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Is this the ultimate Antarctic Cruise Expedition?

Posted by Andrew Castles on March 21, 2023


The ‘White Continent’ of Antarctica remains at the top of the bucket-list for many expeditioners, but with so many itineraries on offer it can be hard to work out which one is best for you.

Generally, when considering an Antarctic expedition, the first question you might ask yourself is whether you will cruise from the bottom of South America, with just a two-day crossing of the legendary Drake Passage to the Antarctica Peninsula, or from Australia / New Zealand, which has longer crossings but allows access to the Ross Sea region and the sub-Antarctic islands.

If you elect to cruise from South America, you then need to consider whether you go for a shorter cruise down to the Antarctic Peninsula from Ushuaia (9 or 10 days), maybe push into the icy Weddell Sea or across the Antarctic Circle, which can add a few days, or even a three-week Antarctica Peninsula, South Georgia and Falkland Islands expedition.

The number of options that are available can leave you feeling a little overwhelmed!


An Epic Expedition Across Antarctica


Or, you could join an epic 33-day expedition from Ushuaia all the way through to Dunedin in New Zealand aboard a brand-new, state-of-the-art expedition ship that will have you exploring the icy waters and southern-most islands where only an elite group of adventurers, explorers and scientists have ventured before.

Departing from Ushuaia, Argentina on 16 February 2024, the state-of-the-art SH Minerva will undertake a semi-circumnavigation of Antarctica, along the Peninsula, through the Weddell, Bellingshausen, Amundsen and Ross seas, through McMurdo Sound and Terra Nova Bay and via the Sub-Antarctic Islands of Macquarie, Campbell and Enderby. This is truly an incredible adventure. 

Along the way, SH Minerva’s 152 lucky expeditioners will be treated to outstanding wildlife experiences, zodiac excursions amongst the icebergs, and the opportunity to set foot on the ‘7th Continent’.  They will be led by an outstanding expedition team who will maximise the expedition experience by planning each day’s adventures around weather, sea and ice conditions.



Explore in Style aboard SH Minerva


Launched in 2021, the new, 5-star SH Minerva features elegant Scandinavian design and is an intimate setting from which to immerse yourself in all the sights and scenery throughout your expedition. Accommodating no more than 152 guests for a truly boutique experience, and you will be exceptionally well looked after by an international crew of up to 120. 

SH Minerva is an expedition ship in the truest sense of the words and is built to the highest of international standards. She is designed to journey to 'off the beaten path' destinations and remote polar regions in style and comfort, having achieved a PC5 rating for her ice-strengthened hull, which combined with extra-large stabilisers makes your journey as smooth as possible.





Onboard, the 70 staterooms and six suites have all the modern amenities you will need to feel comfortable including dressing gowns, hairdryers, personal safes and minibars. You’re able to choose from two different types of spacious Suite (between 44 and 49 square metres in size), or five styles of Stateroom, all offering spacious surrounds (between 19 and 28 square metres) and panoramic views. Your home away from home also features a dressing area and comfy seating. En suite bathrooms all feature glass-enclosed rain showers.



Discerning travellers will enjoy a choice of restaurants, several bars, and comfortable lounges with panoramic views. To keep active during your expedition, make use of the pool, jacuzzi, spa and fitness gym.

Expedition amenities include a basecamp for storage of gear, lecture lounge, an Expedition Laboratory where guests can take part in scientific research, a reference library and of course a fleet of excursion tenders that will ensure you're never far from the action!



Fares for this once-in-a-lifetime 33-day Antarctic adventure start at AUD $40,101 per person, twin share in an Oceanview Stateroom, up to AUD $73,334 per person, twin share for the uber-luxurious Premium Suite. 


See all Accommodation grades and fares for this expedition


Find out more about SH Minerva


See the full itinerary


Cruise fares include the following:

·      One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard 

·      All meals onboard 

·      24-hour room service 

·      Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day

·      Lecture programmes by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers

·      Standard WiFi

·      Onboard gratuities and port taxes

·      One selected shore excursion/expedition activity per port of call (Kayak not included, bookable for a fee on board)

·      Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions


To find out more about this incredible expedition, or to secure your place, contact the expert team at Expedition Cruise Specialists today on 1800 90 20 80 or email us.


See other Antarctic expeditions aboard SH Minerva:


10 Day Antarctica Peninsula Discovery


12 Day Weddell Sea Discovery


18 Day In Shackleton’s Footsteps




Prices are subject to change and individual stateroom grades are subject to availability at the time of booking. Prices are in Australian Dollars and are accurate as at 20 March 2023.

