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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise as it was to a unique and remote location with stunning landscapes. We departed from Broome for an 11 day sail to Darwin. Before hand we had done an APT land tour with 18 ppl who all embarked on the cruise as well. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was to a unique and remote location with stunning landscapes. We departed from Broome for an 11 day sail to Darwin. Before hand we had done an APT land tour with 18 ppl who all embarked on the cruise as well. The ship was a perfect size with 100 guests. We ate all our meals outdoors on the Lido deck as the weather was perfect every day. The food was a good quality and served quickly after ordering. Most alcoholic beverages were included with a good selection of Australian wines. The expedition staff were amazing and experts in their fields, whether it be whales, crocodiles, birds, marine or geography, we all ended up with tremendous knowledge of all subjects. Everyday had a different stunning view with a zodiac trip ashore. My favourite expeditions were Horizontal Falls by helicopter , zodiac and then by fast boat. The volume of water in unbelievable. Another outstanding tour was leaving at 6.30am for a zodiac trip up King George river and gorge, with a hard hike up to the top of King George Falls. The views very impressive. All the staff were friendly and Captain Mike was good fun and we enjoyed him singing a few numbers on party night on deck. He was regularly seen around the ship and ready for a chat. I would definitely recommend this trip if you are looking for breathtaking landscapes and want to go to places that are rarely visited. A reasonable level of fitness is required for most of the walks. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I had always wanted to go to Svalbard and hopefully see Polar bears, and this cruise did not disappoint!! We flew from Heathrow to Tromso via Oslo and embarked there. Everything went fairly smoothly despite a rushed change of plane. ... Read More
I had always wanted to go to Svalbard and hopefully see Polar bears, and this cruise did not disappoint!! We flew from Heathrow to Tromso via Oslo and embarked there. Everything went fairly smoothly despite a rushed change of plane. This is an expedition cruise and not to be confused with normal cruising. We set sail from Tromso in the evening and in the morning landed near North Cape and were taken up there by bus. From there we cruised the Barents Sea past Bear Island and on to Spitsbergen. We were actually able to circumnavigate Spitsbergen as the ice had pulled back sufficiently to do so. Apparently only a week before, we would not have been able to do this! The ship is really lovely and very luxurious. The ship crew were wonderful, and the expedition team excellent, they could not have been better. We had all our breakfasts and lunches on deck (warmly wrapped up) so that we did not miss anything. The hotel staff were so caring and would bring rugs to anyone who was cold. The food was superb, even managing to keep the Sunday lunches hot while we ate on deck. The dining room was lovely but we really only ate there at night, although even then we had to leave everything and dash up on deck to see whales that had most inconsiderately decided to come close at dinner time! Every evening we had a catch-up meeting in the lounge to go over our day and to explain what we hoped to do the next day. We also had many talks from interesting team members, covering everything from the flowers we would see and the geology of the area to the land animals, marine animals and birds. Yes we saw Polar bears! Many Walrus, a Blue whale and several fin whales. Arctic foxes and thousands of birds. We were off the ship twice a day, either on hikes or Zodiac cruising close to the land. We felt very safe all the time and were looked after really well, we were supplied with waterproof walking wellington boots and parkas, so we did not have to bring those with us. We only visited 2 inhabited towns, Ny Alesund which was very interesting and we heard about the various scientific studies by several countries going on there every summer, and about Roald Amundsen who flew the airship over the North Pole from there. The other town was Longyearbyen from where we disembarked. We had several hours there as our plane back was delayed, but we had a very nice lunch in the hotel and bought more souvenirs in the shops. We were also taken on a tour and visited the museum and the Church. Our return flight with Titan Air was very good and very comfortable. All in all, everything was excellent and I would not hesitate to recommend this ship and this cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We were recommended this cruise by friends and our local travel agent. They were right because I doubt if our experience could have been bettered in any way. We set sail from Ushuaia and headed for The Falkland islands, South Georgia and ... Read More
We were recommended this cruise by friends and our local travel agent. They were right because I doubt if our experience could have been bettered in any way. We set sail from Ushuaia and headed for The Falkland islands, South Georgia and then the Antarctic Peninsula. We were welcomed on board very efficiently, our cabin was excellent, comfortable and well appointed. The ship's restaurant was superb with an excellent variety and choice of dishes available for all meals. The lounge, bar and library areas were very comfortable but we spent as much time as possible out on deck while sailing. There were lectures every day to prepare us for our visits ashore. The guides were superb, being knowledgeable but also very helpful and friendly - they were great people and they helped to engender a very positive atmosphere throughout the whole trip. The ship's staff were lovely too. The shore visits were all accomplished with landings by zodiac boats - getting on and off these was made very easy by the highly skilled guides. We were all issued with bright red waterproofs and sturdy muck boots to wear. All in all we had a superb experience - we were blessed with wonderful weather and the wildlife was fantastic. The whole experience was worth six or seven stars - I doubt if it could have ben bettered. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
