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ilikeanswers

What is the most niche cruise you have been on?

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MV Discovery, sole ship of the cruise line Voyages of Adventure.

By then a rusty li'l old tub with about 550 passengers, she'd been built in 1971 for Princess (twin-sister to "the Loveboat"). A "proper" cruise ship. She sailed the oceans like a tramp, visiting ports rarely seen by cruisers and hardly ever repeating a port. You booked sectors of about two weeks, many folk stayed aboard for months - on one cruise we renewed acquaintances with folk who'd been aboard since our previous cruise a year earlier.

No glitz, no toys, pretty awful accommodation, but a super-friendly atmosphere. Port lectures, films, food & entertainment to reflect the ports, often with local colour brought aboard to entertain us - something we've not experienced recently.

Where other ships gave a welcoming blast on their foghorns, Discovery replied with a giant red wooden hand waved from the flying bridge. And you could stand at the front of the prom deck, separated from the bridge by only a waist-high wicket gate, and hear the captain swearing at the woeful efforts of a tug or pilot boat captain.

 

Scrapped a few years back - we miss her :(

 

JB :)

 

MV Discovery - brings back some great memories. Originally named Island Venture, it was renamed Island Princess (IP) in 1974, when P&O purchased Princess Cruises. Never sailed on her post Princess, but signed on her in 1979 as her first 3rd Officer. Fabulous ship, which with Princess carried 700 passengers.

 

While most filming for the TV program "Love Boat" was completed on sister ship Pacific Princess, they did also use the IP.

 

Thanks for rekindling some great memories.

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I watched the video of the Crystal Serenity's Northwest Passage , what an amazing journey!

Glad you enjoyed it...I sure did!:)

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A 7day roundtrip from Cozumel on Gemini, a 20,000 ton ship which most recently sailed as Celestyal Nefili, but in 2010-2011 was sailing for Spain’s Happy Cruises to Cuba, with a stop at Cuba’s Isla Paraiso, the ultimate deserted Carribean beach, and two nights in Havana. All this 5-6 years before mainstream lines landed in Cuba. Unfortunately, the five month season in Cuba bankrupted the cruise line because of poor marketing and sales. This cruise was niche for my wife and me, as we were the only native English speakers on board and we still had a great time.One of the highlites of the trip for me happened when sailing out of Havana. Sailing in was Fred Olsen’s Braemar, the Gemini’s sister ship. They both originally sailed under the Cunard flag as the Crown Jewel and Crown Dynasty and were the two largest cruise ships built in Spain.

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PS: there are some pretty impressive trip reports here.

 

Yes they are impressive and I am so glad to have learnt about these cruises(y). When you go online it is hard to find anything beyond the mainstream so it is great to hear people's experiences of these lesser known cruises. Thanks for the contributions ;)there were a lot more than I was expecting:cool:

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I took a rust bucket cruise in 1989 on the Chandris Britannis and it ported at some made up port in Panama called San Blas where they paddled in "locals" by day to make it look authentic

 

This was in the days before the private islands and renting loungers and umbrellas. It wasn't a great day

 

 

Also found myself in Grenada in 1980 around the time of their hours long revolution or civil war or whatever. Or maybe I'm mistaken about the dates of their war but really who cares lol. Also not a great day. Nothing interesting imho but what did I know

 

Found myself at a port stop in Tunis in 1984...loved that stop

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Did you have to share your bed with a tattooed Polynesian harpoonist? Try the Aranui. They let you sleep in your own bed. :cool:

 

I had to use google. Learned something new!

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The Northwest Passage video on Crystal Serenity was fabulous. What an amazing journey! Thank you for posting it.

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Clipper Cruises (later bought by Zegrahm) up the coast of Vietnam.

 

 

 

Seeing a total solar eclipse over the Coral Sea from the Dawn Princess.

