Thursday, 29 November 2012

Shorter Mekong Cruises on Pandaw

RV Mekong Pandaw
Passengers can now book Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, or Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, on the RV Mekong Pandaw.

SHORTER Mekong itineraries, of only three or four nights in duration, have been introduced by Pandaw River Expeditions, priced from US$704 with "very last minute 20% discount" for departures next month.

Available from Dec 2012 through Mar 2013, the program provides an extra option for Australians travelling in Vietnam and Cambodia.

The trips to or from Siem Reap involve a five-hour coach transfer to or from Kampong Cham, while the excursion up the Tonle River to Kampong Chhnang is by either coach or ship depending on water levels.

Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to Phnom Penh sailings explore the main Mekong channel, with visits to a tribal village, catfish farm and floating markets, and a trishaw ride.

Siem Reap packages include tours of temples, villages and the Twin Holy Mountains.

Meanwhile, the Tonle Pandaw will return to Burma next year to start a weekly rotation cruise out of Mandalay.

Sailing upriver to the Third Defile and then down to Pagan, the route takes in all major sights in addition to lesser-known stops such as the pot-making villages.

“This cruise alleviates the need for any hotels at Mandalay and Pagan, which solves a huge problem for the traveler, and the need to go in and out via Yangon,” which has become gridlocked with traffic in recent times, Pandaw said.

The cruise will connect with direct international flights to Mandalay.

In 2013, Air Asia, Bangkok Air, Thai and Silk Air are scheduled to have direct flights to Mandalay from Bangkok and Singapore.

With ten vessels exploring four countries, Pandaw is the largest "luxury" river cruise company in Asia.

Fares include English-speaking guides, crew gratuities, meals, locally made alcoholic beverages soft drinks, tea, coffee and mineral water.

For information, see pandaw.com.



Cruise Passenger Magazine: Pacific Pleasures, Ocean to Ocean

North Star Cruises - Special Guest to join the Southern Safari

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North Star Cruises is very excited to announce that Tony Parkinson, founder of the Penny's Hill vineyard, will be joining the TRUE NORTH's Southern Safari cruise.

Make sure you mark this opportunity down as the only way to start the New Year. The Southern Safari is nothing short of a wine and seafood-lovers delight.

Just some of the aquatic fare includes sashimi in the ship's lounge, Coffin Bay oysters fresh from the farm and washed down with chilled champagne, buckets of freshly caught whiting and sweetest of all – mouth-watering blue swimmer crabs! Plus throw-in lunch at the Penny's Hill vineyard, 2 days cruising around must-see Kangaroo Island, cage diving with great white sharks, swimming with Port Lincoln's giant tuna, some of the most reliable fishing action on the Australian coast and, you've got a safari with a difference!

Tony Parkinson will personally introduce some the TRUE NORTH's brand new wines and, he is also keen to share some of the local area's best kept secrets! Tony first started growing grapes in the McLaren Vale in 1988 and ultimately was driven to the production of premium estate-grown wines under the distinctive 'red dot' Penny's Hill label. This was followed by the opening of an award-winning restaurant and cellars on the historic 1855 "Ingleburne" property and, in conjunction with winemaker Ben Riggs, the development of other fine labels such as Mr Riggs and The Black Chook. In addition to his prominent role at Penny's Hill, Tony is also co-founder of the Fleurieu Biennale - Australia's richest landscape painting prize. He also recently established the MUD Literary Club which raises funds for the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Bali and the Adelaide Writer's Week. When time permits, he also races vintage cars.

The 8 night Southern Safari departs Adelaide on January 14 and includes a flight from Ceduna back to Adelaide at the end of the cruise.

For more information, see the complete itinerary at http://www.northstarcruises.com.au/documents/SouthernSafari2012.pdf or contact your adventure partners at cruise@northstarcruises.com.au

To make arrangements - contact your preferred travel representative or email your adventure partners at cruise@northstarcruises.com.au or
phone (+61 8) 9192 1829.

Email: cruise@northstarcruises.com.au
Web: www.northstarcruises.com.au

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The 50th edition of Cruise Passenger magazine out now


This specially commissioned cover is an original artwork that celebrates the enduring romance of cruise travel – and the continuing popularity of good, old-fashioned, top-quality travel writing!

