenir items. Please see the daily program for opening hours.
The customary gratuity to the ship’s service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage and is divided among the crew. You will receive detailed guidelines aboard.
Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. As a generally accepted guideline, we suggest US$15 per person per day. Cash US Dollars would be appreciated, unfortunately credit cards cannot be accepted.
All cabins are equipped with a hairdryer for your comfort.
The highest priority of the Captain is always safety for passengers and ship. Therefore we might have to change the itinerary due to local conditions and unforeseeable reasons. Please rest assured that the crew will do their utmost to offer you the best possible alternatives.
As part of your voyage experience, you will find many languages are spoken aboard the ship.
English and Spanish are the languages used and spoken by all officers and crew (although some crew members may only speak Spanish). Lectures are given in English and Spanish.
Laundry and Valet Service
We regret not to be able to offer Laundry or Dry Cleaning services on board.
Our team of lecturers will accompany you throughout your voyage. While they will give lectures and lead shore excursions, they will also be on hand to answer your questions and provide ready knowledge throughout the day. Antarpply Expeditions has selected these lecturers for both their professional accomplishments and reputations. We hope you enjoy exploring with them.
Lectures and Films
Both lectures and films are offered in the observation lounge / lecture room with modern multimedia equipment on the Main Deck F. Passengers are encouraged to participate in all the ship’s activities, including the stimulating and informative lectures.
The ship’s library on the Main Deck F contains a good selection of international titles, with an emphasis on reference material essential to your voyage. A variety of games, including playing cards and board games, are also at your disposal.
You have been provided with a lightweight inflatable life jacket, which inflates automatically by pulling the rip-cord. These life jackets must be worn at all times in the zodiac while cruising. Please take care of your life jacket. It will be collected at the end of the cruise.
Additionally there is a large “heavy duty” life jacket in your cabin, which is to be used in case of ship emergency and for life boat drills.
Lost and Found
Lost and found items can be left with/recovered on board. Please contact the Hotel Manager.
At the end of each voyage all items will be sent to our office in Ushuaia. Should you miss something, please do not hesitate to contact Antarpply Expeditions at phone +54 (2901) 433636/436747, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com@speedy.com.ar.
Meals on Board
You will find the following dining options while aboard the USHUAIA:
- Continental and American Breakfast Buffet
- Buffet or Seated Served Lunch
- Afternoon Tea
- Three-course Dinner
Meal times vary depending upon shore excursions. Coffee and tea is offered throughout the day.
A qualified physician accompanies every voyage to provide both emergency and routine health care. The ship’s infirmary is located on Deck E. Office hours are posted in your daily program. In case of emergency, please call the bridge (phone #108).
There is a charge for this consultation:
- In ship's infirmary US$ 20
- In your cabin US$ 25
There is an extra charge for medication. Seasickness is treated free of charge. If you are in need of constant and / or special medication, please make sure you bring a sufficient supply.
Note: This section is for your reference only and should not be construed as medical advice. Many of the treatments mentioned here may have side effects. Always check with your own doctor before taking medications. The ship’s doctor is also available for advice.
Seasickness, or mal de mer, is an unpleasant - but generally treatable - condition. There are a variety of effective over-the-counter and prescription remedies. Remember that these treatments are generally most effective when taken BEFORE the onset of nausea; so if you are prone to seasickness, consider taking a preventative before sailing or entering open seas. Other treatments include inter-dermal patches and bands. To avoid seasickness, limit your time below deck. Fresh air and watching the horizon can help to allay symptoms.
Open Door Policy
The USHUAIA maintains an open-door policy. If you wish to store your valuables, please contact the Hotel Manager.
All passports are collected upon embarkation and kept with the purser during the voyage. Passports must be kept for administrative and safe-keeping purposes.
Payment: Your Personal Account
We suggest that you bring at least US$300 to US$400 (in small bills). On most voyages, particularly to Antarctica, this sum will be more than sufficient spending money as we will be navigating through isolated areas where spending opportunities are rare. For services rendered aboard the ship, you will be provided with a personal account using a “chit” system. Your purchases will be kept on record and totalled at the end of your voyage.
