6 independent reviews for Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia small ship cruises

Reviews for Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia small ship cruises

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review 7 Feb 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Being in the Antarctic Peninsula itself with its icebergs, pack ice, and general vastness and peace.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be ready for the sea days. Everyone had focussed on the land days. There are actually 7 sea days on this trip. I would say, don't bring your own walking boots. The boots provided by the trip are excellent. They are long, totally waterproof, comfortable and with a very good grip. They are far better suited to the conditions than any pair of walking boots. also, because of bio security, you have to immerse them in disinfectant before and after every time onshore. Ordinary walking boots would let in the disinfectant.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The holiday certainly supported an awareness of environmental impact and conservation. It raised awareness of the issues of climate change and the impact on Antarctica. The lectures always covered conservation and environmental impact. The recycling policy onboard supported this.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

This trip was excellent. I can't speak highly enough of the Aurora staff and the Russian crew. They got us to destinations where we could get on land or on zodiac trips in all weathers and conditions. The staff were flexible and knowledgable so that we managed landings or trips even in some challenging weather conditions. The boat was small enough so that loading and unloading was fast. Iwonder what the new, posher, bigger Aurora boat will be like. More comfortable I expect, but whether it will be the same small, intimate experience, I wonder.

review 21 Dec 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I have so many wonderful memories, it is difficult to summarise. The combination of the stunningly vast wilderness of Antarctica, the glacial icebergs and the beautiful King Penguins stand out, however so many other things will live in my memory. The awesome albatross, the majestic leopard seal, the beautiful humpback whale, the cheeky macaroni penguin, ice camping in minus 20, the fascinating and educational daily lectures, the zodiacs. The magnificent onboard team, led by Alex, full of fascinating specialists who not only knew their subjects but worked incredibly hard. The same is true of the ships crew, including the excellent Jay and Joel in the bar, they all worked very hard.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Ensure you do include The Falklands and South Georgia, they are both fascinating and stunning in their own right. Limit your time in Ushuaia, it has limited appeal for more than a couple of days. If you do suffer from sea sickness then be prepared for this, although we did have a doctor on board for those who did suffer. As it was my friend and I both decided to 'get our sea legs' and took no drugs, and it worked out well.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Clearly there is a tremendous effort to achieve all of these, and the team were very proud of their achievements.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Awesome, a life changing experience.

review 3 Dec 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

I can scarcely tell you how pleased we were with the trip. The ship was a lovely ship, and our cabin was well-appointed and very spacious. Even with all of our polar gear, we had storage space we didn’t use — unheard-of on a cruise ship. The food was excellent, and there was an easy camaraderie between passengers and staff. The expedition team (14 strong) was absolutely first-rate, and the presentations they gave were informative and comprehensive. All were very friendly and extremely enthusiastic. They wanted us to have the best possible trip — and we did. The only downside of note was the weather. Of our four days on South Georgia and the five days on the Antarctic Peninsula, we had only one sunny day. All of the others we gloomy-gray or stormy. We still had amazing experiences and wildlife sightings, but from a photographic point-of-view, it was disappointing. Aside from the occasional red expedition jacket in view, most of my photos look like they were taken in black-and-white. Nonetheless, I managed to come home with more than 10,000 of them, so I guess I wasn’t that deterred.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

A couple of things we wish we had known before we got there … We worked with Charlotte in making our arrangements, initially, and for the smoothest possible ride through Drake Passage, we opted for a pothole cabin on Deck 2, as close to midship as possible. Had we realized at the time that they keep the portholes battened during sea days, we would have chosen a window cabin higher up. Estelle, in particular, found the cabin quite claustrophobic on our sea days — of which there were eight. You should advise prospective clients considering Deck 2 of this. It might make a difference in their cabin choice. Also, you might mention in your expedition manual that the ship has sufficient hiking poles for everyone onboard. We packed our own, and with limited luggage size and weight, it would have been nice to devote that space to something else. We ended up using the ship’s poles to avoid the hassle of getting in and out of the zodiacs with our own.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Thanks also, again, for all of your help in the months leading up to this grand adventure. It was one we will never forget.

review 7 Feb 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The sheer breathtaking beauty of Antarctica, the massive tabular bergs, and the incredible wildlife and -the penguins in all varieties were definately the highlight amazing birds endlessly entertaining to watch yet incredible survivors in such extreme conditions.We were also lucky enough to see breaching humpbacked whales, 4 types of seal ,and numerous other birdlife and sea life at close quarters. It is a wildlife enthusiasts and photographers heaven.The additional highlights for me were to have been able to follow the route of the Irish explorers Shackleton and Crean and by camping out for a night. Part spent in a snow hole and part in a tent, I really appreciated the harsh conditions which they endured but for me thankfully only for one night. Also by visiting the old whaling station on South Georgia and Shackleton's grave and trekking part of the Shackleton route down to it I felt a sense of history. This was also keenly felt when we managed to get so close via zodiac to the place that the men left behind had camped on in Elephant Island. Finally swimming in the antarctic was a first (suprisingly not much colder than a dip off our southern shores here in Ireland) and also being held on shore for a couple of hours because the pack ice had blocked our return to the ship all added to the sense of adventure, and power of nature which this incredible place throws up daily. This trip will forever stay in my heart- and Antarctica truly is a gem which I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the chance to visit.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Read about the history and the wildlife in advance and bring a really good camera, but more importantly a good pair of binoculars- mine were hopeless! Also, the jacket you are given is incredibly warm- I hardly used my down jacket, except for the camping.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It certainly supported conservation because we were reminded daily to leave no trace and alot of the money rasied on board supported different conservation programmes like the rat erradication programme in South georgia and also one of the museums. Money was also given to a Phillipino project since most of the crew were from the Philippines.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Incredible. I would go again tomorrow if I got the chance. It is expensive and I felt really guilty about that initially but it really is only the fortunate few who can go there and every single hour of overtime which I'd did for the previous 18 months to pay for it was money and time well spent. From the booking of the trip to the staff who ran the trip-I could not speak highly enough of my experience.

review 17 Feb 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

South Georgia is an amazing place. The beaches were packed with tens of thousands of penguins and they weren't afraid to come right up to us. The scenery in Antarctica is beautiful. There were so many highlights - penguin chicks, baby fur seals, spectacular icebergs, stunning scenery, whale watching, a polar plunge, and so much more!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't forget to pack sunscreen and take twice as many SD cards as you think you will need!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The holiday definitely raises environmental awareness through a series of informative presentations about wildlife, conservation and global warming. The expedition staff were experts in all areas and advised how to reduce the environmental impact via methods such as decontamination of boots, kit etc between shore visits.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fantastic - it's more than a holiday and is so different to anything else I have ever done. Book it now!

review 24 Apr 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The location......How could anyone not enjoy Antarctica? Every part of the holiday was memorable including animals, birds, scenery, the ship, fellow travellers and expedition team.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

To choose a small expedition ship, it's much more fun.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Before visiting the Antarctic everyone receives a guidance for visitors leaflet, which should be followed to the letter. Antarctica must be kept pristine as, I am sure, all who have visited this wonderful continent will agree.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Every single day was another adventure.

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