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About Antarctic Blast for Singles

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15 Day Holiday Expedition – Antarctica is a land of truly awesome grandeur. It is the highest, driest, coldest and cleanest continent on Earth. Its surrounding oceans are unimaginably rich in bird and marine life and STI’s expedition cruise brings us up close and personal with the locals.

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Is Antarctica for solo cruisers? We think so, especially if you want to expand your horizons and do something different that very few people ever have a chance to do. STI has embarked on a new campaign to take our members to some of the world’s most
unexplored regions and to be able to offer it at single friendly rates.

Our Antarctic Expedition offers an exceptionally real experience close to spectacular landscapes and nature,
local culture and people, and amazing wildlife. The December holiday is high season, one of the warmest months of the year and the continent comes alive with new born, penguin chicks learning to swim, elephant seals, fur seals, minke whales, large flocks of sea birds and the drifting
albatross.

Watch the 80 second video for a glimpse of what adventures await you!

Inclusive Features of our Cruise:

  • Round-trip Flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia, Argentina, where we begin and end our cruise.
  • Pre cruise stay in Buenos Aires, including breakfast and transfer to the airport.
  • 13 Nights Inside, Port Hole (limited view) or Oceanview Accommodations Aboard Hurtigruten’s MS Midnatsol, an ice class 1X ship and equipped with advanced technology, making her very well suited for expedition voyages in Antarctica. Cabins are small; please look at the photos on the Price & Option tab. Come for the exploration, not the cabin.
  • Daily lectures given by the expert explorer team from various fields and backgrounds: ornithologists, mammalogists, historians, and geologists, ready to tackle all our questions in two flexible, high tech conference rooms. Guests are briefed before and after each visit/landing and while onboard to explain the wildlife, marine life, flora and fauna.
  • Glass enclosed, two-story panorama lounge with passenger bridge and 12 foot sunroof panel, the ceiling, captain’s chairs and telescopes.
  • Main restaurant and bistro with breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 24-hour coffee and occasional snacks. Rumor has it that although limited in choice, some past passengers claim it’s the best cruise ship food ever.
  • 2 Bar/Lounges serving drinks with basic nightly entertainment and additional lectures;
  • Dry Sauna and heated, outdoor Jacuzzi and fitness room with treadmills & stationary bikes;
  • Map and Nautical display to follow our path.
  • Shop, library and internet cafe;
  • A specially designed tender deck and Polar Circle Boat (fiber glass, not rafts) make loading and unloading passengers for land exploration easy, safe and comfortable.
  • Cabin attendants to perform daily cabin cleaning;
  • Complimentary Explorer Jacket (Heavy Windbreaker) appropriate over layers for summer season with WARMEST temperatures in the mid to high 30s. For more on what to pack, click the FAQ tab.
  • Private and Secure Chat Reserved Exclusively for Members on Your Adventure Vacation;
  • Adventures with other Single Explorers!
  • Take a swim in Antarctic Waters! Yes, it’s true, you may choose to try it and check off another bucket list item.

READ OUR ITINERARY AND FAQ TABS FOR MUCH MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS ADVENTURE. FOR HELP MAKING A DECISION

Inclusive features are subject to revision at the discretion of STI. Ages listed are not meant as a restriction, but are simply used as a guideline. Singles Travel International does not guarantee the number of guests, ages or ratios.

Itinerary

Thurs, Dec 20:  Buenos Aires, Argentina- Arrival for Pre Cruise Stay
Fri, Dec 21:  Fly to Ushuaia, Argentina and board ship
Sat-Sun, Dec 22-23:  At Sea/Crossing Drake Passage
Mon-Mon, Dec 24-31:  Antarctica with a White Christmas
Tues-Wed, Jan 1-2:  At Sea/Drake Lake or Drake Shake
Thurs, Jan 3:  Ushuaia- Disembark and flight back to Buenos Aires
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*Note that the flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia departs early in the a.m. on December 21 which requires an overnight stay in Buenos Aires on December 20, included in our tour cost.

Our explorer cruise to Antarctica has a wide range of landing options. Every voyage is unique. Therefore the above mentioned itinerary is only indicative. While we strive to be punctual to and reach  the islands on our itinerary and visit Scientific stations, its important to remind ourselves that we are “polar opportunists” on this journey and that means we fare better with an open mind to changes when weather dictates.

