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Frequently Asked Questions

How many people on the ship?
Polar Pioneer sleeps 54 passengers. We believe that small groups are the best way to experience our destinations.

Where do passengers come from?
The majority of our clients come from Australia, the UK/Europe and America, however we do often have a mix of other nationalities on board, including our expedition staff.

How much room is there for luggage?
There is ample storage space in your cabin on all our ships. Your empty baggage can be stored safely elsewhere on the ship if need be.

Does the crew speak English?
The crew are all Russian. They are undoubtedly the ice-masters of the world. The Captain and most of the watch officers speak English. Whilst some of the crew speak only a little English, they do like to practice their English skills on our willing passengers.

Is the ship air-conditioned? What is the temperature?
All our ships are air-conditioned and the temperature ranges for 15°C to 25°C. You can control the temperature of your cabin by adjusting the airflow through the roof vent and turning your heater on or off.

How do we dry wet clothing?
Clothing dries very quickly inside your cabin. There are no passenger laundry facilities for you to do your own washing, but there is a laundry service on board all our vessels. Prices are listed in your cabin. All cabins have a sink.

What clothes do I take to wear on the ship?
Shipboard clothing is informal and casual. Depending on your destination; jeans, jumpers, long sleeve shirt and enclosed shoes are ideal in our polar regions. However be sure to keep your jacket close for unexpected sightings!

Some people like to take a nice outfit or something a bit special for the Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks, but formal clothing is not necessary.

What type of jacket should I take?
You can get away without a padded ski jacket or down parka, if you don’t have one; however a wind and waterproof jacket is a must!

Do you provide parkers or jackets?
We do not provide parkers or jackets on board.

What kind of footwear do I need for our shore visits?
It is most important that you bring a good pair of walking shoes. Gumboots will be provided on board in our polar destinations.

Do you provide gumboots?
Yes. All passengers will be provided with gumboots. If you have concerns regarding extra small or large sizing, or hard-to-fit feet, we recommend you bring your own pair.

How often do we get off the ship?
We aim to get off the ship as much as possible, usually two, sometimes three times a day depending on weather and itinerary. Weather permitting we spend between one to four hours at each location. We come back to the ship for meals.

What is not included in the price of the voyage?
In general items that are not included in the cost of your voyage are flights to and from your voyage, pre and post accommodation, transfers, drinks from the bar (alcohol and soft drinks), gratuities, ship-shop items, laundry costs and other items of a personal nature (unless stated in your voyage inclusions).

Some voyages do include certain pre and post arrangements, so please check your specific voyage inclusions in our brochure, website or call our Expedition Experts on + 61 2 9252 1033 .

Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance, including medical evacuation cover, is mandatory for all Aurora Expeditions’ voyages. We advise you have insurance for voyage cancellation to ensure you will be covered financially if you are forced to cancel your voyage due to circumstances beyond your control. It is in your best interest to read carefully the General Terms & Conditions on your booking form or on our website here. http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/terms-and-conditions

How much should I tip?
People often ask us what they should do about tipping. Tipping is a very personal matter, however if pressed we recommend $US10-12 per passenger, per day that you are on the ship. It is better for our Russian crew if you can give them US dollars cash. Our Russian crews work extremely hard to ensure you have the best possible experience. They are paid by the Russian ship owners and do not receive large wages. We are continually lobbying on their behalf for better pay.

Should I bring along my own walking poles?
Yes, it’s a good idea, especially if you have trouble walking over uneven ground. Some of our landings can be on slippery rocks or deep snow, and we may go for extended walks to see different parts of our landing point. We recommend the telescopic poles, with the optional snow-basket tips for polar voyages. You can purchase these poles in most outdoor stores.

Do you have facilities on board to download digital images from my camera?
No, we do not provide a computer to download your digital images. We recommended you bring a laptop computer or similar downloading device to download your images, either between landings, in the evenings or during sea crossings.

What is the electrical supply on board? Do I need a converter?
The electrical supply on board is 220 volts, 50 hertz. You will need a European round two-prong plug adapter available at duty free or electrical supply shops.

Do you cater for special meal requests?
Yes. Our talented chefs will take your requirements into their meal planning and ensure you receive tasty, healthy meals. Please ensure you list any dietary requirements on your personal details form.

What if I need to go to the toilet when ashore?
Our expedition staff will instruct you with these types of rules on board. Generally on our polar voyages we avoid going to the bathroom ashore, however in an emergency we ask you to find a discreet location near the shoreline to relieve yourself.

