Monday, 30 June 2014

To Greenland with Hurtigruten


The blog for my trip to Greenland with Hurtigruten for www.worldofcruising.co.uk magazine starts today at 2 pm on our sister blog Time Spent at sea today. It will be updated for the next twelve days so enjoy!    http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com



                                     Have a look at our sister blog http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com

Sunday, 29 June 2014


Just back from a fabulous trip in stunning Greenland with Hurtigruten. You can read all about it for the next two weeks on our sister blog http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com

You can see the cruise itself on www.hurtigruten.uk


                                     Have a look at our sister blog http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com

Outer Shores Expeditions

DISCOVER THE BC COAST IN 2015 ABOARD THE CLASSIC WOODEN SCHOONER PASSING CLOUD

Outer Shores Expeditions' popular sailings to Johnstone Straight, Haida Gwaii and Pacific Rim National Park return in 2015
 
Splash image
 


British Columbia’s leading sailing operator, Outer Shores Expeditions, unveils its 2015 schedule with wildlife and cultural expeditions to Western Canada’s best parks, reserves and archipelagos, including Haida Gwaii, ‘the Galapagos of the North.’ Guests will explore, experience and learn about the local wildlife and ancient cultures of coastal British Columbia while traveling aboard the 70′ classic wooden schooner Passing Cloud. The 2015 season begins April 11th in Pacific Rim National Park and concludes in Great Bear Rainforest on October 7th.
 
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“With a range of sold-out sailings in 2014, including a waiting list, we decided to release our 2015 schedule as early as possible,” says Russell Markel, Outer Shores Expeditions President and Captain. “More importantly, we’re already so excited for what adventures await in 2015, we couldn’t wait to share the news.”
 

With 19 sailings confirmed in 2015, Outer Shores Expeditions returns to Pacific Rim National Park, Haida Gwaii Archipelago, Johnstone Straight and Blackfish Sound and Gulf Islands National Park. The small-ground operator offers the region’s best land and sea experiences and care for their guests. Each trip is intimately designed and guided by a crew of professional mariners and naturalists, with opportunities to spot B.C. wildlife, like the elusive Spirit Bear, engage with local First Nations communities and even learn basic sailing skills aboard Passing Cloud, a nautical beauty beloved by sailing enthusiasts and first timers alike.

For more information about the 2015 schedule and rates, please visit www.outershores.ca/schedule/schedule-pricing-2015 or call 1-855-714-7233 (Toll Free).



                                     Have a look at our sister blog http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com


Saturday, 28 June 2014

Four rivers and nine wineries on a weeklong cruise from Portland, Oregon

Uncorked: Un-Cruise Adventures’ New River Cruise Blends Wine and History on the Columbia and Snake Rivers



Seattle, WA, June 24, 2014— Oenophiles unite on a river cruise. Un-Cruise Adventures’ 88-guest S.S. Legacy sails a new wine-centric itinerary on four departures along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in 2015. Departing roundtrip from Portland, the itinerary blends scenic cruising along four rivers with visits to nine wineries.

The weeklong Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History itinerary is offered August 15, August 22, August 29 and September 5, 2015. The inclusive cruise features four rivers—Columbia, Snake, Willamette and Palouse—and highlights the burgeoning wine regions in Washington and Oregon including Walla Walla, recently named one of the top ten wine regions in the world. A local wine expert joins guests on board for the week leading presentations and wine tastings.

Tastings at nine wineries are included in the cruise fare.  Wineries may include Springhouse Cellars, Maryhill Winery, AniChe Cellars, Bergevin Lane, Dunham Cellars, Terra Blanca, Sunshine Mill Winery and others. A visit to the Wine Shack in Cannon Beach includes tastings of Washington and Oregon wines. The Oil & Vinegar Bar nearby presents tastings of infused olive oil.

Highlights of the cruise include cruising through scenic Columbia River Gorge and visits to Hood River, Walla Walla, Astoria and Cannon Beach. Excursions explore towering Multnomah Falls, eclectic Maryhill Museum, Hanford Interpretive Center and Whitman Mission. A skiff ride travels into a scenic canyon to Palouse Falls.

On board, guests enjoy fresh, innovative cuisine paired with wines, tastings and engaging presentations. The 88-guest S.S. Legacy, a replica coastal steamer, emulates the steam ships found along the rivers in the early 1900s. Travelers enjoy the ambiance of an elegant coastal steamer with modern conveniences. Public spaces include a dining room, lounge with dance floor, wine bar and rollicking Pesky Barnacle Saloon. An elevator connects three decks. Wellness amenities include two hot tubs, a sauna, a massage, fitness equipment and yoga on deck.

