Friday 27 March 2015

Silver Discoverer sets sail to Indonesia



Discover the enchanting allure of Indonesia and Malaysia on a 14 day cruise aboard Silversea Expeditions' Silver Discoverer. The wonders of this region unfold as guests sail from the mountains to the mangroves, venturing into the heart of the wilderness to uncover the hidden beauties of local cultures and exotic creatures.

Departing from Darwin on 29 May 2015, Silver Discoverer sets sail to Indonesia, stopping at Savu, Lomblem Island, Alor and Sulawesi, where guests are surrounded by the captivating atmosphere of traditional village customs, ancient stone relics and smouldering volcanos that meet tranquil crystal waters. From here, Silver Discoverer journeys to Kakaban Island, an underwater paradise that's home to sea turtles, stingless Papuan jellyfish, butterfly fish and other marine life, before docking in the wondrous island of Tarakan, home to the endangered proboscis monkey.

Continuing her journey into Malaysia, Silver Discoverer visits Sandakan for an overnight stay where guests have the opportunity to visit the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre to witness orangutans feeding in their natural habitat.

Travelling west to Pulau Tiga, guests will be awed by the beautiful beach havens   and have the opportunity to hike through the stunning rainforests. Silver Discoverer concludes her voyage in Kota Kinabalu, with guest disembarking on 12 June 2015.

As part of Silversea Expeditions' themed diving voyages, advanced divers sailing on this voyage will have the opportunity to explore these remote destinations, both on land and underwater.

Prices are per person starting from AU$14,450 in an Explorer Suite based on double occupancy.  Silversea Expeditions' fares include: all shore and Zodiac excursions hosted by an expedition leader; all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.

This voyage is subject to availability.  Terms and conditions apply.  For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit

Thursday 26 March 2015

Inspiration for expedition cruisers - Ultimate Record Breaking Destinations


Expedition cruisers of today are the equivalent of yesteryear's intrepid explorers, seeking the most unusual and remote locations on the planet. There was always the challenge of who could reach the poles first, climb the highest mountains, or sail the farthest.

This 300-page volume clearly identifies all of these extreme locations and firmly throws down the gauntlet to you and your adventure-prone cohort.

Dive right in.
Since tweeted-coated, leather-booted intrepid explorers of yesteryear first embarked on journeys into the true unknown, world exploration has driven a passion within us.

In a world bursting with incredible and alluring destinations, visiting the largest, oldest, highest or most extreme places – those that are truly and factually unsurpassed – provides us with a wonderful sense of achievement and helps us make sense of our place in this big old world.

Take a journey of discovery to 100 of Earth’s record breaking places, from swimming in the deepest lake to stepping foot on the largest sand island or spending a night in the largest ice hotel. Find out exactly where the lowest point on dry land, the furthest point from the sea or the oldest restaurant is and uncover astounding world facts that will both ignite your wanderlust and give you the ultimate bucket list.

Samantha Wilson is a long- time travel writer and author whose journeys have taken her from the northern lights of the arctic to the wilds of Patagonia and the remote islands of Palau. She has inter-railed through Europe, canoed the Swedish lakes and camel-trekked the North African deserts. When she’s not researching her next book she lives in the British countryside with her husband and far too many pets.

ISBN 9781742576817
RRP: $29.99

Tuesday 24 March 2015

SeaDream Yacht Club's lowest fare ever includes Gallipoli


ITS no mistake, SeaDream Yacht Club in May of this year has a 5-night sailing from Athens to Istanbul aboard the world's most highly rated boutique motor-vessel, SeaDream I at a never-before (and most likely never-again) price that starts from just US$2,104pp twin-share price.

It includes two of the most popular Greek Islands, Mykonos and Patmos, Kusadasi for a visit to spectacularly ancient Ephesus or Kusadasi's magnificent Grand Bazaar, and Kepez for the opportunity to visit Gallipoli and the Anzac battlefields and cemeteries during this 100th ANZAC anniversary year.

Originally planned for a private company that's had to reluctantly cancel for corporate reasons, this just-now available sailing includes accommodation in an ocean view stateroom, wines with lunch and dinner, open bars with select premium brands, gratuities, use of power and sail water-sports where locally permitted, mountain bikes for shore explorations, a golf simulator, and all port charges and taxes.

The 5-star mega motor-cruiser SeaDream I will sail this unique 5-nights on May 16th for a maximum of just 112 guests served by 95 crew – ideal for anyone visiting Europe at that time to enjoy SeaDream's "world's best boutique experience" at an unheard-of price.

For more details, call Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit
For bookings and further details, see SeaDream specialist Cruise Express


Monday 23 March 2015

Win a 17-day Expedition Cruise for two with APT


Imagine immersing yourself in the open seas?

The Australian National Maritime Museum and APT could make all your oceanic dreams come true with a 17-day cruise for two aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, a prize valued at over $31,000.

Relax and drink in the ocean’s delights in your spacious suite as you set sail from Manila to Darwin departing 21 May 2015 including flights, shore excursions, meals and transfers.

Does this sound like your kind of sea odyssey?


HURRY - competition closes on 27th March

Sunday 22 March 2015

An expedition in the Hebrides aboard the Majestic Line


Just one of 10 passengers on a small cruise ship sailing around Scotland’s Southern Hebrides, Tricia Welsh is almost as impressed as 19th-century German composer Felix Mendelssohn by the natural scenic beauty untouched by time.
The Majestic Line mini cruise ship
The Glen Massan is one of two traditional vessels of the Majestic Line

‘Aye, thar’s your wee boatie!’’ exclaims my fellow traveller as we alight the Glasgow-Oban train and look across the town’s tiny harbour to a small moored wooden vessel dwarfed by North Pier.    During the three-hour scenic rail journey – surely one of the prettiest in Scotland –  I’d been telling my new acquaintance about my upcoming cruise on the Majestic Line’s little Glen Massan.

Read full story

Saturday 21 March 2015

Vietnam & Cambodia river cruise package from $5499pp


Hanoi, Halong Bay, Saigon, Siem Reap and Saigon. A plethora of discovery awaits you as each new day passes. Wondrous waterways, iconic temples, bustling cities... you'll be treated to a kaleidoscope of these two great and ancient nations. Like you, your fellow passengers are eager to meet with local people and learn of lives foreign to their own. Join Cruiseco Adventurer on the lower Mekong and be assured of a more intimate, authentic experience.

Includes: Return flights from Australia, 2 nights Hanoi, 2 night Halong Bay cruise, 3 nights Siem Reap, 7 night Mekong cruise, 2 nights Saigon, sightseeing, transfers, gratuities and many meals.
Departures June to September 2015
from: $5,499* pp twin 
to explore click here  »
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*Offer is not combinable with other promotions, is capacity-controlled, subject to availability and may be withdrawn or changed at any time without notice.  All fares are subject to the terms and conditions as set out by Cruiseco and Cruise Express which may be obtained at the time of confirmation.  All fares and inclusions may be withdrawn at any time by Cruiseco and Cruise Express. Cruiseco and Cruise Express reserve the right to correct any errors or omissions, and to cancel any product offered or service in the event of such error or omission.  We strongly recommend you take out travel insurance. 

Thursday 19 March 2015

SeaDream's longer 10-day Mediterranean summer cruises

IF you are heading to the Mediterranean this northern summer, SeaDream Yacht Club has two extended 10-day sailings rather than the regular one-week – and with prices on both reduced to now start from US$7,109pp twin-share that's a saving of US$4,900pp on the originally brochured prices.

And the lower prices still include 5-star accommodation and award-winning dining, premium drinks from the open bars, anytime wines, a golf simulator with 30-international courses, fitness centre, mountain bikes for shore use, extensive power and sail water-sports where locally permitted, port charges and taxes, and even crew gratuities.

The 112-guest mega motor-cruiser SeaDream II will sail the first of these 10-day voyages from Piraeus (the port for Athens) on July 25 through select Greek Islands, ports in Turkey and Greece and back to Piraeus, and on August 12 from Dubrovnik in Croatia through ports in Montenegro, Greece, Sicily and Italy to Civitavecchia (the port for Rome.)

SeaDream II has just fifty-six ocean view staterooms for a maximum 112-guests. Full details from travel agents or

For more details, call Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit
For bookings and further details, see SeaDream specialist Cruise Express
(The Athens-return sailing on July 25 will visit Sifnos and Skopelos Islands in Greece, Skiathos (Greece,) Kusadasi in Turkey for an optional visit to Ephesus, and Patmos, Parikia (for Paros,) Santorini, Nafplion and Hydra in Greece.

The August 12 sailing from Dubrovnik will sail to Kotor in Montenegro, Sarande for Butrint in Albania, Corfu, Paxoi and Fiskardo in Greece, Taormina (Etna) and Lipari in Sicily, a scenic sail-by of volcanic Mt Stromboli, and Amalfi, Capri and Sorrento in Italy before arriving in Civitavecchia; the sailing includes several overnight port stays.)

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Australis Cruises sails two new routes through Patagonia


Since this current season, Australis started sailing on two new routes that cover novel expeditions.

