Friday, 24 April 2015

World Penguin Day


Salisbury Plain and King Penguins, South Georgia

With World Penguin Day just around the corner on Saturday 25 April 2015, Polar experts Aurora Expeditions join the world-wide celebrations of the emblematic flightless birds.

For more than 20 years, Aurora Expeditions have taken keen adventurers on their ultimate voyages to the Antarctic region, a great opportunity to witness some of the planet’s 17 penguin species.

Read on to learn about these adorable creatures and join the celebrations!

Social skills - Penguins are very social and live in huge colonies. The island of South Georgia is home to one of the world’s largest king penguin colonies with almost half a million birds. An unforgettable mix of sights, sounds and smells!

So French, so chic - Named after the wife of French explorer Dumont d’Urville who discovered them in 1840, Adélie penguins are highly dependent on sea ice for its krill and fish-rich ecosystem and are often found on the edge of shelf-ice during sea kayaking excursions!

Change of costume - Feathers account for about 80% of penguins’ insulative properties. Penguin chicks are born with brown, grey or white down and start fledging at about seven weeks, preparing to leave the colony. Gentoo chicks are the last ones to leave the nest, only fledging after 14 weeks.

Parents of the year - Having extremely well-developed listening skills, adults manage to find their young amongst a crowd of up to 80,000! Some penguin species’ young like chinstrap penguins are organised in groups, or crèches, guarded by just a few adults whilst most of other adults spend their time at sea fishing.

The fashionable - One of the most funny-looking penguins with their orange feather plumes above each eye, the Macaroni penguins are found on the Antarctic Peninsula and some islands such as the Falkland Islands/Malvinas and South Georgia. They are named after 18th century flamboyant dressers, the ‘Macaroni Dandies’!

Happy feet! Penguins generally have very strong feet with large and well developed claws, allowing them to climb and hop on slippery rocks and icy surfaces. Macaroni’s yellow-crested first cousins rockhopper penguins are well-known for their particular habitat, nesting on rocky slopes, in small caves and crevices.

Home sweet home – Most Antarctic penguins species lay their eggs in open nests built with mainly pebbles, but also bones and feathers. Pebbles are highly sought after during nest-building periods, being continually stolen and swapped around between adult penguins, a very entertaining sight for observers. Other species like the Magellanic penguin prefer to dig burrows to breed, and as for king and emperor penguins, no nest needed: males incubate a single egg by balancing it on top of their feet and covering it with a special brood pouch.

Always accompanied by a team of expert naturalists, Aurora Expeditions’ passengers delight themselves in spotting and observing the various penguin species, whether they land on South Georgia’s secluded beaches, enjoy their first camping experience on ice or Zodiac cruise through Antarctica’s maze of majestic icebergs and kayak along secret bays.

Join Aurora Expeditions on board 54-passenger ship Polar Pioneer during their 2015-16 Antarctic season and witness some of the world’s most fascinating penguin species along with other unique Antarctic wildlife such as seals, whales and diverse birdlife. Voyages depart from November 2015 until March 2016 and offer various itineraries including the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands/Malvinas.

Prices start from US$8,310 per person in a triple share cabin on 11-day ‘Spirit of Antarctica’ Fly/Sail voyage. All voyages include accommodation and all meals onboard, shore excursions and onboard lectures, talks and workshops and various activities such as kayaking, polar snorkelling or camping (surcharge applies).

Cousins from around the globe: Always adding more exploration to their program, Aurora Expeditions’ newer voyages offer travellers a chance to tick two other penguin species off their list! Meet the African penguin in South Africa’s Cape Peninsula on Aurora Expeditions’ 15-day ‘African Cruise Safari’, or learn about the Galapagos Islands endemic penguin on the 24-day ‘Ecuador In Depth’ expedition.

For more information please contact Aurora Expeditions on 1800 637 688, at or visit             .

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Two for the price of one on the Noorderlicht - 14 June departure


World Expeditions is offering a "Two for One" deal on the 14 June departure of its South Spitsbergen voyage.  You'll pay only US$3,050 for two people (usually per person price) on this Norwegian Arctic adventure, which is limited to only 20 passengers.  Cruise spectacular fjords and historical villages in the magical Bell Sund, while keeping watch for the Aurora Borealis 'Northern Lights'.  You'll travel in the company of an expert naturalist/expedition leader and there'll be an opportunity to assist the professional crew sail a traditional schooner.

World Expeditions
Level 5, 71 York Street, Sydney  NSW  2000
PHONE: +61 2 8270 8400

Monday, 20 April 2015

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic South Pacific brochure


Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic have just launched its South Pacific brochure for departures aboard the National Geographic Orion, ahead of the ships deployment to European waters in 2016. Discover the incredible undersea life of this region, the welcoming traditional cultures and WWII history. Snorkel a rarity in the Cook Islands: Beveridge Reef, an oceanic reef with no land in sight, or observe the Southern Line Islands, identified by National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, Dr. Enric Sala, as one of a handful of undisturbed marine habitats worldwide. Book now and join our Friend For Life program, offering lifetime discounts, as well as receive up to 25% special savings offers. Contact 1300 361 012 for details, or visit

Family Cruise Advice for Galapagos


Todd Smith wears many hats. For starters, he’s a dad, and during the work week, he’s the visionary force and face behind AdventureSmith Explorations, the small ship cruise experts (

These two hats alone make him a compendium of knowledge when it comes to cruising with young families. Check out his full blog post and story on family travel in the Galapagos at:

