Friday 29 November 2013

Compagnie Du Ponant new brochure - Expeditions in Antarctica - for 2014/2015 Season

Leading French cruise line and 5-star Expedition specialist Compagnie Du Ponant has launched its new brochure of 5-star Expeditions in Antarctica for the 2014/2015 Season.


The Antarctic brochure highlights Compagnie Du Ponant's expertise in the polar parts of the world where it has been offering a range of exceptional cruises since 1999 as once in a lifetime destinations.

Le Soléal launched in June 2013. Passengers gain privileged access to exceptional wonders of nature, thanks to its small capacity and latest generation technology designed specifically for polar cruises. An exclusive experience awaits travellers in the company of renowned South Pole experts aboard the luxurious French-flag yacht. Compagnie Du Ponant sets themselves apart from other expeditions through their five star signature concept allowing travellers to explore these extreme regions in luxury and comfort worthy of the world's best hotels.


Compagnie Du Ponant introduces three unusual itineraries embracing some exceptional ports of call (including nine Ushuaia-Ushuaia departures). A haven for truly unique flora and fauna, these strictly protected sites can only be reached by small ships, which in this region are limited to 200 maximum on board guests.

Aboard Le Soléal, cruises are punctuated by fascinating cultural, historic and geological encounters as a select group of speakers and guides share their passion for the region. At sea, every Zodiac® outing provides a different spectacle, be it coming face to face with vast colonies of penguins or Weddell seals, elephant seals, albatrosses or a group of humpback whales.

Emblematic Antarctic

A full immersion of the Great White Antarctic Peninsula, discovering tabular icebergs and the drifting pack ice where fur seals and colonies of Gentoo, Adelie and Chinstrap penguins live.

Ushuaia- Ushuaia (11 days / 10 nights)

7 departures from November 2014 to February 2015

Historic Antarctic

Surrounded by the incredible white expanses of the Antarctic Peninsula whilst exploring the grassy moorlands of the Falkland Islands.

Ushuaia – Ushuaia (16 days / 15 nights)

Departs 28 February 2015

The Great Southern Loop

Highlights of three regions: Falklands and the black-browed albatross, South Georgia with its Emperor Penguins and the northern side of the Antarctic Peninsula with its majestic icebergs.

Ushuaia – Ushuaia (16 days / 15 nights)

Departs 19 December 2014

As the world's number one Polar cruise linke sailing to Antarctica and the Arctic, Compagnie du Ponant is renowned as the speciialit in these speicla parts of the world. Designed and engineered for polar cruises, Le Boréal and L'Austral and Le Soléal offer fascinating and unusual experiences in Antarctica and beyond the Arctic circle. Compagnie du Ponant offers the promise of rare and priviledged moments, a chance to experience the excitement of an adventure in five-star comfort. With 132 stylish staterooms and suites, Le Boréal and L'Austral and Le Soléal provide a unique environment, a combination of elegance, supreme comfort and wellbeing.


Travel the World has been providing discerning travellers with unique luxury experiences for over 30 years. From premium cruise holidays with the world's best cruise lines to enriching historic and cultural tours and luxurious resorts, Travel the World offers an exciting range of travel options beyond the predictable. The company has established new benchmarks of excellence in travel-related services to the Australian travel industry and consumers since it was founded in 1977.

For cruise information for Compagnie du Ponant, please contact Travel the World on 1300 950 622.

Monday 25 November 2013

A New Look for Kimberley Quest

After cruising the stunning, world renowned Kimberley coastline in the north of Western Australia since the 90’s, Kimberley Quest who were formerly known as Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises have officially announced and unveiled a new brand identity!

On any Kimberley Quest cruise guests will see and become transfixed by the sight of the magnificent White-bellied Sea Eagle. The new logo unveiled by Kimberley Quest emulates the spirit of flight and freedom that this magnificent bird enjoys.

Kimberley Quest launched their new look featuring their positioning statement, 'Beyond Adventure' stating that this is their family's pledge to deliver every guest with a Kimberley experience that goes beyond imagination and a level of comfort, friendship and service that goes beyond expectation.

As a family, Kimberley Quest have been exploring the Kimberley for more than 18 years. Whilst the strength of the business and their operations remains the sametheir new brand is future focussed. They have taken inspiration from how far Kimberley Quest has come and where it is going.

The release of the new brand also features a new website complete with stunning imagery, live availability searches and online booking functionality – the first Kimberley cruise company to offer live booking functionality such as this.

To celebrate their announcement Kimberley Quest have extended their Earlybird Offer, with guests booking between now to 31st December 2013 eligible for the Earlybird discount of 15% off 2014 Kimberley Cruises.

Kimberley Quest continues to provide luxury, expedition style Kimberley cruises that are beyond adventure and beyond their guests expectations!

