Wednesday 27 July 2016

Lindblad Explorers gearing up for South Georgia traverse


The sons of two iconic exploration pioneers – Peter Hillary and Jamling Tenzing Norgay – will be joined by Jeremy Lindblad to recreate the historic 50km South Georgia traverse in celebration of Lindblad’s 50th year expedition anniversary. This spectacular adventure will include a historic rendezvous of National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion for the final six-kilometre stretch of the route and a celebratory Explorer’s Masked Ball.

Guests can meet the explorers onboard National Geographic Orion, departing Ushuaia (Argentina) on 24 October 2016, and National Geographic Explorer, departing two days later. Accomplished mountaineers are invited to submit their climbing credentials to be considered to join the entire 3-day traverse. All other guests on both ships will be invited to hike the final 6 kilometres from Fortuna Bay to Stromness Bay alongside Hillary, Norgay and Lindblad.

Lindblad guests on this extraordinary cruise will also get up close and personal with South Georgia and The Falklands’ incredible wildlife such as king penguins, seals and albatross.

Webinar with Peter Hillary
For all interested mountaineers and exploration fans, Peter Hillary will be hosting a webinar and talk about his past and upcoming adventures on Thursday, August 4th at 9am (AU), 11am (NZ). Webinar link:

Special offer available
Guest who book now receive a AU$1,000 special savings offer per person plus free round-trip charter airfares Buenos Aires/Ushuaia (NG Explorer) or Santiago/Ushuaia (NG Orion) on the Oct. 2016 departures. Those interested in joining the traverse should contact Lindblad Expeditions CXO Trey Byus at to learn what’s required.

National Geographic Orion departs 24 October 2016 for 19 days; National Geographic Explorer departs 26 October 2016 for 18 days. Standard rates begin at $19,910 to $38,540.
More information about the itinerary:

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Heritage Expeditions to Support guide Evgeny Syroechkovskiy to save a Species from Extinction


Far away from the rest of the world, Heritage Expeditions guide Evgeny Syroechkovskiy is working tirelessly to save a species from extinction. As the head of the conservation project for Birds Russia, Evgeny utilises his specialised knowledge on the Spoonbilled Sandpiper Project.

The Spoonbilled Sandpiper is a wading shorebird with as few as 100 breeding pairs in existence which only breeds in the Russian Far East. This species uses the East Asian-Australasian Flyway as a migratory route however this ‘bird highway’ is potholed with dangers of habitat loss, hunting and human interference which has led to the severe reduction in numbers of birds. The Project is showing some success, but ultimately will only succeed with a co-operative approach from the multiple countries along the Flyway.

Supporting the Spoonbilled Sandpiper is an ongoing project and Heritage Expeditions has been instrumental in relocating precious cargo of Spoonbilled Sandpiper eggs, logistical support, and yearly expeditions offering expeditioners the chance to be active Project participants. Evgeny Syroechkovskiy himself is an invaluable regular guide with Heritage Expeditions and shares his passion for this species with expeditioners.

On a Heritage Expeditions voyage in July 2016, a previously unknown breeding area was located by expeditioners in conjunction with the Spoonbilled Sandpiper Recovery Team and they positively identified eight individual birds. Read more about this incredibly important find here. View the Captain’s Blog Updates from this expedition which includes the first announcement of the find here.

Join the Heritage Expeditions team in the field with Evgeny Syroechkovskiy and help support his research and conservation efforts on our Siberia’s Forgotten Coast: In the Wake of Spoonbilled Sandpiper voyage, departing on 27 June 2017.

The specialised work of the Spoonbilled Sandpiper Team has recently been featured in an online article by the BBC.

(Heritage Expeditions)

AdventureSmith Explorations Adds Small Ship Safari Voyager for Adventurers Seeking Active, Intimate Central America Cruise Vacations


AdventureSmith Explorations, the company that brings cruise guests into intimate contact with seldom-visited shorelines around the world, recently announced the addition of the newly renovated Safari Voyager to its collection of the world’s premier small ships.

To accompany the launch, guests will enjoy an exclusive discount on select 2016 and 2017 cruise departures in Costa Rica and Panama.

For bookings now through August 30, 2016 cruise guests will save $350 per cabin aboard the Safari Voyager on AdventureSmith’s Uncharted Isthmus! Sloths, Monkeys & Mangroves cruise itinerary on scheduled departures set for Dec. 17, 2016; Jan. 7, 14, 21, Feb. 4, March 4, 18, and April 1, 15, 22, 2017. The eight-day adventures start at $2,995 per person, double before the discount.

On AdventureSmith’s Pure Panama: Cultures, Coasts & Canal participants will also save $350 per cabin through August 30, 2016 on all 2017 departures from April through September. Pre-discount rates start at $3,795 per person, double for the nine-day cruise.

In addition to cruise savings, travelers who let AdventureSmith Explorations plan a trip extension ashore in Costa Rica or Panama before or after the Pure Panama or Uncharted Isthmus cruises can save an additional $250 per person ($500 per cabin/couple).

Both itineraries take place aboard the luxurious Safari Voyager, a 62-passenger, 174-foot yacht that AdventureSmith Explorations is introducing following the completion of the ship’s $4 million restoration this fall.

“These new cruises in Costa Rica and Panama will add a much needed option to the current selection of small ship cruises suitable for active travelers seeking to explore off the ship with more opportunities to kayak, paddle board and snorkel,” explains Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations’ founder and president.“Costa Rica has long been a mecca for adventure travelers and now there is an adventure cruising style worthy of this reputation.”

Uncharted Isthmus is an eight-day voyage that explores the shorelines of Costa Rica and Panama by skiff, hiking, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling and kayaking. The route covers the entire Pacific coastline of Panama — and most of Costa Rica’s as well — making this itinerary one of the most comprehensive ways to cruise the region. Highlights include transiting the 48-mile-long Panama Canal connecting the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean; visiting Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park; snorkeling the crystalline waters at Panama’s Granito de Oro; and spotting wildlife like sloths, monkeys and macaws along the way.

