Thursday, 30 June 2011

More Savings With Avalon Waterways

Luxury river cruise specialist Avalon Waterways has increased the number of discounted departures on a selection of its river cruises this summer and autumn with savings of up to £1,400 off per couple. Discounted cruises are now available for departures in July, August and October on itineraries on the Danube and Rhine as well as in Burgundy and Provence.

The 13-day ‘Blue Danube Discovery’ from Budapest to Prague is now priced from £1485 per person with a saving of £1400 per couple for the October 17 departure.


The 11-day ‘Burgundy & Provence’ from Paris to Cote d’Azur or vice versa is priced from £1,865 per person with a saving of £700 per couple, departing from Heathrow on July 25 and 31 and August 8 and 22.


The 14-day ‘Windmills, Vineyards & Paris’ from Paris to Amsterdam or vice versa aboard one of the newest Avalon vessels, Avalon Luminary, is now just £1,915 per person, with a saving of £1000 per couple on August 1 and 13 sailings.


Then there is the 8-day ‘Romantic Rhine’ from Zurich to Amsterdam (or vice versa), now priced from £1,115 per person, with a saving of up to £1000 per couple on July 16, 23 and 30 and October 22.


The 4-day ‘Taste of the Danube’ from Vienna to Budapest costs from £749 per person, with savings of up to £500 per couple on July 16, 23 and 30 and October 22 departures. For a longer itinerary, the 11-day 'Legendary Danube' from Prague to Budapest costs from £1,579 per person with savings of up £1,000 per couple.


All prices include return flights, full board accommodation, regional wines and beers served at dinner, a door-to-door private home pick-up service, guided sightseeing and the services of a professional Cruise Director.


Other discounted itineraries and regional departures are available at a supplement by visiting
www.avaloncruises.co.uk or from the UK's specialist cruise agents, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Hurtigruten's New Voyages for 2012/13

Fancy exploring the rarely visited North East Greenland National Park, the largest in the world and yet the least visited with approximately 500 visitors each year? Or how about exploring Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated town in Greenland? Or why not experience an Equator Baptism by King Neptune on a cross-hemispheric journey from the Canary Islands to Buenos Aires?

All this and much more is possible with Hurtigruten whose latest dedicated programme of Explorer Voyages for 2012/13 in Spitsbergen, Greenland, Antarctica and Europe features new itineraries, experiences and the chance to visit some of the most remote places in the world.

New itineraries introduced, all on board MS Fram, include:

National Park Expedition - This voyage takes in three Arctic islands, Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland. Seven days are spent within the North-East Greenland National Park, which is the largest in the world and the least visited, with approximately 500 visitors each year. It is one of the most isolated places on earth, and hikes, small boat trips, lectures and briefings can all be enjoyed. A day is spent at Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated town in Greenland, and the trappers living here are the only ones allowed to hunt within the National Park. The 14-day voyage from Spitsbergen to Greenland and then on to Iceland departs on September 6, 2012, in the Arctic autumn and before the winter closes in and makes this corner of the planet uninhabitable. Prices are from £4535pp full board, cruise only.

Trans-Atlantic Crossing – This is a completely different, cross-hemispheric offering from Hurtigruten and the first time it has been offered travelling south. This is the main leg of MS Fram’s winter repositioning journey from Las Palmas in the Canary Islands to Buenos Aires. With the famous Equator Baptism by King Neptune and his wife for those crossing the Equator for the first time and BBQs on deck, this voyage is all about enjoying life on the ocean wave in a relaxed atmosphere with the ship's crew. The 19-day voyage departs on October 14, 2012, and is priced from £1,292pp full board, cruise only. Just £68 per day.

Autumn Adventure – This new eight-day North Atlantic Islands voyage begins in Reykjavik, Iceland, and sets off across the North Sea toward Torshavn on one of the 18 Faroe Islands and one of the smallest capitals in the world. Next stop is Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, by far the northernmost town in Scotland and Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, with a population of just 8,500. The voyage also calls at Leith/Edinburgh before crossing the North Sea to Bergen. Departing on September 19, 2012, it costs from £872pp full board, cruise only.

Hurtigruten has also doubled the number of departures on its most popular Antarctica voyage, The Classic Expedition’ For 2012/13, there are now six departures. New International Maritime Authority (IMA) fuel rules ban the use of heavy fuel oils from use and carriage from August 1. MS Fram uses Marine Gas Oil (MGO) rather than the heavy fuel oils used by some other ships. A 10-day Classic Expedition costs from £3,443pp, including flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and back, full board.

For more info, visit www.hurtigruten.co.uk or contact the UK's leading adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

John Blashford-Snell & The Amazon with Fred Olsen


As part of Vistas, its wide-ranging cruise enhancement programme, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is proud to welcome on board the famed explorer Colonel John Blashford-Snell. Lecturing aboard Braemar’s cruise of the Brazilian Amazon, M1203, appropriately he will be talking about ‘Amazonia’ and expeditions to this fascinating region.

There could hardly be a better guest speaker for such an exciting cruises as Blashford-Snell has led some of the most ambitious expeditions ever undertaken. In 1968, when Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia invited the British Army to send a team to explore the Blue Nile, the then Royal Engineers’ Captain Blashford-Snell was invited to select and lead a team. The success of that venture led to many more, including the first vehicle crossing of the Darien Gap in 1971/2, and in 1974/5 the navigating of 2,700 miles of the Great Zaire River (also known as the Congo).

Colonel Blashford-Snell has led more than 100 expeditions, resulting in many important discoveries and supports numerous charities. His knowledge and experience will no doubt make him a fascinating and well-informed speaker.

The cruise departs on February 2, 2012, with flights from London-Gatwick and Manchester, to join the ship in Bridgetown, Barbados. Braemar then sails for the mouth of the Amazon, and cruises deep into the heart of this mighty river, visiting Santarem, Parintins and Manaus. The vibrant rainforest, with its colourful flora and fauna, will be brought even more vividly to life by the expert talks courtesy of Col. Blashford-Snell.

On the return journey, Braemar visits Tobago, then returns to Barbados for the flights home. Prices start from £1,939 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin, Grade ‘I’. The price includes return chartered flights and transfers, accommodation and all meals and entertainment on board, in addition to port and airport taxes. Flights are with a fully-escorted exclusive Fred. Olsen charter.

