amazon jungle adventure?
ca wynne | November 9, 2015 | Fred Olsen Cruise Lines | Braemar
I was pleasantly surprised by my recent Amazon cruise on Braemar, although I cruise 3-4 times a year this was only my second cruise with Fred Olsen and , as a wildlife enthusiast, my choice of this cruise was destination driven. My first cruise (on Black Watch) had left me thinking Fred Olsen ships lacked polish, had bland menus and an elderly clientele, Braemar proved me wrong on all counts. However, in one respect the cruise was a complete failure, that being the quality of the excursions.
There can surly be only one reason to visit the Amazon – to experience the rain forest and its wildlife so the highly priced (?320) ‘Amazon Jungle Adventure’ excursion, hyped as an opportunity to “discover some of the many kinds of exotic wildlife”, seemed to justify the expense of the whole cruise. The excursion did not match the brochure description in almost every respect. The accommodation reeked of dereliction,- cockroach infested rooms, unhygienic food service, unsafe structures, little attention to health and safety, inattentive staff. Given this was a 3rd world environment, I could have accepted these failings had the river excursions matched the brochure hype. Instead, the journeys “exploring the scenery and wildlife of small creeks” promised by the brochure were mostly conducted at high-speed , mid-stream on the 1 to 2 mile wide, featureless, main river with no attempt to slow or stop for wildlife/ scenic observation. The guide was uncommunicative and had no control over the hotel boatmen who were intent only in getting from a to b as quickly as possible. The limited amount of travel that was conducted in small creeks was done at a speed so fast that it scared off wildlife and gave no opportunity for photography, instead of the 150+ photographs I usually capture on such trips I managed only a few dozen blurred shots .
I have experience of scenic river trips in Africa, Australia and the Far East, this tour fell so far below their standard as to be beyond comparison. It was without doubt the most inept, ill-managed and pointless excursions it has been my misfortune to experience.
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