Friday, 30 September 2011

American Safari Cruises’ Safari Endeavour Sails New Baja’s Bounty Itinerary in Sea of Cortés in 2012/2013

The newest addition to the American Safari Cruises fleet, the 86-guest Safari Endeavour, embarks on a new Baja’s Bounty adventure cruise from November 2012 through April 2013. Weeklong expedition cruises sail roundtrip from La Paz, Mexico to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site & Biosphere Reserve.
In true expedition style, the itinerary is flexible to ensure maximum opportunities to view the array of wildlife found on land and sea. The cruise explores Isla Espíritu Santo, Isla Partida, Isla San Francisco, Loreto, Isla Coyote and Isla San José. Snorkeling with playful, young sea lions at Los Islotes is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
The region’s culture comes alive on included excursions. A port call in the centuries-old mission town of Loreto includes a guided walking tour exploring the town’s plazas, historical buildings and mission. In Bahia Agua Verde, guided hikes explore the mainland’s canyons and scenic vistas before joining a local ranchero and his family for a shoreside BBQ dinner enlivened with local music and stories. An excursion to the remote island of Isla Coyote visits the twenty members of the Cuevas family who inhabit the island and make their living as fishermen.
The remote beauty of Baja, Mexico’s desert landscape amidst a sea teaming with marine life sets the stage for the inclusive cruise full of water sports activities and opportunities to view marine life such as pods of dolphins; sea lions; blue, fin, sei, orca and sperm whales; flying manta rays; blue-footed boobies; brown pelicans and cormorants. A swim step and kayak launch platform on the stern of the ship serves as the hub for guests embarking on water-borne adventures—kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, snorkeling and small boat adventures.

Exhilarating skiff rides to shore transport guests to spectacular desert islands for guided hikes and beachcombing walks led by expert on board expedition leaders. Hikes may traverse a forest of Cardón cactuses or on top of a desert ridge for sweeping views of the Sea of Cortés. 

The line’s other yachts include the 12-guest Safari Spirit, 22-guest Safari Quest and 36-guest Safari Explorer. Specializing in active, adventure cruises with flexible itineraries, destinations include Southeast Alaska, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia and Snake Rivers, the Hawaiian Islands and Washington and British Columbia. The Safari Endeavour also sails in Southeast Alaska.

For travelers who want to explore the Sea of Cortés this winter, the Safari Quest will sail weeklong Aquarium of the World cruises from November 26, 2011 through April 14, 2012. Rates start at $3,995 per person double occupancy. or Adventue Cruise specialist The Cruise Line.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

$200 Travel Savings Available on Safari Endeavour’s Inaugural Season in Alaska with American Safari Cruises

American Safari Cruises’ active, adventure cruises allow freedom to engage in many activities. Kayaks and stand-up paddle boards are available for excursions. Skiff rides will explore shoreline, wildlife and glaciers up close. Expert naturalists and guides lead excursions on land and sea. An enhanced program of educational presentations will be presented in the salon. 
American Safari Cruises’ meals are a highly anticipated part of each day. Exquisite cuisine is innovative and fresh with seafood and produce purchased locally whenever possible. All meals will be served in the elegant dining room, and the complimentary bar offers premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews. 
The inclusive cruises include all from-the-yacht activities and equipment; transfers; hand-crafted meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; a massage and all port charges, taxes and fees. To book a yachting adventure or to request additional information visit  or adventure cruise specialists The Cruise Line.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Christmas and New Year with Star Clippers

Escape the cold this winter and spend Christmas exploring the tropics on a romantic square rigger. Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers is offering spectacular Christmas and New Year itineraries on each of its tall ships, two of which will be in the Caribbean and one in Costa Rica. All the ships will be festively decorated and a traditional-style Christmas will be celebrated on board. As a Christmas gift from Star Clippers, there are onboard spending credits on the two Costa Rica departures, as well as zero single supplements no charge for a third person sharing a cabin. All past Star Clippers guests, meanwhile, qualify for a 5% discount.
Christmas departures
The stunning, five-masted flagship Royal Clipper, which carries 227 guests, will be sailing a ten-night round trip from Barbados, departing December 17 and calling at St Barths, St Kitts, Iles des Saintes and St Lucia, as well as various tiny bays and islets in the British Virgin Islands. Christmas Day is spent anchored off Iles des Saintes. The 10 night Christmas cruis costs from £1,940pp, excluding flights.
The 170-passenger, four-masted Star Clipper sails on December 23 from St Maarten on a seven-night Treasure Islands itinerary, spending Christmas Day in Virgin Gorda, famous for The Baths, a stunning beach of dramatic rock formations and crystal clear water. Thuis seven night Christmas cruise costs from £1,245pp, excluding flights.
The third ship in the fleet, Star Flyer, will be sailing the coast of Costa Rica on a ten-night voyage from Puerto Caldera, departing December 18. Christmas Day will be spent in the lush bay of Golfito, known for its animal sanctuary, orchid garden and zip-lining expeditions. This ten night cruise costs from £1,770pp, excluding flights. Each passenger, sharing a double cabin and paying the full fare on this departure will receive a €300 onboard spending credit. There are no single supplements on this cruise and what’s more, anybody occupying a third berth pays only port taxes. Two children sharing their own cabin each receive a 50% discount off their fare.
New Year Departures
Royal Clipper will spend New Year on an 11-night British Virgin Islands cruise, round-trip from Bridgetown, sailing December 27. On New Year’s Eve, there will be a beach barbecue at Jost van Dyke, followed by an overnight anchored off Virgin Gorda, to see in the New Year. From £2,095pp, excluding flights; children receive 50% discount.

