Sunday, 30 June 2013

Quark Expeditions’ at the top of the World

Quark Expeditions’ at the top of the World with 50 Years of Victory
Ship to carry Sochi Olympic Flame to the North Pole

Quark Expeditions, the leader in polar adventures, has just successfully reached the geographic North Pole for the 46th time as part of its first voyage of the 2013 Arctic season. Since 1991, Quark has operated voyages to the North Pole by icebreaker in June and/or July each year.
Quark operates two departures of its signature North Pole voyage, taking a lucky 250 people in total each season to the top of the world aboard the powerful nuclear icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory.
This autumn, in honor of the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, the 50 Years of Victory will be participating in the Olympic flame relay, carrying the flame to the North Pole. After the official lighting ceremony in Greece, the flame will travel through all Russia’s nine time zones and even to the International Space Station on board the Soyuz TMA-11M manned spaceship, completing its route in Sochi in early February 2014.
Quark is accepting bookings for the few spaces still remaining for the 2014 North Pole voyages departing on the legendary ship 50 Years of Victory, June 19 and June 30, 2014.

Prices start from: 14 days (13 nights), from £15,965 for twin occupancy with one night in Helsinki on B&B, transfers, group helicopter trips, three meals a day, shore landings and on-board lectures. Flights not included. For further information please visit or call 0808 120 2333

Saturday, 29 June 2013

20-Day Luxury Voyage takes Travelers from Tasmania to New Zealand to Explore some of the World’s Most Remote and Wildlife-Rich Islands

Zegrahm Expeditions, the world leader in small-ship cruising and overland adventures, is honored to be granted exclusive access to visit the fragile Sub-Antarctic Islands as part of its November 2013 expedition—Tasmania to New Zealand: A Voyage through the Sub-Antarctic Islands. With wildlife encounters that rival destinations like South Georgia and the Galápagos, the Sub-Antarctic Islands offer opportunities for travelers to spot over half the world’s albatross species; eight penguin species, including five endemics; unfathomable numbers and varieties of birds; as well as elephant, leopard, and fur seals; unique marsupials; and dolphins.

“We feel extremely grateful to the governments of Australia and New Zealand for granting us permission to visit these far-flung islands,” stated Zegrahm President Edwin Blythe. “As one of the few tour operators allowed to travel here each year, we can truly provide our travelers with a once-in-a-lifetime wildlife viewing experience.”

Highlights of Zegrahm’s exploration of the Sub-Antarctic Islands include:

·         Macquarie Island: One of the premier wildlife sites in the world, Macquarie Island features vast numbers of penguins, albatross, and seals; and is the only place on the planet where you can find royal penguins.
·         Campbell Island: Enjoy up-close views of southern royal albatross, second in size to the wandering albatross, the largest of all flying birds. The combination of broad bays, vertical headlands, and surf-washed beaches is a photographer's dream.
·         Enderby Island: Sheltered by a canopy of twisted and gnarled rata forest, travelers will find red-crowned parakeets, yellow-eyed penguins, royal albatross, light-mantled sooty albatross, and some of the rarest endemics in the world—Auckland shag, Auckland flightless teal, and the snipe—plus beaches covered with Hooker's sea lions.
·         Snares Islands: Home to millions of seabirds that darken the sky each dawn and dusk, along with the endemic Snares crested penguin.

In addition to these amazing wildlife encounters, adventurers will be treated to five days exploring Tasmania and cruising through New Zealand’s picturesque Dusty, Doubtful, and Milford sounds. This 20-day journey aboard the all-suite, 100-passenger Caledonian Sky takes place November 25 – December 14, 2013 and is priced from $13,980 per person.

For more information about Zegrahm or to make a reservation on an upcoming expedition, please visit or call 1-800-628-8747.

Friday, 28 June 2013

The  feature-packed Summer issue of World of Cruising is now back from the printer's and going to distribution, so our subscribers can afford to sit back and await the arrival of the latest edition of Europe's leading cruise publication.

Providing the Cover Story this summer is a look at the majestic Mekong River in Cambodia and Vietnam as Lauren Price takes a memorable journey with AMA Waterways.

There's also the Zodiac Approach from yours truly, looking at how the upmarket adventure-cruise lines provide their up-close encounters.

Next there are destination features of Iceland - a cruise spot that is capturing a lot of attention - andMauritius, while we also head for the Panama Canal, with an in-depth look at a typical round-trip voyage to this amazing engineering feat in Central America.

 Have a look at the online version here

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Cuba Cruise

After recently announcing their unmatched cruise offerings -- the first to completely circumnavigate Cuba -- Cuba Cruise has just released details on each stop of their sailing featuring ports and excursions never before offered by a cruise-line or tour company in a single sailing.

