Antarctica

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  • British, we've bought lots of 32 degrees T-shirts from Costco and from Amazon. I noticed the Costco ones were thinner and weighed less then the Amazon ones. They were made in different countries too. On the plus size there are more color options. Love them for layering in the winter and they sink and wash dry very quick.

  • L. L. Bean has a very nice selection of all things thermal, including some very colorful and lightweight tops. If purchased during off-season, you can get substantial savings. If you are ever in Freeport, Maine, stop by their flagship store. It is truly a travel destination in and of itself!

  • Cathyandsteve...such kind words. I know how much you have been looking forward to your trip to the white continent. I know it will not disappoint. You will have a FABULOUS journey. You will pinch yourself so many times not believing the pristine environment you will be in.

    No more talk of worrying about anything. We will not speak such things into existence. Only positive thoughts and vibes are flowing through you and flowing to you....happy sails to you... :):)B)

  • cathyandsteve and PureLuxury epitomize the true intent of this site. It is a pleasure reading your posts. Thank you.

  • Argentine money is relatively unstable, and they probably don't want to have much of an inventory of it.

    You are better off getting it when you are there as you get closer to the true rate at that instant I always get local money at an ATM at the airport when I land after I clear customs. I don't know what B of A charges as a service fee, my local bank charges $10 over the cost of the foreign currency.

  • ^^ Agree. The worst place to get foreign currency, value-wise, is an American bank. There are ATMs at the airport you can use upon arrival.

  • You are probably better off using dollars. In the past Argentina has used the U.S. dollar as their currency,

  • You don’t need Argentine money, they accept dollars, even at the craft market we went to in Buenos Aries, they actually prefer dollars. As far as tipping goes, Tauck already pays tips for the bellman at the hotels and the drivers.

  • We normally get one hundred relatively new ‘singles’ to use for tipping room service, etc. We don’t worry about tipping in local currency … it is either dollars or euros, but we have found it difficult to find ‘one’ euro coins recently. Lots of two euro coins, but anything less comes in a pile of change.

  • Sealord, yes that works well. Hint, many banks don't have "new" $1 bills on hand, except around the holidays

  • If the tellers know you, they will "order" some crisp U. S. currency for you and advise when ready. It works for me at my bank. Good luck.

  • Pure Luxury, Cathy and Steve have mentioned your posts and how helpful they have been concerning clothing. Leaving in Jan and would like to read your suggestions. Where would I find them? Thanks in advance.

  • edited November 5

    I actually said, “relatively” new, meaning the latest ‘series’ is good. “Brand new” bills are a pain to handle … a few wrinkles are good … ‘really’ wrinkled or torn is not good. I noticed in the Tauck Antarctic video that some people were using walking sticks. I just tried out my new collapsable walking sticks. They weigh about 10 oz. a piece and collapse small enough to fit into a back pack.

  • If you use US dollars, you will get discounts on everything you buy. Usually, about 20%, in my experience. They use their currency as kindling in their furnaces.

    I was there three days early and did some recon on the city. When I went to La Boca the first time I ran into a man who introduced himself as Guillermo Ailo, a "master tango artist and dance instructor." He had a stand selling some watercolors of the region and tango dancers. Since I was on my own then, I sat down and talked to him for several hours. He had some great stories. I thought he was pulling my leg about the art and dancing, until I got on my phone (while he waited on a customer) and Googled him. https://www.placesandfoods.com/2010/02/guillermo-alio.html There are tons of web sites about him and he shared a portfolio he had with pictures and articles about him. I had just watched the movie, before I left, entitled "Assassination Tango" starring Robert Duvall and his wife, Luciana Pedraza.

    He showed me news clippings of when he was Duvall's tango instructor. He was great to talk to and had so many stories. I didn't buy any art from him and regretted it. When the Tauck tour took us to La Boca during the trip, I looked him up again. As I walked toward his venue, he saw me and yelled my name and gave me a big hug as I came up to him. I immediately bought a piece of art I liked. He asked me to sign the back of the piece, which I did. He laughed at my signature, since it is nothing more than a scrawl, but immediately turned it into a pen sketch of two tango dancers. He then signed it, front and back, and wrote a very personal message, in Spanish, to me. He then re-wrote it in English.

    I had it framed with both the front and back covered with a piece of glass, so his drawing and note could be read. It is hanging prominently on a wall in my house and has been the focus of a lot of stories. It was one of the highlights of my trip. If anyone goes on this trip, look up Guillermo when you make your stop to La Boca. You won't regret it.

    Also, see the movie before you go. It is a good one.

    The rest of the trip was great too. This story was just more personal.

  • Turned ob the TV this morning and saw that GMA is featuring a trip to Antarctica this week. The reporter is about to leave for Argentina and get on a Nat Geo ship and show the Drake Passage and then the continent and I think they may be going all the way to the South Pole too. I rarely see this show because it’s usually my walking time, but I’m at the airport right now!

