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Monday, 13 August 2018

Introducing Solomon Islands Discovery Cruises


"a dedicated niche adventure cruise program, operated by a local company with local experts offering insight into our unique culture, history and environment plus the opportunity to experience our amazing underwater world"




Honiara, Solomon Islands - Heralding a long-awaited return to dedicated Solomon Islands small ship cruise programs, newly-formed Solomon Islands Discovery Cruises (SIDC) has announced its plans to operate six adventure itineraries in 2018-2019.

Operating ex-Honiara and timed to dovetail with Solomon Airlines' Brisbane-Honiara services, SIDC has employed the 30-metre MV Taka to operate the six and seven-day cruises, each of which have been designed to highlight two of the South Pacific's truly unspoiled and culturally-rich regions - the Florida and Russell Islands archipelagos.

Passengers will have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in both region's distinctive cultures and environments.

The cruise itineraries feature visits to remote villages along with plentiful opportunity to discover the region's amazing coral pastures and abundant marine life with daily dive and snorkel options.

Both areas are also rich in WWII history giving passengers insight into the infamous Guadalcanal campaign in 1942 via the many wrecked US and Japanese aircraft, warships and relics which literally litter the seabed.

Congratulating SIDC on its initiative, Tourism Solomons CEO, Josefa 'Jo' Tuamoto said the very nature of the Solomon Islands archipelago of 992 islands lent itself to dedicated small ship adventure itineraries.

"Lindblad Expeditions left a big hole when it decided to redeploy its small ship operation to the Galapagos two years ago," he said.

"And while we regularly welcome Expedition Cruises' vessels, these itineraries are always in conjunction with other destinations, such as Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, and passengers only get a very small taste of what we have to offer," he said.

"Having a dedicated niche adventure cruise program, operated by a local company with local experts and one that offers insight into our unique culture, history and environment plus the opportunity to experience our amazing underwater world is a huge build on our existing tourism product.

"Add to this, the amazing benefits our local people will accrue from this environmentally-oriented program are immeasurable.

"This product is long overdue and one that I see as being highly successful going forward."

Prices for an inaugural 24 August seven-day/six-night cruises lead-in at AUD2499* per person in quad share accommodation inclusive of all meals and all activities.

A daily per person AUD30.00 'kastom' fee applies. SCUBA diving gear is available to rent.

About the MV TAKA

Serviced by a 12-strong crew, the 30-metre MV Taka features six upper deck cabins all with ensuite facilities and six lower deck cabins in twin and quad configuration with shared bathrooms. All cabins are fully air-conditioned and come with reading lights, towels, bedding and charging stations.

*Conditions apply.

For more information visit http://sidcruises.com.au

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Lindblad Expeditions shores up relationship with National Geographic

#expeditioncruising



Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIND; the "Company" or "Lindblad"), a global provider of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, announced today that it has expanded its agreement with National Geographic Partners ("National Geographic") to include all of the Americas. 

The relationship between Lindblad and National Geographic, founded in 2004 and steeped in a shared interest in exploration, research, technology and conservation, includes co-selling, co-marketing and branding arrangements that run through 2025.  With the addition of the Canada and Latin America markets to the existing agreement covering the United States, Australia and New Zealand, Lindblad and National Geographic have further deepened their long-term strategic partnership and will collectively invest to further accelerate growth in these important geographies. 

The United States has long been the primary source market for Lindblad, and with the rapidly accelerating demand for authentic and immersive experiential travel the Company certainly expects significant domestic growth for years to come.  At the same time, many of the trends powering the increase in expedition travel in the United States are manifesting themselves globally as well, and deepening expansion into select international markets is a core part of Lindblad's growth strategy. 

The expanded collaboration with National Geographic provides an opportunity for Lindblad and National Geographic to leverage the strong brand position National Geographic holds in Canada and key Latin American markets, while at the same time building upon Lindblad's long-established leadership position in the United States expedition travel market.

Given the accelerating demand for high quality and authentic expedition travel and the expanded agreement with National Geographic, Lindblad's Board of Directors recently approved the build of an additional blue water vessel to explore the world's most unique and remote locations.  This state of the art vessel, which is anticipated to be delivered in 2021, will be the next step in the Company's fleet expansion following the launch of the National Geographic Quest in July 2017, the addition of the National Geographic Venture to the fleet in December 2018 and the delivery of the National Geographic Endurance in the first quarter of 2020.  

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said "Lindblad has been a pioneer in expedition travel for fifty years.  By extending our successful partnership with National Geographic, energising new markets and expanding our fleet, we are taking the next steps in our long-term growth strategy.  Our experience and track record in delivering unparalleled experiences in the world's most amazing locations ideally positions us to capitalise on the explosive growth in high quality adventure travel."

"National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions have, over the past 14 years, found an extraordinary level of common cause. This manifests itself in knowing the importance of people exploring the world, building understanding and becoming more knowledgeable and energised citizens," says Gary E. Knell, CEO of National Geographic Partners. "Our collaboration goes far beyond business, into education, conservation and storytelling through expedition travel.  We know collectively that our partnership's goal is to consistently grow the number of people who explore our world and that's why we're so excited to expand our partnership to include the Canadian and Latin American markets."

