Tuesday 27 February 2018

You're invited to Wild Earth Travel's Polar Extravaganza

#expeditioncruising .

You're invited to Wild Earth Travel's Polar Extravaganza 

Calling eager expeditioners to come hear about everything POLAR

Wild Earth Travel is coming to a city near you to host an evening set to inspire travellers about the unique itineraries from three of our leading polar operators Heritage Expeditions, Polar Latitude and Adventure Canada.

Our partners are flying in from all over the world to give their insights on the regions, Antarctica and the Arctic.
Heritage Expeditions: 
Family owned from small beginnings Heritage Expeditions aims to showcase the most natural and remote destinations on the Spirit of Enderby, where guests become 'ambassadors' of conservation efforts. Through expeditions to Antarctica, the Subantarctic, the Pacific Islands and Russia Far East travel with (maximum) 50 like-minded travellers learn as much as possible about the region from wildlife experts. 

Polar Latitudes: 
Longtime experts in polar travel, Polar Latitudes is a company that involve the best guides, naturalists and expedition crew members to deliver you an unforgettable expedition experience. Whether you're encountering the Antarctic by the deck of the small cruise ship, kayak, zodiac or camping along the shore- they do it all! While both ships, Hiberidean SkyIsland Sky boast levels of comfort similar to a fine boutique hotel.

Adventure Canada: 
Operated and family owned for over thirty years, Adventure Canada encompass itineraries that are full with fun and wonder, as well as including experiences that offer that all important cultural exchange. Travel within a small group and enjoy Adventure Canada's legendary, informal shipboard programmes and feel like you're truly one of the team as you learn from their speciality flown in expedition leaders. 
Introducing your speakers and polar expedition experts

Interested to talk to our experts? Come along to our information evening and bring your questions! There will be an opportunity pre/post the event to talk one-on-one to these industry leaders as well as door prizes and exclusive specials on offer to event attendees. (Venue and details TBA).

Melbourne @6pm on Monday 19th March
Canberra @6pm on Tuesday 20th March
Sydney @6pm on Wednesday 21st March
Brisbane @6pm on Thursday 22nd March
Antarctic Waters- footage from around the Subantarctic Islands and the Ross Sea
Wild Earth Travel - the small ship cruising specialists.
View our 2018 Small Ship brochure today! 

Sunday 25 February 2018

Fact Check: Ponant's Hybrid Propulsion Systems

#expeditioncruising .

With so many new and hi-tech expedition vessels coming online in the next few years, there is naturally a lot of hype around each one.

Revolutionary propulsion systems, radical hull designs and ultra clean and green energy and waste systems are all touted as the next greatest innovation since sliced bread.

So let’s fact check a few of these claims and the one catching my attention right now is the first passenger-specific icebreaker ever ordered, the 150m 30,000GT Ponant icebreaker. The hull is being built right now at Vard Tulcea in Romania.

Hybrid Propulsion

Click to enlarge. (source: Ponant)

We all know of the hybrid cars now driving around from manufacturers like Lexus and Toyota. These cars use a combination of conventional petrol engine drive and switchable Lithium Ion electric drive either alone or in combination. Petrol engines can be smaller and more economical because they are supplemented by electric power from batteries charged using surplus kinetic energy like when the car is coasting or under brakes.

The principle used aboard hybrid ships is not a great deal different. There are generators, huge battery banks, electrically-driven propellers, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) tanks and conventional diesel engines as well.

Norwegian line, Hurtigruten, will beat Ponant to the punch by launching the first-ever hybrid powered cruise ships. But while these will be regular Polar Class (PC) 6 vessels, Ponant’s icebreaker will be to PC2, PC1 being the strongest.

Different ship designs use hybrid technology in slightly different ways, but for the sake of this example, the propulsion on Ponant is purely electric with propellers like massive underwater fans attached to Azimuth Pods (or ‘Azipods’) which contain the huge electric motors and can swivel around through 360 degrees. Other expedition ships like Scenic's much-vaunted Eclipse (also PC6) will also use Azipods, but not with a hybrid propulsions systems.
ABB Azipod like this rotates through 360 degrees and
contains the electric motor for driving the fixed-pitch propellers.

