Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Whale research on Antarctic expedition cruise [watch]



Collaboration between Polar Expedition Cruise specialist - One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) - and acclaimed marine mammal biologists and scientists leads to significant information on Antarctic whale behaviour that can help to protect fragile polar ecosystems.

Australian and US scientists, including Dr. Ari Friedlaender OOE's leading marine mammal biologist on Antarctic whale scientific research, were recently conducting fieldwork off the Antarctic Peninsula. With drone technology the team of experts were able to capture ground-breaking insights on the feeding behaviour of whales

"We are very proud to support leading-edge research, as well as offer the opportunity for OOE's guests and staff to meet and interact with acclaimed marine biologists and scientists in the intimate setting provided by our expedition cruise vessels. It's not everyday travellers can witness renowned scientists at work and experience such close encounters with Antarctic whales and wildlife," says Andrew Prossin, Managing Director at One Ocean Expeditions. "The 2017 Antarctic cruise season, particularly our Marine Mammals of Antarctica expedition cruise this March, was certainly one to remember!" Prossin added.



The team of scientists attached non-invasive suction cup camera tags with 3D motion sensors, which fall off approximately 24 to 48 hours later. Upon retrieving the devices, the researchers were able to study the recordings showing the feeding behaviour of the humpback whales, including lunge feeding into the abundant tight swarms of krill found in the Antarctic Ocean at this time of the year. Not only did it show footage, but it also recorded their exact movements and the depths of each dive.

"We have some wonderful data on different feeding strategies, ranging from rolling lunges near the surface and bubble net feeding to deep foraging dives lunging through dense patches of krill," says leading whale scientist Dr. Ari Friedlaender. "We have been able to show that whales spend a great deal of time during the days socialising and resting and then feeding largely throughout the evening and night time," Friedlaender added.



The data captured by the cameras will not only help scientists to understand the feeding patterns, social habits and the role played by whales in the Antarctic ecosystem, it will also help them to determine how any change in krill populations might affect these magnificent creatures. Through this understanding, the researchers will be in a position to establish measures to help protect the whales' environment.

Meanwhile, longer-term LIMPET tags were attached to minke whales, essentially because these mammals are faster and more elusive than humpback whales. The tags will transmit data for approximately two to three months. "This work is part of a long-term ecological research study to better understand the divergent impacts of climate change on the ice-dependent minke whales and more open-water humpback whales in this part of the Antarctic," says Elanor Bell, Australian whale research scientist from the Australian Antarctic Division.

One Ocean Expeditions is committed to supporting ongoing ethical science and outreach programs with opportunities available to accredited institutions on each voyage. A leader in polar expedition cruising, One Ocean Expeditions operates voyages to the Antarctic from end October through to March. On several of the cruises, guests have the opportunity to get to know the scientists and to be educated on leading-edge research initiatives - an important part of the One Ocean Expeditions cruise program, which differentiates the company in the growing competitive cruise market.

For more information on One Ocean Expeditions' voyages in polar destinations please visit: www.oneoceanexpeditions.com

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Island Escape cruises in Tahiti


Escape to Tahiti Like a Pop Star or President 

Tahiti Tourisme is offering Australian travellers the chance to relax like a rock star or take time out like a talk show host with a series of star-studded holiday packages now on sale.

Proving it's the world's pre-eminent island destination, some of the most famous people on the planet have chosen The Islands of Tahiti as their ultimate getaway in recent weeks.

Once owned by Marlon Brando, The Brando – an exclusive eco-resort on Tetiaroa – has been a playground for celebrities on "spring break", hosting a former president and talk show host on its idyllic shores.

A rock star and Oscar-winning actor have also taken advantage of the privacy of a luxury yacht to sail around the Society Islands, anchoring in the crystal clear lagoon of island paradise Huahine.

Meanwhile one of the music industry's most iconic couples took time out from their busy schedules to enjoy a babymoon at a Bora Bora resort.

Tahiti Tourisme Director Australia New Zealand Robert Thompson said the Islands of Tahiti had always been popular with celebrities as it offered the chance to truly get away.

