8 Silversea Silver Explorer Arctic Cruise Reviews

We choose SilverSea to experience a luxury expedition. The staff and the Arctic lived up to reputation but the ship was a huge disappointment. See our review of the cabin. The quality of food was excellent however to have hot dishes ... Read More
We choose SilverSea to experience a luxury expedition. The staff and the Arctic lived up to reputation but the ship was a huge disappointment. See our review of the cabin. The quality of food was excellent however to have hot dishes served luke warm from the buffet at breakfast and lunch was a complete turn off. By the end of the week I was reduced to eating from the pasta station as this was the only food hot. Dinner service was dependent on the side of the restaurant you were seated. Waiting over 30 minutes from the end of main course until dessert arrived is not acceptable. The next night the meal service took over 3 hours to be completed. The public rooms are tired with the door to the observation lounge half falling off and cracking window ledges in the theater. The smoking policy makes no sense. With the smoking room attached to the panorama lounge every time the door is opened the room fills with the smell of cigarettes. The staff serve the smokers and their uniforms absorb the smoke. That made afternoon tea and bar service totally out of bounds. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Loved the ship & the cruise. We had previously done an Antarctic cruise on the same ship and the Arctic cruise held a few surprises for us. But it was all great. The land excursions in the Arctic are VERY short. Sometimes as short ... Read More
Loved the ship & the cruise. We had previously done an Antarctic cruise on the same ship and the Arctic cruise held a few surprises for us. But it was all great. The land excursions in the Arctic are VERY short. Sometimes as short as a few hundred meters. We quickly learned that the reason was the potential for a Polar Bear attack. If it is foggy, then the zodiacs will not land since the bear guards can not see far enough to verify there are no polar bears. If they see a polar bear, then the zodiacs will not land. Instead you get to cruise about in the zodiac watching the polar bear. Okay! As in the Antarctic, the passengers are split into 4 zodiac groups. The zodiacs can hold 2 groups at a time with rotating staggered boarding times. So some days you get to sleep in (and then be rushed to get to dinner). We were lucky enough to see multiple polar bears. 2 with fresh kills. Our first bear encounter occurred shortly after our group land excursion was complete (we were sipping champagne on the top deck and getting ready to think about ordering lunch when the bear was reported). The 2 groups onshore were quickly evacuated to the zodiacs and spent the last half of their time slot watching a polar bear walk along the shore. They were brought back to the boat and our group reboarded the zodiacs to spend over an hour following the bear down the coast. The zodiac expedition crew radioed back to the ship to tell them that we would be very late returning and to delay lunch. Awesome. But not common. We started up north in Longyearbyen and ended in Tromso. This meant we had a lot of lectures at the end of the trip (during at sea days) telling us what we had already seen. Maybe we should have started at the south? Our week started out with the first excursion delayed and almost cancelled due to weather. We had fog & horizontal sleet / rain. Not nice. We then lucked out for the rest of the week with lots of sunshine. We only had 1 day cancelled due to weather conditions. You should normally expect at least 2 to 3 days (or more) cancelled due to weather. The unexpected great weather also meant we could eat lunch on the deck 5 times (sunshine, champagne, blankets & winter coats!) and we also did the Hot Rocks dinner on the rear deck 2 of the 3 nights it was offered. This trip we were upstairs which is really midships (our friend was down below on 4 and much closer to the front). This cabin included a few extras like free laundry (which i used several times) free wifi (i think the whole boat had it?) and daily canapes service (which we consumed with a bottle of champagne). We had a balcony which was great for checking the weather of looking around, but it was too cold to actually sit out there very long. The cabin was standard silver sea. No issues. A little worn around the edges but perfectly fine for people that were wearing waterproof clothes and lots of underwear. We enjoyed this as much as our Antarctic trip. But you need to remember this is an expedition cruise. The weather is often bad to terrible. This will affect your trip. After the Polar Bears & Walrus the highlight was the birds on Bear Island. My hat still needs a little more cleaning. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This cruise was greatly anticipated after a fantastic experience on Silver Explorer in Antarctica. Started off badly with the hotel we stayed in as part of the package in Oslo. The Radisson Blu - what a dump. A tired and sad hotel in need ... Read More
This cruise was greatly anticipated after a fantastic experience on Silver Explorer in Antarctica. Started off badly with the hotel we stayed in as part of the package in Oslo. The Radisson Blu - what a dump. A tired and sad hotel in need of a lot of TLC. Poor room - too hot to sleep, terrible breakfast once you had fought your way through the swarms of people on coach tours. Poor service with baggage - not collected. Flight to Longyerbyan O K but had to sit apart from travelling companion. Embarkation OK. Not as slick as previous cruise. Found suite. Waited for baggage to arrive. Investigated suite. What ' no champagne' did have that waiting on previous cruise. No slippers - told run out. No passenger list. Had lunch then sailed away. The first few days in Svarlbard were O K but not really exciting. Zodiac landings where very few. Where we did land it was to see some old ruins. One place we were told not to walk off the path and not to touch anything. Some old huts with very new stainless steel flues! We're told the locals visit the place for picnics and overnight stays - so why were we cautioned about what we could do! Asked some questions about the place and was told by the Expedition Historian that there was nothing 'in the book about it'!, One place we visited to see Walruses we had to wait until evening to take a Zodiac Landing because another ship had got there first! We went to see another ruin! Did see some Polar Bears, and it came across that once we had had sightings of a bear then it was -'mission accomplished ' Missed out on the Bird cliffs and a Glacier Walk. Set off for 2 days at sea for Scoresby Sund. Did not get there. Captain decided there was too much ice so another day at sea to head for Iceland. Why could he not get the sh into the sound - if we had had Captain Adam we would have made it. Iceland - could not land at Grimsey. Siglufjord - lots of rain and herrings and a museum! Huskavik - bus trip- awful lunch at some outpost. This is supposed to be the Whale Watching capital so why did we not go out on aWhale Watchting tour. Akureyri - gardens in a town then left to wander around a fairly uninteresting town. Ground fjord- scheduled bus tour- not very inspiringly- poor lunch and around 85 per cent of passengers wanted to get back to ship early. By then almost everyone was well and truely fed up with bus trips. This was supposed to be an 'expedition cruise ' not a Saga cruise and when in port you pile into a bus for a moronic day out. The Expedition Team were not at all inspiring - just look at the blogs on Silverseas Website and compare them with those of the same cruise in 2014. If only we had had Peter Damisch and Micheala Mayer and captain Adam what a huge difference it would have been. All in all this cruise was a complete waste of time and an expensive mistake. Compared to the experience in Antactica this was so so very very poor. The ship in in need of a complete makeover. Lots of very worn upholstery in the public and private places. Paint peeling off ceilings in suites. Towels were old and worn. There were changes as to what you could eat in your suite if you did not want to dine in the restaurant.On previous cruises the same menu was available in your suite absinthe restaurant. Not now you can only choose from the menu used on the deck area. The wine was poor - Civan was great and had a superb personality and was able to persuade you that you could like the wine being served. Food was excellent thanks to Pia the head chef - if it was not for her the whole two weeks would have been a hundred per cent disaster. Staff on board were helpful and good fun. They worked hard and made a difference. This whole experience really does question my desire to take another Silverseas cruise. I bought an Expedition Cruise not a cruise with bus trips to some really uninspiring places. Why we could not have explored other parts of Greenland especially as this was a huge part of the cruise and a big incentive to take the cruise. Silverseas must have a credible fall back plan if plan A does to work out. Bus trips are a cop out and a very easy option. The tour operators in Iceland must have thought that all their Christmases had come at once . The tours were not arranged especially for us, they were bog standard bus tours operated every day in Iceland. The Expedition Team had a really easy time of it and even they were found to be dozing off in the buses. If Silverseas cannot make this a credible cruise then they should cut it out of their program Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
General Overall Impression: We were deeply disappointed in the expedition portion of the cruise. We missed 50% of the cruise due to excessive ice in Scoresbysund. Silversea’s answer was to do more in Iceland. We did not pay to ... Read More
