Tauck not allowing travelers to swim in hot springs or ocean in Antarctica??

I read that Tauck does not allow their travelers to swim in the hot springs or water at Deception Island? This is one of the highlights of the Antarctica Trip. Why would Tauck do this? Anyone know if this is true and why?

Comments

  • I'm having some difficulty in understanding quite what you're getting at.

    You do understand that Tauck do not own, let alone control, Antarctica, don't you? There are very strict International rules for all aspects of human intervention & interaction in Antarctica & the sub-Antarctic. My guess is that would include swimming in the waters of and adjacent to Deception Island. There are very strict rules and protocols for the decontamination of any materials that land on Antarctica or its ice shelfs or the adjacent waters and that's after defining exactly what can land. Judging by the smell of the stuff I walked my boots & walking pole through this year, not to mention the complete decontamination process of my clothes before I left the ship in the first place, I don't think your body would appreciate the re-boarding "cleansing" process terribly much ... even if Tauck was so all-powerful as to have made the rules in the first place.

    Even Tauck, or more logically the Captain of the ship Tauck uses for this Antarctic expedition, has to follow international protocols under the Antarctic Treaty System.
  • edited November 2014
    There are, indeed, many rules that expeditions to Antarctica are required to follow.

    However, unless there has been a change in the last 2 years, visitors are allowed to swim in the thermally-warmed water in Deception Island. This was an option for all in 2012 on the A&K expedition we were on. Also not likely to be a Le Ponant restriction since we were on Le Boreal...sister ship to the Le Austral/Le Soleil ships that Tauck has been using. We didn't do it...it would have taken time away from exploring the island and Neptune's Lookout.

    While you do always have to go through a boot wash when returning to the ship (to avoid interisland cross-contamination), there was no unusual requirement for those who swam...though they'd want to shower off since this is, of course, a salt water swim. As I recall, the A&K expedition crew provided towels ashore and gathered them up in plastic bags to return to the ship for washing.

    For the OP: where did you hear of this as the Tauck policy? If not directly from them, I'd suggest confirming it.
  • Tauck provides a booklet for the Antarctica Trips, page 42 states, “ Please note that Le Boreal / Le Soleal no longer allows swimming on Deception Island”.

    No explanation provided with the statement.
  • edited November 2014
    Why do they have to give an explanation? Will that make a difference? If the swimming change causes you to not go on the trip, then the discussion is over and you buy with your feet--somewhere else. Do you just want to argue with them or do you think you can change their minds? If so, then call D a n M a h a r and discuss it with him in person. I don't know why any of us would know their reasoning.
  • edited November 2014
    ndvb wrote:
    Why do they have to give an explanation? Will that make a difference? If the swimming change causes you to not go on the trip, then the discussion is over and you buy with your feet--somewhere else. Do you just want to argue with them or do you think you can change their minds? If so, then call D a n M a h a r and discuss it with him in person. I don't know why any of us would know their reasoning.

    Wow! Maybe they are just curious.

    As stated in the OP's reference, it appears it was Compagnie du Ponant which made the change. In that case it would likely affect all tour operators who use their ships (like my aforementioned A&K).

    In any case, I'll reiterate my earlier suggestion that there are more interesting things to explore on Deception Island.
  • There is still volcanic activity below the sea near Deception Island, making the snow capped peaks highly contrasted from the steaming black sands closer to the sea. You would think that with the warmer sands that the sea inside would be relatively warm. Once upon a time you could dig a hole in the sand and sit in hot pools of water. However, now with the Antarctic Treaty, nobody is allowed to dig into the sand. You cannot disrupt the continent at all. From many first hand accounts, we know that the water is absolutely not warm.

    Steve in PA
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