Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Ultimate African experience - Victoria Falls, Zambezi river cruise

This incredible 22 night itinerary begins with a luxury Johannesburg stay at the D'Oreale Grande Hotel. Guests will then travel to the Victoria Falls in Zambia and spend three nights in the five star Royal Livingstone Hotel. This is followed by a once in a lifetime, two day Zambezi Queen River Safari. Next stop is Cape Town for a one night city break stay at the Table Bay Hotel, from where guests will embark on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 for a 15 night cruise. This relaxing voyage will take in Walvis Bay, Gran Canaria, Madeira and finally Southampton. Departing 11 April 2015, this holiday starts from £3,999pp and includes flights, hotel stays, the Zambezi Queen and full board Queen Mary 2 cruise, and international transfers. Plus, free upgrades from outside to balcony rooms are available on the Queen Mary 2 cruise.

For more information visit www.imaginecruising.co.uk or call 0800 840 5809

Monday, 30 December 2013

River cruise offers for 2014, saving up to £418pp

Luxury river cruise operator AmaWaterways has savings of up to £418pp, free flights and transfers on selected departures in 2014. All cruises include accommodation in luxury cabins, breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner, daily tours and excursions, free wi-fi and free use of on-board bicycles.

  • The Romantic Danube – 8th July 2014 – 7 nights aboard AmaPrima.  Vilshofen to Budapest.  From £1959pp, including FREE flights from London and non UK transfers (saving £348pp)

  • Russian Waterways – 30th September 2014 – 11 nights aboard AmaKatarina. St Peterburg to Moscow.  From £2729pp, including return flights from London and non-UK transfers (saving £123pp)

  • The Enchanting Rhine – 5th June 2014 – 7 nights aboard AmaCello. Amsterdam to Basel.  From £2099pp, including FREE flights from London and non-UK transfers (saving £378pp)

  • Tulip Time Cruise – 5th April 2014 – 7 nights aboard AmaBella.  Amsterdam to Amsterdam.  From £1599pp, including FREE flights from London and non-UK transfers (saving £388pp)

  • Enticing Douro – 22nd April 2014 – 7 nights aboard AmaVida. Porto to Porto.  From £2079pp, including return flights from London and non-UK transfers (saving £188pp)

  • The Legendary Danube – 26th May 2014 – 7 nights aboard AmaDolce.  Nuremberg to Budapest.  From £2119pp, including FREE flights from London and non-UK transfers (saving £418pp)

  • Black Sea Voyage – 27th October 2014 – 7 nights aboard AmaCerto.  Rousse to Budapest.  From £2029pp, including return flights from London and non-UK transfers (saving £375pp)

Contact AmaWaterways on 0808 223 5009,www.amawaterways.co.uk

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Aurora Expeditions joins forces with BirdLife Australia in the Arctic

Expedition cruise company, Aurora Expeditions, has announced an exciting new partnership with conservation organisation, BirdLife Australia, which aims to highlight the importance of different bird species worldwide. In July 2014 the partnership will focus on educating birders and travellers alike on the diversity of bird and wildlife species of the European Arctic via two special expeditions to Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Norwegian archipelago, Svalbard.   

As part of the partnership BirdLife Australia’s senior bird ecologist and award-winning nature photographer, Glenn Ehmke, will join two ‘Spitsbergen Odyssey’ expeditions as a special guest lecturer. Specialising in the breeding ecology of shorebirds and island bird ecology and conservation, Glenn will interpret and educate passengers on the different bird species of the Arctic. Although these voyages aren’t specifically for birders, Glenn’s knowledge and enthusiasm will help everyone on board appreciate the beauty of the region’s birds.

The expeditions are timed to visit Spitsbergen when activity is at its peak as the migratory birds move north between July to August to breed on the island’s sea cliffs. Passengers will have the opportunity to witness and photograph the abundance of nesting seabirds, such as puffins, guillemots and kittiwakes, from the bow and bridge as well as up close in Zodiacs (rubber inflatable boats) and on shore.

Midnight sun, polar bears, walrus, whales, calving glaciers and glorious tundra in full summer bloom are just some of the other highlights of the expedition. Multiple daily shore landings and Zodiac cruises ensure up-close wildlife encounters, and Aurora Expeditions’ unrivalled knowledge of weather and ice conditions as well as their flexible, expeditionary approach helps to chart the best possible course to take maximum advantage of wildlife opportunities.

Aurora Expeditions is also proud to be supporting Australian bird conservation by donating a percentage of every BirdLife Australia member’s voyage fare to support the organisation’s outstanding conservation, research and education programs.

As part of the partnership Aurora Expeditions will be promoting BirdLife Australia’s upcoming ‘Bird Week’ by campaigning for Australia’s much-loved Willie Wagtail to be voted as Australia’s favourite bird. Bird Week commences 19 October and voting will open on 10 September. Voters can cast their votes online at http://www.birdlife.org.au/birdvote.

