Monday 27 April 2015

WWI commemorative voyage aboard Ms Serenissima


Wild Earth Travel. Remembering The WWI Nurses with a unique commemorative voyage aboard Ms Serenissima April 27th, 2015

As the commemorations for ANZAC Day continue, it is the time to remember those who were an integral part of Australia and New Zealand’s war effort but who are often overlooked – the World War I nursing sisters of Australia and New Zealand.

More than 2000 Australian nurses served overseas with the Australia Imperial Force in World War I, mainly in the Middle East and in France. Approximately 500 New Zealand nurses were with the New Zealand Army and both Australian and New Zealand nurses joined other Allied forces.

A unique commemorative voyage is being organised by nurse historian Clare Ashton in September 2015 to remember the nursing sisters who worked in and around the Aegean caring for the casualties of the Gallipoli Campaign. This eight day voyage sails from Athens, visiting Skiathos, Thessaloniki, Lemnos, Canakkale (the port for the Gallipoli Peninsula) and finishing in Istanbul.

MS Serenissima, is a small well-appointed vessel, ideal for a special interest group. The voyage focuses of the experiences of the Australian and New Zealand nurses, it will appeal to anyone interested in the care of the casualties of World War I.

The voyage departs from Athens on 31 August 2015 and is priced from $3600 USD pp. Berths are limited.

Wild Earth Travel

CroisiEurope opens Loire river cruising

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Two hours southwest of Paris, the Loire Valley presents France’s finest chateaux and vineyards in surroundings so picturesque they are World Heritage listed by UNESCO.

Australian travellers are now able to cruise this remarkable region in style due to an innovative paddle wheel design inspired from ancient times. CroisiEurope, the Strasbourg-based French river cruise line who are represented in Australia by Cruise Abroad has just launched a paddle wheel design vessel encompassing all the contemporary features and style of a European river boat.

This new vessel has revolutionized cruising on the Loire river with new technology developed specifically for this first class ship, it now opens up European rivers that were once impossible for cruise vessels other than smaller barges due to extremely shallow water levels.

The secret is a revolutionary new paddle wheel propulsion system designed specifically for European river ships, put simply, the new system does away with propellers. Dispensing with propellers allows CroisiEurope to travel on shallower rivers like the Loire, cruising through delightful regions where the propeller-driven vessels cannot follow.

It is worth noting that the recent debut of the MS Loire Princesse was the first time that a cruise vessel with cabins has ever cruised along the Loire.

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This new type of craft is 295 feet long and 49 feet wide, with three decks. It has 48 spacious outside cabins (49 ft²) and can accommodate up to 96 passengers. On the upper deck, the cabins have lovely balconies 10ft x 4ft and rooms are equipped with the latest technology, including Wi-Fi on board, individually controlled combined air-conditioning/heating, plasma screen TV, radio, hair dryer, safe, mini bar and bathroom facilities.

A splendid restaurant can easily accommodate passengers for single-service dining, while a huge lounge bar with central dance floor is a pleasant area to mingle with other passengers or another ideal place to relax is the large sun deck. The elegant décor in contemporary colors is in perfect harmony with the good spirit on board. Labelled the “Green Ship”, the MS Loire Princesse was created using the latest environmental designs that show a great respect for the ecology.

The MS Loire Princesse offers 6 to 8 day cruises, visiting places in the Pays de la Loire region that will satisfy the demand of tourists in search of culture and originality. After boarding and meeting the crew over a welcome cocktail served in the lounge bar, the river ship heads off to gems like Nantes, St Nazaire and little villages known for their production of Muscadet wine. In Angers, capital of the Anjou region, visit the 13th-century fortress to see the Apocalypse tapestry. The grand Chateaux of the Loire Valley include Azay-le-Rideau, listed as a historic monument by UNESCO.

You’ll also visit Cognac – and no visit there would be complete without a visit to a major Cognac house, including some tasting. Naturally, that’s included.

Value is particularly good because the cruise is on a full board basis, so all meals are included. Even better, unlimited wine, beer, fruit juice and mineral water are covered in the cruise price, as are tea or coffee after each meal. Whether the drinks are served during on-board meals in the restaurant, or consumed in the lounge bar (excluding Champagne and wines on the exclusive wine list), they are included in the price.

Cuisine aboard is superb – as you’d expect on a cruise line staffed by French chefs. Alain Bohn, the internationally renowned chef, sets the menus. Passengers will enjoy a range of classic French wines, bought direct from the wineries.

As ever with CroisiEurope, their trump card is undoubtedly their ability to put offers together at the fairest prices. They are able to meet this challenge as they have complete control over every element of the entire fleet, from beginning to end. From the initial design to building their own vessels, plus maintenance, purchasing and development, the company is fully responsible for all these services thanks to its 1200 permanent staff. This feat allows them to rationalize their costs as much as possible and offer cruises at up to 30% cheaper than any other cruise operator offering similar products.

Look out for some soon-to-be-released river combinations such as Seine/Loire and Loire/Dordogne.

About CroisiEurope

CroisiEurope, Europe’s longest-established river-cruise company since 1976, is a family-owned and operated business. CroisiEurope has been a leader in affordable European river cruises for nearly 40 years where three brothers and their sister run different aspects of the company, keeping a close eye on all operations to ensure excellence.