Pre cruise stay in Buenos Aires on December 20

Our pre cruise package includes room, tax, and breakfast. Take advantage of your night in this passionate, capital city! Experience the famous Milonga nights, which showcases the Tango at a local dance hall, or join a mesmerizing ‘tango and dinner’ show! After watching, you may want to give it a try for yourself so head over to Tango Cool, La Marshall or La Virtua, where the dance floor is open to beginners!

Day 2, December 21: Buenos Aires/Ushuaia

Early breakfast at our hotel and check-out. Early transfer to airport and charter flight to Ushuaia. Luggage will be transported separately to the airport. Upon arrival in Ushuaia; transfer from the airport to the pier.

Ushuaia is the southernmost town in the world, surrounded by the southernmost point of the spectacular Andes Mountain Region. Here, we will board the MS Midnatsol and kick off our cruise with a welcome dinner!

Day 3-4, December 22-23: At Sea/Crossing Drake Passage

Today we cruise toward the Antarctic Peninsula. Our fascinating presentations en route will help us prepare for the experience.

Whilst we cross the sea to Antarctica a number of presentations will be given about various topics of the Antarctic’s history and wildlife, as well as guidelines for visitors to Antarctica.

The Antarctic Treaty has made the continent an area without military activity and it is the treaty, which regulates all activities in the area. Hurtigruten follows these regulations to the letter to ensure that the vulnerable environment will not be disturbed. Our programme of presentations on board helps in this, since we aim to prepare you for this unique experience, so that you will derive the greatest possible benefit from your Antarctic experience.

While we cross the Drake Passage, join in on the lectures to learn about photography or one of our other interesting sessions in the science centre! We will be in Antarctica soon so expand your knowledge and make the most of your visit!

Day 5-12, December 24-31: Antarctica with a White Christmas

Spending our holidays in Antarctica is a guaranteed way to ensure a White Christmas! Celebrate Christmas Eve, on deck, amongst the beautiful glaciers and glacial beaches, brimming with wildlife! Indulge in a true Norwegian Christmas Day celebration, on board, with traditionial food from Norway and Europe. Listen or sing along to carols while enjoying the spectacular view as we approach Antarctica!

Antarctica is isolated from the rest of the world, by ocean currents, and 99% of all ice is here. With the ice being 4000 meters thick, it burdens down the landmass. In winter, it is isolated even further by the sea ice forming off the coast, virtually doubling the size of the continent. In summer, it serves as a breeding ground for millions of penguins, whales and seals who will spend their time at sea for the remainder of the year. Most wildlife thrive on the cornerstone species; krill. The krill population in the Southern Ocean represents the largest biomass from one species on Earth, including human beings.

Human beings often become very humbled in their meeting with Antarctica. Imagination alone is not a sufficient tool to “get the picture.” A popular saying, amongst Antarctic travelers; “If you can describe Antarctica with words, you have probably never been there:”

What makes Antarctica so intimidating are also the things that make every travel to the continent an expedition. Even the most sophisticated technology cannot override some of the climatic challenges that are thrown at us. Even Hurtigrutens MS Midnatsol, one of the most comfortable expedition platforms existing, needs to be pragmatic. We have to change landings, re-route and shift plans as we go along. This also means that we will take advantage of the often great conditions. We will spend hours ashore, on the water with kayaks, hiking alpine mountains, traversing glaciers or simply cruise amongst groups of whales, which are as numerous as steams of herring other places on Earth.

Be warned – we might witness the brutalities of nature on an Antarctic expedition: the Leopard Seals feeding from helpless penguins, Killer Whales playing the death game with seals, just for fun, and in order for the younger individuals, in the family, to learn their hunting technique.

Antarctica is an outlier, with regards to how the continent is administrated. Through the Antarctic Treaty; this is a continent dedicated to peace, science and tourism. None of these activities are supposed to alter the perfect natural balance. We are visiting a place that has evolved through millenniums, without human interference. Therefore, we adhere to very strict environmental guidelines and rules. We want to leave nothing but footprints in the snow and take nothing but pictures.

While in Antarctica, we will attempt to land on several sites (some of them described, below, as examples). On land, our expedition team will explain what you see and help you avoid disturbing nature and wildlife. When conditions allow; hikes or other activities on land and sea may be offered. Participation, on any hike, requires a good level of fitness and that you are accustomed to hiking in uneven terrain.

Weather, wind and ice conditions have a great influence on our program and our schedule. Safety is always the first priority and the ship’s captain will decide the final sailing schedule. During our voyage; we will attempt to land at some of the places, below, among others:

South Shetland Islands

The British merchant, William Smith, rounded Cape Horn in February 1819 in his brig, ”Williams”. A powerful storm drove the ship southwards and brought about the discovery of the South Shetland Islands. On an expedition, together with the British naval officer Edward Bransfield, Smith was later credited with the discovery of Antarctica. According to historians, the German Thaddeus von Bellingshausen was the real discoverer of Antarctica, whilst on assignment from the Russian military, just three days before Smith.

