Sunday, 31 July 2011

Star Clippers offers ex-UK tall ship cruise for sailing and boat enthusiasts

In 2012, as part of a maiden summer season of Baltic tall ship cruises, Star Clippers will offer a sailing from Southampton on the 170-passenger, full-rigged tall ship `Star Flyer’, the first time one of the Star Clippers’ tall ships has been in British waters since the ship’s launch in 1991.
To celebrate the occasion, Star Clippers are offering a sailing voyage on board the magnificent four masted `Star Flyer’ that includes five nights’ full board on the ship, five nights’ parking at Southampton Port, transfers to Hamburg airport and a return flight to Heathrow, and a private taxi transfer from Heathrow to Southampton to collect parked vehicles. Prices from £999 / person.
Star Flyer will depart from Southampton on 5th May 2012 on this epic one-off voyage between two of northern Europe’s greatest maritime cities, Southampton and Hamburg, sailing via Amsterdam, which has a great sailing heritage of its own, prior to cruising Baltic waters in Summer 2012. The ship will be the most head turning in port and is guaranteed to draw much attention when she arrives in the Solent from a transAtlantic crossing on 5th May 2012.

The five day sailing offers plenty of time at sea to learn about sailing a tall ship, navigation and operating the sails or simply relaxing on the teak decks or in the al fresco Tropical Bar. For details contact Star Clippers on 0845 200 6145 or visit

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Luxury yacht Safari Quest explores wildlife rich Sea of Cortés

An off-the-beaten path destination, Baja Mexico’s Sea of Cortés is a secluded and protected UNESCO World Heritage biosphere reserve and a favorite yachting destination for American Safari Cruises. As an enticement, the company is offering a $200 per person travel credit for new bookings made between July 20 and September 30, 2011.
The 22-guest upscale yacht Safari Quest sails weeklong adventure cruises from La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico from November through April. On 13 select departures, each guest will receive a $200 travel credit. The travel credit may be used on an individual stateroom or a private charter for a family or group getaway to the welcoming warmth and remote wilderness of the Sea of Cortés.
Families interested in a holiday cruise may also take advantage of a $400 travel credit for teens aged 12 to 19 on the December 24 and December 31 departures.
Sailing roundtrip from the picturesque town of La Paz, the yacht explores amidst the hundreds of islands and islets in this place author John Steinbeck found “ferocious with life” and described by Jacques Cousteau as “the aquarium of the world.” A flexible and unhurried cruising philosophy promises time to seek out wildlife including many different species of whales, dolphins and sea lions—all prevalent in the wildlife rich waters of the Sea of Cortés.
The inclusive cruise itinerary includes exploration of Isla Partida, Isla San Jose, Isla San Francisco and Isla Espíritu Santo. A visit to Bahia Agua Verde includes a mule ride into the arroyos of the peninsula guided by a local ranchero. At Isla Coyote, guests meet the Cuevas fishing family and tour the village and whale bone yard. Snorkeling with playful sea lions at Los Islotes is often a highlight of the trip.
Anchoring in quiet coves, the crew brings water toys out to play. The yacht transforms into a waterborne adventure platform for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, sailing, skiff rides, snorkeling, swimming, swinging off the rope swing and tubing. Expert naturalists lead kayaking and hiking excursions to explore the beauty of the sea, the coastline and into the desert landscape to see giant Cardón cacti, red rock cliffs and white sand dunes.
The 13 select departures available with the $200 per person travel credit include: November 26; December 24, 31; January 14, 28; February 4, 11, 18; March 3, 17, 24, 31; April 7.
Cruise fares start at $3,995 per person based on double occupancy. The inclusive cruise includes all from-the-yacht activities and equipment; transfers; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; and all port charges, taxes and fees. The 22-guest Safari Quest features a hot tub, Tempur-pedic mattresses, heated tile floors in all bathrooms and upper category balconies. An all-American crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2 to 1. Yachts can be booked as a private charter or by individual stateroom. To book a yachting adventure visit or The Cruise Line

Friday, 29 July 2011


Avalon Waterways has launched its longest ever European river cruise itinerary for 2012, the 21 night ‘North Sea to the Black Sea’ cruise from Amsterdam through to Bucharest or vice versa. Sailing through the Netherlands and Germany on the Rhine before joining the Danube through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania, the cruise provides an incredible journey to see the many historical, cultural and scenic highlights across Europe.
A broad range of guided sightseeing is included in the cities, towns and famous places along the itinerary including Cologne, Rudesheim, Miltenberg, Wurzburg, Bamberg, Nuremberg, Regensburg, Passau, Grein, the Benedictine Abbey at Melk, Vienna and the Heillgenkreuz Monastery. Also included is Budapest, Vukovar, Belgrade and the Iron Gates Gorge. Visits to Bulgaria’s Veliko Tarnovo and the Patriach’s Church, the Ethnographical Museum at Arbanassi, Constanta, and Bucharest’s Parliament Building and National Art Museum are also included.
Prices are from £3,745 per person based on a category E stateroom to include return flights, 21 nights full board cruise accommodation, regional wines and beers served with dinner, 1 night at the Athénée Hilton Palace in Bucharest, guided sightseeing, a private door-to-door home pick up service and overseas transfers, the services of a professional cruise director. Stateroom upgrades are available from £880 per person.
Extra nights are available in Amsterdam from £95 per person per night and from £85 per person per night in Bucharest based on a twin share.
To make a reservation ring Avalon Waterways on 0800 668 1801 or visit

