AdventureSmith Explorations Welcomes A New Small Ship to Its Cruise Portfolio –

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Now Offering Three Ways to Explore the San Juan Islands

With a new expedition vessel sailing in Pacific Northwest waters, AdventureSmith Explorations now offers three routes to cruise the San Juan Islands by small ship. The international experts when it comes to arranging yacht and small expedition ship cruises, AdventureSmith nominates the San Juan archipelago as its top pick for autumn cruising this year. Its 408 miles of shoreline offer easy access to off ship activities in this up-and-coming foodie and wildlife lover’s hotspot.

The San Juan Islands are located just off Washington State’s coast north of Seattle and east of Victoria, British Columbia. Sailing among the 172 named islands of the San Juans, expect to meet pods of orcas feasting on salmon, playful seals and sea lions lounging on rocky islets, black bear and deer flourishing in deep evergreen forests, as well as royalty atop the trees, as the region hosts the highest concentration of bald eagles in the Lower 48. The San Juans are also dubbed the “Gourmet Archipelago” with culinary festivals, four shellfish farms, three vineyards, one brewery, one cidery/distillery, and seven tasting rooms featuring local and regional wines, micro beers and locally distilled spirits.

New to AdventureSmith Exploration’s cruise portfolio in the San Juans is Exploring British Columbia & the San Juan Islands, eight days aboard the 100-guest National Geographic Quest. This brand-new, purpose-built expedition vessel launches later this month, but the ship’s popularity has all of her summer 2017 sailings in Alaska already sold out. “This fall is your chance to be among the first aboard this world-class basecamp for adventure,” according to AdventureSmith Explorations Founder and Director Todd Smith (http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/).

National Geographic Quest is a state-of-the-art vessel made for exploring coastal waters, shallow coves and fast-moving channels. Her twin expedition craft landing platform allows guests to get on and off the ship quickly to maximize time for wildlife sightings. Created with a shallow draft, National Geographic Quest draws only nine feet of water allowing her to sail into places where much larger ships cannot go. And unlike other vessels sailing in the Pacific Northwest, National Geographic Quest features a guide complement that includes a historian, a geologist/naturalist, a wellness specialist and a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor.

Departures are from Vancouver, BC, and Seattle. Two days are spent exploring the San Juan Islands by expedition landing craft, kayak, paddleboard and hiking trail, with a special stop at picturesque Friday Harbor to visit the Whale Museum and local shops. This itinerary further stands out, according to Smith, as it features Vancouver as an embarkation/disembarkation point, a bonus as travelers can explore this world-class Canadian city before or after their wilderness adventure. The per person double rate is from $4,990.

British Columbia Yachter’s Paradise offers eight days aboard the intimate, luxurious 22-guest Safari Quest, with a day spent exploring the San Juan Islands. Guests sail round trip from Seattle, mostly visiting wilderness locations, but also with a mix of culture thanks to stops in Friday Harbor and Victoria, with time set aside to take High Tea at the elegant Empress Hotel. Located on San Juan Island, the largest island in the archipelago, Friday Harbor hosts travelers for a morning town tour before guests embark to keep watch for the orca pods that frequent these waters. The per person double rate is from $3,695.

Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands is eight days aboard the 76-guest Wilderness Discoverer and offers the most time and flexibility exploring the San Juan Islands. Guests will spend at least three days in this famed archipelago, stopping at Lopez Island, San Juan Island, Orcas Island and Sucia Island, among others. Guests cruise to and from Seattle, exploring this city’s waterfront before sailing through the San Juans, dropping anchor here and there for kayaking and hiking. A highlight is Sucia Island’s 564-acre Marine State Park, considered the crown jewel of Washington’s marine park system. This horseshoe-shaped island is accessible only by watercraft and boasts a population of just 4 residents. The per person double rate is from $2,095.

A full complement of AdventureSmith Explorations’ adventures in the Pacific Northwest can be seen online at http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/pacific-northwest. For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises worldwide, itineraries, availability and reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/.

National Maritime Museum – One Ocean Expeditions

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a major new exhibition, ‘Death In The Ice’, due to open at the National Maritime Museum 14 July, will explore further the still unsolved puzzle of Franklin’s fatal last journey.  Showcasing the magnificent Canadian Arctic, the exhibition will also display finds from HMS Erebus for the first time since their recovery.

OOE, which played a significant role in the discovery of the ship, operates a number of expedition cruises following in the footsteps of pioneering explorers.  Among them is Pathways to Franklin, scheduled to depart on 23 August 2018, which focuses on the history of Arctic exploration and the early quest for the Northwest Passage.

