Saturday, 30 June 2012

InnerSea Discoveries Adds an Expedition Vessel to Hawaii in 2013

Wilderness Explorer to sail active adventure cruises between Oahu

and Hawaii, the Big Island November 2013-April 2014

InnerSea Discoveries’ 76-guest expedition vessel Wilderness Explorer begins active adventure cruising among the Hawaiian Islands in fall 2013. The boat joins the line’s 36-guest upscale yacht Safari Explorer offering island explorations from the sea.
From November 2013 through April 2014, the Wilderness Explorer will sail seven-night AdventureBound Hawaii cruises between Oahu and the Big Island and reverse. The itinerary visits Ka’ena Point State Park, Wai’anae Harbor, Maui, Lana’i, Honomalino Bay, Opihihali and Kailua-Kona. Guests will also enjoy scenic cruising and searching for whales and dolphins in the wildlife-rich Humpback National Marine Sanctuary.
“We are sending the Wilderness Explorer to Hawaii to add another option for travelers seeking an active island adventure at a moderate price.” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “It’s a tremendous value when you add in all the included activities and the ability to explore multiple scenic islands.”
Highlights of the new itinerary include snorkeling at Molokini’s undersea volcanic crater, a night snorkel with Giant Pacific Manta Rays, watching whales and dolphins and guided hikes exploring scenic areas on all four islands. Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea.
The Wilderness Explorer has a swim platform for easy access to water sports equipment and entry into the water. A specially built kayak launch platform comfortably launches four kayaks at once. Guests enjoy included water sports activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, skiff explorations and swimming. Guests may also take a spin on the innovative human-powered watercraft powered by two peddlers and up to six paddlers.

On board, innovative meals are served buffet style to accommodate a flexible schedule of adventure activities. A wellness program includes a sauna, fitness equipment, complimentary yoga on deck and massages for a fee. Cabins feature a flatscreen TV/DVD player, iPod dock and eco-friendly bath amenities. In the lounge, guests will find a selection of games and a library of books and DVDs.

For luxury adventures in the Hawaiian Islands, the line’s 36-guest Safari Explorer sails seven-night cruises between Hawaii, the Big Island and Lana’i with two days of activities on Moloka’i. Guests making a new reservation on the yacht by September 30, 2012 receive a $500 travel credit per couple for cruises November 2012-April 2013.

Cruise fares on the Wilderness Explorer start at $2,495 based on double occupancy. To book an un-cruise adventure or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or InnerSea Discoveries at 888-862-8881 or email

Friday, 29 June 2012

Last minute discovery cruises for less than £60 per person per day

There’s still time to plan a last minute summer 2012 break with Voyages of Discovery ( / 0844 822 0820) to the Baltic and Norway from just £879 per person.
Discover the jewels of the Baltic on the Baltic Treasures 15 day cruise. With an extended three night stay in St Petersburg, guests can explore the city’s famous palaces, visit the Hermitage Museum for a music recital, and take part in a traditional folklore excursion for a truly authentic experience.
For those with a sense of adventure the Nordic Natural Wonders cruise offers a footloose programme designed for seasoned hikers and amateur ramblers alike, giving them the opportunity to get off the beaten track to explore untamed landscapes such as Mount Fløien in Bergen and hike in Flam with the chance to see its famous railways. What’s more guests can find out more on the footloose programme by visiting
The Baltic Treasures cruise starts from £899 per person. Price includes a 15 day cruise departing from Harwich (UK) and calling at Kristiansand (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark), Tallinn (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia) – overnight x 2, Gdynia (Poland), Szczecin (Poland), Sassnitz (Germany) and transit through the Kiel Canal before returning to Harwich (UK). Price is based on a 28 June 2012 departure.
The Nordic Natural Wonders cruise starts from £879 per person. Price includes a 14-day cruise departing from Harwich (UK) and calling at Bergen (Norway), Flam (Norway), Akureyri (Iceland), Isafjordur (Iceland), Grundarfjordur (Iceland), Reykjavik (Iceland) and Torshavn (Faroe Islands) before returning to Harwich (UK). Price based on a 12 July 2012 departure.
For more information and to book call 0844 822 0820 or visit To reserve excursions visit

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Head to the Emerald Isle with Hebridean Island Cruises

Join Hebridean Island Cruises’ ( / 01756 704 704) small luxury cruise ship, Hebridean Princess to discover the luck o’ the Irish with a cruise around the Emerald Isle this summer.

