Friday 30 June 2017

Lindblad celebrates 50 Years in Galapagos with free air offer


July 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Lars-Eric Lindblad's first international tourist expedition to Galápagos. Since that first voyage, Lindblad Expeditions has introduced generations of guests to these strange and wonderful islands, and is commemorating the occasion with free round-trip air to Galápagos on 50+ cruise departures in 2017 and 2018.

Pic: Michael S. Nolan

The 50th anniversary free air offer is available for flights from Miami to Galápagos on all departures Aug. 25-Nov. 17, 2017 on the new National Geographic Endeavour II, and Sep. 16-Dec. 16, 2017 on National Geographic Islander, plus on select departures on both ships throughout 2018. Guests also have the option to upgrade to business class for only $500 on select departures, based on limited availability.

National Geographic Endeavour II replaced the much loved
National Geographic Endeavour in December 2016
From exciting happenings—a new ship; a new and unique family program; new custom-made, stand-up paddleboards - to things that never change - snorkeling with sea lions, hiking among marine iguanas, walking among giant tortoises, the 50th celebration awaits.

Rates begin at $6,960 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin; take $500 off for each child under the age of 18. For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth, visit, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or contact your travel agent.

See the 50 reasons to celebrate with Lindblad in Galapagos this year.

Thursday 29 June 2017

The Ultimate American West Coast Expedition Cruise


Discover the picturesque landscape and local wildlife of the West Coast of America aboard Silver Explorer.  Departing San Diego, California for Vancouver on 02 May 2018, guests will experience a spectacular 11 night adventure. Early Booking Cruise fares commence on 01 July 2017, with prices starting from AUD$9,450* per person, staying in an Adventurer Suite, based on double occupancy.

Fresh from an extensive refurbishment, Silver Explorer enables guests to take advantage of the idyllic scenery both on board and on shore.  An extensive range of excursions are on offer, led by a highly qualified expedition team, which include marine biologists, naturalists, historians and ornithologists.  Travellers will experience nature like never before, via hikes and walks through nature parks, coastal rainforests and scenic habitats, whilst observing the local wildlife, including eagles, deer, elk and beavers.

Guests will also enjoy a range of exclusive experiences, including a VIP behind the scenes tour of the Monterey Aquarium, beer tasting at Fort George Brewery, a special presentation by a Lewis and Clarke historian and stories of the Mt Rainer explosion from Silversea's team of experts.

Aboard Silver Explorer, guests will be able to take in the views in comfort, including Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and a selection of wildlife, such as dolphins and whales.  During the days at sea, travellers have the opportunity to attend lectures to get the most out of this amazing expedition.

Travelling further north, Silver Explorer will arrive in Washington to explore the San Juan Islands and Anacortes where guests will be able to kayak out to spot seals, porpoises, eagles and possibly whales.

Silversea's Expedition fares include: all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary onboard wines and spirits; and one hour of complimentary WiFi per day for each guest and unlimited WiFi for select suite categories and all gratuities. Daily zodiac excursions and activities are also included.


Early Booking Bonus: Valid from 01 July 2017, guests can save 10% if booking and paying in full by 31 August 2017*

Alluring Single Fares: Single supplements starting at only 25%

Expedition Free Air: Book by 31 August 2017 and enjoy free Economy Class Air roundtrip or get AUD$3,000 savings per suite* for Business Class flights booked through Silversea

*This voyage is subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time. Terms and conditions apply. For more information contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 (Australia), or visit

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Lindblad's NG Quest damaged in launch. Cruises cancelled.

#expeditioncruising .

Lindblad Expeditions - National Geographic has been forced to cancel inaugural cruises, July 8 and July 15, due to damage sustained during the ship's launch.

"The launch wasn’t without some headaches," noted the local newspaper

Read reports:

Ahoy Buccaneers Kimberley cruise fares frozen for 2019

#expeditioncruising .

UPDATE MARCH 2019: Ahoy Buccaneers ceases operations

Growing interest in the rugged Kimberley region has seen a big increase in the number of extended cruises offered by Ahoy Buccaneers which has also frozen fares on more than two-thirds of its sailings on its newly released 2019 program.

