VACAYA LUXE ANTARCTICA CRUISE ON WORLD NAVIGATOR
DEC 5-16, 2024
Our journey to Antarctica begins in:
We’re often asked, “What should we expect from a VACAYA Luxe experience?” Our Luxe vacations are an unapologetically exclusive celebration of the wonders of our planet – welcoming to all, of course, but built for discerning travelers seeking intimate experiences, splendid accommodations, and unparalleled service. They’ll reach the far corners of the globe – giving VACAYA guests an opportunity to expand their horizons in completely new ways.
The VACAYA Luxe rhythm is… Bold. Refined. Intimate. Exotic. Treasured. Calm. Cool. Grand. A chance to live life to the absolute fullest.
As a VACAYA guest, discounts are available to you with various air carriers when booking your flights using our Group Codes/Links. Those codes/links, as well as the instructions for booking, can be found HERE.
Flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia on Dec 5 and from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires on Dec 16 are included in your fare. HOWEVER, if you’d prefer to fly directly into Ushuaia, you certainly can. Many guests have expressed to us that they’d rather go directly to Ushuaia and enjoy all Tierra del Fuego has to offer. Please note that no credit will be issued if the included BA-to-Ushuaia or Ushuaia-to-BA flights go unused.
If flying into Buenos Aires, the airport you’ll fly into is EZE (Ezeiza International Airport).
If flying into Ushuaia, you’ll fly into USH (Malvinas Argentinas International Airport).
The currency of Argentina is the Argentine Peso and it’s a wild ride of a currency.* Although we’ve quoted today’s official rate (as of September 10, 2023), it’s almost irrelevant to quote ANY exchange rate since it fluctuates so wildly.
The Argentine Peso (ARS) exchanges as follows:
1 USD = 350 Argentine Pesos
1 Argentine Peso = 0.002 USD
American Express, MasterCard, and Visa are widely accepted. You’ll find that ATMs are readily available at the airport and a few in the city centers.
*Although there’s an official exchange rate in Argentina, you’ll want to take advantage of Argentina’s “Blue Rate.” As of September 10, 2023, that rate is 720 pesos per 1 USD (over double the value of the official rate). There are a couple ways to get the “Blue Rate”:
- You can exchange USD for Blue Rate Pesos with Buenos Aires’ black market currency exchanges. The larger the US bill, the higher rate you’ll get, but it’s always negotiable. When walking around BA, you’ll hear people saying “Cambio? Cambio?” as you walk by. These are your entry point into this slightly shady underworld. But, if you have your wits about you, you’ll come out well. There’s no easy way to say this, but each and every black market exchanger is trying to cheat you. They’ve mastered the art of slight-of-hand and they’ve come up with countless tricks to give you less than their street “sellers” have promised. As an example, any exchange will involve potentially hundreds of peso bills (usually in the amount of 500 pesos). So if you exchange a $100 US bill at an agreed upon 720 pesos per dollar, you’d expect to get 144 of the 500-peso bills. That’s a lot of bills and the exchangers know this. So, they run a stack of bills through the cleverly-positioned counters on their desk. As they run the bills through, they’re grabbing individual bills from the counter as they pass through. You can’t see them doing this, but they are. So the ONLY way to counter their misdeeds is to physically count the bills they hand you. They’ll become exceedingly annoyed at the fact you’re doing this and say, “I just counted them for you,” but it’s essential you count them manually to ensure they’ve given you the correct amount. What should have been 144 bills, might actually be 120 bills. They’re that good at siphoning off the bills. Of course they’re counting on the fact that you’ve now seen them count it with the machine AND they’ve just handed you an insanely large stack of money. That’s good enough, right? They’re hoping you say, “yes.” But trust us on this one… count the bills yourself by hand right there in front of them and then demand they make up the difference. This can feel a little scary, to be sure, but it’s your right. If they refuse after being “caught,” just walk out and don’t look back. And of course, don’t give them your USD until you’ve gotten your pesos.
- Now, if you’d rather not mess with that, you have an actual safe way to take advantage of the Blue Rate, but it requires you to use a VISA-branded credit card for your purchases. The Argentinian government has officially partnered with VISA to offer tourists the Blue Rate when making purchases on their VISA card within Argentina. This does not apply to American Express or any other credit card companies; VISA has an exclusive deal. To better understand how valuable that Blue Rate is, you could walk into a store and purchase the exact same item twice – once with your American Express and once with your VISA. If the item costs 100,000 pesos, on your American Express, it’ll cost you $285 USD. On your VISA, it’ll cost you $138 USD. See? A TRULY wild ride.
