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Viking Expeditions Thread


emileg
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17 hours ago, f.razmus said:

We lose 9 days in Brazil which for us is a high point and a significant loss to our journey.  We also lose our visit to French Guiana which is a high point because that's where the James Webb telescope was launched recently.   

Wow!  I was going to write something else .. because I was looking at the itinerary for this cruise as published on the VE web site and just now realized that your original itinerary doesn't match it at all (https://www.vikingcruises.com/expeditions/cruise-destinations/grand-journeys/antarctica-and-americas-sojourn/index.html#search/sfym=2022-3&sftcm=40-163907). Has the published itinerary (the one shown on the VE site) changed since your original booking?  Your revised itinerary matches the one published at the VE site exactly. One good thing (IMHO) -- you get more days in Antarctica  - 7 rather than 3.  The number of sea days is about the same (17 vs 15) but all in a clump rather than distributed in between the port stops in Brazil.

 

Btw -- I found a USA today article about cruise ship companies temporarily suspending operations in Brazil through Jan 21 but your cruise is in March. (search words: cruise ship restrictions brazil).

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7 hours ago, emileg said:

The ship is in Ushuaia. Check out the bridge cam.

 

https://viking.panomax.com/octantis

 

The shakedown cruise starts tomorrow.  A large number of guests are in buenos aires currently 

We fly early to ushuaia and the trip can then begin!

All fine so far covid related 

 

Looking forward to getting on the ship tomorrow.

 

I can take pictures of the ship/interior if anyone is interested in any parts of it in particular 

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1 minute ago, Hazard10 said:

 

 

I can take pictures of the ship/interior if anyone is interested in any parts of it in particular 

We're looking forward to seeing all of it!  Have a wonderful, wonderful time 🙂 

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1 hour ago, Hazard10 said:

The shakedown cruise starts tomorrow.  A large number of guests are in buenos aires currently 

We fly early to ushuaia and the trip can then begin!

All fine so far covid related 

 

Looking forward to getting on the ship tomorrow.

 

I can take pictures of the ship/interior if anyone is interested in any parts of it in particular 

Great!!! Looking forward to your report. Don't forget what I asked earlier please!

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On 1/12/2022 at 1:30 PM, RestonCruiser said:

Sorry to report we cancelled our February Antarctica Explorer cruise after having booked it almost two years ago.  We were planning the Easter Island pre-cruise extension. So for a testing schedule picture this.

PCR test 48 hours prior to boarding plane for Chile.  Another PCR upon arrival in Santiago.  Another PCR to go to Easter Island.  Another PCR to return to Santiago.  Another PCR upon arrival in Buenos Aires.  One more PCR in Ushuaia. Daily testing on the ship.  What would one calculate the probability of a positive test  some where along the way that would ruin our very expensive but much anticipated trip?  We do a little gambling but these odds were just too much for us.  This does not even factor in the absolute anxiety of the next test turning positive.  For these reasons we cancelled and booked again for January 2023.  We really hope all of you going on the cruise stay safe and healthy and have an absolutely wonderful time.  We look forward to pictures and reviews so we can learn anything for 2023.  Safe travels!

I completely agree with your reasoning and anxiety level.  Rescheduling for 2023 will probably insure that we're going to be through this pandemic and your excursions will go as planned.  Best wishes.  

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4 hours ago, CharTrav said:

Wow!  I was going to write something else .. because I was looking at the itinerary for this cruise as published on the VE web site and just now realized that your original itinerary doesn't match it at all (https://www.vikingcruises.com/expeditions/cruise-destinations/grand-journeys/antarctica-and-americas-sojourn/index.html#search/sfym=2022-3&sftcm=40-163907). Has the published itinerary (the one shown on the VE site) changed since your original booking?  Your revised itinerary matches the one published at the VE site exactly. One good thing (IMHO) -- you get more days in Antarctica  - 7 rather than 3.  The number of sea days is about the same (17 vs 15) but all in a clump rather than distributed in between the port stops in Brazil.

