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2 Heritage Expeditions Cruise Reviews

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
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
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