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Fletcher

Quest for the Holy Grail - A Voyage to South America, Antarctica & South Georgia

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Thanks again Fletcher. We read this live and thoroughly enjoyed it. We are doing South Georgia next year with Seabourn so the recent refresh of this blog was very welcome.

 

Noting your South Pacific sojourn we can highly recommend the Paul Gauguin. We have done the 14 day Marquesas trip 5 times, their Cooks run twice and back from Australia twice. Perhaps we are biased.

 

Enjoy.

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We will be going on the 21 day Antarctic cruise in February 2020. We will rent the boots as suggested. When ordering, should it be your actual foot size or slightly larger? Is it advisable to kayak if you have no prior experience in kayaking? I’m fairly agile, are poles really necessary at all when on land? Thanks.

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Just now, lvog said:

We will be going on the 21 day Antarctic cruise in February 2020. We will rent the boots as suggested. When ordering, should it be your actual foot size or slightly larger? Is it advisable to kayak if you have no prior experience in kayaking? I’m fairly agile, are poles really necessary at all when on land? Thanks.

I ordered my actual boot size. I also used gel inserts to give the footbed more structure. They were surprisingly comfortable. I used poles on a few landings. Many never used them.  The daily breifings will tell you if you really need them.

 

Kayaking was our favorite part. There were several folks who had never kayaked before and did just fine. One couple felt it was too much work, I think they thought that somehow the kayaks propelled themselves.  Some of the trips were slightly strenuous, some were easy paddles.  Many kayak trips get canceled due to wind, brash ice build up, etc. We signed up for 4 and went twice. Friends signed up for 4 and never went. It was an extra charge when we went, and I believe still is. There is an initial cash outlay.  Canceled trips are refunded. When you sign up for a kayak you are given a pass to go on any zodiac trip that day as opposed to your color group which might conflict with your zodiac time. I strongly urge you to give it a try. It's quiet, often in a different location then the zodiac landing, and a completely different experience then zodiac landings. We now sign up for every kayak available knowing that some will be canceled. I will try and post some pictures.

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Not the best shots as I had not quite mastered the fear of dropping the camera while snapping pictures. Shots are from Antarctic, South Georgia, and one from Greenland this summer. In the Greenland shot I used a phone sleeve and lanyard around my neck which helped quite a bit and didn't distort to terribly much. 

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High planes drifter, Thank you for the above information. Very helpful and very much enjoyed your photo’s. I’ll give the kayaking a try and will keep my fingers crossed that I don’t fall into the drink.🙄 

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2 hours ago, highplanesdrifters said:

 

 

Kayaking was our favorite part. There were several folks who had never kayaked before and did just fine. One couple felt it was too much work, I think they thought that somehow the kayaks propelled themselves.  

When we were on Sojourn this last summer, the VP for Explorations from Seabourn did a presentation in the Grand Salon.  Someone asked him why kayaking is an extra charge.  Here is what he said (paraphrased by me):  He said that SB has found that IF they charge extra for kayaking, passengers give more thought to whether or not it is a doable activity for them.  He said that when they did not charge extra, everyone wanted to try it--and some found it was too strenuous right from the get go.  When this happened, the team had to help them get back to the ship and often the experience was ruined for their kayaking partner.  He told the group that you need to give a lot of thought as to whether you are a suitable candidate for kayaking.  

 

Listening to him say this reminds me of our canoeing expedition from our Sojourn cruise in Alaska this summer.  There were EIGHTEEN of us in the canoe---all paddling.  Even so, it was no piece of cake as we had a whole lake to traverse.  While my husband and I found it to be great fun (and we are experienced at canoeing), others  said that it was way too strenuous.  No one shirked paddling as we were all there together,  everyone doing their part.  

 

We are 67 and 68 and in middling physical shape.  IF we were going to Antarctica, I think we would try the kayaking even though we have never done it.  If we did not have the years of canoeing experience that we have, I doubt that we would try it.  

Edited by SLSD

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I believe Seabourn has a spotless record of keeping everyone out of the drink. If not, then you did an early polar plunge! Two for one excursion. 😉 The hardest part is getting in and out of the dry suit. They have plenty of dressers there to help you.  There were numerous people with MS, Parkinson's or similar disabilities who kayaked with their spouses. That should give you some ideas of how the expedition team makes it fun and safe for everyone.

 

Tip: Some people used dishwashing gloves under the Pogies. Pogies are large maybe 8" oval/circular neoprene coverings that fit around the paddles to keep your hands warm. I didn't need gloves.

 

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3 minutes ago, highplanesdrifters said:

I believe Seabourn has a spotless record of keeping everyone out of the drink. If not, then you did an early polar plunge! Two for one excursion. 😉 The hardest part is getting in and out of the dry suit. They have plenty of dressers there to help you.  There were numerous people with MS, Parkinson's or similar disabilities who kayaked with their spouses. That should give you some ideas of how the expedition team makes it fun and safe for everyone.

 

Tip: Some people used dishwashing gloves under the Pogies. Pogies are large maybe 8" oval/circular neoprene coverings that fit around the paddles to keep your hands warm. I didn't need gloves.

 

I have no doubt that those who are motivated and determined will do great at kayaking, My comments are just to point out that sometimes people try something like this and find it too difficult for them.  

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1 minute ago, SLSD said:

I have no doubt that those who are motivated and determined will do great at kayaking, My comments are just to point out that sometimes people try something like this and find it too difficult for them.  

SLSD, I completely agree, and almost told the same story of why Seabourn says they charge people for kayaking. I am glad that they charge and people think twice before signing up.  But if that is the reason, do they really need to charge as much as they do? 😃 If you are reasonably fit and coordinated you should have no trouble. I also feel that kayaking is so much easier than canoeing. 

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2 minutes ago, highplanesdrifters said:

  But if that is the reason, do they really need to charge as much as they do? 

What DO they charge?  We haven't been on a cruise yet that includes kayaking.  

 

I do appreciate that Seabourn needs to make a profit.  I understand why they take advantage of the ways they can add to the bottom line.  

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3 minutes ago, SLSD said:

What DO they charge?  We haven't been on a cruise yet that includes kayaking.  

 

I do appreciate that Seabourn needs to make a profit.  I understand why they take advantage of the ways they can add to the bottom line.  

I think it was $375 in Antarctica, and $275 on Route of the Vikings. Either way, the numbers are close. Agreed a properly functioning business should make a profit. The last time I checked, kayaking was included on some luxury expedition trips to Antarctica on other lines. But, there was a lottery system which decided who got to go. So, I'm happy to pay the charge, weed out the demand, and have a better shot at going. I just wish it was a little less.

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Kayaking is $295 pp for any Antarctica stops. I have some experience getting in and out of a dry suit from rafting in Iceland. Big pain in the neck. 

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Just now, lvog said:

Kayaking is $295 pp for any Antarctica stops. I have some experience getting in and out of a dry suit from rafting in Iceland. Big pain in the neck. 

Thanks for the correction. 😉

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