Arctic Expedition May 2015
Enjoy a four-country lovely cruise in a
boutique expedition-style cruise-ship, up to the Arctic Circle and
Originally the luxury
boutique cruise liner Renaissance V, the all-suite ship Sea
Spirit will take you on a voyage of exploration to places
you're unlikely to otherwise ever access.
We'll visit the Faroe
Islands, the northern expanses of Iceland, plus some of
Scotland and a bit of Europe too.
Enjoy a two week luxury cruise on a lovely small cruise
ship in an area that beautifully matches scenic splendor, birds,
whales, and other animals in their natural habitats, and
unobtrusive small settlements that seem little changed from 100
years and more ago.
Your cruise goes through four different countries, and includes
activities every day at no extra charge, as well as, of course,
great food, some interesting lectures and fun entertainment, and
all the fellowship that can be found on a Travel Insider tour.
Best of all, we've negotiated one heck of a deal for you to
enjoy all this. So please do come join some of your fellow
Travel Insiders on this adventure expedition cruise next May.
Cruise Dates (2015)
Start Date and Options
The cruise officially starts
in the port of Ijmuiden (right next to Amsterdam) on
Wednesday May 20, 2015.
You have two other joining
options. If you're short on time, then you can join the
cruise two days later in Edinburgh, on Friday May 22.
Alternatively, if you'd like
something a bit different, you are invited to participate in the
ship's acceptance festivities in Hamburg on Sunday May
As a special arrangement
with Poseidon, you could join the ship on May 17 or 18 in
Hamburg, or in Ijmuiden on May 19 (as well as the official
embarkation date of May 20 in Ijmuiden or May 22 in Edinburgh),
and there would be no extra charge for the extra time
and travel you enjoy on the ship.
(Note - pictured above
is Mykines Holmur in the Faroe Islands, we visit on day 7.)
You can of course do
anything else before joining the cruise that you wish, and we're
here to help you with ideas and suggestions, any which way you'd
Note that we generally
recommend you arrive in your embarkation port the previous day,
giving you a 'just in case' time buffer, so you don't have to
worry about any delayed or missed flights.
End Date and Options
Our cruise ends in Reykjavik
on the morning of Tuesday 2 June.
We recommend you stay at
least one night in Reykjavik. We are including a free
Reykjavik city tour on Tuesday, and you are welcome to enjoy
this with us or not, depending on your schedule.
(Note - Akureyri, the
'capital of North Iceland', which we visit on day 10, is
The big option at the end of
the cruise is of course our
Scotland's Islands and Highlands
tour. This is available either as the entire tour, or
as a shorter five or eight day option.
This starts on Sat/Sun/Mon 6/7/8 June (depending on
if you do either or both the two nights of pre-tour options) and
continues on to Thursday 18 June (or longer if you do the
post-tour options too).
The five day option ends in Oban on 12 June, the eight day
option ends in Fort William on 15 June. In both cases,
there are regular and lovely half day (3 - 4 hour) trains from
Oban or Fort William back to Glasgow that you could enjoy at the
end of your shortened tour.
The five day option is $1195 per person (share twin) and the
eight day option is $1895.
If you choose to do both the
Polar Adventure Cruise and the entire Scotland's Islands and Highlands
Tour, you get another $250 discount for the combo package deal.
(Note - pictured left
are some puffins such as we hope to see at Lundaland in the
We can help you 'fill in'
the time between the end of the cruise on Tuesday 2nd and the
start of the tour on Saturday 6th (we suggest two nights in
Reykjavik, then on Thursday, flying to Glasgow and enjoying two
nights in Glasgow).
Otherwise, you are of course
free to do anything else you'd like, anywhere else you'd like,
as it best suits you.
The good news is that your
cruise price includes port fees and there are no other nasty
'fine print' extra fees to be added to the sum you pay.
It even includes $100,000 of
Medevac insurance (we recommend you get additional travel
insurance as well, of course).
(Pictured here is the
Vatnajokull Ice Cap, we offer an excursion to see it on day 8.)
Yes, all meals are included,
as is almost all of the off-ship touring, too, with things to
see and visit every day. There are
a mere five optional tours - (plus an Edinburgh city tour) - that are sold as
extras, but you could enjoy a complete experience without buying
any of these.
In other words, your cruise
abundantly complete without being completely exhausting.
And, of course, everything
is optional, so if you want to spend a lazy day luxuriating on
the ship, you can always do so. It is all up to you.
(Note - pictured here is
St Magnus Cathedral, on Mainland in the Orkney Isles.)
You can see full details of
the cruise on
Poseidon's website (but please come back here to book the
cruise at the exclusive Travel Insider special group rate).
The cruise covers four different countries/territories,
or - if you choose the Hamburg extension, five countries.
You get to visit places such as the Faroe Islands that
you'd be unlikely to ever get to otherwise, and using small
Zodiac boats we'll go ashore in places regular cruise ships
and tenders could never visit.
complete day by day itinerary is detailed on Poseidon's
Click the map for a larger map in
a new window.