Based in Strasbourg, France, CroisiEurope is headquartered at the epicenter of Europe and has an English-speaking crew of 700 people operating 36 vessels along Europe’s most famous rivers and canals. Passengers can choose from a variety of itineraries that explore picturesque riverside cities in France, Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium while treating guests to on-board dining menus designed alongside Michelin-starred chefs. Today, CroisiEurope offers cruises not only in Europe but also along the Mediterranean coast, Vietnam and Cambodia.

You can get further information on CroisiEurope and the Loire river cruises by calling CRUISE ABROAD on 02 9900 7201 or email .

Friday 24 April 2015

World Penguin Day


Salisbury Plain and King Penguins, South Georgia

With World Penguin Day just around the corner on Saturday 25 April 2015, Polar experts Aurora Expeditions join the world-wide celebrations of the emblematic flightless birds.

For more than 20 years, Aurora Expeditions have taken keen adventurers on their ultimate voyages to the Antarctic region, a great opportunity to witness some of the planet’s 17 penguin species.

Read on to learn about these adorable creatures and join the celebrations!

Social skills - Penguins are very social and live in huge colonies. The island of South Georgia is home to one of the world’s largest king penguin colonies with almost half a million birds. An unforgettable mix of sights, sounds and smells!

So French, so chic - Named after the wife of French explorer Dumont d’Urville who discovered them in 1840, Adélie penguins are highly dependent on sea ice for its krill and fish-rich ecosystem and are often found on the edge of shelf-ice during sea kayaking excursions!

Change of costume - Feathers account for about 80% of penguins’ insulative properties. Penguin chicks are born with brown, grey or white down and start fledging at about seven weeks, preparing to leave the colony. Gentoo chicks are the last ones to leave the nest, only fledging after 14 weeks.

Parents of the year - Having extremely well-developed listening skills, adults manage to find their young amongst a crowd of up to 80,000! Some penguin species’ young like chinstrap penguins are organised in groups, or crèches, guarded by just a few adults whilst most of other adults spend their time at sea fishing.

The fashionable - One of the most funny-looking penguins with their orange feather plumes above each eye, the Macaroni penguins are found on the Antarctic Peninsula and some islands such as the Falkland Islands/Malvinas and South Georgia. They are named after 18th century flamboyant dressers, the ‘Macaroni Dandies’!

Happy feet! Penguins generally have very strong feet with large and well developed claws, allowing them to climb and hop on slippery rocks and icy surfaces. Macaroni’s yellow-crested first cousins rockhopper penguins are well-known for their particular habitat, nesting on rocky slopes, in small caves and crevices.

Home sweet home – Most Antarctic penguins species lay their eggs in open nests built with mainly pebbles, but also bones and feathers. Pebbles are highly sought after during nest-building periods, being continually stolen and swapped around between adult penguins, a very entertaining sight for observers. Other species like the Magellanic penguin prefer to dig burrows to breed, and as for king and emperor penguins, no nest needed: males incubate a single egg by balancing it on top of their feet and covering it with a special brood pouch.

Always accompanied by a team of expert naturalists, Aurora Expeditions’ passengers delight themselves in spotting and observing the various penguin species, whether they land on South Georgia’s secluded beaches, enjoy their first camping experience on ice or Zodiac cruise through Antarctica’s maze of majestic icebergs and kayak along secret bays.

Join Aurora Expeditions on board 54-passenger ship Polar Pioneer during their 2015-16 Antarctic season and witness some of the world’s most fascinating penguin species along with other unique Antarctic wildlife such as seals, whales and diverse birdlife. Voyages depart from November 2015 until March 2016 and offer various itineraries including the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands/Malvinas.

Prices start from US$8,310 per person in a triple share cabin on 11-day ‘Spirit of Antarctica’ Fly/Sail voyage. All voyages include accommodation and all meals onboard, shore excursions and onboard lectures, talks and workshops and various activities such as kayaking, polar snorkelling or camping (surcharge applies).

Cousins from around the globe: Always adding more exploration to their program, Aurora Expeditions’ newer voyages offer travellers a chance to tick two other penguin species off their list! Meet the African penguin in South Africa’s Cape Peninsula on Aurora Expeditions’ 15-day ‘African Cruise Safari’, or learn about the Galapagos Islands endemic penguin on the 24-day ‘Ecuador In Depth’ expedition.

For more information please contact Aurora Expeditions on 1800 637 688, at or visit             .

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Two for the price of one on the Noorderlicht - 14 June departure


World Expeditions is offering a "Two for One" deal on the 14 June departure of its South Spitsbergen voyage.  You'll pay only US$3,050 for two people (usually per person price) on this Norwegian Arctic adventure, which is limited to only 20 passengers.  Cruise spectacular fjords and historical villages in the magical Bell Sund, while keeping watch for the Aurora Borealis 'Northern Lights'.  You'll travel in the company of an expert naturalist/expedition leader and there'll be an opportunity to assist the professional crew sail a traditional schooner.

