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Kimberley Cruising For The Ultimate Holiday Experience

Posted by Andrew Castles on March 04, 2017

True North at Montgomery Reef in the Kimberley

 

If you are planning your next cruise, you have probably noticed that most of what is on offer are all very much the same experience.  The same type of mega ship, the same on board activities and the same island ports of call. 

These standard cruises are fine if you have never cruised before, however once you have experienced the standard package, they all seem to be the same.

Many of us love the idea of enjoying a cruise, and being spoilt by not having to cook our meals or make our beds.

However it can become somewhat boring if you are not a bingo enthusiast or disco dancing queen.

A lot of us want to visit places that are unique, breathtaking and exciting. Of course we enjoy a little luxury thrown in as well.

The Kimberley Cruising Experience Is All About The Destination

In Australia, the Kimberley coast is one of the world's great expedition cruising destinations. 

The Kimberley cruising experience will leave you in awe, as you take in the most breathtaking scenery. 
 
The Kimberley region with it's deliciously rich colour palette, offers spectacular waterfalls, ancient indigenous art, wildlife and night skies that are filled with twinkling lights.

With so much natural beauty here in our backyards, there is no need to go elsewhere.

 

Kimberley Cruise Specialists 

One of the great options to experience the Kimberley is on the magnificent True North.

Carefully crafted itineraries allow guests the opportunity to ‘experience the destination’ – daily activities can include scenic walks, helicopter flights, fishing, snorkelling, culture, picnics, nature, diving, exploring and much more!

The True North features the ultimate in comfort and style! 

With cabins that are spacious, featuring modern décor, large en­suites, satellite telephones and in cabin entertainment, you will be totally spoilt.

Modern cuisine is also featured onboard the True North. 

This is the real definition of a holiday cruise, an unforgettable adventure in our own spectacular backyard. 

Passenger numbers are limited (36) and a young Australian crew (20) provides excellent personalised service. 

Multiple expedition vessels take guests away in small groups to experience wilderness ‘up close’ and, to add yet another dimension to adventure, most of the cruise options feature an onboard helicopter.

 

True North cruises the Kimberley with an onboard helicopter

 

The Ultimate Kimberley Cruise

The Kimberley Ultimate has become known as one of Australia’s most exclusive holiday experiences – and for good reason.

This 13-night Kimberley expedition between Wyndham and Broome boasts all of the region's icons, along with many 'secret' locations other ships can't reach.

This expedition should definitely be on your bucket list. It is an experience of a lifetime with exemplary service from an all-Australian crew, a great expedition team and superb dining.

 

True North's chefs are renowned for their fine dining in the Kimberley

 

For more information on how to plan the holiday of your lifetime, contact us on 
Postal Address:

PO Box 7486 CAIRNS QLD 4870 AUSTRALIA

Speak to an expedition specialist:

Phone: +61 7 4041 2101

Freecall: 1800 90 20 80 (within Australia)

Email: [email protected]

Office opening hours:

Monday to Friday 08:30 – 17:30 AEST

Saturday 09:00 – 12:00 AEST

*Office hours are Australian Eastern Standard Time.
 

Take me to the Ice: Polar Cruising

Posted by Dallas Sherringham on February 18, 2017

Standing on top of the world at the North Pole occupies number one spot on many travellers’ bucket lists.

And within good reason; very few people have ever visited arguably the most inhospitable region on earth.

Together with the Antarctic, the polar regions of the earth are like another planet where you can visit briefly but never survive a single day without a lot of backup.

 

 

Fortunately the days of “mushing” your way across the ice, stopping to eat the occasional unfortunate seal or the least favourite member of your dog team, are now behind us.

We can make it to the North Pole or explore the Antarctic in relative comfort and complete safety.

With this in mind, it is amazing to think a century ago that neither pole had been visited.

I grew up reading tales of the tragic Robert Falcon Scott battling his way to the South Pole and the heroic Shackleton’s Argonauts. The photos taken on that journey by Australian Frank Hurley were stunning, given the conditions.

Today’s modern polar ships are a far cry from the old windjammers that took months to get anywhere and will get you there quickly and comfortably.

Throw in the chance to see the Northern Lights and a polar bear, which some travellers seem to have far more affection for than the pole itself, and you have the perfect adventure holiday.

 

 

Now, these types of holidays are still a challenge for tour companies so they are understandably more expensive than your normal nine night cruise to Noumea.

