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Everything posted by PerfectlyPerth

  1. If you type "TSS Sitmar Fairstar" into Facebook search I found at least 6 active groups with past passengers and crew - so it might be a better place to ask your question for a more immediate response.
  2. Pretty standard for an additional excursion with any of the expedition companies.
  3. You won't be far south enough for 24 hours of daylight. Depending on where they decide to set up camp you will likely get darkness from around 10 or 11pm til 3 or 4 am.
  4. The website is pretty clear - as with all expedition companies the team will lay out the site and leave you with the required gear. There is usually a per person total of expedition team members who stay on shore with the passengers to ensure rules are abided by. https://atlasoceanvoyages.com/off-ship-on-water-on-land/
  5. I have that one tucked away in my special Oriana box. Loads of 80s ship memorabilia like the daily news sheets, menus, pens, bottle openers, lighters, coasters, embossed photo albums, note paper, postcards, t shirts, sailors caps, stubbie holders etc etc. Even my hand written flight & ship tickets. And my guest boarding pass when I use to go on board the ship in between cruises when it was in port - to have drinks with friends in the crew. We were still getting big streamer send offs up to late 80s. And you could have friends board with you then they disembarked just before streamers started. I miss the friendly four booking deal. Where a solo could book a berth in a 4 bed cabin and be paired up with 3 others in same gender. That was how I did all my cruises from age 15. Still best friends with many of the girls I shared cabins with - all these years later. I miss the cheesey after dinner cabaret shows that were done by the cruise director and entertainment crew. On P&O it was always fun ole time British type humour and the big songs from musicals. I must admit most of the US cruise directors these days make my skin crawl - it's like they all went to Disney Uni or something. I use to join all the games around the ship - bingo, quiz, beetle etc etc. that's where I would win and accumulate all the memorabilia !! I always slept thru breakfast and then went to the morning tea near the pool. Piles of pastries !! And late night snacks for us who were dancing all night - the hot food place that did burgers, pizza slices, and sausages in bread. From memory it was by the pool and didn't open til around 10pm. I was earning $89 per week in my full time job as a mid teen and would save every cent after rent & bills and do 2 x 2 week pacific trips a year. And one was a Perth up to Singapore one - a leg of its half world tour itinerary from memory. Great memories.
  6. Lol you nicked that line from me. I've been saying it since the 80s and using it here and on TA forever. In every endless tipping chat. For the OP I agree with the many suggestions. You have enough time to really fully explore Sydney and surrounds - or fly in to Melbourne or Brisbane and explore before heading to Sydney to board the ship.
  7. This says more about those passengers if they couldn't be bothered to follow the pretty basic hygiene instructions that every single polar passenger is responsible for. One wonders what other rules they neglected to follow. I've taken my own muck boots on 3 out of 4 of my own polar trips and I have also loaned them to several friends for their trips. The boots are sitting in my wardrobe about a metre away from me now and smell like new rubber & the ships virkon disinfectant. As they always have.
  8. If you can - go to a shop and try on the Bogs or Mucks wide calf boots. Bear in mind they are elasticised and stretchy. So they give way to get over calves and clothes then close in nicely to keep water out. My calf circumference is more than my Muck Wide Calf boots. I've also seen many other passengers with calves considerably larger than mine and all have been able to get their Mucks on. The other thing I like about Mucks (Bogs possibly do the same) is the inner sole can be removed allowing more foot space (or to pop ones own orthotics in). And they are so fabulously insulated that I've only ever needed thin bamboo or merino liner socks in them. And I've been to way colder places than the peninsula where the entire ship froze over and we lost power !! My toes were never chilled.
  9. No. Full stop. In any and all situations and venues. Just do the exact opposite to your country's custom. A smile and thank you is ample.
  10. I am well aware of who your son is but I think when we are talking about an expedition that resulted in a death and several near deaths, and many people (passengers, expedition team and crew) who are still suffering months later from the effects of the virus then no - there really is no room for 'jocularity' - its actually quite insensitive.
  11. My comment related to the judgemental statement re someone's occupation - by a poster with dozens of cruises in their signature block that likely added up to a lot more than $15k. Also inappropriate to suggest Medicare paid for the trip. I can assure you everyone paid for their own tickets. And yes there are cheaper trips - short tick & flick ones mostly designed for time poor Americans. Aussies, Nz, Brits & Europeans tend to be on the longer expedition voyages I have taken that range from 24 to 33 days long. And my experience is that no-one on board judges you for your occupation or imagined wealth level. Meanwhile back on topic. The behaviour of Aurora management (which is detailed on many of the personal blogs by the expedition team, particularly the treatment of the ships doctor and the expedition teams doctor) during this event is going to really harm the company's long held good reputation. Which is very sad for the industry.
  12. A tad judgmental. $15k is cheap for a polar trip. I have done 4 and paid a heck of a lot more than that and I am not wealthy nor in that kind of profession. The reason there were so many medical professionals on board is there was a medical convention group pre booked. I know several people who were on board - both passengers and in the expedition team.