Your account must be settled prior to disembarkation in cash (U.S. Dollar and Euro). If you prefer to pay by credit card, please advise the Hotel Manager at the beginning of the voyage. We accept MasterCard and American Express for charges over US$100. However, we cannot accept gratuities by credit card.
Phone on board the USHUAIA
Please see COMMUNICATION (above), for detailed information.
When photographing do not approach wildlife to the point that it becomes frightened, agitated, or must flee. Give extra space to animals with young. In some areas, photographing military installations, airports, and other sensitive objects is restricted. Your Expedition Team will advise you of local regulations.
Recaps and Briefings
On a daily basis, the Expedition Team will summarise experiences ashore and update you on our plans for the next day. These informal sessions are generally held during cocktail hour.
A supply of rubber boots or Wellingtons is available on board and includes a wide variety of sizes. It is recommended that you bring your own only if you require a special size. Please note that the boots on board have been used by previous passengers.
Safety at Sea
Our highest priority during your cruise is the personal safety of all passengers and crew. Our vessel meets all international requirements as well as U.S. Coast Guard Guidelines. Officers and crew are well trained and regularly practice emergency procedures to ensure your comfort and safety. Within 24 hours of embarkation there will be an emergency drill which all guests are required to participate. Through this exercise, you will become familiar with procedures that must be followed in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Please be aware:
Always obey all safety announcements given by the Captain, the officers, or your Expedition Team.
For your safety and the safety of your fellow passengers, please do not leave any china or glass on the outside decks.
The exterior decks may be wet - we ask you therefore not to run but to walk slowly and hold on to the ship’s railings.
We recommend all ladies to wear low heel shoes for their own comfort and safety.
In rough seas please hold on to banisters and fixed objects. Please expect pitching and rolling, especially in the ice, as there will be sudden lurches, rolls and other motions as the ships sails through the ice. Use the handrails whenever possible, especially going up stairways, ladders etc.
Please mind the high steps in many exterior doorways. When passing through all doorways, and while in your cabin, PLEASE DO NOT PLACE YOUR HANDS ON THE EDGE OF THE DOORS. A lurching movement could slam the door on your fingers.
Shore excursions will be outlined during recap and briefings the day before. Before disembarkation information on the length of time on land and the type of landing (“wet” or “dry”) will be announced. Your Expedition Team will accompany you on daily shore excursions and provide you with extensive information. Please carefully follow their instructions and advice.
Smoking is permitted on all exterior decks with the exception of the “Zodiac Deck”. Inside the ship, all areas, including cabins, are designated non-smoking. For safety and environmental reasons, NEVER throw cigarette butts or other (burning) materials into the sea!
Your cabin is not equipped with a safety deposit box. However any valuables such as money, jewellery or documents could be deposited with the hotel manager who will store them safely for you. Antarctic Travel company is not responsible for the loss of personal effects and valuables.
Weather and Sea Conditions
Weather and sea conditions play important roles in expeditionary cruising. All planned activities are subject to modification or cancellation due to changing weather and/or sea conditions. We thank you in advance for your understanding and flexibility.
During the time we are in areas where there is a possibility of sighting wildlife, the ships’ officers and staff are constantly on the lookout. However, please don’t hesitate to report a sighting to the bridge or staff. If we are fortunate enough to sight wildlife, we will announce it from the bridge, regardless of the hour. If you wish to go back to sleep please do so!
The USHUAIA carries her own fleet of zodiacs and RIB’s. Zodiacs accommodate up to 12 guests and, in the hands of our skilled boatmen, are stable, safe and manoeuvrable. Constructed of high-performance plastimer fabrics, with several airtight compartments, they are easy to board and disembark. Their versatility, their ability to open whole new worlds of exploration make zodiacs the key to expedition cruising enabling you to go ashore and investigate some of the world’s most unique regions. Instructions will be provided on how to properly embark and disembark these water craft. Further details on the Zodiacs can be seen here - https://antarpply.com/en/the-ushuaia/zodiacs