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282 Antarctica Cruise Reviews

As a ship that was built for acoustic research, Akademik Ioffe is a very quiet vessel that doesn't disturb wildlife, is VERY stable in rough seas, and has an excellent Russian crew who are friendly and helpful, if you speak to them. ... Read More
As a ship that was built for acoustic research, Akademik Ioffe is a very quiet vessel that doesn't disturb wildlife, is VERY stable in rough seas, and has an excellent Russian crew who are friendly and helpful, if you speak to them. Was in one of the cheapest cabins and there is an "open cabin" policy which is no problem. The cabin was fine. Altogether it felt like a proper ship with plentiful good food, a cosy bar, and access to the bridge for much of the day. Lots of deck access on different levels. Zodiac access was easy. And most important last. The expedition staff couldn't have been more friendly, welcoming and informative. On the crossing of the Drake Passage there were excellent lectures and the expedition leader did a brilliant job choosing excursions and doing everything possible to satisfy client requests. If you want masses of restaurants, casinos and nightclubs, then perhaps this isn't for you. If you want to appreciate Antarctica, you couldn't do better. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard ... Read More
This was our third Seabourn cruise, second on the Quest and we chose this one because we wanted to see Antarctica. Once again, we entered a world of comfort, luxury and plenty, all delivered with kindness and good humour by the hard working staff and crew. However unlike our previous two Seabourn cruises, we were quite disappointed by the vegetarian food on offer. Cabin Our cabin was on Deck 6,and right up the front of the ship. We had a beautiful big room with a verandah, a separate lounge room, a big comfortable bed and a big bathroom with a bath, with high quality and plentiful bath products and big, soft towels. There was plenty of storage and the view from the verandah was uninterrupted. However on the rare occasions we sailed through rough seas, we certainly rocked a lot. We will book a cabin mid ships on our next cruise. We like good air flow when we are sleeping and once again, the air conditioner did not meet our needs. The cabin was too stuffy and we had the same problem last year and on the Encore the year before. We solved this by bringing our own fan and we were very comfortable. A couple of times throughout the cruise, we had a "meet your neighbours" party. This is a great idea. Dining My husband and I are vegetarian and although there was plenty for us to eat, a lot of the dishes were mediocre. They were very bland and often stodgy and we seemed to have those bland and stodgy dishes over and over again. However we often dined with passengers who chose the meat dishes and they reported that their steaks were succulent and their chicken and pork were cooked to perfection. It's as if Seabourn are ticking a box to say they cater to vegetarians but then fail to produce fine food. However the vegetarian options on the two occasions they held a Galley Market and the special Indian buffet dinner they held one night in the Colonnade were outstanding. We also placed a special breakfast order for vegetarian congee and this dish was also outstanding. The chefs can clearly prepare beautifully spiced dishes when necessary and I only wish they could do it all the time. Vegetarians on all cruise ships seem to be treated with the same contempt as someone who asks for an overcooked steak and I don't think we deserve that. There's a whole market of cashed up vegetarians Seabourn could attract if they really tried to cater to our needs. The waiters on Seabourn are the best of the best. Incredibly inspiring people, I may be in the minority here, but I don't like or understand Seabourn's practice of having the staff offer an arm to a woman, which the woman is then under some pressure to grab while they are escorted to their table in the Restaurant. It is not a custom I am used to and the feminist in me really objects. I always feel uncomfortable and I'm sure these busy young people have better things to do. We have dined in upmarket restaurants all over the world and have not experienced this practice anywhere else. Perhaps they could have an opt in policy for those who enjoy this experience and leave the rest of us alone. Drink The wine ranged from good to acceptable and there was always plenty to choose from. There was a huge variety of cocktails and they were plentiful. The bar staff were wonderful. Public Spaces Even at full capacity, Seabourn ships never feel crowded. We could always find a quiet spot to read or simply watch the world go by. On the other hand, if we wanted company or entertainment, there was always somewhere to go. The whirlpool on deck 6 was a haven for us and we usually had it to ourselves. It was the place to be when sailing away. . Fitness Centre My husband attended the complimentary stretch and exercise classes each day and found them excellent. The instructor was very capable and he gave my husband lots of advice on how to continue the program once he came home. Entertainment We were on the Quest last year, so this time when we went to the shows put on by the extremely talented Seabourn singers and dancers, we were surprised to find that the shows were exactly the same as last year. Even some of the costumes were the same. Seabourn encourages us to be repeat cruisers and we are very happy to oblige, but it would be nice to see something different. The entertainment on the whole was very good but tended to be middle of the road and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Seabourn's passengers are generally well educated and sophisticated, but most of the music would have appealed to our long deceased parents. For heaven's sake, we were alive in the sixties and went through one of the most profound musical revolutions in history. We can handle entertainment which is current and inspiring and multi-dimensional and I'm sure the talented entertainers onboard would have loved performing this type of material. On the other hand, we were huge fans of Josie and the trio in the Club and we usually ended up there every night. Now they really can handle modern music. We also enjoyed the various parties on the pool deck and in the Club. Jess, the Assistant Cruise Director is an outstanding entertainer. Staff and Crew Iggy and the expedition team were outstanding and I can't thank them enough for the wonderful experience they arranged for us in Antarctica. We always knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it and all the time they shared their incredible knowledge with us. They were always true professionals while being kind and warm and funny. The Captain was also a true professional and a wonderful communicator and we always knew we were in good hands. The weather is volatile going to and from Antarctica and each day he told us what the weather was doing and how he was going to deal with it. We were very impressed. The staff in every Department were well trained and incredibly good at their jobs. Seabourn only employs the best of the best and it shows. Excursions Antarctica was the highlight of this cruise and Neko Harbour was the highlight of Antarctica. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. We were fortunate that the weather was perfect for the 6 days we were there, so we saw everything we set out to see. Only 100 people are allowed on shore at any one time and Seabourn's expedition team organised us like a military operation. We knew exactly what we had to do and when we had to do it. They helped us on and off zodiacs, even those passengers with disabilities, and helped us once we were on shore. They laid out trails for us and kept us away from the seals basking on the beaches and the penguins' walking trails, but we were close enough to see them. The penguins were lovely. The expedition team also made sure we cleaned our boots before we returned to the ship so we didn't cross contaminate the next place we went to. Otherwise we covered a large area of the continent of South America and the excursions were really well organised and great value. The outstanding sights were the fjords in Chile, the Falkland Islands, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and everywhere in Brazil. Passengers Mostly American with a few Australians and English but quite a few other nationalities as well. Age range 60 and upwards. Mostly well educated, well travelled, lovely people who were thrilled to be on board such a lovely ship, living in the lap of luxury and having such a wonderful experience. They were a pleasure to spend time with. However it always amazes me how a small minority are constantly complaining about anything and everything and thought nothing of being very rude to the staff. They seem to get off on it. Internet Very patchy and as other reviewers have said, it should be part of the package. In summary, this was a wonderful experience and going to Antarctica was life changing. Seabourn Quest is one of only a handful of small ships that can go there and we were very fortunate to be able to take this journey. I'm sure we will now all be ambassadors to make sure this remarkable place stays as pristine as it now is. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
A expedition to Antarctica does not have to be Rough, something I learned on my trip on the Ocean Diamond. The Captain and the expedition leader made choices of site landings and lengths of stays based on their knowledge and experience and ... Read More
A expedition to Antarctica does not have to be Rough, something I learned on my trip on the Ocean Diamond. The Captain and the expedition leader made choices of site landings and lengths of stays based on their knowledge and experience and paying attention to the weather. We experienced 2 weeks of solid good sailing. able to zodiac or make landings every day. The expedition team from Quark truly made our experience memorable, not because they provided expert knowledge or ensured we were seeing the things or doing the things we wanted. it was because they enjoyed their job and the experience along with us. The same could be said for the ships crew. They were always going out of their way to make sure we had what we wanted. From the room steward to the barmen. The food service Buffet breakfast and lunch, sit down dinner were always filled with verity. I could have gained 10lbs if I had not had control of myself myself. Food was fresh flavorful and different everyday.I have sailed on almost every major carrier and I rank the ocean diamond in the top 5. for service and food quality. The rooms are comfortable but not overly spacious. and because this was an expedition the only entertainment you got were your excursions. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I wanted to go to Antarctica in comfort and Ponant offered an excellent 'no single supplement' deal. Le Boreal is an elegant and well maintained ship with wonderful staff. It was very annoying not to get our travel documents ... Read More
I wanted to go to Antarctica in comfort and Ponant offered an excellent 'no single supplement' deal. Le Boreal is an elegant and well maintained ship with wonderful staff. It was very annoying not to get our travel documents until 2 weeks before departure. I was stressing about the baggage limits and the timing of the flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia. It turned out I need not have worried as the flight was at 0830 and the baggage limit was 23kgs. Arriving in Ushuaia we were taken to the magnificent hotel Arakur for lunch and an optional walk. The amount of time at the hotel could have been halved. On Le Boreal we ate most of our meals in the main dining room on level 2 rather than the self service option on level 6. Excellent variety of well prepared food and free flowing wines. The staff remembered our preferences and I noticed them carefully 'tweaking' the dishes on offer for a couple of fussy passengers. I always had room service breakfast which was fast and my order was always correct, something that is often a problem on larger ships. Being an expedition voyage, the emphasis was on zodiac rides and landings. As I am decidedly unfit I was a bit worried about these activities. I need not have been. The expedition leader, Florence, gave detailed briefings each day and there was a good little video demonstrating how to get on and off and in and out of the zodiacs. The sailors at the marina were wonderful, assisting all passengers. Passengers were divided into groups by language, i.e. French or English with the few Germans going with German speaking naturalist. Group order was rotated each day. I did not do all the excursions on offer, choosing those I felt most comfortable with. I am not an outdoors person, so all the layers of clothing were a new experience for me. Getting kitted up to venture out was a huge effort. Underthings, thermals, next layer, waterproof pants, 2 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of gloves, neck scarf, beanie and enormous red Ponant supplied parka. As my stuff was all brand new I did not have to vacuum it prior to landing on the Antarctic peninsula. The supplied boots were a hassle and the website advice to go down a size when ordering was definitely incorrect. I ended up 3 sizes larger and still had to roll the boots over at the top, so if we had had very wet landings my feet would have been wet. Something to consider if you don't have slender legs. However this is a cruise where you can enjoy the great wilderness that is Antarctica from the comfort of your ship. Iceberg and whale viewings were magnificent. Our captain slowed down when there was something to see and we spent hours sailing around an enormous tabular iceberg. All in all I loved this cruise. At sea Ponant does a very good job indeed. It was a shame therefore that it ended on a real downer. After a faultless cruise, Ponant did not excel with the return transfers and flight. Left the ship at 0900, hung around Ushuaia for 45 minutes and then queued for over 90 minutes at the airport. The LATAM flight was a disorganised mess and the service was non existent. The flight down on Air Austral was much better but I would seriously suggest organising your own way to and from the ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
