Region: Arctic

Destinations: Svalbard

Ship: m/v Hondius

Highlights: Birding

Trip and ship were good, there are concerns. 1) Although passengers were cautioned to be quiet while observing wildlife, at the bear-eating-seal site, a dozen or more guides were on the bow talking and laughing very loudly. 2) Never received a straight answer regarding whether or not we would have access to our luggage on the dock after deboarding. I wanted to know if I could wear waterproof etc. gear on the zodiac but ditch it in my luggage on shore. 3) Some of the guides were unwilling or unable to maneuver the zodiac so both sides could see. Twisting and turning was awkward at best, giving me sore neck and back for duration of journey. 4) Neck-breaking life jackets. Heavy weighting on neck made it difficult to hold head up. Did not seem to be a problem on large/tall people. Maybe a smaller version for shorter people? One size does NOT fit all. Life jacket was one of the major reasons I canceled upcoming Antarctic trip with Oceanwide . 5) Not pertinent directly to ship but...why did you choose a dark background with white lettering on preliminary material about ship and packing? Hard to read and used an unnecessary amount of ink to print it.

Oceanwide Expeditions

Comment from Oceanwide Expeditions

Thank you for bringing these matters to our attention. We value comments such as this to improve our guest's experience. Please see our responses here numbered as per your comments.

1. We see that this is a cause of frustration and will remind all staff of their conduct onboard.

2. This seems to be a breakdown in communication. Please accept our apologies for this, and we will address this with the departments involved to prevent this happening again.

3. There is a difference between being unwilling and unable - they may have been unable to manouvre owing to environmental conditions. All staff have recognised certification and are individually assessed when they join the vessel in their driving ability to ensure they are competent to deliver our product. Without further details it is difficult to comment further on this matter.

4. These lifejackets comply with legal and safety requirements, as such this type is found across the expedition industry.

5. Our corporate identity contains dark coloring, therefore these documents have a dark background. We advise guests to only print the necessary parts or save these kind of documents on their tablet or smartphone.

If you wish to provide us further information please feel free to mail us at info@oceanwide-expeditions.com.

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