One of the more important things that differentiates the voyages run by Adventure Canada and the cruise ships that carry many times the number of passengers they do are the on board lecture staff. There are over 25 specialist staff on board including several culturists who are of Inuit origin. They give passengers an extra ordinary insight into what it takes to live and survive in these harsh climes. Artists authors and entertainers all contribute with their own speciality and make for a varied fare which means that there is little need to find your own on board entertainment. Geologists, archaeologists, botanists and zoologists all are on hand to offer advice and prepare guests for what they are about to see.
Daily recaps are generally more informative about what you have seen than are the briefings before you go ashore. Because of weather conditions and ice movements the itinerary is often subject to change but somehow the fear of upsetting a passenger by changing plans means you get little in the way of advance warning about where you are going and what you might encounter ashore.
It would be a fair criticism to suggest that the ships tannoy is overused by the enthusiastic Adventure Canada staff and this would not be so bad were they to not use it in all-ship broadcast mode which cannot be turned off in cabins. Not much fun when they insist on broadcasting a general announcement at 0530, which wakes everyone up like it or not.
Service onboard is, like the clothes everyone wears, very casual. Waiters and stewards call passengers by their first name and Adventure Canada staff tend to treat guests as kindergarten students rather than fare paying passengers. It’s a situation that seems not to trouble the Canadian and North American traveller who make up the majority of guests on board but it is one that clearly irritates the more sophisticated of passenger and might we feel, hamper cabin sales to the European traveller.
Frances and Michael Howorth explored the North West Passages onboard Ocean Endeavour with the help of Destination Canada www.destinationcanada.com and Adventure Canada www.adventurecanada.com We are truly grateful to them both for the opportunity they provided with us to do our job.