"The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for their picture-perfect lagoons and palm-fringed beaches but what some visitors enjoy most is the destination's exclusivity and privacy," Mr Thompson said.

"Privacy is the ultimate luxury and it comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti, which offer all visitors the freedom and space to truly relax in their own private haven."

Tahiti Tourisme is inviting holidaymakers to experience the Islands of Tahiti like a VIP with a range of great packages:

Indulge in a babymoon like a pop star with a seven-night package including five nights in an overwater bungalow at the Intercontinental Bora Bora Thalasso Resort,  return economy flights with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia and transfers throughout including inter-island flights, from $5799* per person twin share.

Sail around the Society Islands like a movie star onboard the 24-passenger luxury small ship Island Escape, which offers the ultimate comfort as guests explore coves and islands that are inaccessible to larger ships. Prices start from $7199* per person twin share including the seven-night cruise, two nights at Manava Suite Resort Tahiti, return economy flights with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia, transfers throughout and inter-island flights.

Escape like some of the most famous couples in the world with a five-night package including three nights in a luxurious private beachfront villa at the Brando on Tetiaroa, two nights at Intercontinental Tahiti Resort, return economy flights with Air Tahiti Nui from Australia and transfers throughout including inter-island flights, from $8799* per person twin share. The all-inclusive resort offers all meals, beverages, excursions and a spa treatment.

For more information or to book visit www.tahititravel.com.au

*Subject to availability, conditions apply.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Arctic cruise experiences off the beaten track in 2017

#expeditioncruising

Australian travellers will have more reasons than ever to go on a polar adventure this year with Polar Specialist Chimu Adventures expanding their travel options to include a variety of off the beaten track Arctic itineraries.

Whether it's crossing the magnificent scenery surrounding Greenland, spotting polar bears in the Arctic's 'capital of wildlife' Spitsbergen, or following the footsteps of the early Arctic explorers on a voyage across the iconic Northwest Passage, Chimu's Arctic experiences will appeal to discerning travellers who have their heart set on seeing and experiencing one of the most seldom visited destinations on earth.

Apart from taking in some of the planet's most inspiring sceneries, the journeys also offer wildlife excursions as well as cultural visits and on-board lectures about the Arctic's local history and culture.

Itineraries encompass a vast range of experiences in destinations including the North Pole, Greenland, Spitsbergen, the Canadian Arctic and the Russian Arctic.

Highlights include:

-         The 8-day Realm of the Polar Bear (on sale - now priced from AU$ 3,518), is the ultimate introduction to the Arctic taking in the Spitsbergen area in-depth that is commonly referred to as the Arctic's 'capital of wildlife'. On this best value trip, travellers have a high chance of seeing the elusive polar bear and other prominent wildlife species while cruising the region's scenic glaciers, fjords and ice fields.

-         On the 15-day Arctic Highlights (on sale - now priced from AU$ 5,660), travellers can tick off not just one but several bucket list items. Taking in the best of Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland, this trip provides guests with a great chance of seeing polar bears and the Northern Lights.

-         The 13-day Top of the World (early bird sale - now priced from AU$ 36,345) is the ultimate way to see the North Pole. Guests will cruise aboard a state-of-the-art icebreaker, crush through multiyear ice on the Arctic Ocean, take in the rarely visited Russian Arctic archipelago before being presented with the once in a lifetime opportunity of standing at the top of the world.

-        The 17-day Northwest Passage: Epic High Arctic (priced from AU$ 16,255) is an in-depth exploration of the High Arctic with the North West Passage and its history being a major focus of this voyage. Following the footsteps of Sir John Franklin, this cruise explores the stunning fjords and icebergs of the Canadian Arctic, and travellers will visit traditional Inuit communities and learn about the Arctic's history and culture.

 "We have seen huge organic growth in demand for our Antarctica cruises over the last 18 months with an increasing number of travellers returning from their trips hungry for their next polar adventure. With most of our Antarctica vessels already operating in the Arctic, it was the next logical step for us to expand into this new destination" said Chad Carey, co-founder of Chimu Adventures.