“Many Canadians feel they know Cuba well, but our guests will be the very first to experience some of the country’s most exciting and beautiful sights and destinations,” said Cuba Cruise President Dugald Wells. “We look forward to sharing these treasured places, like Holguin’s Guayabo waterfalls, plunging 200 metres, and the historically rich centre of Afro-Cuban culture in Santiago de Cuba. Each destination on this itinerary is packed with hidden gems for our guests to discover.”
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Guests can join the 7-night cruise at either Havana or Montego Bay with a lead-in price of only $586 CAD. Cuba Cruise features Canadian imported cuisine as well as local specialties, and explores diverse ports including Santiago, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and Punta Frances on the Isle of Youth. The 480-stateroom boutique cruise ship Louis Cristal allows access into Cuba’s remote areas, for an up-close experience.

While some destinations on the itinerary are more familiar than others, each daily port offers its own magic. Many of the sites have never been accessible on a single itinerary without complicated and uncomfortable travel between locations. Cuba Cruise makes it simple, comfortable and even luxurious to see all of Cuba’s most magnificent offerings on one comprehensive trip.

Ports of Call Highlights Include:

Havana: Guests experience the spirit of Cuba straight away during the opening cocktail party featuring Cuba’s iconic cocktails, Mojitos and Cuba Libres, followed by Spanish, African and Caribbean fusion fare. The ship disembarks from Havana at 1:00 am allowing plenty of time to experience the capital city’s many unique offerings, including the vibrant nightlife.

Caribbean Sea: Day 2 is at sea to get settled and enjoy all the ship’s facilities and the lovely coastline going by.
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Holguin: The following day, guests arrive in Holguin, the Cuban city first discovered by Christopher Columbus, who declared it to be “the most beautiful land ever seen by human eyes.” Guests can catamaran to Cayo Saetia, a natural reserve formed by pure white sand. Then climb into a Jeep for a safari over the island to see exotic animals including American Ostriches and Water Buffalo.
Santiago de Cuba: Next is the lively epicentre of Afro-Cuban culture. Santiago de Cuba is also the heart of Cuba’s most famous exports including coffee, rum, cigars and music. Guests will have until 9:00 p.m. to immerse themselves in the onshore festivities, including live music, entertainment and even tours of the iconic cigar factories, or simply relax onboard the ship.
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Montego Bay: With a unique culture, amazing beaches, picturesque mountains and incredible duty free shopping, Cuba Cruise couldn’t pass up the next port on the itinerary. Montego Bay is the second embarkation point of this world-first cruise. Whether you’re boarding the ship here, or enjoying the day onshore, guests have the option of an exciting bobsled ride and/or canopy adventure, a relaxing bamboo rafting ride, meandering around the shops or exploring a traditional plantation.

Cienfuegos: Here Cuba Cruise guests will peer up at the impressive Castillo de Jagua, an 18th century fortress, wander the streets of this very pretty city known as “The Pearl of the Caribbean” or visit the Colonial village of Trinidad, a UNESCO world cultural heritage site, where you’ll bask in the warmth of the people and the charming cobblestone streets.
The Isle of Youth at Punta Frances: Here you’ll enjoy Cuba’s most pristine beaches. The crystal clear waters invite guests to explore the underwater marine life and coral reef. Enjoy a beach barbeque as you soak up the warm Caribbean sun and sway your hips to the live Cuban music.
The Cuba Cruise itinerary and onshore excursions are nothing short of extraordinary. Utilizing local guides, experts, onboard naturalists and Cuba’s incredible natural diversity, we help you ‘Find Your Cuba.’
For more information on Cuba Cruise’s circumnavigation itinerary, please visit
To make a reservation call your travel agent or Cuba Cruise at 1-855-364-4999, or visit and book on-line directly.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Late deals - 50% off G Adventures’ Amazon Riverboat

Save 50% - Was £1,549pp now £775pp for a nine-day trip from Lima to Lima, departing July 20, 27 and August 3, 2013. Includes return flights from Lima to Iquitos, six nights aboard the Queen Violet Amazon riverboat with meals, two nights in comfort hotels with breakfast, arrival transfer, canopy walkway excursion in Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, and launches and land excursions with G Adventures’ expert naturalist team.

Highlights: G Adventures’ Amazon River cruises take guests on a trip that explores both the cultural and natural sides of this remote part of the world. The spacious Queen Violet has large open deck spaces where briefings with top naturalists take place during voyages. Each journey along the Amazon includes visits to local villages where travellers learn about local life from schooling to handicrafts, and spend some time with a local family.

Flights are available to be purchased separately and are priced from £1,042pp flying Air Europa from London Gatwick to Lima return.  For more information or to book, please call 0844 272 2040 or visit Please use promo code GA13RIVERBOAT50

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Croisieurope, has combined two of its most popular routes to create a brand new 10-day cruise along the Rhine and Rhone rivers. The new and original itinerary, which launches next year, will see passengers board in Amsterdam, before setting off along a scenic and culturally enriching route which passes through some of the continent’s most treasured towns and sites of Holland, Germany and France.

