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


Monday, 16 April 2018

Lindblad Expeditions new Antarctic Brochure

Lindblad Expeditions has launched its 2018-20 Antarctica brochure; inviting guests to explore Antarctica during the Year of the Bird.

The dedicated brochure details three in-depth diverse itineraries discovering the regions of Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands.

Guests aboard the 23 October 2018 South Georgia and the Falklands expedition, will enjoy a birding experience of a lifetime – sharing the adventure with renowned international bird expert, David Sibley. While other 2018 select Antarctic departures will also be enriched by the presence of the Year of the Bird, with veteran naturalists who will illuminate experiences with Lindblad guests

Explorations in the Antarctic are onboard genuine expedition ships, the National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion – uniquely equipped to facilitate unparalleled bases for discovery whilst providing state of the art features for an excellent experience.

With 50 years of experience, guests can explore the world's last great wilderness in the company of top naturalists whilst exploring on Lindblad Expeditions' 12-day Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent itinerary or the 22-day Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands voyage to have the opportunity to trace the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton fateful journey aboard Endurance.

Agents can call the dedicated team on 1300 363 055 or order brochures at

For more information visit


Monday, 9 April 2018

Fiji: Cyclone Keni update

#expeditioncruising .


Tropical Cyclone Keni update for all Captain Cook Cruises departures.

Tivua Island Day, Lazy Lunch and Sunset Dinner Cruises

We have cancelled all Tivua Island Day, Lazy Lunch and Sunset Dinner cruises for today and tomorrow - 9 and 10 April 2018.

We are offering a full refund or cancellation fee free amendments for all passengers booked for these two dates and, if further cancellations are required, will also offer the same conditions.

Reef Endeavour Discovery Cruises

Reef Endeavour is currently in safe anchorage off the south coast of Vanua Levu on an extended Colonial Discovery itinerary. All passengers and crew are safe aboard and it is likely her return to Port Denarau will be delayed until Wednesday 11 April or, possibly, the morning of 12 April.

All passengers due to board on 10 April are being offered a full refund or fee free amendments to a future cruise date. The Northern Yasawa cruise, due to depart on 10 April, is rescheduled to 12 April on a revised, shortened itinerary.

Fiji office is likely to be closed from midday today but our Sydney office is fully operational should you require further information.

Our thoughts are with the residents of the Western division who are likely to experience more flooding in the coming days.

Thanks for your support.

Jackie Haworth-Charlton

Executive Director

Captain Cook Cruises

Monday, 26 March 2018

Tourism first: Adventure meets Luxury on the Amazon

#expeditioncruising .

Delfin Amazon Cruises has been officially named the only cruise operator in the world to be admitted into the luxury hospitality collection, Relais & Chateaux.

Known for its strict admission standards, members of the exclusive group must offer luxurious facilities and haute cuisine as well as unique accommodation such as castles or manor houses.

Delfin has been connecting guests with the immense biodiversity of the rainforest, since its first cruise into Peru’s Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in 2006.

On board Delfin, guests see the flora and fauna of the forest through floor-to-ceiling windows, enjoy oversized suites (some with their own plunge pools) and dine on exotic Peruvian cuisine inspired by the produce of the region.

Beyond the comforts on board, guests also experience this remote wilderness through jungle trekking, kayaking and visits to small riverbank communities.

“It is a true privilege to join Relais & Chateaux, a collection built on the strict admission standards, impeccable hospitality and refined luxury,” said Aldo Macchiavello, Delfin managing director.

“We are also proud to be recognized for our commitment to upholding the delicate balance at play in our pristine Amazon wilderness through our partnerships with native communities and efforts in environmental sustainability.”

Mr Macchiavello said guests of Delfin experience the ultimate juxtaposition where raw natural beauty meets seamless service, sophistication and style.

“In between skirting along the river banks in search of wildlife, trail walking through the lush rainforest or admiring Pink River Dolphins, guests will be endlessly delighted by the elegant comforts back on board,” Mr Macchiavello said.

Delfin Amazon Cruises is the pioneer luxury river cruise operator in the Upper Peruvian Amazon.

Each vessel within their fleet (Delfin I, Delfin II and Delfin III) is a floating indulgence which
navigates one of the largest protected flooded forests in the world.

This Peruvian owned and operated cruise company is devoted to personalised boutique travel, ensuring that guests are immersed in an authentic Amazon experience.


Saturday, 24 March 2018

New ship for APT’s Croatia Cruising 2019

#expeditioncruising .

Australia’s most awarded luxury cruise and tour operator, APT, today released its Small Ship Croatia Cruising itineraries, setting sail in 2019 along the Adriatic Coast aboard the brand new small ship, MV Queen Eleganza.

In partnership with Noble Caledonia, APT will be chartering the brand-new purpose-built, yacht-style, small ship along the famed coastline. With only 18 passenger cabins, the MV Queen Eleganza will allow exploration of hidden gems that other larger ships cannot access. Thanks to the small group of only 34 guests on board, the ship creates a relaxed, resort-style atmosphere, allowing plenty of access to the ships swimming platform and sun decks. All itineraries offered are exclusive to APT and the hand-picked small excursions have been tailor-made to get the most out of the magnificent coastline.

Sail away on a nine-day Croatian Island Discovery, starting at $6,495pp, twin share, including a SuperDeal saving of up to $1,000 per couple.