Specialising in affordable cruises through the Buccaneer and Bonaparte islands, Ahoy Buccaneers has just released its 2019 cruise program, which includes seven instead of four of its popular, 13-day, round-trip Buccaneer and Bonaparte cruises from Broome.

There will also be six 13-day, one-way voyages between Broome and Wyndham and 12 seven-day, round-trip sailings from Broome, with Ahoy Buccaneers pegging 2019 fares for these 18 cruises at 2018 levels

“We’ve seen a demand for longer, more extensive explorations of the wild Kimberly coastal region, which is twice the size of Victoria,” owner Shelley Gould said. “Because we’re more affordable, it makes the region more accessible for more people seeking untouched horizons.”

Ahoy’s guests will travel on board the 25-passenger motor yacht, ‘Oceanic’, which provides an intimate and relaxed experience, enabling travel to many secluded locations that larger vessels cannot reach. Beginning in Broome, the 13-day Buccaneer and Bonaparte cruise will sail through the Buccaneer archipelago, visiting secluded beaches, river inlets and the Horizontal Falls at Talbot Bay – described by David Attenborough as “one of the greatest wonders of the natural world”. Guests will have the chance to swim in fresh water swimming holes, cast a line, collect black lipped oysters off the rock, hike, spot wildlife, examine indigenous rock art or just relax in the onboard spa.

The journey will then continue to the Bonaparte Archipelago, where highlights include Camden Sound – home to 22,000 humpback whales - the largest population of humpbacks in the world. Other wildlife such as dugongs, sea turtles and dolphins can also be spotted in the waters as the yacht cruises on to the pristine sands of Hanover Beach. The thundering Kings Cascades Waterfalls on the Prince Regent River provide a memorable climax to the trip as guests watch the fresh water cascade over the ancient terraced rock formations.

The 13-day Bonaparte and Buccaneer Archipelago cruises are available from $4400 per person (including for solos) in a swag under the stars and from $5500 per person in a cabin, twin-share, or if sharing with another solo passenger.

Of the 25 sailings available from February to November, 2019, 18, or 72 per cent, will offer fares frozen at 2018 levels. These include the seven-day Buccaneer Archipelago cruise from $2200 per person (including for solos) in a beach swag and $2800 per person in a cabin and the 13-day one-way sailings between Broome and Wyndham from $4400 in a swag and $5500 in a cabin.

Fares include fresh cuisine during the cruise and daily excursions as well as local transfers. Call Ahoy Buccaneers on 08 9193 7650 or visit

Ritz-Carlton announces luxury small ship fleet

#expeditioncruising .

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., part of Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), today announced its entry into luxury yachting and cruises – bringing the award-winning luxury hotel brand's service and timeless style to sea. Created by The Ritz-Carlton and maritime experts Douglas Prothero and Lars Clasen, in collaboration with funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., The Ritz-Carlton will provide luxury hospitality service under a long-term operating agreement. Named The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, this venture represents a unique foray into the cruise industry for a luxury hotel operator. The first of three lavish cruising yachts in this series is scheduled to take to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019, and distinguishes Marriott International as the only provider of luxury accommodations both on land and at sea.

[Editor's note: According to Cruise Industry News, it appears the ships will be constructed in the Spanish shipyard, Barreras. The yard has not built cruise ships before, but has experience in container ships, fishing trawlers and large ferries. Price cited is US$220 million each.]

“The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will have a distinctive personality and the vessels are sure to be true stand outs in some of the most glamorous ports around the world,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalized service.”

Itineraries are being developed with an intent to combine the lifestyle of The Ritz-Carlton's luxury resorts and the casual freedom of a yachting vacation. Calling at intimate and signature destinations alike, voyages will range from seven to ten days. The first ship will cruise a wide variety of destinations depending on the season, including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Due to the intimate size of the vessel, the yacht will call at unique locations typically not accessible to large cruise ships, from Capri and Portofino to St. Barths and the old town of Cartagena. With a relaxed pace, that includes both overnight and daytime ports of call, guests will be offered a uniquely curated destination experience.