While travelling the length of the celebrated Rhone before transferring onto the Rhine – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – passengers will enjoy a range of optional and complementary excursions to some of Europe’s most historical sites. From a guided tour of northern Europe’s most ancient Cathedral in Aachen to a circuit of Lyon’s Old Town and Traboules passageways, to a train journey through the Middle Age town of Tournon, in southern France, there is plenty to cater for all interests.

Gabrielle Alam, CroisiEurope’s UK Head of Sales & Marketing, commented: “We are excited to introduce a new route which stretches the length of two of Europe’s most quintessential rivers, starting at the North Sea and ending near the Mediterranean. We have gone to great lengths to make this an enriching and comfortable cruise for our customers, with fine dining, drinks and onboard entertainment all included.”

The cruise starts in Amsterdam and visits Xanten, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Konigswinter, Koblenz, Mainz Worms, Strasbourg, Chalon Sur Saone, Lyon, Tournon and Arles before finishing in Avignon. 2014 cruise departure dates are 22nd April, 17th May, 27th June and 28th September. Cruise-only prices start at €1,303 per person (approximately £1,100 per person) based on two people sharing an air-conditioned twin main deck cabin with a fully equipped en suite bathroom including all meals and drinks onboard (excluding Champagne and wines on the wine list), a wide range of onboard entertainment, a welcome cocktail, coach transfer, a museum visit, Gala dinner entertainment, insurance and port taxes.
For further information and reservations call CroisiEurope on 0208 3 281 281, email or visit

Monday, 24 June 2013


Be One of the First to Experience the Frank Gehry-Designed Biomuseo & the New Canal Up Close
 Guests traveling on Lindblad-National Geographic’s Costa Rica and The Panama Canal expedition will be among the first to experience the BioMuseo (Museum of Biodiversity) and the new Canal up close for free as the line unveils their one night/two day pre- or post-Panama City extension.  The special offer is available on five departures - November 16, 23, 30 and December 7 & 14, 2013 aboard the 62 guest National Geographic Sea Lion.   
The 8-day voyage will transit the Canal and explore the jungle, wildlife, and biodiversity of Costa Rica & Panama by expedition ship, discovering wild places that would otherwise be inaccessible.  Guests will snorkel a Pacific reef; venture deep into a sanctuary of virgin rain forest on foot—plus search for monkeys, frogs, sloths, and brightly colored birds, and ride horseback on a pristine beach. Additional highlights include Manuel Antonio, Corcovado and Coiba National Parks, plus remote, idyllic islands; an exclusive overnight in Gatún Lake in the Canal Zone to glimpse behind the scenes of an island research station run by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. 
The complimentary pre- or post-Panama extension (depending on voyage direction) will feature two momentous occasions in the city.  First stop is the much anticipated Biomuseo, which will have a “soft opening” in October, and its official launch in 2014. Designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry in consultation with scientists at the nearby Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, the museum’s exhibits encompass over 43,000 square feet in eight display galleries and portray the history of the isthmus and the species it engendered. 
From there, guests will take in the newly completed Observation Center at the Panama Canal’s expanded third lock, which will be in prime construction phase. This is an unprecedented opportunity to view the construction of a major canal system that is destined to alter the global shipping world. Once the Canal is operational in 2015, this insider’s view will be history.
The extension includes one night at the Marriott-Panama hotel, lunch at the Miraflores locks, dinner with a traditional dance performance, all transfers, entrance fees and guides. Guests may experience the extension for the remainder of the season at the rate of $450.00 per person based on double occupancy and $520 per person based on single occupancy.
Lindblad Expeditions is also offering free roundtrip air from Miami on all Costa Rica & Panama bookings made by August 31, 2013. This offer is subject to availability; new bookings only. If guests choose to combine the offers, the air offer will be given as an air credit.
A 3-day pre-extension to Monteverde, Costa Rica or a 7-day post-voyage extension to Monteverde, Arenal and Sarapiqui, Costa Rica are also available.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on earth call 

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Enjoy the Mediterranean sun with Voyages of Discovery and Swan Hellenic

Guarantee yourself some sunshine this summer and experience the best of the Mediterranean with Voyages of Discovery and Swan Hellenic.

Join Voyages of Discovery ( / 0843 221 8499) on the 15-day Mediterranean Medley cruise and take in the charms of picturesque French Riviera and enjoy a scenic drive along the Lower Corniche 120 kilometres of coastal road. Visit Pisa and its famous leaning tower before taking a trip to see famous volcano Mount Etna in Sicily. Prices start from £1,399 per person (Saver Fare, based on two people sharing an inside cabin).