From the moment we arrived at the Buenos Aries airport to board our charter flight to Ushuaia , the attention to detail with this cruise line was evident. From having boarding passes ready to go, to buses in you should wear divided by ... Read More
From the moment we arrived at the Buenos Aries airport to board our charter flight to Ushuaia , the attention to detail with this cruise line was evident. From having boarding passes ready to go, to buses in you should wear divided by language, there was nothing it was left chance. The ship was immaculate and in wonderful shape, however it pale by comparison to the genuine friendliness and graciousness of the crew. They are relaxed elegant manner in meeting guest’s requests, made it an absolute delight to be on board. As Antarctica cruise, the coordination of people in and out of zodiacs was masterful and without incident. The food was wonderfully proportioned in the main dining room and for those of preferred self service, there was a buffet on the sixth deck. The lectures from the expedition crew we're insightful, pertinent pertinent, and well delivered. The trip lived up to the value proposition of a luxury cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This trip began in Buenos Aires with a night at the Hyatt located in Recoleta. We have sailed with Ponant previously so knew the expeditions off boat would be great. We had two trips in zodiacs each day whilst on the Antarctic peninsula, ... Read More
This trip began in Buenos Aires with a night at the Hyatt located in Recoleta. We have sailed with Ponant previously so knew the expeditions off boat would be great. We had two trips in zodiacs each day whilst on the Antarctic peninsula, one a landing and the other a zodiac trip to take photographs. All were amazing and the expedition staff were extremely knowledgeable and generous with their time. We were so lucky with the weather that all but one zodiac trip went ahead. The recap of each day allowed for questions and expanded our general knowledge of what we had seen. Attention to detail to ensure our boots were sterile before stepping ashore was reassuring in not contaminating the otherwise pristine antarctic shores. Life on board was fabulous - great food and wine (even without a drinks package) extremely comfortable cabins and fabulous service not only in restaurants and bars but also in our cabin. We were so impressed that we have booked another Ponant cruise in the Arctic in July. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We got on this cruise initially because it fitted into our schedule and offered all the attractions. How lucky were we! We had an adventure that you dream about. The ship, the crew, the expedition staff and the organisation were all ... Read More
We got on this cruise initially because it fitted into our schedule and offered all the attractions. How lucky were we! We had an adventure that you dream about. The ship, the crew, the expedition staff and the organisation were all nothing short of excellent. Leaving from Ushuaia the day after our arrival gave us the chance to have a trip to the National Park as well as a look around this little town at the end of the world. Very pretty with plenty of restaurants to eat the local crab delicacy as well as shops for the last minute gear. The cabin was quite roomy with the en-suite bathroom more than adequate for the two of us. Stewards saw to our every need while the food was varied, very tasty and in no short supply. Two expeditions per day was the plan and we made it every day and there were usually options to do Zodiac explorations before landing. Abundant wildlife and stunning scenery was just an everyday event! The expedition Staff were all highly qualified and experienced giving presentations on history, wildlife, geography etc each day we were at sea, Always interesting and informative with no question going unanswered. Very strong health and safety instruction and practice made for a safe holiday especially when zodiac landings were on the agenda. I have no hesitation in recommending this cruise/ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
being from Australia there are no other options for us to cruise to this destination. Being able to start in Buenos Aries and fly to our port via a charter was very handy. Once at port we were provided the added tour option the the ... Read More
being from Australia there are no other options for us to cruise to this destination. Being able to start in Buenos Aries and fly to our port via a charter was very handy. Once at port we were provided the added tour option the the national park, don't miss this. We were welcomed on board and from then on the standard did not diminish. Every aspect of the cruise especially the calm sea across Drakes Passage was a bonus in both directions. The crew are friendly accommodating. The expeditions by Zodiac once in the Antartica by experts was second to none. Their knowledge each day , the shore excursions were fantastic. Each night entertainment was provided with very professional persons. The shows varied and were of a high quality. The captain and expedition leaders were always available to provide reports of the days excursions. Sightings of wildlife such as whales etc was accommodated with the ship being diverted , stopped or speed reduce in speed to give all passengers the best experience that could be. There was never a delay in the embarking to shore to view wildlife and research stations bearing in mind the limit to visit is restricted. Language spoken was French and English, On this particular cruise the large majority spoke English was frustrating as the translation was often vague when an announcement was made or information being provided. This could be a consideration to remedy by basing the population numbers on each cruise. Overall the most memorable experience using Ponant cruise lines and the ship. Definately will consider the cruise line again Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My background being Hospitality, Housekeeping, PR and Compliance I felt the crew, Officers and the Captain acted in a very respectful and lovely manner along with creating a great atmosphere. • The ship was a small luxurious one and ... Read More