World Expeditions
Level 5, 71 York Street, Sydney  NSW  2000
PHONE: +61 2 8270 8400

Monday 20 April 2015

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic South Pacific brochure


Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic have just launched its South Pacific brochure for departures aboard the National Geographic Orion, ahead of the ships deployment to European waters in 2016. Discover the incredible undersea life of this region, the welcoming traditional cultures and WWII history. Snorkel a rarity in the Cook Islands: Beveridge Reef, an oceanic reef with no land in sight, or observe the Southern Line Islands, identified by National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence, Dr. Enric Sala, as one of a handful of undisturbed marine habitats worldwide. Book now and join our Friend For Life program, offering lifetime discounts, as well as receive up to 25% special savings offers. Contact 1300 361 012 for details, or visit

National Geographic Traveler selects Arctic Wilderness Safari as one of '50 Tours of a Lifetime' for 2015


Across the Top of the World’, Heritage Expeditions’ 15 day expedition to the polar wildlife sanctuary of Wrangel Island has been selected as one of National Geographic Traveler’s ninth annual ’50 Tours of a Lifetime’.

Polar Bear viewing ©KOvsyanikova
Heritage Expeditions pioneered expedition cruising to the world’s most remote and biologically rich parts of the planet in the 1980s. Expeditions to Russia’s Wrangel Island have been running since 2007 with three expedition cruises on board the 50 berth Spirit of Enderby taking place every July and August.

Wrangel Island lies at the top of the world, 140 km off the northeast coast of Siberia. Untouched by glaciers during the last Ice Age and looking much as it did when woolly mammoths roamed the land, the Island is today best known for its population of polar bears.

Curious travellers can take the opportunity to travel across the interior of the island, a privilege few people have been lucky enough to experience. Exploring the interior of the island by six wheel Tundra vehicle for three days, the Overland Traverse is a photographer’s dream, with rolling tundra, incredible vistas and a range of wildlife including curious polar bears, stunning snowy owls, arctic foxes, musk oxen and more.

Explore this wildlife sanctuary with Heritage Expeditions. Cabins are still available for 2015, or register your interest for 2016 today. Voyages depart from Anadyr, Russia, with charter flights from Nome, Alaska or direct flights from Moscow available at additional cost. Berth prices from $11 200 USD per person.

Wrangel Island: Across the Top of the World cabins still available on the following departures in 2015 - 20th July, 3rd August, 17th August

Visit for more information on the Across the Top of the World voyages.

For more information on Wrangel Island, including a photo gallery by National Geographic Photographer Sergey Gorshkov, please click on the links below.

Family Cruise Advice for Galapagos


Todd Smith wears many hats. For starters, he’s a dad, and during the work week, he’s the visionary force and face behind AdventureSmith Explorations, the small ship cruise experts (

These two hats alone make him a compendium of knowledge when it comes to cruising with young families. Check out his full blog post and story on family travel in the Galapagos at:

Following are his tips for nature-loving families who may be considering a trip-of-a-lifetime small ship cruise in the Galapagos Islands.
  • Consider if a cruise is family-focused or simply family-friendly.
  • Don’t expect child discounts on cruises offering quality experiences for families or cruise departures over popular holiday periods.
  • Be flexible as to travel dates if mingling with other families is a priority.
  • Plan to arrive in Ecuador minimally 48 hours before the cruise departure to allow for flight delays and weather.
  • Kids age six and older will enjoy family cruises to the Galapagos Islands. Keep in mind that there are no babysitting services aboard small ships.
“Not all family cruises are the same,” said Smith. “Family-focused cruises create an environment for multi generations to interact with each other, young and old experiencing and enjoying life together on the ship and on-shore. These cruises usually are offered over school holidays and in the summer and most likely include other families with children similar in age.”
Are family-focused cruises parent and youth centric?

“Yes, and with great results,” Smith said. “Young and old alike will be clamoring for the latest reports from a youthful birder, or encouraging a teenager trying out his fledgling language skills on someone else’s grandfather who speaks only Spanish.  As age boundaries disappear, enjoyment levels increase.”
Smith suggests these questions to ask when choosing a family-focused cruise:
  • Are guides and crew are trained to work with younger travelers?
  • What are some of the family bonding activities offered?
  • Are menus and meal times designed with younger travelers in mind?
  • Will children of similar ages be traveling on the same cruise?
AdventureSmith Explorations’ choices for top family-focus cruises in the Galapagos include:
Family-friendly cruises usually offer children’s menus and entertainment but aren’t as youth-centric as family-focused cruises. Smith’s recommendations for family-friendly cruises include those offered by National Geographic, “a perfect blend of activity and education with onboard experts.” The expedition leaders and naturalist staff aboard the 48 guest Islander and 96 guest Endeavour are tops in their field. This cruise is perfect for families willing to pay a premium for National Geographic leadership resulting in an intellectual and educational experience.

“On any cruise you select, remember that most of children today are wired in to their worlds at home. To help them disconnect and focus on where they are, photography and travel journals are ways they can record their experiences and collect material for show and tell and class work down the road. It is important to be sure each child has a camera,” said Smith.

Some clients prefer to travel just with their own family and friends. In these instances he suggests arranging a private family charter for a minimum of 12 and up to 100 people. The same professional level of staff and guide services are secured for charter cruises as are provided on departures open to the public.

For more information, cruise options, availability and 2015-2016 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit

Friday 17 April 2015

Sven Lindblad Appointed Cultural Ambassador of Seychelles

Sven-Olof Lindblad

The Seychelles Ministry of Tourism has appointed Sven-Olof Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions, as Cultural Ambassador of Seychelles.