Half Moon Island, South Shetland Islands

A small 2 km (1.2 mi) long island, in the shadow of picturesque Livingston Island; Half Moon is a jewel of diversity in the polar landscape. The serrated and crevassed cliffs are home to a colony of Chinstrap penguins, Antarctic terns, Kelp gulls, Snowy sheathbills and Wilson’s storm petrels. Several species of seals are, also, regular visitors. There is a derelict wooden boat decaying on the beach and, farther along the western end, Teniente Camara Station, with its huge Argentine flags emblazoned on the orange buildings. Half Moon presents many photographic opportunities, with its wildlife posed against scenic backgrounds, and Antarctic highlights. Weather and conditions permitting, we may offer a hike passing the Teniente Camara Station and on to a view point that is a popular place to look for whales in the bay facing towards the Bransfield Strait.

Deception Island, South Shetland Islands

A distinctive, ring-shaped island, formed about 10,000 years ago when a volcano erupted and collapsed the center of the volcano into a depression. The caldera, at the center, flooded, turning the island into a horseshoe shape. While over half of the island is covered in glaciers, the active volcano beneath the water results in parts being almost ice-free and one of very few places you can take your backpack and hike. Many visitors are attracted to the island’s large population of Chinstrap Penguins and, of course, the idea of standing on top of an active volcano!

Brown Bluff, Antarctic Sound

While it may be difficult to navigate through the 30 miles of ice of the Antarctic Sound, it offers the most impressive manifestations of icebergs that you will see on this adventure. Brown Bluff is home to Adélie and Chinstrap Penguins, Kelp Gulls, and Cape Petrels, which nest below cliffs that rise 2,444 feet out of the sea. Outside of nesting season, the stony beach can be suitable for shore landings and, if conditions allow, we will launch our kayaks ashore for some unforgettable hikes through some of the most beautiful, untouched places on the planet.

Day 13-14, January 1-2: Drake Lake or Drake Shake

Time to head back to South America through the Drake Passage. While this is still time for possible rough weather, it may also be very calm. If the water is too rough, you may not be allowed on deck but, if it is too calm, the birds do not fly much. Typically, it is somewhere in between, which is perfect for bird watching so spend some time on deck and take in the scenery of this unique part of the ocean.

Day 15, January 3: Ushuaia/Buenos Aires

After this epic journey, we can cross another item off our bucket list: the 7th continent!

Enjoy breakfast on the ship, with new friends, before we disembark and transfer, from the pier to the airport, for our flight back to Buenos Aires.

Itinerary is subject to change at the discretion of Hurtigruten without compensation. Singles Travel International is not responsible for the consequences of any changes.

FAQs

Once you make your online reservation, an STI reservation specialist will contact you to review and recommend additional services. Depend on them for assistance with airfare, proper protection, pre and post tour services. Once that step is complete, you will receive a final invoice from us confirming your reservation details.

WHAT NEXT?
Complete your profile and post a message on the chat to say hello to your fellow travelers.

REVIEW the important information on the FAQ tab for this trip and visit our Help Center. Any updates will be posted there.

**MUST DO** Each member is required to complete 3 forms. Submit the Guest Information and Liability forms within 7 days of your booking. DO NOT SEND THEM TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS ON THE FORM. Upload to our secure folder once completed. See link below or on FAQ as needed.

**Guest Information Form & Medical Form**

**STI Liability/Insurance Waiver**

**Hurtigruten Medical Form**

Click here to upload your forms to our secure folder.

The 3rd, Medical Form, must be signed by your doctor no more than 3 months prior the sailing. Upload once complete and bring same to present when boarding the ship on December 21.

SOCIALIZE

Say hello to your fellow travelers on the chat!

DON’T MISS OUT 
Get the best deals on optional “Add-ons”. Review the Trip Options and make all reservations so you don’t miss out on any limited or time-sensitive offers.

PASSPORT MANDATORY
A passport is required for US citizens and be sure to confirm that your passport is current and will be valid at least six months after your departure. If you do not have one or need a new one, contact the State Department Passport Office in your area immediately or visit their website.

Non US Citizens are responsible for verifying their own required documentation for this tour.

Click here to upload to our secure folder.

