Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Lindblad Explorers gearing up for South Georgia traverse

#expeditioncruising


The sons of two iconic exploration pioneers – Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing Norgay – will be joined by Jeremy Lindblad to recreate the historic 50km South Georgia traverse in celebration of Lindblad’s 50th year expedition anniversary. This spectacular adventure will include a historic rendezvous of National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion for the final six-kilometre stretch of the route and a celebratory Explorer’s Masked Ball.

Guests can meet the explorers onboard National Geographic Orion, departing Ushuaia (Argentina) on 24 October 2016, and National Geographic Explorer, departing two days later. Accomplished mountaineers are invited to submit their climbing credentials to be considered to join the entire 3-day traverse. All other guests on both ships will be invited to hike the final 6 kilometres from Fortuna Bay to Stromness Bay alongside Hillary, Norgay and Lindblad.

Lindblad guests on this extraordinary cruise will also get up close and personal with South Georgia and The Falklands’ incredible wildlife such as king penguins, seals and albatross.

Webinar with Peter Hillary
For all interested mountaineers and exploration fans, Peter Hillary will be hosting a webinar and talk about his past and upcoming adventures on Thursday, August 4th at 9am (AU), 11am (NZ). Webinar link:  https://goto.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1111623

Special offer available
Guest who book now receive a AU$1,000 special savings offer per person plus free round-trip charter airfares Buenos Aires/Ushuaia (NG Explorer) or Santiago/Ushuaia (NG Orion) on the Oct. 2016 departures. Those interested in joining the traverse should contact Lindblad Expeditions CXO Trey Byus at ShackletonClimb@expeditions.com to learn what’s required.

National Geographic Orion departs 24 October 2016 for 19 days; National Geographic Explorer departs 26 October 2016 for 18 days. Standard rates begin at $19,910 to $38,540.
More information about the itinerary: http://au.expeditions.com/destinations/antarctica/shackleton-traverse

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Heritage Expeditions to Support guide Evgeny Syroechkovskiy to save a Species from Extinction

#expeditioncruising


Far away from the rest of the world, Heritage Expeditions guide Evgeny Syroechkovskiy is working tirelessly to save a species from extinction. As the head of the conservation project for Birds Russia, Evgeny utilises his specialised knowledge on the Spoonbilled Sandpiper Project.

The Spoonbilled Sandpiper is a wading shorebird with as few as 100 breeding pairs in existence which only breeds in the Russian Far East. This species uses the East Asian-Australasian Flyway as a migratory route however this ‘bird highway’ is potholed with dangers of habitat loss, hunting and human interference which has led to the severe reduction in numbers of birds. The Project is showing some success, but ultimately will only succeed with a co-operative approach from the multiple countries along the Flyway.

Supporting the Spoonbilled Sandpiper is an ongoing project and Heritage Expeditions has been instrumental in relocating precious cargo of Spoonbilled Sandpiper eggs, logistical support, and yearly expeditions offering expeditioners the chance to be active Project participants. Evgeny Syroechkovskiy himself is an invaluable regular guide with Heritage Expeditions and shares his passion for this species with expeditioners.

On a Heritage Expeditions voyage in July 2016, a previously unknown breeding area was located by expeditioners in conjunction with the Spoonbilled Sandpiper Recovery Team and they positively identified eight individual birds. Read more about this incredibly important find here. View the Captain’s Blog Updates from this expedition which includes the first announcement of the find here.

Join the Heritage Expeditions team in the field with Evgeny Syroechkovskiy and help support his research and conservation efforts on our Siberia’s Forgotten Coast: In the Wake of Spoonbilled Sandpiper voyage, departing on 27 June 2017.

The specialised work of the Spoonbilled Sandpiper Team has recently been featured in an online article by the BBC.

(Heritage Expeditions)


AdventureSmith Explorations Adds Small Ship Safari Voyager for Adventurers Seeking Active, Intimate Central America Cruise Vacations

#expeditioncruising



AdventureSmith Explorations, the company that brings cruise guests into intimate contact with seldom-visited shorelines around the world, recently announced the addition of the newly renovated Safari Voyager to its collection of the world’s premier small ships.

To accompany the launch, guests will enjoy an exclusive discount on select 2016 and 2017 cruise departures in Costa Rica and Panama.

