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Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Encounter of Le Ponant and Le Champlain in the Cape Verde Islands

#expeditioncruising .



At the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Africa and South America, in the heart of the Cape Verde islands, Le Ponant, the company's emblematic yacht that has been sailing the world for nearly thirty years, sails by Le Champlain, the latest jewel in the PONANT EXPLORERS series, that recently left its shipyard in Sovik, Norway, on 27 September 2018.

One is the guardian of a secret heritage known only to her guests and the sea. The other has a promising future as a pioneer for great explorations. Past, present and future meet in this symbolic moment for the company. Two routes, two destinations, but a shared destiny.

“This is a very powerful image for the company, telling its entire story in one photograph: our beginnings and our future, a combination of the maritime tradition that is so important to us and the cutting-edge technology, elegance and audacity that allow us to continue to pursue our dream,” said Jean Emmanuel Sauvée, PONANT CEO.


Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov sails again - with Heritage Expeditions

#expeditioncruising .

Heritage Expeditions we will be operating world-renowned Russian icebreaker and former research vessel Kapitan Khlebnikov for three of their Wrangel Island expeditions.

(c) Sam Crimmin

The addition of Kapitan Khlebnikov to Heritage Expeditions’ fleet provides an unrivalled platform for High Arctic exploration combining the exceptional navigation capabilities of Kapitan Khlebnikov with their intrepid expedition programs and experienced team.

This peerless, authentic polar-class icebreaker holds the passenger ship record for the most crossings of the Northwest Passage and has famously circumnavigated Antarctica – twice. Built in 1981 by Finland’s Wärtsilä Company and one of four Kapitan Sorokin-class icebreakers, Kapitan Khlebnikov wraps comfortable surrounds in a formidable, ice-reinforced vessel capable of breaking ice as thick as two metres. Powered by 24,000 horsepower diesel-electric engines, she is designed for conquering the harshest conditions and allows the next-level experiential exploration Heritage Expeditions is renowned for.

Recently refurbished, Kapitan Khlebnikov comfortably accommodates up to 110 guests in well-appointed and spacious cabins and suites all featuring large windows that can be opened and en-suite facilities. Common areas include large open decks, two dining rooms, a digitally equipped theatre-style lecture room, heated indoor pool, sauna, gymnasium, fully-stocked library, bar, lounge and four-person elevator.

While the surrounds might be new, Heritage Expeditions' legacy as a family-owned and operated expedition company continues to grow with a team of world-renowned naturalists, botanists, historians and experts on hand to interpret the natural and human history discovered during your voyage, as well as hosting regular lectures, presentations and opportunities for experiential learning. Similarly, voyagers aboard Kapitan Khlebnikov will continue to enjoy our signature, gourmet cuisine alongside a premium selection of New Zealand wines.

Guests can enjoy exceptional views from the bridge, via the open bridge policy, deck and various viewing areas around this remarkable vessel, while a fleet of 10 Zodiacs manned by an experienced expedition team ensures maximum time for ice exploration.

Download PDF flyer


Saturday, 24 November 2018

Kimberley swansong for Silver Discoverer

#expeditioncruising .

To mark her final season in the region, Silversea is offering a series of unforgettable voyages through the majestic Kimberley region on board Silver Discoverer in 2019. Guests booking by 30 November 2018 will also receive complimentary economy roundtrip air or business class fares for just AUD$699 each way per person, plus complimentary transfers between airport and ship.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Lindblad Expeditions - National Geographic new Epic Antarctica itinerary aboard National Geographic Endurance

#expeditioncruising .

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced an additional voyage for the newest addition to its fleet, National Geographic Endurance. Slated for delivery in 2020, the 126-guest vessel is the first new polar build in the line’s history.

Following her inaugural season voyaging the Arctic in 2020, National Geographic Endurance will depart on a new and unique itinerary that explores the seventh continent with two departures only. The voyage will explore where few humans have been before and will discover four stunning wilderness regions, from the Peninsula to the Ross Sea and New Zealand’s Sub-Antarctic Islands. Lindblad Expedition’s Epic Antarctica itinerary is a 34-day expedition starting from AUD$61,000, departing on 27 December 2020 and 26 January 2021, with the second departure date operating in reverse.

In the company of a renowned expedition team, guests will witness the big ice of remote West Antarctica; prolific wildlife and impressive ice shelf of the Ross Sea region; and the sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand and Australia, World Heritage sites for the thousands of seals and millions of penguins here, including huge colonies of king penguins and the endemic royal penguin. This is wilderness and wildlife at its finest, with Lindblad given special permission to explore strictly regulated islands, which are protected at the highest level of conservation status by the New Zealand government. Following in the footsteps of Scott, Ross, Amundsen and Shackleton, perhaps only a few thousand people in the history of the planet have ever made this voyage.

The new National Geographic Endurance will be in full expedition mode exploring West Antarctica, granting thrilling opportunities to crunch through thick ice and explore places few have seen.

National Geographic Endurance is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. A fully stabilised, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Code PC5 (Category A) vessel, it is designed to navigate polar passages year-round and safely explore unchartered waters, while providing exceptional comfort. Its patented X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. She carries a full suite of expedition tools and offers a variety of experience-enhancing amenities.

For more information visit au.expeditions.com

Agents can call the dedicated team on 1300 363 055 or order brochures at adventureworld.com.au/brochures

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Ponant Le Soleal cancels departure due to incident in Chile

#expeditioncruising .



UPDATE: "The charter cruises due to depart on November 30 and December 10 have been cancelled, in addition to the November 20 cruise as previously announced," the line confirmed in a statement. "All guests have been contacted and are being looked after by the company and the charterers. The ship will be back in service on December 20, 2018."

The expeditionary and exploratory nature of adventure cruising means that vessels will often explore areas with little or no maritime traffic. Sometimes charts are complete sometimes they are not. The Kirke Passage in Chile's scenic south is a region attracting more expedition cruise companies and Ponant have been sailing in that region for at least five years.

Even when under the guidance of a local pilot, accidents can happen as was the case with Ponant's Le Soleal.

Kirke Passage in Chile (source)


Read full report at Cruise Critic



Thursday, 15 November 2018

Adventure World Travel launches Lindblad Expeditions 2019-20 Explorations Collection

#expeditioncruising .

Dan Coleman (Lindblad Expeditions Account Manager), Ryan Kendall (Lindblad Expeditions Product Manager), Maya Santangelo (Lindblad Expeditions’ Naturalist), Neil Rodgers (Adventure World Travel, MD)

On Tuesday evening, the Australian National Maritime Museum played host to the much-anticipated launch of Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s 2019-20 Explorations brochure, also revealing the release of National Geographic Endurance, the world’s most advanced expedition vessel, due to launch in 2020.

Neil Rodgers, Managing Director of Adventure World Travel, welcomed media and trade partners in the Tasman Light Gallery where guests caught a glimpse of the ‘Unbroken Lines of Resilience: feathers, fibre and shells’ exhibit. Celebrating NAIDOC 2018, the exhibition features Australia’s most renowned Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, experts in their fields of weaving and shell stringing.

Special guest, Maya Santangelo, Lindblad Expeditions’ Naturalist and Expedition Diver, was also in attendance sharing her passion for exploration and understanding of ocean life with guests. Maya spoke of her experiences as a marine biologist and professional dive guide and instructor, combining her passions for science communication and diving, whilst sharing her love for the underwater world with Lindblad Expeditions guests.

Commenting on the release of the National Geographic Endurance, Neil stated: “Lindblad Expeditions’ science and explorations are more vibrant than ever. And while discovering new continents is no longer possible, Lindblad Expeditions’ ships can still help guests discover what’s in them. The National Geographic Endurance will be the world’s most advanced expedition vessel, where travellers will explore unchartered waters in exceptional comfort.”

To further celebrate the launch of the Explorations collection, Lindblad Expeditions has launched a special offer where travellers can bring a child or grandchild to Alaska on select departures for 50% off, and second child for FREE as well as an all-inclusive offer including FREE bar and crew tips.

*Conditions apply.


Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Scenic Eclipse inaugural sailing delayed again

#expeditioncruising .

In a statement released today, Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours announced that the first sailing date for Scenic Eclipse, the World’s First Discovery Yacht, has been amended to 13 April 2019.

Still image from construction video dated October 2018 (Scenic)

Due to the continuing financial issues at Uljanik shipyard and the resultant strike by specialist engine and systems commissioning workers, this part of the ship's completion has been delayed.

