FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
ATLAS ASHORE ™
Do you offer air?
All fares shown are cruise-only. Once a booking is deposited and within 270 days of the sailing, a quote for air may be requested via the Air Department.
How active do I have to be to sail?
Our expeditions offer a variety of shore excursions and immersions, ranging in activity level from mild to vigorous. You can be as active or relaxed as you wish.
Do you offer pre- and post-expedition hotel and land packages?
Yes, we offer a variety of pre- and post-expedition hotel packages and land programs in select ports, offering you an opportunity to dive deeper into many destinations and extend your vacation beyond your expedition.
When can shore excursions be booked?
We want your shore experience to be as delightful as on board. Therefore, we add new shore excursions regularly as we add new expeditions and world regions. Epicurean Expeditions ™ will be available to book approximately 3 months prior to your sail date. Additionally, children 2 years and younger are FREE on all shoreside excursions on Epicurean Expeditions.
What is the cancellation policy for shore excursions and Specialty Excursions?
• Polar Expedition shore excursions can be cancelled up to 72 hours prior to voyage departure without cancellation fees.
• Epicurean Expedition shore excursions can be cancelled up to 7 days prior to voyage departure without cancellation fees.
• Specialty Excursions, indicated as such in the shore excursions book, can be cancelled up to 30 days prior to voyage departure without cancellation fees.
The following fee schedule also applies if you cancel your pre- and post-expedition shore excursions:
Within 60 days prior to voyage departure, 100% Cancellation Fee applies to:
• Pre- or Post-Expedition Hotel Programs
• Pre- or Post-Expedition Land Programs
• Pre- or Post-Expedition Shore Excursions
Within 72 hours prior to voyage departure 100% Cancellation Fee applies to Polar Expedition shore excursions.
Within 7 days prior to voyage departure, 100% Cancellation Fee applies to Epicurean Expedition shore excursions.
Within 30 days prior to voyage departure, 100% Cancellation Fee applies to Specialty Excursions.
Who provides the shore excursions?
Shore excursions and pre- and post-expedition program arrangements are provided by independent contractors who are not employed by Atlas Ocean Voyages.
Can shore excursions and pre- and post-expedition hotel and land programs be pre-booked?
Shore excursions may be reserved up to 14 days prior to sailing. Within 13 days of voyage departure, bookings may only be made once onboard the yacht, with limited availability. Specialty Excursions may be reserved up until 31 days prior to voyage departure. You can pre-book pre- or post-expedition hotel and land programs up until 61 days prior to your voyage. At 60 days, reservations may be requested, but may not be confirmed.
Do I need to have previous experience for kayaking in Antarctica?
You do not need previous kayaking experience. However, the onboard crew will provide a brief tutorial for proper use of the equipment that will also help determine your physical ability to operate it safely and properly before embarking on a kayaking, paddling or standup paddling excursion.
How does camping in Antarctica work?
Before you step ashore for your camping excursion, the expedition team will assess the area and come to an agreement. Then, they’ll begin setting up or help you dig your own camping hole for sleeping. If conditions are not ideal, then the excursion may be delayed or cancelled.
Will the campsite be set up for us on an Antarctica camping excursion?
Guests often like to dig their own camping holes for the full expedition experience, but it is not obligatory. Our expedition team members will offer assistance in digging your camping hole and replacing the snow at the end of the excursion.
What is your passport and visa policy?
It is Atlas Ocean Voyages’ policy to require passports for ALL travelers for all expeditions, regardless of nationality and ports of call and countries visited.
You must obtain and carry a valid passport to board an Atlas Ocean Voyages yacht. Passport Cards or a copy of a passport are not accepted. Passports must be valid for six months beyond the conclusion of your expedition. Please obtain or renew your passports early. Consult your travel professional or customs authority for documentation requirements for your expedition.
For information on obtaining or renewing a passport, visit the State Department web site Passports page. Passport instructions and application forms can also be downloaded from here.
Visa requirements must be verified and obtained approximately 90 days prior to sailing. Please see the following links to find more information about visa requirements for your travels.
We kindly remind you that it is your responsibility to determine passport and visa requirements for your expedition itinerary and your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of all required visas and travel documents prior to sailing.
Do I need a visa for traveling to Europe?
As of January 1, 2024, certain European countries will require visas under the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS). Please check with your embassy or applicable government agency or learn more about ETIAS requirements here. The European Union highly encourages applying for ETIAS authorization well in advance of your travel plans.
Do you offer medical services?
Atlas Ocean Voyages’ yachts do have a Medical Center staffed with a licensed doctor for non-emergency and emergency services. These services are available at an additional cost. The Medical Center is designed for temporary illnesses or accidents.