Coral Discoverer Refurb + SAVE on 2023 Kimberley

Posted by Andrew Castles on February 10, 2023




With the 2023 Kimberley Cruising season set to commence in April, recent heavy rains across the region are sure to result in a bumper waterfall season for those lucky enough to cruise in the first half of the season.

One of our favourite expedition ships, the 72-passenger Coral Discoverer, commences her 2023 Kimberley schedule on 04 April, and guests boarding her in Darwin can look forward to several cosmetic enhancements and upgrades that were put in place during the ship’s recent maintenance period during December 2022. 

As is the case with entire Coral Expeditions fleet, Coral Discoverer undergoes regular refurbishment, and this year’s out-of-water maintenance allowed for the following works to be completed, ensuring the ship is looking completely revitalised for guests lucky enough to be joining her in the Kimberley in 2023:


·      New panoramic windows adorning the dining room and bridge deck lounge

·      New upholstery including dining room chairs and a reupholstered lounge in the bridge

·      New outdoor furnishings, including sun lounge cushions

·      The commencement of replacing bathroom fittings in all staterooms (ongoing).





Anyone who has travelled with Coral Expeditions in the past will appreciate their unique Xplorer excursion tenders, which allow expeditioners to access hard-to-reach locations normally only accessible to the smallest of ships. So, during these most recent works, the expedition team aboard Coral Discoverer were excited to receive a brand new Xplorer, which is slightly wider and longer than the previous model, allowing for an even more comfortable expedition experience. Updated features aboard the new Xplorer include a ‘shore connection’ that allows the tender’s batteries to be recharged while she is stowed on the hydraulic platform, and state-of-the-art 300 horse powered outboard engines providing even greater performance and reliability.








With heavy rains throughout the Kimberley over recent weeks, 2023 is shaping up as an unforgettable time to experience the big waterfalls of the Kimberley for yourself. And, as you’ll be cruising with Coral Expeditions you won’t have to deal with any road closures due to the floods as you make your way up the coast!

There’s still a number of cabins available for you to explore the Kimberley Coast across the 2023 season aboard Coral Expeditions’ fleet of small ships, the intimate 72-passenger Coral Discoverer and state-of-the-art sister ships Coral Adventurer and Geographer.






And, for new 2023 Kimberley bookings made between 10 February and 30 June 2023 only (or until sold out), you can take advantage of saving of $500 per person off regular cruise fares, plus receive complimentary onboard internet access (up to 4GB) to allow you to keep in contact with friends and family at home while you cruise.

The special offer is available on both 10- and 12-night Kimberley cruises departing in 2023 aboard all three Coral Expeditions small ships.


See more about the Coral Expeditions fleet:


Coral Discoverer – intimate small ship cruising (72 expeditioners)


Coral Adventurer – A state-of-the-art small ship (120 expeditioners)


Coral Geographer – Sister-ship to Coral Adventurer (120 expeditioners)


Contact the expert team at Expedition Cruise Specialists today on 1800 90 20 80 to secure your 2023 Kimberley Cruise or email [email protected]





This special offer is valid for new bookings only made between 10 February and 30 June 2023, or until sold out. The offer is not combinable with any other promotion or discount.

Eco Abrolhos – 2023 Kimberley Cruises Still Available!

Posted by Andrew Castles on January 24, 2023




Book one of the last remaining 2023 Bunk Cabins (Lower Deck or King Single cabin categories) and receive $1,000 per person in Flight Credits to get you to the Kimberley & back! Ask us for more details today. Applies to new bookings only made after 01 March 2023.



With record rain fall right through the Kimberley in recent weeks, 2023 is shaping up to offer ‘prime time viewing’ of the region's big waterfalls over coming months. For expeditioners keen to make the most of seeing these falls at their magnificent best, we’ve still got a number of cabins available aboard a handful of ships, including Coral Expedition’s stylish fleet of three small ships, the 30 passenger Eco Abrolhos and the intimate Reef Prince.




For a more active Kimberley cruising experience, a 14-day cruise aboard the classic 35-metre catamaran Eco Abrolhos might be everything you’re looking for. This itinerary is designed to maximise your adventure and see as much as possible. Now don’t get us wrong, you don’t have to be young and super fit, or a marathon runner to take part in this cruise, but the Eco Abrolhos will aim to provide as much time as possible for excursions including swimming in secluded waterholes, exploring beach and bush trails, not to mention the opportunity for fishing and Aboriginal rock art viewing.

