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5 Noble Caledonia Caledonian Sky Cruise Reviews

We booked what was supposed to be a 15-day wildlife cruise around New Zealand, but because Noble Caledonia had failed to rid the ship's hull of biocontaminants, it failed New Zealand's inspection and was unable to sail until 6 ... Read More
We booked what was supposed to be a 15-day wildlife cruise around New Zealand, but because Noble Caledonia had failed to rid the ship's hull of biocontaminants, it failed New Zealand's inspection and was unable to sail until 6 days after the scheduled embarkation date. And instead of sailing around the South Island and its offshore islands, we got on the ship 6 days late in Auckland, and we completely missed out on what was for us the main (the only!) reason we booked this cruise, which was to see the southwest coast and and offshore islands (Stewart and Snares), with their endemic penguins and other wildlife. Instead of sailing the South Island, we got a bus tour (on a mediocre bus, I might add) of museums and urban gardens. When we finally were flown to the North Island (Auckland) 6 days later, we got a whirlwind 8-day cruise around the North Island, whose coastline is much less interesting than the South Island. Even the North Island cruise was a mess because we went everywhere on the wrong days, when things were either closed or unavailable to us. Although Noble Caledonia gave us a 25% refund of the cruise (and 0% of the air travel from the Eastern US), that did not come close to compensating us for losing the reason we book the trip -- namely the southwest coast of NZ and the offshore islands. Because were were not traveling from London, they wouldn't book our air tickets, and when they curtailed the cruise, they would not take responsibility for compensating us, (Eventually they gave us 10% of what we had paid for the air tickets.) The cabin was adequate. The dining on the ship was good ( not remarkable compared to other cruise we have been on), but the meals at the hotels o the bus tour were poor, and service was very slow. Some passengers got food poisoning and could not even board the ship when it was available 6 days late. The only exceptional aspect of the cruise was the housekeeper for our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise as it was to a unique and remote location with stunning landscapes. We departed from Broome for an 11 day sail to Darwin. Before hand we had done an APT land tour with 18 ppl who all embarked on the cruise as well. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was to a unique and remote location with stunning landscapes. We departed from Broome for an 11 day sail to Darwin. Before hand we had done an APT land tour with 18 ppl who all embarked on the cruise as well. The ship was a perfect size with 100 guests. We ate all our meals outdoors on the Lido deck as the weather was perfect every day. The food was a good quality and served quickly after ordering. Most alcoholic beverages were included with a good selection of Australian wines. The expedition staff were amazing and experts in their fields, whether it be whales, crocodiles, birds, marine or geography, we all ended up with tremendous knowledge of all subjects. Everyday had a different stunning view with a zodiac trip ashore. My favourite expeditions were Horizontal Falls by helicopter , zodiac and then by fast boat. The volume of water in unbelievable. Another outstanding tour was leaving at 6.30am for a zodiac trip up King George river and gorge, with a hard hike up to the top of King George Falls. The views very impressive. All the staff were friendly and Captain Mike was good fun and we enjoyed him singing a few numbers on party night on deck. He was regularly seen around the ship and ready for a chat. I would definitely recommend this trip if you are looking for breathtaking landscapes and want to go to places that are rarely visited. A reasonable level of fitness is required for most of the walks. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise was operated by Noble Caledonia who have chartered the ship for several years from APT who apparently have a share in NC. The trip: It was an expedition cruise along the coast of Java, ending in Singapore. The attraction ... Read More
This cruise was operated by Noble Caledonia who have chartered the ship for several years from APT who apparently have a share in NC. The trip: It was an expedition cruise along the coast of Java, ending in Singapore. The attraction of these cruises is that there is an emphasis on nature and local culture and they go places larger ships can't get to, with frequent use of zodiacs for landings, many of them "wet" on beaches where there is no dock available. The expedition staff have their specialisations. e.g. history, birds, marine life, geology, and are all trained and skillful zodiac drivers. This is important as the nature of the cruises means the ports of call are more than usually at the mercy of weather, sea state, currents and tides and they did well to find suitable landing spots and get everyone off and back on the ship in changing conditions. It also means that a reasonable level of fitness and agility is required from the passengers and you have to be prepared for almost anything. Inevitably, some of the ports of call were more successful than others and in a couple of places it seemed the shore agents had not done sufficient research, which resulted in missed stops and insufficient information being available throughout the day. The nature of these excursions off the beaten track does mean that things can