Ecoventura Cruises

Hebridean Island Cruises

Hurtigruten

  exploration/eco Cruises  
     
   
   
   
   
   
 

 
 
February, 2011

 

Abercrombie & Kent

Educational Voyages

Hurtigruten

The Majestic Line/UK

Orion Expeditions

Pearl Seas Coastal Cruises/AU

Smithsonian Journeys

 

Abercrombie & Kent Introduces Galapagos Photo Safaris

Abercrombie & Kent unveiled two photo safaris to the Galapagos Islands led by photographer Jonathan Green. Green has been published in Time, BBC Wildlife and the Royal Geographic magazines, and has exhibited his work at the Natural History Museum and the Olympia Exhibition Center of London.

Photographers will come face to face with giant tortoise, sea lion, both marine and land iguana, and indigenous birds including the blue-footed booby. Green will share practical tips for capturing these animals on twice-daily shore excursions, along with interactive presentations on board. There will also be a session devoted to underwater point-and-shoot photography. Each participant will receive an underwater disposable camera, courtesy of the M/V Eclipse.

Daily workshops and informal coaching will cover equipment, angles and composition, mood and location, exposure and lighting, and focusing techniques to help photographers get the most from their cameras. More advanced photographers will learn about how to use histograms; choosing between JPEG, TIFF and RAW formats; the Rule of Thirds; symmetry; offsetting; focal distances; portraits; landscapes; subjects in motion; filters; and creative photography including the revolutionary High Dynamic Range method.

-- Wonders of the Galapagos (May 20 to 30) includes seven nights aboard Eclipse, allowing more time to view and photograph the rare wildlife than five-night cruises. The itinerary includes Fernandina, one of the youngest and most pristine islands, where the dramatic landscape reflects the geological forces that formed these volcanic islands and where guests are most likely to see penguin, carried north by the Humboldt Current from Antarctica. The package is priced at 11 days from $7,160 per person.

-- Galapagos Family Adventure (Aug. 12 to 22) features specially tailored nature activities for children, including guided walks, games on the beach, and wildlife briefings. Clients will kayak wildlife-rich waters and snorkel alongside sea lion and fish. On-board activities include stargazing, dolphin and whale watching and an equator-crossing celebration. Child-friendly menus and age appropriate mealtimes are included. The package is priced at 11 days from $7,160 per person, double occupancy. For more information, call 800-554-7094 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.

Educational Voyages

Educational Voyages that Satisfy Exploration, Curiosity, and Service Set Sail

The Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) Enrichment Voyage, a one-of-a-kind travel and learning adventure for participants of all ages, sets sail April 27, 2011 for ten destinations throughout Central America. The early booking deadline for the three-week voyage is February 15.

Sir Christopher Ball, a leading world expert in global education reform, heads a list of lecturers renowned for their regional expertise. Professors from colleges and universities around the world will lead lectures and small group conversations during the voyage. Each expert provides an in-depth look into the countries and cultures visited in an engaging shipboard environment. Participants also tailor their voyage through a variety of field program excursions and activities.

The 21-day voyage sails from April 27–May 18 and will visit seven countries throughout Central America, exploring their rich histories, tropical forests, magnificent beaches, and vibrant arts and foods. The upcoming voyage will explore the 'Secrets of Passage' and will pass through the historic Panama Canal.

Enlightening learning opportunities make Enrichment Voyages outstanding vacations. College professors and other experts lead interactive lectures, workshops, and pre-port briefings related to each country on the itinerary. Extensive field programs provide off-the-beaten-path exploration in every port. Participants can also give back in several of the countries, taking part in service learning activities that include volunteering in orphanages and local community building projects. And language learning sessions in Spanish will be offered.

The voyage takes place aboard the MV Explorer, ISE's state-of-the-art ship that serves as the floating campus for the Semester at Sea global study abroad program. The ship gives the Enrichment Voyage the energy of a college campus and the adventure of foreign ports. It's an ideal setting for discussing world issues—a floating university, complete with an 9,000-volume library, computer center with free limited Internet and Wi-Fi, a community meeting space, and nine classrooms.

Participants can also enjoy activities such as art workshops, talent shows, fitness classes, and family-oriented events. The MV Explorer also comes complete with a full-service spa, a pool and sun deck, and a fitness center. The MV Explorer's smaller size—at 590-feet—offers a more intimate environment to create a real sense of community when compared to typical cruise vessels.

The upcoming Enrichment Voyage will depart San Diego, California and travel to Ensenada, Mexico; Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Cristobal, Panama; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Roatan, Honduras; St. Thomas De Castilla, Guatemala; Belize City, Belize; and Cozumel, Mexico before ending the voyage in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Institute for Shipboard Education (ISE) is a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Tracing its roots back to 1963, the Institute administers the multiple-country study abroad program Semester at Sea as well as Enrichment Voyages, a Lifelong  Learning Program, and the Forum on Global Engagement. The mission of ISE is to educate individuals with the global understanding necessary to address the challenges of our interdependent world. Website: www.enrichmentvoyages.org .

Hurtigruten

Website: www.hurtigruten.com

Seven Antarctica Voyages On Sale Between November And February 2012

Stunning glaciers, mammoth icebergs, breathtaking tundra and up-close experiences with penguin colonies are par for the course on Hurtigruten's seven Antarctica itineraries - sailing between November 2011 and February 2012.  And for guests booking by March 31, 2011, prices for these cruises are discounted up to 20% - a savings of up to $3,421 per person.  The 12- to 20-day itineraries, aboard the deluxe expedition ship MS Fram, include a night in Buenos Aires before and after the cruise, all meals onboard, expert guides, lectures and PolarCirkel boat landings. These once-in-a-lifetime voyages explore the vast and mysterious wilderness of the White Continent, the coldest, driest and windiest destination on earth, replete with gleaming icebergs, blue whales and orcas feeding mere feet from the ships, and penguin populations whose individual rookeries number in the tens of thousands.

 Possibilities include:

-- The historic 20-Day Shackleton's Antarctica, which includes fascinating lectures by polar experts; the scenic 15-Day Chilean Fjords and Antarctica, a voyage filled with sightings of Elephant and Fur seals, Minke whales, many of the world's 17 species of penguin, and large flocks of seabirds - all dramatically displayed upon a backdrop of stunning landscapes;

-- The 13-Day Weddell Sea Adventure, which spends eight days exploring the unspoiled wilderness of the "White Continent"; and Shackleton's Christmas in Antarctica, a 17-day celebration that includes traditional carols, Norwegian glogg (mulled wine), Santa Claus and a special Christmas breakfast.   Prices are $5,858 to $13,684 per person, double, after the discount.

Majestic Line/UK

Website:  www.themajesticline.co.uk

Single Travelers Cruise With No Supplement

The award winning specialist Scottish cruise company, The Majestic Line, has a policy of providing two double cabins on each cruise for single travelers at no supplement. The Majestic Line is one of the smallest sea cruising companies with two vessels each carrying only 11 guests around the beautiful coastline of Argyll on the West Coast of Scotland. The "house party" atmosphere which is created on board due to the small numbers of guests and attentiveness of the crew is perfect for guests travelling alone as they very much feel part of the group and can enjoy a truly social experience.

Marie Thoms, Majestic Line Sales Manager said "The Majestic Line is owned and run by family and friends and we can therefore decide to have such a generous policy for single travellers. Everyone in the company loves to see people enjoying themselves and we don't think that single travelers should be penalized financially. Our 2011 cruises are very well booked up but we still have eleven cruises with spaces for single travelers and we want to make sure these are taken up." She also points out that the Holy Loch departures are only one hour from Glasgow Airport. We can pick guests up from the airport and have them onboard our vessel "The Glen Massan", sipping bubbly and soaking in the scenery, with no travel concerns at all.

People looking for a single place on a Majestic Line cruise should check the website for available dates http://www.themajesticline.co.uk/single_travellers.html . There are cabins available for single travelers on both three-night and six-night cruises. The average cost of the cruise is £1695.00 per person including all meals and wine with dinner. Prices are fully inclusive with the exception of spirits which can are purchased from the well stocked bar. Malt whisky is a specialty.

Orion Expedition Cruises

Website: www.orionexpeditions.com

Orion Expedition Cruises New Ship Will Sail Inaugural Voyages To Japan

Orion Expedition Cruises' new ship Orion II will be making her inaugural voyages to Japan in June and July 2011. The ten-night Inland Sea of Japan voyages live up the promise of a path less travelled, with the specialist expedition team introducing guests to insider experiences, many exclusive to Orion.

Orion II will visit Kanazawa, one of the few places in Japan where geisha culture is still alive, its 100 year old former geisha house retaining the look and feel of 19th century Japan. Guests will enjoy a traditional tea ceremony at Kenrokuen Garden, considered to be one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan. Ponds, fountains, waterfalls, pagodas and bridges harmonies within landscaped gardens first established in the 17th century by the feudal lords of Kaga as their private garden. Cruise the moat surrounding imposing Matsue Castle; learn to make Soba noodles; stroll the main street of Sakaiminato with hundreds of bronze statues depicting animated cartoon monsters and enjoy a visit to Sakai's Sake brewery to sample their fine rice wine.

The path less travelled varies according to each voyage, including an introduction to the strict code of the samurai when guests meet a direct descendent of the Shoguns. Or guests may witness an extraordinary special event, the Sumo of the Bulls. Far from the barbaric Spanish bull rings, and in keeping with the respect shown to Ushioni, the great bull demon, participating bulls are treated with great respect. Two massive bulls pit their intuition against each other, locking horns until one of the bulls is brought to its knees, the other declared the victor.

Other experiences include traditional drumming with Japan's best Taiko drum troupe, Kodo, and a trip in a Taraibune - round barrel boats traditionally used to collect abalone and other molluscs from narrow coves.

An added attraction on these voyages is a side-trip to Busan (South Korea) with its world renowned Jalgachi Fish Market, arguably the best of its kind in the world, where every kind of edible sea creature is on sale.

With Orion even traditional Japanese highlights have an unexpected twist. A visit to one of the most recognizable images of Japan, the large vermillion colored O-Torii symbolic entrance gate to the Miyajima (Shrine Island) is itself visually spectacular, yet when Orion II visits guests will be treated to an exclusive Kagura performance, with sacred music and dance of traditional ceremonies held in Japanese shrines.

The visit to Hiroshima revolves around the Peace Park, Peace Museum and the A-Bomb Dome and includes meeting one of the few remaining survivors of the actual bombing who will relate personal experiences of that day and life since the bombing in Hiroshima (the lecture will be translated into English).

In Kurashiki with its cobblestone streets and boutique shops lining the river, guests visit the Ōhara Museum of Art. Established in 1930 by Magosaburō Ōhara, the museum houses works by El Greco, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin, and Renoir.

NOTE: some aspects of these itineraries may change as arrangements are finalized and not all shore experiences are included on each voyage - refer to Orion Expedition Cruises or your travel agent for detailed itineraries. Check for latest updates on www.orionexpeditions.com

Orion's voyages to the Inland Sea of Japan all start and finish in places with international flight access. Kobe and Aomori are the points of embarkation or disembarkation.

 Pricing onboard all Orion and Orion II voyages is in Australian dollars.

2011 Inland Sea of Japan - Discovery of an Ancient Culture 10 night fares begin from $8,150 per person for an Ocean View Suite/Category B. Junior Suites from $11,300 per person and Penthouse Suites with balcony are $16,400 per person

Expedition fares per person twin occupancy include accommodation, all meals, landings, port charges, gratuities and selected activities ashore.

Orion Expedition Cruises' itineraries for 2011 will include 49 voyages to 17 countries and more than 170 remote and exotic destinations stretching from Antarctica to the Russian Far East including Borneo, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and the Inland Sea of Japan (onboard Orion II) and Australia's Kimberley coast and Arnhem Land, New Zealand and the Sub Antarctic islands and Papua New Guinea (onboard Orion).

Akin to a private mega-yacht, accommodating just 50 couples, Orion II's staff of 70 professionally caters for the needs of everyone in an unobtrusive yet attentive way.

All 50 suites and staterooms have ocean views, marble bathrooms, flat screen TV and DVD/CD player, internet accessibility and choice of queen or twin bed configuration.

Elegant throughout, Orion's features include a sauna, health spa and gym, boutique, library with internet access, a wide range of water sport activities, plus a choice of dining areas and innovative menus created by multi-award winning chef, Serge Dansereau.

Email: info@orionexpeditions.com

Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises/Australia

Wet Season Bodes Well For Kimberley Coastal Cruising

A very wet, yet “awesome” wet season will mean spectacular waterfalls for the March-May start of the Kimberley cruise season, according to Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises which has been operating cruises there for 17 years. PSCC Director Jeff Ralston said Broome had 400mm of rain in January alone, compared to 140mm last year, “so there is already plenty of water across the region to sustain the spectacular nature of our waterfalls and rock pools”.

Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises is offering discounts on its seven and 13-day Kimberley coast cruises this year and next year -- a five percent discount for two or three cabins booked together or a 10 per cent discount for four-plus cabins booked together.

PSCC operates the boutique Kimberley Quest II, a nine-cabin/18-passenger cruiser, on seven-day cruises between Broome and Mitchell Falls and Wyndham and the Mitchell Falls plus 13-day cruises between Broome and Wyndham.

PSCC Director Jeff Ralston said there was still availability across the March-May start to the season which continues until October.

The seven-day cruises are from $8345 per person twin share and the 13-day itineraries are from $12,095. There are four cabin styles.

The prices include private cabin with en suite bathroom, all chef-prepared meals served on the shady stern deck or in the air-conditioned lounge, full use of the vessel and guided land and water excursions. The seven-day cruise price also includes a light aircraft and helicopter flight between Broome and the Mitchell Plateau.

On 12 of 25 departures, naturalist and researcher Tim Willing is on board to provide expert commentary on this region’s stunning flora and fauna.

Excursions to waterfalls, rock pools, rock art, for bush walking, bird watching, nature viewing, and fishing (to eat) and scenic tender rides to the must-see Horizontal Falls and Montgomery Reef are on the itinerary. So too is time out to relax in the spa on the forward deck, or to help yourself to the café latte machine day and night on the stern deck

Smithsonian Journeys

Website: www.SmithsonianJourneys.org

Smithsonian Journeys Offers Three Mediterranean Cruise Deals

Smithsonian Journeys, the Smithsonian Institution’s travel program, announced three all-inclusive cruise deals to the Mediterranean for this spring and summer. Prices start at $3,195 and include international airfare, shore excursions in each port, lecture program by onboard experts, gratuities to shipboard staff and more. If booked by March 31, travelers receive stateroom savings up to $1,500, based on double occupancy. Savings for solo travelers are also available with no single supplement for cabin categories C-N while supply lasts.

The three Mediterranean cruises take place aboard the 350-guest Aegean Odyssey.

-- The Wonders of Turkey and the Greek Isles (June 23 to July 6) and The Glories of Greece and Turkey (July 1 to 14) feature similar itineraries. Included excursions showcase significant cultural sites, such as palaces and sacred sites of the Greek islands, the ancient cities of Ephesus and Aprodisias in Turkey and World Heritage sites in Athens and Istanbul. Both cruises feature a three-night hotel stay in Istanbul and a two-night hotel stay in Athens, with excursions and leisure time in both cities. Prices start at $3,195 if booked by March 31 and include international airfare.

--Splendors of Italy and the Dalmatian Coast (May 31 to June 15) begins with a two-night stay in Rome. Travelers will then cruise to Corsica and Sardinia and spend three days in Sicily. Following a day on Malta, travelers will sail to the Dalmatian Coast for three days in Croatia, with two days exploring Dubrovnik and another day in Split. The cruise concludes with a two-night hotel stay in Venice, with a private evening visit to St. Mark’s Basilica among other excursions. Prices start at $3,750 if booked by March 31 and include international airfare.

These deals include international roundtrip airfare from select East Coast gateways (with add-ons from the Midwest and West Coast), accommodations aboard ship and in hotels, most meals, shore excursions in each port, lecture program by onboard experts, all onboard gratuities, selected wine with dinner, baggage handling, and transfers (if booking airfare package), port and service charges and emergency evacuation insurance. For more information, call 877-338-8687 or visit www.SmithsonianJourneys.org/allinclusivemed .

 

Blount Small Ship Adventures

InnerSea Discoveries

International Expeditions

Island Windjammers

Kirker Holidays

Paul Gauguin

Star Clippers

Voyage to Antiquity

 

Blount Small Ship Adventures

Website: www.blountsmallshipadventures.com

Blount Announces New Cruise Itineraries for 2011

Blount Small Ship Adventures has expanded its menu of cruise options for 2011 with the addition of two new cruise itineraries.  Both extraordinary voyages will immerse travelers in the history, culture and charms of the American south.

Beginning in historic Baltimore, “Charming Chesapeake Bay” is an 11-day adventure through the towns and ports of coastal Maryland and Virginia. Travelers will delight in visits to idyllic Annapolis and colorful Alexandria, VA, while admiring the rocky shores of the Chesapeake from the unique perspective of a small ship.  History buffs will enjoy optional excursions to Colonial Williamsburg or Mount Vernon, George Washington’s stunning plantation home. The venture is enriched by an onboard wine tasting, local music and entertainment, a guest lecture from a regional historian and a lesson in “crab-picking” for Maryland’s mouth-watering blue crabs.

Travelers on “Cultures and Traditions: Charleston to the Chesapeake” will spend 10 days enjoying the spectacular views and cultural treasures of the east coast. The excursion begins in Charleston, SC, a quintessential southern city with antebellum charm and modern attractions. Port visits include the relaxed beach town of Wilmington, NC, and vibrant Norfolk, VA, nestled in a natural harbor at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, before concluding in history-rich Philadelphia. Onboard music and historical lectures, an interactive drawing demonstration by a local artist and a cocktail hour featuring regional wines enhance the cruise experience.

“We are thrilled to be offering these exciting new cruise itineraries,” said Nancy Blount, President of Blount Small Ship Adventures. “We strive to continually offer a wide selection of destinations and activities, and these two adventures really highlight some of our country’s most beautiful and historic sites in a unique and fun cruise experience.”

Ecoventura Cruises

Website: www.ecoventura.com /

Expedition Cruises For Fall/Winter 2011 In Galapagos Up To 15 Percent Off

A sliding scale of discounts between now and next fall helps secure a bon voyage and sustainable travel for cruise bookings made directly with Ecoventura and its eco-friendly fleet of small expedition vessels in the Galapagos Islands. Multiple departures beginning in late August and running through mid December are available with up to 15 percent off if booked 180 days out from departure. The Early Bird booking discounts are reduced as passage is booked closer: 10 percent if booked 179 to 90 days out and then 5 percent from 89 days out to the day of departure.

The 2011 cruise dates that fall under the Early Bird Booking Discount are:

August 28 to September 4; September 4 to11; September 11 to 18; September 18 to 25; September 25 to October 2; October 2 to 9; October 9 to 16; October 16 to 23; October 23 to 30; Oct 30 to November 6; November 6 to13; November 13 to 30; November 27 to December 4; December 4 to 11; December 11 to 18.

Doris Welsh, Ecoventura's Director of Sales & Marketing, says that September to early December is one of her favorite times to tour the islands. "It’s the best time of the year to see marine mammals: pilot whales, bottlenose and common dolphins; the water temps are cooler (we do have wet suits on board); and it’s prime time for viewing spotted eagle rays, cow rays and sea turtles. Baby sea lion pups are being born and baby frigate birds, albatross and boobies are just hatching.

The Galapagos cruise discounts are designed to attract and secure additional bookings from adventure travelers who recognize and appreciate Ecoventura’s passion and commitment to sustainable travel in this eco-fragile region. “Frankly, the more business we have, the more dollars we can and will commit to our challenge of leading the region to a secure position ecologically,” said Welsh.

Also new for 2011, all passengers on Ecoventura’s three expedition yachts--Eric, Flamingo and Letty will be offered a complimentary glass of house wine or a local beer from Ecuador during dinner each night. This follows the company’s commitment to locally sourced products, food and beverages.

Ecoventura is a family-owned company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with sales offices in Quito and Miami. In operation since 1990, the cruise company transports 4,000-plus passengers annually aboard its fleet of three superior first-class 20-passenger motor yachts. The company also operates the M/V Galapagos Sky, a 16-passenger Galapagos Liveaboard diving offering seven-night weekly itineraries visiting the northern islands of Wolf and Darwin. All of its vessels have been purposefully retrofitted to meet or exceed the highest possible environmental standards.

To reserve a cabin or private charter, or to receive a copy of Ecoventura’s 2011 catalog e-mail info@galapagosnetwork.com.  

Hebridean Island Cruises

Website: www.hebridean.co.uk

Special Offers On Select Cruises On Hebridean Princess

Great savings on selected cruises on board Hebridean Princess are currently being offered. Carrying only 50 guests she is specifically designed to sail in the waters of Scotland's west coast, one of Europe's last remaining unspoiled regions.

Single cabin prices are available on request. All fares shown are per person based on two sharing lowest outside twin or double cabin available, these are subject to availability.

North From Kintyre

Departs March 25 2011 -- Seven nights

Fare: From £2040 per person for an inside double/twin, SAVE up to £530 on this cruise.

Cruise only

Port Highlights: Kintyre is a region of rich beauty, heritage, culture and wildlife, and Hebridean Princess will bring you right to the very heart of it all with a cruise of canal path strolls, gardens and shopping.

Highland Discovery

April 5 to April 12, 2011 – Seven nights

Fare: From £2320 per person for an inside double/twin cruise only. Save up to £430 on this cruise.

Port Highlights: There couldn’t be a better time to take in some of the most glorious Highland landscapes and beautiful villages than Spring. Allow Hebridean Princess to carry you to some hidden gems.

Footloose In The Inner Isles

April 12 to April 19, 2011 -- Seven nights

Fare from £2650 per person for an inside double/twin. Save up to £730 on this cruise.

Cruise highlights: Spectacular strolls and walks, gardens and history that take you to the Islands of Mull and Iona, as well as to the awesome landscape of Glencoe.

A Hebridean Easter

April 19 to April 26, 2011 – Seven nights

Fare from £2720 per person for an inside double/twin. Save up to £700 on this cruise.

NEW CRUISE. Celebrate the Easter break with a visit to the region's spiritual heartland of Iona, with its beautiful Abbey, and enjoy visits to the historic and garden attractions of Eigg, Inverie and Ulva.

Castles And Gardens Of The North

April 26 to May 5, 2011 – Seven nights

Fare from £2990 per person for an inside double/twin. Save up to £250 on this cruise.

All the rich history of this deeply rooted region is unwrapped during this cruise of visiting ancient castles and breathtaking garden estates.

Hurtigruten

Website: www.hurtigruten.com or www.hurtigruten.us

Travelers Can Save $1,000 Per Person on March 4 Galapagos Islands Cruise

Hurtigruten has announced savings of $350 per person off the regular fares of their popular voyages along the west coast of Norway.  The six March departures of the 12-day adventure take place during the peak viewing window for the spectacular aurora borealis (or Northern Lights).  Other activities, both included and optional, run the gamut: dog sledding, overnights at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, swims in the Barents Sea, incredible vistas, wonderful meals of local fare, and numerous presentations on the history and cultures of Norway.  The savings are also available for select April and May sailings.  Fares with savings range from $1,701 to $4,218 per person, double; suites are not included in the offer. Bookings must be made by March 31. A second offer is aimed at six-day southbound sailings along the same route - $180 savings per person on five March departures; discounted price starts at $948 per person, double.

The aurora borealis is a natural light show that takes place during the winter months and is best viewed in the polar regions.  The amazing displays swirl overhead with greens, reds, blues and golds highlighting the sky and snow-laden coast.  Hurtigruten celebrates the guests’ visit to the Arctic Circle with a polar baptism – an ice cube ‘shower’ hosted by King Neptune himself followed by a shot of cloudberry liquor (to warm the soul).  Guests voluntarily line up (few sit it out) and await their light, but cold, dousing; all guests receive an Arctic Circle Certificate.  Other presentations and activities on board and ashore are equally unique and special: dining on freshly made fish cakes while learning about the 1890 “Battle of Troll fjord;” listening to the captain’s description about life along the Norway coast; understanding the science behind the Aurora Borealis; learning how to make knots and hitches; and gaining insight into native Sámi culture.

Excursions, both included and optional are equally as intriguing.  Imagine: venturing out on the Barents Sea, where guests can float in a survival suit while their team leader dives for the evening's meal of King Crab - a wonderful way to combine a sea frolic with the need to catch dinner; enjoying a Viking feast with a Viking Chieftain in Lofotr; experiencing dog sledding on the frozen landscape; striking out for the North Cape and its incredible view near the top of the world; ride snowmobiles on a winter safari; staying overnight at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel; or taking in a midnight concert in Tromsø’s Arctic Cathedral.

The 12-day round-trip makes 34 ports of call each way along Norway’s stunningly scenic, fjord-filled west coast.  The fjords have had awards and honors bestowed on them over the years, most recently by National Geographic Traveler which named it the world’s most celebrated and iconic travel destinations.

Eleven-Day Pearls Of The Baltic Sea Cruise Explores The Baltic’s Most

Hurtigruten’s 11-day Pearls of the Baltic Sea cruise immerses guests in history and culture as it cruises to some of the most captivating destinations in the Baltic, from bustling Copenhagen and Helsinki, filled with breathtaking architecture, to the smaller Gudhjem, a charming fishing town in Bornholm.  Optional excursions in each of the stops – including a classical music performance in a Cathedral in Helsinki, a canal cruise in St. Petersburg and a bike tour of Bornholm – start at only $36 and allow guests to personalize their cruising experience.  Prices for the April 25, 2011 voyage range from $3,612 to $6,309.

Hurtigruten’s explorer ship MS Fram sails roundtrip from Oslo – home to the Fram Museum, where the original Fram is located – to Copenhagen, an eclectic mix of old and new, known as much for its historic sites and museums as for its vibrant cafes and excellent shopping.  The cruise stops in Helsinki, a fusion of architectural styles – from Art Nouveau structures and neoclassical cathedrals to 19th century railway stations – before sailing on to St. Petersburg, hailed for its incredible beauty as well as its rich historical value.  Visits to Estonia’s capital city of Tallin, comprised of medieval streets and picturesque houses, and the fishing village of Gudhjem, Bornholm, allow passengers fascinating insight into the area’s history before the cruise returns to Oslo.

The optional excursions in each port provide wonderful opportunities to delve deeper into the areas visited by the cruise, returning with a greater understanding of the histories and current attractions.  Offerings include a harbor cruise and tour of Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen; a city tour of Helsinki with a classical musical performance in a cathedral designed by Carl Ludvig Engel; the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, including a visit to the recently opened Gold Room; and bicycle tours in Gudhjem and Bornholm, which allow guests to tour the city in a unique way.

Fares include the cabin grade of your choice; transfers; all meals on board, including a selection of drinks for those in suites; and a wind- and water-proof jacket.  International flights and optional excursions are additional.

Hurtigruten Offers Single Supplement Waiver – With Savings Up To $2,585 –

More and more people are traveling ‘solo’ these days, preferring both the peacefulness that can be had as well as the opportunity to make new friends.  And Hurtigruten is continuing a policy they have had in place for years on their six to 12-day Hurtigruten itineraries along Norway’s fjord-filled west coast – a route named the “world’s most beautiful voyage” by Lonely Planet.  Guests traveling alone and booking a double-occupancy cabin will not be charged the expedition cruise company’s single supplement – a savings of up to $2,585.  This offer is good on 2011 itineraries departing through Apr. 14, 2011.  The single supplement fee is waived on all non-suite cabin choices on the six-day southbound, seven-day northbound, 11-day Norwegian Discovery and 12-day Classic voyages.  Fares include voyage in cabin grade of your choice; all meals on board; cruise taxes and port charges; entrance to the Hurtigruten Museum (on 12, 11 and six-day voyages); and a Hurtigruten guide book.

This offer may be combined with the AARP Member Discount, which allows guests to save up to 25% off select Norway voyages and receive up to $70 of onboard credit, and the Repeater Discount, which gives guests who have traveled onboard Hurtigruten within the last three years savings of up to 10% off a subsequent voyage.  More details available at http://www.hurtigruten.us/norway/Offers/Norwegian-Coastal-Voyage-Offers .

Rates are valid for North American residents only and are subject to change without notice.  Cruise fuel surcharge is not included and will be advised at time of booking.

InnerSea Discoveries

Website: www.innerseadiscoveries.com .

InnerSea Discoveries Reports Strong Inaugural Sales

InnerSea Discoveries has reported that sales are strong for inaugural cruises aboard its two expedition ships that are scheduled to launch in May. The ships will offer seven-night cruises in Alaska’s Inside Passage, which can be combined for 14-night Ultimate Adventure cruises, through September.

The 50-passenger ships, the Wilderness Adventurer and Wilderness Discoverer, will sail between Juneau and Ketchikan (and reverse) on a Western Coves and Eastern Coves itinerary. The itineraries will bypass the usual ports visited by most large ships in favor of a deeper wilderness experience that includes excursions like hiking and kayaking. Between Ketchikan and Juneau, the only port visited is the Tlingit village of Klawock, where guests will meet with locals, hear stories about their culture, visit an active carving shed and totem poles, and explore the area.

The ships will also visit five wilderness areas -- Capitan Passage and Devilfish Bay in Tongass National Forest, Little Port Walter and Mist Cove, Patterson Bay and Deep Cove, The Brothers Islands and Frederick Sound, and Endicott Arm and Ford’s Terror Wilderness. Highlights will include a full-day of whale watching in Frederick Sound; up-close view of Dawes Glacier, an actively calving tidewater glacier; hiking in remote areas; and an exploration of El Capitan Cave, the largest known cave in North America.

The Eastern Coves itinerary will spend more time exploring the wilds of the mainland, including two wilderness areas, plus LeConte Bay and Misty Fjords National Monument. Between Juneau and Ketchikan, the only port call will be Wrangell, where guests will land by skiff at Chief Shakes Tribal House for native Tlingit storytelling, visit Kiksetti Totem Park, and the museum or take an optional tour such as a river boat ride up the nearby Stikine River or go mountain biking.

Each ship will carry 28 kayaks, 10 stand-up paddle boards and a limited number of wetsuits, rain gear, binoculars, trekking poles, Osprey daypacks and snorkeling equipment. Hiking and kayaking trips will be in groups 12 or fewer guests and will range from short excursions to eight-hour expeditions. Independent touring also is available. In addition, guests will be able to participate with crew to collect samples and data to submit to the forest service and other organizations. And one night each week, guests may embark on an optional overnight kayak trip with full camping gear and guide provided.

Onboard will be hot tubs, a sauna, exercise equipment, yoga on deck and 24-hour espresso/coffee/tea service. Cabins will feature memory-foam mattresses and flat-screen TVs with DVDs and iPod docks. An underwater bow camera will stream live video of wildlife, including dolphins surfing the bow wake on the TVs. The main salons will echo the feeling of a 1940s National Park Service Lodge and a neighborhood pub. Meals will feature fresh ingredients, including locally caught Alaskan seafood.

Fares for the seven-night cruises start at $1,795 per person, double, and include transfers and all activities except optional excursions. Port charges of $167 per person per week, as well as massages, alcoholic beverages and gratuities, are extra. Select dates are designated as Family Discoveries with a focus on activities tailored for all ages. Kids 12 years and younger receive a 25 percent discount on all departures and 30 percent on Family Discoveries voyages.

International Expeditions

Website:  www.ietravel.com 

Savings On March 4, 2011 Galapagos Islands Expedition Cruise

Nature travel expert International Expeditions is giving last-minute travelers an opportunity to save $1,000 per person on the March 4, 2011 Galapagos Islands expedition cruise. While reaping up to a 20 percent savings off regular fares, travelers enjoy in-depth looks at the archipelago's history, landscapes and singular wildlife on this intimate journey.

 On the ten-day Galapagos Islands cruise, International Expeditions' 32-guest yacht M/V Evolution navigates to nine captivating islands, and unlike larger vessels, is small enough to access outlying Genovesa (Tower) Island. Genovesa features thousands of red-footed boobies, short-eared owls and storm petrels. The ship's pangas (landing craft) are used several times a day to go easily ashore. Onboard, guests sail in comfort with spacious accommodations, fine cuisine and a host of amenities including an observation deck (perfect for whale watching) and canopied bar, plus complimentary snorkeling equipment, wetsuits and kayaks.

While touring, travelers visit Fernandina Island and Tagus Cove on Isabela Island. Here, guests snorkel in crystal waters with green sea turtles, see marine iguanas nesting, and hike uphill for a stunning view of volcanic craters. Guests also enjoy leisure time in Puerto Ayora, the largest human settlement, with ample time to browse in colorful art galleries and boutiques.

In addition to daily snorkeling and hiking through deserts, rainforests and volcanic terrain, other highlights include a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center, famous for its tortoise breeding programs; an exploration of Santiago Island, a haven for finches, doves and Galapagos hawks; and a sailing to iconic Kicker Rock.

Highly trained Galapagos naturalist guides enhance travelers' experiences by sharing their in-depth knowledge and bringing them within inches of giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins and other animals.

Prices for the March 4 Galapagos Islands vacation start at $3,798 per person, double occupancy with discount, and include accommodations, Galapagos tax and transit fees, all excursions, all on-board meals, transfers and tips to porters and waiters for included meals.

For information or a Galapagos Islands Cruise brochure, email: nature@ietravel.com

Island Windjammers

Website: www.islandwindjammers.com

Island Windjammers Offers Unique Caribbean Cruises

Island Windjammers offers a true Caribbean experience, far from the crowds of the larger ships. Who needs the hassles of overcrowded ports and racing to get a deck chair? Enjoy the peaceful beauty of intimate Caribbean islands and pristine beaches instead. Aboard our ship, Island Windjammers' dress code is simple—swimsuits and bare feet! No formal wear, no pressure, all fun!

Leave your world behind and surround yourself with sea, sand, and sails. Email: reservations@islandwindjammers.com

Kirker Holidays

Website: www.kirkerholidays.com

Special Cruise Offered On Luxury Yacht Christina O.

Enthralled at the prospect of setting foot on board Christina O, the luxurious yacht on which shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis entertained the world’s celebrities in elaborate style over two decades including Sir Winston Churchill, JFK and Marilyn Monroe?  It is available for private charter at the princely sum of £400,000 a week.

London-based travel company Kirker Holidays is offering the chance to sample the delights of Christina O on a superb three-night break to Monte Carlo that includes an overnight stay on the yacht itself. After enjoying two nights at Monaco’s four-star deluxe Hotel Port Palace, guests are whisked out to sea by historic tender before boarding the Christina O for a champagne welcome reception and guided tour as the yacht cruises towards Cannes. That evening, recline in the comfort of Christina’s Callas Salon for a recital (by soprano Nelly Miricioiu) of arias made famous by another of the yacht’s notable former guests, Maria Callas, followed by a gastronomic eight-course dinner and a nightcap in Ari’s Bar.

Departing June 2 and 17, 2011, the Maria Callas Experience costs from £2,990 pp (two sharing) and includes return flights to Nice, return helicopter transfers from Nice to Monte Carlo, two nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the Hotel Port Palace, transfers to/from the port, one night’s accommodation on board Christina O in a State Room with private bathroom, all meals/drinks on board, Maria Callas recital and Kirker’s guide notes to restaurants and sightseeing in Monte Carlo.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Website: www.pgcruises.com

Start the New Year Refreshed With The Gauguin’s Deep Nature Spa. 

Offering an unrivaled approach to spa and beauty with services tailored to the needs of each individual, the spa is a luxurious, post-holiday refuge and escape from everyday stresses. The Deep Nature Spa combines the art of gentle pampering with an extensive range of physical regimens including health and revitalization. Treatments include skin care therapies, skin exfoliating, massage, reflexology, aromatherapy, body wraps, facials, and beauty treatments.

For those looking to spice things up in the New Year, Paul Gauguin Cruises offers some of the most exciting and dramatic shore excursions in the South Pacific. The opportunity to experience each destination in the most authentic, in-depth meaningful way is the very essence of luxury cruising with Paul Gauguin. Enjoy white-sand beaches with swaying palms; hike the spectacular mountain peaks, jungles, and waterfalls; snorkel in the multi-hued lagoons; try deep-sea fishing; learn to SCUBA dive by day and night; swim with tropical fish, stingrays and sharks; or horseback ride on the beautiful beaches. Each sailing offers a variety of excursions, allowing guests to choose the destination and activities that best suit their interests.

Each and every voyage aboard The Gauguin is a memorable journey through Polynesian culture. Guests will experience Polynesian hospitality from the moment they step onboard the ship, as they interact with Les Gauguines, Paul Gauguin's own troupe of Polynesian hostesses and entertainers, experience fresh Polynesian cuisine, and enjoy the beautiful Polynesia décor. Throughout each sailing, Les Gauguines will provide service, entertainment, and insight into the world of French Polynesia through traditions of art, song and dance. Guests will also have the opportunity to be one with the locals through the ancient art of tattooing, which has long been a means of asserting Polynesian heritage and cultural identity.

The Gauguin offers a variety of sensory pleasures, boasting French Polynesian cuisine found in each of the ship’s three signature restaurants – L’Etoile, Le Grill, and La Veranda. For 2011, world-renowned Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato - owner and Chef Propriétaire of one of the finest restaurants in Paris, the two-star Michelin-rated Restaurant Apicius - has created a signature menu for the ship’s La Veranda restaurant, and select dishes will also be featured at L’Etoile. Chef Vigato will be joining guests on the July 30th sailing, preparing gourmet dishes and offering demonstrations of his culinary techniques.

Take advantage of Paul Gauguin’s exceptional offers for 2011. Guests can enjoy 50% off standard cruise fares Plus free roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles on all Tahiti and French Polynesia cruises in 2011. From January through June, guests sailing on any Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands cruise will receive a Guest Privilege credit valued at $500 per person. Those sailing on any other itinerary will receive a Guest Privilege credit of $250 per person.

Both credits are redeemable if booked before February 19, 2011.*

Aboard The Gauguin, guests may work off the holiday calories in the crystal-clear waters of French Polynesia. With windsurfing, waterskiing, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and the exclusive PADI diving program available to them, guests can choose an exciting way to shed those unwanted pounds. The ship also provides a Fitness Center complete with Lifecycles, treadmills, Stairmasters, and weight machines, set against the breathtaking background of French Polynesia.

*Maximum $1,000 per stateroom on our 14-night itinerary, $500 per stateroom on all other itineraries. New bookings only.

Star Clippers

Website: www.starclippers.com

Savings Offered On Seven Grand Mediterranean Sailings In 2011

A longer Mediterranean cruise vacation just became more affordable with Star Clippers' offer of free air from select cities and $1,000 savings on seven Grand Mediterranean sailings aboard Royal Clipper, Star Clipper and Star Flyer in 2011. The April through October departures provide an in-depth exploration of the region.

-- Royal Clipper's April 23, 14-night Grand Mediterranean cruise sails from Lisbon, Portugal, to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.

-- Star Flyer sails three Grand Med itineraries in 2011 ranging from 10 to 14 nights: The April 20 departure sails from Lisbon to Monte Carlo, Monaco, the June 11 and August 20 sailings cruise between Athens, Greece, and Monte Carlo, and the Oct. 1 sailing goes from Monte Carlo to Malaga, Spain.

-- Star Clipper departs October 8 on a 14-night sailing from Athens to Malaga, and also sails the longest Grand Mediterranean voyage of the season -- a 21-night cruise from Athens to Las Palmas, Grand Canary, Spain.

 Cruise fares begin at $3,195 for the ten-night voyage, $3,740 for the 14-night sailings, and $4,580 for the 21-night journey - all per person, double occupancy, which includes the free air and $1,000 off the brochure rates. Port charges and an air tax are additional to the above fares.

Voyages to Antiquity

Website: www.voyagestoantiquity.com

Voyages To Antiquity Offers Reunion Cruise for Orient Lines Passengers

Voyages to Antiquity has announced a Reunion Cruise for past passengers of Orient Lines, the company that was also founded by cruise industry entrepreneur Gerry Herrod. The 16-day Magic of Sicily & the Mysteries of Pompeii cruisetour departs August 25 and begins with a two-night hotel say in Athens and excursions to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. The cruise also includes a reception hosted by former Orient Lines Captains Erik Bjurstedt and Roland Anderson, an exclusive dinner at a surprise venue in Athens, and a visit to Palazzo Gangi in Palermo, Italy.

Other cruise highlights include visits to Agrigento, Segesta and Selinunte in Sicily; the Palace of the Grand Masters in Malta; and Pompeii and Herculaneum in Italy. Guests will also witness the Amalfi Coast. Fares start at $3,950, including shore excursions, bottled water, gratuities to shipboard staff, and wine, beer and soft drinks at dinner.

Guests who book by February 28 are eligible for stateroom savings up to $1,500 and free air from any of more than 70 North American gateways. For bookings after February 28, air is free from select East Coast gateways, with $99 and $199 add-ons from the Midwest and Western Regions, including transfers and porterage.

