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About Fletcher

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    Cool Cruiser

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    travel to far-flung places
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South Pacific

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  1. By my reckoning, only four ships in the Silversea fleet are now small enough to enter the Venetian lagoon and the Guidecca canal - the Explorer, the Cloud, the Wind and, oh, the Origin. All the rest are bigger than the 25,000 ton limit.
  2. This is the sort of question only Seabourn itself can answer, so call them and ask about refunds, cancellations etc. These 'northern lights' cruises are the Venture's inaugural voyages and might be flawed because of various issues associated with untried ships. Barely two hours of daylight every day for a week at £2000 per day . . personally, I would find that a challenge.
  3. Remember that the Tasman Sea is a close relative of The Drake Passage. Having been to Oz and NZ many times, I always regard them as land-based, hotel and road trips, apart from two expedition cruises we did from Auckland which both stopped at wonderful Norfolk Island.
  4. If your ship sails from LA to Pago Pago without stopping anywhere in between you are looking at the wrong ship. It must be a monster-sized thing. French Polynesia is gloriously beautiful and a destination in itself. Pago Pago is the main town/city of American Samoa and most people hate it. It is NOT anything like Bora Bora. However, the entrance to the bay is as spectacular as anything in the South Pacific, dominated by Rainmaker Mountain. There are junk food joints, gigantic SUVs, a stinky tuna canning factory, some great churches, one halfway decent beach, certainly an interesting place
  5. It really shouldn't be, especially not on such an itinerary as Antarctica. I've been on several Silversea ships and have never bothered to pay extra for fancy crockery at La Dame.
  6. There is masses of stuff on this topic. The Seabourn Antarctic Experience is currently aboard the Quest and sails from Santiago to Buenos Aires or vice versa. Twice a year, including the Holiday cruise, the Quest goes to South Georgia, an unmissable place. Apart from the Antarctic Continent and South Georgia it operates just like a regular cruise along the Chilean coast with shore excursions which you pay for. However, in Antarctica and SG all shore excursions are included - these are usually one per day owing to the size of the ship and the need to limit numbers of people ashor
  7. Hotels on the 'mainland,' such as le Moana, are more likely to do this sort of thing than the resorts out on the motus, mainly because they require boat trips and also because guests at these hotels would not want daily invasions from cruise passengers. However, I did once organise a day at the Pearl resort (now rebranded) because I wanted to photograph the lagoon from there - this hotel has the best view by far. Two get there my ship ferried me out there by zodiac and picked me up in the late afternoon.
  8. Wow - that Silversea is certainly rushed but it does check the boxes apart from the price. The Melia -formerly a Sheraton - is far better than it needs to be. I remember laughing when we checked in because one of my aims on the trip was to photograph a toucan. I thought that might be a tough call. Then I looked out from our balcony and saw several dozen in the hotel gardens. Anyway, here are shots of the hotel from the falls and a shot of the falls from the hotel (the pool by the way teemed with bats at night).
  9. The falls are massive and spectacular. Personally I would never do this as a cruise excursion because you are exploited price-wise and chained to the itinerary. You need to stay at least three nights. To begin with the weather is unpredictable and usually lousy so you need the days to give yourself a fair chance of viewing the area at its best (we stayed 4nights). Then you need to see the falls from both the Argentinian and the Brazilian side. They are quite different. The Argentinian side is up close and personal and extremely wet. You will get soaked and also covered in butterflies.
  10. UK and most of Europe are virtually banned from travelling to South America at the moment. And for the forseeable future.
  11. I think perhaps another problem at the moment are the so-called amber list countries unwilling to admit UK citizens without them going into quarantine on arrival.
  12. Why is that sofa facing a bottle of fizz and a sink unit?
  13. I called Noble Cal today and they confirm the CalSky has been taken over by APT but the guy I spoke to said that didn't mean that NC might charter the ship in the future.
  14. Like Lindblad, one of the longest established expedition/adventure travel organisations. They charter a lot of ships and regularly offer itineraries that Silversea can only dream of. https://www.quarkexpeditions.com/gb
  15. Silversea has cancelled all its Pacific sailings on the Explorer. No big surprise and it was looking almost impossible for us, as UK residents, to join the ship in Papeete anyway and, if we did, return home from Santiago. Part of us is disappointed, another part of us is saying, what a blessed relief.
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