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About SarniaLo

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Sailing, photography
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Arctic & Antarctic
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  1. With more than 200 passengers some landing sites are off-limit so it's not completely wrong, landing options are restricted, but some sites are accessible for landings to ships between 200 and 500 passengers. Above 500 passengers it's no landings at all. Edit : oops I've missed a whole page of reply so this has already been covered! 🙂
  2. I have to say the latest reviews sound a bit like infomercials, particularly the one boasting about the ship's hybrid technology and eco-friendliness. Although it's good that people are aware of this, I'm not sure the desalination of water or waste disposal would be the main source of awe during my first trip in Antarctica. Also, all the reasons stated for which MS Roald Admundsen is eco-friendly during landings are general rules to which all expedition trips in Antarctica abide (washing boots and not bothering the animals are done on all ships). I also would be interested to know how the landing rotations are handled in Antarctica with so many people.
  3. Honestly very hard to advise. Length of days about the same. Northern Lights are always a gamble and so is weather. In theory you should have more quality snow in January for winter activities, but this year snow started falling at the end of October and passengers in November were able to do dog sledding. Statistically the weather is wetter in November, but again this year in November the weather seems pretty incredible. On the whole I would say you have better odds for the real winter experience in January. If I had this choice that's what I would pick. But this can be completely not true on a given year.
  4. I totally agree with that. You don't need special clothing for the ship, no dress code, if you are outdoor on deck your clothing should be the same than during the post-cruise trip. Just bring some layers of different warmth and a good outer jacket (doesn't have to be warm but must have very good windproof/waterproof abilities and ideally be of breathable material). I just was on a 2 weeks trip in Norway including one week aboard the ship and my suitcase weighted 15kg (and there are some stuff I didn't use as always) and that's including warm clothings for NL chase trips at night (+ 8kg photo gear cabin bag).
  5. Honestly, pretty much everything. It's supposed to be quite a wet month on average, but I just did Bergen-Kirkenes-Svolvaer this past October (departure Oct 9th) and we had 8 days of beautiful weather and about 2 hours of rain altogether. Then on the week after that there was a huge storm and then 50cm of snowfall in Tromsø around Oct 25th! In Norway you have to be ready for any weather but I think it's even more true at those "in between" seasons. Rain is likely, sun is likely, snow not so likely but possible. Temperature should remain positive but you could have only a few °C in the North. Get a good windproof/waterproof jacket and some layers to be ready for anything.
  6. Unfortunately, at least for upcoming trips, travel insurance cannot do much unless One Ocean officially cancels the trip (which so far they do not do apart from the Nov 6th departure) or declares bankrupcy/insolvency, which they do not do either. This is a real mess.
  7. You can bring alcohol on board but you have to drink it in your cabin, not in the public spaces and of course not in the restaurant.
  8. We all have our price point and there is nothing wrong with that, everybody does what they can. I didn't mean to imply you were difficult, sorry if it came out that way, but "affordable" does mean different things for different people and I think people were just asking for a number so that they could direct you best to what was possible for you. My advice of Quark was clearly off base for you but it was aligned on the number you quoted. I understand now that this wasn't actually your budget, which there is nothing to be embarassed about. Anyhow as I said I'm glad you found a trip you are happy with and are comfortable paying.
  9. Well have fun. I'm sorry I still don't get what your budget was, since you answered "8K or less" when someone asked what you considered affordable. But you found something that suits you, so it's perfect.
  10. I'm sure you will have a great time. This is indeed very exciting! Now on to the packing concerns 😉 Having some time in Falklands is a real bonus, it's a pretty special place for wildlife sightings.
  11. That's a pretty decent budget and I don't understand then why you say that $4000 is not doable for you. You could actually do an expedition-type cruise for that amount if you are ready to share a cabin (for instance currently there are offers for $7K on Quark for last-minute departure on a twin shared with obstructed view, Ocean Diamond departing Dec 8th,).
  12. Meanwhile, passengers on the next OOE trip supposed to leave Ushuaia on Nov6th are starting to get notice that their trip is cancelled. This really does not bode well for OOE, and their staff, crew, ships, boats, and passengers.
  13. Yes, I think it's very different in France. That's why I hope someone can advise you better about this. Thank you again for your nice words about my blog, I will consider Alaska! 😉
  14. In my recollection, medical/evacuation insurance was required on my trip (but maybe there are different requirements depending on which country you book in?). I may be wrong, but I didn't feel that it was an option not to take it (not that I wouldn't have anyway, so I actually didn't look much into that). I had a look at my insurance and it seems that the evacuation cost were covered up to their real cost, not within a limit (again, that may change depending on where you are from). I think I have read someone on another board advising the limit of $500.000 . Not sure where that number comes from though. Have you asked Hurtigruten for advice?
  15. I can't help on the trip insurance as you would need advice from someone from your own country. Check with your credit card provider if they would insure the trip (if you pay with your card), in France I have some form of trip insurance with my Visa card. Hurtigruten may advise on which trip insurance to take, for my trips to Antarctica I took the trip insurance with them. Medical evacuation insurance is mandatory, if you have a medical emergency in Antarctica evacuation is really not straightforward, and it will be expensive (you will need to be taken back to somewhere a private plane can pick you up). Trip cancellation/interruption for me was necessary because of the price of the trip, but that's up to everyone to feel if they are comfortable with losing that much money. I had a third trip planned to Antarctica with Hurtigruten in Dec 2016, and in the fall of 2016 (a couple of month before departure) my partner passed away unexpectedly from a very quick illness. I didn't take the trip and the travel insurance refunded me of the whole amount. Otherwise I would have lost over $10K (I still had to pay the last installment). I thought it was worth the price of the insurance. I actually have trip cancellation insurance for all my trips, no matter how small. For me even a trip with Hurtigruten to Norway is not a "small ticket item" and I'd rather not lose that money on top of any other problem that might cause the trip to be cancelled.
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