Sunday, 19 February 2017

Great Barrier Reef and Indonesia aboard Silver Discoverer - air included

#expeditioncruising


Experience the breathtaking waters of the Great Barrier Reef and immerse yourself in the enchanting culture of the Indonesian Islands, on a 14-day expedition voyage aboard the intimate 120 guest Silver Discoverer. This fascinating voyage is an educational adventure, with the perfect blend of rich culture, first class diving and marine and wildlife wonders.

Commencing her journey from Cairns, Australia, on 09 November 2017, Silver Discoverer sails to Thursday Island, where guests can explore this colourful marine paradise, occupied by an abundance of wild flora and fauna.  From here, Silver Discoverer will journey to Indonesia to spend two days in the Asmat region, with the first stop at Agats, a nearly inaccessible forested wetland, with raised boardwalks as its streets.  Guests will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Asmat culture, as villagers welcome them in elaborate warrior gear and intricately carved canoes.  Zodiacs will transport them through the remote riverine, cruising along narrow waterways lined with entwined branches and home to dozens of bird species, such as the birds-of-paradise.

Silver Discoverer continues to Triton Bay where the marine diversity is second to none, boasting more fish and coral species than anywhere on the planet and the nesting grounds for green turtles and a population of Bryde's whales and whale sharks.  Other Indonesian highlights include Banda Beira, the original home of nutmeg and the infamous Komodo Island.  Here guests hike along forested pathways in search of the Komodo dragon, the largest living lizard species in the world, weighing up to 300 pounds before enjoying a relaxing afternoon on the spectacular Pink Beach.

This voyage then visits, Kodi, Indonesia, an island that has resisted the modern world and is known for its intricate ikat fabrics and sculptured stone tombs, where guests have the chance to witness the traditional Pasola, a ceremonial fight between men on horseback, before disembarking in Bali (Benoa), Indonesia, on 23 November 2017.  

Cruise packages fares, including roundtrip economy class flights, start from AU$12,015 per person in an Explorer Suite, including Early Booking Bonus, based on double occupancy. An upgrade to business class flights is also available at AUD$1,995 per person. 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 ship; an outstanding expedition team of expert guides and lecturers; complimentary WiFi and all gratuities.

FEATURED EXCLUSIVE OFFERS:

Fly Free on Silver Discoverer Expeditions: Free Roundtrip Economy Class air on select 2017 voyages.  Book by 28 February 2017.  

Early Booking Bonus: Save 10% if you book and pay in full by 28 February 2017.


*This voyage is subject to availability and may change or be withdrawn at any time.  Terms and conditions apply.  For more information, contact you travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit www.silversea.com


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

See Expedition Cruise operators at London Cruise Show this weekend




New features this year include The Adventure & Expedition Cruising Lounge, where you'll find a selection of wildlife and expedition cruise operators who can help you discover destinations off of the beaten track, from polar bears in the Arctic to indigenous tribes of the Amazon.

London Cruise Show, 18-19 February 2017, Olympia London. Tickets cost £6 in advance and £10 on the door, under 16s free, www.cruisingshow.com

SeaDream your way into French Riviera




SEADREAM Yacht Club's boutique SeaDream II will this April sail the entire western Mediterranean coast from one of the oldest cities in the world, Malaga in Spain's south, to the pulsating little principality of Monaco in the Mediterranean's far north.

After leaving Malaga, whose history dates back some 2,800 years, SeaDream II will take eight nights from April 28 calling into such desired port cities as Cartagena, Valencia and Barcelona in Spain, Collioure and Sanary-sur-Mer in France, and the French Riviera's glamorous Saint-Tropez and Nice before sliding into Monaco's casino capital of Monte Carlo.

Carrying a maximum of just 112 guests served by 95 crew, the mega motor cruiser's prices for the eight nights begin from US$4287pp twin share including award-winning cuisine, selected wines, spirits and bar drinks, power and sail water-sports, golf simulator, fitness centre, port charges and taxes, and even staff and crew gratuities.