I know am preaching to the converted, however your adventure still needs a lot of planning. It’s not a simple case of jumping on a ship and saying: “Take me to the ice!”

Fortunately, Expedition Cruise Specialists are her to assist you all the way to the end of the earth. Polar operator Poseidon Expeditions have teamed up with Expedition Cruise Specialists for the 2018-19 season. And if you book now, you can save yourself a pile of money.

If you look at the itineraries they have available, you will soon realise there are a lot of options to choose from when heading north or south.

Iceland, Greenland, Franz Josef Land, Spitsbergen in the Arctic Circle and the Falklands and South Georgia in the Antarctic all feature along with the allure of the poles.

 

 

If I had my “druthers”, I’d love to cruise to Iceland or Greenland. The fire and ice of Iceland, a country ripping itself in two geologically speaking, would be stunning to witness first hand.

Expedition Cruise Specialists GM and adventure cruise guru Andrew Castles told me the discounts were available to both the Arctic and Antarctic, including the North Pole.

“We have combined with Poseidon Expeditions to offer discounts of up to 20% on several exciting cruises. Offers like this are rare because expedition cruising is booming and the cruises fill up fast,” he said.

The discounts mean clients can save USD$5,379 on a 15 day Antarctic cruise or USD$2,979 on a 12 night Northern Lights and Arctic expedition.

“You can go all the way to the North Pole on a 14 day Top of the World expedition and save USD$2,225 simply by booking early,” Mr Castles said.

To take advantage of the offers, you need to book before July 31 this year.

Expedition ships featured in the offer are the 100 passenger Sea Spirit and the nuclear powered ice breaker 50 Years Of Victory.

 

 

I was intrigued to learn that the number of passengers on board is really important when visiting Antarctica. Treaty regulations limit the number of passengers going shore at one time to just 100. So, if you head south on a larger ship with several hundred passengers, your chances of getting ashore are severely limited.

Similarly, venturing to the North Pole requires a really specialised ship. The nuclear powered 50 Years Of Victory can smash its way comfortably through ice as thick as three metres. It will get you to the pole and give you the unique chance to stand on the ice and celebrate one of life’s greatest achievements.

 

 

Once again, the ship has a maximum of 128 passengers so you will always be well looked after and made to feel part of an exclusive team.

There are many discounts being offered across a range of cruises by Poseidon Expeditions and Expedition Cruise Specialists.

 

Dallas Sherringham is a media professional, world traveller and regular contributor to our blog.

 

 

Why your next cruise should be an expedition cruise

Posted by Dallas Sherringham on February 16, 2017

An expedition cruise is an excellent next adventure if you are starting to say “been there, done that” about normal cruising.

We all eventually tire of big ships with their large crowds and their limited itineraries and shore tours.

And how many river cruises of Europe can you do before growing weary of castles and day trips to museums?

Traditional South Pacific cruising is still by far the most popular form of a cruise holiday for Australians. A recent survey showed 70% of all Aussie cruisers took a South Pacific cruise in 2016 with the next favourite destination being Asia with 14%.

 

 

The South Pacific option will continue to be a favourite with Australians for several key reasons.

However there comes a point when the kids grow up and everyone tires of the same old places. The big cruise companies have been unable to tap into the huge potential of the South Pacific region because of the lack of facilities at more isolated, unspoilt islands. They are also contract bound to waste a day visiting Noumea on every cruise to New Caledonia.

Thus, the Isle of Pines and Lifou are staples on most South Pacific cruises because they are within a night’s cruise of Noumea.

Despite the repetition, a lot of experienced passengers still sail the South Pacific each year simply because it is easy and affordable. Many have not tried any other kind of cruising; others have ventured out into river cruising or an overseas cruise but soon return to the South Pacific.

I can understand why they return. The South Pacific islands are still miles ahead of any other big ship destination because they are relaxing and laid back

I too was a fan for 20 years. It was only when I went on an expedition cruise to New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia that I realised just what an amazing region it is.

 

 

Getting back to the 2016 survey of Australian passengers which showed only 2% took a cruise off the beaten path. This is good news for expedition cruise companies because it means there is a huge audience of potential expedition cruise travellers in the future.

As cruise passengers mature and become more affluent they will naturally seek new cruising horizons in exciting places. The expedition cruise industry is well placed to provide that unique experience.

These passengers will not be cruising alone. Through social media, they will be taking their families, workmates and friends right along with them. They can actually stand on a glacier in Alaska while chatting live to their spellbound audience back home.

