Monday, 31 March 2014

Orbital Travel Launches Croatia Coastal Cruises

Orbital Travel Launches Croatia Coastal Cruises 
Orbital Travel is delighted to announce that it has added a 7 night Dalmatian coastal cruise to its cruise programmes.

The spectacular unspoilt Adriatic coastline boasts over one thousand islands, a number of peaceful bays, and stunning national parks. This part of the Adriatic coast, known as the Dalmatian coast, stretches from the northern coast of Croatia all the way to the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.  

The cruise begins and ends in the picturesque medieval city of Dubrovnik and showcases the region’s stunning scenery; stopovers include the beautiful islands of Mljet, Korkula, Vis and Hvar, the medieval cities of Sibenik, Trogir and Split, and the beautiful Kotor estuary in Montenegro.

Cruises are on board the MS Belle de l‘Adriatique which offers a relaxed and intimate atmosphere with excellent food and the opportunity to spend free time on board, as well as experiencing the local culture and sampling the local cuisine.

John McCallum, Orbital Travel’s Managing Director commented: “when we first saw this cruise, it just seemed like a perfect fit for our planned development of our cruising programme. Croatia and the Dalmatian coast are becoming hugely popular with the Brits again and we believe this cruise has great potential. It’s an ideal way to see the stunning scenery and beautifully preserved towns along the coast.”

Departures are between April and October and prices lead in at £1325 per person, including flights, transfers and 7 nights All Inclusive on the MS Belle de l'Adriatique.

For more information please contact Orbital Travel on 0333 123 7147,

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Star Clippers and the Panama Canal

Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers is offering two opportunities to sail into the Panama Canal this year, the centenary of what’s been designated one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Both sailings will be on the four-masted Star Flyer as part of either a 14-day and a nine-day Caribbean cruise, in November.

Star Clippers’ two Panama Canal voyages are as follows:

·         Star Flyer sails from Barbados to Balboa on November 9, calling at the Grenadines, Grenada, Venezuela, Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba, Cartagena and the San Blas archipelago, before entering the Canal as far as San Cristobal; from £2,795 for 14 nights, including full board on the ship and port taxes. Flights extra.

·         Star Flyer then returns to her winter cruising base of Cienfuegos, Cuba, departing Balboa on November 23, sailing into the Panama Canal and then calling at ports in Colombia and the Cayman Islands as well as Casilda in Cuba (for the historic city of Trinidad). From £1,765 for nine nights, including full board on the ship and port taxes. Flights extra.

More Info:   0808 231 4798 or visit


Friday, 28 March 2014

John Honeywell appointed editor of World of Cruising magazine

Real Response Media is delighted to announce that John Honeywell has been appointed editor of World of Cruising magazine, which was acquired in 2013.

John is known throughout the cruise industry as Captain Greybeard and his column in that name has appeared in the magazine for the past three years. "John is a natural choice to take the reins of World of Cruising for phase two of Europe’s oldest cruise magazine, now in its 15th year," said managing director Chris Pitchford.

John spent a lifetime on newspapers, including more than 30 years in senior positions on national titles, before leaving his desk behind to turn to full-time travel writing in 2008. Since then he has contributed to a number of publications in the UK, America and Australia, and has travelled to five of the seven continents (adding a sixth later this month) on vessels ranging from a converted fishing trawler to the world’s biggest and newest cruise ships.

In previous incarnations he has interviewed personalities as varied as David Bowie and Sir Alan Sugar. His Fleet Street career saw him involved in events ranging from the Falklands War to Charles and Di’s wedding and the election of Britain’s first coalition government since the war.

Last year alone he spent almost 20 weeks at sea and a week on one of the world’s remotest islands. He has been present at ship launches carried out by royalty and stars from the screen and the music charts, and has the phone numbers and email addresses of all the major cruise industry figures in his contacts book. 

Never happier than when he is at sea, packing for his next journey or writing about the last, John said: “I am delighted to be able to accept this new challenge. Cruising - on the oceans and by river - is the fastest-growing sector of travel. I intend to make World of Cruising, in print and online, essential reading for frequent passengers and new-to-cruise holidaymakers alike.”

Chris Pitchford, Managing Director of Real Response Media, said: “We are extremely lucky to have someone of John’s calibre leading World of Cruising. He is well known and liked by industry leaders and passengers alike.

“WoC wants to capitalise on John’s knowledge and experience of the market to ensure we cover all aspects of cruising independently; by doing so we will inspire the frequent cruiser and the passenger new to cruising.

“RRM has invested in the magazine circulation, design and content, and it seemed logical to invest in people next. We have a very aggressive marketing plan to increase our subscribers and to team up with like-minded businesses who have the same brand values as we do so we can get the magazine out there to people who are new-to-cruises.

“We wish John all the luck in the world in his new role and we look forward to seeing what he has in store for the magazine.”

You can subscribe to World of Cruising magazine by following this link.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Small Ship Safaris Offers Small Group Expedition Cruises

Small Ship Safaris
Offers Small Group Expedition Cruises
For Families to Alaska, Hawaii and Galapagos

 Small Ship Safaris, specialists in expedition small group cruising, has selected three natural playgrounds for families to explore while enjoying intimate explorations in nature this year. The destinations are some of the most popular family destinations worldwide; Alaska, Hawaii and the Galapagos Islands.

