Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Expanded Commitment to National Geographic ‘Pristine Seas’ campaign

#expeditioncruising


Today, at the Clinton Global Initiative, the National Geographic Society announced a commitment to expand “Pristine Seas: Saving the Last Wild Places in the Ocean.”

During the next five years, the National Geographic Pristine Seas project will inspire governments to protect approximately 20 new worldwide locations as fully protected marine reserves for a total of more than 2 million square kilometers. Setting aside areas that are off-limits to commercial fishing and mining in order to preserve their biological importance is an approach very similar to national parks created on land. Fulfilling this commitment will involve governments, local partners and influential business leaders. If fulfilled, it will help countries meet the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity’s target of protecting 10 percent of the world’s oceans by 2020.

“Achieving this ambitious goal will help protect the natural heritage of many of the world’s most pristine seas. Through National Geographic’s unique assets, we build coalitions that will help create and sustain these pristine areas for generations to come,” said Enric Sala, director of the National Geographic Pristine Seas project.

The commitment expands a conservation model that has already proven successful. Since 2009, National Geographic, through its Pristine Seas project, has conducted expeditions to 10 of the most pristine places in the ocean. Using a combination of exploration, scientific research, economic analysis and communications, the project has helped to inspire country leaders to protect areas in the United States, Chile, Gabon, Kiribati and Costa Rica, covering more than 400,000 square kilometers.

“While the ocean may seem vast and inexhaustible, today, as a result of global overfishing, pollution and climate change, we see undeniable evidence of fisheries collapsing, coral reef degradation and marine dead zones,” said Terry Garcia, National Geographic’s chief science and exploration officer. “With this commitment, National Geographic is taking a major step to protect and conserve our natural legacy.”

Like national parks, marine reserves provide full protection of unique undersea mountains, large predators and amazing natural formations such as coral reefs.

National Geographic Pristine Seas is currently working on three major new marine reserves. The first, in the United States, could result in a historic expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The two others are located in the South Pacific region near the Pitcairn Islands (an overseas territory of the United Kingdom) and near Palau.

This crucial work to save these priceless ocean resources is in keeping with the traditions upon which the National Geographic Society was founded 126 years ago. National Geographic is joined in this effort by partners including the Waitt Foundation, Prince Albert of Monaco, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Jynwel Foundation, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Blancpain, Davidoff Cool Water, Lindblad Expeditions, Dynamic Planet, former President José María Figueres of Costa Rica and individual donors.

About the National Geographic Society

With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the 126-year-old National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Working to inspire, illuminate and teach, the member-supported Society reaches over 600 million people worldwide each month through its media platforms, products and events. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 research, conservation and exploration projects, and its education programs promote geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.

About the Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 2,900 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Australians love Expedition Cruising with APT

#expeditioncruising

Eight Reasons Why Australians are Sailing off the Beaten Track


Ever imagine what it's like to be one of the few visitors to set foot on a remote Island? Or wonder how it might feel to visit somewhere so picturesque that even Sir David Attenborough deems it 'one of the wonders of the world'?

These are the types of dreams that are becoming a reality, thanks to the rising popularity of luxury small ship expedition cruising – a cruise style that brings together an average of 100 like-minded guests with a team of expert lecturers, sailing aboard luxury boutique-style expedition ships to far-flung and unusual destinations, inaccessible to larger cruise liners.

According to luxury small ship specialist APT, an increasing number of Australians are hopping onboard with this newer cruise format, making it the next big travel style for 2015 and beyond.


Destinations driving its popularity include:

1. Pulau Kakaban, Indonesia: Edged with steep limestone cliffs and covered in dense jungle, the beautiful Kakaban Island is part of the Derawan Islands of East Kalimantan.

Get up close: Snorkel the Island's freshwater lake to see a variety of fascinating strange jellyfish that have lost their sting.

2. Torajaland, Central Sulawesi: Buried deep in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, Torajaland is a rarely visited gem with a friendly culture and ancient traditions.

Get up close: See fascinating boat-shaped houses built facing north in honour of the deities, or visit grave sites that house replicas of the ancestors, called Tau Taus.

3. Lacepede Islands, Kimberley, WA: A highly protected Class A nature reserve located off the Kimberley Coast, the Lacepede Islands are classified by Birdlife International as an important bird area and boast one of the world's largest breeding colonies of Brown Booby and Lesser Frigate Birds.

Get up close: See the most significant rare Green Turtle breeding ground in Western Australia as well as a spectacular platform reef.

4. Trincomalee, Sri Lanka: Situated on one of the world's finest natural harbours, Trincomalee is edged by famous, seemingly endless stretches of sensational beaches.

Get up close: Visit World Heritage-listed site of Sigiriya, or 'Lion's Rock', an ancient rock fortress and palace.

5. Tinos, Greece: A beautiful sun-drenched island in the Aegean, Tinos is one of the best kept secrets of Greece. Venetian and Ottoman architecture can be found across the island, the legacy of its varied past.

Get up close: Because most visitors to the island are pilgrims it remains relatively untouched by tourism, so a stop here will give you a true taste of Greek culture.

6. Aldabra and Alphonse, Seychelles: The world's second largest coral atoll, Aldabra is one of the most isolated places in the world. Comprising four islets around a large shallow lagoon that is encircled by fringing coral reef, Sir David Attenborough once named it 'one of the wonders of the world'. Nearby, the Alphonse Atoll consists of picturesque Bijoutier and St Francis with their coconut tree-lined perfect white-sand beaches and rare bird species.

Get up close: See abundant wildlife and spot the Aldabra Giant Tortoise.

7. Misty Fjords National Monument, Alaska: Tucked away far from the path of larger ships lies Misty Fjords National Monument along Alaska's Inside Passage, offering some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth.

Get up close: See glistening glaciers, vast ice fields, enchanting wildlife and snow capped peaks.

8. Laughing Bird Cay, Belize: A beautiful Island just off the coast of Belize, a special permit limiting the number of visitors is required to visit Laughing Bird Cay.

Get up close: The Island stands on a faro that encloses a central lagoon. Visitors enjoy an abundance of bird and coral species and marine life.

To find out more about booking an unforgettable adventure aboard an APT Luxury Small Ship Expedition Cruise call 1300 196 420, visit aptouring.com.au or see your local travel agent.

Ponant Alaska and Arctic voyages 2015

#expeditioncruising

Follow in the footsteps of pioneers and trappers

Explore Alaska and the Arctic Far North with Ponant. More than just journeys, the promise of exceptional destinations and encounters in other worlds that include Greenland, Iceland, Spitzbergen, the Baffin Sea, the Northwest Passage and Alaska.

