Sunday, 30 September 2012

Explore the Enchanting East with Swan Hellenic

Join Swan Hellenic’s (visit or call 0844 822 0679) Minerva on a 15-day Passage to Oman cruise.
Highlights include ancient Egyptian temples on the banks of the River Nile and French colonial architecture in Djibouti (Djibouti). Guests can delve into the maze of souks in Muscat (Oman) - a treasure trove of silver and gold, coffee pots, frankincense and textiles. From the port town of Khasab (Oman) visit traditional Bedouin villages before travelling onto the diverse city of Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and the historic Bastakiya district.
The Passage to Oman cruise starts from £1,705 per person (based on two people sharing an inside cabin). The cruise departs from Safaga (Egypt) – overnight and calls at Djibouti (Djibouti), Salalah (Oman), Muscat (Oman) – overnight, Khasab (Oman) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates) – overnight. Price is based on 21 November 2012 departure.
Price of cruise includes return flights from the UK, transfers, a tailor-made programme of shore excursions, talks by eminent Guest Speakers, meals and entertainment on board, all gratuities and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.
For more information and to book visit or call 0844 822 0679. 

Friday, 28 September 2012


One Ocean Expeditions has developed a new marine mammals itinerary for this coming season that offers a unique opportunity to join an Antarctic expedition to study humpback, Minke and killer whales.

The 10-day trip, embarking in Ushuaia on the 16 March 2013, will be accompanied by Dr Ari Friedlaender, a Research Scientist at Duke University, who has been to the Antarctic nearly 20 times on scientific voyages and whose work focuses on the feeding behaviour and movement patterns of marine mammals around the world.

Ari, who is actively studying how climate change and global warming are affecting whales and other krill predators, is currently leading a project to track the long-term movement patterns of humpback whales around the Antarctic Peninsula to understand how they are being affected by changes to their environment.
Humpback whales are the most abundant whales around the Peninsula and there is growing evidence that while many migrate to tropical breeding grounds some remain in ice-free areas for longer periods due to warming climates. We will survey several bays that are the focus of long-term research projects to determine how the abundance of humpbacks changes throughout the course of the Antarctic summer.

Participants will learn how to record whale numbers, help to conduct photo surveys, determine movement patterns and identify individual animals. They will also locate and document behaviour of whales that have previously been fitted with satellite tracking devices.

Els Vermeulen, international marine consultant and founder of the Marybio Foundation, which aims to contribute to the conservation of marine mammals in Argentine Patagonia, will also join the voyage. Els is scientific advisor to the Belgian delegation in the International Whaling Commission, and is the perfect companion to have on board during this special interest expedition.  Photo Marius Coetzee. 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Star Clipper Taster Cruises

To enable guests to try out the tall ship experience in the Baltic, more ‘taster’ cruises have been added, with four-night break breaks from Amsterdam to Hamburg in May and Hamburg to Ostend in August. There are also two opportunities to join the famous sailing parades of Germany’s Hanseatic League ports; a three-night stay in Hamburg, and an eight-night round-trip from Travemunde, during which Star Flyer participates in the Rostock Sailing Parade, a magnificent procession of tall ships from all over the world.

Because Star Flyer is much smaller than conventional cruise ships, itineraries include charming, out-of-the-way ports like Karlskrona and Sandhamm in Sweden, where big ships will never go, creating a real feeling of immersion in the destination.

A three-night experience of the Hamburg Sailing Parade on Star Flyer starts from £690, including port charges, cruise only, departing May 9, 2013.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hurtigruten is offering savings of more than £1,400pp

Hurtigruten is offering savings of more than £1,400pp for a very special departure to Antarctica this January. Follow in the footsteps of polar explorer James Weddell, the first man to reach 74 degrees south, on the aptly named ‘Weddell Sea Expedition’. This amazing 13-day voyage around the spectacular Antarctic Peninsular departs on 20 January 2012 with prices leading in at just £4,285pp, based on two sharing an unspecified inside cabin allocated on arrival, and full board on the ship.
Captain James Weddell discovered the Weddell Sea in 1823 and it was also here that Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, became icebound and was crushed in 1915.
Guests will sail in comfort on board MS Fram, Hurtigruten’s newest ship built specifically to sail through polar waters. The voyage promises unforgettable viewings of tabular icebergs as MS Fram makes her way through the Antarctic Sound, and guests can get closer to the fascinating penguin colonies and ice formations on shore in a series oflandings by Polarcirkel boats.
The Weddell Sea Expedition – from £4,285pp (Was £5,695pp) – Departing on 20 January 2013, this spectacular 13-day voyage offers a real insight into the planet’s last untouched continent. Prices start from £4285pp (was £5695pp) for an unspecified cabin, which will be allocated on arrival, and include full board on the ship, flights between Ushuaia and Buenos Aires, transfers in Ushuaia, an excursion to Ushuaia National Park, landings in Polarcirkel boats and lectures by the expedition team. Based on two sharing. International flights are extra and can be added from £1392pp.
For more information call Hurtigruten – 0844 448 7601