Star Clipper departs Philipsburg, St Maarten, on December 30 for an eight-night New Year cruise to Dominica, Iles des Saintes, Antigua, Guadeloupe and St Barths. New Year’s Eve is spent at sea, with New Year’s Day in Dominica. From £1,520pp, excluding flight; children receive 50% discount.
Star Flyer, meanwhile, sails out of Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, on December 28, for an 11-night cruise along the Pacific coast, spending New Year’s Eve on the exquisite Playa del Coco and January 1 in the National Park of Santa Rosa. From £2,051pp, excluding flights. Each passenger paying the full fare on this departure will receive a €300 onboard spending credit. There are no single supplements on this cruise and what’s more, anybody occupying a third berth pays only port taxes. Children travel at 50% discount.
For more information  visit or luxury cruise specialist The Cruise Line

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Save Up to £1240pp on Antarctica Voyage

Always fancied heading down to the White Continent and following in the footsteps of famous explorers? Want to see some of the most amazing and awe inspiring scenery in the world but like the comfort of returning to a warm ship each day? Niche expedition cruise operator, Hurtigruten has launched a special offer for anyone wanting to visit Antarctica this winter that offers savings of up to £1240pp.
Book an Antarctic Discovery or Weddell Sea Adventure itinerary on selected dates in January and February 2012 and take advantage of a new, unspecified cabin offer. This means that passengers book a cabin at a special price which will be allocated to them on arrival. This could result in receiving a higher category cabin!
The voyage is onboard MS Fram, a ship specifically designed for polar exploration. Onboard lectures and talks lead by experts on Antarctica will ensure guests learn as much as possible during their voyage. Polarcirkel boats are used to take passengers ashore and closer to penguin colonies, ice formations and the wonders of Antarctica.
Antarctic Discovery - £3948pp (Was £4934) – SAVE £986pp – Available on 3 January and 14 February 2012. This 12-day voyage offers an introduction to the world’s most beguiling continent. Now priced from £3948 (was £4934) per person for an unspecified outside cabin including nine night’s full board on the ship, return domestic charter flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, one night’s b/b accommodation in Buenos Aires before and after the voyage, transfers and lectures. International flight packages are extra. Based on two sharing.

Weddell Sea Adventure - £4964pp (Was £6204pp) – SAVE £1240pp – Available on 21 January, this 15-day trip offers the chance to reach a latitude of 74° south into the rarely-visited, true heart of Antarctica, travelling in the wake of great pioneers such as Captain James Weddell and Sir Ernest Shackleton. Now priced from £4697 (was £6204)) per person for an unspecified outside cabin N grade cabin including 12 night’s full board on the ship, return domestic charter flight between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia, one night’s b/b accommodation in Buenos Aires before and after the voyage, transfers and lectures. International flight packages are extra. Based on two sharing.For more information call Hurtigruten on 020 8846 2666

Friday, 23 September 2011


This will be a remarkable journey of discovery using Japanese cuisine as a window into the culture, art and rituals of this ancient society. Orion II guests will have the opportunity to discover Japan and its ancient culture through the amazing diversity of Japanese food. At each port of call discover a different Japanese dish, learn its history and visit local markets to shop for ingredients.
Onboard, expert chefs - including special guest chef Hideo Dekura - will teach guests how to prepare and present a range of the world’s favourite Japanese dishes such as sushi; while time ashore will include visits to the markets including the famous Jalgachi Fish Market in Busan.
Guests will enjoy exploring the amazing variety of seafood, prepare mouth-watering Kobe beef and learn why the notorious fugu puffer fish can be lethal and yet is sought by gourmet food lovers the world over.
The eight-night Japanese Culinary Adventure departs Kobe on 27th April 2012 and visits Shimonoseki, Busan, Nagasaki and Okinawa before arriving back into Kobe. Prices from £4,495 per person (£3,596 per person if booked before 30th November 2011) including eight 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 more information visit or The Cruise Line

Thursday, 22 September 2011


“Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey: Harvests, History and Landscapes” to

Spotlight Regionally Inspired Sustainable Food through Partnership with Portland-based Food Alliance
 Guests traveling the Pacific Northwest with Lindblad Expeditions this fall will enjoy a delicious culinary hint at a newly enhanced regional itinerary set to debut in 2012.

