Wildfoot Travel Advisor Zoe Savage-Morton took a a trip down to Southampton recently to check out the new cruise vessel ‘World Explorer’. Here she gives us her first hand impression of this groundbreaking new ship.
I was invited to Southampton along with fellow Expedition Cruise industry members in September, to inspect and gain first had knowledge of the brand new World Explorer for future guests. This is an invaluable experience when identifying the right expedition vessel for our clients traveling on an Arctic and/or Antarctic expedition.
The weather wasn’t being kind in Southampton, so the guests travelling on her current voyage were unable to dis-embark, so we got to see the ship on a working day. A pleasant selection of light snacks were enjoyed after meeting our hosts, followed by a walk around the ship.
The World Explorer
Built in 2019 made her maiden voyage in August 2019, she is a 1B ice class ship. At 126 metres long, she sets a steady pace at 16 knots. Rolls Royce Diesel Electric engines that reduce carbon emission means she leaves a lower footprint in comparison to more traditional expedition vessels.
Stabilisers have come a long way since the first were installed on a Japanese ship in 1933, in 2019 the World Explorer has been fitted with two Retractable Fin Stabilizers, developed for demanding conditions both at zero speed and whilst underway – simply put, you feel less roll on your Arctic or Antarctic cruise.
Here are my thoughts and findings of this fresh and lovely small ship.
Crew & Expedition staff
A warm welcome awaits, setting a friendly atmosphere for the duration of our stay. There is strong solidarity amongst Quark staff, which presents a genuine family feeling that is shared, creating a firm impression that you are in well experienced hands, all the better for our guests’ comfort.
Staff encourage guests to ‘get outside’ on all journeys and are always readily available to assist, advise or teach. A total of 130 staff (25 being the qualified Expedition team) to 176 guests, means a staff to guest ratio of 1:7 at full capacity.
Sustainability on board
All passengers receive a reusable eco-friendly water bottle on arrival, easily accessible water stations are posted throughout the ship. Guests can take the water bottles home.
Due to the complicated process of desalinating sea water for use on board, guests are asked to practice water conservation at all times.
- There are plenty of outside areas for observing the passing scenery and wildlife.
- The restaurant located on deck 4 has a large outdoor seating/observation area where BBQ’s will be available – weather permitting.
- Decks 5 & 6 – all the cabins are located on these decks – offer large quiet areas, with seating at the rear (aft) of the ship.
- Deck 5 also offers a large open area on the Bow, a great place to be when whales are frolicking in the water. Short promenades either side of the Observation Lounge and bar on deck 7, with a large open area in front of the lounge.
- You can enjoy a 360 degree viewing from deck 8 – perfect for photo opportunities, and a 190 metre walking track. There’s also a helicopter pad that unfortunately won’t be used on the Antarctic itineraries – there are alternative ships available that will offer helicopters.
- Deck 7 has a large open space with a plunge pool flanked by 2 spa’s.
- There is an allocated smoking area on deck 7 adjacent to the bar.
- All the public areas have large windows, so you don’t miss the scenery while cruising along.
- Polar Boutique – stocks all the essentials you may have forgotten, including a selection of expedition gear, along with small souvenirs.
- There isn’t a library on board but there are two small areas designated to reading with some available literature on deck 7 either side of the Observation Lounge.
- There are two lounges, the one on Deck 4 being where you can grab a tea or coffee, its also used for special occasion. The other on deck 7 being the Observation Lounge where you can relax, wrapped in one of the soft blankets provided, and enjoy the panoramic polar views.
- The Auditorium on deck 4 accommodates all on board and is where lectures, presentations and videos are presented for guest enjoyment and education. Anything that is presented here is streamlined live to all cabins and also recorded, so if you don’t make a lecture you can watch it at your leisure in your cabin.
- A reasonable sized mud rooms gives a designated open locker for each cabin – so no taking wet outdoor gear back to your cabin.
- Additional spaces include a well fitted gym, spa with L’Occitane products, cigar lounge – cigar smoking is allowed in here, computer room – WiFi fees apply.
- There is a lift on board.
- A medical clinic is available on deck 3 in case of an emergency.
All suite cabins are large and spacious with plenty of storage room, essential amenities, beautifully appointed in soft tones and comfortable.
All cabins are on the outside of the vessel with either verandas or Juliet balcony.
- L’Occitane bathroom products
- Bathrobe loan for the duration of your stay
- Safe for your valuables
- Individual cabin thermostat
- Laundry service
- Life jackets
- 220AC electrical outlets with European two pin and North American flat pin outlets
- 110-volt shaving sockets in bathrooms
TRIPLE: Located on Deck 6, and approximately 242 sq. ft. (22.5 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 55 sq. ft. (5 sq. m) walk-out balcony. Quad share cabins are not available.
INFINITY SUITE: Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 270 sq. ft. (25 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a floor-to-ceiling glass Juliet balcony.
VERANDA SUITE: Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 55 sq. ft. (5 sq. m) walk-out balcony.
SUPERIOR SUITE: Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 278 sq. ft. (26 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom.
DELUXE SUITE: Located on Deck 5, and approximately
334 sq. ft. (31 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom.
OWNER’S SUITE: Located on Decks 5 and 6, and approximately 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m) in size, these cabins have one double or two single beds, and a 110 sq. ft. (10 sq. m) walk-out balcony with access from sitting room and bedroom.
Activities & Provisions – WEATHER DEPENDENT
Depending on the region, pre-boarding activities are available at an additional cost.
With 18 zodiacs onboard, all guests are able to be off ship at the same time. On average 10 guests disembark into each down a 5 step gangway.
Camping is available for guests 18 years and over up until early January. A liability waiver form is required, bivvy bags, insulation mats and -20 degree sleeping bags are provided.
Kayaking & Paddling
An open bridge policy exists outside of European water to allow a pleasant walk along the bridge window. However, the Captain and Bridge officers do restrict access during arrivals and departures from port and during times of complicated navigation.
A trip log and photos are given to guests at the end of their expedition on a USB as a memorable keepsake.
Dining & Drinking
- The restaurant has a casual atmosphere and seats all guests at one time – open seating.
- Buffet’s for breakfast and lunch, and an A La Carte menu for evening meals.
- The menu has a variety of options available, with the usual dietary requirement options available on request.
- Coffee, tea and water are free and available throughout the day. All other beverages, such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, can be purchased in the bar or lounge areas.
- Afternoon tea is served daily.
Experiencing the World Explorer
To enjoy the World Explorer for yourself and create unforgettable memories, you can book your adventure with Wildfoot Travel today. Our expert team are available to guide you through your options and ensure you have the most incredible trip.
More information on the can be found here:
The World Explorer will be operating in the upcoming Antarctic and Arctic starting in the Antarctics upcoming season November 2019 to March 2020. For itinerary examples, visit the links below:
South Georgia & Antarctic Peninsula Penguin Safari – 16 days
27th Dec 2019
Up To 50% Off!
Antarctic Express Fly/Cruise/Fly – 8 days
14th Feb 2020
Spitsbergen In Depth – 14 days
27th June 2020
Up To 10% Off Plus a Free Transfer Package!
Three Arctic Islands – 15 days
11th Aug 2020
Up To 15% Off Plus a Free Transfer Package!
SECRET FLASH SALE!
Book Select World Explorer Antarctica 2019/20 Voyages by Tuesday 22nd October and Receive up to 50% Discount!! Please enquire for full details and discounts.