For more information visit au.expeditions.com  or visit Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube,  Pinterest and LinkedIn.


Ponant partners with National Geographic Expeditions

#expeditioncruising .


National Geographic Expeditions and PONANT announce an extensive long-term cruise partnership



• National Geographic and PONANT create a new strategic partnership to develop its Small Ship Expedition programme in Australia, NZ and Asia Pacific.

• With significant shared experience in exploration and luxury travel,
National Geographic Expeditions and PONANT will create unique experiences on board a fleet of state of the art ships

Over 100 unique itineraries have been created by PONANT for National Geographic Expeditions, on sale from 8th August 2018


National Geographic Expeditions, the travel business of one of the world’s most trusted brands, and PONANT, the world leader of luxury expedition cruises, have today announced a new strategic partnership to create an extensive range of co-branded, luxury expedition cruises. With a shared common vision in premium experiences and responsible travel, PONANT and National Geographic Expeditions will offer an extensive range of expedition cruises throughout the world, targeting customers in Australia, NZ and Asia Pacific.

National Geographic Expeditions is the premium provider of travel experiences that embody the renowned National Geographic spirit of adventure, conservation and education. Offering unique access, experiences and expertise that only National Geographic can, the company also returns a portion of all proceeds to the non-profit National Geographic Society to support researchers and explorers who work to preserve, protect, and advance understanding of the planet and its people.





PONANT is the world leader in luxury expedition cruising operating a state of the art fleet of 7 small ships, increasing to 12 by 2021, with the delivery of new Expedition class vessels and a luxury hybrid Icebreaker powered by LNG. The full fleet has been ‘clean ship’ certified and offers a number of leading-edge technologies to protect the environment, including recycling and reuse programmes, reduced exhaust emissions and sustainable purchasing practices. All efforts made by the luxury cruise operator are designed to respect the environment and marine life.

As part of the overall experience, PONANT will create unique itineraries to some of the most remote and inaccessible places on the planet, transporting guests in style and comfort along with innovative new features, including a new multi-sensory underwater lounge called Blue Eye. National Geographic Expeditions will provide a range of expedition resources on-board, including leading experts and National Geographic photographers to travel and engage with all guests to create an immersive and quality experience.

The luxury ships will offer an intimate experience with total passengers ranging from 180 to 240 per cruise and 130 itineraries have been designed for the next four years, with prices per person starting from A$4730 per person. Core destinations will be the Antarctic and Arctic, which will be complemented by a range of global expeditions covering all continents.

Tim Jones, Vice President Travel Asia Pacific, National Geographic Partners commented “Today marks a milestone in growing our National Geographic Expeditions business in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region. In PONANT, we have a luxury and ethically minded partner with European flair, experience in traveling to ambitious locations, along with an expansive travel agent network. We will be working together to offer premium expedition experiences, creating unique itineraries that speak to the explorer in all of us.”

Sarina Bratton AM, Chairman Asia Pacific for PONANT added “We are thrilled and gratified that one of the greatest specialist media companies in the world has chosen PONANT to be their expedition cruise partner. This partnership brings together two highly respected global organisations with shared values and a common goal to inspire guests to live curiously, explore our planet and become ambassadors for sustainability.

The new cruise experiences will be available to book from 8th August 2018. Discover the video and expedition cruises on PONANT website at au.ponant.com/national-geographic

Discover more on National Geographic Expeditions website at www.nationalgeographic.com.au/ponant

Dedicated Phone line: Australia: 1800 889 088 | New Zealand: +61 2 8311 0808

Dedicated Email: natgeo.au@ponant.com

Drawing on the National Geographic Society’s 130 years of exploration and storytelling, National Geographic Expeditions offers a wide range of unique travel experiences, including small ship voyages, private jet expeditions, small group tours, private tours, a collection of luxury sustainable lodges, and more. Trips are organised in over 80 countries on all seven continents, from the tropical atolls of French Polynesia to the peaks of Nepal and the ice world of the Arctic.



The Worlds Most Interesting Islands with Lindblad Expeditions

#expeditioncruising

Lindblad Expeditions has launched its 2019 Galápagos brochure; with each trip offering a myriad of encounters with animals found nowhere else but the Galápagos' as well as exploring a region rich in natural treasures.

The dedicated brochure details six in-depth diverse itineraries through the Galápagos as well as explorations to Peru, tropical Andes and the Amazon.

One of the new expeditions to the market is the Wild Galápagos Escape, which is a shorter itinerary for 2019 and packs a ton of activities into one exhilarating week to discover the wonders and wildlife of this magical place, with departures on Saturday and Thursday.  Set aboard the newly refurbished 48-guest National Geographic Islander, the expedition features 5 days in the archipelago exploring the islands and multiple adventures each day on land and undersea.

