Antarctica!

Mathmagicland

Disneyland - the original since 1955
Joined
Jul 26, 2014
I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.
What was the last day like, logistic-wise. Ie when did you get off the ship, your flight to EZE, when did you get to EZE, what time was your return flight. And, if you had an extended time between EZE arrival & your return home flight, how did you spend the time? Thx.
 

Vetinari

Earning My Ears
Joined
Nov 16, 2021
What was the last day like, logistic-wise. Ie when did you get off the ship, your flight to EZE, when did you get to EZE, what time was your return flight. And, if you had an extended time between EZE arrival & your return home flight, how did you spend the time? Thx.
I believe that the "bags out" window was from 10am the prior night to 5am the morning of disembarkation. We started exiting the ship around 9am in groups to the motor coaches, then proceeded to do a lot of the "Day 2" activities of the original itinerary (e.g., End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego) before heading to the airport. Our flight back to EZE was at 1pm and arrived around 4:30pm.

Once at EZE, families headed home that night checked into their international flights. For those of us not headed back to the US on the official departure day, the last Ponant test was not in the 1-day window, so we needed an additional test to get home. Fortunately, EZE has a 24 hour testing facility outside Terminal B(?) that provides rapid antigen tests for $40USD. A group of families headed for the EZE testing after arriving from Ushuaia. We did not book our post-stay with Disney, so we were on our own. I had arranged transportation to our hotel while we were on the ship, but was unable to arrange for a delay in pickup so that my family could be tested--we just left for EZE super-early the next day. Our results (negative, thankfully) arrived by email in about 20 minutes.

For us, the night before our return flight in BA was New Years Eve, and BA was a ghost town. Nothing was open--restaurants and grocery stores closed early, so we made do with room service from the hotel and tried to find college football games on the hotel TV (with no luck). The city started coming back to life around 12p the next day, so we were able to have a nice outdoor lunch before headed to the airport.

The EZE international terminal is very nice, and the Admirals Club had recently reopened. (I think the American Centurion Lounge is also available). For a true cultural collision, there is also, no lie, an Outback Steakhouse ready to provide you with a Bloomin' Onion.
 
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  • Mathmagicland

    Disneyland - the original since 1955
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    Since Argentina requires a negative Covid test to enter the country, thought I’d share this article- one person’s recent experience at having to cancel a trip to Ecuador because she was not able to get the required Covid test due to challenges with finding availability at a testing site.

     

    AquaDame

    DCL
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2010
    Since Argentina requires a negative Covid test to enter the country, thought I’d share this article- one person’s recent experience at having to cancel a trip to Ecuador because she was not able to get the required Covid test due to challenges with finding availability at a testing site.

    As someone getting on a plane to Quito in 14 days and then the Galapagos a couple days later... thank you for giving me new worries. :laughing:

    We do have appointments but this made me rethink our timing on them and move them to another place that gets them back quicker. If our flight from ATL was delayed by more than a couple hours we'd be outside the 72 hour requirement. I just realized that our first leg probably doesnt count, its the actual flight into Quito 9 hours later that matters. Can't really push them back as the first place only sends them out that night, and then need 36 hours to get results back to us and I didnt want to risk getting them back at like midnight the night before we leave, so we were going to do it the day before to be safe, but they close at 4 and.. this is all so complicated.

    Surprised they didn't know you can just walk up for testing at the airport in Quito - we emailed them and they said the wait is usually 10-15 minutes, no appointments taken. 24 hours there. $45 per test to boot wherever you go compared to our $165. Seriously we also need to test in Coca the day we fly home, still $45. Also will get our results back that afternoon or evening. What are we doing here in the US...
     

    Mathmagicland

    Disneyland - the original since 1955
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    For those on the December sailing, what did you do re cash vs credit card & exchanging money in your Buenos Aires time? I’m finding many different things online but nothing really current. It seems like a different situation there compared to what might be found elsewhere. Thx.
     

