Wednesday 29 September 2010

Nomade Yachting (Formerly Bora Bora) sells Ti’a Moana

According to Cruise Industry News, Nomade Yachting, formerly Bora Bora, has completed the sale of the Ti’a Moana, according to a spokesperson for the company.

Meanwhile, the refit of the line's sole remaining vessel, Tu Moana (pic above), should begin this November with the vessel back in operation in May for charters and a one week a month signature voyage in the Leeward Islands, said the spokesperson.

Cruise Industry News was told by a party representing the buyer that the purchase was still under “legal process”.

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Savings PLUS a complimentary helicopter flight - Orion Kimberley

Explore Australia's great Kimberley wilderness – and save!

Book now, save up to 15% and receive a bonus helicopter flight

Enjoy the Kimberley highlights including pre-history Gwion Gwion and Wandjina rock art, land on remote islands and beaches, explore gorges, venture into waterways in search of saltwater crocodiles PLUS enjoy complimentary helicopter sightseeing over King George Falls OR Mitchell Falls in addition to an inclusive (and exclusive) 2 hour fixed wing Bungle Bungle Ranges flight.

Savings of 10% to 15% now available on new Orion 2011 season Kimberley bookings made before 30 November 2010

Fares begin from $8,190 (including savings) per person twin share for an ocean view Category B Stateroom.

Thirteen 10-night Orion voyages between late April and early September 2011

Darwin/Broome and v.v. including King George River and Falls, Vansittart Bay, Hunter River (for Mitchell Falls), Montgomery Reef and Raft Point, Talbot Bay/Horizontal Waterfalls, Cape Leveque, the Lacepedes – refer to specific itineraries for details.

There is no better way to experience the Kimberley in 2011 than onboard Orion - the only expedition cruise ship to hold internationally-recognised EarthCheck EC3 marine tourism accreditation acknowledging world-leading sustainable and environmentally sound operating practices.

Orion Expedition Cruises' environmental responsibility is recognised both domestically and internationally, including an Honorable Mention, Education, in the 4th Annual Conde Nast Traveler Save the World Awards.

Orion's passion for expedition cruising invariably exceeds expectation, providing important differences no other cruise operator in the Kimberley can offer. Combine a relaxed onboard ambiance, the highest staff to guest ratio of any ship based in Australian waters, and unmatched facilities and services (including spa, hairdresser, elevator and gym) on a ship of international standards and you will discover it's not just what we do, it's the way we do it that sets the benchmark for expedition cruising in Australia and Asia.

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website

For reservations or to obtain a brochure call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email:  


Half-price Christmas and New Year's Specials

SeaDream Yacht Club still has some limited space available on upcoming year-end holiday voyages in the Caribbean, as well as a few other sailings in November and December.

And bookings made up until September 30 will attract a US$200 spa credit per stateroom.

"These memorable holiday voyages are ideal for Christmas or New Year's celebrations," said Bob Lepisto, SeaDream's President.     

The three available holiday voyages are on SeaDream I or SeaDream II, the company's twin luxury mega-yacht cruisers, with fares starting from US$3391pp twin-share – around half of previously-brochured prices.

The 7-day sailings are between San Juan and St. Thomas and San Juan-St. Maarten and all feature an overnight stay at St. Bart's, the exclusive and highly-popular island destination in the French West Indies, plus late evening stays in several other ports of call.

"These year-end specials are incredibly good value and won't last long," Mr Lepisto said.  

SeaDream fares include all gourmet meals, wine with lunch and dinner, open bars with selected premium brands, plus use of "water toys" from the vessel's Marina, and gratuities.

For full details see travel agents or visit Limited space is available  and these offerings may be withdrawn at any time. Certain restrictions apply.

For full details see travel agents.

Monday 27 September 2010

Bravery Award for crew of Fijian Adventure Yacht

When Hurricane Tomas struck Fiji in March, the little Tui Tai adventure yacht was sheltering in Viani Bay on Vanua Levu trying to ride out the 100 knot winds. Then Captain Angus Hill received a mayday call from a capsized yacht three miles away and despite the hazardous conditions, a tender with four crew was launched to attempt a rescue.

The Tui Tai men boarded the stricken vessel as it rolled along a reef and extracted the trapped crew, bringing them to safety. Last week Captain Hill accepted the 'Seafarer of the Year' trophy on behalf of the team for their extraordinary courage.