The presentation of the official document of his accreditation was made by Minister Alain St. Ange, responsible for Tourism and Culture, at a dinner held on April 11th in honor of Sven Lindblad at the residence of Sir James Mancham, the founding President of the Republic of Seychelles.

The Lindblad family was integral to tourism development in Seychelles from its inception. Sven’s father, renowned adventure-travel pioneer Lars-Eric Lindblad, brought his expedition ship to Seychelles in the 1960’s, even before the opening of the Seychelles International Airport. A deep friendship and collaboration developed between Lars Eric and Sir James, and together they worked to open up the Seychelles to travelers while ensuring that the magnificent natural riches would be protected. That collaboration continues today, with Sven Lindblad and the 102-guest National Geographic Orion in the Seychelles for a series of voyages exploring the archipelago.

In making the appointment, Minister Alain St.Ange said, “Tourism started in earnest when people ventured beyond their own borders to see cultural and historical sites of interests. This is what the Lindblad Group were doing when they added Seychelles onto their list of must visit destinations. As we welcome back the Lindblad Group this time through Sven Lindblad, the head of the organization, we say thank you for your support and for flying our flag high.”

“Seychelles is a tourism destination where its culture has been positioned at the base of its tourism development and it is with this 'tourism through culture' tag line that we have the pleasure to appoint you Cultural Ambassador for the Seychelles" he continued.

Sir James Mancham and Sven Lindblad then embarked on National Geographic Orion for an expedition that will explore the Aldabra archipelago – a Seychelles World Heritage Site – and other islands of the Seychelles. Sir James will serve as a Global Perspectives Guest Speaker on the voyage, where he will share his unique insights and knowledge of the region with the guests

Andrew Tischler to join True North Kimberley voyage


This year's Kimberley Ultimate 6 will feature landscape artist AndrewTischler.

Andrew first joined the TRUE NORTH in 2010 painting enpleinair (in open air) for all to enjoy and we are thrilled that Andrew is planning to once again immerse himself in the majestic Kimberley.

Since that first trip we have proudly featured Andrew's art on-board the TRUE NORTH and his reputation further afield has grown significantly. His exhibitions have routinely sold-out and Andrew now works almost exclusively under commission.

However, on this very special occasion Andrew is bringing a collection of work with him - the "True North Collection." These are paintings exclusively inspired by Andrew's time in the Kimberley. And, you can look over Andrew’s shoulder as this newest body of work comes to life by logging onto his studio blog here. Not only could this be your best opportunity to secure a stunning work from this now acclaimed artist – but you could also share in the creative process from conception to hanging.

To join in this celebration of one of Australia’s most stunning landscapes – just click here.

Contact your preferred travel representative or your adventure partners at North Star Cruises on +61 8 9192 1829!

Sunday 12 April 2015

Ponant's Le Lyrial launched


“Le Lyrial”, a small luxury cruise ship built by Fincantieri for the French cruise line Ponant (Bridgepoint Group), was launched today at the Ancona shipyard. The new ship, which will fly the French flag, is the fourth sister ship following “L’Austral”, “Le Boreal” and “Le Soleal”, delivered respectively in May 2010, April 2011 and June 2013.

Friday 10 April 2015

Greenland Voyage aboard Silver Explorer


Venture through one of the world's most spectacular wildernesses aboard Silversea Expeditions' luxury vessel, Silver Explorer.  Guests spend 12 days sailing through remote fjords and dazzling active white glaciers, while immersed in Viking heritage and the Inuit culture.  

Departing Reykjavik, Iceland on 15 August 2015, Silver Explorer crosses the Denmark Strait to sail along Greenland's rugged coastline, visiting Thyrms Glacier and Prince Christian Sound, where guests witness towering snow tipped mountains, sculptured icebergs and streaming waterfalls.  Docking in Nanortalik, a small scenic town surrounded by steep mountainsides and brimming with heritage, Silversea guests learn about the Inuit ancestry, traditional clothing, customs and lifestyle and unwind in hot springs renowned for their healing properties.

Continuing her journey through Greenland, Silver Explorer visits Uunartoq Island, Qaqortoq, Hvalsey and Brattahlid.  Each of these towns are abundant with historic ruins, endemic wildlife and remarkable surroundings.

Arriving in Nuuk, Greenland's capital, guests are guided through the picturesque harbour town, exploring Inuit ruins and the famous Qilakitsoq mummies along the way, before cruising to Sisimiut, where there is an opportunity to meet a sledge dog teamSilver Explorer then ports in Ilulissat, home to Jakobshavn, the northern hemisphere's most active glacier that radiates shades of white and turquoise at sunrise.  This voyage concludes in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, with guests disembarking on 27 August 2015.

Prices are per person starting from AU$12,250 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; an outstanding expedition team of expert guides and lecturers; 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

Follow Silversea on Twitter, Facebook and the Silversea Blog


Thursday 9 April 2015

One Ocean Expeditions Antarctic Programs



Leading polar cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions, is redefining Antarctic cruising by providing quicker access to the destination and increased time to experience the magic of South Georgia, the Falkland Islands and Antarctica with the introduction of new charter flights from Punta Arenas, Chile.

