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Friday, 24 October 2014

Ponant ship Lyrial launched

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The new Ponant ship Lyrial was launched at Fincantieri today, and will be delivered to the French luxury expedition brand in spring of 2015.

The ceremony was attended by Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of Ponant, Véronique Saade, Deputy CEO of the company and, by Fincantieri, the Director of the Ancona shipyard John Stecconi. Godmother to the ship was Gohagan Virginia, wife of Thomas P. Gohagan, CEO of Thomas P. Gohagan & Company, a travel agency in Chicago.

This is the fourth ship in a series of sisters delivered to the brand since 2010 by the Italian yard.

The ship is about 11,000 gross tons, is 142 meters long and can accommodate 260 passengers in 122 cabins.

Aurora Expeditions celebrates Chloe McCardel's world record-breaking swim with exciting adventure activities

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As a proud supporter of ultra-marathon swimmer Chole McCardel's recent world-record breaking swim in the Bahamas, adventure travel company Aurora Expeditions is offering everyday Aussies the opportunity to test their own limits through a selection of exciting adventure activities on board their small-ship expeditions in 2015.

If a gruelling 42-hour, 126-kilometre open water swim doesn't appeal, Aurora Expeditions wide-range of expedition cruises offer passengers the chance to have the ultimate adventure through a number of different activities ranging from an easy 20-second 'Polar Plunge' to a 50-kilometre trek across an a subantarctic island.

Antarctica comes in at number one as an adventurer's playground and passengers can choose from an array of optional activities. Camp on the ice like an Antarctic explorer, paddle a sea kayak though waters teeming with wildlife, or any good swimmer can don a dry suit and plunge into the icy cold waters to snorkel with penguins.

If those options don't cut it, experienced adventurers can test their skills at climbing one of the Antarctic Peninsula's thousand-feet peaks, scuba dive below Antarctic waters where ice walls sparkle and marine life flourishes, or follow in the footsteps of one of the world's most famed Antarctic explorer - Sir Ernest Shackleton - on a three-day, 50-kilometre crossing of South Georgia's interior.

In the Northern Hemisphere, visit Greenland, the birthplace of kayaking, and paddle amidst spectacular mountain scenery and towering icebergs the size of high-rises. In Alaska, beginners can learn to stand up paddle board, or enjoy some easy-paced kayaking and polar snorkelling.

Closer to home, passengers who enjoy the bush can sign up for a 10-kilometre, rock hopping trek through Western Australia's Kimberley wilderness to visit the old Kunmunya Ruins, an old Presbyterian Aboriginal mission from the early 1900s as well as the base camp of expedition leader Mike Cusack and his wife Susan's during their year in the Kimberley as Australian Geographic's first Wilderness Couple in 1987. The exclusive opportunity to join Mike on his yearly pilgrimage back to the site is only available on Aurora Expeditions Kimberley Coast voyages.

There really is an adventure for everyone on Aurora Expeditions exciting range of small-ship expedition cruises. For more information contact Aurora Expeditions on +61 2 9252 1033 or freecall 1800 637 688 or visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au to order their brand new 2015-2016 Expedition Guide.

Travelmarvel’s New Burma Rivership RV Princess Panhwar

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Available to Book Now

Travelmarvel’s new boutique rivership, the RV Princess Panhwar, is unveiled for the very first time in its new Burma 2016/17 brochure, which is available now. The custom built vessel offers premium four star river cruising with guests enjoying a choice of 36 staterooms and suites ranging in size from 26 sqm to 42.5 sqm and either a French or an outside balcony.

Public areas aboard the sophisticated new vessel include an air-conditioned lounge area on the sun deck, a main restaurant, and a spa and massage facility.

The core itinerary for Travelmarvel’s new Burma river cruising is the 15-day Majestic Burma – Irrawaddy Cruise from Yangon to Mandalay. Priced from just $5,795 per person, twin share, the cruise takes in all of the fascinating highlights of this emerging destination, including: Shwedagon Pagoda; a journey by horse drawn cart to the ‘Leaning Tower of Inwa’, taking in Maha Aung Mye Bon Zan Monastery and the teak-wood Bagaya Monastery en route; the opportunity to add your own sheet of gold leaf to the Mahamuni Buddha; and an exploration of Bagan, one of the world’s most spectacular archaeological sites.

RV Princess Panhwar restaurant
On offer is a choice of 24 sailings between January 2016 and April 2017. A three day extension of the Majestic Burma itinerary to Inle Lake is available, as is the chance to combine it with a Mekong river cruise aboard Travelmarvel’s La Marguerite on the 27-day Wonders of the Irrawaddy and Mekong.

Travelmarvel’s comprehensive inclusions cover complimentary drinks with lunch and dinner, most meals (including all meals aboard the cruise), the services of a Tour Director, airport transfers, all flights within Asia, port charges, entry fees, tipping, sightseeing and accommodation within the price of each of its Burma itineraries.

Two Earlybird Specials are being offered for this destination: ‘Fly Free, including Taxes’ on all Travelmarvel Burma holidays in any suite category departing January 2016 to April 2017; and ‘Fly Business Class from $2,995 per person, including taxes’ on any Princess Suite booking departing January 2016 to April 2017. Bookings for all offers must be made by 28 February 2015.

Spaces are limited so guests are advised to book early. Offers are subject to availability and terms and conditions apply.

Travelmarvel’s Burma River Cruising 2016/17 brochure is available now. For further information call 1300 196 420, visit travelmarvel.com.au or see your local travel agent.




Greece yacht cruising aboard MS Galileo

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BEYOND Travel are offering discounts of up to $780 per couple on the popular eight-day first class mega-yacht cruise “Jewels of the Cyclades” through the Aegean Sea for departures in 2015 when you book and pay by December 19.

The voyage aboard the MS Galileo has only 25 cabins but is large enough to have spacious social areas yet small enough for an intimate and relaxed atmosphere and able to dock at smaller ports.

Sun deck on MS Galileo
Sailing on a round-trip cruise from Athens, the itinerary includes port visits to some of the lesser known Greek Islands such as Folegandros, Paros, Delos, Kythnos and Syros as well as the famous islands of Santorini and Mykonos. It also offers plenty of leisure time when the yacht drops anchor in many secluded bays perfect for a dip in the warm waters.

The cruise is now priced from $2,260 per person twin share, a saving of $420 per couple for a category C cabin during the low season. For a category A cabin in the high season you can save up to $780 per couple with the cruise now priced from $3840 per person twin share.

Prices include seven nights cruise accommodation, two meals a day, tea/coffee and mineral water throughout the day, use of fishing and snorkelling equipment, services of an experienced captain and crew and port charges.

There are numerous guaranteed departures between April and October, 2015.

For more details on all mega-yacht cruises contact Beyond Travel on 1300-363-554 or visit www.beyondtravel.com.au



Thursday, 23 October 2014

Blue Lagoon Cruises video

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Blue Lagoon Cruises offer three boutique itineraries, each taking you on a journey into Fiji's spectacular Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Sail to uninhabited tropical islands, anchor in private lagoons, spend countless hours lazing on golden beaches and swim, snorkel or dive in clear blue waters.



Sea Cloud Cruises for 2015

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Historic tall ship specialist Sea Cloud announces its 2015 sailings

A range of unique five-star experiences for sailing enthusiasts



 Small luxury cruise specialist, Sea Cloud, has released full details of their 2015 cruise itineraries for its two luxurious windjammers Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II. The latest program offers a range of unique cruises including:

· A range of four-night "taster' cruises through the Mediterranean

· A 17- night sailing adventure crossing the Atlantic and following the route taken by Columbus

· The renowned nine-night "Steinway" music cruise from Hamburg to Bilboa.

· An eight night, true windjammer experience through the Adriatic letting the trade winds determine the route!

Both Sea Cloud and Sea Cloud II offer guests a rare opportunity to enjoy the seamless combination of an ancient seafaring tradition while ensuring they are able to enjoy the ships' first class service in a relaxed and elegant setting. And unlike other cruises, on many of the sailings the windjammers only reach their destination late in the afternoon so that sailing enthusiasts can enjoy the full tall ship sailing experience by day and explore the local harbours and villages at night.

With their white sails billowing as they sail with the trade winds, these two legendary tall ships are able to navigate small secluded bays, visit relatively unknown harbours and make exciting on-shore discoveries in waters from which large cruise ships are often precluded.

Part of the unique appeal of the two windjammers is their size: Sea Cloud can take a maximum of 64 passengers and Sea Cloud II can take up to 94. With a crew of up to 60, each guest is welcomed by a group of passionate seafarers, many who have been working together for years. With acclaimed chefs on board, guests are promised culinary delights from morning to evening and the daily menus are complemented with regional specialties and imaginative vegetarian options. First class wines and beers are included with lunch and dinner.

Sea Cloud

Sea Cloud made her debut in 1931 when American heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post commissioned this stately home afloat. With Hollywood stars and aristocracy gracing the decks of this self-assured grande dame of the sea, Sea Cloud was widely regarded as the most magnificent sailing yacht in the world. A recent fit-out took special care to preserve the luxurious 1930's style of the cabins, dining room and public areas.

Sea Cloud II

This three -masted barque offers the amenities of a modern cruise ship while remaining a quintessential windjammer. Built 15 years ago, Sea Cloud II bares all the hallmarks of her older sister, Sea Cloud, even down to the decision not to include a fully-automated rig, instead choosing to ensure that the sails are hoisted and lowered by hand. Sea Cloud II delivers five-star luxury which is sure to impress even seasoned cruise goers.

For more information on Sea Cloud Cruises and the various sailing adventures on offer, contact Sales Activation Marketing (Sea Cloud's Cruises representative for Australia/New Zealand) on toll-free 1300 583 572 (Australia) or info@salesactive.com.au

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Southern Africa and Indian Ocean brochure 2015

Southern Africa and Indian Ocean
Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has released the new Southern Africa and Indian Ocean brochure for 2015 featuring nine destinations from the Andaman Islands to Zanzibar aboard the National Geographic Orion.

Guests can choose from a range of voyages that offer undersea exploration, islands with a wealth of history and cultures that maintain close ties to their ancestral traditions. Each expedition also sails with a National Geographic photographer to assist guests with their photography skills – whether using an iPhone or SLR camera.

Guests who book itineraries in this brochure will also have the exclusive opportunity to join the Lindblad Expeditions Friends for Life membership program, which entitles them to a 10% saving on the voyage they book and every voyage thereafter. Current Friend for Life members will receive a 20% discount on these bookings*.

To access the brochure visit http://au.expeditions.com/Brochures-DVDs/Brochure-Details/?brochureId=400.

For more information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic or to book, visit au.expeditions.com, call 1300 361 012 or see your travel agent.