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Twelve Months of Travel Inspiration for 2018

Posted by Andrew Castles on January 01, 2018

Now that the New Year's Eve fireworks are over for another year, it's time to decide which great adventures await you in 2018. To whet your appetite, we've put together 12 Months of Travel Inspiration, a calendar full of some of the very best expedition cruises departing each month during 2018. There's classics like Antarctica, Alaska and the Kimberley Coast on offer, along with brand new expeditions to emerging destinations including West Africa and Papua New Guinea.

 

JANUARY

New Zealand's Sub Antarctic Islands

7 Nights aboard Spirit of Enderby

From USD $5,000 per person

From Invercargill, tour the Auckland Islands, Snares and Campbell Island. Stunning Flora & Fauna.

 

Sub-antarctic islands with heritage expeditions

 

FEBRUARY

Scouting PNG's Sepik River

7 Nights aboard Coral Expeditions I

From AUD $4,990 per person

Cruise Papua New Guinea's mighty Sepik River, discovering millennia old tribal cultures and fine artisans.

 

Papua New Guinea PNG with Coral Expeditions Cruise

 

MARCH

Marine Mammals of Antarctica

10 Nights aboard Akademik Vavilov

From USD $10,295 per person

Join experts in cetaceans (whales) cruising to Antarctica to see Orkas & Minke and a host of marine life.

 

Akademik Ioffe Vavilov whale cruise One Ocean

 

APRIL

Rivers of West Africa

7 Nights aboard Harmony G

From EUR €1,800 per person

A fascinating expedition on the West Africa Coast from Dakar, Senegal up the Gambia River, deep inside the heart of the African continent.

 

Rivers of West Africa Senegal and Gambia cruise

 

MAY

Peruvian Amazon Adventure

7 Nights aboard Aria Amazon

From USD $8,925 per person

Cruise in style deep into the heart of the Amazon in Peru's Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

 

Amazon River Cruise Aria

 

JUNE

The Polar Bear Special

7 Nights aboard Plancius

From USD $5,440 per person

Cruise the pack-ice of North Spitsbergen for the best opportunities to spot polar bears.

 

Polar bears aboard Plancius Spitsbergen Arctic

 

JULY

Southern Kimberley Quest

7 Nights aboard Kimberley Quest II

From AUD $10,933 per person

This eight day expedition on Western Australia's Kimberley coast offers a comprehensive experience between Broome and Mitchell Falls.

 

Kimberley Quest Western Australia cruise

 

AUGUST

Iceland Fire & Ice

7 Nights aboard Panorama

From AUD $3,782 per person

A fascinating country with amazing landscapes, towering waterfalls and the legends of the Vikings & Norse.

 

iceland cruise

 

SEPTEMBER

Treasures of the Inside Passage

12 Nights aboard Nat Geo Quest

From AUD $12,490 per person

Discover the breathtaking fjords and towering glaciers of Southeast Alaska and Glacier Bay National Park

 

National Geographic Quest Alaska

 

OCTOBER

Abrolhos Islands Discovery

4 Nights aboard Eco Abrolhos

From AUD $2,058 per person

Western Australia's Abrolhos Islands offer spectacular scenery and amazing natural experiences.

 

Eco Abrolhos Islands cruise

 

NOVEMBER

Remote Fiji - Lau & Kadavu

11 Nights aboard Reef Endeavour

From AUD $4,500 per person

Discover Fiji "off the beaten track" in the Lau & Kadavu Islands. Cultures, scenery, snorkelling & more...

 

Reef Endeavour Fiji Cruise Captain Cook

 

DECEMBER

Christmas in Antarctica

10 Nights aboard Akademik Ioffe

From USD $11,195 per person

Antarctica will likely be the most remarkable White Christmas you ever experience.

 

Xmas Antarctica One Ocean Expeditions Akademik cruise

 

For bookings and more information give the expert team at Expedition Cruise Specialists a call today on 1800 90 20 80 (within Australia) or +61 7 4041 2101 if calling from overseas. For our full portfolio of the world's best expedition and small ship cruises visit www.expeditioncruisespecialists.com

 

 

 

 

 

Save 50% on Amazon River Cruises

Posted by Andrew Castles on November 30, 2017

Delfin Amazon Cruise

 

Our good friends at Delfin Amazon Cruises have just announced a 'Buy One Get One Free' promotion on last minute Amazon River cruises departing between now and the end of March 2018.

There's departures on offer across the company's fleet of three small ships, from the intimate eight passenger Delfin I through to the newest ship operating on the Peruvian Amazon, Delfin III. Delfin is a true pioneer of expedition cruising in this part of the world, and a cruise on one of their small ships is sure to be a highlight of any South American holiday experience.

Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, Delfin Amazon Cruises will take you into one of the world’s largest protected flooded forests, the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Experienced guides will show you the immense biodiversity of the area. Voyages include visits to native villages, kayaking, swimming near pink river dolphins, fishing, daytime hiking, and night safaris. On board, guests can enjoy exquisite Amazonian cuisine in an authentic, intimate setting with the right amount of elegance and comfort.

 

Delfin Amazon Cruise - deluxe cabin


Delfin's Buy One Get One Free Promotion

Visit the Amazon in style with our buy one get one free promotion on the following cruise dates – for availability and bookings please call the team at Expedition Cruise Specialists on 1800 90 20 80 (within Australia) or +61 7 4041 2101.

Sample pricing: Delfin I four night cruise - was USD $4,700 per person, NOW USD $2,350 per person!  

Call for pricing details on your preferred departure date.

Available departure dates

DECEMBER 2017 
Delfin I (3 Night) – December 4th
Delfin I (4 Night) – December 14th 
Delfin III (4 Night) – December 15th
Delfin III (3 Night) – December 19th

JANUARY 2018 
Delfin III (4 Night) – January 16th
Delfin III (3 Night) – January 27th

FEBRUARY 2018 
Delfin III (4 Night) – February 6th
Delfin III (3 Night) – February 17th

MARCH 2018 
Delfin III (3 Night) – March 3rd
Delfin III (4 Night) – March 20th
Delfin III (3 Night) – March 31st

 

Read our two-minute guide to Amazon River cruising

Discover the Amazon's three most luxurious cruise suites

 

Delfin Amazon Cruise with guides

Guide to discovering the Amazon River by expedition ship

Posted by Andrew Castles on November 21, 2017

luxury Amazon River Cruise

 

If an expedition cruise on the Amazon River takes pride of place on your travel bucket list you’ll have a lot of important decisions to make when researching and planning your adventure. So, check out our two-minute guide for answers to the top questions about cruising the Amazon River.

There are three key questions you will need to answer when working out which Amazon River cruise will best suit you:

·      Which part of the Amazon to focus on?

·      Which river ship to select?

·      High or low water itineraries

 

Here’s all the expert advice you need.

 

Which Part of the Amazon River to Cruise?

 

Did you know that the Amazon River and its tributaries flow for 6,437 kilometres through six countries before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean? That’s a lot of river to explore, however the best expedition and river ships concentrate on exploring three main areas of the Amazon region; In Peru, a section of the river near Iquitos, Brazil’s Amazon near Manaus, and the Napo River (a tributary of the Amazon) in Ecuador.

Whilst there is not a lot of difference between the scenery, flora and fauna and wildlife in each region, there are some considerations to make.

Firstly, the Brazilian Amazon River is the widest and most commercially developed. You’ll see lots of boat traffic and also be sharing the river with large cruise ships carrying thousands of travellers. Most Brazilian cruises depart from Manaus, a heaving city of more than two million, and expeditions often include stops in other local communities such as Santarem and Parintins. Brazilian Amazon itineraries are considered to place more emphasis on people and cultures than similar cruises in Peru or Ecuador, which tend to be very focused on nature and wildlife.

The major drawcard of a Brazilian Amazon cruise is the ‘Meeting of the Waters’, near Manaus, where two major tributaries - the light brown Solimoes River and the blackwater Negro River - come together and run alongside each other for several miles without merging.

 

Tucan Amazon River cruise

 

The Peruvian section of the Amazon is quieter and less developed than the Brazilian section, and also has some of the most luxurious ships to choose from. Most options sail out of the small city of Iquitos (a short flight from Lima), or the nearby town of Nauta. There are no scheduled port stops on these cruises; instead the ships ply the tranquil waters of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, with the itinerary changing from trip to trip to take advantage of water levels and wildlife viewing opportunities. Of course, one of the great things about choosing an Amazon cruise in Peru is that you can easily combine your trip with visits to two of Peru’s other world famous sites; the ancient Inca ruins of Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca.

The third region where you can consider a cruise is Ecuador. A couple of operators run expeditions into Yasuni National Park, which is located on the Napo River, one of the tributaries of the Amazon River proper. Highlights of the cruise include fantastic wildlife viewing, including clay licks that attract thousands of colourful parrots and macaws. If this option is appealing to you, why not combine your Amazon cruise with an expedition in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands – speak to our expedition cruise specialists for more details!

 

Cruising the Amazon River

 

Which Amazon River ships are best?

 

After you’ve chosen which part of the Amazon you want to concentrate on, it’s then a matter of choosing the best ship. But it can be hard to differentiate between all the various choices and that’s where the expert team at Expedition Cruise Specialists comes in.

We’ve done all the hard work for you and selected just the very best ships in each region. That means you can rest assured that you will be travelling with an experienced operator, with the best guides, relevant accreditations and safety standards and of course the highest quality ships.  Here’s the  river ships we recommend for Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.

