COVID-19 is a dynamic situation that continues to develop and impact the travel industry around the world. We understand the concerns of our travel partners and their clients in booking their Antarctica adventure. While we trust that the current health emergency will be resolved before our season begins in November 2021, our client’s peace of mind and safety is our main concern.
Book with Assurance:
Policy & Procedures for Coronavirus COVID-19
If your client is unable to join their voyage due to government travel restrictions, virus-related illness, or restrictions placed upon us by the ship owners or local port authorities, we will re-accommodate your client on a future voyage within the next 12 months from original date of departure.
To reassure you and your guests that your monies paid are safe with us, we would like to offer some flexibility for travellers confirming their Antarctic expedition. We have put the following policy in place, which comes into immediate effect on 12 March 2020 for all new bookings and bookings reconfirmed after this date. This change in policy will now offer even greater peace of mind and assurance for clients travelling or reconfirming their Antarctic expedition with us.
Our Book with Assurance Policy offers:
- A reduced deposit will apply for all new bookings:
– USD 1,000 (AUD 1,450/EUR 900/GBP 850/NZD 1,600) per person for all 12 day or less voyages and
– USD 2,000 (AUD 2,850/EUR 1,850/GBP 1,650/NZD 3,200) for all 13 days or more voyages
- The final payment is due as per normal terms and conditions (95 days prior to departure).
- One free* voyage change is permitted within 90 days of paying a deposit, without penalty.
- One free* voyage change is permitted once final payment is made, up until 30 days prior to departure without penalty.
The Ocean Endeavour Team
Our COVID-19 response:
In such unprecedented times, we now more than ever understand your want to travel safely and with the support needed to fully enjoy your expedition to the Antarctic in the most responsible and healthy manner possible. With an established presence in the Antarctic and an experienced team of mariners, hoteliers and guides, the Ocean Endeavour’s status as an industry leader puts us in the best possible stead to take you to the White Continent with the confidence and peace of mind you deserve for this truly unique experience.
In addition to our field staff, the Ocean Endeavour’s operations and reservations teams have learned and adapted to the world’s current crisis as we swiftly and efficiently managed vessels and aircraft as the 2019/20 Antarctic season drew to a close as the outbreak began. As a result of our efforts and a company-wide campaign to manage the situation, we’ve been able to build from this experience a robust and tailor made Covid-19 response plan that leverages the Ocean Endeavour’s best assets in ensuring safe and responsible Antarctic travel for the coming years.
From pre-night social distancing measures, amendments to pier side protocols and ground operators liaisons to an enhanced shipboard experience and excursion operations, an outline of our Covid-19 response can be found below.
As always, our teams are standing by to provide answers to your concerns in the wake of Covid-19 and we look forward to sailing to Antarctica with you and with the safety and confidence our guests have always enjoyed.
Additional medical personnel
Further to the Ship Manager’s onboard medical personnel and our expedition doctor, in light of the need to more frequently assess for Covid-19 symptoms, we will be increasing the bandwidth of onboard medical assessment protocols by expanding the number of staff on hand within this field.
An additional medical role on board the vessel will be complemented with a preference for expedition staff whose backgrounds and skillsets can be leaned upon if needed for increased screening, monitoring and/or treatment.
Single cabins at no extra cost
Due to increased inquiry and in line with the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for social distancing protocol, we have made available more single-berth cabins through all cabin categories on the Ocean Endeavour. By minimising or even waiving single-supplement fees, we’re able to make solo travel to Antarctica more economically viable while also bolstering our social distancing measures and maximizing both health and the experience of all guests on our vessel.
Additionally, by utilising the Ocean Endeavour’s emphasis on large internal spaces and cabin versatility, we are able to offer incredible flexibility and responsiveness to cabin change requests, quarantine protocol and symptom treatment should the need arise.
Medical Pre-screening prior to embarkation
In line with recommendations and protocols adopted from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), our medical pre-screening is set to a global standard. This includes temperature checks as well as robust medical assessments and a dialogic approach to health self-assessment by guests during transit, through questionnaires and decontamination routines.
Enhanced Pier-side protocols
Designed to mitigate exposure to Covid-19 at the most prominent touching points en-route to Ushuaia, protocols with local agents and ground operators have been amended to reflect pandemic circumstances. This includes reduction in handling of baggage by various agents, social distancing of pier-side personnel, reduction of personal interfacing with hotel staff during pre-night and embarkation and the use of multiple hotels in port cities of Ushuaia and Punta Arenas to ensure social distancing measures are maximised.