The 11-day Birdlife Australia ‘Spitsbergen Odyssey’ expeditions depart on 20 July and 30 July 2014 on board Aurora Expeditions’ 54-passenger, ice-strengthened Polar Pioneer. Prices start from AU$6,080 per person and include all accommodation, meals, daily shore excursions and guiding services.

For more information on the Birdlife Australia ‘Spitsbergen Odyssey’ expeditions visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au or call Aurora Expeditions on +61 2 9252 1033.

Friday, 27 December 2013

 Cruise the Gambia River and Saloun River Delta on the 25 cabin mega yacht HARMONY  V
 This unique 7 day cruise explores an area rarely visited by cruise vessels and thus giving a refreshingly authentic view of rural African Life
This beautiful area is noted for the genuine warm welcome of the friendly locals, who un-jaded by mass market tourism see it as an honour that we have chosen to visit their fascinating region.
The area is  noted for its exotic bird life, though you well almost certainly  see the odd hippopotamus on your travels as well as a variety of monkeys and baboons.
The local culture is colourful whilst the history of the region linked to the slave trade is fascinating.    Our cruise embarks in Dakar, Senegal, whilst  you can also embark in Banjul, in the Gambia and you can combine your cruise with a beach hotel stay if you wish.
 The Harmony V is a sleek, modern 25 cabin mega yacht with large sun decks, an attractive bar with lounge with restaurant, plus an al fresco lounge and dining area. You can be assured of a warm welcome from our friendly and attentive crew and our knowledgeable cruise director.
 Our 2 for 1 offer –   With 2 people travelling, the second person receives the cruise free and pays for just flights, transfers and port charges saving you from £1150 up to £1750.  Single travellers pay no single supplement.
 For more details of this great offer click here:
Seafarer also offer early booking discounts of up to 20% off the cruise fare on summer 2014 cruises:
Click here for details
To book contact Seafarer on 0208 324 3117
Conditions & Restrictions
All offers apply for a limited number of cabins.
1) Offers don't apply for existing bookings and Group bookings
2) All offers are available for reservations made until January 31st
3) Port charges are excluded from these discounts.
4) All reservations are on request and on first ?come/first-served basis.
5) Your reservation request has to mention the special offer in order to be granted.
6) Offers cannot be combined with any existing or past special offer
Seafarer Cruising & Sailing Holidays
Image House, Station Road, London
N17 9LR
Tel: 0208 324 3117
email: info@seafarercruises.com

website: http://is.diez.penamail

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Ecuador’s Tropic Journeys in Nature
Introduces Stand Up Paddleboarding
To Galapagos Island of Unsolved Mysteries – Floreana

Ecuador’s award-winning ecotourism company, Tropic, since 1994 has led tours through the country’s most engaging landscapes. Now it’s the first and only company in the Galapagos offering stand up paddleboarding as a lodge-based adventure exploring the shoreline of the remote and sparsely populated island of Floreana.

Floreana is the destination star in a soon-to-be-released (spring 2014) documentary film, “The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden.” Lodge guests are invited to become Floreana’s on-island sleuths during their stay. Says The Hollywood Reporter, “A bizarre real-life drama of the 1930s is well told in this resourceful documentary.”

Stand up paddleboarding, as with all other activities in the Galapagos, can be enjoyed only with a certified guide present. The activity, included in a two-night, multi-sport package through Floreana Lava Lodge, takes place in a protected bay just a few steps from this secluded conclave of 10 cabins and main lodge. Galapagos National Park-approved guides supervise the 60-to-90-minute sessions before an audience that may include sea lions, sea turtles, eagle rays, sharks and myriads of bird life. See: http://www.destinationecuador.com/galapagos-hotel-lava-lodge-floreana.html.

Floreana Lava Lodge packages (starting at $875 per person) include guided and fully-outfitted stand up paddleboarding excursions, tours of the island’s highlands rife with mysteries (a peace asylum, caves and the grave of Dr. Ritter involved in a presumed murder scandal), kayaking, snorkeling and star gazing; two nights accommodations; two breakfasts and dinners; a BBQ in the highlands (near the grave site); boat transfers to/from Santa Cruz Island and guide services.  Evening meals are enjoyed in the tiny village just a short walk away.

Future visitors are encouraged to watch the documentary prior to arrival. Vintage film footage, old letters and interviews help weave the still-unsolved mystery dating to the 1930s when nine travelers, among them Galapagos pioneers that included a contingent of German and Austrian eccentrics, intersected on a volcanic island known then and now as Floreana. Some survived; others mysteriously disappeared.

Hiking the highlands, guests will pass by the site of where the island’s first permanent inhabitant, the eccentric Dr. Ritter, lived and is buried. Arriving in 1926, this German physician believed that with a combination of exercise and the right vegetarian diet he would live to be 150 years old. He didn’t, but his story is one of the many strange episodes that still abound on this island.