    2PrincesseInTow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2010
    As someone getting on a plane to Quito in 14 days and then the Galapagos a couple days later... thank you for giving me new worries. :laughing:

    We do have appointments but this made me rethink our timing on them and move them to another place that gets them back quicker. If our flight from ATL was delayed by more than a couple hours we'd be outside the 72 hour requirement. I just realized that our first leg probably doesnt count, its the actual flight into Quito 9 hours later that matters. Can't really push them back as the first place only sends them out that night, and then need 36 hours to get results back to us and I didnt want to risk getting them back at like midnight the night before we leave, so we were going to do it the day before to be safe, but they close at 4 and.. this is all so complicated.

    Surprised they didn't know you can just walk up for testing at the airport in Quito - we emailed them and they said the wait is usually 10-15 minutes, no appointments taken. 24 hours there. $45 per test to boot wherever you go compared to our $165. Seriously we also need to test in Coca the day we fly home, still $45. Also will get our results back that afternoon or evening. What are we doing here in the US...
    If you are on the same airline making a connection, it's the first leg of the flight that the 72 hours prior applies. I was also told there is an allowance for delayed flights (we flew American).
     

    2PrincesseInTow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2010
    For those on the December sailing, what did you do re cash vs credit card & exchanging money in your Buenos Aires time? I’m finding many different things online but nothing really current. It seems like a different situation there compared to what might be found elsewhere. Thx.
    We did not exchange money ahead of time.... I small amount $100 or less might be a good idea. They want our dollars but we did find some taxi's that wouldn't take dollars. The exchange rate at the bank is about $1.05 per 1,000 pesos and in cash you can usually get $1.00 for 2,000 pesos. I could not get my ATM card to work at the two banks near our hotel (Alvear Icon which you will not be using). Take small bills, $1's and $5's and you can probably get through. We were also on the BA Escape so we didn't have a lot of on our own time to spend cash.

    We used our credit cards for dinners, shopping, etc. but know that you can't pay restaurant tips on your credit card check, only in cash (thus the small bills). We were told by our local guide 10% for good service. We didn't want to use our credit cards for most of the shopping we did as we could get the higher exchange for the dollar. We ended up doing most of our shopping a mom and pops who would make deals.
     
  • 2PrincesseInTow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2010
    What was the last day like, logistic-wise. Ie when did you get off the ship, your flight to EZE, when did you get to EZE, what time was your return flight. And, if you had an extended time between EZE arrival & your return home flight, how did you spend the time? Thx.
    Just to add to what has already been written.... one really nice thing that is in Argentina they do not have the ban on liquids carried on your flight. So while bags needed to be out the night before departure we were able to keep toiletries and carry them on to the flight. You will check your own bags in at Ushuia (so you could move items then) AND you will claim and check them in EZE so you have time to move those items prior to your flight back to the US. In fact our American Airlines flight had another bag check at the gate prior to boarding the flight at EZE, I didn't ask but my guess is they were screening for liquids there.

    We had to depart the ship at 7am, there was a small group that was not on the charter that didn't depart until 7:30am. This was a group of about 25 that was half of the BA Escape that had traveled separately because there wasn't enough seats on the charter and so they didn't have the flight delay that we had on the charter on the trip from BA to Ushuaia and had seen the sights we missed.

    When we arrived at EZE at about 4:30, the local DMC met us and guided us to the International Terminal. The line at American was huge but we had about 5 hours and the line moved quickly. We went to the Priority Lounge (the Amex choice), there was a very large American lounge as well. We were already pretty exhausted as we had stayed up very late the night prior and gotten up very early for departure so we appreciated being able to relax in a comfortable lounge. Our flight departed EZE about 10pm.

    The final Covid test we took on the ship was sufficient for our flight. The US requirement says ONE DAY prior to departure not 24 hours so you do not have to worry about what time you take the test on the ship if you are departing the next day.

    All that said, your experience will probably be different pre flight from Ushuaia to EZE.... Our touring that day was only because of our delayed flight on the way down. There may have been a change to the charter flight time (moving it to the afternoon), I don't know. Had we left Ushuaia in the morning it would have been a very long day at EZE.
     

    Mathmagicland

    Disneyland - the original since 1955
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    Just to add to what has already been written.... one really nice thing that is in Argentina they do not have the ban on liquids carried on your flight. So while bags needed to be out the night before departure we were able to keep toiletries and carry them on to the flight. You will check your own bags in at Ushuia (so you could move items then) AND you will claim and check them in EZE so you have time to move those items prior to your flight back to the US. In fact our American Airlines flight had another bag check at the gate prior to boarding the flight at EZE, I didn't ask but my guess is they were screening for liquids there.