Temperature checks will punctuate the transit process with iterations at touchdown in port cities, at the start and end of pre-and post -night stays and immediately prior to embarkation.
Enhanced Onboard disinfection, cleaning and preventatives
On board the Ocean Endeavour, amendments to existing cleaning and sterilization procedures have been made to reflect a heightened standard as well as reduction of exposure to common areas and surfaces for all personnel including staff, crew and passengers.
In addition to the existing hygiene infrastructure and signage stationed throughout our vessel, the Ocean Endeavour’s Covid-19 spread mitigation protocols will be reflected in increased hand washing and sanitization stations throughout common areas and companionways, increased signage to inform and update on health and safety protocols and status and regular distribution of mask and glove replenishments to cabins.
While on board, all guests will be required to wear face masks while transiting companionways. Crew and guides will be required to wear face masks at times when in the vicinity of guests and social distancing of 1.5 meters will be policed in all public areas.
Why the Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel to explore Antarctica in Covid-19.
1. Several dining areas to space guests out
With the Ocean Endeavour’s numerous dining and entertainment areas, our shipboard dining experience has been tailored to meet and exceed social distancing recommendations. In addition to the ship’s primary restaurant, our Aurora and Meridian Lounges serve as perfect secondary spaces in which to dine with family and friends while our hotel team delivers a socially distanced breakfast, lunch and three course dinner service.
2. Large primary dining room
At approximately 200 square meters, the Ocean Endeavour’s main dining room is by nature an open plan and spacious on-board experience. High above the waterline and with large windows, it’s a great place for a quiet and intimate dining experience with a view to the horizon.
3. Expansive deck space
As a true expedition vessel, the Ocean Endeavour’s decks were designed to maximise viewing experience for all guests on board. Further to the vessel’s bow – its primary wildlife viewing area – its port and starboard bridge wings and promenade deck mean you can find a sunny and secluded iceberg viewing spot at any time of the day.
4. Half the guests, double the space
Originally built to accommodate 400 people, the Ocean Endeavour’s relative size and emphasis on public spaces becomes particularly enjoyable when in its preferred expedition environment where only 200 guests are brought on board. This means, half the guests, double the space and double the time with our expert guides and expedition team.
5. Numerous public spaces throughout the ship
In addition to the Ocean Endeavour’s generous dining space, the ship’s lounge and other common areas compliment its spacious design while providing facilities and views for on board activities as well as down-time between excursions. While the Meridian Club, with its sweeping views and abundance of natural light, becomes a perfect area for our on-board wellness program, the Compass Lounge is great spot to browse the ship’s library and enjoy an espresso among the glacial views.
6. Large fleet of Zodiacs
While the Ocean Endeavour’s on-ship experience is built from the ground up for spacious design, a sense of solitude and unparalleled viewing, this doesn’t end at the ship’s gangway as we take the Antarctic sense of space off the ship and throughout our excursion operations. With a large fleet of 22 zodiacs, including two large forward-facing watercraft, our large team of boat drivers allows small groups to hit the water and get out on the ice in smaller congregations. As well as a safer and healthier environment, this means more time with your expert drivers, more time with just family and friends and more true sense of genuine Antarctic adventure!
7. Large mudroom and duel gangway for fast disembarkation
As an ice-class rated, true expedition vessel, the Ocean Endeavour’s mudroom becomes an invaluable tool in conducting our efficient and socially-distanced diembarkations. When arriving in the scenic Paradise Bay or at historic Port Lockroy, our team of drivers will take to the water while we call you to the Mudroom in groups “Amundsen”, “Shackleton”, “Mawson”, “Hurley” and “Scott” where your expedition jacket and boots await in your personalised ship locker.
As a mainstay and recognizable vessel on the Antarctic’s frozen waters, the Ocean Endeavour offers is tried and tested expedition vessel aboard which an experienced crew have tailored their operation to this new world and global pandemic that will surely change the face of expedition cruising like the calving of a glacier. With a unique set of experiences shaped by our first hand understanding of pandemic management at sea, guests aboard the Ocean Endeavour can turn to our guides, our hotel team and our shore based management with trust to deliver an unparalleled experience of the Antarctic that is safe and healthy as well as rugged and majestic.