How fit do I need to be?
To make the most of our voyages, you should be in good general health and able to walk reasonable distances, sometimes over uneven terrain. However, if you have problems walking on rough ground, you can enjoy the scenery closer to shore. Should you have any physical limitations please notify us well in advance of your departure, but this should not discourage you participating.

How do we pay for our bar bill at the end of the voyage?
Our hotel manager will organise this on board. We accept all major credit cards, or if you are paying cash we except US dollars.

Can I smoke on board?
There is a ‘No Smoking’ policy throughout the interior of our ships. Our expedition leader will advise you on designated smoking areas.

Are there hairdryers on board?
There are no hairdryers on board.

Will I get sea sick?
Many people ask us if they will get seasick. It is a very difficult question to answer because it depends so much on the individual. Our experience is that a small percentage of people are seasick on any trip and most of these people are fine after a day or so at sea. If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to seasickness then it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. Come with motion sickness tablets. There will be a doctor on board to assist with any bouts of sea sickness. 

Will I see a polar bear in the Russian Arctic/ brown bear in the Russian Far East?
As with all wild animals, we cannot guarantee you will see polar bears. However, the time of year we visit is when bear numbers are at their peak, and our experienced leaders and crew are aware of the bear’s habitats and are well trained to spot these marvellous creatures in the wild.

Is tipping expected in Russian hotels, bars and restaurants?
Tipping is common at about 5-10% in most places. Consider about 10% in some more up-market restaurants. As far as tour guides are concerned, about US$5 to US$10 a day is suitable. Sometimes a small gift, such as chocolates or a CD, is a nice gesture.

Is bargaining acceptable?
Items that you purchase in store will usually have a fixed price. However, you may make a counter bid at markets and souvenir stalls, although Russia is not really a country for vigorous haggling.

What sort of money do I take and how much?
Australian dollars are difficult to exchange in Russia. We recommend that you exchange your Australian dollars in Australia or take US dollars for exchanging in Moscow or St Petersburg. It is better to carry US dollars for tipping and payment of bar bills on board the ship. You can also pay with all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Can I swim or snorkel in Russia?
Although you cannot swim or snorkel in Russia, some of our voyages stop at hot springs where you will have the chance to have a soak. Check your voyage itinerary for details.

Do I need a visa for Russia?
Yes. To enter the Russian Federation, all foreigners must have a valid visa. A visa to enter the Federation of Russia requires specific visa support documentation and a completed application form. An application form and a list of the supporting documents required can be downloaded from your local consulate website. Please contact our Expedition Experts for more information on obtaining a Russian visa – .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or +61 2 9252 1033.

Please also note at check in to each hotel, you will be charged a visa registration fee for the hotel to register your stay. This cost may be included in the cost when booking or may be charged upon arrival to the hotel. The cost can be up to EUR8 per person, per room.

How do I get to Russia?
There are a number of airlines that can get you to Russia, however within Russia itself, the choice is limited. View a list of airlines on page #. Common airline routes (from Sydney, Australia) are listed below. Contact our reservations team if you would like flight information travelling from your nearest city.

To Sakhalin Island

Sydney- Seoul -Yuzhno

To Petropavlovsk

Sydney-Seoul-Vladivostok-Petropavlovsk

To Anadyr

Sydney-Dubai-Moscow-Anadyr

Sydney- Singapore-Moscow-Anadyr

Sydney-Honolulu-Anchorage-Nome -Anadyr

To Murmansk

Sydney-Singapore-Moscow-Murmansk

 

How many people on the ship?
Coral Princess sleeps 44 passengers. We believe that small groups are the best way to experience our destinations.

Where do passengers come from?
The majority of our clients come from Australia, however we do often have a mix of other nationalities on board.

How much room is there for luggage?
There is ample storage space in your cabin on all our ships. Your empty baggage can be stored safely elsewhere on the ship if need be.

Does the crew speak English?
Staff on Coral princess are generally Australian and speak English.

Is the ship air-conditioned? What is the temperature?
Coral Princess is airconditioned, however it is not adjustable in individual cabins, so please bring something to keep you warm at night.

How do we dry wet clothing?
Clothing dries very quickly inside your cabin. There are no passenger laundry facilities for you to do your own washing, but there is a laundry service on board all our vessels. Prices are listed in your cabin. All cabins have a sink.