For more information visit, contact Kristy Bailey on 0408 020 886 or email

Vietnam to Cambodia on eight-day Asian Trails river cruise aboard Toum Tiou II

Toum Tiou II
Australian travellers can now discover the greater Mekong Delta’s rich cultures, colourful wildlife and ancient history on an eight-day Asian Trails river cruise between Vietnam and Cambodia.

Travelling aboard the Toum Tiou II, the voyage starts in Ho Chi Minh City and continues past the famous fruit orchards and vast rice fields of My Tho, the floating markets in Cai Be, and Vinh Long’s stilt house, which perch precariously on the river banks.

Crossing into Cambodia the cruise explores Phnom Penh, home of the Royal Palace, then on to Koh Chen and Kampong Chhnang before reaching Siem Reap, home of Angkor’s majestic temples.

Toum Tiou II
Toum Tiou II is uniquely designed to explore the Mekong, with a steel hull and low draft enabling it to travel the entire journey between Saigon harbour and Siem Reap pier*, along the way visiting remote villages and hugging the river line in order to give passengers unmatched views.

The vessel offers 14 double cabins, each featuring a large panoramic window, private lounge area, entertainment system, air conditioning and en suite bathroom.

Prices for Asian Trails’ eight-day river cruise are available from the company’s Australian representative, Sydney-based Tourism Portfolio (

Sunday 24 November 2013

Sarina Bratton talks about her new role with Ponant

At last I can talk
Sarina Bratton

And here I was thinking that six months “holiday” would be the most marvellous thing I’ve ever done. I can’t tell you just how much I’ve been itching to get back in to the industry I love. This morning, the attached press release is being issued and I will be interviewed by Alan Jones on Radio 2GB at 0810 Monday morning.

Hopefully the word will start to spread about my task to internationalise the business and product of Compagnie du Ponant. After departing Orion, I did not want a job and was happy to settle into a stress free life (apart from golf) and sit on a few boards. Having been approached by some overseas companies to do strategic consulting with them, I was particularly interested in Ponant. With three brand new, very appealing five star (sister) expedition ships (a fourth under construction) and a wonderful three masted sailing vessel, the appeal was too great for me to resist! Some of the things that proved to be challenges with the Orion business – inability to offer new destinations to enthused past guests and unavailability of additional newer ships, have been solved by Ponant.

Ponant's newest vessel, Le Soleal
When I look at the world's expedition fleet and see that the average age of ships is 25 years, it makes Ponant stand out as not only the most modern fleet in the world, but a fleet complying with the latest safety standards and benchmarking environmental technology. Combine this with French chefs, French cuisine and complimentary French wines and I feel that this is a winning recipe for outstanding expedition cruise experiences. I am really excited to work with the company in the internationalisation of the business and the product and look forward to sharing this experience with you in some spectacular destinations. Visit to see what I mean.

Here's to more exciting cruising together.


Sarina Bratton FAICD

Travel the World and Ponant plan for growth

Sarina Bratton signs her agreement
with the founder and CEO of
Compagnie du Ponant,
Jean-Emannuel Sauvee
Travel the World, Australia’s leading provider of luxury travel experiences, and Compagnie du Ponant, the French cruise line and five star expedition specialist, announced today the expansion of operations in Australia.

In anticipation of the arrival of a new yacht in Australian waters in winter 2015, the owners of Compagnie du Ponant have appointed one of Australia’s most prominent and most highly regarded cruise professionals, Sarina Bratton, to assist them in their plans for growth.

Travel the World remains Compagnie du Ponant’s preferred partner in its Australian operations and is delighted to be partnering with Sarina in building on the success of the Compagnie du Ponant brand. Travel the World will continue to service the trade both commercially and for reservations well into the future.

With a long term agreement and partnership with Compagnie du Ponant, Travel the World looks forward to ensuring the trade business over the years ahead continues to grow.

The six year partnership with Travel the World has seen Compagnie du Ponant’s business grow from an unknown cruise line to one of the best positioned and fastest growing cruise brands in the Australian market, and the partners remain firmly committed to growing the business into the future together.

Michelle Taylor
Says Michelle Taylor, General Manager, Sales & Marketing for Travel the World, “Travel the World is proud of the growth that we have achieved working in partnership with Compagnie du Ponant and is delighted with the news of a new yacht bound for Australian waters and the opportunities that it brings. We are excited to be working with Sarina Bratton and Compagnie du Ponant and continuing our partnership into the future. Our focus will be continuing to service our trade partners both commercially and for reservations into the future, ensuring that the trade are serviced to a high level and continue to grow their Ponant sales in 2014/ 2015 and the years ahead”.

Travel the World has been providing discerning travellers with unique luxury experiences for over 30 years. From premium cruise holidays with the world’s best cruise lines to enriching historic and cultural tours and luxurious resorts, Travel the World offers an exciting range of travel options beyond the predictable. The company has established new benchmarks of excellence in travel- related services to the Australian travel industry and consumers since it was founded in 1977.

