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FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Expert advice about our cruises, expeditions and activities

General questions

Have you found your dream expedition via our website? Please contact us via email, or by filling out our online contact form.
E-mail: info@waterproof-expeditions.com

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Every trip is different. For each departure, the inclusions are listed on the ‘dates and rates’ page under: Rates include/exclude.
Usually, flights, hotels, transfers, insurances and optional activities are not included.

Most of our expeditions take place on board a ship. When traveling at sea, there is always a chance you may get into rough weather and feel seasick. But once sheltered by islands or fjords, the water is usually calm and you won’t feel much of the ocean swell.

When travelling to Antarctica by ship, you will cross the Drake Passage which takes approximately 2 days. This ocean passage is known for it’s storms and high waves, which often causes guests to get seasick. However, everyone reacts differently to these circumstances, and not all Drake Passage crossings are rough.

We recommend everybody going on an expedition cruise to bring preventative medications just in case you might feel seasick.

When you join an expedition (cruise) to Antarctica or the Arctic, you must be in good general health and able to walk some distance. If you want to join the excursions and landings, you have to be able to get up and down the gangway from the ship to the water level to board the zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. Keep in mind, during most expedition cruises in the polar regions, you could be hours, or even days away from the nearest hospital. Especially in Antarctica, there are no means of evacuation and the ship serves as an ambulance in case of severe medical incidents. Therefor, we recommend you only take part in an expedition to the polar regions when you are in good health and free from any life-threatening conditions.

When packing for a polar expedition, don’t weigh yourself down with too many clothes. Storage space is often limited on board. It’s advisable to pack your luggage in a soft-sided, collapsible bag or trolley that can be easily stored away. Select informal, practical clothing for your trip that can be worn in layers. For a Polar Snorkeling expedition you will require some specific items.

You will receive a detailed packing list prior to departure. Boots are usually provided on board, and on some expeditions a waterproof jacket is also included.

Below you’ll find a basic packing list for expeditions to the polar regions:

  • Sturdy warm shoes with non-slip soles
  • Water- and windproof jacket with attached hood
  • Water resistant trousers (for example ski pants or rain pants)
  • Fleece jacket or warm wool sweaters
  • Thermal underwear, leggings, long-sleeve shirts and (ski-)socks
  • Mittens or gloves and preferably thin liner gloves to wear underneath.
  • Woollen hat, cap or beanie that covers your ears
  • Scarf or neck warmer
  • Waterproof dry bag to keep your camera and other gear dry during excursions
  • Camera or GoPro, plenty of memory cards and new batteries
  • Binoculars for wildlife watching

Travel Insurance with worldwide medical evacuation coverage is mandatory. We also strongly recommend you take out trip cancellation insurance. This will cover your cancellation costs in case you need to cancel your trip after you’ve confirmed your booking.

Please note, for some expeditions, additional insurance coverage might be required.

We recommend you to book your own flight tickets.
If you prefer us to book your flights, we charge a € 250 fee per flight booking.
Please note that quoted prices for flight tickets are always subject to availability. The final price depends on the available fare at the moment of booking.

If you are unable to arrive on time for the start of you expedition, please contact your Expedition Leader. They will inform you what you should do.
We always advise you to arrive at least one day prior to departure in order to deal with possible delays or lost luggage.

Winter Whales of Norway

During our expeditions from the end of October to mid-January you have the best possibilities to see whales and orcas. They usually come to the north of Norway during this period, however we can’t guarantee any wildlife sightings.
Please note that days are short during the winter months. At the end of November, the polar night sets in. From mid-December until the second week of January it’s too dark for us to go out on the water. Therefor, we don’t offer any trips during this period. Have a look at the following website for the amount of daylight during our expeditions: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/norway/tromso

Our trips take place during the winter months, and we travel above the arctic circle. It can be calm and sunny weather, but rain, snow and even storms are not uncommon. Expect temperatures to be slightly below freezing during the day.

The starting point of our voyages is Tromsø, located in Northern Norway. It has it’s own airport Tromsø Langnes (TOS) which is only 10 minutes from the city center.

Embarkation/boarding usually starts at 16.30 on the first day. We will gather at a hotel near the harbour in the center of Tromso. From the hotel we will either walk to the ship or we will arrange transport if the ship is not docked in the city center.

The minimum age for children on our expedition cruises in Northern Norway is 12 years old. Due to the nature of our expeditions they must be under constant parental supervision and must share a cabin with their parent.
Please note that our polar snorkeling activity is accessible for passengers from 16 years and older but only when a drysuit is available in their size. The drysuits provided on board start from size extra small, which is a EU women’s size 34. It is also allowed to bring your own drysuit.

In Norway, you are generally allowed to fly in the open category if you are registered as an operator. However, it should always be in accordance with the expedition leader and captain before use to avoid disturbing the wildlife. Please notify us when making your booking in case you would like to bring a drone.

General rules for flying a drone in Norway:

  • Use of drones is regulated by guidelines known as regulations A 7-1, for unmanned aircrafts.
  • For drones up to 2.5 kg, the maximum speed limit is 60 knots (111 km/h) and for aircrafts up to 25 kg the maximum speed limit is 80 knots (145 km/h).
  • Maximum altitude is 120 metres.
  • Stay at least 50 metres from the whales.
  • Only 1 drone is allowed to film a whale or group of whales at any one time.
  • Keep the drone in sight at all times and only fly in daylight.
  • You are required to have a responsibility insurance.

More info about flying a drone in Norway

Payments

We require a 30% deposit to confirm your booking. Once we have received your deposit, your reservation is confirmed and your place onboard guaranteed. The final payment is due 3 months prior to departure.

You can make your payment by bank transfer or credit card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express).
When paying via bank wire transfer, please make sure to include all bank charges for both sending and receiving banks. The bank information and payment details can be found on your invoice.
If you prefer to pay by credit card, we will provide you with a secure credit card payment link. Please note that we charge a 4% service fee for credit card payments.

As a valued Waterproof explorer you will receive a 5% repeaters discount on any of our future expeditions!

In case you need to cancel you expedition, please inform us by e-mail before the start of the expedition. In the case of cancellation, the following cancellation costs apply:
– Until and including 90 days prior to departure: Deposits are lost.
– From 89 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price

Please note, deposits are non-refundable. It is possible that different cancellation fees apply to different travel components (e.g. in the case of direct issuing of air tickets, the cancellation costs are 100%).

If you wish to change your already booked expedition (e.g. the departure date, destination, ship, etc.), this is considered as a cancellation and cancellation costs will apply. In case of minor changes, we will need to charge reservation costs of at least 50 EURO or an equal amount in US$ per alteration. Please contact us via e-mail if you are looking to change your reservation.

We advise you to take out trip cancellation insurance to cover yourself for unexpected costs in case you need to cancel your reservation due to unforeseen circumstances.

Always stay aware of the common tricks and phishing scams thieves use to obtain your sensitive information. Hackers may be trying to intercept, manipulate or impersonate our communications. Please be especially alert to suspicious emails or requests, especially those related to payments.

Please note that:

  • We operate exclusively from the Netherlands.
  • We always use the same bank account in the Netherlands and have no intention to change this.
  • When making payments always use Waterproof Expeditions as the beneficiary with reference to your invoice number and/ or passenger name.

If you have any doubt as to the legitimacy of Waterproof’s communication, please do not click on any links or provide information before contacting us via another method, preferably by phone or whatsapp message. Above all, do not reply to the original fraudulent email.
Your security and the protection of your data are our highest priority.

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