Antarctica

Hi--Is anyone going to Antarctica on February 8, 2014?

Comments

  • Hi,

    I am on the Feb. 8 trip to Antarctica. email me at [email protected] Would love to talk to you. I will then email you my number or, you can email me yours and I will call you.

    Edris
  • Edris and Linda K - please post about your thoughts and experiences when you return. How many landings did you do? What are you glad you took with you? What do you wish you left home? Did you rent equipment or bring with you? What was your favorite thing? Thanks and have a wonderful trip.
  • Hi,
    My DH is on the January 19th tour right now. Just wanted to let you all know that he went on line before he left for the trip to pay the fee to enter Argentina that they are now charging. He thought he had printed all the pages he needed and yesterday at AA in LA had to do it all over again, since he did NOT have his password to get into the site for Argentina to show them that he had paid. So it cost him double. We are World travelers and usually don't hit a snag like this, so I wanted to let you all know about it.

    To OlySue -- I know he will be happy to give you any info you might want after he returns. This is his 20th tour with Tauck.

    Sheila
  • Hi Sheila,

    Thanks for posting this information on the Argentinian visa process. I'm sure this will be invaluable for any prospective travellers to Argentina … and Tauck has quite a few trips that transit Argentina.

    Are you able to elaborate a little? I get that your DH had all the photocopied receipts, but am I understanding correctly that he needed to go online "in front of the officials" to verify his visa?

    (It is slightly different for Australian citizens visiting Argentina and the visa fee is different, too, but as I understand it, the fee is still payable in US$. The overall visa situation is still basically the same process, however.)

    Looks like another wodge of printout needs to be added to the ream of paper I already carry when travelling! So much for E-tickets! Hah!

    Cheers,

    Jan

    PS: I hope this is not just a revenue raiser, in the manner of speed cameras fixed at the bottom of hills. Surely not. (Yes, I know. "Don't call me Shirley.")
  • Hi Jan,
    Apparently, he needed to create a password originally on line to get the document. It isn't a visa, just similar to what is required to enter Chile. I didn't get involved since I wasn't going. It's a new reciprocal fee being charged because the US charges their citizens. I will find out more when he returns on 2/1. I just wanted to warn the people going on the next two tours to Antarctica. He had to go to another area at American airlines at LAX to check it out. He needed the password to enter on their computer to see that he had paid the $160.00 fee and print the page missing. He couldn't remember what his password was, so he had to give them another $160.00. I'll post when he returns.

    Sheila
  • ScorpioS wrote:
    Hi Jan,
    It's a new reciprocal fee being charged because the US charges their citizens. I just wanted to warn the people going on the next two tours to Antarctica.
    Sheila
    Good thinking, 99 … er … Sheila! I'm sure lots of people will find this heads up very helpful! It's similar to the non-visa fee we are charged when we enter the States. ;)

    Hope DH has a fabulous time!

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • Hi again Jan and those of you on upcoming Antactica tours:

    My DH just called again from Buenos Aires and said Tauck had 110 on the ship and the rest were other tour companies with 90 people. The Tauck group is broken up into three groups. He was told that the airplane that flies them from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires to return home weighs the carryon luggage carefully. Everything over the allowed weight has to be in checked luggage. I forgot what he said the allowable weight is but it should be in the final docs which are sent to passengers by Tauck or on their website.

    Sheila
  • Sheila - did your hubby take boots, poles, etc or is he renting? And frankly, it is good to know that SOMEBODY is checking carry-on bags somewhere in the world. Outside the gear, this trip sounds like a good one for checked bags. Way too much bulky stuff.
  • Hi olySue,
    He took high boots which he bought on line from the Bass Shop to know that they would be comfortable. He intends to leave them on the ship for the crew. he didn't take any poles. I told him to make room in suitcase for some of the stuff in his carryon bag by tossing his old underwear and thermals. We live in L.A. so I don't think he will need thermal underwear here.

    When are you going? Did you read through all the posts under "Antarctica" for more info?

    Sheila
  • Sheila - haven't read the other posts yet. I don't go for a year so have plenty of time to read and pick peoples brains.
  • Sue,
    I suggest you read them and then print the ones that have important info. They might change this board and you will lose all the info. It happened once before to us. We have been traveling with Tauck for over 25 years and this is my DH's 20th tour. They only do this tour five times a year and hardly anyone posts after they return.

    Sheila
  • Hi Olysue,

    I will be very happy to let you know about my Feb 8 trip to Antarctica. I have been in Buenos Aires before and it is an exciting and most beautiful city and we have dinner reservations at a superb restaurant there which I will let you know about.

    My travel agent got my Argentine visa for me and I placed the copy in my passport.

    I am packing very lightly taking the necessities including but not limited to waterproof pants and a folding trekking pole.

    If you plan to go at some point make sure you reserve early as these tours sell out fast.

    Edris
  • Olysue

    -I should have mentioned that I rented boots which will be delivered to the ship. I live in St. Petersburg, FL and do not need my own. Because I am originally from Chicago I kept all of my cashmere sweaters, socks, mittens, scarves so I am taking those. They are extremely warm and light to pack.

    I bought trekking poles that fold because I am booked on the Oct 29 Tauck tour to Machu Pichu and Cuzco and also for the Feb 2015 India/Nepal trip and have been advised they are handy on rough terrain.

    I was advised to get the patch for rough seas and my physician recommended it and prescribed it. The Drake passage can be very rough. I am also taking multi adapters-no converter-just in case.

    I was in Argentina in 2009 and no visa was required; now they want the $160 visa for Americans. Be sure to have the copy of it in your passport.

