Friday, 27 February 2015

Silversea Expeditions offering scuba on Malay Peninsula voyage


JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY THROUGH THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO WITH SILVERSEA EXPEDITIONS

Explore the far-flung Malay Archipelago and wonders of the world on this exotic 14 day expedition voyage from Darwin to Malaysia onboard Silversea's Silver Discoverer.

Setting sail on 29 May 2015 from Darwin, Silver Discoverer crosses to Indonesia, sailing through the islands of Savu, Pulau Suanggi, Lomblem, Alor and Palopo.  Guests, who are welcomed by traditional village ceremonies and performances, can also observe locals weaving and dyeing Ikat textiles, experience local cuisines, such as the lontar palm, and uncover ancient villages.  This part of the world is also renowned for its crystal clear waters and pure beaches.  Guests have the opportunity to go scuba diving and snorkelling to experience the incredible marine life that inhabit the stunning, vibrant reefs.

On this voyage, Silver Discoverer also sails through Malaysia, stopping for an overnight stay in Sandakan.  A paradise for animal lovers, Sandakan is located on the edge of the Kabili-Sepilok Forest Reserve, one of the few remaining virgin jungles in Sabah, where guests will visit Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, founded in 1964 to rescue orphaned and injured orang-utans.  Continuing her journey through Malaysia, Silver Discoverer also stops in Pulau Tiga, a beautiful beach haven surrounded by dense rainforests, before voyaging to Kota Kinabalu, where guests disembark on 12 June 2015.

This voyage is one of Silversea's select scuba diving itineraries, where guests that meet the scuba diving requirements* are able to explore a world beneath the surface.  Aboard Silver Discoverer, a team of experts including Marine Biologists, Dive Masters, Environmentalists, Ecologists and Naturalists are on hand to share their extensive knowledge of the region.

On this journey through incredible villages, Silversea Expeditions encourages guests to give back to the communities visited in the spirit of goodwill.  The Expedition Team will be on hand to collect gifts such as second-hand children's clothing, school supplies and medical supplies, for example Band-Aids or first aid items, to evenly distribute throughout the villages.

Prices are per person starting from AU$14,450 in an Explorer Suite based on double occupancy.  Silversea Expeditions' fares include: all shore and Zodiac excursions hosted by an expedition leader; 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

*Silver Discoverer scuba diving requirements:

·         All guests must hold an Advanced Open Water Dive License or equivalent;

·         Guests must obtain Medical Dive Travel Insurance;

·         Certification must be active and logbooks must show evidence that each guest has been diving within 12 months prior to the cruise;

·         All guests must pre-register with Silversea prior to the cruise; and

·         Guests must bring their own SCUBA BCDs, regulators and dive equipment. The ship will provide weight belts and tanks.

 

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Ponant expedition cruise to Indonesia, New Guinea and the Solomon Islands


THE MAGIC OF MALUKU & MELANESIA
A PONANT expedition featuring cultures unchanged by today's world



"From the tumultuous 400 year history of the Spice Islands to the traditional 40,000 year old cultures of Melanesia, this voyage of discovery will inspire even the most discerning of travellers" comments PONANT Expedition Team leader Mick Fogg.

Departing Manado (Indonesia) late November 2015 onboard the modern luxury expedition ship Le Soleal, this inaugural 14 night itinerary features destinations and cultural experiences specially selected to reveal the uniqueness of this fascinating and varied region.

Explore the Moluccas and Raja Ampat in the centre of the marine bio-epicentre known as the Coral Triangle. Here Le Soleal's fleet of Zodiacs will transport you to swim and snorkel in pristine waters that 550 coral reef species and 3000 species of fish call home. Farther on, the northern coast of Papua and PNG, with a rare glimpse into a Sepik River village where life continues unchanged much as it has for decades, if not centuries. Unhurried, undeveloped and unspoilt.

Tufi, with its deep water passages, soaring volcanic cliffs and rich jungle, provides another rare cultural opportunity to mix with villagers, where you may ask yourself "what century is this?". Be prepared for the sight of colourful costumes featuring feathers and shells and rhythmic traditional dancing as you are escorted to meet the local tribes.

And then on to Kennedy Island, one of more than 900 Solomon Islands, and the story of PT109 (as in Lieutenant J F Kennedy), followed by the islands of Nggela, located in a setting akin to a film set, where vast trees overhang an idyllic sandy beach and beautiful village. Locals wear white face paint, grass skirts and big smiles. Here the music will stop you in your tracks. Vibrant, energetic. The mood is upbeat. A surprise awaits on the beach ….

This voyage is designated a 'Green Expedition', highly recommended by the Expedition Team for its range of remote and rarely visited destinations, where guests gain an insight into their history, culture and biology making for a greater understanding and appreciation of their unique nature.

Voyage overview: 14 night voyage departing Manado, Indonesia, 25 November 2015 onboard the 240 guest luxury expedition cruise ship Le Soleal - one of PONANT's ships comprising the youngest fleet of expedition ships in the world. Explore remote island locations across Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Itinerary includes Ternate, Raja Ampat, Mapia and Jayapura in Indonesia/Papua; the Sepik River, Tufi and Samarai Island in Papua New Guinea; Kennedy and Nggela islands in the Solomons. Disembark in Guadalcanal.

Example Pricing: Prestige Stateroom with balcony, deck 5, $8692.00 AUD per person (includes flight from Singapore - Manado)


Pre and post voyage programmes are available:

PRE CRUISE
• Singapore discovery (3 days / 2 nights) Price per person from AUD 818
• Transfer and night in Singapore (1 night) Price per person from AUD 338
POST CRUISE
• Singapore, day at leisure at Swisshotel Stamford (1 day) Price per person from AUD 599


• Please note that all pricing is per person, twin share, inclusive of Safety and Port taxes. Pricing is yield managed, reflecting current advance purchase Ponant Bonus, some at 30% savings, currently available.

INFORMATION & RESERVATIONS

Australia:1300 737 178 or + 61 2 8459 5000 / New Zealand: 0800 44 32 62

 reservations.aus@ponant.com                                         www.ponant.com

'New' NG Orion reviewed on Cruise Critic Australia

#expeditioncruising



ExpeditionCruising.com editor, Roderick Eime, was aboard the 'new' National Geographic Orion last year. He reports for the newly launched Cruise Critic Australia. Comments welcome.

click to read on CCA site



Pandaw Burma River Cruise - Voyage to Nagaland, September 2015

#expeditioncruising



Pandaw announces new river adventure on Burma's Chindwin River 'A Voyage to Nagaland'


Luxury river cruise adventures company, Pandaw, is delighted to announce a new 7-night itinerary on Burma's Chindwin River exploring the remote region of Nagaland, beyond Homalin and close to the Indian border. This journey is only possible on Pandaw's tiny ultra-low draught Kalay Pandaw in September 2015 when the water levels are high enough to sail in this area.

Nagaland Warrior
Hugh Clayson, Pandaw's Commercial Director, said: "Once again, Pandaw is pioneering with a new voyage on the Upper Chindwin River to truly 'off the beaten track' Nagaland, an area in Burma famous for the colorful Naga Warrior. Our short series of cruises this September are a one-off opportunity for travelers to discover this remote region from the comfort and style of the beautiful 5-stateroom Kalay Pandaw."

Highlights on the voyage include:

Explore Mawlaik with its magnificent colonial history and architecture, such as the 'Dak Bungalows' set around an old golf course!