My background being Hospitality, Housekeeping, PR and Compliance I felt the crew, Officers and the Captain acted in a very respectful and lovely manner along with creating a great atmosphere. • The ship was a small luxurious one and I took into observation myself on what was available and what was limited especially regarding the trip to Antarctica. • The restaurant staff were very efficient and worked well under pressure at times (special occasions such as gala nights) while keeping great composure. • I was more drawn to the A La Carte and found the food to be very delicious along with a variety of specialties. • The drinks service at the bar was great. • The entertainment was good for being a small luxury ship and I considered that it wasn’t a party ship, but more of an intimate one as why I decided on a small luxury ship. • The cabin room had a balcony and it was very lovely and cosy with great space and storage. • The room service was great and the steward, she was very lovely. • The zodiac expeditions were very well organised and supervised by the Officer/s and crew who were very safety conscious and were never hesitant to take anything into consideration. • The Expedition Leader/ Naturalist (one in particular) were very well experienced and very knowledgeable and the lectures given were presented very well and were interesting. Engaging would be the word due to their passion. • I observed some customers giving some staff a hard time at the reception regarding “their concerns/expectations” of which I saw was well handled and sorted with great communication and expedience. • Any feedback was also taken into consideration and handled diligently and implemented. • The Captain and Expedition Leader both delivered on an amazing substituted trip in place of an expedition trip on one of the days we were not able to get to a destination due to weather and an ice blockage however this idea was a phenomenal one along with being in the right place to see whale activity much closer. Three Things To Consider • Single Supplementary Charges make it less flexible along with less journeys/experience to go on than I would like to have; • The cooked bacon could be improved; and • Regarding kids maybe more involvement interaction as they are the future however, I did see the Expedition Leader do his best with what he had and could do. It was the first time I had experienced a cruise, taken three flights within 24/48hrs experiencing jet lag for the first time along with travelling alone to areas with little language experience. The trip was perfect along with the weather and this was not “the Norm” every time so I got a special trip. I have lots of photos, lost of memories and I went on the trip with no expectations and instead it was just about enjoying the moments. Thank you to all who made my trip a great one and I will definitely be back for more. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I chose Ponant based on the dates available, as well as a lower single supplement than I saw on other cruises that I researched. Ponant alsoninvluded the flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia which was a bonus. I spent a night in Buenos ... Read More
I chose Ponant based on the dates available, as well as a lower single supplement than I saw on other cruises that I researched. Ponant alsoninvluded the flight from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia which was a bonus. I spent a night in Buenos Aires after my flight from JFK, and met the Ponant team at the airport the next morning. The representatives were easy to find and I was quickly waiting in line to drop of my luggage and wait for boarding. After landing in Ushuaia, Ponant offered either a trip to the national park or lunch at a beautiful hotel overlooking the city. I chose lunch. Here, I met other solo travelers who I dined with throughout the cruise. We were then taken to the ship were we began the embarkation process. There was no waiting. Walked directly from the bus up the gangway and onto the ship. We were greeted by the staff, and brought to our rooms. The room was very spacious and the bathroom had a sliding door covering a window which allowed you to watch the scenery when showering. It was very nice! Throughout the cruise, the staff kept us well informed of what the plans were for the day. We generally made 2 zodiac trips per day and most days, 2 landings. Everything was organized very well, from getting our parkas and boots to the daily educational programs (provided in French and English). Our weather was phenomenal, and Drake’s passage was like glass both directions! The expedition team was very concerned about the guests seeing as much as possible and worked very hard to ensure it. There are 2 restaurants on board and I generally chose to visit the buffet which allowed more choice than the sit down restaurant. The food was overall excellent and often had a French flair. The staff on the ship were lovely and any needs were met right away. This cruise was all inclusive and the drinks flowed freely! I did not attend any of the shows except the last one on the last night. It was cute but I’m not a show person. The WiFi was great! Free, and I was able to check email, social media, and text with family and friends (helpful since I was traveling solo). No issues with disembarkation at all. Extremely smooth and organized cruise. Loved Antarctica! I would go back and would chose Ponant again for sure!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I thought this expedition was fantastic in every respect. It was very educational with the lecturers by the naturalists and photographers. The Orion hotel staff and cruise were helpful and friendly at all times as were the naturalists and ... Read More
I thought this expedition was fantastic in every respect. It was very educational with the lecturers by the naturalists and photographers. The Orion hotel staff and cruise were helpful and friendly at all times as were the naturalists and photographers. I met a fantastic group of people from many parts of the world. Antarctica was nothing short of spectacular particularly the colour of the ice against the various aspects of the sun and the wildlife. The wildlife and the story of Shackleton on South Georgia was incredible as was the history of the Falkland Islands. I am vision impaired and I had a huge challenge to convince those in charge of this expedition that I am capable of doing this expedition on my own. I am proud that I have been able to do this on my own and want to encourage Lindblad and National Geographic to see how they can make their expeditions more accessible for people with a disability and to ensure that if a person with a disability applied for one of their expeditions that they are not pre judged on whether they are able to do the expedition or not but look at how this can be done and providing the traveller with vital facts so that an informed decision on travel can be made in the first place. In most instances minor adjustments are all that are required. Well done to all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have just returned from a trip on the Fram. We went to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Food was great. Expedition team delivered a smooth and safe trip for us. There were 182 passengers. We did two landings or small boat ... Read More