 

Btw -- I found a USA today article about cruise ship companies temporarily suspending operations in Brazil through Jan 21 but your cruise is in March. (search words: cruise ship restrictions brazil).

CharTrav:  Yes, of course our original itinerary has changed significantly; which is my concern.  The itinerary on the VE web site is quite different than the one we signed on for.  Clearly we do have more days in Antarctica but we have been there previously and done 9 zodiac landings.  We were happy with the 3 days there since we have done it.  We were looking forward to Brazil and French Guiana.  One of the issues for us is that we are losing 9 days in Brazil and being offered $1000 compensation for a significant loss.  We don't like the idea of 10 continuous days of sailing with no stops....that is not why we signed on for this cruise.  I suspect that other customers who feel the way we do will be cancelling.  It's also interesting that the company chose to release this information on a Friday when the offices are closed most of the weekend.  

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3 hours ago, Hazard10 said:

The shakedown cruise starts tomorrow.  A large number of guests are in buenos aires currently 

We fly early to ushuaia and the trip can then begin!

All fine so far covid related 

 

Looking forward to getting on the ship tomorrow.

 

I can take pictures of the ship/interior if anyone is interested in any parts of it in particular 

Oh...three or four hundred would be good.  😀

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4 hours ago, f.razmus said:

It's also interesting that the company chose to release this information on a Friday when the offices are closed most of the weekend. 

Huh? I've usually found their agents are available 7 days a week. The air desk is the one that doesn't work weekends. And yes - I understand your frustration and disappointment but if this change has been forced on them by Brazil what can they do? 

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On 1/10/2022 at 5:37 PM, CharTrav said:

@Hazard10 2nd try to post this message. Given that you are onboard the Octantis - could you tell us about its covid protocols? Onboard lab to process daily spit tests like they're doing on their Ocean ships? Don't know what happened to my earlier post. So am trying again. 

Hi 

I was not on board at the time. We will be on board the ship later today, current 6am in buenos aires.

 

I can give you an update later this evening on what protocols they have in place onboard?

 

They have not said much on the matter as of yet.

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4 hours ago, Hazard10 said:

Hi 

I was not on board at the time. We will be on board the ship later today, current 6am in buenos aires.

 

I can give you an update later this evening on what protocols they have in place onboard?

 

They have not said much on the matter as of yet.

My bad. Somehow I thought you were on the cruise to Ushuaia. All is now clear. Thanks!

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16 hours ago, Hazard10 said:

Hi 

I was not on board at the time. We will be on board the ship later today, current 6am in buenos aires.

 

I can give you an update later this evening on what protocols they have in place onboard?

 

They have not said much on the matter as of yet.

Have a great expedition. Enjoy.

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On 1/16/2022 at 10:31 AM, CharTrav said:

My bad. Somehow I thought you were on the cruise to Ushuaia. All is now clear. Thanks!

Hi 

In buneos aires we did a pcr test the night before flight to ushuaia.

Upon arrival onto the boat everyone did a saliva test and had to stay in their rooms until they received a call saying they were free to leave the room.

 

I received the all clear after 3 hours waiting in my room and I know of others who waited 6 hours.

 

We are given tubes daily for saliva tests and these are collected every morning.

 

Seems like it is very similar to the ocean cruises then?

 

We are  currently just over half way across the drake's passage. 

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12 hours ago, Hazard10 said:

Hi 

In buneos aires we did a pcr test the night before flight to ushuaia.

Upon arrival onto the boat everyone did a saliva test and had to stay in their rooms until they received a call saying they were free to leave the room.

 

I received the all clear after 3 hours waiting in my room and I know of others who waited 6 hours.

 

We are given tubes daily for saliva tests and these are collected every morning.

 

Seems like it is very similar to the ocean cruises then?

 

We are  currently just over half way across the drake's passage. 