Scenic has been in constant contact with the shipyard, workers representatives and the Government to ensure the completion of the ship as soon as possible. Due to those efforts, more than 600 workers are still on board each weekday. The progress on the ship’s interiors and other areas of the final build stage have seen far less impact from the industrial action, and continue to progress at good pace.

The specialist commissioning team returned to work progressively last week however it will not be possible to catch up the six weeks’ time lost due to strikes in this area. Scenic acknowledges the regrettable impact this has on guests and understands their disappointment at this change in sailing date.

Scenic has committed to providing guests a full refund for the cost of their Scenic Eclipse cruise and consideration of any other reasonable associated costs incurred with their travel plans. In addition, Scenic will provide all guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse voyage a future cruise credit to the value of 25% of the cost of their rebooked cruise.

Scenic has established a dedicated phone number for guests and has begun reaching out to all guests and travel agents to provide details on the process of refunding, and offering an opportunity to apply the 25% discount to other voyages.


Monday, 12 November 2018

PONANT 180-page Oct 2019 - April 2020 cruise brochure


#expeditioncruising

From the Antarctic to Latin America, the Eastern Mediterranean to Oceania…..

There are compelling reasons to obtain a copy of this new 180-page brochure featuring over 100 voyages – small ship cruises and luxury expeditions - that include perennial favourites as well as a number of immersive new and off-the-beaten-track itineraries.



This brochure also includes a range of tropical and polar expeditions developed in conjunction with NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.

New ships AND new destinations, a wealth of options: Itineraries range from 7 nights to Grand Voyages up to 73 nights, all offering PONANT's hallmark comfort and style aboard the youngest and ecologically responsible fleet of small luxury expedition ships in the world - including four new Explorer ships. Or, for those who enjoy a traditional sailing yacht, the classic three-masted Le Ponant is an elegant option for exploring the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

Whether it be the icy vastness and overwhelming concentrations of wildlife in Antarctica, intimate encounters with Papuan, Polynesian or Maori people, scuba diving in the Indian Ocean or visiting the archaeological wonders of Petra in Jordan, this must-read PONANT brochure provides the stimulus to start planning your next voyage.

Travel with the polar experts, PONANT: 4 luxury expedition small ships operating in the Antarctic - Le Boreal, L'Austral, Le Soleal and Le Lyrial
A range of pre and post cruise options to extend your holiday
Small ships offer access to remote destinations that larger ships simply cannot reach.
Memorable experiences in the company of a small number of like-minded guests.

For 2019/2020 highlights for modern day luxury and expedition cruisers include:
  • Greece to Egypt and the Red Sea - from the pyramids of Giza to Lawrence of Arabia's famed Wadi Rum desert 
  • (New) Discover the Levant - including Jerusalem and Masada 
  • (New) Sail on Le Ponant to visit fascinating UNESCO sites in Malta and Sicily 
  • Hawaii, French Polynesia, Easter Island the Solomons - Pacific Ocean cruising par excellence 
  • Witness the start of the iconic Rolex 75th Sydney to Hobart yacht race and join the yachts in Hobart for the festivities 
  • With 25 polar voyages, the opportunity to spend Christmas or New Year in the Antarctic 
  • Explore New Zealand's fiordlands
  • Experience the natural wonders and cultural diversity of Latin America and the Caribbean 
  • Scuba dive in Micronesia's Chuuk lagoon, graveyard with over 60 WWII wrecks 
  • Enjoy the lesser visited Caribbean and Bijagos islands of the Atlantic Ocean 
  • In the Indian Ocean, visit Aldabra lagoon, the largest coral atoll in the world 
This 180 page October 2019 - April 2020 brochure is available now directly through PONANT or travel agents, OR a convenient e-brochure download is available at: https://fr.calameo.com/read/0001324232d362dea66fe

Additional Information:

Some voyages currently have a 30% Ponant Bonus available however fares are yield managed and savings reduce according to the number of staterooms sold.