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Orion Papua New Guinea

During March and October 2012, the two luxurious 100 guest expedition ships Orion and Orion II explore the islands of Papua New Guinea, with six 11-night voyages from which to choose. Accompany the specialist expedition team and visit isolated villages, encounter primitive tribal cultures, see superb indigenous artwork and carvings, unique flora and fauna and enjoy world-class snorkelling in the famed Coral Triangle.
Outside the main towns many villagers have only been exposed to the western world through the workings of missionaries and occasional traders and so Orion’s visits are as great a source of interest to the locals as they are to Orion’s guests.
Until relatively recently this was still perceived as an isolated world of head-hunters, a land of mythology, sorcery and witchcraft. The last haunts of cannibals. Yet step ashore with Orion’s expedition team and you will be greeted with a broad smile and a warm welcome from gentle villagers – an eye opening introduction to a way of life far removed from our Western world.
This land of 800 languages with its remarkable cultural diversity will take your breath away. Whether it is the mysterious art of the Sepik or the feathered head dresses of a Tufi tribesman, the historic battle grounds of World War II, volcanic tropical fjords or pristine white sand beaches, Orion’s expeditions to Papua New Guinea will provide experiences that will stay with you for life.
During 2012 there are five scheduled 11-night voyages on Orion and one 11-night voyage on Orion II alternating between Cairns and Rabaul with visits to Sepik River & Watam Village, Madang, Tami Islands, Tufi, Kitava (The Trobriands), Samarai and Kwato Islands and Alotau (Milne Bay). Departures are on 9th and 20th March; 2nd, 13th and 24th October; and 15th November. Prices start from £5,395 per person including 11 nights onboard, all meals, entertainment and educational programmes, use of the ship’s sporting equipment and facilities, Zodiac excursions, port and handling charges, tender transfers and government fees and taxes.
For further information and reservations call 020 7399 7620 or visit

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Souther Sun in the Indian Ocean

Zegrahm is offering four incredible voyages with something for everyone. Whether it’s a cultural immersion in India’s southwestern shores; a combination of culture and natural history in India and the Maldives; or plenty of sun, sand, and underwater adventures in the Seychelles, each expedition is designed to give their inquisitive travelers the perfect alternative to the typical holiday offerings in Mexico, Hawaii, or the Caribbean.
Plus, each of these winter getaways is in the intimate comfort of the recently refurbished (see below for details!), 110-passenger Clipper Odyssey. In addition to a bevy of complimentary amenities such as a variety of daily activity options; all gratuities, accommodations, and meals; and transfers on group arrival and departures dates, the Clipper Odyssey’s shallow draft and fleet of Zodiacs allow them to land on pristine atolls and uninhabited islands where many of the big ships simply can’t go.
First on the roster is India for a 15-day sojourn skirting the subcontinent’s southern shores. In addition to experiencing the fascinating city of Mumbai, the colonial European charm of Goa, Kochi’s maze of islands and waterways via houseboat, our Southern India by Sea program spends two full days in Sri Lanka. The highlights of our time in Sri Lanka (once lauded by Marco Polo as the “finest island of its size”) include a visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and the World Heritage Sites of Kandy’s Buddhist Temple of the Tooth and the seaside fortress of Galle.
Next up, the India & the Maldives with Sri Lanka & Lakshadweeps is the perfect union of culture and natural history. They cover all the highlights of Southern India and Sri Lanka, then make their way to the unspoiled islands of the Lakshadweeps and the Maldives. The days in these two archipelagos will be spent discovering the region’s underwater riches with daily snorkel, dive, and glass-bottom boat excursions. And, since many families enjoy traveling together over the holidays, Zegrahm are happy to offer special group savings on this voyage: groups of four or more travelers receive 10% off the brochure rate and groups of eight or more receive 15% off!
The New Year brings two amazing voyages focused on the Seychelles. First, from January 13 – 27, travelers on the Ultimate Seychelles expedition will enjoy daily adventures above and below the waterline. Whether it be hiking among the endemic coco-de-mar palms on Praslin Island, admiring Aldabra Atoll’s giant Indian Ocean tortoises, photographing the pink granite boulders of La Digue, or snorkeling and diving among 150 coral species and 850 species of rainbow-hued fish, this voyage is sure to make you forget that winter exists elsewhere in the world.
Finally, the brand-new Classic Seychelles offers the very best of these Indian Ocean islands, including La Digue, Praslin, and Aldabra Atoll, plus the Comoros Islands and Tanzania. After spending your days snorkeling, diving, birding, and beach-combing in the Seychelles, you make your way to the volcanic islands of the Comoros where we find an interesting mélange of Arabic and French architecture nestled among the island’s stunning natural beauty. You then conclude your explorations in magical Zanzibar—on the “Spice Island” you wander the labyrinth of alleyways, filled with treasures of the East that established its fame: cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla.
And, while winter may seem like light years away, we encourage you to book soon to secure the cabin of your choice. Then, instead of menu planning for the holidays or buying new snow shovels, you can start daydreaming about glistening temple complexes and secluded, sugar-sand beaches! 
For more information visit or The Cruise Line

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


Haugan Crusies  present the the brand new Cormorant incorporating the very best of Galapagos Catamaran design.
The modern and ample accommodation includes Jacuzzi, huge sun deck and a private balcony for each of the spacious staterooms. Cormorant Catamaran combines high quality with high value making your Galapagos experience an affordable luxury.
 · Key Features include,  Private Balconies (all staterooms), The Newest Galapagos Boat,  Large Suites Available,  Excellent Itinerary,  High quality, high value,  Assistance at the airport.