Your Ship - the Sea Spirit
The Sea Spirit was initially
constructed in Italy, in 1991, as Renaissance V, one of a fleet
of revolutionary new luxury all-suite small boutique cruise
Cruises were not successful, but their ships have been eagerly
taken by other cruise lines.
Sea Spirit was strengthened
for cruising in icy waters in 2010, and is being bought by
Poseidon early in 2015. It will spend time being
refurbished and refitted, and then will commence operations
under the Poseidon flag with this inaugural cruise in May.
Spirit is 297' long, 50' wide, and cruises at 14 knots. It
has stabilizers to improve your onboard comfort in unsteady
It takes up to only 114
passengers in 54 large suites, the smallest of which is still a
roomy 215 sq ft (pictured, left, is a 250 sq ft Classic Suite).
This is an excellent size
for a small ship - the crew quickly get to know us all by name,
and for example will anticipate our preferences when we're ordering food and
We also have a chance to get
to know our fellow passengers, quite unlike the impersonal
anonymity on the mega-cruise lingers.
huge staff of 94 almost outnumber us. There are more than enough
crew to take excellent care of us,
and a small fleet of Zodiacs are used to transfer us ashore when
we are going to places with no facilities for berthing ships.
English is the official
language on the ship, although passengers are not exclusively
The ship has indoor and
outdoor dining, a bar, lounge, library and lecture theatre.
Satellite phone and internet service is provided (at extra
Dining is single seating and
with no preassigned tables, so you're free to mix and mingle as
you wish. Smoking is restricted to one designated outdoor
Yes, The Travel Insider has
done it again, bringing you a better price for this cruise than
available from any other source!
We have ten special savings
and features to offer you :
1. Okay, this one is unsurprising. Poseidon have extended the 'Early
Booking Discount' on their published
fares, reducing the starting price of $6790 down to a temporary low price of $5093 per person
But, wait, we're just starting the list....
2. Now take a Further Discount Off All the Already Discounted Prices!
This extra discount
ranges up to $948 per person (see the full pricing table below).
That's an exclusive Travel Insider-only deal - it will get close
to paying for your airfare!
3. A 'Better
Use of Time' option.
Frankly, the first couple of days
of the cruise are underwhelming - joining the ship in Ijmuiden (close to
Amsterdam) and a day at sea crossing over to Edinburgh.
If you're short of time (especially if you'll be doing our
Scotland tour too), why not join the
ship in Edinburgh (pictured, left) on Friday 22 May.
That will also save you another
$1000 or more per person. The net result is the lowest price per person,
after our discounts, drops from $6790 to $3995, although we expect most people will choose cabin
options at perhaps the $4545 or $4995 level. Lovely enormous private balcony suites are now
as little as $5895 (down from $9490).
4. On the other hand, if you wish to do the full cruise, Poseidon
would like to invite you to be their VIP guest at the ship's inaugural
festivities in Hamburg earlier in the week.
After this special celebration, sail on the ship down to Ijmuiden.
It is a fascinating cruise up the Elbe to the North Sea and then
around the coast to Ijmuiden.
We'd have a free day in Ijmuiden (ie you'd probably choose to go the very short
distance in to Amsterdam for the day) and then take the regular cruise
onwards from there.
This means you can join the ship in Hamburg on either May 17 or
18, or in Ijmuiden on May 19 or May 20.
Best of all, as a Travel Insider VIP guest of the ship
owners, there'd be no charge for these extra days of cruising and experience.
5. A Space Available Suite Upgrade.
If there are available suites in
the next category up from the category you book in, then close to
departure I will get you confirmed into the upgraded suite at no extra cost.
This could save you as much as $600 or more, and might mean you
get a private balcony suite for the cost of a regular suite.
6. A Travel Insider Exclusive Cocktail Function
On one of the cruise days we'll have a private cocktail party,
just for us Travel Insiders, on board the ship.
Drinks and nibbles are included, of course.
Free Tour of Reykjavik.
After disembarking (and assuming you're
not making a tight flight connection), we'll be taken for
an exclusive Travel Insider private tour of Reykjavik's highlights
8. Yet another discount - a Combo Tour/Cruise Discount!
If you wish to add the Scotland tour after
your cruise, we'll reduce the combined tour price for both the cruise and tour
by $250 per person.
9. If you're
Traveling Alone, you can
either pay a single supplement or ask for a 'guaranteed share'
rate that may or may not see you sharing a suite with a
like-minded fellow traveler, but which has you avoiding the
single supplement, whether you share or not.
That's a great way to beat the dreaded 'single supplement' and
might see you making a wonderful new friend.
And, as you can see in this picture, you'll quickly be
surrounded by new friends, whether sharing a suite or not.
10. Take a Child or Grandchild With You.
Here's a thought.
Each couple can have a child 16 or younger (but recommended to
be at least 12, children 8 - 11 can be considered on a case by
case basis) travel in their cabin with them at no extra charge
(sleeping on the sofabed).
