G Adventures invited Irish travel agents and media to Leith, Edinburgh, to experience the G Expedition ship between her Antarctic and Arctic seasons. Savings of up to 20% on 2018 and 2019 cruises are available for bookings made up to 3rd July 2017.
After a tortuous boarding procedure by the port authority, everyone finally got onboard to savour a most welcome and tasty buffet lunch in the Albatross Dining Room. Then it was all hands on deck as smaller groups toured the ship in different directions.
Stu Darnley, Photographer in Residence, who is onboard to help guests with their cameras and slideshows, had several tips including: bring an external hard drive, spare batteries, good waterproofing, flotation for GoPros (they sink!), and a zoom, particularly for the Arctic. He recommends renting lenses, which can cost £200 for two weeks fully insured – much cheaper than buying something that you may not use too often.
The Mud Room (where agents did not need much persuasion to dress up for photos!) includes 10 two-person kayaks, which can be used by those having some experience and need to be booked in advance.
Susan Aide, G Adventures’ Expeditions Operations Manager, gave an excellent presentation full of useful tips, her top tip being “Bring binoculars – and one set per person, mine are always around my neck and my husband never gets them!”.
Camping onshore is possible, but does need to be booked and paid for in advance. There is no minimum number required (“we will take two!”) but there is a maximum of 60 and normally 50 or more are booked.
While G Adventures will accept guests with mobility difficulties and work with them to make their cruise as smooth as possible, agents should be aware that there are several relatively steep staircases onboard and, as Susan Aide pointed out, in the event of such a need, an evacuation out of Antarctica can take up two to four days.
Here are the cabin choices: