PCR tests for Antarctica December 7, 2021

For those who have travelled since the pandemic began, how soon before your flight would you recommend getting the required PCR test? I know the results should be no earlier than 72 hours before arrival in Argentina, but would you get the test the day before your flight, two days before? Also, what type of lab seems to have the best turn-around time? Thanks for any insights or recommendations.


  • I’ve been looking at our local area. Many want you to make appointments. The turnaround varies from a few hours to taking five days, In fact, five days is getting more and more common. We are already getting concerned we may have to cancel a couple of tours because we may not be able to get tested before we need to be on a plane for long flights with long layovers. Thank goodness, that our first trip abroad doesn’t require testing last time I checked.

  • We just traveled on the Blue Danube River Cruise in October 2021. We obtained two PCR COVID test from CVS prior to travel . Did one 72 hours prior to flight and another PCR 2 days prior to flight( approx 72 hours prior to arrival in Prague). Received results in approx 24-30 hours after test. All this stress and work, no one ever checked our COVID test… neither going , nor coming back to USA. 🧐

  • edited November 2021

    An added requirement is submitting the Argentine entry document on-line with both your PCR test results and proof of insurance within 48 hours of arrival For our trip (not Tauck) on L'Soleal sailing 29 November, we have appointments for the PCR 70 hours before arrival in BA with results promised NLT than 57 hours in advance so we can be ready to immediately submit our Argentine entry document right at 48 hours to allow the maximum possible time to get the response from Argentina before we depart.

    Looking forward to the day when we return to our pre-COVID departure preparations which, though elaborate, ultimately came down to: have passports and credit cards, will travel.

  • Everybody is discussing PCR testing WRT entering Argentina, but I've seen nothing about departing to head home. Effective November 8, 2021: U.S citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are fully vaccinated will need to present airlines with proof of vaccination and of a negative COVID-19 test three (3) days before their flight. (US DoS web site)

    Since the modus operandi for Antarctic expeditions has the ship docking in Ushuaia followed by a flight back to BA and, frequently, departing for the US overnight the same day. If not tested on the ship, then when? The "three (3) days before their flight" is also ambiguous as to whether it means not more than three days or at least three days before the flight (I assume the former). The web site for the BA airport and Google searches reveal no evidence of a testing site at the airport which, in the same day departure scenario, would be a window of just a few hours. Ponant's web site states that their ships have full PCR testing capabilities, but goes on to define the limited circumstances under which they are given which doesn't mention readying departing passengers for their flights home.

  • Thanks Cathy and Steve: I assumer/hoped/prayed for this as there wouldn't seem to be any other option.

  • The people who were on the Iceland trips during the summer reported that the testing on the boat at the end of the tour prior to return from the US worked well.. I’m sure it will be exactly the same on the Antarctica trip.

  • We had numerous tests on our two cruises with Windstar and Ponant/Tauck. They take care of everything. Get your required tests for your departure, and Tauck/Ponant will take care of the rest.

  • We are going on 1/7/22 Antarctica trip and have appointment at Passport Health (nationwide locations) at 1:30 pm one day prior to departure. I think $200 each, results ready by 5pm. Tauck also told me Miami airport has testing station should we be delayed as we go through both Dallas and Miami to get to Buenos Aires. My understanding is all other testing is provided by Tauck/Ponant with the exception of one which is only 22 euros. There are two apps which we have not yet downloaded.

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