Find out more about this cruise by visiting www.fredolsencruises.com or more about the Vistas enhancement programme at www.fredolsencruises-vistas.com or, for bookings, contact the UK's leading specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Crystal's New 'Private Adventure' Shore Excursions

Do you love to see legendary sites, but dislike group tours? Renowned for unique and creative land tours that complement its luxury cruise experience, Crystal Cruises is introducing a private shore excursion alternative for individualistic adventurers. Crystal’s new “Private Adventure Option” enables guests to take already-organised group excursions – in a more intimate fashion.

Beginning this August/September, parties of two, four or six can opt for a personal guide and private vehicle to tour Ephesus, Pompeii or the city of Barcelona, for example – on a shore-side itinerary already carefully crafted by Crystal’s Land Programmes team and its worldwide tour operators.


Crystal’s Vice President for International Sales & Marketing, Philip Ordever, says he was inspired to create the programme by his own holiday: “While I heard how much guests appreciated the ‘creative content’ of our Crystal Adventures, some said they would love to take the same tour by themselves to make it even more personal,.

“At Crystal, we are committed to giving our guests choices. Being able to really personalise your experience is the hallmark of a perfect luxury holiday.”


For several years, Crystal has offered guests a “Crystal Private Adventure” programme, which offers customised land itineraries for individuals, their families and friends. The new “Private Adventure Option” is similar, but follows established excursions in a private way. If guests prefer to modify their “Private Adventure Option” or expand the group, the trip would then become a custom “Crystal Private Adventure.”


Launching on August 14 on Crystal Serenity and September 13 on Crystal Symphony, the Private Adventure Option can be pre-reserved at least one week prior to embarkation by emailing crystaladventures@crystalcruises.com. Prices will be at least 25% more than group tour fares, but vary depending on excursion length, vehicle size, guide costs and sites visited.


This autumn/winter, Crystal's two ships will cruise the Mediterranean, New England/Canada, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Pacific Coast and Hawaii. Crystal’s huge Autumn Fare Sale offers savings up to £5,078 per couple.


For more info, visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk or contact the luxury cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd

Sunday, 26 June 2011

BIG Savings (And More!) with Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises has savings of up to 56% off cruises on board its mid-sized luxury cruise ships, plus an additional $1,000 on board credit per stateroom, allowing guests to make their cruise as inclusive as they want it to be. All prices are quoted per person, based on two guests sharing an inside stateroom and include all meals, complimentary bottled water and soft drinks.

Check out these examples:

7th September: ‘Jewels of the Aegean’, 12-night cruise Venice to Istanbul from £1,799pp

New ship Marina has a spectacular sailing from Venice with $1,000 onboard credit and a saving of £1,654pp. It cruises through the Aegean Sea via Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Corfu, Patras, Zakynthos and Athens before disembarking in Istanbul.

19th September: `Sands of Time’, 12-night Greek island cruise from £1,199pp

Marina has a spectacular sailing from Istanbul to Athens with $1,000 onboard credit and a saving of £1,264pp. It voyages through Rhodes, Limassol, Haifa, Jerusalem, Crete, Patmos and Volos before disembarking in Athens.

3rd October: ‘Jewels of the Aegean’, 12-night Aegean Sea cruise from £1,999pp

Cruise from Venice to Istanbul through the beautiful Aegean Sea via Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Corfu, Patras, Zakynthos and Athens on mid-sized ship Insignia with a saving of £1,182 per person, plus $1,000 onboard credit per stateroom.

1st October: `Roman Revelations’, 14-night Med cruise from £1,399pp

Cruise from Istanbul to Barcelona via Ephesus, Patmos, Crete, Marmaris, Alanya, Limassol, Haifa, Jerusalem and Valletta on Oceania's Nautica, with $1,000 onboard credit and saving up to £1,467 per person.

For more info, visit www.oceaniacruises.co.uk or contact the UK's leading luxury cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Introducing MS AmaCerto

As a continuation of its investment in custom-designed, state-of-the-art, luxury river cruisers, award-winning AmaWaterways has announced the newest addition to its fleet: MS AmaCerto. The twin-hulled ship will debut in Europe in April, 2012, with exciting features that are not only new to Ama's fleet, but to river cruising generally.

This deluxe, 164-passenger ves­sel incorporates the most advanced design, offering spa­cious staterooms featuring two balconies; a heated swimming pool; and multiple fine dining venues.

Most staterooms will have an innovative ‘twin balcony’ - Ama's hallmark of French balconies, as well as a step-out balcony where guests can sit and watch the river scenery drift slowly by. The most deluxe category, the 350sq ft Suite, features a separate sitting area, large bathroom with separate bathtub, as well as two balconies.

Every stateroom aboard AmaCerto will also feature Ama's exclusive Infotainment system, which includes complimentary Internet access and first-run Hollywood movies, plus complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the vessel.

Public areas include a spacious Main Lounge and Observation Lounge at the forward section of the vessel, as well as an elevator, 24-hour speciality coffee and tea, lounge, fitness centre and sauna, and a massage, hair and beauty salon. Like the other custom-built ‘Ama’ ships, the new vessel will carry a fleet of bicycles for guests to use in port.

One of the most innovative features is the amount of deck space. There are teak loungers on the Sun Deck, as well as a giant chess board, heated pool, whirlpools and a walking track. But this ship also has a Lower Sun Deck and a teak Front Deck, each offering a different vantage point for enjoying the glorious scenery along the Rhine and Danube.

AmaCerto will also offer more dining options than any other ship in Europe. As well as the main dining room, guests can try the Erlebnis Chef’s Table Restaurant, where a private chef will prepare a special tasting menu. Light lunches will be served in the lounge as an alternative to the dining room, while the Wine Room, another unique feature, will seat up to 12 guests for a private dinner. On fine days, lunch will be served on the Sun Deck.

AmaCerto will sail on the Mosel, Rhine, Main and Danube in 2012. A seven-night cruise on 1April 12 costs from £1,591, including full board, all excursions, internet access, wine with dinner, evening entertainment, use of the ship’s fleet of bicycles in port and port charges. Flights are extra.

For more info, visit www.amawaterways.co.uk or the cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.












Friday, 24 June 2011

Become A Silver Travel Reviewer and WIN a £3,000 Mozart-themed Danube River Cruise

Working closely with cruising experts The Cruise Line Ltd throughout July, the over 50s travel advice and holiday review website, Silver Travel Advisor, is offering free entry to a prize draw to win a Mozart-themed Danube river cruise for two with Noble Caledonia. The voyage includes performances by the London Festival Opera and presentations about the life, times and music of Mozart by guest speaker Roddy Greenburgh.

