Monday 30 July 2018

Social media hysteria clouds facts in Svalbard polar bear attack

#expeditioncruising .

Social media activity generated by the recent polar bear attack in Svalbard has demonstrated a huge misunderstanding about the passive observation and conservation aims of small ship and expedition cruising in Arctic waters.

Roderick (Rod) Eime, a journalist specialising in adventure cruising who has travelled extensively in Arctic regions, would like to dispel some of this misinformation.

“While this event has had a tragic result for the polar bear it is by no means indicative of the operational procedures of any reputable adventure cruise company operating in the habitat of these majestic animals,” said Eime.

All ships operating in these waters with passengers keen to see polar bears in the wild must adhere to strict procedures before bringing guests ashore.

These guidelines are agreed upon by all operators and ratified by the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) as well as legislation laid out in Svalbard Environmental Protection Act which expressly forbids disturbing wildlife of any kind.

The widely circulated image that sparked social media outrage.
 Picture: AFP/Gustav BuschSource:AFP

“While I was not a witness to this event, I know the cruise line (Hapag-Lloyd) as being one of the most experienced, thorough and conscientious in the industry. It would seem this animal was not sighted during the preliminary survey of the area quite possibly because it was resting behind an obstruction.

“Regulations – and common sense - state clearly that if a bear is sighted anywhere in the intended landing area or the perimeter, passengers do not go ashore. Period.”

Even then, guides armed with flare guns and rifles form a wide circle around the group who stay close together at all times keeping a constant vigil. Initial, unconfirmed reports suggest all correct preventative measures (firing of flare guns, warning shots etc) were carried out but failed to deter this particularly determined animal.

“From my experience, this is the first time a rifle has even been fired by cruise ship staff, let alone with fatal results.”

Three years ago a Czech man who visited the archipelago to watch a solar eclipse was attacked in his tent by a polar bear. The man suffered injuries to his face and arm.

The last fatal attack by a polar bear in Svalbard occurred in August 2011, when a British student was killed during a field trip.

A comprehensive report will be made to the Svalbard authorities and we should avoid jumping to ill-informed conclusions in the meantime.

More: AECO Statement

More: Frigg Jørgensen, Executive director, AECO Arctic Cruise Tourism and Polar bear encounters

Rod is a regular contributor to newspapers and magazines on expedition cruising and has maintained a news blog devoted to expedition cruising for more than ten years – and is available for comment on 0418 214028

Originally published as 'Expedition leader mauled by polar bear in Svalbard'

Friday 20 July 2018

Win an expedition trip to Antarctica with Peregrine

#expeditioncruising .

Yes, it's that easy. Follow these simple steps and you could be
on your way to the frozen continent.


Lindblad to build new polar expedition vessel for 2021

#expeditioncruising .

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIND; “Lindblad”, the “Company”), the global leader of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the building of a new polar expedition ship. This state-of-the-art vessel, which is anticipated to be delivered in 2021, will be the next phase of Lindblad’s fleet expansion following the launch of the National Geographic Quest in July 2017, the addition of the National Geographic Venture in December 2018 and the delivery of the National Geographic Endurance in the first quarter of 2020. 

NG Endurance (above) is due in 2020. 

As demand for high quality and authentic expedition travel continues to accelerate, both through market expansion as well as from sustained investment in their marketing and sales infrastructure, Lindblad is committed to expanding capacity to provide a growing audience with the opportunity to explore the world’s most unique and remote locations.

This will be the fourth polar vessel in the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, joining the National Geographic Explorer and the National Geographic Orion, currently in operation, and the National Geographic Endurance, which is scheduled for delivery in early 2020. The new vessel will be designed as the ultimate expedition platform with a focus on immersing our guests in these amazing geographies.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said “We are extremely excited to announce the further expansion of our expedition fleet. This is the next step of our long-term growth strategy to capitalize on the expanding demand for high-quality adventure travel. By marrying additional capacity with a dedicated and growing loyal customer base and fifty years of experience, we will be able to build upon our proven track record of delivering unparalleled expeditions to the world’s most remarkable destinations.”