Readers have the chance to win a limited-edition, poster-size print signed by the artist, Michael Crampton, in a competition that’s ridiculously easy to enter.

We’re also celebrating the world’s love affair with cruise travel by offering the chance to win an amazing voyage for two people in Australia’s hottest destination, The Kimberley, with Orion Expedition Cruises. Worth $25,860, this competition is open to all our subscribers, existing and new. Yes, you have to be a subscriber to receive Cruise Passenger magazine and at $29.95 a year (the price of about 10 cappuccinos) it’s an absolute bargain. And a lovely present for a good friend.

More must-reads in this edition:
• Best in the business: 2012 winners of the 8th Annual Readers’ Choice Awards.
• Accent on Europe: Away from the madding crowds; classic Royal Scotsman rail journey combined with a Celtic cruise; Oceania Marina in the Med.
• Inspiring Escapes: Gourmet dining on the Peruvian Amazon; traversing the Northwest Passage; a classic Alaska cruise; visiting lesser-known South Pacific spots with a boutique cruise line.
• New ships: editor’s review of Celebrity Reflection, plus a look at what’s coming up in 2013.
• News: Jump on a European river cruise next year with MasterChef‘s Gary Mehigan and George Calombaris, My Kitchen Rules’ sexy Frenchman Manu Feildel, and Ready Steady Cook’s Janelle Bloom, Alastair McLeod and Damian Heads.


Cruise Passenger magazine is published by Edge, 51 Whistler Street, Manly, NSW 2095. It is an independent voice in the cruise industry and has been published since 1976. It covers ocean, river and adventure cruises in ships of all sizes and for all budgets and has a loyal following among discerning world travellers. If you haven’t discovered the world of cruising already, think on this: it’s no longer the domain of the “newly wed, over-fed and nearly dead”!


http://www.cruisepassenger.com.au/


Pitch a Tent in Antarctica – a once-in-a-lifetime treat offered by Hurtigruten on Antarctica sailings

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Pricing Specials on Several Sailings Adds to the Excitement – Upwards of 25% Off

Hurtigruten continues to find ways to add excitement and unique qualities to its exploration sailings – with the latest being the option to pitch tents and camp overnight on the frozen landscapes of the White Continent.  Guests opting for this truly once-in-a-lifetime adventure get a glimpse of how it might have been for explorers such as Roald Amundsen and Earnest Shackleton – albeit with the perks of modern equipment and safeguards.  "The idea is to offer our guests an authentic experience in the spirit of the great explorer, Amundsen," explains Mona Ringstrand, explorer product manager at Hurtigruten ASA.  This "bragging rights" adventure is priced at about $500 per person.

The company is also offering special pricing for its Jan. 20 Weddell Sea sailing and four Classic Expedition departures – upwards of 25% off regular fares. This is a savings of $4,000 to $9,000 per couple.

Accompanied by two experienced expedition guides for every 15 participants, guests will participate in the set up of the two-person tents and will be supplied with all cold-weather needs -- except pajamas.  The guides will be doing activities dependent on the situations – short walks, talks, listening to the polar sounds, offering hot drinks and a cold drink toast, wake-up calls for the White Continent sunrise, and more.  Developed in collaboration with the Norwegian Polar Institute, the company abides by IAATO guidelines – all meals are still on board the MS Fram.  Although offered on every departure, the final decision regarding which sailings as well as locations of the camping option are determined by weather and land conditions.

Hurtigruten offers five different Antarctica itineraries aboard the well-designed expedition ship, MS Fram, with starting prices from $5,327 to $10,321:

10-day "Classic Expedition" focuses solely on Antarctica, sailing through the Drake Passage to landings that immerse guests in the remote landscape and exotic wildlife of The White Continent;
13-day "Polar Circle Expedition," similar to the 10-day experience, spends its extra days traveling as far south as the Antarctic Circle;
13-day "Weddell Sea Expedition" follows the path forged by British Captain James Weddell, who reached 74º latitude in 1823 - a first for explorations;
17-day "Christmas Expedition" celebrates the season with traditional carols, festive meals, Santa Claus visits and a New Year's gala and includes the Falklands and South Georgia;
19-day "In the Realm of the Great Explorers" explores the areas visited by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, and takes in the sub-Arctic eco-system of the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition voyages, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic's Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring and fall.  The company's fleet of 12 intimate ships, which each carry 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy the scenery and culture of the destination in a relaxed atmosphere.  Additional information, brochures and reservations can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten's visitor-friendly website, www.hurtigruten.us; by phone at 877-301-3117; or fax at 888-524-2145.  To order brochures 24 hours a day, call 800-582-0835.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Heritage Nile cruise and deal aboard SS Hadeel