The Mediterranean Medley cruise departs from Marseille (France) and calls at Nice (France), Livorno (Italy), Civitavecchia – Rome (Italy), Castellammare di Stabia (Italy), Messina (Italy), Brindisi (Italy), Ancona (Italy), Venice (Italy), Sibenik (Croatia), Hvar (Croatia), Dubrovnik (Croatia) – overnight. Price is based on 12 September 2013 UK departure. 

Alternatively join Swan Hellenic’s ( / 0844 822 0679) 14-day Aegean Odyssey cruise where guests can explore Ephesus one of the best preserved ancient cities in the East Mediterranean, before marvelling at Hadrian’s Temple and the Library of Celsus. A highlight of this cruise is sailing into Santorini’s steep caldera and exploring the cliff top, white washed towns of Thira and Oia. Prices start from £1,795 per person (Saver Fare, based on two people sharing an inside cabin).

The Aegean Odyssey cruise departs from Istanbul (Turkey) – overnight and calls at Kusadasi (Turkey), Kas (Turkey), Antalya (Turkey), Gythion (Greece), Santorini (Greece), Nisyros (Greece), Nauplion (Greece) – overnight, Paros (Greece) and Piraeus (Greece). Price is based on 10 October 2013 UK departure.

Price for both cruises include return flights to/from the UK (for fly cruises), all relevant overseas transfers, meals and entertainment and the Guest Speaker programme on board the ship. Cabin numbers will not be allocated at the time of booking. 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

‘Solar Eclipse’ Cruise

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ recently launched ‘Solar Eclipse’ cruise aboard Boudicca (D1504) has proved so popular that it is now fully booked; due to the enormous interest in this amazing phenomenon, the cruise line is pleased to announce a second cruise aboard Black Watch to allow more of its guests this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

A total solar eclipse is one of the most awe-inspiring natural spectacles in the world, and one of the most difficult to view; it occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, entirely obscuring the Sun and blocking all direct sunlight, turning daylight into complete darkness.   

The newly launched cruise (W1502) will depart from Southampton on 16th March 2015 for 14 nights and will be positioned off the coast of the Faroe Islands on 20th March, when the longest duration of totality – the best opportunity to view the eclipse – occurs.  The cruise operates a similar itinerary to the Boudicca cruise, visiting Runavik (Faroe Islands), Leknes (Lofoten islands), Tromsø, Alta, Trondheim and Ǻlesund (all Norway) and returning to Southampton.

Prices for this fascinating ex-UK cruise start from £1,799 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside, twin cabin Grade ‘I’, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, and port taxes.

Find out more at Reservations on  0800 0355 150 (Monday – Friday, 8am – 8pm; Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Sunday, 10am – 4pm).

Friday, 21 June 2013

Inaugural season savings of $400 travel credit per couple on Mexico cruises

Un-Cruise Adventures Debuts Four New Adventure Cruise Itineraries
in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés

Beginning in December 2013, Un-Cruise Adventures’ 64-guest Safari Voyager will offer four new Mexico cruise itineraries in the marine-life rich waters of the Sea of Cortés. Two different weeklong itineraries sail roundtrip from San José del Cabo, another sails roundtrip from Guaymas and a two-week cruise sails between San José del Cabo and Guaymas. The vessel will sail Luxury Adventures year-round in Mexico’s Sea of Cortés.
This is also the inaugural season of the newly acquired Safari Voyager which is undergoing renovations before joining the Un-Cruise Adventures fleet. To celebrate, travelers making a new reservation by August 2, 2013 for a Mexico cruise departing December 2013-June 2014 earn a $400 travel credit per couple.

“Travelers seeking adventure in remote destinations should look toward the Sea of Cortés,” said Dan Blanchard, CEO and principal for Un-Cruise Adventures. “We’re 100% invested in this destination. It’s secluded with stunning scenery, astounding marine life and tons of opportunities for adventure activities.”

Sailing roundtrip from San José del Cabo in Baja, Mexico, the weeklong cruise visits two ports—Loreto and La Paz. On this route, guests have a good chance at seeing—and even snorkeling alongside—whale sharks and will visit Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. Remote island hiking, a bonfire ashore, a mule ride into the arroyo with a ranchero and snorkeling with sea lions are all included.  Holiday cruises depart on December 21 and 28, 2013; it operates again from April-June 2014. Rates begin at US$2,695 per person, double occupancy.

Sailing roundtrip from San José del Cabo, a highlight of this weeklong cruise is an included trip to BahÍa Magdalena for a panga ride to see gray whales—and likely calves—up close.  Expedition cruising in the Sea of Cortés on this route includes time at Gordo Banks, a sea mount teeming with marine life including humpback whales. Desert hiking, a bonfire ashore, a mule ride into the arroyo and snorkeling with sea lions are all included.  Cruises depart January 4-March 29, 2014. Rates begin at US$2,695 per person, double occupancy.