 

Brazilian Amazon

Tucano

The 16-passenger motor yacht Tucano was built in the tradition of the steamboats that navigated the Amazon in the late 19th century. Tucano is not a luxury vessel like some of its counterparts in the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon, and some of the cabins are larger than the others, but most travellers agree that the boat is comfortable and elegant. Tucano prides itself on offering the most authentic experience in the Brazilian Amazon and Rio Negro.

 

Tucan Amazon Cruise Brazil

 

Peruvian Amazon

Delfin I, II & III

4 & 5 day expeditions

The Delfin fleet of three ships offers something for everyone. Our favourite is the intimate eight  passenger Delfin I, check out those jaw-dropping cabins! The Delfin II and III are larger vessels, accommodating around 40 guests each and also provide an outstanding expeditions into the heart of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

 

Delfin I cabin Amazon Cruise

 

Aria Amazon

4, 5 & 8 day expeditions

The 32 passenger Aria Amazon was designed by famed Peruvian architect Jordi Puig. The word that best describes this ship is ‘style’. Aria Amazon features extremely generous dining and lounging areas, including an outdoor river facing jacuzzi. Floor to ceiling windows face the Amazon River in the ship’s 16 Design Suites, each measuring 23 square metres (250 square feet).

 

Aria Amazon Amazon Cruise Aqua

 

Ecuadorian Amazon

Anakonda

4, 5 & 8 day expeditions

The 40-passenger Anakonda riverboat is the only luxury boutique Amazon cruise winding its way through Ecuador's 'El Oriente' Amazon region. Anakonda features an expansive observation deck complete with loungers and an outdoor Jacuzzi. A comfortable al fresco lounge offers panoramic views along the river and is an ideal spot for cocktails, relaxation, reading or simply enjoying the view. Anakonda's expert naturalist guides and special travel concierge go out of their way to ensure you a personalised cruise experience. 

 

Anakonda Amazon River Cruise Ecuador

 

When to cruise the Amazon? High or Low Water Itineraries

 

The time of year you cruise the Amazon can have a large bearing on what you can expect to see. The reality is, that being in the rainforest you can expect regular rainfall, which is why we no longer call the two seasons the “wet” and the “dry”. Instead, we can look at the seasons as either “high water” (January to May) or “low water” (the rest of the year).

If travelling in the “high water” period, you can expect to see many birds and monkeys in the branches of the flowering trees lining the river banks, attracted by fruits and blooming flowers after the major tropical downpours. Given the landscapes may be flooded and quite wet, you might expect to spend less time hiking ashore during this period.

 

Amazon River Cruise monkey

 

After the major tropical storms have subsided, the river waters again begin to subside, and the ‘low water season’ means travellers can expect to see the sandy beaches that line the Amazon, and enjoy plenty of opportunity to travel ashore with local guides to explore on foot.

Are you interested in learning more about Amazon River cruising options? Call the expert team at Expedition cruise Specialists today on 1800 900 20 80 (or +61 7 4041 2101 if calling from outside Australia) for more tips and advice.

 

Want more? Read our blog ranking the Amazon River’s Most Luxurious Cruise Cabins.

 

Dawn on an Amazon River cruise

Images supplied by Tucano, Aqua Expeditions, Delfin Amazon Cruises and Anakonda Amazon Cruises

Coral Adventurer inaugural schedules announced

Posted by Andrew Castles on November 06, 2017

Coral Adventurer expedition cruise

 

Australia's Coral Expeditions recently announced that they had signed an agreement with renowned Norwegian shipbuilder Vard to launch a brand new, state-of-the-art expedition ship. Now, more details have emerged about new specialist vessel, including the name - Coral Adventurer - along with schedules and pricing for the inaugural 2019 adventure cruising season.

According to Coral Expeditions, the Australian-flagged Coral Adventurer will be the ‘world’s most advanced tropical expedition ship’ when it launches in April 2019, and certainly the plans and artist impressions seem to back that claim up.

At 93.50 metres in length, Coral Adventurer will accommodate just 120 travellers in 58 Staterooms and two stunning suites measuring 55 square metres. Over half of the ship’s accommodation will feature private balconies. There’s also multiple bars and lounges, a spacious dining room accommodating all guests in one sitting and a light-filled lecture room for expert presentations. The ship will also carry specialist equipment for scientific research.

 

Coral Adventurer Suite

 

Of course, a big part of expedition cruising is being able to get ashore and experience places beyond the reach of other travellers. Coral Adventurer has got that covered as well. On her stern she will carry two Xplorer excursion tenders, each accommodating 60 passengers in individual seating, along with six Mark V Zodiacs, a glass bottom boat (selected itineraries) and a fleet of kayaks. It’s the flexibility of the Xplorer tenders that really set the Coral Expeditions fleet apart however. Cradled on a hydraulic platform on the ship’s stern, guests easily step aboard before the platform lowers into the water, eliminating the need to get your feet wet when trying to jump into a bobbing zodiac.