Perfect for keen walkers, Footloose in Ireland, allows guests to discover the island in the best way possible – by foot. Highlights include a visit to Skellig Michael – a remote UNESCO heritage site – and a trip to Cape Clear Island which boasts over 5,000 years of history.

The Footloose In Ireland cruise starts from £3,960 per person, departs from Oban (Scotland) and calls at Dublin, Dunmore East, Castletownbere, Bantry, Valentia Island, Schull, and Cobh (Ireland) and finishes in Cork (Ireland). Price is based on a 31 July 2012 departure.

Alternatively, the Gaelic Explorer cruise starts from £3960 per person and is ideal for history enthusiasts with excursions to Dublin Castle and the picturesque town of Kinsale which was the scene of the end of the Gaelic order.

Gaelic Explorer departs from Cork (Ireland) and calls at Kinsale and Dublin (Ireland), Peel (Isle of Man), Strangford Lough, Bangor and Ballycastle (Northern Ireland), Sanda Island, Lochranza and Bute (Scotland) finishing in Greenock (Scotland). Price is based on a 16 August 2012 departure.

Prices include return flights from regional UK airport, all meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, shore excursions and gratuities and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.

For more information and to book visit or call 01756 704 704.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

15 of Lonely Planet’s ‘Top 17 Experiences in Norway’ can be enjoyed on a Hurtigruten voyage

Guests onboard a Hurtigruten ship have a head start on anyone trying to complete Lonely Planet’s recent list of the ‘Top 17 Experiences in Norway, as 15 of those 17 experiences as possible to enjoy with Hurtigruten. Most of the list can be completed while voyaging along the famous Norwegian Coastal Voyage route that Hurtigruten has been operating for nearly 120 years. This includes: the number one experience of Geirangerfjord, A UNESCO World Heritage Site; Number five - exploring the colorful historic buildings of Bergen’s Bryggen; and number 15 – Sami culture, the indigenous people of the far north of Europe. Other choices such as number seven – Svalbard can be experienced on Hurtigruten’s Spitsbergen Explorer sailings with MS Fram during the summer months, or visits to Oslo (number 17) by extending the stay as Oslo is a major gateway used by Hurtigruten guests.

How the list lines up with Hurtigruten’s offerings:
1. Geirangerfjord - top site on most Norway lists – visited on Coastal Voyage, from April to September;
2. Lofoten Islands – historic fishing region, stunning scenery – visited on Coastal Voyage, including Trollfjord experience, year round;
3. Hurtigruten Coastal – “…the iconic Hurtigruten coastal ferry takes you on one of the most spectacular coastal journeys anywhere on earth.” – Lonely Planet;
4. Northern Lights - Hurtigruten has a dedicated programme of Hunting the Light Voyages, Oct.-March;
5. Bryggen, Bergen – starts or ends Coastal Voyage – UNESCO World Heritage Site;
6. Hiking the Jotunheimen – an exception – not part of Hurtigruten options;
7. Svalbard – home to 1/6th of the world’s polar bears – offered by Hurtigruten Spitsbergen Explorer Voyages during the summer;
8. Kystriksveien (coastal route) –Hurtigruten’s excursion “The Atlantic Road” – winner of 2005 “Engineering Feat of the Century”;
9. Oslo-Bergen Railway – or “Norway in a Nutshell” is a great alternative to flying from Oslo to Bergen;
10. Pulpit Rock – only other exception – not part of Hurtigruten options;
11. Stave Churches – medieval wooden churches surviving only in Norway (except for one) - can be seen on excursion “The Atlantic Road” and during the visit of “Sverresborg Trøndelag Folk Museum”;
12. Dog-sledding – available on Coastal Voyage as winter excursion in Tromsø, Kirkenes and Finnsnes;
13. Wildlife-watching – many possibilities aboard and on excursions – Bird Safari, Sea Eagle Safari, King Crab Fishing;
14. Ålesund – Port call on Coastal Voyage, excursions include Art Nouveau tour, and Aquarium and Mount Aksla;
15. Sami culture – “A Taste of Lapland” excursion takes guests to a Sámi camp and a visit with a local Sámi family;
16. Tromsø – Coastal Voyage port with four hours stop over; excursions include dog sledding, Polar History Walk, and huskies and pups at Wilderness Center;
17. Oslo – easy layover stop for Hurtigruten guests – one of Norway’s gems;         
Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations – including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen – as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring. The company’s fleet of 13 intimate ships, which each carry 100 to 646 guests, allows travelers to enjoy unique destinations in a relaxed atmosphere.