A weeklong cruise sailing roundtrip Guaymas, Mexico visits remote, scenic areas in the Midriff Islands in the northern part of the Sea of Cortés. A full week of expedition cruising, minus any port calls, allows time for water sports activities and searching out birds and marine life such as whales, whale sharks and sea turtles. Cruises depart July 5-August 23, 2014 and October 4-October 25, 2014. Rates begin at US$2,495 per person, double occupancy.

A two-week expedition sails between San José del Cabo and Guaymas (and reverse) twice a year—north on June 21, 2014 and south on October 25, 2014 combining Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World with Milagros Maritimos. An added port call in Santa Rosalia includes a guided walking tour of the historical mining town. Rates begin at US$4,795 per person, double occupancy.

On all cruises, guests can be as active as they like and activities include hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling and skiff excursions.  Expert naturalists provide interpretation on guided excursions ashore and at sea.

The inclusive cruise includes all from-the-vessel activities and equipment; a massage; exquisite meals; fine wine, premium spirits and microbrews; transfers; and all port charges, taxes and fees.  An attentive crew has a guest-crew ratio of 2.5 to 1. Charters and group bookings are available. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or  

Thursday, 20 June 2013

River Cruise Offers from AmaWaterways

26th July : Cruise Russia’s waterways,  saving £271pp 
Discover Russia’s waterways and her vast and spectacular lakes, dine traditional style with a Russian family and discover the cities en-route between St Petersburg & Moscow. AmaWaterways (freephone 0808 223 5009, has an 11 night sailing departing on 26th July 2013 for £2979pp,  was £3250pp saving £271pp . The price includes return UK flights, breakfast, lunch and dinner with free flowing wine, beer and soft drinks, complimentary daily tours and excursions. Contact AmaWaterways freephone 0808 223 5009,

9th August : Cruise through Provence, saving £380pp 
AmaWaterays (freephone 0808 223 5009, has a week’s luxury river cruise from Lyon to Arles along the Rhone, through famous wine growing regions, taking in historic towns and the spectacular Provencal countryside. The price of £2299pp, was £2690, includes a saving of £391 per person return UK flights, breakfast, lunch and dinner with free flowing wine, beer and soft drinks, free wi-fi, complimentary daily tours and excursions and free use of on-board bicycles. Contact AmaWaterways freephone 0808 223 5009,

16th August : Vietnam, Cambodia & Riches of the Mekong:
Deaprting on 16th August 2013 AmaWaterways has a magnificent 7 night cruise along the Mekong between Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City, including a 2 night pre-cruise stay in Siem Reap (B&B), for £2299pp, saving £239pp, including return UK flights and transfers. The cruise is on board the most luxurious river cruiser on the Mekong, `La Marguerite’, and visits floating markets, exotic villages, temples, monasteries and historic pagodas along the way. The price includes house wine or beer with lunch and dinner, complimentary house brand spirits, beer and soft drinks during the cruise, all meals, return flights and transfers. Contact AmaWaterways freephone 0808 223 5009,
  26th August : Cruise the Danube, save £281pp 
AmaWaterways (freephone 0808 223 5009, has a saving of £281 pp off a week’s Danube cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest, departing on 26th August. The price of £2064pp, was £2345pp, includes return UK flights, breakfast, lunch and dinner with free flowing wine, beer and soft drinks, free wi-fi, complimentary daily tours and excursions and free use of on-board bicycles. Contact AmaWaterways freephone 0808 223 5009, 

View and subscribe to World of Cruising magazine here.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Three new summer excursions from Hurtigruten

Animal lovers can now enjoy three new summer excursions introduced by Hurtigruten this summer. Available from now until the end of August, the excursions are centered around horses, reindeers and salmon and offer guests unique experiences that take them even closer the culture and nature of Norway.  All three are available when travelling on the southbound voyage from Kirkenes to Bergen.

New excursions:
LOFOTEN BY HORSE: Explore the breathtaking scenery of the Lofoten on horseback. Starting in Svolvear, riders will travel on island horses from the house farm in Gimsøy on the Atlantic coast of the Lofoten archipelago and head towards Stamsund, riding through white powder sand and gently rolling hills. En route, guests pass historic sites of the Viking era – for example, the island of Gimsøy is home to the highest density of relicts from the saga period. This excursion offers an unparalleled opportunity to discover the area’s natural beauty whilst also getting a sense of its rich history. It is also suitable for guests with little or no horse-riding experience, as island horses are known for their gentle nature. Priced from £102pp.

