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Saturday, 15 September 2018

National Geographic Venture Successfully Launches

Earlier this week, Lindblad Expeditions successfully launched the National Geographic Venture from Nichols Brothers in Freeland, WA as she took to the water for the first time. Below you will find a great video of this event captured by our VC team. More updates to come as we continue to prepare the vessel to welcome her first guests in San Francisco in late November.

Following her launch celebrations in San Francisco, she will depart on two new and unique inaugural itineraries that explore the Pacific coast, before she begins her seasons in Baja, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.  Sister ship of National Geographic Quest launched in 2017, the 50-cabin coastal vessel is the second new build for the line, and has been designed with decades of expedition experience.

And a fun shot below – Why did the National Geographic Venture cross the road?


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

World class submarine on board Scenic Eclipse

#expeditioncruising .

Scenic Eclipse, is providing guests with their very own underwater experience on board the U Boat Worx Cruise Submarine 7.

Capable of diving to a depth of 300 metres with seating for up to six guests, the submarine has been custom-built for optimal sightseeing of marine wonders, offering guests an unforgettable excursion into the wide blue depths.

The U-Boat Worx submarine is designed to meet international noise standards and to provide unmatched comfort, space and style, with maximum legroom and headroom while keeping overall weight and size to a minimum. This combination delivers the ultimate diving experience. Internal climate control and a surround sound music system form part of the fine detailing, together with the optimum ergo dynamics to facilitate ease of boarding and disembarking.

Scenic Founder and Chairman, Glen Moroney said the submarine will offer guests a unique opportunity to go below and beyond.

“Scenic has always sought to venture beyond the horizon and with our submarine, we provide guests with the opportunity to enjoy unparalleled access to some of nature’s most beautiful marine environments. From inside the U-Boat Worx submersibles, each guest will enjoy an uninterrupted view thanks to the strategic placement of all components and the use of an ultra-clear acrylic hull, expertly engineered to make you feel “at one” with the ocean”, Mr Moroney said.

The submarine design consists of a three-person pod on the front and at the back of the sub for a total of six guests plus the pilot, who is located behind the guests. The seats are mounted on a platform that can swivel 180 degrees, so the guests are able to see both sides of the submarine. Strong exterior lights will allow guests to take in the colors and details of wrecks and other underwater sights.

“The sub is able to perform from 8 up to 12 dives per day, depending on the length of dive, giving as many guests as possible access to this unique opportunity,” said Mr Moroney. “Because the cabin is pressurized, there is also no need for a slow ascent or descent. One of the thrills for guests is a fast, upward journey where they pop out from below the ocean with a splash”.

Based in the Netherlands, U-Boat Worx is the world’s largest manned submersible manufacturer. For more than 12 years, they have delivered private submersibles to a variety of clients.

Monday, 10 September 2018

New shipwreck discovered in the Canadian Arctic

Discovery of Long Lost Vessel Marks Third Significant Underwater Archaeological Find in the Arctic

For the second time in Canadian history, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) has contributed to the discovery expedition to find a long-lost vessel in collaboration with The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS). The most recent discovery of evidence of Nova Zembla, a Scottish whaling ship that was wrecked near Buchan Gulf off the coast of Baffin Island in 1902, will help shed light on the historical and political complexity of the whaling industry in the Arctic.

Image source

The successful find of the HMS Erebus in 2014 marked a momentous breakthrough in the exploration of the Canadian Arctic. Subsequently, the HMS Terror was found two years later. The newest discovery of Nova Zembla occurred on 31 August 2018 by fellows of The RCGS Dr. Matthew Ayre and Dr. Michael Moloney, from the Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary. Evidence of the wreck was discovered near Buchan Gulf while traveling onboard OOE's Classic Northwest Passage and Greenland voyage on Akademik Sergey Vavilov.

This discovery marks the first British whaling wreck in the eastern Canadian Arctic to be found and investigated. The finding of the ship will present an opportunity to ground-truth historical documents and understand more completely the operation of Arctic whaling ships. Information gained from the discovery will complement past investigations of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, continuing to tell the story of maritime nautical history in the Canadian Arctic.

"We are thrilled for the expedition team and their discovery of Nova Zembla. The significance of such a find is of great importance, and we'll continue to be a proud supporter and contributor in educational and scientific programs as well as historical outreach," said One Ocean Expeditions' Managing Director, Andrew Prossin. "This is exciting news as it is sure to reveal unknown details about the history of whaling in the Arctic. We hope it will allow us to continue finding answers to many longstanding questions in that field."

