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Wednesday, 30 April 2008

New Partnership Assists The Galapagos

Protecting Where the Wild Things Are

That is Goal of New Galapagos Partnership
With Ecoventura and World Wildlife Fund

MIAMI, Florida, April 30, 2008 -- Where the wild things are is often where inquisitive travelers congregate, potentially setting up a love-it-to-death dynamic in the visited environment.

A small, visionary travel company, Ecoventura, has announced a new partnership with the environmental heavy hitter, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to reduce the detrimental effects of growing tourism in the fragile ecosystem of the Galapagos Islands.

This new collaboration, called The Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund (GMBF), will target environmental education and marine conservation by strengthening the local communities' ability to manage natural resources.

"It's the paradise being pushed to the edge concept," says Doris Welsh, Ecoventura's Miami-based Director of Sales and Marketing. "Our partnership mission is to safeguard the Galapagos environment so that we can continue to bring conservation-minded visitors here for generations to come."

GMBF funds support the refit, maintenance and deployment of the "Tiburon Martillo," a permanent floating surveillance and patrolling station within the Galapagos Marine Reserve. It's from here that park patrol boats will target, among other things, illegal industrial shark finning and long-line fishing.

Funds are also allocated to refurbish and maintain a speed boat that patrols the Bolivar channel between the western Islands of Fernandina and Isabela.

The GMBF has also allocated funds to benefit families of local fishermen by supporting a microenterprise for the fisherman's wives to manage. This will provide an alternate means of income and also set an example to create other tourism related businesses and reduce the need to fish in waters already impacted by over-harvesting.

A scholarship component for local children of fishermen from San Cristobal Island grants scholarships for two years to study Tourism, Environmental Science or Natural Resource Management at the University of San Francisco campus in the Galapagos.

To fund the GMBF, Ecoventura has pledged to raise close to $250,000 over the next three years. Passengers on its 7-day Galapagos cruises are also encouraged to donate to the fund during their trip. During each Ecoventura cruise, a local representative from WWF meets with passengers and gives a brief educational talk followed by questions and answers.

Welsh says that while serving the interests of the environment the partnership also empowers local residents through employment, education and related opportunities.

Ecoventura is a family-owned company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with sales offices in Quito and Miami. All of its guides are Ecuadorian nationals; 65% are Galapagos residents and 25% are native Galapaguenos. Of 61 crew members, including guides and captains, 37% reside permanently in the Galapagos Islands and of those, 15% are native Galapaguenos. The rest live in different cities in mainland Ecuador. As part of its compensation package, Ecoventura offers medical insurance to its employees and their families as well.

The company maintains a warehouse and manager on the Island of San Cristobal and hires only locals to handle its Galapagos-based operation. Approximately 27% of its total food supplies come from local vendors on San Cristobal Island, including all fresh fish and some vegetables. Dairy products and meats are purchased on the Island of Santa Cruz further benefitting the local community.

In operation since 1990, the cruise company transports 3,000+ passengers annually aboard a fleet of four expedition vessels that have been purposefully retrofitted to highest possible environmental standards. In recognition of these pacesetting efforts, in 2005 the Rainforest Alliance presented Ecoventura President Santiago Dunn with its prestigious Individual Sustainable Standard-Setter award for making a significant contribution to environmental conservation and sustainability. In 2006, Santiago was awarded the first annual Sustainable Travel Award from the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association (IGTOA).

In 2006, Ecoventura also became the first Carbon Neutral operation in the Galapagos (and Ecuador). Carbon emissions from the company's four yachts (and offices including business travel) are reduced, and then offset by contributions to a portfolio of projects through the US-based company NativeEnergy.

To receive a copy of Ecoventura's 2008 catalog as well as information on tours to the Galapagos Islands please call toll-free 1.800.644.7972, or e-mail To access current rates, schedules and itineraries you can log onto

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Explore Croatia and Slovenia’s unspoiled coast aboard SeaDream

SeaDream Yacht Club is offering a 7-night voyage aboard the SeaDream II on August 16, 2008 that will explore the Croatian and Slovenian Coast and end in Venice.

The yacht has 55 luxury bedrooms, all with unobstructed sea views, marble bathrooms, the latest entertainment systems and all mod cons. With a staff of 95, Thai Spa with 8 therapists, water sports marina, pool, Jacuzzi, a la carte restaurants inside and outside, SeaDream I & II have all the facilities of a state of the art boutique spa resort plus all the swank, the toys and the fun of being on a private motor yacht.

