Friday, 28 February 2014

Bluewater Adventures in the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Great Bear Rainforest

Bluewater Adventures sails two 2 masted 68-foot ketches around the northern Pacific; in the Queen Charlotte Islands, the Great Bear Rainforest and the waters of the Inside Passage north of Vancouver. 
The Queen Charlotte Islands sailings will concentrate more on the first nation peoples but will also should see whales; the inside passage and Great Bear trips specialise in whales and bears.

Tel: 020 8776 8709

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Thursday, 27 February 2014

Windstar Cruises recently introduced Asia sailings

 Windstar Cruises is currently featuring an exclusive offer for the line’s recently introduced Asia sailings. Guests can receive 2-for-1 cruise fares on any of the new Asia itineraries, two free hotel nights pre- or post- cruise, and a free exclusive private event on shore during each voyage. As an added benefit to previous guests, the line also offers an additional 10% off the cruise fare to Yacht Club Members. Star Pride, Windstar’s all new, all suite power yacht will set sail for the Far East in October, 2014. Offering the best value in luxury cruising, Windstar’s Asia voyages start at $3,999, cruises must be booked by March 28, 2014 to receive this special offer.
Windstar showcases the local Asian culture and cuisine through new free exclusive Private Events such as A Feast for the Senses, a Private Event held in Phuket on the Singapore & Malay Peninsula voyage. Guests are welcomed with a traditional flower garland and a Long Drum Parade and dancers. Thai dishes are served at dinner at the award-winning restaurant, Sala Bua (Pavilion of Lotus). The night ends with a private performance of graceful Thai dance. Additionally there are expert guest lecturers and local entertainers on each voyage to bring local flavors to life, even when on board the ship.
“Cruising is a great way to experience Asia and Windstar can take you closer to the destination. For example, on the Treasures of Southeast Asia itinerary, Star Pride is docked right in the city center of Hong Kong, the same terminal as the Victoria Ferry rather than the standard cruise terminal. Guests can get off the yacht and immediately begin to explore the city,” said Hans Birkholz, Windstar Cruises’ chief executive officer. “We curated these new Asia voyages with the local experience in mind, our product managers toured the regions sampling cuisines, talking to locals, visiting the UNESCO sites to create the best itineraries possible. I think our guests will be impressed with the offerings.”
Star Pride’s Asia voyages include:
Singapore & the Malay Peninsula
Discover the melting pot of Malaysia and Thailand on this 10-day round trip voyage from Singapore. This voyage visits Penang, Langkawi, Pulau Pangkor, Kuala Lumpur, and Malacca, Malaysia; as well as Phuket, and Ko Yao Noi, Thailand. The free exclusive private event, Phuket: A Feast for the Senses, gives guests the opportunity to enjoy local culture with a Long Drum Parade and a private dinner at the award-winning restaurant, Sala Bua (Pavilion of Lotus).
Treasures of Southeast Asia
Cruise in private yacht style on this 14-day voyage from the haute couture of Singapore’s legendary Orchard Road to French-flavored Ho Chi Minh City (the former Saigon) and the monuments of Hanoi. The voyage starts in Singapore and visits Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Da Nang, Hanoi (Haiphong), and Halong Bay, Vietnam before ending in Hong Kong. The free exclusive private event, Hoi An: Dreams of Floating Lanterns, is the perfect way to experience the best Vietnam has to offer in arts, crafts, culture, and cuisine with a private performance of lion dances and dinner at Nam Long, a beautiful restaurant on the Thu Bon River.
Vietnam Unveiled
Vietnam combines beauty and culture in one perfect experience on Windstar’s 10-day voyage from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to Hong Kong. Ports of call include Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Da Nang, Hanoi (Haiphong), and Halong Bay. The free exclusive private event, Hoi An: Dreams of Floating Lanterns, allows guests to enjoy local culture and practice skills like Vietnamese letter drawing, lantern-making, and wood-engraving interactive workshops. 
For guests who are looking to extend their cruise vacation with a land experience, The Wonders of Angkor Wat can be added on to this itinerary. The three-day journey explores the ancient temples of Cambodia with visits to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and the Angkor Temple of Ta Prohm. The package starts at $1,535 and includes airfare to or from Ho Chi Minh City, two nights accommodation at the five-star Le Meridien Angkor and a gourmet dinner with traditional Cambodian entertainment and dance performance.
Pearls of the Indian Ocean
Sail through some of the Andaman Sea’s most breathtaking islands and bays and explore the colonial Old Towns, ancient cave temples, and melting pot cities on this 15-day voyage from Dubai, UAE to Singapore. Star Pride visits Mumbai, Mangalore, and Cochin, India; Phuket, Thailand; and Penang, Malaysia. This itinerary highlights everything from India’s colorful cities to the tranquil beauty of Thailand’s beaches.
Windstar’s Asia voyages offer the following:  
  • Best value in luxury travel: for $3,999 per person, guests receive two free hotel nights, a spacious, all new suite on Star Pride, Windstar’s first power yacht, and a spectacular Private Event, created exclusively for Windstar guests.
  • In-depth local experiences: Windstar showcases local cultures and cuisines through expert guest lecturers and local entertainers who come on board every voyage.
  • Acclaimed itineraries: recognized for unique itineraries and authentic experiences, Windstar’s Singapore & Malay Peninsula was recently showcased by Fodor’s as one of the Top 10 New Cruise Itineraries in 2014. Additionally, the line offers exclusive overnight experiences in both Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Da Nang.
  • Special access of small ship cruising: Windstar can get close enough for guests to experience these extraordinary places. Star Pride docks in city centers where larger ships can’t go, including the center of Hong Kong, the center of Penang, and the center in Halong Bay where junks come right alongside for guests to board from the deck of the yacht.
  • Convenience and ease of travel: Windstar’s combination of small ship luxury and world-class service on board and on shore bring peace of mind when exploring new countries.
Launching from Barcelona in May of 2014, the 9,975-ton Star Pride is the first of three new power yachts to join Windstar’s fleet.  With a guest capacity of 212, the all suite yacht allows special access of small ship cruising. The yacht will undergo an extensive transformation of design and décor to align with Windstar’s casual contemporary style. Renderings of the new yacht can be viewed here.