The specially designed small capacity vessel will measure 190-meters, accommodate up to 298 passengers, and feature 149 suites, each with its own private balcony. The yacht will also feature two 138 square-meter lavish duplex penthouse suites, with modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading cruise ship design firm, Tillberg Design of Sweden. The onboard experience will reflect the sublime comfort and unparalleled level of individualized guest service for which the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized; a first in the cruise industry.

“The Ritz-Carlton is known for its legendary service and high standards,” said Douglas Prothero Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “We are delighted to collaborate with The Ritz-Carlton as our hospitality operator in offering the most exclusive yachting experience to be found at sea in a venture that will give new meaning to curated luxury travel,” continued Lars Clasen, Managing Director, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

Throughout the journey, guests will indulge in a cruising style that is unparalleled in the ultra-luxury cruise and private yachting sectors. The Ritz-Carlton yachts will feature a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua, the three Michelin-starred restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg; a signature Ritz-Carlton Spa; and a Panorama Lounge and wine bar, offering a wide variety of on-board entertainment. Additionally, the yacht will offer one-of-a-kind curated destination journeys through collaborations with local chefs, musicians and artists, allowing guests to experience the locations in unique and experiential ways, both on board and ashore.

Reservations will open in May 2018. The ships of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection are also available for private charter. For more information, please visit

Source: Marriott International media release

New Polar Expedition Ship Antarctica XXI

#expeditioncruising .

Antarctic air-cruise specialist ANTARCTICA XXI announced it has ordered a new polar expedition ship from ASENAV for the 2019-2019 cruise season.

Keel laid for HANSEATIC nature

#expeditioncruising .

Marks start of the next construction stage

· Publishing of cruise overview in August 2017
· First brochure coming out in January 2018
· Christening and maiden voyage in April 2019

On June 20th, 2017 the next construction stage of HANSEATIC nature, the first of two expedition new-builds, has begun with the keel laying. At the VARD shipyard in Tulcea, Romania, Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, placed a coin inside the steel block; the coin was welded into the block and will accompany the ship on all its future cruises. This ship-building tradition is believed to bring luck to new ships.

HANSEATIC nature‘s keel consists of two steel blocks: each block is 9 meters long, 11 meters wide, 1,5 meters high and weighs 33 tons.

“It is a great pleasure to watch the development of our first expedition new-build. In the shipyard, as well as in the Hamburg office, many experts in their specialist field, are working daily on completing the two vessels. With our new expedition vessels, we will soon be able to offer very unique travel experiences” says Karl J. Pojer, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Tudorel Topa, svp/yard director VARD (left), watches as
Karl J. Pojer, ceo of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises places a
lucky coin inside the keel of Hanseatic nature

The christening and maiden voyage of HANSEATIC nature are planned for April 2019. The second ship, HANSEATIC inspiration, which will serve the international markets, will launch six months later in October 2019. As soon as August 2017, interested guests will receive a cruise overview featuring the upcoming expeditions of both new ships and they will be able to place reservations. The bookings can be confirmed after the publishing of the first official brochure in January 2018.

The new expedition ships, which will be positioned in the five-star-segment, are being built by Norwegian company VARD Group, which is a subsidiary of the Italian shipbuilding group Fincantieri. The ships’ hulls will be constructed in the Romanian shipyard location of Tulcea and afterwards be towed to VARD Langsten in Norway, where the outfitting and the finishing of the interior will take place. Both HANSEATIC nature and HANSEATIC inspiration will be fitted with cutting-edge equipment and environmental technology and will each accommodate up to 230 guests (or up to 199 guests on Antarctica cruises). PC6, the highest ice class for passenger ships, makes it possible to conduct expeditions far into Polar waters, with tropical destinations such as the South Seas and the Amazon. Sixteen on-board Zodiacs and E-Zodiacs with eco-friendly electric drive systems allow for landings in remote expedition areas, regardless of the vicinity to a port.

Reservations: International guests, as well as travel agencies, can now make use of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ free-of-charge phone numbers when requesting or booking a cruise. United Kingdom: 0800 0513 829, United States & Canada: 877 445 7447 or 800 334-2724, Belgium: 0800 79 421, the Netherlands: 0800 0220 459; all other countries, please call +49 40 30703070 (English-speaking hotline) – or - send an e-mail to or visit for local agents.

