Saturday, 10 December 2016

New small ship operation for St Lawrence

#expeditioncruising .

Croisières M/S Jacques-Cartier is planning to start-up on the St. Lawrence in 2018, bringing a 100-plus-years family sea-faring tradition to the cruise industry.

The ship, which was most recently a sight-seeing vessel operating out of Trois-Rivières, will be converted into a 66-passenger cruise ship, according to Vice President Maryse Camirand.

President Michel Harvey is a fourth-generation captain. The family has owned the ship for over 40 years. Also involved with the project is Yolaine Masse, known in cruise industry circles from her time as Director of Tourism for Trois-Rivières.

According to Camirand, the family took a step back from the maritime world in 2012, and spent three years building a business case for starting a St. Lawrence-based cruise line.

The 40 y o  M/S Jacques-Cartier as she looks today

That is now reality, with funding in place to convert the ship.

She said the ship would introduce yacht-like designs, as the company has retained a renowned yacht designer.

Deployment will be finalized in the first quarter of 2017, but those online can vote on itinerary choices on the St. Lawrence.

The main homeport will be Trois-Rivières., but the ship is also expected to use Montreal and Quebec City, and possibly Toronto, depending on demand.

Camirand told Cruise Industry News that beyond the nine major cruise ports on the St. Lawrence, there were bays, islands and other features the big ships could not get to. It’s these stops that they hope to use to help differentiate their product, which they are marketing as “active,” including kayaking, hiking and other activities.

“We want people to be healthy, move and discover something on their vacations,” said Camirand.

Friday, 9 December 2016

A once in a lifetime opportunity to witness orangutans in the wild with Silversea Expeditions

#expeditioncruising #silverseamoments .

with guest lecturer Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas

Navigate through the geological wonders of Indonesian Islands on an 8-day voyage aboard the newly refurbished Silver Discoverer.

Departing from Bali, Indonesia, on 23 November 2017, Silver Discoverer sets sails to Tanjung Wangi, the eastern tip of East Java, where guests are surrounded by one of the most volcanically active areas in the world. From here, Silver Discoverer journeys to Sumenepand the surrounding areas, which are home to a number of traditional arts and crafts – among them the production of Keris (daggers), batik, Karduluk-style woodcarvings and the Muangsangkal and mask dances.

Silver Discoverer continues her journey to Kumai, where guests have the rare and unforgettable opportunity to visit the world famous Camp Leakey and exclusive parts of the nature reserve usually closed to the general public. Located in the Tanjung Puting Reserve, in Central Borneo, Camp Leakey is devoted to the conservation of wild Orangutans and their rainforest habitat. In addition to the behind the scene access and personal guided visit of Camp Leakey by founder, world renowned environmentalist, anthropologist and orangutan expert, Dr. Galdikas, our guests onboard Silver Discoverer will enjoy a series of lectures on the subject before and after the private visit.

Silver Discoverer (Supplied)

After experiencing this truly memorable occasion, Silver Discoverer sails to Badas Islands. With a vast array of stunning sandy beaches and coral reefs, guests can explore the depths of the ocean floor as they swim, dive or snorkel in the turquoise waters. The voyage concludes in Singapore with guests disembarking on 01 December 2017.

Prices are per person starting from AU$7,150 - in an Explorer Suite, based on double occupancy. Silversea Expeditions’ fares include: all shore and Zodiac excursions hosted by an expedition leader; all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ship; an outstanding expedition team of expert guides and lecturers; complimentary WiFi and all gratuities.


Early Booking Bonus: Save 10% if you book and pay in full by 30 December 2016.

Click here for all Silversea Exclusive offers

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  

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises: MS HANSEATIC To Stay in Fleet Longer

#expeditioncruising .


· The MS HANSEATIC will remain in the fleet until the end of September 2018
· The new international English-language cruises will be published in mid-December 2016
· Three international cruises are currently scheduled on the BREMEN

The popular five-star expedition ship, the MS HANSEATIC is set to remain in the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet for six more months, until the end of September 2018. The first of the Germany-based cruise provider’s two new expedition ships will be launching in April 2019. The international preview brochure, due to be published in mid-December, will contain two international cruises on board the HANSEATIC, as well as three international expedition cruises on board the BREMEN. The cruises on the BREMEN are intended to serve as a transition until the launch of the new international expedition ship, which will offer bilingual (English/German) cruises.

