Just Back from Antarctica Dec 2017

My Thoughts:
Rain pants -- a must, had one Zodiac tour that we were constantly showered with ice cold sea water
- unless you get really cold i WOULDN'T do ski pants -- way to warm
Binoculars --- We used them a lot on the ship from observation deck or room balcony
Sun glasses ---- a must-- bright sun with white snow
Sun tan Oil ---- a must for a fare skinned like me
Walking poles --- saw people give them up after a day or 2 and others use them everyday.
Dramamine--- Start taking it 24 hours before cruise!! Rough to me was CALM by the cruise shipmates opinions

Biggest mistake--- Not having anything to fill the down time. Had about 6 days with ZERO TV reception. Internet
availability was like the bad old dial up days-- almost useless. Ship had some recorded movies
and documentaries that you've never heard of. SO, take a Ipad and download books, movies or
TV shows before you go

Biggest observation --- People were WAY over dressed. Summer is just starting and people got so hot they'd take
their coat off and lay them in snow and retrieve them when hike was over.

Don't ever ---- skip a zodiac tour. Snowing one morning and several couples skipped it. Snow stopped and it cleared up
and was the BEST one of the 10 we took.

Think about ---- Penguin poop. It smells BAD and gets worse as summer continues. I'd recommend something to dab
under your noise to mask the smell


  • edited August 2018
    Great review heywood. This is a tour we felt was not for us. Although we have noted many say it is their favorite tour, we realized there would be so much time just getting to the destination and we already know just a few sea lions can stink, we cannot imagine how the smell of all those penguins are. The few penguins we saw in New Zealand, South Africa and the Galapagos will do it for us.
    I would have thought Tauck would have done lots of things to keep you amused on the travel days at sea, was that not the case? For us, the better option is the Patagonia tour which we will take in November next year. Snow scenes are nice, but we need to see green too.
  • Thank you for the good list. Did you buy or rent the rain pants? From whom? Anything else? We’re going 12/2/18
  • edited September 2018
    We went on the Antartic trip in January 2016. Antartica and the Kenya /Tanzania trip which we did this summer are my 2 favorite trips. You definitely need waterproof pants and gloves. The jacket Tauck provides is waterproof and ours had a hood. You get sprayed on the pontoon boats and can get wet getting in and out of the boats. We rented boots from the ship. I never remember being bored on the ship. There were many excellent presentations by the Expedition Guides and we went to every one. Also used the gym and found a group that played bridge . Probably had a good book too. I needed most of the cold weather gear i brought. When it was sunny it was warm -30s and 40s. However in the pontoon boats if it was cloudy and windy i needed to cover my face and neck. It was cold. Brought foot and hand warmers but never used them.
    Dont remember that the penguin poop smell was something that bothered my husband and me There were lots of penguins but just dont remember that the smell was something we were concerned with.
    I also would go on every pontoon expedition. Each one was diffferent and you never know what remarkable thing you will see!
  • LeeW: this is very helpful information as I will be on one of the January 2019 Antarctica sailings. I would appreciate your thoughts on a several items of clothing. I have purchased rain pants and waterproof gloves, and I will be ordering boots through Tauck's program, but I'm wondering if I really need a few other items that I've seen on many packing list recommendations. The first is glove liners for under the waterproof gloves. I do have a thin pair of gloves I wear for biking in cold weather, which I intend to bring, but they don't fit under the waterproof gloves I've purchased. The second is a base layer for my legs. If I'm wearing flannel-lined jeans and the rain pants, do I really need another layer? Thank you in advance for your thoughts.
  • edited September 2018
    The gloves i wore were waterproof but also were very warm. I did not wear liners and my hands were never cold. When you are on the pontoon boats you are holding on but even then with the gloves my hands were not cold.. i wore a base layer under my pants and rainpants. However none of my pants were lined. I was not cold. I think with flannel lined pants plus the rain pants you should be fine. Friends of ours went in January 2015 and they had just about the same experience as us. Have a great trip!
  • LeeW: Thank you so much for your response. I will be guided by your answers. Really looking forward to this trip. I had wanted to go last January, but waited too long to and it sold out.
    Happy future travels!
  • Calaf wrote:
    LeeW: Thank you so much for your response. I will be guided by your answers. Really looking forward to this trip. I had wanted to go last January, but waited too long to and it sold out.
    Happy future travels!

    I am also thinking about this trip for 2020....would LOVE to read a review from you when you return if you have the time to post.....
  • Carol,
    I'd be happy to post a review upon my return. Until then, I hope you've had the opportunity to look at the Review tab on the Antarctic destination page, as there are 96 reviews already posted.
  • We too are thinking about this trip for the end of 2020...so all advice and information is greatly appreciated.

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