Thursday 19 July 2018

Scenic Eclipse launch delayed until 2019

#expeditioncruising .

Construction issues within the Uljanik shipyard in Croatia, suffering its own funding crisis, have caused the delay according to Scenic Founder and Chairman Glen Moroney. 

Scenic Eclipse float out 

The 228-guest "6-star" ship was originally to be delivered in August 2018 but has been delayed until at least January 2019.

Reports of distressed passengers have reached the media amid accusations of poor communication from Scenic.

“Despite the best efforts of our Scenic Eclipse Build Supervision Team to make up construction time, we are not prepared to compromise the quality of the vessel and potentially impact guest experiences to meet the original late August 2018 launch date,” said Mr Moroney in an official release from Scenic dated July 5.

“We have apologised to affected guests for the inconvenience caused and confirmed that Scenic will provide a full refund for the cost of their Scenic Eclipse cruise and consideration of any other reasonable associated costs incurred with their travel plans.

“In addition, the Scenic team will work closely with guests to reschedule their trip at a suitable time, for travel within the next two years. Scenic will provide all guests who rebook a Scenic Eclipse voyage during this time a future cruise credit to the value of 25% of the cost of their rebooked cruise,” said Mr Moroney.

Scenic says it is contacting all guests and their travel agents affected by the delay as a matter of priority.

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Silversea Expeditions to cross Northeast Passage in 2019

#expeditioncruising .

Silversea Expeditions is celebrating its 10th anniversary with the introduction of its first crossing of the Northeast Passage – a remote and spectacular cruising route above the Arctic Circle. Few cruise ships have transited the passage, which follows the extreme coastlines of Asia and Europe and has long enjoyed a fabled reputation among seafarers.

Aurora Expeditions to explore Latin America, Caribbean Coast and East Coast Canada with new expedition ship ‘Greg Mortimer’


Aurora Expeditions set to explore Latin America, Caribbean Coast and East Coast Canada with new world-class expedition ship 'Greg Mortimer':

Book now to save up to 25% on new global itineraries

Aurora Expeditions, Australia's leading expedition cruising company, continues to reinvent itself having today launched expeditions to all-new destinations including Latin America, Caribbean Coast, Iceland, Greenland and East Coast Canada.

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Adventure Canada Kicks Off 2019/2020 Expeditions

#expeditioncruising .

2019/2020 voyages include NEW Atlantic Canada Explorer and Costa Rica to Panama

Canada’s leading small-ship expedition operator Adventure Canada is thrilled to unveil its 2019/2020 Expeditions brochure, boasting two seasons of brand new adventures and remarkable signature journeys.

Whether one dreams of cruising a distant fjord, visiting the belugas of Lancaster Sound, wandering among Scottish castles, or gazing up at the Northern Lights; whether tracing new coastlines or embarking on award-winning Arctic journeys—including the Northwest Passage, Canada’s eastern Arctic regions, and Greenland—Adventure Canada’s new lineup has something for everyone.

Ship-based tours aren’t the only trips on offer, either. Adventure Canada is proud to present a wide range of small-scale land-based tours, ranging from a canoe trip in the Northwest Territories to a Tanzania safari … and even a trip to the North Pole!

NEW trips complementing the 2019/2020 seasons include:

Costa Rica & Panama | March 15 - March 26, 2019
A Night at 89 Degrees North | April 15 - April 20, 2019
Atlantic Canada Explorer | June 15 - June 26, 2020

“Our 2019 and 2020 Expeditions brochure highlights remarkably special places to us, including a mix of old favourites and exciting new destinations to explore,” says Cedar Swan, Adventure Canada CEO. “Our travellers are continuously seeking new horizons, new experiences, new ideas, and new friends. Our upcoming adventures are certainly going to take them there.”

For more than thirty years, Adventure Canada has brought explorers to local communities, wildlife habitats, natural wonders, and the Earth’s great wild spaces alongside recognized experts, bestselling authors, visionary artists, knowledgeable historians, inspiring musicians, and a top-notch expedition team.

To book aboard a 2019/2020 expedition, call 1-800-363-7566 or visit

Wednesday 11 July 2018

Peregrine Adventures’ first custom-built expedition vessel in Galapagos #expeditioncruising

#expeditioncruising .

Peregrine Adventures’ first custom-built expedition vessel has begun cruising the Galapagos as part of the company’s burgeoning small-ship Adventure Cruising program which has grown 35 per cent year to date.

One of the newest and most sustainable ships operating in the Galapagos, Grand Queen Beatriz, named after the matriarch of the Galapagueno family who built and own the vessel, departed on her maiden voyage from Puerto Baquerizo Morena in San Cristobal on Saturday July 1.

Saturday 7 July 2018

Win a 15-day Vietnam Expedition Cruise with Peregrine #expeditioncruising

#expeditioncruising .

Experience the joys of small-ship cruising on this exciting journey along the beautiful coastline of Vietnam – from Hanoi in the north, to Ho Chi Minh City in the south. 

[Cruise details]


Entries close on 25/07/18

Thursday 5 July 2018

New experiences for Silversea guests

#expeditioncruising .

480 Nautical Miles from the Pole and a Swim with Whale Sharks near the Equator

Demonstrating the broad range of experiences on offer, Silversea Expeditions recently unlocked two standout travel experiences in vastly different marine environments: guests on Silver Discoverer were able to swim with basking whale sharks in the warm waters of Cenderawasih Bay, Western Papua while guests on Silver Cloud reached a remarkable 82 degrees north amid icy conditions.

Close to the equator on Sunday, 1 July, Silversea’s Silver Discoverer detoured from its planned route between Cairns and Darwin to facilitate a rare interaction with wildlife: with care and respect for the animals, guests enjoyed the opportunity to snorkel with a school of whale sharks. Silversea’s Expedition Team launched the ship’s tenders in order to reach the sharks, following Expedition Leader Dominic Del Rosario’s decision to change the ship’s itinerary after hearing of the opportunity. Flexibility has become a key characteristic of Silversea Expeditions’ voyages; adapting itineraries often enables guests to enjoy such extraordinary experiences as swimming with whale sharks. The breathtaking animals were inquisitive and swam close to Silversea’s guests.

In striking contrast, on Monday, 25 June, Silversea’s Silver Cloud reached her highest ever latitude. The most spacious and comfortable expedition ship afloat reached within approximately 480 nautical miles from the North Pole, to the great delight of the cruise line’s guests who gathered at the ship’s bow. The significant moment occurred on the second day of a 12-night voyage between Longyearbyen and Kristiansund, Norway. In foggy conditions and icy waters, and with a light wind of 0-10 knots, the ice class crossover ship reached the Arctic Ice Edge in the Arctic Ocean. The ship’s exact coordinates were recorded at 82° 55.5’ N, 017° 45.7’ E.

Since being converted to an ice-class expedition ship in November 2017, Silver Cloud best represents the union of adventure cruising and ultimate comfort that characterises Silversea Expeditions. She has unlocked many of the world’s most remote destinations for guests as Silversea Expeditions’ flagship. Today, her guest approval ratings are among the highest of Silversea’s entire fleet of nine - soon to be 11 - ultra-luxury ships. Silver Cloud offers large, luxurious suites; four fine dining options; a heated swimming pool; 16 zodiacs; 10 kayaks; and the highest space-to-guest and crew-to-guest ratios in expedition cruising. She will spend the summer months cruising in northern Europe, the Arctic, Greenland and Canada. Later in 2018, she will cruise in Antarctica.

“Silversea Expeditions is working hard to push the boundaries of exploration,” says Conrad Combrink, Silversea’s SVP Strategic Development Expeditions and Experiences. “Our goal is to deliver exceptional travel experiences to our guests in ultimate luxury; the unparalleled knowledge of our Expedition Team enables us to do exactly this. These two rare encounters exemplify the breadth of unforgettable, bucket-list experiences that are on offer.”

View future Silversea Expeditions voyages:

For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit