Antarctica

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  • Your timetable looks great…but DFW has testing inside and outside security if you have a problem getting test results!

  • Cathy, focus on the upcoming adventure of a lifetime. All will work out!

  • I know you know this now Cathy, but time is of the essence and not having to go thru a Travel agent would be quicker.
    Tauck opens at 8am on Monday and I guess it will be busier than ever with all the cancelled flights to Africa. You might still want to call them to see if they can help as well as your travel agent doing it for you as well. We have used the ‘call us back’ feature this past week and it worked well, we didn’t have to wait long.

  • I’m not debating travel agents, I’m suggesting you contact Tauck as well, as it might be quicker and ease your mind Cathy.

  • Tauck is never really closed. There should be an emergency number in your green book. If ‘essential’ elements are missing from your docs, I would call that number. Let them figure out if it is an emergency, or something that can wait until Monday.

  • edited November 29

    I just checked L’Austral’s webcam. A couple tour buses appeared to be departing. It is 4:00 pm in Ushuaia and I think the all aboard is at five for a six departure. It looks ‘promising’. It also looks cold, wet, and windy.

  • cathyandsteve...The issue here is that most of us are going to BA at least one day or two days or even three days before the tour begins on Tuesday. They need to rethink this.

    No worries. you can always retrieve the document from your email on your smartphone and use the business center at the hotel to print the document.
    #namaste B)

  • L’Austral has sailed. I watched them depart Ushuaia.

  • cathyandsteve...We have to have the document to enter Argentina. So if we do not have the proper paperwork...we will be denied entry.

    Cathy--I apologize. I didn't realize those documents were needed to enter the country. I understand your concern.

    My Antartica tour was in 2012, Unfortunately I cannot remember that level of detail about the luggage. I remember I packed light. The heaviest items for most folks were transporting the 40lb boots as we called them. I rented mine and they were waiting for me in my cabin.

  • Thanks for the update, Portolan! Sounds like a fun group you'll be traveling with. Have a wonderful time!

  • I'll offer one piece of urgent advice if you sail on L'Austral (or L'Boreal and perhaps the newer L'Lyrial and L'Soleil): bring multi-adapters for the very few accessible electrical outlets. We are in a Deluxe Suite, so the situation may be different in the standard suites, but that would seem unlikely. There are no bedside electrical or USB sockets. There is a dual socket on the sideboard with a US 3 prong socket which may or may not be 120V (not labeled and my equipment doesn't care) plus a European 2 pin socket which was occupied by a Bluetooth speaker's plug which obstructed the US socket. So the BT has been unplugged in favor of our beloved Monster Power Outlets to Go 3 Laptop (compact, and spreads the 3 prong plug to three 3 prong sockets plus a low output (phone) and a high output (tablet) USB port. Over the makeup table, there is a single European 2 pin socket (where we are using a plug adapter and our nightlight/2 USB port device). That's it except for a baseboard European socket in the hallway and a "razor" only US/European socket in the bathroom.

    If anyone has specific questions about the ship, I'll be happy to answer them or get the answer.

    We had our first landing today on Penguin Island. Extremely rough ride to a very large boulder-strewn beach. We were fortunate to be in the first group ashore because conditions worsened and they had to cancel the second half's landing.

    A few thousand penguins so not a particularly large rookery, plus one fur seal and a dozen or so elephant seals (molting, so very quiescent).

    The landing conditions were the worst of the dozen or so we made on our earlier trip to the Antarctic in 2012. Fully justifies the mantra that it's an expedition and not a cruise (stuff happens) and your motto (not Ponant's) needs to be "Semper Gumby."

  • What great shots. Thanks for sharing..

  • We FINALLY got our proof of insurance yesterday...next hurdle PCR covid test.

    Portolan...I have been watching the web cam. The seas have looked rather angry and you eluded to that in your post. I am waiting for your next report!! Thanks for the heads up on the electrical outlets.

  • I think the two newer Ponant ships we have sailed on had more outlets.

  • edited 5:59PM

    We have cruised on Le Boreal, Le Champlain, and Le Bougainville, and we found the 110 outlet availability to be minimal but adequate. We have stayed in a couple of large suites elsewhere that had inadequate 110 power and you needed plugs and or converters. In both cases the management supplied us with the needed apparatus.

    I was looking this morning for L’Austral, and could not find her on their website and the webcam was not working. I used Cruisemapper to find her in the South Orkney Islands with Le Lyrial nearby. I don’t know if that is their original itinerary, but it is not on ours.

    Le Lyrial’s webcam is working and it has a pretty spectacular view. (Go to Ponant’s website and select ships.)

  • So far we've had landings cancelled at:
    Penguin Island on the 1st for all but the first of 4 groups (we made it!)
    Elephant Island: yesterday
    Coronation Island: first landing cancelled today, but second landing location ongoing at the moment

    We head father east after today's landings are complete to get positioned on the track of the solar eclipse which runs from 3:18 to 4:59 AM tomorrow with totality from 4:07:05 to 4:08:07 (1m42s). Sunrise is at 2:35 AM.

    The solar eclipse is actually responsible for our poor track record on landings since we are much farther east than the normal itineraries. Much more exposed waters.

    Hoping for clear skies or at least partly cloudy tomorrow, but we've mostly had over cast to date.

  • Sorry to hear this ....hopefully we have a smoother sail next week.

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