Pure Panama is another upscale small ship cruise that focuses on actively exploring Panama over nine days. From home base on Safari Voyager, guests travel by motorized dugout canoe to meet the local Emberá people; hike the magnificent Darién Jungle in search of wildlife; kayak along the Chagres River looking for toucans and monkeys; marvel at its history while transiting the 48-mile-long Panamá Canal; explore the historic UNESCO site Fort San Lorenzo; and kayak, stand up paddle board and snorkel among the rare beauty of Las Perlas and Guna Yala Islands.

According to Smith, “these two itineraries are the most active cruise options now available to these Central American countries.”

If a traveler were to combine these coastal explorations with any Costa Rica or Panama land trip, they can enjoy additional savings.“A top pick is our Tropical Volcano & Cloud Forest cruise extension, a fully guided six-day trip to Arenal National Park and the Monteverde Cloud Forest,” Smith added.

Aboard Safari Voyager
Guests enjoy views from four public decks and a window-lined lounge offering an uncompromised 270-degree view with comfortable seating for all 62 guests and a full-service bar and deck seating. Other features include an elegant dining room and a new library on the Cabin Deck with eight floor-to-ceiling windows, plush furniture and nautical decor. The Sun Deck features a new al fresco public space with fitness equipment and lounge chairs. Two massage rooms are being added in her current renovation. 

An aft EZ Dock launch platform provides convenient access into and from the water for adventure activities. The vessel is outfitted with kayaks, stand up paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, snorkel gear, wet suits, and hiking poles. Guests can also take advantage of the onboard wellness program with fitness equipment, yoga mats and a complimentary massage.

Generously sized staterooms include one owner’s suite, four suites and two single staterooms. All Safari Voyager cabins feature wide panoramic view windows above the waterline; individually controlled air conditioning; generous storage and closet space; desk and chair; iPod/MP3/4 docking stations; TV/DVD player; and private bath with shower. Depending on the stateroom category, singles, doubles, or triples can be accommodated.

(AdventureSmith Explorations)

Seabourn Launches New Excursions To The South Pole


Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is launching new pre-cruise experiences taking guests to the South Pole on select Antarctica & Patagonia itineraries during the 2016-2017 season.

Guests bound for the Great White Continent aboard Seabourn Quest can extend their adventure with two new travel packages that also travel to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including: Polar Quest & Patagonia and Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego & Iguazu Falls.

“Seabourn has made its reputation for offering guests astonishing experiences in places that are beyond the ordinary, and there are few travel opportunities less-expected or out-of-the-ordinary than a visit to the South Pole,” said Robin West, Senior Manager, Expedition Planning and Operations for Seabourn. “These experiences will be the icing on the cake for guests bound for Antarctica aboard Seabourn Quest over the season ahead.”

Both of the pre-cruise packages include stays at Union Glacier Camp in the southern Ellsworth Mountains, one of a few private seasonally occupied camps in Antarctica. Operated by renowned land-based tour operator Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE), the full-service camp offers spacious, double-occupancy sleeping tents; freshly prepared gourmet cuisine; and a spectacular setting for activities from scenic excursions to technical climbs and ski tours.

There are many memories waiting to be made and much for guests to enjoy on the new pre-cruise experiences on Seabourn Quest in Antarctica & Patagonia this season, including:

+ Polar Quest & Patagonia (14 nights/15 days) – In addition to a transantarctic flight and landing at the South Pole, this overland journey takes guests on an exploration of breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site Torres del Paine National Park that encompasses 450,000 acres of forests, rivers, lakes and virgin pampas in southernmost Chile. Choose from a variety of included excursions providing daily opportunities to explore the various environments, including vivid blue ice pools, raw glacial moraines and abundant wildlife from guanacos to Andean condors. Package rates start at $50,999 per person based on double occupancy; pre-cruise departure December 4, 2016 followed by Seabourn Quest sailing December 19, 2016.

+ Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego & Iguazu Falls (16 nights/17 days) – In addition to a transantarctic flight and landing at the South Pole, guests will join a select company of intrepid explorers en-route to one of the world’s most remote and unspoiled destinations: the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguazu Falls National Park on the border of Brazil and Argentina. From Santiago, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina, guests will witness an immense complex of waterfalls. Explore the falls and its surroundings from extensive walkways or take options such as inflatable boats or helicopter tours. Package rates start at $53,999 per person based on double occupancy; pre-cruise departure December 26, 2016 followed by Seabourn Quest sailing January 12, 2017.

Monday 25 July 2016

Special Interest Sailing Around Bali on the Rise


According to Indonesian Island Sail, special interest sailing trips around Bali has not only begun to trend, but will continue to rise steadily in popularity as more and more travellers venture beyond Bali in search of untouched islands and authentic Indonesian experiences.

Owner and Cruise Director of Indonesian Island Sail, Amanda Zsebik, says with 70% of Indonesia's 17,800+ islands uninhabited, travellers, especially sailing enthusiasts, are realising the endless opportunities to be had or experienced around this nation of islands.

"As one of only three sailing boats out of the 500+ that offer non-diving sails in the region, it has become evident that a gap exists in the market when it comes to catering to other special interest groups," says Zsebik.

While sailing holidays on a small traditional phinisi (a traditional Indonesian two-masted sailing ship) is still relatively new, Zsebik's determination to introduce the concept to Australian holidaymakers keen to explore new island territories and local island experiences is paying off.

"Since launching the business in 2014, we have added a number of special interest itineraries based on customer feedback and interests," she says. "Along with our original program of sailing to West Nusa Tenggara, we are extremely pleased that our yoga and cruise fit itineraries, which combine sailing, watersports, yoga or cross fit, have proven popular among travellers.

According to Zsebik, her clients not only enjoy small group sailing holidays away from the masses, but even more so, they appreciate restful escapes in untouched natural surrounds.