For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ exciting destinations and itineraries, visit

Wednesday 21 June 2017

CF Mekong Cruises discount offer


March/April sailings discount the standard fares by 25 per cent

This six-day, five-night introductory cruise on the famous Mekong River aboard the intimate Toum Tiou 1 from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh and return has just gone on sale, slashing 25 per cent off regular prices.

Prices are available for sailings from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh from March 30 to April 4, 2018 or from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City from April 4 to 10, 2018. Price includes: Full board and accommodation, coffee, tea & drinking water. A French or English speaking guide. Visits mentioned in the program and entrance fees. Transport from departure port to arrival port. Port Fees and Wifi.


Upper cabin double or twin USD $1,676 Main cabin USD $1,614
Upper cabin single USD $1,391 Main cabin single USD $1,340

The TT1 has 10 cabins housing a maximum of 20 passengers.

The Phnom Penh journey includes a visit to Koh Chen, small village specializing in silver and copper smithing. They make ornamental items used in traditional ceremonies. The distant hills of Cambodia's old capital, Oudong, and its royal stupas can be seen a few kilometers away from the dock.

Back to Phnom Penh on day 2 to clear Customs. Passengers are free to explore the city. A little further on, TT1 arrives at the Immigration check point in Kaam Samnaar, then on day 3 onto Chau Doc which spans both banks of the Mekong. Visit some fish farms which have sprung up everywhere.

On day 4 take a short walking tour taking in some of the town's highlights then onto the markets along the river bank.

Local boats come alongside TT1 to pick up passengers and transfer to the mainland. Departure for Vinh Trang Pagoda by car, with a short panoramic tour of My Tho town on the way. Thoi Son Island by local boat is next then navigate the canal of Cho Gao and a farewell dinner. Day 6 arrive Ho Chi Minh city port 11 am – Customs formalities clearance. The TT1 calls at the same ports with similar activities on the reverse journey.

CF Mekong River Cruises' fleet is currently five ships. The colonial vessels weave into the local tapestry delicately, with the environment. They are comfortable, cosy and affordably luxurious. This is mirrored by the price. CFM offers more than a typical river cruise it includes exploring rustic villages, hidden cultures and joining in with the local customs.

CF Mekong River Cruises' ships are small enough to navigate otherwise inaccessible parts of the Mekong such as the magnificent Gao canal, an exotic gateway to the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. There are no extended bus rides to traverse long stretches of the river inaccessible to bigger ships. Because of the smaller draughts, CF Mekong River Cruises is the only cruise line that offers true point-to-point cruising along the entire length of the lower Mekong and it never cancels scheduled cruises.

CF Mekong River Cruises is a wholly owned subsidiary of French company, Croisi Europe, one of Europe's oldest and most successful river cruise operations. The fleet was purchased by the company in 2014.

For reservations: +855 23 21 60 70

For information Australia, New Zealand, contact John Boyd: email- JLBATI@OZEMAIL.COM.AU.

Myanmar savings on Cruiseco Explorer’s extended itinerary


Unlock $2,000 savings on Cruiseco Explorer's extended Myanmar itinerary

Cruiseco, the leading provider of worldwide cruising options in Australia and New Zealand, is delighted to offer travellers a saving of over AUD$2,000* per person on a 17 night fly, cruise and stay holiday package. This unique tour includes return Economy airfares from Australia via Bangkok to Yangon, before travelling to Prome to set sail on a 14 night luxury river cruise on 14th September 2017. Guests will sail the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers to Schwegu, before culminating in Mandalay. This spectacular cruise allows guests to experience the enchanting wonders of Myanmar like never before.

Laura Clarke, Manager Special Projects & Group Sales, Cruiseco said:

"This sensational cruise features the only itinerary in the 2017/2018 season that enables guests to travel along the Irrawaddy River and includes exploring ports along the Chindwin River. Travellers will uncover beautiful architecture, friendly locals and the authentic history and culture of this largely undiscovered part of the world. Guests will sail between Yangon and Mandalay stopping in ports along the Chindwin and Upper Irrawaddy Rivers."

