Tuesday 29 November 2016

Coral Expeditions sets sail on inaugural Southeast Asian routes

#expeditioncruising .

Today Coral Expeditions sets sail from Singapore on their pioneering voyage of discovery aboard the newly refurbished Coral Discoverer and the first of the new South East Asian itineraries, A passage to lost Myanmar, which concludes in Yangon.

Now in its 33rd year of operations, the inaugural Asia season incorporates a series of five adventurous expeditions which explore areas only accessible by small ship running through to February 2017.

“Our inaugural Asia season is one of the most exciting series of itineraries for Coral Expeditions. These are expedition-style cruises that bring our signature sense of adventure, immersive shore programs and Australian hospitality to our boutique ships,’ said Group General Manager, Mark Fifield.

Each itinerary is reflective of the company’s expedition style and immersive cultural and culinary experiences, charting the diverse coastlines of Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Highlights in the itineraries include sailing up the Irrawaddy River to berth in the hustle and bustle of the old working river port at Yangon (12 nights Singapore to Yangon or v.v.), exploring the pristine waters of the remote Mergui Archipelago, kayaking through the spectacular limestone karsts of Tarutao National Marine Park and visiting the still-active Anak Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia where guests can hike up the hillside ringed by the caldera (17 nights Singapore to Darwin, or 8 nights Kalimantan to Singapore).  

Guests will also get an insight into a piece of war history during a local guided tour of the Burma WWII Railway Memorial outside the town of Mawlamyine, and uncover remnants of the Vietnam War at Vinh Moc Tunnels and the Demilitarization Zone. 

Guests will travel on the newly refurbished Coral Discoverer, carrying a maximum of 72 guests, which has concluded its dry dock in Singapore, receiving a multi-million-dollar facelift, incorporating the addition of six Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms, the first on any Coral Expeditions vessel. The remaining 30 staterooms have received full upgrades to bathroom fixtures, soft furnishings and artwork. The intimate expedition character of the ship, that was created specifically for this type of sailing in 2005, remains; her shallow draft and manoeuvrability allow her to go where other large vessels cannot. She retains her Xplorer tender, allowing all 72 guests the ability to disembark simultaneously, for excursions to beaches and rivers, as well as her active stabilisers.

The 20sqm balcony rooms now feature double or twin beds, ensuite, a couch, writing desk, and ample wardrobe storage. The rooms provide coveted indoor-outdoor living spaces with the private balcony opening out from French doors. Most staterooms can be configured to either junior king or twin bedding and all feature compact private ensuite, outside view, iPod dock, ample storage and Australian toiletries. All Coral Expeditions voyages are inclusive of all meals on board with selected beer and showcase wines during lunch and dinner service, off-shore excursions, ground transport and use of onboard facilities.

The refurbishment has also extended to common areas including the dining room, deck lounge and the sun deck, which will now serve as the social hub of onboard community living.

The Sun Deck has also been converted into an undercover deck area complete with a circular bar, alfresco dining area and contemporary outdoor furniture.

For full itineraries and pricing download the Asia brochure here:https://www.coralexpeditions.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/150734-Coral-Expeditions-Brochure-Asia-2016_AUD_08.03.pdf

To book call 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralexpeditions.com.

Monday 28 November 2016

From aboard Silver Discoverer: Yangon

#expeditioncruising #silverseamoments .

Location: Yangon, Myanmar

Yangon, or Rangoon as I prefer to call it, is one of those cities with a fascinating past, present and future.

Silver Discoverer at the Rangoon wharf

During the early hours of Saturday, Silver Discoverer made its way up the muddy mouth of the Irrawaddy River delta into our berth much as I did three years ago with SeaDream II. In the between time, the dock has been upgraded and a new, albeit small, terminal. It's an interesting sight as the big ship wends its way past a multitude of smaller craft up the channel, blowing its horn at intervals they cross our path.

Customs procedures were mercifully quick and after lunch, we were ready to venture out to see the religious icons like the reclining Buddha and Shwedagon pagoda, still shining majestically in the afternoon sun with its 60 tonnes of gold sheathing. Given the popularity of the sites, access was smooth and well-managed and there was plenty of time to bathe in the glory of this incredible, holiest of structures.

Shwedagon pagoda viewed across Kandawgyi Lake

Sunset was nicely timed to coincide with our arrival at the Karaweik royal barge restaurant on Kandawgyi Lake in the middle of town with the iconic view across the water to the immense, shimmering pagoda. For what is clearly a tourist-tuned event, the spread of local and ethnic foods was decent with mild Burmese curries, seafood, salads and sweets. Colourful local dancers entertained us between trips to the buffet.

On Sunday, with Silver Discoverer still comfortably berthed, we split up with most flying to Bagan for an excursion to the thousands of stupas that dot the countryside while the rest of us, myself included, boarded coaches to the ancient capital of Bago, a couple hours to the NE.

Traffic along the Strand

Rangoon has a curious ban on motorcycles in the city itself. The story is that one of the generals was spooked by a rider who trailed too close to his official car. No more motorcycles. Period. The effect on traffic flow is interesting, but our police escort, riding a 250cc Chinese twin, ensured our smooth passage. Also of note is that upon independence in 1948, the rulers instantly changed to Euro-styled right-hand side. But then there were very few cars to worry about. Now, the major source of affordable cars is Japan, who sell used RHD cars and commercial vehicles all over the Asia Pacific region. Trucks and buses require a 'spotter' to sit in the left seat to call traffic for the unsighted driver.

At Bago we visited the Shwemawdaw pagoda of similarly impressive scale as well as the Kyakhatwine Monastery, the highlight of the visit being a procession of patient monks who must endure a horde of tourists thrusting cooked rice, plastic-wrapped crackers, pencils and cash into their bowls as they shuffle past to lunch. Just how they manage the resultant concoction remains a mystery to this writer.

Several of our RAAF chaps buried here among many other
Commonwealth casualties.

A poignant stop at the Htukkyant Commonwealth War Cemetery was a bit rushed, but I did manage to locate about ten Aussies among the many hundreds laid out in neat rows. The whole Burma Campaign is often overlooked by storytellers, but was as vicious as anywhere else in the Pacific theatre. The Aussies were mainly RAAF chaps attached to the Royal Air Force units flying combat and transport duties in their intense effort to rid Burma of the Japanese occupiers.

Before sailing out on Monday, we explored the opposite side of the river to Dala town, which was effectively a journey back in time to agrarian Burma. Aboard a convoy of trishaws, we explored the wet market and soggy side roads and paddies, showing a side of Burma not seen in the city, just a boisterous ferry ride across the fast-flowing river.