INSURANCE:
Travel Insurance is available through Travel Guard and we sent you a quote regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation.  If you have any questions, Travel Guard’s professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today if you have not received your Travel Guard quote or CLICK HERE to go directly to Travel Guard and request a policy quote. It only takes a few minutes.

FINAL PREPARATION
Your “Final Vacation Details & Meetup Information” including transportation and how to meet up with the group will be available on the YOUR TRAVEL DOCUMENTS button on the left navigation bar on the trip site, 14 days prior to trip start date.

Questions and comments after you have reserved your vacation are addressed promptly when you send a message to us at service@singlestravelintl.com.

PASSPORT
A passport is required for travel to Argentina. Be sure to confirm that your passport is current and will be valid at least six months after your departure (June 30, 2019). If you do not have one or need a new one, contact the State Department Passport Office in your area immediately or visit http://www.travel.state.gov/. We recommend that you also make copies of your passport, driver’s license, photo identification card and/or birth certificate in case of loss, and carry them with you on your trip separate from your passport.

VISA
No visa required for US or Canadian members. As of March 24, 2016, the Argentine Government has suspended the collection of a reciprocity fee from US passport holders who visit the country for less than 90 days for tourist or business purposes.

Most North Americans may visit Argentina without a visa for up to 90 days. A tourist card is issued at the international port of entry. Some nationalities are required to pay a reciprocity fee when entering Argentina. Rates depend on nationality and period of stay in Argentina. These fees must be paid in cash.

ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION

Each member is required to complete 3 forms. Submit the Guest Information and Liability forms within 7 days of your booking. DO NOT SEND THEM TO THE EMAIL ADDRESS ON THE FORM. Upload to our secure folder once completed. See link below or on FAQ as needed.

**Guest Information Form & Medical Form**

**STI Liability/Insurance Waiver**

**Hurtigruten Medical Form**

Click here to upload your forms to our secure folder.

The 3rd, Medical Form, must be signed by your doctor no more than 3 months prior the sailing. Upload once complete and bring same to present when boarding the ship on December 21.

No inoculations are required for travel from Argentina or Antarctica. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends updating all routine booster shots for travel almost anywhere. In addition, we suggest that you have a physical check-up before your trip, and discuss the type of trip in which you are participating with your physician.

You and your physician can access much more, very detailed health information for travelers (including tips on staying healthy while traveling) on the CDC website, cdc.gov. Click their “Traveler’s Health” link or call toll-free 24-hours at 1-800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

The tour begins in Buenos Aires, December 20, 2018. The cruise departs from Ushuaia, Argentina (round-trip flights from Buenos Aires included in price) on December 21, 2018 and ends in Ushuaia, Argentina on January 3, 2019. Therefore, our cruise/tour program is 14 nights/15 days.

When departing from North America (US/Canada), you must depart on December 19 in order to arrive on December 20. Please schedule your flight to arrive in Buenos Aires (EZE) prior to 1 p.m. to qualify for the transfer and check in at the Hurtigruten Hospitality Desk before 4 p.m.

Schedule your flight home from Buenos Aires (EZE) after 8:00 p.m. on January 3, as our charter from Ushuaia may arrive late afternoon and we want you to make your international connection.

A deposit is due at time of reservation. Refer to the Price and Options tab for the amount. 50% is due by June 22, 2018. Final payment is due in our office by August 22, 2018. A reminder will be emailed to you 7 days prior to due date and we kindly request that you provide our office with your credit card of choice prior to the deadline to protect your reservation from cancelling.

Cruises to Antarctica sell out 9-12 months in advance, but should space be available and you make a reservation after June 15, full payment will be automatically charged at time of reservation and penalties will apply.

 

Yes. All cancellations must be made in writing to Singles Travel International and are subject to per person penalties as follows:

*After deposit and at anytime of cancellation, a minimum charge of $100.00 plus credit card charges will apply in addition to other penalties listed below.

*Between June 15 and September 19, 2018- a 50% penalty applies.
*Between September 20 and October 17, 2018- a 75% penalty applies.
*After October 17, 2018, – any cancellations or “no-shows” – 100% penalty.

Note that if you elect to take a roommate and he/she cancels after our cut off date, we will do everything to find a new match. However, if no match is found, the difference in cost for a single cabin/room is the responsibility of the guest who cancels. No refund will be given to the guest who cancels, regardless of cruise or tour company policy as stated above. Singles Travel International is not responsible for costs related to cancellations after our cut off date.