With the contribution of onboard facilities such as science labs and berths, along with a zodiac and crew to assist in the search, the integration of exploratory work such as this diversifies the expedition experience. Passengers on board were invited to be a part of the expedition with presentations taking place onboard by Dr. Ayre and Dr. Moloney, and a commemorative patch shared to celebrate the success of the find and share in the excitement.

OOE's extensive commitment to responsible education and development of nationally/internationally accredited scientific programs, university field studies, and the continued interest and support of discovering the undiscovered.

For more information about One Ocean Expeditions:

For more information on OOE's Arctic Voyages:

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Ponant names hybrid electric icebreaker

#expeditioncruising .

The name of the latest jewel in PONANT’s fleet is revealed as Le Commandant Charcot, a tribute to the man known as “the gentleman of the poles”                   

A world first, this hybrid electric icebreaker powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), has been named after Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot, as an homage to the man known as “the gentleman of the poles”.

A tribute to the famous French polar explorer, Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot
The new vessel will bear the name of a great French explorer: Le Commandant Charcot. An explorer by vocation with a true passion for sailing, Jean-Baptiste Charcot is an emblematic figure of French polar expeditions. By naming its forthcoming polar exploration vessel after him, PONANT is paying tribute to this “gentleman of the poles”, who was respected by everyone. This choice is even more significant since this new ship will be fitted with the latest technology for minimising environmental impact, as well as a scientific laboratory for conducting operational oceanography missions and research.

Pre-bookings can be made from 6 September

Bookings for cruises aboard Le Commandant Charcot will open on 4 April 2019, but pre-bookings may be made from 6 September 2018 to secure a stateroom and the early bird price. A chance to discover the Geographic North Pole (latitude 90 degrees North) or parts of Antarctica, such as the Ross Sea, Charcot Island and Peter Island, that were inaccessible until now.

Passengers booking these itineraries will be in for veritable polar odysseys rather than cruises.

  • Sustainable development is at the core of the design of the polar exploration vessel
  • Powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Le Commandant Charcot will be fitted with the latest environmental protection technology: 
  • Advanced “Cleanship” equipment exceeding the requirements imposed by current environmental regulations:
  • Reduction of SO2, NOₓ, CO2 and particle emissions thanks to the use of LNG
  • Zero emissions in hybrid electric mode

Energy management:

  • Energy optimisation system with precise consumption measurement and optimisation of ship sailing methods
  • Energy recovery system 
  • Consumption optimisation with latest-generation electric batteries that make it possible to stop the engines for 2 to 3 hours

Water treatment:

  • Advanced waste-water treatment system 

Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot, the gentleman of the poles

 1867 Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine.
1873 At school, he drew boats on all his exercise books.
1892 For his 25th birthday, he received a small boat as a gift from his father.
1902 He crossed the Arctic Circle and travelled to the Arctic for the first time.
1903 From 1903 to 1905 aboard Le Français and from 1908 to 1910 aboard Le Pourquoi-Pas, he reached the Antarctic regions.
1909 He located Graham Land on navigation charts, dropped anchor near Alexandra Land, and discovered the island that would bear his name.
1920 From 1920 to 1936, his scientific cruises led him from the Hebrides to the east coast of Greenland.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Rodney Russ launches new expedition cruise ship

The Changing of the Guard at Heritage Expeditions and putting the Expedition back into Expedition Travel.

Rodney and Shirley Russ founded Heritage Expeditions in 1985, when Expedition Travel was still in its infancy and unlike today very defined.  With a background in wildlife management and conservation expeditions offered by Heritage were focused very much on wildlife. Over the years Heritage Expeditions has become synonymous expeditions to the Ross Sea, the Sub Antarctic Islands, Western Pacific and the Russian Far East. The company has not been tempted to upsize their vessels preferring instead to give their smaller groups better and longer opportunities both ashore and aboard.   Earlier this year after 33 years in the industry Rodney passed the ownership and management of the company to his sons Aaron and Nathan. They have both worked in the industry for many years and are looking forward to the challenges of running and owning the business.

Rodney commissioned the building of a specialist "Expedition Vessel" to put the "expedition" back into Expedition Travel. Where small groups with common goals and interests share in an adventure to some of the remotest places on earth.

On August 12th MV Strannik slowly slipped stern first from the cradle that has held and protected her since construction started and into the Pearl River (southern China) The entire shipyard crew were on hand to watch (and assist) and in time-honoured Chinese tradition fireworks celebrated the event. Rodney, Simon (engineer) and Connor (Chef/Deckhand) were also there to witness and join in the celebration.