Follow in the footsteps of pioneers and adventurers who tried to tame this wild land. Carefully crafted itineraries reveal secret expanses of Alaska where nature carves a world of vast glaciers, turquoise waters, lush forests and snow capped peaks. Further north, venture across the Arctic Circle to regions famous for polar bears, icy landscapes and dormant volcanoes.

Cruise on ice-rated luxury expedition ships equipped with a fleet of Zodiacs that allow Ponant to explore where large cruise ships simply cannot reach, getting close to nature, guest experiences enhanced with expeditions ashore. Join with the expedition team to meander through ice flows, wonder at vertiginous fjords and explore the vastness of this pristine polar seascape.

Itineraries during 2015 reveal 7 remote lands and the opportunity of interaction with 5 ethnic groups - ancient communities, including the Inuit and American Indian tribes such as the Tlingit.
Travel with Ponant, the polar and ice specialists, on board modern eco-friendly sister ships, L’Austral, Le Boreal and Le Soleal, part of the youngest fleet of luxury and expedition ships in the world.

A specialist expedition team, guides and lecturers including, typically, naturalists and geologists, enhance your voyage experience.

From Iceland to Baffin Bay, Siberia, the Northwest Passage and the Russian Far East, enjoy unique 5 star experiences onboard and ashore, and expeditions that include the most beautiful nature reserves in Alaska, UNESCO World Heritage sites, geysers, lava fields and volcanoes.

Adventure in the lands of the majestic polar, brown and black bears, humpback and minke whales, bald eagles, caribou, orca, Arctic Fox and Narwhal, and visit whaling stations and Russian trappers cabins ….. join the Gold Rush.

95% of all accommodation features a private balcony, perfect for observing nature at her majestic best, perhaps including the spectacular lights of aurora borealis. Enjoy polar landscapes and wildlife by day, back on board relax with a glass of champagne or a swim in the heated pool.

Experience counts. With over 15 seasons of polar experience, 12 in the Far North, Ponant has built its reputation as a true specialist, sailing in extreme environments.

An Open Bridge policy offers guests insight into the specialist workings of ice navigation in these extreme regions. Flexibility is key, with the Captain able to adapt the daily itinerary to maximise opportunities, such a adjusting course in order to allow guests to watch a nearby pod of whales or photograph a polar bear on an ice flow.

Add to the adventure by selecting from an extensive range of optional shore excursions, including flight-seeing the Misty Fjords by seaplane, or flying into the famed Valley of the Geysers in Kamchatka by helicopter. In Alaska, the Rocky Mountaineer train trip is an unforgettable pre or post voyage option not to be missed.

Ponant balances extremes of nature with warmth, comfort and exceptional service onboard - all with a dash of French panache.

Itinerary examples: (current pricing, per person twin share, inclusive of taxes)

Alaska: Vancouver to Juneau or v.v. on L’Austral (5 voyages during June/July 2015 (7 nights) are available from A$4,270. A limited number of 0% single supplements are still available.

Northwest Passage: Kangerlussuaq to Anadyr on Le Soleal / August 24 2015 (22 nights) from A$25,955. Includes connecting flights from Paris to Kangerlussuaq and Anadyr to Tokyo plus one night accommodation in Tokyo.

Russian Far East: Anadyr to Petropavlovsk on Le Soleal / 15 September 2015 (14 nights) from A$11,430. Includes connecting flights to/from Tokyo to Anadyr and Petropavlovsk plus accommodation for one night in Tokyo pre and post voyage.

Eastern Siberia and Kodiak Peninsula: Pevek to Seward on L’Austral / 19 August 2015 (11 nights) from A$8,990. Includes one way flight Tokyo - Pevek plus one night accommodation in Tokyo.

The website www.ponant.com provides detail on the fleet, voyages, itineraries, inclusions – and the videos in particular will give an appreciation of the French style that is the

Additional information and reservations can be made by phoning (in Australia)1300 737 178 or + 61 2 8459 5000, (in New Zealand) 0800 44 32 62, email reservations.aus@ponant.com or contact your travel agent.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Northwest Passage Voyage - Following Franklin


Sailing in the Wake of Northwest Passage Explorer Sir John Franklin

2015 Arctic Voyage to Discovered Site of Missing Vessel

An Arctic voyage visiting Canada's fabled Northwest Passage where one of explorer Sir John Franklin's ships was discovered this month after a 170-year search is available through Australian tour company, Active Travel.

The discovery of the missing wreck 11m below remote Victoria Strait near King William Island has been described as one of the greatest archaeological events of the past 100 years, with the find solving one of maritime history's greatest mysteries. The British vessels, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, were last seen in ice-clad Baffin Bay in 1845, with Australians able to visit the area themselves aboard a polar expedition ship in 2015, 170 years since Sir John Franklin's expedition vanished.

Active Travel is a partner with One Ocean Expeditions, the exploration cruise operator in the Canadian Arctic which helped uncover one of Sir Franklin's ships this month. The ship used in the search, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, is a sister ship to the Russian ship that Active Travel customers can sail aboard to the same region in 2015.  

Active Travel's 13-day Northwest Passage Voyage from Greenland on August 12, 2015, aboard the Russian icebreaker, Akademik Ioffe, will take passengers deep inside the Arctic Circle, beginning with the fjords and frontier settlements of Greenland before the journey charts Sir Franklin's final path through the isolated islands of the Canadian Arctic, including King William Island.

Zodiac excursions ashore will allow passengers to meet the local Inuit people and look for wildlife including polar bears, seals and beluga whales

The voyage of a lifetime ends at Cambridge Bay from where passengers will be flown back to Edmonton. The 13-day voyage is priced from US$9995 per person, twin-share, including onboard meals, land excursions, Arctic weather gear and onboard lectures.

Charter flights from Ottawa to Greenland at the start of the voyage and back to Edmonton at the end of the cruise are an extra US$1990 per person return.  Return flights from Australia to Canada are additional and can also be booked through Active Travel.

For bookings, visit www.activetravel.com.au or call 1300 783 188.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Additional Mekong cruise departures in peak season

#expeditioncruising



7 Feb 2015 Saigon - Siem Reap/Angkor, 7 nights

7 Feb 2015 Saigon - Phnom Penh, 3 nights

10 Feb 2015 Phnom Penh - Siem Reap/Angkor, 4 nights

21 Feb 2015 Saigon - Siem Reap/Angkor, 7 nights

21 Feb 2015 Saigon - Phnom Penh, 3 nights

24 Feb 2015 Phnom Penh - Siem Reap/Angkor, 4 nights

7 Mar 2015 Saigon - Siem Reap/Angkor, 7 nights

7 Mar 2015 Saigon - Phnom Penh, 3 nights

10 Mar 2015 Phnom Penh - Siem Reap/Angkor, 4 nights





We are delighted to offer new departures between Saigon and Siem Reap on the stunning and intimate Angkor Pandaw, a classic Pandaw vessel carrying no more than

32 passengers. It's small size enables your Mekong journey to begin in central Saigon, providing the enjoyment of this charming French colonial city from the perspective of your luxury ship and the chance to sail through the Mekong Delta on your way to Cambodia.

