Generations of seafarers have sailed the trade winds of Indonesia in quest of exotic cultures and their goods, charting the famous spice routes. SeaTrek’s four sailing collections follow those same historic trade winds taking you on journeys of discovery to many of the still remote areas of the Indonesian archipelago. Come explore with Seatrek and aboard authentic wooden sailing ships much like the ones used by those legendary adventurers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
While many of you are seasoned travellers, some of you may be unfamiliar with the ways and means of travelling in the remoter regions of Indonesia where we journey. Cruising in eastern Indonesia on a traditional wooden Pinisi ship can be a brave new world for some, so with that in mind we have compiled the following list of answers to the most often asked questions to try to make your journey with us as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible.
If you don’t find the answer to your own particular question, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT TO EXPERIENCE?
On SeaTrek, you will see a wide variety of cultures, landscapes and flora and fauna, many of which are found nowhere else on earth, and all from the decks of our UNESCO-listed, traditional, wooden Indonesian pinisi ships.
Think Komodo dragons, whale sharks, sea turtles, amazing corals and underwater life, dolphins and whales, monkeys, giant bats and orangutans. You will also come face to face with many of the myriad cultures that are present in Indonesia and learn about their ways of life and their traditions.
To better prepare yourselves for your journey, we have placed various resources at your fingertips to help you get a better grasp of what lies ahead. We have many books on board our vessels on various topics related to our journeys, but to help you get better prepared we have an extensive reading list to help bring you up to speed on all the history, culture and wildlife you will encounter along the way.
Also check out our website blogs, which cover everything from to one-of-a-kind cultural events, daily island adventures, historical accounts, animal encounters, and even recipes to take home. You may also be interested to read about us in features that have appeared in local and international publications. If video is your thing, then please visit our YouTube channel to view some of the short clips we have about our journeys and the special events that we have encountered along our routes.
WHERE AND WHEN DO WE CRUISE?
We cruise all the year round, with us only taking the boats out of the water in March for three weeks for their annual safety inspections.
April to October is the ‘dry season’ in the central and southern parts of Indonesia and the weather and seas are settled and relatively calm. During this time from April to August, we cover the routes between Bali and Komodo and all the way out east to Alor Island, where ships can operate in the lee of the islands and enjoy protection from wind and swell.
Come September/ October as the trade winds and monsoons turn, we head to the north and east of the archipelago and into the Maluku and Papua regions – home to the Spice Islands and the wondrous biodiverse region of Raja Ampat. This is the time of year that features our 10-day Raja
Ampat cruises right through to our 12- to 16-day expert led cruises, which offer much more substantial cruising itineraries.
WHAT ARE THE SHIPS LIKE?
Offering many of the creature comforts of the modern world, our two wooden pinisi ships, Ombak Putih and Katharina, are part of a beautiful, centuries-old maritime tradition of hand-crafted boat building now classified as a UNESCO cultural heritage. Built by the highly skilled seafaring peoples of Sulawesi, using hand tools and traditional methods of construction, the design of these gaff-rigged ketches has been adapted and passed down from father to son for centuries. Interestingly, the pinisi fleet still forms the massive bulk of Indonesia’s cargo and transport network today.
WHAT ARE THE CABINS LIKE?
All cabins are on the lower deck and are the same in basic style and décor.
Both boats were extensively renovated in 2015 with stylish new interiours that highlight the natural woods of the original pinisi design. NEW TEAK DECKS WERE ADDED IN 2019. Each cabin is about 9sqm (27 square feet) and has either a double bed (200 x 160cm) or two twin bunks (200 x 90cm), one atop the other. Two cabins have one double bed and a single bunk designed for families. Each cabin has its own private en-suite bathroom with shower and toilet an sink. They are also individually air-conditioned.
Ombak Putih cabins have a porthole, while Katharina has skylights above letting in natural light. There is also plenty of storage space and lots of power points and USB chargers.
What kind of power sockets are in the cabins?
The cabins have multiple plug sockets as well as USB sockets. These are designed for European two pronged plugs, so it will help to bring a multi/ universal travel adaptor if you are not from mainland Europe.
Voltage on the boat is 220v vs 110 in US. But many US electronics are multi-voltage so you just need to check your stuff to see if that applies. On anything from the USA it will say if it can adapt to 220v. If not, then yes, you should bring a voltage adaptor.
TELL ME ABOUT THE CREW AND TOUR LEADERS
All our on-board staff are Indonesian and hail from a wide array of the cultures and ethnic groups of the archipelago.
The Ombak Putih is crewed by a team of 15 and Katharina by one of 14. These consist of your captain, first and second officers, engineers, steering hands, chefs, galley staff, and stewards. Our crews live on the boat year-round, and as such it is their home, and we encourage our crew and guests to mix whenever possible. They are also super friendly and helpful and will assist you in anything you need.
They are all family men and women and they are great with kids. Both boat’s crews are all highly musical and the band will regale you with folk songs of their homeland at least a couple of times during the trip. An experience that will have you dancing into the night.
Our tour leaders are all highly experienced in the ways of the sea and the islands we visit. They all speak English very well and are on hand to look after you and ensure you have a very good time.
Indonesia through Indonesian Eyes is our motto, and with this combination of crew and tour leaders you will have quite the immersive Indonesian experience.
WHAT’S THE FOOD & BEVERAGE LIKE?
Our chefs and their galley teams will be preparing for you a wide array of dishes from all around the world, including Asian, Western, and all manner of world cuisines, as well as of course Indonesian. Dinner and lunch are served buffet style and breakfast is a la carte with a wide range of cereals, pastries as well as eggs any style, pancakes, sausage and bacon.
All drinks are readily accessible from the fridge in the salon with complimentary soft drinks and juices, a wide array of teas, instant coffee and an espresso machine serving as much free coffee as you can drink.
Alcohol is charged, but at basically cost price. It’s self-serve using the honesty system – take what you need and just place a mark in the book next to your cabin number. For cocktails, simply ask your friendly steward to mix up your favourite tipple.
We can cater to special requests for dietary requirements such as vegetarian, halal, kosher, children’s fare, low fat dishes, allergies, etc. However, we must be notified in advance of any special needs so we can make arrangements.
Can I bring duty free?
We have a good selection of basic spirits, local lager and wines on board the boat, all at very reasonable prices. If you do want to bring a bottle of duty free top shelf for the ride, you are most welcome. The allowance for Indonesia is one litre, regardless of type. You can travel with it domestically in the cabin as long as the bottle cap’s seal is not broken. When on board, give the bottle to the head steward and they will look after it for you.
WHAT DO I BRING & WHAT’S ALREADY ON BOARD?
Snorkelling Gear: Snorkels, masks & fins in all sizes are provided onboard. If you are an avid snorkeller, you may prefer to bring your own mask & snorkel. If you’re new to snorkelling, you might want to consider purchasing a full-face snorkel mask to bring with you, it’s an easier option for beginners.
Water Toys: We have paddle boards and kayaks on board for guest use whenever we are at anchor.
Clothing: The tropical climate means you can safely leave all of your warm weather gear at home. Bring cool cottons, T-shirts and shorts. We cruise during the dry season in each of the regions that we visit but rain is always a possibility so bring a lightweight waterproof jacket; it can sometimes be a bit windy on the boat and this will also help keep you warm. Likewise, a lightweight fleece could be useful for pre-dawn trekking or if there is a cool wind on the boat, even if you don’t need it onboard it will be useful for the plane.
SeaTrek is respectful of the local cultures and customs so bring clothes that cover your shoulders and knees for village visits. Finally, you might want to bring at least one smart-casual outfit for sunset cocktails and evening meals on the boat. Ladies: beach throw overs, kaftans and sarongs are always useful; choose fabrics that dry easily. Also, bring a lightweight sundress or two – the boat offers a great setting for a photo shoot, live it up!
Sun Protection: You’ll be spending plenty of time out in the scorching tropical sun, so be sure to pack sunscreen with a high enough SPF (reef safe please!) to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, which are stronger in the water, and some sun-protective clothing as well. We have rash guards on the boat in varying sizes but do bring your own of you have one.