To download Windstar’s complete Asia brochure go here. For more information about these new itineraries, hotel and land packages, and to book, contact a travel professional, call Windstar at 800-258-7245, or visit www.WindstarCruises.com.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Hurtigruten and Whisky Galore!

A fine drop on a grand voyage: The MS Fram Whisky Project



The MS Fram expedition ship is currently loaded with two barrels of 21- and 25-year-old single malt whisky, which it is transporting from one end of the world to the other - a process that is said to refine the noble Scottish drop even further. After crossing the Antarctic Circle, the ship will head north to Greenland and Spitsbergen, with en-route stops scheduled in Scotland where the whisky was first produced.

The topic ‘whisky and its origin’ are covered in two voyages on-board  MS Fram in April and May. Both start in the Norwegian city of Bergen with the 12-day “British Isles in the Spring” (24.04. – 05.05.2014) journey covering Scotland, Ireland and England, while “The Viking Route” (13. – 25.05.2014), lasts 13 days, and visits Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.
Both journeys are accompanied by Scottish lecturer and whisky expert Bernard McGee, who will share his knowledge of single malt scotch whisky and arrange some tastings during the voyage.
Prices for ‘’The Viking Route’ voyage start from £2,474 per person, based on two people sharing an inside cabin on full board basis. Flights and transfers are available for an additional cost.
For more information call Hurtigruten on tel: 020 3582 6642 or visit www.hurtigruten.co.uk.


Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Luxury expedition cruises by classic schooners on the Canada and Alaska coasts
Explore the fjords, islands, rainforests and wildlife of Canada and Alaska’s west coasts, on a boutique expedition cruise by sail.

Maple Leaf Adventures, an award-winning local company, operates cruises of one to two weeks in length aboard its restored, classic, wooden schooners.

Destinations include Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, Haida Gwaii, Vancouver Island, and Alaska’s Inside Passage.

You’ll feel as if you’re on a private yacht with friends who happen to be expert local guides.

Trips feature an exceptional crew-to-guest ratio (8 or 9 guests and 4 or 5 crew) and include a dedicated naturalist and gourmet chef. The ship’s crew are also experienced wildlife guides and mariners, and give guests exclusive access to some of the coast’s prime wildlife viewing areas and cultural sites. Village interpreters share their stories with guests as well during shore visits.

Trips feature whale watching, bear viewing, exploring remote beaches accessed by zodiac, sailing, cultural history, and visits to coastal communities. Guests are welcome to lend a hand to help sail the two-masted schooners and to take the helm.

A typical day starts with coffee and breakfast, often on deck at anchor, and continues with an exploration ashore. Then cruising among the islands, whale and bird watching from the ship or zodiac, another shore excursion, sailing and anchoring in a quiet cove with exploration ashore (a wild, remote beach perhaps, or the Haida village SGang Gwaay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or a bear viewing valley). The three-course dinner is often served in the ships’ gleaming, wood-panelled dining salons – a wonderful place to relive the day’s adventures over a glass of wine.

Maple Leaf Adventures trips are listed as one of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s “Signature Experiences”, a Frommer’s “Best Travel Experience” and one of National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime”. In 2012, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada also awarded Maple Leaf the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award for its dedication to Canada’s natural and cultural heritage.

Trip dates: April through October every year.
Prices: from Cdn $1450 to Cdn $6100 depending on trip length and location.
Trip locations: Alaska, Great Bear Rainforest, Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, Haida Gwaii, Vancouver Island
Gateway airport: Vancouver, BC or Seattle, WA
Info: +1-250-386-7245 or www.MapleLeafAdventures.com    
www.BritishColumbia.travel

Monday, 24 February 2014






A Whale of a Sail - Ultimate Whale Watching Adventure
From £802 per person, departures May to October 2014
Travellers join renowned photographer Marten Bril on this five-day adventure, searching for northern Norway’s abundance of wildlife. Not only does Marten personally collect his guests from the airport and take them back to the guesthouse he runs with his wife, he’s happy to share his incredible local knowledge, experience and expertise with them, offering an up-close taste of Andenes they won’t get anywhere else! Featuring breathtaking views to savour, a wonderfully personal touch and excursions to see a host of whale species, this itinerary is a must for wildlife and photography enthusiasts alike.  Price also includes return flights from London, transfers and four nights’ accommodation with breakfast and lunch daily.