REIDNEER SPOTTING IN THE SUMMER NIGHT - This excursion takes guests overland from Mehamn to Kjøllefjord. Unusually it takes place late a night as this time is still perfect for wildlife spotting because the Norwegian summer nights are as bright as day. The route continues inland to Nordkyn, Europe’s northernmost peninsula. The first observation post is some 300 metres above sea level for great views in all directions – offering the chance to watch reindeer at varying distances with binoculars that are provided as part of the trip. The guide will provide a wealth of interesting information about the Sami culture, their special relationship with the reindeer and life at 71 degrees north. The tour continues on to ‘Camp Summer Night’, which offers magnificent views of the Kjøllefjord and the arrival of the Hurtigruten ship. As everyone indulges in stories about the region’s traditions and myths, a traditional meal with reindeer meat, freshly baked bread and cranberry compote will be served and guests even have the option of roasting their own meat over the open fire. Priced from £66pp.
VISIT THE SALMON – This excursion to a salmon farm takes place in Brønnøysund. Guests will find out exactly why the Norwegian coastline offers the perfect conditions for sustainable and responsible aquaculture. Norway is one of the world’s largest exporters of fish and seafood, with some 37 million people around the world enjoying Norwegian fish every day. During the salmon farm excursion, guests can watch the salmon being fed, find out all about modern fish farming, try their hand at using an underwater camera and taste the salmon. Priced at £58pp.
In order to accommodation these new excursions, minor changes have been made to the schedule of the southbound route. The laytimes in Svolvær and Brønnøysund have been extended slightly, and the ones in Bodø und Sandnessjøen shortened slightly instead. The arrival and departure times in Stamsund were pushed back by half an hour.
Classic Round Voyage this summer – prices in August lead in at £1515pp for an 11-night voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes and back. Price includes half board and based on an unspecified inside cabin in August. Flights are extra and cost from £450pp.

For more information call Hurtigruten – 0844 448 7601

Star Clippers yoga and meditation-themed sailings.

Tall ship cruise specialist Star Clippers has added four new dates to its programme of yoga and meditation-themed sailings for summer 2013
Yoga expert Christel Vollmer will offer free daily yoga and meditation sessions on board the 170-passenger tall ship Star Flyer on cruises in the Baltic and the Mediterranean.
Yoga classes on all sailings will take place in the open air, under thousands of square feet of billowing sails – the ultimate relaxation for body and soul, enhanced by the fresh sea breezes. Each cruise will begin with an Introduction to Yoga class and every day thereafter, two classes will be held: 60 minutes of power yoga in the morning and a 40-minute wind-down class at sunset, followed by meditation. All classes are completely optional; the ships will continue their normal progamme of activities and ports of call and guests are welcome to do as many or as few classes as they like.
For those who want to follow a healthy or vegetarian diet during the cruise, Star Clippers’ usual sumptuous breakfast buffets, piled with fresh, seasonal fruits, and magnificent arrays of salads at lunchtime will be available, as well as vegetarian choices at dinner.

Star Flyer’s new yoga cruises for 2013 include:
Stockholm to Travemunde, seven nights, departing July 27 and calling at ports in Finland, Estonia and Denmark, from £1,490 per person, cruise only.

Travemunde to Hamburg, six nights departing August 18, calling at ports in Denmark and Sweden, from £1,280 per person, cruise only.
Two Malaga round trips, each seven nights departing October 5 and 12, calling at Casablanca, Tangier, Cadiz, Gibraltar and Motril (for Granada), from £1,435 per person, cruise only
Prices include full board on the cruise, all yoga and lectures and port charges. Flights are extra. To book, call 0845 200 6145 or visit  

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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Book with Hebridean Island Cruises before 12 July 2013 for 10% off 2014 itineraries

The world’s smallest luxury cruise line, Hebridean Island Cruises ( 01756704704) is offering 10% off new 2014 itineraries when bookings are made before the 12 July 2013.

The offer coincides with the launch of the cruise line’s new 2014 Cruise Directory which sees Hebridean Princess return to Norwegian waters for the first time in five years. Followers of the cruise line can also book one of 12 new Scottish itineraries, including new private visits to Ardkinglas House, Dundonald Castle and the private apartments at Inveraray Castle, or sail to the far flung islands of St. Kilda, Orkney and Shetland. Hebridean Island Cruises is also offering new partnership cruises with NADFAS and the National Trust for 2014 including Houses and Castles of the Clyde and Gaelic Discoverer.

Those in search of a cultural break can join Hebridean Princess as she returns to Norway on board the seven night Norwegian Symphony cruise. Passengers can opt to join the crossing from Invergordon (Scotland) to Bergen (Norway) before being treated to a performance from traditional folk dancers in Ulvikfjord and an exclusive evening concert at Ole Bull’s Villa (Lysøen). Price starts from £4923 per person (based on two people sharing a cabin, including 10% early booking offer discount), based on a 4 August 2014 UK departure.

History buffs can join the eight night Island Kingdoms of the Vikings cruise, visiting Orkney, Lewis and the Western Isles, which were all once part of the Norse Kingdom of the Vikings. Passengers will be joined by special Guest Speaker, Dr. Donna Heddle, an expert in Scottish and Northern Isles cultural history and Nordic studies, who will bring each port of call to life with her stories of her work. Price starts from £4167 per person (based on two people sharing a cabin, including 10% early booking offer discount), based on a 28 August 2014 UK departure.

