Adventure * Expedition * Small Ship * River Cruises * Luxury * Boutique

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

New Pandaw website

#expeditioncruising

With more pictures and a layout to fit both mobile and desktop screens, our new website is designed to help you learn all about our vessels, cruise itineraries, life on board, river stops, and the latest specials. As the pioneer river tour operator in the region, we are the only one to show real-time booking availability. In only a few clicks, you can choose your cabin and organize your pre- or post-cruise arrangements.

www.pandaw.com




APT wants expanded expedition product

#expeditioncruising 

Source: Travel Daily Cruise Update

APT Caledonian Sky

APT would quadruple its fleet of expedition vessels if the company’s owner and director Geoff McGeary had his way. “We’ve been buying up Renaissance ships, we own two at the moment, but we’d love to own all eight,” he said. Asked by TD Cruise Update if a third purchase was imminent, to add to its collection of the MS Caledonian Sky and Island Sky, McGeary said: “We hope to own more.”

The industry veteran, who was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List this year, explained that expansion in expedition cruising was a slow process. “Growth will always be constrained, as there are a lot of inhibiting factors, and it can never compete with large ship pricing,” he said. “It will always be a boutique market segment, I don’t believe there will ever be growth like in river cruising,” he added.

McGeary said the benefit of expedition cruising over traditional river cruising was the greater potential for new itineraries in different destinations. “You are more likely to see growth in expedition cruise routes [than rivers],” he added.

APT started offering expedition cruises last year after it acquired a near-50% stake in UK cruise company Noble Caledonia, which owns and operates two small ships and charters five others. MEANWHILE, APT has provided TD Cruise Update with the first look at its latest television advertising campaign, which hits free-to-air TV channels this Sun.

The campaign focuses on river cruising in Europe, and proactively includes a call to action for pax to book through a travel agent. Exclusive APT inclusions as well as exciting destinations visited will heavily feature in the campaign.

Classical European cruise on SeaDream

 

SEADREAM'S EYE-OPENING JOURNEY INTO AN ANCIENT WORLD

 

SEADREAM Yacht Club has a 7-day roundtrip voyage from Istanbul on August 30 this year that's not just a magical 5-star, laid-back experience aboard the world's highest-rated boutique passenger vessel, it also embraces some of the most fascinating architectural regions of classical Turkey and the oldest Greek Islands – as well as the opportunity for Australians and New Zealanders, in particular, to visit Gallipoli.

 

Mega motor-cruiser SeaDream II will visit Kepez for optional tours to both Troy and Gallipoli, Kusadasi for the opportunity to see the famed ruins of classical Ephesus dating back to the 10th century BC, picturesque Pythagorion on Samos Island, Mykonos where the sun shines 300 days of the year, Paros Island's ancient Parikia famed for its waterfront cafés and bars on cobble-stoned streets, and Mytilene on Lesvos that's one of the oldest cities in the world (10BC.) And SeaDream is small enough to get up-close to those places you want to see.

 

Prices for this eye-opening sailing begin from US$5401pp twin-share including all 5-star dining, wines and selected bar drinks, power and sail water-sports (where locally permitted,) use of a 30 championship course golf simulator and state of the art fitness centre, gratuities, and port charges and taxes.

 

SeaDream II has just 56 staterooms for a maximum 112 guests served by 95 crew, and whilst 5-star, dress-code is smart casual with no call for jackets, ties or formal attire.

 

For full details see travel agents or visit www.seadream.com



Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Australian Antarctic Division chases $2.1m Shokalskiy rescue cost

#expeditioncruising
 
A Chinese helicopter lands on an ice floe next to the Aurora Australis
during the Akademik Shokalskiy rescue operation. Photo: Nicky Phillips
 
Australia’s Antarctic Division continues to pursue cost recovery options following the stranding of the Akademik Shokalskiy last Christmas.

According to a report in The Age today, a Senate estimates hearing heard on Monday that the budget for the Australian Antarctic Division, which has distanced itself from the failed expedition, would shell out about $2.1 million for the rescue operation.

