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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

New Baja Cruise and Land Escapes From AdventureSmith Explorations

#expeditioncruising

Goodbye Winter and Hello Baja With New Land and Sea Itineraries From AdventureSmith Explorations


AdventureSmith Explorations will help banish snow and ice with three new close-to-home itineraries, two by land and one by sea. All deliver guests this winter into the sunshine of Baja where the wonders of a North American version of the Galapagos await.

One itinerary places people nose-to-nose with land and marine life teeming in one of the world's most nutrient-rich marine environments-- the Sea of Cortez, home to 39 percent of the world's total marine mammal species, a third of the world's marine cetacean species and 891 fish species. This abundance of marine life also draws many species of birds. Another itinerary posits guests up close and personal with the color, culture, landscape and people on the Pacific Ocean side of Baja California Sur (south) where sunny days and white sand beaches traditionally draw culture mavens and their followers to an abundance of art, music and regional fare.

"On or off the water, our Baja itineraries are immersive and active. The new programs we're presenting this winter address requests for quick getaways as well as week-long vacations, all in a region with the same kind of appeal as the Galapagos," says Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations Founder and President. "We can usually accommodate last-minute requests for land-based and cruise itineraries in this affordable, easy-to-navigate region."

Three days at Camp Cecil on the desert island of Isla Espiritu Santo comes with naturalist guides ready to indulge whims for birdwatching, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, snorkeling and swimming just off the coast of Baja California. A three-day rate is from $750 per person double, with departures any day, November through April. Included are roundtrip transfers from La Paz and Todos Santos to this electricity-free island; snorkel gear and wet suit; all adventures and related equipment; all meals and happy hours; walk-in luxury tent accommodations; panga (dinghy) support; bilingual naturalist guide/certified Wilderness First-Aid Responder; and National Park Conservation fee. The luxury camp (real linens on the beds and daily housekeeping service) is located within a National Marine Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site offering protected wildlife and landscapes rife for exploration. The waters harbor whale sharks, dolphins, sea lions, and over a dozen species of whales (including Blue whales). Guests search for blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigate bird colonies. The island is one of the 900 islands in the Espiritu Santo Archipelago.

Baja Intimate Insider is a seven-day itinerary that can be customized. The rate is from $3,500 per person double, with departures any day, year-round. Hand-curated local guides introduce guests to their favorite artists, rancheros and chefs. The rate includes boutique accommodations selected for character and size (intimate); meals; daily activities and excursions; local guides/experts and airport transfers to and from San Jose del Cabo airport. Adventures can include hikes, horseback rides, birdwatching, ranch tours and cooking classes. Opportunities for guests may include:
  • visit the Sierra La Laguna Biosphere Reserve, one of Baja's most beautiful but least-explored areas and home to an incredible diversity of plant and animal life, boasting one of the highest rates of plant endemism of any place in the world;
  • surf with Mario, a veteran surf instructor, who guarantees that guests will stand up on their boards during the first hour of instruction - at least for a few moments;
  • stargaze with Sergio, the owner of Los Colibris Casitas, who will explore Aztec and Mayan mythology through the stars;
  • explore ranching in the mountains with Doña Ramona and learn how to make traditional tortillas; marvel at the artistry of potters who share the landscape riddled with dry arroyos;
  • dine on creative farm-to-table presentations and home-style Mexican cuisine;
  • imbibe the secrets of Iker Algorri, chef/author of Cooking Adventures in Baja California Sur;
  • walk the bluffs over the Pacific coastline where sea lions cavort;
  • check out some of the over 430 bird species spotted in this region while riding horses with Kaia, an avid birder and naturalist;
  • drink wine with local artist Jill Logan. 
The brand-new 100-guest National Geographic Venture launches this winter with spacious accommodations and equipment to suit the most active of travelers over five days on Base Camp Baja, a wellness-focused cruise in the Sea of Cortez. This cruise is active and relaxing with award-winning wellness programs. Guests pursue yoga, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, stretching in the onboard fitness center, meditating and massages as well as body and natural facial, hand and foot treatments. This new ship is kicking off its first-ever sailing season in Baja before heading north to Alaska. The per person double rate is from $2,650. Departure dates in 2018 are Dec. 22-26, Dec. 26-30 and Dec. 30-Jan. 3, 2019; 2019 departures are Jan. 3-7, Jan. 7-11, Dec. 23-27, Dec. 29-Jan. 2, 2020; 2020 departure dates are Jan. 2-6 and Jan. 6-10.