Guests will enjoy the full Lindblad-National Geographic Galápagos cruise experience on these expeditions with tools to enhance the guests experience, such as a fleet of Zodiacs, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards, plus undersea video technology – with enough equipment to ensure all guests are able to go out on active adventures daily.

For families, Lindblad Expeditions allows children to have fun with cool activities in the Galápagos. Developed in conjunction with National Geographic Education, the program is designed to help kids and teens develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge of an explorer, undertaking activities while being guided by a National Geographic certified field educator.  

Also new for 2019, travellers can enjoy complimentary bar tab and Wifi on all 2019 departures on the National Geographic Islander or National Geographic Endeavour II.*

To coincide with the launch of the new brochure, travellers can receive $500 special savings offer, plus free return flights from Guayaquil to Galápagos – when booking before 31 October 2018.*

Agents can call the dedicated team on 1300 363 055 or order brochures at adventureworld.com.au/brochures

For more information visit au.expeditions.com

Monday, 30 July 2018

Social media hysteria clouds facts in Svalbard polar bear attack

#expeditioncruising .



Social media activity generated by the recent polar bear attack in Svalbard has demonstrated a huge misunderstanding about the passive observation and conservation aims of small ship and expedition cruising in Arctic waters.

Roderick (Rod) Eime, a journalist specialising in adventure cruising who has travelled extensively in Arctic regions, would like to dispel some of this misinformation.

“While this event has had a tragic result for the polar bear it is by no means indicative of the operational procedures of any reputable adventure cruise company operating in the habitat of these majestic animals,” said Eime.

All ships operating in these waters with passengers keen to see polar bears in the wild must adhere to strict procedures before bringing guests ashore.

These guidelines are agreed upon by all operators and ratified by the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) as well as legislation laid out in Svalbard Environmental Protection Act which expressly forbids disturbing wildlife of any kind.

The widely circulated image that sparked social media outrage.
 Picture: AFP/Gustav BuschSource:AFP

“While I was not a witness to this event, I know the cruise line (Hapag-Lloyd) as being one of the most experienced, thorough and conscientious in the industry. It would seem this animal was not sighted during the preliminary survey of the area quite possibly because it was resting behind an obstruction.

“Regulations – and common sense - state clearly that if a bear is sighted anywhere in the intended landing area or the perimeter, passengers do not go ashore. Period.”

Even then, guides armed with flare guns and rifles form a wide circle around the group who stay close together at all times keeping a constant vigil. Initial, unconfirmed reports suggest all correct preventative measures (firing of flare guns, warning shots etc) were carried out but failed to deter this particularly determined animal.

“From my experience, this is the first time a rifle has even been fired by cruise ship staff, let alone with fatal results.”

Three years ago a Czech man who visited the archipelago to watch a solar eclipse was attacked in his tent by a polar bear. The man suffered injuries to his face and arm.

The last fatal attack by a polar bear in Svalbard occurred in August 2011, when a British student was killed during a field trip.


A comprehensive report will be made to the Svalbard authorities and we should avoid jumping to ill-informed conclusions in the meantime.

More: AECO Statement

More: Frigg Jørgensen, Executive director, AECO Arctic Cruise Tourism and Polar bear encounters


Rod is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines on expedition cruising and has maintained a news blog devoted to expedition cruising for more than ten years – www.expeditioncruising.com and is available for comment on 0418 214028


Originally published as 'Expedition leader mauled by polar bear in Svalbard'




Friday, 20 July 2018

Win an expedition trip to Antarctica with Peregrine

#expeditioncruising .


Yes, it's that easy. Follow these simple steps and you could be
on your way to the frozen continent.


LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE




Lindblad to build new polar expedition vessel for 2021

#expeditioncruising .


Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIND; “Lindblad”, the “Company”), the global leader of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the building of a new polar expedition ship. This state-of-the-art vessel, which is anticipated to be delivered in 2021, will be the next phase of Lindblad’s fleet expansion following the launch of the National Geographic Quest in July 2017, the addition of the National Geographic Venture in December 2018 and the delivery of the National Geographic Endurance in the first quarter of 2020. 

NG Endurance (above) is due in 2020. 

As demand for high quality and authentic expedition travel continues to accelerate, both through market expansion as well as from sustained investment in their marketing and sales infrastructure, Lindblad is committed to expanding capacity to provide a growing audience with the opportunity to explore the world’s most unique and remote locations.

This will be the fourth polar vessel in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, joining the National Geographic Explorer and the National Geographic Orion, currently in operation, and the National Geographic Endurance, which is scheduled for delivery in early 2020. The new vessel will be designed as the ultimate expedition platform with a focus on immersing our guests in these amazing geographies.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “We are extremely excited to announce the further expansion of our expedition fleet. This is the next step of our long-term growth strategy to capitalize on the expanding demand for high-quality adventure travel. By marrying additional capacity with a dedicated and growing loyal customer base and fifty years of experience, we will be able to build upon our proven track record of delivering unparalleled expeditions to the world’s most remarkable destinations.”