“The Australian Antarctic Division has engaged legal advice with a view to pursuing options for recovering the full cost of the rescue as expeditiously as possible,” said a spokeswoman for the Australian Antarctic Division.

The University of NSW signed the sub-charter to hire the vessel on the ill-fated mission co-led by two University of NSW scientists, Chris Fogwill and Chris Turney. Experienced Antarctic expedition leader, Greg Mortimer, oversaw other aspects of the mission and, according to anotherreport in The Age, issued an order to bring passengers back to the vessel as it needed to leave. Anecdotal reports suggest the two scientists failed to comply with the order, resulting in the standing of the vessel.


Small ship cruising to Cuba

#expeditioncruising

While a variety of trips to Cuba have sprung up over the last year with People-to-People Exchange licenses now available in the U.S., Wilderness Travel is one of the few companies to offer a small ship cruise to the previously closed-off island. Their new Cuba Cultural Adventure will set sail for 8 days via a three-masted sail cruiser with room for just 48 passengers beginning November 29, 2014.

“We are so excited about this trip because it’s truly a new way to see Cuba and its magnificent history and culture,” says Barbara Banks, director of marketing and new trip development for Wilderness Travel. “While other large cruise lines may stop for a day in Cuba, our trip gives you an intimate look at this country over 8 days aboard a delightful vessel with just the right number of fellow travelers. We stop not just in Havana but sail to other overlooked, but just as lovely, cities and islands off the coast of Cuba, like Cayo Largo and Cabo San Antonio.”

On this cultural cruise to Cuba, travelers will explore the tropical island by land and by sea, learning about its culture and history. The voyage travels around the western side of the island with stops at multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites, including Old Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad City. Highlights include salsa dancing onboard the ship, a ceramics workshop, multiple walking tours of historic cities, a visit to a sea turtle breeding center, snorkeling Cayo Largo, a stop at an 18th century coffee plantation, and viewing the Canon Blast Ceremony that dates to the Colonial period in Havana.

The 48-guest Panorama cruiser is a comfortable ship, offering two bars, a sun deck, a swimming platform, two lounges and a library. All cabins face outward and have private bathrooms.

Wilderness Travel will offer 19 different departures for the journey beginning November 2014 and continuing through April 2015. Pricing starts at $4799 per person double occupancy.

Monday, 26 May 2014

APT New Russia River Cruising Brochure for 2015

click to have this brochure delivered

APT's new Russia River Cruising brochure will see the company lead the way in Russia in 2015, according to the award-winning luxury cruise and tour operator. The new program offers guests the opportunity to blend their itineraries to combine first class river cruising with luxury land tours throughout Central Europe, the Baltics, Scandinavia and Finland, and private rail journeys aboard Russia's most opulent train, the APT-owned Golden Eagle.

Russia is one of APT's fastest growing destinations and the new APT Russia River Cruising 2015 brochure reflects this fact, offering 140 percent more inventory compared to 2014. Guests can choose from 17 itineraries.

At the heart of the new program is APT's new river ship, the MS Anastasia, a vessel undergoing a multi-million dollar refit and refurbishment ready for her maiden voyage in May 2015.

According to APT's General Manager Marketing and Sales, Debra Fox, the introduction of the MS Anastasia to Russia's waterways represents a ground breaking development for this popular destination:

"We've deliberately designed the Anastasia in such a way that she will redefine Russian River cruising. She will be the most luxurious vessel to grace Russia's waterways by far, bringing the exceptional style, standard and service so familiar to guests who travel with us on other European rivers, to our Russian itineraries. We want the entire experience, whether onboard our ship, or on shore, to be unforgettable and that's what our new itineraries will deliver."

New River Cruise Ship – MS Anastasia

APT's new river cruise ship features five unique dining locations including:
·         Indochine by Luke Nguyen – featuring a French-Vietnamese fusion menu created exclusively by celebrity chef and APT Ambassador, Luke Nguyen;
·         Zhivago's Chef's Table Restaurant – private chef's dining accompanied by free-flowing wine. Each guest will have access to the restaurant twice while cruising at no extra cost;
·         Louisa & Roberto's Italian Restaurant – offering traditional Italian-inspired fare;
·         Tsar's Caviar and Champagne Bar – fine sparkling wines are complemented by an elegant menu featuring caviar, salmon and more (a surcharge applies to all menu items at Tsar's)
·         Café Volga – a selection of freshly made-to-order café-style dishes.

