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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Antarctica Last Minute Savings


$750 off flights on 2014 Early Season Antarctica Voyages
Save on earlybird fares

Receive $750pp off your international flights when you book selected Antarctica voyages by 30 September 2014. Discount is applicable to the 3 Nov, 19-day Falkland Islands & Antarctica voyage, the 8 Nov, 13-day Active Antarctica Off the Beaten Track voyage and the 10 Dec, 10-day Antarctica Peninsula Adventure.

Click here for more info.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Pitcairn Islands Tourism Confirms Sailings for 2015/16


Pitcairn Islands Tourism has confirmed dates for their passenger shipping services to Pitcairn Island through to 2016.

The new shipping services were announced recently at the Pitcairn Islands Tourism launch in Sydney.

Making the announcement during the launch of Pitcairn Island as an emerging tourism destination for Australians, Richard Hankin, of Tropics Marketing who represents Pitcairn Islands Tourism in Australia, said, “The shipping service connecting Pitcairn to the outside world through French Polynesia is pivotal to the continued development of tourism to the island group.”

Bounty Bay Pitciarn Island
Copyright: Andrew Randall Christian

Located deep in the South Pacific, half way between New Zealand and Peru, Pitcairn Island remains one of the most remote and undiscovered destinations in the world. Home to the descendants of the HMAV Bounty mutineers since 1790, an array of endemic flora and fauna and surrounded by pristine seas, Pitcairn offers the visitor a unique holiday experience.

Claymore II at Pitcairn Island
Copyright: Andrew Randall Christian

Shipping services are provided by Stoney Creek Shipping of New Zealand, who owns the 486-tonne cargo-passenger vessel, MV Claymore II. The quarterly service operates at least 8 round-trips per annum between Mangareva in French Polynesia and Pitcairn Island, allowing 4 or 11 day stays on the island. With increased demand for the service, there is potential to provide additional rotations each year.

Full details about travelling to Pitcairn Island and current sailing schedules available on the Pitcairn islands Tourism website visit

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Sir John Franklin’s lost ship found in Northwest Passage

#expeditioncruising #oneoceanexp

Sir John Franklin disappeared in 1845
One Ocean Expeditions are delighted to announce that there has been a ‘find’ on the Victoria Strait Expedition taking place in the Northwest Passage in Canada over the last two weeks. The company’s ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov was one of four vessels supporting the search to find the long lost vessels of Sir John Franklin missing in the Arctic for the last 160 years.

An official announcement, made by the Prime Minister’s office in Ottawa on 9 September 2014, stated that one of the two missing ships – Terror and Erebus – has been found. Currently it is unclear which of the two ships has been found, however there is photographic evidence that it is one of them.

“I was honoured to be invited to accompany the Prime Minister to his office in Ottawa for the official announcement”, says Andrew Prossin, Managing Director of One Ocean Expeditions. “It’s been a difficult Arctic season with more ice than usual, demonstrating to all of us on the Victoria Strait Expedition the conditions experienced by Franklin and his fellow polar explorers, and to end the search with photographic evidence of one of the two ships is absolutely incredible.”

Franklin search map (Canadian Geographic)
In his statement Stephen Harper, Canada’s Prime Minister says, “I am delighted to announce that this year’s Victoria Strait Expedition has solved one of Canada’s great mysteries, with the discovery of one of the two ships belonging to the Franklin Expedition.”

”Finding the first vessel will no doubt provide the momentum – or wind in our sails – necessary to locate its sister ship and find out even more about what happened to the Franklin Expedition’s crew”.

British archaeologist, William Battersby, who has written extensively about Franklin’s Expedition, describes the find as “the biggest archaeological discovery the world has seen since the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb almost 100 years ago”.

The Northwest Passage itinerary has always been a bestseller for One Ocean Expeditions. With the recent find, there will undoubtedly be an increase in consumer awareness and interest in the region.

Australian Manager for One Ocean Expeditions, Richard Cunningham added, "This is great day in Canada's history and significant moment for our company. Our 2015 Canadian Arctic program features four voyages and several will visit the actual location where the ship was found in the Victoria Strait. Scientists and historians who were part of this year's search team, will be aboard our ship, providing a wonderful insight into this astonishing discovery. Already our phones have been busy with enquiries from agents in Canada and around the world looking to secure berths for 2015", he added.

