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2 One Ocean Expeditions Arctic Cruise Reviews

We have been on the trip Baffin Island - Jewel of the Arctic 03/Aug to 14/Aug/18.There was no other cruise gettable at this time to the region of Baffin Island.The region and the published excursions were looking good. The promise of the ... Read More
We have been on the trip Baffin Island - Jewel of the Arctic 03/Aug to 14/Aug/18.There was no other cruise gettable at this time to the region of Baffin Island.The region and the published excursions were looking good. The promise of the brochures and the internet pages sounded great. This tour had big problems with the weather conditions. Nobody could do something against it. But it was not necessary to stay two days in the fog. The sistership showed the way and gave every day a report of the regions. The fakenews of the expedition leader Daniel every evening at dinnertime were amusing. Everybody who had a GPS could look for the real sailing routes and also at the maps at the bridge. But he tried to tell us that we are doing other directions. Never a plan B - only at last minute. Helpless! Was the tour not well prepared for these conditions by the company??!! Very few boat tours because of no permissions for landing. The CheckIn and welcome on the ship was a big chaos. Nothing prepared. At this time the Russian crew was unfriendly and rough. Later we didn't see them. Bad service. The noise in the dining room was terrible. We had to wear ear plugs all the time. Breakfast and lunch were in buffet form (cheapest cafeteria-style) For example for breakfast we had to stay in line about 35 minutes to get our meal. For some of the elder passengers a painful experience. The guests themselves had to get cups and glasses from the bar to the dining room for getting a coffee or water.. Not enough cuttery for (about) 110 persons. The forks and knifes were often twisted. The dessert spoons were often missing. The delicious dessert were rare and often tooo late served. The dinnertime was too late, the main meal sometimes was served around 0845 pm. The first days the tables were layed in a wild organization like small kids are doing. Many pieces of the dinnerware were chipped. Answer of the hotel manager Chris G. was: Nonsense. At all this hotel manager was very unfriendly and didn't like any critical words. Where did he learn his job? After the meals the dining room was closed immediately, no chance to sit there and talk with your neighbors/friends. The bar was too small for these actions. The library was occupied about three days by the Kayak group. The last days the dirty glasses and empty bottles of their extra parties stood around and were not brought back to the pantry/kitchen/bar. Sometimes it was looking like a field trip with young students. But the discipline of students was often better than the discipline of the OO-staff. They sat with caps and bobble hats in the dining room, sometimes as the first persons at the table. They helped serving in the same dresses they were doing the Zodiac tours. The ship is on European standards of 1970, the technique on the bridge and in the machine room was up to date. The machine room looks cleaner than the cabins. Cups and glasses at the cabins were not cleaned. Empty luggage stood in the floors and was not stored away by the crew. Remarks had to be given three times to the staff of OO, then they started to look for it. The experts were excellent and have done a great job. But the last days they had no more subjects to speak about. We knew, before we started, that the Akademik Ioffe is an old ship. We never felt unsafe because we were privatly trained on ships in former times, although the lifeboat practice was a nice joke in the first evening. The cabins were ok, but the prices too high for one bunk and one smaller sofa bed. We asked for use of the second bunk, but that wasn’t possible. (Why not? – No answer) No keys for the rooms. We were visited unexpected twice by other passengers, wrong door, wrong floor. The cabin stewardess came in also without knocking just when I was getting a shower. Nobody gave her the changed breakfast times. Two of the single women passengers told us, they were feeling very uncomfortable at sleeping time. We also never felt comfortable and it wasn’t cozy at all. We learnt again to stay in line and say nothing to the OO-staff because they never reacted immediately. The return flights were organized by the office well, but if there had been no crew members to fly back there would have been nobody at the airport to help the elderly people. More and better information should be given. Before this cruise we were interested to go the Antarctica with the RCGS Resolute in 2020, because it was the former Hanseatic. But after these experiences with the service we won’t do that. Summary: It was not worth the money we had to pay for this ship cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It's so interesting to read reviews about the same trip, written from other perspectives! To me, this was an amazing voyage, with an excellent expedition leader and staff, great food, and impressive attention given to safety and ... Read More
It's so interesting to read reviews about the same trip, written from other perspectives! To me, this was an amazing voyage, with an excellent expedition leader and staff, great food, and impressive attention given to safety and passenger experience. The food was very good, considering that the ship's itinerary took us into one of the most remote areas on Earth. The beds were super comfortable, accommodations were as advertised and expected of a ship designed for polar scientific research, not for luxury cruising. We enjoyed sitting in the hot tub on the top deck and watching the ice float by! There were a number of experts on staff, all of whom were personable, knowledgable, and willing to go out of their way to add value to our trip. The team camaraderie was exceptional. Everyone pitched in where needed, whether that was to help wait tables, find answers to our questions, or make sure that we had what we needed in our room. The company provided outdoor clothing and gear that made our shore excursions and zodiak cruises much more comfortable when added to our own gear. Our trip was beset by several problems. The possibility of itinerary changes was made clear in the company brochures prior to booking. The Arctic is wilderness, remote, poorly charted, with weather and ice conditions that make travel there rather precarious. We were far from easy rescue should a disaster occur. Conditions can differ greatly from year to year, and from day to day. Information about ice and weather conditions, and decisions regarding our itinerary were shared often, with the reasoning that went into these decisions being clear and transparent. Safety and customer experience were at the top of mind in decision-making, and I trusted in the experts leading the trip to make wise choices. If a traveller wants reliable... don't book an Arctic trip. We had several days of fog, and pack ice conditions that caused the trip leaders and captain to alter our course substantially. That being said, they were able to find alternative locations for us to embark, kayak, hike and cruise by zodiak. The situation wasn't perfect, and that's the chance you take when you travel to the Arctic. The ice conditions didn't allow us to end the cruise at the intended place. Making new arrangements was hugely complex and difficult, given the remoteness of the place, small, gravel runways, the huge distances involved, and more that I can't even imagine. The arrangements were handled professionally, keeping us in the loop, and at the end of the day (albeit a very long one), everyone was delivered to Edmonton in time to make ongoing connections. I was so impressed with the way the company handled this complicated and stressful situation. We learned so much, saw such incredible vistas, viewed amazing wildlife, and got a glimpse into northern culture, history, archaeology and exploration. We saw a part of the world that few get to experience, and it has hugely enriched my experience of being Canadian. We bought the kayak package, and enjoyed it tremendously. Guides were expert, and so attentive to safety. We met daily before breakfast to discuss kayak options, and they made every effort to get us out as often as we could. We did get together for a final wine and cheese party. So sorry that it wasn't cleaned up quickly enough for the previous reviewer! I would highly recommend a One Ocean Expeditions trip, provided you do your due diligence as a traveller, and understand what is, and what isn't being offered. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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