For bookings now through August 30, 2016 cruise guests will save $350 per cabin aboard the Safari Voyager on AdventureSmith’s Uncharted Isthmus! Sloths, Monkeys & Mangroves cruise itinerary on scheduled departures set for Dec. 17, 2016; Jan. 7, 14, 21, Feb. 4, March 4, 18, and April 1, 15, 22, 2017. The eight-day adventures start at $2,995 per person, double before the discount.

On AdventureSmith’s Pure Panama: Cultures, Coasts & Canal participants will also save $350 per cabin through August 30, 2016 on all 2017 departures from April through September. Pre-discount rates start at $3,795 per person, double for the nine-day cruise.

In addition to cruise savings, travelers who let AdventureSmith Explorations plan a trip extension ashore in Costa Rica or Panama before or after the Pure Panama or Uncharted Isthmus cruises can save an additional $250 per person ($500 per cabin/couple).

Both itineraries take place aboard the luxurious Safari Voyager, a 62-passenger, 174-foot yacht that AdventureSmith Explorations is introducing following the completion of the ship’s $4 million restoration this fall.

“These new cruises in Costa Rica and Panama will add a much needed option to the current selection of small ship cruises suitable for active travelers seeking to explore off the ship with more opportunities to kayak, paddle board and snorkel,” explains Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations’ founder and president.“Costa Rica has long been a mecca for adventure travelers and now there is an adventure cruising style worthy of this reputation.”

Uncharted Isthmus is an eight-day voyage that explores the shorelines of Costa Rica and Panama by skiff, hiking, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling and kayaking. The route covers the entire Pacific coastline of Panama — and most of Costa Rica’s as well — making this itinerary one of the most comprehensive ways to cruise the region. Highlights include transiting the 48-mile-long Panama Canal connecting the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean; visiting Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park; snorkeling the crystalline waters at Panama’s Granito de Oro; and spotting wildlife like sloths, monkeys and macaws along the way.

Pure Panama is another upscale small ship cruise that focuses on actively exploring Panama over nine days. From home base on Safari Voyager, guests travel by motorized dugout canoe to meet the local Emberá people; hike the magnificent Darién Jungle in search of wildlife; kayak along the Chagres River looking for toucans and monkeys; marvel at its history while transiting the 48-mile-long Panamá Canal; explore the historic UNESCO site Fort San Lorenzo; and kayak, stand up paddle board and snorkel among the rare beauty of Las Perlas and Guna Yala Islands.

According to Smith, “these two itineraries are the most active cruise options now available to these Central American countries.”

If a traveler were to combine these coastal explorations with any Costa Rica or Panama land trip, they can enjoy additional savings.“A top pick is our Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest cruise extension, a fully guided six-day trip to Arenal National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest,” Smith added.

Aboard Safari Voyager
Guests enjoy views from four public decks and a window-lined lounge offering an uncompromised 270-degree view with comfortable seating for all 62 guests and a full-service bar and deck seating. Other features include an elegant dining room and a new library on the Cabin Deck with eight floor-to-ceiling windows, plush furniture and nautical decor. The Sun Deck features a new al fresco public space with fitness equipment and lounge chairs. Two massage rooms are being added in her current renovation. 

An aft EZ Dock launch platform provides convenient access into and from the water for adventure activities. The vessel is outfitted with kayaks, stand up paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, snorkel gear, wet suits, and hiking poles. Guests can also take advantage of the onboard wellness program with fitness equipment, yoga mats and a complimentary massage.

Generously sized staterooms include one owner’s suite, four suites and two single staterooms. All Safari Voyager cabins feature wide panoramic view windows above the waterline; individually controlled air conditioning; generous storage and closet space; desk and chair; iPod/MP3/4 docking stations; TV/DVD player; and private bath with shower. Depending on the stateroom category, singles, doubles, or triples can be accommodated.

(AdventureSmith Explorations)

Seabourn Launches New Excursions To The South Pole

#expeditioncruising


Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is launching new pre-cruise experiences taking guests to the South Pole on select Antarctica & Patagonia itineraries during the 2016-2017 season.

Guests bound for the Great White Continent aboard Seabourn Quest can extend their adventure with two new travel packages that also travel to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including: Polar Quest & Patagonia and Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego & Iguazu Falls.