For more information visit Haugan Cruises or The Cruise Line

Monday, 25 July 2011

Christmas with the Northern Lights

Do something different this festive season with Hurtigruten!
Fancy decorating the ships Christmas tree with decorations made on board by the guests and crew of a Hurtigruten ship? Or attending Christmas mass in the local Norwegian church where the ship docks on 24 December? Or how about ringing in 2012 with a toast and chorus of Auld Lang Syne at the North Cape, mainland Europe’s northernmost point. Cruise specialist Hurtigruten is offering a range of packages for the festive season that will make Christmas 2011 one to remember! And don’t forget – this is a perfect time to go in search of the Northern Lights too.

CHRISTMAS IN NORWAY IN SEARCH OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS - £1145pp – Travelling on board Hurtigruten over Christmas is a special experience. Norwegian festive traditions are celebrated and this is reflected in the food, atmosphere and activities. Enjoy Norwegian specialties like Christmas porridge and mulled wine, learn Norwegian Christmas carols and decorate the ships tree together with the crew. Depart on 23 December for a six night ‘Arctic Adventure’ voyage onboard MS NordKapp travelling from Tromsø, the gateway to the Arctic, to Kirkenes in the far north and back and hopefully seeing the Northern Lights along the way. On Christmas Eve, the ship will dock in Kjøllefjord for approximately 24 hours and guests are invited to attend Christmas mass at the local church. The celebrations then continue on board with the crew and of course Julenissen, the Norwegian Father Christmas will pay a visit! Throughout the trip there is also the chance to add exciting winter activities such as dog sledging or snowmobiling. Prices from £1145 per person include five nights half board on the ship, one night b/b accommodation in Tromsø at the end of the voyage and return flights from Gatwick. (23 December departure)
NEW YEAR AT NORTH CAPE IN SEARCH OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS - £1823pp – Celebrate New Year in style with a voyage on board MS Trollfjord from Bergen in the south to Alta in the north and back, including a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sing Auld Lang Syne and raise a toast to 2012 at the North Cape. Here at the ‘end of the world’ guests welcome the New Year with fireworks and enjoy canapés and champagne with musical accompaniment and there will also be a special New Year dinner on board. New Year's Day is then spent in Alta, a port not usually visited on the traditional Hurtigruten route and perfect for enjoying arctic activities such as snowmobiling and dog sledging or perhaps visiting the ice hotel. The ship will stay overnight here before heading back south to Bergen. The 12 day trip departs on 26 December and is priced from £1825 per person include 11 nights full board on the ship and return flights from Gatwick or Heathrow.
To book call Hurtigruten 0844 448 7601 or log on to

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Papua New Guinea

Aurora Expeditions has launched a special commemorative voyage to Papua New Guinea next April, to mark the upcoming 70th anniversary of Australia’s involvement in Papua New Guinea during WWII. The voyage will encompass visits to historical sites from Alotau to Rabaul, ending with a special dawn ANZAC day service in Rabaul.
Lost in Paradise – Our fallen heroes will depart Alotau on 14 April 2012 landing at key historic sites such as Samarai Island, Linden Harbour, Jacquinot Bay, Tol and Rabaul. Our onboard historian will interpret the significance of these areas and shine a light on the courage and tragedy of Australia’s unsung heroes– The Lark Force – in the Battle of Rabaul, and the ensuing loss of lives, both troops and civilians, on the Montevideo Maru.
The voyage will also include opportunities to snorkel the pristine reefs, witness traditional sing-sings and simply take in the beauty of this natural paradise.
For families wishing to explore PNG, Aurora Expeditions has created Islands of Smiles. Exploring the islands and coastline of New Guinea, this voyage will visit Milne Bay and its surrounding islands, Lababia, Tami and Tuam islands, Madang and the mighty Sepik River. Parents and children alike can expect to be greeted with friendly smiles, and a diverse array of vibrant customs through sing sings, complex rituals and spectacular costumes.
Islands of Smiles will depart Alotau on 2 April 2012 and expeditioners will have the opportunity to explore Papua New Guinea, either by snorkelling, swimming, kayaking, bird watching, village walks, or sharing a beach football match with playful locals.
Prices for both 13-day expeditions start from AU$5,690 per person quad-share, including all meals on board, shore excursions and lectures. Sea kayaking surcharge is AU$995 and scuba diving stops will be organised on board. Aurora Expeditions can also organise all flight, accommodation, transfer and pre and post touring in Papua New Guinea.
Aurora Expeditions is renowned for travelling to wild and remote areas of the world, with the aim of creating life long ambassadors to the environment. They attract small groups of like-minded, enthusiastic people, passionate about our destinations people, wildlife and history.
For further information  visit
To download or order the brochure online visit

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Gap late season Expeditions to the Arctic

July may be the most popular month to cruise to the Arctic, but Gap Adventures is advising travellers to think again and consider journeying later in the season to see some stunning sights.
The leading adventure tour operator advises that while the daylight hours may be shorter, the sunsets and sunrises more than compensate for this, with lengthy displays overflowing with golds, pinks and purples – all reflected in the ice fields and the alpine mountain tops.
Meanwhile, the sight of the stars in the long clear nights is a magnificent display, only enhanced by the chance to see the aurora borealis. A truly unforgettable experience that can only be witnessed towards the end of the Arctic cruise season.
With Gap Adventures’ industry-first 100% bear-antee, travellers at the end of the season can also be confident the wildlife will live up to mid-season voyages. The company has such confidence in its Expedition Team’s ability to locate polar bears that it now guarantees at least one of our planet’s largest land predators will be spotted during each of its Arctic adventures.
Realm of the Polar Bear
Now: £2730 pp for a category 3 twin cabin (was £3639 – save 25% on this departure)
Trip Code: XVRPNX
Departs: 7 August 2011
Highlights: Spot whales and polar bears, explore incredible scenery, brave the Arctic waters swimming, encounter Ny-Ålesund, birdlife and glaciers, discover breathtaking ice-covered fjords and glimpse herds of Svalbard’s many species of reindeer.
Enjoy an eight day trip from just £2730 per person. Price includes seven nights onboard the M/S Expedition, all meals, Zodiac excursions with expert expedition team, lecture and educational programmes, Longyearbyen airport transfers depending on passengers flight details, live evening entertainment, waterproof boots supplied for men's USA sized 8-14 & women's USA sized 3-9 and Arctic destination guide.
For full details visit

Friday, 22 July 2011

Antarctica 2012

Hurtigruen's Antarctica voyages for 2012 still have spaces. There are varied routes to choose from including the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula. Their ship the Fram is really great, speaking from experience here, and the excusriosn are simply stunning.
You can find out more on

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The World of Ice

Zegrahm Expeditions Director Kevin Clement is fortunate enough to live within the boundaries of Denali National Park. His specialty is subarctic ecology, but his work as a naturalist and an ecotourism and adventure travel guide has taken him from his home in Alaska to all seven continents. Kevin has traveled to Antarctica 49 times and never tires of lecturing on one of his favorite subjects, ice.

Living for many years in Alaska, traveling widely in the Arctic, and doing a lot of climbing and glacier travel, I thought I had seen ice. But I was wrong. I had never seen ice until I went to Antarctica for the first time. Ice occurs there on such an enormous scale and in such an immense variety of forms, nowhere else even compares. Antarctica is the world capital of ice and here are a few reasons why:

• The surface of Antarctica is more than 99 percent ice. Only a few scraps of rock peek out from under the ice cap. • The Antarctic ice sheet is up to 15,000 feet thick, averaging about 6,000 feet.
• It stores the equivalent of 60 years of precipitation on Earth. (Or, the flow of the Mississippi River for 46,000 years.) • The weight of that great mass, bearing down on the South Pole, makes the earth slightly pear-shaped.

If you were going to taxonomically classify ice, the first division you would have to make would be between ice formed from salt water and from fresh water; in other words, sea ice and glacier ice. In the Far South, you’re certain to see plenty of both.

Sea Ice
Ecologists call the annual formation of sea ice in the South the greatest seasonal event on Earth. In the late fall it is expanding at the rate of 30 square miles per minute. It effectively doubles the size of the continent for the winter.

The ice is essential for all life in the Southern Ocean, and responsible for its phenomenal productivity. The underside of that extensive plain of frozen water is the breeding ground for a staggering population of algae, which sustains krill and the entire food chain. The surface is a resting place, a floating dock, a nursery, and a hunting platform for seals and penguins.

And then, when summer comes, most of it breaks up. It shatters into ice floes, a huge armada of ice. The loose floes often congregate into great packs, roaming around unpredictably at the whim of winds and currents. What was a clear channel one day might be choked with an impassable mass the next.

Glacier Ice
The ice in a glacier is not just frozen water; it is compressed snowflakes. It results from snow falling and falling and falling, and not melting, for uncounted millennia, until the sheer weight of the mass crushes and metamorphoses the snow at the bottom. The crystals merge and re-form, and a new kind of ice is born. And it starts to move.

All glaciers move, by definition. Because under pressure, ice does a strange thing: it becomes plastic. It squeezes out like toothpaste, it flows downhill. As it moves, it crushes everything in its path. Glaciers are by far the most rapid agent of erosion on earth. They gouge. They grind. They bulldoze. They carve. The spectacular results of this movement are landscapes like South Georgia. A landscape like that also exists under the Antarctic ice sheet, entombed in ice.

In Antarctica, almost none of that ice ever melts. Most of it leaves the continent in the awe-inspiring form of icebergs. Every year, Antarctica shrugs off some 2,014 billion tons of ice.

Not only do icebergs come in a greater variety of shapes than you imagine; actually, the variety is greater than you can imagine. Explosively calved from glaciers, bergs are pinnacled, castellated, jagged, arched, extruded, angular, towering, tunneled, and any number of other things, sometimes all at once.

But the biggest bergs are not calved from glaciers; they are broken off from ice shelves. Ice shelves are amalgamations of glaciers that carry so much impetus that they do not stop when they reach the edge of land, but thrust out over the ocean and cover it under a vast expanse of frozen freshwater.

Tidal changes cause this raft of ice to flex; cracks form, hundreds of miles long; and chunks float away. Some of these chunks, called tabular bergs, rise several hundred feet above the surface and are larger than Belgium. Early explorers often mistook them for islands, because it defies belief that such enormous objects could be floating. To believe them, you must see them.

To see them, and to see the whole range of possibilities of ice, all of the myriad shapes and forms it can assume, you have to come to the world capital, as I finally did. You have to come to Antarctica.

