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Author: inhsetvl

Joined: 10/21/2013
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 7
OAT Trips Taken: 0
Traveler Since: 2011

October 21, 2013

We are scheduled on the GCT trip to Antarctica leaving the end of January.  I am reading all the information we have received and it states that I must be able to hike 3 miles unassisted over the course each day and participate in 6-8 hours of daily physical activities daily.   I am wondering if this is exaggerated.  Can someone who has done this trip please advise?   I have read thru the travel forums and have not seen anyone writing about this topic.

Thank you. 

Author: ed watts

Joined: 3/30/2010
Posts: 164
GCT Trips Taken: 1
OAT Trips Taken: 2
Countries Visited:

All seven continents, 113 countries and all states except Idaho.Plus some interesting places that are not countries such as The azores, Antarctica, Falkland Islands, South Georgia, etc.

Traveler Since: 2010

October 21, 2013

This must just be standard language by GCT.. I did not do this trip with GCT but rather with GAP--the difference  with GAP  is that they do not spend any time in BA; therefore, the extra days are actually spent in Antarctica.  Anyway, given this, there was no where near that much activity on my trip.  In addition, on the landings you are somewhat limited on where you can go on land and, besides, you can do as much or as little as you want...Lots of people just find a spot, sit and let the penguins just walk up to them and, in some cases, let them walk all over them!  Perhaps Deception Island presents the better opportunity to do more walking if you would desire.   Regardless, this is a trip of a lifetime!. 

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 268
GCT Trips Taken: 5
OAT Trips Taken: 12
Countries Visited:

USA, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, Japan, Okinawa, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, China, India, Turkey, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Scotland, England, France, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania, Montenegro, Slovenia, Albania, Luxembourg, Croatia, Russia, Finland, Egypt, Jordan, Panama, Colombia, Iceland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.

Traveler Since: 2005

October 22, 2013

Although we have not taken this main trip to Antarctica, we have taken the post trip to Iguassu Falls after "The Wilderness Beyond". It is similar to the one given after the Antarctica trip. There were definitely at least three miles of hiking - up and down- a day on that portion of the trip.  And the high temperatures in that area influence the need  to be in good physical shape. 

Perhaps someone else will answer your question about the main Antarctica trip.

Author: suepoor1234

Joined: 7/20/2011
Posts: 40
GCT Trips Taken: 0
OAT Trips Taken: 8
Countries Visited:

All the states; east and west Canada, all of Western Europe(except Iceland and Greenland); the Baltics and Scandanavia; Belarus, Poland, Ukraine; eastern Russia; Turkey, Jordan and Israel; India, China, Mongolia, and Tibet; Egypt, Morocco, Tanzania; Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatamala, El Salvador; Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, Peru, Argentina, Chile; Australia and New Zealand; Antarctica.

Traveler Since: 2007

October 23, 2013

I have done this trip, but not the pre- or post-trips, so I cannot speak to those extensions.  I don't recall any time that we hiked very far at a single time.  There was one day we took advantage of a short forest walk, but hardly a hike. Probably the longest "hike" was the foot tour of Buenos Aires.  There are some challenges to climbs when exploring the different landings from the ship, but one needs to assess each situation and decide individually to go or not.  Some of us didn't trust the footing, but some did and they chose to climb over the snow and ice-covered areas.  The rest of us stayed near the shore.  (And after you have seen the first 400,000 penguins, well --- what more can one say?)  Do try the lava-heated waters; it is a hoot.  Some chose not to do any landings or walks.  They enjoyed watching from the ship. 

You might encounter thin ice under the snow and may step into holes, especially near the beaches, so be prepared to ask for help to get out (of course, that is part of the tales to tell when you get home).  Also, be prepared for penguin poop -- you will get it on you and there is NO WHERE to wipe it.  The dirt you think is on the ground is poop!!  You can rinse your hands in the cold, cold sea, and the guys on the ship will scrub the poop off your pants and jacket and you have a boot bath to walk through both going and coming to/from the landings. Again, part of the experience.

Go!  Have a fabulous time. Say "HI!" to the folks at the trading post.  They are a hardy lot.


Author: dorisblake

Joined: 10/7/2011
Posts: 5
GCT Trips Taken: 8
OAT Trips Taken: 10
Traveler Since: 2005

October 25, 2013

I had the pleasure of this adventure last Dec.  The Drake Passage was the Drake Lake both crossings.  It is an absolutely, awesome, breathtaking adventure and experience.  The walks are not that challenging. Just take your time, use your poles to help you keep moving.  Penguins have the right-of-way.  You can even slide down to the bottom of the hill on the penguin trails if not occupied by the black and white natives. If you had a gunny sack you could even go faster. Take your hiking poles with you as it helps on the ice and snow.  Sometimes the aroma of poop is overpowering.  Try taking a small jar of Vicks Vapor Rub.  Put the rub above your upper lip  and under your nose and you will not smell much.  This is an old ambulance employee tip.  Your adventure is one long lifetime memory. 

Author: forgerr

Joined: 4/26/2012
Posts: 19
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 5
Countries Visited:


Traveler Since: 2008

October 29, 2013

I did this trip in 09 and there was no 3 mile hike in Antarctica that comes to mind. Each landing is diff and you will need to determine if you go or stay close to the shore. This is an outstanding experience and will leave a life long impression on you. Except for the penguins after the first 5,000 that you will see.

Author: jleach

Joined: 5/1/2012
Posts: 1
GCT Trips Taken: 4
OAT Trips Taken: 1
Traveler Since: 2013

October 31, 2013

We did the same trip in January of 2013.

The longest hike we did was about one mile when we landed at Whalers Bay.

We walked along the shore. We were lucky and made ten landings on our trip.

We did do the pre-trip "Patagonia", this is more demanding and you do a lot of hiking.

 If you would like to see more, take a look at the book we made.

You can view it at

This will help you to see what you will encounter on the Trip.

It was one of our best trips ever.

Every time we came back onboard there was something not to drink waiting for you.

We made three landings one day. Had to suit up each time but you are so excited you don't mind. The waterproof pants were invaluable as you go ashore, My wife took a pair of hiking poles and she used them to help with walking on the snow and even the rocky areas.

If I had it to do over I would leave off the pre-trip to Patagonia.

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