Your journey discovers the fascinating and varied life on the Mekong River between Vietnam and Cambodia. With a full day in delightful Phnom Penh we then explore remoter waterways as we progress to the great monuments of Angkor.

The sixteen cabin Angkor Pandaw has been specially designed with a shallow draft to get further up river and a low air draft to get under the many new bridges being constructed up river in Cambodia. This ship can go where other larger ships are not able to explore.

* Based on 2 people sharing a main deck stateroom on 7th Mar 2015 departure.

Availability and prices subject to change.





www.pandaw.com | www.pandawcharity.com

Friday, 26 September 2014

South Georgia to see 64 ship visits in 2014/15 season

#expeditioncruising

The number of cruise ship visits to South Georgia is set to increase by at least 10 per cent in the forthcoming 2014/15 season, according to the July edition of the South Georgia Newsletter.

Sixty-four cruise ships are currently booked to visit the island on the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) ship scheduler; six more ship visits than were booked last season.

Seabourn Quest will be the largest ship to visit South Georgia with 450 passengers

In the event, only 55 cruise ship visits were made last season, due to cancellations after breakdown, bad weather etc. Therefore the actual year on year increase in cruise ship visits this season could be up to 14 per cent.

The forecast increase builds on the steady increase in ship visits and passenger numbers over the past two seasons. However, ship visit and passengers numbers have still not returned to the record levels seen in 2008/09 when 71 ships brought circa 8000 passengers.

A total of 7,024 passengers reached South Georgia by cruise ship last season, a figure that looks set to rise a little in the coming season if bookings (occupancy levels) remain about the same. If the vessels were fully booked in excess of 8100 passengers could visit. This will be confirmed when all of the visit applications have been received.

The 40-pax Bark Europa will be the smallest vessel to visit South Georgia this season

Twenty-two different cruise ships are scheduled to visit; the smallest being the 40-passenger sailing vessel Bark Europa and the largest the 450-passenger Seabourn Quest. Two of the cruise ships will be new to South Georgia: National Geographic Orion and Le Soleal.

Two of the vessels, Bremen and Hanseatic, are set to make six visits each during the season ahead. The season starts on October 24th with Ushuaia and ends on April 3rd with Plancius, and the vessels are reasonably well spread through the six-month period, though November and December are the two busiest months with 14 cruise ship visits each month, and as usual the Christmas to New Year period is very busy with nine cruise ships due during the week.

Source:

First look at 'Horizon' - new vessel for Island Escape Cruises.

#expeditioncruising

Exciting update from Island Escape Cruises (IEC) is this preview image of their new all-suite ship that is planned for delivery in August 2015.

To be named Horizon, she is 46m in length and will accommodate a maximum of just 24 guests.

IEC plan to employ the new vessel on itineraries in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia as well as existing Vanuatu and New Zealand cruising grounds.

She will carry three large landing craft for shore excursions, plus snorkel and fishing equipment, twin and single kayaks, paddle boards, a dive compressor and onboard helicopter for most cruises.

According to IEC's website, itineraries for Horizon will be released for sale at the end of November 2014



Broaden your wine and food knowledge on SeaDream in 2015

Enjoying premium wines aboard SeaDream

WINE buffs can broaden their knowledge of wine in general as well as best wine-and-food pairing, and enjoy some other tastes of the better things in life, with a sailing  next April aboard the world's highest-rated boutique passenger vessel, SeaDream I that'll offer a world-recognised wine education diploma course.

And with current bourgeoning interest in wine-and-food appreciation, eight other sailings in the Mediterranean aboard the mega-motor-cruisers SeaDream I and SeaDream II in 2015 will allow guests to meet with eminent winemakers who'll be aboard. At these meetings they'll also enjoy free tastings of the maker's wines, and if they wish take part in optional visits to some of Europe's most prestigious smaller and historic wineries.

"We have been approved by the world's most-respected wine education organisation, the British Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET,) to deliver their in-depth Level 2 Course that provides the opportunity to achieve a WSET Diploma in wine education," said SeaDream Yacht Club's owner and CEO, Atle Brynestad. Mr Brynestad has just appointed one of Scandinavia's most-respected wine writers, Erica Landin as Director of Wine to develop its new onboard programs.

The WSET Course will be available as an option on a 13-day crossing of the Atlantic from San Juan in Puerto Rico to Malaga in Spain in April 2015, costing US$1500pp in addition to the Crossing price that starts from US$4045pp twin-share.*

The eight Mediterranean sailings that include the free wine tastings and optional-cost winery visits (US$150pp per winery,) will be priced from US$3704pp twin-share for 5-days from Monte Carlo back to Monte Carlo in May 2015. All sailings include award-winning cuisine, premium lunch and dinner wines, bar drinks, water-sports, port charges and taxes, and gratuities.

*The course will include two 1.5hr sessions daily focusing on key grape varieties, growing methods and factors influencing a wine's style and quality, accompanying tastings, and an overview of major wine regions from Europe to Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Argentina. There'll also be a visit to a major winery on Madeira with a vertical tasting of very old Madeira wines, a Champagne Master Class, and food-pairings with SeaDream's most-loved dishes.

                                                     
http://search.cruiseexpress.com.au/cruiseline/seadream-yacht-club
For bookings and further details, see SeaDream specialist Cruise Express


New itineraries for National Geographic Orion.

#expeditioncruising
New shorter itineraries for Orion in the South Pacific and Indonesia

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced six new itineraries that cater to guests looking for shorter stints of expedition travel aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion.

Guests can choose from a range of voyages that offer undersea exploration, islands with a wealth of history and cultures that maintain close ties to their ancestral traditions. Each expedition also sails with a National Geographic photographer and a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor to assist guests with their photography skills – whether using an iPhone or SLR camera.
The following are the new global voyages for 2015. Rates are per person, in Australian dollars and based on a double occupancy in a category one cabin:

Bali to Palau: Exotic Indonesia

13-day itinerary

This is the chance to visit the real Indonesia up close. This itinerary is an expedition to find Komodo dragons and rare birdlife, explore a village’s water buffalo races and snorkel and dive Raja Ampat in the Coral Triangle – a region with more than 500 species of coral and 2,000 species of fish. Departs Sep. 19, 2015___ From $15,700 per person.

Palau to Solomon Islands: Along the Pacific Equator

16-day itinerary

Guests can venture to the heart of Micronesia to discover wild, remote islands and cultures. Here they will snorkel or dive amongst manta rays, reefs and famous shipwrecks on an expedition that offers both relaxation and island exploration, as well as iconic WWII fortifications. Departs Oct. 1, 2015___ From $19,320 per person.

Solomon Islands to Fiji: Hidden South Pacific

11-day itinerary

This is an itinerary that focuses on the culture and history of Melanesia, and the western edge of Polynesia. Guests can observe ancient petroglyphs, warrior dances and WWII wrecks as well as Fiji’s finest reefs, rare birds and the lush “Garden Island.” Departs Oct. 16, 2015___ From $12,080 per person.

Fiji to the Cook Islands: Polynesian Discovery

10-day itinerary

An exploration of four Polynesian nations – Fiji, Tonga, Niue and the Cook Islands. Guests can explore the beautiful geographies, with Niue boasting the largest uplifted coral island in the world, as well as kayak, Zodiac cruise, snorkel and dive reefs in the turquoise seas, and discover Palmerston Atoll, charted by Captain Cook on his second voyage. Departs Oct. 26, 2015___From $12,080 per person.

Cook Islands to Tahiti: Pristine Reefs of the South Pacific

11-day itinerary

Guests will venture to three distinct island groups for the ultimate undersea experience. Here they will snorkel turquoise lakes, swim over beds of giant clams, dive the pristine Southern Line Islands, identified as one of the most unspoiled reef systems in the world by the National Geographic Pristine Seas Project, and explore the culture of French Polynesia. Departs Nov. 4, 2015___From $12,080 per person.

Tahiti to Easter Island: Tales of the Pacific

17-day itinerary

This is a trip where guests will journey off the beaten track to explore a string of remote islands that are rarely visited by outsiders. Here they will uncover wild, pristine UNESCO sites, untouched tropical beaches, hear stories of early visitors and see the iconic Easter Island. Departs Nov. 14, 2015___From $19,320 per person.

To order the Explorations catalogue, obtain additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic or to book, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1300 361 012 or see your travel agent.
 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A&K's new Luxury Polar Expedition Cruises


Hot off the Press

Abercrombie & Kent has just released its 2015 - 2016 brochure for polar expeditionary cruising. The journeys are operated exclusively by A&K on board luxury cruiser MV 'Le Boreal', revealing the polar reaches at their astonishing best.

In the Arctic, there is a journey that takes guests to Norway and the High Arctic Svalbard archipelago, providing a unique opportunity to contrast the fishing villages, hamlets and culture of the region with its fantastic abundance of wildlife. Observe the amazing flora that comes alive under the midnight sun and go in search of the mighty polar bear. It also explores incredible fjords and remote settlements in Greenland plus glacial-carved terrain and volcanoes in Iceland.

In Antarctica there are four expeditions during the 2015 2016 season. Each visits the wildlife rich Antarctic Peninsula with two adding South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.Journeys are themed with a special family expedition over Christmas and New Year, a Climate Change mission trip plus two photographic journeys.

To book your A&K itinerary today or to enquire further please contact Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 590 317 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.au

A&K Celebrates 25 years of Expedition Cruising




Celebrating 25 years of Expedition Cruising, luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent has released its 2015 – 2016 brochure for polar expeditionary cruises.

With more than 175 expeditions under its belt, A&K still sets the standard with innovation and leadership driving the design and delivery of each and every voyage. Crew and staff are still hired for their unparalleled experience in both the North and South Poles with each expedition team member having more than 18 years' experience on average and A&K's immaculate safety record speaks for itself.

Created by on-the-ground experts, led by a remarkable expedition team of research scientists and naturalists and operated exclusively by A&K on board luxury cruiser MV 'Le Boreal' the voyages in this brochure reveal the polar reaches at their astonishing best.

The elegant guest quarters aboard 'Le Boreal' are among the most spacious and comfortable on any Antarctic cruise with a choice of bedding configurations. She carries just 199 guests and each cabin has a private balcony. 'Le Boreal' has an ice rating which exceeds that required in the demanding polar conditions and is equipped with the latest navigation, communications and safety equipment. A technologically-advanced stabilising system minimises the effect of rough seas.

Antarctica

A journey to Antarctica is one of the world's great adventures. It is an expedition to the harshest, driest and coldest region on the planet - the world's most remote and final frontier. There are four Antarctic expeditions on offer for the 2015-16 season. Each visits the wildlife rich Antarctic Peninsula with two adding South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. Journeys are themedwith a special family expedition over Christmas and New Year, a Climate Change mission trip plus two photographic journeys.

A&K's 12 day 'Classic Antarctica' 9 – 20 December 2015 is priced from US $9,995 per person twin share for bookings made by 31 December 2014.

Arctic

On the other side of the world is a journey to the Great White North taking guests to Norway and the High Arctic Svalbard archipelago, less than1,000 kilometres from the North Pole. This expedition is a unique chance to contrast the fishing villages, hamlets and culture of the High Arctic with its fantastic abundance of wildlife. Observe the amazing flora that comes alive under the midnight sun and go in search of the mighty polar bear. Explore incredible fjords and remote settlements in Greenland plus glacial-carved terrain and volcanoes in Iceland.

A&K's 15-day 'Arctic Cruise Adventure: Norway, Greenland & Iceland' 15 – 29 July 2015 is priced from US $12,995 per person twin share for bookings made by 31 October 2014.

To book your A&K itinerary today or to enquire further please contact Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 590 317 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.au

See Myanmar with A&K aboard Sanctuary Ananda

#expeditioncruising


Travellers looking to get away somewhere exotic before Christmas that’s still unspoiled and little known need look no further than Myanmar. It’s one of the most beautiful and fascinating countries in south east Asia – and it’s easy to get to.

This December, luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent offers savings for guests travelling on its new ‘Myanmar in Style’ journey which showcases all the major highlights, and with hand-picked guides to bring its intriguing history to life. Guests will also be amongst the first to cruise the Ayeyarwady on board the brand new all-suite Sanctuary Ananda.





The journey starts in Yangon where a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda is an unforgettable introduction. The Sanctuary Ananda cruise is for four nights between Mandalay and Bagan, visiting temples, pagodas, palaces and monasteries along the way. Time at leisure on board is filled with special cultural inclusions such as traditional dance performances, ethnic dinners, lectures, cooking demonstrations, yoga and cigar making lessons. Following the cruise, a stay in Inle Lake is a highlight, with beautiful mountain scenery, floating gardens, markets, temples and the traditional leg-rowers.

Special Offer:

A&K’s 11-day ‘Myanmar in Style’
Departure dates: 5 – 15 December & 12 – 22 December 2014
Per person twin share: $7,545 (includes saving of $695)
Solo Traveller: $10,035 (includes saving of save $415)

To book your A&K itinerary today or to enquire further please contact Abercrombie & Kent on 1300 590 317 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.au






Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Plancius and Ortelius recover "AWI seaglider" in the North Atlantic

#expeditioncruising 
 
Oceanwide Expeditions. Two ships, two itineraries, one mission: With an extraordinary rescue operation the crews of the two expedition ships MV Plancius and MV Ortelius managed to recover unmanned remote controlled seagliders in the Greenland Sea a few days ago.
Captain Alexey Nazarov of MV Plancius masters the seaglider pick up on rough sea © Jerry Xu
Recovered seaglider onboard Plancius © Katja Riedel

With this action, Oceanwide Expeditions helped the oceanographer Dr. Katrin Latarius from the German polar science institution “Alfred-Wegener-Institut” (AWI) to successfully complete a scientific measurement program in the North Atlantic. Oceanwide Expeditions adjusted its routes for the search of the seagliders. The crews stopped the ships in the open sea, launching inflatable Zodiac boats into the water in order to rescue the two autonomous underwater vehicles of AWI out of the water. The two seagliders are now onboard both vessels on their homeward journey to the Netherlands. The gliders will be returned from there by land transportation to Bremerhaven, Germany (AWI headquarters).

For full message of the Alfred-Wegener-Institut, see the following link (in German): http://www.awi.de/de/aktuelles_und_presse/kurzmeldungen/2014/september/#c28401

T: 0031 (0) 118 410 410
F: 0031 (0) 118 410 417
E: info@oceanwide-expeditions.com
W: www.oceanwide-expeditions.com 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Introducing SeaTrek Sailing Adventures Bali


Thirty years ago, SeaTrek Sailing Adventures pioneered its small vessel cruise operations in Bali, with a vision to provide personalized sea voyages to special destinations and places of astonishing beauty that seem locked in time. With more than a quarter century of adventure sailing, Sea Trek has been opening the Eastern regions of Indonesia to whole generations of travelers from across the globe.

The Ships

The Katharina (above) is a traditional Indonesian “Phinisi” built in 1995 in Kalimantan using the best grades of iron wood . Her slim hull was originally being planned for commercial sailing before we spotted her in the making and fitted her as a cruising vessel. Not only is the Katharina very elegant on the water, she is also fast becoming a classic yacht as very few of these original designs remain.

Ombak Putih
The Ombak Putih is a traditional Indonesian schooner custom built from Iron wood by Buginese ship builders . Her keel was laid in Batulicin Kalimantan in 1995, and she became operational in 1997. The Ombak Putih is 42 meter long, and provides accommodation for up to 24 guests in 12 comfortable cabins.



For bookings, see Wild Earth Travel

M/Y Grace resumes Galapagos sailings after dry dock

#expeditioncruising

M/Y Grace, once owned by Her Serene Highness Princess Grace of Monaco
Dear Friends,

After a  productive dry-dock period, we are excited to inform you that M/Y Grace will be departing the port of Guayaquil to return back to the Galapagos Islands for its first cruise.  She has undergone some important cosmetic changes, making her more comfortable for our guests. 

If you would like to receive photography or more information on the jobs done on the yacht while at the shipyard, please do not hesitate to contact me.  We will also be updating the photography on our Online Agent Center in the weeks after if returns to Galapagos.

Kind regards,
  
Dolores Gangotena de Diez Commercial Vice president
Quasar Expeditions | Quito, Ecuador
Worldwide: (59 3) 2.225.7822 Ext 135 | USA: 305.395.5690
Toll Free USA: 1.866.241.3754
email: ddiez@quasarex.com www.quasarex.com | Skype: dolores.gangotena

Aranui 5 launch delayed

#expeditioncruising 
 
Artist's rendering of Aranui 5 in port

Tahiti’s Compagnie Polynésienne de Transport Maritime (CPTM) has just confirmed to us that the Aranui 5 ‘s maiden voyage will be delayed by one sailing. At the moment, CPTM believe that she should be able to enter service with departure N°14/2015 (October 10, 2015). This date could change again in the future. To be on the safe side, passengers wishing to travel on the new vessel should probably book on Voyage N°16/2015 and thereafter.

With these latest changes, for passengers already booked and wishing to travel on the new ship CPTM will allow them to postpone or even cancel their cruise without penalty. CPTM’s reservations department will shortly be contacting all operators and agents having passengers on these trips.

Furthermore, CPTM has decided to reintroduce for 2015, their Senior Special (voyage N°12 – Aug 29th 2015). The discount granted will be 10% applicable to passengers already booked on this departure and also to new reservations (some conditions apply).

For further information, see Ultimate Cruising

Friday, 19 September 2014

Pandaw River Expeditions heading to Brahmaputra River in north-east India

Luxury river expedition company, Pandaw has announced its new eight-day Brahmaputra River programme in partnership with MV Mahabaahu. The itineraries will commence in March 2015, offering Pandaw guests an off-the-beaten track, luxury exploration of the Assam region in the north-east of India.

Guest onboard the Pandaw-led sailing will visit the largest river island in the world and meet the Mishing people that inhabit the region. Pandaw guests will head into the Assam province's rich, green hills, plains and forests to learn more about the aromatic tea that it is known for.

Travel by boat, jeep and elephant and get up close to single horned rhinos, buffaloes, Indian tigers and river dolphins, as well as experiencing the untouched scenery of the Kaziranga National Park.

Pandaw guests will enjoy a 'yacht-like' feel onboard the 23-suite MV Mahabaahu as well as five-star luxury service and a crew to passenger ratio of 2:1.

The Brahmaputra River is the only navigable river in the world from which the 6,500 metre high, snow covered Himalaya Mountains can be seen. It is also the only river, apart from the Zambezi River in Africa where elephant, jeep and boat safaris are found together. Guests will experience the rich living culture of the Assam region with visits to temples, tribal villages, monasteries, ancient palaces and tea estates.

In addition to the cruise, Pandaw also offers pre and post stays in luxury five-star hotels in Delhi and Kolkata, including domestic connecting flights.

Eight-day Brahmaputra River upstream sailing:

Ship: MV Mahabaahu

Departure information: 29 March 2015.

Price: Cruise-only from USD 2'430.- per person based on two people sharing a main deck stateroom, fully inclusive of all excursions, crew gratuities, meals and non-premium drinks. Transfers between ports of embarkation and the airport at the start and end of the voyage. Applicable on bookings made before 30 November 2014.

