October 22-23, 2017
The first two days of our 19-day expedition to the Falklands and South Georgia Island are at sea, which allows us plenty of time to explore Poseidon Expeditions’ 114-passenger ship, the Sea Spirit.
We soon understand the benefits of being on a smaller ship. Flexibility is one. As mentioned in our last post, a ship carrying fewer passengers can make more and longer landings. Another advantage is that guests can have lunch or dinner whenever they like (within specified hours). Also, expedition leaders are available throughout the day—including during meals—to socialize and answer questions in their areas of expertise (in addition to planned lectures and workshops that cover a variety of topics).
We quickly conclude that, although our trip is billed as an “expedition,” we’ll not lack creature comforts. Staterooms are spacious, with plenty of drawers and cubby holes to stow gear. Our wood-paneled cabin, warm and elegantly appointed, has the ambience of a captain’s quarters. The walk-in closet has enough racks to hang a wardrobe of suits and evening dresses–not that anyone needs to dress up. In the bath, a large vessel sink sits atop a countertop whose dramatic white-on-black pattern echoes the snow-covered granite cliffs we’ve observed in pictures of South Georgia. There’s even a walk-in shower with a rain head.
The cuisine is excellent. Dinner is served sit-down style with a selection of four entrees. (One is always vegetarian.) Lunch and breakfast buffets offer plenty of selection, including fantastic desserts (creme brûlée and a devastating carrot cake, to name two.) And the chef is happy to prepare special meals for those with dietary restrictions. Alcoholic beverages are always available—from beers and premium wines (around 620 varieties, over 3,000 bottles on board) to a full bar of spirits.
From dawn until late night the Club Lounge, popular with passengers and expedition leaders alike, is the place to recount adventures, pour a cup of coffee, order a drink at the bar or reach into bottomless cookie jars. At 4 p.m., afternoon tea appears; at 7, it’s time for cocktails accompanied by hors d’oeuvres and live piano music. An adjacent library is stocked with books about polar destinations and explorers. Upstairs, there’s a small gym and an outdoor Jacuzzi.
We are enthusiastic about Poseidon’s focus on education. Workshops and lectures cover polar history, geology, marine biology, photography—and more. On this cruise, expedition team members offer lectures in three languages (English, German and Chinese) to guests from 15 countries in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Guests are well-traveled and eager to talk about their experiences in exotic places.
We’ll soon be making our first landing ashore. More to follow…