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Home on the Nile's SS Hadeel

For seven nights cruising on Icon Holidays' 12-day Nile Heritage Cruise, home is a traditional Egyptian dahabiyya, the SS Hadeel. With only eight double cabins, each with ensuite, the Hadeel offers a very special and intimate journey down the Nile. Though traditional in design, the ship has a dining room, lounge, spa and open air viewing area – perfect for an evening cocktail.

During the leisurely cruise between Luxor and Aswan, passengers visit the country's majestic temples and sites, testament to five thousand years of Egyptian history.



The tour starts with Cairo's Great Pyramids, the Sphinx and the old capital of Memphis. After the cruise, guests visit Abu Simbel to see the temples of the great Ramses II and his Queen, Nefertari.

Prices range from $3361 to $5016 per person, twin share depending on season and choice of hotel style. The price includes hotel in Cairo, the cruise, two local flights, Abu Simbel excursion by air with private tour guide,  26 meals (including three meals a day on the SS Hadeel) and all entrance fees.

Icon is offering half price for a second person for bookings made on any Egypt itinerary between December and May before December 31.

Four Seasons Nile Plaza (Nile View room), Grand Nile Tower (Grand Room), and the Cairo Sheraton (Nile View room) are hotel choices in Cairo.

The cruise package operates every week from December to May inclusive

Contact: 1300 853 953 or see www.iconjourneys.com

Icon Holidays is an Australian-owned company.

Aurora Expedition Deals





North Pole Expedition – 5% Discount

Be one of only 250 people to stand at the top of the world in 2013. Our voyage begins in Finland aboard Fifty Years of Victory, the world’s most sophisticated icebreaker capable of crushing three-metre-thick ice. An onboard helicopter extends our ability to visit ice-locked Franz Josef Land in search of polar bear. Celebrate with champagne upon arrival at 90® North and enjoy an optional hot air balloon flight above the North Pole to complete this experience of a lifetime.
Click here for more details



Spitsbergen 2013 – 10% Discount

Exclusive 10% discount to enews subscribers on Spitsbergen voyages departing on 16 - 26 July and 26 July - 5 August 2013. (Savings of up to AU$1050 per person) Explore the Jewel in the Arctic Crown, an archipelago as diverse in scenery as it is rich in wildlife. The land of the midnight sun provides opportunity to seek out polar bear, walrus, whales and seals amid landscapes of breathtaking magnitude.
Click here for more details



South Indian Ocean Voyage - 5% Discount

A once in a lifetime opportunity to experience untamed Heard Island - deep in the South Indian Ocean, 4,000 kms from Western Australia and 1,000 kms from the Antarctic continent. At this rarely visited Subantarctic outpost resides a bounty of wildlife: southern elephant seals, king, gentoo, macaroni and rockhopper penguins. A molten glow and billow of smoke issues from the crater of Big Ben, Australia’s highest mountain and only active volcano.
Click here for more details


1 week remaining on Antarctica Earlybird Specials

Selected voyages on the Antarctic 2013/14 program are still subject to a 10% Earlybird Discount. Seize the opportunity to cruise amongst ice floes, get up close to penguins and seals or enjoy an evening camping on the ice.
Click here to view 2013/14 Expedition Schedule or contact our team for details.

Terms and conditions apply to all offers.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Is this the world's rarest bird?

Amsterdam Albatross

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Amsterdam Albatross

After many days at sea we were delighted to have a very rare visitor. This Amsterdam Albatross circled the ship for 2 hours as we sheltered from a westerly storm in the lee of Amsterdam Island. There are only about 140 of these birds in the world and they all nest on this island and remain in the Indian Ocean. Our male visitor came close enough for us to read the band number on his leg and through this we were able to access his life history from the French researchers on Amsterdam Island. Fascinating!

Source: http://www.heritage-expeditions.com/captains-blog/



Captain Cook Sailing for the Lau Group


Reef Endeavour will be embarking on her first Discovery Cruise to the pristine Lau group for 11 nights in October 2013. Captain Cook Cruises have been invited to visit these incredible islands by locals eager to share their beauty.

ExpeditionCruising.com editor, Roderick Eime, has visited these islands twice and can attest to their unspoiled charm.

See CCC's announcement



Tuesday, 20 November 2012

G Adventures Antarctica Deal - save 25%

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G Adventures, the leading small-group adventure travel tour operator, is giving Australian travellers a unique opportunity to experience the wonders of Antarctica at 25% off.

Guests who book before 31st December 2012 for a February 16th departure in 2013 on G Adventures Antarctica Classic cruise will receive a 25% discount on the total cost of the trip.

Pete Rawley, Head Honcho of G Adventures Australia / NZ, says  "Antarctica in February is breathtaking – it's the best time during the season for whale-watching, and less ice in the region generally allows exploration further south along the Peninsula."

"We have had fantastic support for our polar programmes from the Australian travel industry over the past few years, so much so that we now send more Australians to Antarctica than any other nationality."

The discount applies to the trip categories 3-5. For more information follow the link below, or call G Adventures on 1300 796 618 and ask about the 25% off Antarctica special before December 31st.

Link: http://www.gadventures.com.au/trips/promotions/antarctica-feb-2013-classic/  

Monday, 19 November 2012

Orion Launches New Web Site



Luxury expedition cruise company, Orion Expedition Cruises, has launched a new website. Completely redesigned, it provides a better overall user experience; visually more sophisticated, it retains detailed information highly praised by trade and consumers alike.

Adding a new easy-to-operate format combined with enhanced navigation and usability the site features:

Simplified easy-to-use navigation bar providing logical access to extensive layers of information for voyages '

Plan your expedition' search tool allows the user to refine their search by choice of expedition, region, departure date, voyage duration, specific interest, experiences and ship.

Interactive maps of the Asia Pacific region contain all the destinations Orion vessels explore - over 94 destinations from the polar reaches of Antarctica to the tropical climes of Borneo. Video footage of numerous destinations

Detailed day by day descriptions for each itinerary

A new section indicates 'live pricing'. Now consumers and travel agents can check for the latest pricing to ensure access to the best possible savings

A new 'My Voyage' section provides useful background and information for guests who have booked but have not yet travelled, including a facility to pre-register for optional excursions and beauty & spa treatments

The site will enhance Orion Expedition Cruises' well-established position as the leading luxury expedition cruise company in the region.

For reservations or to obtain a brochure of 2013 expeditions call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email: info@orionexpeditions.com



Sunday, 18 November 2012

North Star Cleared in Croc Attack, Rescuers Awarded

Alan Sartori with West Australian Governor Malcolm McCusker.
Picture: Daniel Wilkins
News Limited
 Source: News Limited

A MYSTERY rescuer known only as "Big Al" has broken his silence to reveal how he wrestled a 3m crocodile that had latched on to a friend's leg.

Far from considering himself a hero, he said: "I just did what I thought was right."

Tara Hawkes, 23, was swimming in a waterhole 200km north of Broome in April when the crocodile bit her thigh and pulled her underwater.

Alan Sartori "Big Al" said he acted on instinct when her heard her screams, launching himself into the pool and on to the attacker's back.

"I saw it on top of her. I jumped into the water and on to its back and pushed it into the shallows. I stuck my thumbs into its eyes and felt it start to slacken off," Mr Sartori, 35, said yesterday as he was honoured at the Royal Life Saving Society's Western Power Bravery Awards.

"Tara was bleeding pretty heavily. I picked it up and chucked it back into the water and it came back at me. It was pretty heavy. I wouldn't ever want to do it again. I'm just glad I took the chance and had a crack (at saving her)."

It was an emotional reunion at the awards ceremony as Ms Hawkes said she wouldn't be alive without the heroics of Mr Sartori and Mike Fletcher, who helped wrestle the crocodile.

After months of rehabilitation, scars are the only physical reminder of the attack, but she still suffers anxiety and panic attacks, and is seeing a counsellor.

Ms Hawkes and Mr Sartori had been working as crew members on the Kimberley vessel True North. Mr Fletcher was a passenger, and all agreed the ordeal had made them life-long friends.

"It took me under and all I could see was black and my life literally flashed before my eyes. It was just so big and so strong and I was helpless," Ms Hawkes said. "It was about to do a death roll, I think. I was gone if they didn't come for me. I owe them my life.

"The three of us were punching this thing in the face and screaming and shoving our fingers in its eyes and trying to hit it.

"I basically had to piece my leg back together. It was pretty horrible. I look at my scars every day and think about it. I will carry these guys in my heart wherever they go."

Mr Fletcher said: "Al was so intense, his face was so steely.

"Al was holding this thing by the head out of the water with its jaws wide open. It was the craziest thing I have ever seen".

A subsequent Worksafe investigation determined the ship's owners, North Star Cruises, were not at fault in the incident, and had taken adequate steps to protect staff from crocodile attacks.



Saturday, 17 November 2012

Last minute discounts from Oceanwide


Voyage OTL22 aboard m/v “Ortelius”
11-days ship-based helicopter voyage to the Emperor Penguins in the Weddell Sea
(Antarctic Peninsula)
24 November – 04 December 2012
2 for the price of 1
This offer applies for new reservations, 1 person pays full price and the second person travels for free and includes free accommodation, all meals and harbour fees and also includes fuel surcharge, but excludes the helicopter surcharge of US $ 3,460.
For example, the first person pays US $ 13,750 plus US $ 250 fuel surcharge in a twin porthole cabin, the second person pays US $ 3,460 = US $ 8,730 per person.

Voyage PLA24 aboard m/v “Plancius”
10-days voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula, 13 – 22 December 2012
40 % discount
This offer applies for new reservations.
For example, a twin cabin with porthole can now be offered for US $ 7,190 minus 40 % discount = US $ 4,314 per person
excl.  fuel surcharge US $ 225 per person.

Voyage OTL24A aboard m/v “Ortelius”
10-days voyage to the Antarctic Peninsula, 14 – 23 December 2012
40 % discount on the superior cabins and the suite
This offer applies for new reservations.
The superior cabins can now be offered for US $ 9,990 minus 40 % discount = US $ 5,994 per person  excl.  fuel surcharge US $ 225 per person.

Agents: ask about special commission rates

Prices do not include fuel surcharges (see the general notes of our Dates and rates).






Thursday, 15 November 2012

Silversea's Galapagos Expedition Cruises Now Open For Booking




Luxury expedition cruise specialist Silversea has opened the books for its 2013 and 2014 Galápagos programs.

Its year-round schedule of 7-day expedition voyages aboard the 100-guest, all-suite Silver Galapagos will begin operating in late September 2013 featuring the following options:

Western Itinerary: Sailing Saturday to Saturday roundtrip from Baltra Island, Silver Galapagos will trace a path across the western, southern and eastern islands, including Santiago, Bartolomé, Isabela, Fernandina, Floreana, San Cristóbal, and Santa Cruz.

North Central Itinerary: Sailing Saturday to Saturday roundtrip from Baltra Island, this itinerary encompasses the northeast, central and southeast islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, Seymour Norte, San Cristóbal, Española, and Plazas Sur.

Fares start at AU$6,050 per person based on double occupancy.

The Galápagos schedule offers adventurous travellers the life-enriching chance to discover a wild, pristine paradise that has long been regarded as a natural laboratory of evolution. On complimentary expeditions ashore guided by an experienced expedition team (certified by the Galápagos National Park Service), Silversea's guests may experience up-close encounters with an abundance of wildlife that includes sun-basking land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, colourful marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and Darwin's famous finches.

The program also offers opportunities to swim and snorkel in tranquil clear waters, witness unique highland ecosystems, hike through lush mangrove forests and across volcanic fields, explore natural lava tunnels, watch for wild flamingos (in season), read cave inscriptions from the 1800s, and learn about conservation efforts at the Charles Darwin Research Station.

In true Silversea Expeditions style, the guests of Silver Galapagos will enjoy full-scale exploring from an enclave of luxury at sea that includes spacious, ocean-view accommodations, sumptuous gourmet cuisine, the personalised service of a butler, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits served throughout the ship, and stocked in-suite beverage cabinet.

Detailed information, pricing and complete itineraries for Silver Galapagos are now available at www.silversea.com/expeditions.

For more information please contact Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or toll free 1300 306 872 (Australia), or your travel professional or visit www.silversea.com


Coral Princess Cruises launches new loyalty program


Australia's pioneer of small-ship expedition cruising Coral Princess Cruises has announced details of their new Xplorers club loyalty program to coincide with launch of the company's new website at www.coralprincess.com.au.

After completing their first cruise with the company guests are automatically admitted to the Xplorers club as a Silver member, with the ability to receive even greater benefits after accruing additional nights onboard and qualifying as Gold or Platinum members.  Members of the club receive generous discounts of between 5% and 10% off normal cruise prices, along with a range of onboard bonuses including a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on boarding each cruise, free wireless internet access and discounts on bar purchases. Gold and Platinum members will also receive advance notification of new itineraries and an invitation to exclusive Xplorers club cruises, whilst Platinum members will receive a special travel compendium in recognition of their status as one of the company's most frequent guests.

In a first for the Australian cruise industry, a milestone reward of a free 7-night Great Barrier Reef cruise is available to all Xplorers club members after completing 50 cruising nights aboard the Coral Princess fleet.

In launching the new loyalty program at the start of the company's 30th anniversary year, Coral Princess founder and Managing Director Tony Briggs said "our repeat guests continue to be the backbone of Coral Princess Cruises and the launch of Xplorers club is our way of saying thank you to our most regular guests for their support over the past 30 years. It is this loyalty from our guests that has seen us grow from a small operator with one ship on the Great Barrier Reef in 1984 to now being seen as one of the world's leading small-ship cruise lines".

The launch of Xplorers club coincides with the release of the company's new website www.coralprincess.com.au. Full details of the Xplorers club can be found at www.coralprincess.com.au/xplorersclub/.

Australian-owned Coral Princess Cruises pioneered small-ship expedition cruising in Australia in 1984 and operates a fleet of three small ships on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Kimberley Coast and Cape York & Arnhem Land. Further afield, there are expeditions to New Guinea, the Spice Islands and Raja Ampat, Melanesia and New Zealand. The company is also currently offering savings of up to 25% on its 10 night Kimberley Expeditions between Darwin and Broome during the April 2012 "Waterfall Season".

For further information and reservations contact Coral Princess Cruises within Australia on 1800 079 545 (+61 7 4040 9999) or visit www.coralprincess.com.au.


Monday, 12 November 2012

Exclusive Mekong Magic Cruise Tour With Celebrity Chef




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CRUISE specialist ecruising.travel has just released their 2013 exclusive luxury cruise tour from Hanoi to Siem Reap with celebrity chef and owner of Melbourne's Coda bar and restaurant Adam D'Sylva to accompany guests on board the privately chartered vessel, The Jahan.

Departing Australia on September 14, 2013, the 17-night itinerary begins in Vietnam with sightseeing in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City including a private overnight stay on the Baya Classic junk boat in the Heritage Listed Halong Bay.

Inline images 2In My Tho you will board your privately chartered vessel, The Jahan, for a seven night cruise up the Mekong River to Cambodia. During the voyage, Adam D'Sylva will conduct cooking classes and prepare special menus for guests. The Jahan offers the boutique service of private shore excursions or the choice to explore port stops at your leisure. Disembark in historic Siem Reap for three nights at the Amansara Resort, recently voted best hotel in Asia, which has been exclusively hired for guests on this tour and is inclusive of breakfast, dinner and beverages. Guests will also have access to a private rickshaw, driver and guide whilst at the resort.


Priced from $7939 per person twin share it includes return economy airfares with Vietnam Airlines from Sydney, nine nights' accommodation at  deluxe hotels - the Intercontinental West Lake Hanoi and Park Hyatt Saigon,  daily breakfasts and most lunches and dinners, eight nights cruise accommodation in a deluxe stateroom with balcony and full board, private shore excursions with a cruise concierge, cooking classes with Adam D'Sylva, traditional entertainment, gratuities, comprehensive sight-seeing with an English speaking guide, all transportation and transfers.