The diesel engines inside the hull are necessary to drive the generators to create the electric power for the propellers, and much like a dual-fuel car which can drive by either conventional gasoline or Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), these massive diesel engines can run on either light marine diesel (MDO) or LNG.

For the technically minded, these powerplants are of the Wärtsilä 31 DF type, recognised by
Guinness World Records as the world's most efficient 4-stroke diesel engine. It is not
disclosed yet which configuration is used in Ponant, as the twin-turbocharged W31 can be
ordered in anything from 8 to 20 cylinder. V8 configuration pictured. (source)

So, is this hybrid propulsion all the Ponant spin doctors make it out to be? Quite possibly. It will depend on which is the primary fuel source (MDO or LNG) and for what duration either fuel is used. Either way, it is an enormous technological leap from the massive former-Soviet nuclear-powered icebreakers Yamal and 50 Years of Victory currently taking guests to the North Pole.

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Cruise the Arctic’s legendary Northwest Passage with Adventure Canada

#expeditioncruising .

Special offer — two free nights’ accommodation – Book by June 1, 2018

And supplement-free offer for solos.

Travel agents and consumers invited to free information sessions in March

One of the world’s most famous sea routes—the legendary Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic—can be explored on a just-released, 17-day expedition voyage in 2019 offered by eco-cruise company Adventure Canada.

To mark the release of the cruise, which features icebergs, polar bears, walruses, fjords, Inuit communities, and artefacts of former explorers, Australia’s Cruise Traveller is offering a free night’s accommodation both before and after the voyage, available until sold out.

The Northwest Passage route is one of many remote region cruises offered by Adventure Canada, which is running its biggest-ever promotional tour to Australia next month to meet growing demand for authentic wilderness experiences in the Canadian Arctic and beyond. Adventure Canada Expedition Leader and Business Development Director Matthew James (MJ) Swan—son of the company’s founder, Matthew Swan—will meet hundreds of travel agents and consumers in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia from March 5–16, 2018. (Media note - Details of the seven seminars around Australia further below.)

The Northwest Passage is a historic route through Arctic waterways, linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Many 19th century European explorers tried to traverse the passage as a possible trade route to Asia, often with journeys ending in disaster. Today, the Northwest Passage is accessible by ice-strengthened expedition ships—but the icy waters still retain their mystic charm.

Departing August 17, 2019, Adventure Canada’s cruise on the 198-passenger Ocean Endeavour will begin in Greenland, with its quaint villages, dramatic fjords, and glaciers, before crossing the Davis Strait to the iceberg-filled waters of Nunavut, Canada’s northernmost territory. The voyage will follow the Northwest Passage from Baffin Island to as far as Kugluktuk near Coronation Gulf, with reindeer, polar bears, walrus, and muskoxen part of the scenery. An onboard archaeologist will perform onsite interpretations at ancient sites of the Thule and Dorset people, and there will be opportunities to experience the local Inuit culture first-hand.

Cruise Traveller is offering Australians an extra two nights’ hotel stay for free - one night in Toronto before the cruise and one night in Calgary afterwards. The cruise costs from US$14,855 per person, twin-share, including charter flights to and from the ship. Normally US$16,190, save US$1335 per person when you book by June 1, 2018.

And for a limited time, and subject to availability at time of booking, singles pay no single supplement on selected categories. (Singles from US$16,190 category 3). Flights from Australia are additional.

Call 1800 507 777 or visit www.cruisetraveller.com.au .

Since its birth as a family-owned expedition cruise line in 1987, Adventure Canada has operated cruises to the Canadian Arctic, Greenland, Labrador, and Newfoundland, with Iceland, Scotland, the Faroe Islands, and the remote corners of Ireland being added in 2018–19.

Free Information Sessions in Australia:

Consumers, travel agents—and their clients—in Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast are invited to attend one of seven information sessions with MJ Swan, Adventure Canada Expedition Leader and Business Development Director.