Indonesian Island Sail has added cooking and golfing to its itineraries for 2017. The seven-day cooking itinerary involves classes on preparing classic Indonesian meat and vegetable dishes as well as traditional desserts. The seven-day golfing itinerary involves learning, practicing and friendly golf matches with a PGA pro. All sailing itineraries include snorkeling, visits to marine life sanctuaries and isolated islands.

All sailing tours are operated onboard the Al Iikai, which accommodates up to 15 guests in a mix of twin, double and bunk rooms. For bookings and more information, visit

About Indonesian Island Sail

Founded by Amanda Zsebik, a Bali-based Australian entrepreneur with a background in financial consulting, property development and FMCG merchandising, Indonesia Island Sail was borne out of a lifestyle dream, which turned into a business venture in 2014. The sailing itineraries designed by Amanda aim to expose travellers to the relatively unknown islands of Indonesia, while encouraging them to engage with the authentic local culture, experiences and activities.

Friday 22 July 2016

Lindblad adds two new departures for Antarctica 2016 season

*Complimentary charter airfare and $1,000 special saving*

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced the addition of two new departures to their Antarctica 2016 season on November 7 and November 17. Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the first citizen explorer voyage to Antarctica led by Lars-Eric Lindblad, the company cited the increased demand, and with two ships in the region, National Geographic Explorer and National Geographic Orion, the season is almost sold out.

Both departures will be set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, and will follow the 11-night Journey to Antarctica: The White Continent expedition, one of the most exhilarating adventures the planet offers.

Guests will experience the marvels of this world of penguins in astounding numbers, myriad bird species, and whales; the majestic ice sculptures, and the splendid solitude.  The active, immersive adventure will include kayaking among icebergs, Zodiac cruises past resting leopard seals, and hikes on the continent with the best ice team on Earth - an expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer, a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, and an undersea specialist.    

Rates begin at AU$16,700 per person based on double occupancy in a category one cabin. Guests on the two departures will also receive a special saving of AU$1,000 and a complimentary charter airfare roundtrip between Santiago/Ushuaia.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyages, visit, or call 1300 361 012 (AU), 0800 444 462 (NZ) or +2 9033 8700 (Asia).

Thursday 21 July 2016

One Oceans Expeditions join the prestigious Canadian Signature Experience Collection

Destination Canada welcomes Canadian cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE), to the Canadian Signature Experience (CSE) program with its unique 'Fins and Fiddles' expedition cruise to Canada's East Coast.  The CSE is a curated collection of innovative travel experiences designed to encourage local and global visitors to further explore Canada by introducing them to the most authentic and memorable experiences possible, Coast to Coast to Coast.

OOE's  'Fins and Fiddles' 11-day expedition cruise caters to travellers and families interested in exploring the diverse facets of Canada's friendliest region - the Maritimes and Canada's East Coast.  Departing from Louisbourg, Nova Scotia the voyage provides unrivalled access to remote communities, abundant wildlife, natural beauty and diverse cultural experiences representing Canada's rich history.  Zodiac excursions, soft adventures and educational seminars take place daily.  These activities include sea kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, on-shore guided hiking and bicycle touring; meetings with locals in remote fishing communities and educational seminars on marine wildlife, Canadian history and photography by onboard experts. Guests can experience as many activities on the ship as they do off the ship, defining the expedition cruise experience that is unique to OOE.

Trip highlights include encountering the fabled wild horses of Sable Island, Parks Canada's newest Natural Reserve off the mainland of Nova Scotia; visiting the world's largest gannet colonies on Bonaventure Island; setting foot on Canada's birth-place, Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island, and walking on the earth's crust at Tablelands, a World Heritage Site in Gros Morne National Park.

"OOE is honoured to join the other exceptional members of the Canadian Signature collection", says Andrew Prossin, Managing Director at One Ocean Expeditions. "Together with operators from across the country OOE continues to innovate and develop outstanding Canadian travel experiences that differentiate our great destination on the competitive global stage," added Prossin.

With over 200,000 kilometers (over 124,000 miles) of coastline, Canada boasts the longest coastline in the world.  OOE's Canadian Signature Experience was chosen for the exceptional experience connecting travellers to Canadians and Canada's geography, rich cultural heritage on coastal communities and marine adventures.

In July 2017, OOE is introducing a new voyage on Canada's East Coast, the 'Labrador and Torngat Explorer'  This inaugural 11- day voyage cruises along the rugged coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador and includes a visit to the jewel in the crown of Canada's National Park network - Torngat Mountains National Park – home to the highest mountains in Canada, east of the Rockies.  The trip also links several historic locations including the Viking settlement at L'anse au Meadows, a French-built fortress and various remote mission locations and isolated fishing ports.  The voyage takes travellers north into the higher Arctic latitudes and gives access to abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery in remote bays and fjords only accessible by the small ships operated by OOE.

For more information on One Ocean Expeditions' cruises please visit:

Tuesday 19 July 2016

Peregrine’s ‘Big Polar Payout’ sees Antarctica sales soar


Since launching Peregrine Adventures ‘Big Polar Payout’ on July 1, sales for the adventure travel company’s Polar Trips have increased by 1,100%.

Polar sales have soared in the past 2 weeks, making Antarctica Peregrine’s second biggest selling destination after South America.

Agents are embracing the incentive and there has been a 264% increase in the number of agents trained per week.

The Big Polar Payout offers an earlybird special to consumers for 2017/2018 Polar trips, as well as one massive incentive that will see one lucky store win back the entire cost of a Polar berth.

Agents also go in to the draw to win icy-cold Friday night drinks, for completing the training.

Sandra Worsfold and Tashi Lachman from Thor Travel and Amanda Sansom from Flight Centre Applecross have been the winners of the ice-cold beverages so far.

To go in the draw to win the Big Polar Payout and weekly icy cold Friday drinks, agents must register and complete the Intrepid Group’s online Polar sales training here: . For further information on the incentive and full terms and conditions, please contact your Intrepid Group BDM.