I used the balance of my time wandering the crumbling colonial buildings around the waterfront, imagining the hubbub of activity that once must have once occurred here in the height of British occupation – period of more than 100 years.

Some buildings, like the meticulously restored The Strand Hotel, stand proudly on the boulevard, while just a block behind, mouldy, vine-covered ones appear to be falling apart but are still inhabited by tenacious tenants. Others, like the grand and imperious Greco-Roman-styled police commissioner's building, are undergoing restoration. If my information is correct, it will become a 229-room five-star Kempinski Hotel.

Vision of a beautified Yangon waterfront with restored heritage buildings

Meanwhile, the fate of others remains uncertain, but the NGO Yangon Heritage Trust is battling to preserve them and construct a beautified and aesthetically pleasing heritage waterfront before rampant development swallows them up forever. Heritage tours are available via the YHT and I might suggest Silversea offer them for future port visits.

Yangon/Rangoon is a city that one can easily visit time and again without becoming bored. These resilient people maintain a cheerful and welcoming attitude that belies the many hardships endured by the generations who suffered before them under a string of harsh regimes over past centuries.

Friday 25 November 2016

Oceanwide Expeditions announces new advanced Polar vessel Hondius

#expeditioncruising . Following the breaking story on expeditioncruising.com on 16 November, Oceanwide Expeditions breaks cover on their newest vessel.

Due to an increased demand for polar cruises, Oceanwide Expeditions, the leading exploratory Polar cruise company since 1996, has commissioned the building of an innovative 180-passenger vessel. The ship, called the Hondius, will be the strongest ice-strengthened vessel in the Polar regions. It is being built in Croatia by shipbuilder Brodosplit and will be available to customers in 2019.

“We currently sail with our ice-strengthened 116-passenger vessels Plancius and Ortelius, and the Hondius will give us the opportunity to accommodate more travelers, to grow as a company, and to offer new, innovative products in the Polar regions,” says Oceanwide Expeditions’ CEO, Michel van Gessel. “The name Hondius follows our custom to name our ships for celebrated Dutch-Flemish cartographers who continue to inspire us as we carry on their passion for exploration and discovery.”

Hondius was specially designed to support and serve Oceanwide’s exploratory programs and activity-based shore excursions in the Arctic and Antarctica. It will be rated Polar Class 6, similar to the previous Finnish-Swedish ice-class notation 1A-super. A speedy zodiac embarkation is guaranteed, with two separate gangways and an indoor platform that can be used for outdoor activities such as kayaking. While Hondius is at anchor during passenger excursions, it can drift or remain in position with the support of the bow and stern thrusters. One deck on board is reserved for an observation lounge, with a separate lecture room in order to offer simultaneous or multilingual lectures and presentations.

The vessel size will be 107 meters (350 feet) long, with a breadth of 17.6 meters (58 feet). It will be equipped with two main engines for a total of 4,200 kW, generating a speed of 15 knots.
Hondius will offer passengers an advanced hotel standard of quarters, as well as a variety of cabin categories, from spacious suites and superiors to twin and quadruple cabins. Guests will be accommodated in the following configurations: 1 spacious suite (cabin size 33 m2), 6 suites with balcony (cabin size: 29 m2), 8 superior cabins with balcony (cabin size: 22 m2), 19 twin deluxe cabins, (cabin size: 22 m2), 14 twin-window cabins (cabin sizes: 14 to 16 m2), 31 twin porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins and 4 quadruple porthole cabins (cabin sizes of the porthole cabins vary from 13 to 16 m2).

“While traveling with Hondius, our passengers will recognize our distinctive Oceanwide approach -- a pleasant, informal atmosphere onboard, with a main focus on in-depth nature and wildlife programs and related shore activities,” said Van Gessel.

Over the years, Oceanwide Expeditions has developed a variety of outdoor activities and offers a dedicated Basecamp program that highlights free activities such as camping, kayaking, shore excursions including snowshoeing, mountaineering, zodiac cruises, scuba diving, and a photography workshop.

Opportunities for innovation and quality
Hondius gives Oceanwide Expeditions new opportunities to offer innovative and quality experiences. Oceanwide, a winner of a World Travel Award for Leading Polar Expedition Operator, is known for constant product innovation. Recent examples include shore-based excursion programs and special exploratory voyages, ship-based helicopter trips to the Ross Sea and the Emperor Penguins in the Weddell Sea, ski and sail programs in Spitsbergen and Greenland, and expeditions to the world’s most remote locations, such as Peter I Island and Bouvet Island.

Reducing negative impact on the environment
Hondius will be built according to the latest requirements of the International Maritime Organization, in particular concerning the safety of life at sea (SOLAS) and the prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL) for passenger vessels.

The propulsion system consists of two medium speed main engines and one adjustable pitch propeller. The flexible power management (in combination with a shaft generator instead of a diesel-driven generator) permits the lowest possible fuel consumption and CO2 emission, and therefore a minimum possible impact on the environment. Further environmental features include the use of biodegradable lubrication oils; certifiably hazardous-free coating and paint of the vessel; the use of steam for onboard heating; minimal use of electrical heating (for less fuel consumption); LED interior and exterior lighting (reducing power and fuel needs); and waste heat, such as cooling water for the main engines, reused for the production of fresh water. All further existing requirements and restrictions while at sea and in the Polar regions will be strictly followed.

Thursday 24 November 2016

From on board Silver Discoverer: Cinque Islands, Andaman Sea

#expeditioncruising #silverseamoments.

Location: Cinque Islands, Andaman Islands

A bit of monkey business betweendives on the Cinque Islands

After a short, overnight steam southward, Silver Discoverer anchored in the isolated waters of the Cinque Islands which lie just below the long sliver of land that makes up Great Andaman, the largest island in the group.

The whole group had received a devastating deluge from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, so just what effect that had underwater remained to be seen.

Today is the day of our first scuba dive and we meet local dive guides in preparation for our underwater début in these remote waters. We'd learned much about the marine species in this region from lectures given by Patrick our divemaster who also is a keen student of marine biology.

Our first location was called 'Cinque Hole' which was something of a misnomer as it was largely a rocky slope strewn with boulders and rubble extending down to a sandy floor at about 30m. Visibility was reasonable at around 20m, water was warm at 29 degrees with a gentle surge and current.

