Internet Access Antarctica Cruises

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#22
USA
771 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by digitl
You have images of the aurora?

One of those posters CC warns us about...

Lots of images of auroras. None on this cruise - cloud cover. Do have a fantastic imagery of orange sunsets under the cloud layer and orcas eyeing seals on an ice flow for dinner. Post your email and I'll forward a copy.
#23
PA
682 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Like many cruises, depending on the itinerary, there may be spotty service at places. I had the unlimited internet package onboard Infinity and had service most times, although since our ship did not go the more isolated places that the Fram and other expedition ships go to, I would imagine the service would be less to nill in some of those channels and fjords. I've found cruise ship internet to be slow in general, and most people I've talked to say the same thing.
#24
Georgia
3,359 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
We were on Seabourn Quest over the Christmas/New Years cruise to Antarctica where we spent about 5 days and also South Georgia Island for 3 days. We purchased 4 hours internet time for $40 and were very surprised to find we had internet access every day of our 24 day cruise. I would type up emails off line on our netbook then copy and paste once we'd signed into our email account. No problems at all and very fast. We were on mostly in the mid morning time. The last day of the cruise we had a slightly slower time during the afternoon while everyone was checking in for flights. We made sure to comment favorably on our survey about the internet speed and price. So now I guess that price will be going up...
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#25
UK
1,543 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Globehoppers
One of those posters CC warns us about...

No, just someone who believes accuracy is important. Auroras are not visible in Antarctica during the expedition ship season and anyone reading Cruise Critic should not be assured otherwise.

Pity about the cloud cover. I will leave it there.
#26
USA
771 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by digitl
No, just someone who believes accuracy is important. Auroras are not visible in Antarctica during the expedition ship season and anyone reading Cruise Critic should not be assured otherwise.

Pity about the cloud cover. I will leave it there.

Yes, accuracy is important. You need to insure your posts are accurate. Navigation crew informed they have seen auroras during the expedition season. If you didn't see it doesn't mean it doesn't occur. Plus, few if anyone visits Antarctica to see auroras as the first objective.
#27
UK
1,543 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Globehoppers
Yes, accuracy is important. You need to insure your posts are accurate.
True: *ensure*.


Originally posted by Globehoppers
Navigation crew informed they have seen auroras during the expedition season.

That is not my experience on over 50 days in Antarctica, on trips spread throughout the season, and not what Captains and First Officers have told me. Note the plurals and the status.

I have confidence in them and in my observations.
#28
Oslo, Norway
1,588 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
The aurora circle is extremely offset from the geographic pole. Traveling on the Australian side, you wouldn't even need especially high auroral activity to be able to see it far enough north that you still have reasonable darkness hours during the Antarctic cruise season.

On the Argentinian side, it's definitely unlikely, but if the activity is extremely high, it's still possible. It certainly got dark at night along the peninsula on my November sailing, and it's well within viewing range with a particularly high index.
#29
Oslo, Norway
1,588 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Also, I'm not sure that 50 days is an adequate sample for such an uncommon phenomenon. I've lived in Oslo for over 3500 days, and I've never seen the aurora here. It's been naked-eye visible dozens of times. I even know someone who has seen it here in August.
#30
UK
1,543 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by kaisatsu
The aurora circle is extremely offset from the geographic pole. Traveling on the Australian side, you wouldn't even need especially high auroral activity to be able to see it far enough north that you still have reasonable darkness hours during the Antarctic cruise season.

On the Argentinian side, it's definitely unlikely, but if the activity is extremely high, it's still possible. It certainly got dark at night along the peninsula on my November sailing, and it's well within viewing range with a particularly high index.
The forecast image at https://www.spaceweatherlive.com/en/...y/auroral-oval shows how far away the aurora doughnut is from the peninsula and the areas in which expedition ships sail.

The charts and animation at http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-a...sunlight-hours demonstrate that it does not get dark at Casey (66S) until March. Prior to that the darkest it gets is twilight. We have never experienced real darkness on any of our trips throughout the season unless there has been heavy cloud cover.

No-one I have spoken to on any of our trips has seen even the slightest suggestion of an aurora.
#31
UK
1,543 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by kaisatsu
Also, I'm not sure that 50 days is an adequate sample for such an uncommon phenomenon. I've lived in Oslo for over 3500 days, and I've never seen the aurora here. It's been naked-eye visible dozens of times. I even know someone who has seen it here in August.
The 50+ days across the season offer a pretty good sample.

It's disappointing that you haven't seen the aurora from Oslo. Keep looking! We have seen it from here in the UK at 53N on more than one occasion. And quite strong lights too.
#33
PA
682 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Interesting posts of late about the auroras! I'm reading a rather fascinating book called "The Northern Lights" by Lucy Jago, who chronicles the ground magnetic field measurements and other extensive aurora research done by Norwegian explorer and physicist Kristian Birkeland at the Kaafjord and Haldde observatories near the northern end of Norway between 1899-1903. His theories of atmospheric electric currents elucidated the nature of the aurora borealis. (At least at one time he was pictured on 200 kroner notes).
#34
ExPerth, Now Melb Aus
653 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
No one that I know who has worked 10 to 20 seasons has ever seen auroras on the Peninsular side.

