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What main languages are spoken here?:

Expedition briefings, safety drills, and almost all written communications aboard the ship are in English. That said, expedition members and the S.A. Agulhas II crew are from all over the world, so I often hear small groups of people speaking in French, Afrikaans, German, Swedish or Finnish, for example. Even the native English-speakers have different accents, depending on where in the U.S., Great Britain or New Zealand they are from. I find it very impressive that so many people aboard this ship can communicate complex thoughts in multiple languages. This is truly an international expedition.

What type of money is used here?:

There is not a lot of need for money aboard the S.A. Agulhas II. For anyone who wants a snack or special drink outside of mealtimes, a small onboard shop is open for 30 minutes each day. The shop accepts only South African rand, the official currency of South Africa. I exchanged some U.S. dollars to rand in Cape Town when I arrived. One U.S. dollar equals about 16 South African rand. The rand paper notes are beautiful, featuring pictures of former president Nelson Mandela and some of the wildlife you can find in the country.

How much does a bottle of water cost?:

Drinking water is free aboard the S.A. Agulhas II.