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Antarctica A White Christmas - Departure 12/12/2019 – Message from Tour Manager
Post: #1
Information 
My name is Caroline Godfrey and I am your Tour Manager for the Antarctica – A White Christmas leaving on the 12th December 2019.

I would like to say Hello those of you travelling with me on this holiday.  I imagine that you are all as excited as I am to be travelling on this truly amazing itinerary.

An incredible fact is that Antarctica contains 90% of the world’s ice, this is approximately 5.4 million square miles (the combined area of France, Germany and Spain is only 10% of this!). Antarctica is the windiest, coldest, driest and highest continent on Earth. On the Antarctic Peninsula, which is the area we sail in, the temperatures average 0-5 degrees Celsius during summer (November – March). Expect periods of high winds when in Antarctica – cold air travels down the glaciers and ice-shelves. These are called katabatic winds and can occur when you least expect it.

Some of you will be travelling with me from the UK via Sao Paulo, others of you are travelling via Madrid and will not meet me until we all arrive at our hotel in Santiago.  I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.

This is a truly lovely holiday.  We are travelling to the most remote place on earth and will be seeing things that most people can only ever dream of seeing. I am sure you will return home having made many new friends, seen some amazing sights, enjoyed the incredible wildlife that Antarctica offers and with some beautiful memories and many many photos.

I thought I would share some of my packing and travel tips for this holiday. For ease I have tried to pull together some of the key information you will have already received from Just You and Hurtigruten.  However, you should still ensure that you have read and understood your pre tour paperwork from Just You and Hurtigruten.

There are some amazing videos on the internet – here are a couple to “whet your appetite” and make you smile!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBsE1GJn...98IKbKu1Lt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weSBhWlnYzQ&list=PL62rbueGIpjLKSQNDhWj_b498IKbKu1Lt&index=2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H83Ps3qRXrk&list=PL62rbueGIpjLKSQNDhWj_b498IKbKu1Lt&index=5

Now back to the information.

Airport and Transfers

I will be flying from London Heathrow on the LATM Flight to San Paulo and then on to Santiago.

For those of you travelling with me I will meet you at Check In at Heathrow.  If I don’t see you there, then I will find you in the allocated Airport Lounge.

Please make sure that you have tied your Just You labels on to both your main and your hand luggage as it will make it easier for me and any of your travelling companions to spot you.

Clothing

As a Tour Manager I use packing cubes which I find very convenient in separating out types of clothing and keeping my suitcase in order.

Always try to keep your luggage weight a few kilos below your allowed limit in case you want to pick up some souvenirs.

Remember the 23kg limit for the charter flight in Chile. This is applicable even if you are travelling Business Class for the rest of the journey.

In your travel information you will have received information on what to pack, here are a few reminders

According to IAA - TO regulations and to avoid any transmission of diseases to the vulnerable eco-system in Antarctica, travellers are asked to bring clean clothes to wear ashore.

Examine and clean all clothing, including pockets, seams, Velcro fasteners, and footwear soles for dirt and organic material. Use a vacuum cleaner, brushes, and water where necessary to ensure all seeds and dirt have been removed. This is especially important if you have used your clothing and equipment previously in park lands or rural settings, or other polar regions.

              Ordinary shoes for on board the ship, extra shoelaces 
              Camera, memory cards, binoculars
              A small waterproof pack/bag for landings (this is so you can keep you hands free when getting on and off the boat)
              Passport and copies of it, medication enough for stay plus a bit spare for any unforeseen delays, medical prescription
              Money, currency, credit card
              Sun cream, lip salve, sea sickness medication, motion bands
              Sunglasses with UV filter lenses, ski googles may be useful if it is windy
              You will receive a wind and water-resistant jacket as a memento on all expedition ships, but you will still need several layers under it
              Warm hat, scarf, gloves, socks
              We are on board for Christmas – you may want to pack an outfit for this - perhaps a Christmas jumper
              Thermal underwear
              Swimming costume for the boat
              Water bottle(refillable)
              Adaptor plug – I think the ship uses the European plugs (two round pins)
              It will be warmer in Santiago so you might want to pack something light weight for there

Rubber boots are mandatory for all Antarctica voyages You may borrow a pair of high-quality rubber boots free of charge the ship.