Exclusive to One Ocean Expeditions and new for this year, these journeys have been designed to enable adventurers and world travellers to get closer to the Antarctic continent for longer, in style and without lengthening voyage times.

Eliminating the crossing of the infamous Drake Passage can save over 48 hours and allows more time to access remote and untouched areas and to fully engage in the abundant choice of activities both on and off the expedition cruise ship. Activities such as wildlife viewing, ice photography and kayaking to name a few.

These new itineraries offer a small group experience of 70 passengers, allowing more flexibility to customize programs according to individual preferences and increased staff to guest ratio. In other words, less travel time with more experiences and individual attention.

Four new cruise itineraries, with departures from October 2015 through to March 2016, were recently launched on the One Ocean Voyager/Akademik Sergey Vavilov, each one with inspired new options.

The South Georgia In-Depth program says it all. It’s the first of its kind! The new 13-night voyage departs from Stanley in the Falklands, and gives guests seven consecutive days to discover South Georgia and the ‘greatest wildlife show on earth’. They will see king penguins by the hundreds of thousands; elephant seals fighting for territory to mate with their harems; fur seals mating, pupping and clustering the beaches; as well as a profusion of seabirds from albatross to giant petrels and skuas. Travelers will also pay a visit to the resting place of British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, along with many other historical sites rich in polar history.

Prices for the 13-night South Georgia in Depth program start from US$10,145 per person including flights Punta Arenas/Stanley, all food and accommodation onboard, plus zodiac excursions and landings, ship transfers and foul weather gear. Departure date 17 – 31 October 2015.

Falklands and South Georgia, the 14-night voyage departs from Stanley and offers eight full days in South Georgia. It encompasses the height of the Antarctic summer with young pups and chicks almost doubling the resident population along the beaches. A visit to Sea Lion Island is included on this voyage, with an opportunity to see diverse species and colonies of gentoo, magellanic and rockhopper penguins, cohabiting in harmony on the Falkland Islands, a British colony with a rich history.

Prices for the 14-night Falklands and South Georgia voyage start from US$12,995 per person including return flights Punta Arenas/Stanley, all food and accommodation onboard, plus zodiac excursions and landings, ship transfers and foul weather gear. Departure date 30 January – 13 February 2016.

Ultimate Antarctica Amongst Emperors and Kings, the 11-night voyage departs from King George Island and travels to Stanley via Antarctica and the Weddell Sea. The diversity of wildlife found on this voyage is unlike any other 11-night Antarctic itinerary. On this voyage guests will have the opportunity to view and photograph the gigantic and elegant king penguins ranging from 18-37 inches in height. The kings along with chinstrap, Adelie and gentoo penguins are abundant in this unique region. They have a gift to amuse photographers and curious adventurers. Pushing into the vast expanse of the Weddell Sea, there are miles of tabular icebergs to discover along with elusive emperor penguins, incredible landscapes and brilliant photographic opportunities. This cruise will also explore historical interest for both Sir Ernest Shackleton at Elephant Island and the Nordenskold expedition at Paulet Island.

Prices for the 11-night Ultimate Antarctica Amongst Emperors and Kings voyage start from US$10,595 per person including flights Punta Arenas/King George Island and Stanley/Punta Arenas, all food and accommodation onboard, plus zodiac excursions and landings, ship transfers and foul weather gear. Departures December 2015, January and February 2016.

Antarctic Peninsula Explorer and the Falkland Islands, the 10-night voyage departs from Stanley and sails to Sea Lion Island, an expedition stop rich in wildlife including elephant seals, sea lions, rockhopper, gentoo and magellanic penguins. Guests will explore the impressive western coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula, visiting many of the same locations as One Ocean Expeditions’ classic Antarctic Peninsula Adventure, such as Wilhelmina Bay, Errera Channel, Paradise Harbour and the flooded volcanic caldera at Deception Island.

Prices for the 10-night Antarctic Peninsula Explorer and the Falkland Islands voyage start from US$9,795 per person including flights Punta Arenas/Stanley and King George Island/Punta Arenas, all food and accommodation onboard, plus zodiac excursions and landings, ship transfers and foul weather gear. Departures December 2015, January and February 2016.

One Ocean Expeditions’ cruises provide flexibility and adaptability and memorable educational experiences both on and off the ship. Zodiac excursions led by a team of dedicated and knowledgeable staff are offered daily. Workshops of all kinds ranging from photography, history and marine biology to hiking, wildlife and visits to science stations are part of the daily program. There is something for all ages and fitness levels.

One Ocean Expeditions

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Save AU$2500 Per Couple on Biggest-Ever Antarctic Program


Includes new shorter itineraries to fly over the Drake Passage

Australian polar travel specialist, Active Travel, is offering flight savings of AU$1500 per couple for bookings made before April 30, 2015, on its biggest-ever range of Antarctic voyages for 2015-16.

Complimentary wet weather gear hire valued at AU$500 per person, will also be available to all passengers visiting the Antarctic, lifting the savings to AU$2500 per couple.

Active Travel’s biggest-ever program of Antarctic voyages offers eight tours between October, 2015, and March, 2016.

The Antarctica options include three new shorter fly and cruise itineraries from 11-15 days which will see travellers fly from Chile over the Drake Passage to meet their ship in the Falkland Islands or South Shetland Islands. This option cuts the time at sea, reduces the chance of cross-passage sea sickness, allows more exploration time on land and reduces the length of the tour.