Pricing examples:

(NEW) MAYA TREASURE OF THE YUCATAN / Puerto Morelos to Puerto Morelos onboard
Le Champlain: 6 departures between November 2019 and January 2020 - 7 nights from $3,990 pp* in a Deluxe Stateroom with balcony

(NEW) BETWEEN VIETNAM AND THE MALACCA STRAIT / Ho Chi Minh to Singapore onboard Le Laperouse: 16 November 2019 - 9 nights from $6,240 pp* in a Deluxe Stateroom with balcony

(NEW) THE SEYCHELLES AND ALDABRA ATOLL / Mahe to Mahe onboard Le Bougainville: 4 departures between December 2019 and April 2020 - 12 nights from $8,760 pp* in a Deluxe Stateroom with balcony

FROM FIJI TO MICRONESIA with NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC / Lautoka to Guam onboard Le Soléal: 1 April 2020 - 15 nights from $12,130 pp* in a Prestige Stateroom Deck 4 with balcony

*Ponant Bonus fare per person, in Australian Dollars, based on a double occupancy. Price includes port taxes, yield managed, correct at time of writing – 12/11/2018. Refer to https://au.ponant.com for further T & Cs.

To receive a copy of this PONANT brochure, or for more information please contact your Travel Agent or PONANT directly in Australia: 1300 737 178 or in New Zealand: 0800 767 018, or email reservations.aus@ponant.com

Further information available on the website: https://au.ponant.com

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Another expedition cruise ship launch delayed


#expeditioncruising .

World Explorer expedition cruise newbuild delayed to summer 2019

World Explorer had been expected to operate on charter to
Quark during the current Antarctica season RENDERING: WestSea Viana Shipyard

The 176-passenger World Explorer, expected from Portugal's WestSea Viana Shipyard this month, is now set to arrive in summer 2019.


The 9,300gt ship, being built for Portugal's Mystic Cruises, a division of Mário Ferreira's Mystic Invest, had been scheduled to operate on charter to Quark Expeditions during the current Antarctica season and then for Mystic subsidiary Nicko Cruises of Germany.

Friday, 9 November 2018

Celebrity Cruises new Galapagos glamping experience at sea

#expeditioncruising .

Galapagos Glamping will leave guests star-struck in the unspoiled lush archipelago



The first ship ever designed exclusively for the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity Flora, just introduced another enticing industry first: A once-in-a-lifetime camping experience on the top deck of the luxury yacht that allows guests to dine, drink, and, yes, even sleep under one of the most spectacular night skies in the world.

Celebrity Flora was specifically designed to bring our guests closer to the Galapagos Islands than ever before – from its outward-facing design that takes guests to the water’s edge, to the enhanced custom-designed Novurania yacht tenders,” said Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO, Celebrity Cruises. “And now our new Galapagos Glamping experience gives guests an incredible opportunity to experience the destination the ship was built for, on a whole new level, under the millions of stars above.”



TREATED LIKE STARS—UNDER THE STARS
Four star-struck guests per night will be able to book the top deck onboard experience and participate in this one-night-only adventure. The reservations include two luxuriously inviting cabanas, one fitted with a double bed for sleeping, and the other for enjoying a mouthwatering, alfresco meal. Galapagos Glamping was created to break down the walls and bring guests closer than ever to this stunning destination. To help guests fully appreciate the breathtaking views this experience offers, a naturalist will also be available to highlight the stars and constellations visible from this region of the world directly from the cabana seats.

NEW VIEWS AND NEW FLAVORS
Exclusive campfire-inspired culinary delights – from cocktails to carefully selected wines to s’mores – will be specially curated for the evening, while guests gaze at the endless open skies above. Guests will have a delicious dinner served exclusively as part of the Galapagos Glamping experience. Campers will also welcome the spectacular sunrise with a full bed-side breakfast.

Modern luxury exploration in the Galapagos Islands will never be the same once Celebrity Flora begins her inaugural season, sailing alternating 10- and 11-night tours, there is also the option for guests to select a 16-night itinerary— an inner loop and outer loop — to the region’s most stunning locales in 2019 and 2020.

Based in Baltra Island in the Galapagos, Celebrity Flora will make her debut sailing on May 26, 2019. Bookings are now open at www.celebritycruises.com/flora, or through a travel advisor. The exclusive Galapagos Glamping experience will be available upon request for a fee, on every Celebrity Flora sailing, subject to availability.

