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Question about cruise port

SUNSHINE COAST...
Level Contributor
1,395 posts
286 reviews
Question about cruise port

We are booked on a cruise leaving Ushuaia in March '17.

I have just had notification from our TA that the cruise company sent -

" We now have some important information to share with you regarding the port of Ushuaia.

Since Ushuaia is a busy, working port, guests will not be able to access the pier independently, whether in taxis or private vehicles. "

(It goes on that we will be bussed to the ship from Arakur Hotel at a set time on the departure day at a cost of $ 50 per person !!)

What I would like to know is this a new rule applying to ALL cruise ships that come into Ushuaia ? There is no passenger access to the port any more ?

Thanks for any replies.

Buenos Aires...
Level Contributor
1,158 posts
226 reviews
1. Re: Question about cruise port

My friend, you are being ripped off if that´s US dollars. Are you sure this is not 50 Argentine pesos??

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
14,298 posts
172 reviews
2. Re: Question about cruise port

It is the rule for all ships, but I would complain about the transfer cost. I see your hotel is quite a way up and out of town so you are caught. Is the hotel stay included?

Our hotel (one night included with the trip) was across the street and we walked to a parking lot where the busses for our cruise were parked. Our luggage went direct from the hotel.

Now if it is 50 pesos that is OK.

SUNSHINE COAST...
Level Contributor
1,395 posts
286 reviews
3. Re: Question about cruise port

No it is $ 50 Australian per person just for the transfer. $ 378 per person for 1 nights accommodation, breakfast and transfer to the ship !

So you can not access the ship from the dock by yourselves ?

They must need a lot of busses for those big ships !

Buenos Aires...
Level Contributor
1,158 posts
226 reviews
4. Re: Question about cruise port

This is just another example of a cruise company ripping off passengers. We are talking about 4 miles!!!! The airport is a much longer distance from the harbor and there is no way a whole taxi would charge you that much and it is easily accessible. Don´t take the transfer. Get a cab yourself.

Rockville Centre...
Level Contributor
1,717 posts
1 review
5. Re: Question about cruise port

Arakur's own rate for March '17 is ballpark US$ 200 to US $300, and that includes breakfast, transfers to/from airport and/or town, guided trekking in its own nature preserve, taxes, etc.. So, if your rate is AU $378, that works out to about US $285, which is within Arakur's published rates. My guess is you're on a big ship, so that might account for the need for buses. I've always departed on a small ship (about 200 pax), and have just checked by bags in town, strolled to the dock, then walked to the ship. But if yours is anchored out in the bay, maybe the bus involves some coordination with the tenders out to the ship and back. Or maybe it prevents a mob scene on the dock. Anyway, if you don't want to identify the ship/cruise line here, maybe you can contact them for some clarification.

And just FWIW, Arakur is one of the best hotels -- if not THE best hotel -- in and around Ushuaia. You can definitely find others less expensive, but none more classy.

SUNSHINE COAST...
Level Contributor
1,395 posts
286 reviews
6. Re: Question about cruise port

No John, we are on a small ship - the Explorer - max 100 people. This is our 8th cruise on this ship and we have never had to have a mandatory transfer to the ship before !

So is it the rule that passengers can not access the ship by themselves ?

Rockville Centre...
Level Contributor
1,717 posts
1 review
7. Re: Question about cruise port

>>So is it the rule that passengers can not access the ship by themselves?

If it is, it's a very new rule. I've done 14 expedition cruises on the Via Australis and Stella Australis -- almost all starting in Ushuaia, going to Cape Horn and Punta Arenas and then back to Ushuaia (A few in the opposite direction). Last round trip was in January of this year. I have never--repeat, never--boarded a bus either to or from the ships (capacity, about 200 pax) in Ushuaia. I've always dropped off my luggage at the Comapa office in town, wandered about until departure time, then walked to the ship. Or, disembarked, walked off the dock and picked up my luggage at the same office. FWIW, I stayed at Arakur before and after my 2015 cruise, and did the same thing.

Anyway, if I read your comments correctly, it would seem that the transfer from the hotel to the ship includes the bus ride at no extra charge. But to clarify this, you need to talk to the cruise line. You mentioned an "Explorer" that holds 100 pax at max, so maybe this is not the Nat Geo Explorer, which accommodates 148 pax in 81 cabins. But whatever it is, it's somewhat smaller than "my" ships, so there should be no reason to take the bus -- unless of course the rules have changed since January.

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
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14,298 posts
172 reviews
8. Re: Question about cruise port

You definitely cannot walk onto the dock or your ship. This is what I had read here before going and what we were told by GAdventures. We took busses from the parking lot right beside the dock. However we could walk to the busses from the hotel (Albatros right across the street.)

Rockville Centre...
Level Contributor
1,717 posts
1 review
9. Re: Question about cruise port

>>You definitely cannot walk onto the dock or your ship.

That's just what I've been doing for years -- as noted in #7, last time was in January of this year. I got off the ship, walked to the taxi stand, went to el tren del fin del mundo. Later on, grabbed a bus in the park, went back to town and again walked back to the ship. In fact, there's even a passenger control point at the dock for pedestrian traffic, and a row of shops along the dock. But maybe rules have changed since then. Or maybe some ships require buses, others don't. Or who knows what? I guess the best thing is just to do whatever the cruise line says to do.

Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
2,825 posts
134 reviews
10. Re: Question about cruise port

I agree with John. If it's a new rule, it's been implemented after February when I've been there