Wild Patagonia Route.jpg
End of the World Route.jpg
Both round trips starting on Fridays and returning on Mondays, from Punta Arenas or from Ushuaia. click to enlarge maps >>

The first one, called Wild Patagonia, visits Brookes Glacier and Ainsworth Bay on the first excursion day. The second day we disembark at Almirantazgo Bay where we see a colony of elephant seals on the way to a waterfall, and in the afternoon we go to Parry Fjord where we see three glaciers and a group of leopard seals, on board our zodiac boats. On the last day we visit Magdalena Island, where we watch a colony of more than 60,000 couples of Magellan penguins.

The second route, called End of the World, starting from Ushuaia, has excursions to Garibaldi and Pia Glaciers on the first excursion day. Next morning an early wake up to step on Cape Horn, last piece of land before Antarctica, and in the afternoon an expedition in Wulaia Bay, settlement of Yamana aboriginals, and first place where Darwin stopped on his trip around Patagonia.

Visit for more info. Book now for next season, between September and April.

South America Experts
South America Experts

Dalmatian Coast Croatia Island Hopper Cruise


AdventureSmith Explorations Engages Fleet of Elegant Yachts to Island Hop In Luxury along Dalmatian Coast

Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations has engaged a fleet of sleek, 150-foot modern yachts to transport in style 38 to 40 guests per sailing on 17 island-hopping departures along the Dalmatian Coast this season.

Croatia Island Hopper Cruise aboard the Futura, Prestige, President or M/V Admiral (all very similar in size and amenities) is the only deluxe, small ship cruise on a fully crewed yacht (including expert guides) that focuses exclusively on the 1,100-mile Dalmatian Coast. (Other cruises simply stop in the region as part of a larger Adriatic or Mediterranean itinerary or are only available as a full boat charter with no crew and little guidance.)

“The nature of our Island Hopper itinerary is. yes, to explore the history and culture of Croatia but also to enjoy swimming, hiking in the countryside, kayaking and bicycling,” said Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations Founder and President.

This eight-day/seven-night cruise starts at $1,440 per person, double. The rates (nearly all-inclusive) and dining schedule offer leeway to enjoy regional cuisines and wines over lunches and dinners while strolling through towns, Smith said.

“This is affordable luxury in Croatia. Our combination of deluxe accommodations, superior service and expert guides is rare, especially for prices starting at under $1,500 per person,” Smith said.  The rate includes accommodations, daily buffet breakfast and lunch or dinner; a beverage with lunch; drinking water; services of a professional tour manager; guided walking tours; fees for bus transfers and cable cars; visitor taxes, port and national park fees; luggage handling; daily cabin service and free Wi-Fi on board.

The cruise begins and ends in Split with on Day 1 a guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. A welcome reception and briefing greet guests on their return from visiting Roman ruins.  Day 2 is an excursion to Marco Polo’s birthplace, Korcula Island, where appetizers and local vintages are sampled on the tail end of an excursion.

Dubrovnik, the jewel of the Adriatic, is Day 3’s destination after stretching legs in Mljet National Park and on St Mary Isle.  Unlike other ships that spend a hurried half day inside Old Town’s walls, Island Hopper guests enjoy a dinner cruise along the shore followed by a guided tour and full day in this historic port. (Smith also recommends a pre or post cruise trip extension to fully appreciate Dubrovnik’s charm.)

Day 5 brings guests to the Peljesac Peninsula, a region known for wines. Here guests enjoy Croatian specialties over a dinner in a rural village.  Jet-set Hvar, known for lavish lavender fields and such beauties as a Renaissance cathedral, comes on Day 6 followed on Day 7 by the final stop on the Island of Brac and at the town of Bol. Fishermen and tourists blend together here before the Captain’s farewell dinner on board and the journey back to Split.

AdventureSmith Explorations offers additional cruises on European waters thanks to an expanding inventory of small ships at its disposal. Two examples are a tour called Classical Greece aboard the 49-guest Harmony V that embodies the best of spring in the islands and on the Mediterranean. The per person double rate for this eight-day cruise is from $2,790. Another is a nine-day luxury cruise of the Cyclades aboard Sea Cloud with an exclusive charter of this historic windjammer. The per person double rate is from $8,790.

For more details on 2015 cruises in the Mediterranean and on the Adriatic, please see:

Small Ship Cruise in Alaska aboard Sikumi

Luxury Custom Charters On Eight-Guest Cruiser in Alaska Give “Small Ship” Whole New Meaning
Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations has added the luxury and rewards of “go-where-the-whales-are” flexibility to its small ship cruise portfolio in Alaska. This company has assembled this region’s largest collection of Alaska Small Ship Cruises and Land-Based Adventures.

Thanks to a 67-foot luxury cruiser that can turn on a dime while wiggling in and out of varied coastlines, a maximum of eight (12 with children) passengers per each seven-day departure can be whisked from one photo op to the next without missing a beat – or the boat -- because they’re not tied down to a set itinerary or route.