Visit the spectacular waterfalls of Krka National Park; Explore Vis island which has been closed off to tourism until 1989 and has retained its charm; be transported back in time as you visit the UNESCO-listed village of Radošić with its fully restored stone houses.

Daytime sailing ensures guest capture the beauty of the coastline, while the ship docks in port every evening to experience Croatian hospitality and nightlife first-hand once the crowds on larger vessels have departed. The brand-new build paired with APT service is the number one way to experience Croatia in 2019.

To find out more about APT’s Small Ship program and Croatia in 2019 call APT on 1300 196 420, visit or contact your local travel agent.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

New Small Ship Itineraries for 2019 from Tauck

#expeditioncruising .

The Joy of Travelling Small

It’s the little things that make a Tauck small ship cruise so personally rewarding… and such a memorable cruising experience. Like sailing on yachts and expedition vessels to ports where bigger ships can’t go... with fewer guests onboard, more intimate settings and more personalised service for you. And all-included experiences ashore that inspire with unique access to history, nature, culture and daily life. Creating more cherished memories than you ever thought possible.

Our 2019 Small Ship itineraries are now open for sale and available to view online. These fill up fast so don't wait, book now to secure your preferred departure date and cabin of choice.

Go beyond the ordinary on our cruise ship tours around the globe...17 Tauck small ship itineraries aboard our hand-picked small luxury cruise ships, including some of the world's finest yachts and expeditionary vessels!
View Sailings

PONANT Antarctic voyages 2019 - 2020 released today


PONANT, has opened bookings for more than 22 departures to the Antarctic for the 2019-2020 season.

A selection of five itineraries to discover the White Continent, including 1 that is all new.

Between November 2019 and March 2020, PONANT has 22 cruises aboard 4 of its modern luxurious expedition ships: L'Austral, Le Boréal, Le Lyrial and Le Soléal; each voyage offering just 200 guests on each ship the opportunity to discover extraordinary landscapes and experience a unique adventure, sailing in the wake of the great explorers of these uninhabited lands.

A new season with several new offerings
In addition to established emblematic itineraries, PONANT is drawing on more than 20 years of experience in the polar regions to introduce wonderful new offerings for this new season:

  • On The Antarctic Odyssey, a brand-new itinerary, Le Lyrial will be sailing to the South Orkney Islands, an extension of the Andean Cordillera. These islands, more than 85% glaciated, are home to leopard seals and numerous penguin species.
  • For this new season it is not just one but three expeditions that will be taking PONANT guests beyond the polar circle, at latitude 66° 33' 39'' South.
  • For increased convenience and peace of mind, a new premium package is available for all cruises departing from Ushuaia. It includes an overnight stay in the luxurious Arakur Resort, as well as an excursion to Tierra del Fuego National Park. 

Responsible luxury expeditions
Aboard superb limited-capacity vessels specially designed for expeditions, PONANT guests access the most remote parts of the globe in conditions offering unrivalled standards of comfort and service. These expedition cruises to the polar regions provide many opportunities for landings ashore from Zodiac® dinghies in the company of expert naturalist-guides, in order to get as close as possible to the unspoiled natural surroundings, always with the utmost respect for this precious environment.

 Photo credits: © PONANT Studio – Nathalie Michel © PONANT Studio – Lorraine Turci*

With more than 20 years' experience in these remote regions, PONANT considers environment protection to be one of its highest priorities. The cruise line carefully considers its itineraries, educates passengers and crew, and is an executive member of the IAATO (the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). The mission of the IAATO is to promote responsible tourism in the Antarctic.

5 reasons to sail to the Antarctic aboard a PONANT ship

  • Experience a unique adventure in the wake of Jean-Baptiste Charcot, Adrien de Gerlache and Sir Ernest Shackleton, great explorers of these uninhabited lands.
  • Discover exceptional landscapes in an incredible setting: glaciers, icebergs, ice floes, mountain chains ... And encounter exceptional wildlife: whales, seals, penguins, fur seals, albatrosses and other seabirds.
  • Travel in the total comfort that is PONANT's hallmark: staterooms facing the sea, most equipped with a private balcony; gastronomic dinners elaborated by Ducasse Conseil and paired with a selection of wines...
  • Set off with total peace of mind thanks to the experience of the global leader in Antarctic cruises: a fleet of 4 ships designed and certified for extreme regions, 20 years of experience in the polar regions, and more than 100 expert naturalist-guides. 
  • Benefit from charter flights from/to Buenos Aires to/from Ushuaia, transfers, full board, open bar and minibar on board, all lectures and Zodiac® landings with an experienced team of naturalist- guides.


The Antarctic Peninsula
Emblematic Antarctica, from Ushuaia to Ushuaia
11 days/10 nights, 12 departures possible starting from 24 November 2019. Prices from $13,150* in a Superior Stateroom

The Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula
The Great Austral Loop, from Ushuaia to Ushuaia
16 days/15 nights, 2 departures possible starting from 15 November 2019. Prices from $19,460* in a Prestige Suite on Deck 4
Beyond the Polar Circle, from Ushuaia to Ushuaia
17 days/16 nights, 3 departures possible starting from 15 January 2020. Prices from $21,944* in a Superior Stateroom

NEW  The Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the South Orkney Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctic Odyssey, from Montevideo to Ushuaia
21 days/22 nights, from 19 November to 9 December 2019. Prices from $19,410* in a Superior Stateroom

The Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the British Overseas Territories
From Antarctica to Africa, from Montevideo to Cape Town 22 days/21 nights, from 25 February to 17 March 2020. Prices from $11,304* in a Superior Stateroom
*Starting price, per person, based on double occupancy, port taxes included. This is a promotional price - the Ponant Bonus, varies according to the number of places sold for each cruise. The Bonus is likely to reduce over time, and even diappear, according to availability, without prior notice.

Details available at


Details of all PONANT expeditions including itineraries, pricing and shore excursion highlights are available at
Contact your travel agent, or PONANT on Australia: 1300 737 178 or + 612 8459 5000 / New Zealand: 0800 44 32 62, or email for bookings.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Windstar's 51-Day Grand Mediterranean Cruise Aboard World’s Largest Sailing Ship


1 Amazing Ship, 2 Magical Months, 5 Tall Masts, 11 Timeless Countries, 42 Intriguing Ports, 51 Incredible Days, 201 Attentive Crew, 153 Delicious Meals, 310 Adventurous Travellers

Guests on Windstar's 51-day Grand Mediterranean adventure will embark the 310-passenger MSY Wind Surf on 7 July 2019 in Europe's westernmost port of Lisbon, Portugal, prepared for an epic journey visiting the best ports in central Europe sailing across the culturally-rich Mediterranean, one of the world's most beautiful seas.

An equal match, the majestic Wind Surf is the world's largest sailing ship at 14,745 gross tonnes, 188 metres in length with 2497 square metres of crisp new sails soaring 67 metres skyward.

The ship will traverse the vast inland ocean during the cruise high-season on a comprehensive Mediterranean voyage. The cruise will call at popular ports and hidden harbours in Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, Malta and Italy, sailing to the farther reaches of Croatia, Montenegro, Greece and Turkey, and then doubling back for more cultural immersion and travel delights in Monaco and France before landing in Barcelona on 27 August 2019; eight weeks of a once-in-a-lifetime discovery spanning nearly 9500 nautical miles.

"We believe that no one goes further to get our guests closer to the destinations where we sail. An incredible cruise like our 51-day Grand Mediterranean cruise on a sailing ship is exactly what people who love to travel live for," said Windstar President, John Delaney.

"Our beautiful Wind Surf is recognised around the world. Guests will be totally immersed in the region sailing on her for two months, with more than 40 ports of call to share authentic experiences and adventures with loved ones while laughing with locals. Not one day will be like the next, and that is the magic of cruising with Windstar — we're 180 degrees from ordinary, no matter where we sail. This Grand Mediterranean journey represents the best of the best chock-full of culture, cuisine and camaraderie."

Travellers aboard Wind Surf will be immersed in the romance of travel by sea and sail, cruising into major cosmopolitan cities such as Rome and Athens and gliding into impossibly quaint harbours to mirror the towering town spires of coastal gems like Sanary-sur-Mer, France and Rovinj, Croatia. Windstar's curated collection of shore excursions provides cruisers with hundreds of choices that span the spectrum from docent-led tours to Picasso's Museum in Málaga to ocean kayaking in Palma de Mallorca or pesto-making lessons in Portofino.

The ship's Captain will introduce present-day explorers to Windstar's unique Open Bridge, sharing nautical charts and marine weather reports, a novel concept, only for those on cruise ships of a certain size and stature. The ship's innovative Water Sports Platform gives new meaning to a view from the water; when anchored cruisers can dive into the Mediterranean to play with complimentary water toys, stand-up paddle boards and water skis.

The 51-day sailing is a marquis cruise; part of Windstar's popular Star Collectors Voyages that combine shorter sailings and includes a free Laundry Package for each stateroom and suite throughout the cruise - a real benefit on a long sailing. The two-month Grand Mediterranean cruise on Wind Surf encompasses six cruise itineraries varying from seven to 10 days in length that are linked together to create this blockbuster journey across the Mediterranean.

Kicking off with the 8-day Spanish Symphony from Lisbon to Barcelona, regional styles and influences of culture and flavours overlap as Andalusian tastes transform into Riviera glamour followed by Italian chic, serene Greece and colourful Turkey.

Key regions visited on the impressive tour of the Mediterranean include the French and Italian Rivieras, the islands of Spain, and the islands and coastal ports of the Adriatic and Aegean Seas. The 10 countries visited over the course of the northern summer's ultimate itinerary include Portugal, the British Territory of Gibraltar, France, Monaco, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Malta, Greece and Turkey. The mix of 42 ports is evenly distributed based on country size and offers a thoughtful balance of large port cities that have it all and small towns brimming with personality.

In 2019, Wind Surf will offer a total of 44 cruises visiting European ports from April through November including the epic Grand Mediterranean voyage, with all itineraries now open for reservations.

Bookings to be directed to your travel agent or Windstar Australia on 1300 749 875 or

Barents Observer: Cruise tourists are about to break the ice

#expeditioncruising .

Expedition travel companies build fleets of adventure ships which are able to make it deep into ice-covered Arctic waters.

"We are thrilled to announce the name of our new polar ship: National Geographic Endurance, said Sven Lindblad, President and CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, in a keel laying ceremony in Gdynia, Poland, this week.

Kara Weller to head Discovery Team for Scenic Eclipse.

#expeditioncruising .

Scenic has announced the appointment of Kara Weller as Head Discovery Team Leader for Scenic Eclipse.