For more information call Hurtigruten – 0844 448 7601

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The seldom visited eastern side of Borneo.


Enjoy a ten-night voyage onboard the expedition cruise ship Orion II from Tawau to Bali via the seldom visited eastern side of Borneo departing 22nd September 2012. Explore the zoological paradise along the Wallace Line, a memorable voyage encompassing fascinating cultures and history as well as wildlife.   

Named after the 19th century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, his discovery that predominantly Asiatic species are found to the West and Australasian species are found to the East of his line marked the beginning of the science of zoogeography.
The voyage provides opportunity to see some of the primates and birdlife that inspired Wallace, including the chance to see endangered species such as Malaysian Sun Bears and orang-utans undergoing rehabilitation. Then take time to relax, snorkel and swim in the pristine waters of the Coral Triangle.

Cross the Wallace Line to the island of Sulawesi, and then be escorted by the expedition team overland to mystical Tana Toraja. This "Land of the Heavenly Kings" is home to an ancestral cult based on animistic beliefs. Renowned for their elaborate cliff-side burial ceremonies they celebrate death and the afterlife with sacrificial offerings and great feasts.

With majestic panoramas, captivating villages and dramatic ceremonies, Tana Toraja is the undisputed highlight of any journey to Sulawesi. The unique (sometimes confronting) culture encountered within a dramatic setting makes Toraja a rarely–seen must-see destination.

On the same voyage a visit to Makassar, gateway to the former kingdom of Gowa, provides access to the landmark Ujung Pandang fortress, one of eleven fortresses built before Gowa capitulated to the Dutch in 1667. Renamed Rotterdam by the new European rulers, Makassar featured in the fascinating history of Dutch Makassar and the spice wars.

Epitomising the very best of expedition cruising, this Orion II Across the Wallace Line expedition is a very civilised way to travel to remote locations in comfort and safety. Perfect for those who, in the company of like-minded travellers, enjoy the comfort of understated luxury onboard and the stimulation of exploring rarely visited destinations ashore.

The 10-night Across the Wallace Line voyage from Tawau to Bali departs 22nd September 2012 and visits Pulau Kakaban, Pulau Sangalaki, Sungai Sangatta , Samboja, Lampuko Mampie Wetlands, Pare Pare (for overnight trip to Tana Toraja) and Makassar. Prices from £4,401 per person including 10 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

Monday, 25 June 2012


Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, has introduced a 10-night hotel and cruise package for 2013 that includes a three-night pre-cruise stay at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, a luxurious seven-night Tahiti & the Society Islands cruise on the m/s Paul Gauguin, roundtrip airfare from the UK and transfers.
The package is perfect for guests who want to enjoy a longer stay in Tahiti at a tremendous value and is available:
· 2nd January 2013, with rates from £4,046 per person
· 8th May 2013, with rates from £4,453 per person
· 31st July 2013, with rates from £4,467 per person
· 23rd October 2013, with rates from £4,598 per person
Prices include return scheduled flights, overseas transfers, three-night stay at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa with daily breakfast and seven nights on the m/s Paul Gauguin in an ocean view stateroom with all meals, soft drinks, selected alcoholic beverages and gratuities
On this 10-night package, the m/s Paul Gauguin sails round-trip from Papeete, Tahiti, visiting the scenic islands of Raiatea and Taha’a with overnights in Bora Bora and Moorea. Itinerary highlights include a day on Motu Mahana, Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private islet off the coast of Taha’a, featuring a delicious barbecue lunch and refreshments, and complimentary use of the cruise line’s private white-sand beach in Bora Bora. 
For further information and reservations call 020 7434 0089 or visit

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Star Clippers announces 2013 / 14 sailing schedules