Swarms of red anthias greet us at Cinque Hole (diveplanit.com)

Immediately apparent was masses of red anthias, little reef fish about the size and colour of the gold fish in your bowl at home. The rocks created plenty of hidey-holes for wrasse and cod, although the ones we saw were few and small. Moray eels love these nooks too, and several were seen poking their scary-looking snouts out.

peek-a-boo. Moray eel stare-off

In between dives we went ashore for a short stroll at the site of a former guest house, long since swept away by the great wave, leaving stark concrete foundations as a testament to the power of the Earth and the ocean working in cataclysmic unison. The understory of the rainforest was totally swept away, leaving behind a ghostly forest of old, buttressed trees standing stark just off the beach. That same wave had cut a swathe across the islands, separating them forever.

Elsewhere, Malcom our Kiwi bird guide, was taking guests in search of endemic pigeons, parakeets and kingfishers, as well as the majestic white-bellied sea eagle.

Fan corals slowly reappearing

Our next dive, just off the beach, was once called 'staghorn garden'. Our dive guide's face dropped as he recalled the resplendent coral groves that once flourished in the shallow waters. Now, as we discovered, the sea floor is littered with the skeletal remains of countless millions of these organisms in between dense ancient coral bommies that easily resisted the destructive wave.

Nevertheless, life is quickly returning to the waters and we found coral branches slowly regenerating and attracting the tiny damsels, gobies and surgeons who love to inhabit them. A sad sight certainly, but such is the will of nature.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

From on board Silver Discoverer: Port Blair

#expeditioncruising .

Location: Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands

You could easily spend some weeks among these isolated islands and still not explore them thoroughly.

Early morning arrival into Port Blair

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands on the eastern edge of the Bay of Bengal and the western fringe of the Andaman Sea (immediately west of Thailand), is chock full of history, myth and ethnographic conundrums. As such, any visit of just a couple of days is going to leave tantalising questions unanswered.

In the early hours of this morning, Silver Discoverer steamed slowly into the shelter of Port Blair, a protected harbour with a surprising number of vessels moored and anchored around the lush perimeter. Little brightly coloured ferries plied across the water as the sun came up. We were clearly the largest vessel in the harbour filled with a motley fleet of smaller naval vessels, local ferries and the rusty hulks of Asian fishing boats that any sailor would be terrified to crew.

Port Blair began as a British naval port in the late 18th century and struggled on in various guises until it was handed over to the newly independent Indian government in 1947. Most of the time it served as a brutal penal colony housing those who took part in the Indian uprisings on the mainland right up until WWII, when it fell briefly to the Japanese.

The place of nightmares. Port Blair's so-called Cellular Jail.

Never a jolly place, when it wasn't a place of brutal punishment, it was the victim of disease, earthquakes and in 2004, the Boxing Day tsunami, which killed some 10,000 residents and dramatically altered the topography around the islands.

Our morning tour spent most time at the very substantial 'Cellular Jail', now a poignant monument to the struggle for Indian independence. Anyone with any knowledge of conditions at our own penal colonies (eg Norfolk Island, Port Arthur) will know these 'freedom fighters' and political prisoners had a pretty cruel time here and worse than our own jails, there was no hope of release.

Andaman native (from Anthropological Museum)

A lightning visit to the cultural museum acquainted us to the various tribes throughout the islands who share an amazing diversity of origin. Some, like the Jarawa, have their ethnic roots in Africa, while others have genealogical ties to the ancient Khmer and Malay groups.

Perhaps most famous of the Andaman tribes are the Sentinelese who fiercely defend their right to maintain separation by warding off intruders with a hail of spears and arrows. There are perhaps only a few dozen members of this hunter-gatherer tribe left on the island and the Indian government monitors them occasionally, but otherwise leaves them completely alone.

Local ferry approaches Ross Island (RE)

In the afternoon, after a longer-than-anticipated wait for a local ferry, we made it to Ross Island, a short distance from the port. This settlement, established by the British in the mid-19th century, was a more comfortable location away from the mainland jail and housed officials in a more convivial environment with tennis courts, its own hospital and church among other buildings, all now in a state of ruin and reclaimed by jungle and vines.

An impressive sound and light show told the story of the island, projected onto the white-painted fascia of one of the old buildings.

A brief visit, but nonetheless a fascinating one. Tomorrow we head out to the remote and uninhabited Cinque Islands for diving and exploration.

Monday 21 November 2016

From on board Silver Discoverer in the Andaman Sea. Day One.

#expeditioncruising .

ExpeditionCruising.com editor, Roderick Eime, is aboard the recently refurbished, Silver Discoverer, in the Andaman Sea.

Deck 4 Explorer lounge
If you are expecting dramatic stem-to-stern upgrades aboard the 1989-built Silver Discoverer, then you will be disappointed. When I boarded in Phuket for voyage 9625 to the Andaman Islands and Myanmar, I was greeted by the familiar face of expedition leader, Louis Justin, who kindly showed me the just-completed improvements.

Returning guests will first notice changes to the public spaces. Meals will now be served in the main dining room and outdoor pool area only – or room service.

Deck 5 Discoverer lounge
The Restaurant on Deck 3 has been brightened and recarpeted with renewed furniture and decor. The cafe-style dining room on Deck 5 (The Discoverer Lounge) has been converted to a day lounge for afternoon teas and quiet relaxation, while the Explorer Lounge on Deck 4 (where lectures are conducted) has had additional seating and AV screens added.

No suites have been refurbished at this stage, but I also understand a great deal of the expense was incurred on technical work while the vessel was dry-docked in Singapore.

When EC travelled aboard her to the wild and windswept Subantarctic, her ocean-going capabilities were fully displayed, so as far as this writer is concerned, Silver Discoverer is a confident and sturdy expedition vessel ready to travel to any part of the globe with guests enjoying the service Silversea is renown for.

Friday 18 November 2016

Sea Cloud II - Experience the cultural cities and culinary treasures of the Baltic

With Sea Cloud II you can experience the cultural cities and culinary treasures of the Baltic.

Sea Cloud Cruises, the Hamburg-based operator of small exceptional sailing cruises, is offering its guests 'summer feasting' from Stockholm to Hamburg in August 2017. Caviar expert Markus Rüsch and the two-star chef Thomas Martin will accompany the trip, characterized by the fresh fish and seafood specialties of the north.

The first leg of Sea Cloud II's crossing from Stockholm to Copenhagen will be accompanied by Markus Rüsch. He is the third-generation of the 'Altona Kaviarhaus', based in Hamburg, and will bring guests closer to the myth of the "black gold". Among other things, there will be tastings of different caviar varieties. In a special menu Sea Cloud II's head chef will put this delicacy at the forefront.

On part two of the sailing trip, from Copenhagen to Hamburg, Thomas Martin will be on board to present specialties from the sea in his own style in a gala dinner. For twenty years, the two-star chef has shaped the culinary delights of the Hotel Louis C. Jacob's 'Jacobs Restaurant' in Hamburg. His French cuisine is light, straightforward and imaginative.

