Any expedition, whether cruise ship, yacht or scientific activity, to the British Antarctic Territory, or any other part of Antarctica, must only be conducted with permission of a country who is a signatory to the Antarctic Treaty.
The Antarctic Treaty preserves the Antarctic continent for peaceful and scientific use, while the Treaty’s Protocol on Environmental Protection ensures that all human activity in Antarctica is carefully managed.
Travelling to any part of Antarctica on an expedition without permission is illegal. Doing so could lead to a fine or prison sentence.
If you are a passenger on an organised visit to Antarctica, your tour operator would usually arrange for an appropriate permit. If you are concerned you should talk to your travel operator.
For UK expeditions, UK flagged vessels and UK registered aircraft, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office lead on the permitting process. More details are available on GOV.UK.