Sarina Bratton to head Ponant in Asia Pacific

Sarina Bratton signs her agreement with the founder and
CEO of  Compagnie du Ponant, Jean-Emannuel Sauvee
One of the company's sleek expedition ships Le Soleal

French luxury cruise and five-star expedition operator, Compagnie du Ponant has signalled its intention to develop the Australian and Asian markets with the appointment of Australian luxury expedition cruise pioneer Sarina Bratton to head its local operations.

Considered Australia's "First Lady" of cruising, Mrs Bratton, who dominated luxury expedition cruising in the Asia Pacific region when she created market-leading five-star Orion Expedition Cruises a decade ago, has been named Compagnie du Ponant's Australasian chairman and special advisor to the company's Marseilles-headquartered executive team. She sold her remaining shares in Orion earlier this year.

In her new role, Mrs Bratton will spearhead Compagnie du Ponant's  international development, with a specific focus on the Asia Pacific region, as both key destinations and source markets. The company will announce details of a Sydney-based regional management and sales operation in coming weeks.

Future plans for the company include the positioning of a new expedition ship in and around Australia from late 2015 for a program of itineraries featuring Australia, Asia and the Pacific islands. The company will also heavily promote accessibility to other unique global expedition destinations with its existing expedition sister ships L'Austral, Le Boreal and Le Soleal and its spectacular sailing ship Le Ponant.

Jean-Emmanuel Sauvee, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Compagnie du Ponant, said today he was "extremely delighted and excited" to have Sarina Bratton join the Compagnie du Ponant executive team.

"There are very few entrepreneurs and founders of cruise companies in this world, so Sarina and I are kindred spirits," he said. "We see the Asia Pacific region being an important strategic development for our business and recognise the pioneering itineraries, destinations and source markets developed by Sarina and her former team over the past ten years, as guiding pathways for our ongoing development."

Mrs Bratton said Compagnie du Ponant had the assets and balance sheet to become the global leader in small and five-star expedition ship operations.

"It is a real honour and a challenge to be a part of this unique business, both to help with the internationalisation of Compagnie du Ponant and also to bring a unique luxury product into a market I know so well," she said.

"Australia has never seen ships like these," Mrs Bratton added. "The majority of the world's small expedition ships are old, having been built in the late 1980's and 1990's. But Compagnie du Ponant has a fleet of four, brand-new, 'state of the art' ships and a touch of that unique French avant-garde style".

Each ship carries only 240 guests, and has the most advanced technical and environmental systems on any cruise line in the world. Each ship resembles a private luxury yacht flying the French flag and specifically designed to navigate in extreme conditions. This provides Compagnie du Ponant with a unique advantage.

Respecting the environment is a priority for Compagnie du Ponant, a member of the Charte Bleue d'Armateurs de France. From the design of the ships, which earned the international Cleanship label, to the outings ashore, every care has been taken to reduce the impact on the environment: from "green" equipment and eco-friendly hull coatings to raising awareness among passengers and crew, and respecting local people.

Compagnie du Ponant is owned by one of the largest private equity funds in Europe, Bridgepoint, thus providing stable financial underpinning for the company's rapid growth.

For reservations and enquiries: 02 82967076 or visit

Friday 22 November 2013

APT Announces New River Cruises in Myanmar (Burma)

River Cruise Line Offers 10- and 14-Night Myanmar Itineraries starting in 2014

Award winning luxury cruise and tour operator, APT, has announced it will launch a new ship and new river cruise program on Myanmar’s Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River.

APT will offer guests the choice of two exclusive APT-only sailings in February and April 2015 aboard its new AmaPura river ship as well as joint sailings, along with partner AmaWaterways, from November 2014.

Full details of itineraries and pricing will be made available in January 2014 but travel trade partners and guests are being encouraged to pre-register their interest early as APT anticipates high demand.

Commenting on the news, Debra Fox, APT’s General Manager Marketing, said, “These are exciting times for APT, especially with the launch of our new ship in Myanmar. It’s a unique and spellbinding destination and one that has previously been out of reach to the Australian travelling public. Therefore we are anticipating high demand and would encourage guests to pre-register their interest early. We’re looking forward to helping our guests explore this fascinating destination in depth while enjoying the all-inclusive luxury signature style that is synonymous with an APT river cruise.”