This voyage includes visits to two new destinations, the little known sea-side village of Piran in Slovenia and the walled town of Rovinj, in Croatia. It also includes an overnight in Venice.

The cruise costs US$5263 per person (that’s £2635).

The itinerary: Sail from Dubrovnik to Korcula, Hvar, Split, Rab, Rovinj (all Croatia), Piran (Slovenia) and Venice (full day then overnight before disembarking).

All meals aboard SeaDream II, plus complimentary open bar and champagne, wines

Friday, 25 April 2008

Rare Polar Voyage to World's Largest Nature Preserve

For travelers looking to get far off the beaten track this summer, a rare Arctic expedition may fit the bill. “All voyages to our planet's polar regions are special, but the Arctic Islands expedition visits places that few other people will ever see,” says Pat Shaw, President of Quark Expeditions.

“This voyage is offered only once or twice a decade.” The 2008 Arctic Islands voyage runs from July 21 to August 6. The expedition will include shore landings in: • Franz Josef Land, a former Soviet "national security zone," off-limits to foreigners until recently

• Svalbard archipelago, the world's northernmost inhabited land (land that humans share with polar bears) • Northeast Greenland National Park, a UNESCO Biosphere reserve larger than the state of Texas Over the course of the voyage, we will visit known habitat of polar bears, whales, seals, Arctic foxes, walrus and reindeer. The trip includes an overnight stop in Helsinki, Finland, a beautiful and intimate city known as "the Belle of the Baltics."

Rates for this 17-day expedition start at US$19,500 per person for a standard twin cabin. About the Ship: This expedition is offered on Kapitan Khlebnikov, a helicopter-equipped, polar-class icebreaker. Khlebnikov carries only 108 guests.

The ship's two helicopters are used for ice reconnaissance, aerial sightseeing and shore excursions. Between landings, guests can socialize in the ship's lounge and bar, heated indoor swimming pool, exercise room and sauna. About the Operator: Connecticut-based Quark Expeditions is the world leader in polar adventure travel. Quark operated the first-ever passenger voyage to the North Pole, and the first full circumnavigation of Antarctica. Cabins can be booked through Quark Expeditions by calling 1-800-356-5699 or +1-203-852-5580.

Read more about the Arctic Islands itinerary at

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Guide to the Southern Skies

Orion Expedition Cruises

Ancient legends and modern science of the Southern Skies revealed

If you are interested in the enormity of the night skies but don't yet know a black hole from a white dwarf, or simply can't find your zodiac sign among the millions of stars in the night sky then this Orion 'Guide to the Southern Skies' expedition is the voyage for you.

In addition to the highlights of exploring the East and West Kimberley coast this 11 night voyage from Darwin to Broome will have a special astronomical focus when Professor Fred Watson, astronomer in charge of the Anglo Australian observatory at Coonabarabran, and Professor David Malin, astronomical photographer, writer and lecturer, join Orion's guests to reveal the ancient legends and modern science of the universe.

Far from being a series of dry academic lectures, these popular presenters will explain in layman's terms the wonders of the southern night skies from the perfect vantage point onboard the expedition cruise ship Orion. Typically crystal clear evenings, so often enjoyed in the remote Kimberley at this time of year, make this a must-do for anyone interested in the science and mythology of the night skies.

By contrast, dawn reveals the rich ochre of the Kimberley coast and the start of another day of exploration. Ancient aboriginal artworks are visited and revealed by Orion's expedition team and Orion's Zodiacs take guests between rugged gorges and up rivers, home to salt water crocodiles, to experience waterfalls and the wonder of the Kimberley close up.


Did you know? Orion, in astronomy, is a prominent constellation able to be seen from both northern and southern hemispheres, identified in Greek mythology with the hunter – you may know the star grouping as the plough, big dipper, saucepan, shopping trolley or Orion's belt.

2009 is the International Year of Astronomy

Join Professors Fred Watson and David Malin on Orion Expedition Cruises' 21 June 2009 Kimberley Guide to the Southern Skies voyage between Darwin and Broome visiting West Timor (Kera Island), Roti and Kupang, Wyndham (for the Bungle Bungles and El Questro), King George River and Falls, Bigge Island, Hunter River (for Mitchell Falls), Montgomery Reef and Raft Point.