Cover-ups, sarongs, sun shirts, and other such clothing will ensure that you come back from your trip with just happy memories and photographs and not a bad sunburn. Just in case you fail to avoid getting sunburnt, bring an aloe-based lotion to soothe burned skin. A good hat is essential and a wide brimmed hat or cap will keep the strong equatorial sun off your face and neck. Sunglasses keep your eyes protected and add a little glam to your photos, and a strap to hold your glasses can be a good idea on more active adventures.
Footwear: Pack comfortable trainers, trekking sandals, sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots for hikes and walks – although the boots are not necessary for non-specialised trips such as those for serious bird watchers. Bring socks to wear inside your walking shoes to avoid getting blisters. Many travellers appreciate the added stability of a walking stick or hiking pole and lightweight telescopic poles are easy to pack. You might also want waterproof sandals or reef shoes for wet landings and water activities. Flip-flops are great for the beach. Note: standard practice is to go barefoot on the boat.
Bags: A day-backpack is essential on day hikes to carry things such as your water bottle, camera, binoculars, and rain jacket. SeaTrek provides each guest with a small linin backpack and a SeaTrek-branded metal water bottle, which can re-filled as often as required and makes a nice souvenir to take home. A waterproof wet/dry bag is a good idea for your phone, camera etc.
Swimwear: Don’t forget your swimsuit/ bikini/ shorts/ trunks/ Speedos —and preferably more than just one swimsuit, so that one or two can be drying while you are wearing another. Luckily, swimsuits and/or swim trunks don’t take up too much space in your luggage. The water is warm, but a rash guard (or a thin wetsuit) will protect you from the sun, abrasions and possible jellyfish stings.
Skin & Hair Protection: It’s important that you take good care of your skin and hair, if you are so inclined. The sun, seawater and salty air may be beautiful to experience but it can be tough on your body and will wreak havoc on your locks. Bring moisturising lotion to soothe skin parched by the sun and the saltwater; bring a leave-in conditioner to de-tangle your hair with ease because the water, mask, and hair-ties will leave it in knots. Also consider bringing a scarf or headband to hold back unruly hair, or hair-ties/pins to keep your hair off your face and therefore prevent water seeping into your mask. Note: Your cabin is outfitted with towels, shampoo, conditioner and bodywash.
Camera Equipment: If you are photo enthusiast, bring all of the camera and video equipment that you will use as you can expect exceptional opportunities for photography. If you prefer the
ease of a point & shoot camera or your phone, just bring that. If you want to take underwater photos, you might want to invest in a waterproof camera/GoPro or waterproof housing to capture photos of the incredible marine life. It’s a good idea to bring a spare memory card; our cruises explore remote regions where memory cards cannot be purchased.
We have a charging station in the salon of each boat where cameras can be safely left. It’s also a great place to keep your gear on hand for those instant wildlife moments: having your camera stored in your air-conditioned room can cause it to mist up when it’s brought out quickly to take a photo or a pod of dolphins or a breaching whale, leading you to missing the shot of a lifetime.
Reading Material and Reference Books: You’ll find reference books and paperback novels on board. However, books of your choice or an e-reader will come in handy for down hours.
Voltage & Power Points
Voltage on board is 220 volts. There are several electric sockets and USB charging ports in each cabin suitable for European type plugs, but we do have a selection of adaptors for non-European type plugs. Additional sockets are located in the saloon, where we have a dedicated area for the charging of electronic devices and cameras. Sleep apnea sufferers can breathe easy.
PRICING & INCLUSIONS
All pricing on the website is in US dollars and is per person based on twin share.
For the single traveller who wants to secure their own cabin we do charge a 75% supplement. If you are a single traveller and don't mind sharing a twin cabin with another person of the same gender, then this fee will not apply and you just pay the regular ticket price for a guaranteed spot on the boat. If we cannot find you a roommate, then you will get the cabin to yourself at no extra cost.
• Full board including all meals and soft drinks, tea, coffee, snacks. Starting and ending with lunch on first and last days.
• All-Indonesian tour leaders.
• All park fees, cultural performances, local guides, and off boat activities. • Welcome drink and cold towel upon boarding the boat on the first day, as well as each time guests return from all off-boat excursions.
• Daily room cleaning.
• Two pieces of laundry each day.
• Towels and linens.
• Complimentary cotton backpack, luggage tag, fan, stainless steel water bottle, which guests are encouraged to take home and keep.
• First aid kit containing all major medicines.
• Sunscreen lotion but do bring your own.
• Soaps, shampoo and conditioner.
• Beach BBQ.
• Free wine, beer and selected cocktails at beach BBQ.
• Selected wines with special farewell dinner.
• All port fees.
• Use of on-board TV and multimedia facilities – (laptop).
• Library of books, kids’ games and TV documentaries.
• Use of all facilities on board including snorkelling gear, paddle boards, kayaks, board games.
• Use of sleeping bags for sleeping on deck.
• All transfers to and from the boats outside of Bali.
• Domestic flights (except for Orangutans & Dragons).
• Transit hotels.
• Alcoholic drinks outside of special dinners and beach BBQ.
• Crew and tour leader tips.
• Incidental expenses on land (souvenirs, private purchases).
ARE CHILDREN WELCOME ON BOARD?
Since the company’s beginning, both Ombak Putih and Katharina has welcomed families on board with open arms. In that time we have hosted a great number of children onboard, and they have enjoyed the cruises immensely, especially for short trips of seven days. The opportunities and experiences for nature, culture and the great outdoors that we offer on our cruises provide more in one week for a child’s education and outlook on life that than any school can teach in the classroom.
During the northern hemisphere school holidays in July and August, we have special family themed cruises that focus on conservation and education just for kids, teenagers and their parents with many fun activities and programmes to keep everyone entertained.
It’s not an easy road trying to please all our guests, but all we can do is try our best to accommodate everyone, so in the interests of openness and honesty we would like our guests with children to consider the following simple rules and recommendations regarding boat safety and the comfort of other passengers.
Many of us have kids and know how difficult it can be at times to keep their youthful exuberances under control, especially when on holidays. But there are times and places to be wild, and times and places to not. While we love for kids to have a good time, our boats are not big and it’s very easy to disrupt or disturb other people who are trying to relax or simply enjoy the world go by. With this in mind we ask that you talk to your kids about keeping their noise and youthful energy to a minimum on board. When we get to shore, they can run around to their hearts’ content.
Please be aware of the potential dangers that surround us on the ships and in the tropical environments, both on land and on water that we cruise through. When on land or in the water, please try to get your children to refrain from getting too close to animals or straying off the path. Ours are working ships and have many potential hazards, so please let your kids know to be careful when moving around. Both boats have been built with child-safety in mind, and to this day they still have a clean bill of accident-free cruises, but to keep things this way we need the attention of parents, and it is of utmost importance for them to be vigilante and to watch their children at all times. For your peace of mind and added safety, the side railings on both ships have been built higher than on normal traditional Buginese schooners, and we advise you keep a close eye out in the lounge area, especially where the stairs to the cabins can be steep.
While our crews are great with kids and will show them all a fun time, please try to not let them get in the way of the crews going about their daily duties, as this reduces productivity and will slow down how we go about our cruise. When the work is over and it comes time for play, our crews will be more than happy to entertain your kids all they like.
Small babies and toddlers like to cry, so we do have a policy of not allowing children under four on board our FIT cruises.
We know that kids get bored and frustrated so we’d like to help keep them occupied during the day. We have many games and activities on board, but if there’s a particular board game or activity they like, just let us know and we will do our best to accommodate. We don't have electronic games on board, but most kids have their own. We do not have Internet on board, so online gaming will not be possible.
Families and the Triple Cabins
Each boat has two ‘triple’ cabins consisting of a double bed below and a full size single bunk above, which we reserve for families with one child or three so that parents can share with their one child or that the three kids can share together. For the third child we charge only 50% of the full fare.
Our rule of thumb is that the child must be 12 or under, but we will look at each on a case-by case-basis.
DO WE HAVE INTERNET ON BOARD?
The short answer is no - nor do we intend to ever get it. It is our aim to take you away from the modern world and put you in the moment. We like to think of this as a positive. With the need to be online 24/7 becoming an all encompassing factor of modern living, being able to go to a place that is off the grid will only become more of a luxury as we march forward into a digital future. With that in mind, our boats will be one of those digital-free oases where you can truly switch off and enjoy the natural world around you, free from any outside distraction. For those who have the luxury of switching off, it will be a beautiful experience, we assure you.
However, with the realities of technology being what they are, it's not that simple for some to live offline, and there is the option for a (very) intermittent connection through the purchasing of a local SIM card with a 3G or 4G connection for your phone or device here in Indonesia.
There are cell towers all over the country, and we will come into range of these from time to time, allowing for the sending and receiving of SMS and small emails. This is by no means guaranteed, and we can sometimes be off the grid for up to a week at a time, particularly in the far east or north of the country. You can purchase a local SIM card at the airport upon arrival in Indonesia prior from any one of a vast number of cell phone stores that line the streets of Bali, and load it up with some credit to your trip. The store staff will be only too happy to help.
Please note: If you run a business that requires you to be constantly online, or simply cannot be without a regular connection for staying in touch with friends and family, then a SeaTrek cruise may not be the best match for you.
During the cruise you will enjoy the incomparable service of well-trained, friendly and super efficient Indonesian crew members, and it is a time-honoured tradition on all cruise vessels of the world to tip the crew at the end of the voyage, provided of course the guests have been satisfied with their services. On your final night on board, you will have an opportunity to discretely contribute to a collective ‘captain and crew’ tip fund, which will be distributed equally among the crew members. We believe that between US$ 10-20 per cruising day is an appropriate amount (i.e. seven-day cruise = $70 to $140 total, not per crew member).
However, this is just a suggestion and remains entirely up to the judgment and discretion of the guests. We do ask that you please refrain from offering tips to crew members at any time, except during cases of exceptional service, when it should be arranged through the office. Tipping of your tour leader for their hard work is also welcome, and is at your discretion. There will be an envelope provided for both crew and tour leaders in the cruise bag in your cabin.
HOW DO I GET TO INDONESIA & BEYOND?
Bali and Jakarta are our two international entry points into Indonesia with many international carriers flying into both. Check with us before booking your flights so we can best advise which is the most convenient airport for you to start your particular cruise from.
Domestic Flights – What can I carry?
With the exception of our Orangutans & Dragons cruises, domestic flights are not included. However, our reservations team can assist in booking these on your behalf. If you are booking your own flights, please check in with us to make sure that you will be in the right place at the right time before you book your flights.
Essential items should be packed in your carry-on luggage. Medications, corrective lenses, spare underwear, cameras and documents should not be checked in case your bag does not arrive with you. Never place valuables in checked luggage. We suggest you make copies of your tickets and the photo page of your passport.
PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS & VACCINATION STATUS
Please ensure that all necessary travel documents are valid, effective and in your possession. Passports are required for all participants and MUST be valid for at least SIX MONTHS after your date of return by Indonesian law.
Most foreign nationals can obtain a 30-day tourist visa on arrival WHICH IS PRICED AT US$35 (or equivalent) and can be purchased at the airport. Citizens of a small number of countries do not enjoy this privilege and have to apply for visa in the country of origin or elsewhere outside of Indonesia prior to arrival. Please check the Indonesian immigration website to see if you qualify.
All visitors to Indonesia must be fully vaccinated and be in passion of their vaccination pass to present at the airport upon arrival. No certificate, no entry.
Please download the customs form from the Indonesian government website inside 72 hours of arrival. Take a screen shot or print the QR code to present to the customs officials. This will save you time and hassle. Click this link for the form.
We recommend that all our passengers double-check on the requirements as they are in force at the time of their arrival. Please assume full responsibility for checking and verifying any and all passport, visa, vaccination, or other entry requirements. \
For full information on what you need to enter Indonesia, click this link.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Boat and Passenger Safety: Both of our boats are certified to the highest of Indonesian maritime standards with navigation and safety equipment in abundance: ship to shore radio, satellite phones, radar and sonar. We have plenty of inflatable lifeboats and lifejackets for all both in the rooms and up on the top deck and fire extinguishers are found in multiple locations across the boat. All our crew are certified to the exacting standards of the Indonesian maritime code, and a full safety briefing is given on day 1 of each cruise to let all guests know of what to do in the event of an emergency.
Health Requirements and Medical Care: Our trips have varying levels of demands and fitness requirements depending on the specific itinerary and optional activities. To participate, you must complete our medical questionnaire. Medical care beyond basic first aid, due to the sometimes remote regions visited, is often not immediately available If you have a physical, dietary, or any other condition for which you may require special attention, please inform us in writing when the booking is made. SeaTrek assumes no responsibility for any medical care provided to you.
Seasickness: Even if you think that your stomach is rock-solid, a squall could turn up and make you feel sick. Sea-sickness tablets are provided on board but you may have a preferred brand, in which case bring your own.
First Aid: All our tour leaders and crew are first aid trained, and undergo refresher courses every year. There is a comprehensive wilderness first aid kit on board but remember to bring any personal medications. We also have a defibrillator on board.
Insurance & Liability: We require all passengers to sign a strict and comprehensive liability release, and for scuba divers (in the case where we do arrange diving with a third party) to sign an additional declaration of their good physical condition. Copies of these liability releases can be sent on request. Our cruise price does not include travel insurance, and it is mandatory that all guests must have a comprehensive policy that covers medical with an emergency evacuation policy (Medivac), and proof of this must be shown.
We also strongly urge our guests to purchase a comprehensive insurance policy that covers trip cancellation and interruption insurance. SeaTrek does not provide cover nor do we have a preferred broker.
Inoculations and Disease Prevention: Apart from Covid vaccinations, we do not mandate any vaccinations on board. Coming to the tropics can be risky, so talk to your GP about any requirements you may need or ask us at SeaTrek for our experiences before coming.
BOOKING TERMS & CONDITIONS
Reservations: You may reserve space on one of our cruises by email on email@example.com, online at www.seatrekbali.com. Your booking is not final until you receive a confirmation from us.
Deposits and Final Payment: A deposit of twenty five percent (25%) per person is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due ninety (90) days prior to departure. If your booking is made within ninety (90) days of departure, the entire cruise cost must be paid at the time of booking. Payments can be made by wire transfer or by credit card, although a credit card surcharge of 3.8% will be apply.
If you pay your deposit by wire, we will confirm your reservation once your payment has cleared the bank.
Cancellations by You and Refunds: To cancel your booking, you must submit your request to us in writing by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellation fees will be applied per person according to the following schedule, based on the date we receive your written notification.
• More than 90 days prior to departure – 25% of the total cruise cost.
• Within 90 days to 60 days prior – 50% of the total cruise cost.
• Within 59 days prior – 100% of cruise cost.
Your trip/cruise is transferable should you provide an alternate participant at the same fare. No refunds will apply to unused portions of a trip once the tour begins. If SeaTrek has un-reimbursed payments on your behalf once we confirm your trip, a change fee may be imposed.
Travel Insurance: The cruise price does not include travel or trip insurance, so we strongly encourage you to purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and we mandate our clients to have a travel & medical insurance policy with an emergency evacuation policy.
Cancellations or Changes by Us and Flexibility: We reserve the right to cancel, alter or modify any trip without prior notice for the safety and/or comfort of clients due to local circumstances or events. This includes moving guests from one boat to another prior to the trip to optimise passenger numbers. On very rare occasions that a trip cancellation may occur, we will offer you either an alternative cruise or a full refund. We will also assist with any re-ticketing costs that arise from scheduling changes. This will constitute full settlement of claims you may have arising out of our cancellation.
Force Majeure: SeaTrek will not be deemed in breach of this agreement by reason of delay in performance or non-performance of any of its obligations under this agreement to the extent that any such delay or nonperformance is due to any Force Majeure. “Force Majeure” means any circumstances beyond the reasonable control of SeaTrek.
Pre-Departure Documentation: Please read all trip-related documents as soon as you receive them. It is your responsibility to contact us if any information is incorrect. SeaTrek will provide this agreement, a waiver of liability and assumption of risk agreement and a medical questionnaire to be signed and returned, in addition to your booking confirmation and travel information.
Itineraries: Every effort will be made to carry out our cruise itinerary as planned; however, our itineraries are subject to change at the captain’s discretion. When touring at sea, weather, currents, and even harbour masters don’t always co-operate with our planned itinerary, which sometimes make our planned schedules challenging or even impossible to carry out. For that reason, our written itineraries must be approached with reasonable flexibility. We reserve the right to make alterations due to circumstances beyond our control and/or other factors, in the best interests of all. It’s all part of the adventure.
This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).