Visit Sitthaung where the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company steamers were scuppered in 1942 in an 'act of denial' from the advancing Japanese who were a matter of hours behind.

Visit Homalin's beautiful Buddha Lotus Garden with its exquisite temple and stunning views.

Enjoy scenic 'off the beaten track' river cruising and explore Nagaland stopping at local villages to meet the friendly Naga people.

Visit Khamti, known as 'the land full of gold' due to the prevalence of gold panning in the nearby tributary of the Chindwin.

7-nights - A Voyage to Nagaland, Departure dates: 12, 19 and 26 September 2015

Cruise only prices from USD 3'500.- per person sharing a twin main deck stateroom

Cruise price includes: domestic flights Yangon or Mandalay-Kalewa and Homalin-Yangon or Mandalay, entrance fees, guide services, main meals, locally made soft drinks, local beer and local spirits, jugged coffee and selection of teas, mineral water, crew gratuities, quality mountain bikes available for independent exploration.

Cruise Price excludes: international flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuels surcharges (see terms and conditions), imported beverages such as wines, premium spirits and liqueurs, fancy soft drinks and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

Visit Pandaw at ITB Berlin! hall 26b, booth 225



For all bookings, see Active Travel

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Captain Cook Cruises Wins Second AON Award for Excellence in Fiji

#expeditioncruising

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji have for a second time won the Best Fiji Experience at the AON awards for Excellence in Fiji for 2014.

According to Jackie Charlton, Managing Director, Captain Cook Cruises - Fiji’s Cruise Line, "Captain Cook Cruises is honoured to have won the AON Fiji Excellence award for the Best Fiji Experience. Our staff and crew continuously strive to provide the best product, service and Fijian experience for our passengers and to win this award is a great recognition of all the hard work by our crew and shore staff.

This award also represents recognition of the wonderful and unique product we offer. We work very hard to ensure our three, four, seven and 11 night itineraries are fresh and give passengers the 'real' Fiji experience."

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji offer 3, 4, 7 and 11 night cruises around the idyllic Fiji Islands. The three-night Southern Yasawa Cruise offers guests the chance to discover the beauty of the Southern Yasawa Island group including the islands of Waya, Naviti and Viwa and the friendly warmth of its people.

The four-night Northern Yasawa Cruise visits the private island of Tivua and cruises the spectacular passage from Yaqeta Island to the Yasawas northern reaches. It also visits the famous Blue Lagoon and limestone caves.

The seven-night Yasawa Islands Cruise combines the three and the four night cruises for the ultimate Yasawa Island experience.

Captain Cook Cruises seven nights Four Cultures Discovery cruise , is the first ever Fiji cruise to circumnavigate Vana Levu, Fiji’s second largest island and visits four distinctive Fijian cultures, Ellice Islanders (Polynesians), Banabans (Micronesia), Fijian and Indians.  It also visits the islands of Kioa, Rabi, Druadrua, Labasa Town, Manava Cay and the world’s third longest barrier reef, Kia Island.

The seven nights Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise reveals the unique history, art and culture of the Northern Fiji Islands and allows passengers the ultimate experience of ‘standing’ on the International Dateline. The cruise also visits the islands of Ovalau, Taveuni, Savusavu and Waiyevo.

The new eleven night Lau Islands Discovery Cruise explores the lengths of the Lau Islands and Kadavu, a part of Fiji rarely seen by tourists. Invited to visit these incredible islands by locals eager to share their beauty, Captain Cook Cruises worked hard using local knowledge and advice, to put together a fantastic and unique 11 night itinerary.

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji previously won this award in 2012 and would like to acknowledge past employee, Eunice Molia, who won the best front-liner of the year.

For further information visit www.captaincook.com.fj

Experience the Canadian Arctic with One Ocean Expeditions new adventure cruise - Northwest Passage

#expeditioncruising





Increasing popularity of Northwest Passage cruises with One Ocean Expeditions.

Vancouver, BC February 25th 2015:  Canadian polar expedition cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions, is a leader when it comes to navigating the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic.  Their successful involvement in the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition searching for Franklin's long lost vessel, HMS Erebus, highlights their knowledge and expertise in these icy northern waters.  This expertise together with decades of knowledge provides a solid base for One Ocean Expeditions voyages into both the High Arctic and Antarctica.

The number of travellers wanting to discover the Canadian Arctic has significantly increased over the last decade and One Ocean Expeditions recognizes this.  In response to increased demand, One Ocean Expeditions has introduced an additional Northwest Passage voyage into their Canadian Arctic schedule for 2015.

One Ocean Voyager/Akademik Sergey Vavilov – coincidentally the ship that was involved in the Victoria Strait Expedition last summer – will sail from Kangerlussuaq to Cambridge Bay on a 12-night voyage, 11-23 August 2015.



For this voyage, guests will join a One Ocean Expeditions charter flight from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq, West Greenland where they board the ship.  At the end of the voyage guests leave the ship in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut and board a charter flight to Edmonton, Alberta.

The voyage through the remote Northwest Passage follows in the footsteps of a host of Arctic explorers including Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen.  Today's adventurer will travel in much greater comfort than the remarkable polar explorers who went before them. Facilities on board the One Ocean Voyager/Akademik Sergey Vavilov include a panoramic lounge/bar, a library and media room, plus a wellness centre with massage, sauna and hot tub, as well as a dining room serving sumptuous meals throughout the voyage.

Guests will experience and discover the habitat of the iconic polar bear, as well as musk ox, walrus, beluga whales, seals and bird sanctuaries.  Wildlife and history are the main draws of the Northwest Passage voyage, which provides access to Inuit culture and stories of the ill-fated Franklin expedition more than 150 years ago.  As well as the last known wintering site of Franklin's lost vessels, guests will also visit other sites and traces of his expedition that have been found.

The diversity of experiences available on and off the ship is made possible with the high level of customer service and staff to passenger ratio common across all One Ocean Expeditions' cruises. Photography, hiking, a memorable education program, zodiac cruising and optional sea kayaking put this trip at the top of the list.

Prices start from US$8395 per person including all meals and accommodation on board ship, zodiac excursions and landings, ship transfers, and foul weather gear.  Return charter flights are US$1990 from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq and Cambridge Bay to Edmonton.

For further information visit One Ocean Expeditions www.oneoceanexpeditions.com


Viking River Cruises expands to Mississippi

#expeditioncruising

Report just in from Seatrade Insider, indicates the European river cruising giant, Viking, will soon have vessels on the Mississippi. Viking currently operates 60 vessels across Europe, Russia and Asia.

Viking's planned Mississippi vessels are more likely to resemble
their European fleet and will not feature paddle wheels.


Viking intends to build six vessels locally over the next three years at a cost of US$90m to US$100m each.

The vessels will be owned by Tennenbaum Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based alternative investment management firm, and chartered to Viking in line with US  maritime laws.

Viking chairman, Torstein Hagen, announced that New Orleans will be homeport for Viking's inaugural North American river cruise itineraries after having alluded to the plan two years ago with the famous quote, "We can show the Americans what a river ship should really look like!"

The plan is to deploy two vessels per year starting 2017, building to a fleet of six new boats in the first three years.

Cruises will depart New Orleans with stops in St. James, East Baton Rouge and West Feliciana parishes,sailing  upriver to Memphis, St. Louis or St. Paul, depending on the season. Each specially built riverboat will feature Viking's luxury amenities and accommodate up to 400 passengers.