The new onboard dining program features a menu dominated by local and sustainable foods in addition to a selection of wines and craft beers that have gained the region international acclaim, and sets the stage for next year’s launch of Columbia & Snake Rivers Journey: Harvests, History and Landscapes
Scheduled to launch next September aboard the 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Bird and National Geographic Sea Lion, this natural, cultural and culinary 7-day/6- night adventure will unveil a spectacular landscape millions of years in the making and a vibrant patchwork that encompasses high art, fine foods, award-winning wines along some of the route Lewis & Clark followed on their Corps of Discovery Expedition.
The new program (which builds on Lindblad’s 20+ years of exploration in the region) will provide a chance to experience the Pacific Northwest like never before, thanks in part to a series of fascinating new experiences that will celebrate the land as well as the spectacular harvests it yields. Highlights will include a trip to The Gorge White House, a 102-year-old working family farm that features breathtaking and panoramic views of both Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. Guests will be hosted by the farm’s owners Jerry and Camille, multigenerational farmers who grow heritage pears, apples, berries and greens using environmentally respectful and innovative techniques. The visit will culminate with a delicious meal using farm ingredients, and served on the property’s garden patio.
 Guests will also tour and taste the fruit of the vines from leading Columbia Gorge wineries. The focus on Pacific Northwest viticulture will continue back onboard, where an array of award-winning regional wines will be served, specially selected by Executive Chef Gary Jenanyan (former executive chef at Robert Mondavi Winery).
 The journey will begin by navigating the Columbia to the mouth of the river at Astoria. At Fort Clatsop, where the explorers hunkered down for the wet winter of 1805-1806, guests can walk through the full-scale reconstructed fort. The voyage will also offer plenty of chances to enjoy the region’s trademark natural splendor, adjusting itineraries to allow for even more time to take in the majestic sights of Multnomah Falls, Crown Point and other landmarks.
Of course, no trip to the Pacific Northwest would be complete without plenty of opportunities to get out and experience its natural wonders firsthand. This journey offers a vast array of options ranging from hiking and kayaking adventures to Zodiac cruises in the Lewis and Clark Wildlife Refuge or Palouse River.
Through independent inspections, this non-profit organization ensures that food is produced by well-treated workers, meat products come from humanely-raised animals, and that regional soil, water and wildlife habitat are protected and enhanced. A majority of the food served on the ship will be a reflection of their work.

Lindblad Expeditions and the Food Alliance will work together to highlight a variety of the region’s leading providers, including Country Natural Beef, a cooperative of 120 family ranches in 13 Western states; Tillamook Cheese, made up of 110 dairy farms committed to animal welfare and dating back to 1909; Draper Valley Farms, the pioneer of Washington and Oregon-raised fresh chicken since 1935, and many more.
There will be ten weekly departures in 2012 from September 14 – October 27. Rates begin at $3,990 per person based on double occupancy for a Category 1 cabin for September and October, 2012 expeditions. For more information or to book your Lindblad Pacific Northwest experience today, visit or  The Cruise Line.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Prices From £980 Per Person Plus Single Supplement Waived on Selected Sailings -

Orion Expedition Cruises has launched its 2012 Grand Sale offerings savings of up to 50% on its full range of 2012 voyages if booked by 30th November 2011 with prices from just £980 per person (based on the 27th September Great Barrier Reef sailing). In addition, Orion is waiving the single supplement on selected sailings.

Incorporating the first full year of voyages for Orion II, as well as Orion, these expeditions - well off the marine superhighway - include rarely visited destinations from polar ice caps to the tropics, with voyages taking in such far flung destinations as Borneo, Cambodia, Antarctica and the Kimberley region of Australia.

New for 2012 for Orion are Pure New Zealand and Bay of Islands voyages which take a fresh look at New Zealand. Orion II’s new sailings feature the islands of Micronesia and additional voyages to Japan with Art of Japan and Culinary Voyage of Japan itineraries. China is included for the first time with expeditions that includes the Yangtze Delta (Kobe to Shanghai) and Shanghai to Tawau (Yangtze, Taiwan, Philippines), while an inaugural visit to Java includes Borobudur.