What clothes do I take to wear on the ship?
Shipboard clothing is informal and casual. Shorts, shirts and sandals are perfect for on board in the Kimberly. Don’t forget a hat and sunscreen to wear on the deck.

Some people like to take a nice outfit or something a bit special for the Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks, but formal clothing is not necessary.

What kind of footwear do I need for our shore visits?
It is most important that you bring a good pair of walking shoes. In the tropics you will need a pair of wet landing shoes, that you are happy to get wet – Velcro sandals, Crocs, or an old pair of joggers are all ideal.

How often do we get off the ship?
We aim to get off the ship as much as possible, usually two times a day depending on weather and itinerary. Weather permitting we spend between one to four hours at each location. We come back to the ship for meals.

Longer excursions are offered on selected voyages, such as the Kunmunya walk in the Kimberley.

What is not included in the price of the voyage?
In general items that are not included in the cost of your voyage are flights to and from your voyage, pre and post accommodation, transfers, drinks from the bar (alcohol and soft drinks), gratuities, ship-shop items, laundry costs and other items of a personal nature.

Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance, including medical evacuation cover, is mandatory for all Aurora Expeditions’ voyages. We advise you have insurance for voyage cancellation to ensure you will be covered financially if you are forced to cancel your voyage due to circumstances beyond your control. It is in your best interest to read carefully the General Terms & Conditions on your booking form or on our website.

http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/terms-and-conditions 

How much should I tip?
People often ask us what they should do about tipping. Tipping is a very personal matter, however if pressed we recommend $AU10 per passenger, per day that you are on the ship.

Should I bring along my own walking poles?
Yes, it’s a good idea, especially if you have trouble walking over uneven ground. Some of our landings can be on slippery rocks, and we may go for extended walks to see different parts of our landing point. We recommend the telescopic poles, which you can purchase these poles in most outdoor stores.

Do you have facilities on board to download digital images from my camera?
No, we do not provide a computer to download your digital images. We recommended you bring a laptop computer or similar downloading device to download your images, either between landings, in the evenings or during sea crossings.

What is the electrical supply on board? Do I need a converter?
A standard, Australian three-prong plug is used on Coral Princess.

Is there Internet, email or telephone access on board?
Internet is available via a wireless network for use on your own computer or PDA, or via an onboard internet booth. Internet access is available through purchasing an internet card from the Purser onboard. Access options are 60mins - $40, 120mins - $60 and 240mins - $90.

Please Note: Due to the remote location of your voyage, making contact with the ship via telephone can be difficult and expensive. In case of emergency, it is recommended your family and friends contact the Aurora Expeditions’ office and we will do our best to get the message through to the ship.

Please Note: Due to the remote location of your voyage, making contact with the ship via telephone can be difficult and expensive. In case of emergency, it is recommended your family and friends contact the Aurora Expeditions’ office and we will do our best to get the message through to the ship.

Do you cater for special meal requests?
Yes. Our talented chefs will take your requirements into their meal planning and ensure you receive tasty, healthy meals. Please ensure you list any dietary requirements on your personal details form.

What if I need to go to the toilet when ashore?
Our expedition staff will instruct you with these types of rules on board.. In the Kimberley, we are often in remote bush and forests, and you will need to find a discreet location to do your business.

Do you provide toiletries on board?
On Coral Princess small hotel style soap, shampoo and conditioner is provided in your cabin.

How fit do I need to be?
To make the most of our voyages, you should be in good general health and able to walk reasonable distances, sometimes over uneven terrain. However, if you have problems walking on rough ground, you can enjoy the scenery closer to shore. Should you have any physical limitations please notify us well in advance of your departure, but this should not discourage you participating.

How do we pay for our bar bill at the end of the voyage?
Our hotel manager will organise this on board. On Coral Princess we accept all major credit cards or Australian dollars.

Can I smoke on board?
There is a ‘No Smoking’ policy throughout the interior of our ships. Our expedition leader will advise you on designated smoking areas on deck.

Are there hairdryers on board?
All cabins on Coral Princess have hairdryers.

Will I get sea sick?
Many people ask us if they will get seasick. It is a very difficult question to answer because it depends so much on the individual. Our experience is that a small percentage of people are seasick on any trip and most of these people are fine after a day or so at sea. If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to seasickness then it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. Come with motion sickness tablets. There will be a a first aid officer on Coral Princess who will be able to assist with any bouts of seasickness.