*Sydney CBD: Tuesday, March 13 – 2pm and 6pm
*Brisbane CBD: Monday March 5 – 10am, 2pm and 6pm
*Gold Coast (Main Beach): Tuesday March 6 – 10am and 2pm

To register for the sessions, which will be hosted by Adventure Canada’s Australian representatives, Cruise Traveller, visit www.cruisetraveller.com.au/AdventureCanadaSeminars or email seminars@cruisetraveller.com.au

Coral Expeditions Kimberley and Arnhem Land

#expeditioncruising .

Coral Expeditions, Australia's pioneering cruise line, has released a new brochure for their 2019 Kimberley and Cape York & Arnhem Land sailings with the inclusion of their latest fleet addition, the Coral Adventurer.

click to view online
The new look brochure, with fresh photography and layout, introduces the company's Expedition Leaders and Guest Lecturers and includes detailed descriptions of Coral Expedition's inimitable 'Expedition Experience'. Local interaction and cultural exchange are the anchors of Coral Expedition's itineraries and one of the great benefits of small ship cruising.

This will be the first time the company's newbuild and fourth vessel, the Coral Adventurer, will cruise the remote and ancient areas of Northern Australia, showcasing its expedition capabilities and bringing guests to some of the most pristine regions of the country inaccessible to larger vessels. Raising the bar for coastal expedition cruising, the state-of-the-art small ship, holding 120 passengers, is backed by over 35 years of knowledge and passion for expedition cruising and is built with the latest shipbuilding technology.

The 2019 Kimberley season will mark 23 years of expedition cruising in this region, having pioneered the Kimberley region since 1996. For the past 10 years, Coral Expeditions have operated two ships for an extended six-month season in the Kimberley, taking over 25,000 guests through the region. As Australian flagged ships, Coral Expeditions has a unique advantage in that their ships can operate within the Kimberley without any restrictions and know this region better than most.

Leading daily expeditions on their unique Xplorer tender and Zodiac vessels, guests are guided through these untamed regions by known experts that includes specialised guest lecturers with deep knowledge and expertise of geology, history and ecology. The expedition team is supported by highly-skilled staff who offer a superb service and great onboard atmosphere. This combination of marine expertise and interpretive content make Coral Expeditions the pre-eminent operator in both regions.

10-night Kimberley sailing highlights:
  • Witness the tidal phenomenon of the Horizontal Waterfalls
  • Marvel at the 80m high King George Falls
  • Sacred Gwion Gwion and Wandjina rock art
  • The Montgomery Reef's falling tides
  • Possible wildlife sightings featuring humpback whales, green and sea turtles, crocodiles and rock wallabies
  • Optional scenic helicopter flight over the Mitchell Falls
The Cape York & Arnhem Land itineraries incorporate Coral Expeditions signature Great Barrier Reef experiences, established over 35 years ago.

11-night Cape York & Arnhem Land sailing highlights:
  • Bathurst Island and the vibrant culture of the Tiwi people
  • The Coburg Peninsula and its vast diversity of wildlife
  • Elcho Island and Maningrida art centres
  • Cape York for a champagne sunrise
  • Snorkelling the Great Barrier's Reef pristine sites
  • Thursday Island and the Torres Strait Islands
Remaining true to their small ship expedition origins, Coral Expeditions will continue to offer the choice between the classic Coral Expeditions 1, holding just 44 passengers, and the recently refurbished Coral Discoverer which caters for 72 passengers, in addition to the custom-built Coral Adventurer. The three expedition ships have been specifically built with Australian coastal cruising in mind and are ideal to safely navigate the mighty rivers and scenic inlets of the Kimberley and Arnhem Land.

The 10 and 11-night itineraries depart between March to October 2019. Cape York sailings depart from Cairns on 17 March and 14 April 2019 and from Darwin on 4 & 18 October 2019. The Kimberley itineraries run between Darwin and Broome (v.v) on regular sailings from 29 March until 7 October. Prices start from $8,690 per person.

For more information on this itinerary and to see the new brochure please visit: https://issuu.com/coralexpeditions/docs/kimberley_2019_-_final_email

To book or for more information, call 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralexpeditions.com.

Monday 19 February 2018

SeaDream Yacht Club in the Mediterranean

Make the Med's famous and tucked away your SseaDream

SEADREAM Yacht Club still has space on a sailing in May of this year that embraces a near-dozen ports both famous and quietly tucked away in the Mediterranean.