2012 will see the two purpose-built expedition cruise ships undertake 68 voyages to 17 countries and 174 destinations stretching from Antarctica to the Russian Far East including Borneo, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, the Inland Sea of Japan, Korea, China and Micronesia (onboard Orion II). Australia’s Kimberley coast, Arnhem Land, Great Barrier Reef, the Spice Islands, New Zealand, the Sub Antarctic islands and Papua New Guinea feature in Orion’s range of expeditions.

Orion Expedition Cruises has waived the single supplement on the following voyages:

20th February: New Zealand Bay of Islands,  26th February – Tasman Discoverer,  3rd March – Great Barrier Reef,  27th September – Tropical Reefs and Culture, 15th November – Great Barrier Reef,
21st November – Tasman Discoverer, 28th November – Pure New Zealand

 Orion II:
27th February – Gulf of Siam Explorer, 8th April – South-East Asian Odyssey, 26th November – Micronesia – Voyage of Discovery,

For further information or The Cruise Line

Monday, 19 September 2011

Berlitz Cruising Guide

Some 21 million people will be thinking of booking a cruise next year and many will be overwhelmed by the sheer number of brochures and bewildered by the variety of cruise ships. The 2012 edition of the famous Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships, (published in paperback 1st October 2011, £17.99, as well as a new App edition) will cut through these choppy waters and help readers to identify the cruise that best suits them, so that their hard-earned holiday represents money well-spent. Completely independent and accepting no sponsorship, this annually updated guide has become the ‘bible of cruising’, thanks to the painstaking investigation carried out each year by its author, Douglas Ward, the world’s most highly regarded cruise expert.

Eagerly awaited, the 2012 edition of the Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships will be more fact packed than ever before, with 285 candid reviews – that’s virtually every ocean going ship in the world. Now in its 27th year of publication, the Guide sets the internationally recognised ratings system for cruise ships worldwide. Its frank and forthright opinions tell readers everything they could ever want to know about the cruise experience, warts and all.

The 2012 version of the Berlitz Cruise Ships 2012 App for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch is to be launched at the same time as the paper edition. The simplicity of this app is that with just a couple of taps would-be cruise-goers can quickly search through all 285 ships according to their needs, whether for family travel, quality of cuisine or accommodation, size of ship and many other criteria, making this the perfect cruise-planning tool. This new version features fully updated ship reviews, an enhanced interface for choosing the right ship by preference, more background information on cruising and cruise lines, lots more ship photos and a fresh design.

Berlitz Complete Guide to Cruising & Cruise Ships 2012 (£17.99, 688 pages) will be available from 1st October 2011 from all good bookshops, The Berlitz Cruise Ships 2012 App will also be available during October. For further information visit

Friday, 16 September 2011

Star Clippers bring Costa Rica expert on Board.

Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers has announced that it will carry a guest lecturer, German-born Steffi Adels, on board Star Flyer for the ship’s forthcoming 2011/2012 Costa Rica season.

Steffi, whose professional background was originally in healthcare, fell in love with Costa Rica at first sight when she travelled there on holiday a few years ago. She was offered the chance to stay on and work in the country and has never looked back, saying she ‘went native’ with great ease, learning fluent Spanish and replacing her passion for schnitzel and fries with one for arroz con pollo, the Costa Rican staple of chicken with rice.
During each voyage, Steffi will talk to the guests about her experiences in Costa Rica, where she worked for a year as a tour guide for German-speaking guests as well as visitors from the USA and Canada. She has guided and travelled in all the most beautiful and popular areas of the country, including the volcanoes, the cloud forests, the rivers and canopy trails, the rainforests and national parks, as well as being a regular visitor to neighbouring Nicaragua.
Steffi, who is known for her energy and enthusiasm, will offer lectures and Q&A sessions every day in both English and German, covering topics such as the flora and fauna of Costa Rica; natural resources; volcanoes; forests; and the people.

The 170-guest Star Flyer spends from November to March each winter sailing the tropical waters of Central America’s Pacific coast, visiting dramatic rainforests, sweeping beaches and secluded inlets and islands, with plentiful opportunities for spotting wildlife and birds, as well as snorkelling over the reefs and hiking the forest trails. Most itineraries include a day at sea so that passengers can enjoy the full experience of a magnificent tall ship under full sail, whether it’s from the crow’s nest or the comfort of a lounger on the sun-warmed teak decks.
Star Clippers offers a seven-night Costa Rica and Nicaragua cruise from £1,140, cruise-only, round-trip from Puerto Caldera, calling at San Juan del Sur, Playa del Coco, National Park Santa Rosa, Samara, Puerto Carrillo, National Reserve of Curu and Isla Tortuga.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Columbia and Snake Rivers on a Luxury Yacht Cruise

Intermingling history of the west, the fall crush in Washington wine country, spectacular autumn scenery and exhilarating river explorations, American Safari Cruises offers six departures along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in October and November 2011.