 

In order to accommodate singles from all over the world, our tours and cruises are priced as land/cruise only. Therefore, airfare is additional. However, the round-trip flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia are included in our price.

BOOK EARLY – ANTARCTICA SELLS OUT 9-12 MONTHS IN ADVANCE

When departing from North America (US/Canada), you must depart on December 19 in order to arrive on December 20. Please schedule your flight to arrive in Buenos Aires (EZE) prior to 1 p.m. to qualify for the transfer and check in at the Hurtigruten Hospitality Desk before 4 p.m.

Our round trip flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia is included in the price.

Schedule your flight home from Buenos Aires (EZE) after 8:00 p.m. on January 3, as our charter from Ushuaia may arrive late afternoon and we want you to make your international connection.

Of course. We offer pre and post cruise packages. Discuss your plans with our vacation specialist at time of booking.

On December 20, 2018 (from 10:00 to 16:00), Hurtigruten will provide a Hospitality Desk at the hotel with a local English-/German-speaking guide who will assist us with any questions, last minute excursion bookings, and transfer/dining/shopping/sightseeing information. Please pay attention to the information about your latest pick-up details for the airport transfer on day of embarkation – December 21, 2018.

Buenos Aires- USHUAIA DECEMBER 21, 2018 (DAY OF EMBARKATION)
Due to the early departure time a light breakfast will be offered at your hotel lobby. We also recommend checking out of your room the night before! Transfer to airport for your charter flight to Ushuaia.

LUGGAGE INFORMATION
Hotel porters will collect your luggage during the night of December 20, 2018 at 20:30; therefore, all luggage has to have a name tag. It will be transported for your flight to Ushuaia separately. At the airport, please identify your luggage and check it in for your flight to Ushuaia. We recommend packing a small hand luggage bag including your personal belongings, passport, medical form, and medicine for the night in Buenos Aires and for the next day in Ushuaia.

Your friendly STI Concierge will meet you on arrival at our hotel in Buenos Aires. She will have all of your instructions for onward travel as well as a cozy, local place for dinner that evening. Meeting details will be provided in your final vacation details document, available 14 days prior to departure.

Singles Travel International is a vacation event company that plans singles events and markets our events at our expense to create a “singles only” experience. We do not allow guests to join the group unless the reservation has been made by STI. Our policy is firm for tours and cruises, as well as pre and post trip hotel stays. Members and friends that “show up” at hotels or onboard will not be allowed to participate without paying an equivalent fee to the rest of the group that made the reservation with STI.

 

You are responsible for airport transfers in Buenos Aires to hotel as well as between domestic and international airport upon return, beverages (except in suites which have a stocked bar), shopping, optional gratuities to ship staff (80 NOK or $13 USD) per person, per day is suggested and to our STI Concierge, if applicable ($10-$15 per day). Cabin incidentals such as laundry, phone calls and internet access are also at an additional cost and all items will appear on your final billing statement at the end of the cruise.

 

Yes. All exploration and off ship activities are included in our price!

There are a few optional excursions that may be added in advance or once onboard. Optional excursions will be posted and available to book at the beginning of February 2018.

We recommend that you book the optional excursions before the start of your voyage. Some sell out early, however, based on availability, you may also book these excursions on board the ship or at the hospitality desk at our hotel on December 20, 2018.

Please contact your preferred carrier directly to make your reservation. If Singles Travel International issues a promotional economy fare, granting of frequent flyer credit is entirely at the airline’s discretion. If the flights are eligible, to ensure you earn frequent flyer credit from the airline, give your frequent flyer account number when you check in for your flights. In addition, save your boarding passes and the passenger receipt from your airline ticket. You may need to submit these to the airline (not to Singles Travel International) to claim any credit allowed.

 

Transportation in Buenos Aires is not included in the price. We would be happy to arrange round-trip transportation for you at an additional rate of approximately $75 each way. Add transfers by clicking BOOK NOW or PRICE MY TRIP on the trip page.

Early breakfast at our hotel on December 21 and check-out followed by a transfer to the airport and charter flight to Ushuaia. Luggage will be transported separately to the airport. Upon arrival in Ushuaia transfer from the airport to the pier. Boarding is at approximately 12 noon.

You will receive the information about your flight time at the Hurtigruten Hospitality Desk the day before! Departure time is very early; anticipate a 6:00 a.m. departure.

CHECK IN ON BOARD
Please present your passport and medical form for embarkation. It’s recommended to keep a copy of the document together with your personal valuables. Your passport will be collected by the ship in order to clear immigration and customs. It may be kept throughout the voyage and may only be returned at the end of the trip. After our Expedition team has welcomed you and first information has been given, all passengers will be instructed in the ships safety procedures, which will be conducted before departure in accordance with regulations.

Lunch is served onboard before cabins are available at approximately 4 p.m.

Safety is always the first priority and the sailing schedule will be decided by the ship’s captain during the voyage. The final itinerary will be introduced during daily briefings on board.

 

MS Midnatsol has a strong environmental profile and a modern design. The interior’s bright, colorful décor is inspired by the warm, sunny climate, a motif also reflected in the many pieces of Norwegian modern art on display. She was also featured in the award-winning documentary “Hurtigruten 365”, made by Norwegian TV.

On deck 9 you’ll find the sun deck and a hot tub. Outstanding features of the MS Midnatsol include the large, two-story panorama lounge above the bow, and the large glass expanses that allow natural light to enter while providing extraordinary views.

MS Midnatsol is an ice class 1C ship and equipped with advanced technology, making her very well suited for expedition voyages in Antarctica. In 2016 she will begin to take explorers on adventures to Patagonia and Antarctica.

Click here to read more about MS Midnatsol.

 

Of course not. You will be pleased to find out that nearly 90% of our guests on every cruise sign up and have never met anyone before joining the group. In 24 years, we have perfected the singles cruise experience. It is paramount that our guests meet each other right away and have opportunities to mingle every day.

From the moment you board the ship, our STI Travel Concierge is waiting to meet you (minimum 20 required). Our first evening begins with a private, welcome aboard get together followed by daily activities both onboard the ship as well as in each port. We dine together each evening in an open seating arrangement so that you have a chance to meet as many people as possible.

Our “All Ages” vacations cater to 45+ and our average age range is 45 to 65. We generally have a ratio of 60/40, women to men. As a travel club, matchmaking is not our focus. Ages listed on our page are not restricted. They are simply used as a guideline. We offer an opportunity for single travelers to see the world in the company of other singles and do not guarantee ratios or ages.

All meals take place in the main restaurant at the rear of the ship on Deck 4 Picture windows line three side of the bi-level room, offering sweeping sea views, especially when you’re facing aft. Seating is at rectangular tables for four and round ones for six or eight and our concierge or ambassador will do everything possible to seat our members together.

Breakfast and lunch are open-seating buffets. The serving area is located smack in the center of the room in a square formation. It is seldom overly crowded, perhaps because meals are spread out over two to two and a half hours and is self-service. Breakfast consists of the usual cereal, eggs to order and pancakes off the menu plus the more typical northern European fare of smoked fish, cold cuts and cheeses, multi-grain bread and berry jams.

Lunch offers more cold fish, cold meats and excellent cheeses, not to mention caviar (yellow and red), a minimal salad bar, several veggies, and a couple of hot dishes such as chicken with rice, duck breast or pasta. If you love chilled fish and seafood, you’ll be in heaven. Desserts are ice cream, cakes and pies. The only free drinks are water, tea and coffee.

Traveling with STI is even more valuable at meal time since most guests are not English speaking. Dinner is served at two sittings (usually 6 and 8:15 pm) at assigned tables. A four-course menu with appetizer, soup, main dish and dessert is served. The only choice is an option for the main dish. If you don’t like reindeer or cod, for example, you’re out of luck (though the quality of the food is excellent). What’s lacking is variety, especially if you compare it with American cruise ships. There’s no noshing around the clock here. Aside from the restaurant, the only food outlet is the small, self-service bistro located behind reception offering tea, coffee, hot chocolate, cookies and cakes. Tea and cookies are also available in the Qilak lounge. As to bar nibbles, there’s nary a pretzel or peanut in sight. There is also no room service.

Drink prices are ranges from 140 NOK ($24) for a bottle of Spanish white or red wine to 440 NOK ($76) for a Chateau Batailly Pauillac. By the glass, the price is 38 NOK ($6.55). Cocktails at the bar are approximately $9.
A cappuccino or espresso is $2.

STI Tip: Tell the head waiter ahead of time if you want the day’s optional dish.

Yes, there are hairdryers in each cabin. Electrical current is 110 (1 outlet) and 230 volts, with 110 as the US standard. If sharing a cabin, we recommend bringing along a power strip so that you both may recharge phones, cameras and add additional items such as a curling iron.

STI Tip: Beware of the key card in the slot system for getting electricity. We discovered the hard way that the 110-volt plug in the bathroom also turned off when you leave the room, right along with the charger our camera battery. The 230-volt plug at the desk, however, stays active all the time and you will require a converter.

