Thursday, March 25, 2010

First Antarctic Season A Success

The MS Expedition has just finished an incredible first season in the Antarctic. With the ship full to capacity, an outstanding Crew led by Capt. Nicolai, and a stellar Expedition team led by Christopher Gilbert, it is no surprise that the passenger feedback and comments were phenomenal:

'The best vacation of my life'
'I wish we could start all over again'
'I hate to go home'
'There was so much wildlife it was hard to keep the 5M rule'
'I was moved to tears - it rivaled only the birth of my son'

Watching pods of whales play off the bow, giant Albatross fly over it, scores of penguins come up close to investigate, and fur seals cross your path without a second thought, it makes you want to start all over again from day one. Even the dreaded 'Drake Passage' couldn't put a damper on the experience. Words cannot begin to describe what it was like, being a part of something so much bigger then yourself! We, here onboard, feel grateful just to have been a small part of it.

Now we are underway, heading north, towards a new destination and looking forward to our next group of passengers. Hope to see you onboard soon!

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Fresh New Look

As months of work on the M/S Expedition become weeks and days we are now putting together some of the final touches. The ship is a frenzy of activity with over a hundred workers onboard every day feverishly working on everything from cabins to the electrics to engine and even giving her a nice fresh coat of paint. The reality that we were almost ready hit home today as I watched them begin to ingrave the name of the ship onto the hull. I have a picture of that for you soon.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Zodiacs: There is no better way to get around

Zodiacs: There is no better way to get around

The most exciting part of any expedition cruise is actually when you get off the ship. Cruise ships use different types of tenders, or landing craft, or RIB boats to transport passengers to and from the ship to land. Some of these tenders are massive holding over a hundred passengers and are enclosed, blocking all views of the surrounding areas. Over the years we have fallen in love with Mark V Zodiacs. They are strong, fast and durable. Perfect for shuttling passengers to and from a landing site anywhere on the globe. We use 4 stroke engines that are not only much better for the environment than 2 stroke engines but are also significantly quieter. This makes zodiacs the perfect viewing platform for watching polar bears or leopard seals.

We will have 12 operational zodiacs onboard making it possible to do a zodiac cruise with all passengers off the ship at the same time. These zodiac cruises will take place in amazing spots like Iceberg alley in Antarctica or the bird cliffs of Alkhornet in Spitsbergen.

Definitely the best way to see the wildlife while not disturbing them.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bridge in Sunshine

Somedays in Rauma you do get some sunshine. Today was a beauty.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Building Cabins

Installing brand new cabins is no easy task. Months of work have gone into the installation process. It all starts with bringing in the wet units (bathrooms). All have to be lifted off the pier by crane and then loaded in through the stern doors as you can see in the first picture. They are then moved into position and secured into place. Then the flurry of activity occurs with pipes being installed, all the wiring done, everything has to be insulated and a multitude of other tasks. Then only can you start thinking about installing the wall panels. Dont forget cutting in port hotels and windows to make sure that everyone onboard will be able to enjoy a beautiful sunrise with Antarctic mountains in the background. We then get to the point when the walls are up and window panel is cut as in the third picture, all is needed is furniture. Hope you are looking forward to seeing them finished, I know I am. Now we wait for all of the dirty work to be finished so the beds, chairs, wardrobes, tables, curtains, lighting and everything else we need to make your expedition more comfortable can be installed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Expedition Update: Front Deck Viewing Area

Winter in Finland is not surprisingly a lot like it is in Canada. With the exception being that I find myself living onboard the M/S Expedition. Looking out over the bow you can see the sea ice coming into the harbor in Finland.

Taken from the bridge the picture below shows the front deck of the ship. We have added the red railing that will soon be painted white along our two tiered viewing platform. This will be great when sailing through the Lemaire Channel in Antarctica or sailing in the sea ice in Spitsbergen. But the best experience of all is when whales are playing in the front of the bow. This platform allows people to stand right on the edge and others above to give as many people possible the best view. Our goal is to have many open deck areas for wildlife and scenery viewing. Our top deck will be open as a viewing area as well as the large back deck so all of our passengers can enjoy the fresh air.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Coming soon onsite blogging

This week is going to be exciting in the world of the Expedition Blog. I am currently at the airport on my way to Finland to spend a couple of weeks onboard the Expedition. It is going to be quite exciting as this was one of the last pictures I have received of her about 2 weeks ago. Not only is she way further in her development apparently the whole place is covered in snow and the sea is covered in ice. The development is coming on well according to our contractors and the yard but I am keen to see for my own eyes how she is taking shape.

Hope to show you some pictures of the coming cabins, some of the workers and some updates on the developments onboard.

Keep your eye on this space as it should be heating up, well that's probably the only way I can keep warm.

Finland here I come!