Guests who have experienced Small Ship Safaris’ sister company’s (African Safari Company) diverse land safaris on the African continent have come to expect both traditional and cutting-edge accommodations and itineraries while exploring the bush and environs. This same attention is paid in the selection of the intimate cruise vessels and complimentary land programs that accommodate family budgets and timelines.

In Alaska young and old adventurers alike delight in an 8-day/7-night itinerary visiting the Inner Reaches Western Cove, embracing Tongass National Forest (the largest national forest in the United States), Frederick Sound and Stephen's Passage. The backcountry offers a wild Alaska hike winding through high forest on an old logging trail and a trek up to El Capitan Cave, the largest known cave in Alaska and one of the largest mapped caves in the Americas. Adding to the excitement are a visit to a native Tlingit village, kayaking, skiffing or snorkeling, bear and whale watching.

The 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer, refurbished in early 2011, offers a main lounge evoking the ambiance of a National Park Lodge. The sun deck has a hot tub, sauna and fitness equipment; the observation deck allows for over-the-top viewing from the bow; and the EZ Dock launch platform on the main deck makes getting in the water a cinch. This ship features Kids in Nature Family Departures on July 26 and Aug. 9. Children 12 and under save 25 percent on published fares on select departures. The per person double rate is from $2,195.

The company’s 8-day/7-night tropical escapes to the islands, Hawaiian Seascapes, sails on the modern 36-guest Safari Explorer.  While there are a number of departures from January through April and from November through December, Kids in Nature Family Departures are in March (call for 2015 dates), with savings on published fares in select staterooms for ages 12 and under. The per person double rate (2014) is from $3,595. The Safari Explorer is an intimate ocean-going yacht designed for luxury in pursuit of adventure with a wine bar and spa, three decks and hydrophones for listening to below-surface sounds.

This is an adventure that maximizes snorkeling and swimming along with land excursions (all included in the rate) that reveal the richly textured history of this complex cluster of islands. Towering waterfalls, visits to cultural museums, an evening pa’ina (feast), marine life including coral gardens that are home to sea turtles, the Humpback National Marine Sanctuary with dolphins and whales, the experience of night snorkeling with Pacific Manta rays in Honomalino Bay and the lore of Captain Cook provide plenty to talk about at the Captain’s Dinner.

Galapagos Expeditions are year-round 8-day/7-night experiences utilizing a variety of small vessels. Family departures aboard the stylish Eclipse are on April 12, 26; June 21; July 5, 19; Aug. 2, 16; and Nov 22; 2014. The itinerary is the Genovesa Island Cruise that visits Black Turtle Cove, Fernandina Island, Isabela Island, and the newly accessible Genovesa Island. Another itinerary utilizing the same vessel, the Española Island Cruise visits Santa Fe Islands, San Cristobal Island, Floreana Island, and Española Island with departures on April 19; June 14, 28; July 12, 26; Aug. 9, 23; Dec 13, and 27, 2014.

“Unless one is a scientist developing a research paper, there are no sacrifices when choosing one itinerary over the other. Both are stunning, especially when seen through the eyes of the experienced naturalist guides who assist both on and off ship,” said Julia Nesbitt, Small Ship Safaris’ Director of Sales & Marketing.

The 48-guest M/V Eclipse has been awarded the Smart Voyager Green Seal of Approval by the Rainforest Alliance. Every cabin boasts either picture windows or large portholes, providing a view of the surrounding waters. The ship’s twin beds can be converted to king-size beds upon request. On board are a library, boutique, lounge and an infirmary with a doctor on board at all times.

From the first moment that children step on board the M/V Eclipse, they are warmly greeted as kids embarking on a new, exciting and educational adventure. A Child Coordinator organizes discovery and learning exercises throughout the cruise that allow children to learn about the unique species found only in these islands while mom and dad can also maximize their Galapagos experience. There are also child-friendly menu options.  Children under 12, sharing with adults, receive a 25 percent discount on the departures listed above.  The per person double rate starts at $5,150.

About African Safari Company & Small Ship Safaris
Mike Nesbitt, a native of South Africa, and daughter Julia bring an intimate knowledge of wildlife migrations, climate variables and cultural opportunities to the African Safari Company that he founded in 1998. Specializing in small group travel and custom safaris for the independent and inquisitive adventurer, the company carefully vets each lodge, camp and safari partner they work with in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda & Rwanda, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.

A new division launched in 2013, Small Ship Safaris features a similar exotic adventure experience - on water instead of land. Expedition ships for between 16 and 210 guests transport wildlife and nature enthusiasts to remote areas of Alaska, Hawaii, Amazon, Polar Regions, Baja Sea of Cortez, Galapagos and Patagonia.