Other features include an expansive Sun Deck, outdoor lounge with ice cream bar; Heated pool and two whirlpools; the Anastasia Spa; the Hermitage Lounge and Bar; 24-hour tea and coffee bar; and outside balconies on 70 percent of suites.

Extended Land itineraries

For its new Russia program, APT has designed a portfolio of land journeys for small groups of 30 guests. All feature a portfolio of luxury hotels.

New for 2015, APT is offering an 14-night luxury Berlin, Warsaw and Baltics land journey through Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland. Highlights include a private and exclusive performance of Chopin in Warsaw, High Tea at The Regent Hotel in Berlin and a chocolate workshop in Old Riga.

Also available are land journeys in Scandinavia and Finland, comprising 15 nights exploring Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland; a nine night land journey through Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland; and an 11 night land journey through the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Hungary.

The Golden Eagle Luxury Train

Guests can choose to travel in Silver Class Cabins, Gold Class Cabins or Imperial Suites. Travelling aboard APT's luxurious Golden Eagle train, journeys include a 15-day Trans Siberian Express itinerary between Moscow and Valdivostok; a 13-day Naadam Festival itinerary from Moscow to Ulaanbaatar; or they can combine any of these itineraries with a 13-night river cruise aboard the MS Anastasia.
 
Most popular itinerary

APT's most popular itinerary is 14-day Russian Waterways from Moscow to St Petersburg via the Volga, Svir and Neva Rivers. Priced from $7,795 per person, twin share. APT 'Signature Experiences' include the chance to explore the open air museum of wooden architecture on Kizhi Island, a cooking demonstration and lunch of regional specialities in a traditional Russian restaurant; and a spectacular ballet performance in St Petersburg at the world-famous Hermitage Theatre.

Included in the price of an APT Russian river cruise is: all meals on board at all restaurants; a choice of staterooms and suites, many featuring outside balconies; all Freedom of Choice™ sightseeing and Signature Experiences; tipping, airport transfers and porterage; and all soft drinks, wine and local beer with lunch and dinner onboard the cruise.

APT's Russia River Cruising 2015 brochure is available now. Call 1300 196 420, visit aptouring.com.au or see your local travel agent for further information.


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

SeaDream's historic Dover to Baltics and St Petersburg


SEADREAM YACHT CLUB will make an historic first-ever sailing from England in August of this year, with it's SeaDream I sailing 14-nights round-trip from Dover to some of the smaller medieval cities, ports and islands of the Baltic that larger cruise ships cannot access, together with two-nights in Russia's St Petersburg and a transit of Germany's historic 1895 Kiel Canal.

Departing on August 16 just weeks after completing a US$5m refurbishment, SeaDream I's truly dream-itinerary will embrace time-warped Bornholm in Denmark with its ancient stone fortresses, Sweden's Visby dating back to 900AD, Tallinn in Estonia with its Medieval Old Town and famed Hanseatic architecture, and tiny Sassnitz (population under 10,000) on Germany's Ruegen island and famous for its "white cliffs."

During its stay in St Petersburg from Friday morning to Sunday morning, SeaDream will offer guests a wide range of optional sightseeing and cultural activities in this famous city.

Prices begin from US$8749pp twin-share for 14-nights including all 5-star dining, wines with lunch and dinner, bar drinks, power and sail water-sports (in ports where permitted,) use of a 30 championship course golf simulator and state of the art fitness centre, gratuities, and port charges and taxes.

The mega motor-cruiser SeaDream I has just 56 staterooms for a maximum 112 guests served by 95 crew.

For full details see travel agents or visit www.seadream.com

More solo travellers visiting Antarctica

#expeditioncruising


Aurora Expeditions Reports Rise in Solo Travellers to Antarctica

Aurora Expeditions has reported a spike rise in the number of solo travellers making the trip of a lifetime to Antarctica. Figures from the last three years have shown a steady increase in the number of solo travellers booking on their small ship adventures, with early season voyages in 2013 showing as many as 29% of passengers travelling alone.

