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Bella0714

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  1. Close enough to touch on the Coral Princess? We were on a ship a quarter of the size and never got close enough to touch unless we were on land or in a Zodiac. Do you mean in South America?
  2. We just got back. We were on the January 26 Antarctica/Falklands sailing. I'll post a complete review, but in keeping with the topic of this thread: • There were 396 passengers on-board. We were split into five landing groups. Landings ranged from 45 minutes to 1 hour, 15 minutes and were very well organized. • We landed five times in Antarctica: Half Moon Island and Deception Island in the South Shetlands, Brown Bluff on the Peninsula, Danco Island and Petermann Island off the Peninsula. • We did ice cruising in their zodiac-type boats once, near the Erebus and Terror Gulf (Weddell Sea). We were very fortunate to spend two days on the Weddell Sea side of the Peninsula and saw spectacular tabular icebergs one evening while cruising on the ship. • We sailed through the Lemaire Channel twice: morning and evening of Petermann day. • There was one day when we were supposed to do both landing and zodiac cruising at Astrolabe Island, but that was cencelled because of high swells. • Another landing at Yankee Harbour was also canceled because of high winds. • We didn't land at Point Wild, of course, but we had perfect weather that day and got very close to it and the iceberg. • We kayaked off Petermann Island and went in the science boat off Danco, so overall, we were off the ship eight times in Antarctica. Kayaking was by lottery; some didn't get to kayak in Antarctica. • We never got to a place where snowshoeing would have been possible; camping was near Danco, but we didn't do it. • We docked at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands; at Carcass Island and West Point Island (both great stops), we zodiaced to shore; everyone got to go ashore at once at all three stops in the Falklands. We loved the Falklands. • Polar plunges were offered at three or four stops. The ship is beautiful. The expedition team is knowledgeable, helpful, everything you could hope for. Getting in and out of the zodiacs (they're not really zodiacs) was very easy; there were even a few passengers in wheel chairs.
  3. Congratulations, Bob. We just got off of Roald Amundsen and had a great time. The ship is beautiful, the staff is great and Antarctica is beyond words. I think you made a good choice. We also got an offer we couldn't refuse on RA, and although I know some passengers paid twice what we paid (which, in my mind, was way too much for a one-landing-a-day expedition), for what we paid, it was perfect. One thing that never occurred to me until we got to Antarctica was that although penguin colonies are large, penguins themselves are small and, I would imagine, hard to experience on a drive-by. On RA, we literally had a Gentoo hop into our Zodiac (and then hop out).
  4. It was pretty easy, and Lofoten is worth a stop of more than a few days. Booking port to port on Hurtigruten.no is easy, too.
  5. We went from Bergen to Kirkenes on Nordnorge. We booked that separately because the UK site was having a sale. That was on Nordnorge. We stayed on Nordnorge, booked port to port, down to Svolvaer. That was for an unspecified cabin, but they let us stay in our original cabin. Then we spent a week in Lofoten and booked port to port for two nights to Trondheim. From there, we took a train to Oslo.
  6. Try Google Chrome. It'll automatically translate it for you, but you're right: a VPN works.
  7. Gurnee2, I can tell from your writing how special you thought it was. We can’t wait to go. We’re on the January 26 departure and fully expecting it to be great. Thanks for all the details. We’re hoping to go kayaking. Thinking about snowshoeing, too, although we’ve never done it. We will report back. The most-recent reviews on Cruise Critic are very positive.
  8. Thanks for reporting back, Gurnee2. That's great to hear. Was any zodiac cruising included in addition to the landings? I saw from somebody's postings on Facebook that Midnstsol did a landing and zodiac cruising most days.
  9. Thanks for posting. Sounds like you had a wonderful time despite the early problems. Can you speak a little more about the experience in Antarctica? Was kayaking offered? How about small boat cruising? What were the optional activities in Antarctica, and did you do any? Thanks!
  10. We got it through *****.com. I was skeptical at first because the price was so low, but they’ve been around for a while and online reviews are fine. There’s no difference from what you’d get on Hurtigruten’s website; hotel in Santiago, interior flight to Punta Arenas are included. Also, any remaining concerns I had were wiped out when I paid, checked my credit card and saw that payment had gone through Hurtigruten. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. Dates besides ours were available. Dave
  11. The Falklands weren't even in any of our original plans. At first, that was the place we were planning to see penguins up-close if we did a sail-by on the mega-liners. This cruise we're doing is just one bonus after another. The only possible major negative is that for the price we got we had to take an unspecified outside cabin. We'll be relatively low (the outside cabins are Deck 4 and 5), but I'm hoping we're not too far forward. Right now, it looks like the ship has a lot of empty cabins (I think the brochure price was way too high for such a large ship), so we could get lucky.
  12. Thanks to everyone for your valuable help. We finally booked, and after all of our debate about Midnatsol in Feb. 2020 vs. Fridtjof Nansen in 2021, we decided on…neither. We got a great deal on the new ship, Roald Amundsen, for this coming January 27. Departing Punta Arenas. Seven days in Antarctica, three in the Falkland Islands, Beagle Channel and an attempted landing in Cape Horn (I know not to count on that). The extra day in Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and the price (lower than Midnatsol's) overcame my concerns about the new ship's launch problems. We're just going to have to have faith in Hurtigruten, which I feel is an excellent company, to work things out. Besides, by then, it will be the ship's sixth time doing that itinerary. This is more than we'd ever expected to do. I really thought we'd end up on Holland America or Princess because of price concerns. We're very excited. Antarctica kept showing up in my dreams last night!
  13. You should look at Hurtigruten. We did and that's how we're going to go (also celebrating a 60th birthday). Some of their ships are larger than the other expedition companies', but they still schedule a landing per day and, presumably, get closer to wildlife and land. I don't know because I haven't taken one, but I'm about to. Don't book on www.Hurtigruten.com. Go to Hurtigruten.no., which is their Norwegian site and significantly less expensive. Use Google Chrome, which will translate for you. Right now, 13 days with six of them in Antarctica can be had for about $5,500 pp including all taxes and fees. When you add it all up–port fees, etc., charged by the big cruise lines, the cost of penguin expeditions in South America–that's more than HAL or Princess but not significantly more. I have found, like you have, that the other expedition companies are a lot more expensive unless you're sharing a triple or a quad.
  14. I haven't but I will when I call to book. From what I've seen, U.S. insurance doesn't cover up to real cost, until up to a covered limit.
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