Voice-overs by Cate Blanchette and Diane Kruger, among others, help tell the tale that coincidentally when the film is release marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Charles Darwin Research Center that tells best of all how and why some species survive and others don’t.

Locals on Floreana and some family and acquaintances of the original nine are engaged to tell their stories.

This is a Zeitgeist Films release produced by Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine and Celeste Schaefer Snyder.

About Tropic
Established in 1994, Tropic is an award–winning ecotourism company specializing in responsible, community-based tourism in Ecuador. Programs combine life-changing, active-but-cultural ecotourism experiences focusing on nature, conservation, diversity and sustainability in three distinct areas: 
For information and reservations contact: Tropic / Phone: +593-02-2234-594 / 202. 657.5072 (US) / 593. 2. 222. 5907 (EC) / 1.888.207.8615 Website: http://www.destinationecuador.com.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Tour of Popular Ports and Alaskan History

Tour of Popular Ports and Alaskan History

AdventureSmith Explorations www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/, the travel company securing matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small expedition ships and land-based lodges, reports that 27 unique cruise and land packages, including its new Gold Rush Legacy and Alaska’s Golden History tours, are being readied for the 2014 season in its most popular destination, Alaska.

Two new programs aboard the 88-guest S.S. Legacy focus on popular ports and Alaskan history, filling a much needed niche for travelers interested in a more traditional Alaskan cruise aboard a small ship. Alaska’s Golden History is an eight-day cruise traveling Alaska’s Inside Passage from Ketchikan to Juneau or reverse while Gold Rush Legacy follows a route from Seattle to Juneau or reverse.

The fully refurbished S.S. Legacy has the feel of an historic steamer that perfectly matches the turn-of-century feel of the Alaskan ports of Juneau, Skagway and Haines. Costumed crew will bring history to life on board while included complimentary shore excursions immerse guests in Alaskan culture and history.  Alaska’s natural wonders are showcased in Glacier Bay National Park, whale watching in Icy Strait and wildlife of Frederick Sound. These cruises are perfect for guests seeking a softer alternative to Alaska adventure cruises.

Offering three full days in Glacier Bay National Park and daily off- vessel activities, Smith says its most popular Alaska small ship cruise continues to be the Northern Passages and Glacier Bay aboard the 76-guest Wilderness Explorer.

Guests seeking an affordable option that includes Glacier Bay should consider, he says, the Glacier Bay & Island Adventure with numerous departures aboard the 58-guest Admiralty Dream, 49-guest Baranof Dream or 40-guest Alaskan Dream. Glacier Bay Adventure Cruise spends a full six days actively exploring aboard the 12-guest Sea Wolf.

An Alaskan cruise can also be combined with, for example, the company’s land-based adventure, the Denali Backcountry Explorer.

Despite travel industry trends showing increasing numbers of 11th hour bookings for long-haul vacations, this company sees a different pattern emerging for its small expedition ship cruises in Alaska where 2013 saw a 20 percent growth over the previous year.

“If booking trends are any indication, a small ship cruise in Alaska is moving into the pantheon of must-dos, because we are seeing guests book earlier over the past few years,” says Todd Smith, founder and director.

From 2010 to 2011 bookings on average were four months in advance of departure; in 2012, five and a half months and in 2013, over six months. As of mid December 2013 Smith reports his company’s highest advanced sales ever at this point in the booking season (five months in advance of May, the start of the season).

“It’s a given that guests will find the best price, choice of dates, ship and cabin category by booking early,” he adds, noting that cabins will always be available at the last minute and that even well into the Alaska season his company continues to help guests find space.

He suggests that if a 2015 cruise is in the picture that guests book early because of the rush he anticipates around Glacier Bay’s 90th Anniversary.

“We are the recognized leader in Alaska small ship cruising (http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/alaska),” he adds. “We offer more selection and more first-hand knowledge than anyone, including most of the reservation staffs of the cruise companies themselves.” The sheer volume of Alaska product requires objective analysis. This coupled with being a leader in sales means that AdventureSmith Explorations can offer the most competitive prices.

“We help clients compare itineraries and small ships that carry from 12 to 86 guests; then we handle such details as traveling to the embarkation city, recommendations for packing, hotels, transfers, flights and tours, all at no extra cost to the client,” Smith says.