Do you offer Kosher dining experiences?
Upon request in advance. Please indicate your special request through the MyAtlas form sent upon final payment. Please advise 60 days prior for Polar Expeditions and 30 days prior for Epicurean Expeditions.
Do you have a casino onboard?
We do not have a casino aboard our yachts. But there are plenty of options available to keep you informed and entertained during evenings and on sea days.
Are gratuities included?
Your cruise fare includes pre-paid gratuities. But if you would like to offer the crew an additional gratuity for their excellent service, please feel free to tip them directly.
Do you offer kids clubs or babysitters onboard?
Because of the intimate nature of our yachts, we have a limited number of staterooms that can accommodate children. As such we do not offer special kids’ programs or provide childcare on board.
What is your onboard smoking policy?
Our guests’ and crew’s health, welfare and comfort are top priority for us. We have designated areas to accommodate for smoking and do not permit smoking in suites, staterooms or on balconies.
What’s the dress code on board?
Aboard an Atlas Ocean Voyages’ expedition, we want you to be comfortable and recommend yacht-club casual attire. During the day, and depending on your destination and the weather, guests will be dressed in casual touring or resort attire. At night, you will find most guests dressed for casual relaxation in slacks, skirts or dresses, with sweaters or jackets optional.
Do you have dry cleaning and laundry services?
Laundry services are available for additional charges and not currently included in the cruise fare. There are no self-service laundry facilities on board. Dry cleaning is not available. Limited complimentary wash and fold laundry service is available for suites.
Will there be formal nights?
We do not have formal nights, and recommend yacht-club casual for your evening attire. You may wear a blazer, sport coat or dress if you desire.
Can spa appointments be pre-booked?
At this time, all spa appointments need to be scheduled once on board.
Will we use Zodiacs or tenders or both to go ashore?
Our yachts come equipped with 12 customized Zodiacs, as well as tenders. How and when we use them to go ashore will depend on the destination and weather conditions, as our guests’ safety is of the utmost importance.
Will Atlas Ocean Voyages provide expedition clothing (included) and changing area?
Every Antarctica expedition includes a FREE parka and vest (yours to keep!) and FREE use of knee boots throughout the voyage. Our yachts also have a mud room for changing before you head out to your next exhilarating challenge.
Can I use my drone, quadcopter, UAV, etc. during an Antarctica expedition?
The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) does not allow the use of drones, quadcopters, UAVs, and other such hardware for recreational purposes from the yacht, during scheduled landings, or on excursions. Furthermore, the South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands government has banned the use of such recreational technologies in their territories.
Is your fleet made for Antarctica expeditions?
Yes! Our brand-new yachts are Polar Category C and Ice Class 1B, purpose-built for remote navigation. As our expeditions take place during Antarctica’s summer, there will be mild ice conditions and more open water, which is what our categorizations allow our yachts to navigate. With these polar code categorizations, we offer safety and stability.
Is an Antarctica expedition possible for disabled travelers?
While we aim to make our voyages inclusive for all guests, Antarctica is a destination that presents challenging elements. Our Antarctica journeys also use Zodiacs to transport guests between shore and yacht, so if you have a disability that does not easily allow for such transportation, we cannot serve you well for an Antarctica expedition at this time.
What is a Zodiac and who operates them?
Zodiacs are highly buoyant rubber boats built with inflatable hulls with several air-filled compartments for optimum floatation. Our polar-class yachts are equipped with custom-designed Zodiacs, complete with reinforced bow chests. Trained staff and crew members drive and operate the Zodiacs when taking you to your Antarctic adventures in the water and on shore. Please make sure to always follow their careful instructions when embarking and disembarking from the Zodiac.
Will I need to bring rubber boots with me?
Atlas Ocean Voyages provides every guest with FREE use of knee boots for wet landings.
Can I bring children with me on an Antarctica expedition?
Atlas is pleased to offer accommodations for children age eight years and older – accompanied at all times throughout the voyage – for our Antarctica expeditions.
How many dining venues are on board?
Our yachts include elegant main restaurants Madeira aboard World Voyager, Lisboa aboard World Traveller and Porto aboard World Navigator with ever-changing menus inspired by global cuisines, including authentic Portuguese specialty menu Alma on select nights; Josper Grill dining experience at 7AFT Grill; Paula’s Pantry – a cozy café; and afternoon and high tea with light snacks at The Dome.
Alma Alfresco and 7AFT Grill are only available on Epicurean Expeditions. They are not available on Polar Expeditions due to weather.
Do you offer open seating?
Our dining venues are designed for open seating; however, reservations are required in Alma Alfresco and 7AFT Grill. Reservations may be made once on board.
