Tours to Antarctica may require passengers to have international travel insurance that covers emergency evacuation, medical expenses, hospitalisation and emergency repatriation.
You can normally get covered for all these with comprehensive travel insurance, but you should always check your product’s PDS before purchasing.
Cruise ships may have basic medical care, but any serious injuries that require emergency evacuation to the nearest country can potentially cost you thousands. Travel insurance can help cover these costs.
When it comes to travelling abroad, you may need additional vaccines depending on your health and medical history. Contact your local general practitioner for more information on how you should prepare for your adventure.
Most travel insurance policies don’t automatically include cruise cover. So, if you purchase travel insurance without including cruise cover as an optional add-on, you will not be covered for losses relating to the cruise.
An adequate insurance policy can protect you financially when things don’t go as planned. This is especially useful for Antarctica cruises, which are some of the more expensive cruise trips a traveller can take due to its remote location, expensive transportation and limited trip availability. Cruise cover can provide insurance for:
Remember to always read the policy’s PDS to know exactly what you’re covered for before purchasing.
Unless you plan to stay inside the cruise ship for the entire trip, you may also want to get adventure sports cover. This product will let you participate in a range of adventure sports with the safety of knowing that you’re covered if anything goes wrong.
Some sports that this type of policy covers may include, but isn’t limited to:
Check your policy’s PDS for more details on what type of activities you’re covered for.
For the adventurous skier, Antarctica is an ideal destination to test out their skills. However, ski trips aren’t generally included in cruises and usually involve flying directly to Antarctica for a skiing expedition. If this interests you, or you plan on taking part in other snow activities, you should consider ski and snowboarding cover in case of an accident or unexpected event.
However, it’s important to understand that many insurers may not accept regular winter sports cover for Antarctic ski trips, as it’s usually limited to on-piste activities. Therefore, you may need to purchase ski tour cover for protection while exploring the Antarctic slopes. Ideally, your cover should include:
While you should always check your policy’s PDS, this is especially important when travelling to uncommon destinations and participating in high-risk activities. Before purchasing your cover, you should read the policy’s terms and conditions, provisions and exclusions to understand if you’re covered for everything you need.
If someone steals your cash, damages your belongings or your luggage is delayed in arriving, this feature may cover some or all of the expenses that come with these scenarios.
Be mindful that you won’t be covered if your belongings were stolen while unattended, as you didn’t appropriately protect your possessions. You also won’t be covered if a third party (like your airline or tour operator) compensates you for the loss, delay or damage.
Cancellation and delay cover will usually be included in cruise cover. This type of cover is crucial as Antarctic cruises are often delayed due to severe weather.
Outdoor activities like kayaking, camping or exploring the magnificent glaciers may be cancelled last minute. If you’ve missed out on a pre-paid shore excursion or have a non-refundable deposit for an activity, your travel insurance may compensate you for those costs (if the cruise hasn’t already reimbursed you).
Antarctica is uninhabited apart from the scientists that come and go, which means there are no indoor activities or local cafes to pass the time in if the weather goes awry.
1 Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, Australian Government – Antarctic weather. Accessed August 2022.
2 Smartraveller – Severe weather: Hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, tornadoes and flooding. Accessed August 2022.
3 Australian Antarctic Division – Visitor guidelines. Accessed May 2022.