    We had to depart the ship at 7am, there was a small group that was not on the charter that didn't depart until 7:30am. This was a group of about 25 that was half of the BA Escape that had traveled separately because there wasn't enough seats on the charter and so they didn't have the flight delay that we had on the charter on the trip from BA to Ushuaia and had seen the sights we missed.

    When we arrived at EZE at about 4:30, the local DMC met us and guided us to the International Terminal. The line at American was huge but we had about 5 hours and the line moved quickly. We went to the Priority Lounge (the Amex choice), there was a very large American lounge as well. We were already pretty exhausted as we had stayed up very late the night prior and gotten up very early for departure so we appreciated being able to relax in a comfortable lounge. Our flight departed EZE about 10pm.

    The final Covid test we took on the ship was sufficient for our flight. The US requirement says ONE DAY prior to departure not 24 hours so you do not have to worry about what time you take the test on the ship if you are departing the next day.

    All that said, your experience will probably be different pre flight from Ushuaia to EZE.... Our touring that day was only because of our delayed flight on the way down. There may have been a change to the charter flight time (moving it to the afternoon), I don't know. Had we left Ushuaia in the morning it would have been a very long day at EZE.
    Thanks very much for this info! If I’m understanding correctly-

    -some toured Ushuaia before the cruise, others after, and when depended on which flights they had between Ushuaia and BA.
    -you had a charter flight between the two?
     

    llachance

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 14, 2002
    I am on the 4 day Buenos Aires escape and I already received a notice from ABD that we wouldn't have the Ushuaia tour prior to departure. Received that information about a month ago.
     

    2PrincesseInTow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2010
    Thanks very much for this info! If I’m understanding correctly-

    -some toured Ushuaia before the cruise, others after, and when depended on which flights they had between Ushuaia and BA.
    -you had a charter flight between the two?
    Most of the group was on a charter flight both ways. The overflow group, which was half of the BA Escape group, flew scheduled commercial which was not delayed. The original plan was that we would all tour Ushuaia pre cruise but the charter ended up being significantly delayed… I think it was at least two hours late or more so that touring was magically moved to departure day. The group not on the charter did the touring as originally planned pre cruise because they did not have the delay. Yes, my family was on the charter.

    The charter delay was due to an equipped issue and they had to switch planes.
     
  • 2PrincesseInTow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2010
    I am on the 4 day Buenos Aires escape and I already received a notice from ABD that we wouldn't have the Ushuaia tour prior to departure. Received that information about a month ago.
    The December tour also received that notification. We still did a lunch in Ushuaia (pre-cruise) and then post cruise we did the train and post office visit before heading to the airport.

    We were very happy for the extra time in Antarctica rather than spending the night at port in Ushuaia to tour the Ushuaia area before heading into the Drake.
     

    Mathmagicland

    Disneyland - the original since 1955
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    Questions re power & outlets in the cabins, as I can’t find a clear answer on the Ponant site - US or French outlets, or both? And I’m presuming 220, is that correct? Thanks!
     

    llachance

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 14, 2002
    My turn for questions -

    Luggage - just roll aboard or regular suitcase - can't decide what makes the post sense.
    We have our COVID test scheduled for the 26th and our flight leaves the 27th, we get to Buenos Aires on the morning of the 28th. Did I do the timing correctly or do I need to change it.
    Cameras - how did you keep them dry. My husband got me(him) a go-pro for this trip and he is concerned.
    We got our ABD box yesterday. Since, technically we are on two trips (4 day escape and then the expedition) do we get another box. Not that I need another but just asking.
    Some where my husband saw/found that the plugs were European 220 but I won't swear to anything since I didn't see it specifically myself.
    Two weeks from tomorrow and my husband and I land in Argentina to start the great adventure. I look forward to meeting everyone that will be along.
     

    vitacura

    Live Long and Prosper
    Joined
    Dec 18, 2012
    This trip is coming up fast! We scheduled our PCR tests to be taken about 60 hours prior to our flight out, Ponant medical forms submitted online a few days ago, purchased everything we think we will need, and more we probably won't!

