Life on board the MS Expedition is a wonderful experience. The accommodations, food and service all far exceeded my expectations. After all, this is an expedition cruise rather than a luxury cruise.
The MS Expedition is a small expedition cruise ship operated by G Adventures. The ship can accommodate up to 134 guests and a lot of crew to make your journey memorable. The ship offers quad, triple, twin and double rooms – although the double rooms are available in the suite variety.
I had pictured a rather relaxing time on board, especially on the Drake Passage crossing where I thought I would have plenty of time to read a couple of books, catch up on photo editing of the trip so far and just generally relax. In reality, there was anything but downtime as you just don’t want to miss out of seeing the amazing wildlife, scenery or just generally the adventure!
This is what a typical day on the MS Expedition looks like.
Time to get up and get ready for the day ahead! Your expedition leader will provide a quick wake up call and brief summary of the day ahead.
7.30AM – 8.30AM
Breakfast time! Enjoy a delicious and hearty breakfast to fuel you for the activities ahead! Breakfast is a buffet and you can eat at anytime between 730 – 830am.
Get dressed and were your group is called head to the mud room to take the Zodiac. You will head to shore or take a cruise in the Zodiac for the first excursion of the day. Alternatively, if you are a kayaker hit the water. This excursion is likely to last up to 3 hours, returning you to the boat just in time for lunch.
Lunch time! Enjoy either a buffet lunch or 3-4 course lunch. You certainly won’t go hungry onboard this ship – the food is absolutely delicious!
If you have any spare time after lunch – you can visit the onboard gift shop which only opens after the completion of lunch and dinner. The gift shop has basic medical supplies, G Adventures clothing, spare cards for cameras, chocolate (my fav), post cards and other bits and pieces.
Be ready to go back to shore or on a kayaking or Zodiac adventure. This afternoon outing usually lasts for 3 -4 hours depending on the location and weather. Time to walk off a little of the huge lunch you have just eaten! When you have had enough on shore, simply return to the drop off point and return to this ship.
By now, you have probably been back on board for the whole of about 15 mins (yep no rest time on this trip) – especially if you are kayaker combining the kayak outing with a shore landing. This time of day marks the time to meet in the ships discovery lounge for the daily recap. The daily recap consists of a talk about the wildlife or landscape seen during the day and a brief update on the following days activities.
Dinner time! No rest for an expeditioner! Dinner almost always consists of a 4 course meal – salad, soup, main and my favourite – dessert! If you are a vegetarian do not worry – there is a vegetarian option on the menu every night. On board the MS Expedition, all 134 guests dine during the one seating. Tables seat between 4 and 12 people at each table and is a great chance to meet the fellow expeditioners and to discuss the highlights of the day.
No, not bed time yet! Now it’s time for a lecture, documentary or movie. Of course, this is optional and if you are feeling too exhausted from the huge day you can retreat to your cabin.
The cabins themselves are amazing and far surpassed the expectations I had of them. I stayed in a twin cabin on the 3rd deck and there was just so much space. The bathrooms are quite compact, but there is plenty of space in the main part of the cabin. Even if you are sharing with a stranger, the space is so plentiful that it won’t be awkward!