The weeklong Rivers of the West itinerary sails one-way between Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho (and reverse) aboard the exclusive 12-guest Safari Spirit. Available for individual travel or charter, departure dates include October 8; November 12, 19 and 26; and special Culinary and Wine Discovery theme cruises on October 29 and November 5. 
The itinerary transits eight locks, three states and cuts through the dramatic Columbia River Gorge on its route between Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho. In Oregon, guests will explore the Multnomah Falls, Bonneville Dam and dock for the evening in the picturesque town of Hood River—the wind surfing capital of the world. A guest speaker joins guests after dinner in Hood River to discuss the area’s history. Cruising the Columbia, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region, offers a close-up look at the workings of the rivers’ locks and dams.
On the Washington side, highlights include private tours to two local wineries for wine tastings, a guest speaker in Richland knowledgeable about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, cruising through a wildlife region rich with migratory birds, entering the Snake River and kayaking or skiff explorations up the Palouse River. An exhilarating jet boat ride into Hells Canyon in Idaho takes guests into North America’s deepest canyon for incredible scenery and opportunities to view 7,000-year-old petroglyphs and bighorn sheep.
On board the Safari Spirit, elegant décor and a casual atmosphere combine into a welcome sense of luxury. 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. The Safari Spirit features a hot tub, sauna, library, open bridge, Tempur-pedic mattresses, Jacuzzi tub and shower and 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 or to request additional information, contact or The Cruise Line.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

SeaDream Yacht Club Opens for Early 2013 Voyage Bookings The Amazon is Back by Popular Demand

SeaDream Yacht Club - with its mega yachts SeaDream I & II, rated as the top Boutique Ships in the world by the 2011 Berlitz Guide - has released its early 2013 itineraries. The twin, 112-guest vessels will spend January - April 2013 sailing the Caribbean, visiting the smaller yachting playgrounds and harbours that large ships cannot reach. In addition, SeaDream II will be sailing the Amazon River in February and March.
2013 Amazon Highlights
  • SeaDream II will sail two 20-night voyages; Bridgetown, Barbados to Iquitos, Peru and the return.
  • Ports of call include Devil's Island, French Guiana; Parintins, Brazil; Manaus, Brazil; Panelas, Brazil; Leticia, Columbia and more.
  • A naturalist will be aboard the Amazon voyages providing in depth information about the great river wilderness.
  • Excursions will feature the jungle’s exotic plants and animals, Amazonian tribes, museums and markets.
  • On one of Brazil’s best beaches in Alter do Chao, SeaDream hosts their Champagne and Caviar Splash™.
  • Optional pre and post voyage over-land adventures feature one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Machu Picchu
Voyage-only fares for the two, 20-night Amazon voyages, departing Bridgetown on February 10, 2012 sailing to Iquitos, Peru; and departing Iquitos on March 23, 2012 returning to Bridgetown, lead in at : US$16,999 per person + US$1,220pp govt/port taxes.
2013 Caribbean Highlights
  • SeaDream II offers voyages in the lush & unspoiled Grenadines, including the islands of Mayreau and Bequia.
  • SeaDream I & II offer new calls in Puerto Rico to Fajardo Bay (calm, coral-rich water), Ponce (beautiful neoclassical buildings) and Caja de Muertos (superb snorkeling).
  • SeaDream I & II offer more calls to Tortola and Norman Island in the British Virgin Islands.
  • SeaDream I visits the ports of La Samana and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
  • SeaDream I & II will continue with overnight stays in St. Barts, where guests enjoy the island’s entertainment after dark.
Caribbean, 7-night voyage-only fares lead in at : US$ 3,199 per person + US$392pp govt/port taxes, sailing round-trip from San Juan, Puerto Rico to San Juan.
These voyage only fares above are based on two people sharing Yacht Club Deck 2 accommodation and include all meals, onboard gratuities, wine with lunch and dinner, a complimentary open bar and use of the yachts “water toys” and Marina (weather conditions permitting). 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