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Hello! I'm away for a couple of days but will be back on Wednesday 26th of September.  All posts will be on until then.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Hebridean Island Cruises joins forces with The Royal Scotsman

Small luxury cruise line, Hebridean Island Cruises ( 01756704704), has teamed up with the iconic Royal Scotsman Train for the first time to offer guests the ultimate tour of Scotland.
New for 2013, the choice of three or four night pre-cruise packages on board The Royal Scotsman takes guests deep into the heart of the Highlands and offers the chance to discover famous sights and landscapes. The pre-cruise rail journeys all end with a chauffeur service to Oban for a one night dinner, bed and breakfast at the five star Isle of Eriska Hotel before guests board the Hebridean Princess at the start of their cruise.
Highlights of the 2013 packages include:

· The five night A Taste of the Outer Isles cruise costs from £8,465 per person (based on two people sharing a cabin), including The Classic Journey – an additional a four-nights on board The Royal Scotsman. Guests will visit the romantic Ballindalloch Castle, stroll through the stunning Rothiemurchus Estate, enjoy a whisky tasting at Glen Ord Distillery and discover Glamis Castle.

· The seven night Hebridean Autumn cruise costs from £8,025 per person (based on two people sharing a cabin), including The Western Journey – an additional three nights on board The Royal Scotsman. Highlights of the package include a visit to the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, breath-taking views from the majestic West Highland Line, strolling on the Morar Sands and a visit to Mount Stuart House.

Prices for all cruises include transport to and from the ship, meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, shore excursions and gratuities and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. All 2013 Hebridean Island Cruises bookings also come with the added benefit of free single trip travel insurance. Terms and conditions apply – see website or brochure for details.

The pre-cruise package, Western Journey, is also available for guests booking on The Outer Islands and St. Kilda and West to Lewis and Harris itineraries.
For more information and to book visit or call 01756 704 704. Guests who have already reserved cabins on the above cruises may also add the pre-cruise extension package by contacting Hebridean Island Cruises.

More information about the Royal Scotsman train can be found at

Friday, 21 September 2012


Protecting the fragile environments they sail in is of paramount importance to Hurtigruten. Its philosophy of ‘take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints’ is one supported by the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) who will increase their number of guidelines for specific sites in Spitsbergen from 9 to 21 for 2013. They aim to ensure the continued protection of this vulnerable destination and to ensure guests can continue to enjoy visiting it in years to come.

This year, AECO extended its site inspection expedition and took a team of specialist team including biologists, an archaeologist, a botanist and other tourism experts to the East Svalbard Nature Reserves. The work of the scientific team was to conduct biological, cultural heritage and botanical observations in order to derive practical guidelines for environmentally friendly field landings that AECO members are required to follow. This includes areas where Hurtigruten sails during its circumnavigation of Spitsbergen itinerary. This project isfunded by the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund, a fund that all visitors, including Hurtigruten guests, contribute into via a fee incorporated into their airfares.

Hurtigruten offers three itineraries in Spitsbergen on various dates in July and August 2013.
In the Realm of the Polar Bear – From £3896pp – This nine-day ‘In the Realm of the Polar Bear’ voyage offers a complete circumnavigation of Spitsbergen. Prices start from £3896pp and include seven-nights full board on MS Fram, a night pre-voyage in Longyearbyen including breakfast and lunch, a city tour of Longyearbyen, landings and lectures by expedition team. Based on two sharing.
Flights from London to Longyearbyen via Oslo are extra and a package including flights, taxes and transfers, costs from £792pp. Departs 14, 21 and 28 August 2013. HURTIGRUTEN – 0844 448 7601
For more information call Hurtigruten – 0844 448 7601