Apart from the culinary pleasures, guests of Sea Cloud II will get to know the cities of Scandinavia and the Baltic. Sweden's capital Stockholm radiates a Mediterranean lifestyle. At the time of the evening departure, guests will relish the fantastic views of the city's 'old-town' island before entering the world of the archipelago with around 30.000 islands. Klaipėda, Lithuania, which is located at the northern end of the Curonian Spit, charms with traditional half-timbered houses and neo-gothic buildings and Danzig is one of the most beautiful cities in Poland, with its thousand-year history and tradition as a cosmopolitan and well-developed trading port.

Additional information: In addition to this culinary voyage, another Sea Cloud II special will take place in May 2017. Two two-star chefs, Benjamin Biedlingmaier from the 'Caroussel Restaurant' at the Hotel Bülow Palais in Dresden and Ralph Knebel from the restaurant 'Erbprinz' in Ettlingen will accompany Sea Cloud II from Barcelona to Porto. In addition, Birgitta Schulze van Loon will bring the topic of spirits closer to guests, with a special focus on the trend beverage, Gin.

  • Stockholm, Sweden to Hamburg, Germany, 9th to 18th August 2017, from € 3.995 per person in a twin-bed outer cabin 
  • Barcelona, Spain to Porto, Portugal. 26th May to 03rd June 2017, from € 3.525 per person in a twin-bed outer cabin 
Early booking discount available until 30th November 2016

Since 1979 Sea Cloud Cruises is one of the first addresses in the world of cruising. The 85-year-old four-mast square rig Sea Cloud and her younger sister Sea Cloud II are regularly chosen by the Berlitz Cruise Guide among the world's top five boutique ships.

 For further details contact gerd@landmarktravel.com.au

57 Sydney Road
Manly  NSW  2095
ph: 02 99 77 71 00

Revolutionary X-Bow design promoted for use with expedition cruise vessels

#expeditioncruising .

Norwegian shipbuilder, Ulstein, is promoting their revolutionary X-Bow design for use in the expedition cruise segment.

The company claims a vessel with the X-BOW lines is very different from the usual cruise vessels. The seakeeping characteristics have an impact on comfort, safety, efficiency and operability.

From the company website:

The X-BOW hull line design is a patented innovation by Ulstein Group, headquartered in Norway.

As an offshore expert, we know how the seas can hammer and batter a vessel. The abrupt stops from slamming in head seas can be a potential danger to crew and passengers, and reduce the well-being and effective rest for all on board. The X-BOW eliminates slamming from head seas.

The X-BOW’s soft entry in waves highly improves the on-board comfort, and leads to a substantial reduction in noise and vibrations. Even on the lower decks, crew and passengers will experience uninterrupted rest. More available space in the forepart of the vessel opens up to the options of large observation or underwater lounges with spectacular views, recreational areas such as cinemas, gaming rooms and activity rooms for children or to personal wellbeing such as exercise rooms, spa and treatment areas.

Safety on board is increased. The shape and enclosed nature of the X-BOW helps to ensure minimised risk of spray, avoiding the hazard or nuisance of slippery or icy decks. The soft motions in waves reduces wear-and-tear to the hull. Safety is also an issue considering the more efficient rest time for passengers and crew.

Efficiency and operability
The X-BOW shape leads to lower speed loss. The captain has the choice of keeping up speed while maintaining comfort. The ship will be able to operate more quickly and efficiently in adverse conditions at sea, with shorter time spent transiting harsh sea areas.

Sea Adventurer scheduled for major upgrading

#expeditioncruising .

Ulstein Verft in Norway has signed a contract for the modernisation and upgrading of the expedition cruise ship Sea Adventurer owned by Adventurers Partners and operated by Quark Expeditions. The ship is expected to arrive at Ulstein Verft in early April 2017 and will be refurbished by mid-June 2017 in time for the Arctic 2017 cruise season. Sea Adventurer was originally built in 1976 as Alla Terasova. The contract for upgrade works includes renovations to the ship’s interior, significant technical upgrades such as the replacement of main engines and gears, as well as the addition of new passenger cabins.

Pic by David Stanley

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Pandaw 2017-18 Itineraies

#expeditioncruising .

Pandaw is delighted to reveal their new 2017/18 itineraries leaflet detailing their collection of small ship, off-the-beaten-track expeditions, inviting your customers to travel into the heart of Asia in comfort and style.
click to download

Oceanwide Expeditions rumoured to be new buyer of advanced polar class expedition vessel from Croatian shipbuilder

#expeditioncruising .


Croatian shipbuilder, Brodosplit, has announced winning a contract to construct a new 196-passenger polar class expedition vessel for an as yet unnamed client simply described as a "leading company for commercial tourism in the polar regions". EC believes this client is established Dutch company, Oceanwide Expeditions. The company have been contacted for comment.

Due for delivery in 2019, the innovative vessel will be built to class LR PC6 (Polar Class 6), apparently the first cruise ship in the world to be built to this specification. It will comprise eight decks and 95 cabins, with 69 crew. Length will be 107.6m. (compare NG Orion at 103m) It will be driven by two engines with a total output of 4200kW and a speed of 15 knots.

The company recently delivered the small ship Arathusa to Grand Circle Cruise Line for operations in the Mediterranean and is currently constructing the world's largest sailing ship for Star Clippers.

Source: Brodosplit

Originally posted as 'New advanced polar class expedition vessel from Croatian shipbuilder'
- this article will be updated as new material comes to hand

One Ocean and Royal Canadian Geographical Society in historic partnership

#expeditioncruising .

One Ocean Expeditions (OOE), the proudly Canadian world leader in polar exploration, and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS), are embarking on a new journey together — as exclusive education, environmental science, and expedition partners in Canada’s north. This historic partnership, the first of its kind, will expand both organizations’ capacity to promote education, scientific research, and social and economic development in Canada’s Arctic.

"We are exploring new territory together," said John Geiger, CEO of the RCGS and Canadian Geographic Enterprises. "With its emphasis on education, expeditions, research and public talks, the partnership greatly strengthens the ability of the RCGS to fulfil its mission to make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world."

For One Ocean Expeditions the partnership is the next step in providing travellers with a superior travel experience. “We’ll bring a quarter century of experience in supporting these initiatives with some of the world’s most effective vessels and together with the resources of the RCGS to create a whole new portal for scientific and educational discovery. We’ll also be collaborating on the introduction of a whole new range of innovative educational and adventure travel programs. Watch this space!” said Andrew Prossin, OOE’s Managing Director.