One of the world’s most secretive, mysterious and fascinating places, Myanmar has a unique centuries-old culture and spectacular architectural wonders, including sacred structures gilded with gold leaf and encrusted with precious gems. APT’s river cruises are carefully crafted to hit all the country’s highlights:

· Bagan – A cultural treasure trove of more than 2,200 temples, stupas and pagodas, on par with Cambodia’s massive Angkor Wat temple complex.
· Mandalay – The country’s last royal capital and second largest city, the “Golden City” of Mandalay is regarded as Myanmar’s cultural heart, renowned for its master craftsmen and its patronage of the arts.
· Mount Popa – The stunning shrine perched at the top of Mt. Popa is considered the legendary home of spirit gods worshipped by Burmese Buddhists.
· Ancient Royal Cities – Inwa (Ava) was the capital of the Burma for more than 400 years, Amarapura has the world’s longest teak bridge, Sagaing is famous for its tranquil atmosphere, and Mingun has many historic sites to explore.
· Yangon (Rangoon) – The “Garden City of the East,” retains much of its colonial charm with cobblestoned streets, tree-lined avenues and Victorian architecture.

Guests will cruise the Ayeyarwaddy aboard the newly built all-suite AmaPura (2014), a 56-passenger vessel furnished with a combination of modern and traditional motifs. All 28 spacious suites feature a balcony (a French Balcony, a step-out Full Balcony or Twin Balconies), a well-appointed en suite bathroom and many other deluxe amenities. The ship’s elegant public areas include a restaurant, main lounge and bar, gift shop, spa, refreshing pool and a Sun Deck perfect for lounging, enjoying a cool drink, or simply gazing out at the passing scenery.

For further information regarding APT’s Myanmar river cruises, or to register interest prior to the brochure release, please call 1300 278 278 or see your local business development manager.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Griffin Survivor protection might just save your iPhone

Whether you’re an amateur wilderness enthusiast trekking through the Amazon rainforest or just relaxing on a beach in Mexico, with Griffin Technology's Survivor range, you can take your electronic device wherever you go and be sure it never gets damaged.

Survivor cases provide screen and port protection for your iPad, iPhone (5 and 4s), Kindle or Samsung Galaxy devices - from either drops up to six feet or waterproof protection of up to 10 feet.

Ideal for weather protection, and available in slimline, clear or coloured options to protect your device. Shattered screens will be a thing of the past.

The Survivor Protective Case range includes:

· Survivor iPad Harness Kit
· Survivor for iPad
· Survivor for mobile devices
· Survivor Slim (iPhone and iPod Touch)
· Survivor + Catalyst Waterproof (features protection from 10 feet of water. iPhone 5 only)

Fiji's Blue Lagoon Cruises launches new itineraries


Blue Lagoon Cruises has re-launched itself with exciting new 3, 4 and 7 night itineraries and many other product developments on board its boutique cruise ship ‘Fiji Princess’.
The itineraries have been considerably enhanced to provide guests with many more daily activities, unique Fijian cultural experiences, interaction with local island villages and great evening entertainment.
Exciting options like swimming with Manta Rays, fire dancing, cave visits, a night at Tom Hanks’ “Castaway” island, diving and private island beaches are just a few of the new inclusions.
Executive Director of Blue Lagoon Cruises, Chris Jacobs said these were some of the most exciting changes seen in the 60 year history of Blue Lagoon Cruises.
“We are taking what is already an iconic tourism brand and making it even better,” Mr Jacobs said.
“We are moving toward a higher end delivery of service, dining and experiences that will delight guests who cruise with us,” he said.
“Cruises include the highlights of the remote and beautiful Yasawa Islands, a chain of islands in the north of Fiji that are simply idyllic,”
“Our cruises are also strongly Fijian – we are proud of the fact that guests cruise with all Fijian staff and meet the Fijians of the islands all along the way,”
“It is their home so who better to show it to you?” ”
Blue Lagoon Cruises now depart from Port Denerau Marina which, with its shops and restaurants it is a much better departure experience.
Guests can also combine an island resort stay in the Yasawas or the Mamanuca Islands with a cruise and have the best of both worlds – cruising through the islands and visiting deserted islands, as well as staying at an island resort.
The 60m (179 foot) MV Fiji Princess catamaran has 34 deluxe air conditioned and ensuited cabins, all above the waterline with large windows and ocean views – ones that change daily!
In line with the new itineraries, a new minimum age policy has been introduced, with cruises now only taking guests 14 years and older*.
“The changes that we’ve made at Blue Lagoon Cruises allow us to better cater for couples and honeymooners, as well as offer an intimate, boutique cruising experience for people who may not have been on a cruise before or who are looking for something a little more private than a large ocean going cruise ship,” Mr Jacobs said.
“The islands of Fiji offer stunning and protected cruising waters and because of the size of the Fiji Princess, we visit secluded bays and islands that larger ships can’t access – we even tie her up to a coconut tree in one anchorage!”
“With a maximum of 68 guests on Fiji Princess, no matter which beach or island we visit, guests won’t be overwhelmed by crowds, in fact most of the time, our passengers are the only people on the beach,”
Charters for business groups, weddings or other special occasions are also available, with customised itineraries designed around the needs of the group.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Ten of the world's most adventurous cruises

50 Years of Victory
"Cruising" -- the word conjures up images of overflowing buffets, arm-wrestling at the soft serve machine and death by deck quoits.
But there's another side to this kind of travel that spits in the eye of the stereotypical deckchair-hogging cocktail sipper -- and that's adventure and expedition cruising.
It's almost deceptive to call it "cruising."
It's truly "adventure by ship" where the often exotic destination is as much part of the attraction as the way you get there. These floating adventures take the form of anything from five-star Champagne explorations to ambling along in a tramp steamer. READ FULL STORY

Monday 18 November 2013

When nature is the star (SMH)

When nature is the star
Sydney Morning Herald
Expedition cruising is taking off, with new vessels and journeys to tempt intrepid travellers, writes Louise Goldsbury. Many of the world's coves, capes and polar ...