AMA launches second boat on the Mekong

Award-winning river cruise line AmaWaterways has launched its second new vessel on the Mekong River, the 124-passenger MS AmaLotus. The 7-night maiden voyage set sail this week after a traditional Vietnamese praying ceremony at the shipyard. The MS AmaLotus joins the MS La Marguerite (2009) in providing distinctive river cruises from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam as part of the highly-popular “Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong” program.  
Featuring ultra-spacious 624-sq. ft. Suites; ten Jr. Suites at 290 sq. ft. and standard staterooms at 226 sq. ft., the MS AmaLotus has outside balconies on 90 percent of her staterooms. The décor combines Colonial elegance with regional Khmer accents, staterooms include comfortable sitting areas, individually controlled air-conditioning, a mini-bar, safety deposit box, kimonos and slippers and luxurious bathtub (Jr. Suites/Suites). Guests enjoy fine dining consisting of both Asian and Western specialties; free-flowing complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner with complimentary house-brand spirits and soft drinks throughout the cruise. Onboard highlights include folklore dances, musical performances and culture discussion forums.
The expansive Sun Deck on the MS AmaLotus provides the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing cool drink, take a swim in the outdoor pool or simply admire the spectacular sunsets over the Mekong. The ship also features two lounges, a fitness room, spa and gift shop. The hotel manager aboard the MS AmaLotus is European, and the entire staff is fully English-speaking.
Launched in 2009, the “Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong” river cruise and land programme is part of the “AmaVoyages” line of river cruises. Separate and distinct from the AmaWaterways European river cruise product, “AmaVoyages” deliver an exceptional experience in some of the world’s most intriguing destinations. The “Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong” itinerary includes two nights in vibrant Hanoi followed by an overnight aboard a luxury junk in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay. A short flight then transports guests to Siem Reap, Cambodia, the gateway to the magnificent Angkor Archeological Park. A two-night stay there includes tours of world-renowned sites such as Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, the Bayon and newly-reopened Baphuon Temple.
From Siem Reap, guests embark on their 7-night odyssey along the Mekong River from Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Calls include the bustling capital of Phnom Penh and numerous points of historical and scenic interest, including Kampong Chhnang, Oudong, Tan Chau, Sa Dec, Xeo Quyt and Cai Be. Along the way, guests experience the unforgettable hospitality and ancient traditions of this singular part of the world as they visit floating markets, rainforests and Buddhist monasteries; ride an oxcart and a trishaw and participate in the delicate craft of rice-paper making. The “Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong” program concludes with an overnight in Ho Chi Minh City.
The 15 night land-cruise option costs from £2422 per person and includes hotel accommodation, excursions and all meals, wine, beer and soft drinks with meals on board, and the seven night cruise-only option costs from £1060, including excursions and drinks. Contact or The Cruise Line

Monday, 12 September 2011

Majestic Line introduce a new 3-night “Taste of Autumn in Argyll”

The Majestic Line have introduced a new 3-night “Taste of Autumn in Argyll” cruise due to popular demand as their two 6-night cruises both have sold out for October. This can be a fabulous month to cruise in and especially this cruise as anchorages are chosen for their autumn colours and the best opportunities for spotting wildlife such as red squirrels and deer. Guests will also have the pleasure of sampling seasonal local produce such as venison from the hills, free range pork and beef and shellfish caught locally.
The other new cruise this season that the company have introduced is a new "Inlets and Islands of Wild Argyll" 6-night cruise with an itinerary chosen for its beauty, tranquility, natural environment and wildlife. There is such a wide selection of stopovers that each cruise itinerary will be unique, depending on guests’ preferences and the local weather and tide conditions. The options include many picturesque sea lochs and the Islands of Bute, Arran and Cumbrae with interesting shore walks on offer each day. Kintyre and Ailsa Craig are also within reach but more weather dependent. “Inlets and Islands of Wild Argyll” departs from Holy Loch once a month from April to September 2012 and is proving a popular choice with August and April already booked out.
Majestic are currently offering a 20% late availability discount for all remaining October cruises. We want people to treat themselves to a last minute opportunity for an idyllic escape and some pampering before winter sets in!
For more infromation visit

Friday, 9 September 2011

Stock-up for Christmas with a Christmas Markets Cruise on board the spectacular SS Antoinette