Take a Pico - Whale Watching Week in the Azores
From £1,035 per person, departures July to October 2014
For holidaymakers looking for a late summer or early autumn wildlife watching adventure, Cetacean spotting in the Azores is the perfect choice. Ranked as one of the top 10 places in the world for whale watching2, the Azorean island of Pico, situated off the coast of Portugal, enjoys regular visits from a huge variety of whales and dolphins.  Travellers on this itinerary will have the chance to meet them during daily guided excursions and there is also time to enjoy the many other activities and attractions this beautiful region has to offer.  Price also includes return international and domestic flights, transfers and seven nights’ bed and breakfast accommodation.

For reservations and more information, call The Mighty Fine Company on 0845 072 0090 or go to www.mightyfinecompany.com.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Star Clippers and the Panama canal

Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers is offering two opportunities to sail into the Panama Canal this year, the centenary of what’s been designated one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Both sailings will be on the four-masted Star Flyer as part of either a 14-day and a nine-day Caribbean cruise, in November.

Star Clippers’ two Panama Canal voyages are as follows:

·         Star Flyer sails from Barbados to Balboa on November 9, calling at the Grenadines, Grenada, Venezuela, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, Cartagena and the San Blas archipelago, before entering the Canal as far as San Cristobal; from £2,795 for 14 nights, including full board on the ship and port taxes. Flights extra.

·         Star Flyer then returns to her winter cruising base of Cienfuegos, Cuba, departing Balboa on November 23, sailing into the Panama Canal and then calling at ports in Colombia and the Cayman Islands as well as Casilda in Cuba (for the historic city of Trinidad). From £1,765 for nine nights, including full board on the ship and port taxes. Flights extra.


More info: 0808 231 4798 or visit www.starclippers.co.uk.  

The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at www.worldofcruising.co.uk. To subscribe at our special offer rate for 2014, see this link. 

Saturday, 22 February 2014

The Movenpick S/B Feddya is 5 stars deluxe sailboat sailing between Luxor and Aswan, it is boutique yacht with only four suites it has built  made to enjoy your own privacy. Each  suite has a different color scheme / design with a dedicated butler ready to serve guests at any time of the day.
The best thing about these cruises is that you get to witness some of the best manmade as well as natural structures on the fascinating land of Egypt while enjoying the royal treatment extended to guests on the ship. From the amazing temples, monuments to places of historic significance, you get to see everything you have ever wanted to see by being a part of Movenpick Nile cruisesThe Movenpick S/B Feddya sails between Luxor & Aswan on the Nile, One of the world most beautiful and famous Rivers, for Seven nights cruise.

     http://movenpick-nilecruises.com/movenpick-reservations.html

Thursday, 20 February 2014

European Waterways New Base In Burgundy


EUROPEAN WATERWAYS OPENS NEW FRENCH BASE OF OPERATION IN BURGUNDY; AND COMPLETES 2014 WINTER REBURBISHMENT PROGRAMME

With an investment of more than £250,000 and a grant from the regional government, European Waterways has announced the opening of a new base of operation in the village of Ravieres, alongside the Burgundy Canal. This canal-side facility will allow the luxury hotel barge operator to carry out winter refurbishment programmes, upgrades and on-going maintenance of its French-based luxury barges, ensuring that the highest standards are maintained across the fleet.

"We are committed to keeping our vessels in tip-top shape, constantly working on upgrades and improvements in order to ensure the best possible experience for our guests," said Derek Banks, managing director, European Waterways. "This modern new facility, together with our team of highly-skilled engineers and craftsmen, will provide us with more control over the entire renovation and maintenance process, ultimately enhancing our product and ensuring that every vessel is as comfortable, stylish, and structurally sound as possible."

This winter, European Waterways has carried out an array of upgrades right across its luxury hotel barge fleet. Brand new air-conditioning systems have been installed onRenaissance (Burgundy and Upper Loire cruises) and Panache (Alsace-Lorraine and Holland); Anjodi on the Canal du Midi and L'Art de Vivre in Burgundy have new on-deck spa pools; with new carpets in cabins for La Belle EpoqueL'Impressioniste and L'Art de Vivre.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Hurtigruten’s vintage vessel celebrates its 50th anniversary