Tall ship specialist Star Clippers has announced its 2013/14 sailing schedule, showcasing romantic sailing voyages on the line’s three head-turning sailing ships, Star Clipper, Star Flyer and Royal Clipper.
During the summer of 2013 all three ships will sail in Europe: The flagship Royal Clipper will be in the western and eastern Mediterranean; Star Clipper in the western Mediterranean and Aegean; and Star Flyer in the Baltic and southern Spain.
For winter 2013, all three ships follow the sun, with Royal Clipper and Star Clipper sailing the Caribbean, while Star Flyer explores the lush, forested coastlines of Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.
Highlights include:
· Seven-night Leeward Island cruises from St Maarten on Star Clipper from £864*
· Seven-night explorations of the Grenadines from Barbados on Royal Clipper from £980*
· Seven nights sailing Costa Rica and Nicaragua on Star Flyer from £864*
· Comprehensive 14-night Costa Rica cruise and tour from £3,299
*Prices include full board on the ship but exclude port taxes and flights.
On board, passengers can enjoy the romance of sailing on a true tall ship in a relaxed atmosphere with high standards of service provided by an attentive crew. There are opportunities to learn about navigation, to help raise the sails or to climb the mast to the crow’s nest for incredible views, but guests are equally welcome to lie back with a book and their favourite cocktail.
Fellow passengers are sophisticated Europeans, Australians and Americans, many of them either incurable romantics, or sailing fanatics, or both. Many of them are repeat passengers; a voyage on a Star Clippers ship is truly addictive.
 to book, call 0845 200 6145 or visit 

Saturday, 23 June 2012


The Silversea Group ( announced today that it has purchased Canodros S.A., the premier Ecuadorian tourism company that operates in the Galapagos Islands and their upmarket expedition ship, Galapagos Explorer II.

Silversea plans to add Galapagos Explorer II to its ultra-luxury fleet of six ships next year, after the all-suite, 100-guest vessel undergoes a major refurbishment in September 2013 and is given a new name, steps that will ensure consistency with the standards of the Silversea fleet.

Until that time, Galapagos Explorer II will continue on its planned schedule of cruises and will continue to be operated by Canodros, which is based in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Canodros will also continue handling reservations for Galapagos Explorer II, as well as sales and marketing through its established network of travel companies and tour operators.

The acquisition will enable the award-winning cruise company chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre to expand the Silversea Expeditions brand. Its existing expedition ship, Silver Explorer, is regularly deployed in the polar regions and the addition of a second vessel, offering year-round unique luxury expedition cruises in the Galapagos archipelago, means Silversea will have the opportunity to offer the adventure traveller a broader portfolio of itineraries, encompassing some of the world's most desired and least explored regions.

The 4077-ton Galapagos Explorer II offers the stylish elegance of a mega-yacht, attentive onboard service and an enriching naturalist education program. All of its 50 spacious suites feature ocean views and 24 include private balconies. Public spaces include a restaurant, piano bar, library and Internet station, main lounge, outdoor bar, two outdoor whirlpools and a marine observation deck.

Guests sailing aboard Galapagos Explorer II will continue to enjoy the same exciting itineraries, luxury accommodations, shipboard amenities, informative lectures and sustainable tourism for which Canodros is known.

Potential guests and travel agents interested in booking a Galapagos Explorer II voyage should visit for more information.

Guests currently booked on Galapagos Explorer II, and travel agents or tour operators with clients booked on the ship, should continue to liaise through their normal channels with Canodros for any needed assistance with their reservation.

In the coming months, Silversea will announce more details concerning plans for the ship after it is renovated and renamed.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Hebridean Island Cruises on the Rhine

Hebridean Island Cruises’ River Programme Sets Sail

Hebridean Island Cruises which operates the small renowned luxury cruise ship Hebridean Princess, embarked on its first ever River Cruise programme on 9 June 2012 on board Hebridean’s Royal Crown.

Making its maiden voyage with Hebridean Island Cruises on the Rhine, guests can expect the same comfort and style synonymous with the five-star Hebridean experience. Replicated in a 1930’s style, key features include 42 Art Deco cabins, glass mosaics and mahogany panelling. Complimented with the excellent service from the dedicated crew, guests will experience an unprecedented level of service and cuisine.
Offering cruises to the Rhine and Danube, Hebridean Island Cruises still has limited availability on 16th June departure, Castles of the Rhine cruise from £2,995 per person. Guests can look forward to visiting the Cologne Cathedral, sampling fine wines in Schloss Johannisberg and discovering the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress.