"Even the most seasoned traveller will be blown away by the inspiring features that make up the Arctic – its mind-blowingly distinctive wildlife, picturesque sceneries, fascinating history and culture. For us, we really want to provide our travellers with an immersive experience that goes beyond the 'ordinary' expedition cruise and our travel options perfectly reflect this mission."

For more information, visit: http://www.chimuadventures.com/destinations/arctic-cruises

*Prices are subject to change ; terms and conditions apply.

www.chimuadventures.com

World Expeditions Antarctic Voyages Sale




#expeditioncruising

Save on selected World Expeditions active' Antarctic Voyages

Get active and save up to US$3,100 on World Expeditions' Antarctic Sale.  Choose between a 30 day historic voyage following the routes of past explorers, a 12 day base camp expedition, with free camping, kayaking, mountaineering, hiking and snowshoeing – or something in between.

On the 30 day Ross Sea Explorer -  Footsteps of Scott & Shackleton, which departs Invercargill, New Zealand on 10 January 2018 and 08 February 2018, you'll save US$2,230 on a main deck twin room, now US$20,070 per person, reduced from US$22,300 or save US$2,400 on a superior room, now US$21,600 per person, reduced from US$24,000.  This expedition is the ultimate Antarctic voyage in one of the most remote regions in the world and is only accessible for two months each year when the ice thaws. Visit historic huts of the early explorers including Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen. Voyage through the breeding grounds of Adelie and Emperor penguins, and enjoy landings on the Sub-Antarctic Auckland, Campbell and Macquarie Islands.



Save up to US$2,150 per person on the 11 day Antarctic Experience, which departs 6 December and costs from US$5,750 per person (down from US$7,200 per person). An ideal introduction to the Great White continent, see albatross and petrels as we cross the Drake Passage when the first huge icebergs come into view, along with a wide variety of wildlife including seals, whales and an abundance of penguin and other birdlife.

For the ultimate active experience in Antarctica, board the 12 day active Antarctic Basecamp Cruise, which includes camping, kayaking, mountaineering, hiking and snowshoeing.  Departing 4 November, you'll save between US$1,600 on a quad porthole room (reduced from US$7,950 to US$6,350 per person and US$2,350 (reduced from US$11,850 to US$9500 per person on a superior room.

Other trips on sale include the 15 November Weddell Sea - In search of Emperor Penguins (save up to $3,100) and the 29 November Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula (save up to $1,200).

Join World Expeditions' Antarctic experts at free information nights in Melbourne (4 May), Brisbane (10 May), Sydney (18 May) and Adelaide, (23 May) to hear about the suite of Antarctic expeditions.

Offer valid until cabins are sold out; however availability is limited.  Call 1300 720 000 or visit www.worldexpeditions.com for full terms and conditions.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Silversea Previews Major Redesign for Silver Explorer

#expeditioncruising .


Silversea's luxury expedition ship Silver Explorer will welcome guests to a stylishly elevated onboard experience starting with her May 20 voyage, sailing from Lisbon to Honfleur. A comprehensive stem-to-stern refurbishment is scheduled for the end of April and will take place during a nearly three-week dry dock in Las Palmas. Plans call for a complete renovation of Silver Explorer's interior decoration, creating a revitalized atmosphere throughout the ship. As part of its $170 million fleet-wide refurbishment program, the company is making a significant investment to ensure that guests enjoy a renewed sense of luxury and comfort when sailing aboard Silver Explorer. Highlights of the renovation include:

Refreshed Public Spaces: The ship's overall color scheme will shift to an elegant new palette of blue and beige tones, which guests will first notice in the remodeled reception area. The rich new look will be carried throughout the ship with the installation of attractive new carpets and wall treatments in the corridors, staircases and all public spaces.

In addition to new carpets and wall treatments, the Observation Lounge, Panorama Lounge, and Connoisseur's Corner will be updated with all-new furniture. The restaurant's buffet counters, ceiling and walls will get a makeover and the furniture will be refashioned with new upholstery. The theater's bar will be completely redesigned and its banquette seats refreshed with new upholstery. A new boutique will be built in the space previously occupied by the library, while the reference and entertainment materials from the library will be moved to the Observation Lounge. Also set for a spruce-up are the spa and fitness center, which will double in size by taking over the area occupied by the original boutique. Plus, the Outdoor Grill will be enhanced with a new awning.