What kind of footwear do I need for our shore visits?
It is most important that you bring a good pair of walking shoes, sandshoes or running shoes, because we'll be encountering slippery rock and mud ashore. Some people prefer to wear sports sandals such as ‘Teva’, but they must have a good grip. You do not need expensive footwear, just shoes that will protect your feet and be comfortable. You should be prepared to throw the ‘wet landing’ shoes away at the end of the voyage. Thongs and some sandals can actually be quite dangerous ashore, but can be worn on the ship.

Can I go fishing?
In 2013 our program includes a special barramundi fishing option. This is limited to six keen anglers and may be reserved on a first come, first served basis. Please contact Aurora expeditions for more details on +61 2 9252 1033. (Note: optional tours are subject to weather conditions and tides)

Will there be snorkelling opportunities?
It is highly unlikely that there will be snorkelling opportunities during this expedition. However, there is a supply of masks, snorkels and fins on board so you do not need to bring your own. Don't forget we'll be in crocodile territory - our Captain and staff are familiar with locations that are safe for swimming and snorkelling, and we plan to stop if time permits.

Will it be very hot onshore?
The temperature ranges from about 25°C to 32°C, so please make sure you bring a good hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.

How many people on the ship?
Polar Pioneer sleeps 54 passengers. We believe that small groups are the best way to experience our destinations.

Where do passengers come from?
The majority of our clients come from Australia, the UK/Europe and America, however we do often have a mix of other nationalities on board, including our expedition staff.

How much room is there for luggage?
There is ample storage space in your cabin on all our ships. Your empty baggage can be stored safely elsewhere on the ship if need be.

Does the crew speak English?
The crew on Polar Pioneer are all Russian. They are undoubtedly the ice-masters of the world. The Captain and most of the watch officers speak English. Whilst some of the crew speak only a little English, they do like to practice their English skills on our willing passengers.

How cold does it get in Antarctica?
During the summer months (when we visit) the temperature can range from -2C (28F) to 8C (46F). Big storms are rare, but if one comes through the temperature could drop to -8C (17F).

Is the ship air-conditioned? What is the temperature?
All our ships are air-conditioned and the temperature ranges for 15°C to 25°C. On Polar Pioneer you can control the temperature of your cabin by adjusting the airflow through the roof vent and turning your heater on or off.

How do we dry wet clothing?
Clothing dries very quickly inside your cabin. There are no passenger laundry facilities for you to do your own washing, but there is a laundry service on board all our vessels. Prices are listed in your cabin. All cabins have a sink.

What clothes do I take to wear on the ship?
Shipboard clothing is informal and casual. Depending on your destination; jeans, jumpers, long sleeve shirt and enclosed shoes are ideal in our polar regions. However be sure to keep your jacket close for unexpected sightings!

Some people like to take a nice outfit or something a bit special for the Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks, but formal clothing is not necessary.

What type of jacket should I take?
You can get away without a padded ski jacket or down parka, if you don’t have one; however a wind and waterproof jacket is a must!

Do you provide parkers or jackets?
From November 2014 each passenger travelling on our Antarctic or Arctic voyages will receive a complimentary polar expedition jacket to wear during your expedition and take home after your trip.

What kind of footwear do I need for our shore visits?
It is most important that you bring a good pair of walking shoes. Gumboots will be provided on board in our polar destinations.

How often do we get off the ship?
We aim to get off the ship as much as possible, usually two, sometimes three times a day depending on weather and itinerary. Weather permitting we spend between one to four hours at each location. We come back to the ship for meals.

What is not included in the price of the voyage?
In general items that are not included in the cost of your voyage are flights to and from your voyage, pre and post accommodation, transfers, drinks from the bar (alcohol and soft drinks), gratuities, ship-shop items, laundry costs and other items of a personal nature (unless stated in your voyage inclusions).

Some voyages do include certain pre and post arrangements, so please check your specific voyage inclusions in our brochure, website or call our Expedition Experts on + 61 2 9252 1033 .

Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance, including medical evacuation cover, is mandatory for all Aurora Expeditions’ voyages. We advise you have insurance for voyage cancellation to ensure you will be covered financially if you are forced to cancel your voyage due to circumstances beyond your control. It is in your best interest to read carefully the General Terms & Conditions on your booking form or on our website here. http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/terms-and-conditions

How much should I tip?
People often ask us what they should do about tipping. Tipping is a very personal matter, however if pressed we recommend $US10-12 per passenger, per day that you are on the ship. It is better for our Russian crew if you can give them US dollars cash. Our Russian crews work extremely hard to ensure you have the best possible experience. They are paid by the Russian ship owners and do not receive large wages. We are continually lobbying on their behalf for better pay.

