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cathyandsteve
#1 Posted : Thursday, January 31, 2019 1:40:32 PM



Posts: 34

We are so excited....we booked our trip today. We will be on the december 8 2020 trip. Any information or advice is certainly welcome! Our 7th continent!!!!
British
#2 Posted : Thursday, January 31, 2019 2:27:50 PM

Posts: 3,018

We remain on the fence about this tour. Every tour we go on people say it was their favorite. We don’t want to go just because it will be our seventh continent, that will not impress us. I have only heard one negative from someone who said people got fed up of having to pile on all the clothing after a while on her tour and so didn’t go on some of the trips to the shore. I also don’t think it is good bang for the buck to spend so much time on the boat just getting there and back. I’ve just been to Buenos Aires and enjoyed it there. So going there again would be nice.
I have seen penguins in many locations on the planet so you can’t necessarily wow me about them. Can anyone else persuade me otherwise, we do love nature, we have been to Patagonia and enjoyed the glaciers and icebergs there. I love to see plant life and I guess there is not much of that on Antarctica. We spoke to one of the professional photographers employed by Tauck who photographed the Tauck tour there and he almost persuaded us a couple of weeks ago. Just other places we want to see first.
Thanks for your thoughts.
Cathy and Steve, scroll through the past posts on the forum, there are lots of tips there.
cathyandsteve
#3 Posted : Thursday, January 31, 2019 3:25:54 PM



Posts: 34

We have a bucket list that is very long but includes....all states...all continents. Next year we will finish both. Unfortunately...as we check things off of the list...we keep adding to it...lol. So I have a feeling we will never be finished, But that is not a bad thing. Planning is always so much fun, and researching new places is enlightening. We all have our own reasons why we want to travel to different places. Most of our friends have never been out of the USA. I cannot imagine not wanting to see other countries but that is their preference.

One of the reasons we wanted to do this now is that we are 62 and 66. We are both very healthy but that can change in a heartbeat. We know this might be a bit challenging physically so it is better to do it now.

As you know British...we are doing the Tauck Botswana, Zambia, Cape town trip in September...another one we felt we needed to do sooner rather than later.

So in 2020, we are doing a Regent cruise to Australia and now a Tauck cruise to Antartica.

We lived in Alaska and we have taken an Alaskan cruise so we have seen icebergs and glaciers...and lots of wildlife...and we loved it. I expect this trip to be similar yet different.

We have never been to Buenos Aires...so we look very forward to exploring that city.

Honestly, my only hesitation about this trip is going through the Drake passage.

I have been reading here for quite a while...it is not real active but that is understandable.
British
#4 Posted : Thursday, January 31, 2019 4:29:38 PM

Posts: 3,018

Yep, that Drake passage. I feel as if I am in Antarctica right now, I guess that’s why the forum is active today. I’ve been out once and I have to go into the city tonight which I am now not looking forward to, but here at least the roads are dry. So much salt has been put on the roads,they are totally white. I’m afraid my car will rust away...
We don’t really have a bucket list as such, partly because we keep wanting to go back to places we have already been. We have visited just over 30 states in the US. Plan on doing more down the road. I have three years on you, body not giving up yet.😀
cathyandsteve
#5 Posted : Thursday, January 31, 2019 5:28:21 PM



Posts: 34

Weather here has been snowy and frigid as well...it's already been a long winter and unfortunately...it ain't over yet!!

