Turtle, Ecuador

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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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3 Reviews

  • Wonderful adventure

    This was a marvellous trip and a great way of seeing two wonderful areas of the Arctic. In Spitsbergen we saw polar bears and arctic foxes and sailed through the ice to reach 80 degrees north. In Greenland we saw musk oxen and puffins and the most amazing icebergs. We also visited an Inuit community and had the occasional whale sighting. The ship was great - the Ocean Adventurer. The cabin was comfortable and the food was really good. The operator was first class. We had a great tour leader and a full range of specialist guides, i.e. geologist, ornithologist, photographer, marine biologist etc. They were professional and great fun. the other guests were good company. We had four days around Spitzbergen and four days around Greenland so we were able to get a sense of both rather than concentrating on just one. So polar bears AND icebergs! You don't actually get to see Iceland as part of the tour but you do disembark in Akureyri in north Iceland. We asked Exodus to change our flight back to the UK so we could arrange seven days there. We then drove from Akureyri to Keflavic along the Icelandic ring road seeing the major sights. The waterfalls are truly amazing. Greenland is actually icy and Iceland is green. So we had polar bears, icebergs and waterfalls in a three-week trip. Note: to get to Spitzbergen you fly via Oslo. Exodus brought forward our flight and booked us into a hotel for two nights so we had a short city break as well. There are some great museums in Oslo (Munch, Viking Long Ship and the Fram Museum of Arctic Exploration) and this was a great start to our Arctic journey of a lifetime.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To see a polar bear jumping and swimming from ice-flow to ice-flow.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The expedition and ship staff were all first class. The operator was very professional and we be very happy to travel again with them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above - the trip covers Spitzbergen and Greenland - you need to make additional arrangements to see Iceland otherwise you just fly from Akureyri to Keflavic for the flight home..

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We'd already been to Antarctica. We found the artic different. No penguins of course but we had polar bears, arctic foxes, musk oxen and puffins - and visiting the Inuit village.
  • Reviewed July 2019
    Isabel Draper

    Nothing like it

    Such a privilege, travelling on a nuclear-powered Russian icebreaker which spends most of the year keeping the northern Russian seaways clear for cargo ships: a brilliant job was due to convert it temporarily for tourists. The dour Heroes of the Motherland were retained to crew the vessel which made it all the more atmospheric, but they couldn’t compete for character with the polar bears, especially the one who was so co-operative for photos despite us having distracted him from his kill. The only downside was that we weren’t warned how hot the boat is: future travellers need to take some light clothing for indoors.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The crunching and shuddering as the boat tackled the ice.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Brilliant, and obviously well-regarded by the rest of the team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above re light clothing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Neither the Russians nor the Finns can make tea.
  • Reviewed July 2016
    Meena Agrawal

    Journey to the North Pole

    Great trip! Our first sighting of a polar bear was amazing. Watching the icebreaker ship going through the dense pack ice was awesome. Standing and spending several hours on the North Pole was a wonderful experience made more special as we reached the North Pole on the day of the summer solstice. We stayed overnight at the Pole on the icebreaker and spent several hours the following day on the north pole. Once in a life time experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Approaching and standing on the North Pole was an amazing experience.!!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Quark expedition leader was very good but all members of the expedition team were very good and worked extremely well as a team.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read about the trip and tripnotes before you go . Having 24 hours of daylight can be difficult for some travellers though it didn't bother me at all. Some of the excursions eg zodiac cruises and helicopter flights (and optional hot air balloon flights at the Pole ) may be cancelled at short notice if the weather conditions and visibility are poor.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Enjoy the trip! It is expensive but it is a once in a life time trip!