It is best to plan your Antarctic tour during the summer months (November to March). In the summer the sea ice has retreats allowing access to the shores of the continent itself. At this time, wildlife is plentiful and active and the daily temperature is usually about 5F to 40F (0C to 5C). In December, you may get a chance to view the penguins hatching and there will be plenty of action around the colonies with penguin chicks emerging and skus hovering nearby waiting to take unlucky young penguins.

Have you ever been anywhere when the sun never sets? December means 24-hour sun!

The Drake Passage is the stretch of water between the most southerly tip of South America and the most northerly tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. It must be navigated to reach the Antarctic Peninsula and is often choppy due to high winds. Be the first of your friends to traverse the “Circumpolar Current” (in the safety of the purpose built MS Midnatsol) as it squeezes through its narrowest gap.

Currently, most international airlines will allow you to check two bags, weighing 50 pounds each, for a fee. In addition you may carry-on one bag plus a personal item such as a purse or briefcase. Please check with your air carrier for up-to-the minute regulations and fees for checked baggage.

Although there is no baggage limit onboard ship or in Buenos Aires, there is a weight limit for the charter plane that will take the group to Ushuaia.

YOUR DOMESTIC FLIGHT (Buenos Aires – Ushuaia and v.v)/LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE:

Check in luggage: 1 pc*23 kg

Hand luggage: 1 pc* 8 kg (55*40*20cm) (+1 camera bag) The camera bag or a woman’s purse (personal item) needs to be really small. The aircraft is limited on weight and the runway is short. The aircraft weight limitation depends on how many guests have booked the flight.

Hurtigruten is not responsible if Lan Airlines (LATAM) refuses to transport any luggage due to weight limitation and will not cover any extra costs. Transportation of luggage as freight will be charged to the passenger.

CARRY ON BAGGAGE SECURITY INFORMATION
The following restrictions apply to liquids including creams, pastes, gels and aerosols carried in your hand luggage:

Liquids may only be carried in containers that hold 100 ml (3,38 fl. Oz.) or less and must fit in a closed, transparent, resealable 20 x 20cm (7 x 7 inch) plastic bag, which are available at the airport (charges may apply).

Please bring a medical certificate with you if you need to carry higher amounts of liquid prescription medicine with you. Special dietary meals and baby milk may also be carried on board; security staff may ask you to sample it at the airport.

No sharp or pointed objects are allowed in your hand luggage. If you are taking needles for medical reasons you need to bring a doctors` certificate with you to show at the security check at the airport.

DELAYED OR DAMAGED BAGGAGE
Please immediately report any missing or damaged baggage to the airline’s handling agent’s desk. These desks are located close to the baggage carousel. Reports must be made before proceeding through Customs. Please note that airlines do not normally compensate for minor damage to your baggage which may occur while your luggage travels on the airport’s conveyor belts.

OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR LUGGAGE
Please label your luggage. In case your luggage goes astray we recommend that you also label the inside of your luggage with your address and phone number. Please do not pack any valuables, perishable item, keys, travel documents or medicine in your checked baggage. These items must be packed in your hand luggage.

Every member will be provided with a warm, Hurtigruten jacket to keep as a souvenir.