The star of this “go-where-the-whales-are” concept is Sikumi, built by master Alaskan fishing boat builders to withstand the wiles of Alaskan waters. This boat combines the ruggedness of an ocean-going commercial trawler combined with modern features and amenities of a cruise ship.

“The captain calls the shots on dashing off to where the wildlife and weather are prime, but this flexibility doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort and safety,” underscored Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations Founder and Owner. Because the vessel is Alaska owned and operated, its crew bring the advantage of knowing the ins and outs of the coastline and where and when stops can be made spontaneously to visit sea lion rookeries, glaciers and brown bears feeding near the shore.

The senses overall are well-tended to aboard Sikumi. Guests board after meeting over champagne. Awaiting them in their cabins are 100 percent cotton linens and Baudelaire French milled and olive oil soaps and body care amenities. Dinners can be the freshest possible thanks to the bounty of seafood available. Sikumi always aims to anchor down with engines off by dinner time so guests can enjoy the sounds of nature.

For more details please see . Some charter dates are still open between June 28 and Sept. 1, 2015.

Smith reminded that now is the best time to book for summer as many small ship cruises in Alaska sell out early. Some of the best availability is for August 2015. He also shares a blog on the fun of watching different kinds of whales in Alaska: .

For more details on early-season 2015 cruises in North America, the Mediterranean and on the Adriatic, please see: For information, availability and 2015-2016 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit

About Sikumi
Sikumi, a 67-foot, four passenger cabin, luxury cruiser, represents the ruggedness of Hansen Boats, a top powered by twin builder of vessels for the Alaskan fishing industry for over 70 years. She is powered by two twin diesel engines and appointed with two generator sets for reliable propulsion and electrical power. The bridge is equipped with the best navigation and communications systems available, a necessity for a small Alaska cruise ship.

UK Coastal Voyage On Board THV Patricia


Throw Caution to the Wind and Take an Exclusive UK Coastal Voyage On Board THV Patricia . Destination Unknown!

Discerning travellers who are looking for a UK coastal trip with a difference, are being offered an exclusive opportunity to experience a voyage on board THV Patricia, the flagship of Trinity House, which services and maintains navigational buoys, light vessels and offshore lighthouses around England, Wales and the Channel Islands, as well as dealing with maritime emergencies and wrecks.

High quality accommodation on board is provided for up to 12 passengers in just six cabins, so few people are privileged enough to experience a voyage on Patricia. Those who do often return time and again, so early booking on the seven and 14-night trips, which are scheduled to depart on various dates between April and October, is essential.

Unlike traditional cruise holidays, THV Patricia’s tour of duty around the coasts of England, Wales and the Channel Isles is subject to change at any moment, due to emergencies or alterations to the work schedule. So, while guests are given an outline itinerary before they set sail, they need to be extremely flexible in their travel arrangements and accept that, in the event of late changes there may be diversions to another coast and embarkation and disembarkation ports may be different to those originally stated. Every voyage is an adventure and should be approached with an open mind!

Among its routes, the Patricia travels the Thames Estuary where some of the largest ships to dock in the UK can be found; the North Sea, an important trading area where fishing, wind farms, offshore oil and gas exploration take place; the South Coast, home to the busiest shipping lane in the world; the West Coast with its dramatic cliff tops, tempestuous seas and strong tides, and the Bristol Channel, with its many lighthouses marking dangerous offshore rocks.

A world away from conventional cruises, the Patricia implements an Open Bridge Policy, whereby guests are encouraged to watch the officers and crew working at the nerve centre of the ship, ask questions and learn more about the vital work that is undertaken to maintain maritime safety in UK waters.

A voyage aboard the 86-metre long, 2541 tonne Patricia is also a chance to view the coastline from a unique perspective, with the possibility of seeing marine wildlife ranging from sea birds and dolphins to turtles and basking sharks.

Prices for seven nights full board (excluding alcohol) begin at £3080 per Executive cabin based on double occupancy and from £1990 for single occupancy. For those wishing to stay in one of the Staterooms the price rises to £3,510 for double occupancy and £2280 for single occupancy.

All cabins are individually designed with ensuite facilities and air conditioning. They feature comfortable seating areas, a TV/DVD, mini bar, tea and coffee-making facilities and hair dryer.

Guests also have access to the promenade deck and viewing area for foredeck operations as well as use of a lounge area and dining room where three set meals created by a dedicated passenger chef are served each day.

Departures usually take place on a Wednesday from various ports around the coast, depending on the ship’s location. On occasion joining and departure from the ship are by workboat.

If you are self-reliant and happy to watch the crew at work and enjoy unwinding in your own space; if you are happy to accept set meals at designated times; if you consider uncertainty to be part of the adventure; and if you are happy to spend the majority of time at sea, then this is the voyage for you. If not, choose a cruise.