Itinerary:

Arrive Guwahati / M.V.Mahabaahu / Towards Silghat

Day 2: Monday: Sailing towards Silghat

Day 3: Tuesday: Arrive Silghat

Day 4: Wednesday: Silghat/Kaziranga National Park/Silghat/Bishwanath Ghat

Day 5: Thursday: Bishwanath Ghat/Towards Majuli

Day 6: Friday: Sailing towards Majuli

Day 7: Saturday: Arrive Majuli/Neamati Ghat/Sibsagar/Neamati Ghat

Day 8: Sunday: Neamati Ghat/Jorhat/Departure

For reservations and further information, please contact information@pandaw.com  or visit www.pandaw.com


 

 


Expedition cruise to NZ sub-Antarctic islands aboard Silver Discoverer

#expeditioncruising
Silver Discoverer
Aboard Silver Discoverer, embark on a 16-day ‘Photo Expedition Voyage’ to the remote Sub-Antarctic Islands of New Zealand, featuring special guest, David Wright, a highly acclaimed and award winning photographer.
Award winning photographer, David Wright
©David Wright

Wright has over 25 years of professional experience and has been awarded an Emmy and a BAFTA for his work, and has also worked with the BBC, National Geographic and Discovery Channel.

Hosting several workshops, David Wright will show guests how to get the best out of their camera equipment and demonstrate professional photography techniques. Guests will also have the opportunity to join David on photography walks and Zodiac tours.

Departing Dunedin on 22 December 2014, Silver Discoverer will sail through the beautiful bays of Akaroa, home to the rare Hector’s dolphin, before continuing to the Kaikoura area, where guests will learn about the traditional Māori culture. Journeying to the top of the South Island, guests will explore Nelson, New Zealand’s sunshine capital and home to some of the region’s best vineyards.

Christmas Day will be spent in Picton, a picturesque seaside town that links the main islands of New Zealand, before cruising to New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park. Using Zodiacs to explore the Milford and Dusky Sounds, guests will encounter dramatic waterfalls and abundant wildlife, including penguins, seals, dolphins and the occasional visiting whale.

Silver Discoverer will then visit the Snares, a near-pristine group of Sub-Antarctic islands, before staying overnight at Enderby Island and Auckland Island. This area is the primary breeding ground for the most endangered sea lions in the world - the New Zealand sea lion - and is also renowned for its diverse seabirds, namely the rare yellow-eyed penguin, bellbirds, red-crowned parakeets, and Gibson’s albatross.

The next port of call is Australia’s sub-Antarctic jewel, Macquarie Island, a World Heritage site. Guests will enjoy an overnight stay on Macquarie Island, which lies halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, and is home to thousands of seals and millions of penguins. Silver Discoverer continues her voyage to Campbell Island, an uninhabited World Heritage site, farmed since 1894, before visiting Ulva Island. This voyage concludes in Dunedin, with guests disembarking on 7 January 2015.

Prices are per person starting from AU$16,150 in an Explorer Suite, double occupancy. Silversea Expeditions’ fares include: all shore and Zodiac excursions hosted by an expedition leader; complimentary parka; all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired 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 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Cruise in a Maldivian Dhoni


Step aboard this traditional Maldivian Dhoni boat and cruise through the Maldives – known as the flower of the Indies. You'll be relaxed as you eat and sleep on board this cozy vessel.
Dive into the crystal clear tropical waters as you swim and snorkel over the beautiful coral reefs. You'll sail between unspoilt palm fringed islands and visit local fishing villages. Enjoy beachside barbeques and traditional music and cultural performances on this 8 day Maldive Dhoni Cruise from $1,483* per person including 7 nights onboard a Dhoni, 7 breakfasts, lunches and dinners with an Explore representative on board, boat crew and cook to make this the perfect way to explore and relax in the Maldives.

Contact Explore on 1300 439 756, email res@exploreworldwide.com.au
www.exploreworldwide.com.au  Book now to explore these fantastic destinations.

Explore Worldwide is a global small group brand offering unique adventures to some of the world's most fascinating locations. Group sizes range from 14 to 20 people.


*Conditions apply.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Antarctica Last Minute Savings


#expeditioncruising

$750 off flights on 2014 Early Season Antarctica Voyages
Save on earlybird fares


Receive $750pp off your international flights when you book selected Antarctica voyages by 30 September 2014. Discount is applicable to the 3 Nov, 19-day Falkland Islands & Antarctica voyage, the 8 Nov, 13-day Active Antarctica Off the Beaten Track voyage and the 10 Dec, 10-day Antarctica Peninsula Adventure.

Click here for more info.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Pitcairn Islands Tourism Confirms Sailings for 2015/16

#expeditioncruising

Pitcairn Islands Tourism has confirmed dates for their passenger shipping services to Pitcairn Island through to 2016.

The new shipping services were announced recently at the Pitcairn Islands Tourism launch in Sydney.

Making the announcement during the launch of Pitcairn Island as an emerging tourism destination for Australians, Richard Hankin, of Tropics Marketing who represents Pitcairn Islands Tourism in Australia, said, “The shipping service connecting Pitcairn to the outside world through French Polynesia is pivotal to the continued development of tourism to the island group.”

Bounty Bay Pitciarn Island
Copyright: Andrew Randall Christian

Located deep in the South Pacific, half way between New Zealand and Peru, Pitcairn Island remains one of the most remote and undiscovered destinations in the world. Home to the descendants of the HMAV Bounty mutineers since 1790, an array of endemic flora and fauna and surrounded by pristine seas, Pitcairn offers the visitor a unique holiday experience.

Claymore II at Pitcairn Island
Copyright: Andrew Randall Christian

Shipping services are provided by Stoney Creek Shipping of New Zealand, who owns the 486-tonne cargo-passenger vessel, MV Claymore II. The quarterly service operates at least 8 round-trips per annum between Mangareva in French Polynesia and Pitcairn Island, allowing 4 or 11 day stays on the island. With increased demand for the service, there is potential to provide additional rotations each year.

Full details about travelling to Pitcairn Island and current sailing schedules available on the Pitcairn islands Tourism website visit www.visitpitcairn.pn

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Sir John Franklin’s lost ship found in Northwest Passage

#expeditioncruising #oneoceanexp



Sir John Franklin disappeared in 1845
One Ocean Expeditions are delighted to announce that there has been a ‘find’ on the Victoria Strait Expedition taking place in the Northwest Passage in Canada over the last two weeks. The company’s ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov was one of four vessels supporting the search to find the long lost vessels of Sir John Franklin missing in the Arctic for the last 160 years.

An official announcement, made by the Prime Minister’s office in Ottawa on 9 September 2014, stated that one of the two missing ships – Terror and Erebus – has been found. Currently it is unclear which of the two ships has been found, however there is photographic evidence that it is one of them.