We have just returned from a trip on the Fram. We went to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Food was great. Expedition team delivered a smooth and safe trip for us. There were 182 passengers. We did two landings or small boat cruises on days where the weather permitted or we were not at sea. Did some lovely scenic cruises on board the ship, which I loved. On most days, but especially on days at sea ( travelling to the Falklands or to Antarctica from South Georgia), lectures or “ science corner” sessions were given by the expedition team. Some were historical, ornithological, marine mammal or ecological. Very high quality of expedition staff. They were available during landings to answer questions and point out interesting things to see. Our Drake Passage crossing was calm, however we experienced some rough seas crossing from South Georgia to Antarctica. We dressed warmly, honestly I never felt cold. My husband and I kayaked in Antarctica which was a great experience. We were in the hands of two very experienced kayak guides. That experience was probably my top adventure experience. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The cruise was amazing. These ships are superb and so smoothly do what they are designed for. Inc getting every out into the zodiacs often. The sights in Antarctica are stunning and the wildlife. Well humpbacks penguins galore and special ... Read More
The cruise was amazing. These ships are superb and so smoothly do what they are designed for. Inc getting every out into the zodiacs often. The sights in Antarctica are stunning and the wildlife. Well humpbacks penguins galore and special sights like minkes up close in a zodiac. 6am rise for a pod of orcas and to top it off a blue whale in the weddell sea. The guides and the zodiac drivers did a great job of getting you close to interesting sights and explaining everything well. On the ship the crew were great. Everything was so well taken care off. And the food well. Level 2 is Devine. I guess what you expect on a French ship! The crossing back across the Drake was windy but what's a trip to Antarctica without having to say you have endured the Drake... These Ponant ships are excellent. I would do it again in a heart beat. Maybe a tropical trip next time or Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I have always wanted to go to Antartica, and Ponant ad for this Antartica cruise was in our Travel Paper. Price was really good. The flight from BA to ushaia was quite dreadful, coupleas were not seated together and far to much luggage ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to Antartica, and Ponant ad for this Antartica cruise was in our Travel Paper. Price was really good. The flight from BA to ushaia was quite dreadful, coupleas were not seated together and far to much luggage allowed in cabin. The embarkation was seamless and very welcoming . The ship itself was pristine, hygiene incrediable, service form all staff inpeckiable, the facilities were outstanding. To be fair could not fault anything. The communication throughout the 10days was so regular and UTD. The excursions were professional and very well organised. comfort plus. I would definantly only ever do another cruise with Ponant, as ticked every box. Food was exceptional, and loads of variety, activity was constant and varied. Very professional expedition leaders and the staff involved in hauling us on and of the zodiacs were amazing. Captain was informative and passionate about his ship as well as Antartica. JUST AMAZING EPIC AND BREATHTAKING. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because it went to all the places we dreamed of going to. The expedition team were exceptional, very knowledgeable and made the trip forever memorable. Cruising to Falklands and South Georgia were a highlight. Captain ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to all the places we dreamed of going to. The expedition team were exceptional, very knowledgeable and made the trip forever memorable. Cruising to Falklands and South Georgia were a highlight. Captain and crew did an amazing job enabling us to land at all but one location Food was very good except never hot enough from the buffet on level 6. Many lovely desserts and great variety of French bread and cheese at all meals. One meal was spoiled by finding a piece of metal in tomato salad. Charter flight to embarkation port was standard domestic flight which took 2 hours longer than normal as it made a stop along the way. We thought the group photo was not very good and too expensive to purchase. Lectures by the naturalists were very engaging and informative. One criticism was that all announcement were made in French first and then English so sometimes it was hard to hear the English version in public areas as the French speakers talked over it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were VERY happy with every part of this cruise and think Silversea went above and beyond. We had a plane delay transiting Miami and Silversea took special care of us in Santiago and again when we got to Ushuaia. I agree with other ... Read More
We were VERY happy with every part of this cruise and think Silversea went above and beyond. We had a plane delay transiting Miami and Silversea took special care of us in Santiago and again when we got to Ushuaia. I agree with other reviewers that the Expedition Staff were OUTSTANDING - even to the point of joining people for dinner to bring their love of Antarctica and share their wealth of knowledge with passengers. I totally disagree with the one reviewer who complained about the dining room staff - we were placed with the same waiter (not necessarily the same one of his tables) every night and the last night when I said "but that is not Oscar's table", the maître d said "it is tonight!" They did everything they could to make our dining experience top notch - from deboning our fish, shelling our lobster, and suggesting what to order. Captain Pontillo got us safely through the Drake Passage both ways, outrunning storms and contributing to a fairly smooth ride. Silversea stepped up and provided a free bus tour of Ushuaia and its National Park when we arrived a day early. I cannot say enough good things about this company, this ship, and their staff. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
For persons seeking adventures and wishing to learn more about the planet we share, this expedition experience was beyond expectations. The scientists and naturalists traveling with us expanded my worldview through sharing their knowledge ... Read More
