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


Saturday, 23 March 2019

PONANT showcases French gastronomy on the seven seas


PONANT, the leading luxury cruise operator is taking part in the "Goût de France/Good France" event, the fifth edition of which will take place on 21 March 2019. On this occasion, the company will be celebrating French gastronomy, which takes a starring role aboard its ships.

Paying a heartfelt tribute to French gastronomy aboard PONANT ships

Organised by the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the "Goût de France/Good France" event and its 5,000 participating chefs are promoting the excellence of French cuisine. The 2019 edition is focused on Provence, a destination that is dear to the company, which chose Marseille for its head office more than 10 years ago. On 21 March, Chef Bertout aboard Le Ponant in the heart of the Grenadines; Chef Awogadro aboard Le Champlain, in Amazonia; Chef Ruffenach aboard Le Lapérouse in New Zealand; Chef Seys aboard Le Lyrial between Gough Island and the Cape of Good Hope; Chef Voloir aboard Le Boréal in Chile; Chef Rillof aboard Le Soléal in the heart of French Polynesia and Chef Mahé aboard L'Austral off the Brazilian coast will showcase French heritage during a unique "Gout de / Good France" gala dinner, sharing their passion for their profession and their expertise around the globe.

PONANT & Ducasse Conseil at the service of gastronomic excellence

Always aspiring to excellence, the company has worked closely with Ducasse Conseil, the expert catering branch of Ducasse Paris, since 2016. For more than 30 years, PONANT has strived to prepare its menus in accordance with the countries visited, always basing them on quality products that have been carefully selected. Aboard each PONANT ship, the goal of the Chefs and their teams is to offer recipes that are in line with the season and also the places visited, based on high quality and extremely fresh ingredients. And always with the aim of respecting French gastronomic heritage and also the environment.

Monday, 18 March 2019

One Ocean Expeditions Active Discovery Program

#expeditioncruising .


One Ocean Expeditions (OOE), a world leader in small-ship expedition cruising, stretches its sails to warmer climates with its inaugural Active Discovery programmes. Sailing to South and Central America; Scotland, Ireland and Iceland, as well as Canada’s East Coast, OOE’s new Active Discovery itineraries, provide the perfect blend of small-group activities, wildlife viewing, relaxation, rich culture and history.

Sailing on board the comfortable and capable RCGS Resolute, OOE’s Active Discovery voyages play host to a multitude of daily activities based on the destination, from zodiac cruising, sea-kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding to cycling, hiking and snorkelling, all included in the voyage fare.

OOE’s Chilean Fjords (31 March – 13 April 2019) will give passengers access to some of the most remote areas along the Chilean coastline. The extraordinary manoeuvrability of RCGS Resolute provides unprecedented access to the maze of fjords and islands that make up this great wilderness, nigh on inaccessible to larger ships or from land. The voyage includes visits to Cabo San Isidro, site of the southernmost lighthouse on the continent; Peel Fjord, where glaciers spill into the ocean, and the Chonos Archipelago, once inhabited by the canoeing Chono people and home to a recently discovered population of elusive blue whales.

This summer will also see Canadian Signature Experience, ‘Fins and Fiddles’ take place on Canada’s East Coast. Included in the cruise fare is an array of daily activities suited to passengers of all ages, fitness levels and diverse interests, from whisky tastings and museum visits to bicycling and kayaking, all led by guides well versed and eager to educate guests on the rich ecosystems that thrive along these coastlines. Sailing between 10-20 July 2019 and departing from the historic port town of Louisbourg, once the busiest seaport in North America, this voyage includes Sable Island famous for its herd of wild horses; the unique fishing communities of Les Iles-de-la-Madeleine and the northern gannets on Bonaventure Island.

On board the Central America Explorer voyage (2-11 May 2019) guests will not only visit six countries in 10 days, sailing through the tropical waters of Panama, Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize and Mexico, they will also enjoy yoga, meditation and small-group water-based excursions such as stand up paddle boarding, sea kayaking and snorkelling.  An exciting way to discover the wildlife-rich Caribbean coastline.

Golfing voyages launched in Scotland and Ireland (5-12 June 2019) and on Canada’s East Coast (3-10 July 2019) provide an incredible new way to play on some of the world’s most remote and renowned golf courses including Cabot Cliffs in Canada’s Cape Breton and the ‘lost course’ of Askernish in Scotland, combined with a unique cruise experience full of wildlife encounters and visits to colourful coastal villages.

“In these itineraries, there are literally places you just couldn’t get to in a large ship without pulling up to a dock and getting on a bus. To really do it like we do makes a huge difference,” says Andrew Prossin, Managing Director of OOE,  “We can get the ship into small bays and land on a beach by Zodiac. This is true expedition cruising.”