Aurora Expeditions’ no single supplement option has been popular with solo travellers for years, however there has been a marked increase in solos on voyages offering additional activities including camping, polar snorkelling, photography and kayaking. Interestingly there has also been a significant rise in the number of ladies joining their small ship expeditions, with 65% of solo travellers being female over the last 12 months.

Fiona Twyford, Marketing Manager, believes the trend is indicative of the number of women who are choosing to travel without their partners. “Whilst a proportion of solo passengers are single, we are seeing a growing number of female travellers who, despite having partners at home, choose to travel alone or with girlfriends to experience the destinations that appeal to them. The big trip does not always appeal to their partners, so instead of missing out they go alone."

Aurora offers a cabin-sharing service to keep the cost down for would-be solo travellers. The company will find a same-sex cabin partner for those travelling alone and if a suitable partner cannot be found, guests only pay the standard single occupancy rate; allowing solo travellers to keep the cost down whilst taking part in the ultimate small group adventure. Alternatively, if passengers prefer to be guaranteed a private cabin, they may book a cabin for sole occupancy at a discounted rate: 1.7 times the twin share rate.

Past passenger Gill Hetherington said ‘For me, joining a small ship expedition was the perfect way to fulfil my lifetime dream of travelling to Antarctica. I have to admit to being terrified at the thought of travelling alone, but the voyage provided instant peace of mind and I quickly relinquished fears of facing the dining room alone. Whether I chose to join the guided shore walks, take part in photography workshops, or camp on the ice overnight, there were always plenty of like-minded people with whom I could share the experience.”

Carrying a maximum of 54 passengers, Aurora Expeditions' ice-strengthened vessel Polar Pioneer is ideally suited for small groups. Led by a team of Polar Experts, voyages lend themselves to an informal style of travel, complete with open bridge policy, guided excursions, enriching lecture programme and a diverse range of activity options.

Visit www.auroraexpeditions/solo-travellers for more details on how to avoid paying single supplements and great tips about experiencing Antarctica.

Prices for the 2014/15 Antarctic season start from US$7,100 per person based on a same-sex triple share cabin or $8,758 per person for a same-sex twin share cabin for a 10 day cruise including one night’s accommodation in Punta Arenas.

For more information: Visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au or call Aurora Expeditions on 1800 637 688.

Ponant drops single supplement for solo travellers

#expeditioncruising


Compagnie du Ponant is offering solo travelers the opportunity to cruise without the added single supplement. The line, known for its destination focused itineraries to remote and exotic locales, offers close to 30 cruises aboard its three 132-stateroom sister ships, Le Soleal, Le Boreal and L’Austral, with free single supplement. The pricing is all inclusive with all meals, open bar, gratuities, port charges, taxes and fees included. Select itineraries also include round-trip air.

The company said that unlike other cruise lines where single cruisers have to book early or at the last minute to secure single-occupancy rooms without the additional charge, which can be 50% to 100% of the double occupancy fare, Ponant’s free singles supplement cruises are available for booking throughout the season, with new itineraries added annually.

Solo sailors can voyage to Asia to China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Those who prefer the Adriatic and the Mediterranean can set sail from Venice to the Croatian coastline, or cruise from Athens and Istanbul to visit the Greek Islands and Turkey, or consider a cruise through Northern Europe, with stops in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. South America options include Peru, Chile, Argentina, and a very special Panama Canal crossing celebrating the Canal’s 100th anniversary.

The intimate size of the ships offer an experience much like sailing on a private-yacht, according to a company statement, allowing guests to get know all the crew, staff and fellow passengers fairly quickly, offering a friendly atmosphere onboard and on excursions. Meal times are open seating with French-inspired menus and pastries, as well as the plats du jour that often reflect the destination visited that day.

