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I chose Polar Pioneer for the round Svalbard trip because a smaller ship would have less environmental impact, would be friendlier and would feel more like an expedition. The Aurora team were completely fantastic - knowledgeable, experienced, careful about our safety, efficient getting us into and off the zodiacs, friendly and looked after us really well. They worked hard to avoid other ships also circling Svalbard and to find wildlife for us to watch. Utterly professional. It took a couple days to settle down into the slower rhythm of shipboard life. The twice daily zodiac trips, usually landing for a shorter or longer walk, were fascinating - wildlife, flora, experiencing the tundra terrain, walrus/seal/whaling hunting history, glaciers and ice. And the two days we spent north of 80 latitude, drifting in the ice in the ship, were just wonderful. It was a privilege to be able go up to watch wildlife from the bridge, or to go out on the bow in the wind and closer to the sea and ice. I loved it all. The twin cabin was snug with lots of storage for clothes and suitcases. Lots of hot water for showers, towels replaced as often as you required, and cleaned daily. Food was really excellent, fresh, varied and well cooked, with a vegetarian option, and hot drinks, fruit and biscuits were available 24/day. I had the misfortune that my luggage was delayed in flight so went on the 10 day trip with only one hastily bought change of warm clothes plus minimal toiletries (no binoculars, walking pole, chargers etc). I was loaned more warm clothes by Aurora staff and had many offers of long johns etc and charging for electronic equipment by lovely fellow passengers. What could have been a miserable disaster turned out to be an utterly memorable experience. And Aurora staff also tracked down where my luggage was and arranged for it to be waiting for me at Longyearbyen for my flight home.

Fantastic trip round Svalvard

Polar Pioneer Cruise Review by Joportland

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2017
  • Destination: Arctic
I chose Polar Pioneer for the round Svalbard trip because a smaller ship would have less environmental impact, would be friendlier and would feel more like an expedition. The Aurora team were completely fantastic - knowledgeable, experienced, careful about our safety, efficient getting us into and off the zodiacs, friendly and looked after us really well. They worked hard to avoid other ships also circling Svalbard and to find wildlife for us to watch. Utterly professional.

It took a couple days to settle down into the slower rhythm of shipboard life. The twice daily zodiac trips, usually landing for a shorter or longer walk, were fascinating - wildlife, flora, experiencing the tundra terrain, walrus/seal/whaling hunting history, glaciers and ice. And the two days we spent north of 80 latitude, drifting in the ice in the ship, were just wonderful. It was a privilege to be able go up to watch wildlife from the bridge, or to go out on the bow in the wind and closer to the sea and ice. I loved it all.

The twin cabin was snug with lots of storage for clothes and suitcases. Lots of hot water for showers, towels replaced as often as you required, and cleaned daily. Food was really excellent, fresh, varied and well cooked, with a vegetarian option, and hot drinks, fruit and biscuits were available 24/day.

I had the misfortune that my luggage was delayed in flight so went on the 10 day trip with only one hastily bought change of warm clothes plus minimal toiletries (no binoculars, walking pole, chargers etc). I was loaned more warm clothes by Aurora staff and had many offers of long johns etc and charging for electronic equipment by lovely fellow passengers. What could have been a miserable disaster turned out to be an utterly memorable experience. And Aurora staff also tracked down where my luggage was and arranged for it to be waiting for me at Longyearbyen for my flight home.
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