Frequently Asked Questions

2025 Antarctic Voyage

SECTION 1: JOINING THE VOYAGE

About the Voyage
Voyage Roadmap 

Please read our Communications Roadmap on what to expect in the coming months. View the timeline HERE 

When is the trip?  Starting 26 January 2025 to 13 February 2025 for 19 days including two nights pre-voyage and one night post voyage stay in Ushuaia, Argentina.  
When will I go to Antarctica?    

The proposed sailing dates are from 28 January to 12 February 2025 

This is the schedule allocated to us by the shipping company for the 2024-25 Antarctic season. 

How long is the voyage?    15 nights at sea  
What is different about this voyage?  15 nights instead of 19-night voyages in the past 
Which ship are we travelling on?   

Noble Caledonia shipping fleet, The Island Sky

To find out more information about the ship, click HERE

What is the departure port?    Ushuaia, Argentina. 
What is the return port?    Ushuaia, Argentina.    
How many women from my cohort will be travelling with me?    We are opening the voyage to all HB 5,6,7 and 8 participants who were unable to join the November 2023 voyages. Each participant will be asked to provide confirmation of their decision to travel by 31 August 2023. 
Where can I stay before the voyage departs?    We will arrange accommodation for twin-share two (2) nights at the departure city in Ushuaia, Argentina for 26-28 January 2025. 
Will I have my own cabin on board?     Everyone will share a cabin. There are no single-person cabins. Most cabins are twin share.  For some vessels there may be the option for a small number of triple-share cabins.   
Can I choose who I will be sharing my room with?    We will allocate cabins once we have full passenger details.   
How many faculty/staff will attend?    Up to 10  faculty members 
How many passengers can travel on the ship?    We are still finalising the fleet/vessel for the voyage with our shipping partner Noble Caledonia.    
What sort of food and drinks will be available on board our ship? Will we be allowed to bring alcohol on board?    Sample menus will be provided.  You will not be allowed to bring alcohol onboard.   
Will our cohort 100% offset our voyage like previous cohorts did?  We are happy to discuss this with participants. We are transitioning to a newer ship as part of our commitment to minimising carbon emissions. Read how HB alumnae previously offset earlier voyages here and the Homeward Bound Green Book on how to travel sustainably, written by HB3 alumna Steph Gardner.    
How often will Homeward Bound update me about this future trip? We plan on communicating with participants on a monthly basis, and individually addressing any specific situations.
Will we be sharing our voyage with other passengers?    The intention is to have only HB participants (including HB5, HB6 who did not voyage in 2023) and HB staff/volunteers on the voyage. However, if places are available, and in order to make the voyage viable, we may offer places to others in the HB community but not members of the general public/tourists.
Does it matter if we travel with a different cohort?  The voyages in 2023 included mixed cohorts.  We do not anticipate there would be much difference in the experience with mixed cohorts, as all cohorts will have successfully completed the leadership program. This is an opportunity for us to work together to meet our mutual goals, and to build a network of 10,000 STEMM women working toward the sustainability of our planet.  
Do I have to go to Antarctica? 

No, there is no obligation for you to participate in the voyage. However, should you wish to join the voyage, we will ask you to provide your expression of interest and then sign a contract to confirm your participation.  

Should you decide not to join the voyage, your journey with Homeward Bound doesn’t conclude. On completion of your online program, you become a member of a global alumnae network, The Convergence. 

The Voyage Program
What will we learn in Antarctica? 

We understand that many people have partially or fully-completed the online component of the program, so we are working on delivering an appropriate intensive program that complements and builds on what has already been delivered. An on-board program will be provided prior to the voyage.  

  • The Antarctica series: a series of on-board and land-based sessions and experiences covering themes such as the impact of climate change on Antarctica, Antarctica’s unique governance model, and the Antarctic ecosystem.
  • Symposium at sea: the women share their stories and are inspired by the stories of others
  • Leadership strategy: sessions to help the women act and reach their impact goals
  • Collaboration: working with new connections and on projects that will impact our global collective future.

HERE IS AN OVERVIEW OF THE PROGRAM OVERVIEW FOR THE NOVEMBER 2023 VOYAGE  

 

Costs and Payments
How much will this voyage cost?     We estimate the voyage cost to be USD$13,100 per participant. This is still subject to confirmation, and will be confirmed in the coming days.  
When do I need to pay funds?   

Actual dates are yet to be confirmed. HB requires  

1) 20% deposit by 25th March 2024

Then: 
2) 30% instalment by 30th May 2024
3) 30% instalment by 25th June 2024
4) 20% final instalment by 10th August 2024

What is included in the travel cost?  

Two (2) pre-voyage nights’ twin share accommodation in Ushuaia, before the start of the voyage 

One (1) post-voyage night’s twin share accommodation back in Ushuaia upon disembarkation 

Transport from the hotel to the port for embarkation 

Transport from the port to the hotel   

Can I pay in instalments?    You have the option to make payments in up to four instalments. You are also welcome to make a lump sum payment (i.e. pay in one instalment) 
Is my deposit refundable if I change my mind?    No, your deposit is not refundable if you change your mind. Note that your deposit is due once you sign the voyage contract which lays out all the terms and conditions including cancellation clauses. 
Will I need to fund my own way to Argentina to meet the ship?    Yes   
Does the voyage fee include airfares or medical insurance?    The voyage fee does not include airfares to or from Ushuaia, or medical insurance (including COVID19 cover) which need to be covered by participants.
Why do I need to make a large deposit so early when regular passengers only need to make a 10% deposit?    

We are chartering an entire ship for the voyage. To commit to the voyage and the shipping company, we need to have sufficient funds which in this case is 50% of the voyage fees by May 2024. 

To aid our planning and to give us sufficient time to receive and process your funds, we need your commitment prior to the end of 2023. We have some flexibility however, we are unable to leave the voyage commitment to the last minute. 

How should I pay my Homeward Bound invoice?  We have a few options available to you. Click here to view the options we recommend. If you have a preferred method of payment not included in the list, please get in touch with us directly.
Can I pay the voyage fees in full or combine some of the instalment amounts?   Please get in contact to change your payment schedule and combine instalments. If invoice(s) are issued to combine instalments, the due date of the payment is the earliest of the instalment due dates. 
When does Homeward Bound need me to confirm that I am able to voyage to Antarctica?   We need to receive a 20% deposit from confirmed travellers by March 25th 2024, to confirm the voyage with the shipping companies.  
Currency of Payments  

Payment must be made in United States Dollars (referenced as US$) using the method Homeward Bound instructs in the acceptance email and/or invoice.  

Any currency conversion charges associated with payment of your Trip Fee will be at your cost.  

There may be fees associated with transferring money to an international account and any such fees remain your responsibility. 

 

Cancellation, Postponement of the Voyage
Is this voyage an absolute certainty or could it still be cancelled or postponed?    Anything is possible and we must all deal with high levels of uncertainty. We also need to have the maximum number of passengers to proceed with the voyage.   
What happens if something like a new pandemic (outside HB’s/shipper’s reasonable control) and the voyage doesn’t go ahead?    At this stage, we are unable to provide further information beyond what is outlined in the terms and conditions. We will respond to any issues such as a pandemic at the time. 
I’ve signed the contract, and paid the instalment(s), but I can no longer join the voyage. What are my options?   If participants withdraw before the voyage takes place, or before the final payment deadline, refunds will not be issued unless we are able to secure an alternative participant to take your place.  We are committed to making every effort to ensure the voyage goes ahead. Please refer to clause 6 of the terms and conditions for more info on the cancellation policy.
Will I get my deposit back if Homeward Bound cancels this voyage? 