For persons seeking adventures and wishing to learn more about the planet we share, this expedition experience was beyond expectations. The scientists and naturalists traveling with us expanded my worldview through sharing their knowledge not only during scheduled presentations, but when hanging out with us on the bridge and on the deck and eating with us in the dining room. How special it was to observe and hear from the whale team! And the ice!! So many colors and shapes. And who could not be awed by the adventures in the iceberg graveyard with those killer whales attacking and killing the seal right within yards of us!! Yes the food was good and I was so overfed everyday, and my cabin was cozy, clean, and comfortable. I was fortunate not to have problems with the Drake Passage, but rather enjoyed the adventure of it. Antarctica is a magical place and we other inhabitants of Planet Earth need to advocate for pristine places like this. I love my pictures, but I am glad to have a good memory so far, because the pictures cannot do it justice. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose Celebrity Eclipse for one, the itinerary and two we have sailed with them on a few occasions previous. The itinerary was amazing and one we will not forget, feeling very privalidged to be visiting Antarctica. We have sailed on ... Read More
We chose Celebrity Eclipse for one, the itinerary and two we have sailed with them on a few occasions previous. The itinerary was amazing and one we will not forget, feeling very privalidged to be visiting Antarctica. We have sailed on Eclipse before and love the ship, good main dining room, ocean view cafe if you want to be more casual and speciality restaurants you can pay an extra cover charge for. We don’t normally do this but booked a package this time both Mirano and Tuscan were great both for food and staff quality, but disappointed in the new Petit Chef option, new animation very clever but a very ltd menu and being in a French restaurant was expecting more than a boule of ice cream for dessert, for $55 and won’t get the repeat business of the previous qsine as no other choice. The manager in there told us Celebrity are not bothered about repeat business just want guests to have a one off experience. A few things about the ship were not addressed very well at times and the dress code is a joke, even on Chic nights which is supposed to have taken the place of formal nights guests were entering in the dining room in ripped jeans,jogging pants, trainers, shorts and T shirts, all stated as Not acceptable on these evenings. We find this very off putting as you can be sat at the same table when you yourself have gone to the trouble of showering at least and dress according to supposed celebrity dress code. Standards are falling, and where as we thought of Celebrity five star now think of only four star in our opinion. I left what I thought a serious question to be answered by a food and beverage manager to get to the end of the cruise with no feed back ( very dissatisfied) We’ve got to say most of the staff on the ship were lovely and do a great job on board to make your holiday run smoothly, we will continue to sail with Celebrity but hope their standards don’t slip further. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We wanted to visit South America and Antarctica with US ports of embarkation and disembarkation. My wife is recovering from a stroke. The special accommodations made by Princess/Carnival for her physical challenges were..adequate. ... Read More
We wanted to visit South America and Antarctica with US ports of embarkation and disembarkation. My wife is recovering from a stroke. The special accommodations made by Princess/Carnival for her physical challenges were..adequate. Apparently unbeknownst to the company, on board were both an acupuncturist and personal trainer (Alexandar Stankovic) who had specialized training in stroke recovery! Both provided exceptional service toward continuing my wife's recovery progress and were the unexpected and unplannable, apparently, highlight of trip. The WiFi was great..we were streaming movies on Netflix off Cape Horn. Matt O'Brien was cruise director. He has got to be the best cruise director plying the seven seas. We booked a 56 day voyage in the future simply to be aboard a ship again with Matt as cruise director. Stewards were exceptional. Food was as expected. Excursions were good for us. Still have somewhat of a dispute with Princess about an excursion to Antarctica booked 6 months in advance at $3500/person. I bought the excursion after vetting with Princess and our physicians all available info to ensure my wife would physically be able to participate. Once aboard and hence beyond re-fund cancellation deadline, the description of activity changed (for example, ranking changed from 'easy/moderate' to strenuous. Instead of 'weather permitting zodiac ride to Ardley Island to view wildlife' it became a 'two mile hike across rocky beach to view wildlife'. Trip insurance denied claim which I filed at suggestion of very professional and compassionate excursion department personnel aboard. All and all a truly fantastic voyage, even if we end up eating $7k from excursion debacle. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were going to Antarctica, so it really was all about the expedition. I will say without question, that part of the cruise was exceptional. The Expedition Leader was experienced, engaging, fun and educated. His team was extensive, ... Read More
We were going to Antarctica, so it really was all about the expedition. I will say without question, that part of the cruise was exceptional. The Expedition Leader was experienced, engaging, fun and educated. His team was extensive, young and enthusiastic - exceptionally well educated, anxious to engage and share information and experiences and talented in helping you to get the most out of each expedition. The crew were professional and looked out for your safety and comfort entering and exiting the Zodiacs. The lectures added to the experience and were available on the suite TV for those of us who preferred a nap or a late lunch. We got to see and do everything we had hoped to. The ship was also wonderful. Small at only 250 passengers, it is without shopping malls and cabaret shows, but offered everything needed. Well appointed and nicely decorated - easy to find your way around. The cabin had lots of room. It included a walk-in closet - a necessity for the parka, waterproof pants and many layers. The sofa and 2 armchairs were a bit cramped, but once we organized one at the desk, and the convertible table over the sofa, there was lots of room and still the ability to easily dine in the room. The balcony was a basic space - great for checking the weather, if you had enough layers or watching the passing icebergs. It was not a hospitable outdoor oasis, but given the subzero temps I wasn't planning on lounging there. The disappointment came in the staff and the food. Front desk staff were uninformed and unhelpful. They couldn't