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

HIGHLIGHTS OF PORTS ALONG THE WAY:

. Cartagena is famed for its history and architecture dating back to 227BC.
. Valencia has been a particularly vibrant tourism hub since the mid-1990s, known for its dining, nightlife and cultural attractions.
. Barcelona is renowned for its Gothic Quarter architecture and the church of the Sagrada Familia (Family) that was begun in 1882 and is still not expected to be completed until around 2026.
. Collioure is noted for its local wines.
. Sanary-Sur-Mer is reputedly the sunniest place in France with 280 days of sunshine a year.
. Saint-Tropez is renowned for its beaches and history of topless and nude bathing going back to the mid-1960s.
. Nice is renowned for its sunny weather, beaches and public parks and gardens.


PHOTO CAPTION:

[] SEADREAM II tucked into the marina on a visit to Monte Carlo. (SeaDream yacht club)


Thursday, 9 February 2017

Chimu offers the Ultimate Way to See Antarctica in 2017

#expeditioncruising .



A new collection of Antarctica experiences has been launched by Chimu Adventures providing Australians with the most unique experiences in the off the beaten track glacier paradise.

Think camping on the ice, climbing an Antarctic mountain or skiing down the unbeatable scenery of Antarctica's inner remote regions, this new collection is a true showcase of the array of activities available to travellers in this extraordinary destination.

Whether it's exploring the treasures of Antarctica in the wake of Sir Ernest Shackleton, enjoying best-selling Australian author Peter FitzSimons' on-board lectures on a unique fundraising cruise or retracing the footsteps of Sir Douglas Mawson, the new programme is packed with a range of unique stand out experiences.

Shackleton's Antarctica (priced from AUD 18,050 per person): Travelling on an exclusive charter, unique to Chimu Adventures, this 18-day exploration cruises in the wake of Sir Ernest Shackleton taking in some of the world's most impressive views of inspiring scenery and wildlife.

Frozen Frontier (priced from AUD 11,799 per person): This exclusive 11-day fundraising voyage, organised by Chimu in conjunction with MAD Project, allows travellers to depart on the trip of their lifetime alongside one of Australia's favourite personalities, Peter FitzSimons, former Wallaby and best-selling non-fiction author of 'Mawson and the Ice Men of the Heroic Age: Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen.'

In the Wake of Mawson (priced from AUD 24,160 per person): This exclusive 26-day expedition, retracing the footsteps of Sir Douglas Mawson, is a collaboration between Chimu and Mawson's Hut Foundation, giving guests exclusive access to the very rare tourist ships departing Hobart, Australia for East Antarctica.

Interior Antarctic Experiences: Designed for those who want to venture beyond Antarctica's coast and experience adventure 'on the ice', the Interior Antarctic Experiences allow guests to explore the South Pole, take in spectacular views from some of Antarctica's highest peaks or pay a visit to an emperor penguin rockery.
New for 2017 is also the possibility to experience Antarctica in a day, a 12.5-hour sightseeing flight departing Sydney, Melbourne or Perth, a great way to explore Antarctica for those travellers that are limited on time and budget.

“With passenger numbers having doubled since 2008 and the upward trend climbing sharply over the past 18 months, there is no doubt that Antarctica is back on the bucket list for many Australian travellers” said Greg Carter, co-founder of Chimu Adventures.

“On top of our fantastic itineraries, we are incredibly thrilled and honoured to be collaborating with some of Australia's most renowned personalities and organisations on some incredibly unique ventures, making it even more appealing for both first time visitors and returning travellers to be inspired by this magnificent part of the world.”

“We are particularly excited about the opportunity of offering a fundraising voyage to travellers who want to give back while travelling. Making a difference to challenged communities, the environment and historical preservation are causes very close to our hearts that we will be proud to support through our partnership with MAD Project.”

