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Questions on travel to Antarctica via Santiago on Silver Wind


EbonyJ
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Hi!   This will be our first trip on Silversea and first trip to Antarctica December 2023 - so want to get it right!   I have been trawling the pages of CC and have managed to get answers to most of my questions.  There are a couple of things I am still not sure about so any help would be appreciated.  

 

1)  The Photography Academy - is it available on Silver Wind?   If so, does anyone know approximate prices involved?  Does anyone have good (or negative) experience of this? 

2)  Silversea has recently changed our Pre and Post hotel from Mandarin Oriental to Hotel W in Santiago.  Does anyone have good (or negative) experience of this hotel? 

3)  Does Silversea offer any dining at the hotel Pre/Post cruise.  When I originally booked, the agent said that normally there is a pre-cruise dinner at the hotel, however I am now being told this is when sailing on the Endeavour only.  

4)  When staying in Santiago, do we require local currency for incidentals, tipping etc or will we exchange our Scottish money for English pounds or US dollars? 

 

 

Many thanks in advance

 

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7 minutes ago, EbonyJ said:

3) Does Silversea offer any dining at the hotel Pre/Post cruise.

In 2020 on a Cloud voyage, we were provided breakfast the morning of the charter flight.  No dinners.

 

11 minutes ago, EbonyJ said:

4)  When staying in Santiago, do we require local currency for incidentals, tipping etc or will we exchange our Scottish money for English pounds or US dollars?

USD was readily accepted for incidentals.

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59 minutes ago, EbonyJ said:

2)  Silversea has recently changed our Pre and Post hotel from Mandarin Oriental to Hotel W in Santiago.  Does anyone have good (or negative) experience of this hotel? 

They are both excellent hotels, you will not be disappointed with the W. Although we prefer the grounds and pool at the Mandarin we like the El Golf neighborhood around the W.  Isidora Goyenechea has a vibrant street and restaurant scene.  Tiramisu has killer pizza. Hop on Hop off bus is easily caught nearby.  In order to catch a taxi you will need to download the local app.  I believe Didi, Cabify and Uber are the 3.  Check with the Concierge to see what is the best to use now.

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On 9/22/2023 at 9:29 PM, EbonyJ said:

Hi!   This will be our first trip on Silversea and first trip to Antarctica December 2023 - so want to get it right!   I have been trawling the pages of CC and have managed to get answers to most of my questions.  There are a couple of things I am still not sure about so any help would be appreciated.  

 

4)  When staying in Santiago, do we require local currency for incidentals, tipping etc or will we exchange our Scottish money for English pounds or US dollars? 

 

 

Many thanks in advance

 


I will be on the Silver Wind in late December and haven’t heard anything about the hotel. Are you on an earlier expedition?

 

From previous experience in Santiago, a credit card took care of all incidentals, whether at the hotel, shopping centre or market. I did not obtain any local currency.  Many places did accept USD but gave change in local currency. That is a handy way of obtaining small amounts without currency conversion fees.  
 

Also, hotels will often add a small amount to your room account and give you that amount in local cash to use for tipping.

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Hopping on this thread to ask another Antarctica question. It is clear that a parka is provided but I am finding conflicting information regarding boots. Some sites say you need to bring or rent your own pair but then other websites including the Silversea blog (with a post from a few months ago) state boots are provided. 
 

if boots aren’t provided, is it possible to use on-board credit to pay for boot rentals?

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2 hours ago, Giggleypuff said:

Hopping on this thread to ask another Antarctica question. It is clear that a parka is provided but I am finding conflicting information regarding boots. Some sites say you need to bring or rent your own pair but then other websites including the Silversea blog (with a post from a few months ago) state boots are provided. 
 

if boots aren’t provided, is it possible to use on-board credit to pay for boot rentals?


From everything I have heard and read regarding Silver Wind and Cloud, boots can be rented for US$50. They are included on Silver Endeavour.  Passengers receive an email some weeks prior to boarding asking your shoe size.

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6 hours ago, Port Power said:


I will be on the Silver Wind in late December and haven’t heard anything about the hotel. Are you on an earlier expedition?

 

 

Hi - We are on from 1st to 19th December.  We received notification about the hotel via email on 7th September and our itinerary was updated a few days later.  We are doing Door to Door with Silversea. 

 

The boots, waterproof trousers etc are now available for us to rent.  The boots are $90 + $100 refundable deposit and the trousers are $48 + $60 refundable deposit. You click on the link within "important information" in your booking to rent or buy. 

 

Do you happen to know anything about the on board photography academy? 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, EbonyJ said:

Hi - We are on from 1st to 19th December.  We received notification about the hotel via email on 7th September and our itinerary was updated a few days later.  We are doing Door to Door with Silversea. 

 

The boots, waterproof trousers etc are now available for us to rent.  The boots are $90 + $100 refundable deposit and the trousers are $48 + $60 refundable deposit. You click on the link within "important information" in your booking to rent or buy. 

 

Do you happen to know anything about the on board photography academy? 

 

 

 

 

 


That’s quite a jump in boot hire!  No, I don’t know anything about the photography academy.  
 