These new itineraries include an 11-day ‘Antarctic Peninsula Explorer and the Falklands’ tour, offering a flight from Punta Arenas to Port Stanley in the Falklands, followed by a 10-night cruise aboard the ice-strengthened expedition ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, along the Antarctic Peninsula and then a two-hour flight from the South Shetland Islands back to Punta Arenas.

The package is priced from US$9795 triple share and US$11,795 twin-share. Departures from Punta Arenas are on December 19, 2015, and January 9, February 13 and March 7 in 2016.

Antarctic bookings for the 2015/16 program made by April 30, 2015, will receive a flight credit of AU$750 per person, to be used towards international flights to South America booked in conjunction with the cruise through Active Travel. Complimentary hire of wet weather gear, including polar-rated waterproof jacket and pants and insulated rubber boots designed for walking, will also be offered to guests.

Pre/post cruise accommodation and touring around South America can also booked through Active Travel.

Active Travel offers one of the most extensive range of Antarctic and Arctic adventures available to Australians in partnership with long-standing polar travel specialists, One Ocean Expeditions, which Active Travel pioneered in the Australian market in 2008.

For details, visit or call 1300 783 188. 

Live the Movie Star life aboard Star Clippers’ Cannes to Malaga voyage

Star Clippers offers the retro glamour as it glides around the most chic destinations in Europe. Depart the ultimate star city in Cannes after cruising amongst the haute couture in France’s celebrity city. It’s virtually impossible not to see a famous face during film festival time amongst the Ferraris, Porsches and liner sized yachts. If you’re not seduced by the lure of a brush with fame, the natural beauty makes the trip worthwhile. Step onboard Star Clippers 14 night cruise which finishes in another city known for its film festival, and the best tapas bars in the province, Spain’s Malaga.

Star Clippers fleet are true clipper ships reflecting their proud heritage in every inch of their polished brass and gleaming bright work. Step aboard these unique vessels and discover a new age of sail, where the traditions of the past are happily married to the comforts and amenities of the present day. Star Clippers is created for luxury-loving passengers who also love the traditions and romance of the legendary era of sailing ships. Star Flyer is 360 feet long and carries just 170 guests in pampered comfort.

Life aboard is blissfully relaxed, much like traveling on a private yacht. You'll never feel confined on Star Flyer. Each ship offer spacious accommodations and expansive teak decks with ample space and not one, but two swimming pools. In fact, you'll find that these ships offer more outdoor space per passenger than most conventional cruise ships.

Star Clipper
The décor of Star Clipper and Star Flyer is reminiscent of the grand age of sail. Antique prints and paintings of famous sailing ships please the eye, while teak and gleaming mahogany rails are richly reminiscent of Star Clippers' proud nautical heritage.

This cruise visits Calvi, St Tropez, Sanary-sur-Mer, Sete, Port Vendres, Palamos, Barcelona, Mahon, Palma, Ibiza, Cartagena, Motril, and Puerto Banus. Sail where other ships cannot go and stop off at attractions such as Cartagena’s deep water harbour surrounded by the walled town used by Phoenicians, Romans and Moors prior to the Spanish navy. Visit Torres Park and the Castle of la Concepción for the best views in the city.

Highlights include Ibiza – for the party goers but if you prefer something more quiet there are some gorgeous little beaches away from the crowds; Mallorca is another gorgeous destination enroute to Malaga with its Gothic cathedral with a vast open nave and soaring columns have been added to over the centuries. Behind the Cathedral, a maze of twisting streets leads to designer boutiques and open-air markets.

This 14 night cruise costs from $5130 for an outside cabin including taxes, all meals, entertainment, tea and coffee. Departure from 3 October 2016.

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

Sunday 5 April 2015

One Ocean Expeditions cruises Canada's Arctic and East Coast Maritimes


Prices reduced

Polar cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions, is offering an adjustment on their cruise prices to assist in aligning their voyage prices with the fluctuating global currency to US dollar exchange. A 20% price adjustment and a variety of other special offers are available on two exceptional Canadian voyages this summer.

Canada’s East Coast Wildlife Safari, 7 – 16 July 2015 / Louisbourg to Louisbourg

Enjoy the prolific wildlife around the remote and otherwise inaccessible islands of Nova Scotia (including Sable Island), Quebec, Newfoundland and the French territory of St. Pierre et Miquelon on this quintessential Canadian voyage.

Guests can expect to see everything from blue whales and humpback whales to bald eagles and vast seabird colonies during this memorable 10-day voyage.

Guided activities included as part of this fun and action-packed trip include kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. As the Akademik Ioffe/One Ocean Navigator sails the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, guests onboard will be accompanied by a Cape Breton fiddler and an East Coast musician (with a focus on the musical culture of the small fishing communities) and even the onboard meals will reflect the superb seafood for which the Maritime Provinces are world famous.

Prices for the 10-day East Coast Wildlife Safari start at US$4955 per person including the 20% price reduction and all activities and excursions.

Family packages are also available on this voyage: children 16 and under can join an adult for just US$1500, while young people aged 17-20 will have a 25% discount.