  13. We had a man on my first trip whose luggage never arrived. He had two hours to find what he could in Ushuaia and then we all loaned/gave him enough to get through the month long trip. I had a pair of thick men's merino socks too big for me so I donated them. So he ended up with enough for landings but around the ship he spent most of the trip in a business suit !! And on my second trip one of the expedition team had just finished one trip that ended in Falklands so he did a roundabout of flights to get to where ours started in Tasmania but his luggage took a scenic tour up to northern hemisphere ! Try finding polar gear in Australia in peak summer ! Luckily someone knew staff in the Aus Antarctic Division headquarters who quickly drove to their warehouse and grabbed some gear for him !!! so yep. Most people advise arriving early just to ensure your luggage catches you !!! I like Ushuaia. Over 4 of my trips I've probably had about 18-20 days there in total. I love all the different excursions that can be done to appreciate nature and scenery (especially helicopters and 2 seater planes) and I love all the little museums plus the huge prison museum (which is about so much more than just the prison history). As a solo and non driver I do what I can around town myself and then for Further afield I've used Pira Tours for the penguin island trip, and catamaran sailing trips, and I've booked private tour guides thru the Tours By Locals website to get more further out to see specific stuff I am interested in.
  14. On my first 3 Antarctica trips the cabins actually already had the non slip stuff inside all the drawers and on the desk and benchtops - so even in the roughest of seas my stuff never budged. On my 4th trip the suites were newly renovated and my friend knew the owners of the ship who had told them nope they had not thought of that in the redesign. So I knew in advance to pack a small roll and scissors. One place I found it useful was on the wardrobe rail so coat hangers didn't slide back and forth!!! (That noise use to drive me nuts).
  15. if you head over to the Trip Advisor Antarctica forum you will find FAQs that list every single operator and vessel (including upcoming new builds etc) with links to all their websites etc, along with trip reports searchable by year, operator, vessel & region. https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowForum-g1-i12337-Antarctic_Adventures.html Quark does The standard FI, SGI, Circle Cross a couple of times per season. It's usually called the Epic Antarctica in their itinerary list. I think Peregrine/Chimu are also doing one. It's targeted to Aussie/Kiwi pax - with well known Aussie guest singer on the currently advertised one. re under 100 pax. That's always been my personal recommendation but with all the new polar code compliant new builds it's going to be harder and harder to find that smaller niche vessel. also - very hard to know for now what kind of restrictions will be put on the operators re Covid. We could well find the larger vessels being told to sail with 50% or 70% usual pax load. Who knows. It's all very much a guessing game until post Covid travel restarts.
  16. For those that didn't spot it - there was a Q&A with Quark Expeditions over in the eco forum. Thought I would pop the link here for folks. There were some good questions asked and answered. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/2489-qa-with-the-quark-expeditions-team/
  17. I've done 4 Antarctica trips. 3 with Quark. The age range has been really varied - from 10 to 96 !! So it's really hard to predict. I've mostly been on longer trips - 3-4 weeks so they attract a more mature aged group with stragglers that are younger. The shorter peninsular trips are more affordable to the 20s 30s crowd.
  18. I've been 4 times. 3 with Quark. I prioritise: - Length of the trip (choose the longest you can afford - my shortest trip was 24 days and longest was 33). - Including South Georgia and Falkland Islands. - cabin sharing if you are a solo. You can choose twin, triple or even quad share to reduce your costs. To me a bed is a bed and a shower is a shower. Luxury is of little importance. Your time is spent on excursions or out on the decks. You only go to your cabin to sleep. Having said that - Quark vessels are lovely, comfy, and excellent food etc. Passionate and skilled expedition teams who share their knowledge either at lectures or when on land or in the zodiacs. I would go again in a heartbeat.
  19. I've travelled to Antarctica 4 times - 3 with Quark. Part of the booking process for all polar expeditions includes a medical questionnaire and requirement for further details for certain conditions.
  20. Sub Antarctic islands with resident or staff like Falklands and South Georgia Island have already put out guidelines re visitors in next season. I haven't seen an update for Port Lockroy yet. It's possible it will stay closed. Staffed research stations will also put out guidelines and restrictions closer to the season (if a season goes ahead this year).
  21. I've been to Antarctica 4 times. 3 times with Quark so I definitely recommend them. Yes they do landings. Generally aiming for minimum of two per day. Always with the addendum of weather permitting. Zodiac cruising is also exciting - especially when whales appear right beside the zodiac. Smoother seas ? It changes day by day and even hour by hour so no sense worrying too much about it. If you know you suffer motion sickness pack your usual remedies.
  22. it's lovely. I've had all the windows open refreshing my apartment as most of next week is rainy so I have to keep everything closed up.
  23. I moved to Melb for the weather. It suits the polar traveller in me. Gorgeous and sunny here today.
  24. Nini it really isn't up to any of us to offer our thoughts as the thoughts are pure guesswork. At the end of the day it's all up to governments and it's literally a week to week ever changing situation. As it is all over the world. We all have to be practical and pragmatic about that and just get on with day to day life until governments make announcements. Sitting around guessing, and asking others to guess, just isn't practical. And like Chili - I have an "in Aus" cruise booked in Dec. I am giving it zero thought until such time as first the federal govt makes its decisions, second the state govts make their individual decisions, and third - the actual cruise companies make their decisions.
  25. I follow most of the stations on twitter and Facebook and all have reported it's 100% Covid free.
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