Read more on this rescue at Fiji Times OnLine

Cruise Weekly: Mix Me a Tui Tai, Darling?

Location: 16.9' S, 179.7' E, Taveuni Island, Fiji)

Tui Tai (42m, 550 GRT)

Australians have reaffirmed their deep affection for Fiji with record numbers travelling to the islands despite outcry from some quarters about the controversial political situation. This tourism surge from Down Under has filled any vacuum left by diminishing arrivals from the US or UK even though those numbers are on the turn too.

The Australian experience in Fiji has often been one of fully-contained, somewhat insulated resort packages that do little to expose us to the wider cultural panorama. Sure, Fiji does hedonistic 'escape' packages up there with the best, but what about something that wraps all facets of these fascinating islands into one irresistible bundle?

It's hard to imagine a more complete Fijian experience than that aboard a Tui Tai cruise. Yes, there is a premium pricetag attached (from A$550pp/day twinshare) but the inclusions are generous and the scope of the expedition astonishing. Diving is a big drawcard for TuiTai and packages can also include full PADI certification courses in some of the best diving locations in the Pacific. Add snorkelling, light trekking, mountain biking, village visits and cultural displays all aboard a vessel not much bigger than Cook's Endeavour.

The motor-schooner Tui Tai began life in 1980 as a modest steel-hulled passenger ferry between the islands often carrying up to 300 souls. But her delightful three-masted design and generous interior space made her an ideal conversion for more boutique itineraries. She was acquired by current owners Tige and Morika Young in 2002 and refitted to carry just 24 in comfortable cabins. In 2006, Tui Tai she was remodelled again with more luxurious refinements like a massage/spa, private cabanas and deluxe staterooms. Dining is under the stars on the rear deck or inside in the large common room. There's plenty of space to flop and relax with a book or just snooze. Any itinerary can be made as active or lazy as you like.

Tui Tai's playground is the rich waters to the east of its homeport of Savsavu on Vanua Levu. Tick off the lush garden island of Taveuni and its Bouma Falls Reserve, the anomalous cultural enclaves of Rabi and Kioa, the uninhabited Ringgold Atolls and the eco-reserve of Qamea and you have some idea of what's in store for the adventure traveller. National Geographic Adventure listed Tui Tai among their 25 best trips for 2009.

Beyond simply carrying well-heeled eco-travellers into delirious destinations, Tui Tai also operates a charitable fund that supports the many tiny and remote communities visited with medical, educational, logistic and infrastructure support. Driven by guests' desire to give back to the communities visited, the project played a crucial role in delivery of relief supplies to cyclone-ravaged villages after March's devastating Cyclone Tomas. Two Fijian crewmembers from TuiTai last week received civilian bravery awards for the rescue of two crew members from the sinking yacht, Siga Na Vanua, during that severe Category 4 storm.

For more information on Tui Tai Adventure Cruises, see

Blue Lagoon Cruises two cabin family rates

Fiji's Blue Lagoon Cruises is again offering families an extremely affordable, all inclusive Fiji holiday option with the re-release of its popular two cabin family cruise packages.

Available for sale from now until 31 March 2011 – and including all school holiday periods – very family friendly prices start from just AUD1449* per family for a three-day Yasawa Islands cruise.

Price is based on two adults and up to three children 15 years and under sharing their own cabin and includes all meals, accommodation, cruise and cultural activities.

Children under two years of age sharing with their parents cruise free.

Blue Lagoon Cruises' crew are highly experienced with the company's younger passengers with all cruise programs offering special facilities for children including special mealtimes, cots and highchairs.

The company also assigns a dedicated 'Kid's Captain'' for 10 kids or more on any cruise. The Kid's Captain offers a special program which includes bushwalking and snorkel safaris, water sports, beach games and cultural activities.

Blue Lagoon Cruises' CEO, Tim Stonhill, said while the company's ships changed location every day, only a few hours of each day were actually spent underway.

"The rest of the time we spend anchored in sheltered lagoons tied up to the nearest palm tree or ashore.

"This gives the younger passengers – and some of the older ones too - ample opportunity to go exploring, play water sports and volleyball, swim, snorkel or collect coconuts.

"While we take care of the kids and the cooking, all the parents have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy," he said.

See for full itineraries.

*Conditions apply. The offer is subject to availability at time of booking.

Please note the prices do not include international airfares or beverages (other than coffee and tea).

For reservations telephone Blue Lagoon Cruises in Lautoka, Fiji, on + 679) 666 1622, facsimile + 679 666 4098 or via email on

Sunday 19 September 2010

Cruise West sinks

Embattled Seattle-based small-ship operator Cruise West has announced that it will cease operations effective today.

The cruise line issued a statement saying that over the last 12 months it  had tried a number of options to continue sailing, including investment,  the sale of assets and sale of the company, but these have ultimately proved unsuccessful.

Chairman Dick West said he was "absolutely heartbroken that this family legacy has come to an end...We have done absolutely everything to maintain operations, but with limited resources and the current tight financial market, we simply cannot continue".

All future cruises have been cancelled except a 22 Sep Danube departure.

The company is continuing to recommend that customers who have bookings and haven't yet travelled should claim on travel insurance or apply for a  credit card chargeback.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Camp, Climb and Kayak in the Antarctic snow with Aurora Expeditions

Order this brochure now.
Aurora Expeditions is offering an amazing lifetime experience of camping overnight in the snow on its Antarctic Peninsula voyage.

The cruise, limited to just 54 people, will depart on 26 November, this year and will offer camping, climbing, kayaking and diving.

Those brave enough to camp out overnight will experience the most magical wake up call of penguins, Gentoos and Adeiles. You may even be almost cuddling up to a seal overnight.

Lisa Bolton, CEO, Aurora Expeditions, said, “There is nothing like the silence you experience here in the remotest part of the globe. Yet this can be broken by the inquisitive penguins and other birds as you awake.

She said, “As it is 24 hours of daylight at this time of the year, don’t forget your sunscreen.”

Other tips for camping in the snow include wearing two pairs of socks, bringing a book and go to the bathroom on the ship before you leave for your camping experience. It’s such a romantic place, its ideal for proposals!

She said, “We have even had the ships captain perform wedding bows, the romantic pull is so strong.”

The Antarctic Peninsula voyage offers you sparkling snow, fast ice and waters teeming with life as they herald the arrival of springtime. You will venture through waters patrolled by orcas and minke whales to find Weddell, crab eater and leopard seals.

The springtime voyage departs on 26 November from Ushuaia Argentina on Polar Pioneer. This 11 day voyage is priced from US$7190 twin share and includes

Ship’s accommodation. All public areas are open to all passengers.
◗ all meals on board ship.
◗ all shore excursions from the ship including Zodiacs.
◗ lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services.
◗ medical services. There is a resident medical officer and well equipped
clinic on board.
◗ port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities.
◗ pre-departure information.

Not included:
◗ air transport to and from the ship.
◗ visa, passport and vaccination charges and airport departure taxes.
◗ hotels and meals not included in ship cruise itinerary.
◗ optional excursions not included in ship cruise itinerary.
◗ laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, personal
travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as bar charges and
phone calls and optional end of voyage tips.
◗ credit card surcharge, if making your final payment by credit card.
◗ emergency evacuation charges. Travel insurance is highly recommended.

Surcharge for sea kayaking (including dry suit): US$825.
Surcharge for climbing: US$250.

camping & photography are complimentary, but camping is subject to weather and itinerary.

Further information Aurora Expeditions
T +61 2 9252 1033 I F +61 2 9252 1373 I e I W

Cruise Weekly: Is this the world’s most adventurous cruise?

Without doubt, there is one ocean liner that embodies the majesty and romance of the seas better than any other. Her most famous voyage was her only voyage and on the night of April 14, 1912, she struck a glancing blow on an iceberg at full speed, puncturing five of her watertight compartments. Three hours later, RMS Titantic, the grandest ship ever built, settled on the bottom of the ocean at a depth of some 4000m.

Ever since that moment, Titanic has never been far from the human consciousness. The tragic and unnecessary loss of 1523 lives, the rescue blunders and the celebrity casualties such as millionaires John Jacob Astor IV and Benjamin Guggenheim, who stoically vacated his lifeboat, redressed in evening wear and declared, “No woman shall be left aboard this ship because I am a coward.”

Almost 20 movies and feature-length documentaries have been made on the event and the exhibition currently in Melbourne ( displays almost 300 carefully selected artefacts and recreated interiors in a poignant tribute to one of the world’s greatest peacetime maritime disasters.

These artefacts are a small part of the nearly 6000 items recovered from the wreck since Titantic’s re-discovery in 1985 at 41°43′55″N 49°56′45″W by Dr. Robert Ballard using an unmanned deep sea submersible called Alvin. The December 1985 issue of National Geographic carried the momentous discovery as its cover story.