A bonus for vacationing in this region is the possibility of swimming with whale sharks. Although whale sharks are found swimming all over the world, La Paz, Baja (a commonly used port for AdventureSmith's small ship cruises), is one of the easiest and closest opportunities to swim alongside them for North Americans. These fish (the largest fish in the world) have made a winter home in the sandy shallows just outside the La Paz harbor where snorkelers can test their swimming speed (and nerve) by trying to keep up with these massive creatures. (Whale sharks swim like a shark but feed on plankton and other small sea life, offering no threat to swimmers.) Swimming with these majestic creatures is an experience not easily forgotten.

For details on all AdventureSmith's small ship cruises worldwide, day-to-day itineraries, availability and reservations, phone: 866-575-2875 toll-free or visit https://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/

Monday, 29 October 2018

Cruise Cape Horn and the stunning Patagonian Fjords with World Expeditions

#expeditioncruising .


Adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions, has launched a new adventure cruise through the remote, southernmost fjords of South America, via the Strait of Magellan, the Beagle Channel and Cape Horn, amongst the glaciers and snow-capped, jagged peaks for which the region is famous.

On board the very comfortable, spacious, medium capacity (max 210 passengers) Stella Australis or Ventus Australis, the cruise offers opportunities to see vast colonies of penguins and other seabirds, as well as southern elephant seals and other sub-polar wildlife.

The 5-day, 4-night Cape Horn and Patagonian Fjords cruise operates in either direction between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, or as a 9-day, 8-night round trip, with travellers start departing from - and returning to - the same city.

It departs between September and March and cost from AUD$3,090 per person (one way, twin share), including fine-dining meals onboard, free bar (with selected beverages), professional expedition guide and support staff, shore excursions and onboard entertainment.

Like the longer established, 4-day Chilean Fjords – The Kaweskar Route, the new cruise is expected to be a popular extension for travellers to Torres del Paine. The small-vessel Kaweskar cruise, which departs Puerto Natales and takes in fjords north of the new cruise, operates between October and April and costs from AUD$2,690 (twin share).

More information at www.worldexpeditions.com or 1300 720 000.


Monday, 22 October 2018

Ponant and National Geographic ‘Expeditions to Inspire’

#expeditioncruising .

PONANT & NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC 2019-2020 brochure:

click to download

PONANT and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC have joined forces, combining their specific areas of expertise to offer a range of unique and enriching expedition cruises.

A collection of 18 expeditions stretching from Alaska to Antarctica - a taste of what is to come from this recently announced partnership.

Aboard PONANT’s luxury small expedition ships, accompanied by PONANT’s experienced Expedition Team as well as NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC destination experts, award-winning photographers and photojournalists, adventurous and inquisitive guests will sail to destinations that are among the most remote, the most fascinating and the wildest on the planet. Here they will explore and encounter the wonders of the world up close, right at the sources, and be transformed by these enriching experiences.

“This inaugural brochure features a selection of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC & PONANT Expeditions to many regions and destinations that few travellers ever see. Exciting, immersive, wild … some with experiences perhaps outside your comfort zone, yet explored in comfort from onboard PONANT’s fleet of modern small expedition ships. Together we are creating exciting new expedition cruising opportunities,” explained Monique Ponfoort, PONANT’s Vice President Asia Pacific.