The Big Polar Payout is available to any store in Australian or New Zealand that books and deposits for a Peregrine Adventures or Intrepid Travel Polar trip before 31 August 2016.

Peregrine Adventures is offering travellers up to $8300 off select Antarctic voyages for the 2017/2018 season. The offer is available until 30th September 2016 - or until places are sold out. For more information and T &Cs visit:

For more information on all Peregrine Adventures Polar trips, visit

Monday 18 July 2016

New ultra luxury small ship cruise tour of Scotland and England

Revealing a Very Royal Affair

Exclusive, new, luxe cruise tour to England and Scotland featuring The Ritz, royal palaces, private dining and luxurious cruise and rail journeys

One of the finest journeys ever offered by Cruise Express

Private tours of English royal palaces, an exclusive dinner in Scotland's finest medieval castle, a stay at the London Ritz and journeys aboard the opulent Belmond Royal Scotsman train and the boutique Scottish ship, Hebridean Princess, are highlights of an exclusive new 2017 cruise tour released by Cruise Express.

Departing Australia on August 7, 2017, 'A Very Royal Affair' is a luxurious, 21-night journey by road, rail and sea through England and Scotland. The tour begins with two days in London followed by an in-depth exploration of Scotland, including tickets to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, a private tour and morning tea aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia and a ride on the UK's highest railway.

Among the tour's many highlights are:

* Two nights in London's legendary Ritz Hotel.

* Private tours inside Kensington Palace – home to Prince William and his family and once the home of Princess Diana - and Clarence House, home to Prince Charles and his wife and once the residence of the Queen Mother.

* An overnight trip aboard the glamorous Belmond Royal Scotsman train from London to Edinburgh, including a champagne afternoon tea, cocktails, canapes and gourmet dinner and breakfast.

* Three nights in Edinburgh including a private tour and morning tea aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, premium tickets to the spectacular Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and a visit to the magnificent 17th Century Hopetoun House, billed as Scotland's finest Georgian manor.

* A visit to Scotland's famous St Andrews Cathedral.

* A trip  up 1245m-high CairnGorm Mountain along a 40-degree funicular track - the UK's highest railway.

* An elegant champagne reception and dinner in the multi-towered, 600-year-old Glamis Castle near Blairgowrie. Described as Scotland's most beautiful castle, Glamis was the childhood home of the Queen Mother.

* A tour of romantic Cawdor Castle and its ornate gardens near Inverness. The castle is linked to Shakespeare's tragedy, Macbeth

* A visit to 227m-deep Loch Ness, home to the world's most famous monster.

* A private tour with three course lunch in spectacular Inveraray Castle, nestled by a loch in the Scottish Highlands and home to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll.

The centrepiece of the tour is a seven-night cruise from Invergordon to Oban around the top of Scotland and through the wildly beautiful islands of The Hebrides aboard the luxurious, 49-guest ship, Hebridean Princess. Twice chartered by the Queen for private family holidays, the Hebridean Princess boasts just 30 staterooms - each uniquely named and decorated in rich, baronial style. While enjoying gourmet cuisine, guests will visit ports such as Wick – home to the world's shortest street (just 2m long) – and picturesque fishing villages like Scrabster, Ullapool and Lochinver. Passengers can also explore the pretty islands of Skye, Raasay and Muck.  Shore excursions and beverages are complimentary throughout the cruise.

Including return flights from Australia, 12 nights' touring and the seven-night cruise, 'A Very Royal Affair' is available from $22,990 per person, twin-share from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane and from $22,590 per person, twin-share, from Perth.

For more details, call Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit

Sunday 17 July 2016

Cruise Lines Continue to Support Mass Murder of Whales in Faroe Islands


by Jim Walker - Walker & O'Neill Maritime Lawyers

Yesterday, residents in the Faroe Islands brutally slaughtered a pod of 30-50 pilot whales in the Danish island's annual gruesome, grindadráp (grind).

The Sea Shepherd organization, which is barred by Denmark from the Faroe Islands, wrote yesterday "the ordeal began this morning when locals spotted a pod of between 100-150 pilot whales passing by Svínoy. Several boats then drove the pod of whales approximately 11 kilometers to Hvannasund, where the whales were forced to beach, and slaughtered by locals. Faroese media outlets have confirmed between 30-50 pilot whales have been killed."


Australian passengers robbed on Amazon Discovery

Attacked: Amazon Discovery (pic: Avalon Waterways)
source: AP

Peruvian authorities say bandits have attacked an Amazon tourist boat and robbed more than two dozen tourists from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

Oscar Garrido-Lecca is the port captain in the river city of Iquitos and he says police are hunting through the area to find the robbers.

He says the attackers used a small craft to reach the Amazon Discovery, operated by Peruvian company Delfin Amazon Cruises in conjunction with , boarded it and then robbed passengers and crew of goods worth about $20,000 early Thursday.

The tourists included 21 Americans, six Australians and two from New Zealand. There were also 25 Peruvians working aboard.

After attacks on Aqua Expedition vessels in 2009, armed security officers were placed aboard each departure.

MORE: Questions asked after Amazon robbery

Aqua Expeditions MV Aqua Amazon sinks in fiery accident. No passengers aboard.



* "at least seven dead and 13 injured." This figure since confirmed by company. (see below)
* "police believe a short circuit may have detonated the large fuel tank."

Report just received indicates the luxury Amazon river cruise boat, Aqua Amazon, has sunk as a result of an as-yet-unexplained accident during the turnaround procedure. Recent anecdotal reports point to a refueling accident either with gas or liquid fuel.

The Peruvian newspaper, El Comercio, also states that "the first police investigations reveal that aquatic ship arrived to the port to fill the gas tank without any security measures. The incident caused burns to 8 people, who had to jump into the flowing and being rescued by residents and staff Enapu who was nearby . . . It is presumed that some people were trapped inside the ship."