Copyright_Klute Nils_

Hurtigruten has good cause to celebrate in March, when it will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the oldest and smallest ship in the fleet - the popular vintage vessel MS Lofoten. The ship made its maiden voyage from Bergen with Hurtigruten on 5 March 1964.
The birthday will be celebrated with a range of activities on board including celebratory meals, special anniversary stamps and fishing directly from the ship, as well as special booking offers for those wishing to join in the celebrations.
By it’s 50th birthday, the MS Lofoten will have travelled almost three million nautical miles, transported 1.25 million passengers and docked over 75,000 times in the Hurtigruten ports. The smallest and oldest of the Hurtigruten ships has been protected by a preservation order since 2011 and its traditional charm and unique character have earned it a large community of fans among Hurtigruten passengers.
The anniversary voyage, setting out from Bergen on 2 March 2014, will be the prelude to the festivities. Numerous well-wishers and visitors are expected in the larger Hurtigruten ports, while traditional Norwegian dancing and music will also mark the occasion.
A whole host of other activities will also be available on-board during the anniversary voyage and throughout 2014:
An exhibition of photos of MS Lofoten over the past 50 years will be shown on board and passengers will learn fascinating facts about this vintage vessel and the history of Hurtigruten in lively lectures.
The anniversary will also have local and fresh food specialities provided by the on-board restaurant which will serve an anniversary menu reminiscent of the 1960s one evening on each of the Classic Round Voyages. There will also be a feast for the eyes as the crew and officers will be dressed in uniforms from the era.
Loved ones at home can be a part of the proceedings as passengers will be able to send postcards with an MS Lofoten anniversary stamp that is being issued by the Norwegian post office especially to mark the occasion.
On the southbound route, passengers can try their luck at fishing directly from MS Lofoten’s weather deck.
Anyone born in 1964 and therefore sharing a 50th birthday year with the ship will have a special reason to book during 2014, as they will travel at half price when accompanied by another passenger. Other available offers include a free excursion for those booking selected cabin types.
Hurtigruten, is on a special quest for personal memories, stories, anecdotes and photos that passengers, enthusiasts or former crew members have collected about the ship. Those who submit their memories to mslofoten@hurtigruten.com by 28 February will be entered into a draw to win a Hurtigruten voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes for two people including flights.
A ‘Classic Voyage North’ from Bergen to Kirkenes, departing on MS Lofoten on 4 April costs from £834 per person, based on two sharing an inside cabin on full board basis. Flights are transfers are available for an additional cost.

For more information call Hurtigruten on tel: 020 3582 6642 or visit www.hurtigruten.co.uk.

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Monday, 17 February 2014

ADVENTURE CANADA OFFERS ‘WE LOVE CANADA’ SALE FROM NOW UNTIL FEBRUARY 14

$1CAD = $1USD on 2014 Sable Island and Greenland & Wild Labrador Expeditions
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Port Credit, ON. February 6, 2014:

Love is in the air! To celebrate Valentine’s Day, Adventure Canada is sharing its love for Canadian travel, offering a limited time ‘WE LOVE CANADA' promotion where $1 CAD is at par with $1 USD. The special pricing applies to June 2014 Sable Island programs and the Greenland and Wild Labrador expedition in September 2014. The offer is valid if you book and pay in full by February 14th, 2014.

“Canada is our home and we want to celebrate our great love for exploring this nation by offering something very special for Valentine’s Day,” said Cedar Swan, Adventure Canada Vice President. “We love Canada’s diverse cultures, spectacular wildlife and sprawling, remote natural parks, and we want to help others fall in love with Canada, too.”

Sable Island

Departure Dates: June 12-20, 2014 or June 20-28, 2014
Special pricing from $2,695CAD + $250CAD discovery fee.

There are few places on earth as unique as Sable Island, a 41-km long sandbar, 300 km southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. For the first time ever, Adventure Canada will grant travellers in depth access to this mysterious destination with the only cruise itinerary to focus exclusively on Sable Island.
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On the island, Adventure Canada’s guests will observe the famed herds of feral ponies, throngs of seabirds and seal breeding grounds. They will also interact with the small island community, learning about the island’s traditions, history and ongoing research. For many, the main attraction is just getting to Sable Island, a place very few people have explored, despite its proximity to mainland North America.

On the island, Adventure Canada’s guests will observe the famed herds of feral ponies, throngs of seabirds and seal breeding grounds. They will also interact with the small island community, learning about the island’s traditions, history and ongoing research. For many, the main attraction is just getting to Sable Island, a place very few people have explored, despite its proximity to mainland North America.
Influential special guests joining the Sable Island expeditions include iconic author, journalist and broadcaster Jay Ingram, conservation photographer and wilderness educator Mike Beedell, award-winning nonfiction writer Noah Richler, writer and esteemed wildlife and landscape photographer Michelle Valberg and Bill Friedman, ecologist and professor in the Department of Biology at Dalhousie University.

Greenland & Wild Labrador

Departure Date: September 11-24, 2014

Special pricing from $4,595CAD + $250CAD discovery fee.


See the soaring Torngat Mountains in Labrador, catch a rare glimpse of the enchanting Northern Lights, and enjoy a zodiac cruise to the foot of an ancient glacier in Greenland during this epic voyage.