For up to date information check the weather forecast on the internet before you leave.

Currency

We will be using two different currencies during this tour. In Chile the Chilean Peso and on board the MS Roald Amundsen the Euro (TBC), Euro cash is not required as payment onboard the ship can be made by credit card.

You will find it useful to bring some Chilean Peso currency with you.  I would always suggest picking up the currency prior to your departure from the UK, you will get a better exchange rate if you get it before arriving at Heathrow.  You should not need too much currency just enough for tea and coffee stops, souvenirs and any incidental expenditure you might need. Dinner and breakfast is included in Santiago.

You may also want to bring a few US dollars in case you need to exchange some currency locally. US dollars may be exchanged into local currency at either banks or Money Exchange kiosks, at the open market exchange rate of the day. Some shops might accept US cash, though this is not a common practice. You can also withdraw cash from ATM’s using your credit card and PIN code.

On board the Roald Amundsen payment is made in Euros (TBC). Only credit card is accepted on Explorer voyages. The credit card must be valid more than three months after your stay on board. Please note that when using your credit card on board the ship, your account will be debited in Euros. The rate of exchange will be the one validated by your credit card company.

Electrical

Please make sure that you bring an adaptor with you so that you can charge up your camera, phone, ipad etc.

I believe that the ship uses the European plugs – two round pins.

Food and Drink

Breakfast and dinner are included in Santiago. All meals are included on board the MS Roald Amundsen.


Luggage Restriction

Please check the website(s) of the airlines you are travelling with (to/from Santiago) for luggage restrictions and any other important information before your flight(s). 

Please note that the luggage weight allowed on the charter flights to/from Punta Arenas with LATAM Airlines (per person: 1 checked bag max 23 kg/50 lbs + 1 piece of hand luggage max 8 kg/17lbs) may be different from your scheduled flight(s) with other airlines. 

Business class: Please note there is no business class service on the charter flight with LATAM Airlines from Santiago to Punta Arenas. Everyone travels in economy.

Medical Questionnaire

The completed forms must be presented to the ship’s doctor upon boarding. Boarding will be denied if part III of the Medical Certificate is not approved by your personal physician.  Please note that the medical form must be printed out. Hurtigruten do not accept digital versions of the completed forms.

Medication

Please ensure that you bring enough medication for your stay including a little extra for any delays.

It is always a good idea to carry a copy of your prescription with you.

Mobile Phone

Calls from abroad can be expensive. If you plan to use your mobile phone whilst away, ensure you check with your provider that your phone is open to make calls from overseas, they may be able to offer you a special package.  However please note that it is only possible to make calls using your phone when you are close to land.  Using satellite systems on ships can be very expensive.


MS Roald Amundsen

Guests are respectfully reminded that only beverages purchased from the ships’ restaurants and bars can be consumed on board. Alcoholic drinks purchased in ports-of-call and from on-board shops will be stored by the ship and delivered to your cabin on the last day of the sailing.

All cabins on the MS Roald Amundsen have a telephone. You can buy a phone card in the reception to call from the ship. Wi-Fi is available in most areas at additional cost. Both Wi-Fi and telephone lines will from time to time be out of range due to the vessel’s location.

Gratuity Policy. In order to provide some guidelines, Hurtigruten recommend approx 9 Euro per guest per day as an average gratuity. Of course, how you wish to reward the service given by the crew in bars, restaurants and cabins is at your discretion.

On MS Roald Amundsen deck 7 you can find a modern fitness room and comfortable sauna with a fantastic view of the landscape passing by. There are two outdoor hot tubs on all Explorer ships. On MS Roald Amundsen the sauna, hot tub and pool are located on deck 10.