Keen walkers can join one of the five specialist walking itineraries in the 2014 programme including a brand new itinerary, Footloose to the Lochs and Isles.

Guests who want to stretch their legs a little further afield can join Footloose in the Fjords to explore destinations including Bergen, Fjærland and Vik by foot, with the help of Hebridean Island Cruises’ special walking guides. Highlights include a full day glacier walk, a visit to the Norwegian Wild Salmon Centre (Lærdal) and the Sogn Folkemuseum in Sogndal. Price starts from £5,211 per person (based on two people sharing a cabin, including 10% early booking offer discount), and is based on an 11 August 2014 UK departure.

Prices for all cruises include transport between Glasgow/Inverness and the ship or free car parking for Scottish departures and return Flights for Norwegian departures, meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, shore excursions, free internet including Wi-Fi and gratuities and all relevant port taxes/fees. All Hebridean Island Cruises bookings also come with the added benefit of free single trip travel and cancellation insurance. Terms and conditions apply – see website or brochure for details.

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

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Monday, 17 June 2013


SAVE up to £548pp on a Voyage in Norway during Arctic Winter

Hurtigruten is offering FREE flights from London Gatwick plus a FREE excursion to North Cape for anyone wanting to voyage along the Norwegian coast this winter – this equates to savings of up to £548pp. The offer is available on 20 selected dates this October/November for the 12 day Classic Round Voyage travelling from Bergen in the South to Kirkenes in the far north and back again. And with this winter tipped as the best in a decade for viewing the Northern Lights there really has never been a better time to go. Book by 31 July to take advantage of all the savings.

The Classic Round Voyage is the best way to discover the very best of the Norwegian coastline. The ship will visit over 30 ports of call as she travels north and then turn to make her return journey. Those ports visited at night on the way up, are revealed and visited during the day on the southbound journey. In the larger towns and cities there is plenty of time to go ashore and join in a wide variety of excursions.

Visiting North Cape, the northernmost point of mainland Europe, is a ‘must do’ for many people taking a Hurtigruten voyage along the coast of Norway. As part of this offer, Hurtigruten is giving away a FREE excursion to this popular rock plateau worth £98 per person. Year on year visiting North Cape, which rises a dramatic 307 metres straight up from the Arctic Ocean, has been Hurtigurten’s top selling excursion.

Classic Voyage North including FREE FLIGHTS AND FREE EXCURSION TO NORTH CAPE – from £1177pp (selected dates in November) – A 12-day Classic Round Voyage from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes by the Russian border and back costs from £1177pp and includes full board on the ship, return flights from London Gatwick, transfers and a free excursion to North Cape. Prices in October are from £1398pp. Book by 31 July to take advantage of all the savings.

For more information call Hurtigruten – 0844 448 7601

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Sunday, 16 June 2013


Few areas in the world are as exotic and stunning as Papua New Guinea. The land's vibrant culture is still thriving and it's natural beauty makes the territory a truly untouched tropical paradise. Departing from Cairns, Queensland (Australia) 1st February, 2014, SeaDream II of the award-winning SeaDream Yacht Club, will set sail on an exclusive voyage led by a team of expedition experts. Visiting a virtually inaccessible part of the world, guests will travel on far-off traditional cruising routes and venture into areas rarely visited by outsiders.

"It is simply exhilarating to arrive on a secluded beach by Zodiac boat from SeaDream II and be warmly greeted by a civilization that has remained the same for thousands of years," shares Pamela Conover, CEO of SeaDream Yacht Club. "Visiting this unspoiled region with our collection of experts promises an unforgettable and rewarding experience."

Sailing from Australia's northwest coastal city of Cairns on 1st February and arriving in Bali (Benoa) on 15th February, 2014, ports of call and remote harbours include Alotau, Milne Bay; Kitava, Trobriand Islands; Tami Island; Sepik River and Watam Village; Jayapura; Banda Neira; Moluccas; Larantuka; and Komodo Island.

Calling the 112-guest mega-yacht SeaDream II home, guests will be transported by a fleet of nimble, go-anywhere Zodiacs, landing directly on the beaches of these coastal villages to begin exploration. An added bonus will be professional wildlife photographer Sue Flood being onboard, documenting the expedition and sharing tips for taking the perfect photo.