Distressing images of the vessel on fire and sinking (Daniel Carbajal via

Source: Daniel Carbajal via

According to a statement issued by the cruise company, it occurred "during the regular Saturday supplying and turn-around hours for re-stocking of the vessel"

MV Aqua Amazon, pictured here in 2010, was lost in an accident while resupplying (R Eime)
Apparently an explosion occurred, holing the hull and resulting in the sinking of the ship at the wharf in the port of Enapu, located along the Itaya River, Punchana district in Iquitos (Loreto).
"The investigation is ongoing and more information will be shared as it becomes available.

"No passengers were aboard, but some of the crew have been hurt and up to four are declared missing.

Aqua Expeditions founder and CEO,
Francesco Galli Zugaro: "much
regret and sadness"
"All efforts are being made to get a better understanding of the status of the missing crew. The entire operations team is on the ground providing logistical support with local emergency services."

Aqua said that passengers scheduled to depart Saturday on the Aqua Amazon were reassigned to the Aria Amazon and “other ships.” Cruises on the Aria Amazon launch from Iquitos, Peru, the same city from where the Aqua Amazon was scheduled to depart.

The 40m, 400 tonne MV Aqua Amazon was the first vessel launched by Aqua Expeditions in 2007 by founder and CEO, Francesco Galli Zugaro.

For reservation queries, please contact:

Lima: +511 434 5544
Singapore: +65 6270 4002
Toll Free in Australia: 1800 243 152

Update: 20 July 2016

A Statement from Aqua Expeditions Founder and CEO, Francesco Galli Zugaro

Iquitos, Peru - July 19, 2016: Following the tragic incident involving the Aqua Amazon on Saturday, July 16, all of our efforts at Aqua Expeditions have been focused on finding the members of our crew who were on board at the time of the accident and were reported missing after the explosion that caused the vessel to capsize.

It was first thought that four crew were unaccounted for; however, this figure rose to five on Sunday night when another crew member could not be located. In addition, there are two external suppliers who are also victims, bringing the total missing to seven people. As of 17:00 EST Monday, July 18, two of the victims have been identified and recovered. Five more remain to be found and recovered.

There are an additional eight crew members in recovery in the hospital following the explosion. Three are in intensive care and the remaining five are receiving the necessary medical attention. We are assuring them the best medical treatment possible.

We have been in close contact with their families and have been keeping them fully informed of news of their loved ones during this difficult time. Many of the crew have been with me from 2007 when we started. I considered them dear friends, not just employees.

The source of the fire and explosion is yet to be determined as preliminary investigations are still underway. We are supporting all efforts by the authorities and will continue to do so throughout the process.

Our industry partners, guests, families and friends have given me and everyone at Aqua Expeditions the strength and commitment to stay united and face this tragedy together. We are overwhelmed with the show of support that is continuing to pour in from all over the world and we will be eternally thankful.

I, along with our media and marketing teams, will be keeping the industry informed of further developments.


Francesco Galli Zugaro

Thursday 14 July 2016

Hurtigruten new ship MS Spitsbergen Christened


The much-anticipated christening of Hurtigruten’s new explorer vessel MS Spitsbergen saw a crowd of thousands gather in the town square of Svolvaer, a fishing village in Lofoten.

The destination is one of the most spectacular in the world for adventure travel, and truly one of the highlights of the Hurtigruten Norwegian coastal voyages.

The setting was picture-perfect, with the natural phenomenon of the Midnight Sun casting a magical light on the event as the ship’s Godmother, Norwegian explorer Cecilie Skog, smashed a champagne bottle into its side. As one of the most merited contemporary explorers, with numerous achievements including expeditions to the North Pole and South Pole, Mount Everest, Antarctica, and Greenland under her wing, Skog is a great match for the new vessel. She’s also climbed the ‘Seven Summits’ to stand on top of the highest mountain on each of the earth’s seven continents, living and breathing everything adventure travel and Hurtigruten’s ethos represent.

The ship is named after Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard Archipelago, located on the very northernmost part of Norway, next to the North Pole. The island is also where Hurtigruten’s founder, Richard With, first started explorer tourism in the Arctic in 1896, so it holds particular significance. She joins Hurtigruten’s fleet of explorer ships on Norway’s coastline, and will set sail on her first voyage from Bergen on 24 July 2016.

After spending her first season in Norway, MS Spitsbergen will alternate between the Norwegian coast and polar expeditions. From 2017, guests can sail with her to Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe and Shetland Islands, as well as to Arctic Canada. Here, passengers will discover L'Anse aux Meadows, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the first Vikings settlements were discovered in 1960.


Tuesday 12 July 2016

Voyage report: Tristan De Cunha


by Aaron Russ

A few years ago I had the opportunity to join an expedition sailing from Cape to Cape across the waters of the South Atlantic. Aside from the destinations visited which I will get to shortly it really is quite a journey to be connecting two of the Southern Ocean's great capes in a single voyage. Departing from Ushuaia in Argentina we first visited the Falkland Islands before continuing to South Georgia, South Georgia is one of those places on the planet that continues to enthrall no matter how many times you visit and the opportunity to visit in the autumn was something that I was looking forward to and not disappointed by. We enjoyed settled weather and the King Penguin colonies were still a hive of activity.

From South Georgia we set course to the NE headed for Tristan da Cunha, this is the most remote inhabited island on earth and as such its not the easiest place to reach, so it was a real highlight to have the opportunity to visit. Sailing northwards it was fascinating to watch the seabird species change with Sooty and Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross becoming more prevalent as well as some great views of Spectacled Petrels following the ship. The weather had become noticeably warmer by the time we arrived in Tristan and the hospitality from the locals was even warmer, it was a significant occasion in the annual calendar of the island to have a ship visit and most of the population turned out to welcome us as we landed by zodiac in the small protected Calshot Harbour in front of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas.

Our voyage continued from Tristan da Cunha to Cape Town without the opportunity to explore the rest of the wildlife rich islands in the Tristan archipelago but there are some truly spectacular islands which are vital habitat for numerous seabirds including albatross, penguins and petrels which I look forward to exploring on a future visit.

