Antarctica

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  • I'd jump into the water if those animals came onto my small boat!

  • Still wrong, great photo Sam

  • No! Think out of the box

  • edited March 2021

    Zanzibar, New Zealand, or the country whose currency is the Zar and is home to the Zulu? We'll go alphabetically, in reverse order. :D

  • St. Lawrence River or Lake Erie?

  • Wrong, OK (I just assumed about the above), how about Lake Argentino on the Patagonia tour or someplace close?

  • No, all wrong, this is fun! Think out of the box more!

  • No, but we are planning on a visit there in the next couple of weeks, we are members

  • Sorry now that I put this Antarctica section. Please forgive me.....and after this maybe we can start a new Where is this photo thread!
    I’ll keep this going until tomorrow’and then I’ll give you the answer.
    Have another guess people!

  • Our zoo opened a new penguin house last spring that I want to visit. Been waiting for the right confluence of it being open and the weather being a nice day for a zoo visit. Maybe next month.

  • Cathy - This is my favorite South Africa Penguin Pic--He had so much ATTITUDE!!!

  • Zoos are great for kids and others who cannot see the animals in the wild. Personally, I have not been able to go to a zoo since our first trip to Africa. To me it’s like watching a bird in a cage. “Born Free”,

  • Yes, I'd rather see them in the wild but not everyone has the opportunity so having and supporting local facilities are important. We also have a lovely biopark with plants and a butterfly house. These are all great resources for schools.

  • NEWS FORM CHILE

    Chile's vaccination rate is the third highest in the world, according to some experts, but that hasn't stopped another resurgence in Covid-19. Infection rates are currently higher there than at any point in the pandemic.

    Almost all hospital beds in the country are full and a new lockdown is being imposed in the capital Santiago.

    More than 8.5 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country of 19 million people, according to Oxford University's Covid tracker. But officials say new variants and a relaxation of restrictions has led to the resurgence in cases.

    In total Chile has recorded 925,089 cases and 22,180 deaths from Covid-19.

  • I saw a post in The Points Guy newsletter today that might interest anyone that has trips booked for December 2021 to Antarctica. I have pasted a paragraph from the entire article here. Cathy, I had you in mind for this. I know you are traveling in December but couldn't remember the actual date.

    "If you’ve been dreaming of a trip to Antarctica, this might be the year to make it happen. According to NASA, a total solar eclipse is predicted for Dec. 4, 2021, and Antarctica may be the only place on Earth you’ll be able to get a complete view of the eclipse this time around. The view will be best the closer you are to the so-called path of totality."

  • Oh dang, so close. That would have been amazing to see plus the sky over Antarctica would be so clear.

  • I did the Antartica trip in 2016. I tagged onto the Yellowstone in Winter tour so that I only had to pack the winter gear once. I went to BA two days early (Tauck had two day extensions at that time). I walked around BA a lot and visited some interesting parts of the city. A couple of other people were there and joined me. We also hired a private tour guide and she was wonderful. I did get a kick out of going through the La Recoleta cemetery looking for Ava Perón's (Avita) grave. I couldn't find it until I found out she was buried in her family's mausoleum and under their surname....Duarte.

    The La Boca neighborhood was nice....artists, colorful buildings. I met an artist there by the name of Guillermo Alio. We had a very long conversation where he explained he is the only "Master Tango Artist and Master Tango Instructor." One of my favorite movies is "Assassination Tango," with Robert Duvall and his wife, Luciana Pedraza. Guillermo told me he was Duvall's tango instructor. I thought he was pulling my leg, until he got out his scrap book full of photos of the two of them and many newspaper articles. He was great to talk to. We spent over an hour just sitting and talking. I didn't buy anything that day and was upset with myself for not getting one of his pictures. When the tour went back there I looked him up. As I walked up to him, he saw me, called me by name, and greeted me with a big hug. I did buy a water color from him....he sold it to me for $20. He then asked me to sign the back of the picture. He turned my signature into a quick drawing of two tango dancers and he then wrote a very nice message to me in both English and Spanish. It hangs on my wall, framed so I can show both the picture or take it down and show the back. Just a little story.

    Antarctica: I enjoy the trip there, flights with few snacks and all. The boat was very comfortable. I was in the Navy and rough seas don't bother me. Trips off the boat were enjoyable. Yes, getting into all the gear and doing the boot cleaning going on and off the ship were a pain, but it was worth it. I had my own boots and they are now carefully placed in a large zip lock bag. If I want to remind myself of the odors of Antarctica I can just open the seal and take a whiff. Yes, the penguins are awful, dirty birds....cute, but dirty and smelly.

