There’s quite a bit there to be said about the good Akademik Ioffe. It was, after all, our home for almost two weeks. Some basics to get out of the way first: it was the third cruise ship I’ve been on (Carribean, Mexico coast) and it was far and away the best. It was also the third Russian vessel I’ve been on overnight (Caspian Sea, Sea of Japan), this was incomparably the best as well… The power of threes… The cabin was large and comfortable enough, and the sink was nice. The communal bathroom/shower scheme left a bit to be desired, but it worked well enough. Beyond the basics, we had three excellent meals every day, and somebody came by to make up our beds, also three times a day (good bit of napping in between) – the power of threes continues. The weather was excellent – just one day down South where we didn’t get to do anything. We got well, well, South of the Antarctic Circle. We saw a plethora of wildlife – whales, penguins, seals, birds. One of our ‘Kayaking Goddesses’ commenting that she saw more leopard seals our one day at Pleneau (about twelve) than in all of her previous trips combined(!), and this was with the propeller power of our kayaks… Max was quite excellent at mixing his drinks and rescuing our horrible Argentinian vodka… if only he could save some cookies for those of us staying on share a little later!
All in all, it’s incredibly hard for me to say that something was actually worth $10,000, but they came pretty damn close. Oh, and the damn Dutch who got onto our boat for less than $5K each… More detail to follow: