Travel feedback

Sailing expeditions to Antarctica

"Basically, it was a great travelling adventure with many special impressions, almost the greatest of my life.
I also reached my "psychophysical" limits several times. That doesn't mean physically, but overall due to the combination of lack of sleep (because of the watch system, which was more demanding than I thought and hoped), surprisingly seasickness several times and sometimes quite harsh external conditions such as storms, high waves/water from all directions and spray on deck, and/or rain, not least at night.
I don't necessarily mean that in a negative way, apart from the watch system itself, which I couldn't always make sense of, especially the steering on the "helmet", when you could easily use the autopilot...

But there were also very clear and very positive points that made me very happy!
Huge impressions of nature and the remote areas, not so much the icebergs, for example, but also the animals, which was great, as well as the individual and varied landscapes and places.

I was also fascinated by the entire regular crew of 18 people, as every single one of them was practically always friendly, helpful and likeable!

I don't think it's worth mentioning individuals, but I would like to emphasise the group of "nature guides", especially their leader Jordi, for their extraordinary commitment.

On the other hand, as a trainee or passenger, you were completely "at the mercy" of the guides, especially the boss, when it came to choosing the respective destinations and activities, their scope and organisation, and you were "controlled" and not free as an individual down to the last detail on this type of group trip, which was "part of the game", but not always easy for me as a self-determined and independent traveller.
For example, we only just managed to make one landing directly on the Antarctic continent (and not just on one of the many islands off the coast). Still, I would have expected more and wished to be more directly on/in Antarctica.

Sharing the many great and special impressions as well as the joint effort with the majority of the "voyage crew" was always very positive.
The team spirit was often there and we had some nice encounters and got to know each other. .
Many of the fellow travellers were very nice and cooperative.
However, in groups with people with completely different experiences, approaches and motives for being here, there are naturally always those with whom it doesn't work at all. But there weren't many.

Finally, I can mention a few highlights, namely Christmas, i.e. the 24th of December, where we had a barbecue outdoors and celebrated in other ways.
I also have very fond memories of the summer solstice on 21 December, with the first whale sightings for me and a very nice end to the evening on deck.
Last but not least, New Year's Eve was good, as we were already in calm waters just before Ushuaia, but it was also very nice.

All in all, a very good, impressive and very interesting voyage, with the described facets and partial restrictions.
Many thanks to you for this opportunity and of course for organising and handling it!"
- Robert K.

"It was a great trip, super crew, safe ship with very good technical equipment.
Absolutely capable skipper. Had great experiences (wind up to 65 knots). I'd love to do trips like this again."
- Wolfgang S

South Sea cruise - Supply ship Aranui 5

"We enjoyed the cruise on the Aranui 5 100%. The cabin, the food, the excursions and the atmosphere were great. We also liked the fact that you could do your laundry for free three times during the trip. We were also lucky with the weather, which made the whole thing even more enjoyable.
We can only recommend a trip like this."
 - Rosmarie and Chris C.

"Yes, yes, yes! It was the trip of a lifetime! 
Everything was just right, from the moment we were welcomed at the quayside. The food was great (it was French), there was wine with lunch and dinner. The chaperones (I really can't call them anything else, you were looked after like a dear guest) were friendly, funny and patient. The excursions, everything exactly as promised (except the rain), everything was just right. The people were also funny, each one an original in their own way. There was a honeymoon couple, 78 years old. A lady with her divorce lawyer, whom she had married. Several world travellers in the multi-bed cabins, a colourful mix. It was never boring. 2 special evenings by the pool, one barbecue, one Polynesian evening... We were all usually "dog-tired" after dinner. It usually started between 7.00 and 08.00 in the morning. Great lunches with the locals. Lots of dance groups and ukulele concerts. The landings were sometimes quite adventurous. The crew were like part of the passengers. They danced along to the parties, they were constantly being kissed off (France!) and everyone took it for granted. Everyone also kissed each other (it's worth mentioning that the average age was around 75)!

Yes, and the cabin was great too. We had plenty of storage space for our belongings, not a matter of course on a ship.
What was also very, very nice: there was hardly ever internet! So you didn't see people staring at their mobile phones all the time and forgetting about the environment.
One downer: it was storming and shivering on Bora Bora, which was supposed to be the highlight for many travellers.
But enough gushing now, I could tell you much more...
You can always give me as a reference if anyone is interested in the trip. One passenger didn't even get off the ship, he signed up again for the next trip! If that's not a statement!!!"
 - Marianne S.

"Unfortunately we are back from our South Seas trip....

The Aranui was of course the highlight! The trip, the excursions, the ship, the cabin, the staff: simply everything was great! I would go again in a heartbeat...

There is a lot of information and information events, but as I said: I think it's good, if you don't always want it, like me, you can opt out.

The Aranui is a super ship! I had little idea, but in retrospect I realise that the facilities, cabin and bed were among the best on the whole trip (including all the hotels and resorts). And the service was also super, a great performance from the kitchen patisserie (this team with its dessert creations was the burner!), and service staff. As were all the other helpers and of course the guides!

I've never travelled on a ship before (and still have no desire for conventional cruises), but I (we all) would do something like the Aranui again in a heartbeat."  - Thomas M.