Chimu Adventures specialises in personalised journeys, offering the client the flexibility of styling the itinerary to suit their needs. Chimu works with clients to fit their budget and taste.

For more information visit www.chimuadventures.com


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

AdventureSmith Explorations’ Todd Smith Earns Highest Industry Accolade

#expeditioncruising .


A company with a worldwide presence that is headquartered in Tahoe City earlier this month received one of the travel industry’s highest accolades.


The small ship cruise expert received word that the prestigious publication, Condé Nast Traveler, reconfirmed Todd Smith’s inclusion in its List of Top Travel Specialists. Smith is AdventureSmith Explorations’ visionary founder and president.

This annual list recognizes the world’s leading experts and travel companies. Specialists are chosen based on their combination of specialized knowledge, firsthand travel experience, local connections, customer service and value. Every year the Condé Nast Traveler team evaluates hundreds of applicants. Each applicant undergoes a rigorous screening process that includes a detailed application with sample itineraries, client references and phone interviews.

Todd Smith was first named to this list in 2012. His hand-picked staff in Tahoe City helps him secure the reputation that, “Todd Smith can get you just about anywhere, from Antarctica to the Amazon,” according to the editors at Condé Nast Traveler. The magazine calls this list of experts “Experience Makers” who will transform any vacation into a bona fide trip of a lifetime. For more details please see: http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/adventuresmith-todd-smith-conde-nast-top-travel-specialist

Smith said that his company continues to maintain exceptional growth, citing an unprecedented sales increase of 20+ percent over 2015. Two new travel consultants were recently hired to keep up with the demand, and Justin Massoni earlier this year was appointed Director of Sales and Operations. The new sales staff are Arielle Figueroa and Leslie Camacho, adventure experts and world travelers in their own right.


In order to better serve both old and new clients, the company constantly refreshes and expands its itineraries and this year added new cruises and tours in Alaska, Costa Rica, Panama, Galapagos, Chile, Tahiti, New Zealand and the Polar Regions.

AdventureSmith Explorations also recently concluded its 3rd Annual Travel Journal Cruise Giveaway competition, with two lucky travelers winning a trip to Antarctica.

“These giveaways reflect our high level of client satisfaction along with the strong relationship we have with our operators/partners. It is just another benefit we bring to our valued clients,” said Smith. For details on the contest please see
http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/antarctica-cruise-giveaway-2016-winner

For information on all of AdventureSmith Explorations’ small ship cruises worldwide, itineraries, availability and reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/. 

Unusually low water levels on Mekong play havoc with river traffic

#expeditioncruising .

Firsthand reports reaching us from Laos indicate unusually low water levels are playing havoc with cruise itineraries on the upper Mekong.

One prominent cruise company has been forced to bus their passengers 200km to meet the vessel.

Stranded vessels in the Mekong Delta (SE Asia Globe)
Concern about water flows along the Mekong are nothing new, especially since dam projects in China have caused serious disruption to normal seasonal river flows. This is despite large clearance projects to make navigation safer for all countries that benefit from the waterway. Thailand's 'The Nation' reports that these clearance projects may not be taking environmental effects into full account.

Of immediate concern are these unusually low river levels a full month ahead of the normal low water season (March-May). Cargo vessels are reporting groundings and striking rocks normally safely below the vessels' draft.

Additional impact includes the impediment of sediment dispersal, a normal natural effect that is vital to fish and agriculture. The Chinese dams are disrupting this normal pattern, says Le Anh Tuan, a senior lecturer at Can Tho University’s College of Environment and Natural Resources.

"The measures such as a flushing system to release sediment do not work effectively," he said. “I don’t believe in the sediment flushing mechanism design because once you build the dam, you use the river for 100 kilometres as the reservoir and the sediment start depositing at the head of the reservoir 100km from the dam.”

Apart from seasonal disruption to tourism and agriculture, there exists widespread concern among environmental bodies that over-exploitation and risky development along the Mekong will have far reaching effects to the many traditional people whose livelihood depends on this life-giving river.