For more information, itineraries, availability and reservations please call: 1.800.414.3090 or 206.284.7682; or visit: or

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Zegrahm Expeditions Offers Unique Galápagos Expedition

Expedition Exposes Travelers of All Ages to the Wonders of the Natural World with Zegrahm Cofounder
 Zegrahm Expeditions, ts, is thrilled to return to the Galápagos Islands this July for its annual Ultimate Galápagos expedition. Famed for unparalleled wildlife viewing, spectacular natural beauty, and Darwin’s home-away-from-home, the Galápagos are often described as “Mother Nature’s classroom.”
Zegrahm cofounder and marine biologist, Jack Grove, who lived in the islands for seven years and literally wrote the book, The Fishes of the Galápagos Islands, will lead travelers on this 13-day expedition. Jack designed this itinerary to give travelers of all ages a comprehensive overview of the islands, with in-depth exploration of both the marine and terrestrial worlds.
Highlights include:
  • Observing numerous endemic species—giant Galápagos tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and much more.
  • Snorkeling and swimming among playful sea lions, sea turtles, and, with luck, Galápagos penguins.
  • Discovering the fascinating geology of the islands, from lunar-like lava fields to active shield volcanoes.
  • Exploring the archipelago on Zodiac cruises, by kayak, and glass-bottom boat.
“There’s no doubt that travel and the thrill of shared discovery bring family and friends closer together,” says Zegrahm President Edwin Blythe. “And, this is the perfect itinerary for guests of all ages to create shared memories that are relived for many years to come.”

This expedition is aboard the intimate, 40-guest Isabela II from July 17 - 29, 2014 and is priced from $10,970 per person. Groups of 8 or more save 10% on the cruise fare with Zegrahm’s group savings discount. For more information about Zegrahm or to make a reservation on an upcoming expedition, please visit or call 1-800-628-8747.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014


*In Demand Itineraries Return & New Discoveries Await*

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has unveiled four remarkable itineraries for 2015 that offer exciting new possibilities.   The voyages have been designed for those seeking active, immersive travel, and on some, to take advantage of the newly christened National Geographic Orion which has been equipped with a full roster of exploration tools including a dive master, scuba gear that can accommodate up to 24 divers at a time, snorkeling gear for all, kayaks, and a state-of the-art ROV (remote operated vehicle reaching depths up to 1,000 feet).   “New” for 2015 also includes four popular itineraries that have been brought back due to popular demand.
All rates quoted below are per person based on double occupancy in a category 1 cabin.
·         Wildlife and Cultures of South Africa, Mozambique and Madagascar: Embark on a voyage that is extraordinary in its diversity and scope, visiting five countries and a remarkable number of different habitats, beginning in South Africa and ending in Tanzania.  You’ll see Cape Town; the wildlife of South Africa’s bush country; Mozambique’s capital and extraordinary coast and marine life; the lemurs and other wildlife of Madagascar, along with its renowned baobab trees; and the cultures and wildlife of Mayotte in the French Comoroes. Cage dive with great white sharks, meet welcoming Zulus, and discover colonial history. Set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, the 22 day voyage departs March 20, 2015. Rates begin at $25,940.

·         Treasures of the Indian Ocean: Zanzibar to the Seychelles: Venture to remote, paradisiacal islands few humans will ever see and dive or snorkel at some of the world’s most extraordinarily vibrant reefs and undersea sites. From the Swahili culture of Zanzibar, to the rare birds and giant tortoises of the Seychelles, you’ll see tropical nature at its most exuberant. Explore Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage site that teems with tropical fish, rare birds, and the world’s largest population of giant tortoises. In the Seychelles, swim or relax at Anse Source d’Argent, one of the world’s best beaches, and explore reefs around pristine Assumption Island.  Set aboard National Geographic Orion, the 15 day voyage departs April 8, 2015.  Rates begin at $13,290.

·         Indian Ocean Odyssey: Seychelles, Maldives and Sri Lanka:  Travel strings of tiny tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, home to pristine ecosystems. Enjoy a balance of wildness and culture in the Seychelles, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka and discover idyllic islands rich in endemic plant and birdlife surrounded by crystalline seas vibrant with life, including blue whales. Visit the islands’ colorful towns, explore their intriguing histories, and see an ancient seaport and 400-year-old fort in Galle, Sri Lanka. Snorkel or dive with huge manta rays and whale sharks, hike among mammoth palm trees for a land-of-the-lost experience, and see the markings of Persian, Greek, and Chinese influences all the way up to Portuguese and Dutch colonial times.  Set aboard National Geographic Orion, the 21 day voyage departs April 18, 2015.  Rates begin at $19,930.

·         Wild Islands of Sri Lanka, Borneo, and the Andaman Sea: Embark on an expedition that offers a wide variety of wildlife, cultural, and undersea experiences on one sweeping voyage. Explore an ancient seaport and a traditional tea plantation in Sri Lanka, and venture into the UNESCO World Heritage site of Galle Fort, and meet the indigenous peoples of Sumatra’s remote interior. Visit the endangered wild and rescued orangutans at the orangutan infant care center at Camp Leakey in Borneo; go on game drives in search of endangered elephants or leopards in southern Sri Lanka’s national parks; snorkel and dive the productive, wild waters where the Andaman Sea meets the Indian Ocean, and enjoy a day of curated exploration in Singapore. The 22-day voyage aboard National Geographic Orion departs May 4, 2015. Rates begin at $21,040.