    Nerves are still high that one positive test can make our amazing trip come to a screeching halt, but what can we do but try to remain positive and be as cautious as we can..

    Received a small box from AbD in the mail today, it contained two name badges with lanyards as well as about 20 pins. Pretty neat, but I wonder if we are going to get another box with facemasks and other goodies I read about? Two weeks until our first flight.
     
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    llachance

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 14, 2002
    Our box had facemasks, tote bag, luggage tags. No lanyards or pins. By this time next week will have started our 4 day Buenos Aires adventure. We actually fly out January 27th, arriving in EZE at 7:30 am on the 28th. I am masking whenever I see people, except in my house. I have been getting tested every Friday for the last month. The official final test is the day before we leave and results are available in 15 minutes (we are doing it at the airport at great expense) Still trying to figure out packing but I have a week or so to think about it.
     

    Mathmagicland

    Disneyland - the original since 1955
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2014
    Received a small box from AbD in the mail today, it contained two name badges with lanyards as well as about 20 pins. Pretty neat, but I wonder if we are going to get another box with facemasks and other goodies I read about?
    I would suggest you reach out to AbD re your box. For the Alaska AbD last summer, our pre-trip box had lanyards, the personal health kits with the masks, and the duffle bag. We got a box with our tour pins a couple of days after we got back home. The AbD guides said they time the mailing of the pins based on your date to arrive after. So I don’t think you should have received your pins before the trip.
     

    2PrincesseInTow

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 9, 2010
    My turn for questions -

    Luggage - just roll aboard or regular suitcase - can't decide what makes the post sense.
    We have our COVID test scheduled for the 26th and our flight leaves the 27th, we get to Buenos Aires on the morning of the 28th. Did I do the timing correctly or do I need to change it.
    Cameras - how did you keep them dry. My husband got me(him) a go-pro for this trip and he is concerned.
    We got our ABD box yesterday. Since, technically we are on two trips (4 day escape and then the expedition) do we get another box. Not that I need another but just asking.
    Some where my husband saw/found that the plugs were European 220 but I won't swear to anything since I didn't see it specifically myself.
    Two weeks from tomorrow and my husband and I land in Argentina to start the great adventure. I look forward to meeting everyone that will be along.
    Luggage- we used rolling duffels for the kids and rolling suit cases for us.
    Covid test timing looks fine as long as they guarantee results prior to your departure
    Cameras- I'm pretty sure the Go Pro is waterproof.... we didn't take anything to keep our camera dry but used a shower cap one day when it was snowing.....it worked well! They do make plastic covers you can put on cameras to keep them dry or try to, I did see some of the more serious camera with those.
    Boxes- You will get a second box for the Antarctic portion, it has better swag ;) Also, if you're on the BA Escape, shopping tip for you.... one of the best shops we had the opportunity to go to was at the Shell Station on the way to the ranch. Seriously, had I know that ahead of time I would have spent more time there. Really nice quality items there. The other shopping opportunity is LaBoca which is a lot of junky souvenir (not trying to disparage, everywhere has them).
    Electric on the ship- European sockets, there is one US in the bathroom for a razor really. We were able to borrow a converter from housekeeping, but they said they only had a few.

    Have a wonderful trip!
     

    llachance

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 14, 2002
    Thanks for the shopping tips. I am going to pack this week to insure I have the weight limits under control. I really think I can do it in a roll aboard but would like to bring a souvenir home (my daughter wants a penguin). My husband is in charge of electronics and the go-pro so I will pass on that information. The covid test, for travel, is available in 15 minutes (thus the price) but is suitable for travel. It is done right at the International Terminal in our airport (DFW). I have been testing weekly for the last month (PCR) and it has been negative. That said I am hanging out in my house and masking up when I am outside, avoiding crowded spaces and the rest. My neighbors workplace just experienced two more cases so it is still close to home. (My daughter was positive last week, fortunately we haven't seen her since before the 1st of the year, unfortunately there will be no opportunity to see her for her birthday because I don't want to take the chance and she understands). So looking forward to this trip and to be perfectly honest not stressing anymore.
     

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