9 Heritage Expeditions Spirit Of Enderby Cruise Reviews

This expedition provides access to islands, Snares, Campbell Island and Auckland Islands group, normally closed to the public with expert guides. Fortunately we had perfect weather and reasonably calm seas. The megaherbs were flowering ... Read More
This expedition provides access to islands, Snares, Campbell Island and Auckland Islands group, normally closed to the public with expert guides. Fortunately we had perfect weather and reasonably calm seas. The megaherbs were flowering in abundance and the albatrosses, other sea and land birds, sealions, seals and penguins were easily observed. We landed and walked on Auckland and Campbell islands - the Snares are closed to visitors. The voyage focussed on the natural resources - plants and animals - of these remote islands with some time also spent on the history of human settlement. The guides were very knowledgeable and helpful. The lead guide, Alex, was especially competent at organizing us with constant good humour and common sense. The ship crew mostly did not speak English but worked efficiently in the background to get us to these places with minimum of fuss and maximum of comfort. Overall an excellent experience that surpassed our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Heritage Expeditions cemented their reputation for professionalism and sharing their passion for nature. From the first moment I read about the Sub-Antarctic islands (and saw the great exhibition at the Invercargill Museum) I have known I ... Read More
Heritage Expeditions cemented their reputation for professionalism and sharing their passion for nature. From the first moment I read about the Sub-Antarctic islands (and saw the great exhibition at the Invercargill Museum) I have known I had to go, and Heritage gave me the opportunity to do that. The ship was well-appointed, and safety was taken very seriously. Our guides knew their stuff and were excellent communicators and leaders. And the food was outstanding - to produce and serve food of that quality on an expedition ship in the Southern Ocean was extraordinary. I will certainly be travelling with Heritage again! This is definitely not a cruise for people seeking luxury and cocktails by the pool, but there is also no sense in which passengers are "roughing it". It's an expedition where completely inexperienced people get to explore, discover and experience globally-important places and species, that would be entirely beyond us but for the expertise of the company and the crew. What an extraordinary privilege! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This trip was a fantastic mix of wildlife and culture and was so diverse every day. We had a great group of adventurous people and knowledgeable staff who bought every experience to life. I could not have hoped for a better trip. Wildlife ... Read More
This trip was a fantastic mix of wildlife and culture and was so diverse every day. We had a great group of adventurous people and knowledgeable staff who bought every experience to life. I could not have hoped for a better trip. Wildlife highlights were numerous close up encounters with whales, including Humpback, Minke, Fin, Grey & Orca. Wrangel & Herald Islands offered amazing opportunities to see Polar Bear in the wild (lots of very healthy bears!) and large halouts for Walrus. Meeting reindeer herders of the Tundra of Chukotka was another highlight. The Heritage staff were incredibly friendly and so experienced and they were always happy to share their knowledge and passion for the region with all of us. The boat is a expedition style ship and although it may lack a few of the creature comforts of the bigger ships it is perfectly suited to this style of travel and I thought the small group size made for a more pleasurable experience! An absolute once in a lifetime trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was an expedition cruise along the Eastern Siberian coast from Petropavlosk Kamchatski in Kamchatka, Russia on the Professor Khromov/Spirit of Enderby The ship was a small 54 passenger ex Russian research vessel with no frills ... Read More
This was an expedition cruise along the Eastern Siberian coast from Petropavlosk Kamchatski in Kamchatka, Russia on the Professor Khromov/Spirit of Enderby The ship was a small 54 passenger ex Russian research vessel with no frills accommodation but it was warm and comfortable. Food was excellent and well presented. The route which followed the coast to Anadyr, allowed us to see the spectacular scenery of mountains and volcanoes in this area within the Pacific Ring of Fire Activities concentrated on landings and cruises in zodiacs where there were multiple good sightings of Brown Bears, spectacular views of Steller's Sea Eagles, close up views of walruses and thousands of sea birds. From the ship there were sightings of Orcas, seals and whales and more seabirds. The expedition staff gave many talks on local wildlife, botany, geology, and history of the indigenous peoples. The passengers on the ship were there to enjoy the remoteness and the wildlife though were treated to a show put on by the local Chukotka people at one of the landings. This was no ordinary cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I chose Heritage Expeditions, since they offered an expedition to such remote places in the world. And why was this the definition of expedition cruising? Nowadays certain places and destinations are becoming so crowded with tourists, but ... Read More
I chose Heritage Expeditions, since they offered an expedition to such remote places in the world. And why was this the definition of expedition cruising? Nowadays certain places and destinations are becoming so crowded with tourists, but with Heritage Expeditions we visited places that were never visited before by any tourists. The encounters we made on this trip with meeting tribes that never seen tourists, local villages who were so excited to show their homes to us or experience snorkeling in a way that it seems that you are there completely alone. While exploring these remarkable places in New Caledonia and Solomon Islands, I could still enjoy the hospitality of the Spirit of Enderby. Despite, there were quite some sea days I never felt bored and could also really enjoy the time on board the ship. In particular the food that was prepared during this 17-day expedition was from a very high level. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This cruise company was recommended by many Australian former Antarctic expeditioners (staff of the Aus Gov). It failed in most respects. The ship was old, the amenities poor. But the biggest failing was safety. There were no grab rails ... Read More
This cruise company was recommended by many Australian former Antarctic expeditioners (staff of the Aus Gov). It failed in most respects. The ship was old, the amenities poor. But the biggest failing was safety. There were no grab rails in the cabins and we had 5-9m swells for many, many days. There was no simple holding device (a hydraulic stop? A hook?) to prevent the door slamming closed in a swell thus a medical evacuation on the first night (one hour from Bluff) when a passenger automatically grabbed the only thing she could grab - a door jamb - and consequently lost a thumb! There was one fractured rib, multiple lacerations and bruises throughout the trip for many older passengers - and some younger ones. We were rarely given any weather data ahead of a particular day and the nature of the sea was downplayed. Most people (a rough estimate being half) were too sick or afraid to move about the ship for days at a time. Some were sick for half or more of the trip. (I should add I was fine for most of the trip). In the cabins (I was Superior Plus) there was no possible way to have a safe shower without sitting on the floor (no thank you!) for most days. And we were advised to stay in our bunks for many days at a time. The Captain never communicated with the passengers (his prerogative) and the Expedition Leader (owner of the company) was sparing in his information about what was to come weather-wise. But fullsome in his descriptions of what we may - or may not - see. Alcohol was exhorbitantly priced. $35NZ for a bottle of wine you could buy in Invercargill for $18NZ at any retail outlet. The food was OK. A couple of quite good meals but otherwise just OK (2 UK chefs). The bunk beds were fine except you slid up and down all night in a roll which seemed like 80% of the time. Having said all of that the wildlife on our few trips ashore was amazing. Not what was expected according to the brochure - no emperor penguins for example - but wonderful and an antidote to the awful ship. And very, very few trips ashore in Antarctica. But that was weather related and not their fault. The Guides were mixed. Mostly hard to access outside of zodiac trips or lectures. A couple of wildlife experts and one historian. Some more informative and helpful than others. Staff were otherwise helpful where they could be. Some very new people getting used to such a cruise (oh sorry, 'expedition'!). All up I would definitely NOT recommend this trip. Since returning I've heard reports back of the sister ship's trip to Commonwealth Bay by the same company. And they are not exactly glowing, quite similar to the comments I have made here. But... make up your own mind. Some people really enjoyed the whole thing! They tended to be under 40, very fit, and wanting an adventure. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Having had a great Antarctica cruise a few year ago I jumped at the chance to go gain. I'd travelled with Heritage before and knew that this was not a 5 star ship, so budget "hotel" services did not bother me. There were 3 ... Read More
Having had a great Antarctica cruise a few year ago I jumped at the chance to go gain. I'd travelled with Heritage before and knew that this was not a 5 star ship, so budget "hotel" services did not bother me. There were 3 areas that did. 1. Safety. It's all very well to say "one hand for the ship and one for you" but if there is nowhere to hold onto in the cabin or the bathroom there is a problem. In the rough weather we had, the cupboards and doors flew open with the swell-- getting dressed was like an episode of Roller Derby with you versus the furniture! There were hand rails around the ship, but in the cabin it was every man/woman for themselves. the leader asked at at the final briefing to tell us how the problem could be fixed-- I'm sorry, but you have been chartering this ship for how long now?-- you should know the issues and the solution. 