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2 Silversea Arctic Cruise Reviews

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
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
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