Due to limited availability be quick to secure a spot by contact ecruising.travel on 1300-369-848 or check out www.ecruising.travel/mekong

Up to US$1000 per couple air credits to join SeaDream II on the Amazon



SEADREAM Yacht Club is offering up to US$1000 per stateroom credit* towards air travel to join its final sailings on the Amazon River during February and March 2013 aboard its 56-stateroom mega motor-cruiser SeaDream II.

The eight 7- to 20-day sailings include onboard expert naturalists and historians and 95 crew for a maximum 112-guests, shore excursions to visit Amazonian tribes, and will be SeaDream’s last on the Amazon as SeaDream II will be sailing in Asia/Australia in the first quarter of 2014 and SeaDream I in the Caribbean, Costa Rica and Panama.

The 2013 Amazon itineraries include 20-days from Bridgetown in Barbados to Iquitos in Peru, 10-days from Bridgetown to Manaus in Brazil, 10-days from Manaus to Iquitos, any of these three in the reverse direction, and a 7-day return trip from Iquitos.

Prices start from US$5926pp twin-share for 7-days Iquitos-return including all 5-star dining, drinks from the open bars, wines with lunch and dinner, nightly cocktail gatherings, a 30-course golf simulator, visits to some of the Amazon’s most remote towns and villages, onboard gratuities and port charges and taxes.

* Supplements towards air travel are based on US$500 per guest for 20-day voyages, US$300 per guest for 10-12 day voyages and US$200 per guest for 7-8 day voyages.

For full dates and itineraries see travel agents or visit www.seadream.com.



Melanesia: A voyage of diversity and dreams

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Heritage Expeditions release Melanesia voyages October 2013

Voyage into a world that few have ever experienced – idyllic, isolated islands and traditional villages with local people who warmly welcome you into their hidden world.  Spectacular wildlife, underwater, historical and cultural opportunities await at the dawn of every new day.  The flora and fauna is exceptional - scuba diving and birding programmes are available and make the most of every opportunity.
 
Tucked away in the Western Pacific Ocean, the islands that make up Melanesia have escaped many aspects of modern development and high-turnover package tourism. The myriad and diversity of the islands makes these voyages ideal for adventure-style travel that dreams are made of.  Onboard experts and lecturers are on-hand to share their knowledge and skills.  The comfortable 50-passenger Spirit of Enderby (complete with fleet of zodiacs) is well suited for island hopping, and smaller numbers means maximum time exploring, all whilst maintaining the highest responsible travel code the company is renown for.
 
The 14-day Melanesia Discoverer departs 11 October 2013 explores the Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands region.  Depart Madang in Papua New Guinea, and head for island shores and azure waters whilst marvelling at local customs and the natural richness.  Melanesia Discoverer cabins start from US$6995.
 
The 11-day Secrets of Melanesia departing on 24 October 2013 departs from Honiara in the Solomon Islands and visits the islands and villages of the outer Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.  Local culture still values ancient customs and artforms amongst picture-perfect islands.  Secrets of Melanesia cabins start from US$5995.
 
For further information visit www.heritage-expeditions.com

Friday, 9 November 2012

North Star Cruises - Explore the West Coast

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Book Now to Receive Free Airfare Inclusion

North Star's popular West Coast Explorer is about to become even more popular

Featuring the intriguing Abrolhos Islands, the world-famous Ningaloo Reef and fishing paradise at the marvellous Montebello Island – the West Coaster never fails to impress. But in 2013 this ever-green saunter along the still-wild coast of Western Australia will impress even more - with the addition of a complimentary flight from Dampier back to Perth! Book before Monday 19 November to receive this offer.

Guests will embark the mighty TRUE NORTH in cosmopolitan Fremantle and the traditional 'welcome-aboard' cocktail will likely be framed in one of The West's fiery summer sunsets! An introduction to the ship's renowned crew is followed by the first of many inspired dining experiences and then it's an overnight steam to the Abrolhos.