“I was honoured to be invited to accompany the Prime Minister to his office in Ottawa for the official announcement”, says Andrew Prossin, Managing Director of One Ocean Expeditions. “It’s been a difficult Arctic season with more ice than usual, demonstrating to all of us on the Victoria Strait Expedition the conditions experienced by Franklin and his fellow polar explorers, and to end the search with photographic evidence of one of the two ships is absolutely incredible.”

Franklin search map (Canadian Geographic)
In his statement Stephen Harper, Canada’s Prime Minister says, “I am delighted to announce that this year’s Victoria Strait Expedition has solved one of Canada’s great mysteries, with the discovery of one of the two ships belonging to the Franklin Expedition.”

”Finding the first vessel will no doubt provide the momentum – or wind in our sails – necessary to locate its sister ship and find out even more about what happened to the Franklin Expedition’s crew”.

British archaeologist, William Battersby, who has written extensively about Franklin’s Expedition, describes the find as “the biggest archaeological discovery the world has seen since the opening of Tutankhamun’s tomb almost 100 years ago”.

The Northwest Passage itinerary has always been a bestseller for One Ocean Expeditions. With the recent find, there will undoubtedly be an increase in consumer awareness and interest in the region.

Australian Manager for One Ocean Expeditions, Richard Cunningham added, "This is great day in Canada's history and significant moment for our company. Our 2015 Canadian Arctic program features four voyages and several will visit the actual location where the ship was found in the Victoria Strait. Scientists and historians who were part of this year's search team, will be aboard our ship, providing a wonderful insight into this astonishing discovery. Already our phones have been busy with enquiries from agents in Canada and around the world looking to secure berths for 2015", he added.

For further information contact ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS on 02 8096 8787, 1300 368 123 or email richard@oneoceanexpeditions.com

For breaking news of the discovery, including links to a range of global news sources, visit the
One Ocean Expeditions Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/oneoceanexpeditions?fref=nf 

Related:
CBC: Lost Franklin expedition ship found in the Arctic

Friday, 12 September 2014

Seven new itineraries for Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic

#expeditioncruising

NG Explorer

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced seven new itineraries for 2015 aboard National Geographic Explorer.

The 148-guest National Geographic Explorer is uniquely equipped with an ice-strengthened hull and advanced navigation equipment for polar expeditions; a roster of tools for exploration; and the best expedition team in the industry.

With a fleet of Zodiacs and sea kayaks, the ship fosters genuine up-close exploration, enabling guests to have life-enhancing encounters with beauty, wildness, serenity and silence, in the planet’s most pristine places.

All rates quoted below are per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.

Azores to Morocco: Island Wonders and Fabled Shores, 10 days/8 nights. Experience a rare visit to remote islands with a deep-seated history, seafaring traditions, and ancestral cultures of food, wine and music. Walk in Madeira’s lush laurel forests (a UNESCO site); explore the Azores’ spectacular geology: an active volcano and hot springs. Search for whales in the waters around the Azores, and explore two extraordinary Moroccan towns: Casablanca and Essaouira (a UNESCO site). Departs March 27, 2015. Rates begin at $8,790. http://www.expeditions.com/destinations/azores/azores-morocco/

Morocco, Spain and Portugal: Land of the Moors, 10 days/8 nights. This extraordinary adventure encompasses two continents and three countries, spans centuries and cuts huge swaths through culture. Make a pilgrimage to magnificent Santiago de Compostela—one of the five UNESCO World Heritage sites to be visited; discover Morocco’s ancient medinas and bargain in the souks; savor regional cuisines: port wines in Oporto, Spanish tapas and Moroccan tajines. Departs April 4, 2015. Rates begin at $8,790. http://www.expeditions.com/destinations/morocco-spain-portugal/morocco-iberia/

Along the Viking Trail: Iceland to Greenland, 12 days/10 nights. Explore Iceland’s western fjords by Zodiac; kayak among the magnificent icebergs of East Greenland; and hike amid charming Scandinavian hamlets. Immerse yourself in Nordic history on visits to fascinating Viking sites and settlements. Departs July 19, 2015. Rates begin at $10,580. Book by Dec 31, 2014 to receive complimentary charter airfare (Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa--a $1,200 value). New bookings only, subject to availability. http://www.expeditions.com/destinations/arctic/along-the-viking-trail/

Exploring Greenland & the Canadian High Arctic, 13 days/12 nights. Venture deep into the far reaches of the Arctic - trace the rugged fjords of Greenland and explore the entrance to Canada’s legendary Northwest Passage. Spot polar bears on the pack ice, watch for a wide variety of whales—from minke and bowhead whales to the rare narwhal. Get up close to massive glaciers, and hike the wild islands that dot Canada’s northern shores. Departs July 28; August 7, 2015. Rates begin at $12,990. http://www.expeditions.com/destinations/arctic/greenland-canadian-high-arctic/

Coastal Treasures from the Panama Canal to Peru, 14 days/12 nights. This multifaceted voyage begins with a transit of the Panama Canal, then on to seldom-visited places along the Pacific coast of Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Discover an exciting sequence of off-the-beaten-track islands, and explore protected sites on the Pacific side of Colombia in the company of Colombia’s former president, Cesar Gaviria. See the ruins of the ancient Moche culture and encounter the traditional Embera people. Departs September 27, 2015. Rates begin at $12,590. Book by Dec. 31, 2014 and receive complimentary round-trip airfare between Miami/Panama City and Lima/Miami. Subject to availability, new bookings only. http://www.expeditions.com/destinations/south-american-west-coast/coastal_treasures_from_the_panama_canal_to_peru/

Peru & Chile: Ancient Sites & Natural Wonders, 17 days/15 nights. This adventure is filled with breathtaking archaeological and natural wonders and charged with amazing energy: the Nazca Lines, the wildlife-rich Juan Fernández Islands, said to have inspired the novel Robinson Crusoe, and two days exploring the extraordinary Atacama Desert and the Valley of the Moon, with its jagged mountains and wind-created salt sculptures. Near Paracas, Peru, see the seabird and marine mammal colonies of the Ballestas Islands. Departs Oct. 8, 2014. Rates begin at $17,690. http://www.expeditions.com/destinations/south-american-west-coast/peru-chile-natural-wonders/

Patagonia, The Chilean Fjords and Argentina's Staten Island, 21 days/18 nights. Venture deep into Chile’s glorious fjords past incandescent icebergs and massive glaciers. From the “land of fire,” Tierra del Fuego, to the jagged spires of Torres del Paine National Park, experience Patagonia at close range. By special permission, be one of the few people ever to explore Isla de los Estados (Staten Island), located at the extreme end of South America. Transit the legendary Beagle Channel and take in the view of Cape Horn. Departs October 21, 2015. Rates begin at $18,880. http://www.expeditions.com/destinations/south-american-west-coast/patagonia_chile/

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ HANSEATIC completes Northeast Passage

#expeditioncruising

Photo source: Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

· The HANSEATIC is the first non-Russian cruise ship to brave the legendary sea route
· 6,032 nautical miles between the Russian Far East and Europe
· Expedition ends in Bodö/Norway

The HANSEATIC, one of the two expedition ships of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, has become the first non-Russian cruise ship to navigate the Northeast Passage successfully. After a total of 6,032 nautical miles, the ship, which has the highest ice class for passenger ships, sailed into port at Bodö/Norway yesterday morning (Wednesday, September 10, 2014).

The Northeast Passage is the legendary sea route in the Arctic Ocean, which runs along the north coasts of Asia and Europe, from the Bering Strait to the White Sea. On 13 August 2014, the HANSEATIC set out from Nome/Alaska on its expedition – which included stops and stations at anchor off the Chukchi Peninsula and Wrangel Island – through the Kara Sea to Novaya Zemlya, the Barents Sea and Murmansk, which marks the end of the Northeast Passage. The cruise was fully booked, with almost 300 people on board. The 18-metre-wide ship was loaded with 70 tonnes of provisions for the guests and crew. The crew organised 22 landings and tours with the 14 on-board Zodiacs, rubber boats, which are well suited to expeditions. There were spectacular animal sightings from on board the HANSEATIC, with guests spotting polar bears and walruses. Furthermore, the ship set a new record for passenger ships: during this expedition cruise the HANSEATIC reached the northernmost point at 85°, 40.7' north and 135°, 39.6' east. At this latitude, the HANSEATIC was just 480 kilometres from the North Pole.

Reservations: Please call +49 40 3001-4580 (English-speaking hotline), send an e-mail to salesteam@hlkf.de or visit www.hl-cruises.com/contact-services for local agents.

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ exciting destinations and itineraries, visit www.hl-cruises.com.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Pearl Seas Cruises 2015 Canada and New England Itineraries aboard Pearl Mist

#expeditioncruising


Pearl Seas Cruises has announced its 2015 New Canada/New England schedule for the new Pearl Mist, which is currently mid-way through its inaugural season. Next year, beginning in May, the 210-passenger ship will operate various 7-, 10-, 11- and 14-night cruises, the majority of which will be on the Great Lakes and Canadian Maritimes. A total of 18 various cruises are planned for the Canada/New England region, including:

Great Lakes and Georgian Bay – 10 and 11-night cruises from Toronto to Chicago (or reverse) - On this cruise, guests explore the largest freshwater ecosystem on Earth, sailing through four of the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay. This voyage includes stops to Niagara Falls and Mackinac Island.

Canadian Maritimes – 10- and 11-night cruises from Portland to Québec (or reverse) - Shaped by the sea, guests will discover Eastern Canada’s scenery, history and beauty. They’ll see landscapes, visit remote islands, learn about the region’s shipbuilding heritage and indulge in its French culture.

New England Canada– 10- and 11-night roundtrip cruises from Boston - Guests are taken up the New England Coast and into Canada, stopping in Bar Harbor, Prince Edward Island, Lunenburg and other port towns.

Other itineraries include Great Lakes, Canadian Maritimes and St. Lawrence Seaway, New England Fall Foliage and Colonial America.

For more information, visit www.pearlseascruises.com.

Mekong River Cruise pioneer, Naidah Yazdani.


#expeditioncruising



CF Mekong River Cruises is not only the most experienced cruising company on the Mekong but the biggest. Six years as the Asian Director of the largest luxury river cruise company in Cambodia, UK born Naidah Yazdani has an encyclopaedic knowledge of cruising on the Mekong. Here are his insights.





Naidah, you have been operating since many years successful cruises up the Mekong River and you must have witnessed a tremendous amount of development in the region. What makes this cruise so special?


This cruise is special in many ways. There has been tremendous development on the Mekong and this mighty river has seen many new ships that have entered into the fray. But our cruise vessels are special and they cater to a niche market. For one, all four of our vessels are able to navigate the marvelous Goa canal and reach the heart of Saigon. Similarly, our ships are able to cross the Tonle Sap during the high water season and reach Siem Reap.

Secondly, our Toum Tiou and Toum Tiou II ships have no parallel on the Mekong. They are more like private yachts and are quite dissimilar from other river cruise vessels. They are small, intimate, cosy and comfortable.



Thirdly, our rates are very competitive and they also cater largely to the middle-income and upper-middle income earners – those who would normally not enjoy a luxury cruise due to its traditionally high price.

You were the pioneer, being the first offering cruises on the Mekong over a decade ago. Now we see many new ships, all claim to be setting a new standard of luxury. How do you see the developments since then?

We are highly grateful to the other players who have come on-shore. This is because it is demonstrative of the Mekong as a global river cruising destination. Our ships are cosy and charming and there is definitely a market for the authentic experiences that we offer passengers. Our boats are small and agile and thus, we are able to cruise to the nooks and crannies of rural Vietnam and Cambodia during excursions. This gives our passengers an unadulterated glimpse of the real Indochina.





Will this create capacity over supply at the upper end of the market, and will the rivers become clogged with ships and over stretch the available dock space and availability of high standard local service staff?

More and more people are gravitating towards sea and river cruising for their vacations. Say 20 to 30 years ago, sea and river cruising were the exclusive domain of the wealthy. Today, it is becoming more and more accessible to middle-income earners.

As to skilled local staff, there is a vibrant and throbbing tourism and hotel industry in Cambodia. The luxury hotels in Cambodia serve as a superb training ground for our staff. For example, many of our staff are former hotel employees who cut their teeth in luxury hotels in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Also, there are several hotel training schools in Cambodia which will provide the industry with quality staff.

There are a great number of opinions as to the best time to take a cruise and whether up or down stream is best, please share your opinion with us.


It is difficult to say, really. Some passengers prefer to end their cruise in Siem Reap where they will stay on for a few more days to quaff the beauty of the Angkor temples. Others prefer seeing the temples before embarking on the cruise which will end in the bustling city of Saigon. As to the best months, my advice for those without school-going children is to take the cruise during the low-season because like all other cruise vessels, we offer generous discounts during the low-season.

Naidah, great insights! Thank you for your time and all the best for many more new cruise projects to come!

8 days/7 nights, Angkor to Saigon from US$ 953 per person.
Main deck, sharing. Full board accommodation, including coffee, tea & drinking water.
Contact: office2@cfmekong.com.
For the detailed itinerary: www.asiariver.cruises