More:





Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Comprehensive cruise program for Canadas 150th Anniversary from One Ocean Expedition



Heritage, Culture, History and People at the heart of a comprehensive 'all Canadian' experiential cruise program launch for Canada's 150th Anniversary  

Canada's 150th Anniversary draws travellers from around the world to discover Canada, with leading expedition cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE). OOE is committed to develop and operate quintessential Canadian cruise itineraries and programming to commemorate the confederation of Canada.

One Ocean Expeditions 2017 'Canada 150' program launch is timely as the world's appreciation for the nation is at an all-time high. "We are extremely proud to be the leading Canadian cruise operator offering world-class small ship expedition cruises in the Canadian Arctic, Nunavut and Quebec, as well as Canada's Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador," says Managing Director, Andrew Prossin.

"Needless to say, we have our nation at heart and Canada's 150th anniversary is the perfect opportunity for One Ocean Expeditions to express and share our love for this incredible nation with the world. Our team has developed an immersive program that brings incredible northern and east coast history and culture to life," added Prossin.

One Ocean Expeditions' line up of Canadian talent and expert educators, scientists, photographers, marine biologists, historians, artists and expedition leaders involved on all 2017 OOE cruise departures is unprecedented.

Longtime Inuit guides together with world-renowned documentary film producers and photographers will share insight into northern traditions, wildlife and the natural environment through visual storytelling, cultural display and photo/art exhibits and workshops.  Historians lead educational presentations and field visits to historical archaeological sites including locations associated with Sir John Franklin's ill-fated expedition. World-class chefs invite guests to sample authentic Canadian dishes local to the area of exploration, and will educate them on the ingredients and produce used from the land and ocean. OOE's 'Canadian Speaker Series' hosts visual artists Cory Trepanier and Chris Cran; photographers John Lehmann and Debra Garside, as well as educators, musicians and other accomplished Canadians who are contributing to Canada's legacy.

OOE's Canada's East Coast and Arctic 2017 cruise season begins with an added departure for the spectacular 10-night Fins and Fiddles voyage departing Louisbourg, Cape Breton, 5 July 2017 with prices starting at US$3195pp sharing a triple cabin. This voyage is a member of the prestigious Destination Canada Signature Experience Collection.

The inaugural 10-night Labrador & Torngat Explorer voyage (15- 25 July 2017) sails from Louisbourg to Iqaluit, Nunavut with prices starting at US$3495pp sharing a triple cabin.  The cruise navigates the east coast of Labrador and includes two iconic National Parks: Gros Morne and Torngat Mountains, amongst other memorable sites.  Prices include transfers, shipboard accommodation, all meals on board, daily excursions, activities, workshops and top of the line foul weather gear.

For more information on One Ocean Expeditions' Canada 150th Anniversary cruises visit Canada's East Coast and Arctic itineraries: http://www.oneoceanexpeditions.com/voyages/regions/canada-east-coast

Cruise the Kimberley aboard Silver Discoverer - flights included

#expeditioncruising



Silversea Expeditions, is pleased to announce, that for the month of February, new bookings to the Kimberley aboard Silver Discoverer will include complimentary flights for Australian guests.

Silversea clients will have access to round-trip Economy Class flights or Business Class upgrades from select gateway cities in Australia, in addition to one of the most unforgettable cruises Silversea is known for.

Silversea Expeditions invites guests to experience a unique opportunity to view the ancient wonders and thundering waterfalls of the Kimberley aboard Silver Discoverer on 10-day voyages travelling between Darwin and Broome.  The Kimberley has experienced the wettest December on record, with Broome recording 410mm of rain in December (a 47% increase on the previous record from 1970), which is seven times greater than the normal rainfall of 58mm.