Highlights of this magical holiday experience include visits to: Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda featuring one of the largest Buddhist statues in Myanmar; a number of temples in Bagan such as Shwezigon, Ananda, Dhammayangyi and Thatbyinnyu; the Shwebadaung caves; the colonial town of Katha, the setting for George Orwell's novel 'Burmese Days'; and Mandalay Hill with a summit 240m high. In addition travellers will sail through the grand walls of the Second Defile on the Irrawaddy.

Cruiseco Explorer is designed to accommodate only 56 guests, which will allow travellers to enjoy an intimate, spacious and luxurious river cruise. The cabins feature polished timber floors and French windows or private balconies, so guests will be able to relax and enjoy the impeccable scenery along the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers.

"Accompanying guests on this magical holiday are specialist guides with a wealth of knowledge of this once forbidden land. Travellers will also be able to choose to enrich their holiday by adding on extension packages of three or four nights as part of our offerings" added Clarke.

Prices, start from AUD$5,999* per person, based on twin share for Main Deck Cabin. This offer includes a saving of AUD$2,100* per person and is valid for a limited time only.

Fares include: return economy airfares from Australia; luxury cruise aboard Cruiseco Explorer, including on board gratuities, soft drinks, local beers, wine, daily breakfast, lunch and dinner as specified in the itinerary; deluxe hotel accommodation, one night at the Mandalay Hill Resort in Mandalay, and two nights at the five-star Sule Shangri-La Hotel in Yangon; extensive sightseeing with expert local guides; and all transfers.

To find out more or to make a booking, visit or call (02) 9492 8520.

*Prices are subject to availability and change. Terms and conditions apply.

Friday 16 June 2017

UnCruise 2018 Deployment

#expeditioncruising .

UnCruise Adventures has launched its 2018 schedule of small ship cruises highlighted by a new itinerary on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, plus a fresh lineup of itineraries and an expanded selection of ships in Alaska, according to a company statement.

Of note, the 88-guest S.S. Legacy heads to Alaska from April through mid-August, then sails on the Columbia and Snake Rivers from August through November.

One Ocean Expeditions marks Canada Day 150th Anniversary


On Saturday 1st July thousands of people will be taking part in hundreds of events around the globe to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada's Confederation.  Leading Canadian expedition cruise operator, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE), will be among those joining in the birthday celebrations in London's Trafalgar Square to commemorate the historic occasion.

The Canada Day party in the centre of London will feature live music, food, drinks and activities for all ages, with British-Canadian TV presenter, Dan Snow, taking the helm as Master of Ceremonies.

One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) will be inviting partygoers to have souvenir photographs taken against a backdrop wall showing the Canadian Arctic complete with polar bear floating by on an ice floe, as well as giving away limited edition OOE Canada 150 t-shirts.

Children will definitely want to meet OOE's giant polar bear mascot and maybe even have a temporary tattoo to mark their day out, while older visitors can challenge themselves with a general knowledge quiz.

Among the high profile Canadians attending the event in Trafalgar Square will be several veteran football and hockey league players who certainly know how to party!

The Government of Canada is celebrating the occasion with a number of activities around the capital.  The British North America Act of 1867 is currently on display in the Palace of Westminster and may be viewed by those who take a tour of Parliament.  A glorious display of Canada 150 tulips has been planted in the Embankment's Victoria Gardens and a generous donation has been made to assist with three projects in London, including the renovation of the Victoria Park Cenotaph.

For Brits looking to take their interest in Canada one step further, OOE offers a selection of extraordinary cruises showcasing Canada's heritage, culture, history, people and, of course, its stunning scenery and wildlife.

One such adventure cruise is the 10-night Canada East Coast – Fins & Fiddles trip, which takes in Canada's Atlantic Maritime Provinces.  Passengers visit small communities and remote-island fishing ports to witness first-hand the age-old Celtic traditions, music, cuisine and diverse culture of the region.