 

October/November, 2010

American Safari Cruises

Cruises From Hull (Newmarket Holidays Group)

Hurtigruten

InnerSea Discovery Cruises

Lindblad Expeditions

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Sea Cloud Cruises

Star Cruises

Voyages to Antiquity

Variety Cruises

 

American Safari Cruises

Website: www.americansafaricruises.com  

American Safari Cruises Introduces Inclusive Hawaiian Island Adventures In 2011

American Safari Cruises (www.americansafaricruises.com), best known for offering compelling yachting adventures in Alaska and Mexico's Baja, introduces "authentic Hawaii," fall 2011.  Choose from the seven-night Hawaiian Seascapes and the ten-night Hawaii's Traditional Shores, both boasting active adventures and cultural exchanges designed to thoroughly engage guests' senses and take full advantage of the islands attributes as no other cruise can do.

Hawaii is a natural extension to the 13-year-old company's existing product line-up given the rich marine mammal environment and opportunities to kayak, hike, snorkel, sail, bike, stand-up paddle board and more.  American Safari Cruises is the first operator to offer unstructured inter-island yacht cruising in Hawaii, where the next port may not be a port at all, but a magical passage rich with wildlife, a secluded and inviting beach or a quiet cove that beckons to be explored.  After a day of action, adventurers can ease tired muscles in the sauna or soak in the on-deck hot tub aboard the elegant 36-guest Safari Explorer.

Paradise shows its true colors via genuine and rewarding experiences that would be virtually impossible to do on one's own.  Both the seven- and ten-night itineraries cruise from Lahaina, Maui to Kona, Hawaii or reverse and feature whale viewing; exploring cliff-lined bays and beaches around the private island of Lana'i; visiting ancient Hawaiian homelands of Moloka'i to enjoy a private Hawaiian Pa'ina (feast); hiking on the Laparuse Trail to view ancient ruins and seizing the rare opportunity to night snorkel in the marine rich environment of Molokini; and strolling on Black Sand Beach near the southernmost tip of the United States, Ka Lae, Hawaii.  In addition, optional activities such as scuba diving, helicopter tours, mule ride and golfing are available at select locales. 

The ten-night Hawaii's Traditional Shores also includes three days of island exploration on Hawaii, allowing for ample time to explore this volcanic landmass by foot and small water craft, finesse kayaking skills, seek out Green Sea Turtles and other sea life or lounge on a quiet secluded beach to soak up the fine Hawaiian sunshine.

The 36-guest Safari Explorer offers an on-deck hot tub, sauna, exercise equipment, two-person kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, sail boats, snorkeling equipment and motorized shore boats for close-up exploration, a wine library, and a large-screen TV in the main salon.  Exceptional cuisine is prepared with fresh, local ingredients, and the complimentary bar offers premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews.  All staterooms offer Tempur-pedic mattresses, flat screen TV/DVD players and iPod docks.  The guest-crew ratio is 2 to 1, with an all-American crew that includes two professional naturalists, masseuse and Captain – some who hail from the Hawaiian islands.

The inaugural Hawaiian cruise departs October 26, 2011 with weekly departures through mid-May 2012.  Inclusive prices start at $4,995 for seven-night cruises and $6,495 for ten-nights.

Seattle-based American Safari Cruises pioneered yacht cruising in Alaska 13 years ago and has expanded into Mexico's Baja, Columbia & Snake Rivers and Hawaii. The company has introduced a second brand, InnerSea Discoveries (www.InnerSeaDiscoveries.com ), which offers moderately priced adventure cruises in Alaska starting May 2011. Contact: 

Cruises From Hull, UK

Website: http://www.newmarketholidays.co.uk 

2011 Voyages Aboard The Cruise Ship Ocean Countess

Cruises from Hull, Newcastle, Leith and Liverpool are just some of the ‘no-flying’ cruise aboard Ocean Countess being offered by UK-based Newmarket Holidays in 2011. Following on from 2010's hugely successful inaugural season, the new Ocean Countess 2011 cruises program once again offers exciting holidays at great value prices.

For the 2011 season, Ocean Countess first sets sail from regional ports around the UK in early spring. The first voyage is a weekend ‘taster’ from Tilbury to Hull, via Amsterdam, is followed by a 14-night cruise from Hull in search of the fabled Northern Lights. This two-week cruise kicks off an extensive programmed of cruises from Hull that sees Ocean Countess visit the Nordic cities of Copenhagen and Demark; skirt the shores of Northern France, Guernsey and Amsterdam on a nostalgic Wartime Memories voyage; take a ten-day cruise round Britain in Bloom; and make four, week-long voyages to the Norwegian Fjords with a fjords cruise from Newcastle. As spring turns into summer, a second ‘Round Britain’ cruise, a further visit to the fjords and a 13-day cruise through the Baltic to St Petersburg round off the Hull cruise programmed.

Leaving Hull, the Ocean Countess Cruise heads north for a series of Cruises from Newcastle that includes a quartet of fjords voyages – the last returning to the Edinburgh port of Leith - and a return visit to the Baltic Cities.

High summer sees Ocean Countess offering cruises from Leith to the Baltic Cities and the Norwegian Fjords, as well as a short voyage, returning to Liverpool, to the Shetlands, Faeroes and Hebrides.

The Merseyside port becomes ‘home’ for Ocean Countess from late summer 2011, with cruises from Liverpool including a nine-day Fjordland Splendour voyage, a 10-day ‘Round Britain’ sailing and a 13-day ‘sunshine cruise’ south to Spain and Portugal in mid-September.

Ocean Countess has received excellent reviews during her first season, and Andy Jones, Newmarket’s Ocean Cruise Director, is pleased to be offering the program of cruises from regional ports for a second time. “Being able to offer cruises from Hull, for example, makes such a difference to our customers," says Jones. "Passenger feedback from the ship has been good - and people really appreciate the 'no-flying' aspects and the regional departures on Ocean Countess."

Cruises aboard Ocean Countess start at £399 for a six-day Fjords cruise from Newcastle, with reductions of up to £1200 per cabin available for her six-week February cruise to the Amazon and Orinoco from Tilbury and Falmouth.*

*Prices may be subject to change.

Hurtigruten

Website: www.hurtigruten.com or www.hurtigruten.us

Explore Norways Fjords This Fall & Winter

Hurtigruten’s classic voyage along Norway’s fjord-filled west coast has always been defined by its stunning landscape; and with the addition of the newly designed lightshow at the Finnkirka, or “Finnish Church” cliffs – aptly named for their Cathedral-like appearance – guests will be even further impressed. The modern-day tourist attraction, originally a place of worship for the local Sami people, is located at the entrance to the Kjollefjord in Finnmark and is regarded as one of the most beautiful sea cliffs in the world. The light display, designed by light artist Kurt Hermansen, premiered on October 18 and can be experienced daily aboard Hurtigruten vessels until the end of the winter season in March. 

Finnkirka is just one of the many natural wonders that guests aboard Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Voyage are privy to: the elusive Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, are often cited as another highlight of the impressive 34 port winter journeys. Guests booking 2011 itineraries by December 31, 2010, can get these experiences – and more – for up to 15% off with the early booking discount.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen as well as year round along Norway's coast and Europe in the spring.

Hurtigruten Revamps Norwegian Coastal Voyage For 2011 With Savings

Exclusive opera performances, New Year’s on the North Cape, rich history and culture, the midnight sun, the Northern Lights, stunning fjords and exotic wildlife at every turn: these are just some of the extensive cruise and land opportunities outlined in Hurtigruten’s new full-color, 100-page 2011 Norway Brochure.   A name synonymous with exploration cruising, Hurtigruten has once again found new ways to make their classic voyage even more exciting for guests with the addition of new theme cruises and more shore excursions. 

Savings offers are detailed as well: travelers booking by December 31, 2010, enjoy a 5% to 15% discount; an additional combinable discount of up to 10% is available for members of the “1893 Ambassador Program,” a free program which rewards repeat passengers; all topped off by 5 percent savings on shore excursions when pre-booked.  Discounted fares range from $866 to $4,486 per person double; higher prices are for suites.  Single supplements are waived on a number of sailings through April 15.

Virtually all of the cruises are centered on six-, seven- and 12-day sailings along the spectacular fjord-filled west coast of Norway year-round – a route named the “world’s most beautiful voyage” by Lonely Planet’s “Bluelist.”  The scenery changes from moment to moment as the company's fleet of modern ships, journeying 1,250 miles between Bergen and Kirkenes, make 34 port calls – from small fishing villages in the rugged Lofoten Islands and the ancient Viking capital of Trondheim to Tromso, Norway's "Paris of the North.”

Theme Voyages – in response to greater demand by more travelers seeking unusual and educational experiences to bring home with them, Hurtigruten has created an expanded roster of unique and fascinating possibilities for 2011.

--Celebrations in the Arctic-" -- ringing in the New Year as no one else can - with the countdown held on the North Cape, Europe's most northern point, departing December 26, 2011.

--Opera Voyage is an opera-lover's dream trip - daily concerts on board and a Norwegian New Year's Concert at Oslo's Concert Hall with a tour of the Opera House the next day - January 6, 2011.

--Birds of the Nordic Coast-" takes place as millions of migrating birds return to the Arctic for nesting and shows guests why Norway can justifiably be called “Nature’s Wonderland - a true ornithological event with lectures and stellar bird-watching opportunities - May 20, 2011.

--Norway’s Big Day Out” celebrates Norway’s Constitution Day and gives guests a deeper understanding of the Norwegian culture that Hurtigruten has been a part of for over 100 years – departs daily May 6-16, 2011.

--Hall of the Mountain King” is a classic voyage that immerses passengers in the music and background of Edvard Grieg, Norway’s best-known classical composer, with a program of captivating on board lectures and piano recitals – October 14, 2011.

--The Ice-Breakers-” delves deep into the history of the polar explorers, their voyages and the culture and inhabitants of the Polar Regions; lectures and optional excursions ranging from a Viking feast to the Polaria Centre enrich the experience – October 11, 2011.

Excursions

The dozens of exciting and unique excursion opportunities, lasting from a few hours to three days, are an important feature of Hurtigruten’s cruises.  Port excursions range from charming city walks in Trondheim, Alesund and Bergen to the remarkable Lofotr Viking Feast – a traditional Viking feast with homebrewed mead, held in the largest Viking building ever found – to the simply fun Dog Sledding in Tromso and Scootertrip in Lapland.  The Polar History Walk in Tromso highlights this medieval town’s links with polar explorations; amid flickering lights, the elegant church in Tromso is the setting for the Midnight Concert in the Arctic; a short drive through Kirkenes brings guests to the Gabba Reindeer Park and a visit to the snow hotel on the Kirkenes Snow Hotel trip; and the UNESCO Islands explores The Vega archipelago, consisting of 6,000 islands and islets where guests visit the E-house and touch down on Vega.

Take the train from Bergen to Voss, a boat to Flam and a train to Myrdal on Norway in a Nutshell; and visit the mining town of Roros, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most optional excursions can be booked before departure, saving 5 percent off the price; information on hotels for pre/post cruise and pre/post cruise extension programs is included in the brochure.

Sailing aboard Hurtigruten ships means large, comfortable lounges with panoramic windows and wonderful views from large outdoor decks; no need to dress up for dinner (unless you want to) and open seating; fresh seasonal ingredients, plenty of incredible seafood and a comprehensive wine list; multilingual tour directors; comfortable cabins - from the smaller inside accommodations to the large outside suites with private balconies, picture windows and even Jacuzzis on some; and a friendly and well-informed crew, ready to offer assistance and their suggestions when asked.

Hurtigruten Unveils Seven Distinct 2011-2012 Antarctica Itineraries

Stunning glaciers, mammoth icebergs, breathtaking tundra and up-close experiences with penguin colonies are par for the course on Hurtigruten’s seven Antarctica itineraries; and for guests booking by March 31, 2011, prices for these cruises are discounted up to 20% – a savings of up to $3,421 per person.

The 12- to 20-day itineraries, priced after the discount at $5,858 to $13,684 per person, double, include a night in Buenos Aires before and after the cruise, all meals onboard, the services of expert guides, lectures and PolarCirkel boat landings. These once-in-a-lifetime voyages explore the vast and mysterious wilderness of the White Continent, the coldest, driest and windiest destination on earth, replete with gleaming icebergs, blue whales and orcas feeding mere feet from the ships, and penguin populations whose individual rookeries number in the tens of thousands.

Although all of the itineraries give passengers a rare glimpse of this breathtaking continent, each cruise adventure provides a unique experience. 

--The 20-day Shackleton’s Antarctica”follows the same path as Shackleton’s original Endurance Expedition of 1914, navigating the western-most outposts of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia Island before heading to Antarctica.

--The 19-day Shackleton’s Christmas follows much the same route, but with traditional carols, festive meals, Santa Claus visits and a New Year's gala added in celebration of the holidays. 

--A 15-day Chilean Fjords & Antarctica spends nearly six days in the White Continent and four days along the stunningly scenic Tierra del Fuego and Chilean Fjords,

--The 12-day Antarctic Discovery focuses solely on the White Continent, sailing through the Drake Passage and down into the southern ocean during Antarctica’s gorgeous summer. 

Two 15-day options also center on Antarctica: the Weddell Sea Adventure, following the path forged by the Swedish Antarctica Expedition of 1901-04, and Polar Circle Quest, which heads to the rarely visited Marguerite Bay – home to a colony of rarely-seen emperor penguins.

Hurtigruten’s expedition ship, MS Fram, accommodates 318 guests in suites and staterooms and features a restaurant, two bars, panoramic lounges library, and Internet café and conference rooms.   The early-booking savings can be combined with discounts available in the 1893 Ambassador Program, which includes 5% off Explorer Voyages to Antarctica in addition to exclusive discounts and recognition benefits for members.

InnerSea Discoveries

Website:  www.innerseadiscoveries.com 

Moderately Priced Active Adventure Cruising That Is Unrushed

Small-ship line InnerSea Discoveries, sister company to American Safari Cruises, offers exhilarating cruises in Alaska in 2011 that go beyond the norm.  Each of the four itineraries ranging from seven-to-14-nights is designed to take advantage of the wonder and wildlife that are hallmarks of the Alaskan wilderness.  Rather than just being an observer, guests are invited to participate in daily included activities such as kayaking, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, exploration by small watercraft and more. 

The numerous activities offered cater to all levels of abilities.  Guests choose the pace that appeals to them such as a tranquil paddle along the shoreline, a robust guided six hour paddle and hike at Deep Cove or quietly exploring pristine waters such as Yes Bay by stand-up paddle board.  There are options galore including relaxing onboard to watch for sea and wildlife with a favorite beverage in hand from the on-deck hot tub.  All itineraries feature a port call at the authentic town/communities of Wrangell or Klawock to mingle with the locals who look forward to sharing stories about their rugged history and native heritage.

Choose from four adventure itineraries:  the seven-night Southeast Alaska's Inner Reaches Western Coves, Ketchikan to Juneau; seven-night Alaska's Inner Reaches Eastern Coves, Juneau to Ketchikan; 14-night Alaska's Inside Passage Ultimate Adventure (combined Western and Eastern Coves itineraries), Juneau round trip; and the 14-night Wilderness Passages of Discovery, Seattle to Juneau or reverse. The itineraries are purposely flexible as nature sets the schedule and the floorshow.  If a pod of Humpback whales are frolicking in Frederick Sound, the ship makes time to stop and linger. 

Traveling with a maximum of 49 like-minded guests aboard the expedition ships Wilderness Adventurer and Wilderness Discoverer, guests can expect exemplary service, delicious cuisine with an emphasis on local foods served family style or buffet depending on the day's activities, a 1:3 crew to guest ratio and access to top notch gear (such as Diamond Trail compact hiking poles, Necky tandem kayaks and Surftech softop stand-up paddle boards).  The on and off ship experiences are accentuated by experienced naturalists who present topical information and serve as guides on excursions. 

Both vessels are undergoing full refurbishment with many enhancements being added such as underwater cameras mounted on the bows to view the world below the surface including dolphins playing in the bow wake, newly-developed kayak launching floats, flat screen TVs/DVDs/iPod docks in all cabins to view videos taken by guests each day, 24-hour streaming video from the underwater camera or DVDs, memory-foam mattresses in all cabins and main salons designed with the blended feel of a 1940's National Park Service Lodge and a neighborhood pub. 

For guests seeking additional adventure, a sampling of noteworthy optional excursions include roughing it with a combination of kayaking, hiking and overnight camping with an expert guide; safely searching for bears at the Anan Creek Bear Observatory by river boat; and a half-day of sport fishing at Little Port Walter.

InnerSeas Discoveries offers three departure dates that are geared toward entertaining and educating kids of all age groups on June 25, July 23, and August 13, 2011. Activities include kayaking, hiking, meeting local families such as oyster farmers or commercial fishermen and presentations designed to appeal to kids as well as adults.  Kids 12 years and under receive a 30 percent savings in all cabin categories.  A savings of 25 percent is available on all other departure dates. Prices for the seven-night cruises start at $1,795 per person, double occupancy, and include transfers and all activities except the optional excursions available at a few select wilderness stops. Port charges of $167 per person per week, massages and spirits are extra.

Visit http://www.innerseadiscoveries.com/styles_of_travel/alaska-family-vacations  for more information.

Lindblad Expeditions

Website: www.expeditions.com

Lindblad Offers Exciting Itineraries this Winter & Spring

South Georgia & The Falklands, Tristan da Cunha, St. Helena, Ascension Islands, Plus the West African Coast - March 7, 2011. Book by December 15 for free airfare, plus a complimentary four-day extension in Mali.*

Colossal in scope, this expedition encompasses the entire South Atlantic Ocean, from the wildness of the sub-Antarctic, along islands dotting the peaks of the Atlantic Ridge, to the West African Coast. Lindblad’s new Skills@Sea workshops offer travel writing, navigation, photography, cooking and more from expert mentors – board a novice, land an expert.

 Other Exciting Itineraries to Choose From

--An Island Odyssey: Azores, Madeira,

Canary & Channel Isles – May 2, 2011

Book by December 15 to save up to $1,000 on select cabin categories, plus free airfare.†

Eexperience Atlantic island life and explore UNESCO sites on this new, 17-day expedition aboard National Geographic Explorer. Springtime is the absolute best time to be here – when the legendary gardens are at their peak and scores of whales migrate through the Azores.

--Exploring the British & Irish Isles – May 16, 2011

Guests travel with Mary Robinson, the first woman President of Ireland. A blend of history and nature, this expedition follows a maritime thread through the Isles, exploring wild and beautiful places where Celtic and Viking influences still thrive in local languages and customs. Your clients will experience a side of these Isles few have experienced. Learn more >>

New Expedition Photography Program & New Expeditions

Get a sneak peek at our latest compendium brochure, EXPLORATIONS – it mailed this week, so expect yours soon. You'll find details on the new Expedition Photography program – beginning in 2011, every expedition will have an on board Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Website: www.pgcruises.com

Paul Gauguin Offers Photography Workshop Cruises

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, has been chosen to host the 10th Annual Digital Photography Workshop Cruise, during which 20 photographers will spend two weeks capturing travel, nature and documentary images in the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands to be published in a fine arts book.

The workshop, which embarks from Tahiti on April 16, 2011, will be conducted by Arthur Bleich, professional photographer and educator, along with Adrian Coakley, Illustrations Editor at National Geographic, and Tim McKenna, renowned outdoors photographer who has shot editorial and advertising images in French Polynesia for more than 15 years.

The workshop’s professional instructors have impressive backgrounds. Bleich has photographed for major magazines, was the official photographer for an Antarctic expedition and is a contributing editor at Rangefinder, the leading U.S. professional photography magazine. Coakley’s books at National Geographic have won international acclaim, and he is known for his impeccable taste in images. McKenna has done surfing and extreme-sports assignments in more than 30 countries in addition to documenting the beauty and culture of French Polynesia.

Photographers enrolled in the workshop will shoot onshore during the day and view their images during evening sessions. During the four days the ship is at sea, there will be lectures and demonstrations on technical and esthetic subjects.  Toward the end of the cruise, all passengers aboard will be invited to a presentation at which the best images that have been shot will be shown.

Attendees enrolled in previous workshop cruises have had their images published in magazines, on web sites and exhibited in shows. “Over the years we’ve developed some unique techniques to teach photographers to quickly grasp the key elements of ‘seeing’ which results in great pictures,” explains Bleich. The professionally designed coffee table book will showcase each photographer’s work and each attendee will receive a copy. Photographers who want to enroll in the workshop should visit: www.dpcorner.com/cruise or call 800-652-2267.

Additional themed sailings featured in 2011 include:

--Gala President’s Cruises - November 21, 2010, and January 15, 2011

Join President and CEO Richard Bailey for voyages to New Zealand, Tonga, Cook & Society Islands in November 2010 or to the Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands in January 2011. Aboard each of these cruises, guests will enjoy several special events.

--Jean-Michel Cousteau Oceanography Sailings - January 5, May 25 and June 29, 2011

World-famous oceanographer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau will join three of our sailings to the Tuamotus islands, one of the world’s premier diving locations. In addition to lectures with videos of his work, he will accompany several dives from the ship.

--Parisian Celebrity Chef Jean-Pierre Vigato Culinary Sailing July 30, 2011

The owner and Chef Propriétaire of the two-star Michelin-rated Restaurant Apicius in Paris, Chef Vigato will personally prepare gourmet dishes and also offer demonstrations of his culinary techniques.

--Jesse Kalisher & Roger Paperno Photography Workshop Sailings August 20 & 27, 2011. Roger Paperno and Jesse Kalisher, each an accomplished professional artist, will share their expertise during onboard lectures and hands-on photo-expeditions.

Voyages to Antiquity

Website: www.voyagestoantiquity.com

Historical 2011 Itineraries Offered For Mediterranean, Red Sea & Middle East

Voyages to Antiquity featuring cruises to classical civilizations, will offer five unique and intriguing cruise-tour itineraries that explore the art, history and culture of ancient civilizations of the Southern Mediterranean, Red Sea and Middle East in 2011. 

They include:

-Carthage Must Be Destroyed – Athens to Cairo – March 25, 2011. Guests visit the extraordinary archaeological treasures in North Africa, legacies of the Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans.  Highlights include Tripoli and Leptis Magna in Libya, plus Sicily, Tunisia and Malta. A one-night, post-cruise hotel stay in Cairo is included. 

--Everything in Alexandria was Superlative – Cairo to Rome – April 4, 2011.  This journey to Egypt, Crete, Malta, Tunis and Sicily begins with a three-night, pre-cruise hotel stay in Cairo with a tour to the Pyramids of Giza. Highlights of the cruise feature tours of Venetian and Ottoman architecture, a visit to Carthage in Tunisia and Monreale Cathedral in Palermo.

--Palmyra For a While Stood Forth The Rival of Rome – Limassol to Cairo – November 7, 2011. A sell-out in 2010, this remarkable journey visits Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, transits the Suez Canal then heads to Jordan and Egypt. Highlights include a visit to Byblos, founded in 5000 BC, Petra, the Pyramids of Giza, plus one-night in Luxor and a two-night post cruise hotel stay in Cairo.

--Man Fears Time, Time Fears the Pyramids – Amman to Cairo –November 15, 2011. This cruise tour visits Petra, the natural beautify of Jordan, the monasteries of St. Catherine and St. Anthony and the Treasures of Ancient Egypt, including the Pyramids of Giza, the largest of which is the oldest and only surviving one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Includes pre-cruise hotel stays in Amman and Petra and two nights in Cairo post-cruise.

--Leptis Magna, The Most Magnificent Of all the Roman Cities– Cairo to Valletta – November 25, 2011. Guests discover the treasures of ancient Egypt, Greco-Roman North Africa and Malta. Highlights include a visit to the ruins at Dougga (Tunis), said to be the most beautiful single Roman monument in all of North Africa, Tripoli and Leptis Magna, plus a two-night, pre-cruise hotel stay in Cairo.

All itineraries feature in depth shore excursions, included in the cruise fare, led by expert local guides and ample time for exploring. Guest lecturers and celebrated speakers continue to bring to life the art, history and culture of the Mediterranean region.

Each of these itineraries, plus an array of cruise-tours throughout the Aegean, Adriatic & Black Seas are now available for bookings and offer a host of new features including pre-and/or post-cruise hotel packages, shorter cruise lengths for travelers with limited time, and new destinations. Guests who book for 2011 by December 31, 2010 are eligible for FREE air from more than 70 North American gateways and a one category upgrade.

Extraordinary value is a hallmark with cruise fares start from $3,295, including shore excursions with complimentary bottled water, gratuities to shipboard staff, wine, beer, and soft drinks at dinner.  After the Early Booking Deadline expires, air is FREE from a selection of East coast gateways and $99 & $199 ad ons apply from the Midwest and Western Regions, including transfers and porterage.

Sea Cloud Cruises

Website: www.seacloudcruises.com

Sea Cloud Introduces Cycling Cruises In Holland & Flanders

Next spring Sea Cloud Cruises will, for the first time, be offering cycling cruises through Holland and Flanders. The combination of  carefully planned cycling tours with a relaxed river cruise in exquisite comfort enables guests to explore the quiet beauty of Holland and Belgium both by water and land, while at the same time being pampered to their hearts' delight.

The cities visited by passengers during these cycling cruises are amongst the most beautiful in Europe: Amsterdam with its gables and canals, Antwerp, which has maintained its medieval Belgian splendor, and the old merchant town of Ghent, ever bustling, ever vibrant. Guests can cycle along the waterside promenade leading to Rotterdam and then track the river Ijssel. Another trip takes passengers through the lands north of Amsterdam to Edam where they can delight in sampling some of its famous cheese. After each leg, passengers return to the Rover Cloud II to enjoy excellent service and outstanding cuisine in a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere.

The three eight-day cruises will depart during April 2011 (7 to 14 April 2011, 14 to 21 April 2011, 21 to 28 April 2011) and can be booked, including the cycling package, at prices from $3,340 per person (from/to the harbor). An early bird discount of $500 per person will be applied to bookings received by November 30, 2010. In addition to the river cruise in the selected cabin class with full board, the price also includes six guided cycling excursions on selected routes. Each participant will be provided with a specialized high-quality bicycle for the duration of the trip. An accompanying bus with bicycle trailer, offering the option of giving cyclists a lift, all admission and tour fees, comprehensive assistance including refreshment breaks and sumptuous picnics are also included in the price.

Sea Cloud Cruises, based in Germany, has been a blue-chip cruise operator since 1979 and the Berlitz Cruise Guide has awarded it five stars for many years. The 79-year-old four-masted bark Sea Cloud with its high quality standard serves as the model for all other passenger ships that are part of the operator´s fleet. Guests are invited to set sail to the most stunning destinations in Europe, the Lesser Antilles and Central America on board of one of two stately windjammers or an exclusive river yacht.

Star Clippers

Website: www.starclippers.com

Star Clippers Offers Free Cabin Upgrades On Holiday Sailings

Star Clippers is offering free cabin upgrades on five holiday sailings to the Caribbean and Costa Rica. The available dates are the Royal Clipper's December 18 and 26 sailings in the Caribbean; the Star Clipper's December. 18 and 26 departures in the Caribbean; and the Star Flyer's December 19 sailing in Costa Rica. The free cabin upgrade is valid on cabin categories 3 through 6.

--The Royal Clipper is sailing on a special eight-night roundtrip Barbados cruise departing December 18. The ship calls at the Grenadines, Grenada, St. Vincent and Bequia, Martinique, Dominica and St. Lucia. The flagship's December 26 holiday departure is a seven-night roundtrip Barbados voyage that calls at St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts, Iles de Saintes and Martinique.

--The Star Clipper also sails the Caribbean with roundtrip St. Maarten departures. The special, eight-night holiday sailing departing December 18 calls at Anguilla, Virgin Gorda, Norman Island, Tortola, Jost van Dyke, St. Kitts, Antigua and St. Barts. The seven-night holiday departure December 26 calls at Nevis or Saba, Dominica, Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Barts.

--The Star Flyer will spend its first holiday season in Costa Rica in 2010 with seven-night, roundtrip Puerto Caldera departures. The December 19 sailing includes a call at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, as well as Playa del Coco, National Park Santa Rosa, Samara/Puerto Carillo, and National Reserve of Curu/Isla Tortugas, Costa Rica.

Variety Cruises

Website: www.varietycruises.com

Variety Cruises Announces Last-Minute Winter Getaways

Variety Cruises has announced Last-Minute Winter Getaways to West Africa for cruises departing in December, with a booking deadline of Nov. 30. The eight-day Rivers of West Africa cruise embarks in Dakar, Senegal, and navigates upstream in the Saloun and Gambia rivers. An optional land excursion also is available. Passengers can choose either a 30 percent discount off the cruise fares (with the single supplement waived for solo travelers) plus a three-night stay in Dakar and three airport transfers, or a 50 percent discount off the cruise fare. Book by Nov. 30, 2010.

 

 

September, 2010

Abercrombie & Kent

AdventureSmith Explorations

Compagnie du Ponant

Hurtigruten

Island Escape Cruises/New Zealand

Lindblad Expeditions

National Trust/UK Cruises

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Quark Expeditions

Star Clippers

Swan Hellenic

Voyages of Discovery

 

Abercrombie & Kent

Website: http://www.abercrombiekent.com/search.cfm?new_search=1&tif=691

Cruising Antarctica

Few journeys on earth can compete with the sheer exhilaration of a luxury cruise in Antarctica, the world’s most remote and final frontier. This is a voyage of discovery in the truest sense, a voyage into ever changing territory, an isolated frozen wonderland shrouded in mystery, thriving with the magnificent creatures that have freely roamed the White Continent for millennia.

Perhaps Antarctica's greatest attraction is that it remains both exclusive and unspoiled. With unpredictable weather and icy conditions dictating passage, Antarctica expeditions to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia region are only possible in the austral summer months. Each shift in season presents a unique beauty; with late spring a time of astonishing courtship displays, full summer a time of midnight sunshine and penguin hatchings, and late summer offering the best whale watching of the season. The voyage to Antarctica is as much an adventure as is reaching the destination itself. Most trips will begin in the bustling Argentine city of Buenos Aires, home of the Tango and the setting for a veritable feast of fine wine and culinary delights. After taking in the city’s sights, it’s off to the fabled Patagonia, from where most travelers will bid farewell to the South American continent and set sail into the white unknown.

Undoubtedly, the jewel of these icy waters is the spacious MV Le Boreal, the first all-balcony luxury cruise ship in Antarctica. This is lavish Antarctica exploration and its prime, with elegant guest accommodations limited to just 199 guests, and stylishly appointed cabins and facilities among the most comfortable available on any Antarctic cruise. As such, cabins and suites offer floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies, inviting guests to enjoy unparalleled views of the wildlife in action. Two restaurants, an outdoor heated pool, salon, spa and fitness centre, complete the amenities on a cruise ship that certainly sets the standard in luxurious adventure travelling.

MV Le Boreal also employs the latest eco-friendly travel practices and technology, including using the cleanest-burning marine gas oil fuel and a state-of-the-art positioning system that eliminates the need for dropping anchor in fragile marine reserves.

Getting up close and personal with Antarctica's resident wildlife is all part of the MV ‘Le Boreal’ eco-tourism experience, with a fleet of Zodiacs on stand by. Designed for safe operations in rough and shallow waters, this is where the thrills of an Antarctica cruise come alive as guests explore remote shores and towering glaciers. Depending on conditions, visitors can expect to see an amazing array of birds, mammals and marine wildlife. These include a variety of seals; orca, humpback and minke whales; dolphins; several penguin and albatross species; upland geese; peregrine falcons; king shags and Magellanic snipe.

Operating luxury Antarctica cruises throughout the summer season, A&K offers three itineraries to choose from, for durations of 11, 16 and 17 nights. Currently, A&K are offering an early booking special for travel in 2011-12. Book by 31 March 2011 and save up to US$7,910 per couple. Full details can be obtained from the A&K website, or from your local A&K travel consultant.

AdventureSmith Explorations

Website: www.adventuresmithexplorations.com

AdventureSmith Explorations Promotes Tanzania Safari By Way of Galapagos

AdventureSmith Explorations is an active travel company that secures matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small, expedition ships’ and it has announced that new bookings confirmed on the 48-passenger M/V Eclipse for tours of the Galapagos Islands departing between Oct.ober9, 2010, and March 31, 2011, will be entered into a drawing to win a luxury African safari for two.

The winner will be announced April 7, 2011; and the prize can be used through March 31, 2012. See:

http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/specialofferlogin.php/o/369

The African safari takes the winners to East Africa to the exclusive and secluded Swala tented camp in Tanzanias Tarangire National Park as well as the 2010 Conde Nast Gold List Colonna tented camp located at the foot of the dramatic Siria Escarpment where the movie Out of Africa was filmed.

Smith said that ever since her arrival in Ecuador, the M/V Eclipse has left an impression on visitors as one of the finest cruise ships in the Galapagos Islands offering unparalleled levels of comfort and service. She was converted specifically for upscale cruising in the islands and was designed to meet the exacting demands of luxury travel.

Galapagos Eclipse cruise packages begin and end in colonial Quito, Ecuador and include Quito hotel accommodations, airport/hotel transfers, round trip flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands and a half day tour of the Quito's old town, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.

More information on the Galapagos tour at

http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/itinerarydetails.php/advid/64

AdventureSmith Explorations Returns To Alaskan Wilderness in 2011

AdventureSmith Explorations returns to the Alaskan wilderness in the summer of 2011 with two newly renovated ships and a variety of unprecedented off-ship activities. The redesigned vessels now in place for next summer are the same pioneering

small ships that AdventureSmith Explorations founder and president, Todd Smith,

helped design and direct during their first deployment to Alaska in the 1990s. They were the first cruises of their kind to offer enough kayaks and gear to

accommodate every passenger during off-vessel wilderness activities, which

evolved to become the primary focus of today’s adventure cruise. For the first time, guests will be able to pick and choose from traditional included activities such as in-depth wilderness explorations by zodiac, kayak or naturalist guided walks, to new, ground-breaking optional activities such as overnight wilderness kayaking, hiking and camping, expert fishing charters from the ship (local guides/boats rendezvous with the vessel to take clients fishing for the day) and flight-seeing. There will be some new activities included in the programming as well such as paddle boarding, caving and snorkeling.

The ships, which used to carry up to 88 passengers, will operate with a maximum of

only 49 passengers. This will provide more space on board and allow for more

time to engage in off-vessel activities. The ships are now being completely refurbished with new amenities such as an on board sauna and hot tub with a view, exercise equipment, on-deck yoga classes, massage services (additional charge) and TV’s with DVD players. Guests with flip and video cameras are encouraged to film daily activities, later to be shared via video monitors in the main salon or streamed into cabin TVs during social hour before dinner or afterwards. Also included in the re-fit will be bow-mounted underwater cameras to pipe in images from below the waves into the main salon’s flat screen TVs and into cabins via designated channels.

Two seven-night/eight-8 day itineraries planned for the 2011 season will actively explore

the Eastern and Western Coves of southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage. The

independent itineraries can be combined for a longer cruise. Singly or together

they provide a comprehensive overview of this state’s primal wilderness that can

only be accessed by small vessels. This means that discerning guests will be far

removed from large cruise ship crowds.

Smith has been intimately involved in the relaunch, consulting with InnerSea

Discoveries (owner of vessels) on the cruise itineraries and on-board and

off-ship adventure programs that take the original concept of active cruising to

the next level. The upcoming programs start at $1,795 per person for a 7-night/8-day cruise. There are also three dedicated family departures on June 25, July 23 and August

13. Families with children 12 and under save 25 percent on all departures and 30

percent on these dedicated family trips.

For a detailed itinerary, departure dates and ship descriptions please see:

Eastern Coves Tour:

http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/itinerarydetails.php/advid/54 or

Western Coves Tour:

http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/itinerarydetails.php/advid/38

The company offers a free brochure and DVD. Please call 800-728-2875 or email

travel@AdventureSmithExplorations.com.

Compagnie du Ponant

Website: www.ponant.com

Ponant's Le Boréal to Sail Greenland, Arctic Canada in 2011

Compagnie du Ponant’s 264-guest Le Boréal will offer 12 voyages to Scandinavia, Iceland and -- for the first time -- Greenland and Canada’s Arctic from May to September 2011. After spending its inaugural season in Antarctica, Le Boréal will depart the Western Hemisphere on April 12 and cross the Atlantic heading for Marseille. A three-night “Ocean Voyage” to Lisbon with a gastronomic theme on April 27 will begin the yacht’s spring/summer season.

Three eight-night Copenhagen-Stockholm itineraries departing May 17, May 25 and June 2 will stop at Tallinn, Riga, Helsinki and St. Petersburg for three days. Departing June 20, a seven-night cruise up the coast of Norway will visit the old Viking port of Hellesylt, the UNESCO World Heritage Geiranger fjord, and Svartisen.

On June 27, Le Boréal will depart Norway on a 13-night voyage to Reykjavik that takes in the North Cape and Spitzbergen Island, the last land before the North Pole. Three seven-night Iceland itineraries departing July 10, July 17 and July 24 feature six ports, including Grundarfjordur for its ancient volcanoes, Grimsley Island on the Arctic Circle, and the Westman Islands, home to the world’s largest puffin colony.

Two Le Boréal cruises showcase Greenland, one paired with Iceland and another with the Inuit territory of Nunavut in Canada. Highlights of the 11-night voyage on July 31 from Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland include the Eqi Glacier and Disko Bay. The August 11 cruise makes five stops in Greenland and four in Nunavut. The 12-night voyage departing Kangerlussuaq on August 23 will explore 12 ports and islands in Nunavut in Canada’s Arctic Archipelago. On September 4, Le Boréal will sail on a 12-night itinerary from Nunavut down the coast of Labrador and through Atlantic Canada to New England. Two ten-night cruises (Boston-to-Montreal on September 16, 2011, and the reverse itinerary on Sept. 26, 2011) are on the schedule, before the yacht sails down the coast of South America to return to the White Continent.

Prices for the spring and summer sailings start at $2,704 per person, double occupancy, in a superior stateroom for the seven-night Reykjavik roundtrip cruises and go up to $18,660 per person, double, for the Owner’s Suite on the 13-night Bodo-to-Reykjavik voyage. Fares include all wine, beer, mineral water, soft drinks and specialty coffees served with meals. Compagnie du Ponant offers travel agent commissions ranging between 10 and 15 percent.

Ponant To Offer 12 Sailings to Scandinavia & Arctic Regions In 2011

French cruise line Compagnie du Ponant’s 264-guest Le Boréal will offer 12 voyages to Scandinavia, Iceland and -- for the first time -- Greenland and Canada’s Arctic from May to September 2011. After spending its inaugural season in Antarctica, Le Boréal will depart the Western Hemisphere on April 12 and cross the Atlantic heading for Marseille. A three-night Ocean Voyage to Lisbon with a gastronomic theme on April 27 will begin the yacht’s spring/summer season.

--Three eight-night Copenhagen-Stockholm itineraries departing May 17, May 25 and June 2 will stop at Tallinn, Riga, Helsinki and St. Petersburg for three days.

--Departing June 20, a seven-night cruise up the coast of Norway will visit the old Viking port of Hellesylt, the UNESCO World Heritage Geiranger fjord, and Svartisen.

-- On June 27, Le Boréal will depart Norway on a 13-night voyage to Reykjavik that takes in the North Cape and Spitzbergen Island, the last land before the North Pole.

-- Three seven-night Iceland itineraries departing July 10, July 17 and July 24 feature six ports, including Grundarfjordur for its ancient volcanoes, Grimsley Island on the Arctic Circle, and the Westman Islands, home to the world’s largest puffin colony.

--Two Le Boréal cruises showcase Greenland, one paired with Iceland and another with the Inuit territory of Nunavut in Canada. Highlights of the 11-night voyage on July 31 from Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland include the Eqi Glacier and Disko Bay. ---- The August 11 cruise makes five stops in Greenland and four in Nunavut. The 12-night voyage departing Kangerlussuaq on August 23 will explore 12 ports and islands in Nunavut in Canada’s Arctic Archipelago. On September 4, Le Boréal will sail on a 12-night itinerary from Nunavut down the coast of Labrador and through Atlantic Canada to New England. Two ten-night cruises (Boston-to-Montreal on September 16, 2011, and the reverse itinerary on September 26, 2011) are on the schedule, before the yacht sails down the coast of South America to return to the White Continent.

Prices for the spring and summer sailings start at $2,704 per person, double occupancy, in a superior stateroom for the seven-night Reykjavik roundtrip cruises and go up to $18,660 per person, double, for the Owner’s Suite on the 13-night Bodo-to-Reykjavik voyage. Fares include all wine, beer, mineral water, soft drinks and specialty coffees served with meals. Compagnie du Ponant offers travel agent commissions ranging between 10 and 15 percent.