follow through on simple requests or connect you to senior staff who might be able to assist. The main dining room was table service with open seating. The host made no attempt to provide a consistent server even if tables were available or a specific area was requested. That meant even those staff working hard to establish relationships and know your preferences were at a disadvantage, and you were constantly explaining sparkling water, red wine, no coffee amongst other things. The food was unfortunately inconsistent - an amazing veal chop followed by inedible shrimp. The special South American buffet dinner included an Argentine BBQ lamb that so overcooked and a whole fish that say drying under a heat lamp. The last lunch was the 'Gala Buffet' that turned out to be everything left in the fridge and pantry. The breakfast buffet was consistently good but the al a carte breakfast was painfully slow - priority was given to cooking made to order eggs for the buffet diners. The specialty restaruants were good - Italian (well not quite authentic) had great flavours, well cooked and well served. La Dame (the Relais & Chateau) restaurant was flawless. At the end of the day, it is about value for money - this was a great cruise and I would not skimp on the expedition side of things, but check other vehicles/accommodations - they may be cheaper. Finally I must comment on the pre/post cruise transfer process. All I can say is it truly is a sh****ow! You stay a night at a hotel in Santiago for them to get you up at 2:30am to board buses to the airport to stand in line for over an hour to check in to a charter flight to wait in the boarding lounge for over 2 hours to get onto a 3 hour flight that provides you an inedible empanada imitation. This happens in reverse to get you back to Santiago - surely doing this every 10 days they could arrange hotel/ship based airline check in and luggage check - a dedicated security line and immigration line (remember it is only $$, and we certainly put out enough of it for the cruise). Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Antarctica 2019 -What am amazing trip. The ship and the crew where Wonderfull. From the start, Ponant picked us at the airport - took care of all our luggage and bought it right to our room. Friendly greeting by the Captain, and ... Read More
Antarctica 2019 -What am amazing trip. The ship and the crew where Wonderfull. From the start, Ponant picked us at the airport - took care of all our luggage and bought it right to our room. Friendly greeting by the Captain, and cocktails waiting when you arrived on board. The expedition team- was amazing, friendly, knowledgable and top notch. The expedition team is really what made this already amazing trip to Antarctica even better. They where such a great group that made sure every day you knew what you were doing and ran every excursion smoothly. We had a recap every day of what we did, what we saw and what to expect the next day. We had great educational lectures, about the animals, landscape and facts about Antarctica. I just can not say enough about the expedition team we had. Whale Watching - When ever we would spot Whales, the Captain would stop the ship and circle around and whale watch. You felt like you where on a whale watching trip. They Bridge and the expedition team, made sure you had the full Antarctica experience. This is defiantly one of the great perks on being on a small ship. The Ship was lovely, and spotless. The rooms where clean and you had amazing view everyday. The food was fantastic, the desserts where amazing. Wow!! So much great French Cheese. Over all, the ship was run first class, you never had to worry about anything. Everything and anything was taken care of. Tips - Bring extra face cream and variety of creams (my face got very dry and wind blown) Dress Code - I stressed over what to bring for dinners and the 2 Captains dinner. They 2 more formal nights (are optional). Men: Sports Jackets / Suites. Women in cocktail dresses, some more casual dressed then other and some much more formal. The formal night defiantly had a wide range of styles. Some ladies had slacks, and accessorized. I had a nice sweater dress, necklace and earnings. Heals or flats worked. Other nights, I would wear black fitted slacks and pretty blouses. I suggest pack a few nice pieces. Over all the ship was warm and comfortable , so you do not need heavy clothes for dinner. Always nice to have layers and a sweater if you had to run out to the decks to see a whale or an amazing Ice Berg. I would go back on Ponant Cruise and most defiantly go back to Antarctica - it was spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I enjoyed everything on this cruise. Everything went really well and smoothly, from embarkation to disembarkation, there were no problems, delays or issues with anything. We choose the pre-cruise package and it was great because ... Read More
I enjoyed everything on this cruise. Everything went really well and smoothly, from embarkation to disembarkation, there were no problems, delays or issues with anything. We choose the pre-cruise package and it was great because everything was organised and we were able to meet some of the passengers the day before the cruise started. The ship is very confortable and the common areas and the cabin were in very good conditions, the decor is lovely and looks like new. The cabin was really comfortable, very warm and had everything we needed - it is not very spacious, but had everything needed - the towels were super fluffy! Food and drink were excellent, and there was a lot of variety everyday. The daily schedule was really well organised, and between landings, lectures and briefings we were kept busy. The destination is truly incredible and difficult to describe, and the captain and expedition leader took every opportunity to make the most of it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The staff on board Le Soleal were fabulous and always available to help. The ship itself was of a high standard with plenty of creature comforts. We were in a PR Deck 6 Cabin which was allocated from a Deluxe Guarantee Cabin and it was the ... Read More