this was our second cruise with Noble Caledonia. This trip was called Madagascar and Beyond. The cabins are gorgeous with ample bathrooms and endless hot water from a powerful showerhead, even when everyone else is showering too! ... Read More
this was our second cruise with Noble Caledonia. This trip was called Madagascar and Beyond. The cabins are gorgeous with ample bathrooms and endless hot water from a powerful showerhead, even when everyone else is showering too! The food is excellent and the waiting staff begin to know you are know exactly what you will be requiring. there is no seating plan and everyone sits with everyone else and tries to be very inclusive of singles. I would suggest that the tables are sometimes for an odd number, i.e. 7 or 9 and this would enable singles to join a group without massive rearranging of chairs. the expedition staff are excellent and so enthusiastic. They are all proactive and always willing to lend a hand to another member of the team to ensure the smooth running of the activities. The team also go out of their way to 'make something happen'. if a guest wants to do a particular walk or trip they will try to 'fix it' We were very well cared for during the expeditions - again everything is done to make the guest feel cosseted. If I had a criticism I would say that some of the itinerary was a bit samey and the expedition team a little over enthusiastic about what we might and did see. Our local guides left a bit to be desired, basically because they were pretty unintelligible! The guide we had in Reunion droned on for a whole day and most of the people in the coach had absolutely no idea what she was saying! We were all threatening to try to swop coaches with some other passengers but then we discovered that their guide was even worse! Perhaps we expect too much these days and want instant gratification. an excellent ship with wonderful crew and extremely nice guests Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This cruise was operated by Noble Caledonia who have chartered the ship for several years from APT who apparently have a share in NC. The trip: It was an expedition cruise along the coast of Java, ending in Singapore. The attraction ... Read More
This cruise was operated by Noble Caledonia who have chartered the ship for several years from APT who apparently have a share in NC. The trip: It was an expedition cruise along the coast of Java, ending in Singapore. The attraction of these cruises is that there is an emphasis on nature and local culture and they go places larger ships can't get to, with frequent use of zodiacs for landings, many of them "wet" on beaches where there is no dock available. The expedition staff have their specialisations. e.g. history, birds, marine life, geology, and are all trained and skillful zodiac drivers. This is important as the nature of the cruises means the ports of call are more than usually at the mercy of weather, sea state, currents and tides and they did well to find suitable landing spots and get everyone off and back on the ship in changing conditions. It also means that a reasonable level of fitness and agility is required from the passengers and you have to be prepared for almost anything. Inevitably, some of the ports of call were more successful than others and in a couple of places it seemed the shore agents had not done sufficient research, which resulted in missed stops and insufficient information being available throughout the day. The nature of these excursions off the beaten track does mean that things can go awry but I have travelled with Noble Caledonia on similar cruises in this region before and I thought these trips had been better organised, maybe because the NC staff seemed more hands-on rather than leaving a lot of the arrangements to local agents. Also, on this cruise the Expedition Staff were less friendly and mixed less with the passengers at meal times than on previous trips. The ship: The food was superb. The dining and cabin stewards were all excellent. The reception staff were OK, but not overly pleasant or responsive to requests - a smile now and again goes a long way. The air conditioning in all indoor areas was fierce and after a couple of days many passengers had developed coughs and sneezes; requests at reception to have it turned down were met with "but then you will complain that it is too warm" (see responsiveness above). There is a difference between a pleasant ambient temperature and cold!! Overall the ship's décor seems a bit tired: the colours in the suites and dining room are quite dreary; the tiling in my bathroom was the worse for wear and the bathroom door had obviously been replaced but shreds of the protective plastic covering had not been properly removed. OK, it's a small point that didn't affect the operation of the door but it does indicate a lack of attention to detail in the appearance of the ship, which did not meet the expectations set by the company's publicity. It was supposed to have been refurbished about 5 years ago, but felt much older than that. Overall this cruise just missed the mark: for what Noble Caledonia charges, everything should be excellent. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We sailed out of Broome in the north of Western Australia, This was the last cruise of the season before the temperatures became too excessive and the wet arrives. What a delight this small ship is! For those who remember - she was ... Read More