Hurtigruten

Website; www.hurtigruten.com or www.hurtigruten.us

Northern Lights Voyages Offered This Winter

Hurtigruten is always looking to intrigue their guests, offering unique opportunities to explore remote regions and learn about different cultures -- and the west coast of Norway in the winter offers another wonderful opportunity.  From November 15 through March 15, 2011, Hurtigruten takes passengers on Hunting the Light voyages – an exploration that offers dog sledding, the nightly viewing possibility of the spectacular Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights), overnights at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, swims in the Barents Sea, incredible vistas, wonderful meals of local fare, and numerous presentations on the history and cultures of Norway.

Spending time in the Arctic Circle is a relatively rare and special event and Hurtigruten celebrates with a polar baptism – an ice cube ‘shower’ hosted by King Neptune himself.  Guests voluntarily line up (few sit it out) and await their light, but cold, dousing; all guests receive an Arctic Circle Certificate announcing their accomplishment.  Other presentations and activities on board and ashore are equally unique and special: imagine eating freshly made fish cakes while learning about the 1890 “Battle of Troll fjord;” listening to the captain’s description about life along the Norway coast; understanding the science behind the Aurora Borealis; learning how to make knots and hitches; and gaining insight into native Sámi culture -- all while watching the magical polar light colors of gold, pink and blue reflect off the snow-laden coast and being on the lookout for the Aurora Borealis display.  Added treats during the holiday season include visiting the town’s Christmas markets and seeing the twinkling decorations light up the shoreline.

Excursions, both included and optional are equally as intriguing. 

Guests can enjoy a Viking feast with a Viking Chieftain in Lofotr, experience dog sledding on the frozen landscape, visit the world’s northernmost town, Hammerfest – the first town in Northern Europe to get electric street lights (1891), strike out for the North Cape and its incredible view near the top of the world, ride snowmobiles on a winter safari, visit and/or stay overnight at the Kirkenes Snow Hotel, take the Arctic Ocean plunge, or take in a midnight concert in Tromsø’s Arctic Cathedral.

The six-day southbound, seven-day northbound and 12-day round-trip makes 34 ports of call along Norway’s stunningly scenic, fjord-filled west coast. Savings of 10 percent are offered to passengers who sailed on any Hurtigruten ship in the past three years.

Early Booking Rates On Several 2011 Spitsbergen Voyages

Hurtigruten is offering 20% savings on six Spitsbergen cruise itineraries, the largest island in the Arctic’s Svalbard archipelago.  Each unique sailing explores the far-flung reaches of the remote islands, where Spitsbergen’s stunning scenery of jagged peaks and impressive tundra is second only to its population of 4,500 polar bears roaming freely on the ice-laden landscape – a sight that many Hurtigruten guests have enjoyed.  Reduced rates start at $2,097 per person, double, for the five to 13-day itineraries – most of which take place aboard the deluxe exploration ship, MS Fram.  This amounts to a savings of up to $1,914 per person, available on 27 summer departures between June 9 and September 7, 2011, for bookings made by December 31, 2010.

-- The 11-day Climate Voyage follows in the traditions of explorer Fridtjof Nansen and makes an inaugural stop in Jan Mayen, one of the world’s most isolated islands.  Focusing on the effect of climate changes on wildlife means visits to research stations, wildlife tracking, participating in field studies and meeting with some of the field’s top research scientists.  Highlights include Norway’s Tromsø; Honningsvag, Europe’s northernmost city; and a stop in Gjesvaerstappen, a unique birding cliff and site of seabird studies.  The July 21 departure is priced from $3,010.

-- Polar Encounters is a five-day voyage along the historically rich north coast of Spitsbergen, where rare wildlife roam a landscape of breathtaking fjords, gigantic glaciers and staggering mountain peaks. The trip includes unparalleled views of The Seven Glaciers, the piercing towers of the Three Crowns”and the large walrus colonies of Moffen Island, with stops at North West Spitsbergen National Park and Ny-Alesund.  There are eight summer departures with rates from $2,907.

-- The Svalbard Explorer is a nine-day adventure that takes in the entire west coast of Spitsbergen up to the 80th parallel.  The route allows guests rare glimpses of beautiful fjords such as Hornsund Fjord, Magdalenefjord and Krossfjord; Bear Island with its famous cliff Stappen; guided walks in Ny-Alesund, the world’s northernmost settlement; and time at the fringe of the North Pole ice edge.  Fares for the two August departures begin at $5,023.

-- The new 13-day Polar Bears, Islands and Fjords itinerary encompasses some of the most impressive sights in Norway and Svalbard, from the ice blue fjords and dramatic peaks of the Lyngen Alps to the colorful coastal town of Alesund, renowned for its Art Nouveau architecture.  Guests can enjoy a folklore show in Barentsburg, visit the former mining town of Ny-Alesund and experience Norway’s bustling capital of Bergen.  The trip is priced from $4,639 and departs Sept. 7.

-- The 11-day Classic Norway and Spitsbergen provides a unique combination of two spectacular Hurtigruten itineraries: the classic Coastal Voyage between Bergen and Kirkenes and a round-trip voyage to the frozen landscapes of Spitsbergen.  Available optional excursions include a Glacier Adventure or Saltstraumen Safari in the modern town of Bodø, and visits to the medieval Nidaros Cathedral or Ringve Music Museum in Trondheim.  Rates for the four summer departures begin at $4,538.

-- The nine-day Kingdom of the Polar Bear is focused on these rarely seen Arctic animals.  Guests explore the main siting regions of northern and eastern Spitsbergen.  Aside from a day in Longyearbyen, the itinerary also takes in Ny-Alesund; several fjords, including Magdalenefjord, Smeerenburgfjord, Woodfjord and Icrfjord; Hinlopen Strait; and the bird cliffs of Alkefjelle; and makes numerous exploration landings along the way.  The 11 summer departures are priced from $5,777.

All Spitsbergen itineraries include daily lectures from onboard naturalist guides, expedition leaders and Zodiac landings, all meals aboard and some on land, cabin category selected, transfers and port charges.  Round-trip flights from New York via Oslo are available as are add-on airfares from dozens of other North American cities; optional excursions, gratuities, and fuel surcharges and taxes are additional.  

Island Escape Cruises/New Zealand

Website: www.islandescape.co.nz

Two Unique November Cruises to New Zealand’s Malborough Wine Region

Specialist luxury small ship cruise company, Island Escape Cruises, is offering two unique cruises in the Marlborough region of New Zealand. This five-night cruise visits some of the famous New Zealand South island’s vineyards in the Marlborough Region.

Not only is this region a truly remarkable cruising destination it is famous for its world famous Sauvignon Blanc’s, rich red wines and unique gourmet restaurants.

The cruise offers two days of visiting vineyards and restaurants with our onboard wine guide plus three days of stunning Marlborough Sounds cruising.  The Island Passage’s chef will also be presenting onboard gourmet meals with locally sourced products to complement the wines of the region.

Highlights include: -Private charter plane from Wellington to Picton (to join the ship);

onboard wine guide; visits to local wineries and much more.

Departure Dates: November 14 and 21, 2010. Prices from AUD 3196.00 / NZD$3995.00 per person twin share.

Special Offer: Single Passengers travel at Twin Share Rates (Subject to availability).

Lindblad Expeditions

Website: http://www.expeditions.com

Lindblad Offers Special Savings On Select Voyages

Book four cabins on expeditions departing now through March 31, 2011 and get one cabin FREE.* Explore Galápagos or The Panama Canal & Costa Rica for free when you book four cabins on National Geographic Endeavour or National Geographic Islander to Galápagos; or National Geographic Sea Lion to Panama & Costa Rica on expeditions that depart now through March 31, 2011.

Lindblad has been exploring Galápagos since 1967. And guests will travel with the best Naturalist-guides in the region. National Geographic Endeavour and National Geographic Islander depart Galápagos every Friday and Saturday

National Geographic Sea Lion is the only passenger ship permitted to call at the Smithsonian Research Institute in the Canal. One Naturalist for every 15 guests guarantees access and varied perspectives. Snorkeling the undersea paradise at Isla Coiba, plus the kayaking, swimming and Zodiac cruises are included in the price.

National Trust/UK Cruises

Websites: www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk/nt

www.swanhellenic.com/nt 

www.hebridean.co.uk/nt

Swan Hellenic, Voyages of Discovery and Hebridean Island Cruises Partner With National Trust

Hebridean Island Cruises, Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery have introduced a new summer 2011 brochure, partnering with the National Trust for its 2011 cruise program.  Trust members and supporters will automatically be entitled to a loyalty discount and the Trust itself will benefit from each booking made. This cruising programe is a part of the National Trust Holiday Collection.

The new mini brochure, that went out to many of the Trust’s 3.7 million members with the autumn edition of the National Trust Magazine, features National Trust recommended cruises for 2011, with a more detailed program and brochure planned for 2012. The cruises featured in the brochure include tours of some of Britain’s most historic houses, gardens and visitor sites, as well as destinations and itineraries that are further afield, such as The Baltic, Iceland and The Black Sea. All are on the smaller discovery cruising ships of Swan Hellenic, Voyages of Discovery and Hebridean Island Cruises.

 The cruise themes featured in the 2011 brochure include classical music, gardens & houses, arts and history – all which boast top lecturers, speakers, entertainment and shore itineraries.

 National Trust recommended cruises in the new brochure include:

-- Swan Hellenic’s 14-night Coast of a Kingdom cruise from only £2,295 per person - departing June22, 2011.  Departing from new homeport Portsmouth and cruising around Scotland, Ireland, Guernsey Channel Islands and England, take the opportunity to visit the newly opened Castle of Mey, former home of the Queen Mother, Dunvegan Castle and the renowned Giant’s Causeway.

-- Departing April 30, 2011, Voyages of Discovery’s Castles and Gardens of the British Isles 15-day stay from £1,234 per person, visits the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Isle of Sky and Wales.  Discover hidden treasures of the past at the Rosslyn Chapel and Falkirk Wheel, the legendary Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle as well as some of the National Trust’s stunning Pembrokeshire Coastline.

-- Hebridean Island Cruises offers a ten-night Grand Celtic cruise on the Hebridean Princess that visits Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, from £4,665 per person departing September 17, 2011.

 Visit the spectacular National Trust Colby Woodland Garden in Pembrokeshire followed by a cruise to Fishguard and the opportunity to visit National Trust property Llanerchaeron.  Stop off in Dublin, one of the most cultural cities in Europe and visit the Hezlett House, finishing this 10-night cruise in Jura and Crinan and Loch Na Mile for a variety of onshore walks.

Brochures can also be viewed online at www.nationaltrustcruises.co.uk

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Website: www.pgcruises.com

Celebrate The Family Holidays Aboard The Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, provides families with a number of ways to celebrate the December holidays within the magical setting of French Polynesia.  Culinary education, complimentary access to Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program and a variety of captivating cultural experiences await families aboard The Gauguin.

Legendary Chef Stephan Pyles joins guests of The Gauguin during the December 18, 2010, departure sailing to Tahiti, Society Islands and Tuamotus. Chef Pyles will lead a number of cooking demonstrations, and the French and Polynesian inspired restaurant L’Etoile will also feature the chef’s signature dishes on the menu throughout the sailing.  Recognized as a world-class chef, Pyles is one of the founding fathers of Southwestern cuisine and spent more than 25 years in the Dallas restaurant circuit. For the past 26 years Pyles has created 15 restaurants and was the first person in the Southwest to win the coveted James Beard Award for “Best Chef.”

Also available on the December 18th and December 27th sailings, Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering children FREE access to the revolutionary Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program, usually available for a fee of $269 per child. Explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau created this unique, groundbreaking program to introduce travelers to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia. The program provides young participants ages 9 to 17 with hands-on, interactive experience with marine and island ecosystems. Young ambassadors will explore coral reefs, hike rainforest trails and visit marae (ancient Polynesian temples). Participants will learn how black pearls and vanilla are cultivated, how volcanic islands become coral atolls, and how to paddle an outrigger canoe. Parents are encouraged to join children on eco-excursions and other activities aboard and ashore, making the program a great activity for families.

Additionally, a variety of programs, entertainment and experiences are available to families sailing aboard The Gauguin.  Each sailing boasts a number of unique shore excursions, allowing guests to experience each destination in an authentic way. Excursions include hiking to beautiful waterfalls, snorkeling for pearl oysters, river kayaking, star gazing and more. The Gauguin offers a specially designed retractable watersports marina, giving guests direct access into the picturesque blue waters of the South Pacific to enjoy activities such as windsurfing, kayaking, waterskiing and diving.

 Families are invited to experience Paul Gauguin Cruises’ private white-sand beach on Bora Bora, as well as a private island, Motu Mahana, which is a separate experience available exclusively to guests aboard The Gauguin and is host to an authentic barbecue with gracious Polynesian hospitality.  The ship is also home to the beloved Les Gauguines – a local Tahitian dance group serving as cruise staff, entertainers and storytellers – adding the unique personality of Tahiti to every cruise. 

Owned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., a leader in French Polynesia luxury destination resorts, Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, providing a luxury cruise experience tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific. The m/s Paul Gauguin was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The ship is 513 feet long, 71 feet wide and has a draft of 16.9 feet. The ship can accommodate 332 guests with a staff of 215 and is one of the top Exclusive Charter and Incentive Group venues in the industry. The m/s Paul Gauguin has undergone more than $25 million in enhancements, has completed more than 500 South Pacific cruises and served more than 140,000 guests, including more than 12,000 honeymooners since its inaugural sail in 1998.

Quark Expeditions

Website: www.quarkexpeditions.com

Quark Expeditions Returns To The North Pole 2011

Next year 2011, Quark Expeditions will celebrate its 20th anniversary by returning to the Arctic area. In 1991, two of its expeditions included one of the North Pole and the first ever passenger transit of the Northeast Passage. From June 23 to July 7, 2011, the cruise line will journey back to the North Pole and through the Northeast Passage July 10 to September 13, 2011.

Guests can embark on one of three segments of the cruise. Segments are schedule from 21 to 28 days of the total 66-day circumnavigation. The staging point for the circumnavigation and the Northeast Passage is Anchorage, Alaska. The Northeast Passage will disembark in Murmansk, Russia, and the full circumnavigation will disembark in Anadyr, Russia. During the trip, travelers will have the chance to visit Spitsbergen, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic's Northwest Passage.

Star Clippers

Website: www.starclippers.com

Celebrate Christmas In The Tropics With Star Clippers

Escape the cold this winter and spend Christmas exploring the tropics on a romantic square rigger. Tall ship sailing specialist Star Clippers is offering spectacular Christmas itineraries on each of its tall ships, two of which will be in the Caribbean and one in Costa Rica.

-- The magnificent, five-masted flagship Royal Clipper, which carries 228 guests, offers an eight-night, round-trip sailing from Barbados, departing December 18 and calling at various islands in the Grenadines, including the beautiful Tobago Cays and pretty Grenada and Bequia, as well as Martinique and Dominica. Christmas Day is spent soaking up the sun in Marigot Bay, St Lucia in the morning, moving on to Soufriere after lunch, returning to Barbados on Boxing Day. From £1,375 per person plus £130 port taxes (flights excluded).

-- The 170-passenger Star Clipper sails on December 18 from St Maarten on an eight-day round trip, calling at Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, St Kitts and Antigua, spending Christmas day anchored off the chic little port of Gustavia, St Barths. From £1,295 per person plus £130 port taxes (flights excluded).

--Star Flyer will be sailing the coast of Costa Rica, offering a chance to escape completely. On a week-long voyage from Puerto Caldera, the ship will call at out-of-the-way ports and anchorages in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Guests will wake up on Christmas Day in the stunning National Reserve of Curu, moving on to Isla Tortugas for a beach barbecue and overnight. From £1,130 plus £110 port taxes (flights excluded).

The ships' mizzen masts, with their red and green port / starboard lights, are considered to be their Christmas trees, the dining room on each ship will be decorated for a typically festive Christmas Day and throughout both the Caribbean and Central America, guests will enjoy many familiar Christmas traditions, including Christmas trees, colorful lights and the occasional appearance by Santa.

*Note: All rates shown are also available in US currency.

Star Clippers Cruise To Include Monaco Grand Prix In 2011

Star Clippers is offering a seven-night sailing voyage round-trip from Cannes along the French Riviera to coincide with the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix. The four-masted, fully-crewed, 170-passenger tall ship, Star Flyer, will be anchored off Monte Carlo until midnight on Sunday, May 29, the day of the race, so guests can go ashore to watch the action and soak up the Grand Prix atmosphere.

The cruise departs Cannes on May 28. In addition to the day in Monaco, ports of call include L’Ile Rousse and Bastia in Corsica; the glamorous village of Portofino; Hyeres island; Sanary-sur-Mer; and St Tropez, with calls at the town and the beach.

This will be the second year running that the 170-passenger Star Flyer, one of the world’s largest and most luxurious tall ships, has been in Monaco for the Grand Prix. Passengers will be within easy reach by tender of all the action and the head-turning vessel will be one of the most beautiful ships on the scene with her graceful lines, four masts and teak decking.

Grand Prix fans wanting to enjoy the seven days of luxurious sailing can join the cruise for just £1,245 per person, based on two sharing, plus port taxes of £135 per person. Flights and Grand Prix tickets are extra. Book before January 31, 2011 and qualify for a 10% early booking discount.

Swan Hellenic

Website: www.swanhellenic.com

Swan Hellenic Offers New Destinations For Winter 2011-12

Swan Hellenic is kicking off the winter 2011-2012 season going on sale with a new brochure featuring cruises throughout northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Black Sea, North Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Following particularly successful sales for Far East cruises this year, the cruise line will return to the region in late 2011 with ports of call throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Indonesia and the Philippines featured, including a return to Yangon in Myanmar.

New ports, all accessible only by smaller cruise ships, featured in the new winter 2011-2012 brochure across Europe, Asia and Middle East include the wildlife conservation reserve of Sir Bani Yas island in the United Arab Emirates, the Vietnamese coastal city of Qui Nhon, and the French fishing town of Port Vendres close to the Spanish border. The 320-guest Minerva is also small enough to transit the Corinth Canal in Greece, the Kiel Canal in Germany, the Yangon River in Myanmar and the Saigon River in Vietnam.

Highlights of the new winter 2011-2012 brochure for Swan Hellenic include:

-- A return to the Persian Gulf with a 16-day ‘Into the Persian Gulf’ discovery cruise from Mumbai, India calling at destinations such as Dubai for an overnight stay, Manama in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, the exclusive wildlife reserve island of Sir Bani Yas in the United Arab Emirates, and ending in Muscat, Oman. Prices from £2,425 per person in March 2012

-- An insight into the tribes, religions and cultures of Indonesia and South East Asia with a 22-day East of Java cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong with ports of call including Semarang in Java, Bali, Lombok, Komodo, Sandakan in Malaysia for a visit to an orangutan sanctuary, and Manila in the Philippines before arriving in Hong Kong. Prices from £3,345 per person for a 22-day fly-cruise in January 2012

-- Transit the Saigon River in Ho Chi Minh, enjoy five different ports of call in Vietnam, and explore Sihanoukville in Cambodia, and Ko Samui in Thailand on a 21-day Kingdoms of South East Asia cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore. Prices from £3,295 per person for a fly-cruise departing in late January 2012

-- Following the traditional routes of spice traders, a 15-day Colours of India’cruise takes in ports such as Gandhi’s birthplace, Porbandar, as well as an overnight stay in Mumbai. The 15-day cruise from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to Colombo in Sri Lanka costs from £2,185 per person for travel in December 2011

-- Inclusive shore excursions such as a full day in Luxor for the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, and a full day at the city of Petra in Jordan on the 16-day Along Desert Shores cruise from Oman to Sharm El Sheikh, plus many more, all part of the main cruise fare

-- Grand voyages available from 28 days up to 42 days cover a huge range of destinations throughout the continents of Europe and Asia such as a 37-day Oriental Odyssey taking in ports of call throughout Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines before ending in Hong Kong

-- Cruises in Northern Europe depart from Portsmouth for the first time in 2011 following the extensive redevelopment of the port. Complimentary coach transfer to and from Portsmouth is included for no additional cost for all no-fly guests

As part of the discovery nature of the cruises on offer, all sailings are escorted by expert guest speakers relevant to the destinations, cultures and experiences on offer. Guest speakers in the winter 2011-2012 season include TV experts from programs such as the BBC’s Coast, former directors of world-class museums such as the V&A, the British Museum, and the Tate Britain, and botanists from Kew Gardens, as well as familiar faces such as politician Lord Patten and broadcaster Peter Snow.

Podcasts detailing the highlights of each cruise itinerary read by highly-regarded Swan Hellenic cruise director Paul Carter are available to aid cruise sales at www.swanhellenic.com/podcasts.

All prices include return flights from the UK, transfers, shore excursions worth up to a value of £500, meals and the guest speaker program onboard ship. There are no additional gratuities and entrance fees to all attractions featured on the shore excursion program are included.

Swan Hellenic’s country house style cruises are hosted by cruise planners who research and plot the itineraries of the ship, and ensure the most informative excursions are on offer. The pioneers in discovery cruising, Swan Hellenic enjoys a 50-year heritage as the leaders in ocean-going voyages to the most interesting destinations in the world for like-minded travelers.

Brochures can also be viewed online at www.swanhellenic.com/2012brochure.

Travel agents can take advantage of online video training specific to selling Swan Hellenic and discovery cruising at www.discoverycruisingexpert.com.

Voyages of Discovery

Website: www.voyagesofdiscovery.com

New Winter 2011/12 Brochure Explores Australia And Japan And China

Voyages of Discovery’s winter 2011/12 brochure is offering exciting new destinations, cruises and excursions including a three-day visit to the vibrant, colonial Yangon (formerly Rangoon) in Myanmar and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

With Discovery visiting Japan and China for the first time, excursions to Kyota, the former Imperial capital of Japan, the island city of Xiamen, China and Bund waterfront, Shanghai, China are also highlights of the new winter 2011/12 brochure.

The gateway to Mecca, blue waters and white beaches of Australia’s Whitsunday Islands, hustle and bustle of Phuket and Vietnam’s colonial history, all await travellers as part of the new destinations and cruises for Voyages of Discovery winter 2011/12.

Discovery’s smaller size accommodates around 650 passengers, allowing it to visit ports and destinations which larger cruise liners are unable to; providing guests with an opportunity to discover some of the great ancient and modern cities across Australia, The Orient and Middle East – while listening to renowned guest speakers along the way.

Highlights of the new winter 2011/12 season for Voyages of Discovery include:

-- 23-day South East Asia & Australia cruise embarking on January 21, 2011 – emerge yourself in local life in Manila and experience untamed Darwin and underwater richness of the Great Barrier Reef.  Prices start from £2,599

 -- 18-day Treasures of the Orient & Vietnam explores Hong Kong, Yangon, mystical Myanmar, the UNESCO listed Ha Long Bay and the Road to Mandalay – uncovers new destinations for Voyages of Discovery including Myanmar, on this trip setting off on December 18, 2011, prices start from £2,549

--21-day Empires of the Sun from £2,499 allows travelers to experience the bustling city of Shanghai, the poignant Hiroshima, peak tram ride showcasing Hong Kong’s skyline as well as the ever culturally diverse and contrasting Taiwan and Nagasaki

-- 17-day Tales of India & Arabia from £1,999 uncovers Kirti Mandir - the birthplace of Ghandi - the Egyptian Temples of Dendera & Abydos and UNESCO listed Elephanta Caves in Mumbai

 All prices include return flights from the UK, transfers, gratuities and service charges, meals and entertainment and the guest speaker program onboard the ship.

The recently launched Voyages of Discovery summer 2011 brochure second edition is already reporting a number of cruises as nearing 50 percent full and all itineraries are selling quickly. Website: http://www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk/2011summer.  The all new summer brochure videos are now live and can be viewed at: www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk/cruisevideos.

Travel agents can take advantage of online video training specific to selling Voyages of Discovery and discovery cruising at www.discoverycruisingexpert.com.

All Discovery Cruising (www.alldiscoverycruising.com) is the trade facing arm for Hebridean Island Cruises, Swan Hellenic, and Voyages of Discovery. The three brands are distinct with their own customer profiles and price points, but are combined in their focus on discovery cruising. All Discovery Cruising, part of All Leisure group is the largest British owned cruise ship operators. In November 2009 the group successfully tendered for mv Alexander von Humboldt. The newest addition to the fleet will join Voyages of Discovery’s mv Discovery (708 lower berths), Swan Hellenic’s mv Minerva (394 lower berths) and Hebridean Island Cruises’ mv Hebridean Princess (49 lower berths).

 

August, 2010

Blount Small Ship Cruises

Cruise West

Orion Expeditions/Australia

Star Clippers

Swan Hellenic Cruises/UK

Voyages of Discovery/UK

Voyages to Antiquity

 

Blount Small Ship Adventures

Website: www.blountsmallshipadventures.com

Blount Small Ship Adventures Offers $1,000 Off Per Cabin

Blount Small Ship Adventures is offering savings of $1,000 per cabin, double or single, on fall foliage cruises in when booked Sept. 15. Three itineraries are offered at this rate and applicable on select cabins. Also, an agent rate of $799 is valid for both travel agents and a companion on select cabins; the rate does not include port charges or gratuities. These discounted cabins are limited and non-transferable. The discount is applicable on cruises between Rhode Island and Quebec City departing September 30, October 3, October 12 and October 15; and on a Hudson River cruise to Lake Champlain departing October 9. For more information, call 800-556-7450 or visit www.blountsmallshipadentures.com.

Cruise West

Website: www.cruisewest.com

Cruise West Announces a New 2011 Itinerary - Wild Alaska

Cruise West, a global leader in small-ship explorations, today announced a new 5-night itinerary, Wild Alaska Seafari, dedicated to showcasing Alaska’s wildlife like never before. “Alaska is core to our business and to our company culture,” commented Dietmar Wertanzl, Cruise West’s President and CEO. “It is often a guests’ first experience with Cruise West and it provides a perfect backdrop to showcase the benefits of small-ship cruising. Although I have sailed in Alaska several times, I am excited about experiencing this new itinerary alongside our guests.”

The new Wild Alaska Seafari was designed to provide guests with the experience closest to a true explorer. While the major ports and places have been identified, the sequence and timing will be determined by Mother Nature and the captain of the Spirit of Alaska. The captain will have the authority to adapt the timing to ensure that guests experience each sight at its most spectacular. On select journeys, there will be professional photographers onboard, for those guests who would like guidance on how to capture the “ultimate shots” of these magical locations.

Highlights:

-- Programming has been designed for the more active traveler, so inflatable raft excursions have been planned during the day and evening, to maximize the adventure experience.

-- Routes will be carefully timed to ensure that the ships’ location is designed for the best possible light, a photographer’s dream.

-- Guests will visit Pelican, a town that is only accessible by ship. This small fishing village is a quiet boardwalk experience with no roads.

-- Guests will enjoy a journey to the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness, a pristine wonderland.

-- The Icy Strait represents more than 13 unique shore opportunities along the more than 100 miles of coastline. Each cruise experience will differ depending on the whims of the wildlife and the captain’s instincts for the best guest experience.

-- Overnight anchorages will highlight ‘Quiet Places of Solitude’ and allow guests to reflect onboard, away from the glitz and glamour of the city.

-- Pre-night package includes a presentation by local photographers and an early morning photo shoot at stunning Eagle Beach.

Wild Alaska Seafari can be combined with an optional 5-night land tour within Denali National Park and Preserve, home to Mount McKinley, North America’s largest mountain. The Denali experience provides guests with a plethora of choices to customize their experience, including a visit to the home and kennel of Mary Shields, the first woman to run the Iditarod, a Tundra Wilderness Tour of spectacular landscapes, and optional excursions like rafting or flightseeing.

In addition, Cruise West will continue to offer the following itineraries in 2011. For each itinerary, Cruise West provides an all-inclusive experience that includes a shore excursion in every port.

-- Alaska’s Inside Passage – 7 nights, roundtrip from Juneau

-- Gold Rush Inside Passage – 10 or 11 night adventures sailing from Seattle to Juneau (or reverse)

-- Glacier Bay Highlights- 4 nights, roundtrip from Juneau

-- Glaciers of Prince William Sound – 4 nights, roundtrip from Anchorage

 Across all of their Alaska itineraries, guests may choose from multiple departure dates with prices starting at $1,299 before any special offers. The Wild Alaska Seafari dates include June 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, 2011, July 1, 6, 11, 16, 21, 26, 31, 2011, and August 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 2011. Guests can save $700 per person by paying in full by September 24, 2010.

Orion Expeditions/Australia
Website: www.orionexpeditions.com

Orion’s November/December Aussie Sailings Include $4,500 Value Land Packages

This year, travelers can create special memories by embarking on a remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime Australian adventure with Orion Expedition Cruises. To fully take advantage of an Australian escape, at sea and on land, Orion is now offering inclusive accommodation packages for seven-night Australian voyages in November and December 2010. Guests will have the option to add an extra two or three nights to their experience at no additional cost to the regular Orion expedition fare.

Guests can choose from several of the finest and most sought-after hotels and resorts in the area, and the savings offered through these premium two- and three-night packages would equal nearly $4,500 if booked separately. Packages include accommodations, along with meals, transfers and private tours.

Available for new bookings only, the Australian land packages are available to guests at a selection of some of the finest hotels and lodges in Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Tasmania on these seven-night voyages in November and December:

-- November 2, 2010 – Great Barrier Reef – Cairns to Sydney: Accommodations available at qualia or Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns; Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort or Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney

-- November 9, 2010 – Australia’s Wild South-East – Sydney to Melbourne: Accommodations available at Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort or Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney; Chateau Yering or Crown Metropol Hotel in Melbourne

-- November 24, 2010 – National Parks & Tasmania – Melbourne to Hobart: Accommodations available at Chateau Yering or Crown Metropol Hotel in Melbourne; Saffire Freycinet in Great Oyster Bay or Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania

-- December 1, 2010 – Wild Tasmania  – Hobart round trip: Accommodations available at Saffire Freycinet in Great Oyster Bay, or Henry Jones Art Hotel in Hobart, Tasmania

Complete voyage and accommodation details are available in a 20-page booklet available directly through Orion Expedition Cruises or travel agents. Prices for all Orion Expedition Cruise packages start at $5,135 per person based on a twin share in a Category A stateroom.

Star Clippers

Website: www.starclippers.com

Star Clippers Offers Special Savings On 2010 Holiday Sailings

Travelers looking for a tropical escape this holiday season can take advantage of Star Clippers' savings of up to 40 percent off six holiday sailings to the Caribbean and Costa Rica. The valid dates are Royal Clipper's December 18 and 26, 2010, sailings in the Caribbean; Star Clipper's December 18 and 26 departures in the Caribbean, and Star Flyer's December 19 and 26 sailings in Costa Rica.

-- Royal Clipper brings sandy beaches and sunshine to the holidays with a special eight-night round-trip Barbados cruise departing December 18. The ship calls at the Grenadines, Grenada, St. Vincent and Bequia, Martinique, Dominica and St. Lucia. The flagship's December 26 holiday departure is a seven-night, round-trip Barbados itinerary that calls at St. Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, St. Kitts, Iles de Saintes and Martinique.

-- Star Clipper also sails the Caribbean this holiday season with round-trip St. Maarten departures. The special eight-night holiday sailing December 18 calls at Anguilla, Virgin Gorda, Norman Island, Tortola, Jost van Dyke, St. Kitts, Antigua and St. Barts. The seven-night holiday departure December 26 calls at Nevis or Saba, Dominica, Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe, Antigua and St. Barts.

-- Star Flyer will spend its first holiday season in Costa Rica in 2010 with seven-night, round-trip Puerto Caldera departures. The December. 19 sailing includes a call at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, as well as Playa del Coco, National Park Santa Rosa, Samara/Puerto Carillo, and National Reserve of Curu/Isla Tortugas, Costa Rica. Star Flyer's December 26 sailing calls at Isla de Coiba, Panama; and Golfito, Isla del Cano/Drake Bay, Quepos and National Reserve of Curu/Isla Tortugas, Costa Rica.

Holidays are a special time on board Star Clippers' ships, and each vessel serves special holiday dinners. Guests can wait for a visit from Santa, who tends to makes an appearance -- coming on board via the ship's zodiac. The line also endeavors to be in port on New Year's Eve so guests can enjoy a fireworks celebration.

To request a brochure, call toll-free (800) 442-0556 or e-mail brochures. To make a reservation, contact a travel professional. For information, call Star Clippers at (800) 442-0551 or visit www.starclippers.com  to view a video about the line or take a virtual tour of the Star Clippers tall ships.

Swan Hellenic Cruises/UK

Website:  www.swanhellenic.co.uk

Few Cabins Left On Fall/Winter Cruises

Swan Hellenic cruises are becoming so popular that few cabins remain

on cruises departing before March 16, 2011 and fewer than 50 available on her summer 2010 program. Guests need not worry as Swan Hellenic still have some incredible itineraries left for 2010 including The Venetian Republic (September 9) from just £1,925 per person.

All cruises include a tailor-made shore excursion worth up to £500pp, a program of talks by our eminent Guest Speakers, flights and transfers (where applicable), gala nights and entertainment, all meals on board including morning coffee and afternoon tea and all gratuities on board and ashore. An experienced, dedicated Swan Hellenic team also accompanies each cruise to ensure that each day of your holiday lives up to your expectations.

2011 Itineraries

Moving towards 2011, Swan Hellenic will be revisiting some classic destinations as well as discovering some hidden gems. In May, guests on An Italian Serenade can visit the picturesque Crotone, located in the southern region of Calabria, Italy, and the small fortified town of Lazio, dominated by a large Aragonese Castle. Late summer will see mv Minerva make a complete circuit of the Black Sea with visits to Sinop in North Turkey, Batumi in Georgia and the ports of the Crimea. More information on the Swan Hellenic website.

Voyages of Discovery/UK

Website: www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk 

Explore Norwegian Landscapes With MV Discovery

Cruise passengers are fast becoming ever more explorative with their destination choices and the latest cruise announced by Voyages of Discovery is like no other. The Norwegian Explorer cruise will take the mv Discovery across the whole coast of Norway on a 13-day voyage beginning July 30, 2011.

July is the perfect time to experience the rugged coastal landscapes of Norway at their most tranquil and beautiful. Towering peaks, tumbling waterfalls, serene fjords and mountain meadows await guests on this cruise, which has a lead in price of just £1,299. Travelling by sea is the best way to reach its many remote islands, inlets, coves and giant fjords and the 650-passenger, 4-star mv Discovery is the perfect vessel for these waters.

Onboard this fantastic adventure there are two inspirational guest speakers. Greg Neale, the founder of the BBC History magazine, will be on hand to discuss the rich history of this enchanting region. Alongside him, Mark Baldwin, the UK’s leading speaker on WW2 code breaking, will bring a 1944 Enigma – the original code-breaking machine onboard to discuss its dramatic influence on the course of war.

Voyages to Antiquity

Website: www.voyagestoantiquity.com 

2011 Cruises Now On Sale

Voyages to Antiquity has announced the Aegean Odyssey's 2011 schedule is now on sale and offers a host of new features; included pre-and/or post-cruise hotel packages; a variety of shorter cruise lengths; new destinations and free air from more than 70 North American gateways for bookings made by December 31, 2010.

New for 2011:

-- All itineraries in 2011 are designed as cruise-tours featuring a range of 7-12 night voyages with pre-and/or post-cruise hotel stays included in the fares in Rome, Athens, Istanbul, and Cairo. Hotel stays include transfers to and from the airport and/or ship.

-- For those with less time, many cruise lengths have been shortened to 7-12 nights to facilitate a younger demographic, particularly during summer months. Passengers have the flexibility to opt out of the hotel stays and receive a credit against their cruise fare.

-- New destinations include a unique circumnavigation of the Black Sea region with ports in Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria as well as destinations in Corsica, Sardinia and a return to Libya as part of two North Africa Itineraries.

-- Aegean Odyssey cruises feature an early booking incentive of FREE air from more than 70 North American gateways if booked by December 31, 2010.

Extraordinary value is a hallmark with cruise fares starting from $3,295, including shore excursions with complimentary bottled water, gratuities to shipboard staff, wine, beer, and soft drinks at dinner. After December 31, air is FREE from a selection of East Coast gateways and $99 & $199 from the Midwest and Western Regions, including transfers and porterage. Guest lecturers and celebrated speakers will continue to bring to life the art, history and culture of the Mediterranean.

About Voyages to Antiquity

Inspired by The Middle Sea, authored by Lord John Julius Norwich, Voyages to Antiquity was created to offer sophisticated travelers an unparalleled destination immersion and educational experience combining the very best in cultural travel in a tranquil, informal atmosphere.

For more information about Voyages to Antiquity's 2011 itineraries and to order the new 2011 catalog, call (877) 398-1460 or visit www.voyagestoantiquity.com.

 

 

July, 2010

AdventureSmith Explorations

Cruise West

Hebridean Island Cruises

Hurtigruten

Orion Expeditions

Star Clippers

The Majestic Line

Variety Cruises

Voyages of Discovery

Zegrahm Expeditions

 

AdventureSmith Explorations

Website: www.AdventureSmithExplorations.com

AdventureSmith ExplorationsAnnounces New Antarctica Program

AdventureSmith Explorations, the active travel company that secures matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small, expedition ships, announces an unprecedented introductory rate starting at just $2,795 per person for an 11-day itinerary on its new Antarctic cruises aboard the 124-passenger M/S Expedition.

M/S Expedition was thoroughly overhauled only two years ago for her operation in Antarctica. She operates two comprehensive itineraries: the 11-day Antarctic Peninsula and a 20-day Spirit of Shackleton cruise that includes the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia Islands and Falkland Islands. The season runs November 2010 through February 2011 with multiple monthly departures.

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

Its off-the-beaten-path destinations include Alaska, Baja, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Peru, the Arctic, Antarctica and Australia.

Cruise West

Website: www.cruisewest.com

Christmas Cruises Offer Alternative Way To Enjoy Holiday Times

Many of Cruise West's clients find that the best way to enjoy the holidays is to escape the chaos they create. And their warm weather cruises can make that happen... in style.  The adventures below offer chances for discovery, relaxation, and rejuvenation in some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on earth. Christmas Dinner is served on any cruise happening on December 25. A celebratory toast and late night dinner buffet is available for guests who are on board on New Year's Eve. And children under 18 always travel at half price, so holiday time can still be family time.

A sampling:

--Baja Wilderness, Round trip from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico,

Seven Nights, Departures on December 24 and 31, 2010

--Panama City to Costa Rica (or reverse*)

Nine Nights - Departures on December 18* and 27, 2010

--Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia

-17 Nights, December 15, 2010 - January 1, 2011

 --Sydney to Darwin, Australia

19 Nights, December 31, 2010 - January 19, 2011

Hebridean Island Cruises Hold Prices In 2011

Hebridean Island Cruises, for which Lord Sterling is Chairman, has launched the 2011 program for their cruise ship Hebridean Princess - this will be the ship’s 23rd season of continuous operation in and around the Hebrides. While demand for their cruises is high, the company has been able to hold cruise fares at the previous year’s levels meaning that 2009 prices will be continued into 2011. In addition, for the first time in over 15 years and in response to guest feedback, a number of longer nine-and ten-night cruises have been included.

As well as visiting over 30 Scottish Islands and usual cruising grounds of Scotland’s West Coast and the Western Isles from her base in Oban, Hebridean Princess will replicate a program around the sea lochs of Argyll and the Clyde Estuary during March and November of 2011. The same itinerary proved extremely popular when the ship operated there for the first time in 2010 and they have received many requests to return. Other preferred haunts included within the 2011 program are the Northern Isles, with visits planned to the remote Fair Isle, Kirkwall, Stronsay and Westray in Orkney plus calls to Lerwick, Unst and Scalloway in Shetland. 

A highlight of the 2011 program has Hebridean Princess undertaking a series of cruises through August and September that see her circumnavigate Britain, with maiden calls both on the British Mainland and on the near continent.  Her voyage takes her from the Northern Isles, down the East Coast of Scotland and England, across the Channel to France, then back via South West England, the Scilly Isles, Wales and Ireland, all in the complete opulence and country house style that have become synonymous with a cruise aboard this unique little British ship.

Hebridean’s Guest Speaker program, introduced in 2010, has been extended in 2011 with a line-up that includes Jim Gardiner, Chief Curator of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gardens along with Mike Everett, a conservation and ornithology specialist who has worked for the RSPB for nearly 40 years. They will join Hebridean Princess’s regular Guides, each with unparalleled knowledge to help immerse guests in the history, culture, architecture, folklore and wildlife of the areas visited.

The ships’ owners, All Leisure Holidays Ltd, continue to invest heavily in the vessel, demonstrating their desire to operate the ship for many years to come.  Throughout the coming winter, the Bay grade cabins will be completely re-built to emerge as new single cabins with private facilities. Other accommodation refurbishments will see a current small double cabin refurbished as a single cabin and two current large single cabins refurbished as double cabins. 

