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Spirit Of Enderby Cruise Review
3.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
9 Reviews

Antarctic wildlife and views great, expedition company awful

Spirit Of Enderby Cruise Review by Solarnomad

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2017
  • Destination: Antarctica

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.

Solarnomad's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Basic. A bunk. No grab rails for swells. Furniture/toilet brush/garbage bin/clothing/shoes flying around the room in a big swell.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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