Stunning welcome for SeaDream's first ever season into Asia

COLOURFUL welcome to SeaDream II in Goa, India.

SEADREAM Yacht Club says its SeaDream II has received "an absolutely stunning welcome" from quarters as diverse as national governments, local tourism authorities, travel operators and the media since arriving in October for it's first-ever season into Asia, northern Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The luxury mega motor-cruiser has already sailed from Mumbai to Singapore by way of ports in India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia, and will undertake 18-itineraries in the region before season-end in April.

"We've been absolutely stunned by the extraordinary welcomes accorded us at virtually every port of call, large or small," said SeaDream Yacht Club's President India, Sudesh Kishore who was aboard from Mumbai to Singapore.

SEADREAM II arrives off Phuket in Thailand.
"We've had tourism and other ministers welcome us as a new chapter in their tourism ventures, as well as local government officials, members of the travel industry and local business organisations, sometimes with bands and cultural performances on the pier as we've docked," Mr Kishore said.

"At some places our onboard guests were even invited to join-in the dancing and cultural performances, which they absolutely loved, and our Captain and other officers were interviewed by enthusiastic local TV stations and newspapers as we exchanged city and national plaques and framed SeaDream photographs with local authorities.

"We also had up to 40 travel industry and media aboard at larger ports to inspect the yacht – the SeaDream concept is simply something they've not seen before, and they were genuinely interested in our philosophy of 'Yachting, Not Cruising,' with just-56 staterooms for a maximum 112 guests served by 95 crew, open bars and wines with meals, onboard gratuities included, and free use for guests of a wide range of land- and water-sports and fitness facilities."

As an example of sailings still available, 7-nights from Singapore to Bali departing 11 January starts from US$3,954pp double occupancy.

For full itineraries and fare inclusions in Asia, Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea, see travel agents or visit

Thursday 14 November 2013

First Ever Lau Cruise A Resounding Success

Waking up to exotic islands each morning, swimming with amazing corals and fish life, to mingling with descendants of a Tongan Prince and being among the first group of tourists to step ashore on what was once a sacred Island, Captain Cook Cruises, Fiji has successfully completed its first ever 11 night Lau cruise.

The cruise onboard Fiji's largest cruise ship, the MV Reef Endeavour was given a musical ticker tape send off from Port Denarau on 22 October, 2013 by Fiji's Minister responsible for sea transportation, Navy Captain Timoci Lesi Natuva and the popular Fiji Police Brass Band.

In 11 days, passengers of the Reef Endeavour visited Fiji's Garden Island of Taveuni, the remote, once upon a time lighthouse Island Wailagilala and the Lauan islands of Vanuabalavu, Oneata, Fulaga, Vuaqava, Kabara, Totoya and Namuana on the island of Kadavu.

Cruise highlights included Vanuabalavu, where passengers swam in and around three limestone caves inside the Bay of Islands, and met and were entertained by descendants of Maa'fu, the Tongan Prince whom the High Chief of Lau later honoured with the Tui Lau (King of Lau) title. Passengers also joined the Island of Oneata for a polotu (Choral Church Service) and swam, snorkelled and dived in the beautiful waters of Fulaga.

Kabara saw the chief and his people honour Captain Cook Cruises for being the first cruising company to visit the island by removing the tabu surrounding the visit of outsiders to their sacred uninhabited island of Vuaqava. Vuaqava has a large lake in the centre of the island and the 2 ½ kilometre hike from the beach to the lake offered passengers an insight into an abandoned Fijian village and burial sites. Reef Endeavour passengers later enjoyed an island feast in their village rara (green) and were performed ceremonies and dances that are usually reserved for very important guests. Many young maidens of Kabara still proudly wear their traditional hair locks, a mark of virgin purity.

The stop on Udu Village on Totoya allowed guests to visit and mingle with the 16 students of Udu Village School and their three teachers. The final stop was to witness the rare but sacred calling of the turtle ceremony by the people of Namuana Village in Vunisea, Kadavu.

"Since it was our very first cruise to the remote Lau Islands, it became an expedition in a lot of ways and our guests loved it," says Jackie Charlton, Managing Director of Captain Cook Cruises, Fiji. "They knew that hardly any tourist has been to the parts of Fiji they were visiting and we all felt honoured and blessed in that way.