A qualified biologist, Ms Weller holds a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Wildlife Biology and has spent the past 20 years, educating cruise passengers on the many highlights of Antarctica and the Arctic. Kara has extensive experience working as an expedition leader, naturalist lecturer and Zodiac driver on more than 150 cruises. She joins the Scenic Eclipse team from Silversea Expeditions.

On board Scenic Eclipse, Kara will be responsible for managing the 16 member Discovery Team, facilitating Zodiac and kayak excursions, guiding onshore explorations and hosting onboard lectures on the Antarctic and Arctic regions. She will be assisted by a group of highly experienced naturalists, including a marine biologist, glaciologist, historian, ornithologist and geologist, as well as a fisheries and underwater expert, dedicated kayaking guides and Zodiac drivers.

Scenic Founder and Chairman Glen Moroney said he was delighted to welcome someone with Kara’s extensive experience and passion for the polar regions, to the Scenic Eclipse team.

“The Antarctic and Arctic regions are a key focus for Scenic Eclipse and will be a highlight for our guests, so it is vital that our Discovery team have the knowledge, dedication and passion to share with guests during their time on board. Kara embodies all the attributes we are looking for and I have no doubt she will be a real asset to the team.”

Kara said she was looking forward to stepping foot on board Scenic Eclipse when it debuts on 31 August. “Scenic Eclipse is the most incredible looking ship I have ever seen. I have worked on 15 to 20 different expedition ships in the polar regions and this is by far the most amazing ship that's going to be down there,” she said.

With more than 20 years’ experience in Antarctica, Kara said there was no better way to experience the region than by a custom built discovery yacht. “The best way to see Antarctica is by cruise because you want to be able to get around to more than just one spot. You want to see penguins, you want to see a few different bits of the landscape, not just one area. It's an amazing way to see Antarctica, and the region is spectacular beyond belief,” she said.

Kara said she believed travel was an important way for people to educate themselves about the planet we live on. “You need to go to a place to see it and smell it and touch it and absorb the sounds in order to understand it and so to care about it. The polar regions are to me the most precious places on our earth and I want people to care about them as much as I do and to fight to protect them.”

Discover the South Pacific with Last Minute Savings from Silversea

#expeditioncruising .

Silversea Cruises is delighted to offer guests last minute savings aboard Silver Discoverer to uncover the authentic beauty and adventure of North Queensland and the Pacific Islands. Two voyages of 15 or 17 days will explore an array of tropical locations including Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. When booking before 15 May 2018, guests will receive a one-category upgrade and US$1,000 onboard credit per suite on selected voyages. For those guests booking before 31 March, a range of fantastic air offers are also available.*

Intrepid explorers and curious adventurers will be in awe of the deeply immersive onshore experiences as they journey through the South Pacific. Guests will travel on board Silver Discoverer, the epitome of expedition sailing, featuring all ocean view suites, butler service, 12 Zodiac®s and a highly qualified and passionate expedition team. Each sailing features captivating shore excursions lead by expert guides and lecturers, enabling guests to truly understand and experience the culture and history of the ports visited.

Amber Wilson, Managing Director Asia Pacific, Silversea Cruises said:

“Silversea is a pioneer of luxury expedition voyages and we will be celebrating 10 years of Expedition cruising this year. With these incredible last-minute savings and air offers, we are offering inquisitive travellers the exclusive opportunity to explore the highlights of Northern Queensland and exotic islands of the Pacific. We invite guests to go deeper in each destination they visit and the bespoke itineraries include a range of sensational onshore experiences, new destinations, diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. We encourage guests to move quickly to secure their place as these voyages only have a very limited availability.”

Featured Voyages*:

V9813: Guests will depart Port Vila, Vanuatu on 07 June, 2018 on a 15-day voyage to Cairns. Highlights of this voyage include: witnessing Pentecost men dive head first from a platform onto the bare earth in celebration of the Yam harvest in Vanuatu; swimming and snorkelling in a small uplifted coral platform in Aniwa Vanuatu; and the Rum Distillery Experience in Bundaberg, Australia. Cruise fares start from AUD$18,100 per person, based on double occupancy in an Explorer Suite. Guests booking by 31 March 2018, will enjoy reduced airfares in Business Class or Free Economy Class Air Roundtrip; pre and post hotel and; transfers on selected voyages. Single Supplement fares are also available on this voyage.

V9814: Departing Cairns on 22 June 2018, guests will enjoy a 17-day voyage to Darwin. Highlights include: exploring the Kwapurina Fjord in Kafure by canoe; a forest walk in Tuam, Papua New Guinea; discovering Cenderawasih Marine Park in Auri Islands, Indonesia and snorkelling in Triton Bay, Indonesia known for its marine biodiversity. Cruise fares start from AUD$21,000 per person, based on double occupancy in an Explorer Suite. Guests booking by 31 March 2018 will enjoy Business Class Air Upgrade for just AUD$1,395 or Free Economy Class Air roundtrip on selected voyages.


Last Minute Savings: Guests booking before 15 May, 2018 will receive a one-category suite upgrade and an onboard credit of US$1,000 per suite on selected voyages.

Expedition All Inclusive: Guests booking before 31 March, 2018 will receive: reduced airfares in Business Class or free Economy Class Air Roundtrip; free pre and post hotel and; free transfers** on selected voyages.

Single Supplement: Solo travellers can enjoy single Supplement fares starting at only 25% on selected voyages.