All Hebridean River Cruises are fully inclusive, including alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks, shore tours, taxes and gratuities, a guest speaker programme and return travel to and from the UK. Accompanied by Hebridean Island Cruises’ experts, Hebridean’s Royal Crown provides the highest degree of comfort and offers a luxurious lounge, a fine dining restaurant, library, sundeck with bar, personal concierge and a choice of suites across three grades; Royal Suites, Premium Suites and Deluxe Suites.  

 ( /01756 704700),

Thursday, 21 June 2012

SeaDream Yacht Club to transit the PANAMA CANAL with New COSTA RICA voyages in 2013

SeaDream Yacht Club has released its 2013 year-end voyage schedule and for the FIRST TIME the luxury, mega-yacht 
SeaDream I will be transiting the Panama Canal to spend several weeks sailing along the “rich coast” of Costa Rica. 
November 9, 2013, SeaDream I will sail from Barbados to Panama City, Panama. The 9-night voyage calls on Isla de Margarita and The Los Roques Islands of Venezuela; Curacao; Cartagena, Columbia; San Blas, Panama including a transit of the Panama Canal; all of which are “firsts” for SeaDream. From Panama,SeaDream I sails to CalderaCosta Rica, making it her home port for six consecutive voyages. The last of these voyages spends New Year’s Eve in vibrant Panama City, Panama.

Voyage-only fares for the 9-night voyage (departing November 9, 2013) lead in at US$5,548 per person including:  Govt fees
and handling charges, accommodation, 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). 

SeaDream has arranged for a highly qualified Naturalist to sail aboard all Costa Rica voyages. This paradise of active volcanoes and beautiful beaches has abundant wildlife including 1,000 butterfly species and 1,200 varieties of orchids. The surfing, hiking, rafting, zip lines and deep sea fishing is among the best in the world.

SeaDream’s itineraries include: 
·         Isla de Coiba, Panama - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Coiba National Park is one of the last places in Central America the Scarlet Macaw lives in large numbers in the wild.
·         Golfito, Costa Rica - Remote and rugged, its home to the beautiful Wilson Botanical Gardens and the natural reserve and wildlife refuge of Piedras Blancas National Park.
·         Drake Bay, Costa Rica - One of the most secluded spots in Costa Rica. Its spectacular lagoons and coves are ideal for scuba and snorkeling; See humpback and killer whales as well as several species of dolphins.
·         Isla del Cano, Costa Rica - An amazing marine reserve with fantastic underwater visibility; See sea turtles, dolphins, stingrays, manta rays, moray eels and more.
·         Quepos, Costa Rica - One of the best places in the world for big game sport fishing. Manuel Antonio National Park is a main attraction along with canopy tours, horseback riding, kayaking, rafting and surfing.
·         Tortuga Islands, Costa Rica - White sand beaches and emerald waters invites absolute tranquility and make it the ideal spot for SeaDream’s Champagne and Caviar Splash™.
·         San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua - A quaint fishing village where thatch-roofed restaurants line the long, sandy beach. Visitors will want to see the nearby Masaya Volcano.
·         Playa el Coco, Costa Rica - Surrounded by steep hills, this horseshoe shaped bay is among the most well-known beaches in the country. offering great surfing & nightlife.
·         Playa Flamingo, Costa Rica - Perhaps Costa Rica’s most upscale beach destination, ideally situated near the Santa Rosa National Park and the Palo Verde natural reserve.
With so much to see and do, SeaDream is offering a 2-night/3-day Pre or Post-Voyage land package which includes accommodation at the Real Intercontinental Hotel, meals (including lunch at the elegant, Villa Caletas Hotel), transfers, guided visits to Poás Volcano National Park, Sarchi Town and a city tour of San Jose with it’s opulent National Theatre and National Museum.
Call free phone 0800 783 1373;