This innovative alliance helps equip Canadian Geographic Education's 18,000 classroom educators with new resources, will support field research by geographers and other specialists, aid adventurous expeditions, help to celebrate Canada and its human and physical geography through Can Geo Talks, and support RCGS’s recently announced new centre for geography, located at 50 Sussex Drive, in Ottawa.

The partnership also significantly increases the number of co-branded expedition cruises that are offered by the RCGS and OOE while leveraging a deep reservoir of explorers, photographers, naturalists, scientists, geographers, geologists and historians to provide an exclusive expedition cruise experience.

The RCGS and OOE have long collaborated to deliver travel experiences born from exploration fueled by historical and educational discovery. OOE was one of the private sector partners the RCGS invited on the Parks Canada-led 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition assisting in the find of HMS Erebus, and helping share the geography, science and history with school children and the broad public. Building on this success this alliance aims to give travellers an exciting experience with a deeper understanding of the places, people and wildlife they see along the way.



All women river cruises from Aqua Expeditions

#expeditioncruising .

Aqua Expeditions has announced the launch of a series of unique hosted journeys exclusively for women for 2017. Offering unparallelled access to the world’s greatest rivers in utmost comfort, women will be able to embark on limited-edition experiential journeys from January 2017. Cruising on both the Amazon and Mekong rivers, there will be two Aqua Expeditions Journeys with more to come later in the year.

With more and more people opting to travel solo, Aqua Expeditions has launched these series to offer women a safe and inclusive environment to explore destinations which may otherwise feel too ‘off the beaten track’ for a solo traveller. The cruises offer women the chance to learn about new cultures and traditions of both Cambodia and Peru all whilst meeting new people who share the same excitement for adventure and enjoy a little bit of luxury at the same time. Travelling alone can often be hugely therapeutic and enable a different level of immersion into local culture. It can be an incredible chance for self-discovery and personal growth and Aqua Expeditions are hoping this will give women the chance to achieve just this whilst discovering the best of Peru and Cambodia.

As well as cruising down the rivers, guests will be able to discover hidden gems along the river – travelling by bike alongside the Mekong through local villages or kayaking down the Amazon to spot extraordinary wildlife. Both cruises offer guests hand-crafted itineraries with biking, kayaking, hiking, wildlife viewing and cultural “meet and greets” with local community members.

Both vessels offer the ultimate in luxury accommodation, with custom designed suites; 5-star guest service with a 1:1 staff to guest ratio offering a personalised service 24-7; small group excursions; gastronomic journeys with the chefs taking trips to the local markets, cooking classes and their 5-star cuisine which all incorporate local fresh produce and regional specialities. To top it off, guests can indulge with a treatment at the on-board spa or simply enjoy drifting past the riverside views whilst taking a dip in the infinity pool.

Aqua Expeditions “Women-Only” Journeys: 2017 Departure Schedule:

Aqua Mekong: 3-night itinerary: 17-20 January 2017
Aqua Amazon: 4-night itinerary: 20-24 March 2017

As the series progresses, more dates will be announced offering diverse limited-edition experiences on board.

In just nine years, Aqua Expeditions has become a recognised leader in small ship cruising on the world’s greatest rivers. The realisation of founder Francesco Galli Zugaro’s dream, the architect-designed, custom-built 16-suite Aria Amazon brought luxury cruising to the Amazon River in Peru, offering travellers professionally guided nature-based adventures combined with sophisticated 5-star boutique hotel accommodation and gourmet cuisine. Aqua Expeditions’ second luxury vessel, the 20-suite Aqua Mekong now sails seemingly across time on the historic Mekong River between Cambodia and Vietnam. Guests go deeper into both legendary destinations by cycle and kayak on every launch.

Book before 30 November 2016 and enjoy:
Waiving single supplement
One complimentary 60-minute massage

Contact Aqua Expeditions Australia on 1300 124 204 or reservations@aquaexpeditions.com.au

Silver Cloud progresses to inaugural expedition date

#expeditioncruising .

Silversea Cruises, the world's leading luxury cruise line, today celebrates 'one-year-to-go' until Silver Cloud's inaugural voyage as an ice-class expedition ship, by releasing detailed renderings of the ship's refurbishment.

The refurbishment and conversion is due to be completed in November 2017, and will be an industry defining moment as Silversea will once again redefine 'luxury' and 'comfort' in expedition cruising. The inaugural voyage will travel to Antarctica and will provide the highest space-to-guest and crew-to-guest ratios in expedition cruising. A guest capacity of 260 in non-Polar regions and just 200 in Polar Regions means that guests will enjoy the highest levels of personalised and attentive service on board.

Silver Cloud's transition to the expedition fleet will bring expedition guests the luxury, style and comfort synonymous with Silversea's classic fleet. The renderings clearly showcase the
luxurious, all ocean view suites which will be elegantly decorated with new furnishings and upholstery in a refined colour palette. Silver Cloud will have the largest suites in expedition cruising and over 80% of the suites have a private veranda.

"With one year to go until Silver Cloud's inaugural voyage as an ice-class expedition ship, preparations are underway to ensure that Silversea remains at the forefront of luxury expedition cruising, setting the industry standard," said Conrad Combrink, Vice President Expedition Planning & Strategic Development, Silversea. "We are looking forward to welcoming on board both new and returning guests, as Silver Cloud embarks on this new adventure". /div>

A newly released Silver Cloud 2018 digital brochure highlights the ship's itineraries following her transition into the expedition fleet. During this time period she will travel over 70,500 nautical miles, visit almost 190 destinations, with over 380 ports of call, and make more than 30 maiden visits. She will embark on 11 Antarctic and eight Arctic voyages; sail under London's Tower Bridge; discover the history and culture of the British Isles; explore the Norwegian Fjords; transit the Panama Canal; enjoy culinary discoveries in Europe and South America and spend Christmas in the Falkland Islands.

The ship will feature 18 new zodiacs, enabling ship-wide simultaneous explorations in groups of no more than 14 people. Silver Cloud will also have a team of up to 19 dedicated experts on hand to ensure guests leave with the best experiences from their voyages, whether they are the sights, the sounds, the history or the stories. Daily presentations and lectures by experts in the state-of-the-art theatre will also be streamed live to all suites.

Visit the latest video which showcases Silver Cloud as an expedition ship, and our full set of new renderings.  For more information on Silver Cloud and her 2018 itineraries visit here.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

World Expeditions new 2017-18 Polar Program

#expeditioncruising .

Australian adventure travel specialist, World Expeditions, has launched a new 2017-18 Polar brochure packed with a range of new voyages including a remote cruise across the Arctic Circle taking in the Scottish Isles, Norwegian coastline and the island of Spitsbergen.

