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

Citizen Science Day | April 13

It's Citizen Science Day, an annual event to celebrate and promote all things citizen science. For expedition leader, Dr Jimmy White, the chance to engage and educate visitors as they are experiencing Antarctica creates a unique opportunity for lasting knowledge and advocacy. Read his blog 'Expedition for Change' here.

Honoring Arnaud Dhallenne and Sophie Labruhe Marconnet
It is with profound sadness we share with you the loss of two esteemed colleagues, Arnaud Dhallenne and Sophie Labruhe Marconnet.
Arnaud and Sophie were lost at sea last month. We have kept our grief as an organization private until such a time that we could discuss with their next-of-kin how best to convey the news of this terrible tragedy. Read on

Sarah Auffret

We are heart-broken to lose our wonderful colleague and dear friend, Sarah Auffret, Environmental Agent for the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO). Sarah tragically lost her life in the Ethiopian Airlines flight ET0302 on 10 March as she travelled to the UN Environment Assembly to present IAATO and AECO's work on our Clean Seas project. Read more.

IAATO vessels help solve killer whale mystery

Photographs taken aboard IAATO vessels since the 1990s have supported research which, this year, has brought scientists face-to-face with a mysterious and potentially new species of killer whale, the ‘Type D' killer whale, found in sub-Antarctic waters. Read more or watch a film of these amazing animals. Photo P. Tixier/NOAA


Blog | Antarctica's Supporting Role in Endeavour for Gender Equality
For us, International Women's Day is about honoring female Antarctic ambassadors within our organization who are creating a legacy for the polar women of tomorrow, says IAATO's Janeen Haase

Antarctic Organisations Launch Fellowships and Scholarship Opportunities
We have joined forces with COMNAP to launch Antarctic-related fellowships for early-career researchers. This year, COMNAP and IAATO will each offer one fellowship with funding of up to USD $15,000. These fellowships will enable early-career persons to join a project team from another country, opening up new opportunities and creating long-lasting partnerships.  The deadline for the COMNAP and IAATO fellowship applications is 10 June 2019. Read more.

Blog | Tracking Antarctica's Whales
Whale populations are booming in Antarctica, for now. This is the best news ever, and for those of us who make the annual trek to work ‘on the ice', seeing more and more whales each year is heartening, writes Ted Cheeseman, co-founder, and CEO of HappyWhale. Continue reading.

Blog | Antarctica, are you ready for your close-up?
Antarctica poses numerous challenges for the professional and the point-and-click photographer alike; whether it's working within rules set to safeguard the environment, protecting your equipment, changeable weather, and lighting or simply the overwhelming urge to take photos of absolutely everything 900 times for fear you'll miss out. With that in mind, we've asked award-winning photographer and polar photography expert Paul Teolis, for his top tips for capturing those memories on camera...

Save The Date | Polar Field Staff Conference September 22 – 25
IAATO and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) will deliver their third joint Polar Field Staff Conference from September 22 to September 25. The conference gathers guides, expedition leaders and operations managers working for both polar trade associations to support their shared mission of advocating and promoting safe and environmentally responsible polar travel. The three-day event will take place in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, USA.

More information about the program will be shared with AECO and IAATO members in due course.

Blog | Don't Hug the Penguins, and Other Rules in Antarctica...
Going to Antarctica is a privilege, not a right, and thanks to the extraordinarily successful intergovernmental agreement that is the Antarctic Treaty, all human activity there is regulated by strict rules which protect the white desert and its wildlife. Here are a few things to think about before you head to the wildest place on Earth.

HappyWhale Joins Forces With IWC-SORP to Create Whale ID How-To Guide
HappyWhale has joined forces with the International Whaling Commission's Southern Ocean Research Partnership (IWC-SORP) to create a how-to guide for photographing identification features for Right, Fin, Sei, Humpback, Blue and Killer whales. Find yours here.

Blog | Antarctic Visitors - Friends or Foe?

With frequent reports in the news about changing polar environments, IAATO welcomes questions about the possible impact of polar tourism. It's something we think about daily as we continue to work towards our mission of safe, environmentally responsible travel.

Read our latest thoughts in response to a recent enquiry from one of IAATO's Facebook followers. 


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IAATO Annual Meeting 2019

Every year, members set aside competitive interests to have open and candid discussions on safety, environmental protection and self-regulation. Decision-making is supported by recommendations developed by IAATO's many dedicated committees and working groups throughout the year. The meetings conclude annually with the voting in of new policies on best practice which support our mission of promoting and advocating safe and environmentally responsible travel to Antarctica are voted in.
IAATO's annual meeting 2019 will be held from April 30 – May 3 in Cape Town, South Africa and is open to IAATO members and invited guests.


Travelling to Antarctica?

Download the free new IAATO app Polar Guide: Antarctica for iOS and Android!

Before you leave home, the company you are travelling with will send you important information about your obligations for visiting Antarctica safely and responsibly. You can also view IAATO's briefing films, with subtitles in several different languages, and our FAQ page. Visiting the white continent is an extraordinary and special experience; we all have a role to play in protecting it for future generations. Have an incredible journey!


What Does IAATO Do?

The future protection of Antarctica from the impacts of human activity requires collaboration on a global scale. To promote effective visitor management, IAATO annually shares detailed information on its activities with Antarctic Treaty Parties and works collaboratively with scientific institutions, particularly on long-term environmental monitoring and citizen-science systematic observations. Find out more about our work by reading our fact sheet.