Arctic Circle in Focus: Photo Symposium, 2-12 August 2015 / Iqaluit to Kangerlussuaq

An action packed 11-day adventure, combining the Canadian Arctic with the west coast of Greenland, to photograph some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife, culture and scenery. Suitable for amateurs and professionals alike, this once-in-a-lifetime voyage will make the most of every opportunity and all the best light to focus our lenses on polar bears, walruses, Arctic seals, whales, Inuit settlements, glaciers, fjords, icebergs, and much, much more.

In addition to One Ocean Expeditions’ regular program of presentations on wildlife, history and geology, this unique trip will be accompanied by a broad spectrum of professional photographers who will provide their own inspiring presentations, as well as offering one-to-one photographic guidance and constructive feedback.

Prices for the 11-day Arctic Circle in Focus – Photographic Symposium sailing from Iqaluit to Kangerlussuaq (Greenland) start from US$5,595 per person including the 20% price reduction and all excursions.

For the Arctic Circle in Focus voyage, there are also savings of up to US$1,100 on a pre-booked flight package. One Ocean Expeditions price is US$1,200 per person – roughly half the published fare of around US$2,300. This is for Canadian Arctic flights Ottawa to Iqaluit (departing Ottawa August 2, 2015) and Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa (departing Kangerlussuaq August 12, 2015).

For further information please contact One Ocean Expeditions

Friday 3 April 2015

North Pole expeditions on again


Despite fears that North Pole voyages will no longer operate after this year, Poseidon Expeditions has announced three departures in 2016. The 14-day polar expeditions will be aboard the 128-passenger, nuclear-powered icebreaker named 50 Years of Victory.

The voyages to 90º North — the geographic North Pole — take place at the height of the summer season: July 10, July 21 and Aug. 1, 2016. The programs also include Franz Josef Land, an infrequently visited region in the Russian High Arctic. Rates range from $26,995 per person for a standard stateroom to $41,995 for the Arktika Suite.

In early 2014, it was feared that North Pole expeditions would end this year after the 50 Years of Victory stopped operating passenger voyages in favor of more lucrative work clearing the way for cargo and scientific ships in Arctic waters. But in October, Poseidon announced that the owner of the icebreaker, Atomflot, decided once again to operate passenger voyages through 2018.

“We are pleased that our partner in this venture — the vessel’s owner, Atomflot — has decided to continue making this unique vessel available to tourism with departures in 2016 and beyond,” said Poseidon President Nikolay Saveliev. “Fortunately, Atomflot’s earlier plans that summer 2015 would be 50 Years of Victory’s swan song insofar as carrying passengers to the North Pole did not materialize.”

The company said it was “happy” to resume the North Pole program. For a taste of the reaction, check out this lip dub video produced last August during the final North Pole cruise of 2014.

Since 2001, Poseidon has operated 29 voyages carrying more than 2,750 passengers to the North Pole aboard the 50 Years of Victory and the nuclear-powered Yamal.

In addition to the newly announced voyages, limited space is still available on this year’s departures on July 19, July 30 and Aug. 10. Per person rates start at $25,995 for the 2015 season.

The North Pole adventures begin and end with overnight stays at a deluxe hotel in Helsinki, Finland. Charter round-trip flights then take the travelers to Murmansk — headquarters for the Russian icebreaker fleet — to board the ship. All departures feature presentations by the expedition staff, excursions onto the sea ice and ashore via Zodiac landing craft in Franz Josef Land, helicopter flightseeing, and other activities.

First and foremost a working vessel, the 525-foot 50 Years of Victory still accommodates guests in comfortable staterooms with private facilities and exterior views. Public spaces include a dining room, an aft salon, a bow-facing bar and lounge, library and lounge, and a gym, two saunas and swimming pool with heated seawater. The ship has a clinic and physician.

“The beneficiaries are the many intrepid travelers who haven’t yet had the opportunity to stand on Arctic Ocean sea ice at the literal top of the world, to explore Franz Josef Land and to experience traveling aboard an incredibly powerful ship that can crush ice up to three meters thick,” Saveliev said.

Source: THERESA NORTON MASEK - Travel Pulse

Thursday 2 April 2015

North Star Cruises wins again. True North voted Best Luxury Cruise Ship (small)



Best Australian Adventure Experience and Best Luxury Cruise Ship (Small)

North Star’s Charity Turner and Peter Trembath receive the company’s
Gold List awards from Luxury Travel’s Adam Davey.
The adventure-cruise ship TRUE NORTH has again won the coveted award for Best Australian Adventure Experience at Luxury Travel magazine’s annual Gold List Awards. The ship was also voted Best Luxury Cruise Ship (Small) and has now won an impressive eight Gold List awards in just 3 years.

Luxury Travel progressively announced award winners via their social media network on Wednesday
and then followed-up in the evening with a reception for all finalists at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel.

North Star Cruises Australia’s general manager, Peter Trembath, said the company’s long term loyalty to brand and, a culture of attention to detail and personal service was responsible for North Star’s consistent award-winning performance.

“There is a strong desire to ensure that every opportunity to engage the company is an opportunity to engage North Star’s original blend of adventure and luxury. And, the culture on-board the TRUE NORTH has always been about satisfying guest desire.”

Mr Trembath added “North Star has never shied away from introducing new opportunities for adventure and our proven recipe for going wild in style has always hit the mark with those who seek more than just a holiday.”

