No vaccinations are required for the Arctic. Ensure your travel insurance covers all activities you may be participating in (kayaking, diving, ice-climbing) as well as emergency evacuation. Ships have basic medical care and a doctor or nurse, but any serious treatment will require evacuation.
Bring good quality, protective sunglasses and sunscreen. It may be cold, but the sun’s rays can be harsh – made fiercer by reflecting off ice, snow and water.
Tour operators will provide detailed trip notes and packing lists. Follow them.
As you’ll be spending several days at sea, seasickness is a possibility. Look into remedies before you depart – there are patches, wristbands, tablets and of course, good old ginger.
While there are no upper age limits on Antarctica tours and excursions are not obligatory, being in shape is highly recommended. The boats have lots of steep stairs, and the choppy crossing may result in passengers not being able to sleep or eat much, sapping strength. Boarding zodiacs down a steep gangway is physically challenging, and other activities such as kayaking, sledging and trekking on the snow and ice are much better enjoyed if you are fitter – so prepare your body before you go!