We'd been on a National Geographic expedition cruise to Alaska with our family this summer. Though we enjoyed that a great deal, we wanted to try another cruise line just for the experience. This was a cruise to Antarctica. Silversea came highly recommended, and, as this was to be a trip with just the two of us, we decided to REALLY splurge and take the Silver Explorer, another expedition ship. It was a great choice all around. All the pre-trip arrangements were well done, including the Buenos Aires hotel (The Park Tower) and the charter flight to Ushuaia. The welcome aboard was very efficient, indeed, and our cabin (500) just right for us. We liked the size of the ship and met many fellow travelers from different areas of the world, some of whom we expect to keep in touch with well into the future. Food was very good, the only downside being weight gain! The Naturalists on board were, on average, an even higher calibre than those on the National Geographic cruise: knowledgeable, experienced, interesting and humorous. Loved all of the lectures. The only real complaint we had was the requirement, after each of our zodiac landings and hikes, to meticulously clean our boots so as not to transfer foreign matter from one place to another. We have no complaint with the requirement, but it is simply out of character with an all-inclusive super-luxury cruise with personal butlers and champagne flowing everywhere to have the passengers doing this. The little mud room in which to do this was super-cramped. It was the one thing all the passengers felt was out of place and, though we conjured up a few reasons why this was imposed upon all 140 passengers (ensuring ecology awareness being the tops), we all agreed it should be re-thought. But that's it. We hope to take Silversea again. The entire crew was incredibly professional and polite."Entertainment" is rated "3" below to be fair-there is no entertainment (save the very good lectures) and a piano player, who was fine. N one takes an expedition cruise for entertainment, but rather for enrichment.
Clean, well-stocked; loved the French balcony; though we were in Antarctica. we slept with the door open a bt every night. Very important