Inclusive wine theme cruises offer on board interpretation by a heritage leader, a wine expert, and guided tours combined with innovative meals; premium wine, beer and spirits; all taxes and fees and transfers. Rates begin at US$3,695 per person, double occupancy.  All winery tasting fees are included.


The 88-guest S.S. Legacy also sails a weeklong Legacy of Discovery itinerary on the Columbia and Snake Rivers from August-November 2014 and April-November 2015. Charters and group incentives are available. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or sales@un-cruise.com.  


                                     Have a look at our sister blog http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com


Thursday, 26 June 2014

UNcruise Beer Cruise!

60-guest Wilderness Adventurer sails roundtrip Seattle

Un-Cruise Adventures hops to it with four new craft beer theme cruises set for Autumn and spring departures in Washington’s Puget Sound and Salish Sea. The Seattle-based adventure cruise line marries local micro-brew experts with adventure in scenic areas from South Hood Canal to Olympic National Park and the San Juan Islands.  
The 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer expedition vessel sails roundtrip Seattle on a weeklong itinerary from September – November and April – May.
Craft beer theme cruises are set for October 4, 2014, April 25 and October 3, 2015 and April 30, 2016. 

Highlights of the itinerary include hiking in Olympic National Park (a World Heritage Site), Mt. Constitution and Washington State Parks. Waterborne expeditions by kayaks, skiffs and paddle boards explore glacial fjords and the San Juan archipelago. In Quilcene Bay, a local family hosts a home-grown oyster and clam tasting. Guests enjoy free time in scenic Friday Harbor and discover Native cultures in Port Townsend. Eyes are kept peeled for marine life and seabirds—gray whales, orcas, seals, sea lions and bald eagles.


The craft beer cruise includes all meals, beer tastings, transfers, adventure activities, hot tub, sauna and yoga on deck. Rates begin at $1,895 per person, double occupancy. Charters and group incentives are available. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or sales@un-cruise.com 


                                     Have a look at our sister blog http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com



Wednesday, 25 June 2014

New Cattleya Riverboat To Provide Superior Amazon Cruises In Peru



Rainforest Cruises is launching four and five-day tours on a brand new Amazon riverboat, the M/V Cattleya, which will celebrate its maiden voyage in June.

The eight-passenger boutique vessel will offer intimate and luxurious cruises to the remote and little visited Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, in the Loreto region of the Peruvian Amazon.

Specially designed to be sleeker and have a smaller engine than other vessels in the region, the Cattleya will have the ability to quietly navigate further along the narrow tributaries and channels of the Amazon River, increasing the chance of passengers spotting illusive wildlife and allowing for a more peaceful and comfortable journey.  An added extra for guests is the chance to try Amazon cookery classes and to take part in free Spanish lessons.

To celebrate the launch, Rainforest Cruises is offering special discounts on all four and five-day Cattleya cruises in 2014 for bookings made before 1 July. Four day cruises now cost £1,099 per person, saving £270. Five day cruises cost £1,399, saving £370.

To book, go to www.rainforestcruises.com or call 020 8133 1907.


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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Celebrity Galapagos Cruise

Celebrity Cruises unveils authentic dining experience with locals and reforestation project in national park

To celebrate 10 years of offering adventure holidays to the Galapagos Islands, Celebrity Cruises has launched new land excursions that range from dining on authentic cuisine prepared by local residents to contributing to the protected islands by giving new life to a native tree species. 

The new adventures are included when sailing onboard Celebrity Xpedition, in addition to the daily naturalist-led lectures and excursions on the untouched islands, their highlands and beautiful beaches.


Celebrity Cruises Galapagos sailings range from seven to 15 nights onboard the 98-guest Celebrity Xpedition with prices for an all-inclusive ten-night cruise starting at £5339 per person for an Ocean View Stateroom departing on 5th July 2015 – selected packages feature all-inclusive amenities including adventure gear, chartered luxury air transfers, gourmet cuisine and in-stateroom dining and cocktails. 

