As an expedition ship, Sea Bird boasts an expansive range of exploration equipment, including: bow camera, hydrophone, kayaks, snorkelling gear, splash cam, underwater video camera, and video microscope. These allow guests to discover the destinations visited in more depth and in a more exciting way than a regular cruise would.
Whilst onboard, experts on destinations and naturalists are available to talk to and also give lectures on a wide range of topics associated with the destinations visited.
Taking place in the Lounge, Recap is when naturalists share stories and answer questions about the day’s events, and the expedition leader presents the plan for the following day—as guests enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Kayaks: A fleet of one- and two-person kayaks allow you to explore intimate bays and paddle along scenic shorelines. Our naturalists will help novices with technique, while experts have the opportunity to explore further afield.
Expedition Landing Craft: Key to the operation is a fleet of expedition landing craft, which the crew uses to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With several of these boats used every time passengers disembark, the crew is able to transfer everyone off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. These sturdy inflatable craft are the same time-tested brand Jacques Cousteau used in his expeditions for over 30 years. They are widely recognised as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat. The expedition landing craft we use are 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of carrying 12 to 14 people with ease.
Hydrophones: Hear the vocalisations of whales swimming beneath the bow in Alaska and Baja California when your naturalist lowers a hydrophone overboard. The sounds are played over the ship’s loudspeaker so everyone can hear the songs of whales while we watch them feed, fluke, and dive near our ship.
Underwater Camera: Undersea specialist will dive many days of your expedition, even in Antarctica, with almost 200 pounds of gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colourful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrive in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment.
Snorkelling Gear & Wetsuits: If you’re exploring Baja California you’ll be fitted with a mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuit. These are yours to use for the expedition—so there’s no need to pack and tote your own gear. The 3mm shorty wetsuits allow you to stay in the water comfortably for longer and protect your skin from the sun. Guests who own masks with prescription lenses, or prefer to use thicker, full-length wetsuits are invited to bring their own gear. Guests in Alaska are also invited to get in the water…sans wetsuit during the weekly polar plunge.
Splash Cam: The ship is equipped with a Splash-Cam for easy deployment by our naturalists to investigate life just below the water's surface in Alaska or Baja California.
Bow Cam: An underwater camera is mounted to the ship's bow, feeding live video to the monitors in the lounge, offering a glimpse of what passes beneath the bow.