For further information about Trinity House UK coastal passenger voyages, please contact WildWings via, telephone 0117 9658 333 or email

About The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond

The Corporation of Trinity House of Deptford Strond was incorporated by Royal Charter on 20 May 1514 to preserve life and shipping on the River Thames and provide for aged mariners. With a mandate that has expanded considerably since then, it is today the UK’s largest-endowed maritime charity, the General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar and a fraternity of men and women selected from every level of the nation’s maritime sector.

The Trinity House Maritime Charity is the UK’s largest-endowed maritime charity, with a self-appointed mandate to provide education, training and welfare for mariners of all ages.

As a General Lighthouse Authority it is responsible for the maintenance of over 450 buoys, 66 lighthouses, nine light vessels and radio and radar aids to navigation, including the Differential Global Positioning System, a high accuracy satellite position fixing system.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Sail the Lower Ganges with APT and Fly to India for Free


Book a luxury APT India River Cruise holiday of 15 days or longer, departing in 2016, and you’ll receive free return flights to India.

The deal applies to APT’s new 20-Day Wonders of India all inclusive itinerary which combines a 12 night land journey that showcases all the icons of India - from bustling Mumbai and India’s Lake City of Udaipur, to the Taj Mahal, Delhi and the ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur, and the spiritual hub of Varanasi - with a seven night lower Ganges river cruise aboard the luxurious RV Ganges Voyager.

Priced from just $16,195 per person, twin share, guests stay at India’s leading luxury five star hotels, including The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur and The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, with its stunning views of the Taj Mahal. Sightseeing highlights include seven APT Signature Experiences, such as a unique cooking demonstration with a local Delhi family; and the chance to see a fire-lit Aarti ceremony during an evening prayer cruise in Varanasi.

APT is just one of a few Australian travel companies offering river cruising in India. Sailing aboard the RV Ganges Voyager on a round trip from Kolkata to Murshidabad, guests will enjoy cruise highlights including the opportunity to visit Mother Theresa’s house; learn about the local Hari Krishna community and culture; enjoy a tour of the Hazarduari Palace in Murshidabad, built by an English architect in 1837 and featuring 1,000 doors and a collection of European paintings, china and weapons; and shopping at shore side bazaars.

The new RV Ganges Voyager rivership features well appointed suites, all with private ensuites, flat-screen televisions, on-demand movie systems and Panoramic balconies. It also features a sun deck, grand dining room, stylish air-conditioned lounge, spa and gym and is designed to accommodate just 56 guests.

All accommodation and meals are covered in the price, with guests dining at the highly sought after restaurants in their luxury hotels.

Also included are the services of an APT Tour Director, all flights within India, tipping, airport transfers, sightseeing, porterage, complimentary house wine, local beer and soft drinks throughout the Lower Ganges river cruise, all sightseeing and accommodation.

Offer is valid on all bookings made by 30 June 2015. Flights are with Singapore Airlines or an airline of APT’s choosing. Terms and conditions apply and offer is subject to availability.

For further information call APT on 1300 196 420, visit or see your local travel agent.

Exploring the Pristine Seas of the Pacific


Sailing across the Pacific with Lindblad Expeditions - National Geographic in search of the last pristine seas.

One of several appearances of this article from Pacific Island Living

Welcome home Craigo!


Happy to be home. Craig and wife Holly (from LinkedIn)
Many of us might have been unaware that founder of North Star Cruises, Craig 'Craigo' Howson, had been involved in a serious motorcycle accident back in January.

Craig spent several weeks in hospital and gave his beautiful wife, Holly, and their three children, all his staff and many friends a bit of a fright.

Craig is now out of hospital and with his family and ready to get back to work after an extended rest and recuperation period.

I'm sure all readers will join me in wishing Craigo a quick recovery. He's a tough old SOB, that's for sure.

- Roderick Eime

Cruise Chilean Patagonia - save up to $310

Cruise the Chilean Patagonia and save up to $310 per person!

Embark on a once in a lifetime journey through the labyrinthine channels of Patagonia and fjords of Chile and be consumed by the myths and legends that surround the land. While marveling at the majestic glaciers and crystalline waterfalls that furnish the dreamlike landscape is a given, you'll also have the opportunity to go on soft glacier hikes or swim in natural hot-springs, depending on the choice of your cruise - either a four day cruise on Skorpios III or a six day cruise on Skorpios II. Prices start $2,253 per person twin share. Bookings made by 30 June will enjoy savings of up to $310. The cruise season runs from September 2015 to May 2016. For more information and bookings, visit or call 1300 135 391. Terms and conditions apply.