2. Leadership. This was marketed as an expedition, and if so It was led by Trump not Obama. There were proper briefings before a landing, but otherwise our briefing was an announcement on the PA about the plans for the day, with no opportunity for questions, elucidation or dialogue. We had to head north without being able to get to the huts-- we could all understand the implications of pack ice in McMurdo Sound, but we just headed for Cape Adare without any explanation as to why any other possibility was not feasible. And to echo another reviewer, on days when we were just at sea, the other expedition staff seemed to disappear, and on several occasions we passengers did the dishes ourselves to keep up the supply of clean cups. I don't blame the individual staff-- this attitude came from the unapproachable and uncommunicative leadership. My ratings below reflect my expectations-- as I said, I knew what the ship was like, but had not experienced the swells that exposed those weaknesses previously 3.The lectures were mixed-- one lecturer in particular knew less than his audience, and there was no entertainment at all, except for a trivia quiz organized with great aplomb by 2 of our younger shipmates Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I went because it was a route that few people ever do. I had already been to the Antarctic peninsula, and I was excited to take this more historic route that few people take. I was also super excited to get to the Subantarctic Islands - ... Read More
I went because it was a route that few people ever do. I had already been to the Antarctic peninsula, and I was excited to take this more historic route that few people take. I was also super excited to get to the Subantarctic Islands - so few people even know about them! This is really one of the only cruises that stop there. This route offered an immense amount of wildlife viewing too. I had been on the Spirit of Enderby once before to Russia - so I knew sort of what to expect. Embarkation and Disembarkation: All went as planned from what I could tell. I did explore Invercargill a little bit before leaving - it's a simple town - you don't need more than a day there. The day we left the waters were really, really rough...which was an indication of things to come. Someone had to be evacuated right away even. However the rest of the trip went pretty smooth. This route isn't for the meek when it comes to seasickness. I had a few rough days at first - but after day 4 I had acclimated to the seas! Itinerary and Leadership: The itinerary was fluid and changed quite frequently - but that was exactly as expected - it's Antarctica and the Southern Ocean after all. I felt that Rodney, our expedition leader, mad the appropriate decisions given the weather hand we were dealt. We were unable to get to McMurdo and the Historic huts due to the fact that there was too much ice in the region. However we did cruise all the way down and see the Ross Ice Shelf. Even though it was tough to not get to see the historic huts - there was really nothing they could do about it and instead Rodney and the captain took us to other places that they don't normally get to due to the strange ice patterns and storms last summer. I personally think the key to taking a real expedition cruise like this is to be flexible...so we had to be flexible. I can see how Rodney can be seen as gruff - but I personally liked him and trusted his incredible knowledge of the area. I don't think there's another person out there that knows the Subantarctic Islands and Eastern Antarctica as well as he does. I don't mind if a 'leader' is tough if they are keeping us safe. Wildlife: We saw an immense amount of wildlife - 11 species of penguins! I'm not a birder - but the birders were happy- so I know they saw a lot! We saw fewer whales that I was expecting - but once again it's all luck. Staff: The staff were great - very accommodating and knowledgable. I liked all of the lectures and documentaries we watched. We had a really long time on the ship with this route, so I think they did a nice job of providing lectures and free time. I loved our Anarctic Circle Crossing ceremony we did...it really reminded you of how special this trip and route was. Landings: My favorite stops were Franklin Island, Inexpressible Island and of course MacQuarie Island (so many penguins!!). Ship: The ship is basic. And that's all I needed. It's a small ship and that's what I wanted. I like the feel of smaller ships and smaller groups. It allowed us to stay on landings longer and get around easier and quicker. However it also meant we were tossed around more. This isn't an easy route to take and this isn't a fancy ship. As long as you have those expectations coming in and are willing to be flexible - then I think you'll enjoy it. However if you are looking for a 'cruise' experience - this probably isn't the right ship for you. This was an old research ship - it's not modern or updated like the new cruise ships - but that's what I liked about it...it felt more real in a way. My biggest complaint is that the lecture room is on the lowest level with no windows - so any kind of rough seas makes it really hard to be there listening to a lecture until your body gets used to it. Otherwise - I loved that we could go up on the bridge and develop relationships with the Russian crew! They were great and so nice! Food: The food on our trip was incredible. For 28 days we never had the same dish twice. The chefs were really top notch and they had great portion sizes so it wasn't like I gained weight on the trip! Other Travelers: The other travelers were good. I think some people expected more of a luxury cruise experience for the cost. But honestly I thought the cost was about right for the length of the trip and the complexity of the trip and where we were. Big luxury cruise ships don't come this way for a reason - it's rough, and it's a LONG time at sea. As I mentioned before - if you have your expectations that this is an expedition ship and not a luxury cruise ship...then I think you'll like it. I sure did! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