Prolific numbers of seabirds, as well as numerous seal and whale species and the fabled wild horses of Sable Island, are among the trip's highlights.  This Canadian Signature Experience departs on 5th and 21st July 2017 and 4th and 14th July 2018 and starts from $3195 per person.

For more information about Canada's 150th Anniversary you can follow OOE's social media channels. Facebook: @OneOceanExpeditions, Twitter: @OneOceanExp, Instagram: OneOceanExp as well as @Canada150 and #Canada150

For more information on One Ocean Expeditions' Canada's East Coast and Arctic cruises visit:

Thursday 15 June 2017

Aurora Expeditions Antarctic Skiing & Snowshoeing

#expeditioncruising .

Aurora Expeditions, the leaders in polar adventures, is expanding its portfolio of Antarctic activities for the 2017/18 season with the introduction of Ski Touring and Snowshoeing across the pristine landscapes of the White Continent.

Fuelled by a passion for thrilling new wilderness experiences, these unique skiing and snowshoeing activities will take intrepid travellers to sights of unimaginable beauty in the most exhilarating way possible.

Antarctic Ski Touring will offer the experienced and the bold an incredible opportunity to ski near-virgin glacial slopes, traverse remote areas to iceberg-studded bays rarely seen by human eyes, gaze at penguin rookeries and breaching whales in hard to access locations, or even follow in Shackleton’s footsteps across South Georgia. Snow conditions are unpredictable whilst terrain varies from gentle slopes to crevassed glaciers and alpine bowls, often including areas where no man (or woman) has ever skied before.

Travelling in small groups with highly experienced mountain ski guides, expeditioners will learn lifelong mountaineering and ski touring skills such as ice axe and crampon use, roped glacier travel, avalanche procedures and emergency shelter construction. Antarctic ski touring is undoubtedly challenging, but for those with appropriate experience, it’s also an adrenalin-pumping high for those with a lionhearted spirit of adventure.

A gentler option physically, but no less rewarding in terms of the experience or the awe-inspiring sights on offer, is the ancient, practical and simple sport of Snowshoeing. The most efficient way to travel across the snow, it’s straightforward to learn and far easier than walking in boots. After just half an hour’s training by Aurora Expedition’s expert guides some of the most pristine and uplifting scenery on the globe comes within easy reach. Expeditions to spectacular vantage points last for up to three hours, so a reasonable level of fitness is necessary and, as with ski touring, the aim is for six excursions or more per voyage, depending on weather and landing sites.

The two new activities are available on selected 2017/18 itineraries, including the In-depth South Georgia & Antarctica and Spirit of Antarctica expeditions departing 27 November 2017 and 16 December 2017, respectively. Expedition fares starts from US$8,900 per person, with ski touring starting from an additional US$900 per person and snowshoeing from an additional US$250 per person.

To celebrate the launch of these two new activities, Aurora Expeditions has also released their brand new Active Antarctica Guide, featuring detailed information on their entire range of optional Antarctic activities such as polar snorkelling and diving, sea kayaking, camping and mountaineering.

The new Antarctica Activity Guide is available to download free at:

For more information on Aurora Expeditions new Ski Touring and Snowshoeing activities, contact Aurora Expeditions on +61 2 9252 1033, or visit

Mekong Photography Cruise with Aqua Expeditions


Aqua Expeditions, one of the world's leading luxury river cruise companies, is giving guests the opportunity to 'capture the moment' on an exclusive 4-night Photography Cruise along the magnificent Mekong River in December 2017 being presented by talented fine art and architectural photographer and videographer, Francisco Marin.

When Aqua Expeditions founder, Francesco Galli Zugaro, met Francisco and viewed his breathtaking images, Francesco immediately saw the mission of Aqua Expeditions unfolding in a visual story: sharing with guests some of the world's most remote communities; captivating landscapes; and immersing travellers in history, culture and nature.

A successful commercial photographer and teacher, Francisco Marin has been practicing his craft in Asia for more than 10 years and is currently an instructor with the renowned photography school, Leica Akademie, in Singapore. A native of Mexico, Francisco is an artistic photographer who specialises in capturing architectural and interior design for real estate developers and editorial customers. He is currently represented by Aflote Inc.

During this exclusive departure, guests will travel alongside Francisco as he shares his tips and techniques to creating visual stories; join hands-on outdoor photography workshops and learn to capture the most dramatic moments such as Buddhist temples, floating Khmer villages and fragrant riverside markets; and join interactive evening Q&A sessions with the photographer and likeminded travellers, during which they can ask questions about composition, lighting, technical enhancements and photography challenges over a drink at the bar.

Rates for the 4-night Photography Cruise from Phnom Penh to Cambodia 8 – 12 December 2017 commence from USD5140 per person, based on double occupancy.

For more information and bookings on this cruise, please visit or contact Aqua Expeditions Australia on 1300 124 204 or

Watch Francisco in action in Cambodia as he captures the spirit of the villagers of Southeast Asia in the following video: Photography Cruise On Board the Aqua Mekong 2017

Learn more about Aqua Expeditions Photography Cruise on the Aqua Mekong.

Aqua Expeditions was the first adventure travel company to introduce five-star luxury cruises on the Amazon River in Peru and on the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia. CEO, Francesco Galli Zugaro, founded Aqua Expeditions to cater to discerning, adventure travellers seeking to explore remote and culturally important destinations for luxury voyages on the world's greatest rivers.

Aqua Expeditions' 16-suite Aria Amazon vessel entered service in 2011, a creation of Peruvian designer, Jordi Puig and featuring floor to ceiling windows, Jacuzzi, gym, sundeck and the haute Peruvian cuisine of Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. In October 2014,

In October 2014, Aqua Expeditions expanded to Indochina with the launch of the Aqua Mekong with 20 design suites, sailing the historic Mekong River between Cambodia and Vietnam.

Friday 2 June 2017

Ponant's Secret Weapon: Blue Eye [watch]

#expeditioncruising .

The only French-owned cruise line and the world leader in luxury expeditions PONANT, in keeping with its pioneering spirit, is launching a world-first: Le Lapérouse will be the first cruise ship on Earth to be equipped with a multi-sensory underwater space, called Blue Eye. The other 3 yachts of the PONANT EXPLORERS series, Le Champlain, Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville, will be the next.


In a world exclusive, the four ships of the PONANT EXPLORERS series are equipped with an underwater passenger lounge, called Blue Eye, located within the hull beneath the water line.

The design of this technical prowess was entrusted to architect Jacques Rougerie, who is deeply passionate about the sea. Rougerie’s mission is to enable PONANT guests to perceive and feel the underwater universe that has never ceased to amaze and inspire him throughout his career.

In my work, I have always had my heart set on making people aware of the role that the sea has played in the history of humanity. I designed this multi-sensory underwater lounge in order for it to become enshrined at the heart of the PONANT philosophy. I set out to discover this fragile and exciting ocean world, which covers 71% of the planet’s surface and remains a huge mystery for mankind. The destiny of the civilisations to come will be born from the ocean.”

“The state-of-the-art technology developed with PONANT lets guests become modern-day explorers, following in the wake of Jules Verne, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and the great adventurers. They will be able to observe the fauna and flora of this sub-aquatic universe and discover its sonorities. The sound system in the Blue Eye lounge will be installed by Michel Redolfi so as to reveal to the guests the amazing listening capabilities of their bodies. For the first time in the world, the public, during a cruise, will be able to ‘feel’ and be at the heart of an underwater world. They will need to use all of their senses.”


Bionic & biomimetic

Jacques Rougerie drew inspiration from his observation of nature in order to determine the key elements that would underpin the design of the underwater lounge. The space’s graphical references evoke cetaceans and jellyfish. This inspiration is evident in the lines of the lounge, the positioning of the body, the furniture and the fittings. All focus is drawn towards the two portholes, shaped like the eye of a cetacean and looking out upon the subaquatic world. The lighting in the lounge is developed through touches, disseminated in the space, allowing the spirit and the gaze to dive into the spectacle unfolding outside. The mural décor disappears to make way for the integrated digital screens projecting the images filmed live by three underwater cameras. Placed at the ship’s strategic points, these cameras enable guests to witness, for example, the spectacle of dolphins playing in the bow waves.

