Turtle, Ecuador

Your words, not ours

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

Here at Exodus we thrive on feedback from our customers. It's the only way we can ensure our trips continue to be the best they can be. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of the trip you're interested in, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Simply use the selector below to search our trip reviews and start reading real feedback from real Exodus travellers who have ‘been there and done that’!

Lots of our clients also like to post handy tips and advice about their travels. It’s great to know what to expect on an Exodus adventure before you go, so make the most of their experience and you’ll make the most of yours!

Haven't posted your review yet? Here's how to do it...

After you have returned from your Exodus adventure holiday you will be emailed a link to the review page. Any feedback collected is posted straight onto our website - totally unedited.

If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then click here to start the process to post your holiday review.

  • Reviewed February 2014
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    Great boat, fantastic experiences, good mix of people

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Whales at Wilhelmina Bay.  We set off in our Zodiac boat and went for a cruise.  Within minutes we were encircled by Humpback and Minke Whales!  For around 3 hours we were treated to whales fluting, spyhoping and bubble feeding, within meters of the bow of our boat.  The most amazing wildlife experience of my life.

    What did you think of your group leader?

      Jonathan Chester......well lets start with his redeeming features.  He appeared to be very familiar with Antarctica and had encyclopaedic knowledge of the area, a sound Antarctic pedigree and good working knowledge of maritime travel.  Unfortunately, I did not find him passenger focused, personable, caring, interested or inspiring.  He seemed to be preoccupied with the Jonathan show, constant reminders of the films he's assisted with, 15 books he'd written and who he knows. I expected the tour leader to lead by example and to show an interest in passenger satisfaction.  On one occasion (following a request to submit photos for a slide show) I informed him that one of the ship PCs had a virus.  He corrected me stating that there was only 1 PC.  I advised him that my memory stick had been corrupted and that I had lost photos.  I also advised him that another passenger had lost work and photos.  Our glorious leader's response?  "Go tell Dana" (another member of staff) thereafter turning his back and sauntering off.  No apology, offer of help or solution, he couldn't even be bothered to pass the message on to the relevant person. On the last evening there was a photographic slide show.  Jonathan gave an overview and thereafter introduce the photo slideshow.  Following this me and another passenger created slideshows with video footage.  The other passenger asked if we could show them as they only lasted 3/4 minutes and some of the footage was pretty good.  Yet again, our glorious leader was as much help and a chocolate teapot.  He declined and stated that there wasn't enough time.  Following the show there was happy hour within the bar.  Me and the other passenger then sowed our videos in the bar area, a resounding success, people were asking for copies of our shows and buying us drinks.  Thanks for the encouragement. At one point he told a passenger that was in his 20's, that he was part of "generation X" and wouldn't amount to much.  That's really appropriate.All in all I was underwhelmed by Jonathan Chester and will be avoiding any future trips that he will be leading. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get a Gopro Camera with a pole attachment.  There's so much to see and do and this will help you capture every moment.As much as it looks crazy, bring a ski mask.  An absolute must when out on a cruise in the Zodiac.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I found the expedition staff to be fantastic!  All had their own specific interest and all were incredibly knowledgeable.  I thought the staff covered too many jobs and maybe could have been doing with a little more help as it was the same faces getting up at the crack of dawn getting to bed late.Derek (whale guy) and Katie (historian) were particular stand outs.  Katie managed to give different angles on the traditional history of the great white wilderness and at points had me captivated with her story telling.  She always had smile on her face and her love for Antarctic history beamed through.Derek was outstanding!  He managed to find us the best spots for wildlife, had great knowledge of all Antarctic wildlife, had the best stories and was generally a great person to be around on the trip. The Vavilov is a great ship.  Cabins are well thought out and practice.  Drinks are reasonably priced and food was pretty good.  The BBQ was a particular highlight, having BBQ on a ship in the middle of Antarctica on a sunny day, unbeatable.
  • Reviewed February 2014
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    A magical adventure amongst the whales, penguins and spectacular ice formations. I would have given this 5 stars but I get terminally seasick and loathe boats so 4 was the best possible really!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting watching penguin colonies for hours. They had chicks who were very high maintenance indeed, constantly pestering their parents for food. They are compelling birds and it is impossible not to fall in love with them.Wilhelmina Bay was easily the trip highlight for me. Owing to certain currents, vast quantities of krill are forced into quite a restricted area which creates whale foodie heaven and therefore paradise for mere mortals like me who love watching wildlife. Blue skies and calm seas with deftly carved icebergs, the scene punctuated by whale tails wherever I looked. The humpback whales were bubble net feeding inches from the zodiac - reminded me of a certain overused quote from Jaws.....It really was moving to be so close to these gentle leviathans. I can't understand how any country can justify their scandalous slaughter. Our zodiac guide couldn't contain his whoops of excitement, what a job!As an added treat we got to bivvy camp on a small snowy island in a sheltered cove. This involved digging a shallow hole (grave?) then sleeping in a bivvy bag. I was toastie warm and it was fun trying to sleep listening to nearby glaciers moaning and groaning all night. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The expedition I was part of was on the Akademik Sergey Vavlilov which is operated by One Ocean. The leader was Jonathan Chester. Putting it diplomatically, I have found other trip leaders to be more inspiring and charismatic and he didn't seem especially fussed with customer service.The stand out staff members for me were Derek who was a biologist and Zodiac driver. He was obviously genuinely interested in the wildlife we were interacting with and very sensitive to avoiding wildlife harassment at all costs. Katie the historian was knowledgeable, personable and made everything she talked about interesting with offbeat quirky facts.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Aerolineas Argentinas are a law unto themselves regarding scheduling changes, don't rely on them for time critical connections and make sure to arrive in Ushuaia the day before the trip. I'd recommend the Hotel Albatros which is across the road from the pick up point to get on the boat. Luggage can be collected by boat crew directly from here. Don't book flights prior to 12pm on disembarkation day in case of delays.Antarctica is obviously prone to extreme weather and you should come prepared but remember it is summer there and I've been colder at home in Scotland to be honest!  A balaclava is handy for Zodiac excursions as the wind really nips your cheeks. High factor sunscreen is essential. Get seasickness meds before going as the ship has limited supply. I found promethazine the best ( unfortunately I have had occasion to try lots of others.........) . You can buy this over the counter marketed as Sominex - sold as a sleep aid but the same drug. The Vavilov is a lovely ship. It was quiet and very stable. The lounge/bar area is fantastic. It is on deck 6 and has panoramic views and a viewing deck out the back. For someone like me who gets seasick on a duck pond and especially when shut into windowless rooms, the lounge was a godsend. Bear this in mind when booking as the sister ship the Ioffe does not have this facility apparently.Take up the offer of wet weather gear, penguin crap is stinky and better on hire gear than your own!There were a sizeable party of travellers from China on this trip. I think partly owing to it being Chinese New Year and also owing to increasing interest in travel from the expanding middle class. Unfortunately, I found this group to be probably the worst behaved I have had the misfortune to encounter. Everyone on the ship has to go to a compulsory briefing on how to behave around the wildlife and on the Zodiacs which is provided in different languages if necessary. Despite this, I witnessed members of this group tramping directly through the middle of penguin colonies, disregarding the 5 metre rule, repeatedly failing to follow instructions to safely behave in a Zodiac and generally behaving in a rude, noisy and selfish manner. If I have the good fortune to repeat a trip such as this in the future I will be enquiring as to the make up of the passenger complement and would seek to avoid repeating having to put up with foul behaviour.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I was very very lucky to win this trip as part of the 'Feel More Alive' promotion from 2013. A thousand thanks to Exodus for giving me the opportunity to visit this magical part of the world, it was much appreciated. Make sure to enter competitions if you see them as someone has to win and it might as well be you!
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    An amazing introduction to a stunning continent. A real once-in-a-lifetime trip to somewhere that has to be experienced to be believed.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Where to start?! The excitement of jumping in a sea kayak for the first time, paddling through the beautiful clear blue sea marvelling at gigantic icebergs. Sitting on a gorgeously clear day in amongst a colony of gentoo penguins for about 2 hours, just admiring their behaviour and their inquisitiveness. The moment that the whole dining room put down their knives and forks and ran out onto deck to see the family of orcas that had just surfaced in the distance. Or camping overnight on the ice, digging my own bed and setting down for the night as the penguins and snowy sheathbills called nearby.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Aaron and his whole team were absolutely fantastic. Nothing was too much trouble for any of the One Ocean staff and they seemed to be on duty 24 hours a day to search the horizon for wildlife and excite the passengers with numerous presentations and stories. We had a wealth of knowledge and experience on board, some of the most inspirational people I have met! I was lucky enough to be part of the kayaking group and can't rate the guides highly enough. The crew on board were also brilliant, beautifully clean rooms, delicious food (so much of it!!) and again - nothing too much trouble. 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I never really thought that a piece of equipment like an iPad or similar would be too useful until I looked on enviably as others displayed their photos at the end of the day! However the Ioffe has a well stocked multimedia room and many helpful members of staff so those without need not despair! However take plenty of memory card space, and extra batteries for your camera - you will need it!! Obviously lots of layers are very important - the rental kit provided by One Ocean was top notch and the majority of those on board made full use of it.  Take spare gloves and hats - I took more than I needed but was thankful for extra layers when the weather turned. I got a lot of use out of my buff - great for pulling over your face if the wind gets a bit nippy! High sun factor is very important, and a good lip balm!  Sea sickness pills are very useful, we were lucky with the crosings and didn't encounter the dreaded Drake Shake (!) but many of the passengers took advantage of the patches that were available from the on board doctor.  If possible break the journey in Buenos Aires for a couple of days - a fantastic city worth exploring. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just do it! There is really nothing like this place and it is well worth the long journey to get there - in fact it makes it even more special. The problem is once you've been bitten - that's it!!
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    An unforgetable trip, can't begin to really describe the Antarctic, it has to be seen to be believed. 

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Minke whale who decided to investigate 3 of the 5 Zodiacs a few times, swimming right underneath them all and then surfacing really close to us on two occasions to inspect what was happening above sea level!  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chellie was incredible.  Funny, knowledgeable, obviously well respected and well loved by her team and the Captain and his crew. She ensured everything ran smoothly and safely. A star!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just go - Buenos Aires is probably worth a couple of days at least if you have the time. The trip was seamless: we went on the Sea Spirit which is a really lovely ship. Make sure you stay on deck as long as you can, take loads of photos, take loads of travel sickness pills - you will very probably need them!  We did, and apparently we had a calm crossing on both occasions!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Holiday experience of a lifetime.
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    I cannot remember a time when the Antarctic was not at the top of my wish list. This trip not only met all my expectations, it far exceeded them! It is difficult for any review to do both the location and the expedition team justice.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is almost impossible to identify any one moment but I have always longed to see the huge icebergs and the first sighting of these was simply awe inspiring.The whole trip was inspirational - the peninsula has a stunning wild beauty that is like no other region. The penguins are such fun to watch and the variety of birds, especially the albatross, is amazing. Zodiac cruising amongst the sea ice is so peaceful and the beauty and colours of the ice formations takes your breath away. To see abandoned buildings gives a tiny insight into just how difficult life must have been. Life tends to take on a new perspective.The experience, understanding and inspiration provided by the trip was enhanced by some of the best lectures you could hope to attend. The expedition team gave us an amazing selection of background information delivered in an interesting and fun style. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was Alex. He was excellent and managed to make all his hard work look effortless! I cannot think of anything that did not go well and his enthusiasm and commitment to providing us with the best possible experience ensured we had just that. He was flexible and always looking for additional landings or cruises for us to experience - when we couldn't land due to the amount of ice, he immediately planned an alternative.Alex is enthusiastic, friendly and highly professional and I am sure this influences all his team. I cannot praise all of the team highly enough, they were all friendly, efficient, informative and professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I would advise anyone thinking of doing the trip to go if they can. Everyone with a reasonable level of fitness can enjoy this trip so long as you can negotiate the zodiac landings and smaller slops - not everyone takes part in the more difficult hikes.Even the shortest trip provides an amazing experience. Treat the journey as a part of the experience and take advantage of the lectures as they are superb. Spend some time on deck enjoying the surroundings and the amazing bird life.Waterproof gloves are needed for Zodiacs but not helpful for photography so I bought some thin but good quality lining gloves which were ideal.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was the trip I had always dreamed of but doubted I would do. I am so glad I got the chance to go, I feel both lucky and privileged to have visited this beautiful, amazing place.
  • Reviewed February 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    The whole trip was exceptionally well organised and was up there with my most inspriational trip ever (and I have done a fair bit of travelling!!))  Antarctica is definately a place you should experience a once in a lifetime experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is a hard one to answer as the whole trip was awsome, the most amazing moment was a close encounter (close enough to touch!) with a humpback whale.  We were in two zociacs and the humpback came and played with the boats for over half an hour it brought tears to your eyes that such a huge creature could be so interactive and gentle with boats that it outsized by many times.  Close up and personal.Penguins galore while you can stay the recommended 5 meters away from them dont be surprised that they dont pay the same attention to the rules!!!  If I am to use an analogy in the future for teams it will be to have the determination of a penguin getting to their nesting sites sometimes at the top of mountains.  Sheer resilliance and determination. It was inspirational to see the working and historical scientific/research sites that our guides could inform us of the great work that had been done to inform our future. 