My parents traveled a lot until they were 75 and 78...but then health issues began to plague them. That means i need to get more difficult trips out of the way in the next 10 years or so. I wish we had started sooner!!!
Atlanta Dave
#6 Posted : Thursday, January 31, 2019 5:30:00 PM

Posts: 16

We just got back and the weather was great and the Drake was easier than expected (But then, pretty much everyone was doped up with patches or Dramamine). Is the trip worth it - I will say it wasn't my idea to go in the first place but really did enjoy the "Alaska on Steroids" perspective that we saw. Yes, penguins everywhere, seals adrift very common, and especially one day, the number of whales was impressive - both near the ship and with the Zodiacs. The ship and exhibition team had ongoing lectures and were always on hand to give answers (They were the zodiac drivers).
cathyandsteve
#7 Posted : Thursday, January 31, 2019 5:40:56 PM



Posts: 34

Dave,
My husband is the one who picked this trip but he did not have to twist my arm a lot for me to agree. I had actually picked out a very lovely cruise that was a scenic Antartic cruise...but he said if i cant step on it ...it doesn't count. We have been on a Tauck European River cruise and are booked for a Tauck African trip so I looked at Tauck and it was just what he was looking for.

I am glad to hear you enjoyed it and that the Drake passage was better than expected. We are looking forward to "Alaska on Steroids". Thank you for your input!
taxare
#8 Posted : Friday, February 01, 2019 9:11:46 PM

Posts: 78

cathyandsteve wrote:
We have a bucket list that is very long but includes....all states...all continents. Next year we will finish both. Unfortunately...as we check things off of the list...we keep adding to it...lol. So I have a feeling we will never be finished, But that is not a bad thing. Planning is always so much fun, and researching new places is enlightening. We all have our own reasons why we want to travel to different places. Most of our friends have never been out of the USA. I cannot imagine not wanting to see other countries but that is their preference.

So in 2020, we are doing a Regent cruise to Australia and now a Tauck cruise to Antartica.



If you are doing SYD-AKL on the Voyager in January we will be on there as well!
cathyandsteve
#9 Posted : Saturday, February 02, 2019 8:52:47 AM



Posts: 34

We are on the mariner in february...a leg of the world cruise...Tahiti to Sydney.
cathyandsteve
#10 Posted : Tuesday, February 05, 2019 10:21:34 PM



Posts: 34

We plan to come in a day early to buenos Aries....I am afraid we will be exhausted. I am looking at the recommended clothing...and trying to decide what we might need. Any help is appreciated.
Calaf
#11 Posted : Wednesday, February 06, 2019 3:34:48 PM

Posts: 55

I just returned from the same sailing with Atlanta Dave. No doubt you've read multiple comments on this forum recommending layers as the best way to pack. In Buenos Aires the weather was 80-90, hot and humid, Ushuaia was in the 50's and quite windy, in Antarctica we had great weather, 4 sunny days out of 5, averaging a pleasant 25-30 degrees, but it would be wise to be ready for colder temps. If you pack with layers that you can add or remove as need be, you should be fine. I found the ship to be a bit cool, but not uncomfortably so. Many of us wore sweaters or fleeces while aboard. If you have specific questions, post another response and I'll answer if I can. Enjoy, this is an awe-inspiring adventure!
cathyandsteve
#12 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2019 11:17:50 AM



Posts: 34

If i purchased the polar necessities package offered by necessary gear here on TAUCK...would it be enough for the antartica part of the trip? or might it be overkill and unnecessary? We are not skiers or hikers and we are from the midwest...so we dont really have appropriate clothing. I have been looking at the recommendations and if this package is good...it might just be the easiest way to go. What do you think? There is also the polar and winter works package that include a few more items. Should we go with that one instead?
British
#13 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2019 1:18:16 PM

Posts: 3,018

I think Neccessary Gear stinks
Dixie Chick
#14 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2019 1:52:48 PM

Posts: 118

In theory, I would love to see Antarctica, but it is just too cold. I am a Texas girl, and I know I could not handle even the balmy 25-30 degree sunny days for all day, days at a time. There is so much boat time from BA, and Mr. Dixie refuses even to consider the Drake passage. We loved Alaska both on land and on cruise, and we adore seeing beautiful scenery. The Ancartcia is not for us, so we are planning a Regent or Oceania cruise along the coast of Norway and maybe a trip to Iceland instead.
Enjoy your trips and stay warm.
Nancy
Calaf
#15 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2019 2:17:04 PM

Posts: 55

Here's my highly personal, and subjective, 2 cents: I spent months reading articles on what to pack for Antarctica and finally decided I was over-thinking the whole the thing. Candidly, I simply didn't want to purchase all sorts of
specialized and expensive gear that I would never use again. At the end of the day I only purchased 4 items: Helly Hansen Men's Voss Pants - $26 on Amazon, UPmagic Waterproof Men's Ski Gloves - $17 on Amazon, an $8 pair of Hanes thermal long underwear and a package of 20 hand and foot warmers $15 on Amazon.

I am very sensitive to the cold and yet I never opened the package of hand and foot warmers. I rarely needed to wear the waterproof gloves. Mostly aboard the Zodiacs due to splashing, but even that was minimal on our sailings, otherwise I found them too heavy, bulky and unnecesary. Mostly I wore a thin pair of gloves I already owned that I use for driving and biking. About 10-15% of the time I found gloves unnecessary. Granted, we had pleasant weather: 25-30 degrees and sunny. It's an extremely dry cold, not as penetrating as a wet cold. I also brought along a pair of mid-weight gloves I already owned, and did use those several times.

The waterproof pants I purchased were perfect and inexpensive. Many other people on the ship, including crew members, had on Helly Hansen pants as well. They make more expensive styles, totally unnecessary in my opinion. They are an absolute must, however, as you will get some spray on you (the amount will depend on the wind and waves) and you will almost certainly make water landings (we made at least 5), whereby you are stepping out of the Zodiac into water that sometimes comes midway up your leg. Every landing is different depending on the waves, water and ice. The waterproof boots provided by Tauck and Ponant will keep your feet totally dry.

As far as clothing for the Zodiac excursions I dressed as follows. Thick wool socks layered over thin cotton socks, thermal underwear, blue jeans, waterproof pants, long-sleeve t-shirt, flannel shirt, sweat-shirt, lightweight hooded fleece jacket, Polar Parka (provided to you by Tauck / Ponant), neck gaiter (a scarf would work), sailor style watch cap that I could pull down over my ears. I also took earmuffs, but wore them only once.

My experience will differ from yours as every sailing and every Zodiac excursion will vary depending on time of year and weather. We had good weather and once ashore on many of our landings we did considerable walking, often up steep hills on rocks, packed snow and/or soft snow, sometimes knee deep. These walks can be strenuous, so you end up working up a sweat. Many times I found it necessary to remove the fleece and/or sweatshirt during a landing. Believe it or not, there were a few people on some of the landings who took off their top layers and went in shirtsleeves!

I did not bother with walking sticks. There were a handful of occasions where steep trails or deep snow would have made a walking stick useful, but on balance, I'm glad I didn't bother to buy or transport them. They can be a
nuisance. I would estimate 20 - 25% of the people on our trip had walking sticks. Be guided by your physical condition and stability on your feet.

I brought a small pair of binoculars, used them once. In hindsight, I wouldn't have taken them. Having said that, there are opportunities to view birds, whales, landscape, etc. I just couldn't be bothered dragging them out as mostly I was taking pictures and didn't want to juggle binoculars and a camera.

Hope this helps. If I didn't address a specific question, let me know.
cathyandsteve
#16 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2019 3:03:35 PM



Posts: 34

British...I have never used them so i have no opinion. I figured if tauck recommended them...they must be good...probably overpriced but good.

Dixie Chick...We lived in Adak ALaska for 18 months...we lived in North Chicago for a year....and we have done an Alaskan cruise. There are many places in this world I have no desire to see so I completely understand that many people could care less about Antartica. That's why there are so many different tour companies and cruiselines and resorts. Life is much too short to do things or go places that you dont really want to do. I would not have chosen Antartica and my mom thinks i am crazy...but my husband wants to go and we have had a good experience with Tauck and trust that this trip will meet our expectations. Our ALaskan cruise was one of the best trips we have ever taken....and this trip has been called Alaska on steroids. OMG...I can't wait! We love wildlife and if i get to see whales and seals and dolphins and penguins...I will be happy as a pig in mud. We are taking a regent cruise in Febraury starting in Tahiti and ending in Sydney. I expect that to be a wonderful vacation....completely different than this one. Sometimes it's hard to compare trips and what one person thought was the best may be the one another person hated. Forums are wonderful places...people share their experiences and you can take the advice you need and create your own experience. Happy travels to you!!!

Calaf...thank you so much. This was most helpful! We both have binoculars so we will be sure to use them while on the ship and leave them behind while on the excursions! We both also have cameras.

I have wondered about the walking sticks and read the yays and nays...i think we will forego them.

Your detailed wardrobe will help me tremendously...and i happen to love Amazon...lol

I do have a question for you...when you got back to the ship after the excursion....what did you do with your clothes? One lady on the facebook forum...told me that they left the outerwear in the hallway due to the smell. However she did not tell me...if they just left it there all night or just for a little while or whatever.

Can you also tell me...were you disappointed in anyway about anything? What were your highlights? Did you fly in to Buenos Aires early? How were your flights? Anything you feel like sharing Steve and I will appreciate! I apologize now...if i am bugging you...I truly appreciate your firsthand knowledge
Sealord
#17 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2019 4:12:56 PM



Posts: 567

Just added this trip to our travel plan for 2021. Hope the stock market recovers. (;-). The comments about states and continents caused me to do a survey. All fifty states, six of seven continents, and I made no effort to count the countries. I’ve been to many places that are a little difficult to get to ... like Midway, Wake, and Kwajalein. By the way there is no such place as Midway Island. (Google it.). It is Midway atoll, the prominent islands being Sand Island, and Eastern Island. During WWII the runways were on Eastern Island, and most other facilities on Sand Island. After the war new runways were built on Sand Island, and Eastern Island was basically abandoned. The Naval Air Station Midway was on Sand Island. Home of the famous Gooney Bird. So this trip would be my ‘seven continents’ trip.
Calaf
#18 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2019 6:20:32 PM

Posts: 55

cathyandsteve wrote:


Calaf...thank you so much. This was most helpful!

I do have a question for you...when you got back to the ship after the excursion....what did you do with your clothes? One lady on the facebook forum...told me that they left the outerwear in the hallway due to the smell. However she did not tell me...if they just left it there all night or just for a little while or whatever.

Can you also tell me...were you disappointed in anyway about anything? What were your highlights? Did you fly in to Buenos Aires early? How were your flights? Anything you feel like sharing Steve and I will appreciate! I apologize now...if i am bugging you...I truly appreciate your firsthand knowledge


Cathy and Steve,
Happy to respond. Give me a day or two to formulate my response to these latest questions.
-Calaf
cathyandsteve
#19 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2019 7:28:47 PM



Posts: 34

Sealord...we have a ton of places left that we want to visit. We booked this one now becasue frankly...we were worried that if we put it off too long our health might decline. So we are going to Africa this year, and Australia and Antartica next year. That leaves Asia and Scandinavia and iceland and greenland for the following years...lol. I have bad knees...i have had one replacement...and i figure i need to be able to climb in and out of those safari trucks and those kodiak boats.

Thanks Calaf...much appreciated
Sealord
#20 Posted : Thursday, February 07, 2019 7:56:09 PM



Posts: 567

Small world. I’m having my right knee replaced next month and hopefully the left in the late summer or early fall. From what I have read, I will need knees for Antartica, and I would like to be able to ski again. I hope to be fully ambulatory before our Tauck/Le Ponant trip in 2020 from Monte Carlo to Malta. With a little luck and some hard work at the gym I may even be able to ski a little late next season. Right now I can walk on level ground just fine, but stairs and hills are a problem. So right now I rely heavily on accurate tour descriptions. (;-)
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