Managing Director Colin Stone comments “A Hebridean Princess cruise is unique, not only for the inimitable on board ambience but also for the stunning coastline scenery visited and 2011 sees an exciting array of new destinations added to our already exhilarating programmed of itineraries. This unique vessel is enjoyed by a small number of passengers who have uncovered a ‘real gem’ and many experienced cruise line passengers, people looking for an intimate experience will enjoy the idyllic warm atmosphere that the ship provides in the company of an experienced passionate crew, dedicated to passenger service and to the clientele with whom they sail”.

Featuring some of the finest privately escorted tours, the luxurious Hebridean Princess offers the highest standards of accommodation, together with a level of service from an almost forgotten era.  Carrying just 49 guests, Hebridean Princess has an enviable reputation for exceptional service and a dedicated crew of 38. She has thirty spacious, elegant and well-appointed cabins, 11 designed especially for the single traveler.

A selection of "Footloose" cruises caters for most walking abilities with a range of guided walks in the hills and mountains, seashores and lochs. These all-inclusive cruises of between four and nine nights depart mainly from Oban, sailing the waters of the Western Isles and beyond to far-flung St Kilda, the Orkney and Shetland Isles. 

Website: http://www.hebridean.co.uk 

Hurtigruten

Website: www.hurtigruten.com

Early-Booking Savings Of Up To 20 Percent On 2011 Cruises

Planning ahead was never more rewarding than with Hurtigruten's 2011/2012 schedule of Explorer cruises.  Travelers can save up to 20 percent on next year's sailings in Greenland, Spitsbergen and Europe by booking before December 31, 1010 and in Antarctica by March 31, 2011.  Guests who have sailed within the last three years are able to combine the savings with the Repeater Discount of 5 percent.

A new 78-page full-color Explorer Voyages brochure details Hurtigruten's portfolio of 20 adventure expeditions to both ends of the world.  The 5- to 20-day itineraries offer guests unique opportunities to explore pristine environments, get up close to fascinating wildlife and gain valuable insight from experts in numerous disciplines including geology, marine life, climate, environment, history and culture.

--Antarctica -- one of the most popular of Hurtigruten's destinations, there are few Hurtigruten guests who are not immediately taken in by the tuxedo suited greeters (penguins), always out and ready to welcome new friends to their year-round home.  And the penguins are just a small part of the experience as Antarctica offers dramatic scenery, countless species of bird and marine life, and haunting landscapes.  Six itineraries of 12 to 20 days run from November through February.  All of the itineraries begin and end in Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital and the land of the tango.  Early-booking savings, good through March 31, 2011, means fares range from $5,858 to $13,684 per person, double and include roundtrip air between Buenos Aires and the boarding port in Ushuaia.

Highlights common to all sailings include a variety of landings on the White Continent -- "Half Moon Island" with its large colony of chinstrap penguins and seals; Port Lockroy, once home to a British base and now a museum; and Neko Harbor, one of only a few stops allowed on the actual Antarctica mainland versus the Peninsula, are just some of the examples.  The longer sailings add time in the seldom visited Tierra del Fuego region including Diego Ramirez, Cape Horn, Puerto Williams and Magdalena Island; the Falkland Islands; South Georgia; and South Orkney Islands.  The 15-day "Polar Circle Quest" takes the guests across the 66º33' latitude - where the air is crisp and they are able to take in rarely seen landscapes. Optional voyage extensions are offered to Machu Picchu and Iguazu Falls.

--Spitsbergen -- the land where polar bears reign supreme offers towering glaciers, spectacular fjords, Arctic deserts, the Midnight Sun and a wealth of both marine and land animals and migratory birds.  Located midway between Norway and the North Pole, Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago and offer no roads to link communities - making Hurtigruten's sailings the best way to take in the never-ending vistas.  And Hurtigruten has expanded its offerings for 2011, with six itineraries that range from five to 13 days, and booking by Dec. 31 lower fares to $2,907 to $9,073 per person, double. The June-September season has 27 departures aboard the MV Polar Star or MS Fram, two highly regarded expedition ships.

Expedition leaders point out, and in many cases, take guests ashore to see extreme Arctic sights such as ice-filled Hinlopen Strait; Nordauslandet Island; historical, near-polar settlements of Barentsburg and Ny-Alesund; the stunning Hornsund Fjord; Bear Island; Lilliehook Glacier; and Andreeneset, where the remains of the ill-fated 1897 Andree Balloon Expedition were found in 1930.  A special eight-day Climate Voyage celebrates the 150th birthday of Fridtjof Nansen, the great Norwegian explorer and recipient of the 1922 Nobel Peace Prize, and makes an inaugural visit to one of the most isolated islands in the world - Jan Mayen.

--Greenland -- a focal point for climatic research and a polar destination like no other, Greenland attracts an array of scientists and travelers wanting to better understand how the world's climate impacts the environment, and get to see how its citizens have survived on the ice-capped island for more than 5,000 years.

Two itineraries -- nine and 12 days -- explore the western coast of this massive island, visiting small villages as well as rarely visited regions.  Highlights include walking tours of Inuit towns with tongue-twisting names -- Qeqertarsuaq, Ukkusissat, Ilulissat and Uummannaq; abundant wildlife that includes numerous species of whales, seals (numbering about 2 million), walruses, polar bears, musk oxen, Arctic foxes and hundreds of bird species; and, on the 12-day adventure, Iceland's Reykjavik, and Grundarfjordur with its lava formations and volcanoes.  On-board Expedition Leaders and experts teach guests about the biology, climate, history and geology and interaction with local people ensures lasting memories.  A three-day Iceland extension is new for 2011 and numerous optional excursions round out these unique cruises.  Sailings depart in June and July and with the early-booking savings range in price from $5,302 to $8,883 per person, double, if booked by Dec. 31.

--Europe -- guests can choose from an array of countries and experiences as the MS Fram travels along the coast of Europe during its Spring and Fall repositioning sailings.  The Spring schedule offers a trio of sailings: from Lisbon, Portugal to the UK port of Dover, visiting Spain and France on the way; or an exploration of Norway's west coast and many of its most stunning fjords, ending in Oslo; or an exploration of the Pearls of the Baltic -- Copenhagen, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Estonia and Bornholm.  Early-booking rates range from $1,021 to $5,047 if booked by December 31.

In the Fall, travelers venture further south: the 11-day 'highlights of the British Isles makes several stops in England, Scotland and Ireland before ending in Hamburg, Germany; the 15-day Western Europe & North Africa has that southern flair - venturing to France's Rouen and Nantes, Spain's La Coruña, Portugal's Leixos, Lisbon and Portmão, Morocco's Casablanca and Agadir, and then onto to Spain's Arrecife, and Canary Islands.  Early-booking rates range from $1,671 to $5,275 if booked by March 31, 2011.

Holiday Time At Sea Onboard The MS Fram

Guests are treated to traditional carols, Norwegian glogg (mulled wine), Santa Claus, and a special Christmas breakfast.  Cocktails set the stage for a New Year's Eve dinner followed by a midnight celebration.  Of course, this is all mingled with the sight of blue whales and orcas feeding mere feet from the passenger's perch aboard the MS Fram - and penguin populations numbering in the tens of thousands.

The voyage must be booked by September 15; regular fares are $9,863 to $19,720 per person, double and include all meals onboard, the services of expert naturalist guides, noted guest lecturers, round-trip air between Buenos Aires and Ushuaia (air not included in the discount), PolarCirkel boat landings, and port fees.  

Orion Expeditions

Website: www.orionexpeditions.com

Orion Releases 2011 Expedition Voyages Brochure

Orion Expedition Cruises has just released its new, expanded, 2011 Expeditions brochure, which features the company’s two ships, Orion and (to be introduced in May 2011) Orion II. The 94 page brochure covers 49 voyages to 17 countries and more than 170 remote and exotic destinations stretching from Antarctica to the Russian Far East.

Destination summaries by region provide useful reference for potential expedition travelers and highlight the differences between typical mainstream cruising and the rewarding physical and intellectual experiences to be had on Orion’s luxury small ship expedition voyages.

The luxury life onboard is revealed through Orion and Orion II’s range of accommodation and facilities, (including floor plans for Staterooms and Suites through to Owner and Penthouse Suites) and examples of onboard facilities that include boutique, massage, spa, elevator and lounges – and Serge Dansereau's award winning cuisine.

The brochure has a useful pricing supplement with early booking incentives, rewards and notes on how to reserve your Orion Expedition. The brochure also contains a DVD providing a taste of some of the destinations visited and typical cultural, historic and wildlife experiences encountered along the way.

2011 voyage highlights:

--13 Kimberley Expeditions, with inclusive Bungle Bungle flights

--Orion’s inaugural West Papua and Maluku Voyage of Discovery

--Orion II’s Voyage of Discovery to the Russian Far East

--Discover the ancient cultures on Orion II’s Inland Sea of Japan voyage

--Seven Borneo voyages which will circumnavigate the island

--Two Tasmanian Food and Wine focused voyages

--Orion’s inaugural Exploration of the Antipodes

--Three Orion Antarctic Centenary voyages of celebration to Commonwealth Bay

(Mawson’s Hut) and the Ross Sea (Scott and Shackelton’s huts)

--Lord Howe Island and Aotearoa, including the active volcano at Mt White

island

--Christmas in New Zealand’s fjordland and sub-Antarctic islands

--Eight voyages to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, including the Mekong

Delta, Ho Chi Minh and Angkor Wat

 Orion II’s inaugural voyages in 2011 include the Russian Far East, an in-depth exploration of Borneo, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia (including a visit to Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument), and the Inland Sea of Japan.

Orion’s itineraries feature 13 voyages exploring Australia’s Kimberley coast, the rarely visited indigenous art centers of Arnhem Land, and a voyage to the Spice Islands. Voyages to New Zealand and the Sub Antarctic islands will include the rarely visited Chatham, Antipodes and Bounty islands, while Orion’s Papua New Guinea itineraries feature an exciting new voyage across northern Papua to West Papua and Maluku.

An electronic version of the Orion 2011 brochure can be downloaded from www.orionexpeditions.com/ebrochure or a emailing info@orioncruises.com.au or through specialist expedition cruise travel agents.

Star Clippers

Website: www.starclippers.com

Sailing The Caribbean During The Holidays

Travelers can pack their bags, leave the chill behind and celebrate the winter holidays on board a glorious tall ship. Royal Clipper brings sandy beaches and sunshine to the holidays with a special eight-night Caribbean cruise sailing round-trip Barbados departing December 18, 2010. The ship sails a seven-night cruise, also round-trip Barbados, departing December 26 for those that want to ring in the New Year on board. Star Clipper's seven-night holiday cruises in the Caribbean depart December19 and 26, 2010, and sail roundtrip St. Maarten. For a touch of the exotic, cruisers can join Star Flyer on its first holiday season in Costa Rica. The ship sails seven-night, round-trip Puerto Caldera cruises departing December 19 and 26.

Star Clippers decorates its ships and has special holiday dinners on the menu, and sometimes Santa makes an appearance, coming on board via the ship's zodiac! The line endeavors to be in port on New Year's Eve so guests can enjoy a fireworks celebration.

The Majestic Line

Website: www.themajesticline.co.uk  

Trips To Explore Scotland’s West Coast

See the West Coast of Scotland from a unique vantage point aboard our beautifully converted traditional wooden vessels, the Glen Massan and the Glen Tarsan.  There is no better way to explore the spectacular coastlines of Argyll and the Inner Hebrides. Soak in the scenery, wildlife and Scottish heritage, while enjoying exceptional food and hospitality on board.

New Scottish Cruise Itineraries for 2010 offered include:

-- New six-night October cruise: Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal

Find out about our fabulous new Autumn cruise to the Caledonian Canal taking in Loch Linnhe, Neptunes Staircase, Loch Ness and Urqhuart Castle, cruising to a backdrop of magnificent Ben Nevis and Glencoe.  Click here to view the itinerary.

--Skye and the Inner Hebrides 6-night cruise

This is a new six-night cruise to Skye and the Inner Hebrides calling in at some of the most beautiful anchorages on the West Coast of Scotland.  This cruise now only has availability on one departure in 2010--Saturday September 18th.

--Taste of Argyll: Specialty Food Cruise 2010

The Taste of Argyll Speciaity Food Cruise was declared a real winner in October 2009 so Majestic has programmed a one-off six-night cruise for September 2010.  The cruise departs from Holy Loch on Saturday September 11th and is timed to coincide with the wonderful eatBute festival in the grounds of the splendid Mount Stuart Mansion on Bute  This is a great opportunity to sample the fabulous local food produced in Argyll, both onshore and onboard prepared by your Majestic Line chef.

And if food in a main interest, the Majestic Line Galley Cookbook is now available!

Our chefs provide amazing meals from a small galley and the enjoyment of food on board provides some of the most positive comments we get from our guests. Ingredients are very fresh and sourced locally.  Argyll specialty produce is used wherever possible; the variety and quality is superb. The Galley Cookbook is a collection of twenty of some of the most popular guest recipes from our Chefs who have contributed to the high quality of food and hospitality on board since we began The Majestic Line five years ago.  Please get in touch if you would like a copy sent to you.

Majestic is now taking whole boat charter bookings for 2011 and 2012 at 2010 prices.  Whole boat charter is great fun for a group of friends and perfect for a special celebration.  A special discount of ten percent applies if booking the whole boat so get in touch to book your date!  Phone Marie on 0131 623 5012 to discuss your plans.  For anyone who has a special date in the week commencing August 14th, we have had a cancellation for whole boat charter and are prepared to consider a good offer!

There is also a choice of nine unique Scottish cruise itineraries departing from Holy Loch, Dunoon and from Oban. To take full advantage of the fabulous autumn colors in Argyll Majestic has introduced Loch Ness and the Caledonian Canal six-night cruise departing Saturday 9th and 23rd October from Oban.

Variety Cruises

Website: www.varietycruises.com

Variety Cruises Announces Black Sea Treasures Itinerary

Variety Cruises will offer a Black Sea Treasures cruise in summer 2011. The eight-day program aboard the Pegasus mega-yacht is a one-way trip from Odessa, Ukraine, to Istanbul, Turkey, or reverse and includes visits to Romania, Bulgaria, and the Crimea Peninsula. Fares start at $2,690 per person, double. An introductory special includes a free two-night stay in Istanbul pre- or post-cruise with airport transfer, hotel and land excursions for bookings made and paid for by Feb. 1, 2011.

Variety is inaugurating the cruise with a free Istanbul land program. The offer is available pre- or post-cruise. It includes two nights at a deluxe hotel, two half-day excursions and one airport transfer. The offer is available for a limited number of cabins and does not apply to group bookings.

Voyages of Discovery

Website: www.voyagesofdiscovery.com

Winter Holidays To Exotic Ports

Destination specialist Voyages of Discovery will be celebrating the Winter 2010 holidays at sea on board the 650-guest mv Discovery. The Tales of the Old Spanish Main itinerary departs Belize City, Belize on December 23, 2010. This 11-night cruise visits Puerto Cortés, Honduras; Puerto Limon, Costa Rica; Cartagena, Columbia; and Maracaibo, Venezuela. The cruise ends in Bridgetown, Barbados on Jan. 3, 2011. Minimum inside fares start at $2,949 per person and include Free Air* from select Voyages of Discovery gateway cities.

M/V Discovery will be festively decorated for the holidays. Special onboard events are planned to celebrate Christmas and usher in the New Year.

 All Voyages of Discovery itineraries feature comprehensive programs of informative talks by port lecturers and guest speakers, including enrichment lectures. Rollo Burgess and Robin Mina are the featured lecturers for this holiday itinerary.

 Special rates for single travelers are also available. Discovery Club members enjoy an additional five percent savings.

*Air rates do not include airline and government fees and fuel surcharges.

Zegrahm Expeditions

Website: www.zegrahmexpeditions.com

Special Two-Week Cruise To Sicily Announced

Small ship adventure line Zegrahm Expeditions has announced plans for an epic two-week circumnavigation of Sicily -- a first for the company. The 13-day trip around the Mediterranean's largest island, will take place April 4 to 17, 2011 aboard the 110-passenger Clipper Odyssey. The voyage will include stops at historical Phoenician settlements near Marsala, and the Greek temples of Agrigento, Selinunte, Segesta and Morgantina as well as visits to the Roman theaters and villas of Taormina, Piazza Amerina, and Lipari and the ornate architecture of Norman-Arab castles and cathedrals in Cefalu, Palermo, and Monreale.

In addition to archaeological sites, Zegrahm says the sailing will focus on the island's gastronomical culture with stops at several vineyards for wine tastings, an olive oil production facility, local outdoor markets and local eateries.

On-board experts will include a native Sicilian with a Ph.D. in Italian literature and an archaeologist who has directed over 30 years worth of excavations in Sicily.

 

 

June, 2010

AdventureSmith Explorations

Blount Small Ship Adventures

Compagnie du Ponant

Conodros SA/Galapagos Explorer II

Hurtigruten

Le Boat

Lindblad Expeditions

Quark Expeditions

Star Clippers

Swan Hellenic

Variety Cruises

 

AdventureSmith Explorations

Website: www.AdventureSmithExplorations.com

Expedition Small Ship Cruising Allows Families To Share Sun-splashed Adventures

The active travel company that secures matches between adventure-seeking clients and a treasure trove of small, expedition ships suggests giving a holiday gift of a cruise that combine wildlife observation and culture with sunshine and traditional end-of-the-year celebrations. AdventureSmith Explorations is actively taking reservations for small ship cruises to South and Central American destinations, Mexico, New Zealand/Australia and Antarctica for the popular December/January holidays.

A Sampling of Family-Focused 2010 Holiday Departures Include:

--Voyage Through The Sea of Cortez - December 19-26, December 26-January 2 (http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/itinerarydetails.php/advid/143 )

Bird Watching, Hiking, Sea Kayaking, Natural History Interpretation and Photography

--Panama Canal & the Wonders of Costa Rica – December 18-25, December 25-January 1 and January 1-8, 2011

( http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/itinerarydetails.php/advid/48 )

Transit the legendary Panama Canal, Explore national parks and wildlife reserves

--Panama Family Adventure (Land Based) – December 24-Jan 1, 2011

( http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/itinerarydetails.php/advid/310 )

New for 2010 with special child pricing

--Antarctic Peninsula aboard the Expedition – December 22-January 1, 2011

( http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/itinerarydetails.php/advid/77 )

New trip and new ship for 2010. Bird watching, natural history interpretation, photography, and wildlife viewing

The small ships focus on experience away from the vessel, as in glaciers, whales, birds and land mammals; the large ships focus on dining venues, port of call shopping and ship-board entertainment. Depending upon the destination and itinerary, a typical cruise staff may include marine naturalists, historians, authors, research scientists and other onboard experts. Most shore excursions are included in the small ship rate because the concept of the cruise is to interface directly with the destination.

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, California along the western shore of Lake Tahoe.  Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or 530-583-1775. Email: travel@AdventureSmithExplorations.com

Blount Small Ship Adventures

Website: www.blountsmallshipadventures.com

Blount Small Ship Adventures to Host Authors On Mississippi Cruises

Blount Small Ship Adventures, formerly American Canadian Caribbean Line, announced that four of its 2011 Mississippi River cruise itineraries will have Civil War authors onboard. While the cruise line has been taking travelers along the Mississippi River for nearly two decades, it recently enhanced programs to include more onboard activity as well as noted speakers. “We go where other cruise lines cannot,” said President Nancy Blount. “Our Niagara Prince ship has a lower profile than even our Grande-class vessels, making her the only overnight cruise ship able to transit the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal connecting the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River by way of the Illinois and Des Plaines rivers.”

In 2011, the cruise line is offering three legs of “U.S. Historic Rivers.” The first leg travels from New Orleans to Chattanooga, Leg 2 from Chattanooga to Nashville and Leg 3 from Nashville to Chicago. Guests will cruise along the Mississippi River, the Tenn-Tom Waterway; and the Tennessee, Ohio and Illinois rivers. Features include a bluegrass band, cruising through Tennessee’s “Grand Canyon,” a Mark Twain impersonator and a bow landing directly on the shores of Havana, Ill. There, cruisers can visit the restored pioneer village of New Salem, where Abraham Lincoln spent time as a young adult. For more information, call 800-556-7450 or visit www.blountsmallshipadventures.com.

Compagnie du Ponant

Website: www.ponantcruises.com

Compagnie du Ponant’s Le Boreal to Explore the White Continent

The world’s newest mega yacht will sail in Antarctica this winter on ten- and 15-night voyages exploring the mythical White Continent, its dramatic scenery and the world’s largest concentration of marine wildlife.  Guests aboard Compagnie du Ponant’s luxurious Le Boréal will have a front-row seat to view hundreds of thousands of penguins, towering icebergs and monumental glaciers during four Antarctic cruises from November 24, 2010 to February 8, 2011

The 264-guest Le Boréal combines chic French design with cutting-edge technology. Sleek and elegant, the 466-foot mega yacht was designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel with luxurious materials and the latest state-of-the-art equipment.  Ponant guests will enjoy the best France has to offer: delicious cuisine, tasteful accommodations and a chic, yet informal atmosphere.  The intimate size of Le Boréal and a staff-to-guest ratio of 1:2 mean guests will enjoy very personalized service.  During the Antarctica voyages, the yacht’s fleet of zodiacs will provide guests an up-close-and-personal view of the continent’s rich marine life and stunning natural beauty, as naturalists provide in-depth understanding of these memorable sights.

Le Boréal is a certified “green ship” and a member of IAATO, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators.  New regulations proposed for cruise ships sailing in Antarctic waters would limit the size of the ships and number of passengers.  More importantly for some large and small cruise ships, a new prohibition of using and storing heavy fuels would cause some lines to pull out of Antarctica altogether. 

--The first sailing, South Georgia & Antarctica: The Penguin Kingdom, embarks on November 24 from Buenos Aires, Argentina.  The 15-night voyage calls at Montevideo, the charming colonial capital of Uruguay and then on to South Georgia, an island that is part of the Scotia Arc, a submarine mountain range stretching from the Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula.  Disembarking at Gold Harbour or Fortuna amongst penguins and seals, an impressive sight awaits guests at Salisbury Plain.  On this glacial expanse surrounded by tall mountains, more than 250,000 King Penguins gather. The port boasts the region’s first whaling station and the tomb of famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton.  The expedition continues on to the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula where guests will encounter orcas, whales, albatrosses, giant petrel, four species of penguins and five species of seals.  Next on the itinerary, a visit to Deception Island, home to the largest colony of chinstrap penguins (more than 120,000 couples) and a live volcano.  The volcano generates summery microclimates both on the island and in its waters and guests can even take a dip at Pendulum Cove.  Le Boréal sails through the Drake Passage, heading to its last port, the scenic city Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

--The second itinerary Antarctica: Land of Extremes is a ten-night round-trip voyage from Ushuaia (January 19, 29 and February 8, 2011.)  After crossing the Drake Passage, Le Boréal will call at Neko Bay and guests will get their first glimpse of the Antarctic’s breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife.  Continuing south, between Booth Island and Cape Renard, Le Boréal will enter the stunning Lemaire Channel, where Booth Island’s tall cliffs are reflected in lake-still waters dotted with icebergs.  The next calls are Cuverville Island, home to a large population of gentoo penguins (the third largest of the species) and Deception Island.  Returning northward, the last port-of-call on the Antarctic continent is at Brown Bluff, home to a tuya, a rare kind of flat-topped volcano formed when a volcano erupts through a glacier.  Brown Bluff also boasts a colony of 20,000 couples of Adelie Penguins.

Spacious and airy, Le Boréal has an abundance of public spaces: a theatre for performances and lectures, the Main Lounge with a dance floor and live music, the Panoramic Lounge for live entertainment and an area for Internet access, a Library, two open-air bars and two restaurants. La Licorne offers three meals a day in an elegant setting, while at the more casual La Boussole, guests can dine on lighter meals for breakfast, buffet lunch and themed dinners.  The yacht also provides 24-hour room service.  The Carita spa has a range of therapies and beauty treatments including a hammam and a hydrotherapy room.  The Fitness Center comes with the latest treadmills, bicycles and kinesis equipment. 

All but eight of Le Boréal‘s 132 suites and staterooms have verandas. Measuring between 484 to 200 square feet, the suites and staterooms are spacious and designed in a comfortable, contemporary style with king or twin beds, bathtubs or showers with L’Occitane amenities, flat screen satellite TV, DVD, CD and Ipod™ players, satellite direct-dial telephone and Wi-Fi. Le Boréal has the flexibility to reconfigure 40 staterooms into 20 suites making a total of 24 suites and 88 staterooms.  For its Antarctic sailings, Companies du Ponant will restrict the number of guests to 200.

Compagnie du Ponant is committed to reducing its impact on the environment.  Le Boréal has advanced wastewater treatment, reduced fuel consumption and lower exhaust emissions.  The electric propulsion system is quiet and economic and the diesel engines use marine gas oil, a lighter cleaner-burning bio fuel.  The mega yacht’s dynamic positioning means no anchor will destroy seabeds and its optimal underwater detection system avoids collision with whales and ice floes. 

Prices for the Antarctic: Land of Extremes sailings start at $4,700 per person, double occupancy and include all wine, beer, mineral water, soft drinks and specialty coffees served with meals. For the South Georgia & Antarctica itinerary, rates begin at $5,440.  Compagnie du Ponant offers travel agent commissions ranging between 10 and 15 percent.

Canodros S.A.

Website: www.galapagosexplorer.com

Galapagos Explorer II Announces Family Galapagos Adventure Package

Canodros S.A. is a tour operator operating in the Galapagos Islands with its ship Galapagos Explorer II. The company is proud to announce its special Family Galapagos Adventure package, which offers a discount of 75 percent off the cruise rate for two children under 15 years, and an additional 50 percent discount for a third child.

This Galapagos island family vacation package includes snorkeling equipment, Internet access, special activities for children, and a family picture. With this great summer vacation design package, passengers can enjoy their family’s company aboard a premiere Galapagos island cruise ship. The all-suite 100-passenger vessel is an excellent way to explore the Galapagos in style.

The Galapagos Explorer II is ideal for families that are looking to explore and partake in adventurous trips where close encounters with nature are commonplace. This Galapagos island cruise ship allows travelers to discover this magical archipelago, while enjoying a most luxurious environment. She is the only all-suite vessel operating in the Galapagos that offers up to 24 balcony suites, which allow passengers to observe nature while they rest.

All activities and island visits are included on the program. Passengers will be pampered with personalized crew attention while they enjoy the comfort of the cozy and casual areas of the Explorer II. Many travelers choose to combine a Galapagos with a stay on the Ecuadorian mainland, taking advantage of packages that include a stay in any of the four different regions of Ecuador.

Scuba divers are also welcome. Two different programs are offered at Mosquera Islet or Daphne Islet (two dives) and Academy Bay (two dives). The rate is US$195.00 (includes two dives) per day per person, and conditions apply to this service.

In June the "cold and dry season" begins, and the weather changes in the Galapagos (average 19º C). This is an excellent opportunity to observe marine life and bird reproduction periods during a Galapagos island family vacation.

Interested travelers should call their travel agents for more information or bookings, as this is the perfect combination to complete your clients’ adventure on this natural paradise. Children are considered from seven years old up to 15 for discount purposes. Discounts apply to cruise rate only. There is a maximum of three children per family reservation, and free snorkeling rental equipment is only for children. The Family Adventure Package is available for departures from July to September 2010.

Hurtigruten

Website: www.hurtigruten.com or www.hurtigruten.us

Hurtigruten's Norwegian Voyage Offers Half-Price Companions

Hurtigruten is offering 50 percent off the companion fare on the Norwegian Coastal Voyage through September 13. Passengers can choose from more than 100 departures of the six-, seven- or 12-day sailings along Norway’s fjord-filled, 1,250-mile west coast between Bergen and Kirkenes, close to the Russian border. Booking deadline is August 31; combinable offers include AARP onboard cabin credit of up to $100 and 10 percent savings for passengers who sailed on any Hurtigruten ship in the past three years. Regular fares range from $1,632 to $11,621 per person, double.

Besides seeing fjords, Hurtigruten guests visit 34 ports, including Trondheim, one of the country’s oldest cities and a thriving university town; Tromso, Europe’s largest town above the Arctic Circle; the Lofoten archipelago, with peaked mountains and villages filled with rust-red fishermen’s cabins; and Alesund, destroyed by fire in 1904 and completely rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style.

Climate Expert Dr. Jason Box To Lecture On Special Vikings Cruise

Hurtigruten has announced the addition of foremost Greenland climate expert Dr. Jason Box as a guest lecturer on its 14-day In the Wake of the Vikings.  Dr. Box, associate professor of geography at Ohio State University's Byrd Polar Research Center, has traveled to Greenland 18 times over a span of 15 years, studying and witnessing the effects of global warming, and offers considerable experience and insights into the island's geography and culture.

This incredible odyssey, departing September 26, 2010 from Iceland aboard the 318-passenger MS Fram, encompasses some of Greenland’s and eastern Canada’s most spectacular natural and historical landscapes. Booking by July 31 means savings of 25 percent--reduced fares are $4,743 to $9,316 per person, double.  Passengers who book suites also receive free round-trip airfare from JFK or Newark Airports. 

Making use of multimedia lectures and Q&A sessions, Dr. Box will leave Hurtigruten's guests with a clearer understanding of one of the world's most discussed climate issues, global warming, and its effect on Greenland’s glaciers and climate. Other onboard experts from numerous disciplines, including geology, marine life, environment, history and culture, will also be on hand and will join the landings and shore excursions where passengers have the chance to get close to the culture, wildlife and communities of Greenland’s most isolated areas. 

Before boarding the MS Fram in Reykjavik, Iceland, guests can take in some of the cosmopolitan city’s many museums and shops or sightsee among the glaciers, waterfalls and geysers just outside the city's boundaries.  Four days are spent exploring the eastern and southern villages of Greenland including visits to Køge Bay, where the Greenland ice cap races to the sea; Umivik, the starting point of Fridtjof Nansen's epic first crossing of the Ice Cap; and Qassiarsuk, where Erik the Red in exile founded a colony that persisted for some 500 years.  The ship then heads across the Labrador Sea, stopping in Newfoundland and then turning south to Halifax via St Anthony, Bonne Bay and Baddeck in Nova Scotia -- taking time to visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: L’Anse Aux Meadows, where Norse settlers began to get a foot hold in North America; Red Bay; and Gros Morne National Park; among other excursions.

Sailing aboard The MS Fram means large, comfortable lounges with panoramic windows and wonderful views from large outdoor decks; no need to dress up for dinner (unless you want to) and open seating; fresh seasonal ingredients, plenty of incredible seafood and a comprehensive wine list; multilingual tour directors; comfortable cabins - from the smaller inside accommodations to the large outside suites that offer TV, mini-bar, queen-size beds and numerous bonuses including a free bottle of champagne, two free shore excursions, complimentary wine with lunch or dinner and a free round of mini bar use; and a friendly and well-informed crew, ready to offer assistance and suggestions when asked.  The public areas also include an Internet café, a wellness center with saunas, workout room and two glass-screened heated outdoor whirlpools. 

All sailings include cabin category selected, three meals daily aboard ship, lectures, services of naturalist guides, specified land excursions and PolarCirkel boat landings, ship transfers, government fees, cruise taxes and port charges.  Add-on airfares from dozens of North American gateways range from $100 to $600.  Prices do not include airline fuel surcharges, air taxes and ticketing fees of $439 to $489. 

Le Boat

Website: www.leboat.com

Discover Europe’s Waterways With Le Boat

Le Boat, the number one self-drive European boating company, provides the best way to experience Europe by cruising its inland waterways; it is a cultural, historical and culinary journey. Travel at your own pace, through breathtaking scenery, historic sites and charming villages, on self-drive canal cruisers, no experience necessary. Stop as often as you like to bike through a field of sunflowers, tour a local vineyard and winery, explore historic castles and museums or shop in lively, local markets. No experience required!

Le Boat has locations on the beautiful waterways and canals of France, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Le Boat offers boats that sleep 2 to 12 comfortably. So whether you are on a romantic getaway for two or traveling with family and friends Le Boat has the right cruiser for you.          

Lindblad Expeditions

Website: www.expeditions.com

Lindblad Expeditions Invites Teachers To Discover The Best Classroom On Earth

This summer Lindblad Expeditions,the pioneering expedition travel company with a strong commitment to responsible travel, is opening the door for teachers to explore Darwin’s laboratory with an exclusive two forone offer to Galápagos.

No matter how many National Geographic specials you have seen, nothing can prepare you for the magic of being in Galápagos, a natural habitat for some of the world's most interesting and unusual animals.

Teachers will come face to face with wildlife that has never developed a fear of people, snorkel with playful sea lions, kneel beside marine iguanas, marvel at Galápagos penguins and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station.

The tenday itineraries are offered on select voyages aboard the intimate 48guest National Geographic Islander (June 26 and Aug 21, 2010) and the 96guest National Geographic Endeavour (July 23, July 30, and Sep 24).

The offer is open to teachers defined as any PreK12 active (nonretired) educators. The offer is valid for firsttime Lindblad travelers only and new bookings only, and is not combinable with any other offers. It is available for all cabin categories and is based on double occupancy. Rates begin at $4,980 ($2,490 per person).

Lindblad Expeditions Introduces Three New LifeChanging Voyages For 2010/2011

Lindblad Expeditions has announced three new itineraries for 2010/2011. These new journeys provide travel explorers a diverse range of destinations for lifechanging encounters with beauty, wildness and the seldomseen.

--Upper Amazon voyages explore the rain forests of Peru's PacayaSamiria Reserve ‐‐ bordered by the Marañón and Ucayali rivers ‐‐ where the mighty Amazon is formed. This new tenday exploration of the Upper Amazon takes guests through wild lands of unsurpassed beauty aboard the Delfin II, which accommodates only 28 guests. Our Expedition Leader and experienced local Naturalists will help guests see and learn about the remarkable flora and fauna of the region, while the chef presents the finest AmazonianPeruvian gourmet cuisine on the river. Dates include August 28, September 11 and December 18, 2010 and January 15, and 29; February 12; April 30; May 7, 14, 21; September 3, 10, 17, 24 and November 5, 12, 19, 26, 2011. Rates begin at $5,590 per person based on double occupancy.

--Exploring New Zealand’s North & South Islands is an indepth exploration of these islands, as well as Stewart Island, with forays into famous sounds discovered by Captain Cook. Its volcanic landscapes are breathtaking, from the snowcovered mountains and fjords of South Island to the cliffs and indented coastlines that run the entire length of the journey. The voyage will spotlight the unique wildlife that results from New Zealand’s long geographic isolation. Guests will walk on an active volcano, see a land

steeped in Maori culture, and discover a side of New Zealand few know aboard the 68 guest Oceanic Discoverer. The 17day journeys depart January 31 and February 12, 2011. Rates begin at $11,990 per person based on double occupancy.

--West Africa & Islands of the Atlantic explores five distinct and welcoming regions – Senegal, Gambia, Western Sahara, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands – offering a dazzling array of cultures, scenery, wildlife and experiences to inspire even the most experienced world traveler. See vivid birdlife and the legendary baobab trees, walk the dunes in the beautiful desert of the Western Sahara, and experience the daily life of Africa through its lively markets and music. The 13day expedition aboard the 148guest National Geographic Explorer departs April 7, 2011. Rates begin at $9,820.

Lindblad Offers Wild Alaska Photo Expedition In August

Lindblad Expeditions has teamed up with B&H, the world's leading retailer of imaging products, for their first Wild Alaska Photo Expedition. The one-of-a-kind one-week expedition aboard the National Geographic Sea Bird will head into the wild with top pros from National Geographic.  They include Kim Heacox, award-winning writer/photographer and Alaska resident; Cotton Coulson, contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler who will guide guests through the latest techniques for shooting video with DSLR cameras, plus Lindblad Expeditions’ photo specialist Michael Nolan, an expert in shooting Alaskan wildlife.

To augment the finest in instruction, Lindblad is bringing aboard the ultimate in equipment. Guests will get to test drive the best photo and video gear – with plenty of “toys” to inspire every range of photography skill – and instruction from the onboard B&H gear specialist. Whether you’re a point and shooter, or a seasoned photographer, the itinerary is dedicated to improving your photography and appreciation of Alaska’s natural and cultural wonders. Talk gear, track big creatures, walk into old growth forests, kayak into still coves and draw close to calving glaciers in a zodiac – and capture some of your best field shots ever.

Characterized by active days shooting in the wild, and evenings offering photography discussions, presentations and mini workshops, the photographers and Expedition Team will always be available for assistance, whether it’s aboard the ship, exploring ashore or simply chatting over drinks.

This special expedition, Wild Alaska: A Photo Adventure departs August 29, 2010.  Rates begin at $5,650 per person based on double occupancy. For reservations contact your travel agent.  

Quark Expeditions

Website: www.quarkexpeditions.com

Quark Offering Air Credit on 2010/11 Antarctic Departures

For a limited time, Quark is offering a $1,500 USD air credit on a selection of 2010-2011 Antarctic departures! Visit the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula on Explorers' Quest; be one of the few to cruise south of the Antarctic Circle on our Crossing the Circle voyage; or mark the 94th anniversary of Ernest Shackleton's Endurance exploration in the Weddell Sea.

This offer is valid for the following departures:

--Weddell Sea

Kapitan Khlebnikov, November 06, 2010

Clipper Adventurer, November 25, 2010

Clipper Adventurer, December 22, 2010

Ocean Nova, November 21, 2010

Ocean Nova, January 24, 2011

Akademik Ioffe, December 29, 2010

Akademik Ioffe, February 08, 2011

Akademik Sergey Vavilov, November 16, 2010

--Crossing the Circle Voyage

Ocean Nova, February 11, 2011

Akademik Ioffe, January 26, 2011

Akademik Sergey Vavilov, January 21, 2011

Akademik Sergey Vavilov, February 13, 2011

Terms and Conditions:

New Reservations only.

Limited Availability.

$1500 USD air credit to be applied at time of final payment.

Offer expires July 30, 2010.

Not to be combined with other offers.

Triple cabins are excluded from the offer.

Commissions will be paid on the amount net of the $1500 USD reduction.

Star Clippers

Website: www.starclippers.com

Star Clippers Opens Bookings Through Spring 2012

Star Clippers has opened the books and is taking reservations on its summer 2011 through spring 2012 sailings aboard Royal Clipper, Star Clipper and Star Flyer.

The line recently unveiled the itineraries for its new Mediterranean sailings in summer 2011 that introduce ten maiden ports and take the ships to Greece and Turkey as well as the western Mediterranean. Come fall, Royal Clipper and Star Clipper return to the Caribbean and Star Flyer heads back to Costa Rica.

--When Star Flyer returns to the Mediterranean in 2011, the ship will begin sailing new seven-night itineraries between Athens, Greece, and Istanbul, Turkey. In addition to continuing roundtrip Monte Carlo, Monaco, cruises along the French and Italian rivieras, Star Flyer also will sail seven-night itineraries between Valletta, Malta; Monte Carlo and Athens. Come fall, the ship resumes round-trip Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, cruises to ports throughout Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua.

--During the summer, Royal Clipper sails the western Mediterranean with seven-, ten- and 11-night itineraries. The seven-night cruises sail round-trip Civitavecchia (Rome) and highlight the best of Italy. The ten- and 11-night journeys between Civitavecchia and Venice, Italy, call at ports in Italy, Sicily, Montenegro, Greece and Croatia. When Royal Clipper returns to the Caribbean in the fall, the ship sails two different seven-night, round-trip Bridgetown, Barbados, itineraries.

--Next summer, Star Clipper sails seven-night Greek Isles and Turkey cruises round-trip from Athens. In July, the ship sails two ten- and 11-night cruises between Venice and Athens to ports throughout Greece and Croatia, also including a call in Montenegro. When Star Clipper returns to the Caribbean in the fall along with Royal Clipper, the ship sails two different seven-night, round-trip Philipsburg, St. Maarten, itineraries, as well as two 14-night Panama Canal cruises.

--Guest looking for a longer cruise vacation can embark on a Grand Mediterranean Voyage from 12 to 21 days. The extended itineraries aboard all three ships offer a more in-depth exploration of some of the most beautiful areas in the eastern and western Mediterranean. Star Clipper sails itineraries that touch the shores of North Africa, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain. Royal Clipper sails to ports in Italy, Spain, North Africa and Portugal. And Star Flyer's grand voyages visit ports in Portugal, Morocco, Spain, France and Greece.

--For those who truly love the sailing experience while also visiting exciting destinations, Star Clippers offers three fall ocean crossings ranging from 16 to 22 nights. The trans-Atlantic journeys in October 2011 take Royal Clipper from Lisbon, Portugal, to Bridgetown; Star Flyer sails from Malaga, Spain, to Bridgetown, and Star Clipper sails from Malaga to St. Maarten.

Guests who book early can take advantage of the line's Advance Purchase Discounts, which can equal significant savings for those looking for an economical vacation. Early bookings are strong for Star Clippers' 2010 sailing season, so guests are encouraged to reserve space early to ensure they get the sailing and cabin of their choice.