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, CA, along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. Early in his career, company founder Todd Smith helped pioneer the concept of wilderness small ship cruising in Alaska that incorporates the comforts of a floating base camp. In 2012, Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler's prestigious 14th Annual Travel Specialists List as the world’s expert on small ship expeditions. A distinction he received again in 2013. For information, availability and 2014 reservations Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free, visit www.adventuresmithexplorations.com.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

New Video Vignette Showcases Aurora Expeditions’ Arctic Experience

New Video Vignette Showcases Aurora Expeditions’ Arctic Experience

Aurora Expeditions presents their new Jewels of the Arctic vignette showcasing the ethereal landscapes and mesmerising wildlife of Greenland and Spitsbergen. The short film, captured during one of their expeditions in August this year, highlights an inspirational journey of travelling to the European Arctic on board a small ship expedition.
The six-minute vignette portrays the grandeur of the Arctic as towering icebergs and massive glaciers majestically collapse and crumble. Kayakers glide through inky waters and Zodiacs cruise through giant fjords featuring ancient geological displays. A walrus scrounges for food, harbour seals bask on rocks, musk ox and Arctic hare endure the Arctic winds, whilst the mighty Polar Bear gracefully boards an ice flow.
A close-up of a compass marking the ships route on a paper map enriches the maritime experience of travelling unchartered waters and sailing around one of the most remote destinations on our planet. This truly is an expedition deep into the heart of some of the most pristine nature on our planet.
Aurora Expeditions team of expert guides and naturalists emphasise their passion for the region through on and off screen dialogue.
“Life is so harsh here and it’s such a different environment very driven by the climate. Most people haven’t experienced anything like that.” says Aurora Expeditions’ naturalist, Dr Alan Burger.
 “There is nowhere else you can go that is like the Arctic, it’s one of these places that leaves a real impact on you and an opportunity on the wee ship Polar Pioneer is certainly one to grab.” says Expedition Leader, Don McFadzian.
The Jewels of the Arctic vignette is available to watch online here - http://bit.ly/jewelsofthearctic
Aurora Expeditions will run four expeditions to the European Arctic regions of Greenland and Spitsbergen between June and August 2014. All expeditions are operated on board their 54 passenger, ice-strengthened expedition ship, Polar Pioneer, with a team of expert guides and naturalists to interpret the surrounding landscape and wildlife. All expeditions include ship accommodation, meals, shore excursions and guiding services. Prices start from AU$6,080 per person for an 11 day cruise.

For more information on Aurora Expeditions European Arctic voyages visit http://www.auroraexpeditions.com.au/arctic or call their Expedition Experts on +61 2 9252 1033.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Two Arctic adventures for the price of one

If a trip into the Arctic Circle to experience the Northern Lights is on your bucket list, why not make your dream a reality in 2014? Hurtigruten are currently offering two for the price of one on voyages along the Norwegian Coast during January and for selected dates in February 2014.
From Snowmobile Safaris to a Husky Sledge Adventure or even a visit to a Snow Hotel, there are a whole host of amazing experiences that can be added to your voyage to make it the trip of a lifetime.
The discounts are available on the six day Classic Voyage South, the seven day Classic Voyage North and 12 day Classic Round Voyage. 
You can now join any one of the daily departures during January of the 7 day Classic Voyage North from Bergen up to Kirkenes on the Russian border for just £472 per person (based on two sharing on full board basis). Return international flights and transfers start from an additional £390 per person.
The offer is subject to availability, valid for new bookings made by 31 December 2013 and not combinable with any other offer. It applies to all cabin types except suites.

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

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Zegrahm Expeditions Releases Final Two Expeditions of 2014 Season

Voyages to the Seychelles and Madagascar Round Out
2014 Small-Ship Cruise Line-Up
 Zegrahm Expeditions, the world leader in small-ship cruising and overland adventures, is thrilled to announce the release of Ultimate Aldabra and Voyage to Madagascar. These two journeys—which can be taken in combination—expose travelers to the lesser-visited islands of the western Indian Ocean aboard the all-suite, 100-guest Island Sky.
Departing November 16, 2014, the 17-day Ultimate Aldabra: A Voyage through the Seychelles will explore the remote islands of the Seychelles that have remained largely untouched by humans due to their inaccessibility, and offer the unique opportunity to witness a pristine natural environment. A highlight of the expedition is spending four full days at the magnificent Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With a perimeter of 70 miles, Aldabra is one of the largest atolls in the world, comprising four major islands surrounded by channels. Additional highlights include: discovering a wealth of rare and endemic species including giant Indian Ocean tortoises; snorkeling over 150 types of coral to discover manta rays, spinner dolphins, and over 850 species of fish; and photographing a variety of sublime vistas. Priced from $12,970 per person, double occupancy.
Then, departing November 28, 2014, the 19-day Voyage to Madagascar with Zanzibar, Comoros, Réunion & Mauritius offers a fascinating combination of natural history and East African culture. Highlights include discovering the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar—photogenic lemurs, 32 species of reptiles, and over 100 species of birds; wandering a labyrinth of serpentine alleyways in Zanzibar’s Stone Town—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—filled with the treasures of the East that established its fame: cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla; snorkeling over some of East Africa’s healthiest reefs, teeming with colorful fish; and exploring the interesting mélange of Arabic and French architecture and stunning natural beauty found in the Comoros. Priced from $13,980 per person, double occupancy.
“We are thrilled to return to this remote part of the world to discover the wealth of wildlife and untouched beauty that is becoming increasingly rare,” states Zegrahm President, Edwin Blythe. “Plus, travelers will be joined by a stellar expedition team on each of these voyages, including four of the company’s cofounders.”
For more information about Zegrahm or to make a reservation on an upcoming expedition, please visit www.zegrahm.com or call 1.800.628.8747.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Fascinating no-fly cruises from Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery

 Explore beauty, culture and history closer to home with a fascinating no-fly cruise. From the British Isles to the Baltics, Norway, Iceland and France, Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery offer an insight into these spectacular landscapes and the stories behind them, and all a world away from a busy airport lounge or long-haul flight.  