"To see the people of Lau living as they really do was just an amazing experience for the 126 passengers and 56 crew of the Reef Endeavour."

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji Director Commander Semi Koroilavesau, did a reconnaissance of the Lau Group to finalise the itinerary and was overwhelmed with the outcome.

"The chiefs and people of Lau are natural hosts of visitors and the ceremonies, the meke (dances) and handicraft they have on offer are as genuine and authentic as you can get. As a director of Captain Cook Cruises, I am glad that we have established a very good working relationship with them and can offer passengers an amazing cultural and exploratory experience".

The next 11 night Discovery Lau cruise departs Tuesday 22 April 2014 at 1.00pm from Port Denarau and is priced from $3430 per adult twin share, children 5 -17 years sharing with adults are priced from $730 per child and children under 4 years are priced at $1200 which includes a nanny service.

Prices include accommodation, all meals, daily stopovers and water activities, guided village, school and island tours, glass bottom boat excursions, Marine Biologist and cultural talks, child minding during meal times (5 -10 years), on board entertainment and use of the ship's facilities including swimming pool, spas, pool bar, sun deck, sauna, cocktail bar, day spa and library.

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: or visit



Lindblad faces “suspicious” crowd

by Louse Goldsbury, editor of Cruise Weekly

At last night’s brochure launch, past passengers confronted the new owners about changes to the old Orion.

It wasn’t the caged animals at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo that caused a commotion at Lindblad Expeditions’ launch of its 2014 Explorations catalogue – it was loyal fans of the Australian ways of the phased-out Orion Expeditions Cruises.

After an inspiring presentation about the 10 ships’ exotic itineraries, diving program and undersea exploration tools, company founder Sven Lindblad, who flew in from New York, and his Sydney-based son Jeremy were forced to defend the changes to the soon-to-renamed National Geographic Orion.

Some past passengers at the function took the opportunity to ask about the onboard currency, retention of Australian expedition leaders and other alterations.

read the full story in today's Cruise Weekly

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Announces New Voyages in 2014

10 ships * 7 Continents * Over 40 Unique Itineraries

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is launching their new 120-page catalogue highlighting their expedition itineraries sailing in 2014. With a fleet of 10 expedition-style ships, they will visit all 7 continents and offer over 40 unique and diverse itineraries ranging from seven to twenty-four nights. Highlights include Arctic Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Antarctica, Kimberley Coast, Panama & Costa Rica, Galapagos, Northwest Passage, Borneo, Alaska, the upper reaches of the Amazon River, Tahiti, Easter Island and much more.

Whether exploring the Amazon River or holding hands with an infant orang-utan in Borneo, information about these life-enhancing adventures are revealed inside Explorations - the first step towards discovering the most authentic, immersive and engaging travel experiences on earth.

Together Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic offer travellers unique opportunities: an experienced expedition team sharing their knowledge and enhancing your understanding, plus National Geographic explorers, writers and photographers; a fleet of expedition ships ranging in size from 28 to 148 guests, all well-equipped with a range of tools for exploration including Zodiacs, kayaks, hydrophones, video equipment including an ROV (on NG Orion and NG Explorer), scuba equipment (on NG Orion) and snorkelling gear.

To obtain a copy of Explorations call Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) / 0800 444 462 (New Zealand) or see your travel agent. Email:

An electronic version of Explorations can be downloaded at

About Lindblad Expeditions‐National Geographic

Lindblad Expeditions‐National Geographic, pioneers in expedition travel, offers voyages in the Galápagos, Antarctica, the Arctic, Baja California, Alaska, Costa Rica, Panama, the Amazon, Asia & Pacific, Africa, Europe and beyond. They work in alliance to inspire travellers to explore and care about the planet. Their collaboration in exploration, research, technology and conservation provides extraordinary travel experiences and disseminates geographic knowledge around the globe. 

Tuesday 12 November 2013

Un-Cruise Adventures’ New Coastal Washington Cruise

Un-Cruise Adventures is offering savings of $100 per couple who book the new weeklong “Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands” sailings by Dec. 20. The 60-passenger Wilderness Adventurer begins the new itinerary from Seattle in the spring. It will offer the itinerary in April and May and then again September through November.

The voyages will explore Washington’s Puget Sound and Salish Sea from South Hood Canal to Olympic Peninsula and the San Juan Islands. Cruise rates begin at $1,595 per person, double occupancy (before savings), and include all meals, transfers, adventure activities, hot tub, sauna and yoga on deck.

Highlights of the itinerary include hiking in the Olympic Mountains, Mount Constitution and Washington State Parks. Guests can use kayaks, skiffs and paddleboards to explore glacial fjords and the San Juan archipelago. In Quilcene Bay, a local family hosts an oyster and clam tasting.