·         Sailing the Greek Isles Aboard the Sea Cloud:  Sprinkled across the Aegean Sea and steeped in ancient mythology, the iconic Cyclades are some of the most spectacular of Greece’s many isles. Here, fishing boats cast colorful reflections in azure waters, whitewashed villages cascade down lavender-dusted slopes, and craggy headlands are punctuated by ancient ruins. Under the billowing sails of the exquisite four-masted tall ship Sea Cloud, voyage to sun-drenched Santoríni, lovely Sífnos, some of the other small, lesser known islands, and more. Discover the magnificent ruins of the ancient sanctuary of Delos, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis; visit the active pilgrimage site of Panagia Evangelistria on Tenos; and immerse yourself in the lively culture. The 9-day voyage aboard the 58-guest Sea Cloud departs May 24, July 4, September 12 & 19, 2015. Rates begin at $8,790.

·         Voyage to West Africa: The Gold Coast to Morocco:  Experience an immersive, in-depth voyage exploring nine countries from Ghana to Morocco across wildly diverse habitats from deserts to jungle to idyllic islands.  Explore several national parks and wildlife centers; meet with a chief in his native village; boat across Benin’s Lake Nokoué to visit a remarkable village built on stilts; trace the history of the transatlantic slave trade at Ghana’s Cape Coast Castle and Senegal’s Gorée Island, both UNESCO World Heritage sites, and see some of West Africa’s flora and fauna, from the rain forests of Ghana to a chimpanzee rehabilitation center in Sierra Leone.  Enjoy the region’s vibrant music, with some of Africa’s most renowned musicians performing just for the expedition. The 20-day voyage aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer departs March 23, 2015. Rates begin at $19,150.

·         Along the Viking Trail: From Iceland to Greenland:  Follow in the wake of legendary explorers to discover the dramatic landscapes and rich traditions of Greenland and Iceland - in particular, Iceland’s untrammeled western coast.  Explore Iceland’s western fjords by Zodiac; kayak among the magnificent icebergs of East Greenland; and hike amid charming northern hamlets.  Along the way, get immersed in Nordic history on visits to fascinating Viking sites and settlements with experts.  Explore Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city, and discover the wild western coast of Iceland. National Geographic Explorer departs July 19, 2015. Rates begin at $10,580. Book by July 31, 2014 to receive free charter airfare (Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa).  Must be ticketed by Lindblad Expeditions; valid for new bookings only, subject to availability, and may not be combined with other offers, or extensions.

·         Exploring Greenland and The Canadian High Arctic:  Venture deep into the far northern reaches of the Arctic, on a quest for arctic wildlife and the magisterial scenery of the ice––occurring at an epic scale in Greenland. With a multifaceted focus on the vital Arctic region, this itinerary provides unique opportunities to: navigate the eastern entrance of Canada’s fabled Northwest Passage; explore Greenland’s fjords, and the Ilulissat Glacier, a UNESCO site and a tongue of the Greenland ice cap; spend a week in the Canadian High Arctic observing polar bears and other denizens of the ice; and visit an historic Inuit fishing village and former whaling ports.  The 13-day voyage on National Geographic Explorer departs July 28; August 7, 17 & 27, 2015. Rates begin at $12,990.
Additionally, to meet the demand for Lindblad Expeditions’ Amazon, Vietnam & Cambodia, and Mediterranean voyages, they have added departures aboard their Delfin ll, Jahan and Sea Cloud seasonal charters. 

For more information or to book your Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic experience today, visit, call 1-800-EXPEDITION or your travel agent.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Austin Adventures to Expand Options

Popularity of Small Ship Cruising
Prompts Austin Adventures to Expand Options:
Now Offers Seven Cruises from Antarctica to Alaska
Billings, MT, March 18, 2014 –The company that for four decades has offered award-winning international multi-sport vacations has responded to growing demand by launching a new category of adventure – small ship cruising.  Utilizing a variety of classic vessels that carry from 12 to 150 passengers, this year there are seven cruises from Antarctica to Alaska.

Dan Austin, Founder and President, cautions that an Austin Adventures cruise is a far cry from a traditional big ship experience with thousands exercising their way on crowded shore excursions and to and from meals.

“Austin Adventures cruises are all about our signature trademark – small group adventure. We have found some of the best small ship cruise options from around the globe. Imagine a cruise up the Amazon where you can fish for piranhas, or discovering what Charles Darwin saw in the Galapagos, or whale watching in Alaska,” he says.

Austin adds that many enticing shoreline destinations can only be fully appreciated by small ship cruising. For example Antarctica and the Amazon are two regions offering spectacular natural wonders that can only be experienced on board a small and nimble ship designed to maneuver shallow, difficult-to-navigate waterways inaccessible to mega cruise liners.  His company’s selection of ships ranges from a Peruvian riverboat that sleeps 14 to a four-masted sailing yacht accommodating 148.

The Australia | Kimberley Wilderness Cruise is an 8-day/7-night voyage on the 36-passenger True North that cruises through Western Australia’s pristine Kimberley wilderness region. On shore excursions guests hike (or helicopter) to the top of King George Falls, take a refreshing dip in a secluded billabong, marvel at some of the oldest art in the world -- "The Bradshaws," a group of traditional cave paintings with mysterious origins -- and climax each day with a glass of Australian wine while watching the sunset from an observation lounge. Departures in 2014 are April 19, May 10 and 31, June 21, July 12, and Aug. 2 and 23. Cabin prices begin at $10,495 per person.