Guests will commence their cruise in style as they set sail from historic Portsmouth, passing the historic Naval Dockyard, HMS Victory, HMS Warrior 1860 and the new Mary Rose Museum on the way to a range of intriguing destinations.

Explore the Gardens of Scandinavia at springtime with Swan Hellenic and ‘A Scandinavian Spring’. After a daytime transit of the Kiel Canal, Minerva sails through the Baltic Sea to explore historic Gothenburg and the friendly city of Oslo , before enjoying the panoramic views of Norway’s spectacular  Fjordlands. Prices for this 12 day cruise start from £1,775 per person and guests will be joined by a range of inspiring Guest Speakers including Sir Richard Dales, former ambassador to Norway.

Taking in St Kilda, the most remote part of the British Isles, and the rugged, volcanic scenery of Iceland, Swan Hellenic’sAn Icelandic Summer’ offers fascinating wildlife and dramatic scenery. Along with invigorating hikes and a full day Golden circle excursion, guests have the opportunity to bathe in natural hot springs and discover the rugged scenery of the isolated Faroe Islands. Prices for this 16 day cruise start from £2,485 per person.

Voyages of Discovery’sClassic Baltic’ explores some of Europe’s most beautiful capitals with an extended stay in St Petersburg and a visit to the world-renowned State Hermitage Museum in its 250th year. The chic Scandinavian capitals of Copenhagen and Stockholm, along with Russia’s fascinating capital Moscow, combine to create an itinerary which explores the home of some of the world’s oldest existing monarchies. Prices for this 16 day cruise start from £2,019 per person.

Join Voyages of Discovery on a circumnavigation of the British Isles.National Treasures of the British Isles’ is a partnership with the National Trust and explores historic houses, beautiful gardens and remarkable cities. Highlights of the cruise include Royal Edinburgh, Scotland’s vibrant capital, the Giant’s Causeway, one of nature’s most unique works of art, and the ‘Holy Island’ of Lindisfarne. Although close to home, guests will be surprised by the wealth of new experiences they will enjoy. Prices for this 14 day cruise start from £1,569.

For further information please visit www.swanhellenic.com/ 0844 488 1048 or www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk/ 0843 221 8501. 

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Sanctuary Ananda Begins Countdown to Maiden Myanmar Voyage in December 2014

Sanctuary Ananda Begins Countdown to Maiden Myanmar Voyage in December 2014

There are less than 12 months to go before luxury cruise and safari
specialists Sanctuary Retreats’ new custom built ship, Sanctuary
sets off on its maiden cruise in Myanmar.  This all-suite ship is being
built by two Burmese brothers in a local shipyard, using traditional
materials combined with modern technology to ensure she can navigate Myanmar’s

There are eight exciting itineraries on offer from shorter trips which can
be booked as part of a wider Myanmar tour to longer off the beaten track
cruises for river cruise lovers such as a 10 night Chindwin River itinerary.
Sanctuary Ananda will sail almost every day on each itinerary, offering
plenty of time to combine the 'must see sights' with smaller villages to
meet the indigenous peoples and see local crafts being made first hand.

Work on the new ship is taking place in Myanmar to ensure the employment of
many local skilled craftsmen.  All the furniture in the cabins is being
handmade by local carpenters as well as traditional handmade fabrics and the
use of Burmese teak throughout the cabins.

All Sanctuary Ananda’s guides will be local, Burmese experts.  Recruitment
and extensive training has now begun for roles across the board to build a
team to deliver the high standards in line with Sanctuary Retreat's 'Luxury
Naturally' philosophy.

There are 20 spacious suites and the exclusive Aloungpayah Suite on board
Sanctuary Ananda which will accommodate a maximum of 48 guests, and offer a
high level of personal service to all.