And that audience in turn will automatically tick a box in their imagination: “One day soon I’ll be standing on that glacier”.

 

 

So, 2017 is the year to buck the trend and try something new. Let’s break down the barriers to going on an expedition cruise.

For starters, there is the cost. Sure, a 10 day cruise on Western Australia's Kimberley Coast is more expensive than a 10 day big ship cruise to New Caledonia.

However you don’t have to pay for expensive shore tours, you  don’t have days at sea where a few drinks turn into a $100 tab, there is no “speciality” dining which costs you $50 a time and - best of all - there is no on board duty free shopping.

You get to places no normal cruise ship will ever visit. You will have the service of expert guides and wildlife specialists who will become firm friends. On a normal cruise the only friend you will often make amongst the cruise staff is your waiter.

 

 

Then there is accessibility of expedition cruising which balks many people. Indeed, getting to the Amazon, deepest Africa or the tip of South America can seem like a daunting trip compared to flying to Europe to pick up a river cruise.

However, this where an expert agency like Expedition Cruise Specialists comes into its own by helping you plan your adventure to the finest, most meticulous detail.

And so, if you have done a lot of traditional cruising and are “umming and ahhing” about your next challenge, look no further. Expedition Cruise Specialists has the world’s best adventure cruises right here on its web site.

Simply choose your next adventure and give Expedition Cruise Specialists a call. Everything else will be done for you from the moment you book.

 

 

Take the leap. Instead of joining the hordes for yet another visit to Noumea this year, try something completely new and exciting: imagine yourself stepping ashore to view penguins in Antarctica, charging through the Kimberley's Horizontal Falls in a zodiac or walking with elephants in Africa. And take your family and friends with you on Instagram and Facebook.

I promise you that your tired “been there, done that” attitude to cruising will suddenly be replaced by a whole new wide world of adventure.

 

Dallas Sherringham is a media professional, world traveller and regular contributor to our blog.

 

 

Yes, expedition ships can provide truly luxurious travel experiences

Posted by Dallas Sherringham on February 11, 2017

The word “Luxury” seems to have a magical attraction amongst travellers worldwide in the new millennium.

If you add the “luxury” tag to any travel product it automatically adds a perceived value to that product.

People are no longer content to take a cruise on Ship A; they have to take a “luxury” cruise on Ship A.

You can see the absurdity of it all. Normal resorts I  enjoyed in the 1990s are almost 30 years older, but they have miraculously morphed into luxury resorts.

Now, luxury is not a word many people associate with expedition cruising. They have a pre-conceived vision of expedition passengers being gristled veterans of the outdoors who sit up the front of icebreakers snapping icicles off their noses.

 

 

And, indeed, there are some expedition cruises that do offer this kind of extreme adventure for those seeking to challenge the wild.

But, in general, nothing could be further from the truth.

You see, luxury is the very essence of modern expedition cruising.

 

 

Luxury to me is sharing and adventure with just a few fellow passengers while being well looked after.

And indeed, the cruise staff to passenger ratio on most expedition ships is much higher than normal ships. And this one-on-one personal service is very refreshing after the herd mentality of a normal cruise ship.

That is the number one reason expedition cruises are more expense than normal cruises: people expect this kind of service and are willing to pay for it.

 

 

Many newer expedition ships are like having your very own luxury cruiser, like the ones you see in Monaco.

The cabins I have had on expedition ships far exceed the quality available on normal cruise ships that bill themselves as luxury cabins.

If you take a look at some of the ships available through Expedition Cruise Specialists, you will be stunned by their opulence.

 

Aria Amazon Expedition Cruise Ship

 

Take a look at Aria Amazon. The cabins have massive full length windows they provide a breathtaking view of the jungle. The public rooms are stunning and will never be crowded like the buffet on a normal ship.

The superb True North is a brilliant small ship with stunning appointments throughout. I really like the wide open decks with quality furnishings. Imagine spending an afternoon here enjoying a nice wine and watching the sun set.

What about the top deck and back on Celebrity Xploration? Stunning! Or the unique Apolon, offering traditional Mediterranean motor yachting with inlaid timbers throughout and all the trimmings of a luxury cruiser experience.

 

 

Then there's the older ships that have all been lovingly restored and maintained to a high degree of craftsmanship. The Andaman Explorer is a perfect example of the kind of quality refurbished ship we have available.