The following day reveals one of WA's most-desirable aquatic playgrounds. The Abrolhos Islands are well-known as the home of the state's lucrative rock lobster fishery however they also attract aquatic adventurers who revel in stories of ship-wreck and murderous mutiny. An opportunity to snorkel the 1629 wreck of the Batavia is definitely one of the cruise highlights and accounts of the wreck's hapless survivors never fail to intrigue. But the islands are also a naturalist's delight and the fishers on-board will have every chance of catching one of the finest eating fish in the ocean - the highly regarded Westralian jewfish!

When the TRUE NORTH moves back into the coast – it's all-ashore for an exhilarating climb to the top of Steep Point and the frequent-cruisers will be well-versed in using the ship's helicopter to secure unique perspective.

Nearby, the waters surrounding Dirk Hartog Island reliably produce close encounters with manta ray and gentle grey-nurse shark.

Imagine swimming amidst clouds of colourful fish set against pristine corals. Imagine all in knee-deep water just metres from the brilliant white sands of a squeaky clean beach. Imagine Ningaloo Reef.

The Montes are truly a North Star favourite. Mouth-watering whiting and feisty mud-crabs will definitely be on the menu. North Star 'picnics' are always a 'big-hit' and the Montes present as yet another unique setting. Opportunities for diving and relaxed snorkelling also abound.

Packed with variety and highlights every day – this once-a-year cruise needs to be on everyone's bucket-list! And now with the added convenience of a complimentary Qantas flight back to sunny Perth

The West Coast Explorer departs Fremantle on March 7. For more information - see the complete itinerary at http://www.northstarcruises.com.au/documents/WestCoastExplorer.pdf or contact your adventure partners at cruise@northstarcruises.com.au

To make arrangements - contact your preferred travel representative or email your adventure partners at cruise@northstarcruises.com.au or
phone (+61 8) 9192 1829.
 

Monday, 5 November 2012

CRUISECO ADVENTURER'S INAUGURAL SAIL


Cruiseco, the leading provider of cruising options in Australia and New Zealand, is launching its first custom-built luxury ship, the Cruiseco Adventurer, on 30th October from Saigon.

Steve Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer at Cruiseco, says this is an exciting development and marks a groundbreaking step for the company in sailing its own ships.

"We are thrilled to introduce Cruiseco's first ship to the market.  After 12 years in the industry, we have drawn from our extensive experience to ensure that The Cruiseco Adventurer's sleek design will appeal to a wide range of discerning travellers."

The Cruiseco Adventurer departs Saigon on 30 October 2012, where the ship will cruise for seven nights along the Mekong River.  The 68-metre long, three-decked luxury ship can accommodate a maximum of 60 people.  The ship features the latest in technology and boasts 30 luxurious staterooms, offering either double or twin accommodation.  All cabins have polished timber floors, ensuite facilities, floor-to-ceiling French windows, a private balcony, and a private seating area with outdoor furniture.  Additionally, the ship offers two suites and two deluxe suites; both of which will have a separate living area and a sofa bed.

The restaurant is located on the upper deck, where the menu fuses local produce and Western cuisine.  The restaurant will link to the lounge on the terrace deck by spiral staircase.  The outdoor area is decked with tables, chairs, banana lounges and a small pool. A small gym will also be located on the terrace deck.

"The Cruiseco Adventurer experience is about more than travelling in style.  We are committed to supporting local communities by employing people from the Mekong area. Our crew therefore is extremely knowledgeable on local culture and history," says Mr Lloyd.

Guests may choose to start their adventure in Saigon and travel the Mekong River, stopping at exotic ports along the way to Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor and Capital of the 12th century Khmer kingdom.  Alternatively, guests may join the cruise at Siem Reap and cruise down the Mekong River to Saigon.

All customers booking with Cruiseco receive Qantas Frequent Flyer Points.  The Cruiseco Adventurer offers more than 50 fly, cruise and stay itineraries which showcases the best of the Mekong with 11-night packages from Siem Reap to Saigon or vice versa.  Bookings are open now.

Visit www.cruising.com.au or call (02) 9492 8520 for further information and to find details of your local Cruiseco agent.  

Ocean Magazine - Ocean Cruising - Issue 46

Feature: One Ocean NW Passage. News mentions: SeaDream, Orion, APT, Coral Princess