2022 Antartica Jan 19-31



  • edited January 2022

    There was this guy who fell out of a window on the tenth floor. Passing each floor he said, “so far, so good!”). (;-)

    We got our life vests today and our mandatory Zodiac landing lecture. We have had ‘fair winds, and following seas’. The barman here in the Observation Lounge just said that this was his first trip this season when the seas were less than sixteen meters. The seas are currently one meter. We were 68 people before the Medivac, so I guess we are down to 66 plus the French. I think we are 185 or so total. We expect to do landings tomorrow in the South Shetland Islands. Alan: They have changed the ‘Jack’ … it is now the same as the other ships.

  • wem, thanks for sharing your ordeal & glad to hear no one was seriously ill. Must have been so frustrating to be stuck onboard. Cruising is not recommended at moment but companies are free to make their own decidions and risk tolerance levels vary among us of course. I believe there is an upcoming Feb. 8 departure; will be watching to see whether Tauck reconsiders. Anyone traveling to Antarctica is up for adventure, but you certainly got way more than you could have imagined. Meanwhile this landlubber is even debating a land tour, not Tauck, to Spain in March.

  • WEM: Oh my goodness, what an ordeal. Glad you finally made it home and so sorry you had to go thru this experience. I hope that Sealord doesn't have any issues going forward on his trip. Incidents like this are the reason I refuse to travel out of the country until this virus slows down or disappears totally, which I don't think will happen and we will more than likely have to take an annual vaccine to guard against serious illness as we do now with the flu. I am not knocking anyone who wants to travel at this time, however, this Taucktourian is quite content to continue taking road trips in the US which have low stress and risk levels.

  • So, is being quarantined aboard ship and not allowed to experience tour activities, considered a "trip interruption" or other insurance category that qualifies for an insurance payout?

  • Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?

  • No idea. But passing the eighth floor and we have not run out of Veuve Clicquot … so far, so good.

  • Alan S I will let you know I was quarantined on L’Boreal for one week on 1/8 trip. The trip insurance does refer to quarantining as a possible interruption. An understatement as we missed out on all activities and dining but luckily had cabin on level 4 with outside access. Interested to find out what they say. Will post what I learn. In hindsight we should have cancelled but we had been cancelled for 1/21 and were antsy to go.

  • I am also interested to see whether quarantine is the same as trip interruption. When Covid hit, we were on a tour with another company and they told us we would get trip interruption, but it was refused. We did not give up and it was overturned and we received what the tour company said we were owed. As a result, we called others on our tour who had given up and they got their money back too. I know this is not the same as quarantine, but if you do get turned down, it’s worth pursuing.

  • The tour director notified the Tauck company and the insurance company to open a file as soon as I had my first positive test on 1/10/22. I started receiving emails from insurance company within one day. They started calling daily after we were told we could not leave the ship on the 14th. Daily calls for at least 4 days. The paperwork from the insurance company was already here when I arrived home. I will fill it out and see what happens next.

  • Thanks WEM. I know a claim was opened after my positive test on 1/14 but that’s where similarities end. They are probably getting bombarded. Haven’t heard a word. I’ll call Tauck in the next day or so.

  • edited January 2022



    Thanks for the info. I hope it all works out in the end. We have never lost a cent with Tauck when we had to cancel for a covered situation (pre-COVID) or when our trips were cancelled and we re-booked multiple times during the COVID era. It is good to know that you should be covered to some degree.

    I'm curious to hear more details once it is all settled- will it be a partial reimbursement or a full one and how does airfare figure in? When we had to cancel years ago, the insurance also paid the (non-Tauck) airfare, but we did not fly- so what happens if you fly to Buenos Aires but don't get to cruise or are quarantined for most of the cruise.

    I realize, those of us willing to travel now are taking a risk (the reason for insurance) and that each situation is different, but it will be interesting to know more. We don't see reports unless people post here, so thank you!! But I wonder, how many other Taucktourians had to go home or were quarantined on this or other tours since Sept 2021?

  • Sealord- looking good!! What are the temps like? It has been around freezing here in NC :D

  • edited January 2022

    Entering the caldera at Deception Island. Temperature 37 degrees light rain. Landing this morning at Half Moon Bay the weather was perfect. Seas calm, no wind and temps slightly above freezing. We are now anchored on top of an active volcano.

    We are now launching the Zodiacs for this afternoon’s explorations. It looks like we may have some sunshine. The suiting up process takes a little time, but worthy of attention. Our Zodiac driver said that on average they have one passenger per season go overboard … the water is 33F.

  • Yes, I know of someone who fell overboard

  • British - You should of had one or two less glasses of wine!! :D:D

  • Sam, I’m literally just celebrating the end of my Costa Rica four, just got negative test back. Lots of wine at final dinner later🥂

  • edited January 2022

    Sam - you should have not had wine before grammar class in high school. :)

  • cathyandsteve HI!
    I'm glad to hear your comment about the snow and also the little xtra info about timing and ice conditions.
    After seeing your pictures and some videos in Youtube, I definitely would want to go in December... It is just amazing photography with all the snow ...
    Thanks for the info. if I go in this trip, it will be sometime 2004-2005. for now, 2022/23 are already booked.

  • Sealord great pictures, I'm glad you are there and having a good time. Enjoy
    Keep posting. :))

  • Mil...My tour to Antarctica started in the 2nd week of December...the weather was PERFECT! I highly recommend December.

  • cathyandsteve
    9:27PM edited 9:40PM
    We were told on L'Austral that no one has fallen overboard in the Zodiacs...and if you do you have 3-5 minutes before you will die of cardiac arrest.

    Cathy, our aviation physiologists told us if we had to eject over Puget Sound near our base or other similarly cold water (mid-50's F), if the shock of ejection or hitting the frigid water didn't do us in first, we had about that amount of time to climb into our small raft before we would lose muscle control and rapidly drown or go into cardiac arrest, even if our life vest inflated.

    You should read, "Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long-Distance Swimmer" by Lynne Cox. Wearing just a standard competitive swim suit, goggles and cap, she swam, in 2003, from an offshore ship to the shores of Antarctica taking 25 min, to swim 1.22 miles!! It was filmed by "CBS 60 Minutes." She did her final prep swims in the "warmer" waters of Ushaiao Bay! She has broken numerous distance swim records including the English Channel record for women when she was only 15 then three years later broke both men's and women's records. Another one of her many amazing and challenging swims includes her 1987 swim in the Bering Strait from the US to the USSR (Little Diomede Island to the Soviet Big Diomede). She spent 2 hours and 5 min. in the near freezing water to complete that 2.7 mi. swim.

    Quick, someone draw me a hot bath!

  • hey Mil…”If I go on this trip, it will be sometime 2004-2005. for now,”…yup, how we all long for those carefree years gone by!

  • and BKMD, you were too kind…”fewer” [italics not working] glasses of wine, no? Less wine/fewer glasses. English can be a nightmare.

  • “All hands on deck!”. We just encountered a large pod of humpback whales feeding. I think we had all 185 of us on the forward observation deck. We had to put down our champagne and run … we were already in the forward observation lounge. Really cold out there in the wind.

  • MarketArt
    and BKMD, you were too kind…”fewer” [italics not working] glasses of wine, no? Less wine/fewer glasses. English can be a nightmare.

    I like Sam. I didn't want to hurt his feelings TOO much :)

  • edited January 2022

    Hitch-hiking to Antarctica?

    Between my new transitions lenses, and the LCD video screen on my camera in the bright sunlight, I could not really see the viewfinder at all … just point and shoot. But, I got some great videos … some with multiple whales in the same shot.

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