World Expeditions has been offering voyages to the Polar regions of Antarctica, The Arctic and the Russian Far East for more than two decades and offers the most extensive range of voyages in the market.

World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, says the Polar regions are truly the world’s wild frontiers, virtually untouched by any human development.

“As well as being scenically spectacular voyages, our active itineraries provide a fully immersive experience for the traveller, allowing them to step off the boat on to zodiacs which ferry our travellers to surreal Polar lands, considered to be the last bastions of pristine wildernesses,” she said.

“Our small group adventures provide unparalleled opportunities to authentically engage with the pristine landscapes, observe polar wildlife in their natural habitat, discover rugged coastlines, towering mountains and frozen landscapes. And you can take your experience one step further and participate in a range of optional activities such as sea kayaking, diving, snorkelling, photography, camping on ice and glacier walks.”

New itineraries in the World Expeditions 2017-18 Polar Brochure include:

“Across the Arctic Circle”: a remote 14-day cruise around the remote Scottish Isles, along the spectacular Norwegian coastline, across the Arctic Circle and exploring the wildlife rich island of Spitsbergen. Visit a 5000 year old Neolithic Village, spot Polar Bears, catch glimpses of the elusive Beluga Whale and observe the world’s largest colony of Guillemots (seabirds) on a remote World Heritage Site. From US$4750 per person (twin public) departing Aberdeen.

Sailing around Spitsbergen: an epic 16-day journey endeavouring to circumnavigate the vast Spitsbergen wilderness on board the schooner, “Noorderlicht”. With a small group of just 20 passengers, and manned by a skilled crew and expert leader, this is an interactive journey involving handling of the sails, taking the helm and being on watch during the night. A totally immersive Polar experience and a spectacular introduction to life in the Arctic. From US$6250 per person, embarking Longyearbyen.

In the wake of Mawson – a captivating 26-day voyage tracing the journey of Sir Douglas Mawson along the remote East Antarctic coastline, directly south of Australia. Discover one of the most spectacular, extreme and pristine environments in the world, home to a vast array of penguins, seabird, whales and seals. From USD$16,000 (Main Deck Twin share), departing Invercargill, New Zealand.

Northeast Passage: the Northern Sea Route. An epic adventure of exploration of the one of the greatest and least accessible seaways in the world. Recent changes in the summer sea ice have now made this historic and fascinating sea route accessible to a few expedition vessels. This epic journey commences in Murmansk, Russia, following the route east towards Anadyr. From US$19,800 per person.

To celebrate the launch of the 2017-18 brochure World Expeditions is offering massive savings of up to US$10,000 on its Ross Sea Explorer voyages. The Ross Sea Explorer voyage follows the paths of the early explorers, offering a rare insight into the history of Amundsen, Shackleton and Scott's expeditions as well as abundant wildlife encounters including the magnificent King penguin colonies.

www.worldexpeditions.com or 1300 720 000.

Friday 11 November 2016

Why is Sir David Attenborough so excited about the Galapagos?

Discover : Discover Spring 2016, Page 20

Oceanwide discounts voyages to celebrate Ross Sea protection news

#expeditioncruising .

Oceanwide Expeditions is celebrating the news that the Ross Sea will become the world’s largest marine protected area by offering discounts on its two upcoming trips to this vast Antarctic wilderness.

The protection status, which goes into effect late 2017, was recently announced by the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, whose member countries voted to ban fishing (including krill and whales) in a protected zone the size of France and Spain combined. This agreement is a milestone for the protection of Antarctica, one of the world’s last wildernesses and a place to be preserved for future generations.

Oceanwide’s “Spectacular Ross Sea” voyage takes passengers through the Ross Sea, an immense bay south of the Antarctic Circle, one of the planet’s most remote areas and where few expeditions venture. It sails from South America to New Zealand (and in reverse) on the ice-strengthened vessel “Ortelius” – specially equipped with two helicopters to access hard-to-reach sights and afford aerial views of jaw-dropping scenery. The 32-day trip departs on Jan. 13, 2017, from Ushuaia, Argentina; and on Feb. 15, 2017, from Bluff, New Zealand. (This voyage will not be offered again before 2020.)

On the route, travelers sail into the Antarctic Peninsula, cross the Polar Circle, visit Peter I Island, and sail in the Bellingshausen Sea along the ice-edge of “deep Antarctica” into the Ross Sea. Here, voyagers will be treated to a helicopter landing on the towering Ross Ice Shelf, a massive glacier said to be the world’s largest body of floating ice, nearly the size of France. The voyage continues to the uninhabited sub-Antarctic Campbell Island and ends after 32 days in New Zealand. The second cruise offers the same itinerary, but in reverse.

  • Land on the massive Ross Ice Shelf, with 164-foot ice walls
  • View and photograph amazing wildlife, including Emperor penguins, Orca whales, seals, and dozens of bird species
  • Fly to the Dry Valleys, the driest place on the planet, with conditions that replicate those on Mars
  • Set foot on the rarely visited volcanic Peter I Island
  • Sail to Campbell Island, home to the Southern Royal Albatross
  • Visit the historic huts of Arctic explorers Ernest Shackleton and Robert Falcon Scott* Highlights are weather dependent

Discounted pricing starts at US$19,950 per person for the January departure and US$17,450 for the February departure. It includes voyage, meals and activities during voyage period. More information available at www.oceanwide-expeditions.com.

Reservations and inquiries may be made via oceanwide-expeditions.com, by calling 0031 118 410 410 or via email at info@oceanwide-expeditions.com during business hours Central European Time.

USA & Canada reservations and inquiries may be made via oceanwide-expeditions.com, by calling 1- 800-453-7245 or via email at usa@oceanwide-expeditions.com during business hours Central Time.

Add Eco Beach Stay to Aurora Expeditions Kimberley Cruise for only $200pp

#expeditioncruising .

Expedition cruising specialists Aurora Expeditions is offering travellers who book one of their 2017 Kimberley Coast cruises the chance to add a deluxe Broome Eco Beach stay to their experience for only $200 per person. When booking a Deluxe or Upper Deck Stateroom cabin before 31 January 2017, travellers will be able to enjoy four nights at Broome’s multi award-winning Ramada Eco Beach Resort located in a spectacular Kimberley environment, a perfect place to explore or relax, either before or after their Kimberley cruise.

Originally valued at $599 per person, this exclusive Eco Beach offer includes four nights in a beautifully-appointed Garden View villa, daily breakfast and return transfers from Broome, as well as access to a diverse range of nature-based activities (activity surcharge may apply).

