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Question Antarctica Travel tips?
Old 12-10-2017, 10:10 AM   #1
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Question Antarctica Travel tips?

Anyone ever travel to Antarctica? Researching now. It is very expensive, but any tips or knowledge on the subject is appreciated.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:16 AM   #2
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Dress warm.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:21 AM   #3
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Your movements are sharply curtailed only being permitted to walk in a small path with designate guide to not disturb the penguins. Also you could get near it & be turned back depending on weather
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:29 AM   #4
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Have not gone yet, but DW has been extensively researching. As noted by gayl, there are serious limitations on access to protect wildlife. Going on a small boat maximizes your time ashore near animals. Of course, small boats cost more....

And agree with Senator!
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:32 AM   #5
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I have often considered it, and came close to pulling the trigger a couple of times, but haven't yet.

My big objections (aside from the astronomical cost) are:
  • Most of the days are spent "at sea" coming and going
  • With rare exceptions, you only get to explore a tiny bit of the peninsula, and/or a few islands
I understand that it must be horribly expensive for the outfitter to run these trips, so I'd be willing to pay the price for the kind of trip I would like, but they are all so similar (and I've examined just about every company that runs them) and so restricted.
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Antarctica
Old 12-10-2017, 10:40 AM   #6
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Antarctica

I did the trip in 2005. It was the last trip I took with my late wife. I still have my red parka from that cruise.
It is expensive, and crossing the Drake Passage can get "lumpy".
I have attached our trip story. I am happy to answer any questions.
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File Type: pdf antarctica2005.pdf (445.3 KB, 34 views)
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:44 AM   #7
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Thank you everyone. This is helpful. I have been researching as well and all outfits are very pricey. And, no guarantee you touch on the great continent. I mean, that is what we want, to actually set foot on the big chunk o ice?
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:50 AM   #8
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This one is definitely on my list (soon to be done). I am debating going there by plane (stay there for 2 hours or one night), or by boat.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:18 PM   #9
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The company I did my eclipse tour with in August with, TravelQuest, has a trip leaving at the end of this month to the actual South Pole. Cost is somewhere around $55k plus air to southern Chile, making it to 90 degrees south can’t be guaranteed due to variable weather, and you sleep in a tent.

If I had the dough to spare and was physically fit enough I’d do it in a minute.
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:09 PM   #10
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I know of a fellow who went there once.

His ship got stuck in the pack ice, was crushed and sunk. He and the crew were stuck on the ice for 5 months before the ice broke up and they stuck out for an island in life boats.

They got to the island but it was deserted. So, he and a couple of folks sailed 800 miles across the Antarctic ocean in one of the life boats to an inhabited island with a whaling station.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:37 PM   #11
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Could a trip to the extreme north offer the same thrills and chills, at a lower price?
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Old 12-11-2017, 07:37 PM   #12
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I went like 15 years ago on a cruise ship out of Ushuaia Argentina. It is true that there are only so many hours where you're off the ship. We visited outposts that various countries have, and we also visited completely wild locations. We left on January 20 (the middle of summer), and it wasn't really all that cold...the picture below was just one night where we walked out on deck just to have a look around. I wouldn't stay out there for an hour, but it was fine for 10 minutes. We departed Ushuaia on Sunday evening and on Tuesday morning I was swimming at Deception Island, so not much time to cross the Drake. It wasn't that rough either, to my disappointment. There were higher seas on my last Atlantic crossing, thanks to a hurricane.

The only "weather" related thing on my trip was that we didn't get to go all the way through the Lamaire Channel. We started in, then the captain chickened-out. It was due to too much ice, he said.

The ship was only about 22K tons and had a passenger capacity of 800 or so. Pretty small when compared to most more modern cruise ships.

There were quite a few different birds, including several varieties of penguin. Got to see some up close while walking around, but we were instructed that if the animal changed behavior due to our presence, we were too close. Saw leopard seals, whales, and stuff. But the thing that's always there and always amazing is just the bleak environment. Just can't describe it.

As to the "gear", they wanted you to bring your own boots. Some people left them, but I brought mine home. All the tourist were given and had to wear a red coat. I just brought a few turtle necks and some insulated underwear.

As to the price, it probably doesn't make sense for me to quote mine since it was so long ago. It looks like it was $5070, all-in, including buying the boots. That's splitting a cabin with my BIL and Dad. Inflated at CPI-U, that's $7061. That's for 8 nights on the ship, I guess. Red eye from Miami is included and I think a shore excursion when we returned to Ushuia.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolRich59 View Post
I know of a fellow who went there once.

His ship got stuck in the pack ice, was crushed and sunk. He and the crew were stuck on the ice for 5 months before the ice broke up and they stuck out for an island in life boats.

They got to the island but it was deserted. So, he and a couple of folks sailed 800 miles across the Antarctic ocean in one of the life boats to an inhabited island with a whaling station.
Amazing! I know of that fellow too! Was quite a few years ago, as I recall. In fact, I don't think they had perfected the bi-plane yet, so no air rescue.
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:43 PM   #13
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A friend of mine took this trip last year and raved about it .

https://www.oattravel.com/destinatio...ica:antarctica
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Old 12-12-2017, 05:33 AM   #14
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We went on a Galapagos expedition earlier this year with Lindblad/National Geographic Expeditions, and loved everything about it. Talked with several fellow passengers who had gone to Antarctica with Lindblad and without exception they highly recommended it.

I may be overly picky, but one of the things that bother me is that hardly any of the tour operators actually cross the Antarctic Circle. They all seem to congregate only in the tip of the peninsula. Not that the peninsula isn't worth visiting, it's just that it represents only a fraction of a percent of the continent. Kind of like spending a couple of days at Carnival in Rio de Janeiro and then saying you've "done" South America.
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:26 AM   #15
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Not alot of time right now, but in short:
  • Just go if you can afford it, it's a totally different travel experience and not comparable at all to the arctic
  • No need to go to the insanely expensive south pole. The most fun wildlife is around the peninsula anyway. 10k should do it.
  • Take the smallest ship you can find, landings are restricted to 100 people at a time. I was on a ship with only 80 passengers iirc
  • Temperatures can be downright balmy. I had 7 degrees celsius in most of the days. But if weather goes bad, it can go really bad. Take all your winter gear with you.
  • Go at least 10 days, maybe even 14 because crossing drake's passage costs you two days one way, and that's rocky sea all the way
  • It's not only about the wildlife, also about the researchers and other people on board
  • Take precautions reg. sea sickness
  • Don't worry about being in great shape. I've had a fellow passenger on board with one leg, and another lady in her 80s.
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Old 12-12-2017, 06:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffInSeattle View Post
Could a trip to the extreme north offer the same thrills and chills, at a lower price?
In short: No.
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Old 12-27-2017, 05:24 PM   #17
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If you’re FIRE, healthy and free consider looking for info on websites like the National Science Foundation, what military branch is flying the LC-130s and what contractors are supporting the mission. What/who are they hiring for a summer season? Another source might be The Old Antarctic Explorers Association. DH was a VXE-6er at McMurdo.
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Old 12-28-2017, 06:00 AM   #18
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Through the years, I have kept up with what's going on down there by reading "The Sun". When I was working, I had considered working a season or two after retirement, but don't feel that way anymore. Go through the "Past Issues", too.
https://antarcticsun.usap.gov/
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