Fares Guide:

11-night Kimberley East and West 'Guide to the Southern Skies' departs Darwin 21st June, 2009.

Fares begin from A$8,430 per person for an ocean view Category B stateroom

Suites begin from A$11,625 per person for a Junior Suite

Owners’ Suites with French Balcony are A$17,655 per person

Wednesday, 16 April 2008


Antarctica is most probably the ultimate exploration destination and now with the addition to their fleet of Prince Albert II, Silversea can offer 10 -16 day all inclusive, luxury, exploration cruising to the South America and the Antarctic.

Fresh from a complete transformation in a European shipyard, Prince Albert II will commence its inaugural season in June 2008 with a season of Arctic voyages. Of most interest to experienced travellers, who like their exploration cruising to come with a few luxuries, will be the Silversea Antarctic season, which commences in Ushuaia, Argentina in mid November 2008.

Itineraries are unstructured by design, allowing the ship to stay longer on sites of particular interest, or make slight detours whenever weather, nature or mere curiosity dictates. A fleet of zodiacs takes guest up close to the spectacular scenery and wildlife.

Prince Albert II will sail from Ushuaia in Argentina from mid November 2008 until late February 2009. Double occupancy 11 day Antarctic cruise fares in November and December 2008 start from US$6798 per person*. Single guests are catered for too on selected itineraries, with special introductory reduced single supplement fares starting from US$.......* including 25 percent Silver Savings. Space is still available on voyages from Ushuaia on 11 and 30 November and 11 or 22 December. Christmas in Antarctica anyone?

Designed specifically for navigating waters in some of the world’s most remote destinations, including both the earth’s polar regions, the Prince Albert II boasts a strengthened hull, with the highest Lloyd’s register ice-class notation (1A) for passenger ships.

The difference with Silversea Expeditions is that they offer “all inclusive, luxury exploration cruising”. Each luxuriously appointed suite has ocean views and offers the largest average size accommodation of any expedition ship. Some suites even have private vernadas or French balconies. The marble bathrooms feature full baths and in the gourmet restaurants, the menus are designed by Relais and Chateaux with complimentary wines, champagnes and spirits served throughout the ship. With a staff to guest ratio of 1:1 the service standards will be outstanding. Expert naturalists and special guest lecturers will enhance each sailing.

For more information please contact Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or toll free 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand), or visit

Silversea Cruises is recognized as an innovator in the luxury segment, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard four intimate vessels, Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, and Silver Whisper, all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the addition of the regal expedition ship Prince Albert II in 2008, the company's itineraries encompass all seven continents. Silversea has for the past four consecutive years been named Best Cruise Line by readers of Australia’s Luxury Travel and Style magazine. For nine consecutive years, Silversea has been named "Number One Small Ship Line” in the Readers' Choice survey conducted by Condé Nast Traveler magazine in the USA and in 2007 was the only cruise line named in the UK edition of Condé Nast Traveller’s “Top 100 Luxury Travel Experiences” at the same time topping the Small Cruise Line award for the eighth time. Silversea has been selected as "World's Best Small Ship Line” in the US Travel + Leisure readers' poll for the past eight years.

Going Green in the Galapagos

Ecoventura is the pacesetter in responsible tourism to the Galapagos Islands. Through its core commitment to the ongoing sustainability of this fragile and at-threat ecosystem, Ecoventura ( is a case study for communities and regions seeking to discourage the negative effects of irresponsible tourism.

We invite our media friends to take a close look at this one small company that is “walking the talk” of sustainable tourism. Through an initiative of President and Owner Santiago Dunn, Ecoventura has spent upwards of $500,000 since 1999 to refurbish its fleet of touring vessels in order to meet its own stringent ecology-minded standards. It has pledged to collect through client donations and its own infusions $80,000 per year over the next three years for the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund which targets environmental education and marine conservation by strengthening the local communities’ ability to manage natural resources.

On one level this is self-serving; if the fragile ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands are irreversibly damaged by tourism and visits are drastically reduced or altogether banned, Ecoventura is out of business. On the highest level, this small company is doing its part to raise the consciousness of travelers and how collective footprints can either be a disaster or a positive effect.

The company began running yacht tours in the Galapagos in 1991 but it wasn’t until 1999 that Ecoventura began “greening” its operations and equipment. Since then it has pro-actively chosen to help preserve the ecological integrity of the Galapagos Islands for both scientific and economic benefits. To this end Ecoventura is:

• One of the first recipients (in 2000) of SmartVoyager, a voluntary environmental program developed by Corporacion y Desarollo from Ecuador and The Rainforest Alliance from New York. This program gives a “green seal of approval” to tour boats that comply with requirements to tread lightly on the area’s fragile ecosystem.

• The first (in 2006) Carbon Neutral operation in the Galapagos Islands when it chose to completely offset carbon emissions from the company’s four yachts, offices and operations (including business travel). Emissions are now being offset through a portfolio of projects administered by NativeEnergy.

• The first fleet in the Galapagos (2007) to install TRABOLD oil filter systems on all four yachts to reduce fuel consumption, oil lubricants (by 90 percent) and reduce gas emission.

• The first company in the region (2006) to implement a program whereby its guests can donate to a new fund administered by the World Wildlife Fund ( in support of the Galapagos National Park. Ecoventura partnered with the WWF to create the Galapagos Marine Biodiversity Fund (GMBF) which targets environmental education and marine conservation by strengthening the local communities’ ability to manage natural resources.

Ecoventura is a family-owned company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador with sales offices in Quito and Miami. The cruise company transports 3,000 passengers annually aboard a fleet of three expedition vessels; identical, superior first-class 20-passenger motor yachts with 10 double cabins. The company also operates the Sky Dancer, a 16-passenger dedicated dive live-aboard offering 7-night weekly itineraries visiting the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin.

The marine reserve surrounding these two remote Islands supports some of the planet’s most unique biodiversity and is one of the world’s premier diving areas. However, it has also been identified as the most threatened due to continued presence of industrial fishing boats. To date, park statistics demonstrate the highest number of fishing violations have occurred in this area. Hammerhead and other shark species around the world are being harvested primarily for their fins and the Galapagos Marine Reserve remains one of the last regions where these creatures can be seen gathered by the hundreds. It is vital to establish a local and permanent surveillance and patrolling platform that will deter illegal fishing vessels from entering these waters.

Because the park lacks inadequate funding, trained personnel and equipment, it is challenged to prevent illegal fishing by industrial scale boats. In response, the GMBF supports the maintenance of park patrol boats while also helping to make current small-scale fishing practices more efficient.

Funds are also allocated to refurbish and maintain a speed boat that patrols the Bolivar channel between the western Islands of Fernandina and Isabela. These islands are visited by passengers on Ecoventura programs.

Funds from GMBF have also been allocated to benefit families of local fishermen by development of a microenterprise for the fisherman’s wives to manage. This will provide an alternate means of income and also set an example to create other tourism related businesses and reduce the need to fish.

Partner Travels Half Price this Winter

Forget the onboard spas and saunas; Captain Cook Cruises is letting your partner keep you extra warm this winter with partners cruising half price on all three, four and seven night Murray River cruises from 01 June - 31st August, 2008. This amazing offer is valid for sale until 31st August 2008.

With plenty of water in the Murray River there is no better way to explore the big river gorges, the bio-diverse Murray wetlands, the unique flora and fauna of the outback and the rich legacy of old riverside ports, this winter than on the romantic paddle-wheeler PS Murray Princess.

The 3-Night Wetlands Discovery Cruise is a mini weekend escape where passengers will discover the vast variety of flora and fauna, join a backwater boat tour, visit the Port of Murray Bridge and sample the food and wine of this famous region. The cruise departs Mannum every Friday at 4.30pm and returns Monday at 9.00am. Prices for the first person start from $775 twin share and from only $388 for the second person twin

The 4-Night Outback Heritage Cruise departs Mannum every Monday at 4.30pm and return Fridays at 9.00am. Cruise highlights include a visit to a vineyard and wine-tasting at the cellar door, a wildlife shelter and an aboriginal archaeological reserve plus a woolshed riverside barbeque & campfire. Prices start at $999 twin share for the first person and from $500 twin share for the second person.

The 7-Night Murraylands & Wildlife Cruise includes a free Barossa Valley tour and combines the 3 and 4 night cruises for a total Murraylands and wildlife experience. Prices start from $1596 twin share for the first person and from only $798 twin share for the second person. The seven night cruise departs Mannum every Friday and Monday at 4.30pm and returns Friday and Mondays at 9.00am.