General Overall Impression: We were deeply disappointed in the expedition portion of the cruise. We missed 50% of the cruise due to excessive ice in Scoresbysund. Silversea’s answer was to do more in Iceland. We did not pay to visit Iceland – we paid to visit Greenland. For some unknown reason they did go to the southern part of Greenland and made this second half and Iceland tour. I blame the Captain here since he controls where we go. There was no reason we could not have gone south and done other expedition areas. The choice of going to Iceland and doing normal ports Husavik, Akureryi and western Fjords was not expedition sailing but sightseeing. Pre-Cruise Hotel: Hotel was horrible the Radisson Blu Scandinavia. Internet did not work and construction noise throughout our three day stay. Breakfast was mediocre buffet. Some people paid nearly $300 per night, through Silversea, for the privilege of staying at this dive. Transfer to airport. Paid $99 pp for this transfer. No better than taking the Flybussen for $19. We had to drag the luggage around the airport to find the check-in. Silversea’s contracted agents were pretty useless. Flight to Longyearbyen was good - on time and transfer to ship was quick. Svalbard – 4 day cruise. Very interesting though many excursions required you to be in shape and physically fit. Some passenger requested some more less walking friendly tours (ie. Zodiac cruises) but these requests were ignored by the expedition leader. Ship Impression. Having been on the Silver Explorer 18 months ago we knew what to expect. The ship’s decor is VERY tired looking. Rooms are almost all same size (except for the small number of expedition and owner suites). Lounge is very small and fills up for high tea and drinks. Service was excellent. Only comment is that the butlers are glorified housekeepers. Our request for special gin (Henricks) was ignored. Food. Much improved over past expedition cruise. Did not have a bad meal. Previously the buffet lunch was the highlight meal. This cruise the dinner portion is where the chef shined. Chef Pia did a great job. Iceland – what a waste - we were not scheduled to do this we were to do Greenland. • First port Grimsey Island was cancelled due to high waves. • Second stop was a Siglufjord town – where the highlight was the Herring museum. Now come on this is an expedition cruise. Herring museum ..zzzzzz.. • Husavik the whaling capitol of the world. However no whaling but a bus tour to visit the falls and hot springs. Have done this twice before. • Akureyri. Botanical garden tour. ..zzzzzz.. • On the last tour Grundefjord – 75% of the people requested that we return to the ship early – it was so bad as was the guide. Disembarkation: Was quick and the hotel transfer was done effortlessly. Pluses – • Ships Staff – great service. Housekeeping and restaurant staff outstanding • Food – chef Pia did a great job. Never had a bad meal. Minuses- • Ship is tired looking. Needs an interior makeover. • TV never worked – there is no other entertainment. • Internet exceeding slow when working. Some of it is the location but rest is a bandwidth issue. • Wines - thought the red wines could have been of better quality. Mostly all blends (which I hate) • It was not an expedition cruise. I blame the Captain. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The cover of the Silverseas brochure features a polar bear and when you book an Arctic cruise that's what you expect to find.Yes, we were privileged to sight a bear or two, but no we didn’t have crowds of bears queueing up on the ... Read More
The cover of the Silverseas brochure features a polar bear and when you book an Arctic cruise that's what you expect to find.Yes, we were privileged to sight a bear or two, but no we didn’t have crowds of bears queueing up on the deck all hours of the night and day. An Arctic cruise is more about the beauty of nature. The wildlife you meet on the way are a special treat. I would like to share a few precious Arctic memories which have enriched our lives. “The essence of our journey was encapsulated on Day Two. We were sitting in the zodiac surrounded by glaciers. “Let’s take a moment to listen to the silence” whispers Franz our guide. We put the present on pause, to exist in this special place in time where only glaciers can bear the brunt of history and gulls soaring overhead shriek with laughter at the funny humans in zodiacs below. Our Professor of Ornithology picks up a chunk of ice from the sea. “Have a taste of history”. We take turns to suck on the eons, zillions of years in a crystallized fossil, the water as fresh as the present, the ice as old as the stone age. That's what this cruise is all about. The privilege of experiencing a precious shrinking world like this with top expeditions leaders who understand and can share this rare beauty so generously with us. The Arctic Circle is defined by the tree line – a place where trees can no