Following are his tips for nature-loving families who may be considering a trip-of-a-lifetime small ship cruise in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Consider if a cruise is family-focused or simply family-friendly.
  • Don’t expect child discounts on cruises offering quality experiences for families or cruise departures over popular holiday periods.
  • Be flexible as to travel dates if mingling with other families is a priority.
  • Plan to arrive in Ecuador minimally 48 hours before the cruise departure to allow for flight delays and weather.
  • Kids age six and older will enjoy family cruises to the Galapagos Islands. Keep in mind that there are no babysitting services aboard small ships.
“Not all family cruises are the same,” said Smith. “Family-focused cruises create an environment for multi generations to interact with each other, young and old experiencing and enjoying life together on the ship and on-shore. These cruises usually are offered over school holidays and in the summer and most likely include other families with children similar in age.”
Are family-focused cruises parent and youth centric?

“Yes, and with great results,” Smith said. “Young and old alike will be clamoring for the latest reports from a youthful birder, or encouraging a teenager trying out his fledgling language skills on someone else’s grandfather who speaks only Spanish.  As age boundaries disappear, enjoyment levels increase.”
Smith suggests these questions to ask when choosing a family-focused cruise:
  • Are guides and crew are trained to work with younger travelers?
  • What are some of the family bonding activities offered?
  • Are menus and meal times designed with younger travelers in mind?
  • Will children of similar ages be traveling on the same cruise?
AdventureSmith Explorations’ choices for top family-focus cruises in the Galapagos include:
Family-friendly cruises usually offer children’s menus and entertainment but aren’t as youth-centric as family-focused cruises. Smith’s recommendations for family-friendly cruises include those offered by National Geographic, “a perfect blend of activity and education with onboard experts.” The expedition leaders and naturalist staff aboard the 48 guest Islander and 96 guest Endeavour are tops in their field. This cruise is perfect for families willing to pay a premium for National Geographic leadership resulting in an intellectual and educational experience.

“On any cruise you select, remember that most of children today are wired in to their worlds at home. To help them disconnect and focus on where they are, photography and travel journals are ways they can record their experiences and collect material for show and tell and class work down the road. It is important to be sure each child has a camera,” said Smith.

Some clients prefer to travel just with their own family and friends. In these instances he suggests arranging a private family charter for a minimum of 12 and up to 100 people. The same professional level of staff and guide services are secured for charter cruises as are provided on departures open to the public.

For more information, cruise options, availability and 2015-2016 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit

Friday, 17 April 2015

Andrew Tischler to join True North Kimberley voyage


This year's Kimberley Ultimate 6 will feature landscape artist AndrewTischler.

Andrew first joined the TRUE NORTH in 2010 painting enpleinair (in open air) for all to enjoy and we are thrilled that Andrew is planning to once again immerse himself in the majestic Kimberley.

Since that first trip we have proudly featured Andrew's art on-board the TRUE NORTH and his reputation further afield has grown significantly. His exhibitions have routinely sold-out and Andrew now works almost exclusively under commission.

However, on this very special occasion Andrew is bringing a collection of work with him - the "True North Collection." These are paintings exclusively inspired by Andrew's time in the Kimberley. And, you can look over Andrew’s shoulder as this newest body of work comes to life by logging onto his studio blog here. Not only could this be your best opportunity to secure a stunning work from this now acclaimed artist – but you could also share in the creative process from conception to hanging.

To join in this celebration of one of Australia’s most stunning landscapes – just click here.

Contact your preferred travel representative or your adventure partners at North Star Cruises on +61 8 9192 1829!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Ponant's Le Lyrial launched


“Le Lyrial”, a small luxury cruise ship built by Fincantieri for the French cruise line Ponant (Bridgepoint Group), was launched today at the Ancona shipyard. The new ship, which will fly the French flag, is the fourth sister ship following “L’Austral”, “Le Boreal” and “Le Soleal”, delivered respectively in May 2010, April 2011 and June 2013.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Greenland Voyage aboard Silver Explorer


Venture through one of the world's most spectacular wildernesses aboard Silversea Expeditions' luxury vessel, Silver Explorer.  Guests spend 12 days sailing through remote fjords and dazzling active white glaciers, while immersed in Viking heritage and the Inuit culture.  

Departing Reykjavik, Iceland on 15 August 2015, Silver Explorer crosses the Denmark Strait to sail along Greenland's rugged coastline, visiting Thyrms Glacier and Prince Christian Sound, where guests witness towering snow tipped mountains, sculptured icebergs and streaming waterfalls.  Docking in Nanortalik, a small scenic town surrounded by steep mountainsides and brimming with heritage, Silversea guests learn about the Inuit ancestry, traditional clothing, customs and lifestyle and unwind in hot springs renowned for their healing properties.

Continuing her journey through Greenland, Silver Explorer visits Uunartoq Island, Qaqortoq, Hvalsey and Brattahlid.  Each of these towns are abundant with historic ruins, endemic wildlife and remarkable surroundings.

Arriving in Nuuk, Greenland's capital, guests are guided through the picturesque harbour town, exploring Inuit ruins and the famous Qilakitsoq mummies along the way, before cruising to Sisimiut, where there is an opportunity to meet a sledge dog teamSilver Explorer then ports in Ilulissat, home to Jakobshavn, the northern hemisphere's most active glacier that radiates shades of white and turquoise at sunrise.  This voyage concludes in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, with guests disembarking on 27 August 2015.

Prices are per person starting from AU$12,250 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 ships; an outstanding expedition team of expert guides and lecturers; 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

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