Silver Explorer Cruise Review by worldtrav: Life on an expedition ship
Overall Member Rating
Life on an expedition ship
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Spitsbergen (Svalbard)
Pros's: Well kept ship, Some very experienced expedition leaders; Klaus (knew his birds and loved sharing his knowledge, worked around the clock to spot wildlife), Peter (experienced and knew his stuff), Claudia and Chris (he spotted the second group of bears on day two).
Food was very good, the included wine was alright (needed to pay to upgrade for better bottle).
Saw bears on the second day! Wildlife seen was: walrus, seals, whales, dolphins and loads of birds.
Rooms small but well appointed, staff kept rooms up well. Folks on ship were very diverse, broken apart into the German speaking and English speaking groups. Dinning room very well run.
Con's: Workout room cramped to say the least, no room to stretch out which I find really important. No entertainment except a karaoke like piano player, no night life. Staff complained if you stayed past 11:30. Spent two days at the end looking for wildlife, they missed their big opportunity in the morning. More We looked out the window and saw 1,000's, yes 1,000's of seals and sailed right by them. By the time we got up and out of our room we did not see anything the rest of the day. Where you find bear food, ie the seals, it is usually the best place to find bears! The required hotel used in Oslo for pre departure was down right awful, dirty and noisy. Morning of the departure was unorganized, folks pushing to get onto the buses. One of the worst scenes was when we arrived in Longyearbyen and we were taken into the town and told for look around for two hours dragging our hand luggage about while they got the ship ready. Staff really should have told us about the museum in Logyearbyen and set up a staging area, hard way to start a lux cruise. The last day on the ship was really a day for the staff to get the ship ready for the turnaround. We were taken on a tour of Tromso (skip it if you go on this ship), tour included a stop at a lake to look at birds, the Tromso botanical gardens, the Arctic Catherdal and the Museum in Tromso - ho hum. Crusise started out so well and ended with a thud, we should have ended after 7 days and if would of ended on a better high. I was told by many on the boat that the antarctic cruise was far more interesting. Dinning room cramped, difficult to get tables for 8 or more. Less
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