"All in all, I had a great time!
My impressions are still fresh and I still have time, so here are a few tips:
On a few tips for travellers, as the previous information (including from the Aranui itself) sounded different to me or at least complementary:

- It was made clear that cash is not accepted on the ship. However, it should be recommended to bring cash for the islands and that a tip in cash could be due at the end for the guides and the ship's crew.
There are ATMs almost everywhere on the islands, but I observed some older people who had difficulties changing money at the reception on the ship and the fees are quite high.

- WLAN is sometimes available free of charge in the Sky Bar; you pay for unlimited access, as stated in the information material
The quality of the free WiFi (and probably even more so the paid WiFi) is better than just sending a few emails. Instagram and other social media also work, at least for the most part. That sounded a bit overdramatised bad to me before.

- To reduce waste, it is advisable to bring your own bottle and thermos cup, as otherwise you will always have to use the plastic bottle and paper cup provided at the beginning.
If necessary, you should also bring your own instant coffee (if you have certain preferences or don't like filter coffee and don't always want to buy it for a fee) or your own teas if you want something other than green or black tea.

- You could also add to your packing list to bring a pareo or colourful clothes if you have them, as there are some events where they are useful and you don't want to buy anything in the boutique.
The activities on the ship should also be advertised a bit. Things like dancing and singing made the sea days, but generally the time more positive.

I would also find it interesting to mention that you have the choice between a German or English-speaking cabin and guide or tour group.
You could also point out that the announcements on the ship are always in French and English in case there is someone on board who doesn't speak English very well.

Although the various boarding and disembarkation locations are clearly indicated on the Aranui information sheet, I would recommend making it clear once again that the disembarkation is somewhere else and a bit away from the centre. There are taxis to the Aranui, but it may also be good to know this in advance and plan your money or organise a shuttle beforehand if you don't want the stress spontaneously.
For the journey to Papeete from the airport, you can also point out the existence of taxis (2,000-3,000 xpf) and a much cheaper local bus (200 xpf).

When making individual enquiries about the composition of the passengers, you could also warn that, depending on the season, there may be many people who are not your own age. I realise that this is probably an isolated case of mine, but I did encounter a lot of questions about what I wanted on such a trip as such a young person.
As a young woman, you can also prepare yourself for the attention of the sailors. They all behaved sensibly or you could have got help from the staff, but I just didn't expect it beforehand...

For people who don't eat a lot of fish or meat, it should also be made clear that it is important to indicate this so that the kitchen there can take it into account." - Alva B.

Cargo travel

"We had a wonderful trip: we enjoyed having good relationships with the other passengers; the food was very good and the Captain and crew were most friendly."

(Mrs. J. - from Le Havre/ France to New York by freighter)

"First of all, the trip was fantastic! I think I ended up on the best container ship in the world. Seriously. Everyone was so extremely nice, and the captain was so generous. Every night was a special meal, like smoked eel or seafood buffet. He even had built his own bar on the ship called the Miami Beach Club, and every night was like a disco, and it was his personal mission to make sure I drank as much beer as possible. Really, the trip exceeded my expectations 1000%, and I wish that I had booked a much longer trip with them."

(Mr. R. - from Hong Kong to Singapore by freighter)

"The freighter was great and a fabulous experience for me. I was the only passenger on board. The accommodation was great. The senior officers were French. Other crew members were French and Romanian. There were 4 Indian deck hands. It was all very interesting and I was made quite welcome."

(Mr. D. - from Qingdao/ China to Long Beach/ Los Angeles by cargo ship)

"It was certainly a unique experience. All the crew were very friendly and a pleasure to chat to. Its not a form of transportation for everyone but a great insight into a world we think little of."

(Mr. F. - from Pusan/ South Korea to Prince Rupert/ Canada by freighter)

"In brief, I loved the trip, it was everything I was hoping for. I am considering taking another ship back to South America later this year, as I enjoyed the trip so much. The crew were friendly and knowledgeable, the accommodation and food were good."

(Mr. S. - from Callao/ Peru to Rotterdam)

"Everything went very well on board of the Navi Baltic and I enjoyed my trip thoroughly. The captain could be described as a true gentleman in every respect. He was so willing to help and welcoming to me as a passenger as well as being interested and helpful."

(Mr. Q. - from Hamburg via St. Petersburg to Rotterdam by freighter)

"So I think, the experience was well worth it. I have heard that some people find it too dull but on one hand, I traveled only for a short period and on the other hand I had so much stuff to do that even a month would not suffice to get me bored. Moreover I am introvert, so I am not scared of being alone. The crew was very good (as I was told, I was quite lucky). The captain was a very pleasant Czech and there was also another Slovak and one Pole in the crew, so the communication was much easier. Even more, the captain was a very nice fellow (and with only 40 years I think he must be very good to be captain). So I have learnt a lot about ships, navigation, propulsion, life on the sea and responsibilities."

(Mr. R. - from Miami to Le Havre/ France by freighter)

"This trip was very interesting !! I can not speak English well . But the crew was very kind. I was able to experience what I could experience only there."

(Mr. N. - from Santos/ Brazil to Port Elizabeth/ South Africa by freighter)

"We had a fantastic time with MSC Monterey."

 (Mr. A. - from Mauritius to Singapore by freighter)