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5 Silversea Arctic Cruise Reviews

The idea was to see a new part of the world which we did. And to learn about the climate, people and history. Firstly, we sorta enjoyed the cruise. It was what it was and we had few expectations about the itinerary. But we saw very ... Read More
The idea was to see a new part of the world which we did. And to learn about the climate, people and history. Firstly, we sorta enjoyed the cruise. It was what it was and we had few expectations about the itinerary. But we saw very little wildlife so that was disappointing eg one polar bear from a long way off and some whales. 16 days is a long time to be bored. The best part was the Cloud’s food and service in the MDR. The food was fine enough in the Terrazza but rushed and sometimes very slow, unprofessional service marred the experience. It was also noisy for us so we almost always has breakfast and lunch in the MDR under the watchful gaze of MD Gilbert and AMD Gustavo. Also right up there was the set of lecturers, each well prepared and knowledgeable. However, this was a very expensive cruise. The ship was always very cold inside, the bath ran rusty, the drain plug slow, and many of our neighbors slammed their cabin doors. We also witnessed 3 cabin floods, as discussed in the last review. Who needs that? We are experienced cruisers and we expect a certain amount of quality. The jeans and tees at dinner casual dress and manners of some passengers was surprising and I joked readily that Gilbert’s team looked misplaced here. Maybe on a classic ship? Yes, more consistent sophistication. That’s the answer! We will not go on another Silversea expedition. We were very spoiled on the Seabourn Quest’s Antarctic cruise of Dec., 2017. We can wait for the itinerary to do something exotic on the Seabourn Venture. We will try the Muse soon and I hope it lives up to my expectations. For a classic cruise, the ship must bear up or no more Silversea, I am afraid. Happy and healthy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Over many months prior to the cruise, my TA asked the same question of Silverseas central offices: “What are the charter flight departure and arrival times in and out of KEF?” Each time he asked, there was a different story. They ... Read More
Over many months prior to the cruise, my TA asked the same question of Silverseas central offices: “What are the charter flight departure and arrival times in and out of KEF?” Each time he asked, there was a different story. They varied from 7 am to 10 am to 1 pm to 2 pm departure on the first day. The arrival time in KEF on the return was given as noon, 2 pm and 6 pm. How does a person plan their international flights with such bogus information? The charter flights to and from Kangerlussuaq from KEF were a joke. They should have been scheduled 5-6 hours earlier from KEF on both days. There was nothing to be gained by arriving in Greenland so late in the day on the first day. On the debarkation day after 16 days seeing spectacular things, all 200 passengers were loaded on buses for a tundra tour and a lunch at a lake. When people are leaving on the last day of the cruise just wanting to either get home or on to their next adventure of their vacation, being dragged around on a hokey tour left the guests with a very bad last impression of SIlverseas. Having 200+ passengers sitting in a miserable Kangerlussuaq airport for hours waiting on a “charter” flight is just plain stupid. From our experiences with NatGeo/Lindblad and Ponant, this Expedition crew is the amateur hour of that class of ship. For the first two ship days, virtually no information about procedures in the mud/changing room are explained. Also, the proper procedures for entering and exiting a Zodiac for a wet landing are never explained. There were a number of guests who required assistance from the ship doctor for serious injuries during the cruise. An example of the hapless Expedition crew came at the second port, when one of the staff fell overboard on a Zodiac. It provided an unplanned demonstration of the inflatable life preserver, but it reflected the inexperience of members of the staff. During the first few days of the cruise, the Expedition staff were very difficult to identify. Everyone looks alike, even some of the guests, what with everyone wearing parkas and wet gear. Some of your younger Expedition crew were standoffish while others interfaced with the guests in an inappropriate manner or flippantly. As expected, the reception desk, hotel and food/beverage staff were nothing short of world class. They created a “Four Seasons Hotel” experience on the ocean. The cuisine and beverage quality was world class. The many, daily educational briefings were fabulous, even if some of the presenters were a little hard to understand. The ship interior was great. The exterior could use some more frequent preventative maintenance, re: paint. The smallest cabin was very roomy and the shipboard entertainment and ship information system on the TV monitor was world class. In summary, we cannot recommend Silverseas for the new expedition efforts on the Silver Cloud. The company is trying to capitalize on the superb quality reputation of Silverseas earned for many years by the ship staff. That reputation is badly tarnished by the Expedition staff management and the poor pre- & post- cruise ground planning and execution. We can recommend and continue to recommend the non-expedition ships to our well financed, retired friends. The reputation of those ships are well-sustained, despite the hapless Expedition and shoreside transportation operations. All these comments were shared with Silverseas using their comment system. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were intrigued by the idea of a 'luxury' expedition on a 'small' ship. Unfortunately, the ship chose(despite the brochure's promise to have a maximum of 200 passengers) to embark fully booked, creating lines ... Read More
We were intrigued by the idea of a 'luxury' expedition on a 'small' ship. Unfortunately, the ship chose(despite the brochure's promise to have a maximum of 200 passengers) to embark fully booked, creating lines for everything--from dinner in the main restaurant, La Terrazza breakfasts and lunches, and boarding the zodiaks. The service was perfunctory, with some exceptions--our assistant butler was wonderful, as were many individual members of the staff. And there were some unique experiences, from the 'polar plunge' to kayaking in dry suits. The captain was welcoming and generally terrific. But the overall experience--from spending hours trying to figure out what appropriate clothing to bring(no, Silversea--not 4 pairs of gloves PLUS glove liners for a 10 day cruise; not hugely difficult-to-pack calf-length waterproof boots for what turned out to be ONE!! wet zodiac landing) to the final day--again, no details til night before,but basically a lovely almost 5 hour excursion offset by standing in way too many lines--did not in any way measure up either to my expectations or Silversea's promises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Since my wife and I live 6 months a year on our trawler I am not a huge fan of cruise ships. Did one Royal Carib with family years ago (eh) and one 16 passenger to Galapagos which was superb. Chose Silver Cloud based on Silversea ... Read More
Since my wife and I live 6 months a year on our trawler I am not a huge fan of cruise ships. Did one Royal Carib with family years ago (eh) and one 16 passenger to Galapagos which was superb. Chose Silver Cloud based on Silversea reputation. The good: Cabin was a veranda on deck 7 and nicely appointed. The butler and cabin attendant were superb. There when you needed and nicely anticipated our needs. The food was very, very good. All the restaurants came thru although we did not eat on the grill deck due to cold temps. Overall the ship fit our needs and was in good shape except: The bad: Hot tub were both out of service for the trip. No excuse get them fixed. The really bad. Excursions were way to short and lacking ANY expedition type experience. Frankly they were quite lame. Not the guides, they were very good, but the actual excursions. Essentially in our mind the boat was too big, 240 people, although we had been told only 200 would be on the Arctic cruise. Not enough time to handle the people on and off the boat, not enough kayaks and just not enough excursions. A real disappointment. Will look into other lines for future expedition cruises. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We’ve sailed several times on SilverSea and have had mixed experiences. Our favorite expedition was Antarctica; our favorite ocean cruise was The Baltic’s where we spent 3 days in St. Petersburg. We selected the SS Arctic ... Read More
We’ve sailed several times on SilverSea and have had mixed experiences. Our favorite expedition was Antarctica; our favorite ocean cruise was The Baltic’s where we spent 3 days in St. Petersburg. We selected the SS Arctic expedition because we wanted to see Arctic wildlife and especially polar bears. We certainly knew there was no guarantee of seeing polar bears, whales, seals, foxes, etc., but we thought there would be a huge effort from the expedition leader and captain to meet our goals since that was our experience with previous expedition ships. They are known for not having a set schedule and route but rather a day by day or moment by moment agenda depending on where they have to go to meet expectations. We found this expedition full of an inexperienced expedition leader and expedition team. It was the first time in this area for all of them. There was very little effort in reaching their passengers goals and we followed a very preplanned route. We knew days in advance of exactly where we were going and there was no variance in that plan. The only expedition experience on this cruise was that you were in zodiacs vs. tenders. We saw very, very few animals and there was no effort in finding them. While they can say we saw a polar bear, it was our very first day and they said there was one on shore. Everyone rushed to see it but even with decent binoculars, most people couldn’t identify it. We were told that what looked like a rock was actually a polar bear laying down with his back towards us. Maybe it was?? I thought at that time the ship would check that off as a sighting and make no effort in finding another. Unfortunately, that proved true. We saw a couple of seals and 1 haul of walrus. We saw reindeer at a reindeer farm...could have done that in a zoo. We did see tons of birds, tons. The other very disturbing situation was that there was a 3 year old child on board. The SS website clearly states that children under 5 will absolutely not be allowed on the zodiacs. This child was on most of the zodiac outings. When we questioned the staff, they responded that they weren’t aware of their policy. Totally unacceptable ...this child endangered himself and everyone in each zodiac. While I voiced my concern, no one at SS responded. Overall, very disappointing in the lack of effort and excitement but I do think some of that is attributed to the inexperienceof the entire team. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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