4 Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego) Luxury Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it was an "Expedition" cruise to the Antarctic, including stops in the Falklands and South Georgia before reaching over to the Antarctic Peninsula. Everyone knows that expedition cruise might be a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was an "Expedition" cruise to the Antarctic, including stops in the Falklands and South Georgia before reaching over to the Antarctic Peninsula. Everyone knows that expedition cruise might be a little rugged, both at sea and in the landings. You don't book an expedition cruise unless you're prepared for some discomfort, including rough sea passages -- that's the price you pay to travel on a smaller boat and to get to unusual and glorious landings. The first two legs were terrific, and both the landings and the expedition team -- Apex Expeditions -- could not have been better. All landings except one were "wet" -- how could they be otherwise? -- and resources and capabilities that the Apex team provided were superb. They are stars. But the cautiousness of the captain and, presumably, the Silversea line, started to show itself as we left S Georgia for the Peninsula. There were strong-ish winds to the south west, so the ship proceeded due west to let the storm pass, then south Elephant Island. That tack meant a loss of some six or so hours, and so no chance of seeing the Shackleton site on Elephant -- we arrived at the SW part of the island for a late landing instead, then headed off to Antarctica.... We were scheduled for four full days on the Peninsula, but got an abbreviated two and half days instead. Strong winds were projected to come across the Drake Passage -- as they regularly do! -- and the captain (and Silversea?) were presumably worried about discomfort to the passengers. We were prepared! Everyone knew the Drake could be tricky, we were already 2 weeks out at sea, and everyone had their medications underway. Instead of providing the publicized expedition trip, the ship proceeded back nearly two days early "out of precaution," which meant we did not get to (for example) Paradise Bay or the Lemaire Channel even though they were almost next door. Instead we had a very sorry early morning hour at Deception and a last landing on the Shetlands before hurrying back across the Drake and arriving a day and half early in Ushuaia. We were told that other ships also decided to head back early, but that wasn't what I saw. Instead, I saw the Ponant Soleal arrive in Ushuaia in the glorious evening sun on time and unscathed and will a lot of happy passengers whose experiences on the Peninsula were much fuller then ours. Many people, including us, had paid several tens of thousands of dollars and carved out three weeks time for a unique experience. We did not get it. Never again an "expedition" cruise with Silversea for us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Where to begin...We have gone on 10 Cruises with Silverseas and have always been satisfied..but this was totally different. If you are not the explorer / outdoors type of person then maybe you should not do this cruise. Here is my ... Read More
Where to begin...We have gone on 10 Cruises with Silverseas and have always been satisfied..but this was totally different. If you are not the explorer / outdoors type of person then maybe you should not do this cruise. Here is my blow-by-blow account: The charter from Buenos Aires was a ridiculous ordeal. So we are on a high-end cruise and they have all passengers on a required charter that is in a crappy coach style, 3 across airplane with some of the most vile excuse for food ever. Most of us could not remember the last time we had flown coach so what makes them think that this is acceptable?! Why not spend a little more and have a premium experience to start the trip?! (But they ended it badly also, as i will describe when i explain the disembakiing issues.) When we arrived in Ushuaia we sere taken to a nice restaurant where we had the best meal that we would have for the next 12 days. Then we were taken to the ship where the check in was reasonably simple and efficient like it always is and should be with Silverseas. The safety drill was conducted partially in the cold and wet but that cannot be avoided so I will not complain as it is necessary i guess per maritime law. The excursions and the zodiac crew were very knowledgeable and did their job well and were friendly, only complaint was that they drove faster at times than they really had to. The crossing of the Drake passage was not too bad but it was extremely boring and there are very limited activities on board. that is where they really should improve like maybe having a cruise director or at least movies or some form of entertainment or trvia pursuit or something to do. they do have some lectures but?! Boring! Dining: Breakfast and lunch were always buffets and really not so good. Dinner was much better. Attire: So here is one of our major issues! Along with all of the cold weather gear that we had to pack we were told that the dress code was usually Smart Casual and so we packed accordingly. Well here is what others were wearing: pajamas for breakfast, ballcaps and jeans with tee shirts for dinner and worse. OK if that was the dress code i could live with it but please don't have me pack for smart casual and allow everyone to dress in dumb scummy. Another problem was that the excursions were more strenuous than advertised. Moderate walk on the Falklands translates to almost heart attack inducing hike. Disembarking: It never is fun when the trip is over as they are always ready to hustle you off and get the new group on but this was insane. They take you off in a bus and then you are left in a parking lot for hours. Next we were driven to the airport very slowly in a round about manner. The airport was a mess. There was a long line with one person checking everyone through. Then the plane was late and apparently it always is. Now the main source of income for this crappy place are these cruise passengers so you would think that they could figure out how to handle this 3 month ordeal. Short version is that the scenery was great. The staff is good.The food and attire issues need to be addressed as do the charter and the disembarking issues. For an expensive premium experience Silverseas can do a whole lot better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I had not intended to lodge a critique on our cruise if the Silver Sea cruise line had acted honourably and answered some of the queries raised by our travel agent in Australia. On our return from the cruise on the Silver Shadow from ... Read More
I had not intended to lodge a critique on our cruise if the Silver Sea cruise line had acted honourably and answered some of the queries raised by our travel agent in Australia. On our return from the cruise on the Silver Shadow from Argentina to Lima Peru over Christmas 2014, we related most of the issues we had and the agent was so incensed, she wrote to Silver Sea in Australia. That was in January this year, and they haven't had the courtesy to respond. Hence this review. Wonderful ship, some wonderful staff, destinations wonderful, but this was overshadowed by so many faults it left a bad taste in our mouths, and a resolve never to go cruising again. We purposely paid the high rates demanded by Silver Sea, believing we would have fantastic food and service. Sure the cabin was brilliant and thankfully we had a first rate butler looking after us, but apart from that, you can begin to see many compromises. I don't intend to give you chapter and verse what went wrong, and there were many things that did go wrong, but suffice to say that the food overall was very disappointing. I know my seafood, and how come I am able to produce flavourful prawns from frozen product at home, but they can't do it on the Silver Shadow. Researching other comments on various websites, one can only reach the conclusion that the company is buying cheap food and cutting back on quality to remain in the game in this highly competitive market. The ship boasts ' exquisite cuisine inspired by Relais & Châteaux' – we paid the extra demanded to sit in this so called top restaurant on the Silver Shadow on Christmas Day, and when the main course arrived and we couldn't get a knife into what should have been a tender rack of lamb, we just walked out, much to the horror of the staff. There was little difference in the quality of the food between this top restaurant and the other restaurants on the ship. The wine selection was supposed to be top class – it was the same as the rest of the ship. The service was awful, the food was worse. We began to avoid even going to the restaurants on board to avoid what we called the 'dining gauntlet', of crowds of mainly Asian waiters and waitresses walking guests arm in arm to their tables and whipping the plates out of our hands at the buffet to march them and us back to our tables. It was embarrassing and totally over the top. Just leave us alone, we wanted to say at every meal. Not that the meals were worth writing home about. Yes, there were many things that this cruise line did wrong for our trip of a lifetime, but the final insult came with a note on our door one morning, informing us that because the cruise line supported some unknown charity somewhere in the world, they knew we would want to support it too (without asking us if we wanted to), and they had ripped $1 US per day per person off us and it was on our bill. But if we opted not support this great cause, whatever it was, we had to fill in a form just to get our money back. What an insult. We and others stormed down to the main desk when we got this note and demanded that these amounts be taken off our invoice. I accused the staff of blackmail, and they simply nodded meekly as if to say, 'yes we know, but we are made to do it.' Well if that's the Silver Sea experience, you can keep it. In summary, the food is ordinary, the level of service and bowing and scraping is annoying. Their daily newsletters and everything you do on board is designed to upsell the passengers. It becomes so obvious and annoying, one would think that a cruise line that thinks it is 6-star would know better – obviously not. The wines from South America thankfully were all superb. But there's more to life and cruising than having your glass constantly topped up to overflowing by over-enthusiastic waiters. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Antarctica is a once in a lifetime experience. Having read the critiques preceding ours we expected much more from Prince Albert II. Yes, Antarctica is breathtaking, a natural wonder affordable only to a minuscule percentage of the ... Read More
Antarctica is a once in a lifetime experience. Having read the critiques preceding ours we expected much more from Prince Albert II. Yes, Antarctica is breathtaking, a natural wonder affordable only to a minuscule percentage of the world's population but this natural wander is free. What you pay for is getting there + the guidance & explanations. Our disappointment was immediate. Having boarded a very tired looking ship with stained carpets, we entered our suite to find our own carpet stained, a plate of semi rotten fresh fruits, stained bed covering, old bathtub with 2 dirty towels. We could not believe the poor condition of our cabin, even our window had salt stains obscuring the view.When we mentioned these shortcomings to the Hotel Mgr. Martin, his arrogant & condescending comment was that "this is an expedition ship and expected... you did not do your homework". Having paid $20,000 for 10 days accommodations we certainly expected more. My reply was that there's no excuse for the dirty bathtub, rotten fruits and since the ship was in port, windows should be cleaned. Although following our complaint, the room steward did the best he could I can honestly state that if I was to rate Prince Albert II as a hotel, giving it 2** would be generous.Regarding the "gourmet cuisine" offered on board I can only say it was hit or miss. Food was mostly good but far from superb. Selection of desserts was very limited and on several days the cakes were bad and almost uneatable. Having a sweet tooth, I appreciated the upshot that here's a cruise that I will not gain weight on. On the plus side, the guides & lectures were excellent as were all landings. We lucked into some great weather and managed 2 outings/day. The gifted Parka provided by PA II, is warm; a secondary warm jacket is not required but do make sure you order it at least 1 week prior to departure as they may not have your size on board. Boots were plentiful and I certainly don't recommend you purchase your own unless you have special needs. Lack of entertainment (piano man only) was not a significant factor since we were tired from the daily expeditions. Informative lectures filled in voids. Lack of entertainment will be relevant if weather does not permit landings.Finally the 2 day Drake passage crossing (both directions) had many passengers succumbing to sea sickness so be prepared even if you've been on rough seas. This ship is only 30,000 tonsIf I am to do Antarctica again, I would choose National Geographic's Explorer expedition ship. You certainly get more value for your money. Other passengers felt the same way. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011

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