Since 1987, RMS Titanic Inc. has owned the salvage rights to the wreck and is now part of Premier Exhibitions, the company staging the display. Initial explorations were by unmanned, robotic craft, but since the mid-1990s, manned explorations of the wreck have been conducted. Constructed in Finland in 1987, the two Russian MIR Submersibles are operated by the Russian Academy of Sciences and are being employed in 2012, the anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, to conduct a series of passenger dives to the wreck.

“Having experienced 14,400 feet in the north Atlantic on the Bismarck, and 12,500 feet on the Titanic, I can only be in awe of the beauty of new life in nature and the stupidity of man in war and peace!” says Australian deep dive regular, Trevor ‘Monty’ Montgomery from Melbourne.

Sydney expedition cruise company, Adventure Associates (AAs), is offering places on the 11-hour roundtrip to the wreck in conjunction with Deep Ocean Expeditions (DOE) who have been taking paying divers to the depths since 2001. Australian Mike McDowell launched DOE in 1998 but is perhaps best known as founder of benchmark expedition cruise company, Quark Expeditions, in 1991. Coincidently, McDowell is also the new owner of AAs, having purchased the company from founder, Denis Collaton this year.

Before you rush for your Visa card, the 13-day program will leave you very little change from US$60,000 and you’ll spend just seven hours in contact with the wreck itself. And, yes, you pick up your own airfares. Can you take home a souvenir from the deep? Hmmm… let me ask.

Do Some Ships Have A Jinx? Now It's Cruise West's Turn

by Mark Tre' - "The Cruise Examiner"

The big news of last week was obviously the termination of the 335-day world cruise of Cruise West's Spirit of Oceanus at St John's NF and the closing of the line's reservations office while they restructure. This was followed by the announced lay-off of 65 staff at their Seattle headquarters.

Read full story

Sunday 12 September 2010

New Qantas Brisbane-Broome Service a Boon for Kimberley Cruisers

Qantas 737-800 arriving in Broome (BME). Photo: Simon Wilson/
Qantas announced it will commence direct Brisbane-Broome services next year (2011), resulting in Broome becoming the third destination behind Perth and Karratha that Queensland passengers can fly to direct from Brisbane. The new services will be seasonal, operating from April-October, to coincide with the Broome dry season.

This new service will join Broome-Melbourne and Broome-Sydney services, resulting in passengers from the popular tourist destination being able to fly direct from Broome to three east-coast destinations, as well as Perth.

Friday 10 September 2010

Coral Princess Releases 2011 Kimberley Programme – with Early Bird Discounts!

Oceanic Discoverer at Raft Point

Coral Princess Cruises is offering an Early Bird Special of 15 per cent off selected departures of its just-released 2011 Kimberley cruise programme. The 10-night exploratory cruise along the wild and beautiful Kimberley coast of Western Australia – much of it only accessible by sea – is Coral Princess Cruises' most popular voyage. 
In the new 2011 Kimberley & Across the Top brochure, Coral Princess is offering 36 departures, cruising between Darwin and Broome. For bookings on voyages departing between April 8 and May 6, 2011, a 15 per cent discount off the cruise-only cost applies to all cabin categories. These departures coincide with the early stages of the Top End dry season, when the many waterfalls that plummet directly into the sea or into dramatic gorges are at their most spectacular.
The Kimberley wilderness of Western Australia is three times larger than England with a population of just 30 000. Coral Princess's 10-night voyages cruise through one of the planet's oldest and most awe-inspiring sea and landscapes. Rivers carve their way through ancient, eroded mountains that were once the height of the Himalaya, dropping in champagne waterfalls such as the 80-metre King George Falls. Excursions ashore visit rock art galleries where Bradshaw (Gwion) paintings - the world's oldest known art - record a human history stretching back 50,000 years.
"It's a diverse and vast landscape that takes time to explore," explained Tony Briggs, Founder and Managing Director of Coral Princess. "The advantage of a Coral Princess cruise is that our ships are Australian-owned and flagged. This enables us to spend up to 30 per cent more time exploring the Kimberley during a 10-night cruise than the foreign-flagged vessels that must, by law, include an international port in an itinerary of the same length."
Having the extra time means that shore excursions are more frequent and more leisurely. On the Coral Princess cruise, there is an optional helicopter flight over the Mitchell Plateau for views of the impressive four-tiered Mitchell Falls, and bushwalks to idyllic swimming holes. The cruise explores the 800-odd islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago, including an exhilarating Zodiac ride through the Horizontal Waterfalls, where the largest tides in the southern hemisphere force their way between rocky cliffs in a formidable display of the forces of nature.
Coral Princess – which pioneered small-ship cruising in the Kimberley 15 years ago, offers guests a choice of two purpose-built vessels: the 48-passenger Coral Princess or the luxurious 72-passenger Oceanic Discoverer.
"Our all-Australian crew and team of guest lecturers delivers an unmatched level of experience, knowledge and service that has seen our clients returning year after year," said Briggs.
Earlybird prices for the 10-night Kimberley cruise start at $5,908 per person, twin share, aboard the Coral Princess and $7,183 aboard Oceanic Discoverer, including all meals, lectures and services of expedition staff on board, excursions and group transfers. There are regular departures from both Darwin and Broome between April and October 2011.
The 15 per cent discount applies to all new bookings on departures between April 8 and May 6. The offer is for the cruise only, and is available until November 30 or until sold out.
At the beginning and end of the season, the Kimberley cruise can be combined with an 11-night voyage, Across The Top of Australia, between Cairns and Darwin, exploring the remote reaches of the Great Barrier Reef, Cape York, Torres Strait, Arnhem Land and the Cobourg Peninsula – visiting places of exquisite beauty and cultural significance so remote that they can't be reached any other way. Departing in March, April and October, prices for this 11-night cruise start at $6950 per person. There is a 10 per cent discount when booking the two cruises together.   
For further information and reservations contact Coral Princess Cruises on 1800 079 545 or visit

Quark Expeditions Makes Arctic Cruise History in 2011

The Polar Adventure Specialist celebrates its 20th Anniversary

When Quark Expeditions 2010 Arctic expedition cruise season comes to an end September 8, preparation for its history-making 20th anniversary season begins. In 1991, the company operated two expeditions, one to the North Pole and the first ever passenger transit of the Northeast Passage. To mark the company's 20th anniversary, Quark returns to the North Pole, June 23 to July 7, 2011. The 20th anniversary vacation cruise through the Northeast Passage is part of a rare circumnavigation of the Arctic – July 10 to September 13, 2011.

Quark's first Arctic expedition cruise to the North Pole was aboard the nuclear-powered icebreaker Sovetsky Soyuz. In 2011, 50 Years of Victory will transport travelers to 90 degrees N. Victory, a sister ship, is the most powerful and most advanced nuclear-powered icebreaker on the planet. Capable of producing 75,000 horsepower, on her maiden voyage to the North Pole in 2008, she reduced a 6 day transit to 4.5, breaking all previous records.

Thirty years ago a transit of the Northeast Passage was impossible as foreign visitors were not permitted to sail the freight route through the Russian Arctic. Sailing the northern route from Europe to Asia became possible when the management of Quark Expeditions took advantage of the economic crisis that occurred at the dissolution of the Soviet Union to secure the only vessel capable of navigating to the North Pole and through the Northeast Passage in a timely fashion - Sovetsky Soyuz. The 2011 voyage will be aboard Kapitan Khlebnikov, Quark's flagship and a legendary expedition ship.

The Arctic Circumnavigation

Travelers can sail on one of three segments of this never to be repeated vacation cruise. The full circumnavigation is 66-days long. The segments range from 21 to 28 days in length. The staging point for the circumnavigation and the Northeast Passage is Anchorage, Alaska. The Northeast Passage disembarks in Murmansk, Russia. The full circumnavigation disembarks in Anadyr, Russia. In between, travelers will explore Spitsbergen, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic's Northwest Passage.

Thursday 9 September 2010

Sale into Summer on the Murray River with Captain Cook

Sale into Summer on the Murray River

Enjoy the sun, fun and river breeze of the Murray River this summer and save 25% on all 3, 4 and 7 night Murray River, Captain Cook Cruises.

The sale is valid until 28 February 2011 and valid for travel from 3 January 2011 to 28 February 2011.

Experience the summer beauty of the Murray River like never before as passengers steam down the river between the Blanchetown area and Murray Bridge for 280kms of incredible terrain, wildlife and Australian history and culture.

Sit back in the paddlewheel lounges and enjoy the amazing views as the Murray Princess cruises past towering limestone cliffs, through picturesque gorges and along riverbanks lined with mallee scrub, red gum forests and century old stone causeways.

The lowlands attract an amazing array of Australian wildlife during summer and over 350 species of birds. Led by on-shore guides, passengers can enjoy nature walks, eco-tours and learn about the ecology of the river.

Each day features exciting day trips to historic ports, sacred Aboriginal sites, a sheep station and woolshed and a native wildlife shelter.

There's a food and wine trial that enables tasting at a number of vineyards and cellar doors, and in the evening, an Aussie-style campfire barbecue on the river bank.

The three nights Discovery Cruise departs every Friday at 4.30pm and prices start from $583 per person, normally $777 per person.

The four nights Outback Heritage Cruise departs Mannum every Monday at 4.30pm and prices start from $779 per person, normally $1039 per person.

The seven nights Murraylands & Wildlife Cruise departs Mannum every Friday and Monday at 4.30pm and prices start from $1199 per person, normally $1599 per person.

Prices include all meals, accommodation, most tours, scenic coach transfers from Adelaide or onsite car parking and all onboard facilities including use of two spas, two saunas, sun deck, two bars, two lounges, single sitting dining saloon and entertainment.

For further information and bookings, please contact Captain Cook Cruises toll free from Australia on 1800 804 843; Int +61-2-9206 1111, Email: or visit

Cruise West: "We are working to restructure"

Cruise West Continues Restructuring Efforts

SEATTLE, WA (September 8, 2010) – Cruise West, a global leader in small-ship explorations, today announced that they continue to work towards a restructuring of the company and its operations. The first move in this restructuring is the termination of the Spirit of Oceanus’ Voyage of the Great Explorers. Additional assets may be sold and other steps are being pursued towards a restructure.

As part of this process, Cruise West has suspended accepting any new bookings.

The Spirit of Oceanus voyage ended at its scheduled port of disembarkation so as to minimize any negative impact to our guests. Cruise West plans to continue to operate its US flag ships and itineraries through October, 2010; Spirit of Endeavour will sail from Seattle on the British Columbia Cruise and the Spirit of ’98 from Portland, OR along the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Cruise West will also complete cruises or land tours already underway in Alaska.

For those booked Spirit of Oceanus guests who may be affected by this news and who have not yet travelled, we recommend that you take the following steps:
1. If third-party travel insurance was obtained, a claim should be placed immediately with the insurer.
2. If payment was made by credit card, a claim should be placed immediately with the card issuer.
3. If the payment was made by cash or check, and you have no travel insurance, please send an email to

Cruise West executives will not respond to media inquiries or accept interviews at this time

Wednesday 8 September 2010

Cruise West suspends bookings

source: Travel Daily

ADVENTURE World says it’s “business as normal” for its Cruise West bookings, despite the Seattle-based cruise operator selling the flagship Spirit of Oceanus and temporarily closing its reservations centre.

A recording on the Cruise West ‘emergency line’ states that “only the Spirit of Oceanus is affected at this point..we are in the process of restructuring the company with new owners and therefore have temporarily suspended taking new bookings.”

Cruise West is at the end of its 2010 Alaska season, but has an upcoming program of Mexican Riviera and Mississippi cruises.

It appears that passengers on board Oceanus have been put ashore in Newfoundland, ending the world cruise which was set to include an extensive Australian program including New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour.

AW spokesman Neil Rodgers today confirmed the sale of the Spirit of Oceanus, telling TD that agents with affected bookings had already been advised, while other itineraries were still available.

“We are currently in the process of finalising the 2011 Cruise West Worldwide brochure which will be launched to the Australian market within the next month,” Rodgers said.

Other Cruise West wholesalers including Travel the World and eCruising weren’t able to comment before TD’s deadline.

Gourmet Wine & Food Cruise in Marlborough Region of New Zealand

Specialist luxury small ship cruise company, Island Escape Cruises are offering two unique cruises in the Marlborough region of New Zealand.

This 5 night cruise visits some of the famous New Zealand South island’s vineyards in the Marlborough Region.

Not only is this region a truly remarkable cruising destination it is famous for its world famous Sauvignon Blanc’s, rich red wines and unique gourmet restaurants.

The cruise offers 2 days of visiting vineyards and restaurants with our onboard wine guide plus 3 days of stunning Marlborough Sounds cruising.

The ‘Island Passage’s’ chef will also be presenting onboard gourmet meals with locally sourced products to complement the wines of the region.