A laundry service is available on board the MS Roald Amundsen, for an additional cost. No dry cleaning is possible on any ship

Your voyage includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. The open seating for the breakfast and lunch buffet creates a relaxed atmosphere. Dinner varies between buffets, set meals and barbeques. The type of dinner is announced in the daily programme. Regular coffee/ tea is complimentary throughout the whole voyage. Still and sparkling water by carafe is complimentary together with your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other beverages and refreshments during the day are not included, but may be purchased on board in the restaurant, cafeteria and bar.

The tap water in your cabin is drinkable. Filtered water by the carafe is available at your table  during meals, while bottled water is available for purchase. There are water dispensers available for guests to refill their water bottles.

On board dress is informal. Although some passengers choose to change for dinner the dress code is casual rather than formal. The weather can vary during the course of each voyage or even during the day. To cater for these variations it is recommended the layered dress approach that enables you to adapt to changes in temperature and weather conditions easily. For all voyages Hurtigruten advise you to bring breathable rain and windproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and thermal clothing can be useful, together with thermal underwear, during the winter months.

Please see link below to the handbook for the ship which contains lots of practical information

https://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/globalasse...020-uk.pdf

Passport

Please ensure that you have three or four copies of you Passport with you as these may be required by hotels.

Santiago Airport

Please note that the International Santiago Airport is currently under construction, which means it can be very crowded at the airport. Long wait times at the International Police checkpoint, Immigration Control and luggage claim is possible.
At the International Police checkpoint and Immigration Control, please consider the following:

You will be provided with a tourist card, a small piece of paper that serves as proof of your legal stay in the country for up to 90 days. Please keep the tourist card in your passport during your entire stay in Chile as it must be returned to the immigration office when leaving the country. Failure to submit this card upon departure from Chile may result in delays until a replacement is obtained. If lost or stolen, the tourist card must be replaced by the International Police at their nearest headquarters or at the international airport prior to departure. A copy of the tourist card will also be made at your hotel in Santiago during check-in. 

Bringing vegetable, fruit, and animal products; plants, herbariums, and insectaries; and some handicraft or exotic products are not permitted in Chile. A fine applies when bringing products into the country illegally.

Well done if you have made it to the end of this posting – sorry it has been so long, but I hope it has been useful!

I look forward to meeting you at Check In or in the departure lounge. For those of you travelling via Madrid I look forward to seeing you in Santiago.

I look forward to meeting you and wish you all a holiday to remember and a trip that will bring you many new friends.

Best wishes

Caroline
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Post: #2
Thanks Caroline. Look forward to seeing you again. X
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Post: #3
(29/11/2019, 02:02 PM)TM Caroline Wrote: My name is Caroline Godfrey and I am your Tour Manager for the Antarctica – A White Christmas leaving on the 12th December 2019.

I would like to say Hello those of you travelling with me on this holiday.  I imagine that you are all as excited as I am to be travelling on this truly amazing itinerary.

An incredible fact is that Antarctica contains 90% of the world’s ice, this is approximately 5.4 million square miles (the combined area of France, Germany and Spain is only 10% of this!). Antarctica is the windiest, coldest, driest and highest continent on Earth. On the Antarctic Peninsula, which is the area we sail in, the temperatures average 0-5 degrees Celsius during summer (November – March). Expect periods of high winds when in Antarctica – cold air travels down the glaciers and ice-shelves. These are called katabatic winds and can occur when you least expect it.

Some of you will be travelling with me from the UK via Sao Paulo, others of you are travelling via Madrid and will not meet me until we all arrive at our hotel in Santiago.  I look forward to meeting each and every one of you.