Pro Tip: If you purchase anything at the Duty Free Stores at the Argentine airports, ask to pay in Argentinian Pesos and then use your VISA credit card. The prices in the store are quoted in USD. If you pay in USD, you pay the ticket price. But if you ask to pay in pesos and then use your VISA, you’ll literally pay half. It’s absolutely crazy. One simple request, “Please charge this purchase in pesos” will save you 50%.
Craziness abounds in the world of Argentina’s currency and everything could be different by the time you visit, but keeping these smart tips in mind can make for a VERY lucrative experience with shopping, hotels, dining, etc.
All emails to our Booked Guests are available here:
We’ll preview your entertainment here approximately 30 days before our cruise.
Your daily treks on the continent are included. In addition, Atlas Ocean Voyages will offer several other opportunities to you – from kayaking to camping. Those extras can be purchased onboard.
You have pre-paid basic gratuities. However, if someone goes above and beyond for you, you are more than welcome to offer them a few dollars (or more if appropriate) as an extended note of appreciation and grace. Collectively, those small thank yous add up and can make all the difference in the lives of these hard-working crew members.
Standard drinks are included for all guests. That’s house spirits, beer, select wines by the glass, sodas, juices, bottled waters, and specialty coffee drinks/teas.
Wines by the bottle are available for purchase from any of the bars or from your sommelier in the main restaurant.
Laundry services are available aboard World Navigator.
You’ll find laundry pricing, bags, and slips inside your stateroom. During your entire cruise, your room attendant will be available for laundry and ironing services, which will be completed within 48-72 hours.
LOST & FOUND
Lost & Found is located at Reception on Deck 4 mid-ship. If you’re missing anything, be sure to check there first. And of course if you find anything, be sure to turn it into Reception so they can get it back to its owner with haste.
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT ONBOARD
World Navigator has a medical center onboard, located on Deck 4 mid-ship. Basic care and limited emergency services are available.
OFFICIAL FACEBOOK GROUP
For each of our adventures together, VACAYA hosts an Official Facebook Group. This group is your chance to connect with other Antarctic cruisers before we meet each other in-person. You can join the group HERE.
The parties on our Luxe cruises are certainly more of the cocktail variety, but if you’d like to throw on a costume and dance, by all means… you do you. We’ll keep the themes super simple since most guests will be traveling from across the globe to get to Antarctica and this is a long trip, with specific (and varying) clothing requirements.
You can count on at least two themed nights:
THIS IS ME
Our signature Night 1 cocktail party brings all our guests together for the very first time. This is your chance to meet, mix, and mingle with fellow travelers. Wear a little somethin’ somethin’ to let us know where you’re from.
In one of our favorite VACAYA Luxe traditions, you’ll throw on your bathrobe (the one from your room) at 6pm and wear it all night long – to pre-dinner drinks, to dinner, to the show, and to our after-party! Bring accessories for your robe… people have been taking this night to the next level!
RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN BUENOS AIRES AND USHUAIA
PLEASE NOTE THAT NO PRE- OR POST-CRUISE HOTEL IS INCLUDED IN YOUR FARE; these must be booked by each individual traveler/couple.
We are now featuring an all-new way to book our recommended hotels in each of our host cities. For Buenos Aires or Ushuaia, our recommended pre-cruise and post-cruise hotels are:
- Buenos Aires: Four Seasons Buenos Aires (luxury), InterContinental Buenos Aires (mid-level), and NH Collection Jousten (economy).
- Ushuaia: Arakur (luxury)
You can book our recommended hotels in Buenos Aires using THIS SPECIAL LINK.
You can book our recommended hotel in Ushuaia using THIS SPECIAL LINK.
By booking through our links, you are automatically identified as a VACAYA guest by each of our recommended hotels.
Your onboard magnetic card (we point out it’s magnetic to warn against placing it too close to your mobile phone, which could erase the information), which will be handed to you upon boarding is your room key. It’s also your onboard charge card and you’ll be asked for it to make onboard purchases. Whenever you leave the ship or re-board it in our ports of call, you’ll show your card to Security when leaving/returning.
When you board, you’ll want to register a credit card with Reception to cover any onboard purchases. You’ll receive a final invoice in your room on the last evening of your cruise. Assuming all of the charges are correct (and if not, be sure to speak with Reception), your card on file with Atlas will be automatically charged the morning of disembarkation. If you’d prefer to pay cash to close out your account, you will need to do that on our last night before they charge your card the following morning.
ALL GUESTS ARE NOW WELCOME, REGARDLESS OF THEIR COVID-19 VACCINATION STATUS. NO PRE-CRUISE TESTING IS REQUIRED.
Check your Daily Program for the location of World Navigator’s designated smoking section.
And of course NEVER throw cigarette butts overboard. They can easily get sucked into the ship’s ventilation system and cause a fire.
SPA & FITNESS CENTER
The Spa’s beauticians and massage therapists are at your service on Deck 4 and offer a wide range of treatments that can be booked once onboard. The Spa is typically open 9am to 8pm, but that could change slightly depending on our time ashore. Check your Daily Program (delivered to your stateroom each night with the following day’s schedule) for exact times.
World Navigator’s Fitness Center, also on Deck 4, is open 24 hours a day and contains several cardio machines and free weights for your use.
Atlas Ocean Voyages’ ships have a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant onboard, which helps preserve the pristine waters through which we sail. To assure it can properly do its job, we need your full cooperation.
- Only use the biodegradable toilet tissue provided.
- Do not flush facial tissues, sanitary wipes, feminine hygiene products, condoms, cigarettes (you shouldn’t be smoking in your bathroom anyway), or any other materials, as they can affect the entire system and may cause embarrassing backups in your room AND in your neighbors’ rooms.
- Keep the toilet lid closed when not in use, and be careful not to drop towels, wash cloths, or personal grooming articles (including floss and Q-tips) into the toilet while flushing.
THIS IS ME COMMUNITY BOARD
VACAYA is all about connections. To help strengthen the bonds between our guests, we’re creating a “This Is Me” Community Board where pictures and fun facts of each of our guests will be featured. We’re hoping this new board will be a welcome addition to your VACAYA Luxe experience.
While participation is certainly not compulsory, we hope each of you will choose to join us. If you’d like to be included, please send the following to us prior to Friday, November 8, 2024:
- The trip you’re traveling on
- A Photo of you as an Individual or as a Couple (the orientation of the pics will be portrait, so think about that as you choose the best pic). Be sure the photo you choose is a clear face pic and no larger than 5MB.
- Your Name (or Names if a couple. Please indicate who’s who in the pic.)
- Your Hometown
- Your Relationship Status
- Family Info (children, pets, etc.)
- Social Media Handle
You can send your photo and the above information to V Team Member Jen at email@example.com. Simply click on that pink link to connect with Jen.
Please note that we won’t be able to add anyone to the board after the deadline. Shortly after November 8, 2024, the information we’ve received will be laid out by a graphic designer and the boards completed. Also, each This Is Me board is independent from past boards. So even if you’ve sent in your information for a past cruise, it won’t carry forward to this one. So, you’ll need to send it in again.
This Community Board will be posted in the ship’s Lobby on Deck 4.
Here is an example of what your entry will look like on the board:
In today’s ever-shifting world, it’s imperative to protect your hard-earned vacation dollars. You can do that by insuring your investment. VACAYA partners with Travel Guard.
If you ever need to make an adjustment to your Travel Guard policy (for example, if your travel dates have shifted or you’ve added to your travel plans beyond our cruise), you can submit a policy modification request via Travel Guard’s online modification form. Modification requests must be submitted prior to your travel dates. Through this form, you can also change or add any pre- or post-cruise travel days or add additional trip costs (flights, hotel, etc.). Adding coverage for other items beyond your cruise (if that’s all that was covered in your original policy) may incur additional premium costs.
If you have questions, we encourage you to visit Travel Guard’s Resource Center, where you’ll find answers to many frequently asked questions. You can also speak with a licensed Travel Guard insurance agent by calling 800.826.5248.
A NOTE ABOUT TRIP INTERRUPTION INSURANCE
If you’ve not purchased trip interruption insurance (that helps defray costs of hotel accommodations in case of a positive test result at the end of the trip), there’s still time to add it to your existing policy or originate a policy with most travel insurance carriers. Although we can’t consult on insurance, we are pointing out that these policies offer peace of mind for a reasonable price.
Complimentary Starlink WiFi is included. However, please keep in mind that the speed is variable and is much slower than your internet at home. Also, there may be times when satellite coverage drops entirely (this happens at the bottom of the world). So, we ask for your understanding when/if this occurs.
Warm (to hot) in Buenos Aires. Chilly in Ushuaia. Cold in Antarctica.