They include Motril that's the stepping-off point to the ancient Moorish city of Granada in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, three of Spain's famed Balearic Islands, and legendary Saint-Tropez, Cannes and Nice on the French Riviera.

Sailing on May 2 of this year from Malaga that's on Spain's southern Costa del Sol, and one of the oldest cities in the world, the mega motor-cruiser SeaDream II that carries just 112 guests in 5-star luxury, will have eight days in ports famed for their white and gold beaches, ancient walled cities with their narrow streets and laneways,

And the chance to try out the local regional seafoods, pastries and wines and cheeses at restaurants and cafés in ports visited.

There will also be a full day at sea to indulge SeaDream's own renowned dining and services poolside, at the Top of the Yacht Bar or in a quiet corner by yourselves.

Prices for this unique sailing that's for an extended ten days rather than a week, start from US$6609pp twin share, including award-winning cuisine, premium drinks both with meals and at the no-charge bars, power and sail water-sports, use of the golf simulator and fitness centre, port charges and taxes, and even staff and crew gratuities.

For full details see www.seadream.com

For more details, call Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au.
For bookings and further details, see SeaDream specialist Cruise Express

Sunday 11 February 2018

Contours Travel’s Patagonia & Antarctica summer 2018/19 tour

#expeditioncruising .

Contours Travel – the longest-running Latin American tour operator in Australia – has launched its first, hosted cruise tour to Patagonia and Antarctica, with two departures slated for next summer.

Read the full story here: http://www.vacationsmag.com/contours-travels-patagonia-antarctica-summer-2018-19-tour/

Saturday 10 February 2018

New expedition cruise ship designs from Damen

#expeditioncruising .

The cruise vessel is at home in polar regions or tropical waters. It has a highly fuel efficient diesel mechanical hybrid propulsion system and is 'battery ready' should an owner wish to incorporate a battery system for functions like peak shaving, supplementary power for manoeuvring or silent sailing.

The vessel would be built to comply with Polar Class 6 and have 30 days of autonomous cruising capability.

First unveiled in late 2016, the design was created in partnership with Expedition Voyage Consultants, which brings years of expedition operations expertise (one high-profile project was Crystal Cruises' inaugural Northwest Passage sailing in 2016) and the seasoned naval architecture firm Knud E. Hansen, whose designs have gone into the building of more than 700 ships.

The concept is for a roomy, 112-passenger vessel in the high-end, luxury segment. However, spaces could be optimized to increase the capacity to 140 passengers.

Read more: http://www.seatrade-cruise.com/news/news-headlines/damen-shows-more-of-its-all-weather-expedition-cruise-design.html

Thursday 8 February 2018

Silversea Photo Academy for Antarctica


Luxury expedition cruise specialist Silversea has introduced its new My Photo Academy on sailings to Antarctica aboard Silver Cloud, utilising the ship's new Photo Studio as a hub for the multifaceted enrichment program.

With a mesmerising landscape and amazing wildlife as the backdrop, guests will have the chance to elevate their photographic prowess by learning how to take and edit pictures like a professional whilst sailing on itineraries designed to maximise expedition time and provide opportunities for shooting great images.

"Our new photography program is a perfect fit for the immersive expeditions we offer in Antarctica," said Conrad Combrink, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development Expeditions and Experiences. "Voyaging to the bottom of the Earth is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, full of magical moments which we will help our guests to capture in beautiful images they will be proud to display in their home or office."

With both private and group lessons, guests can learn to master the art of digital photography through the Academy, which provides an array of specialty workshops for both beginners and professionals. Among the topics covered is an introduction to photography, social media, and the use of Adobe® Lightroom® and Photoshop® software tools to edit images to get just the right look.


Unique to Silver Cloud, the Photo Studio -- designed and implemented in collaboration with Galardi Media Network, a Swiss company specialising in new technologies and multimedia -- is a vibrant space of creativity featuring state-of-the-art equipment for both MAC and PC users, including high-quality printers available for use on a fee basis for guests wishing to create postcards or take home frame-ready pictures, including panorama- and A2-size prints. A user-friendly, touch-screen interface makes it easy for guests to print their own photos.