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Exclusive Voyage Up for Grabs at Telegraph CRUISE Show

Visitors to the Telegraph CRUISE Show at the NEC in Birmingham (20th-21st October) should   steer a course to the St Helena Line stand to be in with a chance of winning a magical voyage aboard one of the world's last working royal mail ships, to one of the most remote, inhabited islands on Earth.
As well as gaining a glimpse into the fascinating history of the RMS St Helena, visitors to the stand (E28) can enter a prize draw to win a holiday for two to the magical island of St Helena aboard this glorious 155-berth passenger vessel. The prize is worth £7,000.
The Royal Mail Ship St Helena was built in 1989 specifically to supply the island of St Helena, a British Overseas Territory which is located deep in the South Atlantic. Having recently undergone an extensive refit, the ship offers passengers an ocean voyage adventure in comfort and style. From excellent cuisine and attentive crew to traditional ocean-going pastimes, passengers are assured of a unique and memorable experience.
The RMS St Helena regularly journeys between the ports of St Helena, Ascension Island and Cape Town. Lying over 4,000 miles from the UK and 1,700 miles off the coast of South Africa and accessed only by sea, the island of St Helena is an unspoilt gem offering visitors a rich heritage and breathtaking natural beauty. This exclusive holiday prize affords a rare opportunity to arrive at this remote idyll before the ship is withdrawn from service in 2016.
About the Competition
The prize consists of a holiday for two to St Helena includes an economy airfare between London and Cape Town, a 10 day sea passage in an A deck grade cabin including all meals on board the RMS St Helena and eight nights' accommodation in St Helena. The hotel accommodation includes bed and breakfast. All applicable taxes will be paid.
The prize does not include meals other than stated in St Helena, accommodation in Cape Town or any applicable visa charges.
Entrants will need to visit the St Helena Line stand at the Telegraph CRUISE Show in either Birmingham or London and complete an entry form.
They must answer two questions about St Helena and the RMS St Helena. All entries will be placed into a draw to be held in May 2013, when the winner will be announced. Full terms and conditions are available by visiting
For more information on RMS St Helena, plus a full list of scheduled tours and special offers, visit
For more information on St Helena visit

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Yoga on Indian Shores

Embrace Indian culture and master the art of Yoga on board Swan Hellenic’s ( /0844 822 0679) Colours of India cruise, from £1,915 per person.
Passengers can embark on a journey of spiritual discovery, encountering Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist cultures, as well as learning the traditional Indian method of mind and body relaxation - Hatha yoga – with the help of on board teacher, Mary Dalby.
Each day at sea begins with the opportunity to practise awakening stretches in the warm fresh air, followed by the chance to learn sequences of yoga postures later in the day.
Culture enthusiasts will also have the opportunity to visit the birthplace of Gandhi in Porbandar and experience the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, as well as visiting a typical Indian village and colourful Indian temples in Tuticorin.
The 15-day Colours of India itinerary departs from Dubai (UAE)-overnight, Khasab (Oman), Porbandar (India), Mumbai (India)-overnight, Mangalore (India), Kochi (India), Tuticorin (India) and Colombo (Sri Lanka) –overnight. Price is based on a 5 December 2012 UK departure.
Price includes return UK flights, transfers, a tailor-made programme of shore excursions, talks by eminent Guest Speakers, meals and entertainment on board, all gratuities and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.
For more information and to book visit or call 0844 822 0679. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Inner Sea Discoveries