Alaska Northern Passages & Glacier Bay is an 8-day/7-night cruise departing weekly in the summer aboard the newly renovated 76-guest Wilderness Explorer built specifically to navigate narrow straights and shallow lagoons. Amenities include a sauna and hot tub, a Douglas fir-topped bar, a hydrophone for listening below the surface and a bow-mounted underwater camera that streams to the vessel’s lounge and to guest cabin TV. The cruise explores from Juneau to Sitka, taking in spectacular tidewater glaciers, snow-capped mountain ranges, chiseled fjords, and pristine waters and wilderness teeming with whales, otters, bears and bald eagles. The per person double rate starts at $4,195. Departures are from May 3 through September 13, 2014.

Antarctica | Peninsula Expedition Cruise is an 11-day/10-night exploration through a world of sculpted ice and spectacular wildlife: sliding penguins, slumbering seals, 3,000-foot ice walls, and surreal sunsets. Guests navigate iceberg-laden waters and White Continent wilderness by small ship, zodiac, kayak and on foot. The M/V Plancius, originally an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy, accommodates 114 passengers. Built specifically for icy conditions and equipped with 10 Zodiac Mark Vs, Plancius offers a restaurant/lecture room, a spacious panoramic observation lounge (with bar) and large, open deck spaces, perfect for enjoying the scenery and wildlife. The per person double rate starts at $8,450. Multiple departures between June - September and October – May.

Ecuador | Galapagos Islands is an 8-day/7-night exploration of Darwin’s world that enables guests to witness many of the same wonders he first recorded.  Guests snorkel alongside warm-water penguins and sea lions and marvel at the diverse and fearless avian population. Home base is one of three identical 20-passenger motor yachts: M/Y Eric, Flamingo I and Letty, all with outside-facing cabins with private bath and shower. The per person double rate is $3,900. Departures are weekly year-round.

Peru | Amazon River Cruise is a 5-day/4-night journey aboard the 130-foot luxury riverboat M/V Aqua that sleeps 24 pampered guests. This itinerary reflects June through November departures. Another itinerary is in effect during high-water season of December through May. Departures are year round.   From the observation deck guests can hear exotic birdsong and monkey calls, and witness three-toed sloth along the Ucayali River and other simians on the Pacaya River accessed by skiff. The per person double rate begins at $3,800.

Costa Rica & Panama | Corcovado to Panama Canal is a 7-day/6-night voyage celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal this year. Guests sail the exquisite marine and wildlife-rich shores of Costa Rica and Panama’s Pacific coastline, including a transit of the Panama Canal. Corcovado National Park’s treasures include spot tapirs, jaguars and scarlet macaws; breaching whales and pods of playful dolphins welcome guest to the Osa Peninsula. Guests snorkel among schools of manta rays in Coiba National Park, home to one of the largest coral reefs in Central America.  Home base is the 148-passenger, four-masted Wind Spirit sailing yacht with over 10,000 square feet of open deck space, a water-sports platform, library, pool, hot tub, a variety of dining options and an on-board spa. The per person double rate is from $2,199. 2014 departures are Mar 9, 16, 23, 30, Apr 6, Dec 13, 20 and 27.

Greece & Turkey | Greek Isles & Turkish Delights is an 8-day/7-night cruise that takes guests from the Acropolis of Athens to the palaces of Istanbul, enroute exploring the tiny streets of Mykonos, the birthplace of Apollo on Delos, the coffee houses of Bodrum and the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. Guests sail on the four-masted Wind Spirit sailing yacht with 73 ocean-view staterooms, over 10,000 square feet of open deck, a water-sports platform, library, pool, hot tube, varied dining options and an onboard spa. The per person double rate starts at $3,599. Weekly departures are from May 17 through Oct. 11.

About Austin Adventures
For over 40 years Austin Adventures (formerly Austin-Lehman Adventures) has provided adventure vacations, now on six continents, building an international reputation for small group active travel to destinations in The Americas, Europe, Africa and Antarctica. Its specialty is adult adventure (multi-sport), family, biking, hiking and small ship cruising adventures, all focused on history, culture and nature’s gifts.  Small group trips feature exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations and all-inclusive rates and services. In addition to scheduled group departures, Austin Adventures offers customized trip planning and a money-back satisfaction guarantee.

For a comprehensive 2014 catalog, call toll-free 1.800.575.1540, or e-mail To review current trips, schedules and itineraries log onto:

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Quark Expeditions Announces 50 Years of Victory's Retirement and Final North Pole Voyages

End Of An Era For World's Most Powerful Icebreaker: 2009-2015

Quark Expeditions announces the ship 50 Years of Victory will retire as an expedition vessel after the 2015 Arctic season. This 'End of an Era' will be marked by Quark with three final voyages to the North Pole departing in June 2015.
Quark is the first and only North American operator to offer trips to the North Pole aboard 50 Years of Victory. Only 128 lucky people will have the opportunity to join each of these three final voyages as Quark marks the 'End of an Era' for this incredible expedition vessel. Quark has been offering expeditions aboard 50 Years of Victory since 2009, and has taken over 1150 passengers to 90° North. After completing the 2015 season, Quark will have successfully taken almost 1800 passengers from countries all over world to the highest point on Earth.

