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    Polar Regions
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  1. That early in the season, the ice may also mean that the ship may not be able to go where it intends to go. Mother Nature can be very finicky from one year to the next ... so it's always a crap shoot.
  2. Absolutely. You can get a lot closer to a lot of things in the zodiacs and you're viewing many things at eye level, instead of looking down on them. I hope it works out.
  3. @JSR I would not do a cruise if your primary interest is seeing polar bears. Even on an expedition vessel, which is what we sailed on two separate occasions — once to Svalbard and once to Greenland, we only ever saw a couple of bears and our sailings were for two weeks and a month, respectively. As for other wildlife, they can be distant or close, but you may or not be able to see them well over the rim of the deck from your wheelchair. And your access may be limited to a specific deck or decks. The scenery will be fantastic, however. Keep in mind that in May there will be more ice and the vessel may not be able to go everywhere it plans to. Just to give you an idea ... Photos of one of our bear encounters in Svalbard are in this post ... http://2totravel.blogspot.com/2011/07/woodfjorden-there-be-bears-on-ice.html. Photos of the bear we saw in Greenland are in this post ... all taken with a long lens DSLR camera ... http://2totravel.blogspot.com/2014/02/sofia-sund-and-landing-scrapped-for-bear.html As someone else suggested, look into Churchill for Polar Bears. We went with Tundra Buggy and stayed on the tundra where a viewing buggy took us around to see bears daily without having to travel in and out of town every day ... I stopped counting after 50. Tundra Buggy or the other company might be able to accommodate your wheelchair by removing one of the benches. (Photos are in this gallery if you want to check them out: https://eenusa.smugmug.com/North-America-US-Canada-Mexico/Canada/Polar-Bears-of-Churchill-Nov/Favorites-the-Eismeisters-of/) If you really want a cruise, however, I would also check into Silversea's expedition line (Silver Expeditions, I believe). On our Svalbard sailing, we had a woman in a wheelchair and they had the means to hoist her down to a zodiac in the wheelchair and she got private zodiac cruises with her accompanying family members.
  4. We’ve stayed at the Traghetto a couple of time. Walking distance to the port shuttle. Admittedly, it’s nothing special, but the rooms have always been clean, which is all we were concerned about for an overnight stay. That said, it’s been a number of years since we’ve stayed there and what with the pandemic, not sure what it might be like now.
  5. We sailed in one of these cabins on Nautica (Europe) and the other on Insignia (ATW2017). Had no problems with soot either time. On the world cruise on Insignia, we had a lot of issues with fumes, however ... sometimes seeping into the cabin. Not sure if the prevailing winds made a difference, or just an issue with the ventilation system on Insignia that didn't exist on Nautica.
  6. Both of our Antarctic expedition voyages were in January ... lots of penguins (both adults and chicks), seals, birds. We also saw a more than satisfactory number of whales.
  7. Oceania has a fall TransPacific ... Los Angeles (İ believe) to Tokyo via Alaska. I know they have it on the schedule for this year, so they might offer it in 2022 as well.
  8. It’s been like that for us for ages. I can’t see my history, but the Oceania Club Ambassadors can and the record is accurate. Every cruise we booked shows the appropriate level on the invoice. I’ve asked that it be fixed ... several times. Still waiting!
  9. What Heidi13 said. Google Maps is a good resource. But if your ship is docked in commercial ports, you won’t have much luck finding grooming services near the port. You can also search out malls in your port city as malls often have salons.
  10. I’ve used the shipboard services, charging against on board credit, as well as places on land ... especially in ports we’ve been to before. In some countries it’s easier ... in some countries an advance appointment is necessary. I do my research before the cruise and call the salon to see if I can walk in or if appointments are necessary. I do change my grooming schedule when traveling for extensive periods so that I can take care of everything on the same day ... at least for mani/pedis.
  11. @Nitemare if you want to get a sense of the Greenland experience with Quark, I wrote about our expedition. It may be helpful in your decision making ... or at least give you an idea of what to expect ashore. We went back to back, starting in Ottawa for the west/south itinerary (first post: http://2totravel.blogspot.com/2013/10/the-peace-tower-and-we-join-our-quark.html). For the eastern itinerary, it was round trip out of Iceland (first post: http://2totravel.blogspot.com/2014/02/last-day-first-day.html) DIY driving vacation around Iceland (first post: http://2totravel.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-blue-sky-day-in-reykjavik_24.html)
  12. @Oroya We hired a car/driver a few years ago and went to Arundel Castle. About 1-1.5 hrs each way depending on the traffic. It's the home of the Dukes of Norfolk. Some say there are better castles to visit, and I am sure there are, but timing-wise this one worked well for us. We had plenty of time to visit the castle at leisure and tour the grounds, which made the drive there and back worthwhile.
  13. We ended up doing back-to-back Greenland with Quark. Yes, expensive but the west/south and East itineraries were different enough that we bit the bullet. Have never regretted it. When we disembarked in Iceland at the end of the second leg, we spent two weeks driving around the country. It was a fantastic trip.
  14. At the time we did RTW2017 ... I worked through my travel agent. Just called her and gave her the amount as I was ready to make the payments. As @JM0115 wrote, once the charge from O hit the credit card, I paid it off in full online (off-schedule from my usual pay in full on due date autopay) and when the CC showed paid in full online, I repeated the cycle. (If you book directly with the cruise line, then you would probably be able to do it through your cruise line dashboard. But not if you book through a travel agent.)
  15. Here's the link to the roll call @Jhbertram ... join us there. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2770541-december-28-2022-atw-2023-mia-sf-sf-sf-and-all-other-versions-segments/
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