Guests begin their journey in Greenland, travelling down the stunning coast of dramatic fiords, calving glaciers, and charming communities before crossing the Davis Strait to Canada. In the Great White North, guests explore the Inuit communities of Nunavik, Quebec, and Nunatsiavut, Labrador and also visit Eastern Canada’s highest peaks, Torngat Mountains National Park. The adventure ends in legendary St. John’s, North America’s oldest city.
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Guests begin their journey in Greenland, travelling down the stunning coast of dramatic fiords, calving glaciers, and charming communities before crossing the Davis Strait to Canada. In the Great White North, guests explore the Inuit communities of Nunavik, Quebec, and Nunatsiavut, Labrador and also visit Eastern Canada’s highest peaks, Torngat Mountains National Park. The adventure ends in legendary St. John’s, North America’s oldest city.
Resource Staff joining the Greenland and Wild Labrador expedition include award winning wildlife biologist and environmental educator, Dennis Minty, fibre artist and culturist Peyton Barrett, archeologist Lena Onalik and country and rock musician Marshall Dane.

To book and for general information please visit, www.adventurecanada.com or call 1.800.363.7566.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

One Ocean Expeditions adds further date to Novembers’ Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica Voyages




Following the overwhelming interest in its’ Shackleton Centenary Celebration voyages, leading small ship Polar expedition cruise company, One Ocean Expeditions, has added a further sailing date in November 2014. The most extensive Antarctic Expedition itinerary available, the voyage has been created to take in some of the most historic locations and awesome scenery of Shackleton’s legendary route. Early booking discounts are available.
Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina on 3 November 2014, this far- reaching adventure takes explorers to the islands of the South Atlantic Ocean and the Antarctic mainland.
Voyagers will revel in 19-days of extraordinary exploration.  Incredible wildlife and wondrous landscapes will be guaranteed as the expedition visits locations including the Falkland Islands, Shackleton’s burial place on the island of South Georgia, the South Shetland archipelago and the Antarctic mainland.
“This is a voyage steeped in history and wonder.” Says Andrew Prossin, founder of One Ocean Expeditions. ”It was 100 years ago that disaster struck Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, when the Endurance became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed before the shore parties could be landed. There followed a sequence of harrowing exploits and an ultimate escape with remarkably no loss of human life.  The story is one of survival, leadership, camaraderie and incredible heroism in a place that reveals the essence of ones’ character under unbelievable hardship and isolation.”
Sailing on the impressive ice-strengthened ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, today’s explorers will benefit from One Ocean Expeditions’ team of highly knowledgeable polar experts. A rich schedule of sea and land based excursions will guide voyagers along some of Shackleton’s route and provide astonishing access to an abundance of unusual and rare wildlife including up to six species of penguin. In addition, kayaking, snowshoe treks and enhanced photography workshops will be available.
Early booking discounts can take the form of an air/land package including return flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia and a hotel night in Ushuaia, or an air credit of US$750 per person to be deducted from the cruise fare.
We all experience a deep sense of awe when we first glimpse the much-anticipated Antarctic continent,” adds Prossin. “Even our One Ocean Expeditions’ leaders, who have led more than a hundred expeditions, are still overcome by its formidable beauty. We are greeted by colossal icebergs that look like modern art sculptures lining the bays of Paradise Harbour or Hope Bay. It is easy to understand why legendary explorers such as Sir Ernest Shackleton and Roald Amundsen were so captivated by this haunting region.”
Accommodation during the voyage is on board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, which has been designed for Polar research and has the comfort and safety of passengers as its first priority.  Features include a massage room, hot water spa, sauna, salt water plunge pool, plus top deck observation lounge, dining room, library and theatre style presentation room.
Dates: 3 – 21 November 2014, sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina
Cruise only prices start from US$13695pp on a twin share basis and from US$11995pp for a triple share cabin (excluding the early booking discount offer). This includes all meals and accommodation plus Zodiac excursions and landings, snowshoeing, enhanced photography, special hiking program, ship transfers and foul weather gear.

For further information please visit www.oneoceanexpeditions.com

Saturday, 15 February 2014

CroisiEurope inspired by an ancient technique – the paddle wheel






Europe’s largest river cruise operator, CroisiEurope, continues to innovate with the introduction of a new vessel concept for cruising on the Loire. Market leader CroisiEurope was inspired by an ancient technique – the paddle wheel – and is re-working it using today’s technology to create a new and unique type of craft which will start operating in April 2015. This will be the first time that a cruise vessel with cabins has ever cruised along the Loire.


The MS Loire Princesse is 90 metres long and 15 metres wide, with three decks. The ship features 48 spacious outside cabins (15m²), and can accommodate up to 96 passengers. On the upper deck, the cabins have delightful balconies (3m x 1.2m). Equipped with the latest technology, the craft offers the high levels of comfort with Wi-Fi onboard and in the cabins, individually controlled combined air-conditioning/heating; plasma screen TV, radio, hair dryer, safe, mini bar and bathroom facilities. A splendid restaurant can easily accommodate all passengers for single-service dining. A huge lounge bar with central dance floor is a pleasant area to relax and enjoy the company of other passengers while a large sun deck with deck chairs is the ideal spot for passengers to take some air. The elegant décor in contemporary colours is in perfect harmony with the warm and convivial atmosphere onboard. Branded the “Green Ship”, the MS Loire Princesse has been designed to be environmentally and ecologically friendly as possible.