For 2019/2020 consider this Who’s Who of expeditions for modern-day adventurers:
  • Alaska, the volcanic Aleutian Islands, the Sea of Okhotsk
  • The magnificent fjords, ice flows and wildlife of Spitsbergen and Greenland
  • The lesser visited Caribbean and Bijagos islands of the Atlantic Ocean
  • In the Indian Ocean, Aldabra lagoon, the largest coral atoll in the world  
  • In Oceania, the cultures of Micronesia and the Solomon Islands
  • The far-flung Sub Antarctic Islands 
  • Wondrous Antarctica

The 48-page Expeditions to Inspire brochure is available now.

From the iceberg-scattered bays of Antarctica to the crystal-clear waters of the
Indian Ocean, by 2021 there will be more than 130  expeditions co-created by PONANT & NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.

Friday, 19 October 2018

SeaLink's new superyacht for Sydney Harbour



SeaLink Travel Group today announced the purchase of the luxurious superyacht, "AUSPRO". She will join the Captain Cook Cruises fleet on Sydney Harbour in mid-November as a deluxe 'premium-end' charter and private cruising vessel.

Building upon Captain Cook Cruises' legendary focus on service, "AUSPRO" will deliver an extraordinary new level of luxury and sophistication. With her own full-time Captain and beautiful classic interior, "AUSPRO" is ideal for high-end corporate entertaining, five-star private functions, intimate weddings or celebrations and extravagant overnight getaways.

Responding to the recent growth of the superyacht charter industry on Sydney Harbour, Jeff Ellison, CEO and Managing Director of SeaLink Travel Group, said this is a direction SeaLink is excited to take as it increases focus on attracting elite clientele locally and internationally.

"This is part of our three-year growth strategy for Sydney Harbour.  We have listened to our key trade partners, and they have asked us to deliver a boutique, intimate experience for their five-star guests."

Ellison continued: "Our goal is to strive for consistent improvement. This is the first of many new initiatives planned for SeaLink/Captain Cook Cruises in the coming months."

Built by leading Italian superyacht manufacturing company Azimut, "AUSPRO" is a 30m motor yacht fitted with a Gyro Stabiliser for super smooth harbour sailing and has a range capable of offering extended overnight trips. The lavish superyacht can accommodate 45 guests for a VIP function or eight overnight guests and features two staterooms and two cabins.

The master stateroom has a queen size bed, private lounge and two ensuites, one with a spa bath. The other guest rooms accommodate a further six people, with a large queen size stateroom and two additional twin cabins, all with ensuites.

The stylish saloon is finished in gloss mahogany and teak curved timbers, Italian cream leather upholstery and a padded ceiling with plush carpets. Extra detail in lighting and audiovisual enhances the luxurious ambiance. The galley is modern and stylish with European appliances and the flybridge has a fully equipped wet bar, glass fridges, BBQ and LCD TV.

Crew accommodation is for four crew plus a captain's cabin with a ship's office that allows for a liveaboard captain.

Captain Cook Cruises is currently upgrading AUSPRO with galley enhancements and a new exterior paint finish.

For further information and bookings visit: www.superyacht.captaincook.com.au

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Sneak Preview On Board: Ponant Le Champlain

#expeditioncruising .

Ponant Le Champlain tied up at Olden, Norway as guests kayak in the fjord (RE)

Expedition Cruising editor, Roderick Eime, was delighted to be invited to inspect the brand new and second of the new class of expedition vessel from Ponant, Le Champlain, on a 3-day shakedown cruise in Norway.

As you've read here already, these new ships are slightly smaller than the Le Boreal Class of which four have already launched. Six of these are planned with two already launched and carrying their first passengers.

Retractable marina will make Zodiac boarding a breeze (RE)
Compared to their older and larger siblings, the new 128m 'Explorer' class carries just 184 passengers in 92 twin occupancy cabins and suites as opposed to 142m and 264 pax. All the superior trimmings and amenities Ponant guests are familiar with can be found aboard the Explorer fleet which is designed to operate on tropical and warmer climate expeditions.