Travellers starting their journey with the Eco Beach stay will be transferred back to Broome to board 42-passenger Coral Expeditions I, and start their Kimberley Coast expedition along the remote and breathtaking coastline between Broome and Darwin. Those starting the expedition in Darwin will have the choice to add their Eco Beach stay at the end of their trip.

Broome’s multi award-winning Ramada Eco Beach Resort

Each Kimberley Coast expedition offers the opportunity to discover Australia’s fascinating Kimberley region such as spectacular King George falls, Western Australia’s highest falls, Bigge Island’s captivating Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock paintings, Montgomery Reef’s marine reserve as wells as experience a thrilling Zodiac ride through the powerful Horizontal Waterfalls.

Across all four departures in 2017, travellers will have the chance to join legendary Kimberley adventurer Mike Cusack for an exclusive experience. Returning to the Kimberley Coast for his 20th season as Aurora Expeditions’ Expedition Leader, Mike will be celebrating 30 years since his Year in the Wilderness, when his wife Susan and he spent 12 challenging months living unaided in the isolated West Kimberley as Australian Geographic’s Wilderness Couple. Mike will share his unrivalled knowledge of the area with travellers throughout their journey, including an exclusive 11-km rock-hopping trek to the old Kunmunya Mission where Susan and he had set up their camp in 1987.

Aurora Expeditions’ 11-day Kimberley Coast voyages depart Broome on 12 June and 3 July 2017, and Darwin on 2 and 23 June 2017. Prices start from $7,990 per person and include accommodation and meals on board Coral Expeditions I, all daily shore landings and excursions, educational lectures, guiding services and a professionally-produced memento photobook.

Travellers who book a Deluxe or Upper Deck Stateroom cabin before 31 January 2017 will have the chance to add an exclusive four-night deluxe Broome Eco Beach stay at award-winning Ramada Eco Beach Resort for only $200 per person. Valued at $599, the offer includes four nights in a Garden View villa, daily breakfast and return Broome transfers. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information, contact Aurora Expeditions on 1300 061 490, or visit auroraexpeditions.com.au.

Thursday 10 November 2016

New ship, Ventus Australis, to debut in Patagonia

Cruise program for 2017-18 released with new ship, Ventus Australis, in Patagonia including Cape Horn

Fares for 2017/18 'bottom of the world' cruises frozen at 2016/17 levels

The debut date for the new expedition ship built for Patagonian cruise line, Australis, has been announced. The 210-passenger Ventus Australis will make its maiden cruise on January 2, 2018, as part of Australis' 2017/18 season of 'bottom of the world' voyages to Cape Horn and the glaciers and fjords of Tierra del Fuego.

To mark the inaugural season of Ventus Australis – Latin for southern wind – Australis has frozen all fares for its 2017/18 Patagonia season, which will also include the line's other ship, Stella Australia, with fares the same as those for the coming 2016/17 season.

Tailor-made for cruising on the southern tip of South America, Ventus Australis will replace the smaller, 136-passenger Via Australis, which the cruise line sold earlier this year. Ventus Australis will be a twin sister to the 210-passenger Stella Australis, offering panoramic, floor to ceiling cabin windows, a free open bar, complimentary, guided excursions, nature lectures and gourmet cuisine including local dishes and Chilean and Argentine wines.

From January 2 to March 29, 2018, Ventus Australis will offer 22 four-night cruises between Ushuaia in Argentina and Punta Arenas in Chile – the two southern-most towns in the world. Meanwhile, fleet mate, Stella Australis, will offer 54 sailings of three, four and seven-night durations from Ushuaia and Punta Arenas from September 30, 2017, to April 4, 2018.

The short cruises – an ideal add-on to a South American holiday - feature the spectacular mountain and glacier-lined fjords of Tierra del Fuego, the Magellan Strait and Beagle Channel and zodiac excursions ashore to places like Cape Horn, Wulaia Bay and Pia Glacier. An average of seven massive tidewater glaciers can be seen on most Australis sailings while wildlife along the way includes elephant seals and Magellanic penguins

Australis is the only operator to offer regular cruises through the region, with the family-owned Chilean cruise line also offering more opportunities for travellers to step ashore on fabled Cape Horn than any other line.

Fares for four-night sailings aboard Ventus Australis in her maiden 2018 season are available from US$1800 per person, twin-share – pegged at 2016/17 levels. And fares aboard Stella Australis during her 2017/18 program start at US$1189 per person, twin-share, for a three-night journey – also pegged at 2016/17 fares. Prices include guided excursions ashore and beverages through an open-bar.

Visit www.australis.comBookings can be made through South American specialist agency, Movidas [www.movidas.com.au]

South America Experts
South America Experts

Wednesday 9 November 2016

Galapagos for Every Budget with G Adventures

#expeditioncruising .

G Adventures upgrades fleet and discounts Galapagos cruises allowing more Aussies to explore the islands

To celebrate G Adventures updated fleet of small Galapagos Islands cruise vessels, the adventure travel company is offering a large discount on cruises between January and March next year.

G Adventures is encouraging travellers and agents to book before November 30 to enjoy 20 per cent off Galapagos departures from January 1 through to March 31, 2017.

G Adventures have five vessels operating in the Galapagos, one for every style of traveller, including the Estrella del Mar which is designed for the younger traveller, the Xavier III and Monserrat which are great all round options through to the recently refurbished Yolita and Queen of the Galapagos which cater to a more discerning audience who want upgraded amenities.

All vessels have a certified naturalist guide from the Galápagos National Park Service, there to provide an in depth understanding of the nature and wildlife in the area.

Adrian Piotto, Managing Director G Adventures Australia and New Zealand, says G Adventures is committed to providing responsible and sustainable adventures in the region,

"The Galápagos Islands are one of those amazing places that lends itself to once in a lifetime experiences. Our travellers are treated to landings and excursions that give real insight into the regions history, culture and wildlife without harming the delicate ecosystems that exist in the area. Along the way they can study tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz, and pass through majestic Kicker Rock off San Cristóbal Island," he said.

The Yolita recently underwent an upgrade, transforming its interior to make it even more comfortable for adventurous travellers who want to see the beautiful islands and surrounding waters with added luxury. The attractive 16-passenger ship boasts spacious cabins and the large upper deck allows travellers to soak up the Ecuadorian sun.

For more information or to book a trip, call 1300 796 618 or visit www.gadventures.com.au

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Two new ships ordered by Crystal

#expeditioncruising .

Source: Cruise Industry News
Crystal Cruises has upped its expedition yacht program from one ship on order to three, while delaying the first delivery by a year to 2019. The company’s new ocean-going 1,000-passenger ships are also being pushed back, from 2019 – already a year behind schedule – to 2022, according to a prepared statement. The ships are all on order at MV Werften, which is a consortium of shipyards owned by Genting Hong Kong, which also owns Crystal.