Global listening

The sound staging has been entrusted to Michel Redolfi, a contemporary music composer and sound design expert. A result of his research into subaquatic music and his own inventions, the sound design of the underwater lounge develops state-of-the-art technology and offers guests an experience in acoustic immersion that is unique in the world. Comfortably ensconced, guests can listen to the underwater world thanks to hydrophones, developed in consultation with specialists from the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), that are integrated beneath the keel. The natural symphony of the deep sea is thus captured across a five-kilometre radius and transmitted live into the lounge in the form of acoustic waves spreading through the three dimensions of Jacques Rougerie’s architecture. An immersive sound experience can be felt in the Body Listening sofas, which discreetly vibrate in unison while offering unique sensory listening through corporal resonance. This global listening through the entire body, in harmony with the ocean’s natural cycles, will bring guests closer to the marine mammals they might see and hear behind the giant portholes. This exclusive sound experience is also offered through subaquatic concerts broadcast at sea or in the swimming pool.

Innovative underwater vision

The non-intrusive underwater projectors developed expressly for the PONANT EXPLORERS enable the observation of the of the seabed and photo-luminescent organisms from the Blue Eye lounge as well as from the outside decks, balconies and the marina-without any risk to the marine biosphere.

Thursday 1 June 2017

Lindblad Expeditions Launches Unique Exploration Based Family Program


Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced the launch of National Geographic Global Explorers, a unique exploration based family program that provides an unforgettable "smart fun" experience. Designed in conjunction with National Geographic Education to inspire the next generation of explorers, kids and teens will join in activities – science, exploring and storytelling – adapted to their age for maximum enjoyment and engagement.

From earning their Zodiac "driver's license" to "Spot It" infield activities to locate and observe wildlife, and storytelling challenges where children learn how to create slow motion and time lapse videos with a National Geographic certified photo instructor, activities have been planned to develop the skills, attitudes and knowledge of explorers age 18 and under.

National Geographic Global Explorers has been designed for families to experience this unbelievably rich environment and to be inspired by it, and to have fun in it. Kids will hike up volcanoes; snorkel with sea lions; walk among giant tortoises, all while learning how to read maps, populate a field notebook, and build storytelling skills.

"My father, Lars-Eric Lindblad, was a lifelong explorer and involved me at a very young age. Those experiences made an indelible impression on me, and informed the person I am today," said Sven Lindblad, President and CEO, Lindblad Expeditions. "Children love to explore, and our goal for this program is to help inspire our next generation of global explorers to make a positive impact on their world."

"Together with Lindblad, we're thrilled to be providing this innovative new program for young explorers," notes Lynn Cutter, executive vice president of National Geographic Travel. "Not only does the National Geographic Global Explorer program add a rich, rewarding and fun new dimension for kids and their families that goes far beyond other family travel offerings, but it also supports a core mission of National Geographic to help foster global citizens of the world."

Operating under the "We Are Explorers" brand – a structure based on the National Geographic Educational Learning Framework, the program will be staffed by Lindblad naturalists specially trained and certified as National Geographic certified field educators.

National Geographic Global Explorers will be organized into two phases: independent experiences and group experiences with a Field Educator. In the first phase, young explorers will be encouraged to utilize "field notebooks" to mimic the research scientists conduct in the field, maps to keep track of the itinerary, wildlife checklists and more. During this phase, "storytelling challenges" will help them share their experiences from the day – independently or collaboratively - and via different mediums, including photos, videos, journaling, music and maps.

Group experiences will allow young travelers to actively participate in discussions with naturalists, and in current citizen science projects such as helping to count sea turtles during nesting season. While onboard, they will work with field educators on myriad group projects, such as creating a short film of their adventures, or participating in "mapping" to determine who traveled the farthest, and the challenges of being in such a remote place.

Timed to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the first citizen explorer expedition to Galapagos led by Lars-Eric Lindblad in 1967, the program will launch in Galapagos this June aboard Lindblad's new 96-guest National Geographic Endeavour ll and 48-guest National Geographic Islander.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Global Explorers program, please visit, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor.