Flight hints from BA to Ushuaia.... Get to the airport at least 2 hours early. Lining up in airports seemed like a national passtime. We flew to Ushuaia on LATAM. We each had a large and carryon size suitcase to check. Each was under 50 poounds. (We had read the baggage notes in our folder) our carry ones were not weighed as in common with some International carriers. No issue, no fees. Bring some snacks/food for the early morning flight down. You will only get a bag of crackers on the flight. It was a pretty normal coach experience. Upon landing, and after our agricultural check, Ponant took all our bags and we went to lunch at the Hotel on the hill. It was a really nice buffet lunch with all the wine you wanted. On the way home try to get on the early flight/charter back. We were on the later one and were driven to town to wander for an hour before going to the airport. We got to the airport on the Ponant bus 1.5 hours before takeoff. We were given box lunches for the flight back. We were at the end of a LONG check in line. Our return flight was on Aerolinas. We watched several folks have to go to a separate window and pay for extra bags after they checked in. We also watched a couple of folks turned away from the counter because their bags were either too big, too heavy, or to many. Now these Ponant passengers were pulling items out of their suitcases and filling sacks, pillow cases, etc.... and hauling them with them. Apparently LATAM and Aerolinas have different baggage rules. When we finally got to the counter (30 minutes before takeoff) they checked our bags 😁, but we had to go to the other area and pay. We gladly paid the equivalent of $30. I have no idea what it was for. I suspect Aerolinas May have a 50 pound total limit. When we got to the security line it was 20 minutes before takeoff. We got to our seats at takeoff time. I was stressed. The poor people who were schlepping their extra clothes from their luggage were frazzled and boarded last. After the easy low stress departure on LATAM, we felt somewhat “set up” on the return. Ponant could do much better in pre cruise information sharing. And finally, when flying home.... get to the airport EARLY. We arrived at EZE 3.5 hours early and there was already a line. We had to wait for the Delta counter to open, but the line was a mile long behind us.
Ponant didn’t tell us they offered a transfer between the national airport and EZE. If we had known, we would have gotten on the early flight and booked a return flight that evening. We stayed an extra day in BA on the return and left the following evening.
We did not do the National Park tour. We were glad, it rained. We made our own reservations pre and post cruise. Pre cruise we spent 3 nights at the Curio Alsemo by Hilton. It was in a great location by the markets and a great little plaza. We did the free walking tours where you tip the tour guides and they were great. It is a very walkable city and the US and EU currency goes a long way. We felt very safe, there is a lot of police presence. The food and wine is very good. The people are very friendly. English is not spoken everywhere, but almost everyone will take dollars due to the inflation of the Peso. Definitely go to the Opera house, Ricelleto Cemetary, and the Old Harbor Puerto Morales area, and eat some ice cream!!!
if you get in a cab make sure there is a meter and it is running. One cabbie tried to charge us $50 USD and we just said no and ended up paying him $30 USD. It was about $40 USD to get from EZE to the hotel in BA when we first arrived. We took a walk up car service at the airport. Cabs arouns town were very inexpensive by US standards
We cannot say enough great things about the Soleal’s ambiance, crew, and expedition staff. They were awesome 👏. We loved the small ship and all our interesting fellow passengers, 60% French, 35% English speakers, the rest a mix of German and other languages.
The red jackets were warm, comfortable, and waterproof. The boots provided excellent traction. I brought folding walking sticks. I wish I brought one on most of the landings. I only used them once. I should have used them more. Layers are key. Some days we used 2, some days 3. Make sure you have good gloves, neck gator you can pull up, and a hat. The wind was wicked on occasion. Fleece lined leggings and fleece tops worked well. Tall ski socks for the boots. Someone recommended tall Hunter boot liners. 👍 I used them over my socks and stick on foot warmers and walked to the assembly area in them. It was a great hint.
I’d be happy to answer any other questions about the cabins, sites, weather etc...