The 8 Day Classic Rhine Holiday Markets itinerary travels through Switzerland, France and Germany.  Guests can begin their journey at Basel ending at Cologne, or vice-versa.
Combine some of Christmas’ most beloved pastimes – shopping, decorations and food - on this enjoyable festive river cruise!  The three countries provide the perfect backdrop for this true connoisseurs Christmas Markets cruise. Visit the delightful Christmas Markets of Basel, Switzerland and Strasbourg, France.  
Then continue to Germany – where many of our signature holiday traditions began – with stops in lovely medieval towns such as Heidelberg, Mainz, Rüdersheim and Koblenz, as well as the majestic city of Cologne, with it’s vast Gothic cathedral. Here you can shop for one-of-a-kind treasures, and unique Christmas presents.  Stock up on hand made Christmas decorations, and soak up the atmosphere as the city is adorned with festive finery such as glittering Christmas trees, bells pealing from cathedral towers and children dressed as angels singing Christmas carols. Feast on gingerbread, traditional stöllen, and warm up with a mug of steaming glühwein (hot mulled wine). 
As you sail the legendary Rhine, especially the 40 miles along the Upper Middle Rhine valley, you’ll be captivated by ancient fortresses, medieval castles and half-timbered villages – all set in a winter wonderland.
Uniworld’s 8-day Rhine Holiday Christmas Market Cruises start on November 30th, December 7th, 14th and 21st and  include: return flights and private door to door transfers on arrival and departure days, a 7-night cruise in a stateroom on the spectacular SS Antoinette, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners (and complimentary fine wine, beer and soft drinks served with dinner onboard) including Captain’s Welcome Gala and Farewell Dinner, 6 shore excursions, fully hosted by English-speaking local guides, a signature lecture on the ‘Christmas Traditions in Germany’, an experienced Cruise Manager and attentive, all English-speaking staff.  Prices start at £2,075 per person.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruises offer cruises in pure luxury with unsurpassed style and elegance.  No detail is overlooked and exceptional service is always at hand.  All rooms are luxurious and decorated by the renowned interior design team of the award-winning Red Carnation Hotel Collection.
For further information on Uniworld visit,

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Aurora Expeditions’ Makes History on Russia’s North East Passage

Australian expedition-cruise company, Aurora Expeditions, has become one the first companies to ever complete Russia’s North East Passage in an ice-strengthened passenger vessel.

On board Russian vessel, Akademik Shokalskiy, the 50 passengers, 10 staff and 23 crew departed Murmansk on 10 August 2011, taking 26 days to traverse Siberia’s vast north coast and crossing nine time zones to arrive in Anadyr on 5 September 2011.

The inaugural voyage was Aurora Expeditions most adventurous in scope and duration, visiting places where few people have ever been before. Passengers had the chance to visit military restricted Novaya Zemlya, name peaks on mountainous Severnaya Zemlya, midnight cruise around the Novosibirskie Islands, and have a special tour of polar bear haven, and World-Heritage listed, Wrangel Island.
Reaching 80 degrees north, the voyage offered attractions such as abandoned Russian polar stations and working meteorological huts, 10,000 year-old fossils of mammoth tusks and teeth, and thousands of birds, hundreds of walrus, whales and polar bears.

Lisa Bolton, Aurora Expeditions CEO, said that the voyage was a real modern-day exploration and adventure. Aurora Expeditions is a leader in adventure cruising, having pioneered a range of adventure cruises and activities in some of the world’s wildest and remote places.
Aurora Expeditions 2012 ‘Across the North East Passage’ has already sold out.
For moe information on  2013 program or check out their two new 2012 Russian voyages ‘Arctic Ocean Discoverer – Wrangel Island’ and ‘Treasures of the Russian Far East’ at or in the UK The Cruise Line 

Photo Micheal_Hart_Courtesy_of_Aurora_Expeditions

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Late booking offers from Noble Caledonia only £1995

Noble Caledonia have late booking offers on their "The Lordship of the Isles" cruise aboard the MS Quest from only £1995.   Cruise dates are 29th September to 6th October 2011.
For more information visit or The Cruise Line.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Cabin Upgrades from Star Clippers

To celebrate National Cruise Week, which runs from September 20-25, 2010, tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers is offering free cabin upgrades for all bookings made during that period.

Book any Star Clippers voyage to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean or Central America during National Cruise Week, or one of the longer ocean crossings, and the cabin paid for will be upgraded by one category (terms and conditions apply). For example, pay for a Category 3 cabin on Commodore Deck and stay in a Category 2 cabin, which has more space and superior fittings and is located on Clipper Deck. On one of Royal Clipper’s seven-night Caribbean cruises this winter, this represents a saving of £110 per person.

Better still, this cabin upgrade offer, if taken up during National Cruise Week, can be combined with existing Star Clippers early booking offers. These include 10% off any cruise in the 2011/2012 programme and a spectacular 20% discount on selected sailings for 2011 and 2012, as follows:

On Royal Clipper, the five-masted flagship of the fleet, special offers include departures in April and October, 2011 and certain sailings out of Barbados in December 2011 and January 2012. As an example, the April 30, 2011 cruise from Barcelona to Rome calls at Palma, Mallorca; Mahon, Menorca; Bonifacio and Calvi on the beautiful island of Corsica; and Portoferraio on Elba.

