December 2, 2016 Le Lyrial & Buenos Aires

edited March 22 in Antarctica
I am a solo traveler and looking forward to our Antarctica journey including Buenos Aires.

Comments

  • You might consider visiting Igausu Falls which is a short flight from the downtown airport to Northern Argentina for the nights of 30NOV and 01DEC...they are by far the most impressive waterfalls in the world. I am on this same trip with a group and we have planned to spend the 29th at the Hilton and then leave the bulk of our luggage and travel up to the falls with just small carry on bags. Tauck does a fantastic job and I am sure we are all going to enjoy this experience.
  • On this trip in January 2013, we set up reservations for a pre-trip evening dinner at The Argentine Experience in Buenos Aires. It was a great decision - part cooking school, part steak house, part orientation to the culture of BA and 100% fun. Having taken many Tauck trips, if we would ever do one again, it would be Antarctica. And a part of that trip would be another evening at the Argentine Experience. Unless circumstances have changed, you should go there via a "safe" taxi from the hotel and have the restaurant call another one for your return trip. A bit of an adventure inside an adventure, but definitely worth the effort.
  • edited July 2016
    My friend, Sherry and I (both from Los Angeles) will also be on this trip, arriving early morning of November 30th. I have been to Buenos Aires before and agree that you can certainly spend more time there than the few days before our Antarctica cruise. Walking tours of San Telmo and especially La Boca are a good idea. Will post once we firm things up. Looking forward to meeting you. This will be an amazing adventure.
  • We enjoyed The Argentine Experience! We also visited the art museum and walked around La Boca.
  • edited October 2016
    Labor Day Weekend I went back to review recent August communications from Tauck regarding updates on my Antartica Journey and Tauck International Air Reservations.

    I quickly noticed that my International Air Reservations were updated to new schedules by American Airlines based on their perception of best connections, but not what I reserved and confirmed. A quick call to Tauck on Tuesday morning resolved the issue, however I realized that each time Tauck sends a new Summary of Purchase there are major changes to our contractual agreement.

    Other items I noticed were:

    The Airlines and Checked, Carry-on and Personal item Luggage allowance is not defined and the responsibility is left to each passenger. On tour flights schedules are not specified. However, the Ponant website indicates that Buenos Aires’ Airport, flight number and time are to be advised about 30 days prior to departure.

    There is no mention in the summary that the Argentina’s US citizens reciprocity tax in order to enter Argentina has been changed. However, I received a letter from Tauck dated July 14, 2016 advising US citizens of a change to the entry requirements imposed by the government of Argentina on American citizens. It is my understanding that the reciprocity tax is no longer required.

    Mandatory Medical Health Questionnaire must be returned to Tauck, completed in full and signed by my physician, no later than 90 days prior to departure. I had my medical exam done by my primary physician, and approved by my orthopedic surgeon, in June 2016, but didn’t realize the Antarctic Treaty and the rules of the international Association of Antarctic Tour Operators required another form. Needless to say I found a copy of their form and sent it to the Tauck Journey Preparation Team via US mail as they would not accept a pdf copy via email.

    Boot Rental: Available at no additional cost via the Ponant website at www.ponantboots.com. I followed the instructions and with no effort or difficulties I received a confirmation that my boot rental order had been received and would be placed in my stateroom.

    Travel Gear: I went to the New Headings website provided in the summary at www.necessarygear.com and quickly found all the items needed for our Antartica Journey. Doubting a good deal I spent 2 days searching other outdoor gear providers, including the provider recommended by Ponant, until I realized New Headings was very fair and competitive. I contacted New Headings via telephone and they assisted me with sizing and ordering strategy. They also suggested major brand providers whose pricing was the same but included free shipping and handling.

    Although the “Polar & Winter Works” Package was priced in the $500 range, my custom package ended up a few hundred dollars higher. I added the Ultralite Trekking Staff Pair by LEKI (wt a set of Walking Rubber Tips), the Rando Goretex Waterproof Cap, an extra pkg of 4 hand warmers, 2 sets of Mid-weight Thermal Tops & Pants, 2 pairs of Tilley Socks and the All Terrain Adventure Pants.

    My order arrived today and everything fit well. At this point I do not see the need to return any of the items in my custom order.

    The one item I was short was the waterproof Day Pack (Tauck Recommended) or the water-resistant backpack (Ponant recommended). I ordered the Outdoor Research DryComp Summit Sack.

    I have purchased via Eagle Creek (recommended by New Headings) a hand held Luggage Scale. My current plan is to travel to Buenos aires with 2 checked bags, 1 carry-on and 1 personal item. I will leave 1 large checked bag at the hotel as recommended by Tauck, and then travel to Ushuaia with 1 small checked bag, I full size carry-on and 1 personal item (my brief case). I understand that the dress code onboard the Le Lyrical is expedition casual.

    According to Ponant's website, although beer, wine and spirits are provided to all passengers throughout the ship including their stateroom, it does not include premium spirits and bottles of wine.

    From my past experience the ship’s wine stewart (and bartenders) provides an excellent wine paring each evening, has a select inventory of fine wines, and a good selection of premium spirits available and chargeable to your onboard ship's account.