we knew it was not a luxury boat , but expedition boat supposed to be well equip as a up to date expedition boat should be , , we took one of the 2 mini suite, on deck five , the registered official ... Read More
we knew it was not a luxury boat , but expedition boat supposed to be well equip as a up to date expedition boat should be , , we took one of the 2 mini suite, on deck five , the registered official name of ship professor khromov written everywhere inside or outside that ship , they sol us a "trip" on spirit of enderby !!! which doesnot exist ok at first meeting before departure : captain russian born in april 1957 ( l discover ) = you wont see him ( shy man ) on all and every cruise expedition or other the captain always come to see the " customers" , etc on this boat he hide permanently in his cabin for the 6 days , l run into him as his cabin was 3 meter aways from mine but not even he said hello funny situation !!! . that boat should be well equipped for the kind of seas as we went 600 km ( 370 miles ) south of the port of Bluff invercargill it was not the case . therefore we expect as with this boat the 2 engines making 10-11 knots at the best of times ,, were not able to pull strongly out of the deep troughs made by the southern waves , as this 75mm ship is very unstable and rolls at the slightest puff of wind, of which there is a lot down there .....that Difference being is = all furniture should be very well secured - nothing should be loose. and superior navigation instrument , superior safety etc quite the contrary in fact = with 50 KNOTS OF WIND and above , and 5/7 m waves ALL drawers , closets, doors fly wide open and fall on floor ,what's inside every where , the chairs not fixed on floor literally flew... the cabin door open /close by itself.... , the chair block the door so = close from inside, making it impossible to get out of cabin..... brrr -- we " took" wind 55 + knots , seas of 5 / 7 meter ,for over 36 hours ..... after anchoring on 2 anchors ( which were dragging on sea bottom !!! ) with 2 feet wave and 40 knots gusts , behind campbell Island ,, the first mate told us that boat is not made or prepared to deal with such a storm , we have had to change route not to capsize , and prevent the props from cavitation which they did !!! . it is called also an ice breaker ship that man - one of 2 crew member speaking english - add = in ice condition, we can run into ice at only 2 knots speed and maximum 15 cm thickness ( may be 20 cm if "brand new " ice ) . cabins with the storm we got , in the wash room , everything fly too , such as : toilet paper, toilet brush , soap, the sanitary closet open : what was inside fall down , towels etc the table inside cabin doesnot have a 1 or 2 cm edge at its outskirt , so everything fly too , it is not the small plastic "net" that stop sliding;;;;;; same for the shelves ... cabins 20 years ago confort , only one handle for the whole cabin , and another very small one near the shower !!! . the bunks ( we are on an old expedition boat but for use in heavy seas , ) should be narrow enough to hold you , thats is not the case - one : width 1 meter ,( it's reading light so low that the pillow hide the light = no use ) ; -the other 1.50 x 1.80 so with boat pitching/rolling you fall - too- on the floor, and or sliding and boum boum shoulder/head / feet / arm, elbows every 10 seconds... the side edge of bunk are not high enough to " keep" you inside the bunk etc the foam of our 2 mattress have holes in it , we have to BEG to get 2 pillows each in "bathroom" the faucet of washbasin leaks all the time when open ; the shower hose doesnot stay at his place , fall on floor ..(more noise) , nobody came in 7 days to repair it the safety belts ( yellow !! ) may be homologated but in those water no use you are dead in less than 3 hr , but any how as they are to 'big" for their closet the closet door stay open always , and in the storm they fall too and the other type of safety belts ( read ) they make you wear in the zodiac which inflate automatic if you fall in sea water , get confuse by rain water or big spray when on zodiac !!!! so they inflate brrrr not at the right moment .. therefore they have same type ( but black color = in the sea !! ) you must pull a cord to inflate ., !!! next the two safety rescue boat = length around 8 .50 m capacity 40 pax ,so 80 maximum for the whole ship they made us try them before departure . we were 53 pax ( as we took 3 national park worker waiting to be recover on auckland is. ) + a meterologist repairman ,+ 10 heritage expedition member + docteur and his wife + 25 russian crew = 90 over the capacity of rescue boats !!! in case of evacuation remenber storm condition ok 1 - you have to go on outside deck which are locked at night and in storm !!! . 2 - go 10 meter out , down 2 steps , then grap a hand rail and go up 6 steps , plus embark the rescue boat 50 cm above the last step.... 3 - if the 2 very large ( 1 meter each ) L shape hatch (whose seal were in bad condition ) are open and kept open ( in that case = ship is rolling , pitching or 30° on the side ok ) and no sea water get inside............ 4- you seat all around the hull , no handle or strap nowhere to grap ! plus a bench in the middle where 10 pax seat back to back with nothing to grab and hold yourself in place ....either !! 