Prices start at £1,368 per person, based on two people sharing a Suite
including all sightseeing as stated in cruise itinerary, all meals, soft
drinks and local beer.  Price valid for 3, 10 & 17 December 2014 sailings on
a 3 night itinerary.  To book visit sanctuaryretreats.com, email
info@sanctuaryretreats.com<mailto:info@sanctuaryretreats.com> or contact
your tour operator or travel agent.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Spring 2014 Specials From European Waterways

Spring 2014 Specials From European Waterways - Savings Of Up To £600pp

     06 Dec 13
On a selection of Spring 2014, six-night departures in the appealing cruise areas of Burgundy, the Canal du Midi and Holland, luxury hotel barge operator European Waterways is currently offering Spring savings from £300 up to £600 per person - on bookings made by 20 December.
Pricing includes: local transfers, gourmet meals, fine wines, open bar, and escorted excursions and use of the barge facilities, for example an on-deck spa pool and bicycles. The selection of these Spring 2014 voyages - with special offers applying - includes:
BURGUNDY:  aboard the 12-passenger La Belle Epoque
£600 Off per Person - March 30, 2014 - offer price £2,490 per person (normal price £3,090).
Includes visits to the exquisite Abbaye de Fontenay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the 6thC Chateau de Tanlay and a private wine tasting at a renowned Chablis vineyard.

HOLLAND: aboard the 12-passenger Panache:
£300 Off per Person - April 13, 2014 offer price £2,890 per person (normal price £3,190); and
April 27, 2014 - offer price £3,350 per person (normal price £3,650).
Includes visits to the spectacular Keukenhof Gardens, the Aalsmeer  flower auction, the Royal Delft pottery and the Zaans Schans an open air conservation area.

CANAL DU MIDI: aboard the 8-passenger Anjodi:
£300 Off per person - April 27, 2014 - offer price £2,950 per person (normal price £3,250).
Includes visits to the medieval fortified city of Carcassonne, the hilltop Cathar town of Minerve, Narbonne with its wonderful market and a private wine tasting at Chateau de Perdiguier.

Bookings with a special offer applying are 'subject to availability', based on 2 people sharing a cabin.

Full details: www.gobarging.com:                Tel: +44(0) 1753 598555

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Lindblad Exploring the Low Countries: Holland and Belgium

 Most expeditions on the National Geographic Explorer are epic, an immersion in wildness. Many cover great swaths of geography, sometimes logging thousands of miles in a voyage. But this voyage is different.  The 9-day Exploring the Low Countries: Holland and Belgium slows it down and offers a different kind of immersion, where lesser distances are covered and hidden facets of familiar places are explored.
Set to depart May 4, 2014 on the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer, the expedition will discover an ideal mix of cultural highlights including the perfectly preserved medievalism of Brugge and Gent, Amsterdam art, and the nature that formed the culture of the Low Countries, while exploring Holland and Belgium by sea. Guests will visit islands renowned for their rustic beauty and birdlife; transit city canals by Zodiac; and experience all the charm for which these sites are renowned.
On five of the seven nights the ship will remain in port well into the night, so guests can enjoy the lingering evening light, and the joys of life as spring blooms in Northern Europe. During the days, the expedition team will provide a variety of options, from bicycling along meandering canals, to special experiences in remarkable museums. It’s the perfect time to catch the re-opening of Amsterdam’s grandly renovated Rijksmuseum. And it’s prime tulip season as well, giving the rare sight of vast fields in bloom. And, for the grand finale, the National Geographic Explorer will journey up the Thames with the pageantry of modern and historic London displayed along its banks, arriving near Tower Bridge at midnight.
Highlights include:
·         Venture into medieval towns to admire legendary art and architecture up close, plus, savor local specialties: Belgian waffles, mussels, chocolates, and the famous beers brewed for centuries by Trappist monks.
·         Enjoy a warm welcome at the harbor city of Harlingen, where we will be the first ever passenger ship to dock. Explore its network of canals via Zodiac, by special permission.
·         Explore the little-traveled West Frisian Islands located amid the very important tidal landscape called Waddenzee—a UNESCO World Heritage site.
·         Art historian Koen Kleijn will expertly examine the masterpieces of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Durer as we visit the Rijksmuseum, newly reopened after 9-year renovation.
Joining the voyage as Global Perspectives Guest Speaker will be Russell Shorto, an American best-selling author, historian and journalist, whose latest book, Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City, is an entertaining portrait of the city.  He is a contributing writer for The New York Times magazine and is the Director of The John Adams Institute in Amsterdam, where he has lived since November 2007. National Geographic photographer, Sisse Brimberg, will also be onboard to share insider tips and techniques on photography, along with a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor.  

Rates begin at $7,320 per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.  For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions’ voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on earth call 1-800-EXPEDITION, visit www.expeditions.com or call your travel agent. 

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this year - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

Saturday, 14 December 2013

New for 2014 from AdventureSmith Explorations

Visionary Founder Explains Why
These Small Ship Cruise Itineraries Stand Out

 Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/ announces its favorite new-for-2014 itineraries from Bali and the Mekong River to Baja and Alaska.

Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations director and visionary founder, explains why these nine small-ship cruises are high on his list. He also underscores that all-inclusive rates include land excursions.