This is a truly lovely holiday.  We are travelling to the most remote place on earth and will be seeing things that most people can only ever dream of seeing. I am sure you will return home having made many new friends, seen some amazing sights, enjoyed the incredible wildlife that Antarctica offers and with some beautiful memories and many many photos.

I thought I would share some of my packing and travel tips for this holiday. For ease I have tried to pull together some of the key information you will have already received from Just You and Hurtigruten.  However, you should still ensure that you have read and understood your pre tour paperwork from Just You and Hurtigruten.

There are some amazing videos on the internet – here are a couple to “whet your appetite” and make you smile!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBsE1GJn...98IKbKu1Lt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weSBhWlnYzQ&list=PL62rbueGIpjLKSQNDhWj_b498IKbKu1Lt&index=2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H83Ps3qRXrk&list=PL62rbueGIpjLKSQNDhWj_b498IKbKu1Lt&index=5

Now back to the information.

Airport and Transfers

I will be flying from London Heathrow on the LATM Flight to San Paulo and then on to Santiago.

For those of you travelling with me I will meet you at Check In at Heathrow.  If I don’t see you there, then I will find you in the allocated Airport Lounge.

Please make sure that you have tied your Just You labels on to both your main and your hand luggage as it will make it easier for me and any of your travelling companions to spot you.

Clothing

As a Tour Manager I use packing cubes which I find very convenient in separating out types of clothing and keeping my suitcase in order.

Always try to keep your luggage weight a few kilos below your allowed limit in case you want to pick up some souvenirs.

Remember the 23kg limit for the charter flight in Chile. This is applicable even if you are travelling Business Class for the rest of the journey.

In your travel information you will have received information on what to pack, here are a few reminders

According to IAA - TO regulations and to avoid any transmission of diseases to the vulnerable eco-system in Antarctica, travellers are asked to bring clean clothes to wear ashore.

Examine and clean all clothing, including pockets, seams, Velcro fasteners, and footwear soles for dirt and organic material. Use a vacuum cleaner, brushes, and water where necessary to ensure all seeds and dirt have been removed. This is especially important if you have used your clothing and equipment previously in park lands or rural settings, or other polar regions.

              Ordinary shoes for on board the ship, extra shoelaces 
              Camera, memory cards, binoculars
              A small waterproof pack/bag for landings (this is so you can keep you hands free when getting on and off the boat)
              Passport and copies of it, medication enough for stay plus a bit spare for any unforeseen delays, medical prescription
              Money, currency, credit card
              Sun cream, lip salve, sea sickness medication, motion bands
              Sunglasses with UV filter lenses, ski googles may be useful if it is windy
              You will receive a wind and water-resistant jacket as a memento on all expedition ships, but you will still need several layers under it
              Warm hat, scarf, gloves, socks
              We are on board for Christmas – you may want to pack an outfit for this - perhaps a Christmas jumper
              Thermal underwear
              Swimming costume for the boat
              Water bottle(refillable)
              Adaptor plug – I think the ship uses the European plugs (two round pins)
              It will be warmer in Santiago so you might want to pack something light weight for there

Rubber boots are mandatory for all Antarctica voyages You may borrow a pair of high-quality rubber boots free of charge the ship.

For up to date information check the weather forecast on the internet before you leave.

Currency

We will be using two different currencies during this tour. In Chile the Chilean Peso and on board the MS Roald Amundsen the Euro (TBC), Euro cash is not required as payment onboard the ship can be made by credit card.

You will find it useful to bring some Chilean Peso currency with you.  I would always suggest picking up the currency prior to your departure from the UK, you will get a better exchange rate if you get it before arriving at Heathrow.  You should not need too much currency just enough for tea and coffee stops, souvenirs and any incidental expenditure you might need. Dinner and breakfast is included in Santiago.

You may also want to bring a few US dollars in case you need to exchange some currency locally. US dollars may be exchanged into local currency at either banks or Money Exchange kiosks, at the open market exchange rate of the day. Some shops might accept US cash, though this is not a common practice. You can also withdraw cash from ATM’s using your credit card and PIN code.