To request a brochure, call toll-free (800) 442-0556 or e-mail brochures. To make a reservation, contact a travel professional.

Swan Hellenic

Website: www.swanhellenic.us  or www.swanhellenic.com

Discover Swan Hellenic’s Summer 2011 Hidden Gems!

Small ship cruising specialist Swan Hellenic has launched its Summer 2011 Cruise Program on their websites. The websites features a host of exciting and fresh destinations and cruises that revisit classic Minerva itineraries, all of which uncover the soul of each port. With lead-in fares from $1,425 per person, guests can be assured of exceptional inclusive value – an integral part of Swan Hellenic’s ethos since 1954.

While Minerva will call at some of the world’s most celebrated cities such as St Petersburg, Venice, Bordeaux and Dubrovnik, her itineraries also visit new and lesser known ports that add depth to every itinerary. In 2011, Minerva will call at Rovinj and Pula, both on the Istrian Peninsula. Other “off the beaten track” ports include Crotone in the southern region of Calabria, Italy and Lazio – featured in the “An Italian Serenade” cruise beginning with an onboard overnight in Venice May 11, 2011.

Swan’s 2011 program will also return to some of the well-loved, lesser-known ports that Minerva has not visited for several years. Swan Hellenic takes pride in listening to guest feedback and requests regarding itineraries. Consequently Minerva will return to her roots, offering in-depth cruises to the Hellenic world, visiting some of the major sites such as the royal tombs of Vergina and the monasteries of Meteora, but also some of the smaller, less-visited Greek islands including Lesbos, Chios, Milos, Symi and Delos. Late summer will see Minerva make a complete circuit of the Black Sea with visits to Sinop in North Turkey, Batumi in Georgia and the ports of the Crimea, including the site of the “charge of the Light Brigade” near Balaclava.

Accompanying Swan’s inspiring range 2011 summer itineraries are bespoke podcasts from long serving and well respected Minerva Cruise Director, Paul Carter. This unique feature is a first for the cruise industry. Each podcast presents Paul’s expert insights and provides a personal narrative that will bring each itinerary to life. These commentaries, all voiced by Paul in his own distinctive style, are available to download from: www.swanhellenic.us/podcasts.

Equally new and exciting for Swan Hellenic’s 2011 summer season is that Minerva will now sail from the historic naval port of Portsmouth. What finer way to begin your Swan Hellenic cruise than by sailing away past the Historic Dockyard, the Old Portsmouth Waterfront, Victorian fortifications and the Isle of Wight.

Swan Hellenic is a division of UK-based All Leisure Group, which also operates Voyages of Discovery, Hebridean Island Cruises and tour operator Discover Egypt.

Experience The Elemental Power Of Nature On Sagas Of Ice And Fire Cruise

Journey to the Norse world on Swan Hellenic’s Sagas of Ice and Fire cruise with eminent volcanologist Dr Peter Cattermole to discover Iceland, a country still being formed by the elemental forces of nature. One of a panel of four Guest Speakers travelling on this cruise, Dr Cattermole’s stimulating talks on volcanology will include discussing the causes and long term effects of Eyjfjallajökull’s recent eruption.

Dr Cattermole, a former lecturer in volcanology and planetary geology and a former principal investigator for NASA’s Planetary Geology and Physics Programme, will be introducing passengers to Iceland and the history of volcanoes, covering topics such as Why does Iceland exist?; How do volcanoes work?; Recent events in Southern Iceland; Fissures, fires and fantastic furies and The Convenient Untruth which will discuss the issues surrounding climate change.

Sagas of Ice and Fire is perfect for those nature enthusiasts keen to see the elemental power of nature up close, secure in the knowledge that they are travelling in complete safety, comfort and style aboard Minerva. A full-day stay in Reykjavik offers passengers an introduction to some of Iceland’s cultural highlights and unique landscapes including a visit to The Golden Circle which includes the thundering Gullfoss waterfall, geyser area and Thingvellir National Park, which is situated, on the tectonic plate boundaries of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Reykjavik is some 160 km (100 miles) from Eyjafjallajökull, the now notorious volcano that recently caused disruption over UK airspace. Volcanic activity is now much reduced but, depending on weather conditions and the strength of the eruption during this cruise, passengers might even spot the dramatic steam clouds from its crater as Minerva cruises around the south coast of Iceland.

Minerva will also close-cruise the island of Heimaey, with the ship’s Promenade Deck providing the perfect vantage point from which to observe sheer cliffs and teeming wildlife, including puffins. You might also catch sight of Eldfell, a cinder cone volcano formed during an unexpected eruption on Heimaey in January 1973.

Other Icelandic ports of call on this cruise include Grundafjordur, from where you can discover Snaefellsjökull National Park, remote Isafjordur, capital of the West Fjords, and Akureyri, from where you can visit the Lake Myvatn area where volcanic activity has created a lunar-like landscape still being shaped by newborn lava fields and bubbling mudflats.

Sagas of Ice and Fire departs July 28, 2010 for 16 days, fares from £1,725pp With a great value fare of just £1,725pp and Dover’s convenient road and rail links, joining this ‘no-fly’ cruise couldn’t be easier. Additionally, Swan Hellenic contributes £125 towards parking your car at Dover, so passengers can step straight out of their car to begin their cruise.

To obtain your preferred cabin on this unique cruise please call Swan Hellenic’s Reservations Department on 0844 209 9000.

Variety Cruises

Website: www.varietycruises.com

Variety Offering New Turquoise Coast & Islands of Eastern Aegean Cruise

Variety Cruises is launching a new “Turquoise Coast & Islands of the Eastern Aegean” cruise aboard its newest vessel, the Halis Temel motor yacht. Exploring Turkey and Greek islands, the cruise will sail August through November and April to November next year. An introductory offer allows travelers to book a second person for 25 percent off, based on double occupancy. Or, solo travelers may book with no single supplement fee. Regular fares begin at $1,350 per person in 2010 and $1,490 in 2011.

The eight-day program departs from Marmaris, Turkey, to Patmos, Rhodes and Bodrum. The cruise fares include accommodation in double or twin cabins with private bathroom and air conditioning, full American buffet breakfast and two meals daily, a Welcome Cocktail, a Turkish Night, Captain’s Dinner, use of fishing and snorkeling equipment, multilingual cruise escort and coffee, tea and mineral water.

The Halis Temel motor yacht hosts up to 24 guests in 12 cabins. The wooden hull vessel was built in Bodrum and features a restaurant with glass-enclosed show kitchen, bar, indoor lounge, ocean-view dining, sun deck with bar, large Jacuzzi, Internet station and library. Private charters are available.

May, 2010

American Canadian Caribbean Line

Canadros Expeditions

Classic International Cruises

Cruceros Australis

Cruise West

Hurtigruten

Orion Expeditions

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Quark Expeditions

Star Clippers

Tauck Expeditions

Voyages of Discovery

 

American Canadian Caribbean Line

Skylines And Islands: New York City To Toronto Via The Erie Canal

Save $250 off per person if booked by June 15! AARP members receive up to $100 onboard credit. Journey through American and Canadian history on this ten-day adventure from the Hudson River to Lake Ontario. Begin your cruise in New York City. Travel through the locks of the Erie Canal, going where other ships simply cannot travel. Discover Ontario as you travel into Kingston where the scenic beauty of the Thousand Islands welcomes you to Canada. In the Niagara Region, you have the option of touring a vineyard, sampling their wines, enjoying a delicious lunch, and exploring Niagara Falls up-close. Packaged stays in New York City and Toronto are available at a great rate!

The ten-day cruise departing August 14 & August 25, 2010 starts at $2,790 per person.

Website: www.accl-smallships.com

Canodros Expeditions

Exploring The Galpagos Up Close

Ecuadorian tour operator Canodros offers Galapagos cruises onboard the M/V Galapagos Explorer II that is ideal for explorers and adventurous looking for close encounters with nature and discovering this magical archipelago. The all-suite 100-passenger vessel is an excellent way to explore Galapagos in style. For this fall they are offering two promotions Green Galapagos rates starting at $1,341 with discounts from $149 up to $444 and on special departures the Rabida promo starting at $1,240 available all year.  Conditions apply to all promotional rates.  

The Galapagos Explorer II was refurbished in 2009 and balconies were added to eight of the suites. Explorer II now offers 24 balcony suites. All excursions are lead by a naturalist bilingual guide, groups up to 15 passengers will warrant a personal experience on the islands and a deep encounter at this museum of natural history that will offer a truly understanding of wildlife and evolution.  All activities and islands visits are included on the program. 

Many travelers choose to combine a Galapagos with a stay on the Ecuadorian mainland, taking advantage of the packages that include a stay at any of the four different regions of Ecuador. Website: www.canodros.com

Classic International Cruises

New Italy-to-Australia Autumn Voyage Aboard The Athena

Classic International Cruises will begin its seventh annual season Down Under next summer with its first-ever voyage from Italy to Australia. Sailing from Rome on November 14, 2010, Athena’s 35-night cruise includes 12 days spent visiting ports in the Mediterranean, including Naples for trips to Pompeii, an overnight stay in Venice, calls at Dubrovnik, Corfu in the Greek Islands and Athens and an extended visit to Port Said in Egypt to allow passengers to see the Pyramids.

Athena will then sail on to Sri Lanka, Thailand and Singapore before docking in Perth on December 19, 2010, to begin Classic International Cruises’ seventh annual program of summer cruises from Western Australia.

The voyage, available from $171 per person per day, with single supplements of just 25 per cent in selected cabins, will be the first of 13 cruises Athena will offer to and from Perth next summer.

The onboard currency will also be in Australian dollars, adding to the savings.

The 35-night voyage from Rome to Perth is available from $5995 per person, twin-share (or $171 a day).

The 600-passenger Athena is a traditional, mid-sized liner boasting an intimate, yacht-like atmosphere, personal, old-fashioned service and fine cuisine as well as traditional wooden deck chairs, marbled reception foyer, pool, fitness centre and sauna, five bars and lounges, nightclub, show lounge, casino, library, boutiques, cinema and two restaurants. All cabins have a full-sized bath.

Cruceros Australis

Cruceros Announces Two Cruises Retracing Darwin’s HMS Beagle Voyage

Cruceros Australis announces two upcoming themed cruises focused on Charles Darwin's HMS Beagle voyage accompanied by topic experts as as the ship retraces Darwin’s voyage through the Strait of Magellan and the Beagle Channel. Sail also through the famous Glacier Alley where he played a major role in saving his fellow crewmen from almost certain disaster. In gratitude, Captain Robert FitzRoy of the Beagle named Mount Darwin in his honor. And the ship visits a place Darwin saw only from the deck of his ship: the legendary Cape Horn.

Unlike his comparatively short visit to the Galápagos Islands, Charles Darwin spent about two years in Patagonia, including more than three months in Tierra del Fuego, where he had contact with the indigenous people of the region-an experience that greatly influenced his famous Origin of Species.

 Cruceros Australis owns and operates the Mare, Via and Stella Australis (in construction) which navigate the waters and fjords of Tierra del Fuego and its archipelagos in Southern Patagonia. Website: www.australis.com

Cruise West

New Itineraries Added For Danube River Cruises

Building on last year's successful series down the Danube from Bucharest to Vienna, guests in 2010 can choose from the original Danube River itinerary or from two newly added itineraries that meander farther west.  New to 2010 is a cruise down the Danube, Main and Rhine Rivers on October 3 traveling for 11 nights from Vienna to Cologne.

Guests will sail into Regensburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site resplendent with over 1,200 historic buildings; through the beautiful Altmühl Valley to Nuremberg, the capital of Franconia and historically the unofficial capital of the Holy Roman Empire; and along the River Rhine to Rüdesheim, a charming old wine town nestled in the upper middle Rhine Valley area.

 Travelers may choose to enjoy the Rhine, Main and Mosel Rivers on an 11-night cruise from Cologne to Basel (with Cruise West Chairman Dick West as host) departing on October 13. Among the cruise highlights are a welcome dinner hosted by Dick and Leslie West with a midnight sailing from Cologne to view the lights of its Gothic towers; a cruise through the exceptional Rhine Gorge passing a multitude of castles and the legendary Lorelei Rock; and an upfront view of villages, vineyards and forest along the beautiful Mosel River to Cochem, home to the world's finest Riesling wines. Rates start at $4,999 per person. Website: www.cruisewest.com

Hurtigruten

14-Day Iceland/Greenland/Canada Cruise Departs September 26

Hurtigruten has announced a pricing special on the new 14-day Iceland-Greenland-Canada In the Wake of the Vikings expedition cruise.  Following in the footsteps of the ancient Norsemen this voyage travels from Iceland to southern Greenland and then onto Canada's Labrador and Newfoundland. This incredible odyssey, departing September 26, encompasses some of Greenland's and eastern Canada's most spectacular natural and historical landscapes. Highlights include a visit to Koge Bugt, where the Greenland ice tip reaches the sea; Umivik, where Fridtjof Nansen went ashore and started his epic traverse of the Ice Cap by ski; and Qassiarsuk, where Erik the Red was exiled.  The MS Fram then heads across the Labrador Sea in the footsteps of the Vikings, stopping in Newfoundland and then turning south to Halifax via St Anthony, Bonne Bay and Baddeck in Nova Scotia.

The journey is complimented by informative lectures, landings and shore excursions.  Booking by May 31 aboard the deluxe 318-passenger MS Fram, saves 25% off the regular fare -- $4,743 to $9,316 per person, double, with the discount.  Booking a suite will add free round-trip airfare from JFK or Newark Airports.  Two Greenland-Iceland sailings of 11 and 12 days are also available with special pricing. Websites: www.hurtigruten.com or www.hurtigruten.us

Orion Expeditions

Orion Expedition Cruises Offers Far-Flung Voyages with Unbeatable Benefits

Enticing travelers with voyages to remote destinations such as Antarctica, Melanesia and Australia’s rugged Kimberley region, Orion Expedition Cruises announces a special incentive for agents and consumers alike. For a limited time only, Australia’s only international-standard, five-star expedition cruise line is offering a $250 to $500 bonus to travel agents for each passenger booked on one of the below four sailings. In addition, guests receive a shipboard credit of the equivalent of USD $500 per person. The offer applies to the following Orion Expedition Cruises departures:

·         10-night Forgotten Islands & Asmat Art sailing (departs September 26, 2010)

·         11-night New Guinea Islands Adventure sailing (departs October 11, 2010)

·         12/13-night New Zealand & Sub-Antarctic Wildlife Adventure sailings (13-night sailing departs December 8, 2010; 12-night sailing departs January 15, 2011)

Offering guests once-in-a-lifetime trips to several of the world’s most inaccessible locales, Orion Expedition Cruises combines rugged adventure with unparalleled service and comfort onboard.

New in 2010, Orion’s Forgotten Islands & Asmat Art sailing takes guests to Wallacea, the deep water area separating the Australian and Asian continental plates, as well as to stunning tropical islands, notable for their diversity of flora and fauna and involvement in ancient trade routes. Also remarkable for its foray into ancient lands and cultures is Orion’s New Guinea Islands Adventure”sailing. On this voyage, guests explore the rich culture of a land of 800 languages, its spectacular natural wonders – including volcanic fjords and white beaches – and historical relics from World War II. Lastly, Orion’s 12- and 13-night New Zealand & Sub-Antarctic Wildlife Adventure sailings are island-hopping adventures ,which introduce travelers to pristine World Heritage-listed sites such as the Macquarie and Campbell Islands, with penguins as far as the eye can see, as well as the remarkable New Zealand fjordlands.

The MV Orion is a 53-cabin luxury expedition vessel accommodating 106 guests and a crew of 75 – the highest staff-to-guest ratio of any Australian passenger ship. Onboard luxuries include elegantly appointed staterooms with ocean views or private French balconies, private marble baths with Lanvin toiletries, spa treatments at the intimate Vega Health Spa and world-class dining by Sydney chef Serge Dansereau in the Constellation Restaurant. For more information, email inquiry@orionexpeditions.com or visit www.orionexpeditions.com for more information or to book a cruise

*Agent bonus incentives are paid on the first two passengers sharing the same stateroom, based on double occupancy, USD. The guest’s shipboard credit is $500 per person based on double occupancy; maximum of $1,000 per stateroom.  Travel offer applies to new bookings only and may be withdrawn at any time. Travel offer is subject to availability. Please contact Orion Expedition Cruises at (877) ORION US,.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Celebrations Of Life And Love Aboard The M/S Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, offers romantic respites set within the magical backdrop of exotic islands and inspirational scenery.  The idyllic sailing experience is perfect for betrothed hopefuls, vow renewals, newlyweds, and couples celebrating milestone anniversaries or, simply, each other.   

 The m/s Paul Gauguin’s Romantic Escapades experience offers guests the opportunity to disembark for a night to spend an evening in an overwater bungalow at one of Bora Bora’s award-winning luxury resorts, the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa.  Couples can enjoy treatments at the resort’s Deep Ocean Spa’s glass-bottom, overwater couples' bungalow; candlelight dinners for two on a private motu; or lounge beachside enjoying stunning views of the lagoon and Mount Otemanau.

 The InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa is also home to the only overwater wedding chapel in French Polynesia – the Blue Lagoon Chapel.  A variety of commitment and wedding packages are available for both beachside and chapel ceremonies. The resort’s most popular ceremony package includes traditional gowns, a Tifaifai quilt (a traditional Tahitian wedding quilt symbolizing a couple’s union), a local priest, a group of dancers and musicians, tropical flower arrangements, leis and crowns, as well as a wedding certificate made of traditional tapa.

Back onboard the m/s Paul Gauguin, a number of customized romantic options await couples, including: relaxing spa treatments at the new Deep Nature Spa, sunset dinners enjoyed on the couple’s stateroom private balcony, private dives and island excursions, in-stateroom bottle of Champagne, celebratory confections, and a Polynesian blessing ceremony performed by Les Gauguines – the ship’s own troupe of Polynesian entertainers.

The m/s Paul Gauguin was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The ship is 513 feet long, 71 feet wide and has a draft of 16.9 feet. The ship can accommodate 332 guests with a staff of 215 and is one of the top Exclusive Charter and Incentive Group venues in the industry. The m/s Paul Gauguin has undergone more than $25 million in enhancements since its inaugural sail in 1998.

For rates and reservations for Paul Gauguin Cruises, contact your Professional Travel Agent, call 1-800-848-6172 or visit www.pgcruises.com. For rates and additional information on the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa visit www.boraboraspa.intercontinental.com.

Quark Expeditions

Travelers get a behind-the-scenes look at documentary film making in Antarctica

Ireland’s Crossing the Line Films will be filming an ambitious project about the 20th century race to the South Pole on Quark Expeditions’ icebreaker, Kapitan Khlebnikov. Travelers aboard the Weddell Sea and South Georgia expedition cruise, November 6 to December 5, 2010, will experience an authentic behind-the-scenes look at the business of documentary film making. Filming will occur in the air from onboard helicopters, on the ship’s decks, and on the frozen sea ice.

The expedition celebrates the heroes of the 1914-17 Antarctic expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton. After their ship Endurance sank, Shackleton led his men across the frozen Weddell Sea to Elephant Island, then sailed a lifeboat 800 miles by dead reckoning to South Georgia. There he affected the rescue of his men left behind.

Quark Expeditions itinerary includes a visit to Elephant Island, an in-depth exploration of the seldom-visited east coast of the Weddell Sea, plus landings on South Georgia. On the island, participants will pay their respects to the Endurance heroes at Shackleton’s graveside in Grytviken.

In addition to an insider’s glimpse into documentary making, travelers will participate in aerial sightseeing, enjoy fine dining, visit remote research stations and explore Emperor Penguin rookeries. The expedition begins in Ushuaia, Argentina and ends in Santiago, Chile. Per person prices for this 30-day adventure start at $21,990.

Visitors to the Weddell Sea in 2010 earn Arctic savings in 2011.

Travelers aboard the Weddell Sea expedition will be entitled to save 6% off the cost of Quark Expeditions’ Arctic Passage in 2011. John Murray will be special guest aboard Khlebnikov’s historic final transit of the Northwest Passage. His passion for the Northwest Passage quest compelled John to back the Irish-Canadian Franklin Search Expedition that sought the underwater location of Erebus and Terror, Franklin’s lost ships. Website: http://www.quarkexpeditions.com

Star Clippers

Two New Seven-Day Itineraries Offered In Costa Rica

Costa Rica makes it debut on Star Clippers' roster beginning November 2010 when the 170-passenger Star Flyer inaugurates two seven-day, round-trip itineraries from Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica. Calling at some of the most exciting ports in the country, the itineraries, which run through March 2011, mark the first time Star Clippers has deployed a vessel in this region.

The first itinerary calls at San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua; and Playa del Coco, National Park Santa Rosa, Puerto Carrillo/Samara and Islas Tortuguas/National Reserve of Curu, Costa Rica.

The second itinerary calls at Isla Coiba, Panama; and Golfito, Isla del Cano/Drake's Bay, Quepos and Curu/Islas Tortugas, Costa Rica. Two additional itineraries between Balboa, Panama, and Puerto Caldera also call at Isla Iguana, Panama.

With 9,000 higher plant species, 850 bird species, hundreds of frogs and reptiles and 10 percent of all mammals on earth, the region is an adventurers' paradise. Whether it's an on-land excursion or an underwater exploration, Costa Rica is sure to live up to its reputation as exotic, exciting and endearing. Website: www.starclippers.com

Tauck Expeditions

Tauck Offers Reduced Singles Pricing On More Than 40 Cruise Departures

Solo cruisers weary of paying the customary single supplement will have over 40 opportunities to enjoy special savings this year by traveling with Tauck.  For 2010, the Connecticut-based leader in upscale guided travel is reducing its single supplement on 42 departures of 13 different small-ship ocean voyages and European river cruises.

According to Tauck CEO Dan Mahar, the savings offered are considerable.  “In several cases we’ve reduced the single supplement by over 70 percent, allowing single travelers to save as much as $2,500,” said Mahar.  “On the 13 itineraries where we’ve trimmed the single supplement, the average reduction is 61 percent or over $1,400 in cash savings.”  Mahar added that the singles pricing program is offered annually by Tauck, and that availability each year is limited.

Those interested in more information should contact their local travel professional, call Tauck at 1 800 468 2825, or visit www.tauck.com.

Voyages of Discovery

Voyages Of Discovery Launches Summer 2011 Program

Destination specialist Voyages of Discovery launches its Summer 2011 program on their website.  Savings of up to $2,936 per person, along with free and reduced air add-ons from the line’s select 26 North American gateway cities are featured.

The 650 passenger mv Discovery will embark on her most enticing summer program to date. The 20,000-ton vessel is cruising to some of the most fascinating places in the Mediterranean, the Baltic and Scandinavia along with destinations in Iceland, the White Sea and Archangel and the North Cape.

Featuring some unusual destinations the Summer 2011 program itineraries are sure to appeal to those seeking adventure in unfamiliar and extraordinary ports in the world.

--Voyage to the White Sea and Archangel guests will follow in the wake of WWII Arctic convoys to discover the indelible marks left by revolution, war and communism in northern Russia. Guest speakers will include natural scientists and historians. A lecture featuring Second World War code breakers and demonstrating an original and working 1940s Enigma machine is currently scheduled.

--In Search of the Holy Lands will explore many less-traveled but historically rich cultures in the Middle East. Guests will have a chance to explore the holy city of Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee on Discovery’s return to the region after a four-year absence.

Be it an excursion to the unknown or a familiar site, Voyages of Discovery offers cultural cruises to fulfill every interest. Castles and Gardens of the British Isles is inspired by the country’s greatest gardens as well as by its history, politics and geology. “A Baltic Symphony” will equally impress lovers of the arts, history and architecture. In addition to great savings, all Voyages of Discovery itineraries feature an extensive enrichment program. Top historians, diplomats, scientists and naturalists provide background and insight into the history, culture, flora and fauna of the destinations visited.

Many of Discovery’s Summer 2011 cruise-tour packages include pre- and/or post-cruise London hotel stays. Earlier it was announced that Discovery will be sailing from Portsmouth, the UK’s most famous naval city as well as Harwich – providing fast and easy access from London. With Free to $249 air add-ons guests have come to expect great value from Voyages of Discovery.

Special rates for single travelers are also available.  Discovery Club members enjoy an additional 10 percent savings on Summer 2011 cruises when booked by June 30, 2010.

The Summer 2011 cruise preview will be available in early June. Guests and travel agents are able to view these cruises now by visiting the website www.voyagesofdiscovery.com for itineraries and pricing.

For reservations contact your travel professional or Voyages of Discovery at 866-623-2689 or www.voyagesofdiscovery.com.

Voyages of Discovery Visits New Ports In Europe And The Caribbean This Fall

Beginning with the 11-night September 22 Venice & the Adriatic itinerary, the 650-guest mv Discovery will visit Split, Croatia (September 30) for the first time. The 13-night October 2 "Worlds of Ancient Civilizations" cruise will visit Nauplion, Greece on October 7. The 15-night November 3 "In Search of Ancient Civilizations" itinerary includes three new ports: Trapani, Sicily; Cagliari, Sardinia; and Cartagena, Spain.

Later in the fall, Discovery is returning to the Caribbean and South America with a transatlantic cruise including St Kitts on the 20-night "Discovery of the New World" which departs Malaga, Spain November 18th. The 13-night December 1st Colonial Trails of the Caribbean include several ports not visited since 2006 such as Trinidad, Curacao, Aruba and La Guaira, Venezuela.

 All Voyages of Discovery itineraries feature comprehensive programs of informative talks by port lecturers and guest speakers, including enrichment lectures.

Special rates for single travelers are also available. Discovery Club members enjoy an additional 5% savings. Website: www.voyagesofdiscovery.com

Discover Remote Northern Scandinavia On A Voyages of Discovery Cruise

Few Scandinavian cruises match the scope and splendor of Discovery’s adventure

Cruise passengers are increasingly looking beyond the Med for more adventurous summer destinations and choosing to head north. The North Cape & Spitsbergen, a 15 day Voyages of Discovery cruise which starts from just £1,199 travels to arctic waters offering spectacular rewards of beauty.

July is the perfect time to experience the rugged coastal landscapes of Norway at their most tranquil and beautiful. Travelling by sea is the best way to reach its many remote islands, inlets, coves and giant fjords and 650-passenger, Discovery is the perfect vessel for these waters. Small enough to hopscotch her way around smaller ports and off-the-beaten-track destinations, she is also large enough to ensure absolute comfort at all times.

The cruise is attracting budding photographers, artists, wildlife lovers and geologists who know that Discovery will take them closer to the majestic coastal landscapes, unique flora, fauna and incredible wildlife which thrive in these challenging but enchanting environments.

Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago is home to seals, reindeer and polar bears, which guests can expect to see under midnight sun. Renowned zoologist, Dr. Peter Carey’s long-time love of Polar regions makes him a perfect guide for this adventure. He will enlighten guests through talks about the wildlife, glaciers and their landscapes, the natural history of Svalbard and the importance of latitude in how the sun drives Arctic ecology.

Carey will be joined by a formidable team of experts, who not only enrich customers’ experiences of the destinations they visit, but also socialize and dine with guests, imparting their wealth of knowledge in the lecture theatre and also during lively discussions over dinner or coffee.

 Stephen Westcott is a pioneer in the world of natural history, almost always working in regions where no previous study has been conducted. His approach has always been to minimize the impact of his presence on the habitats and environments, which he chooses to study. This has meant becoming expert in good field craft – something that he also teaches to others.

Derek Blundell is Emeritus Professor of Geophysics at the University of London. His research ranges from rock magnetism to seismology, from earthquakes and volcanoes to landscape evolution and glacial processes but he is also a respected authority on global climate change. Stephen Jones will regale guests with tales from his fourteen years as a polar expedition leader, photographer and broadcast cameraman, while historian Nick Hewitt will cover maritime history in the region, covering everything from the Vikings to World War 2.

The cruise has been meticulously planned around the interests of Voyages of Discovery’s discerning customers to ensure that the program of talks, classes and refined evening entertainment which are all included in the price, will appeal to everyone with a thirst for knowledge and a spirit of adventure.

The cruise is selling fast but please visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk or call 0844 822 0820 for further information or to book.

 

 

April, 2010

American Safari Cruises

Cruise West

Hurtigruten

Lindblad Expeditions

Windstar Cruises

 

American Safari Cruises

Website: www.americansafararicruises.com

Cruises Designed To Pursue Adventure

American Safari Cruises offers luxury in the pursuit of adventure. The company’s three yachts have high-end amenities including on-deck hot tubs, private bathrooms with heated floors, staterooms with Tempur-pedic mattresses, a 2-to-1 guest-crew ratios, and complimentary bar with premium liquors, fine wines and microbrews. Two of the yachts have saunas and one offers complimentary massages from an onboard massage therapist.

The company has five itineraries: Alaska’s Inside Passage, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, the Columbia and Snake rivers,  Washington wine country, and the islands and fjords of the Pacific Northwest. Inter-island Hawaii explorations begin October 26, 2011, with visits to tradition-steeped islands such as Molokai and Lanai for an authentic step back in time. Eight-day, seven-night or 11-day, ten-night active adventures are slated for the 36-guest Safari Explorer through May 11, 2012.

Cruise West

Website: www.cruisewest.com

Cruise West Offers $2,500 VISA Gift Card Promo

Expand the mind and enrich the soul on an unforgettable European journey with Cruise West and receive a choice of a free $2,500 VISA gift card or apply the same savings towards the cruise fare.  Book and pay in full by May 28, 2010, for any of the nine European adventures from the 2010 Voyages of the Great Explorers series to take advantage of the promotion.

Cruise West is offering nine distinct voyages in Europe ranging from 12- to 19-nights aboard the 60-suite Spirit of Oceanus.  Prices start at $9,595 per person. Exciting itineraries include:

·         14-nights Alexandria to Istanbul, departing May 4

·         14-nights Istanbul to Venice, departing May 17

·         12-nights Venice to Valletta, departing May 30

·         13-nights Valletta to Rome, departing June 10

·         13-nights Rome to Barcelona, departing June 22

·         16-nights Barcelona to Honfleur, departing July 4

·         19-nights Honfleur to Oslo, departing July 19

·         15-nights Oslo to London, departing August 6

·         19-nights London to St. John’s, departing August 20

 Guests can expect exclusive encounters, included shore excursions at every port and an extraordinary ‘Ultimate Explorers Experience’ designed to bring guests into direct personal contact with fascinating people and cultures. The discovery and learning continues aboard ship as well with expert guest speakers sharing their knowledge through topical presentations.  In addition, further exploration by Zodiac to pristine inlets and hard to reach villages fulfill the promise of an unforgettable journey.

Book and pay in full between April 12 and May 28, 2010, for any of the nine 2010 European voyages to receive the $2,500 VISA gift card (in US dollars) or savings towards the cruise fare.  Offer is per person and valid on new bookings only. 

Cruise West Re-Traces Famed Expedition With Columbia & Snake River Cruise

Tracing the travels of explorers Lewis and Clark, Cruise West sails on two of the West’s mightiest rivers with the seven-night River Voyage of Discovery from April through October. Commencing and ending in Portland, Oregon, the cruise traces nearly a 1,000 miles of the famed expedition along the mostly pristine and wild Columbia and Snake Rivers.  From the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge – carved by great floods thousands of years ago -- to the towering black pinnacles of basalt to the engineering accomplishments of the locks and dams that make these two waterways vital shipping lanes, the cruise views blend natural wonders with manmade marvels. 

Throughout the cruise, the Pacific Northwest's pioneer history is brought to life with a special series of included excursions, knowledgeable local guest speakers, and narration and presentations by the onboard Exploration Leaders.  In addition, guests can look forward to an enhanced array of delicious food and wine choices through the line’s Palate program.

Excursions include a motor coach tour to breathtaking Multnomah Falls, the tallest falls in Oregon; a jet boat up Hells Canyon past 7,000-year-old Indian petroglyphs; wine tasting in historic Walla Walla, renowned for producing some of the finest wine in Washington state; and an excursion to Astoria to visit the Lewis & Clark National Historic Park and the site of Fort Clatsop -- where the explorers spent a hard winter by the Pacific Ocean.

The River Voyage of Discovery cruise offers Saturday departures on the 96-guest Spirit of '98 that was designed to emulate an early steamer with carved wooden cabinetry, plush floral upholstery, and a Grand Salon complete with a full bar and old-world charm.  Sunday departures are on the 84-guest Spirit of Discovery that offers ample outside deck space for optimum viewing.

The line is including a free pre-cruise hotel stay for all

Small-ship explorations allow up-close and personal experiences unmatched by the traditional larger cruise lines. For more than 63 years Cruise West has provided authentic travel experiences where the destination is the focus. The fleet of small ships with guest capacities ranging from 78-148 explores remote and distinctive destinations throughout the globe.   A robust onboard enrichment program further enhances the guest experience through topical guest lecturers, additional exploration by Zodiac and included excursions at every port.

Hurtigruten

Website: www.hurtigruten.com

Hurtigruten Publishes Its 2011 Norwegian Coastal Voyages Brochure

Hurtigruten’s modern fleet sails deep into the heart of a unique and spectacular landscape on six to 12-day itineraries -- from the cultural center of Bergen to Kirkenes, high above the Arctic Circle, and back again.  New Year's Eve on the North Cape, Opera in Oslo, Viking history and myth, the midnight sun, the Northern Lights, stunning fjords, wildlife at every turn...the list of cruise and land opportunities goes on and on and interested travelers can get a sneak peek with a new full-color, 20-page 2011 Norway Preview brochure - an industry first. 

Savings offers are detailed as well: travelers booking a 2011 cruise vacation by September 30, 2010 enjoy a ten-to-20 percent discount on many departures -- more than $1,000 savings on a 12-day cruise; an additional 10 percent combinable discount is given to guests who have traveled with Hurtigruten during the past three years; all topped off by 5 percent savings on shore excursions when pre-booked. And, of course, the advantage of booking early is having first choice of the ship, date of departure, cabin grade and excursions.  Discounted fares range from $815 to $4,618 per person double; higher prices are for suites.  Single supplements are waived on a number of January through April sailings.

The centerpiece of every offer are the six-, seven- and 12-day sailings along the spectacular fjord-filled west coast of Norway year-round -- a voyage named the world’s most beautiful voyage by Lonely Planet’s Bluelist. Hurtigruten’s modern fleet journeys 1,250 miles between Bergen and Kirkenes, making 34 ports of call as the scenery changes from small fishing villages in the rugged Lofoten Islands, to Art Nouveau Alesund, the medieval Viking capital of Trondheim and Norway's Paris of the North, Tromso.

Excursions

Getting off the ship and enjoying the local scene is an important feature of Hurtigruten cruises, so the company has developed dozens of high-quality excursions.  Port excursions range from city tours of Alesund and Tromso to the more unusual Lofotr Viking Feast -- a true Viking feast held in a recreation of the largest Viking building ever found -- to the simply fun Dog Sledding in Tromso and Scootertrip in Lapland.  The Polar History Walk, Tromso highlights this medieval town’s links with polar explorations; amid flickering lights, the elegant church in Tromso is the setting for the Midnight Concert in the Arctic; a short drive through Kirkenes brings guests to the Gabba Reindeer Park and a visit to the snow hotel on the Kirkenes Snow Hotel trip; and the UNESCO Islands explores The Vega archipelago, consisting of 6,000 islands and islets where guests visit the E-house and touch down on Vega.  Most optional excursions can be booked before departure, saving 5% off the price.

Theme Voyages

As more travelers look to return home with memories of unusual and educational experiences, Hurtigruten has sought out the interests of their passengers in an expanded roster of more fascinating possibilities for 2011.  Examples include: Celebrations in the Arctic -- ringing in the New Year as no one else can - with the countdown held on the North Cape, Europe's most northern point, departing Dec. 26, 2011; Opera Voyage is an opera-lover's dream trip - daily concerts on board and a Norwegian New Year's Concert at Oslo's brand-new Opera House - Jan. 4, 2011; and Birds of the Nordic Coast takes place as millions of migrating birds return to the Arctic for nesting - a true ornithological event with lectures and stellar bird-watching opportunities - May 20, 2011.

Sailing aboard Hurtigruten ships means large, comfortable lounges with panoramic windows and wonderful views from large outdoor decks; no need to dress up for dinner (unless you want to) and open seating; fresh seasonal ingredients, plenty of incredible seafood and a comprehensive wine list; multilingual tour directors; comfortable cabins - from the smaller inside accommodations to the large outside suites with private balconies, picture windows and even Jacuzzis on some; and a friendly and well-informed crew, ready to offer assistance and their suggestions when asked.

Ms Fram Makes Antarctica Landings Easy

Earnest Shackleton, whose exploration of Antarctica is considered one of history's greatest survival stories, is the focus of Hurtigruten's 19-day Shackleton's Antarctica, one of five Antarctica adventure voyages offered at ten- to 20 percent off regular fares if booked by May 31, 2010.  This amounts to a savings of $512 to $3,673 per person.  For those who need a bit more time to plan, all but the 19-day sailings will be offered with a 10% reduction for bookings through July 31.  The 13- to 19-day itineraries, priced after the discount at $6,468 to $16,047 per person, double (higher fares are for suites), include a night in Buenos Aires before and after the cruise, all meals on board, the services of expert guides, lectures and PolarCirkel boat landings.  This offer can be combined with Repeater  Discounts -- 10% savings for passengers who sailed on any Hurtigruten ship in the past three years.

These once-in-a-lifetime voyages explore the vast and mysterious wilderness of the White Continent, the coldest, driest and windiest destination on earth, replete with gleaming icebergs, blue whales and orcas feeding mere feet from the ships, and penguin populations whose individual rookeries number in the tens of thousands. 

T--he 19-day Shackleton's Antarctica, departing November 1, follows much of the same path as Shackle ton’s original Endurance Expedition of 1914.  It navigates the western-most outposts of the Falkland Islands and visits whaling stations and beautiful Drygalski Fjord on South Georgia Island before heading to Antarctica.  Discounted fares are $6,672 to $12,327 per person, double.  An itinerary of 17 days -- Shackleton's Christmas -- follows a similar route, departing Dec. 17, and celebrates Christmas during the voyage with traditional carols, festive meals, Santa Claus visits and a New Year's gala.  This celebratory cruise is priced from $8,161 to $16,047 during the promotion. 

--The 15-day Chilean Fjords & Antarctica heads off to areas inaccessible to many other cruise ships as the MS Fram is both ice-rated and built to a size that allows passage close to shore.  Besides spending nearly six days in the White Continent, passengers sail for four days along the stunningly scenic Tierra del Fuego and Chilean Fjords, visiting Diego Ramirez and its numerous sea bird nesting sites, the desolate Cape Horn, picturesque Puerto Williams, and Punta Arenas - an historical center of trade and culture.  Discounted fares are $6,468 to $11,494; departures are Nov. 19 and Dec. 3. 

For guests with a bit less time and wishing to focus solely on Antarctica, Hurtigruten has two 13-day options, both of which spend nine days exploring the White Continent: Weddell Sea Adventure and Polar Circle Quest.

-- The Weddell Sea Adventure, departing January 20, 2011, follows much of the same route as the Swedish Antarctica Expedition of 1901-04, venturing as far into the northern region of the sea as possible and visiting some of the same historical sites including James Ross Island and Snow Hill Island, where expedition leader Otto Nordenskjöld and five colleagues spent two winters.  T

--The Polar Circle Quest, departing February 1 and 13, 2011, heads to the rarely visited Marguerite Bay, home to the only known breeding colony of emperor penguins on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula.  Although the Marguerite Bay rookery is specially protected for environmental reasons and cannot be entered, guests are able to get close to the emperors nearby.  Other highlights include visits to Deception Island, Lemaire Channel and Cuckerville Island, home to the continent's largest known population of Gentoo penguins.  Both itineraries are promotion priced from $6,753 to $12,673.

The 12,700-ton, eight-deck MS Fram, designed specifically for cruising Arctic and Antarctic waters and for easy loading of its PolarCirkel excursion boats, accommodates 318 guests in suites and staterooms, boasts a restaurant, two bars, panoramic lounges, library, Internet café, conference rooms, work-out room with saunas and two glass-screened heated outdoor whirlpools, as well as a friendly and well-informed crew ready to offer assistance and suggestions when asked.  Suites include seating areas, some with two rooms, TV, mini-bar, queen-size beds and numerous bonuses including include a free bottle of champagne, two free shore excursions, complimentary wine with lunch or dinner and a free round of mini bar use. 

Lindblad Expeditions

Website: www.expeditions.com

Four New Voyages Planned For 2011

Score an explorer first on one of Lindblad Expeditions’ four new voyages for 2011.

-- Upper Amazon: Exploring Peru's Pacava-Samiria Reserve voyages into a unique environment – the confluence of rivers where the mighty Amazon is formed. This expedition takes us through wild lands of unsurpassed beauty. Our Expedition Leader and experienced Naturalists will help you to see and learn more about this remarkable region. Note: This expedition also offers three 2010 departures.