For more information about One Ocean Expeditions:

Friday, 8 March 2019

Seabourn expedition vessel revealed

#expeditioncruising .

Is this new Damen design for Seabourn? (Damen) 

Seabourn has released new details on what guests can expect from its two new luxury expedition ships. The cruise line signed a letter of intent with shipbuilders T. Mariotti and Damen in July, marking the brand’s first entry into the expedition cruise market.

The ships will represent a brand-new design, with the first slated for delivery in June 2021 and the second in May 2022. The first ship is currently planned to sail in the Arctic in late summer 2021, with a full summer season in Antarctica to follow.

Each will be designed with a high level of autonomy and a global deployment capability, which Seabourn says will allow them to go farther north and south than any ship in parent company Carnival Corporation’s history, visiting both warm and cool weather destinations. As previously reported, each will be built to PC6 Polar Class standards, allowing them to operate in both summer and autumn in medium first-year ice in Antarctica and the Arctic. The ships will be propelled by Azipods complemented by three bow thrusters, allowing for greater manoeuvrability.

Other newly released design details include shell doors at the ship’s waterline, which will allow guests to move easily on and off the ship via its onboard complement of Zodiacs. Additionally, dynamic positioning systems will provide the ship increased operational flexibility when it comes to maintaining its position.

For guests, the new ships will have approximately 29,600 square feet of open deck space, complemented by high-quality optics mounted in various areas on the decks when conditions permit, to maximize opportunities to view wildlife and dramatic scenery. Also notable: the ships will carry two onboard submarines for underwater exploration, as well as a complement of kayaks and 24 Zodiacs. Shore experiences will build on the brand’s existing Antarctica and Ventures by Seabourn programs, the cruise line said.

In terms of accommodations, each ship will have 132 oceanfront veranda suites, allowing for a capacity of up to 264 guests.

The onboard crew will include a 26-person expedition team, who will regularly interact with guests. These experts are also part of the Seabourn Conversations program, providing insights into the history, ecology and culture of the places the ships will visit. The expedition team will be available to guests in both formal presentations and casual conversations.

Seabourn said it will continue to announce design and itinerary details for the new ships over the next few months. Expect more on planned itineraries and booking availability this spring.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Coral Adventurer completes successful sea trials

#expeditioncruising .

Coral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneering cruise company, has announced the successful and on-time completion of the first sea trials of its new world expedition ship Coral Adventurer. 

A team of 12 senior marine and management staff from Coral Expeditions’ Cairns headquarters joined representatives from the shipyard and various systems manufacturers to put the vessel through her paces amidst rough sea conditions. True to her design intent, she demonstrated impressive stability and sea-keeping characteristics.

The Coral Adventurer will be the fourth ship in Coral Expeditions’ fleet of Australian flagged ships, all purpose-built for expedition-style cruising.

Coral Expeditions Executive Director Paul Chacko says: “The Coral Expeditions team, led by Group GM Mark Fifield, has worked closely with the shipyard to ensure the vessel meets our requirements for extended expeditions in remote areas. We have drawn on three decades of building and operating our own ships to ensure we get it right.

“While we could have easily justified a bigger ship, we restricted her to 120 passengers, which we feel is the limit for a true expedition experience. With this successful build behind us, the company is poised to further develop its new-build program to cater for growing demand for expedition cruising.”

Following final touches, including the installation of a collection of Australian art and photographs, the Coral Adventurer will begin her sold-out maiden voyage from Singapore to Darwin on April 24th.

Also tested during the sea trials were the proprietary dual ‘Xplorer’ tenders, a trademark feature of all Coral Expedition ships. Quickly deployed via a complex hydraulic mechanism, the Xplorers can whisk all 120 passengers and the accompanying expedition team off to a remote beach or a village pier in open comfort. The high-tech Coral Adventurer also carries eight zodiacs and sufficient kayaks for guest enjoyment, ensuring that quality of expedition experience and time ashore remain the company’s unique selling point in the market.

Hurtigruten's Finnmarken to become a premium expedition ship

#expeditioncruising .

Hurtigruten reports that it is planning an extensive renovation project that will transform the MS Finnmarken into a premium expedition cruise ship. The refurb is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020, after which the ship will sail itineraries along the Norwegian coastline.

The project will renovate all of the ship’s cabins and suites using natural Scandinavian materials, such as granite, oak, birch and wool. On deck eight aft, in the current gym and sauna area, Hurtigruten will add five large suites with large panoramic windows.

The revamp will also add four new restaurants, including Restaurant Aune, the cruise line’s new, Scandinavian-themed main restaurant concept for expedition cruises. Also new will be Restaurant Lindstrøm, a specialty restaurant named after the favourite chef of the Norwegian polar heroes, and Fredheim, named after a legendary 1920s hunting station in Svalbard. Finally, deck eight will receive a new outdoor grill venue.