Navigating through the same waters as HMS Erebus, the10-day itinerary begins in Resolute, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle.  Thankfully, unlike the ships of the 19th century, One Ocean Navigator is an ice-strengthened cruise vessel.  Not only is it far more robust than its predecessors, it also boasts many home comforts from welcome and comfortable cabins to a sauna, hot tub and three meals a day plus afternoon tea.

Highlights of the expedition include a visit to Prince Leopold Island, one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in Canada, where several hundred thousand birds nest.

Crossing Lancaster Sound to Baffin Island is also truly memorable.  Dubbed the wildlife ‘super highway’ for its abundant wildlife sightings, there is a high chance of spotting seals, whales and narwhal en route and, along the northern coast of Baffin Island, the mighty polar bear.

For many passengers, however, the history of the region provides the greatest draw and the most poignant impressions are those made on the windswept terrain of Beechey Island, where Franklin and his men spent their last relatively comfortable winter in 1845/6, amid the barren, frozen landscape.

Prices for the nine-night voyage start from US $6795pp based on triple share, up to US $12,995pp based on two sharing the One Ocean suite.  Return charter flights from Edmonton are available at a cost of $1995.  Airport transfers, accommodation and meals onboard, outdoor gear, zodiac boat excursions, guided hiking trips, visits to wildlife colonies and educational presentations from experts in their field are all included.

For more information on One Ocean Expeditions’ Arctic 2018 cruises visit: https://www.oneoceanexpeditions.com/voyages

UnCruise Adventures Expands in Alaska and Brings Adventure to the Columbia and Snake Rivers  

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The full 2018 deployment of small ship adventure cruises from Alaska to South America

Known for off-the-beaten-path adventures, UnCruise Adventures has launched its 2018 schedule of small ship cruises highlighted by a new adventure itinerary on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, plus a fresh lineup of itineraries and an expanded selection of ships in Alaska.

The 88-guest S.S. Legacy transforms into an adventure equipped ship to offer kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff excursions, hikes on remote trails, whitewater rafting down the Deschutes River as well as other active adventures. New in 2018, the ship heads to Alaska from April through mid-August, then sails on the Columbia and Snake Rivers from August through November.

Based in Seattle, Washington, the line operates eight adventure ships, plus a partner vessel in the Galápagos, carrying 22-88 guests in Alaska, coastal Washington, British Columbia, Columbia & Snake Rivers, Mexico’s Sea of Cortés, Hawaii, Galápagos, Costa Rica and Panamà.

“The Columbia & Snake River system is an outdoor enthusiasts’ mecca, and extending our style of adventure there is a natural fit,” said Captain Dan Blanchard, CEO. “In order to make it an UnCruise, we need to slow down, take time to kayak, sightsee by skiff, and go hiking. We purposely build flexibility into our itineraries to make each day the best day possible.”

Columbia and Snake River cruise – New itinerary
The S.S. Legacy sails eight departures between Portland, Oregon and Lewiston, Idaho (or reverse) on a new weeklong Rivers of Adventure itinerary from mid-August to October. An included charter flight to/from Lewiston makes it roundtrip Portland, Oregon. With a new focus on adventure, river exploration includes a jet boat ride into Hells Canyon, Deschutes River whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, yoga, paddle boarding, kayaking, skiff tours, swimming and a winery tour. Rates begin at $4,995 per person, double occupancy. From October through mid-December, seven departures on a Rivers of Wine itinerary sail roundtrip Portland, Oregon with a guest wine expert and sommelier on board for a week of winery tours and tastings. Rates begin at $3,745 per person, double occupancy.

Southeast Alaska – 5 new itineraries, 1 additional ship
With the addition of the S.S. Legacy in Alaska, seven ships will sail 10 adventure cruise itineraries on 160 departures lasting one or two weeks from April through September. Homeports are Seattle, Washington; Ketchikan, Juneau, Petersburg and Sitka, Alaska. Five of 10 itineraries are new in 2018 and seven include a visit of one, two or three days in Glacier Bay National Park. The adventure outpost of Haines, Alaska is a new port of call. The Safari Endeavour and S.S. Legacy sail two alternating itineraries between Juneau and Sitka providing more two-week adventure opportunities. The Safari Quest’s new itinerary is specially designed for guests returning to Alaska with explorations of rarely visited wilderness areas. Alaska cruise rates begin at $2,995 per person, based on double occupancy.

Costa Rica and Panamá
The 62-guest Safari Voyager sails 28 departures one-way between Costa Rica and Panamá (or reverse) from January through April, June, August, and again from October through December. An eight-night Unveiled Wonders itinerary includes a pre-cruise hotel night and a full transit of the Panamá Canal. Monkeys, birds, sea turtles and other wildlife are seen on explorations in national parks, a refuge and conservation areas. Rates begin at $4,395 per person, based on double occupancy.

