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  #1  
Old December 1st, 2011, 05:22 PM
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Sparky333 Sparky333 is offline
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Default ?s about M/V Fram - Hurtigruten

We leave on January 10th and are getting very excited!

I wondered if anyone who's been on a Fram sailing could answer a couple of questions.

Is the fitness center big enough/equipped enough to bother taking workout clothes or is it like one in a typical hotel which is usually not worth it? And do you think there's enough "free" time that you'd be inclined to use the gym rather than spend every moment observing what's going on outside the ship?

Also, did anyone take any of the optional tours pre or post in Ushuaia? Or the tango show/dinner in BA at the end of the tour?

It will depend on flight times but the paperwork I got makes it seem that we'll possible have 5 hrs or more in Ushuaia both coming and going. Would the National Park or Escondido Lake BBQ be worth thinking about or should we just walk around Ushuaia on our own?

I've read prior passengers reports of buying wine in Ushuaia and and having it in their cabin but the handbook I just rec'd from Hurtigruten says it's against Norwegian law to consume alcohol purchased ashore on the ship and if we buy any it will be stored & returned to us upon disembarkation. I wonder if that's a new policy or if they don't enforce it - anyone been on a recent sailing and know?

Thanks in advance -
Leslie
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  #2  
Old December 1st, 2011, 06:41 PM
SarniaLo SarniaLo is offline
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I've read prior passengers reports of buying wine in Ushuaia and and having it in their cabin but the handbook I just rec'd from Hurtigruten says it's against Norwegian law to consume alcohol purchased ashore on the ship and if we buy any it will be stored & returned to us upon disembarkation. I wonder if that's a new policy or if they don't enforce it - anyone been on a recent sailing and know?
I was on the Fram in Antarctica in Feb2009, and again in Svalbard last september. But this is actually the only question I can really answer! It seems that it is a new policy (although the Norwegian law must not be new, but I don't remember any warning like that in 2009). It seems that they enforce it loosely. Last september, our handbags were scanned when entering the ship, but we were able to smuggle in a couple of bottles in our suitcases (the big ones, that are delivered directly to your cabin from the airport), and no one mentioned anything. But if you come with bottles in your hand luggage, they might find it when you board the ship and maybe confiscate them.

We didn't do any of the tours in BA or Ushuaia, but it seems the National Park is interesting. In BA we just wandered on our own (and in Ushuaia as well, we walked around and went to the Maritime History Museum, pretty interesting if you are into this kind of thing).

I didn't use the fitness center but it seems well equipped. I'm not sure you will have much time to use it though (maybe during the Drake crossing if you have good weather?). It was hard enough pulling out of landscape watching to go to dinner or to go to sleep! But you can consider bringing your swimsuit, the outdoor jacuzzis are pretty popular, and you might also get the opportunity for an Antarctic swim, if you are brave enough.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 09:44 AM
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I guess I'll bring a couple workout type outfits and see what happens - they don't take up much space in the suitcase but it seems like there won't be a lot of down time that we'll want to spend in that room -- maybe it has windows to let you enjoy the scenery while you're sweating?

So maybe the National Park tour would be worthwhile but we'll play it by ear and not sign up ahead of time.

And wine for the cabin - wow, I'd hate to get busted smuggling it in but maybe a bottle in my checked luggage would go unnoticed. I think paying for everything in kroner will make drinks onboard expensive!

Thanks for your help.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 10:53 AM
SarniaLo SarniaLo is offline
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maybe it has windows to let you enjoy the scenery while you're sweating?
Yes, there are windows from floor to ceiling (so people on the outside decks can also enjoy watching you sweating! )

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I think paying for everything in kroner will make drinks onboard expensive!
Drinks on board are (very) expensive, whichever currency you'd paid them. But you can go without drinking wine with your meals for the trip (that's what we did, and we like wine - heck, we are French! ). We lived on our bottle of wine in our cabin, and once or twice a cocktail in the lounge when the mood called for it.
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  #5  
Old December 2nd, 2011, 11:29 AM
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I guess we'll try to pick up a bottle or 2 in BA before flying to Ushuaia -- I like wine, too, but if I have to pay too much for it I won't enjoy it. That even bugs me at home in restaurants when you know you could buy the whole bottle at a wine store for what you pay for one glass.

Forgot to ask - did you do the polar plunge? I don't think I'm brave enough.
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Old December 2nd, 2011, 11:33 AM
SarniaLo SarniaLo is offline
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Forgot to ask - did you do the polar plunge? I don't think I'm brave enough.
I wasn't brave enough either (and of course now I regret it! )
If you do it in Deception Island, the water is heated in places by the volcanic fumes so it seems it is actually not that bad...
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  #7  
Old December 2nd, 2011, 11:39 AM
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I guess if there might be regrets down the road I should reconsider. And hopefully we'll do it in those warm waters! I was just reading about killer whales almost eating the photographer on Captain Scott's expedition when he got close to the edge of the ice and I'm sure that will be in the back of my mind in addition to the frigid temps!
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 01:01 AM
mndtrp mndtrp is offline
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I was on the 19 day cruise that just completed on the 23rd of November. The Fram scanned all baggage, and several people had to remove their alcohol. My bag was marked as having booze from the scanner, but it was only a large bottle of shampoo. Wine and beer were ~25 Kroner a glass, if I remember correctly.

The workout room seemed large enough. A few bicycles, treadmills, free weights, stair climbers. There was plenty of time to work out, especially if you weren't interested in the lectures being given. The workout room is on a higher up deck, with windows to see out.

I didn't do any of the excursions in Ushaia or Buenos Aires, so I can't comment there.

The expedition team said they didn't allow people into the hot springs at Deception Island any more. They said the water temperature was too inconsistent, jumping up 50 degrees or more with no warning. There were no other places where the topic of getting in the water was even brought up.

Camping is now allowed in the Falkland Islands and at Port Lockroy. 6 guests, 2 expedition team, and a drawing if a lot of people put in the request.


If you have any other questions, I'll try to come back more often than I usually do to answer.

Last edited by mndtrp; December 3rd, 2011 at 01:01 AM.
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  #9  
Old December 3rd, 2011, 04:50 AM
SarniaLo SarniaLo is offline
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The expedition team said they didn't allow people into the hot springs at Deception Island any more. They said the water temperature was too inconsistent, jumping up 50 degrees or more with no warning. There were no other places where the topic of getting in the water was even brought up.
It makes sense about Deception Island. I did the Antarctic Circle expedition, and we had the opportunity to have a swim in Stonington Island in Marguerite Bay, our southernmost landing below the circle. No hot springs there for sure. But the weather was glorious. It might depend on the conditions, or they just quit doing it altogether. Well, there still is the jacuzzi!

Thank you for the update about the alcohol. We didn't experience that just 2 month earlier in Svalbard.

I saw info about camping in the Fram's blog and I was wondering how people were chosen for this. I'm glad it's a draw and not a competition based on money.
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  #10  
Old December 4th, 2011, 02:00 PM
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Good to know about the stricter alcohol policy. I guess we'll bite the bullet and pay for their pricey drinks rather than risk getting scolded coming onboard.

Our trip is the shortest version - it would've been great to go for longer - 19 days, wow. No option for camping for us
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Old December 8th, 2011, 05:27 AM
Skipskatta Skipskatta is offline
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Is the fitness center big enough/equipped enough to bother taking workout clothes or is it like one in a typical hotel which is usually not worth it?
You can check out the fitness center (and the whole ship) here: http://www.hurtigruten.de/Utils/Hurt...m/?tab=onboard
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Old December 8th, 2011, 06:34 PM
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I wasn't brave enough either (and of course now I regret it! )
If you do it in Deception Island, the water is heated in places by the volcanic fumes so it seems it is actually not that bad...
I did it and the water was VERY cold! The steam is very deceptive.
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  #13  
Old December 30th, 2011, 10:44 PM
diane.in.ny diane.in.ny is offline
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Forgot to ask - did you do the polar plunge? I don't think I'm brave enough.
I took off my boots and socks, rolled up my pants, and walked in the water ankle deep. The temp ranged from ice cold to burning hot. In retrospect, I'm sorry I didn't wear my bathing suit and go for the plunge. So my suggestion is wear your suit. You can always decide not to do it but tough to get back to the ship, change, and do another landing.

My blog post on Deception Island: http://www.travelsnippetsandmore.com...ntarctica.html
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Last edited by diane.in.ny; December 30th, 2011 at 10:44 PM.
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Old December 31st, 2011, 12:12 PM
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OK, bathing suit gets packed! Then we'll play it by ear.

Have to start the dreaded packing this weekend maybe...only downside to travel!
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Old January 1st, 2012, 05:50 PM
diane.in.ny diane.in.ny is offline
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I have a blog post about packing for Antarctica. You might find it helpful.

http://www.travelsnippetsandmore.com...ntarctica.html

If you want to read more about our trip, click on Antarctica in the right sidebar to bring up the posts from that trip.
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Old January 1st, 2012, 06:57 PM
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Diane - thanks for the link to your packing tips. I'd love to just do carry-on but am not confident I can make that happen.

It was quite upsetting to read about your overbooking situation and how Hurtigruten handled that. I can't imagine a worse way to be treated except maybe to let you get all the way to S. America and then turn you away!

I'll be calling them every other day until we leave on Jan. 10th just to make sure there's not a problem. We booked our own air so I guess they'd try to contact us at home if they were going to cancel. But since we're flying down a day early who knows if we'd get the message in time. Really unbelievable that they would do that.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 10:19 AM
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It was quite upsetting to read about your overbooking situation and how Hurtigruten handled that. I can't imagine a worse way to be treated except maybe to let you get all the way to S. America and then turn you away
The information on packing is very useful. Note the date of the review when it comes to overbooking.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 07:25 PM
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I did notice the date of the problem Diane had - and they were also on a different ship if that means anything. I've read a couple of other posts about similar situations more recently. We'll just have to hope for the best.
I contacted Hurtigruten today and our reservation seems firm for now.
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  #19  
Old January 2nd, 2012, 09:21 PM
diane.in.ny diane.in.ny is offline
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It was quite upsetting to read about your overbooking situation and how Hurtigruten handled that. I can't imagine a worse way to be treated except maybe to let you get all the way to S. America and then turn you away!
That did happen to two gentlemen flying in from London. However, Hurtigrutin did manage to find a cabin for them...probably moved an expedition leader or something like that.

I found it interesting that you have read more recent posts about similar actions.

IF this should happen to you, keep in mind that Hurtigruten reimbursed us for ALL out of pocket expenses because of the change including the cost of extending our travel insurance, new RT air from our home city to JFK, the cost of the pre-night we had spent near JFK (in case of bad weather), the cost of cancellation fees for post-cruise arrangements we made and now how to make for pre-cruise. Just keep all of your receipts.
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Old January 3rd, 2012, 09:47 AM
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Hi Diane -- thanks for that information -- it's good to know. Hopefully we won't need any of that but it sounds like they do handle their error in an honorable way if necessary.

Maybe since we're in an inside cabin of the tiniest size they wouldn't choose us to bump off for other passengers booking through a travel agency
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