Adventure * Expedition * Small Ship * River Cruises * Luxury * Boutique

Friday, 5 February 2016

Explore the White Sea aboard Silver Explorer

Drift into the Arctic Circle and experience a seldom-seen part of the world, with Silversea Expeditions' 12-day Arctic voyage aboard Silver Explorer.

Commencing her journey in Norway, Silver Explorer departs from Tromsø on 11 June 2016, and sails to the Gjesværstappan Islands.  Joining a Zodiac tour, guests can catch a glimpse of the numerous seabird colonies that inhabit the area, including puffins, kittiwakes and the majestic White-tailed Eagle.

Silver Explorer then travels to Russia docking in a number of beautiful port cities, quaint villages and remote archipelagos including Murmansk, Shoina Village and Zayatskiy Islands.  Here guests can: learn about the region's rich maritime and World War II history; visit the Solovetskiy Monastery, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site; encounter endemic wildlife such as reindeer and the Arctic fox; and explore vast Arctic tundras with walking tours guided by Silversea's expert Expedition Team

Setting her sails towards Russia, Silver Explorer cruises through the Barents Sea and along the remote Kola Peninsula to port at Kirkenes and Skarvag in Norway, before returning to Tromsø where guests will disembark on 23 June 2016.

Prices are per person, starting from AU$12,507 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. As part of Silversea's "Welcome Aboard" offer, all new Silversea guests will receive a US$1,200 shipboard credit per suite, when booked by 29 February 2016.

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


Monday, 1 February 2016

Silversea wellness cruises aboard Silver Discoverer

Travellers looking to recharge both mind and body will find Silversea is offering the perfect blend of enlightening exploration and a holistic approach to rejuvenation with its line-up of more than a dozen wellness-themed expedition cruises sailing in 2016 and 2017.

The Wellness Expedition Voyages offered aboard Silver Discoverer are designed to provide guests with the opportunity to improve their well-being while journeying to destinations that are well off the beaten path in Southeast Asia, Australia, Oceania, Africa, and the Indian Ocean.  On these voyages, guests will encounter exotic landscapes, fascinating cultures, and unique wildlife, returning each day to a ship that is a sanctuary for mind, body, and spirit.

Silversea has partnered with Technogym, a leading company in the field of wellness and fitness, to create a comprehensive, and complimentary, program that includes:

·         Stretching, yoga, and Pilates classes held onboard and ashore (depending on location).

·         Fitness classes conducted in the ship's onboard swimming pool.

·         Choice of one complimentary spa massage treatment.

·         Daily lectures and cooking demonstrations on the benefits of healthy and balanced nutrition.

·         Gym sessions led by personal trainers using state-of-the-art Technogym fitness equipment.

Also featured on the Wellness Expedition Voyages is a dedicated team of specialists to accompany guests on their wellness journey.  The team includes fitness lifestyle expert Natasha Eksteen, yoga instructor Jenni Kauppila, and nutritionist Dalila Roglieri.

Karen Christensen, General Manager and Director Sales/Marketing Australasia at Silversea, says,

"We want to enable our guests to focus on their personal well-being as they journey to discover some of the world's most fascinating places and unique cultures.  Each wellness theme cruise offers a well-balanced program of fitness education, exercise, and nutritional guidance, plus an indulgent spa treatment.  These voyages are great for travellers seeking a personal journey to wellness to complement their quest for adventure."

Following is a small sampling of upcoming Wellness Expedition Voyages aboard Silver Discoverer:

Cruise the Galapagos for Less with Latin American tour specialist, Contours Travel

Cruise enthusiasts who enjoy the exclusivity of small group tours can now cruise the Galapagos for up to AUD680 less when booking their trip with Latin American tour specialist, Contours Travel.

The cruise on board the Majestic Galapagos motor yacht ranges from 4D/3N to 8D/7N with prices starting from AUD$2,099 per person based on two people travelling together. The package includes transfers for two, one night's hotel stay pre cruise in either Quito or Guayaquil, all meals and tours.

Accompanied by highly experienced English speaking tour guides, each cruise departure will have a maximum of 16 pax ensuring travellers ample space to socialise and marvel at the islands. Airfares not included. Terms and conditions apply. For more information on the different itineraries, islands, cruise departure dates and tour extensions, visit or call 1300 135 391.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Australis Cape Horn and Patagonia Cruise - offer


Australis helps mark 400th anniversary of the naming of Cape Horn – 2 for 1 offer – and no single supplement

Four hundred years go on January 29, 1616, intrepid Dutch explorers discovered and named Cape Horn, now arguably the most famous sea marker on the planet.

