Karen Walz

Region: Antarctica

Destinations: Antarctic Peninsula

Ship: m/v Ortelius

We hadn’t been on a tour like this before so we didn’t know what to expect in terms of the roles of Captain, EL, expedition staff and other crew.  We were extremely impressed by the great job performed by everyone!  Your efforts made this a really memorable trip for us! Thank you!

Here are a few specifics: Captain Mika did a great job with the ship, of course.  But in addition, we found him to be open, approachable, interested in connecting with passengers and personable in sharing his expertise and experience with us.  Troels was superb as the EL.  We valued his openness about his decisions, what factors he was thinking about, and what information he was receiving.  Particularly when we were facing storms and high winds, it was really great to have him share all of this instead of simply announcing ‘we are doing this’.  We found the expedition staff very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and informative.  We learned a lot from all of them and enjoyed our interactions with them.  The ‘hotel side staff’ also did a great job and carried out their responsibilities with efficiency, good humor and friendliness.

Since we were part of a birding tour (apparently the only such organized group among the 113 passengers), we weren’t sure how our interests in birds would be balanced with the interests of the other passengers.  Troels and his team did an excellent job with this as well.

We rented the expedition parkas from your supplier.  That turned out to be an excellent decision and we were pleased with the process of receiving and returning them as well as how well they worked for us.

Lastly, we really loved the international character of the ship’s crew.  It was so refreshing to have all the accents, backgrounds and perspectives brought together in a team that clearly respected one another and provided a great deal of value and enjoyment to us as passengers.

We don’t like cold weather so we figured this would be the only trip like this we’d ever take.  But having had this experience, we are considering whether we should go to the Arctic.  If we do, it will be with Oceanwide.

A postscript … thank you so much for that wonderful trip log! This is by far the best and most thorough trip record we’ve received from organizations we’ve traveled with.  It’s fantastic to have all the information on our day-to-day activities and the crew.  It’s difficult to keep track of these details as a participant but having them brings back all the great experiences and people!  Cudos to Oceanwide on this!

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