With the guidance of a professional photo manager, guests can learn and practice their photo-editing skills on such high-grade professional equipment as:

-       Six HP Envy 27-inch, all-in-one desktop computers
-       Six iMac 27-inch, all-in-one desktop computers
-       Four Loupedeck photo-editing consoles for Adobe Lightroom
-       Two DNP dye sublimation photo printers
-       Two Epson inkjet plotters
-       Custom workshop management software
-       Three Samsung 55-inch screens with 4K picture quality
-       One Samsung 65-inch screen with 4K picture quality

Additionally, guests can schedule a 20-minute, one-on-one appointment with a photo-editing expert to receive guidance on a host of topics, including:

-       Smart gear recommendations
-       Instruction on proper camera use
-       Camera menu options
-       Help with social media and posting: Facebook and Instagram

The intimate Silver Cloud accommodates just 200 guests in polar waters. A fleet of 16 Zodiacs provides unprecedented opportunities for up-close exploration, while 10 kayaks offer a truly personalised experience of nature in the polar realms. Twenty or more passionate and dedicated Expedition Team members are always at hand to share their considerable knowledge and insights. They give lectures in the multi-tiered Explorer Lounge, run workshops, lead Zodiac and kayak trips, and guide nature walks -- all of which is complimentary. Expedition voyages to Antarctica are offered from November through February.

For further details on Antarctica itineraries, please visit https://www.silversea.com/destinations/antarctica-cruise.html

Lindblad Expeditions Ventures To Russian Far East & Bering Sea

#expeditioncruising  #lindbladexpeditions

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic to venture into one of the most rugged and wildlife-rich regions on earth in 2019

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced a remarkable program of voyages for 2019 that will venture into the Russian Arctic, one of the most rugged and wildlife-rich regions on the planet.  The three itineraries will give a different glimpse into life in the remote Russian Far East & Bering Sea, where spectacular wildlife, an intriguing native culture, arresting mysteries, and world-class exploration history abound.

The human element is one of the richest aspects of visiting the Arctic, and this region is no exception. Communities of Siberian Yup'ik people still follow traditional methods of hunting seals and whales, while the coastal Koryak and Chukchi people of Russia have developed into incredible reindeer herders living off the land – and are a part of why few travelers leave this place unchanged.

Several of Lindblad's exemplary expedition team have spent time in the region, and were integral to the development of the expeditions. "I have visited the region since 2004 and immediately fell in love with its landscape, abundant wildlife, and charming people of many cultures.  Over several years of travel there, the wildlife never became commonplace for me – it was spectacular every time, "stated Jen Martin, Director of Field Staff and Expedition Development.

Wednesday 7 February 2018

Peregrine Adventures goes Adventure Cruising in South East Asia


Peregrine Adventures is celebrating the launch of its Adventure Cruising range in South East Asia with a Golden Ticket Incentive

Following the success of its first season of small-ship cruising in Europe, Peregrine Adventures has expanded its Adventure Cruising range into South East Asia, offering a new style of cruise in the region.

With five itineraries designed for environmentally-conscious travellers and more mindful explorers, the carbon-neutral travel company will take small ships of 50 or less travellers to places large cruise ships can't access in South East Asia from Thailand and Malaysia to Vietnam and the islands of Indonesia.

Filippos Venetopoulos, Peregrine's Adventure Cruising Brand Manager, says that the new South East Asia range has been launched in response to demand from environmentally-conscious travellers.

"Traditionally cruising has all been about life onboard a big ship, but our style of Adventure Cruising is about the destination. It's a completely new way to cruise in Vietnam and other parts of Asia because it's about immersing yourself in a place, learning about the culture, visiting spectacular natural environments and enjoying fresh local food both onboard and onshore."

Having launched adventure cruises in 2017 for the first time, Peregrine Adventures saw incredible success with its first charter itinerary in Croatia, with 94% capacity overall on the pilot year's seven departures. With this latest launch of adventure cruising tours in Asia, the company will now offer ten charter itineraries across Europe and Asia with 40 scheduled departures.

