My wife and I just got back from the Antarctica Expedition. Fantastic! Two notes: The company in New England provided us superb equipment rental; however, lugging those heavy boots was a mistake - too much weight and from what we learned once we embarked, the rental service in Ushuaia was more than adequate. Second suggestion: take trekking poles; they are invaluable. Conditions onshore are often rocky and slippery.


  • Hi Aardvark,

    Thank you for the equipment advice! I hope others are able to make good use of it.

  • As I said in another post, did a great job with boot rentals delivered directly to the ship. If you needed a different size, you could trade them in. The ship's expedition desk collected the boots in the duffel bag that was provided. Folding trekking poles were a must.
  • We went to the Antarctic on the January 29th departure…what a great experience…better than we ever imagined and we had high expectations to start with! Several observations to add to those already posted: Indeed, use Ship to Shore as recommended…excellent service! Don't worry if you order the wrong size…they will have extra boots to try for the right fit before you leave Ushuaia…and it was easy to order/return on the boat and had our refund within the month.

    Absolutely get trekking poles before you go to the Antarctic…I don't care how steady you are, the rocks are icy, uneven and can be treacherous. The snow can be deep and even with a pole (needed two), I "sat down" more than once! The gift shop will have a few but you will pay 3x what you can get them online. Excellent purchase (I got the Leki brand ($69) and it was worth it!

    Other piece of advice…luggage is definitely weighed…40# flying from Buenos Aires on LAN and they mean it. What I wasn't prepared for was a big tote bag to carry on…they don't weigh them and can be stored in overhead or under the seat. Life would have been simpler if I had only known this secret! Coming back to BA from Ushuaia, it was the opposite…fill up your big suitcase, weight doesn't matter and keep your carry on light (LAN weighs it on your return). Just be prepared…it works!

    Clothing tips: the big red parkas are great…and very warm! Waterproof pants are a must…I got warm ones, not just the lined ones! Don't bring lots of heavy sweaters/jackets…the ship is warm and so are the cabins. It is fun to have a pretty top or two for the Captains dinners…Tom wore a sport coat and was glad he did for the night in BA and the two Captains dinners. About 35% of the men wore jackets…the tour directors did not…they just wore "clean clothes" as short Bill put it.

    We were blessed with three wonderful tour directors…tall Bill, short Bill and beautiful Allison. Great trio…excellent directors. The Captain and his crew and the staff are excellent on the LeBoreal…hope to sail with them again.

    It was a fantastic voyage…we had superb weather, fantastic sightings, got to sail to the Antarctic Circle…11 Zodiak landings…whales abounded, seals sunbathed on icebergs, penguins were everywhere. Wow! Even had a champagne party on an ice floe…doesn't get more spectacular. We are ready to go again.

    Let me know if I can answer any other questions…just don't miss this trip!!!
  • edited March 2014
    The Ship to Shore link posted farther above is incorrect. The correct site is Ship to Shore Traveler.
  • Good Morning,

    We are booked on the January 20, 2015 trip to Antarctica and are busy getting ready. Just a quick question about the zodiacs. Can you take backpacks aboard? We have walking sticks to bring with us and it seems the easiest thing to do is bring them along in a backpack. Is a good rain cover on a backpack sufficient, rather than buying a waterproof pack?

    Any assistance will be appreciated!
  • Get a light weight, waterproof backpack/sack. They come in a "nylon" fibre and are light to wear and fold back down into an almost fist-sized bag. Much better than a "real" backpack and easier to fit in your case! A splashy zodiac dismount could ruin you camera gear in a regular pack. It's not worth that risk.


  • Nancy,

    Thanks for the packing information. It'll help when putting things together. Can you carry on a backpack and a bag on both/either flight? In Africa I just put my backpack in the Tauck carryon, which was plenty large. I'll probably use that carry on on this trip and pack it light one way, heavy the other. I just have to keep track which way to do it....Old Timer's Disease you know?

    I will have a water proof backpack (Thanks, Jan) as my cameral bag. Glad to hear I don't need a bunch of heavy sweaters and such. I'll get some waterproof pants with some long johns and a couple of thin shirts under the coat (layered, you know?).

    I'm sure I'll have some more questions before I the February 9 trip.
  • I have started to look at the stuff I have for the February 9 trip to Antarctica. One question I have is the type of electrical adapter needed for the hotel in Argentina. They tell us that the ship has both 120 and 240 plugs and I assume those are type A or B (standard US plugs). As I research the plugs for the hotel it looks as though they use either C or I plugs. Can anyone who has made this trip affirm the adapters needed in the Buenos Aires hotel?

    I am piggybacking the Yellowstone in Winter and the Antarctica trips, with a week in Denver and a week in Phoenix sandwiched in between, so the clothing in both of three of the four legs of the adventure will be similar. I'll ship some warm clothing for Phoenix and Argentina then swap them out for my heavy coat since I will get a nice new red one on the boat. Packing will certainly be an issue with all of this. Photographic and computer equipment is always a concern. Reading the other posts on that subject, I think I can make enough changes in bags to have the appropriate weights in the appropriate bags for the appropriate airports. I am sure there will be laundry services available at the hotel and on the ship.

    Anyone with suggestions will certainly be listened to. That's what I like about this forum....I always get good advice.

  • We just returned from Essence of S. America in Oct. The hotel in Argentina, Caesar Park, and all other countries we visited took a European two prong adapter.
  • Thanks. I assume you mean this type.

    I am reading that they can be bought there cheaply. I have a bunch of the European, two-round prong adapters. I'll take a couple and if it doesn't work go buy another one.

    I appreciate the response.

  • I have a question about parkas - I read something about a complimentary parka being given to us on the ship - does anyone know if that is a warm jacket or just a waterproof shell? What are you all planning to take in the way of outer layers (coats that is)?
  • Really confused about the luggage weight limit
    Truck tells my travel agent 44 pounds for checked bag plus 15 pound carry one limit
    Plus a purse or similar
    One posting mentions 40 pounds and the limit is different on the return trip than the trip down
    Truck should tell us the airline so we can go to web site for more info
  • Sorry for the late response. Yes, that is the plug. We took two European plugs and they worked fine.
  • Embee wrote:
    I have a question about parkas - I read something about a complimentary parka being given to us on the ship - does anyone know if that is a warm jacket or just a waterproof shell? What are you all planning to take in the way of outer layers (coats that is)?

    I have been told that it is a warm jacket and should suffice as long as you dress in layers underneath. I'm not planning on taking anything else for outer wear except for a much lighter jacket which I'll layer, if necessary, for the day in Ushuaia. Which departure are you going on? We're going on the Dec. 7th departure and starting to get very excited.

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