    We were scheduled to make it into the Antarctic circle, which, according to all the information given by the crew, is very unusual. However, a passenger in her excitement to see some whales, ran up to the bow and on the way fell and separated her shoulder. We had to turn around and get her back to a place she could be medically flighted out to a hospital. Some passengers were upset with her, but she didn't do it on purpose and we just had to live with it.

    I didn't find the tour directors to be much help on this tour. Very unusual. They actually partied more than the customers. They didn't give out much information....the boat crew did that. They stood in the back of the theatre and gave out candy as the presentations ended and we left. When we had the lady hurt herself, the TD's didn't give out much information as to what was going to happen. Not unusual. The Captain is the person who determines what will happen and he and his officers were charged with passing out information. They didn't do a great job of that. I think that is what frustrated many passengers, more than missing out on the Antarctic Circle.

    At that time, Tauck passengers had their alcohol provided as part of the trip. However, passengers from other companies did not. So, those other passengers would tell the bartenders they were with Tauck and got their drinks for free. Yes, there was a badge Tauck passengers were supposed to wear, but as the tour went on, they didn't. All that meant for Tauck passengers was that when the Tauck bean counters got the bill and figured out the average alcohol usage to add it into the cost of the trip for future travelers (we were being charged the "average" for previous travelers), we were paying for much of the other passengers drinking. I know I didn't drink my charge for the "average" alcohol consumption since I don't drink much. I knew that going in. But, I didn't like the fact that I was paying for the other's alcohol consumption either. (This is getting confusing, I know). Anyway, that was my only criticism of the trip. The Tauck representative called me and asked about it, since it was on my evaluation sheet. They were great and understood it. In fact, I think it was the next year that the bar was an open bar for everyone since Tauck and the other companies decided to change their policies. It just showed me that Tauck really does read the evaluations and takes them seriously.

    I have now visited all seven continents and all 50 states. My next list to conquer is all 50 state capitals. The RV is helping to solve that problem. I have visited 29 of those...more to come. Safe travels.

  • Cathy - 2021 won’t be a completely lost year for you even without Antarctica. You posted a bunch of great pictures from your trip to New Orleans and the South. Also, don’t you have a Jamaica trip coming up, in addition to your New England trip?

  • edited June 2021

    When I look back at last year, ok we did not go anywhere, but we hardly wasted a single day. We had something to do almost every day, many projects we would normally never have time for. A couple of renovations and improvement we maybe wouldn’t have done without a pandemic. When things slackened a bit, we saw way more of our family, even if it was social distance and masks. A total blessing.
    I do look forward to traveling to far away places again. I refuse to think of it as a lost year. I’m still breathing, many people are not.

  • I have been notified by Tauck that our January 2022 Antarctica trip is a ‘Go’.

  • Wow, that’s great news SeaLord
    Cathy, what about you, any more news? Could you switch to the January tour?

  • I’m still in the midst of reading ‘The Worst Journey in the World’ I am loving it. Tow hundred pages in and the men are still preparing all the camps with supplies, the ponies are dying. The descriptions of all the killer whales and movements of the pack ice is fascinating. Recommended it to those going.

  • I'm cheering you all on...hoping Antarctica works for you whenever you go. We have been on 13 Tauck trips and Antarctica remains my number one favorite still! We've been to all 7 Continents with Tauck and hope to get back on track in 2022 (two booked, looking at one more)

  • After I posted, I looked At Argentina and wondered how Tauck could know what no one else does. I think if Ponant still says it is a go, they can’t say anything else at this point.
    I’m looking at South America status because we really want to take the Best Of SA or whatever they call it these days. Would also love to take Patagonia again.

  • There are lots of uncertainties, but we just got back from two weeks on the “Star Breeze” that were fantastic. We were originally booked for two weeks earlier, (those weeks were a ‘Go’) but the “inaugural” cruise was a wash out because they could not get the crew vaccinated. The following two cruises (ours) were cancelled because the crew was getting vaccinated and doing their fourteen days. So we rebooked and ours was the real inaugural and it was a blast. They have an Anthony Sasso restaurant called Cuadro 44 that is amazing. Sasso spent some weeks aboard “Star Breeze” training the chefs, and the food is some of the best at sea. Windstar’s food has aways been really good, but “Cuadro” is a cut above. The ship was recently cut in half and stretched, and totally renovated, so it was crawling with travel agents, writers, and food critics. Tauck partners with both Windstar and Ponant, so it will be interesting to see what trips Tauck does aboard the “new” Star boats. Down the road, the “Star Breeze” will be going to Tahiti for a stretch, and the “Legend” and the “Pride” will be relaunched in a few months.

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