“Seabourn has made its reputation for offering guests astonishing experiences in places that are beyond the ordinary, and there are few travel opportunities less-expected or out-of-the-ordinary than a visit to the South Pole,” said Robin West, Senior Manager, Expedition Planning and Operations for Seabourn. “These experiences will be the icing on the cake for guests bound for Antarctica aboard Seabourn Quest over the season ahead.”

Both of the pre-cruise packages include stays at Union Glacier Camp in the southern Ellsworth Mountains, one of a few private seasonally occupied camps in Antarctica. Operated by renowned land-based tour operator Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE), the full-service camp offers spacious, double-occupancy sleeping tents; freshly prepared gourmet cuisine; and a spectacular setting for activities from scenic excursions to technical climbs and ski tours.

There are many memories waiting to be made and much for guests to enjoy on the new pre-cruise experiences on Seabourn Quest in Antarctica & Patagonia this season, including:

+ Polar Quest & Patagonia (14 nights/15 days) – In addition to a transantarctic flight and landing at the South Pole, this overland journey takes guests on an exploration of breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site Torres del Paine National Park that encompasses 450,000 acres of forests, rivers, lakes and virgin pampas in southernmost Chile. Choose from a variety of included excursions providing daily opportunities to explore the various environments, including vivid blue ice pools, raw glacial moraines and abundant wildlife from guanacos to Andean condors. Package rates start at $50,999 per person based on double occupancy; pre-cruise departure December 4, 2016 followed by Seabourn Quest sailing December 19, 2016.

+ Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego & Iguazu Falls (16 nights/17 days) – In addition to a transantarctic flight and landing at the South Pole, guests will join a select company of intrepid explorers en-route to one of the world’s most remote and unspoiled destinations: the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguazu Falls National Park on the border of Brazil and Argentina. From Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina, guests will witness an immense complex of waterfalls. Explore the falls and its surroundings from extensive walkways or take options such as inflatable boats or helicopter tours. Package rates start at $53,999 per person based on double occupancy; pre-cruise departure December 26, 2016 followed by Seabourn Quest sailing January 12, 2017.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Special Interest Sailing Around Bali on the Rise

#expeditioncruising



According to Indonesian Island Sail, special interest sailing trips around Bali has not only begun to trend, but will continue to rise steadily in popularity as more and more travellers venture beyond Bali in search of untouched islands and authentic Indonesian experiences.

Owner and Cruise Director of Indonesian Island Sail, Amanda Zsebik, says with 70% of Indonesia's 17,800+ islands uninhabited, travellers, especially sailing enthusiasts, are realising the endless opportunities to be had or experienced around this nation of islands.

"As one of only three sailing boats out of the 500+ that offer non-diving sails in the region, it has become evident that a gap exists in the market when it comes to catering to other special interest groups," says Zsebik.

While sailing holidays on a small traditional phinisi (a traditional Indonesian two-masted sailing ship) is still relatively new, Zsebik's determination to introduce the concept to Australian holidaymakers keen to explore new island territories and local island experiences is paying off.



"Since launching the business in 2014, we have added a number of special interest itineraries based on customer feedback and interests," she says. "Along with our original program of sailing to West Nusa Tenggara, we are extremely pleased that our yoga and cruise fit itineraries, which combine sailing, watersports, yoga or cross fit, have proven popular among travellers.

According to Zsebik, her clients not only enjoy small group sailing holidays away from the masses, but even more so, they appreciate restful escapes in untouched natural surrounds.

Indonesian Island Sail has added cooking and golfing to its itineraries for 2017. The seven-day cooking itinerary involves classes on preparing classic Indonesian meat and vegetable dishes as well as traditional desserts. The seven-day golfing itinerary involves learning, practicing and friendly golf matches with a PGA pro. All sailing itineraries include snorkeling, visits to marine life sanctuaries and isolated islands.

All sailing tours are operated onboard the Al Iikai, which accommodates up to 15 guests in a mix of twin, double and bunk rooms. For bookings and more information, visit www.indonesiaislandsail.com.


About Indonesian Island Sail

Founded by Amanda Zsebik, a Bali-based Australian entrepreneur with a background in financial consulting, property development and FMCG merchandising, Indonesia Island Sail was borne out of a lifestyle dream, which turned into a business venture in 2014. The sailing itineraries designed by Amanda aim to expose travellers to the relatively unknown islands of Indonesia, while encouraging them to engage with the authentic local culture, experiences and activities.