All cruises include meals, accommodation, complimentary scenic coach transfers from Adelaide or car parking in Mannum, guided walks, presentations and all onboard facilities including use of two spas, two saunas, sun deck, two bars, two lounges, single sitting dining saloon and entertainment.

For reservations and enquiries please contact Captain Cook Cruises toll free on 1800 804 843, Int +61-2-9206 111 or email: or visit

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Coral Princess Heads to Vanuatu: Another Time, Another Pace

Black magic, secret societies, ritual dances and exploring the eerie underwater remains of WWII wrecks are not the stuff of ‘typical’ cruise itineraries, but Coral Princess’s five-night Vanuatu adventure and discovery voyages include all this – as well as the luxury of the 72-passenger expedition ship, the Oceanic Discoverer.

Following the success of its inaugural Vanuatu program in 2007, Coral Princess has released sailing dates for just three voyages in November, 2008, with the intention of introducing passengers to some of Vanuatu’s least-visited corners and most fascinating traditional customs, while minimising the impact on the local culture and environment.

Departing from Port Vila, first stop is Ambrym Island – famed for its black sand beach, ‘black magic’ and towering twin volcanoes. The Rom spirit dance – performed in situ by special arrangement with the local villagers – is associated with sorcery and is rarely witnessed by outsiders. The day is spent with the villagers and snorkelling on the reef, and the evening is illuminated by the lava glow from nearby Mts Marum and Benbow.

Maewo Island is also known for its ancient secret societies and dancing, but waterfalls, rivers and lush rainforest give the island its physical beauty. There are rainforest walks on Maewo and Ambae Island – said to be James A. Michener’s inspiration for Bali Hai.

Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu’s largest island, is known for one of the most stunning strips of golden sand in the South Pacific: Champagne Beach. Passengers can relax on the beach or there are bushwalking and water activities. Later in the day, experienced SCUBA divers have the opportunity to dive on the SS President Coolidge, sunk during WWII. With its collection of jeeps, munitions and extraordinary sea life, it’s the largest intact shipwreck accessible to divers in the world.

Malakula is the most culturally diverse island in Vanuatu and locally produced art and ritual objects are among the finest in the country. Gaining an insight into the complex ceremonies of the remarkable Big Namba and Small Namba tribes is a highlight of the voyage.

Throughout the cruise, there is ample opportunity to swim, snorkel and SCUBA dive, utilising Oceanic Discoverer’s onboard facilities, under the guidance of instructors and naturalist guides. The finale of the voyage is an afternoon exploring the amazing coral reef complex of the Maskelyne Islands, with its colourful corals and prolific fish life.

The Oceanic Discoverer travels with a purpose-built excursion vessel, Xplorer, a fleet of inflatable Zodiacs and a glass bottom boat, allowing guests to explore Vanuatu with naturalists and experts who interpret natural, cultural and historical highlights.
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 departures from Port Vila on November 10, 15 and 20, 2008.

For further information and reservations contact Coral Princess on 1800 079 545 or visit

Galapagos indulgence

As a year-round destination, travellers will come face-to-face with blue and red footed boobies, sea lions, iguanas, tortoises, penguins and frigate birds on any visit to the Galapagos Islands.

Tempo Holidays, for instance, has a seven-day Galapagos Indulgence package which departs Quito every Friday.

Four nights are spent on board the stylish 100-passenger Galapagos Explorer II and two nights are in a five-star hotel in Quito.

The price is from $2819 per person twin share which includes land accommodation and the cruise, six breakfast, three lunches and four dinners, shore excursions with bilingual naturalist guides and hotel transfers.

Quito-Galapagos return airfares are from $482 per person, plus local taxes. International airfares are additional and can be organised through Tempo Holidays’ Latin America partner, LAN Airlines.

Contact: agents, Tempo Holidays phone 1300 558 987, or see

PS. Tempo Holidays also has a six-day Galapagos Express package (from $1903) which has a three-night cruise on the four-star 90-passenger Santa Cruz, coach transfers with bilingual guides, two nights at a four-star Quito hotel, 11 meals, shore excursions with bilingual naturalist guides and transfers. This tour departs Thursdays.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Coral Princess Cruises: Melanesia Special

Coral Princess Cruises is offering free international flights and two nights free luxury accommodation in conjunction with a 14-night voyage, venturing to the pristine tropical islands, coral reefs, rainforests and beaches of Melanesia that few visitors ever see.