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Pandaw River Cruises


10-night Golden Land      cruise-only  10% early booking discount
Ship: RV Katha Pandaw/RV Katha Pandaw II
Departure information: 15 October 2015
Departing from Amarapura and calling at Yandabo, Pagan, Magwe, Minhla and Gwechaung, Prome, A Kauktaung, Danupyu, Twante and Rangoon.  
Price:
Cruise only from £2,191 pp

Seven-night Mekong Exploration    cruise-only  10% early booking discount
Ship: RV Mekong Pandaw
Departure information: 12 December 2015

Departing from Saigon and calling at Cai Be, Chau Doc, Phnom Penh, Tonle River, Kampong Cham and Siem Reap

Price:
Cruise only from £1,388pp

For reservations and further information, please contact:
Tel: + 44 203 287 6113


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Saturday, 21 June 2014

Theme Cruises Planned in Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Mexico With Un-Cruise Adventures



Marine biology, photography, Lewis & Clark, and craft beer themes among options


Travellers looking for that extra something special to spark their interest have more theme cruises to choose from in 2014/2015 with Un-Cruise Adventures' current lineup on its small ship cruises in Alaska, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés,  Columbia & Snake Rivers and coastal Washington. Planned themes include photography, marine biology, Lewis & Clark, Washington craft beer, Washington wine, and music/entertainment.

Alaska
The 84-guest Safari Endeavour sails roundtrip Juneau on an Alaska cruise exploring the wilderness for a week, no port calls. Two days are spent inside Glacier Bay National Park where guests can go ashore and hike with a park ranger or kayak and explore glaciers by sea.  Photography, marine biology and wine theme cruises are planned for upcoming dates in 2014 and 2015.
Photography:  June 29, 2014, David Julian; August 17, 2014, Billy Howard; June 7 and July 5, 2015
Marine Biology: July 6 and July 13, 2014, Jackie Hedgpeth; August 10, 2014, Gary Freitag; July 26, August 2 and August 16, 2015
Wine: June 15, 2014, Kevin Correll, Barrage Cellars

The 88-guest S.S. Legacy sails weeklong Alaska cruises between Juneau and Ketchikan, Alaska (and reverse) with included shore excursions in each port. Nationally-acclaimed singing duo Letters from Home brings their 1940s style harmonies, tap dancing and comedy to one departure.
Music/Entertainment:  June 22, 2014, Letters From Home


Mexico’s Sea of Cortés
The 84-guest Safari Endeavour sails two Mexico cruise itineraries roundtrip San José del Cabo, Baja, Mexico from November – March. Guests enjoy a full complement of water sports activities, seek out marine life and explore remote, scenic desert landscapes.  Marine biology and photography experts join four theme cruises. 

Marine Biology: February 21 and March 14, 2015
Photography:  January 24, 2015, Stephen Matera; February 14, 2015, Wolfgang Kaehler

Coastal Washington
The 60-guest Wilderness Adventurer sails roundtrip Seattle in spring and fall on a coastal Washington cruise exploring Puget Sound and Salish Sea from South Hood Canal to Olympic National Park and the San Juan Islands by foot, kayak, skiff and paddle boards.  Two Washington craft beer theme cruises are planned with guest experts on board, special tastings and tours to small craft breweries.

Craft beer: Oct 4, 2014; April 25, 2015


More information on theme cruises and guest hosts can be found on our website. Charters and group incentives are available. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or Un-Cruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or sales@un-cruise.com


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Friday, 20 June 2014

Zegrahm Expeditions Announces Diving on 2014 Expedition Madagascar


100-Guest, All-Suite Island Sky to be Fully Retrofitted for Scuba Diving Operations

Zegrahm Expeditions, is pleased to announce the 100-guest Island Sky will be retrofitted to offer complimentary scuba diving on the upcoming Voyage to Madagascar expedition. Already outfitted with snorkeling equipment, this spacious expedition vessel will now cater to an even more adventurous clientele.

Departing November 28, 2014, the 19-day Voyage to Madagascar with Zanzibar, Comoros, Réunion & Mauritius combines rugged coastlines with pristine coral reefs and a vast variety of wildlife. Guests will spend six days in Madagascar alone, searching for mouse, black, and brown lemurs; 32 species of reptiles; and over 100 species of birds. With the addition of diving, guests will spend time among some of East Africa’s healthiest reefs, teeming with colorful fish, reef sharks, and turtles. Other highlights include visiting Zanzibar’s Stone Town—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—searching the indigenous forest in Mauritius, and exploring the mélange of Arabic and French architecture in the Comoros. Priced from $13,980 per person.
 visit www.zegrahm.com or call   1-800-628-8747.