Cancellation of voyage & refunds  

For those participants who have already signed the voyage contract, the cancellation clause that applies in the event that Homeward Bound cancels the voyage is 5.3 (b) Exceptional and Operational Circumstances which states that (c) In the event of a Prescribed Event, Homeward Bound will use reasonable endeavours to offer substitute arrangements of a similar nature and quality of the Trip or reschedule the Trip.  

If the Trip is to be cancelled due to circumstances outside of Homeward Bound’s reasonable control and cannot be rescheduled, participants will need to utilise their selected travel insurance to reclaim any losses.  

Important note: all other clauses within the voyage contract apply for any refund requests. 

Terms and Conditions
What is the cancellation policy?  View the Voyage Cancellation Policy here 
What happens if I become pregnant in the lead up to the voyage?   Please refer to clause 13 of the terms and conditions. The Trip costs are not refundable except in accordance with clause 6.4) and that a deferment of your voyage is not possible (see clause 6.1). You are entitled to an option to defer as set out in clause 13.2. As you are aware, there are strict regulations about pregnant passengers due to health and safety concerns, limited medical facilities on-board and the difficulties and risks involved with emergency evacuation. 
Will I need to pay for and organise my own insurance and what sort of coverage will I need?    Each person will need to purchase their own insurance cover. You will need to have travel/health insurance covering COVID19.   
Definition of “The Trip”   The trip includes two nights’ twin share accommodation pre voyage, 15 nights at sea for the voyage, and one night’s twin share accommodation post voyage. 
How much will my medical insurance cost?    It will vary for each person. We have investigated providing group insurance and it is not possible to do this as every country has different insurance cover options.     
Do I need to be vaccinated?
   
Yes, all travellers must provide evidence that they are vaccinated for COVID19 (and boosted if possible).   This is subject to the requirements of the shipping company and government regulations. 
Will I need to quarantine before going to Antarctica?    Not at this stage, but we will adhere to any medical requirements at the time. 
Who do I share my vaccination status with?    Onboard staff. Certain passengers may be asked to provide vaccination status at airports dependent on travel requirements.   
Will others who aren’t vaccinated due to medical reasons be allowed on board?     Only vaccinated passengers can board and travel.   
What will happen if there is a case of COVID on board the ship? Or what happens if I get sick on board the ship?    Isolation cabins are provided on board each vessel.   
Argentina health requirements    Information regarding entry requirements to Argentina can be found on this official government website and at Smart Traveller   
Can I bring my infant/toddler or any children on the voyage?   

No.  This is not intended to be a holiday on a cruise ship and is not comparable to other commercial voyages.  

This is also a time for you to be with like-minded women away from the pressures of daily life. We encourage you to welcome this space for you and your own professional and personal development. 

Fundraising
Can I use HB Antarctica images for my fundraising efforts?  Yes, absolutely! We’ve prepared a handful of beautiful photos from past voyages captured by Oli Sansom. We only ask that you add photo credits to the photographer when you’re using any of the images. To download the images here 
Will Homeward Bound give me any assistance in fundraising?  

Individuals are encouraged to approach organisations in their home country for sponsorship of their participation subject to HB sponsorship and fundraising guidelines. 

We will be hosting fundraising masterclasses and sharing the fundraising toolkit to help you prepare for your fundraising efforts. 

View the Ushuaia Voyage 2023 Fundraising Toolkit for reference

SECTION 2: PREPARING FOR THE VOYAGE

MORE INFORMATION WILL BE ADDED TO THIS SECTION ONCE WE HAVE CONFIRMATION OF THE VOYAGE

Packing List (What to Wear) 

Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements 

Is a visa required to travel to Antarctica? 

When do you I need to take out travel + medical insurance by? Where can I buy it from?   

Booking for flights and accommodation  

Is there a list available of the things we are required/recommended to bring with us on the trip?  

What will be provided for the trip and on ship? 

Embarkation and Disembarkation Times