 InnerSea Discoveries happily announces its UNcontrollable excitement at winning two Magellan awards from Travel Weekly. The Un-Cruise line won a gold award for a promotional video created for its Active Adventures in Alaska and a silver award for its small ship expedition vessels.
“We appreciate the recognition offered by these two awards,” said Tim Jacox, executive vice president of sales and marketing. “The past two years have been a period of exciting, successful growth and hard work for us, and we are very happy to be where we are today with a variety of Un-Cruise styles in different destinations.”
The gold winning video details Active Adventures aboard expedition vessels in Southeast Alaska. Filmed by a two-person video crew in summer 2011, it was completed in November 2011 and runs just over 13 minutes for an in-depth look inside an Un-Cruise Adventure.
A silver award recognizes InnerSea Discoveries’ expedition vessels as top small ships (under 500 passengers) combined with its unique style of Un-Cruise Adventures in Alaska.
InnerSea Discoveries’ three expedition vessels—Wilderness Discoverer, Wilderness Adventurer, Wilderness Explorer—carry 60-76 guests and offer Active Adventures in Southeast Alaska. Un-Cruise Adventures specialize in up close explorations of nature and wildlife in remote wilderness areas. Kayaking, trekking, stand-up paddle boarding, skiff explorations and whale watching are top activities. In November 2013, the Wilderness Explorer begins sailing in the Hawaiian Islands.
Other styles of Un-Cruise Adventures include Luxury Adventures and Heritage Adventures. Within the upscale American Safari Cruises brand are four yachts carrying 22-88 guests. The yachts cruise in Southeast Alaska, the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia and Snake Rivers, and Coastal Washington/British Columbia.
The Travel Weekly Magellan Awards honors the best in travel each year. Travel providers apply for awards in various categories and a panel of judges comprised of top travel industry professionals picks award winners. The 2012 winners have been announced online here.
Yachts and expedition vessels can be booked as a private charter or by individual stateroom. To book an Un-Cruise Adventure or to request additional information, contact InnerSea Discoveries at 888-862-8881 or email The new brochure is online, or please call to request a copy.

Monday, 17 September 2012

 Adventure and fables go hand in hand on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s newest itinerary for 2013, The Fabled Lands of the North: Greenland, Baffin Island, Newfoundland & Labrador. Set for departure on August 24, 2013 aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer, the 15-day itinerary will navigate from western Greenland’s fjords and the ice floes of Baffin Island to the historic fishing villages of the Canadian Maritimes.
The adventure will begin in the High Arctic with towering icebergs and massive glaciers, and a watch for polar bears, whales and walruses in their natural habitat. The journey will trace the historic coast of Labrador, where missionaries, fishermen, and whalers settled amid the Inuit, and a thriving community of artisans still remains. Guests will explore historic whaling towns, visit past and present Inuit villages, and follow in the footsteps of the Vikings in an ancient Norse settlement.
Expedition highlights include:
· Travel with former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, Canada’s first and only female Prime Minister, who will introduce guests to her country;
· Zodiac cruise among soaring sculptures of ice at the breathtaking Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site;
· Wander the ruins of the Viking village of L’Anse aux Meadows, established in 1000 and discovered in 1960;
· Meet Inuit artisans and learn about their carving and weaving tradition;
· Hike, kayak and Zodiac cruise amid beautiful scenery and observe the wildlife of the far north;
· Hike along a riverside trail with wonderful views of Autyuittuaq National Park, “the land that never melts;”
· View thousands of seabirds and marine mammals on the stark Button Islands;
· Travel with the best ice team on earth - outstanding naturalists, marine biologists, an undersea specialist, a National Geographic Photographer and a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor.
Rates begin at $13,470 per person based on double occupancy in a Category 1 cabin. Book by December 31, 2012 to receive complimentary charter airfare from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq (a value of $1,200 per person). Offer valid on new bookings only, and cannot be combined with other offers.
For more information or to book your Lindblad Expeditions experience today, visit, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1800-397-3348) or call your travel agent.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Discounted Arctic and Antarctic trips