Monday 16 March 2015

BirdLife Australia and Aurora Expeditions Partner for an Exclusive Expedition to Antarctica and South Georgia


Expedition cruising experts Aurora Expeditions have partnered with BirdLife Australia to offer birding enthusiasts an exclusive expedition to Antarctica and South Georgia in November this year.

Chinstrap Rookery Antarctic Peninsula
Copyright: Aurora Expeditions
Hosted by a team of expert guides, including BirdLife Australia's senior bird ecologist Mick Roderick, the 18-day 'Scotia Sea Springtime' voyage will sail from the Falkland Islands to South Georgia and Antarctica, offering a unique chance to witness some of the most unique birdlife on the planet.

Limited to just 54 passengers, the expedition will set sail on Aurora Expeditions' small ship Polar Pioneer, offering the opportunity for daily landings to identify and observe many bird species such as the albatross and blue-eyed cormorant as well as witnessing the world's largest king penguin rookeries and other penguin species including gentoo, chinstrap, Magellanic, macaroni and rockhopper.

In addition to the rich birdlife experience, passengers will also benefit from Aurora Expedition's program of Shackleton Centenary celebrations featuring an onboard 'floating' Frank Hurley photography exhibition, a commemorative expeditionary dinner, a guided tour of South Georgia museum and a special Shackleton memorial.

Aurora Expeditions have developed a special all-inclusive package for BirdLife Australia members and supporters allowing them to save $600 per person. In addition to the 18-day 'Scotia Sea Springtime' expedition, this exclusive 24-day package includes return economy airfares from Australia, a three-night city stay in Santiago including city tours and one night in Punta Arenas.

The package also includes internal flights in South America, airport transfers, all meals during the expedition, and port charges and taxes.

In addition, each passenger will receive a complimentary 12-month BirdLife Australia membership, a Polar Expedition jacket and a souvenir photo book.

The package starts from $26,395 per person and departs Australia on 18 November 2015.

For more information call Aurora Expedition on 02 9252 1033 or email them or visit

Coral Princess II returns to Great Barrier Reef after $500,000 upgrade


Coral Princess Cruises’ 35-metre catamaran Coral Princess II has resumed her year-round schedule of three, four and seven night cruises on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef from Cairns following a $500,000 upgrade to onboard amenities.

The 44 passenger small-ship received new, state-of-the-art engines, revitalised and modernised décor and fittings in all guest cabins and common areas, along with personal iPod docks as part of the upgrade. Speaking at the relaunch ceremony in Cairns on 05 March, Group General Manager Mark Fifield said the enhancements would ensure that Coral Princess II continues to exceed the expectations of even the most discerning guests. The extensive modernisation of facilities in complemented by enhanced dining menus and wine lists, along with an open deck for al fresco dining.

Coral Princess Cruises, an accredited eco-tourism operator, is committed to the concept of sustainable cruising, and the ship’s new whisper-quiet engines have been developed to minimise emissions and improve fuel efficiency, whilst providing increased power and greater stability.

Coral Princess Cruises pioneered small-ship cruising on the Great Barrier Reef in 1984 and today is the only cruise operator offering year-round multi-night cruises in this iconic World Heritage-listed location. In addition to the Great Barrier Reef, the company is the pioneer of expedition cruising on Western Australia’s Kimberley Coast between Darwin and Broome, along with an enthralling Cape York & Arnhem Land adventure between Cairns and Darwin. Further afield, Papua New Guinea, the Islands of the South Pacific, New Zealand and the Raja Ampat and Spice Islands regions of Indonesia feature in the company’s exciting range of itineraries throughout the South Pacific and South East Asia.

In addition to Coral Princess II, the company also operates sister ship Coral Princess and flagship Oceanic Discoverer, which are both scheduled to undergo major refurbishments in the coming months.

For further information and reservations contact Coral Princess Cruises on 1800 079 545 or visit

One Ocean Awarded Erebus Medal by Canadian Government

Recognition of successful Victoria Strait Expedition

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society awarded Squamish-based One Ocean Expeditions, a commemorative medal for their tremendous involvement in the successful Victoria Strait Expedition.

The HMS Erebus medal, named after the HMS Erebus, one of Sir John Franklin's vessels found during the summer 2014 expedition was specially created to commemorate the event. The one-of-a-kind medal was awarded to key leaders that contributed to the success of the remarkable undertaking and most important archaeological discovery in Canadian history.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen Harper were in attendance and addressed the audience and award recipients with genuine authenticity and passion reinforcing the importance of Canadian lead initiatives and the role it plays for Arctic sovereignty being a part of our history and future.