When designing and building this new ship, CroisiEurope has chosen to work with companies that are part of the Neopolia Marine group, in partnership with the Saint Nazaire Shipyards (STX France), where many of the world’s finest ocean liners are built. The design development of this new project has been handled by architect and design studio Stirling Design International.
From April 2015, the MS Loire Princesse will start cruising along the beautiful Loire – the longest river in France – visiting areas rich in cultural heritage, many of which are listed by UNESCO: Nantes, Saint-Nazaire, Ancenis, Angers, the Castles of the Loire, Saumur, Bouchemaine and Nantes. The Pays de la Loire region will be of particular interest to those looking for a new and unique destination rich in culture and historical significance.

CroisiEurope has received huge support from the Pays de la Loire region who have welcomed the company wholeheartedly and put all their resources at their disposal to enable them to perfect this unique offering.

As ever with CroisiEurope, their trump card is undoubtedly their ability to put offers together at the fairest prices. They are able to meet this challenge as they have complete control over every element of the entire fleet, from beginning to end. From the initial design to the production, including hotel and sales management, maintenance, purchasing and development, the company is fully responsible for all these services thanks to its 1200 permanent staff. This feat allows them to rationalise their costs as much as possible and offer cruises 30% cheaper than any other operator offering similar products.
With its fine fleet cruising on the loveliest rivers in Europe combined with this new and innovative ambitious project, CroisiEurope continues to demonstrate its creativity and dynamism in river tourism after 38 years in the business.


For reservations and further information call CroisiEurope on 020 8328 1281 or visit www.croisieurope.travel

Friday, 14 February 2014

Saga's Arctic Spectacular

Magdalena Bay is one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are no cars, no shops, no houses and no roads in this pristine, glistening fjord. The only trace of human life comes in the form of centuries-old whalers’ graves and the remains of whaling vats in this north-westerly region of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago (above, at sunrise).

And Saga Cruises' Saga Pearl II will dock here for the last time during its Arctic Explorer voyage, departing June 22, when passengers will wake up surrounded by snow-capped mountains and giant glaciers.

The ORCA charity team will also be on board to help passengers watch for wildlife and record sightings. On the ship’s last visit to the region, more than 400 mammals were seen, including blue whales and humpback whales.

Nearby Ny-Ålesund will also become a final port of call, also as a result of the heavy oil ban from January 1, 2015, which means no conventional ships can sail within the borders of Svalbard’s national parks on the east and west coast of the archipelago. Polar bear
numbers equal people in Ny-Ålesund’s shimmering, icy landscape, which is the world’s most northerly inhabited settlement. Wildflowers clothe the landscape in June as warmth from the midnight sun brings them to life after the long, dark polar winter nights.

Saga Pearl II will also call in atLongyearbyen, the largest and oldest settlement on Spitsbergen, where passengers can join a glacier hike or dog-sledding trips. During the sailing to Spitsbergen, the ship will visit theLofoten Islands, where sea eagles make their home and Tromso, with the world’s most northerly botanic garden, as well as StavangerGeirangerfjord and  Bergen on a historic cruise, which promises holiday memories that can never be repeated.

This amazing 15-night cruise costs from £3,099 per person, departing Dover on June 22, and includes Saga's standard VIP door-to-door travel service, all meals, 24-hour room service, all gratuities, porterage, travel insurance and cancellation cover.

More info: call 0800 056 8986 or click on this link.

For a longer version of this story see our News pages at the World of Cruising website, presented by Saga Cruises, on this link.

The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at www.worldofcruising.co.uk. To subscribe at our special offer rate for 2014, see this link.



Thursday, 13 February 2014

Ecuador’s Tropic – Journeys in Nature


Chosen to Represent Newest, Ultra Luxe Property
In Galapagos – Pikaia Lodge Opening This Year

- Ecuador’s award-winning ecotourism company, Tropic - Journeys in Nature (http://www.destinationecuador.com/), that since 1994 has led tours through the country’s most engaging landscapes, announces that it now represents Galapagos’ new Pikaia Lodge that is opening this year on Santa Cruz Island.


Tropic’s owner Jascivan Carvalho said that this 14-room accommodation will be the most luxurious and eco sustainable property to be built in the Galapagos Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It holds a LEED operational certification and is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. See: http://destinationecuador.com/pikaia-lodge-galapagos.html

“Pikaia Lodge,” says Carvalho “represents a model for land-based tourism in this highly fragile ecosystem that is struggling with issues of guest management and the impact of visitors to the region.”  According to advanced promotion, “Pikaia Lodge boasts the first carbon neutral accommodation in the Galapagos and will be one of the most advanced “green” lodges built in the world.”

Located in the highlands and nestled atop an extinct volcano crater, there are unobstructed ocean and island views in all directions. Pikaia enjoys a mountain-lodge ambiance with a micro-climate that often includes gentle rains and mists early mornings and at night that help  create the right environment for Pikaia Lodge’s own private Tortoise Reserve on property.

