The lecture theatre is a converted room on the lower deck, accessed by a staircase, with regular chairs arranged auditorium style. Here is where the briefings take place on the AV gear set up there. When the full complement of staff and passengers are all assembled, it is quite cosy.
* May require additional fees
During the day, most of the activity is taken up with shore excursions of which there could be up to three on a busy day. For example, a beach landing, village visit and hike on an island in the morning and a Zodiac cruise to view birds or scenic sites in the afternoon. In tropical locations, a snorkelling excursion is often offered. Lectures or slide presentations are delivered by expert presenters, who are usually part of the expedition staff, in lieu of excursions (eg, during sea legs).
After dinner, a documentary or movie pertinent to the destination will be screened in the theatre on the lower deck.
The amount of bar activity will usually depend on the make-up of passengers for any particular voyage but, as a rule, most guests will have been very active during the day and tired and ready for bed after dinner and a few wines. Drinking time is typically for the hour before dinner when the day's activities and excursions are recapped.
Bar/Lounge/Library (Middle Deck): Apart from the dining rooms, this multi-use space is really the only spot on the ship where guests mingle and chat. Pre-dinner drinks are served an hour before meals, during which time expedition staff will recap the day's events and prelude the next (if not using the theatre on the lowest deck). The birdwatchers typically huddle in one half and tick off their species from the day while swapping anecdotes about their sightings. This can be quite entertaining for an uneducated eavesdropper.
During the day and on sea legs, the space reverts to a quiet zone for reading, writing and image editing. Tea, coffee and cookies/biscuits are on hand 24 hours a day.
If passengers want alcohol or canned or bottled beverages, then the honesty bar is in the dining room.
While some of the ships in this class -- such as the Polar Pioneer -- have plunge pools installed, Spirit of Enderby does not.
Outside recreation is limited and mostly takes the form of wildlife observations from the decks.
There are no exterior leisure areas per se, but passengers can take a smoke with the Russian crew or get some fresh air on the rear of the main deck. It's a working area with a crane and Zodiacs piled up, so you won't find any deck chairs.
There is a lounge/library/bar on the middle deck where passengers can relax, and do some computer work and quiet reading.
As a smaller, niche vessel, services are limited. Laundry is available to all guests for a few dollars per item. Shopping is restricted to simple merchandise such as T-shirts and other items of souvenir clothing and trinkets. A small selection of personal care items is also available.
If you are an Internet person, you are going to find Spirit of Enderby frustrating. There is an older-style Iridium satellite system that, while reliable, is both slow and expensive and you will require a special onboard account that permits only basic email messaging and small attachments. It's charged on data volume and a single email with two short paragraphs and a small image attached could easily cost AU$5 to send. You pay for incoming and replies, too. There is no web browsing. There are no ship computers for guest use.
Apart from a sauna on the lower deck next to the laundry, there are no other 'spa' facilities.
There is no gym or fitness equipment on board but there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and snorkelling (on tropical itineraries)
The ship does not expressly cater to families for either polar or tropical itineraries, so single parents or families should be fully aware of what is (and isn't) available before committing to any voyage.
The Heritage Suite or one of the two mini-suites would be fine for a family of up to four or else there is a triple-share cabin on the main deck.
Kids and Teens
There are no programs devoted specifically for children, however older, inquisitive children may find the programs and excursions stimulating depending on their own interests and level of intellectual development. Some children, for example, would find the open bridge fascinating.
As such, while children are not actively discouraged, parents considering travelling with children should assess carefully their children's ability to mix with older passengers and participate in the excursions and activities without disrupting proceedings. Bear in mind the lack of Internet access.