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!

Expedition Logo Unveiled

Well there it is the new M/S Expedition Logo.
After months and I mean months 7 different designs, 5 different designers and finally me getting to the point of frustration it has been completed and ready to go. I could not be more psyched! We will be selling Expedition branded gear and other goodies onboard during the cruises.

In a variety of colors and styles I think it will look great. Love to hear comments or feedback

We also have the simple design:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Update: M/S Expedition's Common Areas

While our construction team is hard at work onboard the ship getting everything put together we have come up with design pictures of the common areas so we can get a sense of what she will look like on completion.

One of the major pluses of the Expedition is the large amount of space onboard for our passengers. Both the dinning room and the Expedition Lounge can seat all passengers and staff comfortably and smaller more intimate areas such as our library and the Polar Bear Pub allow for a some quite time or a smaller gathering.

Expedition Lounge
The Expedition Lounge can accommodate all passengers onboard at one time. This multi use room will be the main gathering point for all briefings, recaps and lectures. The room has brand new AV facilities including wireless audio and 3 screens that presentations can be viewed from. In the evenings the room will host movies or live entertainment or be a quiet place to have a drink and take in the scenery through the panorama windows.

The Library is separated from the lounge by glass doors. This room is for quiet reading and will be stocked mostly with books based on the destinations that we are traveling to. There will be a number of games and novels here too for people to use while onboard. The room is located next door the the computer room that will have 3 machines for passengers to use for email.

Polar Bear Pub
Located in the aft and connected to the back deck, the Polar Bear Pub is our informal meeting area for passengers to enjoy a beverage or a snack while out on the back deck soaking in the scenery.

Dining Room
Our Dinning Room can accommodate all passengers and staff and will be where all meals are served. Surrounded by windows passengers will not miss a thing as they dine on international cuisine.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Azores Islands: Volcanoes & Wildlife

The maiden voyage of the M/S Expedition take place in the remote and tranquil Portuguese islands of the Azores.

The Azores are Europe’s best-kept secret: tranquil, verdant, diverse, beautiful and always welcoming. Even the most experienced traveller will be touched by the sapphire blue and emerald green lakes, fertile prairies, volcanic cones and craters, colorful flora, wildlife and UNESCO world heritage sites. The nine islands of the Azores enjoy year round mild temperatures and is peaceful with a population of 250, 000 inhabitants, for whom the words “stress” and “pollution” are not part of their vocabulary.

We will explore remote bird colonies by zodiac, take tours of the ancient cites and marvel at the geological phenomenon of these volcanic islands. Since they were first settled in the 15th century, each island has developed at a different speed, depending upon the quality of its harbour, terrain, crops, and its distance from the others. Today this is reflected in their diversity, each island offering its own individual character that makes the Azores such a varied entity.

Our expedition team is made up of a great variety of minds to give you a broad perspective of these islands their history, geology and wildlife. We are excited to have 2 local guides onboard with us for these trips to speak on the day to day life that the people lead in these islands.

This trip is ideal for those who enjoy dramatic scenery, stunning landscapes, volcanic cones and craters, love of wildlife, with a chance to spot whales and variety of birdlife.