To meet demand for the final year, Quark will add a third voyage at the start of the season. Departing on June 4, this first voyage will be 15 days in length, one day longer given the heavy ice conditions Victory will crush through in early season on its way to the top of the world. The other two departures, June 19 and June 30, will be 14-day voyages. Watch Quark's North Pole video, narrated by Gordon Pinsent. Quark is also the only tour operator to offer hot air ballooning at the top of the world.

How to Book 
Quark's North Pole expeditions start at £15,765 per person based on double occupancy. For more information visit or call 0808 120 2333

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Take an ‘Arctic Adventure & Exploration’ on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Boudicca in summer 2015



The Arctic is one of the most magnificent and hard-to-reach regions in the world but, in 2015, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is offering guests the chance to experience this unspoiled destination on a 27-night ‘Arctic Adventure & Exploration’ voyage. Departing from Newcastle on 2nd August 2015, this cruise, on smaller, more intimate Boudicca, will allow guests to cross the Arctic Circle, witness the majestic fjords of Norway, take in the peaks and pinnacles of Iceland and Greenland, and maybe spot some of the world’s most elusive wildlife – Whales, Dolphins, Sea Eagles, Huskies and possibly even a  Polar Bear.

This intrepid ‘Arctic Adventure & Exploration’ cruise will call first at the bustling city of Ålesund (Norway), which is shaped like a fish hook and home to the largest and most beautiful cod fishing fleet in Norway.

Boudicca will then set sail for Greenland – the last year that Fred. Olsen will be visiting this little-known natural masterpiece. As no direct flights operate out of the UK to this stunning location, visiting on a cruise ship is one of the best ways to reach this far-flung destination and, because Boudicca is a smaller ship, she is able to take guests even closer to the heart of the destination.

Prices for this amazing ‘Arctic Adventure & Exploration’ cruise start from just £2,699 per person, based on two adults sharing a twin, ‘Inside’ cabin, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, and port dues.  

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at Book online, call Reservations on 0800 0355 242 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm; Saturday, 9am to 5pm; Sunday, 10am to 4pm), or visit an ABTA travel agent.

Subscribe to World of Cruising magazine by following this link. 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Alaskan Adventures Available With Cruise Nation

Tour operator launches Alaskan cruises for the adventurous cruise traveller.

Cruise Nation, the award-winning tour operator, has introduced a new range of Alaskan cruises for 2014.

The packages open up the Alaskan wilderness to consumers who are looking for a little more adventure on their cruise holiday.

Launch packages include a 15-night Alaskan cruise on the Celebrity Solstice with city breaks in Hawaii and Seattle, as well as an epic 13-night Alaska trip with stays in Seattle and Vancouver.

The new Alaskan cruises are just one of Cruise Nation's increasingly popular Smart Package options, which combine free added extras such as regional flight departures, room upgrades and hotel stays at incredible prices.

Get onboard an Alaska Glacier Bay Cruise and enjoy mini breaks in Vancouver and Seattle with Cruise Nation from £1,299pp - SAVE £500pp, plus two free night stays in Vancouver and Seattle and a balcony room

Book-by-date: Monday 31 March 2014

Holiday Breakdown: 
• Two night stay in Vancouver on a room only basis
• Two night stay in Seattle on a room only basis
• Seven night full-board Alaska Glacier Bay cruise on the Carnival Miracle
Flights: Return flights from London Heathrow are included in the price, while regional flight departures can be added at a supplementary price
Departure Date: Saturday 26 April 2014
Price: £1,299 per person - SAVE £500pp (Rack Price £1,799)  

For more information or to book your cruise holiday, call the experts for free on 0800 408 0758 or visit     Sunscribe to World of Cruising magazine  here

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Experience culinary delights in ‘Norway’s Coastal Kitchen’

Indulge in ‘Sea buckthorn & aquavit ice cream’ or ’baked Arctic char’
Hurtigruten, who offer voyages along the Norwegian coast, have enlisted the help of a celebrated Norwegian food expert, to offer a unique & exciting culinary journey along almost the entire length of the country, from Bergen in the South, to Kirkenes high up in the Arctic Circle.
Andreas Viestad will be helping to develop new restaurant and café concepts on all eleven of Hurtigruten’s ships that sail along the Norwegian coast, with a focus on local food of the highest quality. Menus will be developed with ingredients and themes that reflect the waters and areas that the ships sail through. To add to the culinary experience, telling the story of the local specialities will be a key aspect of Viestad’s work.

More than 80% of the food and drink served on the Hurtigruten voyage is already produced in Norway with menus focusing on seasonal delicacies of the regions visited. However the company has also been identifying smaller food suppliers along the coast with whom it would like to work, and through a partnership with Innovation Norway & the Norwegian Government is helping them grow their business enough to be able to supply the ships on a regular basis.

A brand new Spring ‘Arctic Awakening’ menu is launching in April, with much of this local produce taking pride of place. For example passengers will enjoy cured leg of lamb from Hellesylt, a town near the Geirangerfjord; baked Arctic char from the Sigerfjord near Vesterålen, with gulløye potatoes from Tromsø; or roast reindeer from Finnmark.
Other specialities include sea buckthorn and aquavit ice cream produced by the Gangstad Gårdsysteri dairy in Nord-Trøndelag or a fresh organic cheese hailing from the Grøndalen farm, served with a berry compote. There is no shortage of traditional Norwegian treats on the menu, including kvæfjordkake, a special cake made of meringue, vanilla cream and almonds, which can trace its origins to a small café in Harstad in Vesterålen.

Prices for a seven day ’Classic Voyage North’ from Bergen to Kirkenes departing in April 2014 start from £810 per person, based on two people sharing an inside cabin. Flights and transfers are available for an additional cost.

For more information call Hurtigruten on tel: 020 3582 6642 or visit

Monday, 17 March 2014

Great prizes and Offer at the Cruise Show with Champneys and Hurtigruten

There will be a Champneys special gift worth £30+ for everyone who buys a subscription to World of Cruising magazine at the Cruise Show at Olympia this weekend on 22nd and the 23rd March. 

Plus Hurtigruten are offering  the prize of a "Voyage North" including flights, transfers and full board to be taken between October 2014 and March 2015. The prize consists of 7 days in an unspecified cabin travelling from Bergen to Kirkenes on a full board basis.  Prize-winners are responsible for their own travel insurance.

Prize is subject to Hurtigruten’s normal booking conditions.

See you at The Cruise Show!!!!!!

The new edition of World of Cruising is out and you can see the current version online on our home page at To subscribe at our special offer rate for 2014, see this link.

Alaska Small Ship Cruising Caters to Parents and Kids

 Leader in Alaska Small Ship Cruising
Caters to Parents and Kids - Suggests Lineup
Of Top Family-Designed Departures

Alaska, the most popular destination for small ship cruises, wraps its heart around families who choose to join a growing number of small ship family departures.

AdventureSmith Explorations, the travel company securing matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small expedition ships and land-based lodges, offers six distinct family itineraries that clients can match with the small ship of their choice. Cruise prices include most all land excursions so there are no hidden costs to a family.

“An Alaska family vacation can be a transformative adventure while sharing experiences like kayaking in front of a tidewater glacier, walking in an ancient temperate rainforest or watching whales at water level from a small skiff,” says Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations founder/owner. “The greatest benefit is traveling with like-minded families and kids of similar ages.” Professional guides are family-oriented, meals are child-friendly and flexible activities offer multi-generational options.

AdventureSmith Explorations offers this lineup of distinctive family cruises for 2014:

Eastern Coves Family Adventure Cruise and Western Coves Family Adventure Cruise, among the most active cruise options, are suited to ages eight and up. Children will get the most out of their adventure by participating in off-vessel activities such as hiking, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. The 8-day Eastern Coves cruise travels from Juneau to Ketchikan; the 8-day Western Coves travels from Ketchikan to Juneau. The two cruises may be combined.

Kids in Nature departures are further geared toward entertaining and educating all ages. Children 12 and younger receive 25 percent off the adult fare. Eastern Coves utilizes the 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer on a July 19, 2014, departure and the 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer on a June 27, 2015, departure. Western Coves utilizes Wilderness Adventurer on July 26 and Aug. 9, 2014, departures and Wilderness Discoverer on July 4 and Aug. 1, 2015, departures.

Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness is an 8-day cruise aboard the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird or Sea Lion, among the finest small ship expedition cruises in Alaska. National Geographic expedition leaders are professional experts in their field. Special programming for kids on all departures includes photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming, and child-friendly menu options with a special pizza and movie night. Travelers ages 17 years and under save $500 at double occupancy.

Discoverers’ Glacier Country is an 8-day upscale family cruise exploring Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska's Inside Passage and Admiralty Island. Guests hike, kayak and whale-watch. Select Kids in Nature departures offer a savings of 25 percent in select cabin categories for children 12 years and younger. Departures aboard the 86-guest Safari Endeavour are July 20, 2014, or in 2015 June 21 and July 19. Departures aboard 22-guest Safari Quest are June 20 and July 18, 2014.

True Alaska Family Cruise is a 9-day cruise departing July 19, 2014, aboard the 49-guest Baranof Dream. The custom itinerary moves at a slower pace exploring Alaska’s nature and Native American culture, visiting Sitka, Petersburg, Juneau and Hoonah. Activities include kayaking, Zego personal skiff rides and rough-terrain vehicle explorations in scenic Hobart Bay. Native crafts, scrapbooking, geology, scavenger hunts, game night, geo caching, a quick dip in the water (“Killer Whale Dip”), baking, knot tying, plant and animal identification and other special programs are available. Triple and quad accommodations are priced from $1,999 for children.

Alaska Island Spirit Family Cruise is aboard the 32-guest Island Spirit scheduled for a July 20-28, 2014, exploration of Alaska’s towns and wilderness. The ship anchors in quiet coves so guests can enjoy the Alaskan solitude or kayak and walk the shore. A unique battery system allows for a complete shutdown of engines and generators at night, creating near-total peace and quiet. Kids travel two for one on the dedicated family cruise on July 20, 2014.