See if you can sneak one out of school a little before year end
and give them a trip where they'll learn and experience much
more than they probably did the entire school year prior to mid
Per Person Cruise Rates and Savings
|Brochure Price pp
|Travel Insider special
|TI special from Edinburgh
250 sq ft
215 sq ft
250 sq ft
235 sq ft
277 sq ft
353 sq ft
437 sq ft
What about the Air Fare?
You will save money and gain
flexible convenience if you arrange your own air travel.
These days airlines seldom give discounts to groups, and
sometimes even charge more, while also adding extra restrictions
to the tickets!
You can choose whichever
carrier has the best fare and the best schedules for you, and
you can also choose a carrier that you wish to earn miles with.
You can even cash in miles and fly on frequent flier awards.
We'll be pleased to answer
any questions you might have about arranging your air
transportation, of course.
Where Should I Fly
To and From?
If you are joining the ship
in Hamburg, then probably it is best to fly directly to Hamburg
although you could fly anywhere else in Germany or Europe and
then complete the travel by train.
If you are joining the ship
in Ijmuiden, this is just a few miles to the west of Amsterdam,
and that would be the most convenient city to fly into, although
again, you could fly elsewhere and then take a train the rest of
If you are joining the ship
in Edinburgh, you can fly into Edinburgh, or into Glasgow, or
any of Britain's other cities and then - yes, you guessed it -
take a train to Edinburgh. Icelandair offers flights to
Glasgow, which is about an hour away from Edinburgh by train.
When you leave the cruise in
Reykjavik, you might choose to fly from there to somewhere else,
perhaps on Icelandair, or perhaps just fly home again (and also
possibly on Icelandair).
Because the cruise ends in
Reykjavik, Icelandair might be a good choice of airline.
They have flights from a number of North American cities
(Anchorage, Boston, Denver, Edmonton, Halifax, Minneapolis, New
York (JFK and EWR), Orlando, Portland, Seattle, Toronto,
Vancouver and Washington DC).
through Reykjavik to Amsterdam and Hamburg, and to Glasgow,
which is only about an hour by train from Edinburgh.
Icelandair usually has good
value fares and allows you to check two bags with no fees.
Joining the Cruise
Joining the cruise is
simple. Fly to where you'll join the ship.
We always recommend you
should fly into the port you will join the ship on a day
beforehand - that way, you have a day 'up your sleeve' in case
of any delayed or missed flights.
Such problems only rarely
occur, but it is best to have some spare time in your schedule
just in case such things arise for you. It also means
you're refreshed and ready to more fully start enjoying your
cruise from the minute you walk on board.
(Pictured above - we go
looking for Minke and other whales from our Zodiacs on day 13.)
Poseidon generously provide
$100,000 of Medevac insurance to us all.
However, we still recommend you should
consider additional travel insurance as prudent protection, to
cover you for other travel risks, and to provide cancellation
cover too in case you might unexpectedly become unable to join
than attempt to sell you some policy ourselves that may or may
not suit your needs, we recommend you go to
this insurance shopping site, which offers comparisons
between something like 100 different policies offered by 18
different insurers, giving you all the options you need.
information about travel insurance than you probably ever
thought you'd want to know, please click the link to read our three part series
on the subject.
Need More Information?
If you've a question or need
more clarification, go ahead and ask. Simply
send us an email, or feel free to call us at (206)337-2317.
Tour Terms and Conditions
standard terms and conditions
apply to this tour.
In addition, please note
these extra terms :
1. In addition to our
standard terms and conditions, please note the
terms and conditions imposed by Poseidon Expeditions, which
in many cases are more onerous than our own and in such cases
2. Both Poseidon and ourselves reserve the right to change
pricing prior to final payment being received (primarily due to
exchange rate changes or fuel cost increases). In the
event of any increase exceeding 5%, you may choose to cancel
within 14 days of the notice of the price increase, with no
cancellation penalty applying.
3. A 20% (of the gross non-discounted rate) non-refundable
deposit is required within seven days of confirming your
reservation. This can be by check or credit card.
The balance is due 90 days prior to sailing, and should be paid
to us by check.
4. Although a doctor is on the ship, the cruise travels to
remote areas where sophisticated medical help is unavailable.
You should be in good health, and also should appreciate that
the shore excursions often involve transfers in small zodiac
style boats and may have some semi-strenuous walking required.
You are of course welcome to stay on the ship during these shore
excursions, but Poseidon can not change the nature of its shore
excursions if you are unable to participate in them. A
medical questionnaire will be provided for all passengers to
5. Poseidon provides all passengers with a complementary
$100,000 emergency medevac cover, but it is strongly recommended
you supplement this with additional travel insurance as
6. You should have a current passport that does not expire
for at least six months after the end of the cruise. US
citizens do not need visas, other citizens should check the
requirement for visas to visit the Netherlands, Britain, Denmark
(for the Faroe Islands)
and Iceland (and optionally Germany if attending the ship's
26 Nov 2014, last update
24 May 2016