"Laureen and I are deeply honoured to be among the recipients of the HMS Erebus Medal, which recognizes our commitment to discovering one of our country's greatest maritime mysteries. This discovery would not have been possible without the incredible efforts of the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition made up of government, private and non-profit partners. I had the privilege to take part in the search last summer during my annual northern tour and was impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the searchers plumbing Canada's frigid northern waters," said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Andrew Prossin, Managing Director of One Ocean Expeditions was awarded the prestigious medal alongside with leaders from Parks Canada, the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Coast Guard, Arctic Research Foundation, The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and Shell Canada. Others that worked behind the scenes were also recognized including Inuit oral historian Louie Kamookak and One Ocean Expeditions Senior Management and staff.

"Finding the Erebus was a great moment for Canada and Canadians. The Victoria Strait Expedition showcases the tremendous spirit of partnership and Canadian innovation invested in the epic search. It completes an important chapter in our history and solves one of the biggest mysteries in any polar region. We at One Ocean Expeditions are very proud to have shared our knowledge and expertise and are honoured to have taken part in an event that is now redefining our history," said Andrew Prossin, Managing Director at One Ocean Expeditions.

About The HMS Erebus Medal – It was designed by a renowned Canadian medal designer, Susan Taylor. It features a stylized HMS Erebus superimposed on a nautical compass, and on the reverse, the Compass Rose of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, with the Society name and Expedition name in both official languages, along with the inscription: "For contributions to the discovery of HMS Erebus". Small crowns symbolize the Society's Royal patronage, and the fact that Erebus is a Royal Navy ship. The medal is cast in bronze, a reference to the Erebus bell.

Link to further information on recipients and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society:

For further information contact ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS on 1300 368 123, or email or visit

Friday 13 March 2015

All-inclusive Silver Galapagos Expeditions


Silversea is making it easier than ever before to discover the wonders of the Galápagos Islands by introducing air and land package fares for expedition cruises aboard Silver Galapagos. The program is now available for new bookings made on any of the ship's year-round Galápagos sailings.

The package includes: roundtrip economy class flights between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands; a two-night pre-cruise hotel stay with breakfast at the Quito JW Marriott; an evening tour of Quito's historic city highlights; transfer from the hotel to the airport in Quito; pre- and post-cruise transfers between the airport and Silver Galapagos in Baltra; a post-cruise hotel day room at the Hotel Oro Verde in Guayaquil (for guests with flights after 10 pm); transfer from the airport to the hotel, and from the hotel to the airport in Guayaquil; Galápagos National Park and Ingala Transit Card fees; and porterage fees.

The highlight is, of course, Silver Galapagos and her award-winning, all-inclusive experience. Recently recognised for having the "Best Shore Excursions" in the small-ship category of the "2015 Cruise Critic Cruisers' Choice Awards," the 100 guest, all-suite ship features complimentary exploration activities that include Zodiac tours, snorkelling, kayaking and nature hikes led by highly experienced guides certified by the National Park of the Galápagos.

Whilst aboard the ship, guests can enjoy Silversea's signature butler service, sumptuous gourmet cuisine, wines and spirits served throughout the ship.

"With these new all-inclusive air and land packages, designed with the highest levels of comfort, convenience, and value for our guests, the award-winning Silversea experience continues to be the perfect choice for travellers seeking an enriching holiday in the exotic Galápagos," said Karen Christensen, General Manager & Director Sales/Marketing Australasia.

For more information contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand), or visit


Thursday 12 March 2015

Lindblad building new ships


Lindblad Expeditions will build “at least” two new cruise ships, according to an investor call on Tuesday to announce the details of the merger between the line and Capitol Acquisition Corp. II, a public investment vehicle formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, acquisition or similar business combination.

Lindblad's newest ship is the 2003-built Orion (R Eime)
The merger is valued at approximately $439 million. The combined company intends to be listed on the NASDAQ and will be renamed Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. following completion of the merger.

"We are excited to partner with Capitol Acquisition Corp. II in a transaction that will position Lindblad to move into a new phase in our history and pursue future growth opportunities as a public company," said Sven-Olof Lindblad. "The additional resources and strong balance sheet will allow us to meet increasing guest demand by expanding our fleet with new vessels and opportunistically seeking accretive strategic acquisitions."
Up to $110 million of cash raised will be available to fund the expansion of the fleet. Delivery of the new ships is scheduled already for 2017 and 2018 and a shipyard contract is due to follow relatively soon after the transaction closes, which should happen by May.

The company will keep its long-established National Geographic partnership, which has been renewed through 2025.

"We are thrilled to extend our important partnership with Lindblad Expeditions and support this transaction that will enable Lindblad and our joint offerings to significantly grow in the future. The relationship is based on shared core values which go to the core of National Geographic's mission to promote the power of exploration, science and storytelling to change the world," said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO, National Geographic Society.

