- What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
A true expedition cruise aboard the excellent Vavilov (better than sister ship Ioffe because of its panoramic lounge)
The weather... and the changing light
Standing amongst 150.000 King penguins on South Georgia plus the Macaronis, Adeles Chinstraps and Magellenics
The squadrons of Albatross and other birds surrounding the ship
The awesome vastness and remoteness of Antartica
Seeing Orca Humpbacks Dolphins and standing amongst fur seals and Elephant seals and their pups
The glaciers icebergs growlers and pack ice
The desolate remains of old whaling stations ... a poignant reminder of our past and a photographers delight
- What did you think of your group leader?
- No exodus leader as such, Aaron the ships leader(A ONE Ocean director) was enthusiastic charming and authorative and his team of photographers, lecturers and wildlife experts were very informative, food was plentiful if a little too American eg sweetcorn with salmon and sweet cherry soup! The pastry chef was AWESOME!
- Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Take a travel mug to wander about the decks with your coffee/hot chocolate, towels and shampoo and conditioner are provided, as is a bathrobe. Rooms have decent fridge and tea making facilities . There are duty free shops in Ushaia to buy booze and one person bought 2 cases of wine on board!
Take loads of camera memory! A laptop too to edit photos on the sea days.
Take layers ..weather very changeable. "2 pairs of gloves a good idea and high factor sunscreen due to Ozone hole and good quality sunglasses.
I took a monopod and would take a tripod again and even invest in a GOPro for some awsome time lapse photos of penguin colonies . The binoculars for hire were good quality Bushells as was the dripak for rib tranfers to shore which can be very wet.. so some sort of camera protection is essential. The wetskins clothing and thermal boots were good quality.
Keep your fingers crossed as the internal flights have low baggage allowances ... my camera gear alone weighed 15kg but fortunately my carry on was not weighed although another traveller was caught.
My Hotties hand warmers were excellent and would take again.
Capture pictures of you fellow travellers in their bright red outfits... they provide interest and scale to photos and look great
- Is there anything else you would like to add?
Spend a day or two in Buenos Aires and avoid Madrid Transfer (bad experience 2 yrs ago to Patagonia with Aerolineas Argentinas...awful plane , staff , food and delays) or Iberia and go DIRECT to BA with British Airways from Heathrow.
Ushaia is a strange place ... like a ski resort. Plenty of clothes shops and restaurants. A hike to glacier(taxi to start of walk) trip to prison plus light lunch were all achieved and worthwhile before meeting in hotel Albatross (good spa) for late pm ships departure....
Only complaint of whole trip which I have emailed ONEOCEAN about was disembarcation morning..this was shambolic and as soon as you had stepped off the gangplank at 08.30 they really didnt want to know...
we were driven 1/4 mile from the ship into a carpark where the driver disappeared without any instructions leaving everyone on the coach. After 20 mins, a search party with a spanish interpreter found him and it transpired that we were all to sit on the coach until our transfer to the airport (which has no facilities of note) . We had a 18.00 flight and this was TOTALLY unreasonable ie an unnecessary 8 hr wait ... we took our baggage off the coach and together with some South Africans hired a minibus and driver and had a lovely 5 hrs in the Tierra del Fuego national park which was beautiful before he dropped us at the Airport. Those who had gone direct to the airport were very envious and fed up.
Although Exodus advised a late PM flight on day of departure ( in case the ship was delayed arriving in Ushaia) , on talking to the ONEOCEAN boss Aaron they have only been late once in over 100 trips and this was a delay of over a day... so a late flight wouldnt have helped. Aerolineas however are unreliable and change /cancel flights regularly. So definately advise arriving early for ships departure from Ushaia especially as they had an unplanned national strike on the day of our arrival and at least 15 passengers were affected .