The staff on board Le Soleal were fabulous and always available to help. The ship itself was of a high standard with plenty of creature comforts. We were in a PR Deck 6 Cabin which was allocated from a Deluxe Guarantee Cabin and it was the perfect position on Deck 6 being close by to the casual dining (buffet) area at the front and the bar / lounge at the back, both with observation decks. The cabin itself is spacious with large window doors opening to the balcony, very comfortable for the 11 days. Exceptional service on board from all staff including the expedition crew who were very knowledgeable, each with their own area of expertise. The wildlife and scenery in the Weddell Sea and on the Antarctic Peninsula was incredible and i believe the expedition staff and captain picked great landing spots throughout based on both of these. The only concern i have is that the 'charter' flight are not always chartered. The one from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia was a commercial flight where we had to check ourselves in with no real instructions on if we should just proceed or do this as a group. The airline (AR) was unaware of any group (because it was a commercial flight and not charter) and therefore didn't know anything about the 'voucher' which was provided by Ponant as the info on the flights. The 'voucher' stated luggage was 1pc 23kgs however AR only accept 15kgs so we had to pay for the excess luggage amount from the 15-23kgs which was extremely disappointing since those who had the 'charter' flight earlier that day would have checked in as a group and not had this issue in anyway. Coming back we had the actual charter flight while others would have been on the commercial one where they were not getting their bags transferred together and instead had to do this themselves as well as checking in etc which is disappointing when everyone believes they are paying for charter flights where the cost IS much higher then the normal commercial flights and instead they are on commercial anyway with no real instructions. Otherwise i do highly recommend if you are looking for a deluxe all inclusive Antarctica Cruise that Ponant for the cruising portion is a great option. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Our travel started out very poorly, with American Airlines execution failures causing us to arrive in Buenos Aires 12 hours late with half our baggage. Bags didn't catch up to us until we returned to Ushuaia after the cruise. It was ... Read More
Our travel started out very poorly, with American Airlines execution failures causing us to arrive in Buenos Aires 12 hours late with half our baggage. Bags didn't catch up to us until we returned to Ushuaia after the cruise. It was all AA's fault,but Silversea really stepped up to make the cruise a roaring success for us. They waited for us at the EZE airport for over an hour while I argued with the baggage people. They also pitched in! We got to our hotel after midnight. I needed to run a bag to another hotel for our Iguazu falls trip at the end of the cruise. The silversea agent got in a cab with me and took me to the other hotel--way beyond the call of duty. Next day we flew to Ushuaia and confirmed we were missing half our luggage. Silversea arranged to take us shopping in Ushuaia to pickup necessary gear to enjoy the cruise. Between our shore purchases, the ship's store, and the laundry on board (gratis due to our luggage issues), we managed just fine. Once my blood pressure got back down to normal, the cruise was exceptional. We had an easy Drake passage--so fast that we were able to add a stop to Fort Point on the second day of the cruise.Captain Eric Saint Plancat was very friendly and pushed to give us the maximum experience. We went past the Antarctic Circle all the way to Stonington Island. We saw 3 kinds of penguins, 5 types of seals, and 100's of Humpback whales. The weather was in the 30's and largely sunny. JD, the expedition leader, was outstanding and really worked to maximize all the passengers experiences. Her staff was very knowledgeable about animals, birds, geology, and history. The ship itself was very nice and well maintained. Silversea likes to call the cabins suites, but in my opinion, they we pretty much cabins. That said, they were clean and very functional. We were in a Vista Suite and the shower didn't have a door--just 6 inches of plexiglass. Poor design which leaded water all over the floor. The butlers and cabin stewards provided excellent service, although there really isn't much for a butler to do on an expedition sailing. The food was very good and all the waitstaff were very friendly and helpful. We drank the included wine and found most of them to be quite drinkable. We've cruised more than 30 times and this was the best yet. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We always wanted to cruise the Antarctic. Traveling below the Antarctic Circle is on my wife's "bucket list". Very few cruises advertised as "Antarctic", even attempt to get close to the Antarctic circle. Ships ... Read More
We always wanted to cruise the Antarctic. Traveling below the Antarctic Circle is on my wife's "bucket list". Very few cruises advertised as "Antarctic", even attempt to get close to the Antarctic circle. Ships with a low ice rating never do. It would not be safe. So based on our research and our good experience on the Silver Galapagos in 2016 we booked a Silver Seas Expedition cruise. We were originally scheduled to travel in January 2018 on the Silver Cloud, but I became ill and was hospitalized just before our scheduled departure and had to cancel. (Fortunately we had full insurance coverage.) We rebooked for this January 2019, which turned out for the best. This was BY FAR the best cruise experience ever. Thanks to the Explorer's 1A ice rating, the skill of the captain, and the unusually good weather we were able to travel further south than any other commercial ship in the last couple of years. (Only one crew member had ever been that far south.) We made multiple wet landings, explored old, abandoned research stations and one active station, got some great wildlife photos and videos on shore and from the Zodiacs. The Expedition leaders, who also piloted the Zodiacs, were very knowledgable and greatly enhanced the experience. We even got to slide down a hill on Antarctic snow and my wife took the "polar plunge" into ocean water very slightly warmed by geo-thermally heated fresh water coming up through the ground and flowing down the beach into the bay. The views, sunsets, and the wild life (penguins, whales, seals, sea lions, and birds) were spectacular. A final note on the expedition leaders. It is hard to imagine a more educated and experienced group. Most had several years of experience and included a PhD in geology, professional ornithologist (PhD), and a Harvard educated marine biologist who was also the first women to ever SCUBA dive below the Antarctic ice pack. All-in-all it was the experience of a life time. WARNING - WARNING - WARNING - as with all expedition cruises to the Antarctic - and the Arctic for that matter - activities and landings are ALWAYS dependent on the weather and ice conditions. We were told the long stretch of great weather we encountered is rare. If your goal is to cross the Antarctic circle read the itinerary VERY carefully to make sure that crossing will be attempted. Again, never guaranteed the ship will make it to the circle because of weather. Also, you will be crossing the Drake passage. Even if you are not susceptible to motion sickness, get the "patch" AND put it on 24 hours before embarkation! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019

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