 

Galapagos deal from A&K on MV Eclipse

#expeditioncruising


Savings of $2,350 per couple

Get up close to the wildlife that so inspired Charles Darwin after his visit to the Galapagos Islands in the early 19th century. Marvel at the extraordinary blue-footed booby, the scarlet throated Frigate Bird during breeding season, prehistoric looking land and marine iguanas and centuries old Galapagos tortoises. You can even swim with sea lions and penguins.

On A&K’s ‘Sail the Enchanted Isles’ private journey the natural highlights and amazing wildlife of the Galapagos Archipelago are a firm focus and guests travel on board the elegant MV Eclipse which carries just 48 guests and showcases this remarkable part of the world with naturalist guided shore excursions daily. The attractions of Ecuador’s capital are also included with time spent in Quito’s World Heritage Listed Old Town and a night in Guayaquil.


MV Eclipse
Special Offer:

Book A&Ks 10 night 'Sail the Enchanted Isles' tour by 31 March 2015 and receive over $1,000 off per person for departures from 24 September - 10 December 2015.

Prices
  • Twin share per person: $10,295 (was $11,470)
  • Solo Traveller: $10,820 (was $11,910)
2015 Departures: September 24; October 2, 8, 15, 22, 29; November 5, 12*, 19, 26; December 3, 10*.

*Family departures with specially tailored activities for children during the cruise.

Offer subject to availability. Terms & Conditions apply.

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

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Aurora Expeditions’ Earlybird Sale - Book a 2016 Adventure Now to Save up to $1,200

#expeditioncruising

Aurora Expeditions, the experts in expedition cruising, are encouraging travellers to plan ahead and book their 2016 expedition now to save up to $1,200 per person. The company is offering a five per cent Earlybird discount across their range of 2016 expeditions including voyages to Antarctica, the Arctic, the Kimberley Coast, Alaska and Ecuador.

By planning ahead and booking early, travellers will have a greater opportunity to choose a trip that offers them the experiences they desire, as well as securing their preferred departure date and cabin type. However, travellers must be quick. The 2016 Earlybird Sale is only valid for the first 10 bookings on each departure made before 31 March 2015.

Whether you want to paddle past icebergs in Antarctica or Alaska, photograph polar bears in the Arctic, venture deep into the Ecuadorian Amazon, or have your heart set on a cruise along the Kimberley Coast, now is the time to book a 2016 expedition to secure your adventure of a lifetime!

The Earlybird Sale is valid across a range of departures in the following destinations:
• Antarctic & South Georgia departing between November 2016 and March 2017.
• European Arctic (including Scotland) departing between June and September 2016
• Kimberley Coast departing between May and June 2016
• Alaska’s Inside Passage departing May and June 2016
• Ecuador Amazon & Galapagos departing between September and November 2016

Each small group expedition is limited to just 60 passengers or less and is packed with daily shore landings and Zodiac cruises, allowing passengers to experience unique encounters with the local environment and wildlife. All trips are led by an expert team of naturalists, historians and destination specialists who help to unlock the wonders of these special places.

For more information on Aurora Expeditions’ 2016 expedition program call them on +61 2 9252 1033 or visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au to order your free Expedition Guide.

Mississippi riverboat in New Orleans

#expeditioncruising

American Cruise Lines will homeport its second Mississippi riverboat in New Orleans.

The two new riverboats are the first new ships built specially for the Mississippi River in 20 years.

Construction of the 305-foot, 150-passenger American Eagle was recently completed at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland.

The ship is now repositioning to New Orleans and is scheduled to arrive later this month. Similar to line's Queen of the Mississippi, it will offer various eight-day itineraries on the Lower Mississippi River between New Orleans and Memphis.

“American Cruise Lines’ investment in a second riverboat in the Port of New Orleans illustrates the growing demand for classic River cruising,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “American Cruise Lines offers a cruise experience second-to-none on the Lower Mississippi River and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

While the American Eagle will primarily operate between New Orleans and Memphis, the company has announced a number of unique journeys, including a 22-day complete Mississippi River cruise.

Great Lakes Cruise from Montreal to Chicago

#expeditioncruising

The Great Lakes might be covered in ice right now, but come July there will be a brand new cruise ship sailing all five of them.

The Great Lakes Cruise Company recently announced that their smaller cruise liner, the Saint Laurent, will travel from Montreal to Chicago through the Great Lakes. The first voyage is scheduled to depart from Montreal July 5 and arrive in Chicago July 14.

The ship will stop in multiple places along the Great Lakes, including Detroit and Sault Ste. Marie.

The 105-room ship boasts many of the same luxuries found on an ocean cruise ship, including dining halls, a bar, a salon and multiple decks.

Prices for the cruise start at $4,199 per person. Since the cruise will travel from Montreal down the St. Lawrence Seaway, around Michigan to Chicago, passports are required, according to the company website.

The cruise will offer afternoon tea, cocktail hour, live entertainment, cooking classes, seated breakfast, lunch and multi-course dinners.

The ship will travel back from Chicago to Montreal July 14-23 on a second voyage.

Full information about the Saint Laurent cruise, including booking information and further details about the ship can be found on the website.

by Ian Thibodeau, entertainment and business reporter for MLive Media Group in Detroit. He can be reached at ithibode@mlive.com, or follow him on Twitter.

Silversea specialty expeditions

#expeditioncruising


Silversea Expeditions has launched new collections of specialty expeditions, each focused on activities such as birding, photography, scuba diving, wellness, and gastronomy.

Offered on select sailing dates, the specialty expedition voyages are:



Birding & Ornithology Expedition Voyages: From spotting bald eagles in Alaska to witnessing the blue-footed boobies of Galapagos, these itineraries sail on Silver Explorer, Silver Galapagos and Silver Discoverer.

Wellness Expedition Voyages: Guests can improve their well-being while journeying aboard Silver Discoverer to destinations in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. A team of wellness specialists hosts a program of fitness training, including stretching, yoga, and Pilates. Other highlights include daily lectures and cooking demonstrations focused on balanced nutrition, plus guests may enjoy a complimentary spa massage treatment.

Photography Expedition Voyages: Photo walks, onboard lectures, and workshops with a professional photographer aim to help the guests of Silver Explorer and Silver Discoverer to get the best out of their photography equipment.

Diving Expedition Voyages: This scuba diving program led by Silver Discoverer's onboard divemasters and expedition team will highlight the underwater worlds of Indonesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia.

Culinary Expedition Voyages: These expedition cruises aboard Silver Explorer offer an array of culinary events on board and ashore -- in addition to explorations of the natural, cultural, and historic landmarks visited along the way.

Six mini-brochures are available in traditional print format and as digital flip books, ranging from six to eight pages. Each provides an overview of a particular specialty cruise program and a calendar of sailing dates. They can be requested or downloaded at http://www.silversea.com/brochures/.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

APT Expands Small Ship Program with addition of Hedridean Sky

#expeditioncruising


APT Reveals New Additions to its Luxury Small Ship Cruising Program for 2016

APT officially reveals the new name of its latest ‘Sky’ expedition ship in its new Luxury Small Ship 2016 Preview brochure, which is available in travel agents from today.

The MS Hebridean Sky (formerly the MS Sea Explorer, Corinthian II) will undergo a major refurbishment in early 2016 ready to join sister vessels the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Island Sky in APT’s fleet of three luxury small ships.

The APT fleet is unique in that it carries an average of just 100 guests, all of who stay in elegant suites with outside views; and due to the size of the ship, they can dock in ports inaccessible to larger vessels. Onboard features include a library, sun deck, alfresco dining restaurant, beauty salon and ten Zodiacs that enable all guests to travel off the ship to shore together.

In 2016 APT is offering guests a choice of two different cruise styles aboard its luxury small ships: Boutique Collection Cruising which will focus on a particular region or a theme; and Expedition Collection Cruising, whereby guests are taken off the beaten track by APT’s ten-strong Expedition Team of expert guides and lecturers, led by an Expedition Leader.

New cruise itineraries featured in the APT Luxury Small 2016 Preview brochure include, for Boutique Collection Cruising the chance to sail between Venice and Istanbul on the 15-Day Aegean & Adriatic Odyssey taking in the coastlines and highlights of Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and Turkey; or a new 18-Day Sailing the Japanese Isles itinerary which takes in Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.

Popular Expedition Collection cruises include the 11-Day Kimberley Coast Cruise from Darwin to Broome and the 17-Day Southeast Asia Adventure through the islands of the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

APT Chief Marketing Officer Debra Fox believes its small ship cruises between Venice and Istanbul in particular will become as popular as the company’s best-selling Magnificent Europe river cruise between Amsterdam and Budapest:

“We’ve worked hard to differentiate ourselves in the small ship market, acquiring the best ships globally in the expedition category.

“As well as investing in our ships, we’ve also put a lot of effort into our cruise styles, offering something for all tastes. In particular, in 2016 we have added many more departures on the Venice to Istanbul route. We believe that this will be our next bestseller. It’s a beautiful cruise on a stunning vessel, and one that can be blended with an APT river cruise, or indeed a private rail journey aboard our own luxury train, The Danube Express.”

Other itineraries featured in the new program include Boutique Collection cruises the 17-day La Dolce Vita sailing to Portugal, Spain, Morocco, France, Italy and Malta; the 21-Day Footsteps of the Immortals to Jordan, Egypt, Cyprus, Greek Islands and Turkey; and the 13-Day Majestic Norwegian Fjords including Scotland and Norway.

In addition to introducing a new ship and new itineraries to its fleet in 2016, APT’s Luxury Small Ship Cruises will also be fully all inclusive, covering shore excursions, complementary beverages available all day while on board as well as meals, sightseeing and free Wi-Fi in cabins.

All itineraries in the APT Luxury Small Ship 2016 Preview brochure offer guaranteed lowest prices if booked by 30th of April as well as either a ‘Companion Fly Free including taxes’ deal or an ‘Airfare credit’ with savings up to $2,500 per couple. Offers are valid on all bookings made by 30 April 2015. Terms and conditions apply and offers are subject to availability.

For further information call APT on 1300 196 420, visit aptouring.com.au or see your local travel agent.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Save on Russian River cruise from Moscow to St Petersburg


Wild Earth Travel is offering a £1500 discount on board the luxurious MS Volga Dream for a captivating journey into Russia's heartland following in the footsteps of the great Russian composers, writers and painters. There's never been a better time to enjoy Russia's rich cultural heritage, wonderful architecture and dramatic history – this voyage usually books out a year in advance. Well away from the unrest in the Ukraine, this 13 day cruise peacefully winds its way from Moscow through the fascinating countryside of Russia, exploring a number of World Heritage Sites, before concluding in St. Petersburg. Take advantage of this special offer and book today!
 
Contact info@wildearth-travel.com for more information or view http://wildearth-travel.com/trip/russia-great-composers-writers-and-painters/

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Spotlight on Kamchatka

#expeditioncruising



©JMishina, Kamchatka Peninsula

Kamchatka, is known as the Land of Fire and Ice, and rightly so. The Kamchatka Peninsula is home to approximately 160 volcanoes, of which 29 are still active, including the Shiveluch volcano, which started erupting last week. For many years, snippets of this closed off and mysterious land captured the imagination of intrepid travellers entranced by stories of smoking volcanoes, abundant wildlife and jaw dropping scenery. It is only in the last ten years that Kamchatka has opened up to tourists with Heritage Expeditions pioneering expedition cruising along the peninsula in 2007.

Kamchatka offers much to delight the traveller and we strongly recommend incorporating a few days exploring the Kamchatka peninsula with an expedition cruise.There's never been a better time to explore a part of Russia that most people only dream of.

Valley of the Geysers
Discovered in 1941, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Geysers is one of the most unique natural wonders in the world. One of the world's largest geyser fields, it attracts numerous international visitors keen to experience this incredible attraction. Travel by helicopter from Yelizovo to the Valley of the Geysers and be wowed by views of active and extinct snow covered volcanoes, as well as steep mountain ranges, taiga, rivers and lakes. Fly past two interesting volcanoes,  the very active Karymsky volcano (1486m) and Maly Semyachik (1560m) which has an acid lake in its crater. After landing in the Valley of the Geysers, explore this valley where more than 20 large geysers erupt at regular intervals from every 10-12 minutes to every 4-5 hours. Travellers are mesmerised by the fountains of boiling water, vents of steam and the incredibly vivid colours of the valley's slopes contrasting with the intense greenery of the grasses and trees.

  ©JMishina Valley of the Geysers
This one day experience provides the perfect complement to an exploration of the Kamchatka Peninsula such as Siberia's Forgotten Coast, which departs from Petropvalovsk- Kamchatskiy on the 24th June 2015.

Contact us for a full list of available excursions in Kamchatka.

Expeditions that visit the Kamchatka Peninsula include -
Russia's Ring of Fire -
departs Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy 27 May 2015
Superior Plus, Superior, Main Deck and Main Deck Triple Berths still available
Siberia's Forgotten Coast - departs Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy 24 June 2015
All cabin types bar Heritage Suite still available   
Jewel of the Russian Far East - departs Anadyr 31st August 2015
Limited cabin types still available

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Russian Far East - still open for business

Heritage Expeditions' owner and
founder Rodney Russ
Heritage Expeditions pioneered expedition cruising to the Far East of Russia in 2007. Russia's size cannot be underestimated, this vast country covers over 17 million square kilometres. In Chukotka - the north-eastern most region of Russia, they have a saying "God is a long way up there, but Moscow is even further away". The Russian Far East is unique, the culture, the climate, the history, the wildlife; it is a world away from the Russia most people explore.

In response to the news that APT is suspending its river cruising options in Western Russia,  Heritage Expeditions' owner and founder Rodney Russ would like to reassure the travel industry that the Far East of Russia is still very much open to tourists.

'Since we first visited Russia, our sense of excitement over our Russian expeditions hasn't diminished over the years. If anything it has heightened because I know we will be seeing old friends, renewing acquaintances and most importantly revisiting some of the most amazing wildlife sites and enjoying wildlife encounters that so few people have been fortunate to see and experience. This part of Russia is at least nine time zones away from any unrest in the Ukraine. We have some reports that the sanctions against Russia are affecting, in some small ways, the regions we visit but the people there are largely divorced from these events and they are constantly telling us how much they are looking forward to our visits this year.   There is no reason to stay away'


Heritage Expeditions will be running expedition cruises in the Russian Far East from May – September 2015. Berths are still available, contact info@heritage-expeditions.com

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Luxury Nile cruise with Sanctuary Retreats - save 30%

#expeditioncruising


Sail down the Nile in luxury for up to 30% less with Sanctuary Retreats.

A bucket list destination for centuries, there has never been a better time to travel to Egypt. Not only is the country buzzing with renewed optimism, but its many fabled sites are free of crowds and open to in-the-know travellers.