While Kimberley cruising is proving more popular than ever given ‘post-Covid’ pent-up demand, it’s actually not too late to secure your 2023 Eco Abrolhos Kimberley cruise. We have a handful of cabins left available across the season for those who are ready to book now.



The Eco Abrolhos - A Classic Catamaran


At just 35-metres in length, Eco Abrolhos takes her name from Western Australia’s spectacular Abrolhos Islands off Geraldton, the company’s home base and first cruising waters. She accommodates no more than 30 travellers, what we like to call a true small-group experience. The atmosphere onboard is attentive, yet laidback and uniquely Australian, you’ll experience all that the Kimberley has to offer without having to worry about what you’re going to be dressing up in for dinner that night!

Aboard Eco Abrolhos there’s four grades of accommodation to choose from, depending on your budget and whether you’re travelling alone or as part of a couple. From the spacious, top-of-the-range King Bed Deluxe Staterooms through Double Staterooms and the Bunk-bedded King and Lower Deck cabins, there’s an option to suit everyone. All cabins feature a private en suite and air-conditioning, with all but a couple of cabins offering external views. While the accommodations may lack some of the latest amenities on offer on the most modern larger ships plying the waters of the Kimberley (such as in-cabin TVs and marble bathrooms), they are comfortable, and after all, you’re here to experience the best of the Kimberley, not sit in your cabin all day!



The Eco Abrolhos Kimberley itinerary is 13-nights in duration, between Broome and Wyndham (Kununurra) and vice versa. You’ll experience all of the Kimberley’s iconic sights, such as Horizontal Falls, King Cascades, Montgomery Reef, King George Falls and many more, and will also have time to flick a lure in search of a barra and take a dip in a cooling billabong. Being 13-nights in duration, there’s plenty of time to linger if travellers are enjoying a particular location or there’s some wildlife viewing on offer, this itinerary never feels rushed. Given the early season rainfalls the Kimberley has been experiencing over recent weeks, you can expect the Kimberley’s big falls – such as King George and Mitchell – to be at their absolute best, particularly in the early season departures during May and June.


When it’s time to head ashore to explore, Eco Abrolhos’s four custom-built expedition tenders deliver you into the heart of the action. Featuring powerful 140Hp engines, forward facing central seating and high sides, these excursion boats offer the perfect viewing and photo platforms as the crew guide you up tidal rivers and amongst the mangroves. Dropdown front stairs on the tenders makes boarding comfortable and easy and the full walk-around sides make fishing a breeze. Multiple tenders allows the team aboard Eco Abrolhos to cater to the various desires of guests. Perhaps some expeditioners might wish to climb to the top of a waterfall while others would prefer to glide down creeks spotting wildlife such as saltwater crocodiles. That’s no problem aboard the Eco Abrolhos.



Throughout your cruise you will be able to take part in a range of activities each day. Hikes, treks, bushwalks; call them what you will but they are popular during these cruises and the rewards are well worth the effort. In addition to hikes to the Aboriginal rock art sites, there are multiple walks to freshwater swimming holes, hikes exploring side tributaries with small waterfalls and rock faces, walks into areas to see stunning birds and wildlife and even a walk over a salt flat to an intact C53 plane wreck in Vansittart Bay.


2023 Availability – Eco Abrolhos Kimberley Cruises 


See the Broome to Wyndham Itinerary


See the Wyndham to Broome Itinerary


Find out more about Eco Abrolhos, including room grade photos



As of today (01 March 2023) the following availability remains for Eco Abrolhos 2023 Kimberley Cruises. Keep in mind though that cabins are filling fast so it’s best to call the Expedition Cruise Specialists team on 1800 90 20 80 for the most up-to-date availability.


Eco Abrolhos 2023 Kimberley Schedule & Fares

13 Nights Broome to Wyndham and vice versa


Broome to Wyndham – 09 May to 22 May 2023

2 X Queen Stateroom (1 internal)

2 X King Single Bunk Cabin (internal)

1 X Lower Deck Bunk Cabin (porthole)

Wyndham to Broome – 24 May to 06 June 2023

1 X Queen Stateroom (internal)

2 X King Single Bunk Cabin (1 internal)

2 X Lower Deck Bunk Cabin (porthole)


Broome to Wyndham – 08 June to 21 June 2023

1 X Queen Stateroom (internal)

3 X King Single Bunk Cabin (1 internal)

3 X Lower Deck Bunk Cabin (porthole)

Wyndham to Broome – 23 June to 06 July 2023

2 X King Single Bunk Cabin (1 internal)

2 X Lower Deck Bunk Cabin (porthole)



Broome to Wyndham – 08 July to 21 July 2023

1 X King Single Bunk Cabin (internal)

1 X Lower Deck Bunk Cabin (porthole)

Wyndham to Broome – 23 July to 05 August 2023

1 X Queen Stateroom (internal)

1 X King Single Bunk Cabin (internal)

2 X Lower Deck Bunk Cabin (porthole)


Broome to Wyndham – 07 August to 20 August 2023

1 X King Bed Deluxe (window)

1 X Queen Stateroom (internal)

2 X King Single Bunk Cabin (1 internal)

4 X Lower Deck Bunk Cabin (porthole)

Wyndham to Broome – 22 August to 04 September 2023

1 X King Bed Deluxe (window)

1 X Queen Stateroom (internal)

2 X King Single Bunk Cabin (1 internal)

4 X Lower Deck Bunk Cabin (porthole)


2023 Cruise Fares 

Lower Deck Cabin –  $13,115 per person, twin share PLUS receive $1,000 per person Air Credit Bonus!

Lower Deck Cabin (single traveller) – $15,740 per person PLUS receive $1,000 per person Air Credit Bonus!

King Bunk Cabin – $14,165 per person, twin share PLUS receive $1,000 per person Air Credit Bonus!

Double / Queen Bed Stateroom – $16,265 per person, twin share

King Bed Deluxe Stateroom – $17,840 per person, twin share

Traditional Landowner Visitor Pass fees are additional and will be added to your invoice, enquire for details.


So, if you’re after a Kimberley cruise experience that offers much more than just taking in the views from the deck of your ship, give the team at Expedition Cruise Specialists a call today on 1800 90 20 80 to discuss your 2023 or 2024 Kimberley Cruise aboard the ‘active’ Eco Abrolhos.





NEW YEAR SPECIAL: Save 30% when you cruise Fiji!

Posted by Andrew Castles on January 01, 2023

Reef Endeavour Fiji Cultural


Just a four-hour flight from Australia’s East Coast, Fiji is the perfect South Pacific destination for families, romantics and adventurers! And there’s no better way to discover the islands of this tropical paradise than on a small ship expedition cruise aboard the stylish Reef Endeavour with Captain Cook Cruises. Best of all, for a limited time you can SAVE 30% off normal fares when you book your 2023/24 cruise before 31 March 2023!

With over 25 years experience cruising the waters of Fiji, when you set sail on a 3, 4 or 7 small ship expedition with Captain Cook Cruises you will be immersed in the essence of Fiji. From Captain Cook’s private island Tivua, the volcanic Yasawa Islands, to the remote Northern Islands, you will experience some of the most beautiful and remote places in the world.


Snorkel Fiji

You’ll visit places rarely seen by tourists, away from the hustle and bustle so you can truly relax and enjoy what Fiji has to offer. You’ll take part in cultural activities and immerse yourself in the traditional Fijian way of life, be part of our marine biology and sustainability journey, then return to the comfort and elegance of the uniquely suited Reef Endeavour.

MV Reef Endeavour is a small cruise ship accommodating no more than 130 travellers over four accommodation levels. The ship’s small size allows her to negotiate remote islands, reefs and shallow bays where bigger ships are unable to go, showcasing the real Fiji and giving travellers a true cultural experience.


Fiji Island Mike


Best of all, to celebrate the new year we’ve got a fantastic special offer available to guests on cruises departing between 01 April 2023 and 31 March 2024. Simply book your Captain Cook Fiji Cruise before 31 March 2023 and you will SAVE 30% off normal cruise prices – that’s a fabulous deal.

Here’s a sample of what’s on offer:


Our recommended cruise itinerary

7 Night Fiji's Yasawa Islands Complete

Combines the Mamanuca & Yasawa Islands

Click here to see the itinerary

Click here to see Reef Endeavour Ship Information & Room Grades


Cruise Fares (Australian Dollars, per person, twin share)

Tabua Suite - $4,081.00

Ocean Stateroom - $3,398.00

Stateroom - $3,083.00

Porthole Cabin - $2,607.00


Captain Cook Tabua Suite


4 Night North Yasawa Islands Cruise

Click here to see the itinerary

Click here to see Reef Endeavour Ship Information & Room Grades


Cruise Fares (Australian Dollars, per person, twin share)

Tabua Suite - $2,454.00

Ocean Stateroom - $2,044.00

Stateroom - $1,851.00

Porthole Cabin - $1,564.00

Enquire for special single traveller and triple share fares. 