Even the sauna is stylish! (RE)
More details here soon. Come back to read updates.

An earlier artist rendering showing stern marina deck and pool (Ponant)
Meanwhile, the construction of Le Bougainville and Le Dumont d' Urville progresses on the Vard shipyard in Tulcea in Romania; the ships are scheduled for delivery in 2019.

au.ponant.com



Saturday, 13 October 2018

One Ocean Expeditions New Vessel, RCGS Resolute



#expeditioncruising

Leading expedition cruise operator, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) is proud to officially welcome to its fleet the vessel 'RCGS Resolute'. To celebrate her first sailing under the One Ocean Expeditions' banner the company is hosting a grand recommission event at the Port of Sydney, Nova Scotia on October 16th, 2018. With the fleet expansion comes an increased number of sailings to Canada's East Coast and Antarctica as well as the introduction of new non-polar destinations in Spring 2019.

"Introducing RCGS Resolute to our fleet in her home port of Sydney, Nova Scotia is an important moment for One Ocean Expeditions, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and our partners," says Andrew Prossin, Managing Director of One Ocean Expeditions and Cape Breton native. "A ship recommissioning is a unique ceremony that places a vessel in active service. It is a joyous occasion that we are honoured to host on Canada's East Coast and my home."

"As One Ocean Expeditions' exclusive marine partner in education, environmental science, and exploration, it's an honour to name one of our vessels with a RCGS pre-fix for the first time," adds Catherine Lawton, OOE's General Manager. "In partnering with Royal Canadian Geographical Society, our guests have the exclusive opportunity to learn from and interact with RCGS Fellows including world-renowned scientists, educators, researchers, naturalists, marine biologists, artists, historians and photographers on board. We look forward to welcoming RCGS Resolute to our fleet along with our friends, partners and supporters."

Notable guests at the October 16th event will be Commissioner of Nunavut, The Honourable Nellie T. Kusugak, Rear Admiral Nick Lambert, The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, Navy Captain Guillaume Lefrance (CD), The Honourable Rodger Cuzner (MP), Michael MacDonald (MP), Cape Breton's Mayor Cecil Clarke and John Geiger, CEO of RCGS.

Says John Geiger, "This day represents a great moment in the history of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. RCGS Resolute is a platform not only for expeditionary travel but for science and education."

Special appearances also include performances by Stadacona Band of the Royal Canadian Navy and the 29 Sydney Kiwanis Royal Canadian Air Cadet squadron with Commanding Officer Major Dodie Hanna (CD). The ship will be blessed by Reverend Canon Donald J Lawton (CD) at the ceremony, and the onboard VIP celebration will conclude with an exclusive performance by popular local band and one of the nation's favourites, the Barra MacNeils, to mark this momentous occasion.

Designed for exploration and for comfort, RCGS Resolute is modern, well-appointed, safe and ice-strengthened. The ship offers an array of premiere amenities aligning with OOE's unique small ship programming, educational opportunities and numerous activities tailored to guests' individual interests. This new addition joins OOE's One Ocean Navigator / Akademik Ioffe and One Ocean Navigator/ Akademik Sergey Vavilov, both carrying less than 100 passengers. While RCGS Resolute hosts 146 passengers, she has the capacity to host and operate an increased number of programs simultaneously, ensuring the same small group comfort and intimacy found on all OOE vessels.

RCGS Resolute's inaugural voyage will depart from Ushuaia, Argentina on November 16th, 2018, on the "Antarctica - Off the Beaten Track'" voyage. From November to March she will explore Antarctica and South Georgia before heading north to the Chilean Fjords in April 2019. From there she heads to Costa Rica and Panama, through the Panama Canal and onwards to the North Atlantic, commencing voyages through Scotland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands. She will also host OOE's inaugural Scotland & Ireland Golf Expedition before starting her first season in the Canadian High Arctic.

