Planning Your Antarctica Trip From Visas To Currency

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Thinking about heading to the beautiful and remote land of Antarctica and want to know how to get an Antarctica Visa?

Bottom line, the fact is that you don’t actually need one, but the stamp is nice.

Things to note:

1. You don’t need a visa to visit Antarctica

2. There is no immigration or border control on entering Antarctica

However to get to Antarctica you will be in either:

Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand (so please do check if you need a visa for any of those places!!).

Here is what you do need to visit Antarctica: most of the tour groups that go to Antarctica will ask for the following, so have them ready ahead of your trip:

1. A valid passport with 6 months to run (for registration and identification purposes only)

2. Some kind of travel insurance that covers you for the duration of your trip (I hate buying travel insurance but it’s essential for this trip)

3. Tell the tour company your blood group (in case of medical emergency)

4. Tell the tour company your next of kin (in case of medical emergency)

Can I Get My Passport Stamped in Antarctica?

Yes you can and there are a few places you can get this done, mostly the bases, as well as the South Pole of course.

Do you get an exit stamp when leaving Ushuaia, Argentina?

Oddly – NO you don’t. Which I found strange. In fact I think it’s one of the only times I’ve ever left a country without having an exit stamp for one I received an entrance stamp for.

Do you get an entrance stamp on your return to Ushuaia, Argentina?

No – again you don’t. I guess there might be an exception if you left Chile for Antarctica and headed back to South America to Argentina. However I didn’t encounter anyone who did this.

What currency do you need for Antarctica?

As a rule you should always carry US Dollars. You can use them on board the ship and at all museums and bars etc. in Antarctica. However Euros will also be accepted in most places. At the British Base Port Lockroy, you can pay in British pounds.

Unsurprisingly Antarctica has no official currency, no official banks and as such no official physical banknotes. However you can get Antarctica Dollars merely as a souvenir item!!! I found this amusing, the Bank of Antarctica even have their own website. So for collectors get on it!!

At the British Base you can get Antarctica Stamps in the Post Office (which say on them British Antarctic territory). I picked a few up for souvenir purposes.

On arrival at the Polish Base I asked if they accept Zlotys, the answer was no.

Visa and Mastercard are NOT accepted on the continent of Antarctica but can be used to settle bills onboard your ship.

Top photo credit: the shooting star.com

Jonny Scott Blair
Jonny Blair is a self confessed traveling nomad who founded and blogs at Don't Stop Living. He sees every day as an adventure. Since leaving behind his home town of Bangor in Northern Ireland ten years ago he has traveled to all seven continents, working his way through various jobs and funding it all with hard work and an appetite for travel. Don’t Stop Living, a lifestyle of travel' contains over 1,000 stories and tips from his journeys round the globe. He wants to show others how easy it is to travel the world, give them some ideas and encourage them to do the same but most of all he aims to constantly live a lifestyle of travel. He is currently based in Hong Kong and on Twitter @jonnyblair.
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