The cruise line will add its signature Science Center, an “edutainment” area that will also serve as the onboard headquarters for the ship’s expedition team, on deck four, while a new, larger wellness area – including a lounge, treatment rooms, gym and panoramic sauna – will be added on deck seven.

The outdoor pool area will be fully refurbished, the shop expanded, and the ship's car deck will be replaced by the launching area for Hurtigruten explorer boats (ribs) and other expedition equipment.

The ship’s art collection will be preserved during the renovations, Hurtigruten said.

Read more at Sea Trade

Monday, 4 March 2019

Christmas in July Magic on the Murray Princess

Experience the magic of a winter Christmas and soak up the splendour of the Mighty Murray on Captain Cook Cruises three, four and seven-night Christmas in July cruises on-board paddlewheeler, PS Murray Princess. Book more than thirty days in advance and save up to 15% on Christmas Cruise fares.

New Small-Ship Cruises to Rarely-Visited Russian Arctic

#expeditioncruising .

Two new trips to the Russian Arctic from specialist cruise operator, Swoop-Arctic (tel: 0117 369 0296), are helping to open up this rugged, isolated region to travellers wishing to experience its pristine landscapes and teeming wildlife in comfort.

Both the 22-day Russian High Arctic Island Explorer (22nd July 2020; prices from £12,183pp triple share) and the 26-day Russia’s Northern Shores expedition (22nd August 2020, from £22,860pp based on two sharing an Adventurer Suite) feature Novaya Zemlya, the rarely-visited and largest Eurasian Arctic archipelago, with its massive extinct volcanoes, jagged ice cliffs and imposing glaciers.

Due to extreme weather conditions, the window for travel is restricted to July, August and September, so very few people get the chance to experience the rocky coastlines, epic bird cliffs, remote islands and flourishing wildlife in the region, and booking in advance is essential.

Ships travelling to the Russian Arctic and Russian Far East are built to withstand the thick ice floes they will encounter. While previously this has been at the expense of comfort on board, now a new breed of vessel combining strength with luxury is helping to expand the cruise options available and opening up the area to a different sector of the travel market.

Alex Mudd, Commercial Director at Swoop-Arctic, comments: “Previously, the Russian Arctic as a destination has been overshadowed by Svalbard and the Canadian Arctic. However, the current growth in expedition options, with new ships combining comfort and small numbers, is resulting in it becoming more accessible. We anticipate that these astounding expeditions will be of particular interest to pioneering travellers looking for something new and unique to explore.”

Russia’s Northern Shores (Nome to Tromso) - On board the all-suite Silver Explorer, passengers travel in the footsteps of historic explorers, Nansen and Amundsen, on board the most luxurious vessel to navigate Russian Arctic waters, complete with butler service, free-flowing champagne and outstanding cuisine, courtesy of Relais & Chateaux.

Wildlife viewing opportunities abound during this expedition, with the chance to see a plethora of birdlife on Kolyuchin Island – pelagic cormorants, thick-billed murres, kittiwakes, horned and tufted puffins to name a few; walrus, musk ox and polar bears may be sighted on Wrangel Island, while grey, bowhead and beluga whales swim in the surrounding waters.

With 25 planned landings – weather and conditions permitting – passengers can expect to visit former Soviet military ports, meteorological stations, welcoming indigenous Chukchi and Inuit communities, pristine tundra landscapes, stunning fjords and glacial archipelagos, conservation areas and wildlife hotspots.

Russian High Arctic Island Explorer (Helsinki to Helsinki) – The four-star Sea Adventurer is a spacious high ice class (1A) ship offering comfortable accommodation for up to 134 passengers. Its superior stability and vast outside decks for wildlife viewing make it ideal for travel in to the Russian High Arctic.

A highlight of this expedition cruise, which begins and ends in Helsinki and includes return private charter flights to Murmansk, is Novaya Zemlya or New Land, the third largest wilderness area in Europe.

Comprising two main islands separated by the Matochkin Strait, it offers pure, Arctic beauty at its very best. The archipelago is set between the Kara Sea and the Barents Sea and was once an important military site during the Cold War years, as well as a historic hunting ground, dating back to the 11th century.

Today, fascinating flora and fauna, including rich bird life, lemmings, ptarmigan, Arctic foxes, seals, walrus, and polar bears may all be spotted here.

Swoop Arctic’s cruises include full-board accommodation during the voyage, all on shore and zodiac excursions, educational lectures by expert polar guides and a complimentary parka.

For further information on expedition cruising in the Russian Arctic visit:

For enquiries please call: 0117 369 0696.