5- there is an old engine ( 20 y as you have to de-compress the 2 cylinder head to start the diesel 30 horse power with 100 l fuel ) without a top on it , and the surrounding box is 100 % loose = fixed NOWHERE .... so you burn yourself , smell the exhaust , etc ... 5- the crew member who is supposed to pilot the close rescue boat is standing up - only- , his head is in a 40 x 40 cm turret on top of rescue boat with four small ( 30 x 15 cm ) portholes ( with sea spray on it he wont see nothing ever !! ) there is NO " foam " protection around the turret to prevent his head ; neck shoulder etc to get hurt !!! he can hold himself only to the "old" wood steering wheel ...at his belt height , also - cherry on the cake- we did not saw compass and / or electronic devise to navigate in the blind rescue boats !!!! 6- then who is going to wait and to un- hook us from the crane ?? once everybody on board and latch closed ??? !!! in heavy storm etc 7 l found later that in fact the russian crew ( wont be in our old steel rescue boat )) - and hidden from our sight - have two new safety inflatable ( large round type with roof and water and fuses etc inside ) safety rescue " boat " , on the front desk to which we -customer- cant have access ... the WC toilet is a flush system as airplane but forbidden to put toilet paper inside , you must put it in a basket on the side , the " maid" is suppose to take it every morning !! but with the storm she doesnot clean the room for 2 days and again 2 days , ok nice odour for you .... and where do you put the "dirty" paper ( 3 pax in cabin ) when the basket is full lollll the doctor = he is not paid at all ! he get free board and food only , and the right to take part at all shore excursion ( on ship only for 3 weeks he embark with us ) which some of them last from 9 am to 7.30 pm ok but he is supposed to be on duty 24/24 -7/7 , so out every excursion : not on the ship ...... and when he gets back he is exhausted by the day excursion !!!! during my cruise that " guy" was an anaesthetist" not a "urgentist" capable of dealing with fast medical decision in emergency deal, and who need an anaesthetist on a boat where NO surgery can be done ??? they dont even have a small x ray machine !!! on our cruise several small wounded , but one has a broken shoulder , he diagnosis a displace shoulder only and push the pax to keep moving its arm , very wrong diagnostic etc the crew is 100% russian none speak english except the captain that you never see ( suppose to be shy !! ) and first mate ; you have access to the bridge - that nice - there you discover that over 60 % of instrumentation was "past his expiration date" ......... old , too not working perfectly , and 100% of notice or instruction on walls ,panels is in russian only -- only in english = forbidden , dont touch, keep your feet off ...... bridge = huge windows are kept closed by four bolts each , on one of the bridge windows ( starboard 2 nd window from bow ) = one of the four bolts was missing answer ! big laugh we dont need it , who cares !!! two radar one small close range ,one large range . should have at least 2 of both due to location of travel, they received weather forecast i,n detail every 48 hr !!!! the food that was worse than road kill ex ::if soup ( every day ) only one bowl each not 2, and slighty warm not hot , same for every dishes , !!! portion are small ,never a second serving , desert one half of a cookies each , no bread (except for breakfast = 2 /3 slices each ) for lunch NO choice at all for main dish , diner choice between two main dish , you have to choose at lunch time for diner !!! but every 3 diners = the same 2 choices lollll drink only free tap water or tea ( this is a 11.000$ 6 days / 7 nights cruise .......) the 2 waitress russian no word in english do the dish washing 2 meter away from you while we were eating.. every meal ( plus the noise !!! ) and you see it from your table , ...... you better eat fast dinner or lunch last 30 minute maximum breakfast they call = breakfast is at "x" hour you better be there sharp on the time otherwise within 15 minutes no juice no scrambled eggs , or beacon , or saussage or bread , more or less very little left !!! etc there was a living in N.Z. swiss french speaking " chief" cook ( he was alone for all of us , 53 pax , a separate woman cook for the russian crew only ), the guy show me inside the kitchen , dirty , greasy, stuffy odour , etc as he was new and embark with our cruise - he just discover "that" ....... the bar free water / coffee / tea / english dry crakers open 10 hr/day , but only 1 hr per day , beer , glass of NZ wine , wishy , bailey, you must ask ( closed ) and pay extra .......... the return trip from campbell island took 42 hr instead of the 24/26 hr advertise !! once in front of the port we have to wait at sea 2 hr because the harbour pilot start working only at 6 a.m.............. the almost only equipment modern and well equipped where the 5 "zodiacs" with their 60 hp yahama outboard engines ...... and the 3 cranes inspected march 2016 . your choice now Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Spirit Of Enderby Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 2.8
Dining 3.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 2.3
Public Rooms 2.0 2.7
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.0
Family 2.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 5.0 3.3
Service 3.0 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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