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

An exploration of coastal Greenland aboard the Caledonian Sky
13 nights from £4495
Wildlife Tours/ Natural World Themed TourExplore the Natural World with Noble Caledonia
Join us for this remarkable expedition cruise as we sail from Iceland, across the Denmark Strait to begin a voyage around the fjords and islands of southern Greenland, following in the wake of the great Norse settlers who risked life and limb some 900 years ago when they left the shores of Iceland. Coastal Greenland is marvellous to behold with great towering cliffs, walls of glacial ice, winding fjords, vast ice-sheets and flowing glaciers. It is one of the last great wilderness areas where man has made little difference to the landscape and tourists are still a rarity. For most visitors their first encounter with Greenland is a humbling experience as they witness nature in the raw and look out across a magnificent Arctic world.
Highlights of our cruise will be numerous and we will make good use of our fleet of Zodiacs as we explore small bays and view icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Our exploration of coastal Greenland begins on a high with Prins Christian Sund. Cruising through this region on Zodiacs is an unforgettable experience, the jagged coastline being home to a rich animal kingdom.
Dui Landmark
In addition to the onboard team, Du Landmark will also be joining this voyage. Dui was born in Iceland and studied photography and filmmaking in Paris. He has worked as a guide since 1987 and graduated from the Icelandic guide school in 1993. He speaks fluent English and French and is very knowledgeable on the nature, geology and history of both Iceland and Greenland. He has also worked as a film director and producer since 1994 on numerous TV programmes, documentaries and commercials for both Icelandic and foreign networks. Many of his films focus on birdlife, travel, hunting and fishing. These films are shot on location all around the world with many being shot in Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

To the islands and cities of the Baltic aboard the MS Island Sky

13 nights from £4295
Bordered by diverse kingdoms and republics in a relatively contained area, the Baltic is perfect for exploration by ship. The history of the region is fascinating, with countries vying for commercial and political influence for over a thousand years or more. Summer is the perfect time to explore its historic shores and look back over its colourful past from the Vikings and the Hanseatic era to more modern day events.
If you are contemplating a trip to the Baltic, you may have noticed that there are a number of cruises on offer aboard ships of varying sizes. You can travel with many hundreds or join our party of just 100 aboard the MS Island Sky. You can select a ship with endless entertainment and impersonal service, or join us aboard one of the finest small ships in the world where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. In addition to these benefits of small ship cruising in the Baltic, our comprehensive itinerary has the added advantage of spending three full days in St Petersburg. Most cruises spend one day or perhaps two, but it simply is not possible to see all that this marvellous city and surrounding countryside has to offer in such a short time.
Why Cruise the Baltic with Noble Caledonia?
If you are contemplating a cruise in the Baltic, you have probably come across a number of cruises offering a range of experiences and aboard ships of varying sizes. What makes our cruises aboard MS Island Sky unique is the experience of travelling with just 100 or so like-minded passengers. This means disembarking with ease at each port of call, just a few buses rather than a whole fleet that will be waiting for the big cruise liners, and quality.
Aboard the MS Island Sky there will not be endless entertainment and impersonal service, instead you can enjoy some light music in the bar after dinner and informative briefings and talks by our Cruise Director and Guest Speaker. You will get to know all the onboard staff during your cruise, and by the end you won’t want to leave them. The Island Sky is well-run, peaceful and relaxing and after a day ashore, it is a pleasure to return to your comfortable suite. We prefer to place the importance of our Baltic cruises on the itinerary and experience. This is why, after twenty years of designing Baltic itineraries, we believe we have the most perfectly balanced cruises. Top of our list is an adequate stay in St Petersburg, with two or three full days in this captivating city. In addition we visit a further six or seven nations which border the Baltic, making our cruises the most comprehensive available. Furthermore our long-standing relationship with local agents ensures we have the best tour guides at each port. Our contacts in each port has also meant that for 2012 we have been able to arrange some special opening/closing times on our visits to Catherine’s Palace, Peterhof Palace and the Hermitage in St Petersburg. Quietvox earphones are also available for all shore excursions.
Within our two week itineraries, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive tour of the Baltic with knowledgeable guest speakers onboard to add to your understanding of this fascinating region. If you prefer, listen to the lecture from the comfort of your cabin. However, we know that it is also important to relax and we therefore allow for ample time for you to relax onboard and enjoy the facilities and service of this exquisite ship. One thing is for sure, there are plenty of cruise ships plying the Baltic, but if you prefer a peaceful environment, high degree of comfort, exceptional cuisine and a comprehensive itinerary, the MS Island Sky is the best by far.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Orion 2012 and 2013 Kimberley Expedition voyages:

Donny Woolagoodja, the appointed owner/guardian of the Wandjina rock art in the Raft Point Area of the Kimberley, is the artist responsible for the Wandjina image used at the Sydney Olympics. His direct connection to Wandjina art is inherited, his father having painted the most recent images at Raft Point.    