To mark the 400th anniversary, the only cruise line to regularly visit the legendary point at the bottom of South America – Australis – has provided guests aboard its two ships anniversary pins and coasters, hosted special onboard lectures on the history of Cape Horn and helped restore walkways on the island for cruise ship visitors.

To celebrate the historic milestone, Australis has also offered a special, last-minute, two-for-one offer on its three-night, round-trip ‘End of the World’ cruise from Ushuaia on March 4, 2016, which includes Cape Horn, mighty Pia Glacier and Glacier Alley. Under the offer, the cruise aboard Via Australis is now available from US$2440, covering two people in a twin-share cabin and including an open bar and daily zodiac expeditions. Solo travellers can also take advantage of the two-for-one offer, with no single supplement. The special offer is available for bookings made until February 29.

Stella Australis

Australis, whose boutique vessels only carry up to 210 guests, offers a range of expedition cruises to the remote islands, spectacular glaciers and breathtaking fjords of Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia from September to April every year. Almost all itineraries including visits to Cape Horn where, weather permitting, guests can go ashore to visit the almost-mythical landfall. The point, located on tiny Hornos Island off the southern reaches of South America, is home to a lighthouse and memorial to seafarers who have lost their lives rounding Cape Horn over the centuries.

As part of the 400th anniversary, Cape Horn - named after the town of Hoorn in Holland – was visited on January 29, 2016, by authorities from Holland and Chile who held a commemorative ceremony at the cape. The Chilean navy also restored the cape’s memorial which was damaged in a storm in 2014.

And all summer, guests on Australis’ ships have learned about the cape’s history and climbed to the top of the island 400 years since it was mapped and named.

Cruises with Australis are ideal add-ons to tours across South America.

For the two-for-one offer, or general bookings, see a travel agent in Australia or visit .

3D modelling design for expedition cruise ships


Plans for two new US expedition cruise ships have moved further forward after it was announced that Seattle-based naval architect Jensen Maritime has been chosen by vessel owner Lindblad Expeditions Holdings to provide the design and production engineering services for the two ships.

The twin screw diesel ships – with capacity for 100 passengers each – will be built at the Washington State shipyard of Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (NBBB) and have planned delivery dates of second-quarter 2017 and 2018. The US$94.8 million duo will operate tours between Baja, Costa Rica and Panama in winter and southeast Alaska, Oregon, Washington and Canada during the summer months.

Jensen Maritime – part of Crowley Maritime Group – said that it would use 3D modelling capabilities to allow Lindblad to confirm the vessel’s layout, maintenance envelopes and operational access prior to construction. The group will combine all the details of the structural, electrical, mechanical and HVAC systems of the vessel into one full-size 3D computer model resulting in a virtual vessel that can be inspected early in the design process for safety, maintainability and constructability.

Read full story at:

CruiseAlong Sub-Antarctic voyage package aboard Ponant L'Austral

CruiseAlong announces an unforgettable voyage beyond the boundaries of traditional cruising

What constitutes a truly unique cruise these days when much of the planet is traversed by flotillas of enormous ships that dwarf their surroundings and flood predictable destinations with tourists?

Small ship expedition cruising is the alternative - the chance to go to places, to see and do things you will never forget, travelling far beyond the boundaries of traditional cruising. A memorable voyage arranged through cruise experts CruiseAlong to the little visited Sub Antarctic Islands on PONANT's luxury expedition ship L'Austral falls into this category.

Consider this exclusive 17 night voyage, departing in January 2017 to explore the Sub Antarctic Islands of New Zealand and Australia - a voyage where each destination is a recognised World Heritage site - perfect for a memorable holiday or for keen photographers, bird watchers or adventurous group of friends.

Traverse the Southern Ocean between Lyttelton and Milford Sound in New Zealand, visiting New Zealand's stunning fiords and remote Sub Antarctic islands - designated National Nature Reserves, the highest possible conservation status. Along with Macquarie Island and Fiordland National Park, honoured with World Heritage status, these Sub Antarctic islands represent the best of the world's natural heritage, rating alongside the Great Barrier Reef, Grand Canyon, Galapagos and Mount Everest.

