Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Coral Princess Cruises Goes Tropical to Celebrate 25 Years in 2008

Multi award-winning Coral Princess Cruises, pioneer of small-ship expedition cruising in Australia and the South Pacific, has kicked off its 25-year anniversary celebrations with a new brochure that brings together some of its most remote and exotic cruise destinations: Papua New Guinea and Melanesia.

The new brochure features five different culturally and environmentally sensitive cruises – ranging from 10 to 15 nights – to far-flung reaches of Papua New Guinea and Melanesia including the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

In March, Coral Princess founder Captain Tony Briggs and his wife, Vicki will host the 15-night "Noumea to Cairns" cruise aboard Coral Princess’s purpose-built luxury expedition vessel, 'Oceanic Discoverer' – a far cry from the World War II submarine chaser on which Tony started expedition-style cruising on the Great Barrier Reef in 1984.

The "Noumea to Cairns" cruise - the first of a series of special anniversary cruises for 2008 hosted personally by Tony and Vicki - explores the Melanesian archipelago. Accommodating a maximum of just 72 guests, 'Oceanic Discoverer' explores the spectacular cone volcano that forms Vanuatu’s Ureparapara Island and, at Santa Anna Island, guests are greeted by warriors bearing swords and blowing conch shell horns. And there’s plenty of opportunity to snorkel among pristine coral gardens and large pelagic fish.

'Oceanic Discoverer’s' purpose-built excursion vessel, 'Xplorer', glass bottom coral viewer and fleet of inflatable Zodiacs also allow passengers to intimately explore the reefs and remote islands.

Excursions are guided by naturalists and experts who interpret the natural, cultural and historical highlights of the region. In true expedition style, the itinerary may vary to take maximum advantage of opportunities to view wildlife, go snorkelling or diving, or visit local villages and attractions.

'Oceanic Discoverer' is designed to provide all the comfort and facilities of larger cruise ships, yet is small enough to access remote and pristine sites inaccessible to other ships.

Prices for the 15-night "Noumea to Cairns" cruise start at $10,150 per person, twin share, cruise only, in a Main Deck B stateroom. The voyage departs March 21, 2008. The 10 and 12-night cruises to Papua New Guinea start at $7,500 and depart October 2008 and 2009.

For further information and reservations contact 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralprincess.com.au.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Silversea Cruises buys expedition ship World Discoverer

SINGAPORE - Silversea Cruises Group Ltd has purchased the expedition ship World Discoverer, which will undergo a multi-million dollar refurbishment before it begins service in spring 2008.

After the planned refurbishment, World Discoverer will accommodate around 140 guests (reduced from current 175) in ocean-view staterooms, including Owner's Suites, Grand Suites, and 12 yet-unnamed suites that will be similar to the line's popular Silver Suites.

Other guest amenities are an elegant single-seating main dining room, a specialty restaurant, library (with desktop computers and Internet access), boutique, beauty salon, fitness centre, sauna and whirlpools. The ship will also feature several lounges for enjoying drinks, music and entertainment, including a cigar lounge like the Humidor on the line's other ships.

Silversea's Chairman Manfredi Lefebvre believes exploration cruises can combine extremely well with the exclusive product offered by the company. "With the addition of World Discoverer, our current fleet increases to five ships and to six from 2009," he said.

Friday, 23 March 2007

Vanuatu's New Adventure Cruise With Coral Princess

Vanuatu's 83 islands range from lush forests to active volcanoes to palm-fringed beaches and are home to a thriving local culture that maintains ties to sorcery and mythology. Coral Princess has just released a schedule of five-night adventure cruises that explore the lesser-known wonders of the tiny South Pacific nation.

Cruising aboard Coral Princess's luxury expedition vessel Oceanic Discoverer, the new Vanuatu itinerary departs from – and returns to – the capital of Port Vila. First stop is Ambrym Island, where the ship anchors in the glow of two active volcanoes, Mt Marum and Mt Benbow. Ambrym is known as 'Black Island' because of its black sand beach and its black magic history, the threads of which are still woven through spiritual artefacts, carvings and tribal dances.

Maewo Island is said to have been the inspiration for the mythical island of Bali Hai in James Michener's epic novel, Tales of the South Pacific. Coral Princess guests can disembark for bush walking and bird watching excursions on Maewo Island and swim off the island's beautiful beaches.

The largest island in Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo, is another nature and water-lover's playground, with natural attractions like the beautiful Blue Hole (ideal for swimming), and picturesque Champagne Beach. Some of the world's best wreck dive sites are in Vanuatu, where one can see American military equipment from the Second World War. Experienced SCUBA divers can dive to the sunken troopship the SS President Coolidge, with plenty more to see either snorkelling or from a guided glass bottom boat tour.

The Oceanic Discoverer travels with a purpose-built excursion vessel, Xplorer, a fleet of inflatable Zodiacs and a glass bottom boat, allowing guests to intimately explore this remarkable destination, guided by naturalists and experts who interpret the natural, cultural and historical highlights of the region. In true expedition style, the itinerary may vary to take maximum advantage of opportunities to go snorkelling or diving, or visit local villages and attractions.

Prices start at $3,150 per person twin share in a Main Deck B stateroom, including accommodation, all meals, lectures and services of expedition staff on board, group transfers, most activities during the cruise, and landing fees. There are four departures from Port Vila in late November and early December 2007.

Carrying a maximum of just 72 guests, the Oceanic Discoverer is designed to provide all the comfort and facilities of larger cruise ships, yet is small enough to enable access to reef and island sites inaccessible to other vessels.

For further information and reservations contact Coral Princess on 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralprincess.com.au .