longer survive. It’s either snow, rock or tundra. We are cruising in Svalbard, an archipelago with the largest iceshelf in the Arctic. There are great tundra valleys in the centre and ice caps lie to the east. This morning we have a trek on the tundra which begins with a wet landing on the stones of a gravelly beach. We are well prepared thanks to the excellent packing list provided by SILVERSEAS online. Especially about the boots. A happy camper has comfy feet and our BOGS boots are a true blessing. They have perfect waterproof coats and the grip of a polar bear. We hike slowly up the hill, on tundra springy like new carpet. Luck has its way as we catch glimpses of the Arctic fox darting around playing cat and mouse with the deer. He’s the Arctic version of the zebra of the north, adapting his wardrobe according to the seasons - snowy white camouflage in winter, and two tone combination in summer to blend with rock and tundra. He’s difficult to photograph, not still for a moment, those black & white stripes flashing across the tundra, with long bushy tail sailing in the wind. He’s not called the long footed fox for nothing and mischievous like Brer Fox, teasing the poor reindeer trying to graze in peace in the valley. We laugh as swirling terns swoop down and outfox our fox; they circle his den and steal leftover crumbs. Then comes another beautiful sight on the ridge above. Two twisted antlers have slowly appeared as mother deer and daughter have raised their heads from morning tea in perfect pose for a picture. They’re been snacking their way along once icy ledges of slopes now covered in fresh moss of the season. They have an almost human stare with such large melting eyes; cleverly wide set for panoramic vision to allow them to watch out for unfriendly visitors. They’re incredibly bulky and cow-like with layers of fat to warm them for the winter. I’ve no idea how they put on weight with a diet of pure greens. On the downward climb we pass little gardens of arctic flowers in bloom in the shade of the rocks. A whole new world of geology is opened up to us crisscrossed with the crevasses of age. Smooth rocks worn down by centuries of glaciers in stunning patterns of orange and grey. The warm shades of the lichen on rock shine like precious stones, but they’re really algae symbiotic with fungi. When we reach the valley below we ford a tiny stream trickling between a carpet of jade moss. Nature has smiled upon us today with all the joys of spring. Sipping hot chocolate in the bar, we share the highlights of the day frozen in memory in I-Phones and cameras. I jot notes from fellow guests and friends to compare with “cruise critic”. Aren’t we all waiting to see that polar bear? True we all agree, but there’s so much more we didn’t expect to see. “We are truly privileged” says Anne, “to experience this pristine wilderness before it all disappears”. For me, it’s a sheer joy to breathe fresh air in deep and gaze out to a horizon that never seems to end. Our photos are better than we ever imagined. We share perfect images of “Kittiwakes” standing barefoot on ice. The light is magic here. Everything is so clearly defined, so even an amateur photographer like myself might churn out the pictures of a champ. Walruses are on the menu for Sunday afternoon. We zodiac ashore to see a gang of these Arctic relics who had swum to land for a spot of siesta. We smelt them as we approached the beach. A colony lay snoozing together in a heap on the sand like beached whales. They certainly cannot compete with George Clooney in the looks department. Each is rumpled portrait of buck teeth, whiskers, deep scars and blood shot eyes. And all sunbaking belly up! Who could imagine that these giant creatures are so sociable, all cuddled up on top of each other? The quiet is only broken by the occasional grunt when someone gives a good back scratch to the neighbour with a handy rear flipper. Back in the boat, Juan our Expeditions Leader, laughs ‘Many wrinkles allow for further girth expansion.’ That's kind of how we felt squeezing into our gear every day. Sampling the delights of the cuisine on board could possibly lead to a final version of a walrus within a few weeks! No cruise critique is complete without a word about the food. How can one possibly squeeze in three massive meals a day, when we’re so busy with outings twice daily in zodiac or on land. Only in the world of the midnight sun where time can be maximised in relentless hours of light. There can’t be anything more delightfully decadent than feasting on scones, jam and cream as the icebergs drift gently past your window. That was afternoon tea. Dinner.. well, not exactly “under the stars”. More like “under the sun.” But not Tuscan. And more light than sun. Silver Explorer offers a very cool “Hot Rock Barbeque” on the upper deck in frozen light. It’s Day Five and we’ve reached the Sea Ice. Perhaps not the warmest night to choose the ‘Hot Rocks but the best part is that we don’t have to dress for dinner. We huddle at the one surviving sheltered corner table in hooded parka and waterproof pants. The only ones to brave the cold tonight along with a hardy Swiss couple who seem oblivious to the biting wind roaring past our faces. The main challenge is to remove hands from warm gloves in order to cut the meat .The chunky slices are unable to decide whether to melt or freeze. It’s a bit like eating a melting ice-cream in reverse. Not a dining experience one would forget in a hurry. .. I pictured myself as a polar bear in this highly unpredictable environment. The word Arctic comes from the Greek word “Arcticus” which means Kingdom of the Bear. This iconic symbol of the north is embedded in our psyche as a symbol of cold. My mind is on him as I shiver over my supper. Day Six: We are 1,012 kms south of the North Pole and north of Spitsbergen. The strengthened hull of the Silver Explorer cuts through the ice with a grinding crunch and the view of the ice floes sailing past my cabin is brilliant. The entire team of eight Silverseas Expedition Leaders, marine biologists, glaciologists are on the bridge in top gear on the polar look out. We are in prime conditions. The pack ice has thickened enough for the polar bear to walk on, A lone seal appears ahead perched on an ice floe surveying his surroundings like the warm up band before the star of the show appears. The ice has formed the right kind of frozen platform for a bear to pounce on his prey. We are lined up on deck like an army of red and white soldiers in our arctic uniforms, binoculars fixated on the horizon, cameras ready in focus, listening out for an announcement by the captain when the star is to appear. “Quick! Focus your lens on two o'çlock” says Kit, our marine biologist excitedly. He’s out there, just to the right of that island. I freeze my fingers off in the struggle to master my new fancy binoculars. The minute I focus exactly on the bear, he moves. But he’s closer and adrenalin is racing. Now I see him! He clambers out of the water, rolls into an easy half somersault on the ice to shake excess water from his fur, and finally stands up to face his audience. His antics are hilarious. Black rimmed eyes stare straight at my lens. As if to say “what on earth are you doing here in my domain?”” I am in heaven. Then he moves. So in tune with his environment, nose in the air as he pads along the ice, one elbow in front of the other, on his way to the next victim of prey. Alone in his glacial world. The sheer ice carpet is the backdrop to his ever shrinking home. Then as suddenly as he faces us, he turns back and sinks behind the rock. But that’s only the first round of the show, ladies & gentlemen, until our appetiser is served. Just as we take the first spoonful from our steaming bowls of soup, the captain makes his second announcement. “The polar bear has stood up and is walking towards the ship!” There’s a stampede from the dining room, grabbing parkas, gloves & hats on the run. An eleven year old boy travelling with his grandparents lets out a hoot of sheer delight. Our bear is much closer now. When he finally stands up and moves from his lair, tears of joy spring to my eyes. Visible to the naked eye, we watch as he prowls carefully across the ice like a graceful ballerina, bulky yet steady, king of his Universe. He typically moves slowly, not wanting to heat up too much as it’s only minus 5 today. He’s been lying down on the ice to cool off and is now back on the hunt. In the presence of such majesty we are dwarfed as human beings. He stalks along with the dignified rump of a lord. Walks, sniffs and then waits with patience and stealth for seals to come up for breath. He needs 40 or 50 seals a year, and has all the time in the world to wait. And so have I as I watch how he moves. He’s top dog here and no one can challenge him. It’s a juggle between I-phone and camera, as he gets bigger and bigger. I just can’t get enough of him. And now he stares at me again, his black searching eyes right into my lens. The captain is careful for us not to overstay our welcome. To snatch a glimpse of this majestic animal on ice is to capture a unique moment in history, frozen in time. So most unfortunately are my fingers. Oh that I had fur growing on my paws like the bear! But it’s worth the ice and the wind, the frost and the fear, for one clear raw gaze of this magnificent creature. We are so privileged and fortunate to catch a glimpse of his world. Alas fast melting before our eyes. And now many months later I still feel that polar stare. Sea ice is dynamic and the next day the ice zone is too packed for us to sail back. But maybe we have gained more than just a sight of a polar bear. Maybe the thrill of such a privilege to view this starkly beautiful wilderness will help us refocus our lives to preserve one of the few remaining gifts of nature on this planet. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We went on a Silver Sea expedition cruise to Svalbard in July 2015. Our ship the Silver Explorer was a beautiful ship and our service by the crew was wonderful. The issue started when our mandatory charter flight to Longyearbyen was not ... Read More
We went on a Silver Sea expedition cruise to Svalbard in July 2015. Our ship the Silver Explorer was a beautiful ship and our service by the crew was wonderful. The issue started when our mandatory charter flight to Longyearbyen was not able to land because of fog. They flew us back to Oslo and put us up in the local airport hotel. I'm not upset as to the weather as I know that can happen at any time. I'm upset at how the company handled the situation. There was very little communication and when we did have meetings things were said like, " What do you want us to do, it is Sunday?" We were told to have lunch in town and save the receipts, so they can reimburse us. It was never mentioned again. When I went to reception on the ship, at the end of the cruise, and asked them what to do with the receipts, I was told they would make a copy of them but a decision hadn't been made as to what would be done with them. Two days later we finally were able to get on the ship. They said they wanted to give us the best cruise ever as we had missed 2 days. As I said the ship was great but the expeditions were terrible. According to the dictionary expedition means to explore, we did no exploring. When we did get off the ship, in the zodiacs, we were required to walk in a small tight group and look at poop or bones on the ground. If we walked 1/2 mile we would be lucky. One expedition was 45 minutes long to look at a walrus. I could have stayed longer and the last thing I wanted to do was walk and see poop down the beach. Another day on the zodiac was 1 1/2 hours long to sit at the bottom of a glacier and stare at it. Glaciers don't move much so there wasn't much to see. My husband and I have been on a Quark expedition to Antarctica and it was totally different. We walked around to see and explore the area and wildlife on the Antarctica cruise. This is a good cruise but it is not an expedition cruise at all. The expedition staff are all knowledgeable and nice, however their program is in need of some exploring to make it an expedition. As far as the actual ship it was wonderful for an expedition cruise. Our room was clean and very nice with 2 big windows. Dining was pleasant and the food was good. It was open sitting however one large group reserved all the window tables, across the back of the ship, on the first day, for the whole trip.( Doesn't seem real fair) As far as activities, there were some lectures and the zodiac cruises and that was it. Not a lot to do. Our TV didn't even work for the first half of the cruise. It was said by one passenger, "Maybe we were blessed to be shortened 2 days as I want off this ship." We will never sail with Silver Sea because of the way they handled the weather situation and they do not know how to do expeditions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We travelled as a family of 5 on the Explorer for a 10 day cruise , from Tromso and ended on Svalbard. Our time in Tromso was independent of Silversea, its a small northern city. Small arctic museum which makes for a nice morning to ... Read More
We travelled as a family of 5 on the Explorer for a 10 day cruise , from Tromso and ended on Svalbard. Our time in Tromso was independent of Silversea, its a small northern city. Small arctic museum which makes for a nice morning to get acquainted with the arctic whilst waiting to board. There are two harbours at Tromso, and on our voyage the Silver Explorer was moored at the smaller , in twon harbour and not the main one that lies about 10 minutes out of town. This was no obvious from our reservation details and it was really by chance that we saw the ship as we walked around town earlier in the day. So do check that little detail, if you are leaving from Tromso. Boarding was very easy with minimal of fuss, it was like getting onto a friends boat. Registration formalities aside, we got into life on the Explorer. It is a small ship, 6000 tonnes, so those of you who have only done larger cruise ships, will need to get used to the cosy space. Having said that with a maximum of 100 odd guest, one never felt crowded onboard. Common areas are very nicely appointed, the suites were functional rather than luxurious, but then again this ship is built for exploring and safety. Service and maintenance of the cabins were as you would expect from Silversea. A nice touch was afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones in the cabin or in the lounge after a day onshore. Food was very good, and on a 11 day voyage with so few guests, we even were asked if we would like to order anything off menu, which was very efficiently done with 24 hours notice. The were 2 semi formal ( no jackets or ties needed) evenings when the captain hosted dinner, but otherwise it was a very very relaxing affair. There is just one restaurant, for all three meals, service was exceptional, all guests were addressed by name, wines were good and if you wanted something a bit more specials, the list was available at a small premium. The real highlight was the quality of lectures, nature related activities, the detail and safety of the on shore expeditions. Do note this is polar bear territory and so there are always bear guards around, and scout boats ahead of us before we are allowed on shore. We travel extensively as a family on expeditions ( Africa, Asia) and understand two things- first what a top team can do in terms of making one comfortable in remote distant locations, with limited access to new provision, supplies. This team on the Explorer really was on top from the hotel services, the cruise ship management, the food, the challenge of keeping 100 guests satisfied for 10 days in a remote ( and dangerous) location. Secondly, nature is nature- stuff happens, ice, wildlife danger, weather. That cannot be planned for and most important we felt safe travelling with this team. We are so happy we are going back with them too the Antarctic at the end of this year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
It was much trepidation that we booked this Silverseas cruise in the Arctic. Marketing and brochures were fantastic. We arrived in Tromso. Tried boarding the ship, but first hurdle was a harbour security officer who overstepped the ... Read More
It was much trepidation that we booked this Silverseas cruise in the Arctic. Marketing and brochures were fantastic. We arrived in Tromso. Tried boarding the ship, but first hurdle was a harbour security officer who overstepped the boundaries by telling us to stand back. No Silverseas person in sight. Not the greatest start. We walked up the gangway. First impressions were terrible. It smelt terrible, felt like a car ferry, smelt of damp, very worn features. cables dangled on a wall, pen had to be found at check in. Yes - it is an old ship, BUT we paid an enormous amount. It was sold as a top end product, but it wasn't. We knew the ship is old, but this was bad ... we had no idea what we let ourselves in for. Arrived at our "view" cabin. Windows not just dirty, but filthy. Butler did not arrive for hours. Lots of apologies when she did arrive. Ship itself: POORLY maintained: sand in the Jacuzzi (in the Arctic?), lots of broken light bulbs, very blunt décor inside, lots of rust everywhere Food: Bland, uninspired. REALLY cheap products such as cold cuts. They were like dried up carpet glue. On another occasion Foie Gras was served. Well, it was green foie gras. We were in the Arctic, but NO glacier ice for cocktails until we asked. So it was available for one evening only. Very bad, not an experience of a life-time. Crew & Staff: Never saw the captain, except at the cocktail party. No social engagement with scientists at times other than the landings. Noticed head chef starting drinking at one of the bars from before noon on several occasions. Could hardly believe it. Landings: Too many birds, far too many birds. Also some purple sprouting grass. However, we had one excellent encounter with a polar bear. Luck. There was a "riot" on the ship, because we did not see a lot. The captain decided to go back into the ice. It was too late, especially since we arrived at the permanent ice at around 1 am in the morning. No announcements. Only the lucky one's who stayed up late saw it. Ambience: There wasn't any. Terrible public spaces. Best area was the smokers room. Table cloth were never straight or ironed. Just felt unloved. Disembarkation: DISASTER - we anchored in the bay, a German cruise ship was docked. Our luggage was winged over the side in a net into zodiacs. We disembarked in our travel cloth via Zodiac. Not classy or comfortable at all. Pros: Maitre d' was a star and so was head bar tender Cons: UTTERLY overpriced, very poorly maintained ship interior ... an unloved product that is not worth the money Silverseas is asking for. Raised our complaints with the hotel manager, but he did not have an answer. However, he promised us preferential seats on the Silverseas charter flight back to Oslo. At check in no one knew about. How bad is this? We like Seabourn, oh my god - it could not be further away from Seabourn despite the price tag. Top Tip: AVOID SILVERSEAS - Book somewhere else, it ain't worth it. Just terrible in every way. You were warned. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Silver Explorer Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.1
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.2
Public Rooms 5.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 2.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.2
Enrichment 5.0 4.2
Service 5.0 4.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 5.0 3.9

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