Egypt’s ancient past lives on in its majestic monuments and relics created by one of the most impressive civilisations history has seen.

Follow the mighty Nile from Aswan to Luxor as it flows through the heart of Egypt aboard an award-winning Sanctuary Sun Boat, visiting highlights including the Valley of the Kings and Queens, the Unfinished Obelisk, Philae and Luxor, as well more remote, but the equally spectacular Denderah, Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples.

Sanctuary Retreats’ three intimate river cruisers – Sanctuary Sun Boat III, Sanctuary Sun Boat IV and Sanctuary Nile Adventurer, each provide the perfect combination of elegant surroundings, luxury service and cultural itineraries for an unforgettable Nile experience. Perfect for a relaxing journey along the River Nile, each stylish cruiser combines timeless beauty, grace and cutting-edge efficiency with the discreet ambience of an exclusive club. Smaller than the average Nile cruiser, their designs ensure a more personalised service coupled with the leisurely pace of a longer cruise.

SPECIAL OFFER

Save up to 30% on selected dates throughout 2015. Sail the Nile on any of Sanctuary Retreats’ three luxury riverboats and enjoy the following rates for cruises of both 3 and 4 nights:

· Winter season (January to April, October to December, excluding Easter, Christmas and New Year) starting from $408 per person, per night twin share.

· Summer season (May to September) starting from $292 per person, per night twin share.

To book your Sanctuary Retreat itinerary today please contact:

Sanctuary Retreats on +61 3 9536 1831 or reservations.australia@sanctuaryretreats.com or your preferred travel supplier. www.sanctuaryretreats.com

Pandaw River Expeditions 14-night exploration of Bhutan & the Brahmaputra

#expeditioncruising

MV Mahabaahu

Luxury river cruise adventures company, Pandaw, is delighted to announce a new 14-night itinerary which will explore the ancient kingdom of Bhutan, one of the world’s most intriguing countries, plus an exciting river expedition aboard Pandaw’s partnership the MV Mahabaahu, on the mighty Brahmaputra.

The package includes:

Seven-nights land accommodation (two-night stay at the Taj Bengal Hotel, two-night stay at the Druk Hotel, overnight stay at the Damchen Resort and two-night stay at the Tashi Namgay).

Seven-nights sailing on-board MV Mahabaahu on the Brahmaputra River

A panoramic flight into the Himalayas to Paro.

Trip by pony through stunning mountain scenery to Taktsang Monastery, the most famous of Bhutanese monasteries, which can be observed from a viewpoint nearby.

A visit to the UNESCO accredited Kaziranga National Park where guests can enjoy a safari on elephant searching for the elusive Greater One-Horned Indian rhinoceros and Indian tiger.

Discovery of the charming village of Biswanath Ghat by small boat.

A boat safari on the Eastern range of Kaziranga to observe wildlife.

Plus, numerous breath-taking excursions including St Paul’s Cathedral, Mother Teresa’s House, Thimphu and the Memorial Chorten, Tashichhodzong, to explore the beautiful medieval fortress housing most of the Government's office and King's Throne room, Khamsum Yulley Namgyel Chorten, a newly built stupa and the Shiva Dol, the highest Shiva temple in India built in 1734.

Hugh Clayson, Pandaw’s Commercial Director, said:

“The convenient flight schedules from Paro to Guwahati mean we can offer a tour of Bhutan with our upstream Brahmaputra River Expeditions in one incredible and great value journey”.


MV Mahabaahu outside cabin

14-night Bhutan & the Brahmaputra

Join MV Mahabaahu (www.pandaw.com; +44 203 773 8796) on a 14-night programme. Price includes: 7-nights in hotels as described (or similar), 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 5 dinners on the land section of the tour, all transfers, porterage at hotels, airports and cruise, all taxes, entrance fees, all transport in Bhutan, services of an English speaking guide in Bhutan, Bhutan Government Royalty, Taxes, Bhutan Visa Fee. 7-night cruise on the MV Mahabaahu including all main meals, excursions as described, port dues, guide services), jugged coffee and selection of teas, mineral water, crew gratuities and services of a Pandaw Expeditions cruise director.

Cruise price Excludes: International flights, laundry, all visa costs, drinks, fuel surcharges, espressos and cappuccinos at bar, tips for the naturalist, tour leader, safari guides and drivers.There are 3 sailings scheduled for late 2015/early 2016 for 15 November 2015, 7 February 2016 and 6 March 2016, with land/cruise only prices from USD 5’172.- per person sharing a twin room and cabin without balcony.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Atlantic and Africa with Silversea Expeditions




EXPLORE ATLANTIC ISLANDS AND AFRICAN SHORES WITH SILVERSEA EXPEDITIONS

Set sail with Silversea Expeditions on this 14 day voyage from Cape Verde to Portugal aboard Silver Explorer.

Departing Praia on 23 April 2015, Silver Explorer guests are in for the trip of a lifetime as they embark on a journey to discover awe-inspiring sights and exhilarating adventures. Silver Explorer's first port of call is Mindelo, a volcanic cluster of islands, home to a stunning deep-water harbour and colourful colonial Spanish architecture.

Guests spend the next two days at sea, enjoying the luxurious amenities of Silver Explorer, from personalised butler service to lavish day spa treatments. Journeying to Western Sahara, guests are treated to uninterrupted panoramic ocean views, with glimpses of native seabirds and marine mammals. Once in Dakhla, guests will ride in 4x4s and venture into a Sahraoui camp, which overlooks the Laguna and a beautiful white sand dune.

Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca (Silversea)
Continuing her journey to Spain, Silver Explorer visits Gran Canaria and La Gomera in the Canary Islands. The Canaries boast near perfect year-round temperatures, where guests can witness virtually untouched wilderness, dramatic landscapes and one of the oldest laurel forests worldwide – a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Silver Explorer then sails to the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, before travelling to Morocco. Guests are whisked away to Marrakech for an evening of traditional Arabian cuisine and entertainment, before travelling to Casablanca, known as the 'millionaire's playground'.

Venturing on to the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, guests discover 'The Rock', Gibraltar's most iconic attraction, resting 426m above sea level and claiming an unparalleled view of the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, Europe and Africa.

Silver Explorer's final ports of call include, Cadiz in Spain, known for its expansive vineyards, cotton fields and labyrinth of narrow European streets and, Portimao in Portugal, where guests can join an inland excursion through the picturesque countryside. Silver Explorer concludes her journey in Lisbon, with guests disembarking on 7 May 2015.

Prices are per person starting from AU$7,650 in an Adventurer Suite based on double occupancy.  Silversea Expeditions' fares include: all shore and Zodiac excursions hosted by an expedition leader; 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, 5 February 2015

Pandaw cruises in Kerala


Pandaw River Expeditions explores the tranquil waters of Kerala, southern India

Luxury river cruise adventures company, Pandaw, has announced a new 7-day programme through the tranquil 'Backwaters of Kerala'. The late 2015 and early 2016 itineraries will offer Pandaw guests an in-depth exploration of this lush, green, southern Indian landscape, which boasts over 40 waterways, churches, temples and rich exotic life such as kingfishers, otters and turtles.

Hugh Clayson, Pandaw's Commercial Director, said:

"Pandaw was one of the founders of river cruising in India and we are now delighted to offer this combined cruise and land package, exploring some of the most fascinating and historically-interesting waterways in the world."