-- Epic Arctic: Russia’s White Sea, Franz Josef Land & Arctic Svalbard is a historic exploration into a Russian icescape only reached by a small handful of visitors. In fact, when we arrive, National Geographic Explorer will be the first foreign ship to call at Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya in over 80 years. There is one planned departure, July 21, 2011, and if you’re inspired, we urge you to book early as we anticipate this date to sell out.

-- Exploring New Zealand’s North & South Islands is an in-depth exploration of these islands and Stewart Island with forays into famous sounds discovered by Captain Cook. We’ll walk on an active volcano, and see a land steeped in Maori culture. Discover a side of New Zealand few know.

-- The West Africa & Islands of the Atlantic explores five distinct and welcoming regions –Senegal, Gambia, Western Sahara, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands – offering a dazzling array of cultures, scenery and wildlife. See vivid birdlife and the legendary baobab trees, walk the dunes in the beautiful desert of the Western Sahara, and experience daily life of Africa through its lively markets and music.

Windstr Cruises

Website: www.windstarcruises.com

Learn Tuscan Cooking On Wind Surf’s September 5 Rome to Venice Voyage

Windstar Cruises, which operates a three-ship fleet of luxury yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations, offers guests the opportunity to learn about Tuscan cooking from Volterra’s Chef Don Curtiss and Michelle Quisenberry on Wind Surf’s September 5, 2010, Rome to Venice voyage.

 Windstar’s Signature Collection Host Series features distinguished guests throughout the 2010 season, including Curtiss and Quisenberry. The duo will discuss Tuscan cooking during a lecture and question and answer session and also conduct a cooking demonstration. When the ship is in Kotor, Montenegro, Curtiss and Quisenberry will host a market tour.

Curtiss was formally trained in classic French cuisine and taught at the Sofitel French Culinary School. He led the helm at Miami’s Le Café Royale before becoming Executive Chef of Café des Artes on Ocean Drive. Curtiss’ Northwest culinary adventure began in 1992 holding Executive Chef positions at Al Boccalino, Assaggio, Prego Ristorante as well as Chef Partner at II Fornaio. He and wife, Quisenberry, own Volterra which is located in Seattle and named after the Tuscan hilltop where the couple married. The restaurant features seasonal Tuscan specialties showcasing Curtiss’ innovative style including all natural, organic meats and poultry as well as house made pastas. Curtiss has been named One of America’s Most Innovative Chefs, by Wine Spectator and Volterra has received international acclaim and numerous awards. Bon Appétit calls Volterra the city’s toughest reservation.  For more information on Volterra, visit www.volterrarestaurant.com

Wind Surf’s seven-day Rome to Venice sailing departs September 5, 2010, and visits Capri, Italy; Taormina, Italy; Kotor, Montenegro; Dubrovnik, Croatia; and Hvar, Croatia. Cruise fares start at $2,749 per person, based on double occupancy.

 To complement this sailing, Windstar is offering guests a special shore excursion with Curtiss and Quisenberry in Kotor, Montenegro.  A guide meets guests at the ship and takes them a short distance from the pier to the local market. As guests tour the market they will see a stunning array of local produce and a variety of handmade cheeses. Guests will learn from Curtiss and Quisenberry how to select the best vegetables and fruits as well as what to look for in artisan cheese as they interact with market vendors. Guests will have time on their own to further explore the market and then make their way back to the ship. The 1 ½-hour excursion is $19 per person and can be purchased online at www.windstarcruises.com.

Wind Surf accommodates 312 guests and offers deluxe, oceanview staterooms that include beds with luxury linens and mattresses, flat-screen TV and DVD player, Bose SoundDock speakers for Apple iPods, waffle-weave robes with slippers and sumptuous L’Occitane products. Suites also include an extra bath, TV and sitting area. Bridge Suites give guests the additional luxury of a spacious private living room and relaxing whirlpool spa. Culinary wonders abound in Wind Surf’s The Restaurant, Degrees, Le Marché and Candles. Water sports enthusiasts will appreciate Windstar’s complimentary waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing and kayaking from the ship’s water sports platform.

 

 

March, 2010

American Safari Cruises

Coral Princess Cruises

Cruceros Australis/Galapagos II Explorer

Expeditionary Cruises: Ecoventura, AdventureSmith Explorations, Crown Cruise Collection

Hurtigruten

Orion Expeditions

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Quark Expeditions

Star Clippers

World Luxury Cruise Vacations

TourCrafters’ Sailing Greece Program

Variety Cruises

Voyages of Discovery

Voyages to Antiquity

 

American Safari Cruises

In advance of its 2011 comprehensive all-destination brochure due out this summer, American Safari Cruises announces dates and rates through November 2011 for four destinations: Alaska’s Inside Passage, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Columbia and Snake rivers, and the Pacific Northwest.

Alaska

In 2011, all three of the company’s luxury yachts will spend two full days in Glacier Bay National Park on eight-day, seven-night cruises roundtrip from Juneau.

• The 145-foot, 36-guest Safari Explorer will sail May 13 through Sept. 2 on 17 departures; prices begin at $4,895 per person double occupancy.

• The 120-foot, 22-guest Safari Quest will cruise May 20 through Sept. 2 on 16 departures, including two Kids-in-Nature sailings geared for families with young children; prices begin at $5,495 per person.

• The 105-foot, 12-guest Safari Spirit sails May 13 through Aug. 26 on 16 departures; prices begin at $6,095 per person.

The three yachts also offer two 15-day, 14-night cruises between Seattle and Juneau: The Safari Explorer departs Seattle April 29 and Juneau Sept. 9 with prices beginning at $8,095; the Safari Quest departs May 6 and Sept. 9 beginning at $8,295; and the Safari Spirit departs April 29 and Sept. 2 beginning at $9,995.

Mexico

The Safari Spirit’s eight-day, seven-night cruises in the wildlife-rich wilderness of Mexico’s Sea of Cortés run November 20 through December 27, 2010, and January 8 through March 19, 2011, roundtrip from La Paz, the capital of Baja California Sur. A burro trail ride, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming with sea lions, whale watching and hiking are all included activities. Prices begin at $6,995.

Hawaii

Hawaiian Islands weeklong yacht explorations to Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island begin Oct. 26, 2011, and run to May 3, 2012. Dates and rates are available now; full details will be released by the end of March 2010.

American Safari Cruises pioneered yacht cruising in Alaska 13 years ago; the company is owned by InnerSea Discoveries, based in Seattle, Washington. Website: www.AmericanSafariCruises.com

Canodros SA/Galapagos Explorer

Galapagos Explorer II Offers Special Rates

Take advantage of promotions available during March to May 2010: Albatross rates starting at $1,267 discounts from $224 up to $666; June to September: 75% discount for the second child.

From October to December:  Green Galapagos rates starting at $1,431 with discounts from $149 up to $444, and during all year Rabida promo rates start at $1,240.  Conditions apply to all promotional rates. More information at http://www.galapagosexplorer.com.

For reservations contact a travel agent. Canodros SA is based in Ecuador

Coral Princess Cruises

Coral Princess Cruises Banishes Single Supplements on the Great Barrier Reef.

Australian-based Coral Princess Cruises has banished the bane of the solo traveler – the ubiquitous 'single supplement' – on its three, four and seven-night Great Barrier Reef cruises. Single travelers can opt for their own private cabin aboard Coral Princess II at no extra cost, a saving of up to $965 on the seven-night cruise. Coral Princess cruises weekly between Townsville and Cairns over three nights, or over four nights departing Cairns and travelling north to Lizard Island and return. The cruises can be combined as a seven-night voyage.

Coral Princess Cruises pioneered small-ship cruising on the Great Barrier Reef, exploring remote islands and reefs normally off-limits to island-based tourists, where snorkeling or SCUBA diving on pristine stretches of coral reef is a matter of simply diving overboard.

The cruises show off some of the world's best snorkeling, swimming and coral viewing spots en route, such as Thetford Reef and Sudbury Reef. The three-night voyage visits Dunk Island and cruises through the Hinchinbrook Channel, while the four-night cruise stops at Cooktown and Lizard Island.

Coral Princess II accommodates a maximum of just 44 passengers and is equipped with a glass bottom boat and inflatable zodiacs for daily reef and shore excursions to deserted coral cays; to wander in ancient rainforests or to explore historic sites. Qualified marine biologists and a SCUBA diving instructor are also on board to explain the natural history and biodiversity of the area, making a snorkel or SCUBA dive in the sparkling blue waters even more fascinating.

The offer is open for new bookings by genuine solo travelers for all departures in 2010 and until further notice. Prices start at $1 496 per person on the three-night cruise ex Townsville or Cairns, or $1 896 per person for the four-night cruise from Cairns to Lizard Island and return, with weekly departures year round. Prices include accommodation, all meals, lectures and services of expedition staff on board, group transfers, activities and excursions during the cruise, and landing fees.

For further information and reservations, visit www.coralprincess.com.au

Expeditionary Companies

Expeditionary Companies Offering Unique Wilderness Tours

Ecoventura Offers Expeditionary Cruises To Galapagos

A family-owned company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In operation since 1990, Ecoventura transports 4,000+ passengers annually aboard three expedition vessels, identical, superior first-class 20-passenger motor yachts, plus a 16-passenger dedicated dive live-aboard. The vessels are all being purposefully retrofitted to meet or exceed the highest possible environmental standards. More information at www.ecoventura.com

AdventureSmith Explorations

Based in Lake Tahoe, California, AdventureSmith Explorations offers small ship, expeditionary cruise vacations. Founder Todd Smith pioneered the concept of wilderness cruising that combines the comforts of a small cruise ship with the adventure of sea kayaking and exploring ashore in remote wilderness areas. AdventureSmith Explorations matches its portfolio of stellar expedition cruising companies to the needs of its clients, sometimes steering them to boutique ships that are off the radar of even the most seasoned travelers.

Dedicated to sustainable travel, AdventureSmith Explorations orchestrates connections with the world's most exotic natural environments and vibrant native cultures through small ship cruising. Voyages combine intimate cruising with rewarding and exciting activities such as sea kayaking, hiking and rafting in exotic locales not normally accessible to mainstream itineraries. The company specializes in extraordinary, off-the-beaten-path destinations in Alaska, the Caribbean, Costa Rica, Belize, Ecuador and the Galapagos, Guatemala, the Arctic, Antarctica and New Zealand. Website: www.adventuresmithexplorations.com

Crown Cruise Collection Offers Cruise To The North Pole

For those looking for adventure, exploration and a bird’s eye view of the Top of the World, a 15-day Expedition Cruise to the North Pole aboard the nuclear-powered Russian icebreaker 50 Years of Victory is an once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Crown Cruise Collection based in Princeton, New Jersey, and in partnership with AllThingsCruise and Expedition Cruises, is offering an extraordinary journey to the North Pole on the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker 50 Years of Victory. The Arctic adventure runs between July 23 and August 6, 2010. Included are seven-to-ten helicopter excursions as well as three-to-five landings onto islands and the islands and archipelagos of the Russian Arctic. Exploration of the Franz Josef Land Archipelago (191 islands in the northeastern Barents Sea) is in the offering.

Travelers will depart Helsinki by charter flight to Murmansk, then voyage on the Barents Sea to the North Pole and the islands and archipelagos of the Russian Arctic aboard this nuclear-powered icebreaker with power, state-of-the-art technology and comfort all rolled into one.

What’s it like on top of the World? Polar bears, arctic foxes, walruses and seals and snow owls are only a few of the species native to this wild, untamed land. A land so varied that it can be covered by ice so white it looks blue or with a carpet of mosses and lichens the colors of which would stir the imagination of even the most seasoned of artists. An expedition voyage to the Arctic or beyond is a sense-arousing, heart-opening experience that touches the very soul of all who have ever ventured into this unique domain where beauty, silence, and awe all intermingle to create an image so intense it brands itself into the mind forever.

The expedition includes two nights in a top Helsinki hotel before and after the cruise, group transfers between hotel and ship, an incredible voyage to the North Pole, all planned shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by helicopters, and lectures and informal talks by experienced Expedition team and guest lecturers. A Russian Visa is required for this trip.

For more information and complete details about the North Pole Expedition Cruise, visit Crown Cruise Collection at US toll-free (877) 222-8404, direct-dial +1 (609) 945-9803 or www.Support@CrownCruiseCollection.com.

Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten Offers Savings on Coastal Voyage Cruises

 A 20 percent savings special is available on most daily departures of Hurtigruten's Norwegian Coastal Voyage, September 15 through October 31.  The special fares range from $1,067 to $2,446 per person, double, for cabins on the six-, seven- and 12-day voyages, if booked by June 30.

The Coastal Voyage takes in Norway's spectacular fjord-filled, 1,250-mile west coast between the charming Hanseatic port of Bergen and Kirkenes, close to the Russian border.  Besides the fjords, Hurtigruten guests visit and explore an eclectic array of ports (34 in all), including Trondheim, one of the country's oldest cities and a thriving university town; Tromso, Europe's largest town above the Arctic circle; and the Lofoten archipelago, with peaked mountains and quaint fishing villages; as well as spending time and Alesund, rebuilt in the Art Nouveau style after a 1904 fire.

Hurtigruten, a world leader in expedition cruising, also sails to Antarctica, Greenland and Spitsbergen. Website: www.hurtigruten.com

Orion Expedition Cruises

Orion Expedition Cruises Enhances 2010 Kimberley Expeditions

Orion Expedition Cruises, Australia’s only international-standard, five-star expedition cruise line, is enhancing its expedition itineraries to Australia’s rugged Kimberley region from May to September 2010. With this development, and together with unparalleled service standards, Orion boasts the most exclusive Kimberley experience in the Southern Hemisphere.

The enhancements come as a result of an amendment to Australian government regulations for cruise ships in the Kimberley, a remote region in Western Australia consisting of steep-sided mountain ranges and several patches of rainforest.  Orion Expedition Cruises has adhered to the updated government regulations by adding new excursions for guests at no extra cost.

Orion’s 11-night expedition to the Kimberley region sails from Broome, venturing to the Lacepede Islands, Montgomery Reef, and King George River. Enhancements to this itinerary include the following:  

A Visit to the Port of Wyndham – Guests receive the opportunity to visit the oldest town in the Kimberley region, established in 1885 as a result of a gold rush in Halls Creek, and Kununurra, located in the heart of East Kimberley, with sites including the Ord River and Lake Argyle.

Complimentary Bungle Bungle “Flight-Seeing” – The Bungle Bungle Range comprises a part of the breathtaking Purnululu National Park, a World Heritage Site and natural wonder seen firsthand by only a privileged few. Brought to the world’s attention only 25 years ago, the range – famous for its visually-striking sandstone domes – is best experienced by air, and is a short flight from Wyndham or Kununurra. Orion Expedition Cruises will be the only cruise operator in the region to offer this amazing “flight-seeing” experience as part of its enhanced Kimberley voyages, at no extra cost.

One-Night Complimentary Accommodations – As an added bonus, Orion will provide overnight accommodations in one of Broome’s finest hotels before or after the ten-night voyage. Including breakfast and transfers, this additional night allows guests to experience an 11-night Kimberley adventure for the cost of a usual ten-night expedition.

Operationally, Orion will leave Australian waters to comply with international voyage requirements – this will provide guests onboard with a relaxing and enjoyable day at sea to enjoy the premium five-star comforts and facilities onboard Orion Expedition Cruises.

For more information and to book an Orion Expedition Cruises adventure, travelers can contact the cruise line at (877) ORION US, inquiry@orionexpeditions.com or visit www.orionexpeditions.com.

Orion Expedition Cruises Announces 2011 Calendar of Sailings

In keeping with the Orion Expedition Cruises philosophy to take voyagers on “a path less traveled,” the cruise line will welcome a second ship, the 100-passenger Orion II, to the fleet in 2011. The additional vessel will double capacity and allow expeditions to access a wider array of unique destinations – all enjoyed in a casual ambience boasting world-class facilities and attentive service onboard.

 Orion II’s inaugural voyages in 2011 – all of which are currently open for booking – include the Russian Far East, also known as the land of ice and fire; a circumnavigation of the island of Borneo, the home to the orangutan (an endangered great ape species); Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious monument; Vietnam; Thailand; and the tranquil Inland Sea of Japan.

In addition to the new ship’s sailings, the fleet’s original ship, Orion, will feature 2011 itineraries – also currently available for booking – with voyages exploring remote and exotic destinations including Australia’s Kimberley coast; the rarely visited indigenous art of Arnhem Land; and a voyage to the Spice Islands, known to the Chinese as the “land of fragrant nails” (referring to the abundance of cloves). Voyages to New Zealand and the Sub-Antarctic islands will include the seldom-visited Antipodes islands, while Orion’s Papua New Guinea itineraries will include an exciting new voyage across northern Papua to West Papua and Maluku.

The 2011 voyages on Orion and Orion II will feature:

 --13 Kimberley Expeditions, each including Bungle Bungle “flight-seeing”

--Orion’s inaugural West Papua and Maluku Voyage of Discovery

--Orion II’s Voyage of Discovery to the Russian Far East

--Discover the ancient cultures on Orion II’s Inland Sea of Japan voyage

--Seven Borneo voyages including a Circumnavigation of Borneo

--Two Tasmanian Food and Wine focused voyages

--Orion’s inaugural Exploration of the Antipodes

--Three Orion Antarctic Centenary voyages of celebration to the Ross Sea (Mawson’s          Hut) and Commonwealth Bay (Scott’s and Shackleton’s huts)

--Lord Howe Island and Aotearoa, including the active volcano at Mt. White Island

--Christmas in New Zealand’s spectacular fjordland and Sub-Antarctic islands

--Eight voyages to Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, including the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh and Angkor Wat

At the end of 2011, Orion Expedition Cruises will offer celebratory Centennial voyages to the historic Antarctic explorer’s bases of Mawson, Scott and Shackleton.

Designed for travelers who seek intellectual and physical stimulation, Orion’s ecologically sensitive expeditions provide authentic experiences in remote and seldom-seen destinations, allowing time to relax and absorb the surroundings and cultures.

 Guests to the unique voyages will discover worlds unknown to mainstream tourism. They will explore hidden rivers, coves and fjords; photograph crocodiles, brown bears, Komodo dragons, penguins and humpback whales; visit ancient temples and stand inside Mawson’s hut; dive on World War II wrecks, snorkel untouched coral reefs; learn about ancient and mysterious cultures and visit traditional tribal villages.

 Onboard the cruises, biologists, ornithologists, marine biologists and historians – members of the dedicated Orion Expedition Team – and special guest lecturers reveal secrets of lands visited, sharing their knowledge and insight to enhance the travel experience.

 For more information and to book an Orion Expedition Cruises adventure, travelers can contact the cruise line at (877) ORION US, inquiry@orionexpeditions.com or visit www.orionexpeditions.com.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin Cruises Offers Exclusive Sailing With Jean-Michel Cousteau

Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest rated and longest continually-sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin, announces an exclusive voyage with explorer and environmentalist, Jean-Michel Costeau, departing May 22, 2010. Cousteau will join guests of the m/s Paul Gauguin as the ship sails for 16 days to Fiji, Tonga, and the Cook and Society Islands.  As the ship’s special guest, Mr. Cousteau will offer a series of lectures with videos of his work in the oceans of the world, as well as accompany several dives from the ship.

The m/s Paul Gauguin’s revolutionary Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program was created by Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society.  The unique, groundbreaking program introduces travelers to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia. The program aims to give young participants ages 9 to 17 direct, hands-on, interactive experience with knowledge of marine and island ecosystems. Young Ambassadors will explore coral reefs, hike rainforest trails and visit marae (ancient Polynesian temples). They’ll learn how black pearls and vanilla are cultivated, how volcanic islands become coral atolls and how to paddle an outrigger canoe. Parents are encouraged to join children on eco-excursions and other activities aboard and ashore. This program is available on all cruises from June through August and on select holiday cruises for a nominal fee of $269 per child.

Rates for the May 22, 2010 sailing begin at $6,545 per person.   For reservations on this m/s Paul Gauguin cruise, visit www.pgcruises.com.

 The m/s Paul Gauguin will embark on 38 expeditions in 2010 to destinations including Tahiti, the Society Islands, the Tuamotus, the Cook Islands, the Marquesas, Tonga, Fiji, and New Zealand. Each of these exclusive voyages will highlight the beauty of French Polynesia from the luxurious and spacious accommodations on board the m/s Paul Gauguin, which underwent a multi-million dollar enhancement in 2009. The ship’s staterooms, public areas and restaurants have been upgraded to reflect the luxurious standard that is characteristic of Paul Gauguin Cruises.

 Owned by Pacific Beachcomber S.C., the leader in French Polynesia luxury destination resorts, Paul Gauguin Cruises operates the award-winning luxury cruise ship m/s Paul Gauguin, providing a luxury cruise experience tailored to the unparalleled wonders of Tahiti, French Polynesia and the South Pacific. The m/s Paul Gauguin was built at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire, France. The ship is 513 feet long, 71 feet wide and has a draft of 16.9 feet. The ship can accommodate 332 guests with a staff of 215 and is one of the top Exclusive Charter and Incentive Group venues in the industry. The m/s Paul Gauguin has undergone more than $25 million in enhancements since its inaugural sail in 1998. Since 1998, the m/s Paul Gauguin has completed more than 500 South Pacific cruises and served more than 140,000 guests, including more than 12,000 honeymooners.

Paul Gauguin Cruises Offers Smooth Sailings For Savvy Singles

There’s good news for single travelers – Paul  Gauguin Cruises--is waiving single supplement fees for seven spring sailings, making it more affordable than ever to sail solo. Now singles can enjoy the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia: explore coral reefs; hike rainforest trails; visit marae (ancient Polynesian temples); get lost in a great book on Paul Gauguin’s private island, Motu Mahana; indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment; or savor a split of something sparkling on their private balcony aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin. Who says two is better than one?

Reservations must be made by April 30th, 2010 on one of the sailings below. Contact your Professional Travel Agent, call 1-800-848-6172 or visit www.pgcruises.com.

Sailing Dates*:

April 6, 2010: Cook & Society Islands - 11 nights

April 17, 2010: Society Islands - seven nights

April 24, 2010: Society Islands - seven nights

May 8, 2010: Fiji Westbound Itinerary - 13 nights

May 22, 2010: Fiji Eastbound Itinerary - 15 nights

June 12, 2010: Society Islands - seven nights

June 19, 2010: Society Islands - seven nights

 *Applies to Stateroom Categories B-F

Quark Expeditions

Quark Expeditions Announces Arctic 2010 Expedition Leaders

Five experienced Expedition Leaders are returning to the Arctic in 2010, announced Vermont-based polar adventure specialist Quark Expeditions. To celebrate the announcement, travelers who book one of four select Arctic voyages will receive a free extended stay in Oslo, Norway or Reykjavik, Iceland. These packages have a retail value of $1100 and $663 per person respectively.

Quark's Expedition Leaders have various backgrounds. Some are scientists, some historians, many are wildlife specialists and some are skilled yachtsmen and kayakers. All have worked their way up through the ranks to the position. The experience they gained as Zodiac drivers, naturalists, and lecturers is essential for their role as Expedition Leader. They include:

--New Zealander Graham Charles is an internationally renowned kayaker with an irreverent sense of humor and unquenchable enthusiasm. Graham will be leading expeditions to Spitsbergen, Eastern Greenland, Iceland and the Canadian Arctic from July 8 to August 20, 2010.

--Dr. Kirsten le Mar uses her training and experience as a field biologist as Expedition Leader aboard the icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov. Kirsten will lead three End of an Era expeditions from Anadyr, Russia to Resolute, Canada in 2010.

--Canadian Brandon Harvey studies orcas when he is not leading an Arctic voyage. Between June and September 2010, he will lead expeditions to Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland aboard the 46-passenger Akademik Shokalskiy.

--David "Dutch" Willmott has always been drawn to adventure travel in wild places. He has sailed and raced yachts all over the world. He will be leading expeditions to Spitsbergen, Svalbard in June 2010.

--David "Woody" Wood started working on expedition vessels as a bartender, so his people skills are well honed. He is an experienced Zodiac driver and can handle firearms -- essential in the Arctic. He will be leading expeditions to Spitsbergen, Svalbard from July to August 2010.

--Jan Bryde will lead Quark's Arctic trip to the North Pole, July 9 to 23, 2010. 50 Years of Victory, the world's largest nuclear-powered icebreaker is Jan's home away from home.

Extend Your Stay

The Oslo extended stay offer is available on three departures: Introduction to Spitsbergen, June 21 to 28; Spitsbergen Explorer June 27 to July 7 or July 14 to 24, 2010. Guests who book any of the listed expeditions will receive a package that includes one night in Longyearbyen and two nights in Oslo.

The Reykjavik extended stay offer is available on Iceland, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, August 3 to 20, 2010. Guests who book this voyage will receive a package that includes four nights in Reykjavik, Iceland.

To receive more information about the Arctic offer and Quark's Expedition Leaders visit www.quarkexpeditions.com or call toll free US 1-888-892-0171.

World Luxury Cruise Vacations

WLCVacations Showcases Stimulating Cruises to the Galapagos Islands

World Luxury Cruise Vacations proudly highlights two unique programs aboard Isabela II this 2010.  Across five sailing dates, two special onboard guests will make cruises to the Galapagos Islands even more engaging.

On April 4th and July 11th, the 40-passenger Isabela II will host acclaimed nature photographer Jonathan Green on a trip dedicated to travelers with a penchant for photography.  This special photographer's cruise will not only allow passengers to capture the majestic environment of the Galapagos region, but equip them with modern photo techniques during presentations and workshops throughout the cruise's duration.  Passengers will learn different approaches to landscape and wide angle portraiture, macro and portrait photography, and how to utilize the unique lighting of the Galapagos Islands.  

Those interested in nature without a keen sense on how to photograph it may also consider booking a cruise on board Isabela II for June 13, August 22, or December 5, 2010.  On these three special departures, Dr. Theofilos Toulkeridis, a prominent Ecuadorian geologist, will lead special excursions to discuss Galapagos' young and active volcanism and how it affects the islands' wildlife.  When not experiencing the islands first-hand, guests will have the opportunity to hear Dr. Toulkeridis expound upon the geology of Ecuador and Galapagos in stimulating onboard lectures.

Both packages feature extended stays before and after the cruise, making the entire trip an 11-day/10-night enrichment program, which includes two nights in Quito -- a UNESCO World Heritage site -- before the cruise, and one night in Guayaquil after.  The cost for each package starts at $4,209 per person.

The vessel Isabela II is a motor yacht fitted with comfortable accommodations, private en suite bathrooms, and spacious public areas.  Completely refurbished in 2000, Isabela II is fully equipped to provide comfort to guests while making minimal impact on the fragile environment of the Galapagos Islands.

In addition to promoting the beauty and allure of the Galapagos Islands through unique departures and special guests, WLCVacations also features early booking specials on board Isabela II during the month of March to encourage travelers to experience the unspoiled Islands.  When travelers book and deposit prior to March 31, 2010, they will receive 20 percent off cruise fares starting as low as $1,500 per person.  The offer is valid on any departure in March, April, May, September, and the first two weeks of December.

For more information on Isabela II, visit http://www.wlcvacations.com/shipdeck_Isabela%20II_151-125.html , or email info@wlcvacations.com. Website: www.wlcvacations.com

The WLCVacations travel agency is US-based and a member of CLIA. Its collection of vessels, consisting of more than 80 small-ships, setting sail in a wide range of popular destinations such as French Polynesia, South America, Europe, and Asia.

TourCrafters

TourCrafters Offers Sailing-In-Greece Package

TourCrafters has put together a Sailing in Greece package with departures every Friday from May 21 to September 17.  Assuming eight passengers on the sailing yacht, the eight-day/seven-night package starts at $1,729 (in May), including round-trip air from New York to Athens, fuel surcharges, seven nights’ accommodation on board the yacht, an English-speaking skipper, fuel, mooring fees, boat cleaning, laundry, water, service charges and taxes. There is an extra per person charge for fewer than eight passengers.  In addition, groups of six or eight can charter the whole yacht.  Meals, not included in the price, are at the passengers’ own expense.

The sailing yachts used are the eye-catching Bavaria 44 or Gib’Sea 44, each of which has three double cabins, one with bunks, two toilets and showers, a comfortable main salon with dining and seating for eight and a fully-equipped galley.  Linens and blankets are provided.

The itinerary of approximately 131 sea miles starts off with an airport transfer to the fashionable port of Glyfada, where a suggested dinner in a typical taverna is accompanied by an orientation program.  Then it’s on to Anghistri, a beautiful little pine-covered island with four villages, and Epidaurus on the Peloponnese mainland, famed for Greece’s best-preserved ancient theater and the Sanctuary of Asclepius. Next comes Poros, a hilly isle with sandy beaches and a pretty town, and Hydra, the most photogenic island of the Saronic Gulf with its donkeys, sea captains’ mansions and boat-filled harbor.  On Aegina, an island known for its pistachio production, there’s a town full of neoclassical buildings, narrow streets and tavernas serving fresh fish and delicious meze. Here, too, there are beautiful sand beaches and the well-preserved Temple of Aphaia.  Moni, a tiny islet on the way back to Glyfada, where the population consists of wild goats and peacocks, is the last stop.

Air fare add-ons are $25 from Boston, $125 from Chicago and Miami and $275 from Los Angeles (departures from Los Angeles are available only in September). All prices quoted are per person double occupancy, do not include airport taxes of approximately $105 and are subject to availability and change.  Reservations must be paid for within 72 hours of booking.  For additional information, visit www.tourcrafters.com.  For reservations, call 800-482-5995.

Star Clippers

Star Clippers Offers Advance Purchase Discounts

 Star Clippers is offering Advanced Purchase Discounts up to 45 percent off brochure fares on select fall Caribbean, Costa Rica and Ocean Crossing voyages in 2010. Star Clipper, Royal Clipper, and Star Flyer will reposition from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean and Costa Rica in October with cruise fares up to 40 percent off. The voyages are 23, 28 and 29 nights respectively, including a Mediterranean sailing before the trans-Atlantic crossing

Star Flyer begins new Costa Rica itineraries in November with savings up to 40 percent. The seven-night itineraries call at ports throughout Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica and start at $1,125 per person, double. Bookings must be made by May 31, 2010, to take advantage of the rates.

Variety Cruises

Variety Cruises Offers Special Savings

 Greece-based Variety Cruises is offering special savings on select cruises. They include

--Aegean Odyssey: Two free nights at a deluxe Athens hotel and one half-day Athens city tour.  Available for a limited number of cabins and for select sailings August to October, 2010.

--Jewels of the Cyclades: Two free nights at a deluxe Athens hotel. Available for a limited number of cabins and for select sailings August to October, 2010.

--Classical Greece: Two free stays at a deluxe Athens hotel and one half-day Athens city tour.  Available for a limited number of cabins and for select sailings July to October, 2010.

 --Tales of the Adriatic: Receive two free stays at the 4* Hotel in Split or Venice and one half-day tour of either Split or Venice. Available for a limited number of cabins for select sailings June to August, 2010. Website: www.varietycruises.com

Variety Cruises Launches New Rivers Of West Africa Cruise In December 2010

Variety Cruises will set sail on its new cruise adventure to West Africa in December 2010. The Rivers of West Africa cruise will explore a land of lush vegetation and cultural beauty by way of the winding Saloun and Gambia rivers. Passengers will spend eight days aboard the newly renovated Pegasus mega yacht. Embarking from Dakar, Senegal, the program sails from December 17, 2010 through March 18, 2011, with fares beginning at $2,490 per person, per week. An excursion package is available at an additional cost.

Passengers will sail aboard the megayacht Pegasus, which hosts just 46 guests with 23 cabins in a relaxed, congenial atmosphere. The vessel, which will be fully refurbished in March 2010, affords magnificent sea views as guests stroll 2,500 square-feet of open deck, furnished with comfortable deck chairs and spaces for delightful al fresco meals. Passengers can relax with friends in the handsomely appointed lounge, browse in the well-stocked library or enjoy ocean-view dining in the spacious restaurant area. A platform on the stern enables swims right off the ship when weather and anchorage conditions permit.

Life on board centers around the indoor/outdoor lounge and the American bar on the upper deck. Friendly service on-board is provided by the captain and his experienced marine and hotel crew members. Cabins are equipped with twin or queen size beds with large windows or portholes. All cabins offer en suite bathrooms with shower, TV/DVD players, hairdryers, individually controlled air conditioning and safety deposit boxes.

The Rivers of West Africa cruise departs Fridays from Dakar in Senegal and sets sail to Djiffere via the Saloun River. From Djiffere, passengers have the unique opportunity to explore the vibrant village of Joal Fadiout, a fishing community built entirely of shells.

The cruise continues along the Gambia River to the following ports of call:

--Tendaba, home to Kiang West National Park and the Baobolong Reserve

--Kuntaur, a thriving port village on the Gambia river

--Janjangbureh, location of River Gambia National Park, a conservations sanctuary for chimpanzees, hippopotamuses, Nile crocodiles and many bird species

--Banjul, the capital city of Gambia and nearby the Nature Reserves of Abuko and Makasutu

The Rivers of West Africa cruise fares begin at $2,490 per person, per week, which includes:

--Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private SH/WC & air conditioning.

--American buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.

--Coffee, tea and water free all day.

--Use of fishing and snorkeling equipment (subject to availability).

--English speaking Gambia River Expert.

Fares do not include shore excursions or crew gratuities. Optional pre or post land program extensions feature seven days in Mali and Timbuktu. Explore the charming local markets of vibrant Mopti, and revel in the beauty of the impressive mud brick Grand Mosque of Djenné. Spend a full day in Timbuktu, and discover why it is has earned the nickname “City of Mystery.”

For more information on Variety Cruises’ Rivers of West Africa program, please visit www.varietycruises.com

Variety Cruises was founded in 2005. It is one of the largest small ship cruise company worldwide with a fleet of more than 17 fully owned vessels, including cruise ships and luxury yachts. The family-owned company offers scheduled tours through Greece, Turkey, the Adriatic Sea, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean, and a charter yacht program that further traverses the globe. Itineraries are a unique opportunity to savor the cultural, architectural, historical and natural diversity of each port.

Voyages of Discovery

Voyages Expands Book Inside~Sail Outside Promotion To Winter 2010/11

 Destination specialist Voyages of Discovery has expanded its Summer 2010 Book Inside ~ Sail Outside promotion to include the recently announced Winter 2010/11 South America program. The Winter 2010/11 brochure will be released the week of March 15, and a customizable pdf of the brochure is available on the line’s website.

Mv Discovery will embark on its first-ever circumnavigation of South America in January 2011, with cruises and cruise combinations from 15 to 80 nights.  Early Booking savings up to 38 percent are available, along with free and reduced air add-ons from the line’s 26 North American gateway cities.

The South American deployment continues the line’s expansion of winter itineraries following six seasons in Antarctica.  Currently, the 650-passenger Discovery is sailing the Indian Ocean visiting South Africa, en route to the Red and Black Seas and finally Harwich (London) to begin the Summer Northern Waters cruise season.

The 80-night Grand South America Discovery cruisetour sails roundtrip from Bridgetown, Barbados, on January 3 and includes a three-night post-cruise hotel stay in Bridgetown.  Fares for the cruise begin at $12,429 per person, double occupancy, and include free air add-ons from Voyages of Discovery’s Eastern air gateways.

The season begins with a 20-night “Discovery of the New World” transatlantic crossing from Malaga to Barbados, sailing Nov. 18, with calls at Cadiz, Antigua and St. Kitts, and a three-night post-cruise hotel stay in Bridgetown.  Fares start at $2,779 per person, double.

The Winter 2010/11 season also features a selection of pre-, post- and mid-cruise overland tours, including a three-night excursion to the Iguazu Falls from Buenos Aires ($1,225 per person) and a two-night mid-cruise excursion visiting Machu Picchu from Callao ($1,315 per person).

Guests also can experience a day trip to the Galapagos Islands from Manta, Ecuador, or a three- or four-night cruise around the islands on the 100-passenger Galapagos Explorer II.  The day trip to the Galapagos is $809 per person and the three-night cruise starts at $2,639 per person for a Classic Suite.

Special rates for single travelers are also available.  Discovery Club members enjoy an additional five percent savings.

Guests and travel agents are able to view these cruises now by visiting the website for itineraries and pricing. Website: www.voyagesofdiscovery.com.

For reservations contact your travel professional or Voyages of Discovery at 866-623-2689.

Voyages of Discovery is a division of UK-based All Leisure Holiday, which also operates Swan Hellenic, Hebridean Island Cruises and tour operator Discover Egypt.

Voyages of Antiquity

Voyages To Antiquity Unveils Lecture Program

Voyages to Antiquity crafts a remarkable onboard lecture program featuring experts in all facets of Ancient Civilizations – including art, history, archaeology, geology, architecture, wine and cuisine– to bring to life the glory of the Mediterranean as it was thousands of years ago. Expert enthusiasts will lead guests through the elegance of ancient Greek architecture to the monumental splendor of Roman cities and the wonders of Egypt’s Pyramids. Then, while back onboard, passengers will enjoy the wine and cuisine of the local culture they have just explored.

 “Voyages to Antiquity was born of an interest to provide a uniquely in depth understanding of the ancient civilization and cultures of the Mediterranean,” said Mitchell J. Schlesinger, director of sales and marketing. “We have assembled an extraordinary collection of experts who will not just provide interactive onboard lectures, but mingle with guests in a variety of informal settings both on and off the ship to provide an unparalleled enrichment experience.” As an example, The Light of Greece itinerary that explores 15 different Greek Islands and four Turkish cities features a variety of experts discussing topics that range from Classical Greek Architecture to poetry and philosophy as well as art and culture and even local wine and food.

The Pompeii Is Something So Wonderful itinerary – which takes guests on an in-depth voyage of the Amalfi Coast, Sicily and Croatia – features experts in Classical Literature, Sicilian cuisine and wine, art, architecture and archaeology as well as a former British Ambassador to Italy.

Inspired by The Middle Sea, authored by Lord John Julius Norwich, Voyages to Antiquity was created to offer sophisticated travelers an unparalleled destination immersion and educational experience combining the very best in cultural travel in a tranquil, informal atmosphere. The inaugural season, beginning May 2010, features nine itineraries (16 departures) focused entirely on the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Aegean Seas as well as North Africa and the Red Sea.

The Aegean Odyssey is currently under undergoing extensive refurbishment to reduce capacity from 570 to 380 guests, featuring 82 brand new (200-500 sq. foot) staterooms and suites, of which 42 have balconies. Additionally, the ship features enhancements to all public rooms, particularly the Spa and Terrace dining venues and redecorations ship wide.  Voyages to Antiquity offers boutique-style cruising with a “smart casual” environment free of nightclubs, casinos or formal nights. The experience is enhanced by friendly Filipino service and open-seating dining in three venues.

Website: www.voyagestoantiquity.com

 

 

February, 2010

AllThingsCruise

American Cruise Lines

Cruise West

Hebridean Cruise Line

Hurtigruten

International Expeditions

Voyages of Discovery

 

AllThingsCruise

Website: www.allthingscruise.com

Journey to the Top of the World

 For those looking for adventure, exploration and a bird’s eye view of the Top of the World, a 15-day Expedition Cruise to the North Pole aboard the nuclear-powered Russian icebreaker 50 Years of Victory is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The 50 Years of Victory is the world’s most powerful and sophisticated expedition vessel.

AllThingsCruise, in partnership with Expedition Cruises (www.expeditioncruises.com), is offering an extraordinary journey to the North Pole on the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker “50 Years of Victory.” The Arctic adventure runs between July 23 and Aug. 06, 2010.

Travelers will depart Helsinki by charter flight to Murmansk, then voyage on the Barents Sea to the North Pole and the islands and archipelagos of the Russian Arctic aboard this nuclear-powered icebreaker with power, state-of-the-art technology and comfort all rolled into one.

What’s it like on top of the World? Polar bears, arctic foxes, walruses and seals and snow owls are only a few of the species native to this wild, untamed land. A land so varied that it can be covered by ice so white it looks blue or with a carpet of mosses and lichens the colors of which would stir the imagination of even the most seasoned of artists. An expedition voyage to the Arctic or beyond is a sense-arousing, heart-opening experience that touches the very soul of all who have ever ventured into this unique domain where beauty, silence, and awe all intermingle to create an image so intense it brands itself into the mind forever.

The expedition includes two nights in a top Helsinki hotel before and after the cruise, group transfers between hotel and ship, an incredible voyage to the North Pole, all planned shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by helicopters, and lectures and informal talks by experienced Expedition team and guest lecturers. A Russian Visa is required for this trip.

American Cruise Lines

Website: www.americancruiselines.com

American Cruise Lines Expands to the West Coast

American Cruise Lines will start operating seven-night itineraries aboard the

recently acquired Queen of the West, on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in 2010. Queen of the West, a 120-passenger, U.S. flagged cruise ship, is currently the only authentic paddlewheel, overnight passenger vessel, operating in North America.