Highlights and shore excursion options include:
*          Introduction to Papua New Guinea culture in Alotau in the Milne Bay Province, meeting charming locals and touring the coast. Travellers will have the option to venture into the jungle to revisit a key World War II site. For those interested in natural history, guides will lead guests on hikes and bird watching tours from the beach.
*          Exploring the Trobriand Islands, one of the most culturally in tact destinations in Papa New Guinea. Guests landing ashore will experience colourful and powerful performances of young warriors and local maidens dancing directly on the beach before touring the gardens and thatched roof homes of the villagers. The day will conclude with a beachside barbecue in this unspoiled paradise.
*          Discovering the tiny islands of Tami, comprised of uplifted coral atolls less than a kilometre in length. Locals will greet guests with indigenous dances and tours of their villages, observing traditions dating back thousands of years.
*          Visiting the mighty Sepik River, the longest in Papua New Guinea, which is home to the villages of Watam and Kopar along its delta. Villagers will display local customs and dances, allowing a direct look back in time to a culture that measures its existence in thousands of years.

Fully-inclusive, voyage-only yachting fares lead in at £7,272 per person, based on double occupancy. SeaDream II will be sailing a series of 17 voyages in Asia starting October 2013 through to April 2014. Itineraries include Myanmar, Thailand, India, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Northern Australia and Malaysia.  

About SeaDream Yacht Club
SeaDream Yacht Club has achieved the industry's highest accolades for its two twin, casually elegant mega-yachts, SeaDream I and SeaDream II. With a maximum of only 112 guests and a 95-person award-winning crew, "It's yachting, not cruising" concept defines not only the size of the vessels but also the onboard lifestyle and anticipatory service. SeaDream Yacht Club provides a yachting experience visiting small harbours and ports around the world, many inaccessible by larger ships, on seven to 15-night voyages. An incredible array of services, activities, water toys, dining, wine, premium drinks and gratuities are available through SeaDream's fully-inclusive fare. 
How to book/further information:
Call free phone 0800 783 1373;   

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Saturday, 15 June 2013

Live ‘La Bella Vita’ aboard a luxury hotel barge this Summer

A taste of Italy sailing in style through the Venetian Lagoon
and the Po Valley to the Renaissance City of Mantua

 This special cruise route aboard European Waterways’ 20-passenger La Bella Vita gives passengers the opportunity to enjoy the diverse cultures and landscapes en route, from picturesque lagoon islands with their colourful houses, to wild beach dunes and pine woods with an abundance of birdlife; from the charming Venetian port of Chioggia via the River Po and Bianco Canal to the captivating lakeside setting of the Renaissance city of Mantua.
Cruise Highlights:
  • Guided tour of historic Venice – hidden gardens, Pavilion of the Gondolas, Naval Museum
  • Cruise the Canal of the Orphans past picturesque lagoon islands
  • Tour of the colourful port of Chioggia and its famous red fish market
  • Private wine tastings at Villa Widmann-Borletti
  • Visit to the 17thC private stately home, Villa Ca’Zen
  • Tours of historic Mantua and Ferrara
 Like all the hotel barges in the European Waterways fleet, La Bella Vita will be fully crewed with a captain, gourmet chef, hostesses and a tour guide. Every 6-night cruise aboard La Bella Vita includes comfortable accommodation in air-conditioned, en suite cabins, gourmet meals, open bar, fine wines, daily escorted excursions, entrance fees, local transfers and the use of barge facilities such as bicycles to explore the towpaths and a large sundeck to relax on from which to enjoy the Venetian Lagoon and River Po.
 This Summer, booking by 19 July, a 6-night all-inclusive Venice and Po Valley cruises aboard ‘La Bella Vita’, departing on 25 August, starts from just £1,890 pp, including a £500 per person discount.  Based on double occupancy, all fares include: accommodation in air-conditioned, en- suite cabins, all gourmet meals on board, fine wines, open bar, daily escorted shore excursions, local transfers and the use of all barge facilities such as bicycles and spa pools.
Full details:                 Tel: +44(0) 1753 598555         

Friday, 14 June 2013

Sail to the newly re-opened Rijksmuseum with Swan Hellenic

Sail to the newly re-opened Rijksmuseum with Swan Hellenic

Swan Hellenic ( 822 0679) is offering guests onboard the Dutch Waterways river cruise the opportunity to visit the newly re-opened Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Passengers can immerse themselves in the art exhibited in the Rijksmuseum which stretches from the late Middle Ages through to the modern day, including the famous Night Watch by Rembrandt. Guests who have been inspired by all things art can also visit the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which boasts more than 200 paintings and drawings by the man himself.

The 8-day Dutch Waterways  cruise starts from £1,750 per person (Saver Fare price, based on two people sharing an inside cabin). Cruise departs from Amsterdam (Netherlands) – overnight, and calls at Kinderdijk (Netherlands) - overnight, Dordrecht (Netherlands), Antwerp (Belgium) - overnight, Middelburg (Netherlands), Rotterdam (Netherlands) – overnight before returning to Amsterdam – overnight. Price is based on 6 July 2013 UK departure.

Price includes relevant transfers, a tailor-made programme of shore excursions worth up to £650 per person, talks by eminent Guest Speakers, meals and entertainment on board, all gratuities on board and ashore and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. A supplement for some shore excursions may apply. Cabins may not be allocated at time of booking.

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