Join Zegrahm for one of two expeditions to Antarctica, South Georgia, and the Falkland Islands departing December 2011 and January 2012 (Kevin is a lecturer on the January departure). ZE

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Noble Caledonia's Arctic Voyages

Svalbard is a remote and spectacular archipelago of immense glaciers, narrow fjords and abundant
wildlife. Let Noble Caledonia's small but comfortable sister expedition ships, the MS Quest and the MS Ocean Nova,
take you on a memorable journey into the realm of the polar bear. In Spitsbergen there are twice as many polar bears and walrus as there are people. The polar bear population is estimated at over 3000 and we hope to encounter some of them during our summer voyages.
We will witness a vast geological spectacle of soaring mountains and immense glaciers. A photographer’s paradise unfolds before us: black basaltic islands rise from shimmering waters punctuated with gleaming ice sculptures, and lush tundra blazes with purple saxifrage
and moss campion. Within this dramatic landscape resides a wealth of wildlife: seals, walrus, whales, Arctic foxes, and our ultimate goal, polar bears. The area is also home to hundreds of thousands of breeding seabirds, including kittiwakes, murres, dovekies, puffins, and rare ivory gulls.
We will take full advantage of the long daylight hours and embark on numerous Zodiac excursions to view the profuse wildlife up close.
In the beginning of the season Spitsbergen’s flowers are in full bloom and the bird colonies are bustling with life. In the latter part of the season we have very good possibilities of exploring the eastern parts of the archipelago when the ice is slowly starting to lose its grip.
Our expedition ships have the highest ice class and can carefully break through the pack ice, home to seals, walrus and the king of the Arctic, the polar bear.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Galapagos Islands with Linblad Expeditions

There is truly never a bad time to visit the Galápagos – that's why Linblad offer expeditions to these remarkable islands every month of the year. Each season has its own unique appeal, from lush vegetation to sunny skies. Both wildlife viewing and water activities are superb all year long.
Couples. Solo travelers. Families from nuclear to multi-generational. And groups of friends or business colleagues. An interesting mix of people enlivens the communities aboard our expedition ships, where the atmosphere is casual, welcoming and always inclusive.
You can experience the Galápagos from the water with kayaking, snorkeling, or through the lens of ROV technology. Explore the islands on challenging hikes or leisurely walks, accompanied by experts.
For further details log on to
photo credit Michael S. Nolan/Lindblad Expeditions

Sunday, 17 July 2011


This September/October, Crystal Cruises’ guests and staff will help international refugees resettle in Canada, Massachusetts children-in-need survive winter, feed the hungry in Halifax and care for stray/rescued donkeys in Antigua - all as part of the ultra luxury cruise line’s “You Care, We Care” programme in New England, Canada and the Caribbean this autumn.
Volunteer opportunities are offered free of charge on every 2011 sailing, giving guests and crew an easy, hands-on way to “give back” to local communities, while simultaneously providing an alternative cultural perspective to traditional shore excursions.
Participants can assist four aid organisations on five east coast Crystal Symphony voyages:         Cradles to Crayons (Boston on 16th September and 8th October): Prepare vital winter items for homeless/low-income children, from schoolbags to warm coats and shoes.
· Romero House (St John, New Brunswick on 30th September): Provide kitchen aid for a housing community that assists less-fortunate locals and resettling refugees.   Feed Nova Scotia (Halifax on 20th October): Help food bank preparation/distribution,  Donkey Sanctuary at the Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society (Antigua on 31st October): Feed, clean or walk the shelter’s stray donkeys, dogs and cats.
Launched in January, 2011, Crystal’s “You Care, We Care” programme has been widely recognised as a trailblazing effort for socially responsible tourism.
Crystal’s voluntourism efforts thus far in 2011 have helped orphans, animals and the environment. June/July projects include care-taking cats and birds at the oldest independent animal protection organisation in Norway and a summer-long project of rehab-ing an eco-friendly salmon hatchery and education facility in Alaska.
A cornerstone of Crystal Cruises’ culture is its genuine hospitality and service that has been internationally-celebrated for two decades. This spirit of generosity extends to its respectful treatment of the environment, oceans and communities in which it travels.
For reservations call Crystal Cruises on 020 7287 9040 or visit

Saturday, 16 July 2011

An award Winning Journey in Remarkable Times with Zegrahm

Voyage through the Red Sea
Zehrahm's brand-new Voyage through the Red Sea expedition has been named one of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s “Best Tours of a Lifetime” for 2011. The tour explores Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, including first-time visits to the lesser-traveled countries of Sudan and Eritrea. The November 6 – 22 itinerary is the perfect time to explore this seat of the world’s earliest civilizations with pleasant temperatures ranging from 55 to 85°F and a stable, yet fascinating political environment where a new chapter in the region’s history has literally unfolded within the last year (plus, this comes with the added bonus of fewer crowds at some of the region’s most popular tourist sites).
This voyage combines the Red Sea’s best cultural attractions along with several opportunities to engage in the region’s natural history with snorkeling and diving excursions. Among the many highlights of this award-winning expedition, you will have the opportunity to:
• Explore the rose-colored wonders of Petra, the capital of the ancient Nabatean Empire and now a World Heritage Site—even enjoy a candle-lit nighttime walk through the Siq to the Treasury, if you so choose;
• Overnight in Luxor, often considered the “world’s greatest open air museum,” to explore its various monuments, temples, and tombs;
• Cruise along the Nile in a traditional felucca sailing vessel, savoring lunch and views of the countryside along the way;
• Enjoy a walking tour of Jeddah’s well-preserved old city, considered the gateway to Mecca;
• Take in traditional daily life as we wander the pathways connecting the old, coral-block buildings of Suakin, Sudan—a major trading stop en route to Mecca;
• Snorkel and dive in the shimmering waters of Eritrea’s Dahlak Archipelago, an area renowned for its rich marine life and scenic beauty.