Highlights include:

-Private charter plane from Wellington to Picton (to join the ship)
-Onboard wine guide
-Cloudy Bay winery with a gourmet lunch
-Allan Scott wines
-Forrest Estate winery
-Wither Hills winery
-Hertzog winery
-Gourmet lunch at the Hertzog bistro
-Hunter wines winery
-Makana Chocolate Factory
-Optional opportunity to walk the Queen Charlotte Track
-Optional kayaking trips or beach combing walks
-Free soft drinks, fruit juice, bottled water & espresso coffee
-Free use of the ships sports fishing equipment including lures and bait
-Free use of sea kayaks and ships tenders
-On board expedition leaders
-Free small boat excursions with guides

Departure Dates: 14 & 21 November 2010.

Prices from AUD 3196.00 / NZD$3995.00 per person twin share.

Special Offer: Single Passengers travel at Twin Share Rates (Subject to availability).

Your cruise specialist travel agent or Island Escape Cruises.
Tel: (02) 9389 2224
Web Site:

Tuesday 7 September 2010

MS HANSEATIC Successfully Sails Through the Legendary Northwest Passage

• Voyage through the Northwest Passage took 15 days

• MS HANSEATIC covered more than 4,000 nautical miles

• Cruise ends on 9 September in Nome/ Alaska

The Hapag-Lloyd Cruises ship HANSEATIC has just covered more than 4,000 nautical miles. The expedition ship successfully sailed through the legendary Northwest Passage. This cruise with a duration of 26 days started on 16 August in Kangerlussuaq/Greenland, passed Disko Bay, which is famous for its icebergs, and sailed through the Northwest Passage headed for Nome, Alaska. Besides numerous animal encounters and excursions with the manoeuvrable Zodiacs, the highlight of the voyage was a meeting with the sister ship BREMEN.

On 23 August 2010, the HANSEATIC began the transit through the Northwest Passage near Resolute Bay, concluding the passage on 6 September 2010 upon arrival in Barrow/ Alaska. Only a very limited number of passenger ships accept the challenge of sailing through the entire Northwest Passage from east to west. The two Hapag-Lloyd Cruises expedition ships BREMEN and HANSEATIC are among the very few ships worldwide capable of tackling these routes thanks to their special constructional design and the highest ice class for passenger ships (E4). Naturally, the weather and ice conditions in this region also have an impact on the itinerary – after all, this is one of the distinguishing features of an expedition cruise.

Northwest Passage itineraries 2011:

For the first time ever, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises offers guests to discover the fascination of the Arctic and the Northwest Passage on a shorter, 19-day cruise with MS HANSEATIC. Sailing through a smaller portion of the Northwest Passage, guests will follow the traces of Amundsen and Franklin and explore the ice coast of Greenland as well as the untouched island world in the north of Canada.

Trip logistics: from Kangerlussuaq/ Greenland to Reykjavik/ Iceland, August 14 - September 2, 2011.

The full and very popular Northwest Passage will also be offered in August 2011 with MS BREMEN. The famous passage starts in Nome, Alaska amidst impressive testimonies of the Inuit culture before the BREMEN sails through the Canadian Arctic and thus the heart of the Northwest Passage, on a 25-day journey.

Trip logistics: from Nome/ Alaska to Reykjavik/ Iceland, August 13 - September 7, 2011.

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ exciting destinations and itineraries visit For bookings, inquiries or to request a brochure, please look for your nearest sales agent in your country at, link customer service (click here).

British passengers sue after iceberg incident

A doctor, a bank director and the chairman of a law firm are spearheading a seven-figure High Court battle with a British cruise operator after their luxury liner was hit by a glacier.

The MV Alexy Maryshev was on a ten-day sightseeing cruise in the Arctic around the Norwegian island of Spitzbergen when a glacier 'calved' an iceberg, creating massive shockwaves and littering the deck of the ship with slabs of ice.

The ship, which was carrying 48 British passengers had stopped near the glacier on August 8 2007 for passengers to take photographs when the ice and waves struck, London's High Court heard.

Read more

Monday 6 September 2010

Gap Adventures reports strong growth in small-ship cruising & sailing voyages

Adventure tour operator records rising demand for voyages to Amazon, Antarctica, Galapagos, Greece, Thailand

Gap Adventures (, leading provider of life-changing travel experiences, has announced plans to expand its marine offering as demand continues to grow for alternatives to mega-ship voyages.

The tour operator has recorded strong growth in its marine adventure offering over recent years, including completely selling out their Arctic cruise program for 2010, expanding their Greek sailing program from operating two to five boats in just six years to satisfy demand, while the ever-expanding Thailand sailing program, launched in 2009, virtually sold out in its first year.

"We always pay close attention to industry trends, and we're happy to satisfy the demands of this growing community of sailing and cruising enthusiasts," said Gap Adventures Head Honcho, Pete Rawley. "With more and more Australian travellers choosing smaller, sustainable marine adventures – as opposed to the traditional large-ship experience – the outlook for future growth is positive."

In light of this demand, Gap Adventures plans to include Ko Samui sailing trips in Thailand from June to September 2011 to meet the year-round demand. The company is also investigating how best to expand its successful existing marine adventure products, along with sourcing exciting new journeys. While each Gap Adventures voyage is different, they all share the tour operator's trademark sustainable and authentic thrills—and always save plenty of time to enjoy the unique local wildlife and intriguing cultures.

"Gap Adventures will continue to bring happiness to the lives of adventure-cruising fans through its expanding range of cruising and sailing experiences covering the globe—from the icy shores of Antarctica to the steamy jungles of the Amazon River Delta," furthered Gap Adventures Head Honcho, Pete Rawley.

For more information, visit

About Gap Adventures

Gap Adventures is a world leader in the adventure travel industry offering small group adventures on all seven continents and beyond to more than 100,000 global travellers annually. The award-winning trips, which focus on culture, nature and active travel, are ideal for those with a sense of adventure – people who want to leave the beaten path and authentically immerse themselves in a local culture or environment to experience the real world in a sustainable manner. Demonstrating its ongoing cultural, social and economic commitment to responsible tourism, Gap Adventures established the Planeterra Foundation, as a way the company and its passengers can give back to the communities visited. For more information, please visit and

Sunday 5 September 2010

Ocean Magazine - Ocean Cruising - Issue 33

Open publication - Mentions: Aurora Expeditions, Sea Cloud, Great Escape, Heritage Expeditions, Ocean-Wide, Kimberley Quest

Thursday 2 September 2010

Blue Lagoon releases final 2010 ‘Historical & Cultural Dateline Cruise’ early bird rate

Fiji's iconic Blue Lagoon Cruises is again offering a rare – and very affordable - opportunity to visit Fiji's remote north-eastern reaches with the release of a 30 per cent 'early bird' discount applicable to its final 2010 'Historical & Cultural Dateline Cruise' scheduled to sail on 22 November.

To take advantage of the special offer, passengers must book by 15 October.

The discount means pricing for the all–inclusive cruise itinerary starts from AUD2450* per person twin share,  a saving of AUD735* per person on normal rates.

This unique cruise provides a special insight into an area extending well beyond the Fiji Island's more popular cruise routes and into a region that seldom receives attention from the outside world.

Highlights include a stop in the secluded islands of Kioa and Rabi, a visit the international date line on the garden island of Taveuni, a Yadua Passage crossing, the picturesque port of Savusavu, the Drudrua and Kavewa Islands and Macuata on the north-eastern part of Vanua Levu, the archipelago's second largest island.

New for 2010/11 is a picnic lunch on Taveuni as part of a visit to Fiji's famous Bouma Falls followed by a  traditional Fijian afternoon tea before heading back to ship.

A high spot of the overall cruise is a time-honoured greeting by Kioa islanders resplendent in traditional war dress, paddling out to greet passengers in outrigger canoes as part of their traditional welcome ceremonies.

Day six of the program is spent onshore at Blue Lagoon Cruises' private island of Nanuya Lailai in the pristine Yasawa Island group.

Cruise activities include daily shore excursions and water-based activities ranging from bush walks, snorkeling safaris, fish feeding, fishing and glass bottom boating.

Cultural experiences include a 'Lovo' feast on Nanuya Lailai, visits to remote villages and Kava ceremonies.

Blue Lagoon Cruises has positioned the popular MV Mystique Princess on the special service.

A full Historical & Cultural Dateline Cruise' itinerary can be viewed at

For cruise reservations telephone Blue Lagoon Cruises in Lautoka, Fiji, on +679 666 1622, facsimile +679 666 4098 or via email on

*Conditions apply. Please note prices do not include international airfares or beverages (other than tea or coffee).