Now, exclusively, guests on Orion’s 10-night Kimberley Expedition voyages have the opportunity to meet Donny and several other traditional land owners at Raft Point. They will be welcomed ashore with a traditional purification smoking ceremony and enjoy indigenous interaction with the traditional owners and authentic interpretation of the precious Wandjina rock artworks that abound in the area.
Additionally, when Orion arrives, local artists travel to Raft Point to display and sell their artworks, providing a unique opportunity for Orion guests to purchase original pieces directly from the artist, thereby supporting local communities through encouraging a continuation of traditional art skills.
Orion’s Kimberley Expedition voyages include outstanding examples of pre-history Gwion Gwion and Wandjina rock art, landing on remote islands and beaches, exploring vast gorges, climbing to the plateau next to the highest waterfall in the Kimberley, King George Falls, and venturing in Zodiacs into waterways in search of saltwater crocodiles.
Orion’s 10-night Kimberley voyages run from late April to early September alternating between Darwin and Broome, including King George River and Falls, Vansittart Bay, Hunter River (for Mitchell Falls), Montgomery Reef and Raft Point, Talbot Bay/Horizontal Waterfalls, Crocodile Creek and Nares Point.
2012 prices start from £4,915 per person including 10 nights onboard Orion, 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.

2013 prices start from £4,575 per person including 10 nights onboard Orion, 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

Friday, 15 June 2012

Hurtigruten lines up voyages for 2013/14

Fancy sailing around the British Isles from Greenwich onboard a Hurtigruten ship? Or spending Christmas Day on South Georgia with the penguins and celebrating 100 years to the day since the Whalers Church was consecrated? All this and much more is now possible with Hurtigruten, whose latest programme of ‘Explorer’ voyages in Spitsbergen, Greenland, Antarctica and Europe features new itineraries, additional departure dates due to the ever increasing demand to visit some of the most remote places in the world.

New itineraries include:

This Christmas voyage will have an extended stay in South Georgia including Christmas Day, which in 2013 marks 100 years since the Whalers Church was consecrated in Grytviken, the islands main town on 25.12.1913. This church was pre-built in separate parts in Norway and bought to South Georgia. This epic journey to Antarctica is via the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and South Orkneys. Departing on 19 December, this 17-day itinerary costs from £6049pp including the voyage on a full board basis, flights between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia and transfers in Ushuaia. Based on two sharing.

EUROPE:  HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS – Norwegian Fjords and Scotland – from £1724pp

This brand new itinerary travels from Bergen to Greenwich with many stops along the way. Before leaving Norway the ship will explore Hardangerfjord and Sognefjord then cross the North Sea to Lerwick on the Shetland Islands and the northernmost town in Scotland. Then it’s on to Kirkwall on the Orkneys Islands before heading south to Greenwich with stops at Leith (Edinburgh) and Newcastle. This 10-day itinerary departs on 22 April 2013 and costs from £1724pp including full board. Based on two sharing.

- WESTERN EUROPE – BRITISH ISLES EXPLORER – offered for the first time, this itinerary that starts from Greenwich takes in some of the very best of the UK. After sailing down the Thames the ship visits Portsmouth and then the Isles of Scilly with its miles of white sandy beaches. Cobh and Dublin are called at in Ireland before heading to Douglas on the Isle of Man, Iona and Staffa in the Hebrides, Portree on the Isle of Skye, Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands, Leith (Edinburgh) and finally across the North Sea to Hamburg. This 12-day itinerary costs from £2498pp including full board. Based on two sharing.

- SOUTHERN EUROPE – EASTER VOYAGE – this Easter, MS Fram will sail from Las Palmas on Gran Canaria to Lisbon in Portugal. It will visit Lanzarote on Good Friday, Agadir on Easter Saturday and Casablanca on Easter Sunday before heading off to Gibraltar, Portimao and finally Lisbon. Departing on 28 March 2013, this week-long trip costs from £832pp including full board. Based on two sharing.

GREENLAND  - An additional departure date has been added for the ‘Southern Fjords and Disko Bay – Glaciers and Ice’ itinerary that departs Reykjavik and travels the southwest tip of Greenland. The trip is now available on 31 May and 7 July 2013 and costs from £ 3662pp including the voyage on a FB basis and flights between Copenhagen and kangerlussuaq or vice versa.