Elevated New Décor for Suites: The ship's all-suite accommodations will be completely renovated with new carpets, wall treatments, curtains, and furniture, including mattresses, headboards, wardrobes, bedside tables, vanity desks, sofa beds, armchairs, flatscreen TVs and lighting fixtures. In all but the largest suites (i.e., Medallion Suites and higher), the bathrooms will be enhanced with new flooring, granite appointments and rainforest showers (replacing tub-and-shower combinations). Suites with verandas will be outfitted with new veranda furniture. And the eight Expedition Suites on Decks 3 and 4 will be converted into 16 Vista and View Suites, with most featuring a connecting door for the convenience of families and friends traveling together.

The remodeled Silver Explorer will accommodate 144 guests in all-inclusive luxury as she sails to the world's most remote destinations—from the Arctic, Antarctica and Africa to the Americas, French Polynesia, and the Russian Far East. Guests will enjoy sumptuous cuisine, the personalized service of a butler, and a generous selection of shipboard amenities included in the fare, such as complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, and at least one free hour of Wi-Fi per guest, per day.

In true Silversea Expeditions style, guests will be enriched by an onboard program of destination lectures, photo presentations and daily recaps. Exploratory Zodiac excursions and interactive walks ashore, led by experts in their field—marine biologists, ornithologists, geologists, botanists, historians, and anthropologists, are complimentary.

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 www.silversea.com



Myanmar with The Strand Cruise: a spectacular experience from ship to shore

While the exceptional on-board amenities may make it difficult to leave The Strand Cruise, the luxury line's latest shore excursions make exploring Myanmar's stunning scenery irresistible, and easily accessible to travellers along the Ayeyarwady River.




The Strand Cruise, sister ship of the world renowned Sarkies brothers hotel The Strand Yangon, offers a selection of three-and-four-night cruises along Myanmar's epic Ayeyarwady River between Bagan and Mandalay. The à la carte shore day trips, many of which are not readily available to many visitors, include ancient cities, monasteries, pagodas and temples and unforgettable and exclusive experiences, such as horse-and-cart rides and hot air ballooning.

The Strand Cruise's shore experiences allow travellers to discover the hidden authentic gems of Myanmar, experience the rich tapestry that makes up this colourful and stunning country, and immerse themselves in the rich culture of one of the hottest emerging destinations for Australian travellers. Each guide has no more than five passengers with them during the excursions, making each journey ashore personalised and unique to the needs and wants of guests.

Guests on board The Strand Cruise can choose from a menu of unique tailor-made, shore excursions designed to allow travellers to customise their cruise experience.  Highlights of the shore excursions include:

·         Mandalay's magnificent U Bein Bridge, a crossing that spans the Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura which is believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world

·         Former capital Mingun which lies at the foot of 'the unfinished pagoda', one of the largest ever constructed in Myanmar. Visit the pagoda via local Tuk Tuk transport and see the Mingun Bell – renowned as the largest un-cracked hanging bell in the world

·         Paya Hsinbyume, an impressive pagoda that rises in seven curved whitewashed terraces representing the seven mountain ranges around Mt Meru - the centre of the Buddhist universe

·         Embark upon a romantic horse-and-cart ride to ancient imperial capital Ava, which presided over successive Burmese kingdoms from the 14th to the 19th centuries. Admire key landmarks of this ruined abandoned city, which has been ravaged by war and natural disasters. Visit the Yadana Shemee and Wingaba temples, as well as the Bopaya monastery

·         The architecturally significant ancient city of Bagan, beginning of the Bagan Heritage Trail and home to wonders including the exquisite Ananda temple, the gold-leaf bedecked Shwezigon Pagoda, and the five-terraced Shwe San Daw temple with its bejewelled umbrella and panoramic views from cylindrical stupa

·         A sunrise hot-air balloon ride floating above the 2000 glorious pagodas of Bagan (additional costs apply)

Formerly known as The Elephant River or Irrawaddy River, the Ayeyarwady River is Myanmar's lifeline, running from the snow-capped Himalayas through 1500 kilometres to the Andaman Sea. Its banks are home to hundreds, if not thousands of temples, stupas and nats, while its stories have inspired poets, authors, artists, photographers and modern day adventurers.