Strannik is now tied alongside at the shipyard and over the next few weeks, the mast's will be stepped and the final fit will be completed before sea trials and testing. When this has all been completed Strannik Ocean Voyages Ltd will take delivery of MV Strannik in Hong Kong and a new era in genuine expedition travel will begin.  

Strannik Ocean Voyages Ltd
Tel. +64 (0)21 684 055

Monday, 3 September 2018

From aboard MV Indochine II: Scenes along the Mekong

#expeditioncruising .

CroisiEurope is a French-flagged river cruise line with almost 50 vessels worldwide, the majority being in Europe. Their operations also extend to Africa and Southeast Asia. Ask your local cruise agent for details or see

Nysa (13) came aboard for a traditional performance in Phnom Penh and when asked about her aspirations for the future she calmly answered "... to be Miss Cambodia"

Finishing clay cooking pots

Collecting sweet palms

Local boats constantly on the move

Excursion boat supplied by local operators

62m MV Indochine II just 12 months old carries 62 passengers in 31 cabins

Ox cart excursion to local temples

Happy local vendor in Chau Doc on the Vietnam border

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Bookings now open for Crystal Endeavor

#expeditioncruising .

The world’s most adventurous luxury travelers can now book their next great adventure with Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises, as the line opened bookings today for Crystal Endeavor, its first luxury expedition yacht.

The itineraries for Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural season sail from August of 2020 through January 2021, with voyages of 12 to 22 days traveling far off the beaten path of traditional cruise routes.

Voyages rich with discovery will explore the cultural and bio-diversity of Japan and the Russian Far East; Indonesia, Borneo and the Philippines; New Zealand and Tasmania; Australia and the Great Barrier Reef; and Antarctica via the Ross Sea.

Crystal opened Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural season bookings to Crystal Society members on August 8 and reports significant interest in the expedition yacht’s voyages from that pre-sale alone, with 52 percent of the maiden voyage round-trip from Tokyo reserved; 25 percent of the Antarctica sailings reserved; and 22 percent of the overall season reserved.

“The experiences that await travelers aboard Crystal Endeavor are simply spectacular. We are seeing such tremendous anticipation and enthusiasm surrounding her first season of voyages and are thrilled to present the next step for our guests to plan their adventures,” said Carmen Roig, Crystal’s senior vice president of marketing and sales.

“We are grateful to our Crystal Society members and trusted travel partners around the world for their continued enthusiasm and support, and to new-to-Crystal guests booking one of these incredible journeys – we look forward to welcoming you to the Crystal Family.”

Highlights of Crystal Endeavor’s first season run an immersive gamut from deep cultural connections to far-flung exploration of remote and rugged regions. Guests sailing on her maiden voyage round-trip from Tokyo will enjoy an inclusive overnight pre-cruise stay and are invited to participate in the naming ceremony for the yacht.

On the other voyages, travelers can visit iconic natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef and Mount Fuji; reflect on ancient heritage at Japan’s most sacred temples and shrines; trek among the treetops of Borneo’s rainforest observing the resident orangutans; and quest for penguin colonies on Antarctica’s expansive icy landscape.

Zodiac quests, aerial expeditions via helicopter, epic dives into the world’s most spectacular reefs and challenging and leisurely hiking opportunities will bring the adventurous spirit of Crystal Endeavor’s journeys to life for Crystal guests.

Fares for Crystal Endeavor’s inaugural season begin at $12,749 per person. In line with Crystal’s commitment to provide the best value to travelers who book early, fares will likely increase for many sailings after the September 30, 2018 “Book Now Savings” promotion ends.

At 20,000 GRT, Crystal Endeavor will be the largest, most spacious purpose-built polar class expedition yacht, accommodating just 200 guests and boasting all the luxurious amenities and special touches for which Crystal is known. The yacht will feature generous public spaces, a full-service spa & salon, six restaurants including Nobu Matsuhisa’s Umi Uma, expedition rooms and elegant suites that contrast beautifully with the rugged adventures beyond the vessel.

Crystal Endeavor’s accommodations will offer private butler service for every suite and feature luxurious touches including king-sized beds, walk-in closets; heated storage for drying parkas; spa-like bathrooms with adjustable heated floors, dual vanities, anti-fog mirrors and rain-showerheads.

Crystal Endeavor’s PC6 designation will enable her to operate in summer and autumn through medium first-year ice. The ship will feature the latest technology, including offshore dynamic positioning capabilities, offering both comfort and safety while exploring the icy waters in the Polar Regions and exotic locations across the globe. The ship will sail a series of charters and special event voyages before it begins its inaugural season in August 2020.