The final highlight of my voyage was arrival by sea to Cape Town, sailing past the Cape of Good Hope and into Table Bay was an experience not to be forgotten and an accompaniment of Southern Right Whales added to the experience.

Journey from Antarctica to Africa next March, see this impressive itinerary here. Current promotional fares from A$11,480pp in a Deluxe Stateroom, please enquire for the best available fares.

The Magic of Cruising in Myanmar... while saving up to $3540

Happy fisherman on Inle Lake
Photo Credit: Insider Journeys, Ian Richards

The Irrawaddy River is the lifeblood of Myanmar. Experiencing its many activities from sunrise to sunset is an essential part of any trip to the country. Asia travel specialists Insider Journeys are making an Irrawaddy cruise even more attractive with a limited time offer of up to $3,540* off selected cabins on their November charters booked before 31 July 2016.

Insider Journeys are offering the chance to see Myanmar like never before, balancing days of cruising in luxury on the stunning Irrawaddy Explorer with unique insights in pre and post backstreet walking tours in Mandalay and Yangon.

Travellers have the opportunity to visit curious unknown pockets of these cities, such as the captivating market where the locals trade their wares on the railway track, dispersing whenever a train approaches, and seeing local life and the lesser known sites which give insights into aspects of culture and history visitors don't normally learn about.

There's also the chance to kayak or sunset canoe around the stilt villages and floating farms of Inle Lake and to visit community projects that are focused on supporting local communities, improving their lives and protecting the local culture.

Travelling in luxury aboard the Irrawaddy Explorer
Photo Credit: Insider Journeys

The ship embraces the ambiance of a colonial era, with highly attentive staff, exceptional customer service, luxurious amenities and modern conveniences, a rejuvenating spa and a diverse menu of regional and western cuisines.

The 12 day Treasures of Golden Burma cruise includes

-      9 nights' cruise accommodation in a Maugham Suite
-      2 nights' hotel accommodation
-      Breakfast daily, 9 lunches and 11 dinners
-      Western Cruise Director
-      Sightseeing with local English-speaking guides and entrance fees
-      Arrival and departure transfers
-      Tips and porter charges

The 20 November departure travels upstream from Yangon – Irrawaddy River Cruise – Mandalay.

The 29 November departure downstream starts Mandalay – Irrawaddy River Cruise – Yangon.

Visit or call 1300 365 355 for bookings.


* Save up to $3,540 in Insider Journeys' "Buy 1 Get 1 50% Off" for select cabins on the 20 November 2016 and 29 November 2016 Irrawaddy Explorer departures. Conditions apply, based on per person twin share basis only. Offer valid until 31 July 2016 or until sold out.

Monday 11 July 2016

WIN a trip for two in the Galápagos with Aurora Expeditions

Small ship cruising specialists, Aurora Expeditions, have launched an online competition offering experience seekers the chance to win a cruising adventure for two in the Galápagos Islands!

The 'Galápagos Experience' competition will give the lucky winners the chance to jump aboard Aurora Expeditions' inaugural 9-day voyage to experience the very best of the remote Galápagos Islands. From aboard 38-passenger Isabela II, they'll have the chance to enjoy experiences such as snorkelling with sea lions, hiking on powerful ancient lava flows, observing spectacular seabirds, meeting a giant tortoise and more!

To enter the competition simply visit and select the Galápagos experience you'd most enjoy and explain your choice in 30 words or less. The entry with the most inspired and creative response will win a cabin for two on Aurora Expeditions' inaugural Galápagos Odyssey, valued at US$13,200.

The competition is open to anyone aged 18 years or older and closes 31 July 2016 11:59 PM, AEST.

For full competition details visit or for more information on Aurora Expeditions' Galápagos Odyssey expedition, visit

Prize Details

The prize includes one standard twin-share cabin for two people on Aurora Expeditions' Galápagos Odyssey expedition departing 3 October 2016, including return flights from Quito, Ecuador to the Galápagos Islands, 8 nights' accommodation aboard Isabela II including meals, all shore excursions and transfers to and from the ship in the Galápagos Islands.

*The prize does not include international airfares to/from Ecuador, airport transfers, travel insurance, camera equipment, expedition clothing, passports, visas, vaccinations, meals not included in the expedition itinerary, optional activities, spending money, gratuities and all items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, and email or phone charges.

Australis Cruises named best small ocean cruise line in world

Australis Cruises has been named the #1 cruise line in the Small Ocean Cruises category in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards 2016.  This is the first year that this category was added to the coveted World's Best Awards.

Every year, the readers of Travel + Leisure, the largest travel magazine brand in the United States, vote on their favorite destinations, hotels, resorts, spas, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, rental-car agencies, and more in the World's Best Awards survey.  The awards experienced record participation this year. Travel-industry professionals are not invited to vote.

In 2016, to reflect the ever increasing diversification of product within the cruise industry, Travel + Leisure editors made an editorial decision to have four ocean cruise categories. The former Small Ocean Cruises category (ships carrying fewer than 600 passengers) will now refer to lines with ships carrying between 250 and 599 passengers as Mid-Size, while Small refers to lines with vessels of under 250 passengers.

Pedro del Río, Australis' CEO, said: "We are pleased and proud to be named #1 in the Small Ocean Cruises category for this prestigious award from Travel + Leisure.   Our cruises are expeditions through southern Patagonia in Chile and Argentina.  They appeal to travelers who look for adventure."

Australis, with ships sailing through one of the wildest and most beautiful regions of the world, has been cruising in the southern-most channels of Patagonia for more than 25 years.  Dazzling experiences include majestic glaciers, Cape Horn, Wulaia Bay and extraordinary wildlife.   These are journeys of discovery in a pristine natural environment that is home to magnificent flora and fauna.

