Will my mobile phone work in Antarctica?

The short answer is no, your mobile phone will not work during your tour of Antarctica.

While we’ve come a long way from the earliest expeditions when explorers could only send snail mail via other ships, Antarctica is still a remote and wild destination with a telecommunications system to match. We think you’ll enjoy it best if you embrace the adventure and leave uploading all your photos and giving your friends the rundown until you get home.

That being said, you won't be totally cut off from the wider world. All of Intrepid’s Antarctic expeditions operate on vessels equipped with satellite phones that can be operated at the discretion of the ship manager on a pay-per-minute basis. However, satellite communications from the ship can be disrupted when travelling through mountainous areas or through narrow channels, or until satellites next pass overhead. As such, these phones are generally reserved for emergencies only.  

Internet access is possible via wi-fi on your personal laptop or device in certain areas of the ship and is charged via a prepaid card which can be purchased through the ship manager. Be aware that connections can be slow and intermittent, so all ships charge for data used rather than time spent online. Accessing some websites such as Facebook using the ship's wi-fi will be very expensive, as downloading picture-heavy content uses a large amount of data. Text-only emails are therefore the most affordable way to communicate with friends and family at home.

If you are planning a trip to Antarctica, make sure your loved ones have realistic expectations of your (in)ability to communicate with them.

Still want to learn more about Antarctica? Return to Antarctica FAQs

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