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Group leader from exodus was very inmative and our leader and the ships tour leaders got as much out of the trip that was possible for the whole group.  Made sure we had the information we needed and were always on hand to give answers to quesitons and ensure our trip was safe and most importantly enjoyable.  As a photographer the opportunities were massive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes go for it ensure you look at the guidelines on what to bring and what is available on ship, I took most of my camera kit and used it all there are sooo many opportunities for great photographs.  Remember to take the time to sit back be quiet and take in the sounds views and experiences of Antarctica put the camera down and experience the place.  Take lots of memory cards and a back up to ensure you have enough space for the images you will get. Plenty of layers and a spare pair of socks.If you get the chance tag an extra day on at Beunos Aires a great experience and if its summer there v. hot remember to take an outfit that will work in this temperature. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Dont hesitate to go for it, I had a wonderous time with fabulous like minded people and learnt so much from the guides and fellow travellers.
  • Reviewed February 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    Our trip to the Antarctic Peninsula was simply 'mind-blowing'

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Any description of Antarctica is always full of 'expletives'. Quite honestly where do you start? Its awesome, pristine, 'bigger' than you can imagine. The glaciers and the thickness of the snow cover was simply mind boggling. Listening to the occasional 'calving' glacier making a noise like 'gun fire' sometimes startled you as often it happened some distance away without you actually seeing the event itself. The clearness and crispness of the air was an absolute tonic. The penguin colonies ('rookeries') were simply amazing. You read about how close you can get to the wildlife there but it was quite suprising actually how close you could get to them. They were seemingly oblivious to the presence of man and therefore we were able to study their natural behaviour. It was a very humbling experience indeed and you felt 'at one' with nature, a part of the whole. Someone said to me back home before we left 'Why go there won't a photograph of a particular animal or bird have the same effect? Well you just have to visit a penguin rookery or a seal haul-out to experience the unforgettable sights sounds and oh yes -'odour' like no other and the adventure of course of actually making landfall on the most remote and pristine continent on Earth. You don't get that experience from photographs! It is such an exciting feeling when you actually set foot on the continent itself.Describing a specific inspirational moment is impossible as you have to think about the whole picture. The landscape, the glaciers, the wildlife, the silence, the light, the people. There is no experience quite like it on our planet. It was one 'big adventure' from start to finish!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All the 'One Ocean' guides were good. They were knowlegable, skillful, caring and considerate at all times. The expedition team leader was Chad who was exceptional I have to add. His cool, calm quiet leadership made such a difference to the trip I'm sure. We all felt very safe in his capable hands. We have nothing but praise too for the ship's Captain and crew. They worked efficiently, quietly and discreetly in the background.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most trips to the Antarctic Peninsula start at Ushuaia in Southern Patagonia. They call it 'The end of the World' but don't be put off by that rather deceiving descriptive! Its a city with a population of 70,000 to 80,000 people so its quite substantial. It is very much a 'frontier' town much like Jenneau in Alaska if you have been there. It is quite vibrant and I would suggest spending a few days there before (or even after) your cruise to explore the area such as taking a boat trip into the Beagle Channel or a trip to the Tierra Del Fuego National Park. Maybe the best way to do this might be to hire a car but our trips were organised. What clothing to take with you will probably take up much of your time in planning beforehand! But make sure you take enough base layers with you and warm and 'waterproof' gloves. The expedition ship we went on namely the 'Akademic Ioffe' provided waterproofs and gum boots which you keep for the duration of the voyage and 'wash down' after each shore visit. Do wear good footwear on deck ie- 'hiking boots' as it can get slippy and you don't want to be breaking any limbs when you are out there! Its even more important to wear good footwear if you hit foul weather in the Drake Passage and a unexpected wave can cause a sudden jolt which may cause you to lose your balance. The golden rule then of course is 'keep one hand for the ship'! We took warm quilted coats with us which were not waterproof. They are fine but bulky to pack. If you have taken sufficient base layers with you then the kit the ship supplies may be sufficient for you. We went in January and it wasn't incredibly cold out there in fact it was colder in the UK when we got back! Don't forget the 'sun block' and UV protection sunglasses. Make sure you take 'plenty' of memory cards for your cameras!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You may have thought about a trip to Antarctica for a long time. Of course its expensive getting there and there is no getting away from that but a voyage to this pristine white continent can be simply life changing. Savour every moment. A trip to Antarctica will give you a better understanding of the fragile planet upon which we all live.Remember it when you return home and be an ambassador for this remote and fascinating continent.
  • Reviewed January 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    Wonderful trip.  Well worth the effort despite some stressful moments in the beginning.  Antarctica is a very special place.  Cannot be compared to any other travel experience.  So glad I went.   Would have given 5 stars but for my experiences prior to and at the beginning of the trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Penguins.  Waking up after a night in the snow to see a Penguin looking at me.  Seeing a Whales head surface near our Zodiac.  The sheer pristine beauty of the place.  The "blue icebergs" and the stillness.  Nature at its purest and most unspoilt.  The wonderful staff.  The professional photographers and the interesting lectures.  The memory stick of the trip, including photos was a great momento.  