For more information, visit


Australis operates 3-, 4- and 7-night programs between Punta Arenas and Ushuaia from September until April annually. See for details. Bookings can be made by through South American specialist agency, Movidas []

South America Experts
South America Experts

* Based in Chile, Australis offers 'bottom of the world' cruises in Patagonia and to Cape Horn aboard 200-guest expedition ships every summer.  

The Week in Expedition Cruising: are you up to date?


A weekly round-up of #expedition and #adventure #cruising news.

History: The misery of Peary’s elusive channel


There was fame, honour and respect to be won by those who explored Greenland around the turn of the last century. For some, there was also death.

Read full article

Cruising the Komodos and beyond by Pinisi schooner


By Jacqueline Lang and Peter Rigby

The ship’s bell rings. Like school kids racing to recess, we tear out of our cabin, and spring on to the tender whisking us out to a snorkelling hotspot.

Soon we’re kicking away in the Komodo Sea, gliding over reefs teeming with multi-coloured tropical fish.

We’re in a remote part of eastern Indonesia; our new home, the Ombak Putih, a glorious 12-cabin wooden schooner built in the traditional pinisi-style.

For seven days, we’re island hopping with 18 passengers and 13 crew, exploring parts of the Indonesian archipelago most tourists never get to see.

Sunday 10 July 2016

Antarctic tourism industry under pressure


On 29 June, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) held their equivalent to the annual US football or basketball draft...attempting to secure their cruise ship landing schedules for the "top" Antarctic tourist destinations...Deception Island, Port Lockroy, Palmer an effort to insure that all of the cruise ship passengers had a unique Antarctic experience (eg not seeing any other cruise ships on their voyage). Fortunately I had an opportunity to visit/transit many of the great places along the Antarctic Peninsula during early or late austral summer when the cruise ships weren't around...and as I was working in the US Antarctic Program I was getting paid to do so! Anyway, here's the Guardian's take on this (the article took me a bit aback by the mention of "football" as played in the US rather than in the UK).

The Arctic is Not Ready for Large Scale Tourism (OpEd)


Arctic Tourists Are Ready, Even if the Arctic’s Not

A cruise through the Northwest Passage changed the way authors Connie and Peter Roop thought about Arctic tourism. There are benefits, but the risks remain great. Some trips should not go ahead.

Friday 8 July 2016

Adriatic cruise aboard Ponant Le Lyrial with Italian Back-Roads tour

'Best of Italy and Croatia 2017' is a 19-night cruise-tour featuring a seven-night 'Best of Croatia' round-trip from Venice aboard Ponant's Le Lyrial and an exploration of Italy with a difference.

As an example of French luxury yachting sophistication, Le Lyrial, sailing under the French flag and only a year old, tops the range. This boutique-size ship has just 122 staterooms and suites, to keep life aboard convivial and intimate.

'Best of Italy and Croatia 2017', arranged and delivered by boutique voyage and cruise specialists Cruise Traveller ( also includes an 11-night 'Italian Indulgence' small-group tour with Back-Roads Tours from Rome to Venice. The itinerary is distinguished throughout by vivid special experiences: cook up an Italian feast in a Tuscan villa, hunt for truffles in Piedmont, take a boat across Lake Maggiore to the Borromean Islands.

You'll also wander the ancient streets of Split, where people still live in the palace built by Roman Emperor Diocletian. Discover Lake Orta, a hidden Italian gem enlivened by the captivating medieval village of Orta San Giulio.

Also included in 'Best of Italy and Croatia 2017': 11 nights accommodation in Italy. You'll spend one night in Assisi, two nights in Tuscany, two nights in Lucca (often considered the most spectacular walled town in Italy), a night in Santa Margherita, a night in Cherasco, two nights at enchanting Lake Maggiore, a night in Negrar and a night in incomparable Venice.

There are three departure dates in 2017 for 'Best of Italy and Croatia 2017' and the prices vary seasonally. The following prices (per person twin share, land only) all include twin-deluxe balcony accommodation aboard Le Lyrial.

Silversea Expeditions 2017 brochure



Silver Cloud

Silversea's luxury expedition fleet will expand to four ships in November 2017 when Silver Cloud joins Silver Explorer, Silver Discoverer, and Silver Galapagos. Fresh from an extensive refurbishment and conversion to an ice-class expedition ship, Silver Cloud launches a series of Antarctica voyages in November and December, featuring itineraries from 10 to 19 days, and sailing mostly roundtrip from Ushuaia.


Silver Discoverer's new 16-day, Colombo-to-Kolkata cruise departs 11 February 2017 to explore the Andaman Islands and make the first-ever cruise ship visit to Bangladesh, with explorations of Chittagong, Maheshkhali Island, and the Sundarbans, one of the world's largest mangrove forests and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Torngat Mountains National Park

A rare visit to Canada's remote Torngat Mountains National Park, renowned for its spectacular natural scenery, highlights a 31 August 2017 Silver Explorer expedition focused on Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, sailing 15 days from Kangerlussuaq to St. John's.

Galápagos Islands

The expert guides of Silver Galapagos will continue to share their passion for these pristine and biologically diverse islands on two alternating seven-day itineraries exploring the north central and western isles.

To view this brochure, visit or contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand).

Follow Silversea on Twitter, Facebook and the Silversea Blog.

Active Travel asks you to take a survey


Complete Our Survey and Win

We really care about our customers at Active Travel, so we are always looking to improve our services in any way possible. To make sure that we’re offering you the very best of the best, then, we’d like to invite you to take our five-minute survey. This information will help us to streamline our services and understand better what you are looking for when planning your next holiday. After all, travel is about creating memories and we hope to help make sure those wonderful memories will last a lifetime. As a thank you for completing our survey, you will also go in the running to win one of 3 Lonely Planet coffee table books. The prize winners will be selected at random and you have to be in it to win it. So please complete our survey and allow us to make your next journey truly unforgettable.