For reservations, contact:

Hurtigruten Offers New Norwegian Lapland Cruise-Tour

Hurtigruten is offering a 12-day cruise and land tour to Norway’s Lapland March 25-April 5. Fares range from $2,999 to $9,117 per person, double. The trip includes a six-day voyage along Norway’s fjord-filled coast and a land tour of the country’s northernmost province, Finnmark. Guests can watch for the Northern Lights and learn about the traditions of the Sámi.

The Midnatsol will sail north from the Hanseatic city of Bergen to Ålesund, Trondheim, the Lofoten Islands and Tromsø. Then the ship will veer off its usual course and head toward Alta, circumnavigating the North Cape Plateau, the northernmost point in Europe, weather permitting.

Passengers disembark in Alta for a two-day land tour of Finnmark, which includes all transportation, certified local guides, two overnights with meals, and all scheduled excursions. At the end of the land tour, guests will be transferred back to Alta, from where Midnatsol will sail south back to Bergen three days later.

Introducing Expeditions Online

Expeditions Online

After over almost 25 years in the expedition travel industry, Australian polar veteran Stewart Campbell has now launched a new online travel agency, Expeditions Online, focussing exclusively on the small ship expedition cruise industry. It’s stated aim is to offer the widest choice of polar voyages, always-competitive prices and to combine polar expertise, personal service and the convenience of online bookings and payments. All key small ship operators are represented on the site, with vessels such as M/V Plancius, Polar Pioneer, Akademik Ioffe, M/V Ushuaia, Sea Explorer, M/S Expedition, Ocean Nova and many more.

Stewart Campbell. Travelling to Antarctica since 1990.

Stewart was previously manager for the Australian expedition operator Adventure Associates and Swedish Arctic cruise operator, Polar Quest - as well as a former cruise guide and Antarctic expedition leader. He has made over 30 Antarctica expeditions, including numerous trips into the Ross Sea, East Antarctica, Peninsula and Weddell Sea and almost every single sub-Antarctic Island. Among his most memorable landings include seldom-seen Inexpressible Island, where members of Scott’s Northern party overwintered; remote Zavodovskiy Island, active volcano and site of the world’s largest colony of penguins; and landing the entire complement of passengers by helicopter on top of a large tabular iceberg.

Sunday 10 November 2013

Lindblad - National Geographic Alaska Expeditions - complimentary flights

*Complimentary flights on selected May and June 2014 expeditions*

With 30 years local knowledge of the region, Lindblad Expeditions explores remote parts of Alaska rarely accessible or experienced by mainstream tourism. A panorama of massive landscapes and towering glaciers, revealed through Lindblad National Geographic expeditions that combine the culture and raw wildlife of Alaska’s extraordinary surroundings.

Long hours of daylight during the northern hemisphere summer provide plenty of time to explore waterways and ashore, accompanied by the six person specialist expedition team, the largest in Alaska.

Encounter whales, bears and eagles, kayak in peaceful coves, hike through old-growth forest and get a sense of life in Alaska's quaint fishing villages. These expeditions epitomise the Lindblad Expeditions philosophy of providing truly meaningful travel experiences.

Flexibility is the key, and with a captain able to alter his route at any time to follow a pod of whales, there is no better way to experience the grandeur of Alaska.

Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructors aboard every departure will be on-hand to help hone guest’s photographic skills, ensuring they return home with memory cards full of outstanding images.
An undersea specialist will dive where few have ever gone, to film the seldom-seen creatures of the Alaskan deep.

Voyages in May and September will include a special exploration of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands). Among the many voyage highlights is a rare visit to the islands’ sacred sites, including SGang Gwaii the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Available now, the newly-released Lindblad-National Geographic 2014 brochure

· Contains details of two Lindblad Expeditions itineraries, each of which provides time to explore the islands, glaciers, fjords and wildlife-rich channels of South east Alaska

There has never been a better time to go
· Price parity: Forget about the impact of exchange rate fluctuations. Lindblad Expeditions will hold the Australian and US dollar at parity until 31 December 2013

Act now to access
· Complimentary flights included on select May and June 2014 expeditions

8 Days Exploring Alaska's Coastal Wilderness
Book by 31 December 2013 for complimentary flights on select May and June 2014 expeditions.
Rates begin at $6,290 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.

15 Days A Remarkable Journey to Alaska, British Columbia & Haida Gwaii
Includes Alaska, the Inside Passage and islands of British Columbia, plus a special visit to the islands of Haida Gwaii. Rates begin at $9,990 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.

7 Days Denali National Park
Also available, a land based expedition extension in Denali National Park to complete your Alaska experience. The North Face Lodge is base camp for hiking, canoeing and biking in the park's pristine, remote wilderness. Rates begin at $5,590 per person.

In Australia or New Zealand order a Lindblad-National Geographic Alaska 2014 brochure now by contacting Orion Expeditions either by email – telephone 1300 361 012 (Australia), 0800 44 44 62 (New Zealand) or contact your travel agent.

