A member organization founded in 1991 to advocate and promote the practice
of safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic.

Latest News

May 23 - June 1, 2016 - IAATO is in Santiago, Chile, at the Antarctic Treaty Consultaive Meeting (ATCM). See our submitted papers here.

May 19 & 20, 2016 - IAATO is in Punta Arenas, Chile, at a special 2-day workshop with representatives from two great Antarctic committees, the Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP) and Scientific Committee for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (SC-CAMLR). Goals include identifying what effects of climate change are most likely to impact the conservation of the Antarctic. 

May 11, 2016 - The outcomes of our 25th Anniversary meeting were published today. Changes in membership structure, new and revised guidelines, a new initiative for Antarctic Ambassadors and a tourism growth workshop were all highlights. Read More 

May 3, 2016 - IAATO releases the latest Antarctic tourism figures as its 25th Anniversary Meeting opens in Newport, Rhode Island, USA. Read More

April 22, 2016 - IAATO's Jérôme Poncet and Dr. Kim Crosbie receive their Polar Medals from Prince William at Buckingham Palace!

The Queen's Polar Medal is awarded to those who have made outstanding contributions to our knowledge of the polar regions. Kim's medal was for her work in the field of polar visitor management and Jérôme's for his efforts as yacht master in support of science and education. This is tremendous recognition for their work, and also highlights the huge success of the IAATO community over the last 25 years.

April 6 & 7, 2016 - IAATO attends an Arctic Search and Rescue Workshop and Table Top Exercise in Iceland. 

February 18, 2016 - A new study by IAATO and Stony Brook University reveal patterns in Antarctic tourism that have important implications for visitor management in the region. The results were published this week in the journal Antarctic Science. Read More.

February 8, 2016 - IAATO is proud to announce that yachtsman Skip Novak has been awarded the prestigious Tilman Medal by The Royal Cruising Club. Congratulations! Skip is a long standing IAATO Member and currently sits on the association's Executive Committee.

February 2, 2016 - IAATO has developed new briefing films for Antarctic visitors to reinforce actions visitors need to take to ensure their visit is safe and environmentally sensitive. They supplement IAATO's existing General Briefing.

The films are are available in English with subtitles in nine other languages. There are three films for the different types of IAATO member operations: Going ashore (from ships and yachts); Deep Field and Fly-In; and Cruise Visitors. Read More

January 28, 2016 - IAATO mourns the loss of John Splettstoesser, geologist, naturalist, author and wonderful polar resource who has been a strong figure within IAATO since its formation 25 years ago.

Denise Landau has written a personal tribute that also reflects the feelings of the IAATO community. More about John's life can be found on The American Polar Society website. The image shows John (right) and Keith Shackleton, two pivotal figures in the evolution of Antarctic tourism.


January 25, 2016 - It is with great sadness that we report the death of expeditioner Henry Worsley. Our deepest condolences to Henry's family and all involved with the Shackleton Solo Expedition. A statement from Antarctic Logistics & Expeditions (ALE) can be read here

January 8, 2016 - IAATO is proud to report that its Executive Director, Dr. Kim Crosbie, and Member Mr. Jérôme Poncet of Golden Fleece Expeditions have both been awarded the Queen's Polar Medal.

Congratulations! Read More


Worried about the health of penguins? IAATO's top tips on avoiding an alien invasion. The International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) is offering guidance to all potential visitors on how to avoid accidently introducing alien species and external diseases to the unique Antarctic environment. Read More

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2016 is IAATO's 25th Year

We're proud of our heritage - 25 years of promoting the practice of safe, environmentally responsible Antarctic travel.

To learn more about the history of Antarctic tourism and IAATO, please view our commemorative booklet (3.3MB) or this short historical film, courtesy of Lindblad Expeditions.