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Trailfinders’ David Skinner spends a day on Gap Adventure’s Expedition, meets the captain and learns about its history

07:00 An early start this morning – I’m making my way to Victoria to meet Gap Adventures before our trip to see Expedition in Portsmouth.

09:45 Having met the team, we board the coach and set off for Portsmouth. Gap Adventures even gives out cakes and drinks for the journey.

12:00 Quick check – good, I have my passport! A security check at the port and then we head on to the dock. I get my first sight of the ship and she’s looking very fresh.

12:15 We board the ship and I immediately get a feeling of space. Gap Adventures restricts passengers to 120 but it could take far more. Time for coffee and a rundown of the day’s activities before a tour of the ship.

12:45 Our guide, Laurence, is the ship’s chief laundry man. We start in the restaurant which can take all passengers in one sit- ting and feels really light and airy. I wonder how

much food they need to cater for 120 people, for three meals a day and up to two weeks at sea! The highlight is definitely the bridge where an open-door policy is operated so guests can pop in and chat to the crew whenever they feel like it. That is a really nice touch.

David Skinner

Age: 42 Works for:

Cruise consultant at Trailfinders based in Kensington How long in the job? 30 months How long in travel? 30 months Hobbies: Cooking Best thing about your job?: Sharing my knowledge with peo- ple to create a perfect holiday Worst thing about your job?: Knowing I’ll never see as much of the world as I would like to

13:30 We also get the chance to check out the ship’s gym, sauna, large mud room and outside seating at the Polar Bear Pub for barbecues. The 360- degree view- ing platform on the top deck is great for unob- structed views of the amazing wildlife this ship witnesses on a daily basis.

14:00 Lunch is a delicious four-course affair and I eat everything: soup, seafood, steak and desert. Tony, the head chef, comes round for a chat and to make sure we are well looked after.

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16:00 After lunch we listen to a fascinating presentation on a year in the life of Expedition. We’re shown images of stunning scenery, rarely-seen wildlife and some fantastic locations. Laurie, an expedition leader, really makes us feel like we are there, and Captain Stephan even makes an appearance.

17:30 It’s time to say goodbye and board the coach back to London. The Expedition has

exceeded my expectations and left me with a yearning to get myself on this ship soon.

20:00 I return home thinking of what I’ve learned today about Gap Adventures and its expeditions. I feel I can talk about them a lot more passionately now I have seen the ship.

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