    We are now 78 days from the start of our Antartica Journey and Tauck and Ponant are in the final stages of preparing all the final details to make our Antartica Journey an unforgettable and safe experience. We just need to do our part to meet all the deadlines outlined in the latest Summary of Purchase. If you haven’t reviewed your latest summary, do it now.
  • edited September 2016
    Today I received an email from a Ponant Program Director responding to my inquiry regarding Ponant Yacht Club membership and benefits outlined on their website.

    She has advised me that past and current Tauck trips aboard Ponant ships cannot be taken into consideration for credit towards membership in the Ponant Yacht Club.
  • Thanks Derek for detailing your preparations (Sept 15posting).
    We (Kris and Sudha) are on the same trip arriving on Dec1;we have been to BA before.Have not planned anything at this time for our stay there.
    I also noticed our airline connections have varied a bit since booking.As far as Argentina entry fee I thinkAmerican citizens are exempt but according to the last communication from Tauck that was for a period of 90 days?Not sure if that will be changed before the trip.
    Just a note about boot rental:we both tried out the same brand for size with wool expedition socks before ordering.
    Has anyone ordered their complete outfit package (including the different layers etc) for rental?
    Looking forward to the trip
  • We visited quite a long time ago;so do not remember anything specific to recommend;we did go to Gaucho farm as an allay trip with horseback riding.We just plan to relax and do whatever comes to our mind.
  • edited November 2016
    Hello Derek, I hope you have found time to read all the other postings on the Antarctica forum. I have learned a lot about it by just reading them in the past. It's not a tour I want to do, but I have been on numerous tours with Tauck and have three more booked, so obviously have confidence in the company and an expectation of a standard that Tauck has. They will do their best to uphold that standard, but in some parts of the world, they cannot for reasons as diverse as lack of upscale hotels in an area or weather etc etc. I am not sure whether you have travelled with Tauck before, but by now you should have received the final Tauck booklet that you get about a month before the tour this gives more detail of your, but note, those plans sometimes have to change a little, especially on a trip like Antarctica where weather conditions could change plans sometimes the tour guide switches things round a little too because from experience and assessing a group and whatever might be happening in the local area.
    As far as safety, I do have a friend who's neighbor was on an Antarctic trip and fell overboard from the big ship in bad weather, she was rescued and I don't think it was A Tauck tour, but it could have been the same ship. My friend was concerned I was going to do the tour, I'm not going to do this tour. I am sure it is the rules of any ship to have safety drills and rules. There's mention of all these things in the forum if you look. There should also be a doctor on board, there certainly was a ship doctor on our Galapagos tour and that was a ship with only forty people on it. The doctor came on a lot of the tour excursions with us and helped people get in and out of the zodiacs---- he helped me and one time the boat lurched as I took his arm and my hand hit him in the jaw, so that every time we passed him after that he grabbed his jaw in mock discomfort.
    Food and drink-- Tauck tours always provide a huge amount of food, I always return home with several pounds of weight gain. Wine consumption, well you may not know that one of the facts about alcohol is that it can make you feel colder, that's why it's a myth to give alcohol to warm someone up in a cold situation. Coffee, no I'd want tea!
    Safety ropes etc. in reality, most Tauck travelers are retired, fit but I fear, will not want to be trekking for hours and want to be tied up with ropes. Tauck usually posts a tour as Culturious or something like that to attract a younger and possibly more physically fit customer. I think your expectations might be too high for the level of activity that you will get in reality, someone respond and reveal what really happens.
    Very few people of the overall number of Tauck customers read this forum, so if you want answers, you will have to call Tauck again! Please post a review of your tour when you return. I'm guessing you are a demanding customer and will enjoy reading your take on the tour.
  • edited March 22
    British Explorer

    Thank you for your post.

    Their is no doubt that Tauck is one of the best operated tour companies and my preferred group travel company for solo traveling.

    Yes, Flexibility and keeping an open mind are important when traveling.

    I am in my 70's and in good health & physically active. I am cautious, focused on detail planning, and really looking forward to our shore expeditions and trekking on the ice and land. However, I am a little nervous going to the end of the world where we will be at least two days away from civilization and located in an area of extreme weather hazards and rough seas.

  • edited March 22
    Update from Buenos Tours and BA Tripper

    Thanks for your patience while we worked out the details of your day trip to Tigre, the Delta, and historic San Isidro. You are paid in full for 2 people, so owe no balance the day of the trip.

    PICK-UP:
    I will be your guide and will pick up you on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 9:45AM at your accommodation (Hilton Hotel, Macacha Güemes 351, 4891-0000) and accompany you to Tigre (approx. 45 minutes) for your private river boat tour of the delta.

    Your trip will last from 9:45am until approximately 5:15pm back at your accommodations.

    Included in the day:
    Private ground transportation to the Tigre delta
    Two hours of navigation in private boat
    Nature walk and lunch on one of the islands of the delta
    One hour walking tour of Historic San Isidro
    Public train transportation back to Buenos Aires
    Taxi back to your hotel

    Our trip to the delta is designed to give you a chance to see another side of greater Buenos Aires, getting out of the hustle and bustle of the city, just like a local might do on the weekend. We offer this in a small group setting so as to maximize the peacefulness and tranquility of the experience.
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