The 2019 schedule features some interesting journeys. The inaugural voyage will ‘blow the cobwebs out’ from Singapore to Darwin, followed by a short hop into West Papua. From there, the ship will join her sister-ships Coral Discoverer and Coral Expeditions I on Western Australia’s Kimberley coast, operating 10 night itineraries between Darwin and Broome and vice versa. Kimberley cruises are scheduled between May and October, and will give a welcome capacity boost for Coral Expeditions, who’s two current ships run full in the Kimberley, often selling out months in advance.

At the conclusion of the Kimberley cruise season there’s an ‘Across the Top of Australia’ voyage to Cairns, followed by a circumnavigation of Papua New Guinea.

Beyond 2019, we can expect to see the ship also spending part of the year in the South Pacific and New Zealand, along with selected itineraries further afield in Asia.

For more pictures and information about this exciting new expedition ship call the team at Expedition Cruise Specialists on 1800 90 20 80 or visit https://www.expeditioncruisespecialists.com/ships/coral-adventurer

 

Coral Adventurer dining room

Save 10% on Europe & Seychelles with Variety Cruises

Posted by Andrew Castles on October 23, 2017

Voted as the 'World's Best Boutique Cruise Line 2016' by the readers of USA Today, it's fair to say that Variety Cruises know how to operate a great small ship cruise! With a fleet of 11 small ships operating throughout Europe, Africa and South America, a cruise with Variety allows you to really get to know the destination. Ships typically range in size between 30 and 60 travellers, ensuring an intimate small group experience.

And, having recently launched their 2018 schedules, Variety Cruises is offering some great Earlybird offers on some of their most popular voyages; taking in Greece and the Adriatic Coast, a new voyage on the Icelandic Coast and a week long snorkelling expedition in Africa's holiday retreat of the Seychelles. Simply book your 2018 Variety Cruises adventure on the following itineraries before 28 February 2018 and we'll knock 10% off the price!

 

GREECE & ADRIATIC SMALL SHIP CRUISES

 

Galileo Variety Cruises in Greece

 

Antiquity to Byzantium

8 Day roundtrip cruise from Athens aboard Galileo

Highlights include: The famous ancient theatre of Epidaurus. The Tomb of Agamemnon, and the Mycenae burial complex. Ancient Olympia and famous Delphi. Historic and picturesque cities, such as Nafplio and Monemvasia, Gytheio and Pylos. 

Departs March / April and October / November 2018. 

Special price from AUD $1,990 per person in a Category C cabin.

 

The Jewels of the Cyclades

8 Day roundtrip cruise from Athens aboard Galileo

Highlights include: Poliegos, known for its beaches. Santorini. The small beautiful village of Oia, known for its breathtaking view of the Caldera. Paros. Mykonos, touring the archaeological site of Delos, antiquity’s most sacred island. Syros. Cape Sounion, the temple of Poseidon. 

Regular departures between April and October 2018. 

Special price from AUD $2,770 per person in a Category C cabin.

 

The Adriatic Odyssey

8 Day roundtrip cruise from Dubrovnik aboard Callisto

Highlights include: Dubrovnik. Cetinje, a museum town. Budva, with its Venetian architecture. Corfu, the Grand Lady of the Ionian Islands. The Bay of Kotor, the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean. 

Regular departures between June to October 2018. 

Special price from AUD $3,415 per person in a Category C cabin.

 

ICELAND SMALL SHIP CRUISES

 

Iceland variety cruises

 

Iceland Fire & Ice

8 Day cruise from Reykjavi­k to Akureyri and vice versa aboard Panorama

Highlights include: Siglufjordur, a shing town close to the Arctic cirle. Heimaey Island, the Pompei of the North. The Myvatn Lake. Isasfjordur. Arnardalur Valley. The quaint shing village of Husavik. 

Regular departures between April and October 2018. 

Special price from AUD $3,782 per person in a Category C cabin.

 

SEYCHELLES SNORKELLING CRUISES

 

pegasus variety cruises

 

Seychelles Garden of Eden

8 Day roundtrip cruise from Mahe aboard Pegasus

Highlights include: 

Swim stop off the ship at
St. Anne. Giant tortoises on the isle of Curieuse. Praslin, famous for its beautiful beach. The Coco de Mer palm trees in the Vallee de Mai Reserve. La Digue and Mahe. 

Regular departures year round.

Special price from AUD $3,085 per person in a Category C cabin.

 

All prices subject to changue due to currency fluctuation and will be ocnfirmed at the time of booking.