go awry but I have travelled with Noble Caledonia on similar cruises in this region before and I thought these trips had been better organised, maybe because the NC staff seemed more hands-on rather than leaving a lot of the arrangements to local agents. Also, on this cruise the Expedition Staff were less friendly and mixed less with the passengers at meal times than on previous trips. The ship: The food was superb. The dining and cabin stewards were all excellent. The reception staff were OK, but not overly pleasant or responsive to requests - a smile now and again goes a long way. The air conditioning in all indoor areas was fierce and after a couple of days many passengers had developed coughs and sneezes; requests at reception to have it turned down were met with "but then you will complain that it is too warm" (see responsiveness above). There is a difference between a pleasant ambient temperature and cold!! Overall the ship's décor seems a bit tired: the colours in the suites and dining room are quite dreary; the tiling in my bathroom was the worse for wear and the bathroom door had obviously been replaced but shreds of the protective plastic covering had not been properly removed. OK, it's a small point that didn't affect the operation of the door but it does indicate a lack of attention to detail in the appearance of the ship, which did not meet the expectations set by the company's publicity. It was supposed to have been refurbished about 5 years ago, but felt much older than that. Overall this cruise just missed the mark: for what Noble Caledonia charges, everything should be excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We sailed out of Broome in the north of Western Australia, This was the last cruise of the season before the temperatures became too excessive and the wet arrives. What a delight this small ship is! For those who remember - she was ... Read More
We sailed out of Broome in the north of Western Australia, This was the last cruise of the season before the temperatures became too excessive and the wet arrives. What a delight this small ship is! For those who remember - she was originally a Renaissance Ship - not the big ones - but a smaller version. A hundred passengers all made welcome. All drinks, excursions are included. Our first morning at sea gave us a fabulous display of breaching whales. The captain kindly slowed the engines and circled the pod for upwards of 2 hours. We loaded the zodiacs everyday to places many have never heard of much less travelled to - Lacepede Islands for turtles and boobies, Montgomery reef - a unique natural wonder, Talbot Bay and the Horizontal Waterfall, the Hunter River to crocodile spot, Raft point for ancient Gwion Gwion rock art, Vansittart Bay to cross the salt flats to see the remains of US Air Force DC3 (WWII)- still in remarkable condition, the King George Falls, and a flight from Wyndam to the Argyle Diamond Mine - no folks they did not give samples. Our cabin was HUGE, the service faultless- the impression given by the crew was of a large happy family- and that transmitted to the passengers. On borad entertainment was terrific - Thanks Fran and Gus (Amazon Blue) There were no children on Board and to my knowledge no facilities for them. This was advertised as an Adventure Cruise and does not cater for restricted movement of passengers. All activities require a resonable level of mobility. It was GREAT. Thanks to all on board. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose Noble Caledonia's Timeless Japan cruise round some of the ports of Japan because it is so much easier to cruise around this country than it is to drive. After a day or so in Tokyo, the tour took us by bullet train (as ... Read More
We chose Noble Caledonia's Timeless Japan cruise round some of the ports of Japan because it is so much easier to cruise around this country than it is to drive. After a day or so in Tokyo, the tour took us by bullet train (as advertised) for a two-hour journey to Niigata, the port of embarkation. On boarding the train, it became clear that the bullet train is a two-tier affair in which only the upper tier has any view out while the lower tier just looks at a concrete wall for a couple of hours. In order to save a few pounds, Noble Caledonia booked its customers into the bottom tier thus turning our only opportunity to see the interior landscape of this distant land into a journey about as interesting as a trip round the Circle Line, but without the stations. For lunch we were served a bento box containing the most disgusting food I have ever been served, another economy. The ship itself was physically OK, within the limits of a small vessel. We were advised that afternoon tea would be able between 3.30 and 5 pm. Most of the tours were arranged so as to return a few minutes after 5pm, thus saving the ship's crew the trouble and expense of serving afternoon tea to its passengers. It would be interesting to know where these savings to the budget ended up. The officers were aloof and did not encourage contact with the passengers. Waiters and other crew were friendly and made the best of what they must have known what was going on. The daily excursions were generally interesting and well organised, with a few memorable "sail-away" performances of high quality. Japan is a fascinating country. Noble Caledonia's parting shot was an unnecessarily long and exhausting 24-hour return journey, presumably planned to save a bit more money on the flights. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Caledonian Sky Ratings
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