G Adventures is offering discounts on exciting polar experiences onboard its expedition cruise ship MS Expedition, to coincide with National Cruise Week starting on September 15, 2012.
The discounts are on selected departures* on MS Expedition’s Arctic and Antarctic cruises, with 15% off trips in the Arctic in 2013 and up to 20% off trips in the Antarctic in 2012 and 2013, when booked before September 30.
“An expedition voyage to one of the polar regions is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people, so we’re supporting National Cruise Week by making it that little bit more accessible,” says Michael Edwards, managing director, G Adventures EMEA.
“MS Expedition is the ‘best in class’ vessel in the polar regions and already an affordable option for experienced cruisers, wildlife lovers and people looking for adventure. These discounts provide customers with even better value for money.”
Example trips include:
  • Realm of the Polar Bear – Save 15% on an 8-day cruise from Longyearbyen return including zodiac excursions and a qualified expedition team was priced from £3,187pp, now from £2,709pp based on two people sharing a category 3 cabin and departing in 2013. Saving up to £478pp.
  • Antarctica Classic in Depth – A 13-day trip from Ushuaia return traversing the Drake Passage and travelling to the Shetland Islands, including zodiac excursions and a qualified expedition team was priced from £4,729pp and now priced from £3,783pp based on two people sharing a category 3 cabin and departing on November 7 or 18, 2012. Saving up to £946pp.
Trips should be booked between September 10 and September 30, 2012 and customers should use promo codes NCW12ARCTIC15 for 2013 Arctic voyages, NCW12ANTARCTICA20 for trips in the Antarctic in 2012 and NCW12ANTARCTICA15 for 2013.
For more information please call 0844 272 2040 or visit
* Terms and conditions apply as follows:
15% off Cats 3-5 for all 2013 departures of Norwegian Fjords and Polar Bears (XVNFNX), Realm of the Polar Bear (XVRPNX) and Realm of the Polar Bear in Depth (XVRDNX). Valid for new bookings only and must be booked between September 10, 2012 and September 30, 2012 for travel in 2013. Promo cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion or discount. Does not apply to international airfare, pre/post accommodations, 'My Own Room', insurance, visas, optional extras such as kayaking or any other in-country expenses or on-board ship charges. G Adventures reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time. Please quote promo code NCW12ARCTIC15 to receive the applicable discount.
20% off Cats 3-5 for November 7 and 18 departures of Antarctica Classic in Depth (XVAESX). Valid for new bookings only and must be booked between September 10, 2012 and September 30, 2012 for travel in 2012. Promo cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion or discount. Does not apply to international airfare, pre/post accommodations, 'My Own Room', insurance, visas, optional extras such as kayaking or any other in-country expenses or on-board ship charges. G Adventures reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time. Please quote promo code NCW12ANTARCTICA20 to receive the applicable discount.
15% off Cats 3-5 for SELECT 2013-2014 departures to Antarctica. The discount is valid for the November 6, 2013 and November 17, 2013 departures of Antarctica Classic in Depth (XVAESX) and the November 28, 2013, February 7, 2014 and February 16, 2014 departures of Antarctica Classic (XVCASX). Valid for new bookings only and must be booked between by September 30, 2012. Promo cannot be combined with any other offer, promotion or discount. Does not apply to international airfare, pre/post accommodations, 'My Own Room', insurance, visas, optional extras such as kayaking or camping or any other in-country expenses or on-board ship charges. G Adventures reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time. Please quote promo code NCW12ANTARCTICA15 to receive the applicable discount.
** Please note prices do not include flights.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Zambezi Queen is Green

Creating a unique travel option in the Chobe, one of Africa's finest national parks stretching across 11, 000 km² of lush African bush was the inspiration behind the eco-friendly Zambezi Queen River Boat, part of the renowned Mantis Collection.

For owner and designer of the Zambezi Queen, Tony Stern, choosing an environmentally-conscious travel option was paramount. "It is important that in this day of relatively cheap travel, especially to eco sensitive destinations, that travellers are made aware of the negative impact they can create on some of the most remote areas that have not yet been affected with by man."

Guests tend to enjoy their experience even more in the knowledge that they are not leaving a heavy footprint after their visit. Being aware of the impact people have during their travels is in the forefront of the travelling community's mind nowadays.

While Stern succeeded in realising his dream of the green Queen, the process was not without difficulties. A lack of basic services, including roads and electricity made work a challenge. Finding suitable labour was also an issue as local skilled labour was not in abundance.

But the time and effort were all worth it for Stern, saying; "Very few travel experiences compare with the Zambezi Queen. We are located on a glorious river where four countries, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe meet. The bonus of all of this is some of the best game viewing in Africa."
Something that guests often remark on is the delightful contrast of being in a remote African destination and viewing all this raw beauty in sophisticated 5 Star luxury.

The Chobe is home to the largest elephant population in the world, currently estimated to be around 120,000. Elephants by the dozen often come down to the river to drink, and to play. Prides of lion, leopard, huge herds of buffalo and numerous species of antelope also wander the riverbanks, and hippos and crocodiles regularly appear from the water. And all of this can be enjoyed with a drink in hand sitting in a comfortable chair.

