Go Back   Cruise Critic Message Board Forums > Ports of Call > Antarctica
Register here!
Forgot Your Password?


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old February 2nd, 2010, 07:10 AM
nain and taid nain and taid is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: south east England
Posts: 18
Default small ship or really small ship?

I know I want a ship with small passenger numbers so we can maximise our zodiac landings.I looked at, for example, Polar Pioneer or Ocean Nova, but am concerned that the facilities on board are just too cramped. Is the all-in-one dining room/lecture room/bar/general meeting area just too small? Would people recommend the slightly larger ships - Plancius, Valivov, Orlova etc, and sacrifice numbers for facilities? I'm not after luxury, but a nice communal area would enhance the evenings! Any one done both ships and have an opinion?
Reply With Quote

Old February 2nd, 2010, 09:10 AM
h2so4 h2so4 is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Anywhere, USA
Posts: 1,816

You'll get different responses I'm sure; here's my two cents ... we were on an even smaller ship - Prof Molchanov - 48 pax. Was the space cramped? Perhaps, a little; but we spent so little time inside (be it the public spaces or our cabin) that it didn't matter to us. (In fact, the smaller cabin was an advantage when the seas were rough as there were enough handholds to get around the cabins safely.)

The lecture room/lounge was filled to capacity for the duration of the lectures, but most people left to go outside, up to the bridge, or back to the cabin when it was over, leaving plenty of space for anyone who wanted to remain in the lounge. (The lectures were not non-stop, but spaced out nicely and were only on sea days.) As for the evenings, with near constant daylight, we didn't spend much time in the lounge or the dining room (separate on the Molchanov) -- again, we were either outside enjoying the experience of sailing in Antarctica or in our cabin, resting up from a busy day of landings and getting ready for another early wake up call the next morning.

Admittedly, we had great weather that was very conducive to being outside as much as possible. Had that not been the case, I might have felt differently ... but I doubt it. For us, max passenger count was more important than space in this instance.

Whatever you decide, have a terrific time on your adventure.

Last edited by h2so4; February 2nd, 2010 at 09:12 AM.
Reply With Quote

Old February 2nd, 2010, 06:43 PM
dileep's Avatar
dileep dileep is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 4,667
Default another point of view

We were on the Minerva which is capable holding 360, but they only carried 200 so they could land 100 at a time. This meant that sometimes one group had better weather than the other (wind, snow, rain). The amount of time (60 to 90 minutes) was not a problem. I liked having the xtra space and the fact that the ship had stabilizers. I was afraid of getting sea sick. We did not encounter rough seas express one night and even that was not severe. Serving 200 passengers also allows the operator more flexibility in terms of including more and higher quality speakers (just a guess on my part, since all were very good and highly qualified). Our price point was also quite affordable compared to the other options we had looked at.

All in all, we had a great time just like h2so4!

Photos: https://skydrive-df.live.com/?sc=photos#sc=photos
Videos: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=DileepB#g/u
Emerald Princess: Western Caribbean - 21 Dec 2014 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...ghlight=dileep
Ocean Nova in Antarctica Dec 2012: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1739893
Egypt Land Trip Review http://www.independenttraveler.com/t...-all-one-world
Swan Hellenic Minerva Antarctica - January 2010 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1083945
Galapagos http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showt...ight=galapagos
Star Princess - Greek Isles: Rome to Venice - 28 October 2007 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=665634
Celebrity Millennium - South America, 22 January 2006. Review at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=293376
Celebrity Constellation - Baltics, 21 May 2005. Notes at http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showp...3&postcount=11
Celebrity Infinity - Alaska, July 2004
Radisson Diamond - Mediterranean, Oct 2000
Reply With Quote

Old February 3rd, 2010, 08:14 PM
einsteinsmom einsteinsmom is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 227

On the Ocean Nova the dining room and the lecture area were two different places. The lectures took place in the Panorama Lounge, which is at the top of the ship. We spent quite a bit of our free time there as did other passengers. There is also a library area that was used by people during down time.
This ship looks ridiculously small next to the other ships in port, but it did not feel too small while on board.
If you are someone who likes the shopping malls, shows etc on the big ships, it might seem too small.
The Ocean Nova also did quite well in the rough seas, it did roll around though.
The size of the passenger contingent was great, we were not separated into groups. The expedition leaders would let us know what the plan was and people could either hurry up to be in line first or take their time getting ready. Even if you were not first in line it did not take that long to move 72 passengers with 7 zodiacs. They have the zodiac unloading down to a science, I think I heard them say they could get all the zodiacs off the boat and be ready to unload passengers in 20 minutes.
Reply With Quote