To be in with a chance of winning, entrants simply need to sign up for free membership of the site to be included in the draw and both new and existing members posting a travel review at www.silvertraveladvisor.com will be additionally be entered into the prize draw for every new post they upload.

Silver Travel Advisor provides a forum for members aged 50 and over to upload impartial travel, restaurant and days-out, and offers mature travellers free advice from travel industry professionals.

The site’s July prize draw is for a week-long cruise on board Noble Caledonian’s magnificent MS Johann Strauss, taking guests on a musical journey along the Danube in celebration of Mozart’s life, from Hungary to Bavaria through Slovakia, visiting the cities of Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava and Salzburg, enjoying some of Mozart’s finest work in idyllic settings. The prize is worth around £3,000 and includes all meals, return scheduled flights from London, 7 nights aboard Johann Strauss on full board including wine, beer and soft drinks with dinner, all excursions and gratuities, travelling in November 2011.

Silver Travel Advisor’s MD Debbie Marshall said: “River cruising and cultural experiences both come high on our members’ holiday wish lists and Noble Caledonian’s Mozart river cruise is just the kind of holiday our members love to take. We look forward to welcoming new members and reading all the new holiday and travel reviews posted during July and wish all entrants the best of luck.”

Visit www.silvertraveladvisor.com or The Cruise Line Ltd. You can also find out more in the new summer edition of World of Cruising magazine, published this week.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

40,000 Free Nights With P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises is giving away 40,000 free cruise nights on cruises of seven nights or more when booked in June or July 2011.

All cruises of seven nights or more, departing between August 1 and December 31 are eligible for one free cruise night when booked by July 31.

A nine-night cruise on board Oceana departing October 17, 2011 (E128) is priced from £761 per person including a one free night saving of £95 per person. Departing from and returning to Southampton, ports of call include Vigo, Lisbon, Cadiz, Casablanca and Oporto.

For bookings throughout June and July, P&O Cruises is also offering complimentary three night pre or post-cruise city hotel stays on selected exotic cruise holidays.

Aurora’s San Francisco to Sydney cruise is a 22-night cruise from January 26 to February 18, 2012. Ports of call include San Francisco, Hilo, Honolulu, Apia, Pago Pago, Port Denarau, Auckland, Bay of Islands and Sydney. Prices start at £2,086 and include three free nights in a Sydney Hotel but do not include flights.

All prices are per person and based on two adults sharing on a full board basis including all main meals, entertainment and most facilities.

All bookings must be made before July 31, 2011. More info at www.pocruises.com or, to book, contact the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Royal Caribbean's 'Summer of Pandamonium!'

In conjunction with the arrival of DreamWorks Animation’s 3-D feature film “Kung Fu Panda 2” in cinemas, Royal Caribbean is celebrating “Pandamonium” onboard Oasis, Allure, Freedom and Liberty of the Seas with a series of onboard red-carpet premieres.

Throughout August, guests on the four ships can enjoy screenings in 3-D, in addition to the year-round DreamWorks Experience. Features onboard include:
  • 'Celebrity' characters, including Shrek, Fiona and Puss In Boots from Shrek;” Alex, Mort, and the Penguins of “Madagascar”; Po of “Kung Fu Panda”; and Hiccup from “How to Train Your Dragon.”
    An ice skating 'How to Train Your Dragon' show
  • A DreamWorks Animation parade down the Royal Promenade
  • Interactive character meals in the main dining room
  • Plenty of photo opportunities
For more info, visit www.royalcaribbean.co.uk or, for bookings, contact the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Summer Issue On Its Way!

OK, after much wrestling with printing, proof-reading and late advertisements, we are going to print tomorrow with the fab new Summer issue of World of Cruising magazine.

And it should be a truly memorable edition for any number of reasons:

Adventure Cruising: we go to the depths of Borneo with our Cover Story, cruising the Rajang River and discovering some amazing wildlife; we also explore Polar cruising from the perspective of the Bridge of Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Explorer.

Destination Features: we take you to Iceland and Canada, Marrakesh and the Mediterranean.

Ship Features: it's a real big-ship fiesta as we investigate the charms of the Nieuw Amsterdam and Celebrity Eclipse.

Luxury Cruising: top cruise writer Gary Buchanan details the eye-catching style and quality of the new Marina of Oceania Cruises and Anthony Nicholas looks at proposed new line Pacific Star Cruises.

Top Topics: we also take a look at cruising for the disabled and the evolution of maritime safety through the essential SOLAS requirements.

And all your regulars! Yes, there is also the full frange and depth of our usual features, from cruise blogger Captain Greybeard and our Aft View to the World of Spas, the latest Cruise Fashions and all the top Cruise News.

You can't afford to miss our latest edition, so be sure to subscribe now!

Fred. Olsen's Eagles Tribute Cruise

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is pleased to announce a very special mini-cruise in 2012, which will be a real treat for rock fans. Black Watch’s mini-cruise, W1206, to Antwerp and Amsterdam, will play host to ‘Talon, the Best of Eagles’, who are celebrating their 15th anniversary in 2012.

The band will be joining guests embarking on this attractive cruise of three nights, which departs from Dover on June 21, 2012. The cruise visits the diamond centre of Antwerp for a full day, then spends a half day in vibrant Amsterdam, where guests can discover the historic buildings and galleries which line the many picturesque canals, as well as visiting Ann Frank’s House.

Talon formed in September 1997 and played their first gig in January 1998. The band celebrated their tenth anniversary in September 2007, and have been going from strength to strength ever since.

The band’s unusual name comes from the word for an eagle’s claw, and was suggested by Paul Outen, a drummer and colleague of band members Chris Lloyd and Peter Anderson from their cruising days. When choosing the name, they felt it was important to give the band its own identity, and did not want to play on the word ‘Eagles’ or use an Eagles song title.

During this exclusive mini-cruise, Talon will perform three shows, including ‘Acoustic Collection’, ‘The Best of Eagles’ and ‘The Talon Factor.’ Additional musical entertainment will include ‘Jazzlines’ – late night jazz with Chris Lloyd, and ‘Jam House’ jamming sessions with the band, as well as the Talon Quiz.

Prices for this unique musical mini-cruise start from £299 per person, based on two adults sharing an inside twin cabin, Grade ‘I’. This price includes accommodation, all meals and entertainment on board, including the full Talon programme, and port taxes.

For further info, visit http://www.fredolsencruises.com/ or the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Monday, 20 June 2011

P&O Cruises ‘Getaway’ Fares For Adonia


P&O Cruises is now offering ‘Getaway’ prices and inclusive flights on selected Adonia Mediterranean fly-cruises.

The ‘Fly Med Getaway’ promotion applies to cruises from 10-14 nights in duration that depart between October 29, 2011, and January 3, 2012. Prices are inclusive of flights and fuel supplement. Bookings must be made by in June or July.

Named last month by global singing star, Dame Shirley Basey, Adonia is exclusively for adults and carries just 710 passengers. On board there are eight bars, including P&O Cruises signature ‘Crow’s Nest’, a library, Oasis Spa and gym, classic dining room and two speciality restaurants: Sorrento Italian and Ocean Grill by Marco Pierre White.

Sample Cruise:

D114. 3 -13 January 2012, seven nights.

Ports of call include Trieste, Venice, Koper, Hvar, Bari, Katakolon, Nauplia, Istanbul, Mytilene, Ephesus (from Kusadasi), Rhodes, Santorini, and Athens (from Piraeus).

‘Getaway’ fares from £1,452 (based on two adults sharing an inside cabin). This includes return flights, all accommodation, main meals and entertainment.

Bookings must be made by July 31, 2011. For more info, see www.pocruises.co.uk or the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

New From Avalon Waterways


Avalon Waterways has launched its full programme of 2012 river cruises with the announcement of two new ‘suite’ ships, Avalon Visionary and Avalon Vista, both due for delivery in 2012.

Following high demand for the industry’s first ‘suite ship’ Avalon Panorama (launched in May), the new ships will offer the same state-of-the-art sleek design, spacious suites and focus on service as their sister ship. Two full decks of suites; Panorama suites (200 sq ft), Royal Suites (300 sq ft) and deluxe staterooms (172 sq ft) will be available on both new ships.

Continuing to revolutionise river cruising, the suites will feature the same 11ft wall-to-wall panoramic windows that open to create unique ‘open air balconies’, as well as king-sized beds facing the windows, full sized bathrooms and upgrades and enhancements throughout. New for next year, Royal Suite guests will have access to in-room Apple iPads.

Avalon Vista will sail on the 11 day ‘Legendary Danube’ (from £2,199pp), the 13 day ‘Blue Danube Discovery’ (from £2,445pp) and the 15 day ‘Magnificent Europe’ cruise (from £2,749pp). The Visionary will be sailing the 8 day ‘Romantic Rhine’ (from £1,665pp) as well as the new Festive cruises.

New itineraries include the 10 day ‘Paris, Moselle & the Rhine’ (from £2,059pp), 12 day ‘Upper Rhine to the City of Music’ (from £2,519pp), 13 day ‘Rhine & Moselle’ (from £2,599pp) and Jewels of Central Europe (prices from £3,389).

The 2012 programme features 36 river cruise itineraries with prices starting from £999 for ‘A Taste of the Danube’ to the 19 day ‘Danube & Black Sea Coast’ cruise from £3,379pp. Festive cruises to see Europe’s spectacular and atmospheric Christmas markets have been added with four itineraries to choose from in December. Prices lead in at £1,099pp with the ‘Christmas in Alsace & Germany’ from Basel to Frankfurt.

As well as onboard gratuities, a privately chauffeured door-to-door home pick up service (within 75 miles radius of the airport/Eurostar station), port charges and all transfers are included. With a choice of flexible travel arrangements on offer, there is a choice of regional flights and Eurostar options to make the journey as easy as possible.

For more info, visit www.avaloncruises.co.uk or the specialist river-cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Celebrity's Adriatic Bonus


Here's a great cruise deal to ponder this weekend: Join Celebrity Cruises’ excellent Solstice-class ship Celebrity Eclipse on a 16-night Western Mediterranean and Adriatic cruise this autumn from just £1,299 (or just £81.19/person per night, based on two sharing an inside cabin).

The price includes the full 16-night voyage sailing from Southampton and calling at Seville (for Cadiz), Cagliari (Sardinia), Palermo (Sicily), Venice, Dubrovnik (Croatia), Cartagena and La Coruna before returning to Southampton; all meals and entertainment onboard and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. Price is based on an October 14 departure.

For more info, visit www.celebritycruises.co.uk or conmtact the specialist cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Friday, 17 June 2011

From Wild Scotland to the Norwegian Fjords



Try a voyage with a difference in the company of Noble Caledonia this summer, taking in the full depths of Scotland to the fjords of Norway.

The cruise begins on the west coast of Scotland in the port of Oban, with the journey north including magnificent St Kilda and calls in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, to be immersed in some of the region's mysterious ancient history.

Reaching Sunnfjord, one of Norway's most stunning areas, the voyages travels along the coast, visiting the vast swathe of fjords and chain of islands all the way up to the Lofoten group.

It is difficult to imagine a more relaxing setting than coastal Norway. Words cannot describe the awe-inspiring scenery that combines mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, valleys and truly dramatic fjords.

The immense size of the fjords and the timeless quality of scenes that have changed little in the past centuries create a unique atmosphere, especially as the journey avoids the tracks of the big cruise ships wherever possible, with many ports of call just tranquil hamlets and small communities, offering a fascinating look at their unique lifestyles.

Such a journey needs a special vessel, and the self-sufficient qualities of the MS Quest are ideal in this instance. Carrying just 50 passengers, this small, friendly ship will be able to land on remote beaches and explore shorelines prolific birdlife, with the daily schedule taking advantage of weather conditions and possible sightings to achieve as much as possible from the voyage.

For more info, visit www.noble-caledonia.co.uk or contact the UK's leading adventure-cruise specialists The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Off The Beaten Track Adventures To Antarctica


Antarctica Off The Beaten Track is a brand new 12-night adventure cruise from One Ocean Expeditions incorporating a selection of extraordinary outdoor pursuits not previously available on other itineraries, which are designed to excite and inspire lovers of the Great Outdoors.

Departing Ushuaia, the world’s southern-most city, in Argentina, on November 8, passengers travelling with One Ocean Expeditions on board Akademik Ioffe, an impressive ice-strengthened ship designed for Polar Research, will have the opportunity to experience three new activities: ski touring, overnight sea kayaking trips - unique in Antarctica to this operator - and full-day expedition field photography with renowned Polar photographer, Daisy Gilardini.

Other options providing the opportunity to appreciate varied terrain amidst Antarctic snow pack include snow-shoeing ($45) giving access to breathtaking vistas unimpaired by waist deep powder, or the new, more strenuous mountaineering/ski touring expedition ($750) aimed at skiers who enjoy a challenge and are not afraid of skinning up for the run of a lifetime. Ski-touring also requires previous experience and approval from a guide before participation can be confirmed.

For keen photographers interested in field photography, a full day’s expedition with speciality photographer, Daisy Gilardini, is now on offer ($45), focusing on capturing either adventure pursuits with a remarkable backdrop or stunning landscape scenes.

The 12-night Antarctica Off The Beaten Track expedition includes all meals and accommodation plus Zodiac excursions and landings, special hiking programmes, ship transfers, foul weather gear and overnight camping. Prices start from $8,390 per person based on twin share, from $6,590pp for triple share and from $1,0980pp in a One Ocean Suite. Price excludes flights from the UK to Ushuaia (available from £949 including pre-paid taxes and current fuel surcharges). Dates: 8 – 20 November 2011, (Ushuaia/Ushuaia).

For further info, visit www.oneoceanexpeditions.com or the UK's specialist adventure-cruise agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The World's Longest Live Travel TV Programme?


134 Hours LIVE with Hurtigruten

This is a travel TV at the extreme! Tomorrow (June 16), adventure-cruise specialists Hurtigruten and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) will embark on a 134-hour non-stop live broadcast.

At least nine cameras will be used during the voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes on board MS Nordnorge to stream the action live into homes across Norway and via the Internet to the rest of the world.

The show will feature real experiences on a minute-by-minute basis, including interviews with the guests and crew along the way. NRK have dedicated their second largest channel NRK2 to the show.

During the marathon broadcast, viewers will be able to experience the amazing Norwegian coastline, celebrated worldwide for its natural beauty and untouched scenery.

The itinerary includes the western fjords with UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord, the coast of Helgeland, the Lofoten Islands, Tromsø, the gateway to the Arctic, and the North Cape. The route, of course, includes a wealth of other breathtaking sights.

So, whether you fancy whetting your appetite or want to relive a trip you have done in the past, go to http://hurtigruten.co.uk/live where the show will be streamed live. To book a Hurtigruten cruise, visit the UK's leading adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Take a Waltz With Johann Strauss in 2012



Noble Caledonia have just released their new MS Johann Strauss brochure for 2012 featuring cruises along the Dutch Waterways, Rhine, Moselle and Danube Rivers.

The vessel has just been refurbished to offer some of the most comfortable accommodation on the European waterways and the company's themed cruises continue to be extremely popular, including some of the best wines of Europe as well as a garden themed cruise.

The ‘Rivers of Music’ cruise went on sale last month and has already sold out, so there are now an additional two dates for this fascinating cruise with the London Festival Opera.

There are also some new inclusions for 2012 along with a greater range of pre and post-cruise extensions, such as Transylvania, Prague and Lucerne.

For more info, visit Noble Caledonia or contact the river-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

See Vietnam The Orion Way


From Ho Chi Minh to My Son, Nha Trang to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam is intoxicating. With energy and charm in equal proportions and a regal history of passion, war and conquests to rival any European history, Orion II’s nine-night Vietnam Explorer voyages include not one, two, but four UNESCO World Heritage sites - Hue, Hoi An, My Son and Ha Long Bay. Extraordinary, even by Orion Expedition's standards.

Whether it is the organised chaos of cruising the Saigon River with its junks, exploring the traditional fishing village of Baie de Cu Mon, rarely seen by outsiders, or exploring Nha Trang with its Communist Party headquarters, beach brewery and $1 lobsters for lunch, a voyage with Orion promises - and delivers - the unexpected.

Even Ha Long Bay is explored with fresh eyes. Seen from onboard a traditional junk, wending peacefully through the islands, the soaring limestone karsts are spectacular; venturing into limestone caves with the expedition team on Orion II’s Zodiacs adds another dimension completely.

In both 2011 and 2012 there are three scheduled nine-night Vietnam Explorer voyages, alternating between Haiphong (for Hanoi) and Ho Chi Minh City and including Nha Trang, Baie de Cu Mon/Bai Nam Beach, Da Nang (for My Son and Hoi An), Chan May (for Hue) and Ha Long Bay & Cat Ba. 2011 departures are November 18 and 27 and December 6, while 2012 departures are March 12, 21 and 30.

Prices start from £4,295 per person including nine nights onboard Orion II, all meals, entertainment and educational programmes, use of the ship’s sporting equipment and facilities, Zodiac excursions, port and handling charges, tender transfers and government fees and taxes.

For more info, visit www.orionexpeditions.com or contact the UK's leading adventure and luxury-cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd.

Monday, 13 June 2011

New 'Chill and Cruise' Yoga Sailings


Tall ship specialist Star Clippers has added two new dates to its programme of yoga and meditation themed cruises this summer. Yoga expert Christel Vollmer will now be on board the head-turning tall ship Star Flyer this October in the western Mediterranen as well as August, when cruising the Greek Islands and Turkey’s coastline.

The two new yoga cruises are the `Tyrhennian’, departing Monte Carlo on October 1 and calling at Calvi, Bonifacio, Costa Smeralda, Giglio (Italy), Lerici (for Florence) and St Tropez, ending in Cannes. And `Spain and the Balearic Islands’, departing Cannes on October 8 and calling at Mahon, Pollenca, Formentera and Cartagena. This itinerary includes two days at sea for extra relaxation and contemplation.

Prices for all four yoga cruises are from £1,295 per person, including port taxes, all yoga classes and all meals on board. Prices exclude flights.

All four cruises include free daily Astanga (power) yoga and meditation sessions on deck in the cool morning air, with a second session just before sunset, including meditation. They are hosted by Christel Vollmer, who will also deliver lectures on the philosophy of yoga and advice for practice at home. For those on a diet, Star Clippers’ sumptuous breakfast buffets, piled with fresh fruits, and magnificent arrays of salads at lunchtime will be available, as well as vegetarian choices at dinner.

Astanga yoga is a dynamic and powerful style of yoga based on a sequence of easy-to-learn movements called asanas. Christel’s classes, which take place in English, will be suitable for all levels and no prior experience is required. There is no upper age limit for practicing yoga; Christel herself is in her fifties, with many years of teaching experience, having trained under West Coast-based Bryan Kest, yoga guru to stars including Madonna, Cindy Crawford and Sting.

