We Booked our Antarctica trip for December 2020

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Comments

  • Does anyone know if the State Department has posted a Level 4 Warning, like it has, if that impacts trip insurance if you still choose to travel?

  • edited July 6

    Even if you purchased the insurance before the outbreak, it probably invalidates insurance. The only way to know for sure is to contact your insurance which is probably impossible right now due to high volume of calls and claims. I am sure each insurance could vary. Tauck may have the answers. Maybe that is another reason they have to cancel tours for now.
    We enrolled in STEP for our most recent tour that was curtailed after six days. While we were there, we got no STEP notifications while we were there! We had to rely on the BBC. When we got home, they started coming! And they are still coming. We have tried to stop them several times. The first time the website acknowledged there were problems. We tried another time and now We have given up and they are just interesting to read as we could still be stuck in that country.

  • Re. health insurance - I don't know how the Level 4 health advisory affects insurance, but did speak with a Tauck rep last week and asked about Tauck's Travel Well Pledge and insurance. The agent said health-related expenses for Covid would still be covered under Tauck's insurance although cautioned that in some countries payment would be required up front and insurance would reimburse expenses to the limit of the policy. She said that under the Travel Well Pledge, the traveler would be responsible for any costs for quarantine should that be required.

  • Tauck makes it very clear that if you are not healthy...Antarctica is not a trip you should be taking and they require a doctor to clear you for the trip.

    Here's some historical medical trivia: In the earlyt days of NASA and space travel, astronauts were required to have their appendix out before their initial mission. Somebody convinced the powers-that-be of the "what if they get appedicitis while in space?" argument. Made me wonder why not the gall bladder, too, but I never looked into it.

  • If you are Covid clear at the beginning of the trip and you come into contact with it on day one....
    It is not known what the true Incubation period is for Covid 19 and it may vary from person to person and depend on the viral load you come into contact with. If you have not shown symptoms by 14 days, then you are probably in the clear, that is where the 14 comes in, it”s likely symptoms would show maybe way before then. That is the problem and why it’s such a sneaky virus.

  • Cathy and Steve: We are still onboard with our trip in January. We have both had recent “visits” with our doctor, so she will complete the paperwork. Next week is Yosemite, and “We Can’t Wait to Get Outta this Place”. Other than our cabin, it is pretty much an outdoor environment. After our check-in, no one will enter the cabin except upon request.

  • There are plenty of optimists out there. I checked both the Tauck and Ponant websites for our December 2020, and January 2021 trips and a number of room categories are showing ‘limited’ or ‘sold out’.

  • Sealord and cathyandsteve: I am booked on a Ponant cruise for the spring of next year and had to speak to them today about transfers. I was told that they are definitely sailing and have had no covid-19 issues to date. I live in Springfield, MO so air is not as easy as in major cities. I am also an optimist and know that Tauck will make our journeys (whether land, small ship, or river) the best they can. As a single traveler, I book my river through Tauck, but choose to book my small ship directly through Ponant as they offer a single supplement program for small ship cruises. Safe travels to us all soon.

  • edited July 12

    Happy Days are Here Again!

    Today I booked the August 8, 2020 ACL 7 nights Columbia & Snake River cruise aboard the American Song. No problem booking my preferred category SGB cabin. Just 4 weeks away. Includes pre-cruise airport hotel and Cruise with Comfort Offer (100% Cash refund if cancelled by ACL or 100% credit on a new future cruise booking if I cancel).

    This morning I contacted ACL after receiving their brochure in the mail featuring July, August, September and October 2020 Mississippi River Itineraries. Spoke with a cruise specialist regarding August Mississippi cruises with Single (Private Balcony) availability when she mentioned there was also a category SGB available on the Columbia & Snake River cruise.

    I have been considering this cruise since 2010 and was planning to book it in 2022 before I was placed on 2 of Tauck's 2022 Oberammergau river cruise waitlists.

    In addition to my 2021 Tauck 4 back to back journeys (Black Sea, Blue Danube, Switzerland and Ultimate Alps), I am also booked on the June 25, 2021 ACL 21 nights Complete Mississippi cruise aboard the American Harmony which I booked in September 2019.

    Tauck is my preferred travel company for land, riverboat and small ship journeys. However I do like ACL and Ponant cruises and their single supplement programs, especially for cruises not offered by Tauck.

  • Derek - What kind of restrictions will be in place on the boat?

  • edited July 10

    BKMD Generally similar to Ponant and Tauck guidelines as well as guidelines for USA youth resident camps.

    I sent you a link via PM to the COVID-19 Operating Protocol I received with my confirmation

    Tours are in small groups of 10-12 guests and staggered during the day (note tours on this cruise: Featured (included), Premium ($20-$70) and Signature ($105-$165 Full day with Lunch & a glass of house Beer or Wine).

    There is written information on the website but the cruise specialist gave a pretty good description when I asked.

  • Well...I got our water proof pants, our water proof gloves and our long underwear this week. I also bought a cute night gown with Xmas penguins since we will be there right before Xmas...lol

    I have been looking through the closets deciding which clothes to take. I know the odds are not in my favor...but I am NOT giving up hope just YET!

  • Cathy - Not sure, but this might give you some more encouragement, at least from an overall Ponant perspective, not your specific tour.

    Ponant now has positioned Le Boreal to Reykjavik and the Le Bellot is close to getting there as well (per CruiseMapper website). So even though the Tauck Iceland tours were cancelled, Ponant must be getting ready for their August departures. So it seems like from a Ponant perspective they are close to resuming at least some operations.

  • edited July 11

    This is in fun Cathy but if my hubby saw me in a penguin nightgown, in fact any nightgown, it would be grounds for divorce in our household. We wear nothing in bed, it’s healthier and there is more room in our suitcase for day clothing😀 Perhaps that’s why we always comment we can manage with smaller suitcases than most. TMI I know but hopes it gives some a giggle. Quite a challenge too on the Africa tours when you get the early morning call at the tent and have to rush and answer it to get your coffee. Same if you are still in bed when your suitcases are collected inside the room. Some near misses with that one🤪

  • Maybe we need a TMI button.

  • Steve informed me he ordered his new camera today...a canon EOS R5. He is not giving up hope yet...lol

  • Cathy said:

    Steve informed me he ordered his new camera today...a canon EOS R5.

    So do you get a hand me down upgrade?

  • yes i do! lol how did you guess! I am keeping mine just in case... My canon T7I was lacking in some areas in Africa. It does not do well in low light and it does not do well in a moving vehicle. One evening we did a night safari and saw a den of Hyenas with a bunch of babies. Steve got several wonderful shots with his camera...I got nothin. Total black. Of course his camera is older but it is a huge upgrade from mine.

  • cathyandsteve
    12:15PM
    . . . Steve got several wonderful shots with his camera...I got nothin. Total black. Of course his camera is older but it is a huge upgrade from mine.

    Are you sure it was the camera and not the operator? :D:D

  • LOL... Well it could have been...I won't deny that!!! I have noticed it has trouble focusing....I have tried it in several modes as well as manual. It does a good job....and I like it. But I sure was disappointed when i did not get one single picture of that baby hyena!

    Last year on our way to Yellowstone...I was the one taking pictures along the way....and I tried to get a buffalo in a field of the Theodore Roosevelt national park in North Dakota. I could hear the camera making noises and I kept snapping...but they were so blurry. I think we were just going too fast and it could not focus and what i was hearing was it working its little guts out trying to focus.

    Anyway, I don't claim to be a photographer and I will never be as serious about it as Steve is...but we do work pretty well together as a team. I have a really good eye. Steve just does not see the things I see and once i point it out he does a great job capturing the shot. One time in Costa Rica....I kept trying to tell him where the sloth was in the tree. He never did see it...just started shooting in the direction he thought i was pointing to....lol He did not get it...lol

  • Cathy - I have to jump on the bandwagon. :D

    Steve got several wonderful shots with his camera...I got nothin. Total black. Of course his camera is older but it is a huge upgrade from mine.

    Did you remember to take the lens cover off your camera? :D

  • you are all just so FUNNY today!!! :D Thanks for your vote of confidence!!! lol YES I took the lens off. and I even turned the camera ON!!!!
    Geez...... :p

  • And now you know why I only take pictures with my phone. Cannot be bothered to learn how to use a camera really well. But kudos to those of you who do.

  • Cathy--I have a T2i which I purchased for my SA, B, Z, Safari way back in 2010. It's a great camera and still takes great shots. it took wonderful shots in Africa and Antarctica. I'm in the process of pulling the trigger on a new one. The zoom lens on the T2i are just too heavy to be lugging around for the land tours I've been taking. I thought i was set with pulling the trigger on the new Fujifil X100V and then, just yesterday, a friend introduced me to the Leica Q2. I'm in love! I will wait until I know the status of the December Jordan Egypt tour. If it's not happening in December, I can wait a bit longer to pull the plug. I know how it feels to miss a shot because of low light/wrong lens in place to capture the shot. I had a similar problem with the hyenas in a cave but fortunately they came out and showed their cute/ugly faces. The babies were cute but the mamas...well that's another story. 1st world problems.

  • I guess we were lucky to see the baby hyenas in the daylight! At least darkness won’t be a problem in the Antarctic!

  • Claudia Sails
    12:40PM
    And now you know why I only take pictures with my phone. Cannot be bothered to learn how to use a camera really well. But kudos to those of you who do.

    I went in the other direction. Used to have a "real" camera. The convenience, small footprint, and good picture quality led me to abandon the SLR for my cell phone.

  • cathyandsteve****attached are a few of my favorite shots from my December 2012 Antarctica expedition. I love the fur seals that appear to be smiling---so much JOY! The Captain actually alerted other zodiacs to where we were to see the Leopard Seal feeding her pup. He stated he had never seen that before. He told us if we ever saw him in public to mention that we were on the expedition that first saw a mom & pup feeding and he would instantly know which cruise we were referring to. It was a FANTASTIC Trip--I hope your December trip goes on as scheduled- but if not, there's always next year!

    -Robin

  • edited August 7

    OMG....Robin...those are fantastic!!! I love each and every one!!! Especially the leopard seal and the smiling seals! I so hope we get to go.....I need a trip so bad and this would feel like heaven.

  • Great photos. With the covid situation I've been self soothing with puppy videos. These will do as well.

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