Ponant, which also said that it carries 20,000 guests annually, will introduce its fifth vessel, Le Lyrial, in spring 2015.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Avalon Waterways Unveils New Ships in 2015 Asia Brochure

#expeditioncruising


Avalon Waterways has revealed details of two stylish new ships set to cruise the rivers of South-East Asia from next year, including its first cruises to the incredible ancient temples of Myanmar.

The ships are profiled in Avalon’s newly released 2015 Asia brochure, its first brochure dedicated exclusively to its exotic itineraries on the mighty Mekong, Yangtze and Irrawaddy rivers.

To mark the brochure’s release, Avalon is offering savings of up to $758 per couple on its 2015 World Collection cruises, with a discount of five per cent on all Asia bookings until June 24, 2014.

Avalon’s two new Asian ships will bring the same levels of style and comfort offered aboard its successful Suite Ships in Europe, but in a smaller, more intimate vessel.

Contemporary Asian styled suites
Both 60-metre ships will offer just 18 suites, all fitted in contemporary Asian style with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that slide back to create an open-air balcony.

The first, Avalon Siem Reap, will be deployed on the Mekong River in January and will operate Avalon’s 13-day itinerary between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap – Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River.

The second, Avalon Myanmar, will cruise on the Irrawaddy River from September in a brand new 14-day itinerary beginning and ending in Yangon – Golden Myanmar & the Alluring Irrawaddy.

Both ships feature a stylish air-conditioned Panorama Lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows to maximise the views, a shaded open-air observation lounge on the forward deck and an intimate timber-floored dining room serving fine contemporary cuisine with a mix of western and Asian styles. Other features include a bar, a spa treatment room, a fitness centre and a library.

Avalon’s Myanmar itinerary represents the newest destination in its worldwide selection of river cruises. Priced from $7691 per person twin share (including discount), it begins with two nights in the capital Yangon before flying to Bagan to join the ship and begin a 10-night journey along the Irrawaddy river.

Highlights include sunrise and sunset visits to the renowned temples of Bagan and Mandalay, an opportunity to visit monks and present alms at an ancient monastery at Kya Hnyat, a visit to an elephant camp at Katha, plus dozens of other unforgettable experiences among the villages, traditional workshops, schools, convents, farms and markets of the Irrawaddy valley.

Other itineraries in the Avalon Waterways 2015 Asia brochure include the 13-day Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & the Mekong River (from $4326 per person twin share, including discount), the 11-day Magical China & the Yangtze River (from $4229) and the 15-day Cultural China & Tibet with Yangtze River Cruise (from $5719).

Avalon Waterways’ 2015 World Collection discount of five per cent is available for bookings made by June 24, 2014, and applies to all Asia cruises as well as Amazon and Galápagos cruises.

For full details and bookings see licensed travel agents, visit www.avalonwaterways.com.au or phone 1300 230 234.

*Prices per person twin share, subject to availability and conditions.

Star Clippers new Cuban voyages and 25% discount

#expeditioncruising


Havana cigars, 1950s cars, Fidel Castro, Cuba is trapped in an exotic time warp set to funky music and swaying palms. Star Clippers will take you around this breezy country on two new itineraries. Experience Cuba on either a new seven or eighteen night sailing experience starting and finishing in Cienfuegos, the pearl of the south where men once ordered their rums by the finger whilst women bathed by the bay sipping exotic punches. It is here in the sundrenched streets of this calm bay facing the Caribbean Sea that you will begin your journey.

Drop into Caylo Blanco, an idyllic private island and Casilda (Trinidad) for a look at a perfectly preserved Spanish settlement built on huge sugar cane fortunes. Explore the rambling cobblestoned streets filled with guitar wielding musicians, donkeys  and other trinkets of locals.

Star clippers will open your eyes on land and by the sea. Cayo Largo will fill your senses with colour and wildlife for divers, snorkelers and swimmers. Fine as flour sand, sparkling harbours and fishing villages will pepper this unique experience with Star Clippers.

Star Clippers’ Star Flyer luxury tall ships embody a new age of sailing in Cuba, where the traditions of the past are happily married to the comforts and amenities of the present day. Star Flyers have been created for luxury-loving passengers who also enjoy the traditions and romance of the legendary era of tall sailing ships. With a total capacity of 170 passengers, Star Clippers ensures guests don’t feel lost in a crowd and allows a social and personalised experience with pampered comfort.

