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  • Pristine Scenery, noisy shipboard experience
Mark Mellander

Region: Antarctica

Destinations: Antarctic Peninsula

Ship: m/v Ortelius

Staff were experienced, knowledgeable and charming. Captain was able to navigate ship into beautiful channels for excellent photo opportunities. However, many planned activities were canceled due to poor weather conditions, meaning that we were unable to snow camp and only had one chance to kayak. Kayaking tended to follow same route as zodiacs, thus not quiet and serene as one expects. Only two shore landings on entire cruise. Weather was blamed, but for high price of “expedition” cruise, perhaps they shouldn’t offer cruises this early in season. Excuses don’t make up for lack of opportunities! Food was excellent with varied selection. Dining hall was way too loud, like a noisy nightclub. Very off putting, as there was no alternate quieter place to eat. Bar/lounge upstairs was as loud at all hours. Some sort of sound muffling materials need to be installed in metal walled dining room. Same applies to Suites: we had most expensive superior suite, yet we plainly heard our neighbors talking loudly and listening to tv in their superior suite until well after 10 pm. For $2,000 a day, soundproofing between Suites ought to be added. This is no longer a Russian icebreaker!

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