Quality Advice, Variety of Channels

At Active Travel, we're constantly striving to ensure that we offer the finest content and advice to make your holiday experience the best it can possibly be. With that in mind, we focus on communicating with our loyal customers through a variety of different channels. Our website, for example, paints a vivid picture of 12 different holiday experiences. Covering a wide range of destinations, this allows you to search based on whether it's a relaxing holiday you're looking for, an active adventure, or a family friendly journey. Our newsletter also lets us share the latest deals and special offers, while our social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow us to update you in real time. Additionally, it is through these social channels that we can share our personal experiences and advice with you, providing inspiration for your next trip and beyond. Above all, we value our customers' point of view and invite you to connect with us via each of our different dynamic platforms.

Thursday 7 July 2016

Affordable Antarctica - Chimu Launches 10-day Antarctic Adventure for Just $5590

There's a reason Antarctica is on every serious traveller's bucket list – it's spectacular, dramatic, remote, beautiful, photogenic and teeming with extraordinary wildlife. The adventure of a lifetime.

But there's no getting around the fact that, due to its extreme isolation, a holiday to Antarctica can be relatively expensive, especially when compared with the el-cheapo flop and drop getaways so popular with many Australians.

Until now.

Chimu Adventures is disrupting the Antarctica pricing paradigm with the launch of its 10-day 'Images of Antarctica' cruise package which tours the Beagle Channel, the Drake Passage, the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, rates start at $5590 per person available until July 30 for the voyage aboard the MV Ushuaia (pictured right).

Navigating these glacier-strewn waterways, guests will see an incredible array of wildlife including penguins, seabirds, Weddell, Crabeater and Leopard seals as well as Minke, Killer and Humpback Whales – all in close proximity.

All meals are included as are up to two ship-to-land two zodiac tours a day led by expert guides in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica, plus a complete program of lectures by noted naturalists.

Chimu believes this to be the best value trip to Antarctica – and is one past passengers have raved about.

"The MV Ushuaia is a fantastic trip. Food was excellent and the wildlife out of this world. Not to be missed. We will be back!" George H.

Package details:

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Silversea Arctic Expedition Cruise


Silver Explorer opens the 2017 summer Arctic cruise season with untamed adventure, style and unmatched luxury on a 12 day voyage, departing 30 June 2017. Commencing in Iceland’s idyllic capital, Reykjavik, guests set sail to the seaside municipality of Isafjordur, an area a part of the West Fjords, the least populated region of Iceland.

Silver Explorer continues her voyage, with stops at Vigur Island, Siglufjordur and Grimsey where guests can experience the stark contrasts of Iceland’s geography, from sheer cliffs to sprawling marshlands that are home to dense populations of bird species. The voyage then visits the untouched Svalbard region, affording guests the opportunity to explore land and sea teeming with wildlife. The voyage concludes in Longyearbyen, Norway with guests disembarking on 12 July 2017.

Silver Explorer
Prices are per person, starting from AU$14,550 in an Adventurer 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 ship; an outstanding expedition team of expert guides and lecturers; complimentary WiFi and all gratuities.

These voyage are 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  

Passengers Witness Unique Ceremony in Papua New Guinea


 Photo credit: A.Tockston (Left), H.Ahern (Right)                                                   

Being invited to witness a time-honoured ritual on a remote island in Papua New Guinea is something many travellers dream about and even fewer people ever get to experience.

That is exactly the invitation that greeted passengers aboard Heritage Expeditions’ recent ‘Papua New Guinea Explorer’. An area visited by the early-nineteenth century ethnographer Bronislaw Malinowksi, it is likely there have been few outsiders that have been fortunate to witness the ceremony where a newborn and parents are presented to the village for the first time following the birth.

After being welcomed via a traditional ‘Sing-Sing’ to Eiaus, an island village that sits snugly in the Louisiade Archipelago, passengers and locals alike gathered at a modest family house to witness the proceedings. Set amongst the garden where the family go about their daily lives, passengers and locals blended together as the mother and father were cleansed with hot water before being adorned in papapus palm leaves and having their faces painted by family members. The ceremony occurs after an extended time of isolation from the rest of the village, so the excitement of meeting the newborn was palpable. Cheers broke out from locals and passengers as the newborn was brought out and placed in the father’s arms. Following the ceremony, those in attendance were offered a feast of tender pork stew, rice, yam, and tropical fruits as well as enjoying the buoyant atmosphere. It was a huge honour bestowed upon the expedition to share in this special moment with the village and one that will live on in the memories of the passengers aboard.

Heritage Expeditions explores the islands and villages of Papua New Guinea to provide authentic and unique experiences. With a capacity of just 50 passengers on each expedition the ship ‘Spirit of Enderby’ can access islands, villages and waterways that larger ships often cannot reach. The small passenger numbers aboard also are conducive to a flexible daily programme allowing for the unique opportunities that present themselves as the expedition unfolds.

Papua New Guinea Explorer departs Rabaul/Kokopo, Papua New Guinea on 17 April 2017. 13-days starting from $6,500 USD.

For further information on voyages in the South Pacific, visit the website

Monaco Grand Prix with 5 day SeaDream sailing

IF you're into motor-racing and a taste of the good life also appeals, combine both on the French Riviera in May of next year when SeaDream Yacht Club sails a 5-day return voyage from Nice that includes the chance to visit the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.

SeaDream I sails from Nice on the evening of May 25, has a day and an overnight in St Tropez, Saturday of the race weekend at Cannes and then Sunday at Monte Carlo for either an optional-cost visit to the race final or to go sightseeing, and a final last day in San Remo before returning to Nice.

Sailing price on SeaDream I begins from US$3604pp twin-share including wines with onboard gourmet lunches and dinners, premium drinks from the open bars, power and sail water sports where locally permitted, mountain bikes for shore expeditions, a no-charge onboard golf simulator and fitness centre, and port charges and taxes.

Cost of entry to the Grand Prix is additional and will be announced six months prior to SeaDream's sailing.

SeaDream I has just 56-staterooms for a maximum 112-guests served by 95-crew.

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