Cruises Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Antarctica Cruise Review w Lindblad Nov. 2009

Jump to last reply

In November 2009, we went on a Lindblad-National Geographic Cruise in Antarctica on the National Geographic Explorer. The expedition operations (site selection, Zodiacing, hiking, kayaking, etc.) were spectacular. We never felt rushed and everything was professionally run. There were usually 2 landings a day, weather permitting. One day the Captain drove up onto the ice so we could take a walk on ice. He also made a stop so we could swim along a thermally heated shoreline. Regardless of where we were, the mountains, ice flows, and sunsets were always incredible. We saw tens of thousands of penguins, many other types of birds, seals, and whales. Oftentimes the penguins would walk to within a foot or so of us. The enormity of it all has to be experienced, it can’t be described.

We had equally high hopes for the educational activities, given National Geographic’s preeminence in nature education and the alliance formed in 2004 between National Geographic and Lindblad. We were surprised there was no use of any National Geographic materials in presentations. The one short film we were shown appeared to be a BBC production. Our official National Geographic photographer gave two presentations. One was about shooting a small wedding service in Alaska?! There was no channel on the in-room TV with National Geographic films and no DVD players to play any Nat Geo DVDs bought in a gift shop.

Most days there were one or two talks given by one of the many naturalists. The individual talks were interesting, but they paled in comparison to the quality of the presentations Regent Cruise lines provided on our Alaska cruise. It appeared we had a collection of talented, knowledgeable, motivated naturalists with no one in charge. Note this is not the presenters’ fault – it’s a management problem. The presenters and naturalists were as enthusiastic, helpful, and fired up as any group of workers we’ve ever seen. They just need direction, access to Nat Geo materials, and help with presentations.

The dining experience was mediocre. Among menu selection, food quality, food preparation, buffet replenishment, and service, two of the five were usually bad, two OK, and one good to very good. Ordering off menu was “tolerated”. Language barriers appeared out of nowhere when we tried to order things as simple as a grilled cheese sandwich. It seemed odd there wasn't a lobster or crab night. Fresh crab appeared to be the local specialty at Ushuaia, our departure point. On the plus side, the selection of moderately priced wines was quite good and many were available by the glass. (Note our food experience may be a fluke. One of the guests had been on many Lindblad expeditions before and said the food operation on this one was “just bad”.)

We were surprised there were basically no organized social activities at all beyond morning stretches and a recap of the day’s events before dinner. After dinner one could work out, visit the lounge, or watch the one movie that ran repeatedly (but was changed each day). Some attempt to break up the sameness over the 10 days at sea would have been much appreciated, especially after dinner.

Our cabin was nicely laid out and reasonable for the price. We always had lots of hot water, but heard from numerous folks on the 3rd deck they had problems throughout the cruise.

In summary - not a good value for us and our last Lindblad National Geographic Cruise. If expedition operations are far more important than everything else to you, this trip is worth considering.

16 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Writers Needed for Japan
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Mar 26, 15 at 02:38 PM
View all Cruises activity »
  1. 1 New charge on NCL
  2. 2 is Holland America meal plan worth it?
  3. 3 Trip Report The PINK But Still FUN Ugly Duckling
  4. 4 Help with Glacier days on Alaskan cruise
  5. 5 1st time on NCL. Any tips please.
  6. 6 Do NOT cruise with NCL unless...
  7. 7 Spain Monaco & Italy with Britannia 11 April 2015 (15 nights)
  8. 8 Pearl Seas River cruises
  9. 9 Considering European river cruise?
  10. 10 Alaska Soutbound: Coral Princess or Zaandam?
  11. 11 Alaska Cruise Tour Royal Carribean or Princess
  12. 12 Trip Report Royal Caribbean Changes!!!!
  13. 13 Tunis terror attack. MSC and Costa in port, passengers possible victims.
  14. 14 Formal dress required?
  15. 15 Main stage shows on the Getaway
  16. 16 River Cruising
  17. 17 Assult on Golden Princess
  18. 18 Trip Report Review of Trip on Nat Geo Explorer - Antarctica,So. Georgia, and Falklands
  19. 19 Fredericia, Denmark - one day car rental ?
  20. 20 discount travel agents
  21. 21 Scuba diving in Nassau or Freeport? Is Atlantis worth the $$$
  22. 22 Trip Report Beware of Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Travel
  23. 23 Barge cruises in France
  24. 24 Trip Report Alaska Shore excursion on the cheap
  25. 25 Another cruise with GD, a little yea!
View next 25 » Back to the top