We sailed out of Broome in the north of Western Australia, This was the last cruise of the season before the temperatures became too excessive and the wet arrives. What a delight this small ship is! For those who remember - she was originally a Renaissance Ship - not the big ones - but a smaller version. A hundred passengers all made welcome. All drinks, excursions are included. Our first morning at sea gave us a fabulous display of breaching whales. The captain kindly slowed the engines and circled the pod for upwards of 2 hours. We loaded the zodiacs everyday to places many have never heard of much less travelled to - Lacepede Islands for turtles and boobies, Montgomery reef - a unique natural wonder, Talbot Bay and the Horizontal Waterfall, the Hunter River to crocodile spot, Raft point for ancient Gwion Gwion rock art, Vansittart Bay to cross the salt flats to see the remains of US Air Force DC3 (WWII)- still in remarkable condition, the King George Falls, and a flight from Wyndam to the Argyle Diamond Mine - no folks they did not give samples. Our cabin was HUGE, the service faultless- the impression given by the crew was of a large happy family- and that transmitted to the passengers. On borad entertainment was terrific - Thanks Fran and Gus (Amazon Blue) There were no children on Board and to my knowledge no facilities for them. This was advertised as an Adventure Cruise and does not cater for restricted movement of passengers. All activities require a resonable level of mobility. It was GREAT. Thanks to all on board. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this ship due to it's small size (MAX 114 Passengers) and the advertising from APT that this ship can go where larger ships cannot. The disappointments On our first port of call (Senji) we were advised that the ship ... Read More
We chose this ship due to it's small size (MAX 114 Passengers) and the advertising from APT that this ship can go where larger ships cannot. The disappointments On our first port of call (Senji) we were advised that the ship could not dock in the port so we were provided with another location (Zadar) which meant a extra 0.5 hour extra drive in a coach to the Plitvice National Park. A further miss was one of the highlights of the Greek Islands (Mykonos) as the seas were too rough for our tender boat to take us to the wharf although there were 5 large cruise ships taking passengers to and from the wharf with one actually moored at the wharf. No attempt was made to go to another island or find a smaller bay out of the wind on the other side of Mykonos and use the our own tender boats to get to shore The final port missed was the one most Australians and the few New Zealenders on board wanted to see was docking at Canakkale to go to Anzac Cove, It appears the captain once again said the wind was to high to moor safely although the seas were not that rough and most were on deck as we just sailed past the monuments 2 Kilometers off shore.Once again no thought was made to provide a alternative destination (possibly a Greek Island on the way back to Athens. From what it seems to me the Island Sky does not have side/front/rear thrusters on it's ship to be able to assist with docking and getting the Ship through small spaces. The advertising on the itinerary for this tour at no time mentioned that we would be brought to shore by tender boats and having a small ship with a small draft it was anticipated that we would be docked at each location. The larger ships note anchored if not going to dock / under tender etc. There is little or no entertainment whatsoever except someone playing the Piano after dinner in the lounge The positives. The ports that we docked at were interesting and all shore excursions were well organised and the guides very knowledgeable The crew and staff on board were great and always appeared to be happy. Our Cruise director was always available and very friendly and helpful. The cabin rooms were large and the beds wonderful. Shower and toilet was good and everything was cleaned daily. The meals were great with lots of different choices and if you went hungry it was your own fault. The upstars bar served drinks and cocktails all day at no cost as it is all included in the price The open areas on board were ok for the number of passengers although a little tight in the lecture room each evening to discuss the next days events All in all the overall experience was good but I was a bit disappointed with the ports missed and the message put out by the tour company APT in the advertising and Itinerary (yes it does say unforeseen things can change an itinerary) but in this case no alternative was offered. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
If you want to experience the Artic, this cruise and cruising is the best way. We went on the 'Land of the Ice Bear' aboard the Serenissima with Noble Caledonia July 2016 The cruise was amazing. Great bunch of passengers and ... Read More
If you want to experience the Artic, this cruise and cruising is the best way. We went on the 'Land of the Ice Bear' aboard the Serenissima with Noble Caledonia July 2016 The cruise was amazing. Great bunch of passengers and the expedition team lead by Hannah Lawson were 1st class and a wonderful bunch. The crew, mainly Philippinos were equally as good. The service was second to none with nothing too much trouble. The actual itinerary worked well and apart from a couple of rough days at sea sailing to the ice cap, everything went according to plan. We were lucky that we saw a few Polar Bears ;equally the bird life and other wildlife was an amazing experience and the ship's crew always did their best to take us where there were sightings of wildlife. NC supply passengers with thick jackets and insulated boots, which you will need as it is still very cold outside the ship even in summer. I would not recommend this for young children or for people who are not interested in wildlife, however if you are, and enjoy learning about the wildlife, glaciers etc then this is for you. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I chose the cruise because of it being a small ship that would transit the Corinth Canal and I had enjoyed a previous cruise on island Sky. Labelled Land of Gods and Hero's it featured daily visits to classical Greek / Roman ... Read More