For further information contact ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS on 02 8096 8787, 1300 368 123 or email

For breaking news of the discovery, including links to a range of global news sources, visit the
One Ocean Expeditions Facebook page - 

CBC: Lost Franklin expedition ship found in the Arctic

Friday, 12 September 2014

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ HANSEATIC completes Northeast Passage


Photo source: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

· The HANSEATIC is the first non-Russian cruise ship to brave the legendary sea route
· 6,032 nautical miles between the Russian Far East and Europe
· Expedition ends in Bodö/Norway

The HANSEATIC, one of the two expedition ships of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, has become the first non-Russian cruise ship to navigate the Northeast Passage successfully. After a total of 6,032 nautical miles, the ship, which has the highest ice class for passenger ships, sailed into port at Bodö/Norway yesterday morning (Wednesday, September 10, 2014).

The Northeast Passage is the legendary sea route in the Arctic Ocean, which runs along the north coasts of Asia and Europe, from the Bering Strait to the White Sea. On 13 August 2014, the HANSEATIC set out from Nome/Alaska on its expedition – which included stops and stations at anchor off the Chukchi Peninsula and Wrangel Island – through the Kara Sea to Novaya Zemlya, the Barents Sea and Murmansk, which marks the end of the Northeast Passage. The cruise was fully booked, with almost 300 people on board. The 18-metre-wide ship was loaded with 70 tonnes of provisions for the guests and crew. The crew organised 22 landings and tours with the 14 on-board Zodiacs, rubber boats, which are well suited to expeditions. There were spectacular animal sightings from on board the HANSEATIC, with guests spotting polar bears and walruses. Furthermore, the ship set a new record for passenger ships: during this expedition cruise the HANSEATIC reached the northernmost point at 85°, 40.7' north and 135°, 39.6' east. At this latitude, the HANSEATIC was just 480 kilometres from the North Pole.

Reservations: Please call +49 40 3001-4580 (English-speaking hotline), send an e-mail to or visit for local agents.

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ exciting destinations and itineraries, visit

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Mekong River Cruise pioneer, Naidah Yazdani.


CF Mekong River Cruises is not only the most experienced cruising company on the Mekong but the biggest. Six years as the Asian Director of the largest luxury river cruise company in Cambodia, UK born Naidah Yazdani has an encyclopaedic knowledge of cruising on the Mekong. Here are his insights.

Naidah, you have been operating since many years successful cruises up the Mekong River and you must have witnessed a tremendous amount of development in the region. What makes this cruise so special?

This cruise is special in many ways. There has been tremendous development on the Mekong and this mighty river has seen many new ships that have entered into the fray. But our cruise vessels are special and they cater to a niche market. For one, all four of our vessels are able to navigate the marvelous Goa canal and reach the heart of Saigon. Similarly, our ships are able to cross the Tonle Sap during the high water season and reach Siem Reap.

Secondly, our Toum Tiou and Toum Tiou II ships have no parallel on the Mekong. They are more like private yachts and are quite dissimilar from other river cruise vessels. They are small, intimate, cosy and comfortable.

Thirdly, our rates are very competitive and they also cater largely to the middle-income and upper-middle income earners – those who would normally not enjoy a luxury cruise due to its traditionally high price.

You were the pioneer, being the first offering cruises on the Mekong over a decade ago. Now we see many new ships, all claim to be setting a new standard of luxury. How do you see the developments since then?

We are highly grateful to the other players who have come on-shore. This is because it is demonstrative of the Mekong as a global river cruising destination. Our ships are cosy and charming and there is definitely a market for the authentic experiences that we offer passengers. Our boats are small and agile and thus, we are able to cruise to the nooks and crannies of rural Vietnam and Cambodia during excursions. This gives our passengers an unadulterated glimpse of the real Indochina.

Will this create capacity over supply at the upper end of the market, and will the rivers become clogged with ships and over stretch the available dock space and availability of high standard local service staff?

More and more people are gravitating towards sea and river cruising for their vacations. Say 20 to 30 years ago, sea and river cruising were the exclusive domain of the wealthy. Today, it is becoming more and more accessible to middle-income earners.

