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National Geographic Explorer Review

4.5 / 5.0
46 reviews

An epic journey in the company of great people all around

Review for Antarctica Cruise on National Geographic Explorer
First Time Cruiser • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Feb 2018

After much research and talking to people who have been on Antarctic expeditions, we chose to go with Lindblad on this epic southern journey and it was an eye opening experience. We loved nearly all aspects of the expedition fundamentals - the shore experience, the ship, the cabin, other guests, the ship crew, the naturalists, the hotel management and staff who in particular were truly wonderful. The voyage and the way it was planned and conducted was outstanding. Lindblad made sure we saw and experienced everything of beauty and importance that was within our reach including making detours wherever necessary. We liked the sense of adventure and exploration that was inherent in the way they planned the trip - it felt as if we were experiencing something not meant for many people. Consider, only in Stanley the ship docked and we walked out on to the jetty. Every other landing in those 3 weeks was a beach landing on zodiac boats! When we came back to the ship or on the days when we were at sea, the hotel management and the staff were simply outstanding in their service. The cabin was comfortable and spacious and housekeeping was simply outstanding. They also ran a great dining room with food from many countries on offer. The lounge and the bar were great places to mix with others and also learn from the Naturalists and NatGeo photographers who were all very generous in sharing their knowledge in the "re-cap" sessions. We also liked the diversity of the naturalist group - ranging from the lichen guy to the penguin guy to the reptile expert! We really liked the amount of time we spent away from the ship and the sometimes physically challenging hikes. While at sea when nothing much was happening outside, there was the library where one could read; the chart room where we could trace our voyage on charts; or the gym where one could work out. The open bridge policy and the easy access to the ship's crew and the captain was amazing and very, very comforting to us. The shore expeditions were incredibly well organized. The beauty of these places - we were able to enjoy it only because of the meticulous and safe manner in which Lindblad organized these excursions and made sure everyone had a chance to enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the animals. Kayaking in the waters off of South Georgia was absolutely a beautiful experience. We really appreciated that they put the guest experience of those lands as the central focus of the trip - supported by great service from each person that we encountered on the ship. The pristine beauty and the vastness of the landscapes we visited and the abundance and diversity of animals and birds was an experience we will never forget. We also made so many great friends on this voyage who were in awe of what we were experiencing around us. It took us some time to go over our concerns and fears about travel in the Southern Ocean (or, for that matter ship travel on high-seas itself). Having decided, we are very happy that we went with Lindblad who made everything possible to make this not only adventurous and memorable but also safe and "comforting". We have been on day excursions on the sea earlier. But this was our very first high-seas expedition/ cruise experience ever and we are hooked!

Cabin Review

Our friends who are experienced cruise travelers who traveled with us said that they were surprised the cabins were so spacious. We liked the space (a queen bed), a desk, an arm chair and large window with a somewhat small but really well designed bathroom. We were on the main deck, mid-ships so the roll and pitch in our cabin was minimal even during Drake crossing and across Scotia sea to South Georgia.

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