Should I bring along my own walking poles?
Yes, it’s a good idea, especially if you have trouble walking over uneven ground. Some of our landings can be on slippery rocks or deep snow, and we may go for extended walks to see different parts of our landing point. We recommend the telescopic poles, with the optional snow-basket tips for polar voyages. You can purchase these poles in most outdoor stores.

Do you have facilities on board to download digital images from my camera?
No, we do not provide a computer to download your digital images. We recommended you bring a laptop computer or similar downloading device to download your images, either between landings, in the evenings or during sea crossings.

What is the electrical supply on board? Do I need a converter?
The electrical supply on board Polar Pioneer is 220 volts, 50 hertz. You will need a European round two-prong plug adapter (as pictured), available at duty free or electrical supply shops.

Is there Internet, email or telephone access on board?
There is no Internet access on board our ships, however you can pay to send and receive emails only (no attachments). On Polar Pioneer, the prices start from approximately 20 US cents per one kilobyte. Wi-fi access is available for laptops, with an email account set up for US$5, with the same download/sending fees.

A satellite telephone is available for use, and prices start from US$10 for 5 min.
Please Note: Due to the remote location of your voyage, making contact with the ship via telephone can be difficult and expensive. In case of emergency, it is recommended your family and friends contact the Aurora Expeditions’ office and we will do our best to get the message through to the ship.

Do you cater for special meal requests?
Yes. Our talented chefs will take your requirements into their meal planning and ensure you receive tasty, healthy meals. Please ensure you list any dietary requirements on your personal details form.

Do you provide gumboots?
Yes. All passengers going to Antarctica, the Arctic, and Scotland, will be provided with gumboots. If you have concerns regarding extra small or large sizing, or hard-to-fit feet, we recommend you bring your own pair.

What if I need to go to the toilet when ashore?
Our expedition staff will instruct you with these types of rules on board. Generally on our polar voyages we avoid going to the bathroom ashore, however in an emergency we ask you to find a discreet location near the shoreline to relieve yourself.

Do you provide toiletries on board?
We provide each passenger with a bar of soap on Polar Pioneer.

How fit do I need to be?

To make the most of our voyages, you should be in good general health and able to walk reasonable distances, sometimes over uneven terrain. However, if you have problems walking on rough ground, you can enjoy the scenery closer to shore. Should you have any physical limitations please notify us well in advance of your departure, but this should not discourage you participating.

How do we pay for our bar bill at the end of the voyage?
Our hotel manager will organise this on board. We accept all major credit cards, or if you are paying cash we except US or Australian dollars on Polar Pioneer.

Can I smoke on board?
There is a ‘No Smoking’ policy throughout the interior of our ships. Our expedition leader will advise you on designated smoking areas.

Are there hairdryers on board?
There are no hairdryers on Polar Pioneer.

Will I get sea sick?
Many people ask us if they will get seasick. It is a very difficult question to answer because it depends so much on the individual. Our experience is that a small percentage of people are seasick on any trip and most of these people are fine after a day or so at sea. If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to seasickness then it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. Come with motion sickness tablets. There will be a doctor on board Polar Pioneer toa ssit with any bouts of seasickness.

How close can I get to the animals?
We enforce a five (5) metre rule in all our destinations. In regions where there are more dangerous animals such as polar bears in the Arctic, our expedition staff will give you strict viewing guidelines on board and you will be asked to stay close to your expedition guide when ashore. 

What clothes do I need in South America?
In South America it will be mid-summer and the temperature is likely to be between 20 C and 30 C. Casual comfortable clothing such as shorts, skirts and cool tops with sandals are ideal. In Tierra del Fuego the weather is very changeable and tends to be cooler, so long trousers and a windproof or fibre-pile (polar fleece) jacket are ideal.

How many pairs of gloves do I need?
It is best to take two to three pairs of gloves.

How much time do we have in Ushuaia?
The time available to you in Ushuaia very much depends on your personal itinerary. We strongly recommend you plan to arrive one or two days before your journey. Many people like to extend their stay in South America to visit places such as Patagonia or Iguazu Falls. Aurora Expeditions can assist you with all your travel arrangements including flights, accommodation, travel insurance and transfers as well as fascinating extra tours and activities.