For more information on OOE's expedition cruise vessels: https://www.oneoceanexpeditions.com/vessels

For more information on OOE's Arctic cruise destinations and itineraries: https://www.oneoceanexpeditions.com/arctic

For more information on OOE's Antarctic destinations and itineraries: https://www.oneoceanexpeditions.com/antarctica

Friday, 12 October 2018

Three Nights Free on 7-night Captain Cook Fiji cruises

#expeditioncruising




Book any seven-night Fiji cruise and receive three nights free with small ship experts, Captain Cook Cruises Fiji's 'Three Nights Free Sail'. Offering savings of up to AUD$2100 per person this deal is on sale until 9 November 2018 with travel valid until 31 March 2019.

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji's seven-night itineraries include the seven-night Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands cruise which departs every Tuesday and Saturday and the seven-night 4 Cultures Discovery or Colonial Discovery cruises which depart one a month on alternate months.

The seven-night Yasawa Islands and Mamanuca cruise discovers the beauty of the Southern and Northern Yasawa Island group and cruises through the spectacular passage from Yaqeta Island to the Yasawa's northern reaches. The cruise visits the islands of Waya, Naviti and Viwa, the private island of Tivua, the Sawa-l-Lau limestone caves and the blue lagoon and Mononki – the island where Tom Hank's movie Castaway was filmed.

The seven nights 4 Cultures Discovery cruise circumnavigates Vanua Levu, Fiji's second largest island and visits four distinctive Fijian cultures including Ellice Islanders (Polynesians), Banabans (Micronesia), Fijians and Indians. The cruise visits the islands of Kioa, Rabi, Labasa Town, Kia Island and the world's third longest barrier reef, "The Great Sea Reef".

Scheduled departure dates for 4 Cultures Discovery Cruise include 1 January, 7 May, 2 July and 3 September 2019 and 7 Jan 2020.

Captain Cook Cruises 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 180th Meridian, the natural dateline. The cruise also visits the recent Heritage listed old capital of Levuka on the islands of Ovalau, Taveuni, the garden island and Savusavu, a town of hot springs and Pearl farms.

2019 and 2020 departure dates for the Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise include 5 February, 2 April, 4 June, 1O October 2019 and 4 February 2020.

All cruises are aboard newly refurbished small ship, MV Reef Endeavour, which explores parts of Fiji larger ships cannot get to. Visiting remote villages, churches and schools and partake in traditional village sevusevu ceremonies and Meke and Lovo feasts.

Experience the underwater world with daily swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkelling off picturesque islands and in beautiful lagoons. Go glass bottom boating or try mind blowing scuba diving operated by Viti Water Sports, a PADI5 Star Dive Centre Dive with two dives offered daily and always in different locations.

On-board be pampered at the ships Senikai Day Spa, relax on the sun deck by the jacuzzi or pool, work out in the mini-gym, play a game in the lounge or grab a cocktail at the pool bar and watch the breathtaking scenery pass by.

Enjoy mouthwatering cuisine including buffet breakfasts, alfresco lunches, casual barbecues and table d'hote dinners. All food is prepared on board from fresh local and imported produce.

A complimentary Kids Club is available for children 5 -9 years where children can make new friends, have lots of fun and learn about and experience the Fijian culture. Kids Club operates between 9.00am and 12noon, 2.00pm to 5.00pm and from 6.00pm and 9.00pm.

The 'Three Nights Free' cruise sale is valid on all room categories including "A" Tabua Suites, "B" and "C" Ocean Staterooms and "D" Porthole Cabins and on sale until 9 November 2018 with travel valid until 31 March 2019.

Prices for the 'Three nights Free Sail' for all seven-night cruises start from AUD$2045 per adult twin share, normally AUD$3395 per adult twin share and AUD$640 per child (5-17 years) sharing with an adult, normally AUD$1065 per child sharing with an adult.

All fares include shipboard accommodation, all meals, guided village, school and island tours, snorkelling and glass bottom boat excursions, daily island stopovers and water activities, hikes and Kayak safaris, onboard entertainment, kids club (5-9 yrs), onboard Wi-Fi, 24-hour self-service tea and coffee bar, post cruise transfers to Nadi and Denarau hotels and Nadi airport and use of the ship's facilities including a swimming pool, jacuzzi, mini gym, sun deck, cocktail bar and library.

For further information and bookings visit www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com or contact your local travel agent.

For further information and bookings, please contact Captain Cook Cruises on T: +61 9126 8160 or from within Australia: 1300 To Fiji (86 3454), Email: fiji@captaincookcruisesfiji.com or visit www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Ponant Cruise with 2019 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

#expeditioncruising .

A rare opportunity - Join PONANT’s latest small luxury expedition cruise ship Le Laperouse, for a seven-night voyage Sydney to Hobart, with pole-position viewing as the 2019 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race competitors clear Sydney Heads.



Board the ship for an early start on Boxing Day 2019, then leave the Harbour to be perfectly positioned off Sydney Heads, in the thick of the action when the maxi yachts round the mark and battle it out for the honour of clearing the Heads first.



Then enjoy cruising down the NSW coast, breaking the voyage to visit Trousers Point on Flinders Islands and iconic Wineglass Bay on Tasmania’s east coast, before joining the racing yacht fleet at Constitution Dock right in the heart of Hobart in time for presentations, New Year’s Eve fireworks and partying.

Monique Ponfoort, PONANT Vice President Asia Pacific: “This really is a special way to mark the start of the 75th Anniversary of the Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht race. You will be well positioned offshore to view the first maxi-yachts exit the heads, and then slip down the coast enjoying all the luxuries, service and comfort onboard that the racing crews can only dream about. Join us onboard!”

The voyage departs Sydney 26 December 2019 / 7 nights and includes three nights at dock in Hobart - your perfect ‘floating hotel’ location for yachting and partying enthusiasts.

From $5,5400 pp twin share in a Prestige Stateroom on Deck 6.

Background on Le Laperouse: The first of six Explorer Class small luxury expedition ships being constructed for PONANT, progressively joining the fleet in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Launched in 2018 the environmentally-friendly Le Laperouse has just 92 spacious staterooms and suites, all with private balcony, an infinity edge swimming pool, world-first underwater multi-sensory lounge with large glass windows below the water line, movable marina, and a fleet of 10 Zodiacs. You will want for nothing - choice of dining options, Sothys spa, sauna, Hermes toiletries and fine linens, 24-hour room service, Open Bar, fine cuisine, intuitive service - all imbued with French ambiance.

Chic, stylish and intimate, this is small ship cruising at its best.

INFORMATION & RESERVATIONS

Details of all PONANT voyages including itineraries, pricing and shore excursion highlights are available at https://au.ponant.com

Contact your travel agent, or PONANT on Australia: 1300 737 178 or + 612 8459 5000 / New Zealand: 0800 44 32 62, or email reservations.aus@ponant.com to request more information or assistance.


Monday, 1 October 2018

Lindblad new polar expedition cruise vessel interior renderings and itineraries

#expeditioncruising .



Sven Lindblad, CEO & President of Lindblad Expeditions, unveiled the world’s most advanced polar expedition ship– the 126-guest National Geographic Endurance - at a live video conference today. He was joined by key members of the line’s shipbuilding and expedition team including Trey Byus, Chief Expedition Officer (CXO); Nikolaos Doulis, Senior VP of Marine Builds, and Captain Leif Skog, VP of Nautical. The panel of experts discussed the ship’s innovative design and development, unveiled interior renderings, and the inaugural Arctic itineraries following her early 2020 delivery.