For the duration of Silversea's expedition cruises in the Kimberley from March to May 2017, the famous Kimberley coast waterfalls, including King George River & Falls and Talbot Bay (Horizontal Falls) will thunder more spectacularly than ever before.  The twin cascades of King George Falls are amongst Australia's highest, plunging over 80 metres. At Talbot Bay, the regions tides of close to 36-feet create an amazing spectacle. Depending on whether the tides are ebbing or flowing, guests can experience an exhilarating Zodiac ride to the "Horizontal Falls".

Guests can expect to witness these extraordinary waterfalls, along with the rich history and wildlife of this region, aboard the elegant, warm and friendly Silversea vessel.



Amber Wilson, Managing Director Asia Pacific, says:

"Our Kimberley voyages are an extraordinary experience that will amaze and delight even the most discerning travellers, and now with free flights, guests can enjoy even more exceptional value.  The contrast between lush flora and fauna, dramatic landscapes and indigenous history is ideal for those seeking an unforgettable adventure. This season, with the tremendous December rainfall, will provide travellers with a once-in-a-lifetime viewing experience."

"The freshly refurbished Silver Discoverer is the epitome of casual elegance and sophistication, making it the perfect platform for exploring the untamed landscapes of the Kimberley.  With a team of 11 experts hand-picked for their expertise and passion for the region guiding travellers throughout the voyage, this truly will be a unique adventure".

These voyages feature incredible itineraries which include 10-day sea explorations of rugged coast, imposing rock formations and deep gorges departing from Broome and Darwin.  While in the Kimberley region, guests can: witness the spectacular tidal changes and semi-submerged world of Montgomery Reef; discover ancient and mysterious rock art; spot the White-bellied Sea Eagle, Osprey, Brahminy Kite or Peregrine Falcon; view King George's towering twin falls; and photograph the dramatic tiger-striped Bungle Bungle Range from above.

"Silversea prides itself on offering a luxurious cruising experience through all-suite accommodations, butler service, complimentary spirits and fine wines, Wi-Fi and world-class cuisines" added Wilson.

Departure dates for Silversea Expeditions' Kimberley 2017 voyages include: 6 April, 16 April; 26 April; 6 May; and 17 May.

The new program offers guests a choice of any of the following flight options aboard a Silversea partner airline flight added to the already incredible voyage: an Economy Class air round-trip from capital cities within Australia; an option to upgrade to Business Class for just AU$1,995 per person from Eastern seaboard or $1,500 per person ex Perth.

Guests can also take advantage of a number of added benefits when booking an air and cruise package through Silversea including: round the clock support in the case of disruptions, applicable transfers to the ship; fare protection as well as flexible payment and flight options.

All-inclusive cruise package fares including flights are per person starting from AU$12,550 based on double occupancy in an Explorer Suite for 16 April 2017 departure.  Not available in conjunction with Silver Select offer.  Silversea Expeditions' fares include: all shore Zodiac excursions hosted by an expedition leader, all-suite accommodation with butler service, gourmet meals, complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits, Wi-Fi for all guests and all gratuities. These voyages are 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 http://www.silversea.com/kimberley/


Thursday, 2 February 2017

Crystal Partners with Canadian Expedition Experts for Second Northwest Passage

#expeditioncruising .


Arctic Kingdom to assist Crystal Cruises in August on its adventurous quest through the icy waters and rugged terrain of the Arctic Circle



Following the astounding success and enthusiasm of its first-ever Northwest Passage sailing in 2016, Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity will again traverse the elusive waterway this August. Aboard the ultra-luxury vessel will be a comprehensive team of Arctic experts from Canada-based Arctic Kingdom, global leaders in Arctic travel, who will share their knowledge and passion for the region’s unique culture, wildlife and geography with guests onboard, as well as lead discovery expeditions ashore.

The 32-day voyage departs Anchorage/Seward, Alaska for New York City on August 15, 2017, and sails through some of the most spectacular, remote areas of the previously unpassable polar region. Crystal Serenity’s 2017 Northwest Passage Explorer will mark the final voyage for a classic Crystal ocean ship to sail through the Arctic region. All-inclusive cruise fares start at US$24,479 per person and are available for booking by contacting a travel professional or calling +61 2 8074 6500. Crystal’s “Crystal Clear Choices” promotional savings offers additional value for bookings made by March 31, 2017.