Kimberley Air: Guests booking before 31 March, 2018 will receive Roundtrip Economy Class Air or can upgrade to Business Class for just AUD$1,395 per person on selected voyages.

*Voyages and special offers are subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time. 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

**Free transfers available only for guests utilising Silversea air offer

Friday, 16 March 2018

Featured Brochure: Antarctica Small Ship Cruises with Peregrine Adventures

#expeditioncruising .

Small ship expedition voyages: Antarctic Peninsula • South Georgia • Falkland Islands

click to get this brochure now

The far icy reaches of our planet are no longer out of reach. You can visit the rugged wilderness areas of Antarctica, The Falklands and South Georgia where sightings of seals, penguins and whales are daily occurrences, and majestic icebergs often form the backdrop for your adventure.

The Antarctic is an immense wilderness region, where we are at the mercy of the wind, the ocean and the ice – conditions that can change rapidly and dramatically. We cannot survive alone in these icy extremes, but Peregrine's state-of-the-art expedition ships and experienced captains will take you deep into the polar regions in comfort and safety.

Peregrine's expedition ships unlock a miraculous, forbidden world where animals have no fear of man; where the din of a hundred thousand penguins drowns conversation; and where whales show as much curiosity in the behaviour of humans as we do in theirs.

On all voyages your time off the ship will be optimised, as once in a lifetime experiences ensure you have the very best opportunities to explore and to get excellent value. Peregrine takes the time to get under the skin of a destination. Seeing the famous landmarks and wildlife is a must, but exploring it with a passionate expert on foot or finding a quiet spot on the ship to enjoy the majesty of the surrounds in solitude are moments that will leave a lasting impression.

All Peregrine polar adventures have world-leading expedition staff, ship captains and crew who draw on their experience from hundreds of voyages.

Peregrine aims to set the industry benchmarks for minimum environmental impact and the most stringent safety practices. Operating within these guidelines, Peregrine will guide your polar experience while, at the same time, allowing you the choice and flexibility to see the polar regions in your own style.

Using the expedition ships as floating bases, you can choose the style of voyage that suits you.

Embrace the Spirit of Adventure on a journey to the end of the earth

Saturday, 10 March 2018

'There will be pressures' warn expedition cruising experts

#expeditioncruising .

Expedition cruising is enjoying a renaissance of sorts fueled in part by growing consumer interest in transformational and experiential vacations offered in far-flung 'bucket list' regions around the world.

The once sleepy port of Ushuaia is now one of the busiest.
Cruise ships of all sizes jostle for space before setting
out for the Antarctic Peninsula or South Georgia.
The looming threats of global warming and climate change on earth’s ecosystems are also spurring visitation to unspoiled and pristine regions that could potentially erode or disappear.

Read the full story at Seatrade Cruise News

Friday, 9 March 2018

Win a $10,000 Peregrine Adventure Cruise

#expeditioncruising .

Peregrine Adventures and MiNDFOOD are offering one lucky MiNDFOOD reader an eight day cruise for two, valued over $10,000. Sailing Thailand's picturesque west coast Islands, aboard Peregrine's Panorama II, with return economy flights included.

Peregrine Adventures has just released an exciting new range of Asia Adventure cruises. Picture the same premium small ship cruises, except this time they're visiting some of Asia's best tropical islands and most exotic coastlines. The Panorama II will be your home on the seas for eight days as you take in some of the most spectacular islands off Thailand's west coast. The ship is equipped with 25 well-appointed cabins and a spacious upper deck.

The new eight-day round round-trip adventure takes you to stunning beaches and quaint villages on the less-visited isles of Similan, Ko Miang, Ko Surin Tai and Khao Lak. Each of the islands offer all the hallmarks of Thailand's idyllic south.

PONANT announces exclusive series of polar expeditions with Dr Jean-Louis Étienne


PONANT announces an exclusive collaboration with the sailor, mountaineer and explorer Jean-Louis Étienne, during unique cruises to the Antarctic Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands.

The only French shipowner to sail in the icy regions announces a collaboration with Jean-Louis Étienne, the first man to have reached the North Pole solo and to have made the longest crossing of Antarctica with a dog sled.

The PONANT expedition cruises with Jean-Louis Etienne will allow passengers to benefit from the combined expertise of PONANT and this great explorer on the subject of the ecosystems of the polar regions, notably through a number of conferences aboard ship.

Jean-Louis Etienne has always followed his dreams, forging new routes during expeditions that have become legendary. "I am delighted to work with PONANT and thrilled by the idea of sharing my passion for the Polar regions with guests. PONANT is renowned for its great expertise in polar expeditions, and we share a great respect for these fascinating regions as well as the pioneer spirit that typifies explorers and great sailors" said Jean-Louis Étienne.

 "Not only do we share a fascination for the polar regions, but PONANT also shares with Jean-Louis Etienne profound convictions about environmental issues as well as a certain vision of travel, inspired by so-far unexplored destinations," said Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, CEO of PONANT.

In September 2013, the company notably achieved a successful crossing of the North West Passage, with Le Soléal becoming the first French civilian ship to sail this famous waterway.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Drone's eye view over Antarctica [watch]

#expeditioncruising .

Filmed in 2014 by Ponant, the use of recreational drones by passengers is no longer allowed by the governing bodies of both Arctic and Antarctic tourism. But the vision is so beautiful, I'm glad we have this to share. Enjoy!

