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Mike2131

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About Mike2131

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Rhode Island

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  1. These new ships will be a start. At 5,000 tons (about the same as the Silver Discoverer and 1,000 tons smaller than the Silver Explorer), I will be interested to see where the projected itineraries are. I agree they will be well-sized for areas like Galápagos, but I wonder if they will be ice class vessels. New builds without that flexibility would seem shortsighted. We will be on the Silver Explorer in a few weeks and hope to get more info on this positive step by Silversea (and RCI).
  2. Mike2131

    New to Ponant

    Ponant only has one sailing ship - Le Ponant.
  3. Already pre-booked on Le Commandant Charcot for an Around The Pole voyage. Finalized sailing details are due in April of 2019.
  4. We sailed to Antarctica in 2011 on the L’Austral. I can tell you from first hand experience it is a wonderful experience.
  5. Yep, I am squarely in the Boomer demographic. I’ll turn 69 before the upcoming Silver Explorer cruise. I am truly fortunate that I can get into or out of a Zodiac or Safari vehicle without issue or assistance. As Dirty Harry said, “A man has to know his limitations.” That said, I do have a list of what I call “old people trips” I’ll consider when the time comes I cannot take the expedition trips that I love so much. Until then, Rock on!
  6. I have looked at the fleets and commitments to expedition cruising in the industry and Silversea seems to really be falling behind. I'll state upfront that, while I was not a fan of the RCI "takeover", I truly hope the cash infusion will prove to be a lifesaver for Silversea in this arena. We are on the 11/5/18 sailing of the Silver Explorer (our third on that vessel) from Valparaiso to Ushuaia. After the 2017 refurb drydock and the drydock that was pulled forward after the Wrangel Island fiasco, I hope we find her as pleasurable and capable as she was when we took our first expedition cruise on her (then named the Prince Albert II) in Svalbard in 2010. That said, this segment of the industry is growing and the competition has surged ahead with newer and purpose-built ships while Silversea has an older, refurbished, and converted offering of ships. Consider just two of the options available: Ponant - They have 10 expedition capable ships (I am excluding Le Ponant), all, I believe, launched in 2010 or later. We sailed with them on the L'Austral in 2011 to Antarctica - a fabulous trip. They also have an incredible new ship being built that launches in 2021 - Le Commandant Charcot, It is a purpose-built icebreaker and we have already pre-booked for an Arctic cruise to the North Pole, Svalbard, and Franz Joseph Land. Hapag-LLoyd - We have never sailed with them but they have 2 new wonderful looking expedition ships launching in 2019 - the Hanseatic Nature (all German speaking) and the Hanseatic Inspiration (all bi-lingual cruises - German and English). They are well established in the expedition segment and very highly rated. Lindblad/National Geographic has 2 new ships already in the fleet or coming. Although we have not sailed with them, I know Seabourn has newer vessel in their fleet. We love the staff and crew of the Silver Explorer (and probably would on the Silver Cloud Expedition), but I think Silversea is in real danger of becoming less and less competitive in the segment. An aging, patchwork fleet is just not going to cut it.
  7. Hi Marc. If you mean Luke Kenny, I am very glad to hear the kind words regarding him. He will be our Expedition Leader on the November 5th Valparaiso-Ushuaia sailing (first trip after the upcoming dry dock).
  8. You are very welcome. Now you can use that extra room to pack all the items you’ll need for the variable weather conditions and zodiac landings. Your sailing probably has an included parka like ours does, but you’ll want to look at the suggested packing list to make sure you have all the layers you need. Top of the list will be waterproof pants. Absolutely essential.
  9. Interesting. We are on the first cruise following the upcoming dry dock - Valparaiso to Ushuaia. I can only hope we don’t have the captain you described.
  10. Sorry to hear about the disappointing expedition. To entirely miss the centerpiece of the trip is really sad. It does make the announcement of the accelerated dry dock for the Silver Explorer far more understandable.
  11. The timing of this dry dock now makes a lot more sense if you look at today’s post by PJSphotog regarding the experience on voyage 7816. Too bad the Wrangell Island expedition was impacted by what can only be speculated to be known deficiencies of the Silver Explorer. We will be on the first sailing after this upcoming dry dock. I am sure there will be some interesting conversations around the ship.
  12. Good Morning. We embark on our third Silversea expedition cruise (all on the Silver Explorer) November 5th. Our itinerary is very similar to yours on the Cloud - Valparaiso to Ushuaia. After multiple expedition cruises on multiple lines, I can tell you the only formalwear you will see will be worn by the excellent staff. Smart casual will be perfect. Some gentlemen might wear a coat for the Captain’s welcome dinner, but ties will be much rarer than penguins. Have a wonderful cruise.
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