9 DAYS SHIP EXPEDITION IN SUMMER ANTARCTICA VIA USHUAIA ITINERARY (NOVEMBER 2019)
Preparation: (payed full in cash upon my visit in Ushuaia 4 days before my schedule)
Freestyle Adventure – +54-92901609792 (WhatsApp)
Antarctica Travels – +54-92901486048 (WhatsApp)
Argentina Day 04: November 18, 2019 Monday / Ushuaia for Antarctica Payment
0405H ETD Buenos Aires; flight AR1684
0740H ETA Ushuaia; taxi to downtown
Antarctica 9-days trip walk-in full payment in cash $4,400 ($200 discount for paying in cash, $4,600 last price)
1010H ETD Ushuaia Downtown; taxi to Airport
Day 01: November 22, 2019 Friday
1600H ETA Ushuaia Port; Ship familiarization; Safety Drill
1800H ETD Ushuia Port
1930H buffet dinner; photo-ops with Filipino staff
Day 02: November 23, 2019 Saturday
0800H buffet breakfast
1130H Expedition photography lessons
1230H buffet lunch; souvenirs $63
1430H Mandatory IAATO & Zodiac Briefing
1630H Biosecurity checks & Captain’s Welcome Cocktail
1930H buffet dinner
Day 03: November 24, 2019 Sunday
0900H penguin and seal familiarization
1500H zodiac to Great Wall Research Station (China)
1630H back to ship
Day 04: November 25, 2019 Monday
0900H Zodiac to Port Lockroy (Jougla Point)
1130H back to ship
1500H Necko Harbor canceled due to strong wind (>40 knots)
Day 05: November 26, 2019 Tuesday
0930H Cuverville Island
1400H Paradise Harbor
Day 06: November 27, 2019 Wednesday
0930H Zodiac cruising in Lemaire Channel
1400H Zodiac cruising in Lemaire Channel
1700H Polar plunge
2100H Antarctica quiz night (we won with perfect score)
Day 07: November 28, 2019 Thursday
Day 08: November 29, 2019 Friday
2000H dinner; envelope tip $150
Day 09: November 30, 2019 Saturday
0730H World Explorer check-out (claim passport / flash drive)
TOTAL: $4,400 + $150 + $63 = $4,613
MY ANTARCTICA TIPS AS A PINOY SOLO BACKPACKER
Visa Required: Antarctica (none), only on the Port of Entry (Argentina E-Visa for Philippine passport if you have US Visa). It depends on the territories to pass-by, confirm with Travel Agency.
01. Visit is allowed during summer season (Oct. to Mar.) and the minimum duration is 9-days (from/to Ushuaia Port)
02. Research the scheduled dates offered. I chose Nov. because it’s not peak yet. Peak season is Dec. to Mar.
03. As recommended by other Backpackers, the best way to save is the “last minute booking” walk-in in Ushuaia.
04. Walk-in booking is a gamble, your budget and itinerary should be flexible. My plan B was to hike Mt. Aconcagua in Mendoza, Argentina (South America’s highest peak and one of the 7 Summits)
05. Cash payment is advisable as you can negotiate for a discount (my Pinoy bargaining skill worked).
06. Travel Insurance is required, I used only my work insurance.
07. My plan was to go to Ushuaia right away. But during my Buenos Aires nights, I found budget Antarctica travel tour sites online which I don’t know why I didn’t see during my pre-planning. This was my back-up plan.
08. Upon arrival in Ushuaia, I did not find any travel agency that fits my schedule. So good thing I have item 7.
09. I don’t have my own full battle gear for the Antarctic chill as I knew that Travel Agency can lend their gears FOR FREE (waterproof jacket, pants, gloves). I brought only warmers, fleece jacket and gloves, wool socks, bonnet, and bubble jacket.
10. Bring our beloved Philippine flag for excellent photo-ops (raise our flag).
11. Lots of Pinoy Staff onboard, have a conversation/photo with them, they are proud of you as their guest.
12. For 9-days, the Drake Passage trip took only more than a day. Prepare for your worst ocean motion sickness.
13. Polar plunge challenge and Quiz night before Antarctica departure. It was -1’C and my group won the 1st place with a perfect score (my 1st time to join quiz night, beginner’s luck).
14. Buy souvenirs onboard. Though expensive, you will never find these at the Port.
Guest Contributor: Andie of The Viewing Deck