For more details visti

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Tall Ship sailing in the Med

Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers is offering two wonderful opportunities to explore the history of the Mediterranean this autumn, combining the romance of a voyage through the Balearic Islands and Andalucia to Morocco with a stay in a beautiful riad in Marrakech. A second option combines a mini-cruise with both Marrakech and two nights in historic Lisbon.
Sailing on the line’s flagship, the five-masted square rigger, Royal Clipper, the first voyage departs Civitavecchia, the port for Rome, on October 15, 2011. After a day exploring the dramatic medieval fortress town of Bonifacio in Corsica, the ship sets a course to Mahon, Menorca, Lord Nelson’s chosen base for the British fleet during the Napoleonic wars. There’s a day in Ibiza, best known for its nightlife but actually rich in history, from its Carthaginian origins to 500 years of Moorish rule. On board, guests can relax on the warm, teak decks, enjoy their favourite cocktail from the Tropical Bar, or help the crew raise thousands of square feet of billowing sails.
Royal Clipper next calls at Motril on southern Spain’s Costa Tropical, an easy hop from Grenada and the magnificent Alhambra’s Palace. Then there’s a day at Safi in Morocco, famous for its pottery, before disembarking in Casablanca for the short flight to Marrakech.
Here, guests will stay for four nights at the tranquil, four star Les Jardins de la Medina, a traditional 19th century riad inside the city’s massive, terracotta ramparts, surrounded by luxuriant gardens and complete with its own gastronomic restaurant, cookery school, hammam and spa, before flying back to London on October 27.
From £2,585 per person, including flights, full board on the cruise, transfers, B&B at the hotel, a bottle of wine and a three-hour private tour of Marrakech.
The second option departs London on October 21, for two nights at Les Jardins de la Medina, before flying to Casablanca on October 23 to join Royal Clipper for a four-night cruise to Lisbon via Tangier, Cadiz (for Seville, the magnificent Andalucian capital) and Portimao on the popular Algarve coast. Guests disembark in Lisbon and spend two nights at the boutique Lisboa Plaza hotel. A complimentary train ticket to the beach resort of Cascais is included, as well as a Lisbon Card, for discounts on entries to the city’s museums and attractions, and free public transport, as well as the Elevador da Gloria funicular, a scenic tram that links Baixa with the Bairro Alto.
From £1,725 per person, including flights from London, full board on the cruise, two nights’ B&B at the Jardins de la Medina and two nights’ B&B at the Lisboa Plaza, as well as a bottle of wine, three-hour private tour of Marrakech, the Lisbon Card and train tickets.
To book visit

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Hurtigruten Spitsbergen Cruises

Further north than Siberia, Alaska and most of Greenland – you find the archipelago of Svalbard. Spitsbergen is Svalbard’s largest island. In this place you become part of the experience and it becomes a part of you.
The island is renowned for its magnificent fjords, calving glaciers and impressive mountains. In this wild and beautiful world animals like reindeer, seal, walrus, arctic fox and polar bears feel at home. You can enjoy all this in the ambience of the midnight sun.
These incredible voyages follow in the footsteps of Arctic pioneers and intrepid whalers, taking in remarkable towns like Longyearbyen, Barentsburg and Ny-Ålesund and crossing the 80th Parallel to sail through the rich waters off Moffen Island.
Sailing beneath skies that echo to the cries of countless seabirds we cross ocean landscapes that can boast seal and walrus, whale and polar bear. These crusies
explore gigantic ice sculptures and remote bays by nimble Polar Cirkel boats.
The  main voyages to Spitsbergen are relaxed and suitable for most people of reasonable fitness. Only a short flight from mainland Norway, Spitsbergen is a world apart and a wonderful escape from busy, bustling Europe.

For more information click on

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Down the Mekong with AMA

From 19th of July until October AMA Waterways are offering 16 Days - Spend 2 nights in Hanoi, overnight cruise in Ha Long Bay, then travel to Siem Reap for 3 nights before embarking on a 7-night Mekong River cruise, ending your journey with a 2-night stay in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

Log on to AMA waterways to find out more.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Cruise Line - Adventure Cruising Brochure

If you're into adventure cruising then you should really be looking at the options offered by The Cruise Line. Without doubt they offer one of the best services around in every corner of the Earth with some of the most respected names in Adventure Cruising.
Their brochure is simply stunning. Don't take my word for it, get a copy at

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Here's a rare opportunity for an Antarctica fly-cruise - the boutique little Antarctic Dream will operate for some high-season dates in 2011-12 with passengers flying across Drake's Passage once and navigating it the other way. Flights are to or from Punta Arenas in Chile while the sailing is between Ushuaia, the world's southern-most city, and the Antarctic peninsula.
Their carefully planned itineraries offer an entirely different type of adventure cruise (you can even kayak, if you like); one where you’ll be introduced to the Great White Continent and its seldom-seen wildlife whilst travelling on a luxury expedition cruise vessel guided by one of the most experienced teams sailing the region.
Check out Antarctic Dream or for more information.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Sea of Cortes and Hawaii with American Safari

