It's time to start planning clothing for the Antarctica cruise... Different for us than most other travelers...

This is a variety of Bromelaid.  This stunning bloom is located  on the grounds of the villa is over-the-top!
 "Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica"
This was a perfect opportunity to get a photo of Ulysses, our groundskeeper, and maintenance person, who lives in an apartment on the property.  We wish we could chat with him freely but we are able to communicate sufficiently to ask him questions and make requests.
It's not as if we can jump in the car and drive to REI or Cabella's to purchase clothing for our upcoming Antarctica cruise in five months.  And, realistically, we need to start planning now knowing anything we purchase will have to be shipped to Buenos Aires and go through customs which can take a long time, as we've experienced in past situations.

There are several options for handling the required items of clothing considering we'll be leaving the ship on Zodiac boat for several hours at a time while we visit various islands, ice floes, and glaciers.  Waterproof gear is a must.

Another Bromelaid with patterns appearing more like fabric for curtains than an actual plant.  Wow!
Over the past several days, we've begun conducting research to discover the following options since the Ponant Cruise Line doesn't handle rental clothing as do most other Antarctic cruise lines:
1.  Rent from one of a few companies that handle such clothing, all of which require the clothing be sent to us in Buenos Aires.  Downside:  Clothing of this type can easily be stolen in transit; customs can cause delays; the clothing is rented for a specific period and penalties will incur if there are delays in transit times;  the clothes must promptly be returned at the end of the cruise, adding one more project to handle when we need to be on our way.
2.  Purchase the clothing from the US at lower costs.  Downside:  The above shipping and potential theft issues would be unavoidable.  Plus, when we're done, shipping the clothing back to the US to be held by our mailing service until we need it again someday.
3.  Purchase the majority of the clothing through Ponant.  They'll have it waiting for us in our cabin when we board the ship.  Purchase odds and ends in the US and have them shipped to our hotel in Florida on November 22nd where we'll stay for one night before boarding the back-to-back cruise the next day.  This results in a two step process.  Downside:  Ponant's items are expensive.
These waxy flowers almost look like Begonias we'd plant years ago in shady areas in Minnesota.
Originally, when we booked the cruise, we budgeted US $1,000, (CRC 57,594) for each of us for clothing rental as a necessary element of this expensive cruise, which is pretty much the going rate per person for all items.  If we purchase some of the items separately and ship to the Florida, we may be able to save a few hundred dollars each.

After considering all of the above options, we've definitely decided to go with purchasing the bulk of the major items directly from Ponant and the balance  (long sleeved shirts, socks, glove liners, etc) from Amazon in the US with free shipping with our Prime membership directly to the hotel in Florida.

These orange flowers, Lobster Claws, against the palm background create an appealing scene.
The other options, although less expensive make no sense at all, especially when there's the cost of shipping and delays due to customs.  If we purchased the bigger items on our own, we'd have no idea on the quality and suitability for the cruise.  Most likely, the clothing from the cruise line in suitable.

Most likely sizing will be an issue for me with my extra long arms and legs. Maybe I'll be able to tuck my pants into the Ponant provided complimentary boots to avoid the high water look. Hopefully, I'll have enough layers to keep my arms covered especially wearing the almost elbow length gloves we'll also purchase through Ponant.
What was Mother Nature thinking here?
Tom inquired to previous Antarctica cruise passengers at Cruise Critic for more finite details and based on their comments, it appears we're going down the right path.

It's considerably easier for those who can jump in the car and drive to local cold-weather-clothing stores to check out the possibilities, try on a few items and purchase their smaller items with ease.  Here again, this is one more of the many challenges we face as constant world travelers. 
We love this type of palm tree.  We'd seen many of these in Hawaii a few years ago.
No doubt, we'll have it all figured out long before we board the ship, Ponant Le Soleil, on January 23, 2018, in Ushuaia Argentina.  No worries.  It will all work out! 

Have a happy Monday or Tuesday, depending where you may be in the world, whether it's approaching the end of your warm summer months or your cold winter months, depending on which side of the equator you may live.
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Photo from one year ago today, August 14, 2016:

We visited the Phuket Seashell Museum.  It was fascinating to see all of the various seashells indigenous to the area.  For more photos, please click here.

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