Look up more at www.starclippers.co.uk or the luxury cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Big South Pacific Savings With Paul Gauguin


Paul Gauguin Cruises is offering fabulous savings of up to £1,584 per couple on a selection of late 2011 South Pacific voyages booked before July 15. Savings are available on the following seven-night Society Island voyages round trip from Papeete:

· 20th August - prices from £3,119 per person fly/cruise with a saving of £1,584 per couple.

· 5th November – prices from £3,119 per person fly/cruise with a saving of £1,116 per couple.

· 12th November – prices from £3,119 per person fly/cruise with a saving of £1,116 per couple.

· 3rd December – prices from £3,119 per person fly/cruise with a saving of £916 per couple.

· 21st December – prices from £3,379 per person fly/cruise with a saving of £1,116 per couple.

Prices include return scheduled flights, transfers and seven nights in an ocean-view stateroom with all meals, soft drinks, selected alcoholic beverages and gratuities.

For more info, visit www.pgcruises.com or contact the luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Norwegian Dawn's Big Refurb



Norwegian Dawn has just completed an impressive multi-million dollar refurbishment while in dry dock in Freeport, Bahamas. The 2,224-passenger ship is receiving extensive renovations, including: the addition of 28 suites; Moderno Churrascaria, the popular Brazilian steakhouse restaurant introduced on Norwegian Epic; the relocation of the Spinnaker Lounge; flatscreen TVs in all guest and crew staterooms. The ship re-entered service on May 27, 2011 in Boston, her new seasonal homeport.

The full refurbishment profile reads as follows:

* 58 new suites and staterooms available from the September 16, 2011 sailing, including: Four Deluxe Owner’s Suites ranging from 667-732sq ft; 14 Family Suites from 408-452sq ft, most sleeping six guests; 10 Family Suites with balcony from 409-495sq ft, most sleeping six guests; 18 Inside staterooms.

* Moderno Churrascaria speciality restaurant, in the space previously occupied by Salsa, the Tex Mex restaurant, which features a large salad bar and tableside passadors serving a variety of skewered meats.

* Upgraded flatscreen TVs in all guest and crew staterooms broadcast on a digital signal.

* Relocation and total renovation of the gift shop, art gallery, photo gallery, conference centre, Spinnaker Lounge and Blue Lagoon restaurant.

* Enhancements to the Dawn Club Casino, including new layout, fixed furniture and carpet.

* Complete renovation of the Kid’s Crew and Teen Club to offer a more versatile layout and to cater to the range of children’s ages and interests. Updates include new game systems, activities and sound and light. There will also be a room dedicated to the Under 2 Zoo where parents can accompany their children aged under two and enjoy age appropriate activities.

* Aesthetic improvements in the fitness area and Garden Café.

* Atrium Lobby refresh including new furniture in Java Café and plant replacement.

* Complete refurbishment of crew dining and recreation areas.

Technical modifications include the replacement of one engine, as well as preventative maintenance, removal and replacing of both bearings on the port and starboard azipods; application of a new hull coating; and an upgrade to the hot temperature regulation which will reduce energy consumption.

Norwegian Dawn is currently sailing a series of seven-day Bermuda itineraries departing from Boston every Friday with three days in Bermuda until October 21 followed by a two-night cruise on October 28. The ship will then reposition to Miami and begin sailing 10 and 11-day Southern Caribbean itineraries until April 8, 2012.

Dawn is the second of three Freestyle Cruising ships scheduled for improvements this year. Norwegian Sun completed her dry dock renovations in March and Norwegian Spirit will enter dry dock on September 26.

For more info, visit www.ncl.co.uk or, for bookings, contact the cruise specialist agents of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Experience Andre Rieu Live With eWaterways


eWaterways, the niche river cruise experts, continue to expand their luxury cruise portfolio with the addition of five-star river yacht Royal Crown. The luxury cruiser renowned for its private members’ club feel and bespoke client service includes a unique opportunity to see André Rieu, the internationally renowned Dutch violinist and composer at the Vrijthof Theatre, as part of her European sailing programme.

The André Rieu Journey is an 8-day river cruise on which guests will discover the historically rich cities of Rotterdam, Willemstad, Veere, Middelburg, Antwerp, Maastricht and Nijmegen. Starting in the celebrated Dutch city of Rotterdam, uests are welcomed onboard with a cocktail reception before settling in to their cabins and enjoying the first of many fine dining experiences.

The highlight of the cruise is undoubtedly Maastricht and the evening’s musical event at the Vrijthof. Arriving at daybreak in the famous city, guests will notice how the architecture contrasts that of other Dutch cities due to its Belgian and German influences. The day can be spent sightseeing on an official tour or discovering the traditional market and the sophisticated shopping district before experiencing an unforgettable open air concert hosted by André Rieu and his orchestra at the Vrijthof.

After an exceptional night of classical entertainment, Royal Crown voyages to Nijmegen. Arriving here during the afternoon you will have a few hours of leisure time to explore this pretty waterfront town, set against the dramatic backdrop of the city centre, where old and new combine effortlessly.

Historic buildings have been given a modern twist and its strategic location was the main reason why the Romans established themselves here. The town blossomed under Emperor Karl the Great and Nijmegen later became a member of the Hanseatic League and an important university town. The ship leaves here during the night, heading back towards Rotterdam.

At full capacity, Royal Crown caters for just 88 guests in 44 luxuriously appointed cabins with flatscreen TVs and other mod cons to promise a memorable and refined cruise holiday. Often described as an “Orient Express on Water”, the river yacht exudes 1930s glamour and style with Art Deco design and bespoke butler service.

The 52-strong team caters to individual needs with every comfort onboard considered, from the choice of pillow to a favourite drink. The traditional ambiance and décor is propelled into the 21st century with modern facilities, ncluding a deluxe spa, golf putting area, well-equipped fitness room and 24-hour multimedia business lounge.

The Andre Rieu Journey departs on July 10 for 8 days, starting and finishing in Rotterdam, and includes a ticket to the Andre Rieu concert in his home town of Maastricht. Prices start from £1,299 per person.

For more information, visit www.ewaterways.co.uk or the luxury and river-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Wine-Tasting On The Danube with AMA Waterways


For the first time, AMA Waterways is offering UK guests a wine-themed river cruise hosted by a British celebrity when renowned wine critic, journalist and television personality Jilly Goolden comes on board the cruise line’s luxurious AmaDolce for a Danube cruise from Vilshofen to Budapest on November 14.

Goolden, known for her eccentric descriptions of wine that have included pear drops, liquorice and even rubber, presented BBC’s `Food & Drink’ show for 18 years. She went on to write a series of books on wine and food, and to appear in a number of TV shows, including the fifth series of `I’m a Celebrity – Get me out of here.’

Goolden will join guests on AMA's picturesque `Romantic Danube’ voyage past rolling hillsides, vineyards and medieval castles, through Austria’s captivating Wachau Valley with highlights that include visits to Vienna and Budapest.

While on board, she will present her knowledge of local wines, host wine tastings, accompany guests on a wine-themed shore excursion and mingle with passengers during meals and in the ship’s public areas.

All presentations, wine tastings and excursions are complimentary to guests and are included in the 7-night cruise price, starting from £1,376, which also includes all meals, wine with dinner, free Wi-Fi and free use of on-board bicycles.

The cruise is one of a series of wine-themed cruises offered by AMA in October and November, timed to coincide with the harvest. The cruises will showcase Europe’s wine regions on the Rhine, Mosel and Danube, and, in addition to Goolden, will feature hosts such as Anthony Dias Blue, one of America's most influential wine, food and lifestyle personalities, and representatives from the Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma, and winemakers from the St. Francis Winery and Vineyards in Santa Rosa and Trinchero Napa Valley.

Itineraries include complimentary onboard lectures, wine tastings and excursions to historic vineyards and cellars. Passengers will also enjoy special wine-themed excursions, such as a Medieval Wine Fest in the Mosel town of Zell; a traditional “Heuriger” tasting of new wine in the villages of Grinzing and Neustift on the outskirts of Vienna; a tour and tasting at the historic Bergweiler Winery in Bernkastel; an introduction to Alsatian wines at the “Wunsch et Mann” winery in Wettolsheim and an unforgettable candlelit evening and wine tasting at the Hofkeller, or cellar of the famous Residenz in Wurzburg.

Each of the distinctive wine-themed activities is complimentary and open to all passengers.

For more info, look up www.amawaterways.co.uk or contact the river-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd on 0800 008 6677.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Win A Star Clippers Cruise with Silver Travel Advisor


Over-50s website the Silver Travel Advisor, which features the experiences and recollections of older holidaymakers, is offering a magnificent tall-ship cruise in a prize draw this month for posting a travel or holiday review.

Silver Travel Advisor offers mature travellers free travel advice from travel industry professionals and hosts impartial travel, restaurant and days-out reviews from its thousands of members, all of whom are aged 50 or older.

The prize draw is for a week-long cruise of the Greek islands and Turkey on board the magnificent Star Clipper, one of three historically-styled full-rigged tall ships in the Star Clippers fleet. Passengers enjoy all meals, a week-long itinerary of sailing to some of the least visited ports in the Med - many inaccessible by larger cruise vessels - and the thrill of cruising on board one of the most head-turning ships on the sea.

Every member posting a review at http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/ will be automatically entered into the prize draw for two, travelling in August, and every additional travel review entitles the member to another entry into the draw.

Silver Travel Advisor’s managing director Debbie Marshall explained: “We’re really delighted Star Clippers are partnering us in this exciting prize draw. Silver Travel Advisor recognises the value of older travellers’ experiences by offering a forum for people to share their travel recommendations and reviews. We’re constantly surprised to read of how adventurous our members are with their holidays and we know they’ll love the idea of a tall-ship cruise.”

Visit http://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/ for more info, or for more on Star Clippers or cruising in general, go to The Cruise Line Ltd.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Voyaging To World's Last Frontier


Aurora Expeditions is once again pushing the boundaries of expedition travel with voyages to the Russian Arctic and Russian Far East; a land of complex history, unique cultures, inspiring landscapes and astounding wildlife.

Aurora Expeditions' ‘Voyage to the End of the Earth’ is a 14-day adventure to the Russian Arctic departing Murmansk, with prices starting from $8,080 per person.

Discover a region so remote and wild that few have ever been. The 191 pristine islands that make up Franz Josef Land were the planet's last major landmass to be discovered. Uninhabited, minus a few Russian border guards, this is the realm of the polar bear, walrus, seals and the elusive beluga whale.

Only accessible by sea, the region has been open to foreigners only since 1991. This geological wonder really is the world’s last frontier, virtually untouched and waiting to be explored.

Last Minute offer: Receive 15% off 'Voyage to the End of the Earth'

Aurora's ‘The Ring Of Fire’ voyage will then unlock the mysteries of the Kurils, taking you deep into a wildlife and geological wonderland. Departing Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, this 13-day voyage will showcase the lush valleys, lakes and rivers, and snow-capped volcanoes of Kamchatka’s east coast, where brown bears feast on berries and salmon. The ship's fleet of Zodiacs will take visitors to intimate viewings of spectacular seabirds, Stellar sea lions, whales, otters and seal colonies. Prices start from $7,250 per person.

Special offer: Receive 10% off 'Ring Of Fire – Kuril Islands'

Both voyages will set sail on Aurora Expeditions' brand new ship, Akademik Shokalskiy. This ice-strengthened research ship was built in Finland in 1982. Fully refurbished in 2008, it provides accommodation for a maximum of 54 passengers as well as two dining rooms, lounge bar, lecture theatre, sauna and an ‘Open Bridge’ policy.

For more info, see www.auroraexpeditions.com.au or contact the UK's leading adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Azamara's 'Extended Voyages'



Azamara Club Cruises has launched 'Extended Voyages' which allow guests to join two, three, four or more consecutive cruises into one experience. By combining select consecutive cruises onboard Azamara Quest or Azamara Journey guests can embark on a holiday of a lifetime, ranging from 11 to 78-nights without repeated ports of call.

In addition, guests booking consecutive cruises will receive £200 per cruise, per stateroom for cruises of eight days or less and £300 per cruise, per stateroom for voyages of nine days or more for greater value. Savings double on sailings between October 1 and December 31 this year, if booked by July 31.

Guests wanting a longer adventure can book Journey's 77-night cruise from Stockholm to Civitavecchia (for Rome). Departing June 27, 2012, the sailing features 25 overnight stays, four being two consecutive nights, where guests can experience the nightlife of Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris and Seville. This Extended Voyage features the Norwegian Fjords itinerary, which highlights the North Seas Jazz Festival, one of the world's premiere musical festivals.