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We did the inaugural crossing on the Norwegian Breakaway from Southampton to New York. Not very exotic, but every vessel only sails an inaugural once.

 

We learned there is a class of passenger who wants to sail Transatlantics and then a subclass of that group that sails inaugural Transatlantics.

 

No ports, just seven days straight across the North Atlantic.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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If you want to see how it went... watch this....:cool:

Bob,

 

This video is fantastic....I would LOVE to do that itinerary! Too bad they're not doing it on the Serenity anymore. Maybe you can share your experiences with us on the upcoming world cruise. :D

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On 8/21/2018 at 12:56 PM, bob brown said:

They did it first in 2016, and it sold out in no time....

It went very well and they did it again last year.

There was considerable controversy by environmentalists over the wisdom of sailing such a large vessel through the NWP, but Crystal did it right, and made extraordinary preparation's to insure it went well. Their advance team visited all the ports of call, met with the local people and made sure everything went well. Crystal chartered the British icebreaker, Ernest Shackleton, to accompany the Serenity through the Passage, as well as to provide support for shore excursion's, with a fast boat, a fleet of Zodiac's, and two helicopter's. Crystal also "gave back" by gifting all kinds of much needed supply's, and other aid to the tiny communities visited.

While successful, it was determined that they would not again run it, until their new "expedition yacht", only carrying about 250 passenger's goes into service in a few more years.

 

If you want to see how it went... watch this....:cool:

 

Hurtigruten was planning to do two *partials* (from East Coast to approx halfway), with each direction being a separate cruise.

Unfortunately, there apparently was too much ice, and they couldn't get through, even half-way. :classic_sad:

I don't know if there were other cruise lines that succeeded this past summer,, especially the full transit, perhaps with a different planned route (?).

 

After our Hurtigruten RT Norwegian Coastal Cruise last March (including viewing some Northern Lights toward the end) we are increasingly interested in more "exotic", but haven't decided quite where yet.

 

This full Northwest Passage does sound very appealing, and the fact that transportation to "get there" would be so much easier from the USA, vs. Antarctica.

However, I'm sure Antarctica would be far more spectacular.  It's on our "should we?" list :classic_wink:

 

GC

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I don't really consider then "niche" cruises since they were done on mainstream cruise lines, but some that have been different are Buenos Aires and Paraguay then all the way down to the horn, Falkland Islands, and then up the coast visiting Chile, Peru, Ecuador,  Colombia, Venezuela.

 

Balcan and St. Petersburg Russia. Visiting many ports in Croatia, visiting many of the Canary Islands. 

 

Sydney Australia is certainly a beautiful sailaway. 

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Galapagos Islands on the Celebrity Xpedition.  Twice.  Both times it didn't sail with full capacity of passengers.  We were treated like royalty.  The wildlife was incredible.  You'd have to watch your step not to tread on baby sea lions or Blue Footed Boobie chicks.  

 

Viking Century Sun Riverboat cruise on the Yangtze River in 2010.  Worst accommodations we'd ever had.  The humidity in the cabin was so bad the sheets were actually damp to the touch.  But again, treated like royalty aboard.  I loved the crew.

Edited by gooch47

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On 11/14/2018 at 8:07 PM, buchhalm said:

Nudist cruise in Croatia.

 

 

Well that is definitely niche:classic_huh:. Wasn't aware such cruises exist, very fascinating🤗

Edited by ilikeanswers

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On 11/14/2018 at 4:07 AM, buchhalm said:

Nudist cruise in Croatia.

 

 

Gross...sorry, I have to draw the line somewhere.  :classic_wacko:

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Smooth Jazz Cruise (charter) last year. I had been on that ship (Celebrity Summit) several times, and we went to old,  familiar Caribbean islands. But this time, the star of the show was definitely the onboard entertainment! 😎

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14 hours ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

Gross...sorry, I have to draw the line somewhere.  :classic_wacko:

That depends entirely on the ages of the passengers. 😎

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