On board the Roald Amundsen payment is made in Euros (TBC). Only credit card is accepted on Explorer voyages. The credit card must be valid more than three months after your stay on board. Please note that when using your credit card on board the ship, your account will be debited in Euros. The rate of exchange will be the one validated by your credit card company.

Electrical

Please make sure that you bring an adaptor with you so that you can charge up your camera, phone, ipad etc.

I believe that the ship uses the European plugs – two round pins.

Food and Drink

Breakfast and dinner are included in Santiago. All meals are included on board the MS Roald Amundsen.


Luggage Restriction

Please check the website(s) of the airlines you are travelling with (to/from Santiago) for luggage restrictions and any other important information before your flight(s). 

Please note that the luggage weight allowed on the charter flights to/from Punta Arenas with LATAM Airlines (per person: 1 checked bag max 23 kg/50 lbs + 1 piece of hand luggage max 8 kg/17lbs) may be different from your scheduled flight(s) with other airlines. 

Business class: Please note there is no business class service on the charter flight with LATAM Airlines from Santiago to Punta Arenas. Everyone travels in economy.

Medical Questionnaire

The completed forms must be presented to the ship’s doctor upon boarding. Boarding will be denied if part III of the Medical Certificate is not approved by your personal physician.  Please note that the medical form must be printed out. Hurtigruten do not accept digital versions of the completed forms.

Medication

Please ensure that you bring enough medication for your stay including a little extra for any delays.

It is always a good idea to carry a copy of your prescription with you.

Mobile Phone

Calls from abroad can be expensive. If you plan to use your mobile phone whilst away, ensure you check with your provider that your phone is open to make calls from overseas, they may be able to offer you a special package.  However please note that it is only possible to make calls using your phone when you are close to land.  Using satellite systems on ships can be very expensive.


MS Roald Amundsen

Guests are respectfully reminded that only beverages purchased from the ships’ restaurants and bars can be consumed on board. Alcoholic drinks purchased in ports-of-call and from on-board shops will be stored by the ship and delivered to your cabin on the last day of the sailing.

All cabins on the MS Roald Amundsen have a telephone. You can buy a phone card in the reception to call from the ship. Wi-Fi is available in most areas at additional cost. Both Wi-Fi and telephone lines will from time to time be out of range due to the vessel’s location.

Gratuity Policy. In order to provide some guidelines, Hurtigruten recommend approx 9 Euro per guest per day as an average gratuity. Of course, how you wish to reward the service given by the crew in bars, restaurants and cabins is at your discretion.

On MS Roald Amundsen deck 7 you can find a modern fitness room and comfortable sauna with a fantastic view of the landscape passing by. There are two outdoor hot tubs on all Explorer ships. On MS Roald Amundsen the sauna, hot tub and pool are located on deck 10.

A laundry service is available on board the MS Roald Amundsen, for an additional cost. No dry cleaning is possible on any ship

Your voyage includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. The open seating for the breakfast and lunch buffet creates a relaxed atmosphere. Dinner varies between buffets, set meals and barbeques. The type of dinner is announced in the daily programme. Regular coffee/ tea is complimentary throughout the whole voyage. Still and sparkling water by carafe is complimentary together with your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other beverages and refreshments during the day are not included, but may be purchased on board in the restaurant, cafeteria and bar.

The tap water in your cabin is drinkable. Filtered water by the carafe is available at your table  during meals, while bottled water is available for purchase. There are water dispensers available for guests to refill their water bottles.

On board dress is informal. Although some passengers choose to change for dinner the dress code is casual rather than formal. The weather can vary during the course of each voyage or even during the day. To cater for these variations it is recommended the layered dress approach that enables you to adapt to changes in temperature and weather conditions easily. For all voyages Hurtigruten advise you to bring breathable rain and windproof clothing. A warm hat, gloves, scarf and thermal clothing can be useful, together with thermal underwear, during the winter months.

