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Sea Adventurer Review - High Arctic


Sea (Clipper) Adventurer with Uummannaq island and town,
Greenland in the background
We (my wife and I) were on the Clipper Adventurer Now re-named Sea Adventurer since October 2012, for a High Arctic cruise from August the 2nd to August the 14th 2010.

We joined the ship in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada (Latitude 74° 38'N Longitude 94° 45'W) and left it in Kangerlussuaq Greenland (Latitude 66° 57'N Longitude 50° 58'W).

We cruised from that part of northern Canada where it starts to dissolve into myriad islands and then across the open sea to Greenland and down the west coast of Greenland to Sondre Stromfjord which at 160 km (100 miles) long is one of the longest in the world, our flight home was from the end of the fjord.


This was the kind of cruise that the Clipper Adventurer does, wild places in some considerable style. It was a cruise for people who most of all want to go to the places that the ship visits, and secondly want to go for the cruise experience.

Sea (Clipper) Adventurer in the Evigheds Fjord, Greenland

Ship Specification

  • Staff & Crew - 72

  • Guests - 122

  • Zodiac fleet (small inflatable outboard powered boats) for shore transfers

  • All cabins have exterior views and en suite facilities, all lower berths (no bunks)

  • One dining room - unreserved seating

  • Lounge and presentation room

  • Length - 101.1 meters

  • Breadth - 16.2 meters

  • Draft - 4.5 meters

  • Diesel Twin Engines - 5,200 horsepower

  • Ice Class - 1A (strengthened hull - doesn't need to run away from ice)

  • Cruising Speed - 12 knots in open water

  • Lifeboats - 4 partially enclosed

  • Registered - Bahamas


Returning to the ship by zodiac after an excursion

Uummannaq Town Harbour, Greenland

As we booked primarily for the places we went rather than for the style in which we went there, it was a very pleasant surprise to find ourselves on a ship where the way in which you appreciated the style of the journey was as important to the ships compliment as the places we went.

Cabin
We were fortunate in that the ship was not full and so there was some flexibility as to our cabin we chose to go to what apparently was one of the least desirable on the ship, cabin 100. We had our own bathroom with shower, which while not being large enough to swing a cat of any significant dimensions in was big enough. We had a porthole to the outside which you could look out from if you stood on the bed. It did however have a metal cover which was very useful in the 24 hours daylight we had for the duration of our trip.

We didn't spend much time there other than sleeping, dressing, showering or other necessities. There was plentiful wardrobe space and enough space to put our cold weather gear on and sit down. What we liked about the cabin was that it was at the front of the ship and so we were soothed by the sea breaking against the bows or pushing ice aside. Others may find this a bit noisy but we both found that sleep followed within minutes of hitting the pillow whatever the conditions.

Daily routine
A typical day started with the dulcet tones of our tour leader waking us over the ships intercom with an update as to where we were, what the weather was like and what the plans were that day.

Typically we would have a trip ashore by zodiac, come back for lunch and then repeat in the afternoon. Sometimes we would go ashore to a town and sometimes we would have a zodiac tour in an area of interest. Sometimes the trip was later and on one occasion we had a trip ashore before breakfast to watch the sun rapidly rise over a mountain to illuminate a glacier.

There were always guides looking out for animals of any kind from the ships bridge, and there would be an announcement if anything exciting was to be seen - cue a rush to grab cameras, binoculars and clothing and get up on deck asap.

Otherwise there were plenty of places to go on the ship, on one of the decks out of the wind to watch the (ridiculously scenic) world going by. My favourite was on the uppermost deck above the bridge where an effective wind barrier meant a calm oasis with 360 degree panoramas of the passing world, Catherine preferred the back of the ship where she could sit with her feet up enjoying a book in the world's most impressive reading room.

Most days there was a lecture of some kind by one of the guides or some form of entertainment. No professional entertainers though or "shows" that you might get on other kinds of cruise ships.

One event that I particularly enjoyed came during a lecture on glaciers, the guide illustrated his talk with a casual "If you look at that glacier over there, you can see... while that glacier over that direction shows another aspect..." etc.

Meals
Oh joy! I really hadn't expected this. After a couple of days the waiter on our section at breakfast would say "Darjeeling?" which after a happy nod from myself would result in a pot of proper tea of the aforementioned variety delivered to my table. I would then unfailingly select something significantly more calorie laden than I had intended from the menu, often the days special or if not, possibly something bacon-centric. There was also extensive fresh bread, pasties, cereal, fruit, yoghurt and other healthier stuff for the hair-shirted or more likely the two-coursed.

Lunch and dinner were also an extravaganza of choice and quality, I always ended up having at least more than one course than I intended out of the several available. I cannot think of anyone who would realistically think the food is not at least to their satisfaction and more likely to their great pleasure.

Overall
We loved the trip which was made all the better by the unexpectedly high standard of accommodation and service that the Clipper Adventurer provided. Highly recommended, it will swing our choice in the future if we want to go on another cruise and this ship offers it.


Pack Ice in Lancaster Sound Looking Towards Devon Island

Two young polar bears seen on a zodiac excursion

The upper observation deck

Zodiac cruise with the Clipper Adventurer in the background, Prince Leopold Island Canada

Gibb Fjord, Baffin Bay, Canada

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