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Monthly Archives: November 2022

World’s Best Expedition Cruise Line Announced

Posted by Andrew Castles on November 29, 2022



We are thrilled to advise that one of our polar partners Oceanwide Expeditions has been named the World’s Best Expedition Cruise Line for 2022 in the annual ‘World Cruise Awards’.

Taking out the honours in a packed field of nominees, which also included Australia’s own Coral Expeditions and Aurora Expeditions, Oceanwide’s victory is over a quarter of a century in the making. Commencing operations in the Netherlands in 1993 with one ship cruising in Svalbard, Oceanwide has since grown to operate a fleet of five ships, including two ‘state-of-the-art’ new-builds Hondius and Janssonius.

These days, Oceanwide Expeditions has an incredible array of expedition itineraries on offer, from the Arctic and Scandinavia, right through to Antarctica. In Antarctica, Oceanwide offers travellers a wide range of programmes to choose from, including unique BaseCamp expeditions designed for more active travellers, along with comprehensive 30-day ‘Across Antarctica’ voyages travelling between Ushuaia in South America and Bluff in New Zealand.

Here's an overview of Oceanwide Expeditions’ fleet of small ship as we enter 2023:


The Newbuilds

Launched in 2019 & 2022 respectively, Oceanwide’s two new sister-ships Hondius and Janssonius set a high standard for polar expedition cruises. At the time of her launch, Hondius became the first of the new breed of polar expedition ships to achieve Polar Class 6 certification.

Accommodating up to 170 travellers, both Hondius and Janssonius are the ideal size for polar expedition, not too large to limit time on the ice in Antarctica, but large enough to offer all the ‘mod cons’ and space that travellers are looking for.


Featured itineraries:

Antarctica Discovery & Learning – 11 Days from Ushuaia

Falkland Islands, South Georgia & Antarctica – 21 Days from Ushuaia

In Search of Polar Bears & Pack Ice – 8 Days from Longyearbyen

Scoresby Sund & Aurora Borealis – 9 Days from Reykjavik




Classic Expedition Ships

Oceanwide Expeditions operate two classic expedition ships, Ortelius and Plancius. Built in the 1980s as research vessels, these ships offer a real expedition experience. While they may not have all of the ‘bells and whistles’ of the newest expedition ships, they are tough and hardy vessels that can have intrepid travellers exploring the pack ice and beyond.


Featured itineraries:

Across Antarctica – 32 Days from New Zealand to South America

Antarctica Basecamp – 13 Days from Ushuaia

Weddell Sea; In Search of the Emperor Penguin – 11 Days from Ushuaia




The Schooner

For something a little different in the Arctic, Oceanwide’s three-masted schooner Rembrandt van Rijn is well suited for expedition cruising among the fjords of Greenland and Spitsbergen and coastal Norway voyages. This vessel accommodates a maximum of just 33-travellers on her expeditions.

Featured Itineraries:

North Norway Whale Safari & Northern Lights – 8 Days from Tromso

Alpine Peaks of Spitsbergen; Ski & Sail – 8 Days from Longyearbyen




If you would like to experience what makes Oceanwide Expeditions ‘the World’s Best’ for yourself, contact the team at Expedition Cruise Specialists today on 1800 90 20 80 and we will be happy to run through the options with you. Whether you’re discovering the Arctic or Antarctica our team are ready to help make your holiday dreams become a reality.




Aranui 5's 2024 Cruise Schedule

Posted by Andrew Castles on November 16, 2022


For more than 30 years, Aranui Cruises’ unique ‘half cargo / half passenger’ ships have been taking avid adventurers on one of the most fascinating voyages anywhere on the planet. Aranui 5, the crown jewel in their pursuit of the ultimate passenger-freighter, will take you to far-flung corners of French Polynesia, resupplying tiny communities living far from civilisation with everyday items such as new refrigerators, televisions and motor vehicles. 

During your Aranui 5 cruise, all your meals and scheduled excursions are included as you discover the magic that attracted Paul Gauguin, Robert Louis Stevenson, Thor Heyerdahl and Jacques Brel to this remote region. The ship’s gracious staff and crew, many of whom are from the islands you will visit during the cruise, will welcome you as family and delight in introducing you to their centuries-old customs. Onboard, you will also enjoy getting to know knowledgeable lecturers and guides as they share the French Polynesian culture with you as you explore these captivating islands.



With Aranui 5’s 2023 cruise calendar already filling quickly, now is the best time for you to book your 2024 cruise. And, in excellent news for travellers, there’s a 10% Earlybird Saving off the base cruise fare when you book and deposit your 2024 Aranui 5 French Polynesia cruise with Expedition Cruise Specialists before 31 March 2023. That’s a saving of up to $2,986 per couple on the classic 12-day Marquesas Islands cruise.

Check out Aranui 5’s 2024 schedule below. There’s a series of the ever-popular 12-day Marquesas Islands cruises on offer, plus three Discovery Cruises, the first to Pitcairn Island and the second and third to the Austral Islands. It always pays to secure a spot on the Discovery Cruises as early as possible, as capacity is limited to just 230 travellers on each cruise.


Aranui 5’s 2024 Cruise Schedule

All cruises depart from and return to Papeete.


See the Marquesas Islands Itinerary

See the Pitcairn Islands Itinerary


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs: 20 January 2024

Arrives: 31 January 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  03 February 2024

Arrives: 14 February 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  03 February 2024

Arrives: 14 February 2024


11 Day Pitcairn Island Discovery Cruise

Departs:  17 February 2024

Arrives: 27 February 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  02 March 2024

Arrives: 13 March 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  16 March 2024

Arrives: 27 March 2024


11 Day Austral Islands Discovery Cruise

Departs:  30 March 2024

Arrives: 09 April 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  13 April 2024

Arrives: 24 April 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  04 May 2024

Arrives: 15 May 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  18 May 2024

Arrives: 29 May 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  01 June 2024

Arrives: 12 June 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  15 June 2024

Arrives: 26 June 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  17 August 2024

Arrives: 28 August 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  31 August 2024

Arrives: 11 September 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  14 September 2024

Arrives: 25 September 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  05 October 2024

Arrives: 16 October 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  19 October 2024

Arrives: 30 October 2024


11 Day Austral Islands Discovery Cruise

Departs:  02 November 2024

Arrives: 12 November 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  16 November 2024

Arrives: 27 November 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  30 November 2024

Arrives: 11 December 2024


12 Day Marquesas Islands

Departs:  16 December 2024

Arrives: 27 December 2024





2024 Earlybird Fares for the 12-day Marquesas Islands Cruise


All prices are in Australian Dollars, and are per person, twin share, unless otherwise stated. These Earlybird Fares are valid for new bookings only on 2024 cruises made no later than 31 March 2023.


Click here to see Aranui 5's cabin types


Class ‘C’ Dorm – $4,630.00

ideal for groups of 4/8 or single travellers seeking a budget option


Single Stateroom - $10,161.00

For single travellers seeking their own cabin


Stateroom - $7,420.00


Deluxe - $8,708.00


Superior Deluxe - $9,382.00


Junior Suite - $9,790.00


Premium Suite - $10,182.00


Royal Suite - $11,106.00


Presidential Suite - $13,996.00


To book your 2024 Aranui Cruises French Polynesia cruise call the expert team at Expedition Cruise Specialists today on 1800 90 20 80 or email [email protected]