From secluded islands with extraordinary wildlife to one of the world’s most unique cultures filled with amazing people, architecture, music, history, and food, Star Clippers gives guests a true insight into the real Cuba. A Star Clippers 7 nights Cuba cruise is priced from $2,425 per person sharing a twin/double cabin and includes all accommodation, meals, onboard activities, port charges and gratitudes. The 18 night Cienfuegos, Cuba to Philipsburg, St. Maarten itinerary is priced from $7165 per person for an outside cabin. This price is valid until 30 June 2014 and is 25% off the regular price.

“Para los santos !”

More information : www.starclippers.com

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

AdventureSmith and Coral Princess team up

#expeditioncruising
AdventureSmith Explorations and Coral Princess Cruises
Offer Distinctive Australia/South Pacific Programs

Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations announces that its clients may now request to sail the fragile eco-system of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in one of two cruising vessels purpose-built for this destination.

Through a new booking/promotional relationship with Coral Princess Cruises, these Australian owned, registered and Aussie- and New Zealand-staffed small ships bring the spirit of “Down Under” onto open waters.

Coral Princess and Coral Princess II are 35m, twin-hulled catamarans accommodating 50 and 46 guests respectively, built with strict environmental regulations for cruising the Great Barrier Reef. They can anchor directly over the edge of the Reef, thus allowing snorkeling to take place directly from the ship’s snorkel deck. (On bigger ships guests use tenders to transport guests to the snorkelling area as the ships must anchor away from the Reef.)

A sister ship, the 72-guest Oceanic Discoverer, is the most recently launched ship of its type operating in Australian waters today, purpose-built for this part of the world. Its shallow draft of just three meters means it can go into waters larger ships cannot access. (In Papua, New Guinea, for example this ship can go some 60 nautical miles up the Sepik River to the remote villages of Bien and Angoram. Other ships draw significantly more water and are not able to access the mouth of the river, meaning their exploration on zodiacs is limited.) Guests in this region are often drawn to witness the underwater world through a special glass-bottom tender that can be employed from this vessel.

On Australian itineraries, as Australian owned, flagged and operated ships, this fleet does not need, as do foreign vessels, to visit an international port as part of a voyage. This translates to more time exploring home territory.

Barrier Reef cruises operate January to December and Northern Australia / Kimberly cruises go from May to October. AdventureSmith Explorations announces the following small ship cruise programs with some departures offering special booking discounts:

Coral Princess will ply Australia’s coastal waters in October 2014 under the care of a 12-member crew. Cape York & Arnhem Land is a 12-day exploration combining “the Top End” of Australia, Great Barrier Reef, Cape York Peninsula, Arnhem Land and the Cobourg Peninsula. The per-person double rate is from $7,390. From May through October, The Kimberley - Cruising to the Australian Outback is an 11-day experience exploring the heartland of Australia’s northernmost unspoiled outback. The per person double rate is from $7,390.

Coral Princess II operates year-round on the Great Barrier Reef. Departures are from $1,596 per person double for four days. On four-, five- and eight-day Great Barrier Reef Cruises the second traveler can save 50 percent on the most comprehensive Great Barrier Reef itinerary available if booked during the month of May 2014.

Oceanic Discoverer in October explores Cape York & Arnhem Land for 12 days starting at $8,990 per person double.

This ship conducts two additional itineraries: 11- and 13-day Papua New Guinea explorations from $8,990 per person double for 11 days in November. Also in November is a 14-day Islands of the South Pacific cruise from $11,390 per person double. On these two itineraries guests save 25 percent and there is no single supplement if booked by May 31, 2014.

A January New Zealand - Aotearoa - The Natural Elements 9- or 13-day cruise can be obtained at a 25 percent savings or no single supplement if booked by May 31, 2014. The per person double rate is from $5,990. The cruise explores the east coast of both the North and South Islands aboard Oceanic Discoverer.

