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Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

North Eastern PA
Level Contributor
34 posts
5 reviews
Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

We just returned from a marvelous expedition with Lindblad Expeditions on the National Geographic Explorer. Everything was handled top notch, we have absolutely no complaints.

The Drake Passage was a Lake both ways we were lucky.

We witnessed a two and a half hour Killer Whale hunt with a seal on an ice float talk about dramatic and exciting to see, again we were lucky.

Our weather was in the 30'F up to 40'F most of the trip. Only one wintry day that brought cooler temperatures, wind and snow.

My fears concerning passage to Zodiacs was gone after first trip, the crew and staff were great and I never felt uncomfortable.

Thanks to all the tips here we were outfitted with everything we required.

We saw the newly hatched Penguin chicks what a treat.

The ship itself was luxurious, our cabin spacious and so comfortable. The bath and shower were huge and designed nicely. Our bed was comfortable and we enjoyed a large window to look out.

The Staff and Crew were the best. We enjoyed many top notch lectures from National Geographic experts on wildlife, oceans, ice, Antarctica, conservation, etc. We learned a lot.

The places we went to were varied and each an adventure all it's own.

We would highly recommend Lindblad and National Geographic for their knowledge, professionalism, service, and a fantastic voyage.

14 replies to this topic
New York City, New...
Level Contributor
157 posts
27 reviews
1. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

Wow, you guys are so lucky. all other report i read had windy, rainy and wet days.

we bought polarized goggles, but our sunglasses are not polarized. do you think that's good enough on the observation deck and on the landing of ice glaciers?

will one pair of waterproof pants prevent us getting wet?

Level Contributor
64 posts
8 reviews
2. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

Thanks for such a great, upbeat trip report. It made me smile as I read it - you could almost hear your happiness! My cruise is in about 2 weeks. I can't wait.

Have to ask...in hindsight, was there anything you brought that you really didn't need, .or conversely, was there anything that you didn't bring that you really wish you had? (sorry, I know everybody asks this question...guess it's a little pre-cruise jitters

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
104 posts
125 reviews
3. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

Hi Ess, we are heading to Antarctica on NG Explorer in Feb19, having experienced their one week cruise around Svalbard in June 16. The things I wish I had taken on that trip were:

1) pair of bathers to do the polar plunge (!)

2) a pair of running shoes so that I could have used the treadmill in the gym

3) better gloves - we brought high thermal rating mittens and I also wore woolen fingerless gloves underneath those. However, I had to take the mittens off to use my camera and I just couldn't warm up my hands afterwards. I think a better form of first layer gloves or chemical hand warmers would be useful.

The things we didn't need were the whizz bang super expensive polarised goggles. I didn't even use the huge sunglasses I brought - my standard ones were fine. Perhaps we are used to the harsh sun at home...

Edited: 12 January 2018, 08:38
North Eastern PA
Level Contributor
34 posts
5 reviews
4. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

I think your sunglasses will be just fine. All you need is one pair of waterproof pants. You are going to love your trip, enjoy!

North Eastern PA
Level Contributor
34 posts
5 reviews
5. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

Didn't need the Vicks for Penguin pooh, the smell wasn't overwhelming. Took too many pairs of wool socks, could wear them multiple days. Did not need all the hand warmers I brought (but we did have nice weather). The parka you get on this cruise is toasty warm, only required a thermal and one pullover under it.

Melbourne, Australia
Destination Expert
for Perth, Antarctic Adventures
Level Contributor
17,044 posts
30 reviews
6. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

Have added to the trip reports digest.

Really lucky to see the Orca hunt in their natural habitat.

Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
15 posts
7. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

Glommits are best so that you can manage camera while keeping hands warm. I take two pairs of glommits so that I can rotate between morning and afternoon excursions (glommits very wet holding wave soaked ropes on zodiacs unless they’re Gore-Tex and there’s not enough times between outings for one pair to dry though I’ve taken a blow dryer to wet glommits on several occasions)

Same goes for mid-layer shirt. I actually like to take 3: one for morning outing, one for afternoon outing, and on to wear outside on deck between outings. Fleece pullover also good for out on deck since you will get tired of carrying heavy parka on board. I also take extra pairs of Velcro straps to wrap around calves to help keep water from soaking mid layer pants during wet landings. It’s easy to lose these straps as they can fall over unaware. Haven’t been on a trip yet where I wasn’t picking up someone’s unknowingly lost strap. Finally I take multiple camera wipe cloths once again because of the wetness. You will be reaching for it often to dry your lens in these wet regions with zodiac waves splashing around you constantly and you want them dry for both daily outings. Get used to hanging all of these items up all over your cabin in the most creative of ways.

Things you don’t need: I’ve been on three polar expeditions, two to the Antarctic and one to Svalbard. I have NEVER worn thermal underwear (though I always take them just in case). I also rarely use more than two pairs of wool socks, and never my heavier pairs. Neck gaiters, never wore them. I usually just get by with the hiking shoes I own, but outside decks are slippery when wet and if you’re orried about falling, a better pair of shoes to handle these conditions might be something to consider. Most expedition companies have walking sticks, muck boots, and parkas. Keep in mind when you are on shore you are quite active and on clear days, wearing fleece pants covered by shell pants and turtlenecks covered by a fleece thick parka can get uncomfortably hot and you will actually find yourself shedding layers in the Arctic and Antarctic summers. Moving on zodiacs and on deck it is much colder and you will appreciate these layers more then. Hope that helps.

Michigan
Level Contributor
2,537 posts
62 reviews
8. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

Who were your Captain and Expedition Leader, DebsBeenThere?

Did you ask about the "au naturel" plunge option, Allcorners?

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
104 posts
125 reviews
9. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

Ha ha, Michigan Chipshot ! Two conditions required for that option:

1) being 34, not 54

2) Approx half a bottle of Cointreau ( for before, not after)

New Orleans...
Level Contributor
265 posts
18 reviews
10. Re: Trip Report National Geographic Explorer 12/27/17 - 01/07/18

Thanks for your helpful review

Traveling on National Geographic Orion next December

How good was the jacket supplied by National Geographic?

Do I need another parka in addition to the one National Geographic supplies?

I have an old ski jacket but don't know if I need to purchase a triclimate?

Also, do you know if an iPhone x can be used to take photos or will it be too cold

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