We chose this ship due to it's small size, and the advertising from APT that the nature of Small Ship Cruising is flexibility to take advantage of opportunities as they arise" as it can go where larger ships cannot.
1. Our Owner Balcony Cabin (one of the 4 most expensive cabins) was located below the ship's crane, and on several occasions (in the early hours of the morning), we were woken by such loud noises that we thought that the ceiling was going to collapse. These were NOT normal noises or vibrations that APT mention as something we should expect.
2. On our first port of call (Senji) we were advised that the ship could not dock in the port so we were provided with another location (Zadar) which meant a extra 0.5 hour extra drive in a coach to the Plitvice National Park. When this was raised with APT on our return, their reason for the change of itinerary was based on past feedback. This, of course, is not a valid reason for the change of itinerary, as mentioned in their "General Information & Conditions".
3. Plitvice National Park was so undersold by the Tour Director as, having steep stairs, narrow paths with no railing in sections, and as rain was predicted then to expect the path to be slippery. Needless to say many did not risk the excursion.
4. In Havar, only one tender was organised to take us all to shore in four groups. We were the last group to go and had to wait 1.5 before we were ferried across. 1.5 hrs was wasted from our touring time. Very poor organisation!
5. A further miss was one of the highlights of the Greek Islands (Mykonos) as the seas were too rough for our tender boat to take us to the wharf although there were 5 large cruise ships taking passengers to and from the wharf with one actually moored at the wharf. No attempt was made to go to another island or find a smaller bay out of the wind on the other side of Mykonos and use the our own tender boats to get to shore.
In addition, APT advertise the visit to the Greek Islands as "...enjoy the quintessential private yacht experience as we set off on a Greek Island adventure." Reading such a description one would get the impression of sailing some luxurious & exotic "yacht" NOT the MS Island Sky! When this was raised with APT that was we were told...that, the "quintessential private yacht" was in fact our Small Ship! Very DECEPTIVE & MISLEADING!
6. The final port missed was the one most Australians and the few New Zealenders on board wanted to see. This was the docking at Canakkale to go to Anzac Cove, The reason for not being able to dock was because there was a larger ship in our spot! However, when the larger ship moved, it was decided that we are now going to berth & packed lunches were organised (so we can have lunch on shore and gain all the touring time wasted while waiting to berth). However, shortly after that decision was taken, the captain decided that it would be too difficult to dock due to the weather and docking will also delay our disembarkation in Athens. From what it seems to us, the Island Sky does not have side/front/rear thrusters on it's ship to be able to assist with docking and getting the Ship through small spaces. So much for being able to go where larger ship can not!
The weather was not an issue. as we were all on deck as we just sailed past the monuments 2 Kilometers off shore & listened to the Tour Director as she read out well prepared notes.Once again no thought was made to provide a alternative destination (possibly a Greek Island on the way back to Athens. Further, why did the Captain know before hand that we do not have a place to berth? was there no communications with the Authorities? If the weather was really an issue then, did the Captain not check the weather on approach?
On 5/8/16, We were told (by the Tour Director) that, Lone Pine was going to be closed on the day of our visit (6/8/16) for an event but, APT had sought permission from the Turkish & Australian Govts for us to access Lone Pine. To further demonstrate the poor communication & lack of organisation by APT, the commemorative service at Lone Pine was cancelled on 28 July 2016, some 10 days before our arrival (due to the failed Turkey military coup).
Generally good but experienced excessive noise serval times in early hours of the morning.