The 14-night expedition-style voyage aboard the luxurious small ship Oceanic Discoverer departs on October 27, 2008 and threads its way along the necklace of islands and nations between Rabaul in Papua New Guinea and Port Vila, Vanuatu.

The sparkling collection of islands making up Melanesia still retains the romance and adventure of the fabled South Pacific. Following in the exploratory footsteps of history’s greatest adventurers, the voyage visits remote tribal villages of New Guinea and historic WWII sites of the Solomons, including Kennedy Island (where John F Kennedy swam ashore from a sinking patrol boat in WWII) and Alite Harbour (?) where shells are still used as currency.

Santa Ana is one of the most beautiful islands in the Pacific, with a pellucid lagoon and pristine rainforest, where Oceanic Discoverer’s naturalist guides lead walks to spot exotic orchids, tropical plants and rare birds. Vanuatu’s highlights include sailing into the volcanic caldera of Ureparapara, where cruise ships rarely venture, and strolling along the exquisite Champagne Beach on Espiritu Santo.

Ambryn Island, with its towering active volcanos, is known as Black Island for its volcanic sands and ‘black magic’. It also has some of the best artefacts and carvings in Melanesia and, by special invitation from the local people, passengers will have the rare opportunity to witness a Rom Spirit dance. The penultimate stop is Tanna Island, where it’s possible to stand on the crater rim of an active volcano. The cruise ends in Port Vila.

Throughout the voyage, Oceanic Discoverer’s purpose-built excursion vessel, Xplorer, glass bottom coral viewer and fleet of inflatable Zodiacs 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.

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.

Coral Princess is offering free return flights from selected Australian cities (excluding taxes) and two free nights at Vanuatu’s five-star Le Lagon Resort in conjunction with the 14-night cruise. Prices start at $10,500 per person, twin share in a xxx cabin, and include all excursions and meals on board.

For further information and reservations contact 1800 079 545 or visit

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Orion Islands magazine Blue List

Orion selected in the top 100 examples of responsible tourism in the world

Orion Expedition Cruises has been included in the current edition of the US travel magazine Islands inaugural Blue List of the top 100 tourism products from around the world that best represent responsible tourism.

In a letter of congratulations, Ty Sawyer, Editorial Director of Islands magazine, said that Orion was included "because you have exceeded all expectations in this arena, and you impact your world in an ongoing, sustainable and positive manner".

Special reference was made to Orion's expeditions to Papua New Guinea and in particular remote Watam village near the mouth of the Sepik River, commenting "… Watam culture thrives, thanks in part to their relationship with Australian-based Orion Expedition Cruises. The company brings clothing, equipment and medical assistance ….. and landing fees paid by Orion help support community development initiatives such as purchasing school materials and agricultural supplies".

Editorial attention was paid to Orion's environmental responsibility, stating that Orion is "rigged to be environmentally friendly, recycling paper and water and using specially designed engines that promote energy efficiency".

This recognition follows Orion's recent ranking as #2 Expedition Cruise Ship in the world in the latest Berlitz Cruise Guide ratings.

Orion is Australia's only purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship, with year round voyages to the Kimberley coast, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, New Zealand and the Antarctic.

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website

Wednesday, 2 April 2008



Holidaymakers planning a break in Tahiti on their way to the United States, can now add a 3-night luxury island lagoon cruise during their stop-over.

And there's no need for partners of avid anglers to have to play the role of "fishing widow" on these cruises – the luxury motor-catamaran Haumana includes a professional fishing guide who helps the most inexperienced come home boasting catches that can put their partners to shame.

The 24-passenger Haumana cruises through the Rangiroa Lagoon in Tahiti's Tuamotu Archipelago, not only one of the South Pacific's most beautiful regions, but also one that explodes with trevally, fighting bonefish, coral trout, barracuda, tuna, marlin and wahoo… with some game-fish topping 90kgs.

Guests can also enjoy guided shore excursions to local villages, kayaking, snorkelling, bush and beach walks, and a French-style beach picnic.

Talpacific Holidays has these packages from $3849pp twin-share for those already planning a Tahiti stop-over on their way to or from the USA: it includes 3-nights on Haumana with all meals, wines with lunch and dinner, activities and excursions, and a personal fishing guide and fishing tender for one-hour.

Packages are available until November 29 this year if booked by June 30. Full details on 1300 665 737; air from Papeete to Rangiroa is additional.