As to skilled local staff, there is a vibrant and throbbing tourism and hotel industry in Cambodia. The luxury hotels in Cambodia serve as a superb training ground for our staff. For example, many of our staff are former hotel employees who cut their teeth in luxury hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Also, there are several hotel training schools in Cambodia which will provide the industry with quality staff.

There are a great number of opinions as to the best time to take a cruise and whether up or down stream is best, please share your opinion with us.

It is difficult to say, really. Some passengers prefer to end their cruise in Siem Reap where they will stay on for a few more days to quaff the beauty of the Angkor temples. Others prefer seeing the temples before embarking on the cruise which will end in the bustling city of Saigon. As to the best months, my advice for those without school-going children is to take the cruise during the low-season because like all other cruise vessels, we offer generous discounts during the low-season.

Naidah, great insights! Thank you for your time and all the best for many more new cruise projects to come!

8 days/7 nights, Angkor to Saigon from US$ 953 per person.
Main deck, sharing. Full board accommodation, including coffee, tea & drinking water.
For the detailed itinerary:

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Silversea expeditions in the Coral Sea

Bokissa Private Island Resort

Departing Cairns, Australia on 3 November 2014, Silver Discoverer will voyage through Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, providing guests with a rare opportunity to discover diverse cultures, ancient histories and varied wildlife. Avid divers on board Silver Discoverer can explore first-class diving and snorkeling hotspots, including a number of World War II wrecks.

Silver Discoverer will then sail through Vanuatu and New Caledonia, where guests will witness a sundry of terrains, from lagoon to mountainside and from coral reef to mangrove, before sailing through New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, renowned for their spectacular beaches, crystal clear waters and breathtaking bays.

As part of a series of exclusive Silversea Expeditions Wellness Cruises, this itinerary includes: a complimentary Spa package to relax the body and mind; nutritional counselling from health experts; a range of physical activities, such as yoga and AquaGym; and meditation techniques to help reduce stress, and improve energy and creativity. By day, guests will journey to unique destinations, experiencing magnificent landscapes and exquisite wildlife, and once back aboard Silver Discoverer, the sanctuary at sea, guests can delve into a new, holistic approach to life.

Prices are per person starting from AU$15,850 in a View Suite double occupancy. Silversea Expeditions fares include: all shore excursions hosted by an expert expedition team; all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.

This voyage is subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit

Silver Explorer completes Northwest Passage

Silver Explorer in Greenland (Silversea)

Luxury expedition cruise specialist Silversea's 132-guest Silver Explorer has successfully completed the company's first-ever journey through the legendary Northwest Passage.

The 23-day voyage commenced in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland on 9 August 2014 and concluded in Nome, Alaska on 1 September 2014. It covered a distance of nearly 3,500 nautical miles, following a route through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago similar to Roald Amundsen's momentous east-to-west expedition of 1903 to 1906, the first successful navigation by boat through the passage.

"Sailing the Northwest Passage is an experience reserved for true adventurers and dedicated explorers," said Conrad Combrink, Silversea's Director of Expedition Planning and Strategic Development.

"We are honoured to know that what was once an unfulfilled dream for such renowned explorers as Captain James Cook, Henry Hudson, and many others, is now a successful chapter in the history of Silversea Expeditions."

The Northwest Passage is famous for its shallow channels and floating ice. Although summer ice conditions have permitted a number of successful transits since Amundsen's expedition, the passage can still present challenges. The small-sized Silver Explorer, with her shallow draft, ice-strengthened hull, 1A ice class certification, and Captain Alexander Golubev at the helm, is well suited to take on such missions.

"It's a special privilege to sail through the world's most elusive and historic waterways. Such a journey requires careful and meticulous planning at every stage," said Golubev, who has led over 50 voyages to the Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland.

In an abundance of caution, Captain Golubev enlisted the services of an icebreaker to escort Silver Explorer through a critical portion of the route.

"I'm pleased that all our strategising and preparations resulted in success for Silversea's first-ever Northwest Passage expedition, and I'm very grateful to be among a small group of mariners who have experienced such an extraordinary opportunity during their careers."

Silversea is a member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), dedicated to managing respectable, environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruising in the Arctic.

For more information contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand), or visit