“The Arctic is like nowhere else on the planet,” says Graham Dickson, Arctic Kingdom president and CEO. “As the top land-based operator in the Arctic, we are excited to be providing exceptional opportunities for Crystal Serenity guests to authentically experience the Arctic – unlike ever before.”

Local Inuit guides, Northerners, marine biologists, archaeologists, expert divers, conservationists, photographers, and wildlife experts round out Arctic Kingdom’s team of expedition leaders and speakers for the epic voyage. Besides the many environmental perspectives of the Arctic, there are several cultural nuances to be explored by Crystal guests during the historic passage with visits to Ulukhaktok, North West Territories; and Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

“Partnering with Arctic Kingdom, the leading travel operator in this unique region, further raises the bar on the experience for our guests by offering them expertise from local adventurers,” says Edie Rodriguez, Crystal’s chairman, CEO and president. “Planning and collaboration with top experts and authorities is a must to ensure the safety of our guests and crew. We continue to work closely with the United States and Canadian Coast Guards, Transport Canada, and a myriad of federal, state, provincial, territorial and local government agencies.”

In addition to carefully crafted Crystal Adventures, the ship’s captain will safely position the ship to take advantage of impromptu “Unexpected Adventures,” supported by Arctic Kingdom, including zodiac outings to view glaciers, kayaking in protected bays, and trekking the tundra with an expert guide, and helicopter flights to view the Arctic landscape from the air, favorable weather conditions permitting. Likewise, expedition teams will be scouting for wildlife including polar bears and whales throughout the voyage. Specialized viewing equipment on board will allow guests to experience incredible viewing from the comfort of the vessel.

Just as it was last year, Crystal Serenity will be accompanied through the Canadian Arctic by an escort vessel, providing enhanced safety and both vessels will use low-Sulphur Marine Gas oil fuel, exceeding environmental regulations. The escort vessel will carry additional safety and environmental protection equipment, as well as personnel specifically trained in its use. In addition, it will serve as a platform for two helicopters for ice reconnaissance and flight seeing, and zodiacs for landings in areas without a port facility. Both vessels will be manned by highly trained crew members and Canadian ice-pilots experienced in all aspects of operating safely in the Canadian Arctic.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Cross the Atlantic with SeaDream



IF you like the idea of thirteen days to laze around the pool aboard the world's Number 1 boutique mega motor-cruiser, read some good books, indulge in a spa treatment of two, wine and dine 5-star without the need to dress-up, and to be feted but not fawned-over by almost as many staff as there are guests, then you can now go ahead and do so.

Because SeaDream Yacht Club's luxury SeaDream II will be doing those thirteen days from San Juan in the Caribbean across the Atlantic to Malaga in Spain on the 15th of April this year, with the price from a very tempting US$3445pp twin-share.

This includes exceptional dining recognised by the 2017 Berlitz Guide as Best Ship for Food, wines with lunches and dinners, premium drinks from the open bars, a free onboard golf simulator and fitness centre, a library with over 1,200 books, port charges and taxes, and even gratuities for the attentive 95 staff and crew for just 112 guests.

And despite being 5-star, SeaDream does not require jackets or ties at dinner – smart casual is the order of the day.

SeaDream II will make only one stop on this thirteen day journey, Funchal on the island of Madeira, where there is an optional excursion taking-in local sights, or the yacht has free mountain bikes for guests who may like to do their own exploration.

There are also power and sail water-sports facilities aboard too, should the captain decide on a dead calm day somewhere on the Atlantic to stop for guests to enjoy a bit of water-sports play.

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



[] SEADREAM Yacht Club does not require jackets and ties at dinner – smart casual is the order of the day.