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

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  • Reviewed June 2019
    Steve Taylor

    Brilliant from beginning to end.

    A cruise around the Svalbard Archipelago taking in fjords, glaciers, and stunning wildlife opportunities.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    A large group of walrus resting on a beach. Polar bears. Bird colonies. Reindeer. Scenery. Everything was inspirational.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Woody, who led the team of specialists on the ship was a bundle of energy. This takes nothing away from the specialist guides who were riendly, knowledgable, enthusiastic and always available to answer questions and support the customers. This was our first cruise mainly to see the wildlife and the whole experience exceeded our expectations, from the helpful Exodus support when booking the trip to leaving the boat everybody was first class. The weather was kind to us too. P. S. The domestic and restaurant staff deserve a mention for being professional and unobtrusive leading to a comfortable voyage.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do not put it off if you are considering a polar trip.
  • Reviewed July 2014
    Paul Gofton

    Introduction to Spitsbergen

    Wow ! Awesome trip. Wildlife amazing and scenery stunning. Each day had numerous jaw dropping moments. Svalbard is unspoilt apart from a trip to the most northerly settlement we did not see any other people from joining to leaving the boat meaning the islands, birds and animals were all ours to enjoy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Numerous, the ones I would mention though are seeing an Arctic fox take a egg from a gooses nest and the goose fighting back, tracking a pod of Walruses in our zodiacs only for one Walrus to rise out of the water within touching distance of the zodiac, an afternoon staring at the majestic scenery where the water was still and the mountains were reflected within - a photographers dream, crossing the 80 degree parallel and finally of course the "buttery" Polar Bear

    What did you think of your group leader?

    John was great, truly passionate about the Arctic and wanting to show and tell us all about it. He had some fantastic stories to tell about the explorers and settlers in Svalbard. He was also complimented by his staff of One Ocean cruises. He had put together knowledgeable people with a wide range of specialist subjects, geology, photography, nature and a policewoman who had served on Svalbard

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go for it. I went with One Ocean expeditions who provide all your wet water gear for excursions including boots -you don't need hiking boots. However pack a warm coat as you will out on deck a lot of time looking at the birds, scenery and hunting for bears. I booked a triple room, only two people shared thankfully as three would have been tight - although you are only in there really to sleep and get ready for excursions.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Every trip will be different but give the wildlife a chance and it will greatly reward you.
  • Reviewed August 2011
    Anonymous

    SPITSBERGEN ADVENTURE

    The Introduction to Spitsbergan trip was an amazing experience, far beyond any expectations I had had.  The scenery, the wildlife, my travel companions, and - very importantly - the staff all combined to make this a wonderful trip. The expedition staff were helpful and informative on not only their subject but on all aspects of the arctic. They understood that this was a dream trip for most of passengers and were helpful & friendly making it enjoyable and fun. We were very lucky to an expert on Polar Bears travelling on our trip - a wonderful, unassuming man who shared so much of his knowledge & enthusiasm with us. The ship itself was excellent, as was the staff and the meals were superb. I can not recommend this trip or the Exodus/Quark arrangements highly enough.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many!! The first morning having just nipped onto the side deck to look at the scenery only to see a walrus on floting ice. The sighting of our first polar bear. Waking up to find the ship surrounded by ice with beluga whales in a 'pool' just ahead - and then by the side of the ship and a polar bear walking on the nearby land. Trips out on the Zodiacs looking at ice formations, bird life, glaciers and so much more. Going for walks and seeing herds of raindeer. The fact that we sailed for days without seeing any other people. Speaking to the team about the arctic and, along with learning more about the environment, hearing the enthusiasm in their voice for this special place regardless of how often they had visited.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent, outstanding, proffesional, approachable, helpful and ideal for this type of trip. We could not have wished for any one better and this influences the whole of his team. The team were superb through out the trip and made every possible effort to ensure we all got as much out of the holiday as we possibly could. They were aware that people have different interests and reasons for being there and were always available to discuss issues or give answers to questions. In addition they were friendly and made the whole trip fun as well as an amazing experience. (there was just one who although excellent on his specialism did not give information on anything else and did not interact in the same way).

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The coats provided are very good - and you keep them at the end of the trip. I took some fingerless gloves to wear under warm full gloves as I found this easier when taking photos. I was impressed by the shared facilities which were vey well looked after. The information provided before travel is very good and will give an accurate picture of what to expect.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would also like to add that the Exodus staff I booked with were outstanding - I booked late and the help & advice I received from Gabi was fantastic. I have an ankle problem & can't get wellies on (needed for landings) so Gabi sorced an excellent product for me to purchase allowing me to do the trip. Kim then took over the booking and was just as helpful - I was left with the impression that she really understood what these trips mean to people. Her friendly helpful tips helped with planning and packing and also made the planning and anticipation an enjoyable part of the experience. This is my first Exodus trip but if Gabi & Kim are typical of the people they employ, it will certainly not be the last - it was like dealing with friends who have your interests at heart but who are exceptionally professional.
  • Reviewed June 2011
    Anonymous

    INTRODUCTION TO SPITSBERGEN

    The trip surpassed our expectations in every respect. the ship was perfect, in size and atmosphere. The food amazing and abundant. The expedition Team were fabulous and made the trip very special. We had, for example a World expert in Polar Bears, an amazing, humble man who could inspire a love of the creature in the most hardened metropolis dwellers. We felt honoured  and privileged to be in his company. The weather was amazing, I believe we were lucky, and the scenery more beautiful and serene than any photo can show.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first morning, waking up to see not only the most amazing sea-scape, but also a walrus on an ice floe near the ship! And..... there's more.... having a conversation, on deck, with Ian Stirling about it.( Polar Bear and seal expert).

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant, very professional and very organised. Made the trip! 

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Don't expect to see many Polar Bears, you are not going into a Zoo! You don't need to take a jacket if you are travelling after the trip as the jacket they provide, you keep. We thought that the jackets were for use on the ship only and then left for the next passengers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hugely impressed and loved the trip. There was one team guide, who in our opinion did not match the brilliance of the other members. He was an expert in his field but seemed to have no interest or knowledge of any other aspect, eg birds, other animals. A few people moved down the queue to avoid being in his zodiac. Unfortunately we didn't. We learn't more after that Zodiac cruise by talking to others and the Ornithologist on board. The guy responsible for the zodiacs would have a been a better guide.
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