Two more expedition cruise ships for Ponant

#expeditioncruising .

source: Ponant

Two additional expedition ships in the PONANT EXPLORERS series: Le Bellot and Le Surville

As PONANT celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, the company announces an order for a further two additional ships in the PONANT EXPLORER series. The only French cruise ship owner is consolidating its position as the world leader of luxury expeditions with a fleet that will consist of 12 ships by 2021. 

The latest order has been placed for two additional sister-ships, delivery of which is scheduled for the first and second quarters of 2020. Like the four previous vessels, the construction of these two new ships will be entrusted to Norwegian shipyard Vard, part of Fincantieri Group. Combining moderate size (just 92 staterooms and suites, each with a balcony), refined design, cutting-edge technology and respect for the environment, they will comply with the international CLEANSHIP label (Bureau Veritas).

The six PONANT EXPLORERS fleet will be fitted with a world first: the “Blue Eye”. This multi-sensorial underwater lounge, a major innovation, will allow passengers to discover and experience the underwater world via two portholes in the form of a cetaceous eye, looking out on to the seabed, non-intrusive underwater lighting, and hydrophones integrated into the keel that retransmits the natural symphony of the deep water, as well as Body Listening sofas, offering a unique sensorial listening experience by corporal resonance.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Ten Top Expedition Cruise Destinations

#expeditioncruising .

by Andrew Castles, GM Expedition Cruise Specialists

A journey to the Top of the World featuring the North Pole is one of the world's greatest expedition cruises.

And in a major coup for Australia's tourism industry, Kimberley cruising in Western Australia runs a close second in the list of the 10 most highly rated expedition cruises worldwide.

The world's Top 10 was announced by the leading experts in this exclusive field, Expedition Cruise Specialists. General Manager Andrew Castles revealed the rankings which were based on each destination's “wow factor”, affording traveller's unique life experiences.

There were some unexpected destinations in the rankings including Kiribati and Iceland. Surprise omissions include the much-touted Amazon and Africa which is still developing as a cruise destination.


For generations of explorers and adventurers, a journey to the Arctic and the North Pole has been the ultimate expedition. Mr Castles said: “Pristine landscapes, bountiful wildlife, indigenous tribes, polar bears and natural phenomena give the Arctic a unique appeal and make it the world's best expedition destination.” Getting to the North Pole is difficult, but the world's most powerful icebreaker, the nuclear-powered 50 Years of Victory, makes it possible.

2. THE KIMBERLEY COAST The sheer scale and awesome beauty of the Kimberley has to be seen to be believed. Every visitor to this stunning region returns home a changed person. Mr Castles is one such person and he admits to a being a long term fan of the region. “Kimberley cruising aboard Coral Discoverer or True North takes you through the daunting canyons, waterfalls and untouched wilderness of Australia's north west wonderland and has to be experienced to appreciate how amazing it really is.”

3. ANTARCTICA Our southern neighbour offers the unique combination of amazing wildlife and awesome landscapes frozen in time. According to Mr Castles there are many ways to see experience the region, but one unique adventure is the Base Camp Ortelius expedition. “Designed for Antarctic exploration the Ortelius acts as a floating base camp while anchored for several days in specific locations. You can explore by kayak and zodiac on the water or go hiking in snowshoes and even mountaineering. There is nothing quite like it.”

4. ALASKA Glaciers, ice covered mountains, frontier towns and pristine waters make Alaska one of the most sought after destinations on earth. Mr Castles said it was a very popular region, but aboard a ship like the new National Geographic Quest you can get far away from the normal cruise routes. “This type of cruise is not just a sightseeing trip, it is a full on journey for people who enjoy hiking and physical activities. You immerse yourself in a world of fjords, ancient villages and stunning forests.”

5. PAPUA NEW GUINEA It is the people decorated in their traditional dress, dancing and singing with great joy and happiness that make Papua New Guinea such an inspiring place to visit. Cruising through unspoilt islands and visiting remote villages is an unforgettable experience. Mr Castles said: “Papua New Guinea is one of the world's last great frontiers. You will experience magical and rarely-visited islands aboard small ships such as the luxury Coral Discoverer and enjoy a voyage rich in culture, history and natural beauty. Papua New Guinea is home to the largest area of intact rainforest outside of the Amazon and guests will discover magnificent scenery ranging from colourful coral atolls to volcanic mountains, pristine waterways and mighty rivers.”

6. GALÀPAGOS ISLANDS Every lover of wildlife, sea life and unique experiences rates the Galápagos Islands right at the top of their list of places to visit. “It is a region offering many expedition experiences from smaller catamaran ships like Ocean Spray and Sea Star Journey through to Lindblad Expeditions' impressive National Geographic Endeavour II. Whichever way you see it, you will be mesmerised by the experience.”

7. CANADA'S NORTH WEST PASSAGE Seen as the “impossible” sea journey for generations, modern specially designed ice-rated ships have made the daunting North West passage accessible. Mr Castles said the Akademik Ioffe offers a crossing to Greenland that is one of “life's great trips”. “On the way explore the remote Northwest Passage and the stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline before crossing to Greenland. Wildlife is a major drawcard of this 13-day expedition, venture through the home of the polar bear, musk ox, caribou and walrus.”