A luxury touring experience, The Strand Cruise is acclaimed for its flawless service, insightful guides, exceptional comfort and extensive on-board activity options, including a swimming pool, spa, series of fascinating lectures, regional cooking demonstrations and crew-hosted cocktail parties.

The Strand Cruise itineraries include three meals a day, soft drinks and local beer, house wine during meals, port charges, English-speaking guides, many on-board activities, shore excursions and satellite Wi-Fi in all cabins and public areas.

Throughout 2017 and 2018, The Strand Cruise will host a series of expert-led themed cruises designed to enrich guests' experience of Myanmar and its culture, including a photography cruise hosted by professional photographer Lucas Gurdjian in October and classical music-themed cruises in November 2017 and February 2018 featuring musicians from Orchestre de Paris.

New to The Strand Cruise in 2017 will be an 11-night voyage from Mandalay to Yangon, providing passengers with an immersive cultural experience and access to lesser known temples and villages along one of Myanmar's most majestic waterways.

Highlights will include a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, a 2,500-year-old gold-leaf and diamond encrusted pagoda and one of the country's most sacred and impressive Buddhist sites; the forts of Gwechaung, the bejewelled Shwe San Daw temple in Bagan; and the U-Bein Bridge, believed to be the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

The Strand Cruise is a reinvention of the legendary style and unique personality of its sister hotel, The Strand Yangon, within a contemporary river cruise experience, with design touches that evoke the character of the Strand in its heyday as a meeting place for explorers and raconteurs, combined with latest creature comforts and technology. Passengers can complement their cruise with a stay at the recently refurbished The Strand Yangon:  www.hotelthestrand.com

Thursday, 13 April 2017

News from Wild Earth Travel

#expeditioncruising .



Discover French Polynesia's Enchanting Marquesas Islands

Explore aboard the ultimate cruise freighter Aranui 5



Embark on a voyage of discovery following the paths of Paul Gauguin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thor Heyerdahl and Jacques Brel. The Aranui 5 takes you to some of the most remote corners of the Pacific, the ship has been uniquely designed to provide both a vital cargo link for the remote villages while at the same time bringing travellers in comfort to experience these spectacular islands and their welcoming inhabitants.

Each day the Aranui 5 will visit a new and different port where there is the opportunity to explore ashore, travel inland to historic sites, go horseback riding and many other included adventures.

The Aranui 5 was launched in 2015, designed and custom built with passenger comfort in mind. As you cruise, the experienced Polynesian staff and crew will welcome you to these exotic, captivating islands they call home.

The ship provides a relaxed, friendly experience with space to meet new friends while relaxing on the deck or by the pool, as the islands seem to float by. If you are looking for privacy, retreat to your balcony in our suites and deluxe staterooms.

Watch the infinite colours of the sunset play in the sky and sea as another day draws to a close in the South Pacific. After a 3 course dinner, let the lively Aranui Band introduce you to Polynesian rhythms.

Request more information on the Aranui 5's Marquesas cruises here, or view the itinerary on our website.

Join the North Pole Summit 20 July -2 August 2017

You are invited to embark on an adventure of a lifetime with seven modern-day heroes. Travel with world-renowned adventurers, photographers, writers, scientists, researchers and educators who will be sharing their unique perspectives on everything from facing environmental challenges to following your dreams.

Crush through multi-year ice on the Arctic Ocean aboard 50 Years of Victory. Sightsee by helicopter on the lookout for walruses, seals, whales and polar bears. Stand at 90 ° N with a glass of champagne in hand - and everywhere you look is south.

As you travel you'll discover first-hand what inspired these modern-day heroes to pursue the passions that have shaped their contributions to society.

To register your interest for this summit, contact us today.