For Stern, summing up life on the Zambezi Queen is simple, succinct and enticing; "It is an absolutely unique experience."
For more information, or to make a booking for the Zambezi Queen, please visit the website on or contact them by email on or alternatively by telephone on +27 21 438 0032.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Antarctica and North West Passage with Champagne

Compagnie du Ponant, the luxury French yacht cruise operator has launched a special VIP offer for National Cruise Week 15 – 23 September 2012. The luxury cruise operator will be offering a special VIP ‘Welcome Aboard’ to all guests booking during National Cruise Week – so why not add a touch of extra-luxury to your cruise!
The offer will include a bottle of Champagne placed in the cabin upon arrival and a personal welcome note from the Captain, and will be valid for travel until 30 September 2013. Quote VIP NCW on the phone to benefit from the offer*.
Compagnie du Ponant, the specialist in soft expeditions and great journeys around the world, has run Antarctic cruises for years and is currently developing a new Arctic itinerary cruising through the North-West Passage for its brand new ship Le Soléal launching in July 2013. With many themed-cruises; from music, golf, and gourmet cruises taking place throughout the year, the luxury cruise line offers guests a unique product with world-famous French savoir-faire.
This is the first time Compagnie du Ponant is to take part in the National Cruise Week campaign since becoming a member of Discover Cruises and Passenger Shipping Association, in August 2012.
For more information, please visit or call 0800 980 4027 to book your next cruise.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Alsace, Italy and Scottish Highlands with European Waterways

Harvesting the Beauty of Alsace
This Fall, European Waterways’ 12-passenger Panache is cruising through the historic French region of Alsace. Bordering Germany, the region features a combination of both French and German cultures, and boasts a classic landscape of rolling vineyards and winding waterways.  Its medieval villages and historic citadels are tucked away between the Vosges Mountains on the west and the River Rhine to the east.  During a characteristically long and warm Autumn, the region’s half-timbered houses are set against an auburn countryside, complete with ripe rows of grapes just waiting to be picked and processed into wine.  
Excellent seasonal specials on Panache include £1,000 off per cabin, based on double occupancy, for last-minute travelers on September 16th, as well as for departures on Oct. 7 and October 14.  Families or groups looking to book the whole boat can get 25 % off for departures on October 21. 

The Scottish Highlands
The magnificent Scottish Highlands are arguably the quintessential trademark of Scotland.  Featuring the Grampian Mountains and Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis, they are populated with medieval castles, country farm towns, and vast lakes. 

Passengers on European Waterways’ luxury barge, The Scottish Highlander, will be in “high” spirits this fall, spending long, peaceful days cruising the Caledonian Canal. 

Guests will take in the view on a gondola trip up Britain’s eighth highest mountain, Aonach Mor. Scottish history will be explored at the famous medieval Eilean Donan Castle featured in the movie Highlander; and at Cawdor Castle, the setting of Shakespeare’s’ Macbeth.  And for some onboard entertainment, a Scottish piper will serenade passengers one evening and Captain Dan Clark will play Scottish tunes on his accordion at the farewell dinner. 

Specials on The Scottish Highlander this Fall include £1,000 off per cabin, based on double occupancy, for departures on September 23 and October 14; and 25 % off the full charter price for departures on October 7 and 21. 

Say “Ciao” to La Bella Vita
Cruising slowly down the canals of northern Italy, one is truly living “La Bella Vita.” It means “the beautiful life” in Italian, and it is also the namesake of European Waterways’ stylish 20-passenger vessel that cruises the region.  Traveling between Mantua in north central Italy and the coastal city of Venice, La Bella Vita cruises through the Po Valley and the Veneto on the canals and rivers of an ancient Roman trade route.  It visits towns such as Ferrara, which boasts of Medieval and Renaissance architecture, cobblestone streets, and the aroma of delicious local cuisine – where life in the moment really couldn’t be more “Bella.” 

La Bella Vita’s varied itinerary spans the gardens and wine cellars of the 17th century Villa Widmann-Borletti, to the colorful beach towns of the lagoon islands.  Guests will tour Venice, the ancient city built on water, and the small fishing port town of Chioggia, featuring a colorful fresh fish market, among other excursions. 

European Waterways is offering £1,000 off per cabin, based on double occupancy, for departures on September 30 on La Bella Vita. It is also offering £2,500 off the whole boat charter for departures on October 14, 21 and 28.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

An exploration of Peru and Brazil including a seven night cruise along the Amazon with Noble Caledonia on Seadream II. Fourteen nights from £7,595

Experience the wonders of Peru, on this amazing journey of discovery. Fly to the capital, Lima and enjoy the stunning sights of Cusco and Machu Picchu before your cruise. Then fly to Iquitos where the luxurious SeaDream II awaits, combining both expedition and luxury style cruising with the very best service on offer.