The package includes:

A three-night land programme with guests staying at the 5* Heritage Vivanta by Taj Malabar Hotel, Cochin. Visits to Fort Cochin, believed to be the oldest settlement in India, St. Francis church and the Dutch Palace which features mythological murals and traditional Keralite flooring. A three-night cruise aboard MV Vaikundam, the only wooden boat to boast 9 bedrooms with premium five-star facilities, from Thottapally through Kanjipada, before sailing on to Champakkulam village.

Excursions comprising a scenic walk through picturesque villages, a canoe ride, fishing and an opportunity to explore the local Cochin spice market with a chef to learn about the spices of Kerala.

7-day Backwaters of Kerala

Join MV Vaikundam on a 6-night programme, including 3-nights at the 5* Heritage Vivanta by Taj Hotel, with 3 breakfasts and one dinner, excursions as described, entrance fees, port dues, govt tax, porterage, guide services (English language), 3-night cruise on the MV Vaikundam on a full board basis, jugged coffee, selection of teas, mineral water. Transfers between Cochin and MV Vaikundam before and after your cruise, services of a local representative and cruise director.

Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, laundry, all visa costs, drinks, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), espressos and cappuccinos at bar, tips.

There are 4 sailings scheduled for 2 December 2015, 12 January 2016, 23 February 2016 and 22 March 2016, priced from USD 1530.-, based on two people sharing a twin room/cabin 2 December 2015 package.

www.pandaw.com

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Canada's Atlantic Provinces with One Ocean Expeditions

#expeditioncruising

Canada's Atlantic Provinces Reinvented With One Ocean Expeditions' New Family-Friendly Wildlife Adventure Cruise - 7-16 July 2015




Polar cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions, is introducing a new 10-day trip in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada, steering well clear of the region's more traditional routes in order to highlight the Maritimes’ otherwise inaccessible out ports and islands. What’s more, the new East Coast Wildlife Safari, which launches in July, features some exciting adventure options, such as kayaking, cycling and paddle boarding that will appeal to regular cruise guests as well as family groups.

Starting in the historic town of Louisbourg on the southeast coast of Cape Breton Island, the ten day expedition showcases the unparalleled beauty, rich marine life, fishing and Celtic cultures of Nova Scotia, Quebec, Newfoundland and the French territory of Saint Pierre et Miquelon.

Russian oceanographic vessel, Akademik Sergey Vavilov

A visual, musical and educational feast for travellers wishing to experience quintessential Canada, its highlights include the shipwrecks and wild ponies of Sable Island, Canada’s newest National Park; puffins on Bird Island; Quebec’s remote, sandstone Magdalen Islands; the culturally rich Gaspe Peninsula and Anticosti Island, a spot even some of the most adventurous travellers have found difficult to reach until now. This departure will also take guests to the spectacular Gros Morne National Park and the isolated marine community of Francois, as well as crossing the French border at St-Pierre et Miquelon, before returning to Louisbourg.

Rich wildlife encounters at this time of the year are assured with a staggering abundance of resident and migrating birdlife, plus numerous whale species such as humpback, minke, beluga and blue whales. Birders will delight in the eagles, puffins, and thousands of northern gannets in their natural habitats, while budding photographers will be assisted in capturing these unique experiences by resident experts offering on board and onshore photographic workshops.



For those looking for activity and adventure there are several exciting new options. Guided cycling tours will be offered on various excursions including the Magdalen Islands and Gaspe Peninsula. For water enthusiasts, both kayaking and paddle boarding will be available. In addition, a strong hiking program will appeal to many, with extended hikes through the spectacular landscapes of National Parks such as Sable Island and Gros Morne.

Evenings on board will feature fresh cooked lobster delivered to the ship by local fishermen and, after dinner, entertainment will be provided by local musician Jim Payne, a traditional Newfoundland folk singer, together with a Cape Breton fiddler.

The 9-night /10-day East Coast Wildlife Safari takes place from 7 to 16 July, 2015. Cruise prices start from US$7195 per person sharing a twin cabin, including all meals, zodiac excursions and landings, foul weather gear (with rubber boots), and ground transfers from Halifax or Sydney to Louisbourg on 6 July, 2015. All adventure options are included in the cruise price and are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Flights are not included, however a flight credit incentive of US$1000 per person is currently available.

A special cruise price for children aged 16 and under is US$1500 per child when booking with an accompanying adult. Youths aged 17-20 are given a 25% reduction on the cruise price. Offers are subject to availability, and cannot be combined.

One Ocean Expeditions www.oneoceanexpeditions.com


Discover the World and Hurtigruten's bonus offers extended 28 February 2015




Discover the World and Hurtigruten's up to $1,000# added value FREE offer EXTENDED until 28 February 2015

Discover the World and Hurtigruten, the iconic cruise line famous for sharing the most beautiful and authentic Norwegian experiences, have extended their up to $1,000# FREE BONUS INCLUSIONS offer until 28 February 2015. To secure these inclusions, travellers need only book any Classic Round Voyage, Classic Voyage North or South departing between 01 April and 31 December 2015, by 28 February 2015.

The Journeys

The adventure into Norway will ensure that all aboard will experience the most unspoiled and seldom seen places on earth.

Set sail on a spectacular 12 day Classic Round Voyage, Bergen round-trip and enjoy all this added value*:

·         FREE two night pre-cruise hotel stay in Bergen
·         FREE transfers airport - hotel and hotel - ship
·         FREE Arctic Capital Tromso Tour
·         FREE Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral Tour
·         FREE Coffee Package with Hurtigruten souvenir thermal mug

Embark on a sensational 7 day Classic Voyage North from Bergen or 6 Day Classic Voyage South from Kirkenes and receive great extra value*:

·         FREE one night pre-cruise hotel stay in Bergen or Kirkenes**
·         FREE transfer hotel - ship
·         FREE Coffee Package with Hurtigruten souvenir thermal mug
·         FREE Arctic Capital Tromso Tour (Voyage North only)

OR

·         FREE Trondheim with Nidaros Cathedral Tour (Voyage South only)


Voyages Fares^, per person, twin share from:

Classic Voyage South (6 days)            $1,605
Classic Voyage North (7 days)            $1,915
Classic Round Voyage (12 days)        $2,495


* May I have Some More Please promotion is valid for new bookings only made by 31 January 2015 on any Classic Round Voyage, Classic Voyage North, or Classic Voyage South departing 01 April – 31 December 2015, is capacity controlled, subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time. Included FREE components cannot be substituted and no credit is available for non-use of any or all components. FREE Hotel is selected by Hurtigruten in a standard room including European breakfast. FREE Transfers may depart at specific group transfer times only and are seat in coach group transfers. FREE Tours offered by Hurtigruten are in Tromso (code: H-TOS5A) and Trondheim (code: H-TRD11A). FREE Coffee Package includes Hurtigruten souvenir thermal coffee mug and unlimited filtered coffee and tea for the duration of the voyage. Not combinable with any other promotion.

**Pre-Cruise Hotel Night in Bergen for Voyage North and in Kirkenes for Voyage South.

#Up to $1,000 per couple value FREE based on value of FREE inclusions for Classic Round Voyage travelling during Peak Season.

^Voyage fares quoted are based on voyages departing from Bergen or Kirkenes on 6 Oct 2015, Inside Category 'I' cabin, twin share, per person, subject to availability at time of booking, including breakfast, lunch dinner and entrance to Hurtigruten Museum.


Contact

For more information, prices and bookings, please contact your local Travel Agent or Discover the World on 1800 OCEANS or email reservations@discovertheworld.com.au.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising and is represented in Australia by Discover the World.