8. INDONESIAN ARCHIPELAGO Our near neighbour is a surprise inclusion, but beyond the tourist hordes of Bali lies a region full of friendly people, unknown islands and crystal clear lagoons teeming with life. You will immerse yourself in the Komodo National Park and Indonesia's Lesser Sunda Islands from an intimate perspective, cruising through a panorama of islands and encountering new wonders on a daily basis. For example, a 7-day voyage of discovery aboard the 24-passenger Ombak Putih offers a cross-section of remote beaches, quiet coastal villages, jungle-clad mountain ranges, towering volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, tribal rituals, a mysterious lake, and the legendary Komodo Dragons.”

9. ICELAND AND NORTHERN LIGHTS Iceland is the new wonder destination for expedition travellers. Mr Castles said this one off expedition combined the unforgettable waterways of the region with the fjords of Greenland, remote settlements and the chance to experience the famed northern lights. ”There is nothing else quite like it,” he said.

10. KIRIBATI'S SOUTHERN LINE ISLANDS Way out in the Pacific is a remote region which is virtually unknown to most adventurers. However Mr Castles said the “wonders of this amazing paradise were both above and below the water.” Aboard National Geographic Orion you will discover that the notion of tropical paradise is alive and well - as are some of the world's best dive and snorkel sites. The expedition explores from Rangiroa's sparkling lagoon to the verdant peaks of Tahiti's neighbor, Moorea. This voyage maximises your time in some of the most vibrant undersea sites in the world. Plus, there's time to stroll pristine beaches, kayak peaceful coves, and experience true Polynesian hospitality.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Fred Olsen to join expedition cruising ranks

#expeditioncruising .

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has revealed its intention to build a series of 600-passenger "exploration" vessels – the first of which its chairman hopes could be delivered within “the next couple of years”.

We can only guess at the design, as very few true 'expedition' ships are catering to 600 passengers.

Currently, the only design that might be adapted for such service is that one proposed by Danish naval architect firm, Knud Hansen. (below)

Read full report at TTG Media

Hurtigruten delays inaugural season of new Roald Amundsen

#expeditioncruising .

Hurtigruten has delayed the launch of its new expedition cruise ship, the Roald Amundsen, until 2019.

According to Hurtigruten, the shipyard where the vessel is currently under construction, Kleven yard, has said that it will need more time to complete the vessel and will not be able to deliver it on schedule “due to the complexity of the project.” 

The vessel had been originally slated for delivery this year, 2018.
Read full report at Travel Agent Central

[watch] For the love of travel with Lindblad

#expeditioncruising .

What do you love about travel? Discover what you love on a Lindblad-National Geographic expedition:

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

You're invited to Wild Earth Travel's Polar Extravaganza

#expeditioncruising .

You're invited to Wild Earth Travel's Polar Extravaganza 

Calling eager expeditioners to come hear about everything POLAR

Wild Earth Travel is coming to a city near you to host an evening set to inspire travellers about the unique itineraries from three of our leading polar operators Heritage Expeditions, Polar Latitude and Adventure Canada.

Our partners are flying in from all over the world to give their insights on the regions, Antarctica and the Arctic.
Heritage Expeditions: 
Family owned from small beginnings Heritage Expeditions aims to showcase the most natural and remote destinations on the Spirit of Enderby, where guests become 'ambassadors' of conservation efforts. Through expeditions to Antarctica, the Subantarctic, the Pacific Islands and Russia Far East travel with (maximum) 50 like-minded travellers learn as much as possible about the region from wildlife experts. 

Polar Latitudes: 
Longtime experts in polar travel, Polar Latitudes is a company that involve the best guides, naturalists and expedition crew members to deliver you an unforgettable expedition experience. Whether you're encountering the Antarctic by the deck of the small cruise ship, kayak, zodiac or camping along the shore- they do it all! While both ships, Hiberidean SkyIsland Sky boast levels of comfort similar to a fine boutique hotel.

Adventure Canada: 
Operated and family owned for over thirty years, Adventure Canada encompass itineraries that are full with fun and wonder, as well as including experiences that offer that all important cultural exchange. Travel within a small group and enjoy Adventure Canada's legendary, informal shipboard programmes and feel like you're truly one of the team as you learn from their speciality flown in expedition leaders. 
Introducing your speakers and polar expedition experts

Interested to talk to our experts? Come along to our information evening and bring your questions! There will be an opportunity pre/post the event to talk one-on-one to these industry leaders as well as door prizes and exclusive specials on offer to event attendees. (Venue and details TBA).

Melbourne @6pm on Monday 19th March
Canberra @6pm on Tuesday 20th March
Sydney @6pm on Wednesday 21st March
Brisbane @6pm on Thursday 22nd March
Antarctic Waters- footage from around the Subantarctic Islands and the Ross Sea
Wild Earth Travel - the small ship cruising specialists.
View our 2018 Small Ship brochure today! 

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Fact Check: Ponant's Hybrid Propulsion Systems

#expeditioncruising .

With so many new and hi-tech expedition vessels coming online in the next few years, there is naturally a lot of hype around each one.

Revolutionary propulsion systems, radical hull designs and ultra clean and green energy and waste systems are all touted as the next greatest innovation since sliced bread.

So let’s fact check a few of these claims and the one catching my attention right now is the first passenger-specific icebreaker ever ordered, the 150m 30,000GT Ponant icebreaker. The hull is being built right now at Vard Tulcea in Romania.