I chose the cruise because of it being a small ship that would transit the Corinth Canal and I had enjoyed a previous cruise on island Sky. Labelled Land of Gods and Hero's it featured daily visits to classical Greek / Roman historical sites. We are not knowledgeable in the subject but open minded and impressed by what the ancients achieved B.C. We are a couple, mid-60's, middle management, engineer, looking for a small ship experience with an interesting itinerary. Not seeking on board entertainment, but with an enjoyment of being on the ocean. The ship and the tour lived up to the advertisement and the price. The shore visits were fascinating if you like ancient ruins and we really enjoyed the tours and seeing the less visited parts of Greece. Ship board food was excellent, lunch and dinner were 5 courses with multiple choices each course and often some speciality sourced in each port of call. Occasionally a dish was less than excellent but never bad. Crew / staff were very pleasant, mostly Filipinos. Negatives were Noise: Noise 1: Given the high prices it is to be expected there were many toffs aboard although it was more like Keeping Up Appearances (and multiple Hyacinths, male and female) than Downton Abbey, with overloud bragging matches at meal and other social times. Noise 2: Small ship and cabin 345 in proximity to engineering spaces gave rise to sleep loss due to machinery noise, in particular the hydraulics whine from the stabiliser motors. Noble Caledonia exceeded expectations of lesser travel companies in making re-arrangements when there were difficulties. 1. This cruise was due to end in Istanbul but 3 days before the start there was a terror incident in Istanbul. 2 days later Noble Caledonia contacted us to advise they had re-scheduled to end the cruise in Athens, not Istanbul and they had re-booked new flights at no cost to us. Plus included tour of Athens and Acropolis and lunch and rest areas in a hotel. Brilliant. 2.One Greek island could not be visited because of rough weather preventing transfer to a tender. Instead at 1 days notice the ship arranged to dock in another island and a tour / refreshments was provided. Well done.Lesser ships / travel companies would just have stayed at sea. In summary, no regrets, a good tour. Now just to put out of mind the obnoxious travelling toffs and remember the sites and sights. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We booked a Melanesian Odyssey with Noble Caledonia believing from friends that it was a luxury company and really good. Compared to Peregrine Quark they were terrible. Expedition crew were rubbish except for one or two. No names. ... Read More
We booked a Melanesian Odyssey with Noble Caledonia believing from friends that it was a luxury company and really good. Compared to Peregrine Quark they were terrible. Expedition crew were rubbish except for one or two. No names. Unfortunately the seas were very rough which was no ones fault and the hotel staff were good and did help when possible. However the expedition staff were not helpful and the leader was very muddled. No clear directions as as to terrain ,walks etc were given and it looked like the pre cruise research had not been done correctly. One passenger was quite badly injured getting off a Zodiac, another spent most of his time in bed as he couldn't stand up , others slept in the lounge, cabin too bouncy, others were ill. it was most disappointing. The flight from up in the highlands of New Guinea (pre cruise trip) to Port Moresby went missing, we were late to the ship and missed lunch and a tour, the coaches were hired in as the lodge coach was being used by others and not suitable for the age and passengers. We had to change rooms as the allocated lodging was so far away from the main building my husband would never have walked it. It was not a luxury lodge, flight to Singapore and hotel in Singapore were excellent. Then it all started to go wrong. We wanted business class to Port Moresby from Singapore but were told by Noble Caledonian there was no such thing with Air Nuiguini but there was. A mistruth. So we sat up all night in economy. We would never go with this company again but have had good trips from other companies.A very expensive and disappointing cruise and so far no comment from Noble Caledonian. We have left it in the hands of Trailfinders which we highly recommend. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
The cruise itinerary and description sounded amazing but most of it turned out to be advertising fantasy. What was described and what actually occurred were worlds apart. Positive points were a good group of passengers and an amazing ... Read More