Do you offer room service?
We offer FREE 24-hour room service, including spirits, wine and beer from an “always available” menu in all accommodations. An expanded room service menu is available in suites.
What entertainment, guest lecturers and onboard programming will be available?
Every expedition features a range of entertainment. Gastronomic Guests and Visiting Vintners aboard Epicurean Expeditions, and naturalists, scientists and a world-class expedition team aboard Polar Expeditions enhance the intimate yachting experience. Voyages may also include guest lecturers who offer interactive presentations in the yacht’s auditorium and a talented pianist in Atlas Lounge for an evening of camaraderie.
What amenities will be provided in suites and staterooms?
All suites and staterooms come equipped with complimentary L’OCCITANE bath amenities, comfy bathrobe and slippers, TV, safe, hair dryer, individual temperature control, FREE stocked in-room minibar, personal Nespresso coffee and Kusmi teas, still and sparkling water in reusable glass bottles and more.
Will guests be allowed to bring alcohol on board?
Our always included fare encompasses unlimited wines, premium craft cocktails and brews with open bars and lounges, including 24-hour bar service. You may also purchase your own wine while exploring ashore and bring it back to enjoy on board in your room or at dinner with no corkage fees.
What is the voltage in your suites and staterooms?
Suites and staterooms have a voltage of 110 and 220 so you can conveniently charge your devices. All accommodations have a USB port.
Will there be meeting space on board?
We are happy to accommodate groups and can host groups in a several venues depending on the size of the group.
Will you require medical forms?
For your safety and well-being and depending on the medical condition, we may require you to bring medical forms with you on your expedition. This will be the best way for us to keep you safe and healthy while on your travels.
Do the yachts have elevators? If so, how many?
Our yachts have two elevators conveniently located to grant guests’ easy access to different decks and their rooms.
Will there be religious services on board?
Religious services will not be provided on board. But we are happy to accommodate guests to the best of our ability should they have special needs or preferences to practice their religion. We welcome all aboard our expeditions.
Can special events such as birthdays or anniversaries be celebrated on board?
You can let us know about your celebration in your MyAtlas account in the “special request” section and when possible, we will do our best to help fulfill your requests.
When and where can guests use the marina water toys?
Use of non-motorized marina water toys is available complimentary on select expeditions, and in select ports, in Europe; motorized water toys may also be available on select expeditions for an additional fee. Non-motorized water toys are available for a fee in Antarctica. Use of marina water toys is subject to sea and weather conditions, availability, and capacity controlled. Water toys are not available for use on Arctic, Iceland or Greenland expeditions.
What marina water toys are available to use?
Aboard select Europe expeditions, you have FREE use of non-motorized water toys, when available, subject to sea and weather conditions. You may also use motorized water toys and equipment for an additional fee, if available. Reservations must be made and paid for on board. Use of water toys cannot be confirmed or booked in advance.
Aboard Antarctica expeditions you have optional use of kayaks and standup paddleboards for a fee, subject to weather and sea conditions. Reservations can be made in advance and payment will be made once on board the yacht. While you do not need previous experience to use kayaks and paddleboards, the onboard crew will provide a brief tutorial for proper use of the equipment that will also help determine your physical ability to operate it safely and properly.
Is WiFi available?
Yes, WiFI is available throughout the yachts. Access is provided via Starlink. Service and speed will vary by destination and port. Staterooms receive 150 MB complimentary for one device, and suites receive 250MB complimentary for one device, which may be used for web browsing (when available based on location of yacht) and accessing email, YouTube, and social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WhatsApp and Twitter. Streaming bandwidth-heavy applications such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or any other broadcasting sites is not possible. Additional packages are available for purchase once on board.
Do you have a minimum age requirement?
Our minimum age requirement is 12 months for Epicurean Expeditions and 8 years of age for Polar Expeditions. Additionally, children 2 years and younger are FREE on all shoreside excursions on Epicurean Expeditions.
Can I request connecting staterooms or suites?
Connecting staterooms are not available. Guests can be accommodated by booking staterooms next to each other.
What are the yachts’ specifications?
Our yachts are built with the following dimensions: Length 423 ft., Beam 62 Ft., Draft 15.4 ft., 10,000 gross tons and offer 100 suites and staterooms. For more information about specifications and suites and staterooms, please refer to our deck plans and accommodations pages.
Are you partnering with any organizations for practicing sustainability? What are your environmental policies?
We take sustainability practices very seriously. To ensure we leave the world as we found it for future generations, our fleet of eco-friendly yachts are purpose-built with advanced technology and equipment. We are diligently working to create partnerships with brands that share our values.
