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Friday, 26 February 2021

Western Australia Set to Sail Again

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Australia's pioneering small ship cruise line, Coral Expeditions, confirms operations will restart in Western Australia this month, its 25th year of continuous operations in the state. The company has attained all required state and federal approvals including the endorsement of their travel industry leading SailSAFE plan. The announcement marks another significant milestone for the Australian expedition cruise industry. Coral Expeditions has been continuously operating incident-free in the Great Barrier Reef and Tasmania since October 2020 and have just completed a very successful inaugural voyage in South Australian waters last week.

Thursday, 18 February 2021

From on Board: Coral Adventurer's Wild Islands and Walks of South Australia - Reevesby Island

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How many South Australians could name all of the islands off the 5000km of shoreline? That would be quite a feat, as there are almost 350 of them.

On Coral Expeditions Wild Island & Walks of SA itinerary aboard the brand new Coral Adventurer, we have ticked off several islands previously unknown to me including Reevesby Island (yes, that spelling is correct. See map), part of the Sir Joseph Banks Group, itself consisting of 21 distinct landmasses.

Many of SA’s accessible islands were opened up to farming more than 100 years ago with hardy and optimistic families took livestock for breeding as well as cropping wheat and oats. The harsh conditions and isolation must have been maddening for some, while others persisted for years despite such hazards as complete lack of access to medical facilities and getting supplies on and off wobbly barges in all kinds of weather.


Xplorer's unique design allows easy access to virtually any beach (R Eime)

Landing on the beach with Coral Adventurers clever tender, Xplorer, we’re able to go ashore almost anywhere. First mate, Sam, artfully manoeuvres the 600hp craft in the surf so we all get off easily in ankle-deep water via the retractable forward platform.

Our experienced local guides, Quentin Chester and Dale Arnott, lead us over the first line of low dunes behind the beach at Home Bay, in the SW sector of the 420-hectare island. Here we find the remains of the rudimentary homestead once occupied by the Sawyer family at the beginning of the 20th century.


The Sawyer family in 1907 in front of their corrugated iron home (SLSA)

All around the iron cottage and in the old sheds are relics from successive efforts including what’s left of vintage tractors, dilapidated carts and rusty cultivators. A small group of enthusiasts are working to preserve the history as well as what’s left of the wildlife. The island’s success story is the eradication of feral pests, like cats and black rats, and the reintroduction of the once widespread greater stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor). We even see the bottom of one of the guinea pig-sized rodents dart quickly into the undergrowth.


Walkers along the beach at Haystack Bay (R Eime)

As we loop back across the dunes to Haystack Bay on the eastern shore for our extraction, we see Cape Barren Geese carefully observing us from a distant outcrop. The island is also famous for its black tiger snakes which thankfully remain hidden. Little penguins are in decline and wallabies are long gone, but the seas around the group still support dolphins, rays and seals.

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

From on Board: Coral Adventurer's Wild Islands and Walks of South Australia - Flinders Island

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One of the things I love about expedition cruising is the ability to visit remote islands often overlooked by tourism. Flinders Island, a little more than 36 square kilometres and about 30 kilometres from the nearest mainland town, Elliston, is one such example.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

From on Board: Coral Adventurer's Wild Islands and Walks of South Australia

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Thu 11 Feb - Fri 12 Feb 2021

Cape Willoughby Lighthouse (Steve Parish)

When you consider there are more than 80 ships wrecked around Kangaroo Island (KI) and the peninsulas, you'd think lighthouses would have been a priority for the fledgeling colony of South Australia.

Monday, 24 August 2020

Aqua Expeditions unveils its newest vessel Aqua Nera

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Aqua Expeditions, the global leader of luxury small ship expeditions has added a brand new vessel to their stylish fleet.

Setting a new standard for luxury river expeditions on the Amazon, Aqua Nera draws design inspiration from the Peruvian Amazon’s mystical black water lagoons and bears the hallmarks of contemporary style and generous interiors that Aqua Expeditions is known for.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Swan Hellenic revived as expedition brand


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Seventy years on from Swan Hellenic’s discovery cruise beginnings, the British born expedition cruise line is back. Its core values remain unchanged, as does the brand’s passion for exploratory cruising. Keen again to enrich inquisitive minds who want to discover incredible destinations, reconnect with nature and locals all the while sharing unique experiences.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Rebound on Antarctic Whale Population

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Following the announcement that Antarctica is one of the few Coronavirus-free locations remaining on the planet, it seems that there’s also good news for whale populations in the region - as scientists report seeing an unprecedented 55 blue whales off the UK sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, during a recent 23-day survey.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

G Adventures release 2022 Arctic Expedition dates

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Adventures aboard the G Expedition to Norway and the Arctic available to book now -

Global adventure travel expert, G Adventures, has released its 2022 program of Arctic and Norway departures aboard the 134 passenger G Expedition to travellers and agents ahead of schedule. The 12 new departures, which will run from May to September 2022, will allow travellers to explore the wonders of the Norwegian Fjords and the diverse wildlife of the Arctic peninsula, and are available to book now.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

Le Jacques Cartier, final ship of the PONANT EXPLORER series delivered

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"At a time of difficulty in the cruise industry, I am pleased to announce on Bastille Day that PONANT, the world leader in luxury expeditions continues to invest in the future with confidence, pursuing our growth strategy exampled by the launch of Le Bellot in March this year, and now the delivery of Le Jacques Cartier, the latest ship to join our modern fleet" announced Sarina Bratton, PONANT Chairman, Asia Pacific.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

True North Adventure Cruises begins amended 2020 sailing schedule

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Following a Covid-19 enforced shutdown, True North has resumed full-time operations, departing Broome on July 4 with a boatload of excited West Australians.