Hybrid Propulsion

Click to enlarge. (source: Ponant)

We all know of the hybrid cars now driving around from manufacturers like Lexus and Toyota. These cars use a combination of conventional petrol engine drive and switchable Lithium Ion electric drive either alone or in combination. Petrol engines can be smaller and more economical because they are supplemented by electric power from batteries charged using surplus kinetic energy like when the car is coasting or under brakes.

The principle used aboard hybrid ships is not a great deal different. There are generators, huge battery banks, electrically-driven propellers, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tanks and conventional diesel engines as well.

Norwegian line, Hurtigruten, will beat Ponant to the punch by launching the first-ever hybrid powered cruise ships. But while these will be regular Polar Class (PC) 6 vessels, Ponant’s icebreaker will be to PC2, PC1 being the strongest.

Different ship designs use hybrid technology in slightly different ways, but for the sake of this example, the propulsion on Ponant is purely electric with propellers like massive underwater fans attached to Azimuth Pods (or ‘Azipods’) which contain the huge electric motors and can swivel around through 360 degrees. Other expedition ships like Scenic's much-vaunted Eclipse (also PC6) will also use Azipods, but not with a hybrid propulsions systems.
ABB Azipod like this rotates through 360 degrees and
contains the electric motor for driving the fixed-pitch propellers.

The diesel engines inside the hull are necessary to drive the generators to create the electric power for the propellers, and much like a dual-fuel car which can drive by either conventional gasoline or Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), these massive diesel engines can run on either light marine diesel (MDO) or LNG.

For the technically minded, these powerplants are of the Wärtsilä 31 DF type, recognised by
Guinness World Records as the world's most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine. It is not
disclosed yet which configuration is used in Ponant, as the twin-turbocharged W31 can be
ordered in anything from 8 to 20 cylinder. V8 configuration pictured. (source)

So, is this hybrid propulsion all the Ponant spin doctors make it out to be? Quite possibly. It will depend on which is the primary fuel source (MDO or LNG) and for what duration either fuel is used. Either way, it is an enormous technological leap from the massive former-Soviet nuclear-powered icebreakers Yamal and 50 Years of Victory currently taking guests to the North Pole.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Cruise the Arctic’s legendary Northwest Passage with Adventure Canada

#expeditioncruising .

Special offer — two free nights’ accommodation – Book by June 1, 2018

And supplement-free offer for solos.

Travel agents and consumers invited to free information sessions in March

One of the world’s most famous sea routes—the legendary Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic—can be explored on a just-released, 17-day expedition voyage in 2019 offered by eco-cruise company Adventure Canada.

To mark the release of the cruise, which features icebergs, polar bears, walruses, fjords, Inuit communities, and artefacts of former explorers, Australia’s Cruise Traveller is offering a free night’s accommodation both before and after the voyage, available until sold out.

The Northwest Passage route is one of many remote region cruises offered by Adventure Canada, which is running its biggest-ever promotional tour to Australia next month to meet growing demand for authentic wilderness experiences in the Canadian Arctic and beyond. Adventure Canada Expedition Leader and Business Development Director Matthew James (MJ) Swan—son of the company’s founder, Matthew Swan—will meet hundreds of travel agents and consumers in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia from March 5–16, 2018. (Media note - Details of the seven seminars around Australia further below.)

The Northwest Passage is a historic route through Arctic waterways, linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Many 19th century European explorers tried to traverse the passage as a possible trade route to Asia, often with journeys ending in disaster. Today, the Northwest Passage is accessible by ice-strengthened expedition ships—but the icy waters still retain their mystic charm.

Departing August 17, 2019, Adventure Canada’s cruise on the 198-passenger Ocean Endeavour will begin in Greenland, with its quaint villages, dramatic fjords, and glaciers, before crossing the Davis Strait to the iceberg-filled waters of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory. The voyage will follow the Northwest Passage from Baffin Island to as far as Kugluktuk near Coronation Gulf, with reindeer, polar bears, walrus, and muskoxen part of the scenery. An onboard archaeologist will perform onsite interpretations at ancient sites of the Thule and Dorset people, and there will be opportunities to experience the local Inuit culture first-hand.

Cruise Traveller is offering Australians an extra two nights’ hotel stay for free - one night in Toronto before the cruise and one night in Calgary afterwards. The cruise costs from US$14,855 per person, twin-share, including charter flights to and from the ship. Normally US$16,190, save US$1335 per person when you book by June 1, 2018.

And for a limited time, and subject to availability at time of booking, singles pay no single supplement on selected categories. (Singles from US$16,190 category 3). Flights from Australia are additional.

Call 1800 507 777 or visit .

Since its birth as a family-owned expedition cruise line in 1987, Adventure Canada has operated cruises to the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Labrador, and Newfoundland, with Iceland, Scotland, the Faroe Islands, and the remote corners of Ireland being added in 2018–19.

Free Information Sessions in Australia:

Consumers, travel agents—and their clients—in Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast are invited to attend one of seven information sessions with MJ Swan, Adventure Canada Expedition Leader and Business Development Director.

*Sydney CBD: Tuesday, March 13 – 2pm and 6pm
*Brisbane CBD: Monday March 5 – 10am, 2pm and 6pm
*Gold Coast (Main Beach): Tuesday March 6 – 10am and 2pm

To register for the sessions, which will be hosted by Adventure Canada’s Australian representatives, Cruise Traveller, visit or email