On all three ships, modern Australian dining is a standout feature of the Coral Princess experience, with talented chefs making use of only the freshest of locally sourced produce in their sumptuous menus.

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, CA, along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. In 2012, owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler's prestigious 14th Annual Travel Specialists List as the world’s expert on small ship expeditions. A distinction he received again in 2013. For information, availability and 2014 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit www.adventuresmithexplorations.com
.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Wrangel Island - Visit a Polar Bear Sanctuary at the Very Top of the World


             
7 May 2014 - Near the top of the world, 140 km off the northeast coast of Siberia lie Wrangel Island and the tiny Herald Island. Untouched by glaciers during the last Ice Age and looking much as they did in the Pleistocene epoch when woolly mammoths roamed the land, these islands are today best known for their population of denning polar bears. In fact, Wrangel Island is sometimes referred to as the 'Polar Bear Maternity Ward' with an average of between 300-350 maternity dens each year on the island, and even more on Herald Island. More importantly however, these islands are strongholds for arctic biodiversity that is of great significance to the planet.
The Soviet Central Government created the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve in 1976 to protect the colonies of snow geese, polar bears, and walrus that flourish here. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is now one of Russia's most treasured wildlife sanctuaries. Only official personnel and invited guests are allowed access to the reserve, protecting the unique and untainted ecosystem.
Heritage Expeditions has been running 15 day voyages to Wrangel Island since 2009. Travel with just 50 other passengers on board the expedition ship the Spirit of Enderby, as well as an experienced and knowledgeable expedition team including rangers from Wrangel Island. Depart from Anadyr, Russia or choose to join a charter flight from Nome, Alaska to connect with the voyage (additional cost).
Berths are still available on Heritage Expeditions departures in August 2014 with itineraries now also confirmed for 2015 as well. Contact info@heritage-expeditions.com for more information including a full voyage itinerary as well as past trip logs and species lists. Berth prices from $10 800 USD pp.
          



Heritage Expeditions
Antarctic House                   PO Box 7218
53b Montreal Street             Christchurch 8240
Christchurch 8023
New Zealand
For Worldwide Small Ship Cruising contact our in-house specialists –
Wild Earth Travel: www.wildearth-travel.com / info@wildearth-travel.com



Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Lindblad Expeditions: Every expedition in one brochure


#expeditioncruising



See every expedition in one brochure: Explorations. Discover the planet's capitals of wildness - places we've been sharing with curious travellers for over 30 years.

Call 1300 361 012 (AU), 0800 444 462 (NZ), +61 2 9033 8777 (Int'l) or call your travel agent.


New expedition vessel enters world fleet for 2015 season - Ocean Endeavour

#expeditioncruising

Ocean Endeavour is the ideal expedition vessel for cruising in style to the
wildest parts of the planet
Wild Earth Travel is pleased to announce that its close partner Adventure Canada has upgraded its charter fleet with the announcement of its newest ship, the Ocean Endeavour. The 1B ice class ship replaces the Sea Adventurer on explorations beginning with the 2015 Arctic summer. Purpose built for passenger service, outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, Ocean Endeavour is a stylish and robust vessel perfect for intimate expeditions to remote environments throughout the Arctic, Greenland and Canada's East Coast.

The Ocean Endeavour can comfortably
welcome a maximum of 198 passengers.
"Not only will we retain the entertaining and educational expedition programming our guests value, but we'll be able to invite even more resource staff aboard to further enhance the experience," says Cedar Swan, Adventure Canada's Vice President. "Ocean Endeavour allows us to provide more options for our guests."

Ocean Endeavour's shallow draft and precision manoeuvrability allow her to access isolated fiords, sheltered bays and secluded communities to deliver the unique routes Adventure Canada is known for. While venturing to some of the world's last great frontiers, such as the Northwest Passage, guests can appreciate the comforts of a boutique hotel and know their safety is the first priority.

Built in Poland in 1982, the ice-strengthened vessel underwent extensive renovations in 2010 and 2014. Next season's passengers will enjoy spectacular views on multiple decks with comfortable lounge chairs and can take advantage of the ship's exceptional amenities including a sauna, Jacuzzi, gym and spa. The ship's three lounges provide spacious public rooms for multiple workshops, events and presentations to occur simultaneously, inviting each guest to tailor their onboard experience.