Our very own home-grown expedition ship Coral Discoverer was designed by original owners Tony and Vicki Briggs to offer Australians luxury cruising at a reasonable price. People flocked in droves to experience luxury cruising in the Kimberley in quality surroundings.

 

 

And when it comes to icebreakers, take a look at the very modern Academic Ioffe, purpose-built to offer quality adventures in the High Arctic and Antarctic ice fields.

There is something very intoxicating about this kind of luxury. I have been fortunate to have enjoyed it several times. When I head off on my next cruise, I already know what I will experience and I count down the days with great expectation.

It is like going home to be with friends. To borrow a quote: “Expedition cruising is life, the rest is just waiting”.

 

Dallas Sherringham is a media professional, world traveller and regular contributor to our blog.

Read our blog on the Top 3 Most Luxurious Amazon River ship cabins

 

North to Alaska on an expedition cruise

Posted by Dallas Sherringham on February 05, 2017

If you are a child of the Fifties or Sixties there is something about Alaska that draws you in.

In the days before Google Earth and innumerable documentaries, this was a largely unexplored region. It was kind of the Wild West with snow, brown bears and massive glaciers. It was the land of huge pine trees which stretched on forever, pristine waterways, orca whales, and weather that changed by the hour.

 

 

That is what Alaska means to millions of people who dream of going there one day. That is what it means to me.

My very first recollection of The Cold North was a book called Biggles Flies North by Captain W.E. Johns. Biggles was the Luke Skywalker of his day.

My dad used to read me a chapter of Biggles by my bedside every evening and I’d wait all day to see the ex-RAF fighter ace would get out of his latest scrape. The thing about a good book in childhood is the fact that at leaves you with indelible images of a particular region.

Then came Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, a popular TV show in Australia and movies like North to Alaska and Campbell’s Kingdom.

At last we could see what the Great Northern Lands were all about. It only heightened the life dreams of a generation that we too would one day “discover” it for ourselves.

In a roundabout way I’m leading to my blog today featuring cruises to Alaska.

 

 

Now, there are two ways you can see Alaska. One is to jump on a regular cruise ship in Vancouver or Seattle and breeze past the glaciers, stopping at the few cities in the region. You can get a glimpse of what Alaska is all about and if you are lucky, you may see some wildlife.

It’s kind of like taking the Manly ferry and saying you have seen Australia.

The other way to see it is to live it, to immerse yourself in it, to go where the normal cruise ships can never go. And the way to do Alaska properly in to take an expedition cruise.

Expedition Cruise Specialists have a very impressive collection of cruises to British Columbia and Alaska. They are on smaller ships and they are designed to navigate the thousands of bays, rivers, ice-riddled water and quiet little inlets.

They all feature the chance to get up close and personal with the region’s wildlife and experience some of the most amazing scenery on earth. In this way they are all similar. They have expert naturalists and expedition leaders to guide you through the region. The ships have expedition craft to get you into the secluded rivers and waterways.

 

 

However there is quite a difference between the levels of activity on these various expeditions. To encounter bears fishing for salmon or lapping up the rare sunshine you first of all need to be there at the right time of year and you have to walk in on foot. They are not ultra difficult walks but you need to do some work getting fit before you go.

This is where Expedition Cruise Specialists come into their own. They can tell you when to go, work out which cruise suits you best and they will be there to support you all the way to Alaska.

I learnt a lot about this region just by reading the various itineraries and I was surprised how attractive the prices are compared to expedition cruises in other regions.

Wilderness Explorer costs $7595 USD for a 15 day package out of Juneau. That is an outstanding price for the trip of a lifetime.

There's also a six day expedition aboard the Sea Wolf, a converted 1941 US war ship, through Glacier Bay National Park starting at $3700 USD. Ably guided by Captain Kimber, this expedition accommodates just 12 explorers at any one time a.

 

 

National Geographic’s itineraries aboard Sea Lion and Sea Bird are ideal for adventurers seeking expert guidance. They are famous for their professionalism and unsurpassed experiences.

If I had a favourite itinerary, it would be National Geographic’s 11 day photographic expedition. Just the photos alone left me spellbound.

Imagine photographing those breathtaking regions under the guidance of expert photographers. You would get to places and capture scenes that most travellers could only dream about.

 

 

So, if you are planning and Alaska trip, there is a lot to consider. I would give Expedition Cruise Specialists a call and narrow down the perfect cruise for you.

It is, after all, the trip of a lifetime so some expert advice is critical in my view. 

 

Dallas Sherringham is a media professional, world traveller and regular contributor to our blog.