As elsewhere in the Galapagos, guests who wish to explore Galapagos’ wild nature are accompanied by park-certified guides who explain the wildlife miracles that abound here and who also help assure that the wildlife and flora/fauna remain unharmed. The Lodge offers three, four and seven-night programs that include a land exploration of Santa Cruz Island plus exploration by private yacht of selected islands for kayaking, snorkeling and hiking. The lodge also offers a 10-night “Land & Sea” exploration package on its live-aboard dive yacht for guests who want to scuba dive with whale sharks and rare Mola-Molas (sunfish) in the northern islands.

“An advantage of touring from this lodge,” adds Carvalho, “is that guests aren’t locked into the fixed schedules of a cruise ship and have more free time on land to explore on your own as well as get to know the people of the Galapagos.”

Current packages (all rates are per person, based on double occupancy) are: 
  • Pikaia Lodge + M/Y Galapagos Aggressor III Live-Aboard Dive Boat Package, an 11-day/10-night program from $8,750 and the perfect combination for exploring the Galapagos above and below the water.
  • Pikaia Lodge 8 day/7 night Exploration Package from $7,500 for a week-long adventure that starts every Monday and ends the next Monday.
  • Pikaia Lodge 5 day/4 night Exploration Package from $4,300 begins every Monday and ends on Friday.
  • Pikaia Lodge 4 day/3 night Exploration Package from $3,230 begins on Friday and concludes on Monday year-round. 
Located on 31 hectares the landscape here is arid and rocky before climbing to a tropical mist forest in the highlands where the lodge is sited. Most of the secluded suites have floor-to-ceiling windows affording spectacular water views throughout. A wellness center offers massage, a whirlpool and sauna and workout equipment. The property offers 3.5 km of private paths and trails for walking, jogging and biking.

Guests may dine on premise at the Evolution Restaurant that sources products and culinary inspiration locally. American-style breakfasts are served here daily. A Wine Cellar offers some of South America’s finest vintages.

The M/V Pikaia I is the lodge’s private 100-foot oceangoing cruise yacht. It is the only such vessel in the Galapagos, offering a luxurious, safe and relaxing day-tour experiences (all part of the package). Due to its size, weight and stabilizers, guests cruise comfortably to nearby islands without the fear of seasickness which can happen on smaller, lighter day-tour boats. The yacht boasts large open sun decks, a shadow deck, hot tub and a spacious air conditioned living room, where guests can join presentations and discussions. The crew prepares breakfast and lunch buffets, and provides wholesome snacks and tropical fruits, while the yacht’s barman serves up a bevy of exotic drinks and cocktails, perfect for sipping while watching the sun set.

Access to the lodge is by taxi from Galapagos’ Baltra airport served daily by air from Quito or Guayaquil.

About Tropic Journeys in Nature
Established in 1994, Tropic is an award–winning ecotourism company specializing in responsible, community-based tourism in Ecuador. Programs combine life-changing, active-but-cultural ecotourism experiences focusing on nature, conservation, diversity and sustainability.

For information and reservations contact: Tropic Ecological Adventures LLC. / Phone: +593-02-2234-594 / 202. 657.5072 (US) / 593. 2. 222. 5907 (EC) / 1.888.207.8615 Website: http://www.destinationecuador.com/

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Un-Cruise Adventures Hosts Guest Experts on Alaska Theme Cruises



Marine biology, photography, wine and music themes in 2014
 Un-Cruise Adventures combines an Alaska small ship cruise with experts in music, photography, marine biology and wine on seven theme cruises in summer 2014. Guest experts sail on weeklong cruises aboard the 88-guest S.S. Legacy and 86-guest Safari Endeavour in Southeast Alaska.

“While staying focused on the nature, wildlife and activities drawing travelers to the Great Land, theme cruises add an extra value of learning, fun and camaraderie,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, CEO.

The S.S. Legacy, a replica coastal steamer sailing between Juneau and Ketchikan, hosts the 1940s style group Letters From Home on the June 22 voyage.  The group performs three part harmonies, tap dancing and comedy. The Alaska’s Golden History cruise focuses on the history of the Klondike Gold Rush and includes a shore excursion in each port.

The 86-guest Safari Endeavour, sailing roundtrip Juneau, Alaska on a weeklong Discoverers’ Glacier Country itinerary, hosts six theme cruises in Alaska. The cruise spends two days exploring by land and sea inside Glacier Bay and remote wilderness areas. Hiking, kayaking, whale watching, skiff excursions, stand-up paddle boarding and seeking out wildlife are main activities.  Guest experts on board provide additional activities for those interested.

Photography
On the June 29 cruise, David Julian, a professional photographer with 30 years’ experience, shares tips and work experience capturing the essence of places, people and light with creative vision.  Award winning documentary photographer, videographer and writer Billy Howard joins the August 17 cruise. He’ll share tips on storytelling through documenting people and places.