American Cruise Lines is planning several different itineraries that will depart from Portland, Oregon and Clarkston, Washington, starting in the summer of 2010. Stops along the route will include the Columbia River Gorge, Multonomah Falls, Mt. St. Helen’s, The Dalles, Hells Canyon and Astoria.

Passengers can look forward to a few modifications to the ship including a number of

larger staterooms and a decrease in passenger capacity, allowing for an even higher level of personal service from the all-American crew.

American Cruise Lines Introduces a Brand New Itinerary for 2010

New Itinerary Added To American Spirit’s 2010 Schedule

American Cruise Lines has added a brand new itinerary to its 2010 schedule, the

Philadelphia and Potomac Cruise, which will cruise between Philadelphia and the

Washington DC area. This eight-day, seven-night cruise aboard the American Spirit will depart from either Philadelphia or Washington DC following the Delaware River, through the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, into the Chesapeake Bay and up Potomac River. Stops along the course will include the C&D Canal; Chestertown, St. Michaels, Annapolis, and St. Mary’s (all located in Maryland); Mt. Vernon and Alexandria/Washington DC. 

The new itinerary will give passengers the opportunity to visit cities and towns that played a role in shaping our nation, including three cities that have all served as the nation’s capital. From the bustling port of Annapolis, considered America’s sailing capital and home to the United States Naval Academy, to the quiet villages of Chestertown and St. Mary’s, each port has its own unique history and culture. Visits to two magnificent historic homes are scheduled on the cruise: Winterthur, an American country estate and the former home of

Henry Francis du Pont; and Mt. Vernon, the plantation home of the first President of the

United States, George Washington.  Other expertly planned shore excursions will include

sailing the Chester River onboard a traditional schooner, a visit to the renowned

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and a trolley tour of our nation’s capital.

The 100-passenger ship features over-sized staterooms, many with private balconies, spacious observation decks, a well-stocked library and a glass enclosed dining room

Cruise West

Website: www.cruisewest.com

Cruise West Reveals 2011/2012 Worldwide Voyages Aboard the Spirit of Oceanus

Cruise West (www.cruisewest.com), the world's leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, announces its second edition of the Voyages of the Great Explorers in 2011/2012. Twenty-five meticulously crafted itineraries from Asia to the Mediterranean, Europe to the Americas and throughout the South Pacific offer the most discerning and well-traveled guests an array of extraordinary choices and authentic experiences. Book and pay in full by April 30, 2010 and save up to $4,600 per person and receive free international air of up to $1,500.

While several ports are repeats from the original 2010 voyages, there are a myriad of exciting new ports in which to have your passport stamped in countries such as Israel, Greece, Morocco, Scotland, Iceland, Greenland, Nicaragua, Peru, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and more.

Exclusive encounters, inclusive pricing (except alcohol) and personal touches define the Cruise West experience:

The 2011/2012 Voyages of the Great Explorers 25 unique back-to-back itineraries will circumnavigate the world in 335 days, commencing in Singapore on February 22, 2011 and ending in Hong Kong on January 24, 2012. The 25 voyages will visit six continents, 254 ports of call in 61 countries while crossing 14 seas and oceans, and transiting four canals -- Port Suez/Port Said (Suez Canal transit); Corinth Canal/ Corinth (Mycenae/Nafplion); Kiel Canal; and the Panama Canal.

Prices start at $6,545 per voyage for the 13-night Panama City to Lima. Book and pay in full by April 30, 2010 and save $2,300 to $4,600 per person (depending on the voyage) and receive free international airfare of up to $1,500. Cruise West must reserve the air. Save an additional five percent by booking consecutive voyages.

Hebridean Cruise Line/UK

Website: www.hebridean.co.uk

Hebridean Princess Offers Gastronomic Tour Of The Island Of Skye

Setting the benchmark for luxury cruising, Hebridean Island Cruises has just launched a brand new itinerary for 2010 – A Gastronomic Tour of Skye. Complementing the stunning scenery of this western region of Scotland Hebridean Princess will visit two of Scotland’s most renowned restaurants and experience a cookery demonstration by best selling cookery writer Claire Macdonald.

Hebridean have always offered a standard of food which is unique to the cruise industry. With itineraries predominantly around the British Isles, Hebridean Princess sources her food from local suppliers. All the fish is sourced from Scottish waters, the meat is supplied by H.D. Ferguson Butchers of Lochgilphead and unlike many cruise ships which source cheese from the continent, Hebridean Princess shops for hers locally, featuring Lanark Blue and Isle of Mull Cheddar among others.

While experiencing some of the finest locally sourced food onboard Hebridean Princess taste buds will be delighted with exquisite lunches at two of Scotland’s top restaurants. The Three Chimneys, located on the Isle of Skye, is housed within the bare stone walls of an original crofter’s cottage around 100 years old. Like Hebridean Princess, this renowned Scottish restaurant prides itself on matching fresh local food with breathtaking scenery and beautiful sea views. Owned by famous Scottish chef, Shirley Spear and her wine expert husband, Eddie Spear, it has a long-established reputation. Due to the intimate nature of the restaurant, it has just three small dinning areas covering the whole ground floor, guests will be taken in two groups, either visiting Dunvegan Castle and then sitting down to lunch or vice versa.

In addition guests will experience the inspiring dishes of the Cuillin Hills Hotel, who also pride themselves on using the best seasonal produce, procured from Skye and the Highlands to create a modern take on classic Scottish dishes. Located across from the Cuillin Hills, ‘The View’ restaurant offers elegant and stunning food in a sublime setting.

To further whet the appetites of aspirant foodies this cruise treats passengers to a demonstration in the Michelin star awarded Kinloch Lodge by best selling cookery writer Claire MacDonald. Famed for her practical and realistic recipes - quintessentially Scottish in flavor, but truly international in appeal - she is also admired for her willingness to share the secrets of her award winning kitchen.

This culinary inspired tour also caters for whisky lovers with an afternoon visit to the Talisker Distillery, the only distillery on the Isle of Skye, set on the shores of Loch Harport with dramatic views of the Cuillins. For those passengers who’d like to continue the tastings Hebridean Princess has her own whisky bar with an international collection of over 50 whiskies - many of which are west coast malts.

 A food lover’s paradise, this cruise will culminate in the Gala Dinner on the final night - a six- course feast showcasing some of the best Scottish food, including at taste of Haggis, accompanied by Robbie Burns’ Address to the Haggis, delivered by the Captain. This cruise provides a unique Scottish gourmet experience not to be missed.

 A Gastronomic Tour of Skye – departs May 15 for 5 nights, fares from £2,330pp

Hurtigruten

Website: www.hurtigruten.com or www.hurtigruten.us

Hurtigruten Offers Spring/Summer Exploration Cruise Specials --

Hurtigruten has announced pricing specials on its Spring and Summer line-up of Exploration Cruises--cruises designed to take in some of the world's most remote destinations.  All offer savings of 25 percent on the price of suites aboard the expedition ship, the MS Fram, and free air from New York's JFK or Newark's Liberty International Airport, if booked by April 31, 2010.  And to make it even more of a deal, Hurtigruten is allowing the discount to be combined with a two other offers: a ten percent Repeater Discount for passengers who sailed on any Hurtigruten ship in the past three years. American Association of Retired People (AARP) members receive a $50 shipboard credit American Automobile Association (AAA) members.  Add-on airfares from dozens of North American gateways range from $100 to $600.

Included cruises are three "Greenland" September departures - discounted rates for suites are $5,649 to $9,314 per person, double; the 11-day, May 29 "Climate Pilgrimage" sailing to Northern Norway and the Arctic island of Spitsbergen -- $5,108 to $7,137 for suites (other cabin grades on this cruise enjoy a 15% reduction - no free air - $4,100 to $5,263); and a new European cruise -- “Baltic Adventure” -- a fascinating 11-day, roundtrip journey that takes in major sites in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Poland - suite fares are $4,325 to $5,522.

While guests see the effects of 'global warming' firsthand in Greenland, from both the deck of the luxury expedition ship and on shore, experts in numerous disciplines, including geology, weather, marine life, environment, history and culture, fill in the gaps of their understanding of this ice-encrusted ancient land.  Passengers take in sights and scenery little changed in 5,000 years while moving from village to village, as well as spend time ashore, meeting and sharing time with the local population.  Scenic highlights include Eqip Sermia Glacier, a huge wall of ice that calves directly into the sea; towering icebergs in Disko Bay and at the mouth of Jakobshavn Ice Fjord, a World Heritage Site; and Jakobshavn Glacier, the world’s most active glacier.  Guided walking tours take in Inuit villages and towns, with tongue-twisting names – Qeqertarsuaq, Ukkusissat, Itelleq and Ilulissat – and illustrate how the friendly local populations flourish in one of the harshest climates on Earth.

-- Guests on Hurtigruten's "Climate Pilgrimage" visit research stations, track wildlife, participate in field studies and meet with some of the field's top climate research scientists during visits in Northern Norway and the Arctic island of Spitsbergen.  The warming of the Arctic now allows vessels to cross the 80th parallel - something not possible less than 20 years ago.  Walruses, whales and polar bears rule this region and the MS Fram will treat guests to a close look at the marginal ice-zone and its large yearly variations.

-- “Baltic Adventure” showcases the variety, beauty and fairy-tale quality of the Baltic Sea.  The 11-day adventure begins and ends in Norway's Oslo, exploring the city and visiting the museum that houses the original Fram - the only wooden-hulled ship to explore both poles, more than 100 years ago.  Highlights include Sweden's Stockholm, known as the "Venice of the North"; Finland's Helsinki, boasting a lively marketplace, rich cultural life and architectural gems; St. Petersburg, Russia's cultural capital, home to the famed Winter Palace and Hermitage Museum; Estonia's capital city of Tallinn, a World Heritage Site due in large part to its 13th-century Toompea Castle and Kadriorg Palace; and Poland's port city of Gdynia, a sister site of the 1970 rebellion, and now an important center of commerce.

The 12,700-ton, eight-deck MS Fram, makes significant use of Greenland’s culture as inspiration for design while incorporating a striking Scandinavian feel.  Suites include seating areas, some with two rooms, TV, mini-bar and queen-size beds.  The ship boasts an Internet café, a large glass-enclosed observation salon offering panoramic views, restaurant with ocean views, wellness center with saunas, work-out room and two glass-screened heated outdoor whirlpools; a friendly and well-informed crew is ready to offer assistance and suggestions when asked.

All sailings include cabin category selected, three meals daily aboard ship, services of naturalist guides, specified land excursions and PolarCirkel excursions, ship transfers, government fees, cruise taxes and port charges.  Airline fuel surcharges, air taxes and ticketing fees are additional.

Explore Spitsbergen And See Polar Bears On A Hurtigruten Cruise

Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago, located above the Arctic Circle, is populated with more than 4,500 polar bears, making it one of the best places in the world for sightings, albeit without guarantees. And Hurtigruten is making every effort to accommodate that opportunity for its guests by offering itineraries that explore the far flung reaches of the islands where the King of the Arctic reigns supreme: the nine-day "Svalbard Explorer," nine-day "Kingdom of the Polar Bear" and the groundbreaking 11-day climatology expedition "Climate Pilgrimage."  The departures are between May 29 and August 19, 2010, with prices ranging from $4,016 to $9,516 (CAD $4,220 - $9,340) per person, double.  Most sailings are aboard the relatively new deluxe expedition ship, MS Fram, built purposefully for the Arctic and Antarctic waters.

Spitsbergen's stunning landscape of jagged peaks and arctic tundra and abundance of wildlife ranging from polar bears, Svalbard reindeer and arctic foxes to whales, walruses and ringed and harp seals makes for an ideal location to study climate change - the theme of a groundbreaking 11-day expedition cruise being offered May 29. And to make it even more enticing, Hurtigruten is offering a 25 percent discount and free air from New York for those booking suites by April 30 - other cabin grades enjoy a 15 percent savings offer (no air).

Guests aboard the MS Fram will have the opportunity to visit research stations, track wildlife, participate in field studies and meet with some of the field's top research scientists - getting the climate story from those who are best informed. Highlights include Norway's Tromso; Honningsvag, Europe's northernmost city; a visit to the North Cape; a stop in Gjesvaerstappen, a unique birding cliff where the Norwegian Polar Institute has studied a host of seabirds; exploration of Spitsbergen; and possibly crossing the 80th parallel. The focus of the research is on the effect of climate changes on wildlife - sea birds, polar bears, auks, Arctic foxes, walruses - as well as the phenomenon called surging glaciers. Fares range from $4,823 to $9,516 before the savings. (11-day sailing is marketed in the U.S.)

-- The "Svalbard Explorer" encompasses the entire west coast of Spitsbergen all the way up to the 80th Parallel. After spending a day in Longyearbyen, Svalbard's largest settlement, the MS Fram takes its guests to a variety of stunning places: beautiful fjords such as Hornsund Fjord, Magdalenefjord and Krossfjord; Bear Island with its famous cliff Stappen, home to hundreds of thousands of Brunnich's guillemots; landings on the Ahlstrands Peninsula or Calyposbyen; guided walks in Ny-Alesund, the world's northernmost settlement; and spending time at the edge of the North Pole ice edge. Prices range from $4,016 to $7, 403 (CAD $4,220 - $7,780) for the nine-day adventure.

-- There are two nine-day "Kingdom of the Polar Bear" itineraries. Itinerary 1 explores the northern and eastern regions of Spitsbergen, always on the lookout for the king of the Arctic animals. Besides the day in Longyearbyen, guests take in Ny-Alesund; several fjords - Magdalenefjord, Smeerenburgfjord, Woodfjord, Wahlenbergfjord, Murchinsonfjord, Hornsund and Icefjord; Hinlopen Strait and the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet; with numerous Zodiac landings along the way. Itinerary 2 is a variation -- adding a visit to Kvitoya, where the ice cap covers 98 percent of this easternmost island, and where the remains of the 1897 Andree Arctic balloon expedition were found in 1930. Fares range from $5,403 to $8,887 (CAD $5,680 - $9,340).

Saving offers include a10 percent "Repeater" discount - for passengers who sailed on any Hurtigruten ship in the past three years; "AARP" and "AAA" members receive a $50 shipboard credit; and guests booking a voyage within five weeks of their last sailing receive a 10 percent "Welcome Back" discount, combinable with the 10 percent "Repeater" discount.

All Spitsbergen itineraries include daily lectures from onboard naturalist guides, expedition leaders and Zodiac landings, all meals aboard and some on land, cabin category selected, shore excursions, transfers and port charges. Round-trip flights from New York via Oslo are available as are add-on airfares from dozens of other North American cities; optional excursions, gratuities, and fuel surcharges and taxes are additional. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather and ice conditions and may differ from one departure to another.

International Expeditions

Website: www.ietravel.com 

International Expeditions Waives Singles Supplement

International Expeditions, a specialist in nature travel, is offering single travelers a savings of $1,200 on its March 5 Galapagos Voyage departure. While reaping savings of 20 percent off regular fares, solo travelers may enjoy exploring the unique landscapes, flora and fauna of nine extraordinary islands with other like-minded individuals. Now in its 30th year, International Expeditions prides itself in its passionate local naturalist guides who lead a roster of small-group journeys. Guides on this Galapagos cruise are licensed at the highest level (Level 3) by the Galapagos National Park; and enhance travelers’ experiences by sharing their in-depth knowledge and bringing them within inches of giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, iguanas, short-eared owls and many other animals.

On the 10-day Galapagos Voyage itinerary, International Expeditions’ 32-guest Evolution navigates to nine islands. Unlike larger vessels, it is small enough to access some of the most compelling sites, including outlying Genovesa (Tower) Island, which features thousands of red-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and storm-petrels. The ship’s pangas (landing craft) are used several times a day to go easily and quickly ashore. Onboard, guests sail in comfort with first-rate accommodations, fine cuisine and a host of amenities including an observation deck (perfect for whale watching), sun deck and canopied bar, plus complimentary snorkeling equipment, wetsuits and kayaks. While touring the archipelago’s dramatic landscapes, travelers also visit Fernandina and Isabela Island, where small volcanoes have recently erupted, and Tagus Cove, a well-protected area sheltered by two enormous volcanic craters. Here, guests can snorkel in the crystal blue waters with green sea turtles (underwater visibility is best in March), see marine iguanas nesting, and hike uphill for a stunning view of Darwin’s Lake and nearby craters. With authentic travel at the root of International Expeditions’ programming, guests have the opportunity to tour Puerto Ayora, the islands’ largest human settlement with ample time to stroll through the colorful art galleries and boutiques.

In addition to daily snorkeling and outings through desert terrain, lush rainforests, volcanic soils and powder-white beaches, other highlights include a visit to the Darwin Research Center, world famous for its tortoise breeding programs; an exploration of Santiago Island, a haven for finches, doves and Galapagos hawks; and a sailing to Kicker Rock, a rocky mass jutting over 500 feet from the ocean. Per person prices for the 10-day Galapagos Voyage departing March 5 start at $4,798 per person (with the single supplement savings), and include accommodations, Galapagos National Park tax and transit fees, daily excursions, most meals, local transportation, guides, transfers and tips to porters and waiters for included meals. International and in-country flights are not included, though arrangements can be made through International Expeditions. Additional Galapagos Voyage departures are offered year-round, with per person prices starting at $4,798 based on double occupancy. For more information, call 800-633-4734, e-mail nature@ietravel.com or visit www.IEtravel.com.

Voyages of Discovery

Website: www.voyagesofdiscovery.com

Voyages Of Discovery’s Late Summer Cruise Sale

Destination specialist Voyages of Discovery announces exceptional savings on its Summer 2010 cruisetour program – book an inside cabin and sail in an oceanview cabin!

For a limited time, guests who book an inside category (N or M) will be upgraded to an oceanview category (K or J respectively).  Along with $199 to $399 low-cost air add-ons from 25 select Voyages of Discovery gateways, this offer will sell out quickly.  Special rates for single travelers are also available.

This offer is valid for seven selected sailings starting with the July 26, 2010 Fjords, Faroes, Fire and Ice 11-night Harwich (London) to Reykjavik itinerary. This cruisetour includes a two-night pre-cruise London hotel stay before visiting Flåm, Ålesund, Tórshavn, Akureyri and an overnight in Reykjavik prior to disembarking on August 6. The inside category N fare starts at $3,493 per person for a category K oceanview cabin.

The Iceland & Greenland 17-night itinerary begins with an overnight on board in Reykjavik on August 6. The 650-passenger ship mv Discovery sails for Ilulissat (120 miles north of the Arctic Circle), Nuuk, Qaqortoq, Greenland; with a stop in Kirkwall before arriving in Harwich on August 20. A two-night post-cruise hotel stay in London is included. The inside category M fare starts at $5,082 per person for a category J oceanview cabin.

Combine Fjords, Faroes, Fire & Ice with Iceland & Greenland for a 25-night In the Wake of the Vikings Grand Voyage. Inside category M fare starts at $7,176 per person for a category J oceanview cabin. This reflects a savings of up to $3,374 per person.

In addition to great savings, all Voyages of Discovery itineraries feature an extensive enrichment program. Top historians, diplomats, scientists and naturalists provide background and insight into the history, culture, flora and fauna of the destinations visited.

A Taste of France the 13-night roundtrip Harwich (London) cruise takes in St. Peter Port, La Rochelle, overnight stays in Bordeaux and Rouen (Paris) with St Malo (Mont San Michel) in between before returning to Harwich. The itinerary begins with a two-night pre-cruise London hotel stay. Inside category N fare starts at $3,847 per person for an oceanview category K cabin.

Flying from North America on August 27, guests will begin a two-night pre-cruise London hotel stay before boarding Discovery in Harwich and then departing for Bergen, Ålesund, Hellesyft, Geiranger and Flåm. Disembark in Harwich. Inside category M fare is $3,279 for an oceanview category J cabin.

The mv Discovery repositions to the Mediterranean on September 3, 2010, on a 20-night Grand Iberia & Italy sailing. Included is the two-night pre-cruise London hotel stay before visiting Lisbon, Gibraltar, Almeria, Nice (overnight), Santa Margherita, Livorno for Florence/Pisa, Civitavecchia for Rome, Sorrento (overnight), Palermo (overnight), Catania and disembark in Valletta. Inside category N fare is $4,574 for a category K cabin.

Note: The Late Summer Sale is first come, first served and may be withdrawn at any time. Guests book an inside category N or M and are upgraded to an ocenview category K or J respectively.

Voyages Of Discovery To Circumnavigate South America

Destination specialist Voyages of Discovery will embark on its first-ever circumnavigation of South America next January 2011 with cruises and cruise combinations from ten to 77 nights.  Early-booking savings up to 32 percent are available, along with free and reduced air add-ons from the line’s 26 North American gateway cities.

The South American deployment continues the line’s expansion of winter itineraries following six seasons in Antarctica.  Currently, the 650-passenger Discovery is sailing in India, Asia and Africa.

The 77-night Grand South America Discovery cruise sails roundtrip from Bridgetown, Barbados, on Jan. 3.  Fares for the cruise begin at $12,429 per-person, double occupancy, and include free air add-ons from Voyages of Discovery’s Eastern air gateways.

Individual cruises include Belize to Bridgetown (Dec. 23, 11 nights, from $2,949 per-person, double); Bridgetown to Montego Bay (Dec. 1, 13 nights, from $2,819); Bridgetown to Buenos Aires (Jan. 3, 30 nights, from $4,739); Buenos Aires to Valparaiso (Jan 29, 24 nights, from $4,299); and Valparaiso to Bridgetown (Feb. 16, 36 nights, from $6,019).

The season begins with a 20-night “Discovery of the New World” transatlantic crossing from Malaga to Barbados, sailing Nov. 18, with calls at Cadiz, Antigua and St. Kitts, and a three-night post-cruise hotel stay in Bridgetown.  Fares start at $2,779 per person, double.

The Winter 2010/11 season also features a selection of pre-, post- and mid-cruise overland tours, including a three-night excursion to the Iguassu Falls from Buenos Aires ($1,255 per person) and a two-night mid-cruise excursion visiting Machu Picchu from Callao ($1,315 per person).

Guests also can experience a day trip to the Galapagos Islands from Manta, Ecuador, or a three- or four-night cruise around the islands on the 100-passenger Galapagos Explorer II.  The day trip to the Galapagos is $809 per person and the three-night cruise starts at $2,639 per person for a Classic Suite.

Special rates for single travelers are also available.  Discovery Club members enjoy an additional 5 percent savings.

The Winter 2010/11 cruise catalog will be available in late February. Guests and travel agents are able to view these cruises now by visiting the website for itineraries and pricing. Voyages of Discovery’s website features videos of each itinerary.

For reservations contact your travel professional or Voyages of Discovery at 866-623-2689.

 

 

January, 2010

 

 

Compagnie du Ponant

Ponant Offers Theme Cruises In The Mediteranean In 2010

Haute Cuisine, spa and golf: enjoy unique cruising experiences in the Mediterranean

Themed cruise are a great way for travelers to indulge in a favorite hobby or discover a new passion whilst travelling from one magnificent port to another. French cruise line, Compagnie Du Ponant is launching a number of new themed cruises for 2010, including the cruise line’s first gastronomic, golf and wellness themed cruises.

Taking place on Ponant’s newest ship, Le Boreal, the nine-night Marine Harmony cruise from the French ports of Nice to Honfleur offers the ultimate pampering experience at sea. Guests will enjoy relaxing treatments, al fresco massages, yoga and Pilates workshops as well as health and wellness advice from experienced specialists. As guests recharge their batteries, Le Boreal will transport them to scenic ports in the heart of the Mediterranean and along Europe’s Atlantic Coast, including Barcelona, Almería, Málaga and Cádiz, Spain; Lisbon and Porto, Portugal and Dartmouth, Devon, UK. Departing on  June 18, 2010.

Gourmet food and wine feature onboard Le Diamant’s seven-night Gourmet’s Odyssey cruise from Marseilles to Nice. Guests will sail in the company of top Michelin-star chefs and renowned sommeliers who will share their secrets, passion and talent, inviting cruisers to discover new gastronomic creations every day. Onboard menus are inspired by the itinerary’s ports of call, which include Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Ajaccio, Corsica as well as Civitavecchia (Rome), Livorno and Portoferraio, Italy. Departing on May 2, 2010.

Tee off at some of the most scenic golf courses in the world on the seven-night Tee Time in the Mediterranean cruise onboard Le Ponant, which sails roundtrip from Nice, France. This cruise takes guests to five exceptional golf courses in the French Riviera, Corsica and Italy, including Bonifacio’s renowned Sperone Golf Club. At each port, Ponant will offer return transfers to the golf course, green fees with carts, management of clubs and bags as well as meals. For non-golfers, the itinerary offers plenty to see and do in Portofino and Portoferraio, Italy; Portisco, Sardinia; and Bonifacio, Calvi and Cannes, France. Two departures on July 10 and 17, 2010.

Cruise prices include all meals, white, red and rosé pouring wines served with lunch and dinner, accommodation and entertainment whilst cruising, as well as taxes and cruise NDAs. Website: http://www.ponant.com

Newbuild Le Boréal Will Be In Monaco For The Prestigious F1 Grand Prix.

To celebrate her first season, Le Boréal is heading for two of the French Riviera’s most glamorous and sought-after events!

 On her May 13 t0 17, 2010 cruise departing from Nice, the cruise will stop in Cannes for a day during the Film Festival, followed by two days in the Principality for Formula 1’s most coveted motor racing event of the year: the Monaco Grand Prix. Passengers will be at leisure to immerse themselves in the star-studded ambiance of the film festival, as they stroll along the famous Croisette to the red carpet of the Palais des festivals. In Monaco, those who wish to can purchase tickets for the race simply by contacting our team when you book your cruise (prices on request and depending on availability). More information at http://www.ponant.com.

Cruise West

Cruise West Offers Savings On All Or Part Of Its 2010 World Cruise

Cruise West (www.cruisewest.com), the world's leading provider of small-ship explorations to the most fascinating destinations on earth, is offering unprecedented savings for all 24 individual voyages (ranging from nine- to 19-nights) that combine to form the epic world adventure, Voyages of the Great Explorers.

Whether you are eyeing a trip to Italy, North America's East Coast, the Mediterranean, Greek isles, India, Egypt or London there is tremendous value offered in this landmark year.  Guests will save up to $1,550 per person ($3,100 per cabin) and receive FREE round trip international airfare from select U.S. Cities: San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD), Washington D.C. (IAD or DCA) and New York (JFK), Houston (IAH) or Seattle (SEA) or an air credit of $750 per person by booking and paying in full by January 15, 2010.  The free air or air credit is valid for Voyages 1 through 18 of the 24-voyage segments of the Voyages of the Great Explorers.

Tip: Those making reservations should know that they have the option—actually 24—to book a segment of the World Cruise instead of booking the entire cruise. The segments can be booked individually or as back-to-back options.

Cruise West Offers Five New Voyages

From Pitcairn Island, the final destination of the mutineers aboard the HMS Bounty, to the cosmopolitan sophistication of Sydney, Australia, warm-water adventurers can sail the pristine blue waters of the South Pacific, visiting numerous remote tropical islands on five new memorable voyages offered by Cruise West for the 2010 season.

Starting in November 2010, the five voyages explore from Easter Island to Tahiti (Voyage 19); the Tahitian Islands to Fiji (Voyage 20); the Fijian Islands to New Zealand (Voyage 21); The Maori Coast (Voyage 22); and a thrilling New Year’s Eve discovery of Australia (Voyage 23).  Shore excursions are included at every port and each voyage will be enhanced by an extraordinary ‘Ultimate Explorers Experience’ (UEE), designed to bring guests into direct personal contact with fascinating people, cultures and natural wonders.

-- Described as a “string of island pearls,” the South Pacific islands beckon travelers bent on warm water exploration.  Voyage 19: Easter Island to Papeete, Tahiti travels to such uninhabited locales as Henderson and Ducie Islands, renowned for their rare birds and indigenous flora, pristine coral atolls, and remote beaches; and Fakarava, a UNESCO biosphere reserve. A highlight of the tour is a visit to Pitcairn Island, where Fletcher Christian brought the HMS Bounty following a mutiny against Captain Bligh.

Accompanied by anthropology expert Dr. Charlie Urbanowicz -- a Life Member of the Polynesian Society, and the Association for Social Anthropology of Oceania, who will offer his keen insights into the islands’ peoples and cultures throughout the voyage -- this 17-night voyage departs Nov. 1, 2010; prices start at $11,895 per person before savings.

-- Sailing further into the heart of the Polynesian island chains, Voyage 20: Papeete, Tahiti to Lautoka, Fiji offers visits to atolls and villages not accessible by larger cruise lines including Maupiti, Atiu, Palmerston and Vava’u.  Highlights of this serene exploration include an exclusive cultural performance, visits to inland villages, and the living coral gardens of Aitutaki (UEE).  Zodiac visits to private islands, snorkeling safaris, cave swimming, a Fiji firewalking ceremony and a traditional kava ceremony fulfill the promise of an unforgettable experience.

Joining Urbanowicz on this voyage as co-lecturer is Dr. Aldona Jonaitis, noted expert on arts and culture of aboriginal people and a much sought after speaker on the arts of the South Pacific.  This 15-night voyage departs Nov. 17, 2010; prices start at $7,895 per person before savings.

-- Voyage 21: Lautoka, Fiji to Auckland, New Zealand –- Delivering a true explorer experience, this voyage visits the most remote islands of the South Pacific to view elaborate dances on Ambrym and indulge in pristine snorkeling and wildlife viewing accessible only via Zodiac boat. Guests will learn about the centuries old Maori culture and early New Zealand history in the historic areas of Waitangi and Kerikeri before concluding the voyage in Auckland, one of New Zealand’s great scenic cities. Highlighting this voyage is ascending the slopes of Mt. Yasur on Tanna Island (UEE), one of the world’s most active volcanoes that often spew molten rocks in thrilling pyrotechnic displays. With Jonaitis continuing as guest lecturer, this 14-night voyage departs Dec. 2, 2010; prices start at $7,195 before savings.

-- Known as “The Land of the Long White Cloud,” New Zealand is the focus of Voyage 22: Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia. Guests will immerse themselves deep into Maori culture, explore the famous geothermal region of Rotorua with bubbling hot springs and the country’s most active volcanic landscape (UEE).  Napier offers Art Deco architecture and wine tasting, while British culture abounds in Christchurch, ripe with art galleries and museums.  After celebrating Christmas at Stewart Island and Rakiura National Park – a stunning natural paradise with rare trees and vegetation, and native birds -- the voyage visits Fiordland National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a series of dramatic fiords and inlets.  After a visit to beautiful Milford Sound, the voyage concludes in Sydney Harbor just in time to see the firecracker lavish spectacle on New Year’s Eve.

Accompanied by special guest speaker Dr. Kirt Kempter, an expert in plate tectonics and related volcanism, this 17-night voyage departs Dec. 15, 2010; prices start at $14,395 before savings.

--  The Land Down Under is the final star in this five-voyage constellation that begins with the New Year. Voyage 23: Sydney to Darwin, Australia brings guests up close and personal to a country and continent that boasts unique flora and fauna blended with sophisticated metropolitan culture.  With no less then three UNESCO World Heritage Sites featured in the 19-night itinerary, highlights of this Australian adventure include cruising up the Brisbane River, visiting a koala sanctuary, exploring the Kuranda rainforest, and delving into Aboriginal culture through art, music, and dance.  Heritage site, Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island, features the natural marvel of tall rainforests growing on sand dunes over 700 feet high. Heritage sites Hamilton and Whitsunday Islands offer exploration of the Great Barrier Reef (UEE) via a glass-hulled, semi-submersible coral viewer or through numerous world-class snorkeling opportunities. Traversing the northern coast of Australia, the voyage concludes in modern Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory and situated on a gulf of the Timor Sea.

Special guest speaker Clyde Roper, a senior emeritus zoologist in the Smithsonian’s Department of Invertebrate Zoology, will lend his insights and research in marine biology and bioluminescence. A popular tour lecturer, Roper’s field studies have taken him on extensive explorations of the South Pacific. This 19-night voyage departs Dec. 31, 2010; prices start at $10,695 before savings.

Hurtigruten

Seniors Get Fare Reduction On 2010 Spring, Fall & Winter Coastal Voyages

Hurtigruten is rewarding mature travelers - those 60 and older - with a 10% fare discount when sailing along the 1,250-mile fjord-filled Norwegian coastline.  And to make it even more of a deal, Hurtigruten is allowing the discount to be combined with a variety of other offers: 10% Repeater Discount - for passengers who sailed on any Hurtigruten ship in the past three years; AARP - members receive a $50 shipboard credit on 12-day cruises or $35 on the six- and seven-day sailings; "Welcome Back Discount" - passengers booking a future cruise within five weeks of their last voyage receive a NOK 2,000 (@$320) onboard credit.  Six-, seven- and 12-day cruise-only fares, with the senior savings, range from $1,085 to $6,404 per person, double; combined with the "Repeater Discount," the range is $964 to $5,692.  The offer applies to new bookings for sailing from January 1 - April 15 and September 15 to December 31, 2010.  No deadlines or black-out days are in effect.

Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from Hurtigruten's website www.hurtigruten.us or www.hurtigruten.com.

Hurtigruten Gives New Meaning To The Term 'Polar Bear Club'

You don't have to be a member of a polar bear club - those hardy groups of cold water plungers - to take advantage of Hurtigruten's offers to enjoy a dip in the world's coldest waters, whether in Antarctica, the Arctic's Spitsbergen, Greenland, or Norway's Vardø on the Barents Sea.  “As far as sea conditions allow, our expedition team will ensure that the bravest of our guests are able to satisfy their thirst for adventure in the water," states Hurtigruten product coordinator Jørn Henriksen.  Ideal for those travelers who prefer to bring home more than t-shirts and tans, the dip in the polar waters is something that truly stands out when it comes to bragging - and the Polar Dip Certificate awarded to each participant provides needed verification.

During Antarctica's summer months, guests aboard Hurtigruten's deluxe expedition ship, MV Fram, can enjoy the remarkably refreshing icy waters of one of the largest natural harbors in the world -- off the volcanic Deception Island.  The average temperature of this natural ocean pool is a bracing zero degrees Celsius. However, geothermic activity does mean that bathers can occasionally feel a 'comfortable' current of water above freezing.  During the North Pole's summer, guests aboard the same ship can entertain a quick jump into the waters of Spitsbergen's Magdelenefjord, avoiding the icebergs, of course; or for those spending 8 to 15 days exploring Greenland, a brief splash in the sea around Uummannaq, a small town 360 miles north of the polar circle and site of the annual Ice Golf World Championship.  If a swim in ice-free waters is preferred (due solely to the Gulf Stream), Hurtigruten offers a Norwegian Coastal Voyage cruise extension that makes its way to Norway's Vardø on the Barents Sea, where guests can float in a survival suit while their team leader dives for the evening's meal of King Crab - a wonderful way to combine a sea frolic with the need to catch dinner.

As a leader in Expedition Cruising, Hurtigruten's portfolio of adventure expeditions take guests to both ends of the world -- where pristine environments, unique wildlife and stunning vistas are combined with the opportunity to learn from experts in numerous disciplines including geology, marine life, environment, history and culture.

Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from Hurtigruten Inc., www.hurtigruten.us or www.hurtigruten.com.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

Paul Gauguin Offering Culinary Education Sailing With Chef Dean Max

“There’s something about the water which is magical to me,” says Dean James Max, the Executive Chef of 3030 Ocean, located on Fort Lauderdale beach at the Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa. Fortunately, his fascination with the sea made him the perfect fit for a chef education program on the m/s Paul Gauguin.  Onboard the ship’s May 1, 2010 seven day sailing to Tahiti and the Society Islands, Chef Max will educate guests on his sophisticated, yet simple, modern American creations, full of fresh-from-the-ocean oysters, clams, fish, and crabs.  While onboard, Chef Max will host cooking classes, culinary seminars and fishing excursions with Paul Gauguin guests.

His goal onboard runs in tandem with the theme of his first cookbook, “A Life by the Sea,” to enlighten guests on the benefits of a seafood-rich diet while assuaging their fears of cooking seafood.  “The delicate nature of fish scares home cooks,” comments Max. “To cut down the fear factor, I intentionally kept the recipes simple but stylish.  The book was a two-year labor of love aimed at demystifying seafood.”

In addition to 3030 Ocean, Chef Max is also impressively the Chef/Restaurateur for Latitude 41 Restaurant, Amp 150, Cheeca Lodge, and Brasserie Cayman. Website: www.pgcruises.com

Quark Expeditions

Quark’s Akademik Shokalskiy Returns To The Arctic In 2010

Five Arctic itineraries: Spitsbergen Explorer, Spitsbergen, Eastern Greenland, Iceland, West Greenland Explorer, Ultimate Thule Expedition and East Greenland Explorer are being ;offered on the Akademik Shokalsiy which returns to the Arctic this year.. All itineraries include optional kayaking.

In the Arctic, Shokalskiy's capacity drops to 47 passengers per departure. Always exclusive, and always intimate, Shokalskiy is even more so in the Arctic.

The three new Greenland itineraries are perfect for quick getaways. The short duration coupled with highly competitive pricing make East Greenland Explorer and West Greenland Explorer excellent value for Greenland travelers in 2010.

All five expeditions are available for immediate booking. Website: www.quarkexpeditions.com

Still Time To Book An Itinerary On The ‘Kapitan Khlebnikov’

In October 2009, Quark Expeditions announced that the polar adventure company’s flagship, Kapitan Khlebnikov, will retire in March 2012. Four months later, Quark announced that the 13-itinerary End of an Era program is an unqualified success. One of the voyages to remote locales in Antarctica has sold out, and others in the Arctic and Antarctica are well on their way.

Despite the fact that the ship’s retirement is two years away, travelers who hesitate to reserve a cabin may find they have missed the boat – or in this case – the icebreaker. There are cabins left on Quark’s first End of an Era sailing, Northwest Passage: West to East (July 18 to August 5, 2010). On that voyage, special guest Andrew Lambert, author of The Gates of Hell: Sir John Franklin’s Tragic Quest for the Northwest Passage, will return to Khlebnikov to deliver presentations about Franklin, and why a pursuit of scientific discovery had disastrous results. Also, the Laughton Professor of Naval History, will be present when the documentary, Franklin’s Lost Expedition, in which he and Khlebnikov appear, is shown.

A free information kit about the Northwest Passage voyage can be downloaded from the Quark Expeditions website www.quarkexpeditions.com. Per person prices start at $16,490. The 19-day expedition embarks in Anadyr, Russia and disembarks in Resolute, Canada. Other 2010 Arctic cruises scheduled on the Kapitan Khlebnikov are scheduled for August 3 to 18, 2010 and August 16 to 31.

Travel Dynamics International

Great Lakes Cruising Returns In 2010

Travel Dynamics International is scheduling a further ten departures in the Great Lakes for summer 2010. The seven-day itinerary aboard the 100-guest, all-suite Clelia II between Toronto, Ontario and Duluth, Minnesota features port calls at Niagara Falls, Manitoulin Island, Mackinac Island, Houghton (on the lushly forested Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula), and Thunder Bay. The itinerary is

offered from June to September 2010, with rates beginning at $5,695 per person based upon double occupancy. Rates include all meals, drinks and excursions. Airfare is not included.

Also new for 2010 are eight themed cruises:

Family cruises (July 3 and July 24 departures) offer special enrichment programs for adults and children separately, focusing on the history of the Great Lakes region, so that multi-generational families can enjoy a varied yet educational vacation together.

Special Photography cruises (July 17 and September 11 departures) offer onboard and offshore workshops with professional photographer Allen Rokach, whose work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine.

Two music-themed cruises on the Great Lakes are also scheduled. The July 10 departure will be accompanied by classical and American traditional music performed by members of a major symphony orchestra. The August 28 departure includes concerts of great American music from Broadway, Hollywood and Jazz traditions, along with lectures by Bill Messenger, a nationally renowned jazz pianist.  

On the September 4 departure, the technological innovations of the Great Lakes region will be highlighted with talks by William Halal, an aerospace engineer who worked on the Apollo program. And on the September 18 departure, a health and wellness program will feature talks by Dr. Stephen Sinatra, an integrative cardiologist, and yoga sessions with instructor Peggy Cappy, creator of the long-running PBS show “Yoga for the Rest of Us.”

Travel Dynamics International’s 2010 Great Lakes cruises also feature three optional extensions: a two-night pre- or post-cruise stay in Toronto; a one-night pre- or post-cruise stay in Duluth; or for cruises embarking in Toronto, a spectacular five-night pre-cruise transcontinental rail journey from Vancouver to Toronto.

From May to October 2010, Travel Dynamics International will use the 100-guest, all-suite Clelia II for seven other itineraries in North American waterways from the US Eastern Seaboard to Newfoundland and Greenland.

Website: www.TravelDynamicsInternational.com.  