Wednesday 6 November 2013

Travel through the Galápagos with Tui in 2015

Tui De Roy will once again be hosting guided photography tours in the Galápagos Islands on selected departures in 2015. The diversity of the Galápagos is a photographer's dream, there are 14 or 18 day options available to maximise the photographic opportunities available.

The 2015 dates are -
April 15- May 2 Priced at $7500 USD pp
May 13-30 Priced at $7500 USD pp
June 3-16 Priced at $6595 USD pp

These voyages hosted by Tui are always extremely popular, so we recommend booking now to ensure that you don't miss out.

Contact Wild Earth Travel for more information and to reserve your place now.

Friday 1 November 2013

Arctic Cruise association expands to include Arctic Canada and ”Russian Arctic”

Inline images 1
Zodiacs in the Kuril Islands (John Borthwick/Orion Expeditions)

AECO – Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, has decided to include Arctic Canada and "Russian Arctic" in the associations activities.

AECO, which is an association for cruise operators in the Arctic, was established ten years ago by expedition cruise operators with voyages in Svalbard. In 2006 AECO expanded to Jan Mayen and Greenland. Recently the association decided on further expansion, and will now include Arctic Canada and the national park "Russian Arctic" (Franz Josef Land and northern parts of Novaya Zemlya).

This expansion involves that AECO will take initiatives to ensure considerate, environmentally-friendly and safe tourism in these areas, among other things by implementation of guidelines for cruise operators, expedition leader, guides and guests to the Arctic. AECO seeks cooperation with authorizes and other involved in expedition cruise tourism in the Arctic and has a positive dialogue with stakeholders both in Canada and Russia.

"We look forward to continue the positive dialogue og further develop a cooperation in order to safeguard the various interests and aspects of cruise tourism, included environmental protection, safety, local community considerations and industry interests", says Frigg Jørgensen, executive director in AECO.

The decision to expand was taken during AECO's Annual Meeting and Conference, which found place this October. The conference, which gathered almost 70 Norwegian, Danish, Greenlandic, Russian and Canadian representatives from governments, authorities, researchers and other stakeholders, also gathered a broad representation from the international Arctic expedition cruise industry.

The conference's broad specter of issues included cruise related updates from the different Arctic geographical areas, status for IMO's (United Nation's International Maritime Organization) work on the Polar Code, introduction to new maritime regulations in Greenland, results from a large cruise tourism survey in Canada, plans for tourism development in "Russian Arctic" and the start of a process to consider if operators and/or guides in Svalbard should be subject to authorization-requirements.

AECO is a membership association working for considerate, environmentally friendly and safe cruise tourism in the Arctic. The association's 31 international members are responsible for approximately 26 small and medium sized cruise vessels with operations in the Arctic. AECO's members agree to follow a comprehensive set of guidelines for Arctic operations, all available in Among AECO's guidelines are: Guidelines for visitors to the Arctic, Site Specific guidelines, Wildlife guidelines and Operational Guidelines.


Exclusive private charter cruise to Antarctica

Scenic Tours is excited to announce the launch of their exclusive private charter cruises to Antarctica in 2015. With Scenic Tours, guests will experience the ultimate in Antarctic cruising in all-inclusive luxury.

Scenic Tours is Australia's first tour operator to privately charter a luxury mega-yacht to the extraordinary white wilderness of Antarctica. Introduced last year, they launched one private charter on Le Boréal for 2014, which sold out within three days to Scenic Tours past guests before it had the chance to be released to the general public. Due to popular demand, a second 'three-quarter charter' on board L'Astral was introduced, which also sold out immediately and a waiting list for the 2015 season has been rapidly filling since.

Scenic Tours Product Manager for Antarctica, Louise Hill said, "Antarctica is proving to be one of the most sought after destinations. We had an absolutely extraordinary response to the introduction of our luxury private charter cruises last year so we will be chartering Le Boréal for two cruises in 2015. Many of these places have already been pre-registered by those who missed out on the 2014 season and with only 200 guests on each cruise we anticipate the 2015 season to sell out extremely fast."

There is no place quite like the last frontier of the white continent. This vast icy peninsula offers unbeatable vistas of extraordinary scenery and the amazing pops of polar life are truly dwarfed by the grandeur of glaciers, icebergs and mountains.

The Scenic Tours signature of all-inclusive luxury on board their chartered mega yacht, Le Boréal promises intimate service, 5-star amenities and cuisine, a state-of-the-art stabilising system, and guaranteed private balcony staterooms. Guests will take at least two daily excursions on inflatable Zodiacs with professional expedition guides and naturalists, once they reach the Antarctic Peninsula.

Scenic Tours has designed a number of amazing South American itineraries to combine with the Antarctic private luxury cruises offering guests the option to extend their trip. For more information visit or call 1300 SCENIC (1300 723 642).