National Geographic Explorer Review

Amazing Destinations

Review for Antarctica Cruise on National Geographic Explorer
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JC Norton
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Nov 2019

South Georgia and the Falklands are must see destinations for people interested in wildlife and polar regions. I've been to Antarctica and the Arctic more than once, loved all those trips, but South Georgia is in a class by itself, given the quantity and diversity of wildlife to be seen -- five species of penguins, many albatross, countless other species of birds, elephant seals, fur seals, just an amazing experience. The landscapes are jaw dropping as well, and we were lucky with the weather, having many sunny days. Be aware, though, that there are a lot of at sea days in often very rough water. I'd never been seasick in my life, but had the pleasure between Ushuaia and the Falklands.. The wonderful doctor on board sorted me out and I was on prophylactics during the rest of the crossings without problems, but if you're very subject to motion sickness, think twice about this itinerary.

As to the expedition ship and staff, good overall, but I've experienced better with other companies, particularly Zegrahm. The ship's crew members were outstanding, a largely Filipino group who were universally friendly, helpful and attentive. My cabin attendant was first rate and I heard nothing but good comments from other passengers on that score. To varying degrees, the officers were visible and engaging and the open bridge is a wonderful element. Wait staff was generally very good. As to food, though billed as fine cuisine, it's not, entrees ranging from all right to truly awful -- dried out fish, uncooked lamb, surprisingly bad. There were some very good things as well, though. Baked goods were very nice and the soups excellent. In any case, you don't to expedition trips for fine food, but the pretense on this ship, given what's actually on offer, I found a bit annoying.

Most expedition staff were friendly and informative, but presentations were of mixed quality, some excellent, some lamentably bad. This was a Nat Geo trip, so photography was a major preoccupation and it was cool hearing from photographers working at that level. They were willing to share ideas and help the amateurs making up most of the guests. Equipment was available for loan, which I thought was an nice gesture. Level of expertise is regards the wildlife, geography, history and so on was mixed.

Cabin Review

Compact, well appointed cabin aft with a comfortable bed. Very ample storage. Loved it and was very well cared for my the attendant. The aft location is a bit of an issue in heavy seas, though.

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