Reef Endeavour Fiji


Cruise Prices include:

·      Accommodation onboard Reef Endeavour in selected room grade

·      All meals plus 24hr tea and coffee

·      Use of onboard facilities including mini gym and the freshwater swimming pool

·      Use of snorkelling equipment, kayaks, glass bottom boat tours, village and island visits, cultural activities, meke and lovo feast and guided island walks

·      Transfer from the ship to Nadi / Denarau hotels post cruise

·      Group child minding is provided for children aged between five and nine years at set times each day.


Cruise Prices exclude:

·      Airfares to/from Fiji

·      Pre- and post-cruise accommodation

·      Visa and passport fees

·      Drinks, personal purchases, any optional tours and optional onboard massages.


Reef Endeavour departs Port Denarau (Nadi) on Tuesdays and Saturdays every week of the year, so whenever you’re planning on heading to Fiji there’s sure to be a cruise departure on offer. 


To take advantage of this great special offer, contact the expert team at Expedition Cruise Specialists today on 1800 90 20 80 ( +61 7 4041 2101 if calling from outside of Australia) or email us here.


See what other guests have to say about this expedition




Fiji Cultural Dance

The 'Grande Dame' of Expedition Cruising Returns

Posted by Andrew Castles on December 30, 2022

Heritage Adventurer


From New Zealand to Australia’s Kimberley Coast, and the Islands of Asia and the South Pacific to Antarctica, Heritage Adventurer’s status as the ‘Grande Dame’ of expedition cruise ships continues into 2023.

Originally launched as the legendary Hanseatic for Germany’s Hapag Lloyd Cruises back in 1993, Heritage Expedition’s 125-metre, 140 passenger expedition ship enters her 30th year in service in 2023, an incredible milestone which has seen her clock up numerous firsts and awards, including operating more than 130 expeditions to Antarctica, transits of both the Northeast and Northwest passages and a record for having reached the coordinates 85°40.7′N 135°39.6′E, just 480 kilometres from the North Pole on 26 August 2014, the most northerly point on the globe reached by a non-ice-breaker passenger ship. 


Heritage Adventurer Library


Following a brief stint with the now defunct One Ocean Expeditions, and a newly-completed refurbishment, Heritage Adventurer is returning under a long-term contract to operate for New Zealand’s Heritage Expeditions. With a history stretching back over 35 years, Heritage has long been focussed on small group, environmentally-friendly expeditions. Founded by biologist Rodney Russ and his wife Shirley, today a second generation of Russes - Aaron and Nathan - continue to develop innovative expeditions to some of the world’s most remote corners.


Heritage Suite


Originally designed to accommodate 184 travellers, Heritage Adventurer now welcomes just 140 expeditioners, ensuring spacious, stylish and comfortable voyages. Cabin choices range from the top-of-the-range Heritage & Worsley suites through to Superior cabins. There’s also a number of triple-share cabins available, a rarity on expedition ships these days (ideal for a group of friends travelling together) and well-priced single cabins for solo travellers. Click here to see the room types and deck plans.

When it’s time for adventure ashore, a fleet of 14 Zodiacs (inflatables) ensures all guests are able to maximise their expedition experience. 


Heritage Adventurer zodiacs


In 2023 you can choose to experience the Heritage Adventurer on any number of journeys, from the Sub-Antarctic Islands, all the way down to Antarctica itself (it’s one of the few ships operating from Australia / New Zealand down to Antarctica – most these days operate from Ushuaia in South America), along Western Australia’s Kimberley Coast, and through the Pacific Islands, Micronesia, Indonesia and Japan.

Heritage Expeditions is also well-known for their Russian Far East, Across the Top of the World (along the northern coastline of Russia) and Wrangel Island (home of the polar bear) expedition cruises, however with the current political climate these expeditions have been put on hold for now. We can perhaps expect to see those journeys resume in 2024 or 2025, depending on the 'Russia situation' at that time, and they are well worth a look as a worthy addition to any adventure traveller’s bucket list.


Heritage Adventurer BBQ Dinner


Click on the links below to check out some of Heritage Adventurer’s signature 2023 expeditions:


Antarctica Ross Sea – In the Wake of Scott & Shackleton


New ZealandBeyond Fiordland – New Zealand’s Wildest Islands


AustraliaKimberley Coast – Kimberley Explorer


AsiaUndiscovered Philippines & Indonesia



To reserve your place aboard Heritage Adventurer, or to find out more, contact the expert team at Expedition Cruise Specialists today on 1800 90 20 80 (or +61 7 4041 2101 if calling from outside Australia) or email us here.


Heritage Adventurer Pool