Marine Biology
Jackie Hedgpeth, a professor, lecturer, photographer and adventurer, adds her 20-year expertise to two departures—July 6 and July 13.  Guests will soak up her knowledge and experiences through lively edutainment-style presentations focused on the physiology, feeding, mating, and survival behaviors of marine organisms. Alaska-resident Gary Freitag, a faculty member in the public service unit of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Sea Grant Program, brings his expertise in marine biology, oceanography and salmon fisheries to guests on the August 10 cruise.

Wine
Kevin Correll, owner and winemaker for Woodinville, Washington’s Barrage Cellars, shares his wine, expertise and experience as a new, boutique winemaker on the June 15 cruise. A one-man operation launched in 2005, Barrage has received recognition from the Seattle Wine Awards and the Wine Advocate.


Fresh, innovative cuisine is served on all vessels.  Guests enjoy attentive, friendly service and a casual, relaxed atmosphere.  Charters and group incentives are available. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or sales@un-cruise.com.  

Friday, 7 February 2014

6th annual London CRUISE Show

There's just over 6 weeks to go until the 6th annual London CRUISE Show at Olympia on 22-23 March. The show has new features, new exhibitors and will be bursting with exclusive show-only cruise offers and upgrades. Plus, there is still time to claim your brilliant £2 ticket offer and we also have a fantastic competition to win £500 worth of designer cruise wear from our sponsors Gray & Osbourn, see below to find out more.
Win £500 of designer cruise wear with Gray & Osbourn!
Win £500 of designer cruise wear with Gray & Osbourn!
The London CRUISE Show has teamed up with sponsor Gray & Osbourn to give you the opportunity to win £500 of designer cruise wear.
Gray & Osbourn would like to welcome you on board to view their stunning Spring/Summer collections. With over 100 designer brands to choose from, Gray &
Osbourn is your first port of call for stand out fashion. Offering you page after page of confidence boosting looks you'll love for every occasion and bags of style advice.
Make sure you enter this competition and you could set sail in style with your perfectly packed suitcase of winning looks. To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, just enter here.
CRUISE Show tickets for only £2!
We are pleased to provide you with an excellent limited time ticket offer - you can book your show tickets now for only £2! This is a fantastic saving as the tickets are £10 on the door. Book now and just quote 'E1' to claim the discount - you can book online at www.cruisingshow.com or by calling 0871 620 4024.

Offer ends 21st February 2014. Calls cost 10p per minute plus network extras.
*Booking fee of £2.50 to cover postage and packing applies

The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page atwww.worldofcruising.co.uk. To subscribe at our special offer rate for 2014, see this link. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Mundy Exclusive – Enjoy €1,000 to spend onboard select South America sailings

Book one of Mundy's last minute Latin America sailings  before 15th February 2014 and receive €1,000 per stateroom to spend onboard. Fares start from just £2,139pp cruise only. 


Enjoy breathtaking scenes as you cruise along the shores of Chilean Patagonia, journey deep into the heart of Central America visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites or discover the teeming wildlife and tropical birds of Costa Rica. You can also marvel at the Panama Canal during its 100th anniversary year.
A real highlight is the 31 night Transatlantic Cruise incorporating the Panama Canal, the Caribbean and the Azores. Fares start at just £5,515pp including flights to/from Paris (call us for UK regional flight fares),  port taxes and two complimentary shore excursions in the Azores.



To book one of these wonderful sailings of for more information, call 020 7399 7670.

http://www.mundycruising.co.uk

Have you subscribe to World of Cruising magazine? www.worldofcruising.co.uk

LUXURY AT SEA WITH ALILA PURNAMA, Indonesia

LUXURY AT SEA WITH ALILA PURNAMA, Indonesia
Launched in December 2012, Alila Purnama, translated as The Full Moon is the most luxurious liveaboard Phinisi ship in Asia, providing ultra-modern and relaxing accommodation for up to 10 guests. The 46 metre long ship consists of threedecks and has been built by hand in the traditional style of an Indonesian Phinisi boat. In keeping with Alila’s emphasis on style and sustainability, the furniture throughout the ship is custom made from teak, rattan and other locally sourced materials from Indonesia. Aila Purnama offers three sailingroutes, the Raja Ampat Voyage, Komodo Island Expedition and Ambon expedition offering amazing sea and island-hopping adventures and world-class diving in some ofIndonesia’s most pristine destinations. 
Onboard are four well-appointed cabins, all air-conditioned with queen-size beds, en-suite bathrooms with showers, writing desk, separate toilet and double wardrobes. In addition there is the Master Suite, expansively designed withlarge, wraparound windows offering 270-degree views of the ever-changing yet incredible landscape. Its bathroom features shower, bathtub, two washbasins and an enclosed separate toilet, while a private balcony and large sundeck withdaybed and deckchairs provide the ultimate space for relaxation.
 Alila Purnama also has its own fully-licensed PADI dive centre, catering for qualified divers. Development courses offered onboard range from Advanced Open Water Diver to over 16 specialities, including Enriched Air Nitrox, Deep, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Drift and Underwater Naturalist. 
For more information visit www.alilahotels.com/purnama