Region: Antarctica

Destinations: Antarctic Peninsula

Ship: m/v Plancius

The Plancius is a really cool ship. The entire crew: Expidition, Technical, and Guest Services is AMAZING and easily the best part of the operation. This is not a criticism of anyone on the boat. But from a corporate and marketing standpoint, they sell this as an adventure / expedition cruise. The advertise things like "snowshoeing, camping, kayaking, mountaineering." What happened was all camping was cancelled due to weather. All snowshoeing was cancelled due to weather. "Mountaineering" was cancelled half the time. If you got to do an activity it was one time for about 2hrs. Not much activity for 2 weeks on a boat. They sell higher expectations than they deliver.

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Oceanwide Expeditions

Comment from Oceanwide Expeditions

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and appreciate the comments regarding the ship, crew and staff. In relation to the other points you raise we would like to explain the following;

  • The trip you had booked on PLA32 was an 11 day trip, this includes 1 day embarkation, 4 days at sea crossing the Drake Passage and a day disembarkation. This leaves 5 days available for activities, we are aware you were longer on the ship but that was due to the COVID19 situation, so in relation the reference to 2 weeks that was not the case of the scheduled trip.
  • As explained clearly in our literature and from any research that you may have done Antarctica is on of the most inhospitable places on Earth and has rapidly changing weather, both good and bad. Also you may have seen in the news that Antarctica has had an record high temperature recorded this season, during which the conditions have been on average unusually warmer than usual. The direct effect on this had been a reduction in snow cover and in some places thaw and freeze towards the end of season when you visited has caused normally snow bound places to become sheathed in ice.
  • As a responsible tour operator we take safety and environmental impact seriously and some of the activities were directly affected by the Ex-edition Leaders expert judgement on these factors- such as conditions being to icy to climb to the summit of Mt. Jabet on a mountaineering excursion as well as moulting penguins being present at one of the sites we use for camping. Activities were also cancelled because of winds in excess of 40 knots meaning it is unsafe to operate.
  • A total of 7 landings were carried out as well as 4 zodiac cruises, 7 kayaking excursions, 4 mountaineering and 2 snowshoe activities.
  • Camping sites were reconnoitred 4 times over this voyage and unfortunately were not suitable for the activity to take place, owing to the additional time on ship the chance to camp ‘on deck’  was offered while the ship repositioned, while not the same as camping in Antarctica the staff were keen to offer what they could.

We hope you understand the reasons for some of these activities not taking place but do our best to set clear expectations in regards to weather, ice and wildlife conditions and safety and environmental protection are for us primary concerns.

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