Guests can select from a variety of cabin categories, ranging from 9-29 square metres (100-320 square feet.) All cabins have private facilities, TV and air-conditioning.

For more information on the Ocean Endeavour, or any of the hundreds of other small ships that Wild Earth Travel represent, please contact General Manager Aaron Russ on aaron@wildearth-travel.com.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Cruise the Fijian Islands with Captain Cook Cruises

#expeditioncruising

TIME travel from today to tomorrow is simple when you are on relaxed Fijian time.

by Brad Crouch

To get to the actual time machine I first had to do some hard yards, bobbing down an isolated river on a rubber tube, wallowing in a muddy hot spring, swimming across a refreshing pool under a waterfall and sipping kava in dignified ceremonies with village chiefs.

While at times it felt like an Indiana Jones adventure, it was in fact part of an action-packed week exploring the Fijian Islands on a Captain Cook Cruises voyage. [read full story]

Sunday, 4 May 2014

News: The Whisky Shackleton Left Behind

#expeditioncruising 
 
THE 500-year-old world whisky thrives on its artisan mastery - imparting delicate subtleties and surprising nuances.
But rarely does the industry proffer a mind-blowing revelation such as the discovery and replication of perfectly preserved whisky, buried for 100 years in Antarctic ice.

Read full story

Friday, 2 May 2014

Refit complete for Mekong Pandaw

#expeditioncruising


The river cruiser Mekong Pandaw has emerged from a major refit as one of the finest examples of floating colonial era indulgence in Southeast Asia.

Butler service, redesigned staterooms with French windows, beds that can be configured twin or double, new bathrooms and airconditioning, and more personal deck space are major features of the upgrade.

All lower deck cabins were removed creating room for a gymnasium, spa, library, a shop, and office, reducing the ship’s capacity to 48 (in 24 staterooms).

Guests will also be offered an I-pad with its own Pandaw app that contains maps, itineraries, daily programmes, movies and e-postcards. Wi-fi is available throughout the ship.

The sundeck, a favourite spot for gin and tonics at sunset, has been retained and redecorated.

Hand finished in brass and teak in Yangon (Rangoon) by traditional Burmese craftsmen 10 years ago, the 60m long Mekong Pandaw is a replica of the river steamers that plied Burma’s Irrawaddy River in the 1930’s and 40’s.

Pandaw will have 13 colonial river cruisers on the Mekong, Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers in 2014 and more are planned.

The Mekong Pandaw has cruises between Saigon and Siem Reap for three, four, seven, or 10 nights.

Bookings through travel agents. Further information www.pandaw.com <http://www.pandaw.com> or John Boyd jlbati@ozemail.com.au

Discover New Zealand’s spectacular wildlife with Silversea Expeditions

Crested Penguins ©Andrew Marshall


Explore New Zealand's Antipodes and Sub Antarctic Islands on this 14-day expedition cruise on board Silversea's Silver Discoverer.

Departing Auckland, on 22 November, 2014, Silver Discoverer will travel south, visiting White Island and Napier, before sailing to Chatham and Pitt Island. Silver Discoverer will then voyage to a number of New Zealand's most incredible Sub Antarctic Island groups including Bounty, Campbell, Enderby and The Snares. Guests will encounter an abundance of seabirds and marine wildlife including the Southern Royal Albatross, New Zealand sea lions, Crested Penguins and the rare Yellow-Eyed Penguin. Meandering the quiet and still channels of the Dusky Sound in Fiordland, guests will explore the surrounding steep cliffs and dense rainforests by Zodiac, followed by a nature walk at Ulva Island. This voyage ends in Dunedin, with guests disembarking on 6 December, 2014.

Prices are per person starting from AU$11,050 in an Explorer Suite double occupancy. Silversea's fares include all shore excursions hosted by an expert expedition team; all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus designed by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.

This voyage is subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit www.silversea.com/expeditions