SPITSBERGEN  - Due to its popularity, an additional departure has been added for the Spitsbergen Circumnavigation itinerary – ‘In the realm of the Polar Bear’ which offers the chance to travel the entire archipelago. Three nine-day trips are now available departing 14, 21 and 28 August 2013 with prices from £3117pp including full board. Based on two sharing.

For more information call Hurtigruten – 0844 448 7601

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sea Voyager Expeditions – 25% to 35% savings

Single Travellers Pay No Supplements When Booked by October 31
Travellers looking for a true adventure experience amongst four of the world’s most fauna- and wildlife-rich countries -Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador - are being offered a special incentive from Sea Voyager Expeditions – 25% to 35% savings on almost all of the September-December, 2012 departures. A 2012 Special Edition brochure, available on the company’s website, details the itineraries. The discounted fares on the 13 eight-, 11- and 12-night sailings range from $2,460 to $5,588 per person, double (normally $3,785 to $8,950) while unaccompanied single guests booking a single cabin pay $3,785 to $5,195 (vs. $6,415 to $8,950). Booking deadlines for special pricing is day of voyage; offers are based on availability.
The new cruise line sets itself apart from competitors by focusing attention on these underexplored regions and their untouched wilderness, rarely-visited small villages and Indigenous peoples. All four of the specially priced itineraries transit the Panama Canal - truly a unique experience from the perspective of a small ship. Included are all meals, pre-post hotels, shore tours, admission to museums and parks, tax and port fees, and transfers when the SVE air program is used.
Itineraries with savings are the 12-night Pacific Wilds of Ecuador, Colombia & Panama and its similar reverse sailing, Last Frontier of Panama Colombia & Panama visiting Colombia’s Malaga Bay and Gorgona Island NP and hike Panama’s Darien Jungle and Ecuador’s Cayapas-Mataje Ecological Reserve – and specially priced at $3,672 to $6,712; eight-night Unspoiled Pacific of Panama & Costa Rica where highlights include Las Perlas Islands, Coiba Island – the world’s 3rd largest marine park, and Osa Peninsula - named by National Geographic as ‘the most biologically intense place on Earth- - $2,567 to $4,762; and the eight-night Treasures of Costa Rica & Panama where guests explore the Secas Islands with hikes, by Zodiac and kayak, and snorkel the secluded bays, Marenco Biological Reserve with its monkeys, toucans, parrots, manta rays, dolphins and other exotic wildlife, and Panama’s Darien Jungle with a visit to the local Emberá village - $2,567 to $4,762.
Accompanied by experienced naturalists and guides, guests participate as much or as little as they wish – hiking the near-virgin forest trails one day, relaxing in the warm waters of a secluded beach or kayaking the calm waters of a hidden bay the next. Naturalists span the sciences - birds, marine mammals, plants, history/culture, etc. - sharing their love and knowledge of the region’s tremendous offerings, while the friendly international crew ensures the onboard comfort and needs of the guests are met. Meals are prepared by talented chefs making use of local ingredients, freshly caught seafood and, of course, locally grown coffee.
Led by former executive director of International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and eco-tourism expert Denise Landau, Sea Voyager Expeditions offers true adventure cruises vs. the more commonly known soft-adventure sailings – where guides lead passengers along well-worn paths, amid groups of others visitors while pointing out the local animals and sights. “We have chosen to specialize in this region and share its spectacular diversity as exploration from the sea floor to the rainforest canopy is possible,” states Denise Landau, CEO and president. “Our itineraries are as varied as the noisy monkeys, the myriad of colorful butterflies, and the thousands of species of birds unique and endemic to this region.”
The M/V Sea Voyager is a versatile expedition ship designed for the tropics. Its 60-passenger capacity allows for easy on/off access, a more personal experience, and close to nature feel. All staterooms are air-conditioned with outside views through panoramic windows, ample storage, and private bath. The ship has a roomy lounge with large windows, bar, fitness room, library with WiFi, massage room, dining room with 2-12 guests per table, buffet, deck space, fore, aft and covered decks, and a platform for getting on/off Zodiacs, kayaks, swimming and snorkeling.
The Sea Voyager Expeditions team is comprised of cruise industry professionals, many with more than 25 years of expedition travel experience. The company is committed to becoming the leader in tropical expeditions and preserving their unique destinations.
For further information visit