However, in the meantime, Crystal will spend significantly on the Serenity and Symphony, which will see massive enhancements in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

“Not only do our ocean cruise ships continue to earn the highest guest satisfaction feedback, they do so in record-breaking margins,” said Edie Rodriguez, president and CEO. “This enthusiasm only validates our commitment to continuing to invest in the most innovative itineraries and onboard spaces and amenities, as those are the features that are resonating with our discerning guests.”

In the first quarter of 2022, Crystal will introduce the first Crystal Exclusive-class ocean ship that “will set a new standard of luxury travel with signature features and guest amenities, and boast luxurious Crystal Residences, allowing travelers to literally call a Crystal ship home. The privately owned apartments will range from 600 to 10,000+ square feet and have access to private amenities, dining and other services,” said a statement.

On the expedition yacht side of the business, Crystal will take deliveries in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The ships will be 200 passengers and 25,000 tons. Crystal also announced it will rebrand its current Crystal Yacht Cruises as Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises.

The company also said it is planning to add a second Global Express Jet to its Crystal Luxury Air fleet due to the “popularity of the existing charter options, and travel partners and guests’ wishing to customize their vacation experiences with all things Crystal”.

On the heels of announcing the maiden journey of Crystal AirCruises Boeing 777 with The Peninsula Hotels, which opens for booking on November 1, Crystal will release on that day a selection of its 15- to 29-day all-inclusive journeys for 2017 and 2018.

In addition to new experiences, Crystal launched a new “All Exclusive” branding campaign, a sales and marketing office to further support the Australia region (August 2016), and due to the demand in the Australia market, a branch office will open in Sydney in 2017. Crystal also announced in March plans to make the Shrine Building in downtown Miami its central display showcase location for its portfolio scheduled to open in spring 2017.

Professor Tim Flannery to lead a special expedition cruise to Melanesia in 2017


Internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, Professor Tim Flannery will be escorting a one-off trip discovering the secrets of Melanesia with World Expeditions in October 2017.

Professor Flannery has been described by renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough as being "in the league of the world's all time great explorers".

A prolific author and prominent climate change activist, Flannery has undertaken many expeditions throughout Papua New Guinea where he's discovered numerous species and subspecies of mammal and studied the climate change affects on amphibians.

He'll share his extensive scientific knowledge of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, along with his passion for exploration and discovery, on the 14-day Melanesia Discoverer tour regaling the 50 passengers on board the delightful Spirit of Enderby.

Melanesia Discoverer with Tim Flannery (8 - 21 October 2017):

Uncover the hidden gems of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Sail through the turquoise waters of Melanesia where new vistas and unexpected encounters await. Travel at your own pace, with plenty of opportunities for landings, village visits, kayaking and snorkelling. These waters offer some of the greatest marine diversity in the world and for "birders" this itinerary offers sightings of rare species on remote islands where few have been before. The uniqueness of this trip coupled with Tim's knowledge and passion for this region will ensure this journey will be a once in a lifetime experience. From USD$6,995 per person (triple cabin).

More information at www.worldexpeditions.com or 1300 720 000.

About Professor Tim Flannery:

Professor Flannery is an internationally acclaimed scientist, explorer and conservationist, as well as prolific author and prominent climate change activist.

Tim has published more than 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers and has named 25 living and 50 fossil mammal species. His 32 books include the award winning The Future Eaters and The Weather Makers, which has been translated into over 20 languages.  While his books Mammals of New Guinea and the co-authored Prehistoric Mammals of Australia and New Guinea are still the most comprehensive reference works on these subjects to date. He has made numerous documentaries and regularly reviews for the New York Review of Books.

He received a Centenary of Federation Medal and in 2002 delivered the Australia Day address. In 2005 he was named Australian Humanist of the Year and in 2007 Australian of the Year.  In 2011 he was made a Chevalier of the Order of St Charles.

In 1998-9 he was a visiting professor at Harvard, and is a founding member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, a director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, and has served on the International Board of WWF. In 2014 he joined the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute as Honorary Professor.

In 2007 he co-founded and was appointed Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council. In 2011 he became Australia's Chief Climate Commissioner, and in 2013 he founded and heads the Australian Climate Council. He also serves on the Sustainability Advisory Board of Tata Power (India).

Tim has undertaken many expeditions throughout Papua New Guinea where he's discovered numerous species and subspecies of mammal.  The critically endangered Greater Monkey-faced Bat was named after him, Pteralopex flanneryi, when it was described in 2005.  Tim's pioneering research and conservation work in Melanesia also prompted Sir David Attenborough to describe him as being "in the league of the world's all-time great explorers".

Monday 7 November 2016

Aranui 5 Announces Onboard Credit on Selected 2017 Departures to French Polynesia

Travelling around the most remote group of islands in French Polynesia on board a working cargo ship has become even more appealing, following the unusual announcement by Aranui 5 that it is offering a 300 euros per person onboard credit on selected 2017 departures.

The generous credit, which is available on all new bookings made before 31January 2017, for departures on 7 and 25 March, and 13 April 2017, may be spent on board the Aranui 5 in its bars, boutique and spa.

Passengers may choose to treat themselves to exotic tropical drinks at one of four bars on the ship, including the panoramic 'Skybar, or make a purchase in the boutique where traditional Tahitian goods include the pareo, a lightweight, brightly coloured garment similar to a sarong.

Alternatively, the credit can be used in the spa, where guests may indulge themselves in a full body massage or other health and beauty treatments.

Passengers travelling on 'The freighter to paradise' will be greeted in the traditional Polynesian way, with the warmest of welcomes and a fresh flower garland or lei, as they travel the 2,200 miles from Papeete in Tahiti to the stunningly beautiful Marquesas Islands.

The 14-night voyage, which stops at each of the six inhabited Marquesas, gives travellers the opportunity to meet islanders, marvel at the amazing volcanic peaks soaring thousands of feet into the sky, hike to spectacular waterfalls, visit one of the many archaeological sites with their distinctive stone tiki statues, and learn more about the ancient traditions and artistic heritage of the Polynesian culture.

Prices for a 14-day voyage, including all taxes, start from 2528 euros in a class C dormitory (no children under 15 years, four to eight guests), from 4088 euros in a standard double cabin, and from 5579 euros for a premium suite with private balcony, based on two sharing.  Meals, wine during meals on board, planned excursions, expert lecturers and guides are all included, together with the 300 euros per person credit, which is not refundable if unused.

For further information about cruises on board Aranui 5, visit www.aranui.com.