Indonesia Bali Cruise
Why we like it: The islands of Bali and Southern Indonesia are tailor made for small ship cruising. Think calm waters, postcard perfect beaches, stunning coral reef, abundant wildlife, fascinating history and authentic cultural interactions. Heretofore Bali has been included in longer and inevitably quite expensive itineraries. Now two distinctive small (17 to 26 guests) sailing ships will conduct year-round weekly departures, at a fraction of the cost of other Bali cruises, exploring Bali, Lombok, Komodo and lesser known islands with an experienced multinational team of experienced professionals. Rates are from $2,380 per person, double.

 Aqua Mekong River Cruise  
Why we like it: Launching in September 2014 the Aqua Mekong follows in the footsteps of Aqua Amazon Cruises, offering luxury small ship cruises exploring Cambodia and Vietnam. We expect the Aqua Mekong to be the finest small ship in this region with spacious accommodations, distinct cuisine, top guides and a unique itinerary. While the Mekong has no shortage of luxury small ships, none offers the flexible 4, 5 or 8-day itineraries and intimacy of this 40-guest ship whose small size allows close up experiences when visiting a remote fishing village, flooded forest or Buddhist monastery. Rates are from $3,000 per person double.

Costa Rica, Panama & Colombia
Why we like it: This itinerary begins in Herradura, Costa Rica, skirting the Pacific coasts of Costa Rica and Panama before including a Panama Canal transit (2014 is the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal). The ship visits Panama’s San Blas Islands before concluding in the colonial city of Cartagena, Colombia. The 72-guest Variety Voyagers is a sleek, brand-new mega yacht with modern furnishings, large cabins and plenty of deck space.  This trip starts at only $2,590 per person, double making it the best value in Central America small ship cruises.

Anakonda Amazon Cruise
Why we like it: The new 40-guest Anakonda is the only luxury small ship cruising Ecuador’s Amazon region, heretofore explored from popular jungle lodges. The Anakonda offers numerous advantages including air conditioning, upscale accommodations, delicious cuisine and the ability to transit hundreds of miles exploring a variety of habitats and reserves. This experience can be easily combined with a Galapagos cruise. Rates are from $1,600 per person double. https://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/anakonda-amazon-cruise

Alaska’s Golden History
Why we like it: Offering a softer alternative to Alaska adventure cruises, the itinerary focuses on popular ports and Alaskan history, filling a much needed niche for travelers interested in a more traditional Alaskan cruise aboard a small ship. The fully refurbished S.S. Legacy has the feel of an historic steamer and segues guests into the turn-of-century ambiance of Juneau, Skagway and Haines. Costumed crew bring history to life on board while included shore excursions immerse guests in culture and history. Glacier Bay National Park’s natural wonders, whale watching in Icy Strait and the wildlife of Frederick Sound combine with urban adventures.  Rates are from $5,195 per person double. http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/alaska-history-cruise

Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands
Why we like it: The Olympic Wilderness and San Juan Islands cruise offers wilderness adventure cruising accessible from Seattle, with hiking, kayaking whale watching and wildlife viewing with top guides in Olympic National Park and the San Juan Islands. This 8-day cruise is from $1595 per person.  https://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/san-juan-islands-cruise

Galapagos aboard Ocean Spray 
Why we like it: As the foremost Galapagos small ship cruise experts we have seen a number of new catamarans entering the Galapagos cruise market recently. The 16-guest Ocean Spray is one of the newest ships here and stands out as the only catamaran to offer private balconies in all her cabins that are considerably larger than other ships of her size with an option for a king size bed. Two 8 day/7 night itineraries are offered weekly year round. From $5,880 per person.

Milargros Maritimos, Baja California
Why we like it: Many years have passed since a small ship visited the northern reaches of John Steinbeck’s Sea of Cortez known as the Galapagos of Mexico for its abundant wildlife and numerous endemic species on individual islands. Guests walk among thousands of nesting birds, visit Whales Channel in search of numerous species, snorkel with sea lions and hike beautiful desert landscapes. Rates are from $2,495 per person double.

Idyllic Islands & Majestic Shores of Croatia & Montenegro
Why we like it: Of all the small ship cruises in the Adriatic, this cruise offers the most comprehensive exploration of history and culture. On-board experts, included shore excursions and off-vessel activities make this more like a private cruise than a group tour. This stretch of the Dalmatian Coast has escaped the mass tourism common in other parts of the Mediterranean and yet the medieval towns, monuments and promenades are among the most beautiful in all of Europe. The 100-guest Corinthian explores well established highlights but also visits the hidden jewels off the radar of most other cruises. Rates are from $4,890 per person double.  https://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/the-idyllic-islands-majestic-shores-of-croatia-montenegro

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, CA, along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. In 2012, owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler's prestigious 14th Annual Travel Specialists List as a world’s top specialist on small ship expeditions, a distinction he received again in 2013. For information, availability and 2014 reservations; Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free, or visit www.adventuresmithexplorations.com.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Rockies and Alaska Grand Discovery with Titan

Tour and cruise the natural wonderland of the Canadian Rockies and Alaska in sumptuous style on this superb new combination tour. All of the great highlights are here, including the UNESCO World Heritage town of Banff, gateway to awe-inspiring Rockies scenery - not least at glittering Lake Louise - the iconic landscapes of Jasper National Park, the lovely mountain resort of Sun Peaks, the wonderful city of Vancouver and the unforgettable shoreline of Alaska, best appreciated in 5 comfort aboard Holland America’s superb MS Volendam, a luxurious home-from-home for seven nights and a spectacular window on the region’s coastal splendour.