Old February 3rd, 2010, 11:07 PM
scapel's Avatar
scapel scapel is offline
Blue Ribbon Cruiser
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 4,742

I did a fly cruise in which we flew from Punta Arenas to King George Island and boarded the Professor Multanovskiy which held 48 passengers but we only had 25. We had three Zodiacs each holding about 8 to 10 passengers so we did two stops daily. I enjoyed the Zodiac cruises looking to creep up on wildlife in their natural habitat.
We had a lounge and open bar, though not much time to drink with the two landings daily. I liked the open bridge policy. The ship was only about 250 feet long but very comfortable and the food was excellent.
We had a lecture room as well as a separate lounge and dining room.
It was more of an expedition than a cruise, but great fun.
PAST CRUISES: 1.Stella Oceanis 1975 , 2. Stella Oceanus
1977 Black Sea and Crimean Peninsula. 3. Mermoz 1979 Med.-Malta. 4. SS Freeport to Gulf Mexico. 5.Vistafjord to Caribbean 1981. 6. Sagafjord to Alaska 1983. 7. Stella Solaris to Aegean, Israel and Egypt 1984. 8. Mississippi Queen . 9. Nantucket Clipper 10. Fairsky to Caribbean 1987. 11. Royal Odyssey Med.& Dubrovnik 9/1988. 12. Carnivalle to Bahamas 1990. 13. Crown Odyssey to Eastern South America 1991. 14.Monarch of the Seas Eastern Caribbean 1995. 15 Royal Odyssey Panama Canal 1995. 16 Egypt-Nile River Cruise 1996.
17. Splendour of the Seas- Fjords of Norway 1997. 18 Sun Viking –Orient Cruise 1997.
19. R-4 Barcelona-Lisbon 1999. 20. Paradise- Caribbean 1999.
21. Millennium to Baltic Capitals 2000. 22. Summit to Caribbean 2001.
23. Constellation –Fjords of Norway 2002. 24.Horizon –Mexico 2003. 25. Infinity to Alaska 2003. 26. Holiday to Mexico 2003. 27. Infinity -South America Cape Horn 2004. 28. Constellation- Transatlantic 2004. 29.Legend of Seas- Western Caribbean 2005.
30. Millennium- Panama Canal 2006. 31. Rhapsody of Seas- Western Caribbean 2006. 32. Constellation- New England/Canada 2006. 33.Millennium-Caribbean 2007. 34.Voyager of the Seas- Caribbean 35.Mercury- South Pacific 2008. 36. Mariner of Seas-Mexican Riviera 2/09. 37. Summit to Southern Caribbean. 4/09. 38. Amadeus Symphony- Rhine River Basel-Amsterdam 6/09 combined with Switzerland Trip.
39.Antarctica on Prof. Multanovskiy 2009 40.Voyager of the Seas out of Galveston Jan 2010
41. Silver Whisper New York to Bermuda October 2010. 42.Silver Shadow Seoul Korea to Anchorage,AK May 2011
43. Silver Cloud to the Caribbean,Jan 2012 44. Statendam to Alaska June 2012 45.Millennium RT Singapore SE Asia Jan 2013 46. Azamara Quest–West Coast Central America Jan 2014. 47. Carnival Breeze June 2015 Eastern Caribbean. 48. Azamara Journey-Istanbul to Athens Oct.2015
49.Carnival Dream Western Caribbean July 2016
Reply With Quote

Old February 10th, 2010, 11:30 AM
Piepkorn's Avatar
Piepkorn Piepkorn is offline
Cool Cruiser
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Monterey, CA
Posts: 1,283

We were on Polar Pioneer February last year. Accommodations were small, but perfectly adequate. The ship had 2 dining rooms, a lecture hall - which could be used to watch videos, and a bar. The bar was a nice place to hang out. The food to us was 'just ok'. We had 53 passengers onboard, including the company's new CEO.

Our experience was similar to what the others mentioned here, although there were several days when we did 3 landings, as well as an evening zodiac cruise. Thus not a lot of time in the bar. But we don't regret the small ship decision for a second.

Our expedition leader was Howard Whelan, one of the founders of Australia's National Geographic.

Reply With Quote



Ad Sponsored By
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:42 AM.

© 1995 - 2016, The Independent Traveler, Inc. All rights reserved.
"A Community of People Who Love To Cruise"
All of the information contained within Cruise Critic is protected by copyright. You may, however, download a single copy only for your personal use.