The new tours, some of which are combinable and can be travelled in reverse, include 

North Vietnam Coastal Cruising  (8 days): Starting in Hanoi, visit Halong Bay, historic Hue, and the important war sites of Vinh Moc and Khe Sanh, as well as the largely unknown natural paradise of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. From AUD $3,360 per person twin share.

South Vietnam Coastal Cruising  (8 days): Dropping anchor in Hoi An, Nha Trang, Quy Nonh, Phan Tiet and more, travellers encounter centuries-old Cham architecture, age-old arts and crafts, and bays brimming with tropical fish and coral. From $3,595 AUD per person twin share.  

Cruising the Coast of Vietnam (15 days) Combining the North and South Vietnam Coastal Cruising trips, travellers onboard this Vietnam adventure can observe laughing yoga at Halong Bay and visit Vinh Moc, where complex tunnels housed locals during the local Vietnam-America war.  In the former imperial capital of Hue, passengers will enjoy a Buddhist vegetarian lunch at a local pagoda. Unlike any conventional cruise, Peregrine travellers will be able to sail around the tiny Ly Son Island and take a road trip to Bac Truc, the oldest pottery village in South East Asia. Departures start in April 2019 with prices from $6,895 AUD per person twin share.  

Cruising the Thai Islands ex-Phuket (8 days) Dine with locals, explore jungle and boulder-studded shorelines and swim and snorkel in the Andaman Sea while visiting The Simian Islands, Ko Miang Ko Surin Tai and Khao Lak, which all offer the hallmarks of Thailand's idyllic south without the glitz and bustle of mainland Phuket. Priced from $3,720 AUD per person twin share, departures start in December 2018.

Cruising Thailand & Malaysia – Penang to Phuket This eight-day adventure includes a tour of Penang's old town with a local guide and Langkawi's Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls.  At Ko Tarutao National Marine Park, travellers will enjoy swimming, snorkelling and kayaking. In Ao Nang, a vibrant beachside town, travellers can dine on home cooked Thai food with a local family. Also whilst in Ao Nang, the group have the option to take a longtail boat to Railay Beach and get a Thai massage. Priced from $3,695 AUD per person twin share, departures start in December 2018.

Indonesian Island Cruise  Visit a selection of remote and seldom visited islands beyond Bali, like the tiny twin paradises of Saringi and Karamat, the incredible crater lake of Satonda, unspoiled Banta, Komodo dragon-filled Rinca, and forest-clad Moyo. Priced from $3,695 AUDper person twin share, departures start in July 2019.  

All charter trips are accompanied by Peregrine Adventures' local leaders and include onboard kayaks, all transfers and excursions, as well as most meals.

In 2018, Peregrine Adventure Cruises has banned single-use plastics onboard and passengers will be given reusable water bottles and bags to reduce waste. Peregrine will continue to carbon offset all trips through a range of renewable energy projects.

For more information go to https://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/adventure-cruising

Peregrine's Golden Ticket incentive

To celebrate the launch of Asia Adventure Cruising, Peregrine Adventures is running an incentive that will see one lucky agent from Australia win a place on the new Thailand & Malaysia cruise.  Agents need to complete the new Asia Adventure Cruising training module, then look through their brochure to see if they're one of the lucky golden ticket holders. For more information, agents can contact their Intrepid Group BDM or email: agenttraining@intrepidgroup.travel

Sunday 4 February 2018

[watch] Scenic Announces Double Eclipse for 2020

#expeditioncruising .

Following the extraordinary global interest in Scenic’s soon-to-launch Scenic Eclipse, the company has announced its flagship will be joined by a sister ship, Scenic Eclipse II.

Scenic Eclipse II will further strengthen Scenic’s position as the leading innovator in the cruise industry, setting an unparalleled benchmark in design, luxury and technology.

Launching in 2020, Scenic Eclipse II will embark on her maiden voyage from Athens to Lisbon, before the debut sailing season, which will include the European and Russian Arctic, a region of diverse wildlife and habitat, well suited to discovery by Scenic’s fleet of 6-star luxury meets expedition ships.

Itineraries will include remote and long sought-after destinations including Russia’s White Sea, a real treat for the explorers at heart, and a luxurious voyage that will more than satisfy those who long to experience the delights of an untamed territory; the Northwest Passage, which represents the pinnacle of Polar exploration; Southern Greenland, rarely visited with wilderness that offers some of the most spectacular and un-spoilt scenery anywhere on earth; and Alaska to Russia across the Bering Sea, to experience the stark beauty that this remote region has to offer.

Scenic Founder and Chairman, Glen Moroney said the expansion of Scenic’s ocean cruise fleet was a natural progression for the company and one he was very excited about.

“Since we first announced our foray into ocean cruising we have had unprecedented interest in Scenic Eclipse, from guests keen to experience our unique blend of 6-star luxury meets expedition cruising,” Mr Moroney said.

“The debut of Scenic Eclipse II will not only allow us to expand our offering and pioneer new destinations, such as the Russian Arctic, it will also allow us to continue our passion for innovation in design and innovation in handcrafted itineraries, which we are confident will appeal to a wide variety of guests. Itineraries for the ship’s debut season will be released in April 2018,” he said.

Building will commence next year in Pula, Croatia, where Scenic Eclipse is currently under construction. Scenic Eclipse II will be of similar design, including 114 all-verandah suites, nine restaurants, eight lounges and bars, a luxurious Spa Sanctuary, separate fitness areas and indoor, outdoor and plunge pools, as well as a marina deck, helicopters and a submarine. A video of Scenic Eclipse II is below.

The Scenic Eclipse fleet will be built to comply with the new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Polar Code requirements, as well as to the highest international safety standards. Utilising state-of-the-art technology and a host of safety features, including innovative zero-speed stabiliser fins that are than 50 per cent larger for even greater stability, the ship will have a rating of Ice Class 1A (Polar Class 6), the highest of any luxury vessel, which will ensure the safest navigation through polar waters. The ship will also feature special “Safe Return to Port” capabilities, guaranteeing essential systems remain operational in the unlikely case of an incident.

On 31 January 2018, Scenic Eclipse celebrated its float out from the shipyard and with the exterior construction almost complete, the ship is ready to begin the fit out process. Scenic Eclipse is on target for its debut on 31 August 2018. A time-lapse video of the build and float out is below.

For more information or to pre-register for the new brochure, call Scenic on 138 128 or visit scenic.com.au

Saturday 3 February 2018

Steel cutting ceremony for Coral Adventurer


New milestone reached for Coral Expeditions

On Wednesday 24th January 2019 (UTC), Coral Expeditions, together with Vard shipyard, achieved the exciting milestone of the first steel cutting ceremony for its 120 passenger newbuild expedition ship, the Coral Adventurer.

After a year of planning and engineering design, Coral Expeditions' custom-build ship has started to become a reality.

The fourth vessel in the Australian-flagged fleet, the Coral Adventurer's design draws on the latest technical advances as well as the company's 34 years of experience building and operating expedition ships.

Paul Chacko, Coral Expedition's Executive Director, in the presence of Mark Fifield, Group GM, Gary Wilson, Senior Master; and Frank Krone, Newbuild Manager, took to the reins of the laser cutter and initiated the cutting of the first steel of Coral Adventurer.

The steel cutting ceremony proceeded a week ahead of schedule, showing signs that the build is off to a great start.

The Coral Adventurer has received a rousing reception from Coral Expeditions' loyal clientele, with the maiden 18-night voyage in April 2019 nearly sold out. This voyage is part of a series of two themed itineraries called "In the trail of Tasman" exploring lesser-known islands in Indonesia and West Papua visited by explorer Abel Tasman three centuries ago. In May 2019, the Coral Adventurer assumes duties in the Kimberley region, where Coral Expeditions is operating in its 24th year.

The itineraries are designed to showcase Coral Adventurer's expedition capabilities taking guests to remote areas inaccessible to larger or less capable vessels. Amongst the noteworthy features of the Coral Adventurer are highly flexible customised tenders mounted on an aft platform for rapid deployment for excursions, facilities for hosting research missions onboard, a guest observation lounge on the bridge, and a relaxed interior featuring Australian colours and materials by design firm Arkhefield.

For more updates, please visit www.coralexpeditions.com


The ceremonial first cut of steel for Coral Expeditions' newbuild Coral Adventurer by Paul Chacko, Executive Director; in attendance are Mark Fifield, Group General Manager, and Gary Wilson, Senior Master.

Gathered for the milestone steel cutting ceremony at Vard shipyard: CE Team in red from right to left: Paul Chacko, Executive Director; Mark Fifield, Group GM; Gary Wilson, Senior Master; and Frank Krone, Newbuild Manager; accompanied by Vard Team (in white) Yard Director Erik Hellan Sandnes and Project Manager Bernhard Hansen

Virus-free. www.avg.com

Friday 2 February 2018

New ship to sail in Croatia with APT


Australia's most awarded luxury cruise and tour operator, APT, will set sail in 2019 along the Adriatic Coast in the brand new Queen Eleganza.

In partnership with Noble Caledonia, APT will be chartering the brand new Croatian made, yacht-style, Small Ship along the famed coastline. The Croatian flagged vessel sets sail on her maiden voyage with Noble Caledonia in the spring of 2018 before embarking on a full season with APT in 2019.

With only 18 passenger cabins, the Queen Eleganza was purpose-built for the Adriatic coasts tight coves and isolated islands, allowing exploration of hidden gems that larger ships cannot access.

Thanks to the small group of only 36 guests onboard, the Small Ship creates a relaxed, resort-style atmosphere, even allowing for a swim right off the back of the ship. With plenty of spaces to explore, guest can relax on the extensive sun decks, grab a drink at the bar or enjoy a leisurely brunch at the onboard restaurant, while the world floats by.

Daytime sailing ensures guest capture the beauty of the coastline and allows for balmy evenings in town to experience Croatian hospitality and nightlife first hand. The brand new build paired with APT service is the number one way to experience Croatia in 2019.

Learn more about the brand new ship and Croatian Cruising with APT call 1300 196 420.

Thursday 1 February 2018

G Adventures Marine Sale offers big savings for Aussie travellers


New savings of up to 25 per cent  released across 2018 Expedition and River cruises

The thrill of the Arctic sea spray against the face, the tranquillity of Burgundy's sleepy canals and the bustle of the Mekong's floating markets - these are just a few experiences available to travellers for less as part of G Adventures' Marine sale.

For those wanting to explore some of the world's most picturesque rivers, including the Mekong, the Ganges and Burgundy's Saône River, the sale offers up to 25 per cent OFF Riverboat tours when booked before February 28, 2018. Adventure-seekers can also save up to AUD $1250 on Norway and Arctic Expeditions, when booked before February 16,  2018.  

Adrian Piotto, Managing Director of G Adventures Australia & New Zealand believes the sale offers travellers the opportunity to snare a deal on some of the most unique and exhilarating adventures on offer.

"Our Riverboat Adventures and tours on board G Expedition enable travellers to visit areas other tours can't always reach, getting closer to amazing wildlife, marine sites and local communities," comments Piotto.

"Our smaller ships mean we can get all our Expedition travellers on land at each stop, and the size of all our vessels means our travellers get to know one another throughout their trip. This creates a real 'family-feel' on board which our travellers refer to time and time again after joining a Marine tour."

Tours offered within the Marine Sale include:

Save 25 per cent on Riverboat tours (booked before February 28, 2018) including:
  • Mekong River Encompassed – Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, 10-days, Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap, now priced from AUD $1949 on select departures between March 1 and August 31.
  • India River Cruise – Ganges Experience, nine-days, Calcutta return, now priced from AUD $1724 on select departures between March 1 and August 31. 
  • Burgundy River Cruise Adventure – Northbound, eight days, Dijon return, now priced from AUD $2249 on select departures between March 1 and August 31. 
Save up to $1250 on Expedition tours (booked before February 16, 2018) including:
  • Scottish Islands & Norwegian Fjords – 14-day, Edinburgh to Tromsø, now priced at AUD $8249 (save $1250) on select departures between May 8 and August 11.
  • Realm of the Polar Bear – Eight-day, return from Longyearbyen, now priced at AUD $6149 (save $1250) for select departures between May 8 and August 11.