    Edris
  • Just heard from my husband again. He said that the ship was lovely, good food, nice people and the scenery was fantastic. Wish you all a wonderful trip! If any of you have any questions, he'll be home on Saturday.

    Sheila
  • I am on the Feb 8 trip. I have rented boots from www.shiptoshore.com, I saw them mentioned in one of the Tauck Forum posts. They deliver them to the ship so it does not take up room and weight in your checked bag. You have to put down a deposit which will be returned after the trip, which of course, is in addition to the rental fee. I bought folding trekking poles for Machu Picchu at Eastern Mountain Stores. They have a small rubber tip; in MP our tour director put on even thicker rubber tips.
  • You'll have a great trip. I worry a lot and just had my first experience with Tauck going to Antarctica. Our lead was Rob and with the two other Tauck directors, there was NOTHING to worry about...they took care of everything and I mean everything! From pick up at the airport, luggage transfers and all the "complexities" of the tour, food, transfers, etc. etc. , Rob and his partners/contacts had it all worked out and they were there 24/7 if you had a question or needed help. ONE thing I will suggest that I'm going to write as part of my review, when you go off ship to the Islands, there are two ways of exploring; one is walking and the other is sitting. Most people did the hikes to the "highest" points for the view but our Tour Lead Rob said several times that you should enjoy just being with the wild life and that means sitting and enjoying what is going on around you. I did that most of the time and I'M GLAD I DID. You can miss so much by walking and not stopping and taking in the moments! Sit and enjoy the time off the ship is my suggestion and I thanked Rob for that suggestion because I would have missed 75% of the reason why I went to Antarctica if I didn't. Having a penguin walk up to you is priceless.
  • How warm is the parka that Tauck provides? How much do you need to wear undernwith?

  • HI timphillips,

    My DH got back last Saturday. The jackets were great. He didn't wear any thermal shirt under the jacket -- just a long sleeve shirt. His group went out for a 30 minute walk on the ice and it was three hours before they returned. He wasn't cold wearing the jacket. If you want, take a thermal shirt and see if you need it. He had thermal bottoms on under his ski pants. He said everyone in his group wore thermal bottoms. He had a fab time. If you have any further questions, please post here.

    Sheila
  • My husband and I went to Antarctica last January, a year ago. It was the most amazing trip! We had two landings per day and if you get really lucky they will find an iceberg to push up to and let you off in the zodiacs to walk on. The crew goes out beforehand to stake boundaries and then they set up a little hot chocolate "stand" for you to enjoy after your walk around.

    I had a hard time coming back to reality after visiting this amazing continent (our 7th continent to visit). Nothing looked beautiful to me anymore for about a week. And we live at the beach in So. Cal.! The beauty is not to be described in words. The air is pristine and the lighting is surreal.

    I'd go back in a heartbeat.

    Finally, the trip over the Drake Passage was exciting and not too long.

    CMO
  • Hi CMO,
    My DH feels the same way as you. It was amazing and was also his 7th continent to visit. His walking on the iceberg didn't happen as the ice moved in fast and they were stuck in the zodiaks for three hours. Everything ended well and they didn't need to call for ice cutters to rescue them. Tauck did a wonderful job with this tour as usual. This was his 20th Tauck Tour!!

    Sheila
  • Good grief! Three hours in a rubber ducky! That explains why I've been given instructions to have a stock of any regular medication on me when we take to our own rubber duckies for Macquarie Island in a couple of weeks. It's not necessarily ice, but any unforeseen weather change that operators have to anticipate. Gee, the things we travellers take for granted.

    Thanks for posting that little tip, Sheila.

    Cheers,

    Jan
  • Hi Jan,

    Have a great time! I carry Oat and Honey bars around the world with me since I'm pre-diabetic. I can't take a chance I won't have something good to munch on in case of any problem.

    Sheila
  • Good grief! What was I thinking! Seasickness, motion sickness, drowning, freezing, motion sickness, penguin attack, motion sickness, sea lion pup cuteness overload, motion sickness, frostbite, World Heritage Sight wow factor overload, starvation ……. I must be insane. No need to answer that!

    I think my name's still Jan ……….
  • I guess our Feb 8, 2014 trip was uneventful with regard to seasickness, drowning, freezing, animal attacks, etc. We did wear the patch to ward off any seasickness and we had an easy crossing of the Drake Passage going and a decent return crossing. A few people reported feeling a wave one night...I was out cold and felt nothing except the normal rocking of the ship. We made really good time with our first Drake crossing and got to make a landing on the afternoon of the second day of the crossing. During our five days we missed one landing because the seas were rough, but made three different landings on the last day. On the way back we got in early to Ushuaia and we got off the ship and walked around town before dinner back on the ship.

  • Thank's so much for posting, SororityChick.

    You can't buy those patches in Australia. I believe you once could, but they were removed from sale by government health regulation. I believe it had to do with side effects. ???? I tried to buy them when I was last in the States, but you needed a prescription, at least in MA. It's possible they may not have helped me, anyway, because I get an inner ear thing. So now I have multiple packs of balance medication, pressure point bracelets and ginger tablets. Something should work out of that lot, and hopefully won't work against each other! Personally, I have faith in the water of life. They say alcohol should be minimised with the balance medication because it might increase drowsiness. (Naturally, everything in moderation!) That's certainly one way to sleep through the night! I have a lot more wild ocean to cross than you with Drake's Passage. The Southern Ocean is really big …….

    As departure date looms, I keep telling myself this is a unique adventure. It will be wonderful. I Will. Not. Be. Seasick. Arghhhhh. I know, chill. Ommmmmm…...

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