Far flung they may be, yet far from barren, these islands, protected by their remoteness, throb with life, flora and fauna. Crucial breeding grounds for vast colonies of penguins, seals and sea lions, while in the sky albatross, skuas and mollymawks dart and dive. Remarkably, such is the density, Snares Island alone, just 3km in length, has a concentration of bird life equal to that of the entire United Kingdom.

Here is an opportunity to observe and photograph endangered wildlife, including both the world's rarest penguin, the Fiordland Crested, and the second rarest, the Yellow Eyed penguin. While some species are endangered others are prolific, exampled by the vast colonies of Royal Penguins (estimated at 850,000), endemic to Macquarie Island, standing shoulder to shoulder on the volcanic black sand, with another 100,000 breeding pairs of King Penguins and 500,000 pairs of Rock-hopper Penguins thrown in for good measure. An abundance of wildlife with no fear of man, where your wide-angle lens will be used more than a telephoto lens!

Guests, limited to 200 for this voyage on PONANT's L'Austral, will feel a sense of rare privilege, comprising some of just a small group of visitors permitted to visit these islands each year. Access is restricted, by permit only: in 2013/14 just 700 people visited the Snares, and 950 Macquarie Island. To put this in perspective, by comparison 180,000 people visited the Galapagos Islands while 35,000 managed to climb to Everest Base Camp. The Sub Antarctic Islands remain pristine, a region where tourism, frankly, does not exist.

It is not just about the wildlife and the remarkable photo opportunities. Making the most of L'Austral's 12 Zodiacs join with the specialist Expedition Team headed by marine biologist Mick Fogg to explore Doubtful Sounds with its pristine, untouched, Gondwana rainforest. On Campbell Island,  discover unusual mega-herbs – herbaceous, perennial wildflowers characterised by their great size, huge leaves and colourful flowers. Campbell Island was described by the English botanist Joseph Hooker as having a "flora display second to none outside the tropics."

Generous time ashore is scheduled to allow exploration of Australia's UNESCO-listed Macquarie Island. Geologically unique, it is the only place on earth where rocks from the earth's mantle (6 km below the ocean floor) are being actively exposed above sea-level. On shore, signs remain of rampant commercial exploitation of penguins and seals during the 1800's, but now the island is home to scientists, researchers and prolific wildlife.

For those to whom the essence of travel means being rewarded with rare experiences far from mainstream tourism, sharing the day's adventures with friends or like-minded travellers and the stimulation of mixing with informed, passionate speakers and knowledgeable Expedition Team members, then this expedition has been designed with you in mind.

Voyage overview: 17 night CruiseAlong package departing Lyttleton 7 January 2017 bound for Auckland Islands and then on to Australia's own Macquarie Island. This remarkable voyage continues with Campbell Islands and the Antipodes Islands followed by Bounty Islands and The Snares before heading to fiord land - Dusky Sound and Doubtful Sound with the voyage ending in world famous Milford Sound.

Pricing INCLUDES flights from/return to any major Australian Capital City, 1 night's accommodation in Christchurch, breakfast, transfers to the ship, accommodation and all meals onboard L'Austral, Open Bar, transfers from Milford Sound to Queenstown, accommodation and transfers before flying back to Australia.

Pricing from: $14,300pp but BOOK NOW and pay $12,570 saving $1,730 - includes flights and Stay Free offer. Accommodation on L'Austral is in a Balcony Cabin, Deck 4.

Some Single Occupancy accommodation available on request at supplementary cost.

• Please note that all pricing is per person, twin share.


Australia:  Lance Mumby, 1300 662 002 or email

CruiseAlong Pty Ltd
PO Box 43
Broadway NSW 2007
(A Cruise Holiday Affiliate)

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Haimark companies acquired by merchant bank

MS Saint Laurent, launched in 2015
VC2 Capital, a merchant bank and financial advisory firm focused on small and middle market companies worldwide, has acquired Haimark Ltd, Haimark Line, Ltd., Haimark S.A., Ltd. and Haimark Affinity Travel, Ltd.

Based in Denver, Colorado, the Haimark Companies offer luxury, small ship river and ocean cruises for experienced travelers with an interest in geography, culture and history, featuring onboard cultural enrichment and included shore excursions.

Since its inception in 2012, the company has grown to a fleet of 9 river and ocean vessels (in 2016) offering scenic cruising along the rivers of India, Southeast Asia and Peru and its seasonal Cuba and Great Lakes sailings.

In addition to investing internally in expanding the Company's operations, Haimark management will be actively looking for new acquisitions in the luxury travel sector.
source: Cruise Business