Visa requirements for Arctic, Antarctic & North Pole cruises

Some countries on our expedition cruises require a tourist visa. Requirements vary according to nationality and cruise departure country and port. Check your itinerary which countries are covered, and look up the consular services at their embassy in your home country. 

Most countries require you to have at least 6 months’ validity on your passport. Prior to boarding, at the departure port, you may be asked to present return tickets and show evidence of your itinerary.

Do I need a visa to visit Antarctica? 

No visa is required to visit Antarctica. The same goes for South Georgia and the Falklands. Antarctic cruise permits will be obtained by us on behalf of our passengers.

For the two international gateway cities, Ushuaia in Argentina and Punta Arenas in Chile, British, US, Australian and New Zealand passport holders are granted a 90-day stay on arrival. 

What visa do I need for an Arctic cruise? 

Our Arctic adventure ship may visit several countries: the US (Alaska), Canada, Denmark (for Greenland), Norway (for Svalbard) and Russia (for Franz Josef Land). 

Check your itinerary for the countries listed on your expedition, and whether you will need a single-, double-, or multi-entry visa for your expedition. Some cruises to Schengen areas may require you to get a multiple-entry visa, for example, if you depart from Norway, then enter into Russia, and return to Norway. 

Currently, British passport holders travelling to countries within the Schengen agreement (Svalbard, Norway & Greenland, Denmark) do not require a visa.

For Canada, visitors from the UK, Australia and New Zealand need an eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation). The cost is $7 CAD and can be applied for online at www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta-start.asp

Russian Visa Applications

For cruises that land in Russia and Franz Josef Land, you will need a valid Russian visa. We will help your visa application, but you are responsible for the cost of the visa, as this is not included in the expedition fees. Follow the steps below

  • Complete Swan Hellenic’s pre-departure forms as soon as your expedition is confirmed, as the visa approval process can be lengthy. Forms can be completed online [Insert link TBC], and you will also need to supply a copy of the picture page of your passport. 
  • We will then send you a Letter of Invitation. You must send this, along with your passport, to the Russian embassy in our country to apply for your Russian visa. This Letter of Invitation will allow for a double-entry visa. If you plan to visit other parts of Russia before or after your cruise, you may need additional visas.