Special offers on the four-masted,170-passenger Star Clipper are valid for Mediterranean cruises in April, early May and October, as well as four Caribbean sailings from St Maarten in December 2011. Take advantage of a Mediterranean mini-cruise; a five-night short break from Athens to Malta departs October 8 and calls at Monemvasia and Pilos in Greece and historic Siracusa in Sicily.
The 20% saving on cruises operated by sister ship Star Flyer, meanwhile, applies to six Mediterranean cruises and five sailings out of Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica in 2011 and 2010. These fantastic Central American voyages call at the laid-back beach resort of San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, as well as the national parks, scattered islands and sheltered bays of Costa Rica’s rich, rainforested coastline, with superb opportunities for diving, snorkelling and hiking.

For more information visit

Monday, 5 September 2011

All at sea - Buoyant cruise arrivals for the Falklands

 The Falklands welcomed a total of 40,542 passengers to its shores in the recent season (October 2010 – April 2011). An increase of 6% is expected for the 2011/12 season, taking totals to 43,000 arrivals, dovetailing the industry wide upward trend of this sector (a record 1.7 million holidaymakers are forecast to sail in 2011 – source: Passenger Shipping Association).
Five new ships will make their maiden visits to the Falklands in the upcoming season:- the luxurious Seabourn Sojourn (450 passengers), Island Sky (118 passengers), MS Artania (1,200 passengers), Adonia (710 passengers) and mega yacht L’Austral (264 passengers).
In total 30 vessels are scheduled to visit the Falklands in the season ahead.
A perfect add on to South America or Antarctic itineraries, cruising is an ideal way to discover the Falklands archipelago made up of over 700 islands, allowing passengers to visit many sites that remain largely inaccessible to land-based tourists.
For further information on the Falklands Islands please visit or The Cruise Line

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sea Cloud and River Cloud Cruises

Sea Cloud ar renowned for the superb sailing cruises and the excellent river cruising optins. They currently ave the folowing cruises on  scheduled.

October 17 – 25, 2011  Valletta (Malta) > Piraeus (Greece)
October 25 to November 1, 2011    Piraeus (Greece) > Piraeus (Greece)

October 15 – 22, 2011      Amsterdam (Netherlands) > Basel (Switzerland)
 October 22 – 29, 2011     Basel (Switzerland) > Koblenz (Germany)

For further information visit or The Cruise Line.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Viking Announce Two More Ship builds for 2012/21013 Bookings

Viking River Cruises, today announced two more ship builds in 2012 in response to the high demand for 2012 & 2013 bookings.
The new ships are in addition to the four already in production. The new builds will copy that of Viking’s “green” Longship river cruise vessels, including the Viking Prestige and Viking Legend. The Longships will be 443 feet long, feature 95 staterooms per ship and will boast key innovations such as:
Two Explorer Suites—which will be the largest river cruise suites each featuring a separate living room, bedroom, bathroom and private wraparound veranda, offering 270-degree views. Seven 275-square-foot Veranda Suites with a full-size veranda in the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom.
Thirty-nine Veranda Staterooms with full-size verandas. A new all-weather indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace that reinvents the lounge by bringing the outdoor river scenery indoors with retractable floor-to-ceiling glass doors.
Al Fresco dining areas on the Upper deck, adjacent to the lounge to present more dining choices to guests. Sustainability upgrades such as energy-efficient hybrid engines, solar panels, efficient, hybrid propulsion system and an onboard organic herb garden. 
The six ships are scheduled to sail Viking’s most popular European itineraries including the 15-day Grand European Tour, 8-day Romantic Danube, 8-day Danube Waltz, 10-day Tulips & Windmills and 8-day Rhine Getaway.
For further information visit

Friday, 2 September 2011

My First Polar Bear

A cold morning and this polar bear was some distance away as it swam past our ship on our cruise with Hurtigruten in Spitsbergen and it's a sight I'll never forget. It was just too far away for me to get a good clear picture with my 300mm.
This one was swimming beside the ship as it crossed over the narrow straits. I’m not really sure who was looking at whom. The lecture the night before (There’s a different one every night) had told us that they hunt Ringed Seals and scavenge for birds eggs and chicks in this area.

You get a lecture on what to do if we encounter a bear on the landings and I have to say I was very impressed that the attitude is that this is the bears’ territory and we are just guests here. In many ways the bears’ lives are put before ours as they are frightened off by a series of steps including flares and loud bangs.
You can find out more at or The Cruise Line.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Nambia opening up as a cruise Destination.

Namibia is opening up as cruise destination. The Country's Tourist Board has a very good site to give you ideas. The Namibian operator who has the contract for all of the land arrangements for the arriving cruise lines into Walvis Bay and organises all of the excursions and transport options. Abenteuer Afrika Safari and the website is .
Many cruise lines are now formly establised here such as Zegrahm Expeditions but also adventure cruise specialist The Cruise Line is a good place to start in the UK.
Picture courtesy of Fotoseeker