Sea Spirit Ship Review
Sea Spirit is a small expedition ship operated by Poseidon Expeditions, and sails to the polar north and south, visiting Svalbard, Franz Josef Islands, Greenland and of course Antarctica and South Georgia.
Accommodating just 114 guests with 70 crew, the ship is 4,200 GRT and was built in 1991, however the vessel is refurbished every year ready for the new season.
Sea Spirit docked in Plymouth, UK
I visited the ship on a rare overnight visit when the ship was in Plymouth, just before the British Isles cruise.
Public areas on Sea Spirit
Sea Spirit is a traditional, small ship and still retains much of her original characteristics such as warm wood paneling and plenty of brass decor that gives the vessel a decidedly nautical feel. Potholes around the ship add to the effect and it’s all very cosy and homely.
Oceanus Lounge, Sea Spirit, Poseidon Expeditions
Lectures are provided in the Oceanus Lounge with enough comfy seating to accommodate all guests at once and four large LCD TV screens so everyone can see. You can also get out to the open decks here, so perfect if when at sea a whale or polar bear is spotted!
Library, Sea Spirit, Poseidon Expeditions
The Club Lounge features a well-stocked bar and coffee station, along with a piano for some light entertainment in the evenings. Towards the rear of this room is a very well stocked library of expedition style books on birds, geology and history in multiple languages, so plenty of opportunity to study and gen up on what you have seen or are going to see. No novels here so bring your own!
BBQ deck and Hot Tub on Sea Spirit
The BBQ Deck features a hot tub along with an outdoor seating area, where lunch time BBQ’s are offered. There is also a small gym here and outdoor bistro area.
Zodiacs on Sea Spirit, Poseidon Expeditions
The Zodiacs are also stored on the back decks, and guest are led in small groups towards the rear of the ship to a marina area for embarking the zodiacs for expedition trips and landings, and are debarked in a rotation system so everyone gets the chance of getting off the ship first.
Kayaking and ice camping
There are kayaks on board that can accommodate 14 guests. It’s best to sign up for this in advance as it is popular. Some previous kayaking experience is required and there is a charge for this.
On certain voyages guest can go camping on the ice overnight. Antarctica Camping is offered on Sea Spirit voyages to the Antarctic Peninsula. Previous camping experience is not required, but good health and a spirit of adventure are necessary for getting the most out of this experience – only 30 guests can do this per voyage, so best opt in for it at time of booking.
The Restaurant on Sea Spirit
Dining on Sea Spirit
The main dining room can accommodate all guests in one seating and there are no fixed table assignments, so guest can dine with whom they wish. The expedition team will join guests too and will swap around during the voyage to everyone has a chance to know the expedition staff and ask questions.
Breakfast and lunch are buffet style and dinner is served al la cart. Food was good, with sensible sized portions and plenty of choice at dinner, and the waiters were charming and friendly. Table sizes ranged from 4 to 8, however if guests wished to dine alone I’m sure they could, however this type of voyage tends to be quite social.
The restaurant has portholes covered in gauze curtains with dark wood chairs with blue upholstery, whilst nautical prints on the walls and wood paneling add to the traditional feel and reminder you are on a ship.
Herb Crusted Sea Bass, Sea Spirit, Poseidon Expeditions
Courses such as rock lobster cocktail, roasted leg of lamb, herb crusted sea bass, and warm chocolate fondant were all expertly prepared by the ships French chef. All dietary requirements are accommodated such as vegetarians and vegans; just let the ship know in advance.
Guest are provided with a silicon water bottle, that collapses when empty, and there is a water station where these can be refilled, thus doing away with plastic bottles.
Cabins on Sea Spirit
Most of the cabins are roughly the same size (from 226 sq ft for a Triple to 258 sq ft for a Deluxe), and are very spacious with comfy beds and feature either portholes on the lower decks, or large picture windows on the higher decks, and there are a few on Deck 5 with balconies too. The bathrooms are all pretty much the same size regardless of what grade you book, practical with quality shower heads and sink. Shower gels and shampoo is provided too in a dispenser to cut down on plastic waste from small bottles. Good water pressure and plenty of hot water and fluffy towels!
My cabin, number 335, on Sea Spirit
The largest suite is the Owners Suite, positioned towards the front of the ship on Sun Deck with views over the bow. This room can accommodate 4 and was very spacious (463 sq ft) and even featured a bath tub. Worth considering for a family of 4 as it might work out better value than 2 lower grade rooms.
Balcony Cabin on Sea Spirit, Poseidon Expeditions
All cabins feature a TV, plenty of storage with locking closet doors and drawers so they don’t fly open when crossing the Drake Passage. The daily programme is not printed (to keep paper waste to a minimum) but is on the in cabin television and around the ship. There’s is a fridge with chargeable mini bar and safe too. The ship also provides an extension lead so perfect for charging multiple devises. Beds were comfy with cosy pillows and duvets. Walnut paneling and blue carpets keep the nautical feel and a large mirror behind the bed adds to the spaciousness of the rooms. A sofa and dressing table complete the cabins, with even more drawers for storage. Robes are also provided along with slippers.
Corridors are again decorated in warm woods with navy carpets and brass lighting fixtures, keeping up the nautical traditional look.
The outdoor promenade on Sea Spirit
There is a teak promenade deck that allows guests to walk around the ship, so plenty of space for wildlife spotting.
Expedition Staff on Sea Spirit
Poseidon Expeditions is a member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO) and as such have to adhere to strict guidelines when it comes to environmental issues, safety and expertise. There is an information board with the expedition leaders profiles on and other information about the voyage.
Dress code on Sea Spirit
Day wear is layers for the polar regions along with waterproof trousers. Rubber Boots and a polar jacket are provided and the jacket is yours to keep if you want. Temperatures in Antarctica hover around 1 degree so it’s not as cold as some may think, but if a wind gets up then it can get chilly. Hats and sunglasses are also recommended along with sun block too, and a back pack for storing binoculars and camera gear.
Evening wear is very casual, think jeans, chinos, with a polo or short sleeve shirt for the gentlemen is fine. There is a Captains gala night so a jacket can be worn but not essential, up to you really, it’s very relaxed on board. Some guest dress up a bit, others not so.
Sea Spirit sails to the Arctic, Svalbard, Russian High Arctic, Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands.
The Polar jacket and boots that are provided on board Sea Spirit