American Safari Cruises expands its warm water itineraries this winter with new adventure cruises among the Hawaiian Islands in addition to its voyages in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés. The upscale yachts specialize in active, outdoor explorations with flexible itineraries and a full component of adventure gear.
In 2011, the 36-guest Safari Explorer begins sailing new inter-island Hawaiian adventure cruises between Maui and the Big Island (and reverse). From November through April, weeklong Hawaiian Seascapes and 10-night Hawaii’s Traditional Shores itineraries explore Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i, Molokini and the Big Island.
The 22-guest Safari Quest sails weeklong Aquarium of the World itineraries in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés from November through April. Sailing roundtrip from La Paz, Mexico, the flexible itinerary takes time to seek out the myriad marine life in this World Heritage biosphere reserve and explores Isla Partida, Isla San José, Bahia Agua Verde, Los Islotes, Isla Coyote, Isla San Francisco and Isla Espiritu.
In both warm water destinations, the two yachts feature exciting and novel holiday travel – Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day (with a special Hawaii Romance Package), Easter and special Kids in Nature family departures during popular spring break weeks in March.
A relaxed itinerary of cruising from cove-to-cove among islands in Hawaii and the Sea of Cortés maximizes the yachts’ ability to act as a platform for water based adventures such as kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming from the yacht’s swim step, snorkeling, braving the rope swing, sailing, skiff explorations and tubing. Guided excursions are led by expert on board naturalists.
In both destinations, exclusive cultural explorations ashore are included and led by the yacht’s expedition leaders. Guests in the Sea of Cortés visit Isla Coyote, a small island inhabited by the Cuevas fishing family, where guests will tour the village and visit with the family. On Hawaii’s Moloka’i, guests meet a local family for guided walks through the valley focusing on history and archaeology, a chance to help restore ancient taro terraces and a traditional Hawaiian pa’ina—celebration and feast.
The inclusive cruises include all from-the-yacht activities and equipment; transfers; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; and all port charges, taxes and fees. All yachts feature a hot tub, Tempur-pedic mattresses, heated tile floors in all bathrooms and upper category balconies. Some also feature saunas, a complimentary massage and Jacuzzi tubs. An all-American crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2 to 1. Yachts can be booked as a private charter or by individual stateroom. To book a yachting adventure or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or American Safari Cruises

Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Sphinx is calling again: Uniworld Boutique River Cruises start in September

After a break to avoid the heat of high summer, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises resume their 2011 Egypt itineraries in September, with a new more luxurious hotel partner in Cairo – the Four Seasons Nile Plaza.

Departures for the 12-day Splendours of the Nile experience start on 3 September and will feature two nights in Cairo at both the beginning and the end of the 7 day cruise, staying at the hotel which is located on the Corniche on the banks of the Nile, affording panoramic views across the river to the island of Zamalek and beyond, or towards the 12th-century Citadel. It boasts ten restaurants and lounges offering a variety of international cuisine and also a state-of-the-art spa, the largest of its kind in the city, with 14 treatment rooms including a couple's treatment room, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, cold plunge, a serene relaxation area and indoor swimming pool. It also has three outdoor pools.

The hotel matches the level of comfort and service that guests can expect on board the River Tosca, which is where guests will spend 7 nights of the itinerary, sailing the Nile from Luxor to Aswan. Highlights of the whole itinerary include a visit to the Citadel, the Alabaster Mosque and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic Sphinx as well as the Karnak and Luxor Temples in Luxor, and Temple of Hathor in Dendera, one of Egypt’s best preserved temples. No trip to Egypt would be complete without a visit to the Valley of the Kings and Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple as well as Aswan’s gems such as the High Dam, the Philae Temple and the Botanical Gardens. Throughout all this, you’ll be accompanied by highly skilled and knowledgeable Egyptologists, as well as a host of supporting guides.

The River Tosca is an intimate all suite ship, with a capacity for 82 guests, blending old world elegance with modern amenities. Each beautifully appointed suite has a French balcony and comes kitted with iPod docking stations, flat screen TVs and both a bathtubs and shower in the private bathrooms. The public areas include a stylish lounge with full-service bar, a cosy library, elegant restaurant, sundeck with cabanas and a swimming pool, plus a fully equipped gym and massage room.

For more information and to book please visit or call 0845 678 8558

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


From the flash of saffron robes in a Buddhist temple to the remote crystalline beaches of Tioman Island and the bustle of floating market stalls on the Mekong, the whiff of durian, the silence of a misty dawn in Halong Bay or the buzz of motor bikes in Ho Chi Minh City, these two seven-night voyages combine the sensory contrasts of Asia into never to be forgotten experiences of sights, sounds and smells that encapsulate South East Asia.

Enjoy an inclusive overnight stay and visit to the world’s largest religious complex, the World Heritage listed temples of Angkor Wat. Take an early morning elephant ride through the temples to see first-hand the technological and architectural wonder of the ancient Khmer kingdom, with its canals and reservoirs and a rice economy able to support a million people.

Cross the broad muddy waters of the Mekong Delta and mix it with the locals on an exclusive Zodiac exploration of the river and floating markets – Orion II being the first foreign ship to be granted permission to do this.

Bargain for batik, beaten brassware and shot silk in dazzling colours, sip a dry martini, lounge on a untouched beach, snorkel transparent waters and photograph sampans with their distinctive timber hulls and sun-bleached yellow sails. These two itineraries reveal a balance of history, culture and relaxation that capture the energy of bustling modern Asia balanced by the serenity of the ancient.
· The seven-night Gulf of Siam Explorer departs 10th October and 22nd December 2011 and 27th February 2012. The voyages alternate between Singapore and Bangkok and visit Tioman Island, Kuala Terengganu, Ko Samui, Ang Thong Marine Park and Ko Kut. Prices from £3,340 per person including seven nights onboard Orion II, all meals, entertainment and educational programmes, use of the ship’s sporting equipment and facilities, Zodiac excursions, port and handling charges, tender transfers and government fees and taxes.

· The seven-night Thailand, Temples & The Mekong expedition departs 17th October and 15th December 2011 and 5th March 2012. The voyages alternate between Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City and visit Ko Kut, Sihanoukville (for an overnight trip and stay at Angkor Wat), Phu Quoc and Can Tho (Mekong Delta). Prices from £3,340 per person including seven nights onboard Orion II, all meals, entertainment and educational programmes, use of the ship’s sporting equipment and facilities, Zodiac excursions, port and handling charges, tender transfers and government fees and taxes.

