Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

My trip on the National Geographic Endurance started in Iceland but most of the time was spent in Greenland. The trip was very interesting but is not for everyone. The crew told us several times “this is not a cruise, it is an expedition” and that turned out to be very much true. There was a published itinerary but it didn’t really get followed. Where we went was determined by the weather, ice conditions and what the guides found when they scouted possible landing sites. This was not a problem but is something that people should be aware of. In Greenland there are no docks so all exits from the ship require a wet landing. We did many hikes which were interesting and did see wildlife (polar bear, musk ox, Arctic hare) but the wildlife is sparse. The scenery is spectacular but most of what you see is either rock or ice. The icebergs are spectacular. The guides, naturalists and other experts on the ship were excellent. There were many interesting lectures and a couple of them about photography were both interesting and useful. Food and service on the ship is very, very good. Surprisingly, on an 11-day trip without any resupply, there was lots of variety and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables right to the end. National Geographic does the very best of the cruises that I have been on.

This was our second trip with Ashton and his team. They are excellent. So knowledgeable and professional! Ashton had to please clients from 23-86 years old. He suggested Linblad National Geographic to appeal to everyone. Their naturalists are experts and given wildlife viewing was a priority, Ashton thought this fit the bill. Further, my mother has severe hearing loss and we wanted her to be in an intimate environment with a patient and caring staff.

Ashton had to Intervene a great deal prior to departure, as Linblad over-sold the cruise and our family lost their spots. Ashton explained the unique multi-generational component of the trip. He got Linblad to put my family on a better ship and how he dealt with the compensation due to this error was extraordinary! We would not have had the happy and successful outcome without a pro like Ashton and his team.

Ashton listens, cares, has experience and makes difficult situations manageable. We are grateful for his expertise and hope to visit the Arctic with his guidance in the future. Antarctica and now Alaska have been home runs!

We embarked on an extraordinary seven-day Galapagos cruise with Silversea, where the volcanic islands of the Galápagos Islands unveiled nature’s wonders before us. Crystal-clear waters beckoned, inviting us to swim and snorkel alongside playful sea lions, penguins, iguanas, and graceful sea turtles, while secluded beaches and volcanic landscapes held untold secrets waiting to be discovered. Majestic Galapagos tortoises roamed the ancient terrain of certain islands and the avian paradise came alive with blue-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, and frigate birds. Guided by the Silver Origin’s knowledgable and enthusiastic naturalists, we ventured on exhilarating hikes and thrilling kayaking excursions, immersing ourselves in the diverse wildlife and gaining a profound appreciation for the delicate harmony of nature. Forever etched in our hearts, the Galapagos cruise with Silversea left an indelible mark, reminding us of the remarkable beauty and extraordinary biodiversity of this unique archipelago.

Silversea’s Silver Origin treated us to an incredible culinary journey, with skillfully crafted dishes featuring fresh seafood, tender meats, and delightful flavors. The fine wines perfectly complemented each meal, creating a memorable dining experience that expanded my palate and left a lasting impression. Service was as outstanding as you would imagine.

The trip was arranged by Ashton Palmer and his outstanding crew. They were easy to communicate with, listened to our initial thoughts and made suggestions to improve our experience. One important issue with us was we wanted good support should anything untoward happen during our trip since we were off the beaten path, and they gave us this feeling of ease.

I worked with Ashton Palmer and his team. I wanted to visit Alaska but due to pets at home we couldn’t be gone for more than a week. Ashton suggested taking a Lindblad National Geographic trip on the Sea Bird. The small ship has a capacity of 62 guests, but there were only 34 because it was beginning of the season. Ashton’s suggestion was exactly what we wanted (small ship, wildlife viewing, naturalist interaction, etc.). Going in mid-May, the weather was perfect. Working with Ashton and his team member Keri ensured I always had a person to could contact with any question, no matter how mundane. They also helped to coordinate the logistics of air travel, what to pack, and hotel accomodations.

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