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Top Antarctica & the Arctic Attractions

Antarctic Peninsula

Northern Lights

Terra Nova Bay

Blue Lagoon

Arctic Circle

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Classic Antarctica & the Arctic Itineraries

205
Reviews of Antarctica & the Arctic Tours
97% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 162 Great 32 Average 5 Disappointing 2 Terrible 4
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.7 Lodging
4.7 Transportation
4.7 Meals
4.7

L

Recommends

I wish I could make more of a fuss July 2018

3.0

Holland America Line Company Reviews

We traveled on MV Noordam on a 40 night vacation from Sydney around New Zealand, then continuing on to Vancouver in Canada via Hawaii. We generally cruise with P&O out of the UK, but this gave us an opportunity to experience a different company within the Carnival Group.
We always tend to book the highest grade inside cabin as we prefer to spend our time enjoying the various facilities around the ship, for us the cabin is just a place to sleep and ablute...nothing more. At the time of booking we'd requested 'not' to be upgraded, but sadly this went unheeded and at check-in we'd been assigned an outside obstructed view cabin...which was also smaller than the larger inside we'd booked.
When will cruise companies realise that this is not an upgrade.
Our experience of these types of cabin are not favourable and this was to be no exception. The trip to reception was fruitless, the ship was sailing full...apparently...but as we were staying on for the next cruise they would look into the matter.
We were woken the first morning at 6am by one of the engineers working on the lifeboat outside our window, same again on day two and by day three the deck hands were joining in the melee by arranging the deck furniture at the same time.
Requests at reception were politely noted but little was done, the staff saying there were no available alternatives again.
Well can the staff start their duties a little later maybe?
Doubtful, came the reply.
At the same time there was another couple at reception complaining about the standard of their cabin. They ended up shouting, using abusive language and being quite obnoxious...but guess what...the manager appeared and they got moved.
I'm not good at complaining and would rather be polite and respectful towards hard working folk just trying to do their job, but sadly there appears to be a lesson I should learn here.

Ah Well.

On the positive side, the ship was very good, the itinerary was excellent and even the tender operation was very well organised. The dining experience was good thanks to our 2 very hard working waiters and a section manager that actually showed an interest in his passengers. Entertainment was okay but not as good as we get on the British ships. The bar staff were great and a couple of Happy Hours each day ensured we could at least afford a drink or two to help us sleep through all the cabin noise.

And we didn't get moved for the second cruise either as apparently there was nothing available again...but it was strange how empty the restaurants and bars were in comparison...and still I didn't make a fuss.

Really glad we did this cruise for the ports we visited, but overall I think we would only use Holland America again for an itinerary we couldn't get elsewhere.
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Operator Holland America Line

A

Recommends

SPITZBERGEN EXPLORER ON THE VAVILOV August 2016

3.0

Spitsbergen Explorer

Well-managed expedition with multi-skilled expedition team who helped to optimize the experience. Good wildlife sightings underpinned by a vigilant team and bridge crew.
Close viewing of large male polar bear on an ice floe & large group of walruses on land and near to shore . Female polar bear and 2 cubs frolicking on the shore. .

Inspired expedition leader with great sense of humour and friendly, enthusiastic and informative team

Be prepared for extended and/or unplanned periods on the ship and late itinerary replans due to adverse weather

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Operator Exodus Travels

N

Does Not Recommend

GUEST SERVICES SUCK! May 2019

2.0

Holland America Line Company Reviews

Similar to one of the other reviewers here - I had an obstructed view outside room. The obstruction on the Oosterdam was a lifeboat. Every morning two men came and climbed all over the lifeboat working on it somehow. While I understand the safety of the passengers may depend on the lifeboats being in repair, but for a single woman to have two men climbing around her window caused me to close the drapes every day. I might as well have had an indoor room. Guest services said they would check into it and let me know. They did not. Second visit to Guest Services resulted in again - no action and no response. The third time, I raised my voice in the lobby and requested a manager. They all acted stupid - and perhaps they actually were, but only after all this did I finally demand another room and magically they found one and for the last four days of a 17 day cruise I was happy. I wrote Holland America when I returned and after a week I received a namby pamby response - with not so much as an offer of a discount on the next cruise or a free drink!!! I already have another cruise booked, this one with friends, which is the only reason I'm not cancelling it, but it will be my last with them! Read more

Operator Holland America Line

PH

Does Not Recommend

3 Star Cruiser Won't Travel On Holland American Anymore. July 2019

1.0

Holland America Line Company Reviews

3 Star cruiser will never travel Holland American again. They have really slipped. We were this time on the Maasdam and this ship should be retired as it's old and not kept up. Many cracked and broken windows. One boarded up with plywood. Teak decks needing repair and rust all over the ship. The sliding enclosure over the pool when it opened and closed sounded like the ship was going to come apart. They nickel and dime you now for everything. No connection with ships officers anymore as the Captain is just a bus driver. Rooms small, beds uncomfortable. They've cut back servers which was especially noticeable in the Lido where one person handled 3 stations at certain times meaning long waits. We so loved Holland America in the past but since Carnival bought them they have definitely slipped. Too bad! Read more

Operator Holland America Line

JV

Does Not Recommend

Our trip to Greenland was a disaster. June 2016

1.0

Southwest Greenland

Not one day of the itinerary was achieved and definitely no Bowheads or large icebergs where seen. We were rerouted to Sisimiut with no warning to meet up with the boat that had failed to make it to Aasiaat, our planned destination. We understand that once on the planned trip nothing is guaranteed, but we didn’t even make it to the start point.

We therefore spent a week on board a boat that travelled no more than a few miles around various local fiords to spot Canada geese and Mallard ducks! We did see a few distant Humpbacks and a sole Minke whale, but nothing that we were expecting. Most of our fellow guests were seasoned travellers and in a number of cases, like ourselves, to the polar regions. The majority were desperately upset to have wasted their money on a totally different trip than promised in a location miles away from where we wanted to be.

Our main issue is that Oceanwide must have known about the ice situation at least a week before and made no attempt to inform us. An alternative plan should have been devised. The service and reaction of the crew didn't in anyway compensate for the disappointment of the trip!
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Operator Oceanwide Expeditions

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