What sort of money do I take and how much?
We recommend that you take US dollars for use in Buenos Aires, Ushuaia and on board the ship. We do not recommend travellers cheques in Argentina; it is difficult to change them, even at hotels. Australian dollars are impossible to exchange in South America, particularly in Tierra del Fuego. Approximate exchange is four (4) Argentine Peso to one (1) Australian or US dollar.

It is better to carry US dollars for tipping and payment of bar bills on board the ship. You can also pay with all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Can I swim or snorkel in Antarctica?
Although you cannot swim or snorkel in Antarctica, most of our voyages stop for a ‘Polar Plunge’, where willing passengers can take the ultimate dip into the icy Antarctic waters. Experienced scuba divers have the option to dive on selected voyages.

Can I take my skis and ski in Antarctica?
We do not offer skiing in Antarctica. Hidden crevasses make unguided skiing in Antarctica extremely dangerous.

How many people on the ship?
Polar Pioneer sleeps 54 passengers. We believe that small groups are the best way to experience our destinations.

Where do passengers come from?
The majority of our clients come from Australia, the UK/Europe and America, however we do often have a mix of other nationalities on board, including our expedition staff.

How much room is there for luggage?
There is ample storage space in your cabin on all our ships. Your empty baggage can be stored safely elsewhere on the ship if need be.

Does the crew speak English?
The crew on Polar Pioneer are all Russian. They are undoubtedly the ice-masters of the world. The Captain and most of the watch officers speak English. Whilst some of the crew speak only a little English, they do like to practice their English skills on our willing passengers.

Is the ship air-conditioned? What is the temperature?
All our ships are air-conditioned and the temperature ranges for 15°C to 25°C. On Polar Pioneer you can control the temperature of your cabin by adjusting the airflow through the roof vent and turning your heater on or off.

How do we dry wet clothing?
Clothing dries very quickly inside your cabin. There are no passenger laundry facilities for you to do your own washing, but there is a laundry service on board all our vessels. Prices are listed in your cabin. All cabins have a sink.

What clothes do I take to wear on the ship?
Shipboard clothing is informal and casual. Depending on your destination; jeans, jumpers, long sleeve shirt and enclosed shoes are ideal in our polar regions. However be sure to keep your jacket close for unexpected sightings!

Some people like to take a nice outfit or something a bit special for the Captain’s welcome and farewell drinks, but formal clothing is not necessary.

What type of jacket should I take?
You can get away without a padded ski jacket or down parka, if you don’t have one; however a wind and waterproof jacket is a must!

Do you provide parkers or jackets?
From November 2014 each passenger travelling on our Antarctic or Arctic voyages will receive a complimentary polar expedition jacket to wear during your expedition and take home after your trip.

What kind of footwear do I need for our shore visits?
It is most important that you bring a good pair of walking shoes. Gumboots will be provided on board in our polar destinations.

How often do we get off the ship?
We aim to get off the ship as much as possible, usually two, sometimes three times a day depending on weather and itinerary. Weather permitting we spend between one to four hours at each location. We come back to the ship for meals.

What is not included in the price of the voyage?
In general items that are not included in the cost of your voyage are flights to and from your voyage, pre and post accommodation, transfers, drinks from the bar (alcohol and soft drinks), gratuities, ship-shop items, laundry costs and other items of a personal nature (unless stated in your voyage inclusions).

Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance, including medical evacuation cover, is mandatory for all Aurora Expeditions’ voyages. We advise you have insurance for voyage cancellation to ensure you will be covered financially if you are forced to cancel your voyage due to circumstances beyond your control. It is in your best interest to read carefully the General Terms & Conditions on your booking form or on our website here. http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/terms-and-conditions

How much should I tip?
People often ask us what they should do about tipping. Tipping is a very personal matter, however if pressed we recommend $US10-12 per passenger, per day that you are on the ship. It is better for our Russian crew if you can give them US dollars cash. Our Russian crews work extremely hard to ensure you have the best possible experience. They are paid by the Russian ship owners and do not receive large wages. We are continually lobbying on their behalf for better pay.