I am still working on the visa for Chile.  That needs to be submitted prior to my next journey in October.

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We paid $90 + $100 deposit, as @EbonyJ quoted, last year. They were not $50.
Rent in advance from shiptoshore. Do not expect to find your size on the ship.
I recommend renting boots, as they are heavy and bulky, but buying your own thin waterproof pants and lightweight, collapsible poles.
Don't forget that the Santiago weather will be very hot, so take a few summer clothes.
And finally, there is lots of robbery in Santiago. Be careful out there.

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We are on the Wind now. Thought the $90 boot rental with a $100 deposit was high. We purchased boots off Amazon for $60. Yes, they do take up space in the luggage but we were still were under 50lbs!

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3 hours ago, daddyo said:

We are on the Wind now. Thought the $90 boot rental with a $100 deposit was high. We purchased boots off Amazon for $60. Yes, they do take up space in the luggage but we were still were under 50lbs!

 

We bought our own too, super cheap, and have used them for a few expedition cruises now. I use them at home if I have to shovel the walk or when walking down the driveway for the newspaper in the morning if our snow plowing guy hasn't been there yet.

 

PS a little envious that you're back on the Wind so soon! Have a great trip.

Edited by jpalbny
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Yes, it’s good to be back. A lot of the crew are still on from the Helsinki-Hamburg voyage. We even have the same suite attendant and butler who already had our preferences!  

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If you'll ever use them again, as mentioned above, buy the boots for cheaper than renting. You can stuff them full of socks, underwear and other clothes so they are more efficient to pack than you'd think.

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3 hours ago, Stumblefoot said:

It’s about the only reason why you have to check a bag, right?


Okay, I’m convinced!  I will look up where I can purchase.  For those experienced in Arctic travel, would you wear the same boots for Iceland-to-Greenland in June?

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16 hours ago, daddyo said:

We are on the Wind now. 

Hi - can you give me any info on the Photography Academy room on the Wind (if it does / does not exist)?  This would be a great help in us deciding on what cameras to bring.  Also, as we have never sailed Silversea before, how do we pre-order drink setup in our suite?   

 

Thanks in advance.  

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Port Power said:


Okay, I’m convinced!  I will look up where I can purchase.  For those experienced in Arctic travel, would you wear the same boots for Iceland-to-Greenland in June?

 

Yes, the same ones work at both poles.

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4 hours ago, EbonyJ said:

…how do we pre-order drink setup in our suite?

As long as you’re wishing to consume standard brands, you’ll do this with your butler on embarkation day.  Now, if there is something out of the ordinary you want to enjoy, then contact SS’s Special Services department at least 3-months before your voyage so they have time to search for the availability of your product and determine whether they can acquire it in time for your voyage, as well as any associated costs to you.  
 

With all that said, we just let our TA handle it.  The products are never in our suite when we arrive, and the Butler usually gives us one of those looks that says, “no, we don’t have that on board”, but in the end they always find the product for us.  It’s like magic.

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On 9/24/2023 at 4:33 PM, Port Power said:


That’s quite a jump in boot hire!  No, I don’t know anything about the photography academy.  
 

I am still working on the visa for Chile.  That needs to be submitted prior to my next journey in October.

Not a jump in boot hire it has been the higher amount for several years now.   The rental service is very good an efficient.

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On 9/22/2023 at 9:29 AM, EbonyJ said:

Hi!   This will be our first trip on Silversea and first trip to Antarctica December 2023 - so want to get it right!   I have been trawling the pages of CC and have managed to get answers to most of my questions.  There are a couple of things I am still not sure about so any help would be appreciated.  

 

1)  The Photography Academy - is it available on Silver Wind?   If so, does anyone know approximate prices involved?  Does anyone have good (or negative) experience of this? 

2)  Silversea has recently changed our Pre and Post hotel from Mandarin Oriental to Hotel W in Santiago.  Does anyone have good (or negative) experience of this hotel? 

3)  Does Silversea offer any dining at the hotel Pre/Post cruise.  When I originally booked, the agent said that normally there is a pre-cruise dinner at the hotel, however I am now being told this is when sailing on the Endeavour only.  

4)  When staying in Santiago, do we require local currency for incidentals, tipping etc or will we exchange our Scottish money for English pounds or US dollars? 

 

 

Many thanks in advance

 

Also does silver wind have bean bags for use camera people, that don’t want to lug it on the plane.   

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35 minutes ago, jjs217 said:

What is a bean bag?

 

 

You can rest your camera and/or lens on it to hold it still while taking pictures. Helpful on safari with long lenses that don't have wide aperture, where you need to do a longer exposure. You can avoid blurry photos.

 

Much less bulky than a tripod.

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10 minutes ago, jpalbny said:

 

You can rest your camera and/or lens on it to hold it still while taking pictures. Helpful on safari with long lenses that don't have wide aperture, where you need to do a longer exposure. You can avoid blurry photos.

 

Much less bulky than a tripod.

Thank you - I learned something today.  Unfortunately, I  can't answer the posters question.

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