The cruise itinerary and description sounded amazing but most of it turned out to be advertising fantasy. What was described and what actually occurred were worlds apart. Positive points were a good group of passengers and an amazing catering staff who were always a delight both for catering and entertainment. The rest is downside. Cabins are tired and our suite had a broken balcony door. The curtains opened and closed with the rocking and rolling of the boat which crashed and shuddered with every Pacific roller it hit. The ship even had to stop and make emergency repairs on the last night approaching Fiji. It is not a boat for open ocean unless flat calm. Ports of call were not really as described and some destinations were cancelled as the boat could not make sufficient progress. The ships principal officers were ignorant and impolite and the Expedition crew were on the whole boring and inefficient. One freely admitted that the sales team of Noble Caledonia have no clue what actually occurs on these cruises and promised highlights are often never seen. We had to ask on a daily basis for chairs and loungers to be put out on deck and the brochure photos of the sundeck are a joke. The main forward lounge had to be closed because of the weather and coffee machines crashed over and the carpet stank of rancid milk. Myself and other passengers complained bitterly after the cruise but to no avail. Noble Caledonia did not wish to know so the best I can do is warn every prospective passenger to tread carefully, read the T&C's, take any itinerary information with a pinch of salt and basically my advice is to take your custom elsewhere. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
We chose Noble Caledonia's Timeless Japan cruise round some of the ports of Japan because it is so much easier to cruise around this country than it is to drive. After a day or so in Tokyo, the tour took us by bullet train (as ... Read More
We chose Noble Caledonia's Timeless Japan cruise round some of the ports of Japan because it is so much easier to cruise around this country than it is to drive. After a day or so in Tokyo, the tour took us by bullet train (as advertised) for a two-hour journey to Niigata, the port of embarkation. On boarding the train, it became clear that the bullet train is a two-tier affair in which only the upper tier has any view out while the lower tier just looks at a concrete wall for a couple of hours. In order to save a few pounds, Noble Caledonia booked its customers into the bottom tier thus turning our only opportunity to see the interior landscape of this distant land into a journey about as interesting as a trip round the Circle Line, but without the stations. For lunch we were served a bento box containing the most disgusting food I have ever been served, another economy. The ship itself was physically OK, within the limits of a small vessel. We were advised that afternoon tea would be able between 3.30 and 5 pm. Most of the tours were arranged so as to return a few minutes after 5pm, thus saving the ship's crew the trouble and expense of serving afternoon tea to its passengers. It would be interesting to know where these savings to the budget ended up. The officers were aloof and did not encourage contact with the passengers. Waiters and other crew were friendly and made the best of what they must have known what was going on. The daily excursions were generally interesting and well organised, with a few memorable "sail-away" performances of high quality. Japan is a fascinating country. Noble Caledonia's parting shot was an unnecessarily long and exhausting 24-hour return journey, presumably planned to save a bit more money on the flights. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
I have sailed on a few itineraries with Noble Caledonia and have reviewed positively and negatively. I am happy to report our recent cruise on the Island Sky was a very good cruise. I was last on board in 2011 in the Baltic, and had no ... Read More
I have sailed on a few itineraries with Noble Caledonia and have reviewed positively and negatively. I am happy to report our recent cruise on the Island Sky was a very good cruise. I was last on board in 2011 in the Baltic, and had no zodiac landings. This was an expedition cruise so we mostly used Zodiacs to land. The initial safety drill was very thorough, much better than on the Serenissima. I believe one passenger fell and had to leave the cruise, and by what I saw the situation was professionally dealt with, and after care extended to the passenger. It was a great relief that the crew were just as pleasant this trip as the previous one on the Island Sky. Everything was very shiny and clean, food hygiene of a high standard. Quality of food (we are vegetarian) was a think a little higher than last trip, but it is still more about the ship and itinerary, so we were satisfied with standard of the food as we were not expecting a gourmet experience. A couple of yuk meals, but all the rest we were happy with. The only two meals we ate in the dining room were the Captain’s welcome and farewell, every other meal we happily sat on the Lido for. Even the roughest and windiest times they managed to keep the Lido open, it was great. Our cabin was excellent, as was our cabin attendant. The internet connection was abysmal – worst than previously. I couldn’t even load gmail or facebook from my laptop, but I could at least load gmail on the public computer, which was difficult as we needed access both to work and keep in touch with our business. Others also complained about the satellite WIFI, or lack there of. The first two days we experienced quite rough seas and a big swell, so many passengers were a little seedy and numbers were down at meal times. After this it was fairly good sailing with no need of medication. We unfortunately could not land on Sark due to this, Islay was changed to Jura and we had to have an afternoon on Soay instead of Skye in the Hebrides. Other than that we completed the whole itinerary. We were thrilled when we found our EL had arranged for us to land on Staffa one night, and it was a brief landing, but so very memorable. All the expedition team were excellent as I have previously experienced with NC, and it’s good to travel with familiar faces. The only thing lacking in this area was that we were on a garden cruise and there was no botanist on board. There were some amazing gardens on the itinerary, and all in all it was a well planned and carried out cruise. We are booked on another 3 dates with NC on the Island Sky and Caledonian Sky and am pleased to be able to post such a positive review ☺   Read Less
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