Please see link below to the handbook for the ship which contains lots of practical information

https://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/globalasse...020-uk.pdf

Passport

Please ensure that you have three or four copies of you Passport with you as these may be required by hotels.

Santiago Airport

Please note that the International Santiago Airport is currently under construction, which means it can be very crowded at the airport. Long wait times at the International Police checkpoint, Immigration Control and luggage claim is possible.
At the International Police checkpoint and Immigration Control, please consider the following:

You will be provided with a tourist card, a small piece of paper that serves as proof of your legal stay in the country for up to 90 days. Please keep the tourist card in your passport during your entire stay in Chile as it must be returned to the immigration office when leaving the country. Failure to submit this card upon departure from Chile may result in delays until a replacement is obtained. If lost or stolen, the tourist card must be replaced by the International Police at their nearest headquarters or at the international airport prior to departure. A copy of the tourist card will also be made at your hotel in Santiago during check-in. 

Bringing vegetable, fruit, and animal products; plants, herbariums, and insectaries; and some handicraft or exotic products are not permitted in Chile. A fine applies when bringing products into the country illegally.

Well done if you have made it to the end of this posting – sorry it has been so long, but I hope it has been useful!

I look forward to meeting you at Check In or in the departure lounge. For those of you travelling via Madrid I look forward to seeing you in Santiago.

I look forward to meeting you and wish you all a holiday to remember and a trip that will bring you many new friends.

Best wishes

Caroline
Hi Caroline.

I will be travelling with you via Sao Paulo. I'm really looking forward to this holiday - the ultimate bucket list trip! Will there be an opportunity to get Chilean Peso in Santiago (airport). The banks here at home don't do it and when I checked the websites for currency exchange in Heathrow, it didn't that it would be available there either...

Thank you for all the useful information above - a lot to take in!
Thanks
Una
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Post: #4
(29/11/2019, 10:23 PM)PennyA Wrote: Thanks Caroline. Look forward to seeing you again. X

Hello Penny

I look forward to seeing you again for what will be an amazing trip. Not long now. I hope that everyone booked is really excited.

See you next week.

Best wishes

Caroline
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Post: #5
Hello Una

Great to hear how much you are looking forward to this holiday.

With regards to the purchase of Chilean Peso.  The Post Office (I believe there are other providers that offer a similar service) normally offers an overnight service for orders placed before 3pm for delivery to your home.  However we should be able to pick up some currency at the Airport in Santiago, you probably won't get the best exchange rate.  Failing that I understand that our hotel offers currency exchange.  Either way you should be able to get some Peso before we head out on our Santiago City Tour.  I hope this helps.

I look forward to meeting you next week.

Best Wishes

Caroline
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Post: #6
(02/12/2019, 05:50 PM)TM Caroline Wrote: Hello Una

Great to hear how much you are looking forward to this holiday.

With regards to the purchase of Chilean Peso.  The Post Office (I believe there are other providers that offer a similar service) normally offers an overnight service for orders placed before 3pm for delivery to your home.  However we should be able to pick up some currency at the Airport in Santiago, you probably won't get the best exchange rate.  Failing that I understand that our hotel offers currency exchange.  Either way you should be able to get some Peso before we head out on our Santiago City Tour.  I hope this helps.

I look forward to meeting you next week.

Best Wishes

Caroline

Thanks Caroline
Unfortunately, I'm in Ireland, and the post office doesn't offer as good a service as in the UK !!!  I'll try at Heathrow on the off-chance that they may have some. Otherwise, I'll just have to put up with a bad exchange rate....

One other question - will you have spare JY luggage tags at Heathrow ? I didn't receive any with my documentation.

Looking forward to meeting you and to having an absolutely wonderful holiday!

Rgds
Una
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Post: #7
Luggage labels arrived in the post today....

Thanks
Una
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