New York-based Lindblad currently owns six of its ships and operates an additional four vessels on charter agreements.

Report sourced from: Cruise Industry News

Bentours Russian River Cruises

HOT DEALS on Russian river cruising!
Bentours EXCLUSIVE 2-for-1* on board 5 star MS. M. Rostropovich and
SAVE $600* per person on Volga Dream 1 cruises
Book by 31 March to secure your cabin

Come aboard the MS.M.Rostropovich for this stunning 2-for-1* BENTOURS EXCLUSIVE 8 day cruise along Russia's majestic Volga River from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The cruise (also operates in reverse) includes 8 guided land excursions, with visits to the Kremlin and Moscow's major cathedrals and sites. Stops along the way include Uglich to see the 17th century Chapel of Dimitry; Goristry to see the wonderful frescoes at the Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery and explore the World-Heritage listed island town of Kizhi. Take in Mandrogui and its wonderful traditions and then cruise into picturesque St Petersburg and see the stunning Peter and Paul Fortress and visit the breathtaking Hermitage Museum.
This exclusive BENTOURS 2-for- 1* package is from $3,856* per couple and also includes 20 on board meals, daily on board entertainment,7 nights' accommodation on board in a cabin of your choice, group transfers to the ship on embarkation/disembarkation days and Visa support letter. Book by 31 March 2015 to secure this amazing 2-for-1* offer. See your travel agent or Bentours for full itinerary.

Step aboard the exceptional MS Volga Dream 1 catering exclusively for 109 discerning guests as you cruise Russia's stunning Volga River. There are three packages to choose from: Platinum Class, Gold Class and Silver Class. The Platinum Class package is from $5,294* per person twin share and gives you two nights pre cruise accommodation in Moscow and two nights post cruise accommodation in St Petersburg in superior hotels. Six nights aboard the stunning boutique vessel MS Volga Dream 1 and while on board your cruise includes 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 6 dinners with unlimited house wines, beer and soft drinks included with all lunches and dinners and arrival and departure transfers.
In Moscow visit the Kremlin, Red Square, Armoury and Tretyakov Gallery and in St Petersburg see the Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Palace and the many stunning gardens. Enjoy sightseeing in small groups of no more than 15 people, and enjoy on board lectures by Russian professors on the country's intriguing history and politics.
Platinum Class, 13 day package from $5,294* per person saving $600 per person.
Gold Class, 13 day package from $4,029* per person saving $500 per person.
Silver Class, 11 days from $3,495* per person saving $350 per person.

(MS M Rostropovich has been extended to 31 March)


Monday 9 March 2015

Avalon’s Newest Suite Ship Sails the Mekong


Savings of up to $2000 per couple now available

Avalon Waterways has unveiled its first Suite Ship in Asia, the brand new Avalon Siem Reap now sailing the mighty Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam.

Catering to no more than 36 guests at a time, the 60m ship is based on Avalon’s revolutionary Suite Ship concept pioneered on the rivers of Europe, but is smaller and designed especially for Asian cruising.

With the ship’s debut, Avalon Waterways is offering savings of up to $2000 per couple on select cruises aboard Avalon Siem Reap during 2015. Other departures are available with savings of $1000 per couple.

Avalon Siem Reap is offered as part of a 12-night itinerary between Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City, Fascinating Vietnam, Cambodia & The Mekong River. Now priced from $3326* per person twin share on select departures, the itinerary includes three nights in Siem Reap to explore the spectacular temples of Angkor Wat, seven nights cruising the Mekong River and two nights in Ho Chi Minh City.

Built by local craftsmen, Avalon Siem Reap has been designed to reflect the character, symbolism and traditions of the regions through which it sails, while at the same time offering travellers the modern features they expect and enjoy.

Luxurious suite aboard Avalon Siem Reap

Its 18 air-conditioned Avalon Suites are beautifully fitted in contemporary Asian style and offer 23 square metres of living space. Each features Avalon’s signature open-air balcony with floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall panoramic windows that have retractable screen systems and doors that slide open to make the most of the passing scenery.

At 60m, Avalon Siem Reap is the only ship in the industry able to cruise all the way between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, avoiding hours of travel by road. When sailing into Ho Chi Minh harbour, Avalon guests are just minutes away from their hotel.

Avalon Siem Reap will be joined later this year by a second new Asian ship, Avalon Myanmar. With a similar size and design, Avalon Myanmar will operate Avalon’s first cruises on the Irrawaddy River, offering a 13-night itinerary from Yangon, Golden Myanmar & The Alluring Irrawaddy.

For full details and bookings see licensed travel agents, visit or phone 1300 230 234.

*Price includes discount, subject to availability and conditions. Offer applies to select departures and is available until March 24, 2015, or until sold out.