  • cathyandsteve...We got our digital Green book today

    Awesome. Hopefully I will receive my book soon. I think our travel dates are in the same timeframe

  • Cathy and Steve, is there info in the Green Book that shows that Tauck’s insurance covers Covid that can be shown at arrival in BsAs?

  • Ok, I cheated, I’ve been to Sea World today

  • The bench and the baby carriages were something of a ‘giveaway’. (;-)

  • I hope everyone going to Antarctica got to see GMA last week and this week featuring Amy Roebuck in Antarctica. Sounds as if the Drake Passage was so rough it took them 2 days longer to reach land than planned. The bonus was seeing rare sitings of Emperor Penguins that the naturalists on the boat said they see no more than once in five years.
    Amy also took a plunge in the below freezing waters….oh boy she has great legs! I’m female so I hope it’s ok to say that here. They showed a pod of killer whales and of course lots of dramatic scenery.

    Unfortunately, tales of the Drake Passage is why we feel it’s not for us.
    Everyone who goes, please put great reports and photos here when you go,

  • British....Unfortunately, tales of the Drake Passage is why we feel it’s not for us.

    I guess I was lucky on my tour. It was smooth sailing going through the Drake passage and we also had a rare sighting of an Emperor Penguin and a seal feeding her pup.

  • The flagger is a moron and a coward. Ignore it.

  • For anyone who needs more information about Argentine entry requirements, I received the following from the Argentine Consulate:

    COVID: HEALTH REQUIREMENTS FOR FOREIGNERS TO
    TRAVEL TO ARGENTINA

    As of November 1, 2021, foreigners must be vaccinated against COVID in order to enter Argentina and are exempted from quarantine.

    The health requirements for entry are as follows:

    1) Have completed the vaccination schedule against COVID, at least 14 days before entering Argentina. Vaccinated persons will indicate this when completing the Affidavit of point 3), and must present the corresponding proof of vaccination (CDC White card).

    2) Within 72 hours before the departure flight to Argentina, do a PCR test (swabbing) whose result must be COVID negative.

    3) Within 48 hours before the departure flight to Argentina, complete the Affidavit on the following website:
    https://ddjj.migraciones.gob.ar/app/home.php (the negative PCR test and the complete vaccination certificate must be attached).
    To board the plane, the result of the negative PCR test and the proof of delivery of the Affidavit must be presented printed. The vaccination card must be in original.

    4) Traveler's Medical Insurance that includes coverage of hospitalization services, isolation and / or medical transfers, for those who result in positive COVID cases, suspects or close contacts;

    5) Between the fifth and seventh day after entering Argentina, a new PCR test must be performed (at the cost of each traveler), the result of which must be negative.

    6) By US regulations, within 72 hours. Before the flight back to the US, do a PCR test that must be COVID negative in order to board the plane back. As of November 8, 2021, the US will require proof of vaccination against COVID in order to enter the country.

  • Yup, we're jumping through those hoops to enter Argentina enroute to the Antarctic on November 27th. Our challenge was that our AIG TravelGuard insurance policy was bought 27 months ago when we booked the expedition (Smithsonian, not Tauck) which obviously predated COVID and didn't provide some of the specific coverage with respect to isolation/quarantining required by Argentina. And, you have to digitally submit a letter from your insurance company attesting that your policy meets or exceeds the requirements when you fill out the on-line affidavit. The new policy that AIG sells ("Preferred" with riders; our "Gold" policy is no longer offered) was only a few hundred dollars more than the previous one for the necessary coverage, but they said it had to be priced based on our 2-years-older-ages even though the dates of the policy is the same as the old so we are no older than we'd have been travelling under the original policy (except for the slight problem of not getting us into Argentina). That cost us an additional $500 which Smithsonian rebated.

    The lesson learned is that given the need to submit proof of coverage, immediately contact your insurance company and ask them to issue the required letter to you so that if there are glitches, you'll have time to resolve them. Your insurance company should already understand what you are asking about...at least TravelGuard did. You may be fine if you purchased your policy in the last year or so.

    Good luck!

  • I usually carry a heavy camera backpack as a carry-on. The trick is to handle it as if it doesn't weigh much. Never been challenged.

  • Nice try Cathy. You didn't actually think the flagger cared about Tauck's forum rules/guidelines? Clearly they don't since they've been flagging things with zero understanding of what is or isn't appropriate. I sure wish they'd get a life.

    Wishing you all the best for your upcoming tour :)

  • You can't reason with a moron, Cathy.

  • Cathy - You’ve done everything you can do to prepare and meet all the requirements. All that’s left is to relax and enjoy your trip. Good luck.

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