What is your maximum stateroom occupancy?
All accommodations come with a sumptuous queen-size bed that can convert into two singles upon request. Our Journey and Navigator suites and Veranda Deluxe staterooms can accommodate a 3rd guest, while all others accommodate up to 2 guests.
Will you be visiting smaller ports? What ports do you visit?
Our intimate yachts are built with only 100 suites and staterooms. This lets us sail into many remote and intimate destinations that the large cruise ships cannot get to. To find out more about the ports we visit, check out our many exciting expeditions.
Do you have a loyalty program?
Our NEW loyalty program is called Atlas Yacht Club. After your first expedition with Atlas Ocean Voyages, you automatically become a valued guest of the Atlas Yacht Club and join a community of like-minded explorers. As a member of the club, enjoy exclusive benefits such as special savings and offers, shipboard credits, private cocktail receptions with Senior Officers and many more rewards at every level. Enjoy the warmth and friendliness of becoming part of the Atlas Ocean Voyages family and remember, more cruising means more rewards.
What is the crew's nationality?
At Atlas Ocean Voyages, we welcome all aboard our yachts, so our crew comes from all over the world to share their rich culture and personalities with us.
Where are the yachts registered?
Our yachts are registered in Portugal.
Where were Atlas Ocean Voyages' yachts built?
Our yachts were built in the West SEA Shipyard in Viana do Castelo, Portugal.
What destinations are your yachts visiting?
Our current itineraries include Antarctica, the Arctic and Norwegian Fjords, Iceland and Greenland for Polar Expeditions and the Mediterranean, British Isles and Northern Europe on Epicurean Expeditions. Every voyage takes you to hidden gems throughout as we access boutique ports.
What is your policy for pregnant travelers?
We are happy to accommodate any guest who has not yet entered their 24th week of pregnancy by the beginning of or at any time during their expedition. We prioritize our guests’ health and well-being, so we recommend they seek medical advice from their doctor prior to sailing. We would like to extend a friendly reminder that Atlas Ocean Voyages does not represent that travel is safe during any point of a guest’s pregnancy.
Will guests under the age of 18 be able to occupy a stateroom by themselves?
We are excited to give all our guests the journey of a lifetime. To ensure their safety and well-being, we require guests under the age of 18 to have an adult accompany them in their suite or stateroom.
Do I need to purchase travel insurance?
Included in your cruise fare, Atlas Ocean Voyages provides an Emergency Medical and Trip Delay Travel Protection plan on your behalf. The plan includes reimbursement for expenses such as trip cancellation, trip delays, baggage loss, medical situations and more.
While not required, we strongly recommend that all our guests purchase additional travel insurance with increased maximum reimbursement. Please refer to the plan documentation at AffinityTravelCert.com/docs/AOB01 for specific terms, conditions and exclusions. You may also call 877.303.5909 or 1.516.342.4594 (from outside U.S.) for assistance.
What are your current health protocols?
- Beginning April 2023, proof of vaccination is no longer required to board any of our yachts.
- All crew are fully vaccinated and monitored.
- Some ports of call may still require proof of vaccination. See below for more details.
- On all Expeditions:
- Pre-testing is not required for guests.
- Guests are not required to wear facemasks while on board except when visiting the Medical Center.
- All onboard spaces, suites and staterooms are disinfected prior to guests’ embarkation and sanitized frequently during the day throughout the voyage.
- Hand sanitizing dispensers are placed throughout the ship for guests’ convenience.
- Our attentive housekeeping staff will frequently sanitize all surfaces daily.
Every port destination has a separate requirement for:
- Testing, health certificates, proof of inoculation and/or vaccinations, and these can change periodically.
- Please make sure to research the requirements of each destination you are visiting to ensure you are compliant.
- Also, please check with your local health department or private health care professional for any inoculations or vaccinations you may require. Visit cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list to find your destinations’ specific vaccination requirements.
- Guests are responsible for obtaining and adhering to entry requirements for the cities of embarkation.
We take guests’, staff and crew health and safety most seriously. We continue to update our policies and procedures according to the latest guidance to ensure that guests enjoy a safe and unforgettable expedition.
What time can I embark the yacht?
Embarkation begins at 3 PM and ends at 5 PM unless otherwise noted in your Expedition Documents.
How do I pay for onboard expenses?
The currency on board is the U.S. Dollar ($US). To help you make cashless transactions on board, we set up a shipboard account linked to your electronic payment method upon embarkation. The night before your final disembarkation, a detailed statement of your shipboard account is available. We accept American Express, MasterCard, Visa and Discover credit cards, as well as traveler’s checks and cash.