For those keen on exploring the Far East, Journey's Piraeus (Athens) to Hong Kong cruise departs on October 26, 2012. This 72-night cruise, combines six cruises - Holy Land, Egypt & Suez Canal; Luxor, Petra, Sinai & Eilat; Luxor, Petra & Sinai; The Spice Coast & Ceylon; Burma & Andaman Sea Islands; Vietnam & Thailand, Christmas and New Year - for an in-depth exploration of the region, plus an opportunity to spend Christmas and New Year in Hong Kong through a Land Discoveries excursion.

Quest departs Singapore on February 29, 2012, on a 78-night cruise, sailing from Singapore to Piraeus. This combines six cruises - Trade Routes to the Orient; Japan & Taiwan; Manila, Sabah, Borneo, Komodo & Bali; Spice Route; Petra, Sinai & Luxor; Holy Land, Egypt & Suez Canal.

For more info, look up http://www.azamaraclubcruises.co.uk/ or contact the luxury cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Serenity's Big Makeover Complete


One Hamburg shipyard, two weeks, several talented designers, 500-plus+ international staffers, 606 crew and $25 million. Such are the ingredients for the ultra-luxurious redesign of Crystal Cruises’ largest ship, Crystal Serenity. Just completed after a round-the-clock remodel at Germany’s Blohm + Voss shipyard, the dry dock was the company’s longest ever. All 535 staterooms, retail centres, outdoor pool deck, corridors and other spaces received a dazzling facelift, in addition to general sprucing of the entire outside and inside of the vessel.

Interior designer, Keith Rushbrook, principal at the Toronto-based II BY IV Design Associates summarises the vision: “We wanted modern classic elegance. We wanted Fifth Avenue – crème de la crème New York-inspired living and retail spaces that people love and look forward to spending time in.”

Sophisticated Stateroom Remodel

All of Serenity’s luxury accommodations received new appointments. While Crystal Penthouses were refreshed with new soft goods, Deluxe Staterooms, Penthouses and Penthouse Suites were completely transformed with new, floor-to-ceiling tufted headboards, bedside cabinets, sofas, curtains, pillows and custom carpets in contemporary lines and classic stone, silk, velvet, leather and crisp linen textures. The new sofas also offer more third berths – a nice feature for Crystal’s growing family clientele. Blu-ray players and flatscreen TVs were added and new modern lighting, plus an electronic “do not disturb” doorbell system, allowing guests greater personalisation of their chic accommodations.

Remarkable Retail Space Re-Do

The Apropos boutique was redesigned into three dramatic shopping spaces against a backdrop of rich Zebrano wood and herringbone rosewood, arresting black-plum-magenta carpeting and tufted leather seating. A new area is dedicated to Christian Dior cosmetics. The Dior shop is exclusive to Crystal and is the largest of its kind that isn’t land-based. Not be outshone, the Facets fine jewellery store also received a new, private sales area and a new, overall look mirroring a jewellery box, with mother-of-pearl feature wall and bevelled chrome display cabinets.

Serenity emerged from dry dock to begin a series of Baltic, British Isles and North Cape cruises. Come August, the ship sails to the Mediterranean for a variety of late summer and autumn cruises where guests can not only enjoy the resort’s new look, but exceptional value from a huge Autumn Fare Sale, with up to $2,000/couple spending credits and other amenities.

For more info, visit www.crystalcruises.co.uk or contact the UK's leading luxury cruise specialists, The Cruise Line Ltd

Saturday, 4 June 2011

GOING ONCE, GOING TWICE - CHARITY ON THE POLAR SEAS

Guests on board Hurtigruten voyages in Spitsbergen, Greenland and Antarctica this season will be offered the opportunity to raise money in support of the areas of the Arctic and Antarctic they have just sailed through. At the end of every expedition voyage a charity auction will now takes place with all funds raised being donated to local preservation organisations.

Trialed last year, these auctions have now become a permanent fixture on MS Fram expedition voyages. The usual beneficiaries are institutions that look after the preservation and further development of areas visited such as the Antarctica South Georgia Heritage Trust, Birdlife International or the Ocean Foundation. However, the auctions can also help local people such as Greenland’s children who also receive support from the money raised.

“We want to give something back to the regions we have visited.” Said Expedition Team Leader Karin Strand. “Our guests respond very positively to the auctions. They too recognise the privilege of being able to travel to these remote areas and they like to say thank you by giving something back.”

Items coming under the hammer include the sea chart for the voyage in question, expedition team jackets and donated items from the research stations and localities visited during the voyage. On one voyage alone last year, the operator raised 6000 euro.

For more information visit Hurtigruten http://www.hurtigruten.co.uk/ or The Cruise Line.

French Polynesia, The Distant Paradise


The most remote archipelago in the world, the French Polynesian Marquesas Islands have long been an inspiration for artists, writers and adventurers who come for the region’s wild beauty and cultural heritage. Aranui 3, the only ship to sail the 2,200-mile round-trip from Papeete on Tahiti to all six inhabited islands in the Marquesas archipelago, has just released its 2012 and 2013 dates and prices, including some special discounts.

Aranui 3 offers travel in comfort. Doubling as a cozy passenger ship as well as a cargo carrier, she features 86 fully air-conditioned cabins (including 10 large suites with balconies) and can carry more than 2,000 tons of freight. Two comfortable lounges, a swimming pool and gym and a full programme of lectures on Marquesan history, culture and art are all part of the experience.

English is widely spoken onboard and all presentations are given in English and French. The vessel, which has been in operation since 2003, delivers regular supplies, from bulldozers and beer to boats and brake pads to the islands’ remote valleys, some of which are totally secluded and have no road access to the main villages.

While the ship’s crew loads and unloads cargo at each island destination, passengers are taken ashore by wooden whaleboat or barge and welcomed by locals with flower garlands, dancing and music. Four-wheel drive jeeps, driven by locals, then take participants on spectacular safaris over the mountains to explore mysterious, unspoiled jungles and to experience the fascinating and individual culture of each of the islands.

Prices for 2012 start from £3,100 per person sharing a standard twin-bedded outside cabin with private facilities, including all meals with wine, all land-based sightseeing excursions and taxes.

However, during 2012, three departures are being offered at a 10% discount: March 17, June 9 and, for seniors aged over 60 only, September 22, bringing the starting price down to £2,805 per person. For those planning ahead to 2013, there is a 10% early booking discount on sailings between January and March 2013 for bookings received by December 31.

Flights to/from Papeete, Tahiti, are not included in these prices. Air France and Air Tahiti Nui fly to Papeete (via Paris and Los Angeles), with prices from around £1,750 pp return.

For more info, visit www.aranui.com or contact the UK's adventure-cruise specialists of The Cruise Line Ltd.