It looks like you have some very heavy seas right now. It is about 6:00 a.m. your time. Stay comfortable.

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On 1/15/2022 at 5:22 PM, emileg said:

Check out the bridge cam.

 

https://viking.panomax.com/octantis

There have been some great views in recent days. Currently showing a lot of Zodiac/RIB activity around the ship. 

Not heard anything from Hazard10 for a while. Makes me wonder if Viking has asked them to embargo information ahead of an official press launch date?

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2 hours ago, photopro2 said:

There have been some great views in recent days. Currently showing a lot of Zodiac/RIB activity around the ship. 

Not heard anything from Hazard10 for a while. Makes me wonder if Viking has asked them to embargo information ahead of an official press launch date?

Thank you for the link. Nice to see Antarctica. Regarding no updates from Hazard10, I am wondering if the Internet works in Antarctica due to lack of satellite coverage, as previously discussed many pages back on this thread.

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We ordered clothing from Ship-to-Shore, Viking's official outfitter for the Antarctic expeditions. Name brand base layers were replaced with low quality generic sweatshirts and sweatpants. In every instance we ordered clothing in navy color and they shipped black or gray. They did ship the correct socks, however; giving credit where credit is due. We paid $35 on shipping, which probably will not be refunded. Buyer beware!

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12 hours ago, emileg said:

Thank you for the link. Nice to see Antarctica. Regarding no updates from Hazard10, I am wondering if the Internet works in Antarctica due to lack of satellite coverage, as previously discussed many pages back on this thread.

I have attached photos below of the main areas. I can take photos of the restaurants tomorrow if people would like. (My pictures may not do the ship justice! It is a very impressive vessel.)

 

I have been impressed with the Internet service. We have received wifi the whole time other than yesterday for the majority of the day due to high peaks either side of us in a bay and about 2 hours today. 

 

Today I have been kayaking, wildlife spotting on special ops boats seeing penguins and seals and a shore landings to visit a penguin colony. A very busy day! There are many activities to pick from if you so wish. 

 

It has been an amazing trip so far and I'm sure everyone going over the next several months will have a trip of a lifetime 

 

 

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On 1/18/2022 at 6:04 AM, emileg said:

It looks like you have some very heavy seas right now. It is about 6:00 a.m. your time. Stay comfortable.

Yes the last section of drake's passage we experienced 70 knot winds and pretty big waves. Outside decks all closed.

We experienced some rocking but I was very impressed with the ships stability going through this section. I slept straight through the night and hardly noticed the rocking.

 

Speaking to a staff member yesterday who has been to antarctica 10+ times he said it wasn't his calmest drake's passage crossing but it was his best crossing in terms the ship's ability to negate the effects of waves rocking the boat. The Octantis has been very impressive in that respect.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Hazard10 said:

Yes the last section of drake's passage we experienced 70 knot winds and pretty big waves. Outside decks all closed.

We experienced some rocking but I was very impressed with the ships stability going through this section. I slept straight through the night and hardly noticed the rocking.

 

Speaking to a staff member yesterday who has been to antarctica 10+ times he said it wasn't his calmest drake's passage crossing but it was his best crossing in terms the ship's ability to negate the effects of waves rocking the boat. The Octantis has been very impressive in that respect.

This may be a foolish question, but is the Expedition experience one that a couple in their 70s can handle?

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3 hours ago, rbslos18 said:

This may be a foolish question, but is the Expedition experience one that a couple in their 70s can handle?

I would say it depends. My dearly now deceased (just shy of 91) mother in law did  Antarctica around  that age. If she could do it you can. Of course she was magnificent and a wonder of nature. My hub and I are in that age range now and feel perfectly capable of doing it. Bottom line - age is a state of mind. 😃

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@Hazard10 thanks for your pix. Wish your video worked but maybe it will from a full desktop browser rather than my mobile phone (have to try it later). Making me very eager and excited to be on the Polaris this Summer in the Arctic. 

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