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Thursday, 19 June 2014

New Myanmar cruise & stay, saving £200pp




5th December 2014 
Experience one of the world’s newest emerging tourist destinations, Myanmar, on a 10 night luxury cruise on board the brand new luxury river cruiser, AmaPura, visiting sacred sites, small villages, markets, temples, pagodas and Buddhist monasteries, with three nights’ hotel accommodation in Yangon. AmaWaterways’ Golden Treasures of Myanmar launches in November 2014 and on 5th December a 13 night land-cruise currently has a saving of £200pp, bringing the price down to £4599pp including return flights, transfers, 3 nights’ hotel accommodation, daily excursions, all meals, house wine, local beer and soft drinks with every lunch and dinner.   

Contact AmaWaterways on 0808 256 8422, www.amawaterways.co.uk 

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Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Titan River Cruise Brochure


Titan Travel  in exclusive partnership with the deluxe river cruise operator, Uniworld, has launched the first edition of its new 2015 river cruise brochure with six brand new itineraries and savings of up to £800 per person on bookings made before the end of September 2014.

As a further incentive a free case of quality wine will be sent to previous Titan/ Uniworld clients if they book their 2015 Uniworld cruise before 12th July 2014.

With 36 itineraries showcased, offering more choice than ever before, guests can look forward to sailing some of the grandest and most scenic waterways of Europe, Russia, China, Vietnam and Cambodia, aboard Uniworld’s fleet of exquisitely appointed floating boutique-style hotels. With an average capacity of 130 guests and the highest staff-to-guest ratio in the river cruise industry, all the 5-star vessels are designed by Red Carnation Hotels and include original works  of art, antiques and elegant furnishings.



                                     Have a look at our sister blog http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

LINDBLAD EXPEDITIONS-NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PARTNERS WITH B&H PHOTO VIDEO


 Exclusive Gear Discounts & Pre-Trip Recommendations, Itinerary-Specific Shooting Tips 

Capturing once-in-a-lifetime memories has always been at the heart of the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic travel experience. Now, thanks to a special partnership with world-renowned retailer B&H Photo Video, Lindblad guests will have access to exclusive discounts on gear, pre-trip gear recommendations and customized shooting tips that will help them make the most of the magical scenes set to unfold before their eyes and lenses.
Each booked Lindblad guest will receive a guests-only link to B&H gear recommendations and discounts of up to 15% that are tailored specifically for the chosen itinerary.  The initiative is curated by Lindblad’s Director of Expedition Photography Ralph Lee Hopkins and B&H experts, and includes a private webinar that will offer itinerary-specific information - from the equator to the South Pacific, and from the southern to the northern Polar Regions - that will have each photographer positioned to succeed before the first image is snapped.  Guests will receive a special B&H customer service number and email where knowledgeable specialists can consult on specific gear needs and tips based on the unique conditions of the geography.  Finally B&H experts will join select Photo Expeditions to offer new gear for guests to test and lead interactive workshops onboard.

For more information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s Expedition Photography initiative, visit www.expeditions.com/why-us/expedition-photography/.  To learn more about exploring the world with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic visit www.expeditions.com

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Hurtigruten Greenland Cruises


Well by the time you read this I will be in Greenland with Hurtigruten on a ten day west coast cruise. Hopefuly satellite communications will be OK and you can see my posts on our sister site http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com

You can see the cruise itself on www.hurtigruten.co.uk


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Pandaw Cruises


14-night ‘The Irrawaddy’ cruise-only  10% early booking discount
Ship: RV Pandaw II
Departure information: 10 February 2016
Departing from Rangoon and calling at Danupyu, Myanaung, Prome, Thayetmyo, Magwe, Sale, Pagan (for an overnight stay), Yandabo, Mandalay, Kyauk-Myoung, Mingun and Mandalay.

Price:  Cruise only from £3,075 pp
Seven-night Exploring Ancient Arakan cruise-only  10% early booking discount
Ship: RV Katha Pandaw
Departure information: 22 January 2016
Departing from Sittwe and calling at Wabo, Mrauk U for an overnight stay, The Tattoo villages, Kyauktaw and returning to Sittwe for an overnight stay.

Price:
Cruise only from £1,881pp

Prices are per person based on two people sharing a room, fully inclusive of all tips and gratuities, dining and non-premium drinks.
For reservations and further information, please contact:
Tel: + 44 203 287 6113 www.pandaw.com


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Friday, 13 June 2014

COMPAGNIE DU PONANT UNVEILS ITS LATIN AMERICA COLLECTION FOR 2014 / 2015


From the wide open wilderness of Patagonia to the tropical forests in Panama, South America offers the discerning visitor an astonishing range of scenery and a mosaic of sites where vestiges of the past remain intact. For the 2014/2015 Winter Season, COMPAGNIE DU PONANT is offering passengers the opportunity to board LE BORÉAL and LE SOLÉAL (132 staterooms and suites) to discover Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina.

From port to port, Compagnie du Ponant invites passengers to explore Latin America in another way, mooring as close as it is possible to be to protected sites, and offering them unrivalled levels of comfort, elegance and five-star service. Passengers will be travelling in the company of experts, historians and guides who are passionate about their subjects.

Supported by a comprehensive programme of shore excursions to UNESCO World Heritage sites, the eight “cruise-circuits” conceived by Compagnie du Ponant offer so much more than a cruise: this is a genuine travel experience. Plus, Compagnie du Ponant is introducing the Open Bar package on all South America itineraries this winter!

EVEN MORE BENEFITS
The Open Bar will be included on all the South America itineraries. From embarkation throughout the cruise, unlimited complimentary drinks will be available, including a selection of fine wines, champagnes, spirits, mineral water and soft drinks.

The Transatlantic Marseille - Montevideo cruise on LE SOLÉAL (21 days / 20 nights) will be offered free for all bookings on the Montevideo - Ushuaia cruise (departs 16 October 2014).

PANAMA CANAL: 100 YEARS
From the Dutch West Indies to Columbia, via Ecuador and Peru, passengers on LE BORÉAL will have the privilege of crossing the Panama Canal in its centenary year and discovering remarkable sites in a protected natural environment: the colonial towns of Cartagena and Trujillo, the Darien National Park (meeting the Emberá Indians), the Chan Chan archaeological site, and Lima.

Curaçao - Callao (10 days / 9 nights) - Departs 16 October 2014 - From €2,020 per person
Pre-cruise programme: Curaçao
Post-cruise programme: Lima, Machu Picchu (5 days / 4 nights)
Extension: Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Arequipa (4 days / 3 nights)

FROM PERU TO CHILE
From Lima to Valparaiso, LE BORÉAL will make a call near Arequipa in Peru before revealing the treasures of Chile’s north coast such as Arica, Caldera and the Azapa valley and plateau. On the edge of the Atacama Desert, passengers have an opportunity to meet the Chinchorro Indians.

Callao - Valparaiso (9 days / 8 nights) - Departs 25 October 2014 - From €1,790 per person
Post-cruise programme: Machu Picchu (5 days / 4 nights), Valparaiso and Santiago (2 days / 1 night)

CHILEAN FJORDS
LE BORÉAL offers a captivating cruise to the “slender country” of Pablo Neruda, calling at Chiloé Island off Puerto Montt in the “lake district”, Tortel a small village at the end of the world, and the Torres Del Paine Park.

The itinerary includes three days sailing in the Chilean fjords and another three around Cape Horn.

Valparaiso - Ushuaia (14 days / 13 nights) - Departs 2 November 2014 - From €3,520 per person
Pre-cruise programme: Valparaiso (2 days / 1 night)
Post-cruise programme: Iguazú Falls (4 days / 3 nights

Ushuaia - Valparaiso (14 days / 13 nights) - Departs 27 February 2015 - From €3,520 per person
Pre-cruise programme: Iguazú Falls (3 days / 3 nights), Buenos Aires (1 night)
Post-cruise programme: Valparaiso and Santiago (2 days / 1 night)

CAPE HORN WITH OLIVIER DE KERSAUSON
Leaving from Montevideo, LE SOLÉAL will be venturing in the wake of the great navigators between Argentina and Chile, crossing the famous Magellan Strait and legendary Cape Horn, calling at Tierra del Fuego and the Torres Del Paine National Park. On board, Olivier de Kersauson will relive his experiences in these regions that he knows well and which are particularly dear to him.

Montevideo - Ushuaia (10 days / 9 nights) - Departs 5 November 2014 - From €3,860 per person
Transatlantic crossing Marseille - Montevideo offered free (21 days / 20 nights) - From 16 October to 5 November 2014
Pre-cruise programme: Montevideo
Post-cruise programme: Iguazú Falls

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE INCAS
From the sublime bay of Valparaiso, LE BORÉAL will be sailing up the Peruvian coast for a cruise rich in emotions with a visit to the Humberstone ghost town (UNESCO), discovering the towns of Iquique, Arica, Arequipa, Lima and Trujillo and exploring the pre-Inca Chauchilla necropolis and Chan Chan archaeological site.

Valparaiso - Guayaquil (13 days / 12 nights) - Departs 12 March 2015 - From €2,700 per person
Pre-cruise programme: Valparaiso
Post-cruise programme: from Quito to Cuenca (4 days/ 4 nights), Galápagos Islands (5 days / 4 nights)
Extensions: Cuzco & Machu Picchu (3 days / 2 nights) - Flight over the Nazca Lines

SECRETS OF CENTRAL AMERICA
Ecuador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala... LE BORÉAL will bear its passengers away into the very heart of Central America. A concentration of architectural, cultural and natural gems await them in Central America, including the Manuel Antonio National Park (Costa Rica), Granada, the Mombacho Nature Reserve, the Tikal ruins (UNESCO) one of the major sites of the Maya civilisation, and La Antigua, one of the best preserved colonial towns in Spanish America.

Guayaquil - Puerto Caldera (9 days / 8 nights) - Departs 24 March 2015 - From €1,790 per person
Pre-cruise programme: Galápagos Islands (5 days / 4 nights), from Quito to Cuenca (4 days / 4 nights), Guyaquil (2 days / 1 night)
Post-cruise programme: the Guacalillo Estuary on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast (1 day / 1 night)
Extension: Tikal by plane (1 day / 1 night)

PANAMA AND THE DARIEN
After an exceptional port of call to visit the Darien National Park where they will go up the Mogue river in zodiacs® and local canoes to meet the Emberá Indians, LE BORÉAL passengers will cross the Panama Canal on their way to the Caribbean, Holandes Cayes island, Cartagena (UNESCO) and finally Curaçao.

Puerto Caldera - Curaçao (8 days / 7 nights) - Departs 1st April 2015 - From €1,570 per person
Pre-cruise programme: Guacalillo Estuary on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast (1 day / 1 night)
Post-cruise programme: Curaçao (2 days / 1 night)

For more information and to book, visit www.ponant.com or call 0800 980 4027



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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

FIRST EDITION OF RIVER CRUISING GUIDE



BERLITZ AUTHOR TURNS FROM OCEAN CRUISING TO RIVER CRUISING

Douglas Ward, the Berlitz author renowned for setting the internationally recognised rating system for ocean-going cruise ships worldwide, has turned his attention to river cruising. June 2014  sees the publication of the first edition of the frank and forthright Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe (£14.99). Almost every river cruise company promises ‘luxury’, but what does ‘luxury’ really mean?
Considered by many the world’s foremost authority of cruising, having spent more than 45 years working in the cruise industry, Douglas Ward travels up to 200 days each year aboard the world’s ocean-going cruise ships and riverships. He is best known for Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships, the best-selling annual guide to ocean cruising, which in September 2014 celebrates its 30th year of publication.

The first edition of Berlitz: River Cruising in Europe (published June 2014, 256 pages, £14.99) is available from all good bookshops. 


                                     Have a look at our sister blog http://timespentatsea.blogspot.com




Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Cruise into Manaus for World Cup match days


Counting down the days until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil begins on June 12, Rainforest Cruises is now offering £324 off last minute bookings on their special five-day Manaus World Cup Amazon Cruises.

Passengers can combine all the action and drama of one of the world’s most exciting sporting events with a stay in a traditional Amazon cruiser right on the river itself, surrounded by the natural beauty and serenity of the rainforest.

Cruise itineraries have been specially designed with fans and tourists in mind, coordinating adventurous jungle hikes, nocturnal canoe safaris, piranha fishing and more, around all the colour, passion and flair on the pitch, as the riverboat will dock at the bustling port of Manaus for game days.

The following cruises are available:

  • 11-15 June (match 14 June, England v Italy)
  • 19-23 June (match 22 June, USA v Portugal)
  • 24-28 June (match 25 June, Honduras v Switzerland)
DETAILS
Each boat has capacity for 24 passengers, with 12 fully air-conditioned twin bunk cabins, private bathrooms, and spacious, comfortable public areas including a bar with a flat screen satellite TV.

A five-day World Cup Manaus cruise package with Rainforest Cruises, which normally costs £1,299, is now only £975 per person.

Fly from London to Sao Paulo Guarulhos or Rio de Janeiro and then take an internal flight to Manaus. 

Visit www.rainforestcruises.com for more information or call 020 8133 1907 to book.

AdventureSmith Explorations Reports Sales of Amazon Cruises Have Doubled over Two Years


Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations reports that sales of its Amazon programs have doubled since 2012. In response it has added to www.adventuresmithexplorations.com a dedicated Amazon trips section that showcases its cruise and lodge options in the rainforests of Peru, Ecuador and Brazil.

The company has also expanded its inventory of itineraries utilizing purpose-built, small expedition boats in this region.


Following are thumbnail sketches of Amazon riverboats and itineraries. All rates quoted are per person, double occupancy inclusive of all land excursions with professional guides, meals and use of on-vessel facilities. These river cruises access remote tributaries often free of lodges and signs of human life, providing minute-by-minute immersion into the flora and fauna and wildlife of the region.

Ecuador: The 40-guest Anakonda with wood-paneled and glass exterior is crafted in timeless riverboat style but with the space and comforts sought by modern adventurers. Built in 2013, it is the only luxury ship in this region. It offers three spacious decks with ample room in the lounge, outdoor patio, forward salons and a huge observation deck. Well-appointed staterooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and a large bathroom with massage shower. The suites are even larger with a balcony and Jacuzzi tub. Itineraries of four, five and eight days are from $1,600. Among the highlights is a village-hosted lunch deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon, one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world.

Peru: AdventureSmith Expeditions’ cruises in Peru begin and end in Iquitos. Last year the 31-guest Amatista was refurbished and now offers more affordable four and six-day cruises from $1,550. The cruise begins near the border with Brazil and Columbia in Iquitos, one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and the gateway to one of world’s most remote and extraordinary tropical environments. Two thirds of the world’s plants and animal species make their home in this region, as well as many more that are yet to be discovered. This cruise accesses the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, one of the last accessible tropical rainforests in the world. The Reserve has an area of 2.08 million hectares, which represents a 1.5 percent of the total land area of the country and is the largest of Peru’s protected natural areas.

Renovated in 2014, the 14-suite Delfin II is one of the most sought-after cruise vessels in Peru, frequently chartered by Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic for a unique 10 day expedition Exploring Peru’s Pacaya-Samiria Reserve that brings their unique style of intellectual exploration with on-board experts from National Geographic. Other four and five-day cruises from $2,300 are year-round. Throughout the ship is artwork from Peru's leading contemporary artists. (Art may be purchased and shipped home.)  A massage room and exercise room both offer wall-to-wall windows for enjoying ever-changing landscapes. Some of the spacious suites can be interconnected to accommodate families.

Luxurious all-suite, 32-guest Aria built in 2011 with Jacuzzi and exercise room offers year-round itineraries of four, five and eight days from $3,315 for the journey into the region defined by three powerful Amazon tributaries: the Marañón, the Ucayali and the Puinahua. Aria’s ambiance is that of a first-class jungle lodge, with oversized staterooms that accommodate linen-swathed twin beds converting to California king beds. Guests dine on fine china. Executive chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, one of Lima’s culinary stars, has created a menu that draws on both Peruvian and European influence. Wine is included with meals, providing the opportunity to experience a range of the finest South American vintages.

Aria’s sister ship is 24-guest Aqua, a luxury floating hotel, offers four, five and eight-day cruises year round from $3,165. This riverboat accesses via small launches remote estuaries in the Peruvian rainforest and the Reserve.

Brazil: In 2014 AdventureSmith Explorations added the 18-guest Tucano, a motor yacht operating out of Manaus, Brazil. This is the only vessel that explores far into the world’s largest Amazon reserve and the only expedition cruise in a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, the Central Amazon Conservation Complex. Five- and eight-day cruises are from $1,800. Venturing far up the Rio Negro immerses guests in abundant wildlife.  At Encontra das Aguas guests witness the meeting of the waters of the world’s two largest rivers: the light-colored Amazon River and the dark Rio Negro, waters that don’t readily mix but flow side by side for many miles.

For more information, cabin descriptions, availability and 2014 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit www.adventuresmithexplorations.com.