Think warm, layers and waterproof!
Essential Items: We highly recommend that you bring the following items.
* A good, comfortable pair of broken-in hiking boots;
* Waterproof rubber boots (Wal-Mart actually sells a good pair);
(On board you may rent a pair of high quality boots for a low cost to wear during landings and hikes. These boots will be kept on the ships tender deck, and you will have your private pair during the whole voyage.
We also offer walking sticks and a small selection of warm thermo suits for rent at a low cost.)
* Waterproof rain jacket;
* Waterproof pants (worn over other pants or long underwear and needed for almost every landing);
* Waterproof backpack;
* Waterproof walking shoes with traction for visits to town (non Antarctic landings)
* 1-2 sets of thin wool, thermal underwear, thin woolen socks and thick socks to layer;
* Fleece tops
* A face mask for zodiac landings
* Two sets of gloves (they will get wet) and Underlayer gloves;
* Sunscreen, sun block and 1-2 pairs of sturdy sunglasses (the sun reflecting off the ice is incredibly bright — and warming!);
* Sunglasses
* Hat
* 2 pairs of binoculars, one mini-binocular to carry with you at all times;
* Eye shade for sleeping if in an oceanview cabin. Summer means 24-hour sun!
* Bathing suit (for that heated, outdoor hot tub!);
* Plastic bags for added protection;
* Toiletries: all your daily essentials;
* Power strip for all your gadgets – most cabins have only one 110 outlet;
* Prescription medications: sufficient supply for the entire trip plus legible written prescription in case of loss. Keep medications in their original, labeled container. Always pack your medications in your carry-on bag!
* Eyeglasses, contacts, contact lens solution. You may want to bring along a written prescription for your eyewear in case of loss;
* Moisturizer, Lip balm and over the counter medications: cold remedy, aspirin/pain reliever, antacid/stomach upset remedy, Band-Aids, Neosporin or other anti-bacterial medication;
* Travel alarm clock with illuminated face, especially for guests in an inside cabin;
* Small, Swiss Army type utility knife. Remember to pack this in your checked luggage!
* Travel journal/notepad and reading material;
* Home address book for sending postcards. A useful tip to avoid bringing your entire address book is to pre-write names and addresses of people to whom you want to send postcards on sheets of self-adhesive labels. It saves time and space in your luggage.
* A camera (and waterproof bag)
* Photography Equipment: Bring a sufficient supply of film and extra batteries. We recommend digital so running out of film isn’t an issue, lots of batteries or charger and you should bring extra memory chips.
* Packing Tips: Take only what you need; don’t over pack. Save room for souvenirs and purchases. Pack flat and full to avoid wrinkling. Bring wardrobe basics; mix and match around one or two colors. Don’t pack anything valuable, fragile or perishable. Label your luggage with an outside tag, and place an identification card inside each suitcase.

On board, a pair of high quality boots will be provided for you to wear during landings and hikes. These boots will be kept on the ships tender deck, and you will have your private pair during the whole voyage.

Hurtigruten also offers walking sticks and a small selection of warm thermo suits for rent at a low cost.

Travel Insurance is available through Travel Guard and in addition to direct access immediately upon completing your purchase, you will receive a quote from Travel Guard regarding travel insurance after reserving your vacation.  If you have any questions, Travel Guard professional, expert agents are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.   Call us if you have not received your quote within 3 days.

The currency used throughout our cruise is the Norwegian Krone (NOK) and in Buenos Aires; the Peso. Your credit card will be accepted to settle your bill onboard the MS Midnatsol as well as in major shops and restaurants in Buenos Aires. All onboard purchases are billed with a guest check and added to your personal shipboard account. At the end of the cruise, you will receive a total bill, which can be paid with cash or charged to a credit card. If you are sharing with another guest, no worries. You will each receive a separate statement.

Your Final Vacation Details & Meetup Info Documents will be available 14 days prior to departure and may be accessed by clicking on MY TRAVEL DOCUMENTS on the trip page.  We suggest you leave a copy of this with your family.

You may also be able to use your own phone plan in Buenos Aires, generally .99-1.99 per minute (check with your carrier before departure). Mobile phone service in Antarctica is not an option.

Our office is open Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In an emergency after hours, please contact Tammy Weiler at 815-715-6998.

All countries you will visit have laws against the purchase and export of certain items, including antiquities, national cultural property and certain animal products, especially endangered species (ivory, rhino horn, tortoise shell, coral, feathers, etc.). Additionally, the United States has laws prohibiting the import of certain items, which include many of the same things. You face having your purchase confiscated and/or heavy fines for exporting or importing prohibited items.

On return to the U.S., your baggage is subject to search by U.S. Customs. Currently, you are permitted to bring back $800 of goods duty free. Persons aged 21 or over may also bring in one liter of liquor and one carton of cigarettes. If you plan to purchase a lot of souvenirs or expensive items, it is important to retain all purchase receipts. However, please note that U.S. Customs may not accept a receipt as true cost if it seems unusually low for the estimated value of the item. You may access the regulations and restrictions governing US Customs on their official website, click here to learn more.

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What Our Members Are Saying

WOW!! Where do I start? I would have to say this is the best vacation I have ever had!! I don't think I ever laughed, ate, drank, and danced so much. I am so glad to have found this site and met so many wonderful people and made great memories that will last forever. I would recommend using STI for a singles cruise or any trip. Thank you and everyone from the trip!

Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Eric W, Hamilton, NJ
    

Words cannot describe the beauty and excitement of Antarctica. A trip of a lifetime and should be on the top of your bucket list. I have been to 67 countries and all seven continents and this is the first trip I am repeating a destination. The wildlife is amazing! From the first day to the last day you will always remember this trip.

Fotolia_58389435_Subscription_Monthly_M_04    Carol N.,
    Palm Beach Gardens, FL