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10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary through Scotland, St Kilda, Orkneys, Shetlands though 24 hour daylight cruising in Norway was a fabulous bonus. For me the hikes, the bird life (they set you down right in middle of ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary through Scotland, St Kilda, Orkneys, Shetlands though 24 hour daylight cruising in Norway was a fabulous bonus. For me the hikes, the bird life (they set you down right in middle of thousands of puffins and razor bills and guillemots etc. ) the scenery were the highlights. They really make an effort to get you ashore even in difficult weather. We were the only ship that arrived in St Kilda, the others cancelled because of the easterly winds, then they manoevred the ship to broadside the weather so we could use the zodiacs on the lee side.They knew how important a landing was to everyone. They have the loading and unloading of the zodiacs down to a science. Even the most unsteady should feel perfectly comfortable. Then when we really could not make the Lofotens Islands due to conditions they hastily organized an interesting visit to Narvik. The on board historian did a great job getting up to speed with the new location, getting the fliers printed etc. So very very accommodating. Another time we had to skip an afternoon visit due to weather, but they were able to replace that with a hike up to a glacier after dinner. So at 10:30 pm all those still sober set off on a hike up to a glacier in the midnight sun. About those on board experts. There are "ologists' for everything - geologists, biologists, archeologists, ornithologists. Almost too many of them. They dominate the cruise. When you are ashore it's a little like a school outing with the "ologists" there counting everyone, one at the front, one at back making sure no-one goes missing. They certainly add to experience, but occasionally you just want to break free. The on board ship facilities are few. There are two small hot tubs on the aft deck. But in 11 days I only saw them used 3 or 4 times. Food is excellent. The chef tries to buy produce from local markets. So when the ships docks somewhere he is off to the local fish market to see what they have. He is always out greeting guests at dinner, very accessible, talking of what he been able to acquire.There is one bar that is pretty lively after dinner. If you want serene cruising, off the beaten path locations, history hiking watching wildlife this is the way to go. Read Less
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