Throughout the season charter cruises provide options for family vacations, reunions and other occasions. Smaller charter yachts include the Glacier Bay Adventure Cruise aboard the 12-guest Sea Wolf, Active Inside Passage aboard the 12-guest Pacific Catalyst II and Active Prince William Sound Discovery aboard the 12-guest Discovery. When considering a charter, guests should plan ahead at least nine to 12 months or more in advance.

“We help clients compare itineraries and small ships, 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, call 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit

Saturday, 15 March 2014

“Compagnie Fluviale du Mékong

As part of its continued development, CroisiEurope is delighted to announce that it has bought out the Mekong River Cruise Company, from which Europe’s market leader in river cruises has chartered the RV Indochine for the last four years. The company will retain its original name - “Compagnie Fluviale du Mékong - to which the trademark “by CroisiEurope” will be added.
This acquisition gives the company another four new charming colonial-style vessels which will cruise along the Mekong between Cambodia and Vietnam. All the vessels will stick with their original cruise planning from Siem Reap to Saigon via Phnom Penh (or vice versa), from August to April.

Highlights of these cruises include:

  • A four-star vessel that combines charm and comfort and is completely panelled in tropical hardwood
  • Discover the Khmer temples at the site of Angkor
  • Bustling Saigon
  • The French colonial charm of Phnom Penh
  • The turbulent life of floating villages, Lake Tonle Sap and the discovery of the fish farms on the Mekong delta
  • A beautiful emotive cruise full of colour

Two additional vessels in the same style will shortly be constructed in Vietnam in order to enhance the fleet.

As with the entire CroisiEurope fleet, the high standards of quality that have made this French family-run river cruise company so successful will be respected.

With this advance into Asia, Europe’s market leader in river cruises is writing a new chapter in its cruising history as it widens the areas of its expertise and operations.

For reservations and further information call CroisiEurope on 020 8328 1281 or visit

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Chapman Freeborn collaborates with EYOS Expeditions

Chapman Freeborn collaborates with EYOS Expeditions to offer air charter and yacht voyages to some of the most remote places on Earth
The expeditions will see travellers visit the polar landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctic as well as crossing the majestic Northwest Passage.
Chapman Freeborn has collaborated with EYOS Expeditions to offer a luxurious twist on adventures to some of the most remarkable and often inaccessible places on the planet.
The collaboration aligns charter experts in both aviation and yachting, allowing travellers to travel by private jet to key destinations worldwide with Chapman Freeborn, before boarding a luxurious expedition yacht and voyaging to the destination of their choice with EYOS Expeditions.
EYOS’ launch trip in 2014 is a 10-night expedition departing from Bodo, Norway and ending up in the wild archipelago of Svalbard. On route, the trip takes in some of the most breath-taking coastline and fjords that Norway has to offer, as well as offering the opportunity for travellers to explore stunning islands and immerse themselves in unique ocean cultures. Svalbard offers over 24,000 square miles of breath-taking arctic wilderness, and adventurers will have the chance to witness polar bears hunting for seals, kayak amidst dazzling icebergs, cruise the face of stunning glaciers and hike with expert guides across the tundra. Although all itineraries are bespoke and fully customisable, a sample itinerary can be found here.
EYOS charters incredible expedition class yachts purpose built for operating in remote regions without sacrificing luxurious interiors. Examples of the features on board their vessels include helicopter pads, saunas and massage treatment rooms as wells as expansive owner’s suites with 180 degree views.
Additional expeditions throughout 2014 are likely to include Greenland, Iceland, the Antarctic and even a crossing of the Northwest Passage – a route that only around 200 vessels have successfully completed.
Whatever the destination and departure point, Chapman Freeborn are able to utilise their worldwide reach and localised expertise to arrange private jet charters that meet a client’s specific schedule, with the utmost discretion, luxury and safety.
Alex Berry, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Chapman Freeborn said: “When you relate Chapman Freeborn’s air charter expertise and capabilities with what EYOS Expeditions are able to offer, the result is a truly unique relationship. After an exhilarating experience in one of the most remote regions on Earth with EYOS, returning clients have access to all the conveniences of private jet charter through Chapman Freeborn, working to their own time schedule and enjoying absolute comfort, privacy and relaxation on their way home.”
Ben Lyons, CEO of EYOS Expeditions, added, “EYOS offers true, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, whether watching a curious polar bear approach the yacht across the frozen sea, or experiencing the joy of having a 40 ton whale surface nearby your Zodiac. Collaborating with Chapman Freeborn will give us the capability and resources to ensure our guests’ exceptional experiences continue until the moment they reach home.”

EYOS’ 10 night expedition to Svalbard for 12 people starts from €217,500
Return private jet charters from the below departure points to Bodo, Norway for 10 passenger’s start from
London:           €60,000
Paris:               €60,000
Moscow:         €60,000
New York:       €85,000   (direct)
Hong Kong:     €255,000 (direct)

Individual’s interested in joining an EYOS expedition can click here