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Review: Island Sky - Noble Caledonia

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

East of Bali

  • By SilverTraveller Holland

    35 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon

  • Jan 2010
  • Solo
  • Getting to another destination
  • Outside

38 people found this review helpful

Two nights in Hong Kong in an excellent 4* hotel, including a sightseeing tour, was interesting for me as I had never been there before. Then on to Bali where we were greeted by musicians and dancers in the arrival hall of the airport. This set the scene for every island we visited. But the welcome was never boring as each island (and we visited 14 of them!!) had different music, instruments and dancers, including children,( the aaaah …. factor) and even horses: tiny little chaps the size of ponies.

The object of the cruise was, indeed, to visit little known or visited islands and our ship, the Island Sky, was ideally suited to get to places the big cruise ships never visit. With only 80 or so passengers on board, no set meals times, no fixed seating, no dress code and no floor show in the evenings the atmosphere was totally relaxed, friendly and informal. The ship’s staff were excellent, the food was good and the Noble-Caledonia expedition team competent and helpful.

Most landings were by zodiac (inflatable dinghys) sometimes to a jetty and sometimes into the shallow water by the beach. Then followed the welcome ceremony, a short speech by a local dignitary, a visit to the local school/church/boat building/weaving/markets and on some occasions we were able to swim or snorkel from the beach. Alternatively the expedition team set up a “snorkel platform” and we slipped into deep water from the zodiacs. The team were very aware of the safety aspect and help was always on hand if required.

We visited two islands, Komodo and Rinca to see the Komodo dragons – huge lizards which can be quite agressive and there were guides with us at all times with a kind of pitchfork to keep the animals at bay. Komodo is almost the only island where larger cruise ships call and this was reflected in the number of stalls selling souvenirs unfortunately manned by over persuasive vendors. This was never a problem at the other islands.

One island we visited had actually never seen a cruise ship before which caused huge excitement. The villagers, all 100 or so of them, ran down to the beach, our cruise director was arrested by the one and only policeman, money changed hands and she soon returned. The team put up a couple of sun umbrellas which were soon used by the local children who thought the whole business was hilarious and were shrieking with laughter especially when a rather large elderly lady passenger stumbled when getting out on to the beach after her swim and her costume slipped……..

Although the average age of the passengers was probably around 65 everyone coped with getting in and out of the zodiacs and help was always on hand. The weather was hot and humid and there was occasional rain but only once or twice were we unable to eat outside on the Lido deck. Many passengers had been cruising with Noble many times and the Island Sky was a great favourite.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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