Friday, 22 July 2016

Lindblad adds two new departures for Antarctica 2016 season



*Complimentary charter airfare and $1,000 special saving*

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced the addition of two new departures to their Antarctica 2016 season on November 7 and November 17. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the first citizen explorer voyage to Antarctica led by Lars-Eric Lindblad, the company cited the increased demand, and with two ships in the region, National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion, the season is almost sold out.

Both departures will be set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, and will follow the 11-night Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent expedition, one of the most exhilarating adventures the planet offers.

Guests will experience the marvels of this world of penguins in astounding numbers, myriad bird species, and whales; the majestic ice sculptures, and the splendid solitude.  The active, immersive adventure will include kayaking among icebergs, Zodiac cruises past resting leopard seals, and hikes on the continent with the best ice team on Earth - an expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer, a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, and an undersea specialist.    

Rates begin at AU$16,700 per person based on double occupancy in a category one cabin. Guests on the two departures will also receive a special saving of AU$1,000 and a complimentary charter airfare roundtrip between Santiago/Ushuaia.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyages, visit au.expeditions.com, or call 1300 361 012 (AU), 0800 444 462 (NZ) or +2 9033 8700 (Asia).

Thursday, 21 July 2016

One Oceans Expeditions join the prestigious Canadian Signature Experience Collection

Destination Canada welcomes Canadian cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE), to the Canadian Signature Experience (CSE) program with its unique 'Fins and Fiddles' expedition cruise to Canada's East Coast.  The CSE is a curated collection of innovative travel experiences designed to encourage local and global visitors to further explore Canada by introducing them to the most authentic and memorable experiences possible, Coast to Coast to Coast.

OOE's  'Fins and Fiddles' 11-day expedition cruise http://www.oneoceanexpeditions.com/canadian_signature_experiences_landing caters to travellers and families interested in exploring the diverse facets of Canada's friendliest region - the Maritimes and Canada's East Coast.  Departing from Louisbourg, Nova Scotia the voyage provides unrivalled access to remote communities, abundant wildlife, natural beauty and diverse cultural experiences representing Canada's rich history.  Zodiac excursions, soft adventures and educational seminars take place daily.  These activities include sea kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, on-shore guided hiking and bicycle touring; meetings with locals in remote fishing communities and educational seminars on marine wildlife, Canadian history and photography by onboard experts. Guests can experience as many activities on the ship as they do off the ship, defining the expedition cruise experience that is unique to OOE.

Trip highlights include encountering the fabled wild horses of Sable Island, Parks Canada's newest Natural Reserve off the mainland of Nova Scotia; visiting the world's largest gannet colonies on Bonaventure Island; setting foot on Canada's birth-place, Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, and walking on the earth's crust at Tablelands, a World Heritage Site in Gros Morne National Park.

"OOE is honoured to join the other exceptional members of the Canadian Signature collection", says Andrew Prossin, Managing Director at One Ocean Expeditions. "Together with operators from across the country OOE continues to innovate and develop outstanding Canadian travel experiences that differentiate our great destination on the competitive global stage," added Prossin.

With over 200,000 kilometers (over 124,000 miles) of coastline, Canada boasts the longest coastline in the world.  OOE's Canadian Signature Experience was chosen for the exceptional experience connecting travellers to Canadians and Canada's geography, rich cultural heritage on coastal communities and marine adventures.

In July 2017, OOE is introducing a new voyage on Canada's East Coast, the 'Labrador and Torngat Explorer' http://www.oneoceanexpeditions.com/voyages/labrador.  This inaugural 11- day voyage cruises along the rugged coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador and includes a visit to the jewel in the crown of Canada's National Park network - Torngat Mountains National Park – home to the highest mountains in Canada, east of the Rockies.  The trip also links several historic locations including the Viking settlement at L'anse au Meadows, a French-built fortress and various remote mission locations and isolated fishing ports.  The voyage takes travellers north into the higher Arctic latitudes and gives access to abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery in remote bays and fjords only accessible by the small ships operated by OOE.

For more information on One Ocean Expeditions' cruises please visit: www.oneexpeditionscruise.com