18 days from £2995 On board Holland America’s MS Volendam

Departs May 21, June 11, and September 3 

What is Included
• 9 nights in hotels, 7 nights cruise on MS Volendam and 1 in flight (accommodation as specified or similar)
• 22 meals: 7 breakfasts (days 9-15) 7 lunches (days 8-14) 8 dinners (days 5, 8-14)

Included excursions and visits:
- Tour of the surrounding area of Banff including Lake Louise
- Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure
- Tour of Jasper National Park including Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake

- Vancouver city tour

http://www.titantravel.co.uk/  0800 988 5823

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this year - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Northwest Passage 70th Anniversary Voyage – August 2014

One Ocean Expeditions is offering an exciting opportunity to travel through Canada’s fabled Northwest Passage on a special cruise to mark the 70th anniversary of the first ever single season transit of the legendary route.
Travelling in comfort on board the ice-strengthened Akademik Ioffe between Cambridge Bay and Iqaluit, the celebratory 12-night voyage departs 25th August 2014 to retrace the deep-sea route followed by the RCMP St Roch in 1944 under the command of Staff Sergeant Henry Larsen.
On board for the occasion will be Larsen’s daughter, Doreen Larsen Riedel who, together with passengers and crew, will have the opportunity to enjoy anniversary celebrations, interact with remote communities, visit historic locations such as atmospheric Beechey Island, where the Franklin expedition over-wintered before disappearing forever, and witness spectacular scenery and wildlife.

All One Ocean Expeditions’ voyages include on board accommodation, all meals, use of onboard expedition rubber boots, wet weather gear, shore excursions and landings, as well as educational presentations, expedition guides, naturalist staff, hospitality staff, an ER trained doctor, guided hikes/walks, complimentary tea and coffee, and access to a multimedia room and download stations.

During the voyage, there will be a real chance of seeing pods of beluga or bowhead whales, rafts of ringed, harp or bearded seals and herds of walrus, all against a fabulous backdrop of stunning Arctic fjords, cliffs and glaciers.

Stopping off at remote local communities, rich in culture and tradition, such as Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, will allow passengers to see both the modern and ancient aspects of the Inuit culture, and perhaps to purchase carvings, jewellery and other crafts available from local Inuit artisans.

Prices start from US$9095 per person sharing a twin cabin on a full board basis including excursions (flights extra). www.oneoceanexpeditions.com

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this year - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Cross the Atlantic on a tall ship with ‘Mr Birdwatch’, TV naturalist Tony Soper

Cross the Atlantic on a five-masted square rigger next spring on a one-off voyage hosted by TV naturalist Tony Soper. This unique opportunity from tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers is a fantastic chance to spend time with Tony, one of the pioneers of adventure cruising and founder of the popular TV series Birdwatch, while experiencing the thrill of a transatlantic crossing under sail.
Tony Soper co-founded the BBC’s now famous Natural History Unit, for which he was the first wildlife cameraman and first film producer. In subsequent years, as a freelance presenter, in addition to Birdwatch, he fronted the film series Discovering Birds and Beside the Sea, and the long-running environmental series Nature on BBC2.  He has presented many television films for BBC and for National Geographic and has written 14 books on birds, several of them best sellers.
This exciting adventure departs the UK for Barbados on April 11, spending one night in Barbados at the Hilton Hotel before boarding Royal Clipper on April 12. The crossing takes 16 days, with one stop at Punta Delgada in the Azores and endless time to sit and watch the sea, look out for dolphins and sea birds, gaze at the stars, read, enjoy the camaraderie of the al fresco Tropical Bar and learn all about sailing the world’s largest five-masted ship.
During the voyage, Tony will give five lectures and will mingle with the guests, including at a welcome cocktail on the first night and a farewell talk on the last night of the voyage before arriving in Malaga.
From £1,949 per person including flights, transfers, one night at the Barbados Hilton, 16 nights’ full board on Royal Clipper and port taxes.

To book, call 0845 200 6145 or visit www.starclippers.co.uk.  

Have you subscribed to World of Cruising magazine yet? We have a fabulous offer for all new subscribers this year - 50 per cent OFF the regular rate AND the chance to win a cruise in our free prize draw offer. See this link!