North Star’s success has meant that cabins on the TRUE NORTH were in constant demand however Mr Trembath explained that the determined adventurer could still secure a 2015 opportunity to experience life on-board the revered adventure-cruise ship.

“However, they will need to act quickly, remaining availability is disappearing fast!” 


 Australia’s premier luxury adventure-cruise ship, the TRUE NORTH is purpose-built to sail deep into the heart of the wilderness, visiting areas that larger ships cannot access. Guests are privy to very-high quality off-ship experiences courtesy of the ship’s biologist and a team of naturalists, a ship’s helicopter and six dedicated expedition boats.

 Exceptional food and wine are also at the heart of a TRUE NORTH experience. The ship’s modern Australian cuisine is supplemented with locally sourced ingredients and complemented by an outstanding selection of Western Australian wines. Cabins are spacious and modern; there is a panoramic lower deck dining room, an alfresco bar, an observation lounge and a dedicated sports deck.

 Daily activities include scenic walks, fishing, snorkelling, diving, picnics, cultural events and spectacular flights in the ship’s helicopter.

 Destinations include the Kimberley – a panorama of rugged mountains, spectacular gorges and majestic waterfalls; the still-wild coast of Western Australia featuring the intriguing Abrolhos Islands, world-famous Ningaloo Reef, fishing paradise at the Montebello Islands and, the pristine Rowley Shoals; the breathtaking islands of the Raja Ampat; the whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay; the mighty Sepik River and the un-spoilt islands of Papua New Guinea; the rarely visited Louisiade Archipelago; beautiful Sydney Harbour and, a seafood safari around the delightful Eyre Peninsula.

Bookings: Contact North Star Cruises on 08 9192 1829 or email

Hans Rood to steer Haimark Fleet

Hans Rood

Haimark has named Hans Rood, a travel and cruise industry executive with more than 25 years of global cruise and travel experience, to oversee all aspects of its small ship cruise brands.

“Hans has served in key executive management positions at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Royal Caribbean, Cunard/Seabourn, Holland America, Hurtigruten, and FleetPro passenger ship management," said Tom Markwell, managing partner, sales and marketing, on behalf of the Haimark ownership team.

The combined fleet of Haimark exceeds nine river and ocean ships, each accommodating between 24 and 210 guests.

The company will launch three new ships in May, September and October:

Haimark Line, dedicated to soft adventure luxury coastal expedition cruising in North, Central and South America, will launch the 105-cabin MS Saint Laurenton May 30 for its “Historic Saint Lawrence River and America’s Five Great Lakes” inaugural sailing with a nine-night itinerary from Montreal to Chicago.

Haimark Ltd., a five-star all-suite luxury river expedition cruise line, will launch RV Mekong Princess in September 2015 for seven-night itineraries along theMekong River in Cambodia and the Vietnam delta. The spa-focused small river expedition cruise ship will have 12 suites, extensive spa cuisine options, daily morning yoga and tai chi, signature spa experiences and active daily excursions.

Haimark Ltd. will also launch the RV Amazon Discovery, with 22 river view suites and the Rainforest Spa, in October 2015 for six-night explorations along the Peruvian Amazon, with itineraries that offer Zodiac excursions in the company of biodiversity experts.

During his career, Rood has lived in London, Oslo, New York and Miami. Born and raised in The Netherlands, Hans earned a master’s degree from theUniversity of Amsterdam as well as an MBA from New York University and is fluent in several languages.


Wednesday 1 April 2015

Hurtigruten's MS Fram whisky expedition



- 10 day 'Norwegian fjords' voyage start from $5,140

The MS Fram expedition ship is for the second year running an experiment to see the effects that sea travel has on alcoholic drinks, having loaded a barrel of calvados on its voyages from pole to pole.

Last year, two 150-litre barrels of American oak were filled with 25-year-old Single Highland Malt Scotch Whisky and firmly anchored on deck 9 for the long journey around the globe. After bottling, the whisky became available for purchase on-board and is still regularly offered during whisky tasting sessions on-board.

This year, a barrel of 25 year old calvados has been loaded onto the ship and has been crossing the world's oceans and covering thousands of nautical miles from Antarctica to the Arctic Circle. During its voyage it will cross the equator, Arctic Circle (north and south) and the Prime Meridian.

"We were delighted by the results of the Whisky project last year, which gave the single malt a superior roundness after it had been subject to the continuous rolling wave movements, temperature changes and sea air" says MS Fram captain Arild Hårvik. "This year we decided to try something slightly different, so are transporting a cask of calvados to ascertain whether it is improved by sea travel to the same degree. Who knows what we will try next year – maybe aquavit?"

At the end of its journey in August, the calvados will be will be transferred into limited edition bottles at 80 degrees north and will then be available for sale on-board.

Prices for a 10 day 'Norwegian fjords' voyage on-board the MS Fram start from $5,140 per person, based on two people sharing an inside cabin on full board basis. The trip departs on 1 May and starts and ends from Dover. Hurtigruten are currently offering 50% off the price of the second person when you book a twin cabin, meaning they can travel from $2,570 per person.

For more information contact your local Travel Agent, email Discover the World on or call 1800 OCEANS (1800 623 267).