“We are preparing our fleet for the future with our two new expedition ships. We are very happy to have largely bridged the gap before the launch of the first ship, by extending our charter for the HANSEATIC. This is the best decision in terms of both cost-effectiveness and offering availability to our guests,” says Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises will launch two new five-star expedition ships in April 2019 and October 2019. The two new ships are being built by the Norwegian shipyard VARD and will have the highest ice class for passenger ships (PC6). They will both accommodate up to 230 guests, and up to 199 guests on Antarctic cruises.

Reservations: International guests, as well as travel agencies, can now make use of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ new free-of-charge phone numbers when requesting or booking a cruise. United Kingdom: 0800 0513 829, United States & Canada: 877 445 7447 or 800 334-2724, Belgium: 0800 79 421, the Netherlands: 0800 0220 459; all other countries, please call +49 40 30703070 (English-speaking hotline) – or - send an e-mail or visit for local agents.

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

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Lindblad's new National Geographic Endeavour ll sails one month early

#expeditioncruising .

Lindblad Expedition’s newest addition to the fleet, the 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour ll, made its inaugural voyage on Saturday, December 3, one month ahead of schedule. The first voyage was the 17-Day Epic Galápagos Photography Expedition.

Before making its way to the Galapagos, National Geographic Endeavour ll was celebrated in Guayaquil with a traditional Ecuadorian religious blessing. Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, hosted the celebration and onboard festivities, where he welcomed his special guests - members of the ship’s crew and their families.

Billed as the newest and most family-friendly ship in Galapagos, National Geographic Endeavour ll offers the choice of suites on two decks, double cabins with beds that can be configured as two twins or a queen, seven sets of connecting cabins for families and friends, triple cabins, and dedicated solo cabins, which are equal in size and amenities to the doubles. The ship’s shallow draft affords up close viewing from all public spaces, large windows in cabins and suites, state-of-the-art tools for exploration, and a fast twin Zodiac loading platform.

To celebrate the ship’s inaugural and the upcoming 50th Anniversary of Lars-Eric Lindblad’s pioneering voyage to the Galapagos, Lindblad is offering guests on National Geographic Endeavour ll free roundtrip air from Miami to Galápagos on all departures January 6 – March 31, 2017, a savings of $1,300 per guest.

Throughout 2017 free air will also be offered on select departures on National Geographic Endeavour ll and the 48-guest National Geographic Islander. The offers cover both international air from Miami to Guayaquil, and the flight from Guayaquil to Galapagos.

The free air offer is applicable to new bookings only and is subject to availability.


Monday, 5 December 2016

Discover the hidden jewels of Africa and the Indian Ocean with Silversea

#expeditioncruising .

Cross the Indian Ocean around the coast of Africa aboard the newly refurbished Silver Discoverer, on a stunning 12-day voyage. Departing Mahe, Seychelles, 30 January 2017, guests can marvel at the palm tree spotted islands that are often regarded as the Garden of Eden. After exploring the Seychelles’ islands of Praslin and La Digue, Silver Discoverer continues her journey towards the island of Abbu Atoll of Maldives, where guests have the day to explore the exotic scenery both on land and in the water.

Her next point of call, Meemu Atoll, Maldives, sees the cluster of islands circle the main lagoon, where guests can lay on the sun-drenched beaches and snorkel among bountiful reefs. Continuing her journey towards Cochin, India, guests are welcomed with a Kerala musical performance, followed by a traditional lunch and a martial arts display.

Silver Discoverer redefines ocean travel, providing absolute comfort and unrivalled luxury, including all ocean-view suites, 12 Zodiacs, three restaurants and a top-deck swimming pool. Other highlights of the voyage include: visit to an elephant orphanage and a tour of Padmanabhapauram Palace in Vizhinjam, India, before concluding in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Silver Privilege fares start from AU$11,450 - in an Explorer Suite, based on double occupancy. Silversea Expeditions’ fares include: all shore and Zodiac excursions hosted by an expedition leader; all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ship; an outstanding expedition team of expert guides and lecturers; complimentary WiFi 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 Select: Book by 30 December 2016 and choose a two category suite upgrade or 50% saving on a second suite.

Exclusively for you — Venetian Society Savings: Our Venetian Society guests receive AU$650 savings per suite.

Click here for all Silversea Exclusive offers

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Aboard Silver Discoverer: Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar

#expeditioncruising #silverseamoments.

The evocatively named Mergui (aka Myeik) Archipelago just to the west of southern Myanmar is a kind of 'no man's land' in the Andaman Sea.

Silver Discoverer sailed southward on her return leg to Phuket, stopping briefly for some diving, snorkelling, picnicking and Zodiac cruising among these mysterious limestone and granite outcrops.

Ethnic Moken family aboard 'houseboat'.

Well known for its nomadic seafaring inhabitants, the Moken or 'sea gypsies', this relatively unspoiled group of islands is covered with lush tropical foliage and vitally important mangrove forests that sustain the hard-pressed fish populations.

Someone counted about 800 islands in the group, very few of which sustain any sort of permanent population. The Moken traditionally live aboard their tiny boats most of the time, coming ashore only when the weather turns foul.

In recent years, these islands have gained attention from tourism operators, not all of whom have the best intentions. Already there is a 5-star resort and golf club on one of the islands and more are planned. With a history of tension, just how the rest of the group will fair remains to be seen.

Bird spotting among the mangroves

Small ship cruising, like that undertaken by Silversea and others, offers the opportunity to enjoy and explore the islands without altering them. No wharfs, land clearing, intrusive infrastructure or habitat disturbance is needed by shipboard visitors who come for the very reason the islands are as they are.

Marine parks have been established, but policing them is another issue altogether. The surrounding waters are heavily fished and the temptation for fishers to come ever closer to the islands is strong.

Beaches to impress even the Aussies.

The Lampi Marine National Park is one such reserve we visited aboard Silver Discoverer. The 48 kilometre long island is the core and hosts rich tropical lowland wet evergreen forest with trees taller than 26 metres. How they have evaded loggers so far is a wonder.

The beaches, bays and secluded coves offer a superb haven and the sand is really as white and soft as baby powder. We anchor off Shark Island and go ashore for a delightful swim and beach BBQ under the shade of massive trees. Even on these isolated islands, the impact of human carelessness is evident as the high water mark is strewn with plastic debris, most notably the dreaded single-use water bottles. Our team made a rudimentary clean-up, but it's an ongoing task.

Hey good looking! Lionfish.
Underwater the rich sea life is evident. Familiar reef fish and schools of bright yellow-striped snapper and fusiliers sweep past us as we fin along the rocky edge. Closer inspection reveals the tiny critters like colourful shrimps, vivid nudibranchs, rare cucumber anemone and miniature clown fish.

Like so many 'newly discovered' expedition cruise areas, the wisdom is to see it sooner rather than later.

The End: Port of Kawthaung at the southernmost end of Myanmar

PONANT releases 34 cruises with No Single Supplement

#expeditioncruising .

Designed for solo travellers - PONANT releases an extensive range of destinations and voyages with no additional pricing for those seeking single travel.

Select from 34 PONANT cruise itineraries spanning both Northern and Southern hemispheres with voyages that include Brazil, Indonesia, Panama, Vietnam, Portugal, the Canary Islands, Australia, Scandinavia, Melanesia and more.

Also available, three themed voyages for those that enjoy classical music - Chopin and the Music of Spain, a Tribute to Maria Callas, and a brand new voyage with members of the Vienna State Opera cruising between Venice and Civitavecchia (Rome) on Le Lyrial.

Commenting on the release of these single fares Monique Ponfoort, Vice President PONANT Australasia said “We offer an exciting range of voyages and itineraries, available with no single supplement additional costs. Solo travellers are great ambassadors for the PONANT brand and we welcome them onboard.”

“Our small ships provide a welcoming intimate experience that many solo travellers appreciate, so wherever possible we avoid penalising them with additional costs. To offer flexibility voyages vary from 7 to 16 nights duration. And to ensure solo travellers can be at the forefront of new experiences, we have reserved space on both of PONANT’s exciting new compact Explorer Class ships, Le Lapérouse & Le Champlain, as well as PONANT’s current fleet - Le Lyrial, Le Soleal, Le Boreal and L’Austral.”

“These are all well conceived thoughtful itineraries, designed for small numbers of like-minded travellers who appreciate the mental stimulation of exciting destinations.”

“May I suggest, if considering travel with PONANT in 2017 or 2018, that it is best not to delay. Book today to secure your single traveller offer while benefitting from up to 30% off the brochure fares on the cruises just released.”

On board, creature comforts prevail. Enjoy French luxury and ambiance, and experience the difference small ship cruising offers. Cool off in the swimming pool, enjoy spa therapy to ease tired muscles or simply as a pampering indulgence. An inclusive Open Bar provides guests with the chance to share the day’s experiences with new found friends over a beer, wines, champagne or, perhaps, a cocktail. Later, the choice of fine cuisine, the flavours complemented with world-class wines.

The PONANT fleet forms the youngest fleet of ships in the world. Truly the modern way to explore, in comfort and style, with a touch of je ne sais quoi, and imbued with PONANT’s trademark dash of panache.

Details of these No Single Supplement voyages available at , as well as updated information on the new Explorer Class ships available online at