Panamá
In May, June, August and September, the Safari Voyager sails 12 Pure Panamá adventure cruises roundtrip Panamá City. The off-the-beaten-path adventure visits the Guna Yala (formerly San Blas) Islands, Chagres River, Pearl Islands and Darién Jungle. Highlights include a full transit of the Panamá Canal, meeting locals in an Embera village, and a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Fort San Lorenzo. A pre-cruise hotel night is included in Panamá City. Rates begin at $4,395 per person, based on double occupancy. Many Costa Rica and Panama itineraries may be combined for a 15-night Ultimate Costa Rica and Panamá adventure cruise.

Mexico’s Sea of Cortés
From January through March and December, the Safari Endeavour sails 14 departures on a weeklong Baja’s Bounty itinerary roundtrip San José del Cabo with an included land tour to the ship in La Paz. A week of exploring remote islands and waters in the UNESCO World Heritage Site includes a burro ride into the arroyo in Bahía Agua Verde, snorkeling with sea lions at Los Islotes, desert hikes and marine life searches. Depending on the time of year, guests will either don snorkels and swim with whale sharks (gentle giants) or cross the Baja peninsula to Magdalena Bay to see grey whales and calves up close from panga boats. Rates begin at $3,595 per person, based on double occupancy.

Galápagos Islands
The La Pinta sails five departures on an 8-night Darwin’s Islands and Colonial Quito exploration with six nights on board the ship and two at Casa Gangotena Hotel, an award winning hotel in Quito, Ecuador. Turtles, birds, land iguanas, sea lions, penguins and other wildlife encounters are highlights during expeditions on seven islands—Seymour Norte, Isabela, Fernandina, Rábida, Santa Cruz, Floreana and Baltra. Adventure activities and a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center are included along with internal air between Quito and Galápagos. Rates begin at $8,545 per person, based on double occupancy.

Hawaiian Islands
The Safari Explorer sails 22 departures on a Hawaiian Seascapes itinerary one-way between Moloka’i and The big Island of Hawai’i (or reverse) from January through March and November through December. The island hopping cruise visits Maui, Lana’i, Moloka’i and the big island of Hawai’i. An overnight and full day on Moloka’i explores traditional Hawaiian culture with locals in Halawa Valley, as well as a Pa’ina feast in the evening. Snorkeling and small boat explorations unveil the underwater universe of marine life—dolphins, tropical fish, whales, green sea turtles and a night snorkel with Giant Pacific Manta rays. Rates begin at $3,995 per person, based on double occupancy.

Coastal Washington and British Columbia
In spring and fall, 10 departures on a weeklong Explore! Olympic Wilderness and San Juan Islands adventure sails roundtrip Seattle exploring coastal Washington shores from South Hood Canal to the Olympic Peninsula and around the San Juan Islands. The Wilderness Discoverer sails the itinerary in spring with the Safari Quest taking over in the fall. The Safari Quest also sails 10 departures on a weeklong British Columbia’s Yachters’ Paradise itinerary in spring and fall from Seattle. Highlights include high tea at Victoria’s Empress Hotel, gunkholing and paddling among islands and inlets and a visit to Princess Louisa Inlet and Chatterbox Falls. Rates begin at $2,495 per person, based on double occupancy.

With a focus on exploring nature and wildlife outside, the line carries its own adventure equipment and employs a team of knowledgeable expedition guides to lead adventures off ship. Guests are immersed in the destination and can choose from varying levels of activities—kayaking, hiking, beachcombing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, skiff excursions and wildlife searches.

Inclusive cruises are available in nine destinations and include fresh, innovative meals; all beverages including alcohol; adventure activities; transfers day of cruise and wellness amenities. Port taxes and fees are additional. Theme cruise topics include photography, marine biology, ornithology, music, wellness, wine and craft beer. A family Discoveries program encourages families to bring children eight years and older along with a savings of $500 for kids ages eight to 13 years old. To book or to request additional information, contact your travel agent or UnCruise Adventures at 888-862-8881 or sales@uncruise.com.