What does the cruise fare include?
Always included for FREE on every expedition: a cultural immersion on every voyage; dining venues with ever-changing menus; unlimited beverages, including fine wines, spirits and craft beers; open bars and lounges, including 24-hour bar service with specialty canapés; FREE stocked in-room minibar; specialty coffees, teas and fresh-pressed juices; afternoon and high tea; champagne and gourmet canapés during meet and greet; 24-hour room service, including spirits, wine and beer; L’OCCITANE bath amenities; pre-paid gratuities; use of walking sticks and binoculars; reusable water bottle; and butler service and expanded room service menu in suites. Trip delay and medical coverage is included at no additional cost.
Exclusive on our Epicurean Expeditions in the Mediterranean, British Isles and Northern Europe, we also include a FREE cultural immersion, including a culinary experience ashore, such as local market visits, specialty tastings and more; Josper Grill Dining Experience at 7AFT Grill; culinary presentations and wine tastings; cooking demonstrations and cuisine tastings; events hosted by a Tastes and Traditions Expert on select voyages; an Atlas Ocean Voyages backpack and FREE use of marina water toys.
Exclusive on our Polar Expeditions in Antarctica, the Arctic, Iceland and Greenland, we also include FREE private charter jet service on most expeditions, enrichment lectures and destination briefings, shore landings led by expert field guides, escorted sightseeing safaris by Zodiac, the polar plunge, an Atlas Ocean Voyages parka and vest, FREE use of knee boots and private group transfers between the airport and yacht.
After I make a reservation when is my deposit due?
To make sure you don’t lose your booking after making a reservation, make sure to submit your initial deposit within 3 days of the booking for reservations made more than 120 days from sailing. If you make a booking within 120 days of the sailing date, you must submit full payment by the set option date. To make a deposit for your voyage please contact us at 1.844.44.ATLAS (28527).
When is final payment due?
As you prepare for the adventure of a lifetime, you must make the final payment 121 days prior to your departure date so that you do not lose your reservation and deposit.
I am a solo traveler. Do you offer a savings for singles?
With our Single Explorer Savings, solo travelers will receive a savings on stateroom categories E1, E2, A1, A2, B1, B2, and AO. Suites are excluded and savings amount varies by expedition and stateroom selected.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you must cancel your expedition, the following fees will be assessed:
|Days Prior to Voyage Start Date||Cancellation Fee|
|Deposit – 121 days prior to sailing||$250 Per Person Administration Fee|
|120 to 91 days prior to sailing||25% Cancellation Fee|
|90 to 76 days prior to sailing||50% Cancellation Fee|
|75 to 46 days prior to sailing||75% Cancellation Fee|
|45 to 0 days prior to sailing (including non-appearance at the port of cruise embarkation at the scheduled time of departure||100% Cancellation Fee|
Will I be able to exchange currency on board?
We do not offer currency exchange services on board.
PRIVATE CHARTER JET SERVICE
Do you provide flights for your Polar Expeditions?
We’re pleased to provide guests with FREE private charter jet service between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia or between Punta Arenas and King George Island on all Antarctica expeditions. We also offer FREE private charter jet service between Oslo and Longyearbyen on select Arctic expeditions, and on expeditions embarking or disembarking in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. Details for your charter flight can be found in your Expedition Documents that you will receive 30 days prior to voyage departure.
Are there weight limits for checked and carry-on luggage for the charter flight?
For your charter flight between Ushuaia and Buenos Aires, you are allowed one checked luggage item with a maximum weight of 50 lbs. You are also allowed one carry-on item at a maximum of 17.6 lbs.
For charter flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen, you are allowed one checked luggage item with a maximum weight of 50 lbs and one carry-on item at a maximum of 11 lbs.
For your charter flight between Punta Arenas and King George Island on Antarctica Drake Express and Drake Fly & Sail expeditions, you are allowed one checked luggage item with a maximum weight of 42 lbs. You are also allowed one carry-on item at a maximum of 11 lbs.
SPECIAL REQUESTS & ACCESSIBILITY
Will your yachts have accessible accommodations?
Our yachts have two (2) accessible staterooms with door measurements of 90 centimeters to accommodate guests with disabilities and offer them the utmost comfort. Please note these accommodations have limited closet space. Refer to our deck plans for their location.
Will Atlas Ocean Voyages be able to accommodate special dietary needs?
When notified in advance through your MyAtlas registration, we will be able to accommodate select special dietary needs. Once on board, please see our maître’d if you have any questions, or would like to see the ingredients of any of our menu items.
Will you allow service animals onboard?
To keep everyone aboard safe and comfortable, we do not allow any kind of animals on our yachts.