For further information and reservations call 020 7399 7620 or visit

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

148 countries tune in to watch Hurtigruten.

Reports show that 148 countries around the world tuned in either via TV, the live stream on the internet or via embedded players to watch the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s (NRK) 134-hour non-stop live coverage of a voyage with Hurtigruten from Bergen to Kirkenes. Broadcast between 16 and 22 June, the show is also entering a claim to the Guinness World Record for the Longest Live TV Documentary. NRK is awaiting confirmation of whether it has achieved this or not.

The show, on national TV channel NRK2, brought a sense of euphoria to the country. In total, three million Norwegians watched the show, representing almost three quarters of the country’s population and produced record-breaking ratings for NRK2. In addition, 2.9 million watched the streamed voyage online, almost half of these from outside Norway. The UK was the fifth most popular country for online viewing figures.

Social media across the globe also joined the frenzy. During the TV show, Hurtigruten was the trending topic on Twitter, at one time with one tweet every six seconds. The show’s Facebook-site ‘Hurtigruten minute by minute’ received 65,000 ‘likes’ during the five and a half day voyage.

Kathryn Beadle, managing director at Hurtigruten comments “Nobody could have imagined just how popular this show proved to be. Along the coast, crowds turned up in every port to welcome the ship and boats joined in to escort her along the way. The impressive figures demonstrate clearly show the incredible interest there is in Hurtigruten’s voyages along the Norwegian coastline and the global fascination there is for NRK’s innovative concept – Slow-TV.”

Hurtigruten, established in 1893, has been en-route ever since and is an important part of the Norwegian infrastructure and one of Norway’s most known travel brands. The classic coastal route is known as the world’s most beautiful voyage and this was exactly what viewers from all over the world were able to see. All of Norway’s beauty was shown live on TV including Geirangerfjord and the western fjords of Norway, the crossing of the Arctic Circle, the Lofoten Islands, North Cape and the midnight sun. The broadcast resulted in all-time high visits on Hurtigruten’s websites around the world and all time high ratings for NRK2.
Coverage can still be enjoyed at
Visit to find out more about the company's crusies.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Up the Amazon in Style

As part of Vistas, its wide-ranging cruise enhancement programme, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is proud to welcome on board the famed explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell. Lecturing aboard Braemar’s cruise of the Brazilian Amazon, M1203, appropriately he will be talking about ‘Amazonia’ and expeditions to this fascinating region.
There could hardly be a better guest speaker for such an exciting cruises as Blashford-Snell has led some of the most ambitious expeditions ever undertaken. In 1968, when Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia invited the British Army to send a team to explore the Blue Nile, the then Royal Engineers’ Captain Blashford-Snell was invited to select and lead a team. The success of that venture led to many more, including the first vehicle crossing of the Darien Gap in 1971/2, and in 1974/5 the navigating of 2,700 miles of the Great Zaire River (also known as the Congo).
Colonel Blashford-Snell has led more than 100 expeditions, resulting in many important discoveries and supports numerous charities. His knowledge and experience will no doubt make him a fascinating and well-informed speaker.
The cruise departs on February 2, 2012, with flights from London-Gatwick and Manchester, to join the ship in Bridgetown, Barbados. Braemar then sails for the mouth of the Amazon, and cruises deep into the heart of this mighty river, visiting Santarem, Parintins and Manaus. The vibrant rainforest, with its colourful flora and fauna, will be brought even more vividly to life by the expert talks courtesy of Col. Blashford-Snell.
On the return journey, Braemar visits Tobago, then returns to Barbados for the flights home. Prices start from £1,939 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin, Grade ‘I’. The price includes return chartered flights and transfers, accommodation and all meals and entertainment on board, in addition to port and airport taxes. Flights are with a fully-escorted exclusive Fred. Olsen charter.
Find out more about this cruise by visiting or more about the Vistas enhancement programme at or, for bookings, contact the UK's leading specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Kimberleys

Nothing can fully prepare you for the dramatic contrasts of Australia’s north-west, rich in Aboriginal culture and galleries of ancient artwork. Towards the west, in the historic pearling town of Broome, the colours of nature are vibrant and intense: rich red earth, azure blue seas and brilliant white sand beaches. North of Broome lies the ragged Kimberley coast, a place you can only comprehend from the sea. Rugged gorges, inlets, waterfalls plunging 100 metres all combine for an awe-inspiring experience you simply can't have by travelling overland.
Orion Expeditions 10 night Kimberley Highlights showcase the breathtaking splendours of Australia’s wild and remote Kimberley Coast. This expedition explores ancient cultural rock art, towering sandstone cliffs and spectacular waterfalls like the 80m high King George Falls. This voyage embarks and disembarks in Darwin, affording wonderful touring opportunities in the Top End and the most convenient air connections to northern Australia. Please note these voyages are made up of two international sailings and will be ticketed as such. One way pricing to/from Jaco Island is also available.
For more details visit

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Learning the Ropes with Star Clipers

One often forgets that in all cruising there is a crew involved. What I like about Adventure Cruising is because of the smaller size of the ships you can get involved more with the people who make the ship work so smoothly. These two lads are painting the hawsers on Royal Clipper the flagship of the Star Clipper Fleet.
AS with other sailing cruise lines you can help put up the sails, learn the knots and even take aturn at the wheel if you wish!