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Kim Christie.  I did not know she was on the trip until a few days into the trip despite exchanging emails prior to the trip. Could have done with her help in Ushuaia (see "Anything you want to add"). 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Wish I'd taken a hat with ear flaps and an inbetween coat.  Sometimes my triple goose down parka was a bit too warm (it can get quite warm in the sun when worn together with the waterproof outer gear) and my thin jacket (for the BA sun) was not warm enough for Ushuaia.  The thin inner finger gloves are very useful when taking photos.  Thermals are a must.  Layers of thin polo necks best.  Tee shirt OK in ship but need warm coat for deck.  No special shoes/boots required.  Rent wellington boots, waterproof jacket and trousers on ship.  Travel light. Take lots of film and extra batteries.Worst airport (BA to Ushuaia) experience I've ever had (and I've done a lot of travelling).  Long queues.  Very few of the staff speak English.  Chaos.  So nearly missed flight.  Met quite a few other people who had a similar experience.  Get to the airport early.  Coming back was better.  Nice little airport at Ushuaia.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Did not get my final travel documents until a week before my departure date.  I had to call and ask where they were.  Even then, they were not complete.  There was no separate document re "Ushuaia joining instructions".  I sent an email and got an apology and some instructions  Also, why was I not booked in at the Hotel Albatross (the meeting point for departure to the ship) as Kim and her companion were?  I have no complaints about Hotel Las Lengas. They were very helpful but it is a good 10-15 minutes walk to the Albatross Hotel.  Also, I was told by Kim that I could leave my bags at the Albatross Hotel until our departure to the ship in late afternoon.  Check out at the Hotel Las Lengas was 1000.   When I got to the Albatross Hotel (around 1030) they would not let me store my luggage there.  They said they only stored luggage for people staying at the hotel.  They said they had had this problem before and had informed the various companies before.  They gave me the name of a place in the town where I could leave my luggage.     I could not find it and ended up leaving my luggage at the Tourist Office (who were very helpful).  One more thing - I was booked into a triple cabin but there were other single people on the ship who did not book a single cabin but ended up in a cabin on their own.  Kim was aware of this and said she would look into it.   
  • Reviewed January 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    WE had a wonderful experience in the Antarctic and also spending a few days in Ushuaia before our departure on the Clipper Adventurer.      Thanks must go to Kim Christie  for sorting us out with travel and accommodation when the Ship broke down in December, 2011.   Within a few moments of returning  Kim rang to check we were home safely and 24 hours later we we rebooked on the February trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Sitting in a Zodiac watching Killer Whales (about 90) swimming towards us.  Absolutely thrilling.Humpback whales passing under the Zodiak and rolling slightly to look at us.  Unforgetable.Sitting with hundreds of penguins watching them going about their business and watching us with great curiosity.  I have some wonderful photographs of penguins studying the landing of the Zodiacs with a very amusing tilt of the head. Leopard seal with the biggest gape when it threw its head back to yawn.  Barbeque on deck surrounded by wonderful Glaciers and Icebergs in beautiful sunshine.  We were very lucky with the weather.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    All the expedition crew were superb.  Nothing was too much trouble for them and all were very knowledgeable.They worked very hard to give us the most memorable experience. The ships crew each and everyone succeeded in making this one of the best experiences of my life.I would like now to go to the Arctic before I am too old.  Having said that the oldest person on our trip was 85.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Warm hat, gloves and something to cover your throat to keep the draught out when move swiftly in the Zodiacs.  The Jackets supplied were absolutely superb.No time to read or anything as the expedition crew give lectures and displays and eating so much excellent  food,  meeting so many new friends and staying in touch when you return. 

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please just Go for It!  Slide down a wonderful slope on your bottom,  see the most wonderful sunsets, water that is crystal clear, and lots of animals both in and out of the water that are just as curious about us as we are about them. I would love to do it again.  Maybe the North Pole next.
  • Reviewed January 2013
    Anonymous

    ANTARCTIC EXPLORER

    An excellent and informative introduction to Antarctica. You could not wish for a better trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Icebergs, stunning beauty and serenity

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Very well informed, and a good attention to bio-security

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the pre-trip advice carefully, bring sufficient drink to avoid steep on board prices.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Be prepared to make new life-long friends
Call us on 1300 131 564