Cruiseco Explorer - special offers on first sailings

#expeditioncruising


For a limited time, Cruiseco is offering travellers a saving of $1,800 per person on select Cruiseco Explorer departures in 2015. The luxurious, custom built ship, which had its inaugural sail in November, operates in Myanmar on the waters of the Irrawaddy, Upper Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers.

International Marketing Manager at Cruiseco, Amber Wilson, says, “This voyage enables guests to experience Myanmar in comfort and style, while still enjoying an authentic encounter of the country’s unique cultures and traditions. We are thrilled to offer such a great saving, whilst sharing such a beautiful part of the world. I encourage guests to book now to avoid missing out, as cabins are selling fast.”

Traditional in design, the ship accommodates 56 guests in spacious and luxurious cabins. The sun deck, lounge, bar and restaurant are able to accommodate all passengers onboard at any time. The restaurant is located on the Main Deck, where the menu features a fusion of traditional Burmese and western cuisine.

Discounted prices for this 11-night luxury fly/stay/cruise package start from $3,999 per person based on twin share, departing 15, 22, 29 March and 5 April 2015.

Prices includes: return economy airfare from Australia; a seven night luxury river cruise onboard Cruiseco Explorer; all meals; local beers, soft drinks and wine served with lunch and dinner; two nights accommodation at the five-star Chatrium Hotel in Yangon; two nights accommodation at the five-star Mandalay Hill Resort in Mandalay; extensive sightseeing, with expert local guides; all transfers; and gratuities, port charges and taxes.

All customers booking with Cruiseco receives Qantas Frequent Flyer Points.

To book while cabins are available, visit www.cruising.com.au, call (02) 9492 8520 or visit your local Cruiseco agent.

Australian explorer Ben Cropp to join the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic team



A chance for guests to travel with renowned filmmaker and explorer along the Pacific Equator

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced that Australian explorer Ben Cropp will be joining its Global Perspectives Speakers Program in October for the Palau to Solomon Islands: Along the Pacific Equator expedition.

Cropp has produced some 150 marine and wildlife adventure documentaries that have been televised throughout the world. He has discovered more than 100 shipwrecks, including the 1977 discovery of HMS Pandora, the prominent Australian shipwreck.

Ben Cropp’s Shipwreck Museum was opened in 1980
on the Council’s old sugar wharf in Port Douglas
His career has seen him win the coveted underwater Photographer of the Year, in 1964 following in the footsteps of Hans Hass and Jacques Cousteau. In 1999 he was awarded an Order of Australia AM for his marine and coastal conservation work and promotion and awareness of the Australian marine environment as a documentary filmmaker. In 2000 he was inducted into the International Scuba Divers Hall of Fame.

Guests on this voyage will be able to listen to Cropp's presentations, as well as enjoy daily expeditions in his company. This voyage combines ocean passage and island exploration, journeying through some of the most remote places in the Pacific. Activities include attending a performance of the unique fire dances of the Baining tribe in Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, snorkeling and scuba diving the World War II wrecks of Chuuk (Truk) Lagoon and visiting a village in Marovo Lagoon. This voyage starts at $19,320 for a double occupancy in a category one cabin, departing 1 October 2015.

Cropp will join an incredible line up of speakers for 2015, including Dr. Lawrence Blair, Dr. Biruté Galdikas and Sir. James Mancham. The wide range of expeditions offers guests the chance to explore and personally interact with these world-renowned researchers and explorers. It allows Lindblad Expeditions' guests to travel with individuals known for discovering new species, diving to uncharted depths, leading primate research, and altering the course of scientific history.

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


Broome experience package included with Kimberley Coast expeditions



Expedition cruising experts Aurora Expeditions are offering a FREE Broome Experience package to travellers who book on one of their 2015 Kimberley Coast expeditions before 28 February 2015.

Valued at $700 per couple, the package will allow passengers to experience the best of Broome before or after* their Kimberley Coast cruise, enjoying some of the small coastal town's favourite highlights. Unwind at Broome's most sought after hotel, Cable Beach Hotel and Spa, before enjoying world-famous Cable Beach, beer tasting at Matso's Brewery, pearl appreciation and more on a guided half-day town tour. Full buffet breakfast and airport transfers are also included.

The package is a relaxing experience to enjoy either before or after Aurora Expeditions' unique sailing adventure along the remote coastline of the Kimberley.  On board the 44-berth Coral Princess passengers will travel between Broome and Darwin (or vice versa) enjoying panorama views of the burnt red rock, endless horizons of wild bushlands and the illuminated turquoise waters of Australia's most rugged and remote coastline. Each day is spent exploring a different landing site, learning of the ancient indigenous culture and rock painting legends, appreciating native flora and keeping watch for wildlife, including wallabies, brown boobies and, of course, the mighty croc.

Led by renowned Kimberley adventurer, Mike Cusack, and his team of naturalist and historians, this Kimberley holiday is set to be the trip of a lifetime.

New for 2015, Aurora Expeditions are offering budding artists the chance to revel in complimentary art workshops delivered by renowned Australian historian and artist, Alasdair McGregor.

Aurora Expeditions Kimberley Coast cruises will depart Broome on 15 June and 6 July 2015, and Darwin on 26 June 2015. Prices start from AU$7,590 per person, twin share.

For more information contact Aurora Expeditions on +61 2 9252 1033 or 1800 637 688, or visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au.

*Depending on route, Broome to Darwin or Darwin to Broome.


Cruise and African Wildlife Discovery with Aurora Expeditions

#expeditioncruising

Aurora Expeditions’ 15-day ‘African Cruise Safari’ departing Johannesburg and starting from AU$7,990 per person twin share. Departure dates: 16-04-15, 05-05-16, 19-05-16.

The sun sets, gradually inundating the sky with stunning shades of purple and orange. A herd of elephants and their young have reached the riverbanks to quench their thirst. A few metres away, hippos are peacefully bathing whilst crocodiles slowly appear at the surface, sprinkling the water with their shiny ruby eyes.

As the ship glides through the waters of the great Chobe River, some of Africa’s most diverse wildlife livens up before your eyes, offering remarkable views while you unwind and relax from your luxury cabin.

On board the elegant 28-passenger Zambezi Queen, travellers are offered the opportunity to live a unique game-viewing experience as they sail the banks of the Chobe National Park, boasting one of the densest elephant populations on the African continent and home to a large number of lions, buffalos, hippos, giraffes, crocodiles and abundant birdlife.

Built in the early 1990’s, the Zambezi Queen features 14 luxury ensuite cabins with a private balcony for stunning open views of the Chobe River and the teeming wildlife that gathers up along its banks every day. An open air bar and lounge also offer opportunities for great wildlife spotting whilst enjoying a glass of wine or some of the upper deck restaurant’s various delights.

Boat Excursion on Chobe River Botswana

Adding a sense of adventure to the experience, water-based game drives by tender boats allow you to explore nature at its best! The ship is also equipped with smaller crafts for passengers to venture out in small groups and cruise the riverbanks to get up close with the wildlife as they come to drink and feed.

This three-day sailing adventure is just one highlight of Aurora Expeditions’ 15-day African Cruise Safari which spans over three countries including Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Departing in April 2015, the expedition is led by an Aurora Expeditions naturalist, with a team of local expert guides for an in-depth and genuine African experience. It also includes a three-day stay in cosmopolitan Cape Town, a two-night Victoria Falls stay, land-based safaris in Hwange National Park, lodge stays in Hwange and Chobe National parks, and more.

