Le Boreal is a very attractive ship with an elegant, sophisticated interior, comfortable public spaces, and smallish but comfortable cabins.
We had a Deluxe Suite which had an extra dressing space and a longer balcony, and we found that there was plenty of space to store our items for a seven-day Iceland cruise.
The mix of passengers is roughly half American (with some British) and half French. I enjoyed the mix as I am always looking for ways to improve my intermediate-level French and found a few French guests that were willing to tolerate my struggles at speaking their language. One could observe the standard American/French differences that may be uncomfortable for some Americans. French service tends to be formal and inflexible, and if you expect that at the outset you will be fine.
My problem was not with the French and Swiss staff, or with the Filipino personnel, but rather with the many French-speaking waiters from francophone islands. They were, More
without exception, exceedingly unfriendly and seemed, at times, to be downright angry. The problem is that you encounter them at every breakfast, lunch, and dinner and at the lounges (they serve as bartenders). It actually became laughable towards the end.
However, this factor alone would lead me to choose another company for an upcoming trip to Antarctica. While National Geographic/Lindblad is more expensive, I will happily pay the extra for professional, respectful service.
The food was a great source of discussion on our trip. We all expected great food on a French trip. At times, the food did border on wonderful. Usually, however it was mediocre or less.
A final note. The captain is an attractive, youngish French man. He was also one of the most affected people I have ever witnessed. His announcements were so unintentionally comical with his affect that our group found great amusement when he made them and we all enjoyed mimicking him. Less
Le Boreal Cruises to