Celebrity Cruises’ incredible offer for next year’s summer holiday

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Plan ahead and book early to take advantage of Celebrity Cruises’ incredible offer for next year’s summer holiday. Guests can save up to £900, and enjoy complimentary drinks when booking an Oceanview stateroom or above on selected 2018 sailings.
During a seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise, guests can sail through the most beautiful ports of Norway and soak in the enchanting surroundings of the fjords, waterfalls and glaciers.
Price includes free classic drinks package for two people and a seven-night cruise departing from Southampton (UK) and calling at Bergen (Norway), Alesund (Norway), Geiranger (Norway) and Stavanger (Norway) before returning to Southampton; meals and entertainment on-board the ship and all relevant cruise taxes/fees.
Price is based on 30 April 2018 departure. Book before 31 of August 2017 to save up to £900 and take advantage of a host of offers on selected cruise holidays in 2018
Join Celebrity Cruises’ (www.celebritycruises.co.uk; 0800 441 4054) Celebrity Silhouette on a seven-night Norwegian Fjords cruise from £1,299 per person (based on two people sharing a Balcony Stateroom).

PONANT, four brand new Latin America and Caribbean itineraries

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PONANT, luxury expeditions and French boutique cruise company, unveils four brand new Latin America and Caribbean itineraries for winter 2018 – 2019 season. The new itineraries include sailing in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, Cuba and the Pearls of the Caribbean, Central America and the Caribbean Sea, and Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

 Natural Beauty of Amazonia – A luxury expedition cruise to the heart of the Amazon rainforest, including outings in Zodiac dinghies with naturalist-guides and observation of endemic wildlife (toucans, falcons, ibis, parrots, monkeys and iguanas) plus a visit to the Salvation Islands to see the former prison cells as well as crossing the Equator. Between Cayenne and Manaus – aboard Le Champlain (13 days / 12 nights). Four departures: 25 November 2018, 7 December 2018, 17 March 2019, 29 March 2019. Price starts from £4,690 (1)(3)

 Cuba and the Pearls of the Caribbean – An exceptional cruise to discover Cuba, spending one night in Havana, the “city of columns”. This itinerary also takes passengers to the British Virgin Islands where the white sandy beaches rival each other for beauty, then on to Puerto Plata and its magnificent underwater world. From Saint-Martin to Havana – aboard Le Ponant (11 days / 10 nights) from 6 to 16 December 2018. Price starts from £3,870 (1)(2)

 Treasures of the Caribbean Sea – Visits to many Mayan sites including Chichen Itza, options to take a trip to the mysterious Blue Hole, considered to be one of the world’s top 10 diving spots, or discover the mythical Panama Canal, before even boarding the cruise. From Colon to Miami – aboard Le Boréal (12 days / 11 nights) from 11 to 22 April 2019. Price starts from £3,200 (1)(2)

 The Sea of Cortez – Between red volcanic rocky outcrops, turquoise waters and deserts, an itinerary to discover the fabulous biodiversity of the Sea of Cortez, once described as “the world’s aquarium” by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. From San Diego to Puerto Quetzal – aboard Le Soléal (14 days / 13 nights) from 9 to 22 October 2018. Price starts from £3,790 (1)(2)

 

For more information or to book, please visit ponant.com – or call 0800 980 40 27

CMV say the best things in life are still free

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Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) http://www.cruiseandmaritime.com 0844 998 3877 has extended its BOGOF (Buy one get one free) deal, for 2018  bookings, by a further month until 17.00 on Saturday 1st July. The deal has proved popular with those people wishing to secure the cruise itinerary and cabin of their choice and get a great deal now, avoiding the wait for last minute deals that may or may not arrive. The offer means the first adult pays the full fare and the second sharing person travels for free. The deal is based on the current remaining availability of cabins and is capacity controlled.

BOGOF will apply to all departures including the Columbus Round the World Cruise 5 January 2018. The added benefits introduced last month as an incentive on the World Cruise, have now ended. This cruise has sold extremely well with many cabin grades already on waitlist and others limited in availability. However, £14,999 will still get two people sailing around the World for 121 nights, that is £7,499pp on the BOGOF deal.

Another good example is Magellan cruising from Bristol 22 October for six nights during the school half term and includes the River Seine, Rouen, Antwerp and Amsterdam before returning to London –Tilbury. The adult fare is from £759 that is £379pp. This cruise is one of eight that is operated as a multi-generational cruise so that grandparents can their family including the grand-children. The child sharing fare is from £99 per child.

Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch to commence 2017/18 cruise season from Dover

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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines will be commencing its 2017/18 cruise season from Dover on 4th June 2017 aboard its elegant 804-guest Black Watch.
In total, the ship will be offering six unique, great-value holidays up to August 2017; guests can choose from a 10-night ‘Lochs of Scotland’ cruise, a 14-night ‘Iceland, Ireland & Islands’ adventure and a 27-night adult-only ‘Fjords of Norway, Iceland & Greenland’ voyage.
Fred. Olsen will be continuing its commitment to the Port of Dover in 2018/19, with a total of 17 cruise departures – an increase on this year’s total of 12 – this time aboard 880-guest Boudicca, from March to September 2018, and again in February 2019.