Aurora Expeditions’ Africa Cruise Safari starts from AU$7,990 per person twin share and departs Johannesburg on 16 April 2015, with two more departures set for May 2016. For more information on Aurora Expeditions’.

Kimberley cruises with Silversea - 12-day voyage



DISCOVER THE EXOTIC ISLES OF INDONESIA AND AUSTRALIA'S NORTHERN COAST WITH SILVERSEA EXPEDITIONS


Cruise across the Timor Sea to unlock the hidden treasures of Indonesia and Australia's North West with Silversea Expeditions 12 day voyage.

Departing from Benoa, Bali on 28 March 2015, Silver Discoverer embarks on an inspiring expedition through the mysterious islands of Indonesia.  Silver Discoverer stops at various islands including Sumba, where guests explore traditional villages and experience ancient rituals, and Komodo, home to the incredible Pink Beach, enabling guests to snorkel or dive with exotic sea life in their natural habitat.  The final port of call in Indonesia is Savu, where guests will experience a traditional welcome by villagers.

Beginning her journey to Australia's north western corner, Silver Discoverer crosses the Timor Sea, providing guests with the opportunity to enjoy a day of leisure, indulging in Silversea's tantalising cuisines and luxurious amenities. Arriving at Wyndham, the gateway to the mesmerising World Heritage Listed Bungle Bungle mountain range, guests enjoy an inclusive aerial flight over this stunning natural geological phenomenon, witnessing the unique earthy striped rock formations.

Continuing south for six days, Silver Discoverer's journey becomes a true expedition as the Captain navigates through the wild and wondrous Kimberley region. Guests have the opportunity to sight the astounding submerged world of the Montgomery Reef, encounter the ancient Aboriginal mythology and distinctive rock art paintings of Jar Island, explore the narrow weaving waterways hugged by untamed wilderness and stand amidst the breathtaking yet thunderous waterfalls at King George River and Falls. Silver Discoverer concludes her journey in Broome with guests disembarking on 9 April 2015.

Prices are per person starting from AU$11,250 in an Explorer Suite double occupancy.  Silversea Expeditions' fares include: all shore and Zodiac excursions hosted by an expedition leader; 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

 

Monday, 2 February 2015

25% off China’s Yangzi Explorer with Sanctuary Retreats.




Travel into the very heart of China along the great Yangtze River. Explore the very best stretches of this immense waterway, including the Three Gorges; one of the most celebrated sections of the river, in the comfort of the largest suites on the river on board Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer

The elegant Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer sets the standard for luxury cruising in China, with strong environmental commitments. Friendly and intimate, on board service is a highlight with an atmosphere more private club than cruise ship.

The most celebrated stretch of the Yangzi is the spectacular Three Gorges. Qutang Gorge, famous for its rolling waters and sheer cliffs, is the shortest and narrowest of the three, while Wu is characterised by majestic forest crowned peaks. Xiling, the longest, finishes at the Three Gorges Dam, the largest construction project ever undertaken.

Complementing the natural beauty of the river is a rich program of shore excursions and shipboard activities which highlight the wealth of China's cultural tradition as well as the river's history and ecology. Tai Chi classes, Chinese cooking and silk embroidery are just some of the diversions available, while children are well catered for too with kite flying, mask making and calligraphy on offer. In between activities the Huang Ding Spa beckons. There's also a fitness centre, sauna and beauty salon on board.

Occupying four decks, the ship boasts the largest and best-appointed cabins on the river. Each has floor to ceiling picture windows, private balconies and en suite bathroom. Dining is a delight, with a team of internationally trained chefs delivering innovative à la carte menus featuring the finest of Chinese and continental cuisine.

SPECIAL OFFER

Enjoy any sailing on board Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer between 15 March and 30 June 2015, starting from US$1132 per person per sailing. Cruise between Chongqing and Yichang on a choice of 3 or 4 night sailings, with visits to Fengdu, Shennong Stream and the Three Gorges Dam Project.

To book your Sanctuary Retreat itinerary today please contact:

Sanctuary Retreats on +61 3 9536 1831 or reservations.australia@sanctuaryretreats.com or your preferred travel supplier.

www.sanctuaryretreats.com


India river cruise with RV Rajmahal



Experience the Colours of India with Travelmarvel and Fly for Free

Book Travelmarvel's 20-day Colours of India land journey and lower Ganges river cruise and you'll receive free return flights with Singapore Airlines, including air taxes of up to $850 per person.

The deal, which represents a saving of up to $4,395 per couple, is valid across all five Travelmarvel departures in 2016.

On the land journey stay at some of India's leading hotels including two nights at Delhi's Taj Palace; two nights at the Jaypee Palace Hotel in Agra; and two nights at the Marriott Jaipur before flying to Patna to embark on a two week lower Ganges river cruise to Kolkata aboard the newly built RV Rajmahal. The trip culminates in a special stay at five star hotel The Oberoi Grand in Kolkata.

Tour highlights include all of the iconic sights of India's golden triangle cities, including a rickshaw ride through the old city of Delhi, a guided tour of the Taj Mahal and a jeep ride to Jaipur's Amber Fort. You'll also enjoy a traditional Indian cooking class, the chance to visit the brass-working village of Matiari, a rickshaw ride to see some of Bengal's Shiva temples, and a special lunch at award-winning restaurant Oh! Calcutta.

Priced from just $7,995 per person, twin share, as well as free return flights, guests will enjoy: all 4 and 5 star accommodation; flight within India; 14 nights cruising aboard a premium Travelmarvel river cruise ship; a dedicated Travelmarvel Cruise and Tour Director; 50 meals; daily bottled water, tea and coffee, plus soft drinks, local beer, spirits and wine while onboard your cruise; guided tours and sightseeing experiences; and all transfers, port charges and tipping.

Full terms and conditions apply and offer is subject to availability.

For further information call 1300 196 420, visit travelmarvel.com.au or see your local travel agent.

 

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Flights included with APT Antarctic Cruise

#expeditioncruising



APT is offering free return economy flights, including taxes of up to $200 per person, when you book any Antarctica holiday of 23-days or longer featuring a 10-night cruise.

For example on the 23-day Flavours of South America with 10-night Antarctica Cruise you’ll commence your trip with four days exploring Buenos Aires before spending a night in Ushuaia for a night prior to embarking on your 10 night cruise.

Sailing aboard APT’s specially equipped polar expedition ship, the MS Sea Explorer, you’ll cross the Drake Passage to the northernmost part of Antarctica’s mainland to spend five days exploring the South Shetland Islands. Wildlife spotting opportunities include several species of penguins and seals, orca, humpback and mike whales. There is also the option to try sea kayaking or camp out for the night on a glacier. The cruise may also stop at an active scientific base as well as historic base such as the UK’s Port Lockroy or Wordie House.

The trip concludes with two nights at Iguassu Falls, three nights in Rio de Janeiro and two nights in Santiago. Priced from $20,895 per person, twin share the trip includes all flights within South America, 45 meals, luxury accommodation, all sightseeing, APT Tour Directors and expert local guides, an Expedition Team and Doctor during the cruise and tipping, porterage and transfers.

Book now and you’ll receive international airfares free of charge (including taxes of up to $200 per person), a saving of up to $5,600 per couple. Terms and conditions apply and offer is subject to availability.

For further information call APT on 1300 196 420, visit aptouring.com.au or see your local travel agent.