 Voyages of Discovery

Discover more of Latin America & the Caribbean With Voyages of Discovery

The new Latin America & the Caribbean brochure from Voyages of Discovery features an incredible selection of cruises from November 2010 – April 2011. Discovery will follow in the wake of famous explorers, travelling to some unmissable destinations full of color and fascination in unhurried comfort and safety.  These include the Amazon, the Orinoco, Falkland Islands and the opportunity to visit the extraordinary Galapagos Islands.

Discovery will also be sailing to historic Cuba, where walking around is like a step back in time. Cuba is on the threshold of great change and is a must-see destination in the Caribbean, yet Voyages of Discovery is one of the few cruise lines to travel there.

The beautiful imagery, imaginative cruise titles and vivid descriptions of every destination in the new brochure help capture the magic of the Voyages of Discovery experience. It outlines what passengers can expect on board with information on the facilities, cabins, food, hospitality and everything that’s included and what’s not. The brochure also introduces the staff and eminent guest speakers who enrich each journey and bring the destinations to life.

Discovery’s Winter 2010/11 program sees her crossing from the tranquil Mediterranean to the upbeat Caribbean via Central America, then on to a 79-day complete circumnavigation of South America from only £7,499* per person. The individual cruise prices start from only £1,299 (or just £70 per day) and include all flights, food, accommodation and gratuities on board. For those seeking a truly epic journey, full of amazing new experiences and outstanding savings, the Grand Voyages in the brochure are combination cruises linking entire regions together. Starting from just £2,399 per person, they offer truly fantastic value.

Guests will enjoy their voyage accompanied by around 650 like-minded passengers, the experienced British Captain and friendly staff and crew. They can expect a warm, personal service without the crowds that inevitably come with bigger ships. As well as the main ports of call, Discovery visits smaller ‘off the beaten track’ destinations and stays in port longer, so there’s more time to explore.

The new Latin America & the Caribbean brochure is available online from www.voyagesofdiscovery.co.uk/southamerica or by calling 0845 018 1808.

US fares available at www.voyagesofdiscovery.com.

 

Novermber, 2009

Blue Lagoon

Island Windjammers

Hurtigruten

Lindblad Expeditions

Voyages of Discovery

 

 

Blue Lagoon

Blue Lagoon Offers 30 Per Cent Early Bird’ Discount On 2010-11 Cruises

Fiji's iconic Blue Lagoon Cruises is offering huge savings on all three, four and seven-day Yasawa Islands cruise programs with the release of a 30 per cent "early bird" discount. The offer applies to all 'Club' and 'Gold Club' programs booked for travel from April 1, 2010 until March 31, 2011. The boutique cruise specialist's only stipulation is that all bookings must be made before a December 31, 2009 cut-off date to qualify for the 30 per cent discount. The discount means prices for the 'early bird' start from just AUD318.00* per adult twin share for a three-day/two-night 'Club' cruise.

All Blue Lagoon Cruises programs include all meals and cruise activities ranging from daily shore excursions and snorkeling (complete with free snorkeling equipment) safaris to fish feeding, fishing and glass bottom boating.

Cultural experiences include a 'Lovo' feast, visits to remote villages, Kava ceremonies and a day spent at Blue Lagoon Cruises' private island of Nanuya Lailai.

Website:  www.bluelagooncruises.com. For cruise reservations telephone Blue Lagoon Cruises in Lautoka, Fiji, on +679 666 1622, facsimile +679 666 4098 or via email on reservations@blc.com.fj.

*Conditions apply. Please note cruise prices do not include international airfares or beverages (other than tea and coffee).

Hurtigruten  

Hurtigruten Announces "Climate Pilgrimage" Cruise In The Arctic

Hurtigruten makes every effort to educate its guests on a host of subjects -- culture, geography, historical aspects, botany, wildlife - and most importantly these days, some of the reasons for and effects of climate change on these destinations and its wildlife.  That topic is the primary focus on a just-announced new voyage -- "Climate Pilgrimage" -- to Northern Norway and the Arctic island of Spitsbergen. The 11-day voyage, aboard one of the world's newest, state-of-the-art, polar-ready cruise ships, MS Fram, offers guests the opportunity to visit research stations, track wildlife, participate in field studies and meet with some of the field's top research scientists - getting the story from those who are best informed.  The May 29, 2010 departure is priced from $4,823 to $9,516 per person, double.

The first two days are spent in Norway's Tromso, visiting the Polar Environmental Centre, where climate scientists discuss the task at hand and the status of the research being done.  A stop in Europe's northernmost cities, Honningsvag, includes a visit to the North Cape Plateau, and a stop at Gjesvaerstappan - a unique bird cliff where the Norwegian Polar Institute has done research on a host of seabirds including puffins, gannets, auks and guillemots.

The remainder of the trip is spent exploring the remote Arctic island of Spitsbergen where polar bears, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes, whales, walruses and ringed and harp seals and dozens of other animals and migratory birds still roam the stunning landscapes of their natural habitat -- a natural classroom to learn about and see the effects of climate changes.  On Bjornoya (Bear Island), participants observe the changes to bird habits at one of the largest concentrations of seabirds in the Northern Hemisphere.  Research in Hornsund, Spitsbergen's most southern fjord, includes polar bears and the feeding grounds of auks, while in Bellsund, guests learn about the phenomenon call surging glaciers.  Ny Alesund has been the jump off point for several historic attempts to reach the North pole - Amundsen, Ellsworth and Nobile are some examples of explorers.  Guests will explore a large glacier front and possibly enjoy an Arctic beer at one of the world's northernmost pubs.

The warming of the Arctic now allows vessels to cross the 80th parallel - something not possible less than 20 years ago.  Walruses, whales and polar bears rule this region and the MS Fram will treat guests to a close look at the marginal ice-zone and its large yearly variations.  The final two days are spent exploring Isfjorden, Spitsbergen's largest fjord system, observing giant bird cliffs, and visits to the University Centre of Svalbard and Svalbard Museum in Spitsbergen's capital town of Longyearben.

Fares include the cruise and all meals onboard, flights from Spitsbergen to Oslo, lectures and excursions by experienced biologists, geologists and other scientists, applicable land transfers, port fees and some land excursions.  Transatlantic airfare, optional excursions, gratuities, and fuel surcharges and taxes are additional.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen.  Information, brochures and reservations can be obtained from Hurtigruten Inc., (800) 323-7436; fax (954) 486-9340; for brochures (800) 582-0835, 24 hours a day; www.hurtigruten.us  or www.hurtigruten.com.

Island Windjammers

Set Sail For A Unique Experience

Join Island Windjammers aboard S/V Diamant, a 101 brigantine schooner, as she sets sail from St. George's, Grenada on weekly six-night cruises beginning November 15, 2009.

Hosting an intimate group of just 12 passengers, Diamant will explore the enchanting Grenadine islands, considered by many to be among the most exclusive sailing grounds in the Caribbean.

The itinerary includes Bequia * Carriacou * Mayreau * Palm Island *

Tobago Cays * Union Island.

Rates:

High Season (November 15, 2009 May 29, 2010): $1699 per week

Low Season (May 30, 2010 November 13, 2010): $1599 per week

Rates include all meals, draft beer, wine and soft drinks plus gratuities and port taxes.

More information at www.islandwindjammers.com

 

Lindblad Expeditions

Expedition Style Travel — Making Connections With Nature, History & Culture

These History & Culture 2010 itineraries are designed to strike a balance between the known and the unknown; between must-see highlights and fresh discoveries; between the contemporary culture of cities and towns and the nature that has created the character of every place we explore.

The expeditions invite travelers to experience Europe in new ways. European Odyssey, traveling from Copenhagen to Lisbon, is a passage through centuries of history and a variety of cultures. In the Mediterranean expeditions take on two distinct styles: Some like The Hidden Isles of the Mediterranean sail aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer. Others like Sailing the Greek Isles circle the Cycladic Islands in the 44-guest sailing yacht Panorama.

In Egypt voyages will make the sweep of Egypt's history and grandeur of its culture a lasting memory forever after. And, a land expedition has been added to South America voyages. Exploring Peru: Land of the Inca.

Featured Expeditions:

-- Exploring the Baltic's Historic Waterways over 17 days in August and September 2010. Prices starting at: $11,540.

--Exploring the British and Irish Isles for 14 days; April 2010. Prices starting at: $9,440.

Travel with renowned news broadcaster Ted Koppel discovering the history, culture, music, archaeology and landscapes of western Britain & Ireland

BOOK BY DEC. 30 FOR SPECIAL OFFERS:

• Take up to $3,000 off the cabin fare on select cabin categories.* Call for details.

Book by December 30 for special offers.

For more information visit www.expeditions.com. Be sure to mention code 6EMAIL when making a reservation.

*Savings are per person on select departure dates and/or cabin categories. Offers are valid for new bookings only.

 

Voyages of Discovery

Early Bird Savings On Summer 2010 Cruises

Destination specialist Voyages of Discovery has launched its Summer 2010 cruise atlas with 20 percent Early Booking Savings and low-cost air add-ons from 25 North American gateway cities.  Guests who book by February 1, 2010, will save an additional 10 percent with the line’s Launch Offer Savings.  Special rates for single travelers also are available.

The Summer 2010 season offers 11- to 17-night voyages ranging from Greenland to Normandy, the Black Sea and the Levant. As Voyages of Discovery rarely repeats an itinerary, the line also will offer eight unique Grand Voyages ranging from 21 to 43 nights.

Cruise destinations aboard the 650-guest Discovery include the Arctic, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Red Sea and North Africa.  Two-page spreads for each itinerary provide destination highlights, an historical description of each port, details on the scheduled guest speaker(s) and outstanding values such as hotel stays and low-cost air add-ons. The brochure can be viewed on line, downloaded and printed from the website and emailed to a client or friend.

The line’s website-- www.voyagesofdiscovery.com -- also reflects the new design of the Summer 2010 brochure.  New streaming video for Winter 2009/10 cruises to India, Asia and Africa also have been added to the site. “We’re pleased to present a fresh new look to both our brochure and website,” said Mark Flager, vice president of sales, marketing and passenger services. “With the addition of destination videos for our Winter 2009/10 programs and richer destination and lecturer content, we’re providing a better understanding of our cruisetour programs to travel agents and their clients.” Summer 2010 destination videos are in production and will be added to the site shortly.

All Voyages of Discovery itineraries feature an extensive enrichment program. Top historians, diplomats, scientists and naturalists provide background and insight into the history, culture, flora and fauna of the destinations visited.   Scheduled guest speakers include Air Chief Marshall Sir Richard Johns; Derek Blundell, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics at Royal Holloway, University of London; and Prof. Richard Wilson, host of the BBC’s acclaimed “Writers and Places” series.

New ports in 2010 include Sicilian Catania, Nauplion near the Greek citadel of Mycenae, the island of Korcula and the city of Split on the Dalmation Coast.

Each of the itineraries has been carefully planned to maximize time spent ashore, exploring sights, many beyond the reach of larger ships.  Guests will also be able to visit incredible inland destinations including Berlin and Cairo. Overnight stays provide passengers with the opportunity to appreciate the art and historic treasures of cultural epicenters such as St Petersburg and Venice or the outstanding volcanic beauty of Reykjavik.

-- Summer 2010 programs on the spacious and elegant, 650-passenger mv Discovery include a rare visit to Ilulissat, Nuuk and Qaqortoq, Greenland, on the 17-night Iceland & Greenland voyage sailing August 6 from Reykjavik, Iceland.  Cruise fares (with Launch Offer Savings) start at $4,337 per person.

-- The British Isles Heritage Trail begins June 22 round-trip from Harwich (London) and includes Discovery’s first visit to Liverpool as well as visits to the Scilly Isles, Dublin, Belfast, Oban and Dundee.  Fares begin at $3,485 per person.

-- At Dundee, Scotland, guests can visit the line’s namesake vessel, the restored RRS (Royal Research Ship) Discovery, flagship of the 1901 British National Antarctic Expedition under the command of Lt. Robert Falcon Scott.

-- Also new in 2010 is A Taste of France, a ten-night voyage calling at St. Helier, Channel Islands, and La Rochelle, Bordeaux (overnight), St. Malo and Rouen (for Paris and the Normandy beaches).  Fares for the Aug. 17 cruise begin at $3,458.

Every feature on the mv Discovery is designed with passengers’ comfort in mind. $3.5 million has been spent on updating and improving the facilities on the vessel over the last two years and a further $3.5 million will be spent this year.

From late May to late August next year, a majority of Voyages of Discovery’s summer cruises will sail round trip from Harwich (London).  Cruisetour packages feature two hotel nights in London pre- or post-cruise with an included half-day sightseeing tour.

To celebrate the launch of its Summer 2010 program, Voyages of Discovery is offering a 10 percent Launch Offer Savings for guests booked by February 1, 2010. Special rates for single travelers are also available.

Voyages of Discovery is a trading division of UK-based All Leisure Holidays, which also owns and operates Swan Hellenic and Hebridean Island Cruises.

For reservations, contact your travel professional or Voyages of Discovery at 866-623-2689.  Visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.com to order brochures and for complete itinerary information and pricing.

 

October, 2009

Audubon Nature Odysseys

Hapag-Lloyd Cruise Line

Hurtigruten

Island Windjammers Inc.

Quark Expeditions

Voyages of Discovery

The World

 

Audubon Nature Odysseys

Unique Three-Week Cruise Explores The Southern Skies

Southern Seas Southern Skies Cruise Focuses on Astronomy

Departing February 25 from Ushuaia, Argentina, the 1114-guest Corinthian II will explore the waters—and the skies—of the southern hemisphere. Stargaze from the ship's deck, learning about the magnificent southern sky in the company of noted astronomer Rick Fienberg, former edit of Sky and Telescope magazine and former NASAa astronaut Captain Rick Hauck. Also joining the cruise will be Piers Brendon, a noted British historian who will offer a historical perspective of the islands that are the last remaining British possessions. The ship departs Ushuaia for several calls in the Falklands. She then sails to South Georgia, Nightingale, and Tristan da Cunha and concludes the cruise at Cape Town, South Africa on March 19.

Airfare from Miami to Buenos Aires and return from Cape Town is included in the cruise rate. Membership in the Audubon Society is required. For more information on rates, excursions, etc., visit http://travel.audubon.org/details.php?id=920

Cruise To The Jungle Rivers & Rain Forests Of South America

Audubon Nature Odysseys if offering a cruise to the Jungle Rivers & Rain Forests of South America from April 17 to May 2, 2010. The cruise will allow guests to explore the Amazon, Suriname, Demerara and Orinoco Rivers aboard the all-suite, 100-guest Clelia II. For more information call 212-979-3066 or 800-967-7425 in the US. Website:

Cruise West

Cruise West Offers Unprecedented Savings on 24 World Wide Voyages

Cruise West is offering unprecedented savings for all 24 individual voyages (ranging from nine- to 19-nights) that combine to form the epic world adventure, Voyages of the Great Explorers. Book and pay in full by December 18, 2009, for maximum value-add savings.

Whether guests are eyeing a trip to Southeast Asia, North Africa, the Mediterranean, Greek isles, East Coast Canada and USA, Australia or the South Pacific, there is tremendous value offered in this landmark year. Guests will save up to $1,550 per person ($3,100 per cabin) and receive FREE round trip international airfare from five select U.S. Cities: San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Chicago (ORD), Washington D.C. (IAD or DCA) and New York (JFK) or an air credit of $750 per person by booking and paying in full by December 18, 2009. The free air or air credit is valid for Voyages 1 through 18 of the 24-voyage segments of the Voyages of the Great Explorers.

Additional saving incentives for all 24 voyages (except where noted) include:

  --  Bring a friend (new booking) and each person receives $500 off the

      cruise fare

  --  50% savings for all children 18 and younger

  --  Single supplement will be waived on Voyages 1 - 4 in all cabin

      categories

  --  Reduced single supplement for Voyages 5 - 24 in Superior, Majestic,

      Premium and Classic cabin categories

Cruise West includes a shore excursion in every port, and in addition, each of the 24 voyages includes one 'Ultimate Explorers Experience.'

Each of the 24 journeys of the Voyages of the Great Explorers takes guests to the "must see" sights--Pompeii, Petra, Florence, Luxor, the Hermitage, the Guggenheim. Board a Zodiac bound for an uninhabited island in the Maldives or a remote village in the Tuomotus. Travel the narrow Corinth Canal and Kiel Canal where big ships can't go. Visit tiny islands in the South Pacific like Pitcairn Island of HMS Bounty fame, and Palmerston Island, where all 50 residents are descended from one Englishman. In fact, these voyages will visit 85 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Further, engaging presentations by Smithsonian Journeys guest lecturers and renowned experts on each region's culture, history and current events will bring each itinerary to life.

All voyages take place on the intimate 120-guest, all-suite Spirit of Oceanus. Prices start at $4,995 per person before savings and include a pre-cruise hotel night. For further details on Cruise West's Voyages of the Great Explorers itineraries, visit http://www.cruisewest.com/world-cruises.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises

Enticing Destinations Offered In 2010

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ is offering unique itineraries aboard its recently refurbished Hanseatic in 2010. The cruises are operated fully bilingual in English and German.

--Destination Antarctica

Trip logistics: from Ushuaia/Argentina to Puerto Montt/Chile, February 13-March 5, 2010, 21 days, with stops in the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Orkney Islands, South Shetland Islands, Antarctic Peninsula; cruise only rates starting at $13,750 per person, based on double occupancy, including chartered flights Buenos Aires – Ushuaia and Puerto Montt – Santiago.  Upgrade Special: passengers booking a category 1 cabin will get an automatic upgrade to a category 3 cabin. Additionally, passengers will receive a 300 Euro (approximately $400) onboard credit that can be used for beverages and laundry.

-- Destination: The Legendary Northwest Passage

Trip logistics: from Kangerlussuaq/Greenland to Nome/Alaska, August 16- September 10, 2010, 25 days, with stops in Greenland, Cruising in Disko Bay, Baffin Island, Devon Island, Barrow Strait, Northwest Passage and Alaska; cruise only rates starting at $21,000 per person, based on double occupancy, including the charter flights Hanover – Kangerlussuaq and Nome - Vancouver.

--Destination Kamchatka:

Trip logistics: from Nome to Yokohama, September 9-30, 2010, 20 days, with stops in Alaska, Chukchi Peninsula, Chukotka, Kamtchatka, Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, Japan; cruise only rates starting at $12,240 per person, based on double occupancy, including the charter flights Vancouver - Nome.

All of the bilingual cruises, ensure English-speaking passengers feel comfortable from the moment they step onboard. Documentation in English onboard includes: daily programs, menus, announcements, lectures/video presentations and safety drill instructions. Shore excursions are offered in English on a group or individual basis whenever possible in the port of call. Lastly, the entire crew is fluent in English.

For more information visit www.hl-cruises.com.

Hurtigruten

The Best Of Norway With Six New Winter Theme Vacations

This winter, Hurtigruten invites guests to experience Norwegian culture with six distinctive theme vacations, each of which feature a sailing along Norway’s stunning 1,250-mile west coast between Bergen and Kirkenes, above the Arctic Circle, aboard one of its modern vessels. The themes highlight different aspects of the region, from the Northern Lights Festival in Tromso, known as the Paris of the North, to the sheer beauty of Finnmark’s landscape, alive with rookeries of puffins and gannets along its cliffs. Fares range from $2,499 to $6,048 per person, double; higher rates are for suites. All voyages can be booked using Hurtigruten’s “Layaway Getaway” monthly payment plan.

--The 12-day Arctic Voyage & Snow Hotel kicks off with a night in Bergen, where guests have time to explore before embarking on a classic northbound Arctic tour. The ship calls at the Art Nouveau town of Alesund and Molde, with breathtaking views of the Romsdal Alps, before arriving in Trondheim, Norway’s first capital, where visitors can roam the charming streets and visit the restored wooden buildings in Bakklandet and the magnificent Gothic Cathedral of Nidaros. After crossing the Arctic Circle, the ship passes by several scenic towns and stops in the bustling city of Tromso before arriving in Kirkenes, where a night in a Kirkenes Snow Hotel Suite – decorated in beautiful artwork made from snow – awaits. After flying to Oslo, travelers can explore independently or take in a performance at the chic new harbor-side National Opera House before returning home.  Prices start at $2,739 for the January and February departures and $3,019 for the March departure.

-- The Arctic Highlights tour is an eight-day glimpse into life in the most remote regions of mainland Norway. Guests spend a day and night in the cosmopolitan capital city of Oslo – with sights such as Oslo City Hall, Akershus Castle and the Nobel Peace Center – before transferring to Tromso for a round-trip voyage to the northern seaport of Honnigsvag. The ship sails along the spectacular coast for three days, arriving back in Tromso in the late evening; travelers can enjoy some of the local fare at one of many local restaurants or possibly catch a glimpse of the elusive Northern Lights. Prices are from $2,899.

-- Those seeking to immerse themselves in Sami culture can spend ten days doing so with the Sami Day & Reindeer Races package. After one night in Oslo, Norway’s capital city and cultural hub, guests fly to Tromso for a two-night stay.  Here they can enjoy a myriad of local festivities planned in honor of Sami National Day – occurring February 6 each year – as well as witness the annual reindeer racing championship in the center of the city. Travelers then embark on a cruise along the stunning Norwegian coastline to Bergen, where they spend one night before returning home.  Fares start at $2,699.

-- With the seven-day Ice Hotel Adventure, Hurtigruten invites guests to experience some of the most unique aspects of Norwegian culture. After an overnight stay in one of Oslo’s lovely hotels, guests fly to Tromso for a relaxing cruise through several scenic port cities – including Oksfjord and Hammerfest – finishing with an overnight in the quaint fishing village of Honnigsvag. Travelers then proceed to the edge of the Arctic Circle and a night in the breathtaking Alta Igloo Hotel, a 21,525 square foot complex with nearly all of its elements – from guestrooms and beds to bar room drinking glasses – built anew from ice and snow each January. Additional nights at the Alta Igloo Hotel – with its 30 bedrooms, Alta Igloo Hotel houses suites, an ice-bar, a chapel and several lounges - can be booked. Visitors next return to Oslo for a day and night of independent exploration. Fares begin at $2,499.

 -- The 10-day Northern Lights Festival celebrates the much anticipated “first dawn of the year” with the annual Northern Lights Festival of Music. The trip begins with a night in Bergen and then continues on with a northbound voyage aboard the MS Finnmarken. After sailing along the scenic, fjord-filled coastline, passengers disembark for a two-night stay in Tromso, the center of the Northern Lights Festival activities. Local events cater to a wide array of musical tastes – from symphonic to soul – in the Tromso Concert Hall and the Arctic Cathedral. Travelers then fly to Oslo for a one-night stay, where they can choose to attend a performance at the opera house or visit one of the many engaging sights such as the Nobel Peace Center. Prices are from $2,699.

-- The Digital Photography vacation offers amateur photographers a chance to capture the stunning vistas of a Norwegian winter, as well as the rare opportunity to photograph the Northern Lights. The 10-day trip begins in Bergen, where guests spend one night before sailing on a traditional Hurtigruten northbound cruise along Norway’s scenic coastline – with innumerable opportunities to photograph rare wildlife, impressive fauna, majestic glaciers and stunning fjords – before arriving in Tromso to take part in the local events and excursions celebrating the Northern Lights.  After flying to Oslo for an overnight stay, guests can tour famous sites or grab a bite to eat in a local restaurant before returning home. Fares are from $2,919.

Fares are capacity controlled and include round-trip airfare from New York/JFK, domestic land transfers and flights, all meals onboard and port fees. Cruise fuel and airline fuel surcharges, air taxes, gratuities, ticketing fees and air add-ons – available from dozens of North American gateways – are additional.

Websites; www.hurtigruten.us or www.hurtigruten.com

2010 Coastal Voyage Line-Up Offers More Shore Excursions

New Year's Eve on the North Cape, Opera in Oslo, Viking history and myth, air-inclusive vacations, the midnight sun, the Northern Lights, stunning fjords, wildlife at every turn...the list of cruise and land opportunities goes on and on and is detailed in Hurtigruten's new full-color, 80-page 2010 Norway brochure. Hurtigruten, a name synonymous with exploration cruising, continues to find more ways to showcase their year-round home, adding new theme cruises and shore excursions and packaging air, land and sea into easy to book vacations. The centerpiece of nearly every offer are the six-, seven- and 12-day sailings along the spectacular fjord-filled west coast of Norway year-round -- a voyage named the “world’s most beautiful voyage” by Lonely Planet’s “Bluelist.”  The scenery changes from moment to moment as the company's fleet of modern ships, journeying 1,250 miles between Bergen and Kirkenes, make 34 port calls -- small fishing villages in the rugged Lofoten Islands, Art Nouveau Alesund, the ancient Viking capital of Trondheim and Norway's "Paris of the North" Tromso.  Cruise-only fares range from $1,205 to $6,622 per person, double with many prices reduced for early booking. Solo travelers avoid the single supplement on a large number of departures.

Coastal Value Packages - these nine-to-15-day independent adventure vacations offer a way to take in many of Norway's best sites without having to worry about booking flights or hotels - a one-stop, all-inclusive option with daily departures, year-round. One night is spent in both Bergen and Oslo, bookending the cruise, where guests have plenty of free time to explore and sightsee -- Oslo's Vigeland Park, Viking Ship Museum, the new Opera House, and many small shops selling unique Norwegian jewelry and other treasures. Walking the cobblestone streets of Bergen offers sights that include its Art Museum, with more than 9,000 works of art; St. Mary’s Church, the oldest building in Bergen; composer Edvard Grieg's home; and the wooden buildings in the Bryggen Wharf. The nine-day Norwegian Holiday incorporates the six-day southbound sailing, departing from Kirkenes, above the Arctic Circle. The ten-day Highlights of Norway sails seven days on the northbound route. Airfare is from New York with add-ons from dozens of North American gateways priced from $100 to $360. Air fuel surcharges, air and cruise taxes and ticketing fees are additional.

Theme Voyages include Celebrations in the Arctic brings in the New Year as no one else can - with the countdown held on the North Cape, Europe's most northern point - December 26, 2009 and December 27, 2010. Notes at Sea is an opera-lover's dream trip - daily concerts on board and a Norwegian New Year's Concert at Oslo's brand-new Opera House - Jan. 5, 2010.

The Rhythm & Fabric of Life showcases the deep-rooted traditions of the Norwegian culture, mixing music, crafts, dance and folk culture. Guests enjoy learning to folk dance and see how traditional instruments are made - Jan. 5, 2010

Lords of the Fjords is a step back in time to when the Vikings ruled the waters and land. Onboard experts provide talks and entertainment, immersing the passenger in the Viking history and culture - April 7 and September 23, 2010.

Tastes & Sounds of the Fjords is a series of choir, jazz and classical concerts, cooking lessons and wine tastings combined to create a unique culinary experience - while in the midst of the majestic beauty of the fjords - April 15 and September 16, 2010

Norway's Big Day Out is what it sounds like - a celebration of Norway's Constitution Day (May 17). Children's parades and festivities take play across the nation and guests learn about the country's history from experts - six May 2010 departures.

Hall of the Mountain King explores the life of Edvard Grieg. Performances by pianist Rune Alver and talks by lecturer Eilif B. Lotveit bring to life Norway's renown composer  with daily recitals and daily lectures - October 10 and 16, 2010.

The Ice-Breakers - Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen were two of Norway's greatest explorers. And guests will learn more about them from famous lecturer Arne Kertelhein as the ship follows some their Norway routes - October 11 and 18, 2010.

Birds of the Nordic Coast takes place as millions of migrating birds return to the Arctic for nesting - a true ornithological event with lectures and stellar bird-watching opportunities - May 20, 2010.

In conjunctions with the above cruises, the company has developed dozens of high-quality excursions for their guests. Port excursions range from city tours of Alesund and Tromso to the more unusual Lofotr Viking Feast - a true Viking feast, banquet hall and all - and a Quad-Safari to the Russian Border, to the simply fun: Dog Sledding in Tromso and Scootertrip in Lapland (snowmobiles). Pre- and post-cruise explorations, ranging in length from a few hours to three days, offer wonderful opportunities to experience Norway in all its glory. Among the offerings - guests can spend two days in the Snowhotel in Kirkenes, sleeping on ice beds; float in a survival suit in the Barents Sea while the team leader dives for the evening's meal of King Crab; dog sled and snowshoe in Kirkenes; take the train from Bergen to Voss, a boat to Flam and a train to Myrdal on Norway in a Nutshell; and visit the mining town of Roros, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Websites: www.hurtigruten.com or www.hurtigruten.us

Island Windjammers Inc

Tall Ship Sailing In The Caribbean Returns With New Sailing Venture

Newly founded Island Windjammers, Inc. is set to launch a new era in Caribbean sailing adventures with the purchase of S/V Diamant.  Sailing weekly on six-day cruises from Grenada, Diamant, a 101-foot brigantine schooner, accommodates 12 passengers in six air-conditioned staterooms. Standard features on the ship include portholes, private facilities and 110V outlets.  Diamant will operate out of the new Port Louis Marina in St. George’s

Grenada. All-inclusive rates start at $1,599.00 US per person. Rates include all meals, soft drinks, draft beer and wine, port taxes and crew gratuities. 

Diamant's inaugural sailing is scheduled for November 15, 2009. The ship will call on Carriacou, Mayreau, Bequia, Union Island, Tobago Cays and Palm Island. 

Island Windjammers was founded by a group of former passengers of Windjammer Barefoot Cruises who are dedicated to bringing tall ship cruising back to the Caribbean.  

Website:  www.islandwindjammers.com

Orion Expeditions

Australia-based Orion Expedition Cruises is now offering guests a 20 percent discount on all voyages now through March 27, 2010, including expeditions to the Great Barrier Reef and the Sub-Antarctic Islands, along with new itineraries showcasing Antarctica’s Ross Sea coast, New Zealand’s magnificent fjords and waterfalls, and the rich culture and pristine beaches of Papua New Guinea.

The cruise line’s only vessel, the MV Orion, is a 53-cabin luxury expedition cruise liner accommodating 106 guests and a crew of 75 – the highest staff-to-guest ratio of any Australian passenger ship. Onboard luxuries include elegantly-appointed staterooms with ocean views, private marble baths with Lanvin toiletries, spa treatments at the intimate Vega Health Spa, and world-class dining by Sydney chef Serge Dansereau in the Constellation Restaurant. Orion voyages to typically inaccessible, unexplored destinations like Melanesia, Australia’s Kimberley region, and the Antarctic, showcasing the natural and cultural wonders of each location.

Orion’s itinerary varies per season to take full advantage of each region’s individual appeals. The 20 percent discount can be applied to the following itineraries:

November 2009

-- Great Barrier Reef Sailing (6 nights) – Departing November 10, 2009. Rates start at AUD $4,460 per person (approx. US $3,899). With discount, guests will save $892 AUD (approx. US $780)

December 2009

Sub-Antarctic Wildlife Adventure Sailing (13 nights) – Departing December 1 and 14, 2009. Rates start at AUD $10,630 per person (approx. US $9,298). With discount, guests will save $2,126 AUD (approx. US $1,859)

--Mawson’s Antarctica – Commonwealth Bay Sailing (18 nights) – Departing December 27, 2009. Rates start at AUD $19,365 per person (approx. US $16,950). With discount, guests will save $3,873 AUD (approx. US $3,390)

January 2010

Scott & Shackleton’s Antarctica – Ross Sea Sailing (20 nights) – Departing January 14, 2010. Rates start at AUD $21,515 per person (approx. US $18,833). With discount, guests will save $4,303 AUD (approx. US $3,766)

February 2010

New Zealand Highlights Sailing (10 nights) – Departing February 3, 2010. Rates start at AUD $8,175 per person (approx. US $7,155). With discount, guests will save $1,635 AUD (approx. US $1,431)

March 2010

New Guinea Islands Adventure Sailing (11 nights) – Departing March 27, 2010. Rates start at AUD $8,995 per person (approx. US $7,870). With discount, guests will save $1,799 AUD (approximately US $1,574).

More information  or to book, email inquiry@orionexpeditions.com; website www.orionexpeditions.com

Quark Expeditions

New Arctic Voyages Announced For The ‘Akademik Shokalskiy’ in 2010

Quark Expeditions has announced a new series of Arctic 2010 voyages onboard the 48-passenger expeditionary ship Akademik Shokalskiy. Shokalskiy's Arctic 2010 season starts with three Spitsbergen Explorer departures. These are followed by one Spitsbergen, Eastern Greenland, Iceland voyage.

Quark will also operate three new itineraries in Greenland:

-- An eight-day West Greenland Explorer, offering the highlights of western Greenland.

-- A 15-day Ultimate Thule Expedition, reaching the northernmost edge of the inhabited world.

An eight-day East Greenland Explorer, visiting the world's largest fjord complex.

Currency

Shokalskiy's Arctic 2010 voyage rates are available in US dollars. Partners in Euro-area countries are also welcome to book our Euro rates. Reservations are now being taken.

Quark is offering an Early Booking Bonus of $500 per person (345 Euros) on all reservations confirmed by November 30, 2009. This reduction will be applied to the voyage fare. The offer cannot be combined with any other offer, such as the Past Passenger Discount. Commissions are paid on the amount net of the reduction.

Further details of the Arctic 2010 season will be available in November. Website: www.quarkexpeditions.com

Voyages of Discovery

Voyages Of Discovery’s Africa & The Red Sea Special Offer

Destination specialist Voyages of Discovery announces exceptional savings for its Africa & the Red Sea, March 27, 2010 21-night cruise – guests can take advantage of a $4,156 per person rate along with $495 to $795 air add-ons from Voyages of Discovery gateways.

--The Africa & Red Sea 21-night itinerary on the 650-passenger mv Discovery begins with a three-night Kenyan safari before boarding the ship in Mombasa, Kenya. Guests fly into Nairobi for one-night and transfer to Amboseli National Park for an afternoon game drive and overnight. The following day guests transfer to Tsavo National Park for another afternoon game drive and overnight. The third day they are transferred to Mombasa for an overnight on board the ship.

mv Discovery sails from Mombasa to the breathtaking beaches of Praslin and Mahe (overnight) in the Seychelles. Aden, and Hodeidah, Yemen; and Safaga (Luxor) (overnight), Egypt round out the restful and exciting itinerary. From Safaga guests fly to London for a two-night hotel stay before returning to North America. Visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.com website to view a short video of this specific itinerary.

In addition to great savings, all Voyages of Discovery itineraries feature an extensive enrichment program. Top historians, diplomats, scientists and naturalists provide background and insight into the history, culture, flora and fauna of the destinations visited.

During the past two years over $3.5 million has been spent refurbishing the public areas of mv Discovery, including the Seven Continents restaurant and some of the cabins with the objective of further improving the onboard facilities. An additional $3.5 million budget has been agreed for the next 12 months and the program includes refurbishment and improvements to the Yacht Club, as well as a major roll out of cabin refurbishment.

Winter 2009/10 and Summer 2010 cruise itineraries and pricing are available online at www.voyagesofdiscovery.com.   

Savings On Europe, the Mediterranean, Red Sea and North Africa.

Guests who book by Feb. 1, 2010, can take advantage of an additional 10% Launch Offer Savings.  Special rates for single travelers also are available.

Summer 2010 on mv Discovery will feature a wide range of interesting and eclectic destinations, said Mark Flager, vice president, sales, marketing and passenger services.  We’ll begin in Safaga, Egypt, on April 16, and sail the Mediterranean and Black Sea to Syria, Turkey, Spain and Italy before beginning our summer season round-trip from London to Scandinavia, the Baltic, Iceland and the Arctic.

New ports in 2010 include Sicilian Catania, Nauplion near the Greek citadel of Mycenae, the island of Korcula and the city of Split on the Dalmation Coast.

Each of the itineraries has been carefully planned to maximize time spent ashore, exploring sights, many beyond the reach of larger ships.  Guests will also be able to visit incredible inland destinations including Berlin and Cairo. Overnight stays provide passengers with the opportunity to appreciate the art and historic treasures of cultural epicenters such as St Petersburg and Venice or the outstanding volcanic beauty of Reykjavik.

Summer 2010 programs on the spacious and elegant, 650-passenger mv Discovery include a rare visit to Ilulissat (120 miles north of the Arctic Circle), Nuuk and Qaqortoq, Greenland, on the 17-night Iceland & Greenland voyage sailing August 6 from Reykjavik, Iceland.  Cruise fares (with Launch Offer Savings) start at $4,337 per person.

-- The British Isles Heritage Trail begins June 22 round-trip from Harwich (London) and includes Discovery’s first visit to Liverpool as well as visits to the Scilly Isles, Dublin, Belfast, Oban and Dundee.  Fares begin at $3,485 per person. At Dundee, Scotland, guests can visit the line’s namesake vessel, the restored RRS (Royal Research Ship) Discovery, flagship of the 1901 British National Antarctic Expedition under the command of Lt. Robert Falcon Scott.

-- Also new in 2010 is A Taste of France, a ten-night voyage calling at St. Helier, Channel Islands, and La Rochelle, Bordeaux (overnight), St. Malo and Rouen.  Fares for the Aug. 17 cruise begin at $3,458.

All Voyages of Discovery itineraries feature an extensive enrichment program. Top historians, diplomats, scientists and naturalists provide background and insight into the history, culture, flora and fauna of the destinations visited.   Scheduled guest speakers include Air Chief Marshall Sir Richard Johns; Derek Blundell, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics at Royal Holloway, University of London; and Prof. Richard Wilson, host of the BBC’s acclaimed Writers and Places series.

Every feature on the mv Discovery is designed with passengers’ comfort in mind. $3.5 million has been spent on updating and improving the facilities on the vessel over the last two years and a further $3.5 million will be spent this year.

From late May to late August next year, a majority of Voyages of Discovery’s summer cruises will sail round trip from Harwich (London).  Cruisetour packages feature two hotel nights in London pre- or post-cruise with an included half-day sightseeing tour.

The mv Discovery repositions to the Mediterranean on September 6 on a 20-night Grand Iberia & Italy sailing, with fares starting at $4,708 per person.  Late summer and fall cruise destinations include the French and Italian Riviera, the Adriatic and the Black Sea.  The season concludes with a stunning antiquities cruise beginning November 6 from Alexandria to Safaga, with calls at Sharm El Sheikh, Port Said (Cairo) and includes an overnight on board in Aqaba (Petra).  Fares for the 12-night Egypt & the Red Sea cruise begin at $3,516 per person.

The new program also features Grand Voyages that combine two or more summer cruises, offering excellent value and experiences.  Fares start at $6,232 per person for the Grand Andalucia, Italy & Adriatic, departing September 3, which combines the Grand Iberia & Italy voyage with the Venice & the Adriatic cruise.

To celebrate the launch of its Summer 2010 program, Voyages of Discovery is offering a 10 percent Launch Offer Savings for guests booked by February 1, 2010. Special rates for single travelers are also available.

Summer 2010 cruise itineraries and pricing are available online at www.voyagesofdiscovery.com. A full brochure will be released shortly and can be ordered online.  

Voyages of Discovery is a trading division of UK-based All Leisure Holidays, which also owns and operates Swan Hellenic and Hebridean Island Cruises.

For reservations contact your travel professional or Voyages of Discovery at 866-623-2689 (US) or visit www.voyagesofdiscovery.com.

The World

Itineraries Sure To Please Aboard The Residential Ship—The World

The World, the first and only private residential community at sea, is offering itineraries sure to please. In November 2009, the ship will visit Papua New Guinea where voyagers will dive rainbow reefs, trek volcanoes and visit the rainforest and desert savannah marsupials (23 nights/$18,500 per person). 

In September 2010, Residents and Guests will sail from Reykjavik, Iceland to Quebec, Canada a Greenland Expedition that will explore the globe’s largest island, its rich Nordic and Paleo-Eskimo history, abundant wildlife and stunning scenery. 

Two unforgettable Antarctica Expeditions will end the year, affording travelers the opportunity to visit the coldest, driest, highest and windiest of the seven continents.  Penguins and seals will float alongside The World on sculpted icebergs as vacationers access the land via kayaks and Zodiacs.  The first 10-night sail, from December 23, 2010 – January 2, 2011 will start from $19,500 per person.  The second, 18-night voyage, from January 3 – 21, 2011, will begin at $35,100 per person.

When sailing aboard The World, all meals, select alcoholic beverages, gratuities and port charges are included.  Guests who avail of the ship’s exceptional rental program are invited to customize their own sails.  The ship also offers a regular selection of Expeditions as well as Stay a Six Nights and Get the Seventh Free program where travelers can receive one night free for every six booked until December 22, 2010.  To save even more, each additional week spent on the ship will result in one more complimentary night and there is no limit on the length of stay or number of complimentary nights.

 This ship offers an elegant and intimate travel lifestyle with impeccable service and amenities that deliver a personalized and bespoke experience.  Discerning travelers can travel in one of the 165 private residences aboard The World or elect to own one of the select homes available for resale. For more information about residential purchase options or vacation experiences visit www.aboardtheworld.com.

 Headquartered in Miramar, FL, ResidenSea Management, Ltd. is the independent management company responsible for sales, marketing, operations and administration of The World, and also has an alliance with Christie’s Great Estates in building their membership.