 It would be hard to find a more diverse country than Peru. It is a land of 28 million people, many speaking Spanish, many also speaking the native language of Quechua. The mix of cultures has created a unique and diverse mix of cuisine, music, art and folk traditions. The luxurious and comprehensive programme takes you to the bustling, modern capital of Lima, along the majestic Amazon River, surrounded by walls of green and not forgetting Cuzco and the towering Inca ruins of Machu Picchu from the great Inca Empire, the largest state in pre-Columbian America.

There are great benefits to travelling to the Amazon at this time of year. Perhaps most important, the Amazon Basin’s rivers and streams are about 23 feet higher than they are during the low water season, meaning that every river, creek and lake is navigable. You are able to explore on your excursions by skiff, more of the waterways of Amazonia and will have access to areas with more plant life and wildlife than would be possible during the low water season. The flooded waterways put travellers much closer to the jungle canopy, where monkeys play and beautiful birds roost.

SeaDream II is very different from big ship cruising. With only 112 guests and an award-winning crew of 95, the level of attention and service makes cruising aboard SeaDream II feel as if you are on your own private yacht. Be as active or as relaxed as you like and take in the ultimate in luxury, privacy and pampering.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Save up to 30% with a Last Minute Autumn Cruise

Luxury cruise line Hebridean Island Cruises ( / 01756 704 704) is offering up to 30% off last minute bookings for autumn 2012.
Guests can save up to £1,720 per person on cruises departing between 2 October and 6 November 2012
Itineraries available include:
· The Small Isles and Skye: a seven night cruise from £3,410 per person – a saving of £1,140 per person. Cruise departs from Oban (Scotland) and calls at Eigg and Canna, Skye, Uig and Portree, Plockton, Inverie, Rum and Muck and finishes in Oban. Price is based on a 9 October 2012 departure
· Gems of The Inner Isles: a seven night cruise from £2,750 per person – a saving of up to £1,190 per person. Cruise departs from Oban and calls at Rum, Shieldaig, Portree, Inverie, Eigg and Glenmore, Tobermory and Craignure before calling back at Oban. Price is based on a 16 October 2012 departure
· Lochs And Isles: a seven night cruise from £2,295 per person – a saving of £765 per person. Cruise departs from Oban (Scotland) and calls at Rum and Eigg, Inverie, Plockon, Kerrera, Lismore, Fort William and Ballachulish, before finishing in Oban. Price is based on a 30 October 2012 departure
Prices for all cruises include transfers between Glasgow and the ship or free car parking in Oban, 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.

Monday, 10 September 2012

From Alaska to New Guinea with Adventure Smith

Visit Off-the-Radar Villages
From Alaska to New Guinea

The active travel company securing matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small expedition ships, AdventureSmith Explorations, allows guests to experience indigenous cultures with off-ship visits to remote villages from Alaska to New Guinea.

“Our small ships designed for as few as eight passengers can navigate channels and harbors that larger vessels can’t. This means that we can offer authentic cultural exchanges in villages and markets where few outsiders ever visit,” said Todd Smith, founder.

For example, an exploration of the lost paradise of Papua, New Guinea, is reminiscent of James A. Michener’s Adventures in Paradise. Diversity (think 800 languages) abounds during a welcome ceremony that greets travelers landing in the Tami Islands with traditional Trobriand dances and drumming. Explore the village for intricate carvings and craftwork including carved walking sticks, small stools and exquisitely crafted bowls. With no roads, phones, electricity or luxuries the open and happy outlook of the villagers is inspiring. A dragon dance welcomes guests at Watam Village along the Sepik River where woven baskets and exceptional Sepik artifacts and unique carvings are among the take-home treasures. A 12-day cruise on the 100-passenger Orion is from $8,095 per person, double. See:

Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage, guests visit in addition to Glacier Bay National Park, the village of Kasaan with a population of just 65. It is a main historical community of the Kaigani Haida and home to the only remaining Haida clan house in Alaska. Here in a newly erected carving hut young carvers practice their skills alongside a whale house and totem park. If this journey on the 42-passenger Alaska Dream is booked for a 2013 sailing by Oct. 31, 2012, clients will save 20 percent per person. A 9-day journey starts at $3,749 per person, double. See:

Panama’s Embera Indians are a proud people who have maintained both lifestyle and traditions as they were before the Spaniards colonized the region 600 years ago. They are master crafters of cocobolo wood carvings and basketry. After motoring up river, guests see their village emerging, as if by magic, from the jungle. They witness how sugar cane is squeezed and grains are milled by hand, perhaps purchasing weavings and baskets. A seven-day catamaran cruise on the 24-person Discovery is from $3,450 per person, double. Guests who pay in full 180 days before sailing receive an early booking discount of $250 per person. See:

The people of Peru’s Amazon rainforest where they have lived for thousands of years depend on an intimate relationship with the natural environment for survival. From the moment the cruise begins guests see people living along the river: a dugout canoe full of piranha, a gathering of huts on a high riverbank and boats full of goods to sell and trade along the waterways. Interaction with villagers who live within the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve helps them to develop and promote a balance between their needs and those of the wildlife with which they share habitat and ecosystems. In Puerto Miguel villagers bring their handicrafts aboard the ship for sale and barter. Cruises of four or five days are from $3,200 per person double aboard the four-suite Delfin I. See:

About AdventureSmith Explorations:
AdventureSmith Explorations is the global leader in small ship, adventure cruise vacations. Company founder Todd Smith helped pioneer the concept of wilderness cruising that combines the comforts of a small cruise ship with the adventure of sea kayaking, hiking and exploring remote wilderness areas ashore. The company matches guests with the top names in small ship cruising as well with intimate, boutique ships that may not make the radar of most travelers.

In moving through exotic natural environments and exploring vibrant native cultures seldom associated with more mainstream cruise itineraries, AdventureSmith Explorations dedicates its efforts to small footprint, sustainable travel and has launched a carbon free cruising initiative. Its off-the-beaten-path destinations include Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Hawaii, Panama, Peru, the Arctic, Antarctica, Australia and now the Mediterranean.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Swan Hellenic

Discovery cruise line, Swan Hellenic ( / 0844 822 0679) is set to launch a number of special offers in celebration of ACE’s forthcoming annual National Cruise Week.
To celebrate Swan Hellenic will be offering a 10% discount on selected brochure fares as well as a free chauffeur service on selected cabin grades and up to £200 on board credit per booking. Offers are applicable on selected cruises only.*

Offers apply to:
Passage to Oman - cruise starts from £1,750 per person. Price includes return flights to a major London airport and a 15-day cruise departing from from Safaga (Egypt) – overnight and calls at Djibouti, Salalah (Oman), Muscat (Oman) – overnight, Khasab (Oman) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates) – overnight. Price is based on a 21 November 2012 departure.

To Sri Lankan Shores – cruise starts from £1,950 per person. Price includes return flights to a major London airport and a 15-day cruise departing from Singapore – overnight and calls at Port Klang (Malaysia), Penang (Malaysia), Langkawi (Malaysia), Port Blair (Andaman Islands, India), Chennai (India), Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), Galle (Sri Lanka) and Colombo (Sri Lanka) – overnight. Price is based on a 13 February 2013 departure.

For more information and to book visit or call 0844 822 0679. Follow Swan Hellenic on twitter - @Swanhellenic and like us on Facebook

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Hebridean Island Cruises

Hebridean Island Cruises, the world’s smallest luxury cruise line, is toasting National Cruise Week with a wine incentive.
This year, past guests booking a 2012 or 2013 cruise before 31 October 2012 will receive a case of Inverarity Morton wine – Hebridean Princess’ very own luxury wine merchant. Another case will be offered to loyal travellers that introduce new guests who book before the 31 December 2012.*
Cruises include:
· Lochs and Isles 7-night cruise starts from £3,060 per person, departs from Oban (Scotland) and calls at Rum and Eigg, Inverie, Plockton, Kerrera, Lismore, Fort William and Ballachulish and finishes in Oban. Price is based on 31 October 2012 departure.
· Away Westward 10-night cruise starts from £5,060 per person. Departs from Oban (Scotland) and calls at Tiree, Barra and Eriskay, The Uists and Bernaray, Tarbert and Stornoway, Skye, Canna, Rum, Eigg and Mull, Isle of Seil and finishes in Oban. Price is based on 7 May 2013 departure.
· The Outer Isles and St Kilda 7-night cruise starts from £4,330 per person. Departs from Oban (Scotland) and calls at Ullapool, Tanera Mor, Shiant Isles and Barra, Hirta, Coll and Tobermory and finishes in Oban. Price is based on 4 June 2013 departure.
For more information and to book visit or call 01756 704 704.