To learn more about the brand’s unrivalled offerings, or its industry-leading stewardship and conservation efforts in the region, visit www.celebrity.com/galapagos.


Thursday, 8 November 2018

Victory Cruise Lines orders new Infinity-class expedition vessel

#expeditioncruising .


SunStone Ships has declared option number two at CMHI shipyard after signing a long-term charter contract with Victory Cruise Line for the Infinity-class vessel, with a total of three newbuilds now under construction at the Chinese yard.

The other two are Aurora's Greg Mortimer and Lindblad's National Geographic Endurance

The newbuild will be named Ocean Victory and delivered in March 2021 and technically managed by Cruise Management International, Miami. Hotel operations will be handled by CMI Leisure, Miami.


Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Aranui Cruises to More of French Polynesia in 2020 - and save

#expeditioncruising .

Aranui Cruises has launched its 2020 program with savings of up to $1900 per couple on select cruises.

The cruise line is discounting Aranui 5’s first two voyages of the year, departing on February 6 and 22, 2020, with ocean view staterooms starting from $6030* per person twin share (savings of $1200 per couple) and royal suites available from $8970* (savings of $1900 per couple).

A senior’s discount is also available for guests aged over 60 on the September 10, 2020, departure with similar savings on offer across all cabin categories.

Aranui Cruises’ 125-metre long mixed cargo and passenger vessel Aranui 5 is one of the few remaining cargo cruise experiences in the world and in 2020, the ship will offer 20 scheduled cruises around French Polynesia, mostly consisting of its regular 13-day roundtrip voyage from Papeete to Hiva Oa, Nuka Hiva, Ua Pou, Ua Huka, Tahuata, and Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas; Bora Bora in the Society Islands; and Rangiroa and Fakarava in the Tuamotus.

While guests disembark and enjoy a range of complimentary guided excursions including hikes, 4WD tours, local feasts and visits to archaeological sites, Aranui’s Polynesian crew unload cargo, with the vessel acting as a lifeline to the remote island ports it visits.

Aranui Cruises Regional Representative Australia New Zealand Laurent Wong said the cruise line has been offering a unique cargo-passenger experience for more than 30 years and was proud to take international visitors to some of the most beautiful and remote corners of French Polynesia.

“Our regular roundtrip voyage to the Marquesas and Tuamotus is still the best way to access some of the most culturally-rich islands in French Polynesia, all while enjoying an authentic Polynesian experience onboard our special cargo cruise ship Aranui 5,” Mr Wong said.

“To celebrate the launch of our 2020 program, we’re offering a few discounted cruises to pack even more value into our already great value cruise fare, which includes more than $2000 worth of guided shore excursions, a weekly laundry service, three meals per day, complimentary French wine with onboard lunches and dinners, and calls to nine Tahitian islands including a fabulous picnic on a secluded island in Bora Bora’s blue lagoon.”

Mr Wong said the 2020 program would also feature an encore cruise to Pitcairn Island but it was expected to sell out quickly.

There are no cruises in January 2020 as Aranui 5 will be in dry dock.

Aranui 5 features a restaurant, two conference rooms, lounges, a library, a boutique, a swimming pool, a gym, a spa and four bars including the popular Sky bar.

For more information visit www.aranuicruises.com.au or call +613 9449 3778

*Subject to availability, conditions apply. Discounted cruises are available until sold out.


Thursday, 1 November 2018

Sailing Adventure in the Seychelles

#expeditoncruising

Island-hopping in style with Exodus Travels

One of the world's most beautiful and isolated archipelagos has been re-discovered.

The world's only mid-ocean islands of granite formation

The Seychelles archipelago is often mentioned in the same breath as the lost Garden of Eden. Green-covered atolls lapped by warm crystal-clear waters, with pristine beaches, rare flora and fauna that have been cocooned in isolation for millions of years make up a surprisingly diverse destination of striking natural beauty.

In a sailing adventure that is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, a traditional schooner is used to explore the Seychelles' main islands. Each day on board allows travellers to explore isolates bays and coves, nature reserves, snorkel through marine parks and take awe in the colourful, protected habitats of rare endemic birdlife.

Nine days from $4,095. For only one more week, Exodus Travels are giving everyone who books  $250 off per person.

To book, head to www.exodustravels.com or speak to your travel agent.