Should I bring along my own walking poles?
Yes, it’s a good idea, especially if you have trouble walking over uneven ground. Some of our landings can be on slippery rocks or deep snow, and we may go for extended walks to see different parts of our landing point. We recommend the telescopic poles, with the optional snow-basket tips for polar voyages. You can purchase these poles in most outdoor stores.

Do you have facilities on board to download digital images from my camera?
No, we do not provide a computer to download your digital images. We recommended you bring a laptop computer or similar downloading device to download your images, either between landings, in the evenings or during sea crossings.

What is the electrical supply on board? Do I need a converter?
The electrical supply on board Polar Pioneer is 220 volts, 50 hertz. You will need a European round two-prong plug adapter (as pictured), available at duty free or electrical supply shops.

Is there Internet, email or telephone access on board?
There is no Internet access on board our ships, however you can pay to send and receive emails only (no attachments). On Polar Pioneer, the prices start from approximately 20 US cents per one kilobyte. Wi-fi access is available for laptops, with an email account set up for US$5, with the same download/sending fees.

A satellite telephone is available for use, and prices start from US$10 for 5 min.
Please Note: Due to the remote location of your voyage, making contact with the ship via telephone can be difficult and expensive. In case of emergency, it is recommended your family and friends contact the Aurora Expeditions’ office and we will do our best to get the message through to the ship.

Do you cater for special meal requests?
Yes. Our talented chefs will take your requirements into their meal planning and ensure you receive tasty, healthy meals. Please ensure you list any dietary requirements on your personal details form.

Do you provide gumboots?
Yes. All passengers going to Antarctica, the Arctic, and Scotland, will be provided with gumboots. If you have concerns regarding extra small or large sizing, or hard-to-fit feet, we recommend you bring your own pair.

What if I need to go to the toilet when ashore?
Our expedition staff will instruct you with these types of rules on board. Generally on our polar voyages we avoid going to the bathroom ashore, however in an emergency we ask you to find a discreet location near the shoreline to relieve yourself.

Do you provide toiletries on board?
We provide each passenger with a bar of soap on Polar Pioneer.

How fit do I need to be?
To make the most of our voyages, you should be in good general health and able to walk reasonable distances, sometimes over uneven terrain. However, if you have problems walking on rough ground, you can enjoy the scenery closer to shore. Should you have any physical limitations please notify us well in advance of your departure, but this should not discourage you participating.

How do we pay for our bar bill at the end of the voyage?
Our hotel manager will organise this on board. We accept all major credit cards, or if you are paying cash we except US or Australian dollars on Polar Pioneer.

Can I smoke on board?
There is a ‘No Smoking’ policy throughout the interior of our ships. Our expedition leader will advise you on designated smoking areas.

Are there hairdryers on board?
There are no hairdryers on Polar Pioneer.

Will I get sea sick?
Many people ask us if they will get seasick. It is a very difficult question to answer because it depends so much on the individual. Our experience is that a small percentage of people are seasick on any trip and most of these people are fine after a day or so at sea. If you feel that you are particularly susceptible to seasickness then it is a good idea to talk to your doctor. Come with motion sickness tablets. There will be a doctor on board Polar Pioneer to assist with any bouts of sea sickness. 

Will I see a polar bear?
As with all wild animals, we cannot guarantee you will see polar bears. However, the time of year we visit is when bear numbers are at their peak, and our experienced leaders and crew are aware of the bear’s habitats and are well trained to spot these marvellous creatures in the wild.

How much time do we have in Longyearbyen?
The time available to you in Longyearbyen very much depends on your personal itinerary. Aurora Expeditions offers a pre and post package to tie into our voyage departure and arrival dates, which includes flights to Longyearbyen, transfers, a town tour, and some free time in Longyearbyen. Many people like to extend their stay in Europe and Aurora Expeditions can assist you with all your travel arrangements including flights, accommodation, travel insurance and transfers as well as fascinating extra tours and activities. Contact our Expeditions Experts on +61 2 9252 1033.

What sort of money do I take and how much?
Australian dollars are difficult to exchange in Scandinavia. We recommend that you take US dollars for exchanging in Norway and Iceland. It is better to carry US dollars for tipping and payment of bar bills on board the ship. You can also pay with all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard and American Express.

Can I swim or snorkel in the Arctic?
Although you cannot swim or snorkel in the Arctic, most of our voyages stop for a ‘Polar Plunge’, where willing passengers can take the ultimate dip into the icy Arctic waters. Experienced scuba divers have the option to dive on selected voyages.