After a fairly intensive dry dock in Singapore for two weeks, the ship looked very good wih new carpets, seating, decking etc. The ship was due to travel to northern Japan but due to the recent disasters there, HAL opted for South Korea & Russian ports. Less than 1000 passengers.
Each passenger was given $250 OBC and 10% discount on their next cruise due to the itinerary change.
The crew were excellent as with entertainment, although we had seen the regular shows on past cruises (12 months ago)
Meals were the standard fare and nothing to complain about...especially the extra seafood on offer as they were taking new supplies on in Alaska.
Tender ports were speedy with minor lines.
Overall an excellent repositioning cruise.
Click the link to see the highlights:
Video highlights of the Volendam Northern Explorer cruise from Kobe,Japan to Vancouver,Canada via Busan, South Korea, Vladivostok & Petropavlosk,Russia, Kodiak Island & Sitka (via Inside Passage) Alaska May 2-17, 2011.
Cabin 1953 was a good location toward the aft of the ship starboard. Minor upgrades from dry dock (they said they ran out of time) Mirror needs replacing.
Soap & shampoo now attached to wall in shower.
Fruit on request
Window was rusty & stained
Kept well serviced each day
The ports of Busan, Vladivostok, Petropavlosk & Kodiak were not listed but very easy to get to as we opted for our own sightseeing. Busan in Korea had a free shuttle bus to downtown 25 mins away Vladivostok, you are right at the city Petropavlosk was a tender & you could walk 15 mins to the city Kodiak & Sitka also a tender & you are right in town Sitka was a lovely place but only 5 hrs there to see the township & Raptor Centre.