Ross Sea side in summer on the other hand is a different story. I have had both friends and expedition members on 3 different ships in the past 30 days who have been posting outstanding photos of the auroras they all got to experience. And McMurdo and Davis stations have been posting ones from the past 2 weeks on their facebook and twitter pages. They have had some great displays.
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Antarctica
Kapitan Khlebnikov Nov 2010 (West Antarctica, Weddell Sea, Riser Laarsen Coast, Sth Sandwhich & Sth Georgia Islands)
Kapitan Khlebnikov Dec 2011 (Final voyage - East Antarctica & Heard Island)
Sea Adventurer: Feb 2014 (East side of Antarctica Peninsular, South Georgia Is, Falkland Is).

Ortelius: Feb 2014 Bluff NZ, Ross Sea, West Antarctica, Peninsula, Peter 1st Island, Ushuaia
Other regions: too many to list so just the highlights:
P&O Oriana 1984 (Indian Ocean) and 1986 (Pacific Ocean), Superstar Virgo 2003 (Indian Ocean),
Radiance of the Seas: Nov 2014 Bravo Theatre Opera cruise - Noumea.

#35
UK
1,543 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by PerfectlyPerth
No one that I know who has worked 10 to 20 seasons has ever seen auroras on the Peninsular side.
Something I have been trying to get across for some time now. But to no avail...

Originally posted by Globehoppers
Aurora australis can be seen year around. Depends on two things: darkness and sunspot activity. The moon's phase is a major determinant. This year we will be in Antarctica while the moon is waining from full to 3rd quarter - so unlikely we will see any "southern lights."
Originally posted by Globehoppers
Originally posted by digitl
Their strength is linked to the sunspot cycle, not their visibility. That depends on how dark the sky is. In the austral summer, when we visit Antarctica, the sky is not dark enough to see the aurora.
They can be seen all year around. Period. Try Tasmania next time - the "lights" are famously visible all year. The duration of visibility all very much depends on the time of year. Visiting at or below 66 degrees and 33 minutes South in mid-February, the middle of the period when the Earth's tilt "moves" between Summer and Winter solstice, provides about 5 hours of total darkness on 21 February, a date included on both the 2017 and 2018 Hurtigruten excursions south of the Antarctic Circle.
Originally posted by Globehoppers
The Tasmania link: https://www.australiantraveller.com/...when-the-what/

The "aurora-service" link depicts the aurora as closer to Tasmania at this moment, as well, and not visible from Antarctic Peninsula. Intensity of the solar wind is very low at the moment.

We will be there in mid-February and hope to get a look. Have sailed (US Navy) in Arctic waters and fully understand the dusk/total darkness issue.

The US Naval Observatory provides a link for both the duration of daylight and darkness based on latitude and longitude and generates an annual by-day table using your specific Lat/Long: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/Dur_OneYear.php

(Note: my emboldings)

No-one visiting the peninsula during the season should imagine they will see aurora.

Sigh.
#36
Las Vegas
11,148 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by 70KToM
Dear Antarctica cruisers,

A friend and I have been wanting to do an Antarctica cruise for a while, but I have some concerns about internet access. I could perhaps plan the cruise to be between Christmas and New Year's, so things are quieter at work. However, due to the nature of my work, I am required to be available to respond within 24 hours throughout the entire year (I need to write about ten emails a day during quiet periods, and access some pages on our system).

I can travel and reduce my work load for vacation, but I will still need to be online a minimum of once every 24 hours. Most of my work can be done offline and then submitted after connecting. None of it will require a large amount of data. As long as Outlook works and I can load relatively low-bandwidth web pages, I'm fine, as long as I do some prep beforehand.

The cruise we're thinking about doing would be National Geographic Orion Dec 26, 2016 - Jan 8, 2017, but we're very open to looking at other cruises. I hear Quark is great?

So my question is:
- What was internet access like on your ship?
- Was it reliably available at least once a day, even if it's out for a few hours?
- What was the bandwidth like?
- Were you able to use a VPN?
- Were there stops along your route where there was WiFi available?
- Is there a particular route that would give me more days in an area with more reliable WiFi (like adding the Falklands)? I'm looking for a 14 day trip.

Thank you in advance for any advice you might have! I'd love to do the cruise, but I'm quite anxious about being able to manage it with my job.
What would you do if you were ill and in the hospital and were not allowed to use the internet. What would you if even worse you were in some sort of a medically induced or real coma? Would your business die. Would your business fall apart?

If you are so indispensable that your business will not survive without your presence, you have a really bad management structure and a really bad succession plan.

Nobody is indispensible. Not even you.

DON
#37
Oslo, Norway
1,588 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
Originally posted by donaldsc
What would you do if you were ill and in the hospital and were not allowed to use the internet. What would you if even worse you were in some sort of a medically induced or real coma? Would your business die. Would your business fall apart?

If you are so indispensable that your business will not survive without your presence, you have a really bad management structure and a really bad succession plan.

Nobody is indispensible. Not even you.

DON
Hi DON,
Since the original poster was considering a cruise with sailing dates that passed months ago, I'm afraid that your business management insight is likely falling on deaf ears.
Instead, perhaps you'd like to weigh in on the scientific and statistical likelihood of observing the aurora australis from the peninsula side of the continent?