Posts Tagged ‘small-ship cruising’

AdventureSmith Explorations Reports Space Still Available for 2014 Holiday Small-Ship Cruises, Adventures

September 3, 2014

Suddenly it’s late summer with 2014 Holiday travel only months away.

AdventureSmith Explorations that offers both sea and land excursions year-round reports that there is still space available for prime holiday season December 2014 and early January 2015 escapes.

“But don’t wait too long,” said Todd Smith, founder/owner of AdventureSmith Explorations that specializes in small-ship expedition cruising that allows gusts to get up close and personal with the environments and landscapes they travel far to see.

Opportunities still available for Holiday cruises include the following destinations: Amazon, Antarctica, Australia, Baja (Mexico), Chile/Patagonia, Costa Rica, Panama Canal, Galapagos and Hawaii.

For example, Hawaii Christmas Cruises Hawaiian Seascapes Dec. 20-27, Dec. 27-Jan. 3, Jan. 3-10 on the 36-passenger Safari Explorer yacht lets guests explore four islands. This active itinerary includes time for snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, touring local farms and museums, and even night snorkeling. The 8-day cruise is from $3,595 per person double.

There are two Baja, Mexico, Christmas Cruises. The first is Wild Islands & Treasures of Baja Dec. 20-27, Dec. 27-Jan. 3 on the 62-guest National Geographic Sea Bird. This expedition unites its twin facets: culture and wildness. Guests explore pristine desert islands, rife with endemic species, rare plants and towering forests of cacti, and spot Humpback whales migrating in the Sea of Cortez. The 8-day cruise is from $5,690 per person double.

Cousteau’s Aquarium of the World Dec. 20-27, Dec. 27-Jan. 3 uncovers the area of Dabo Pulmo where French Oceanographer Jacques Cousteau led numerous expeditions in a setting of steep bluffs and sandy beaches. This Baja expedition through marine-life-rich waters aboard the 84-guest Safari Endeavour offers opportunities to snorkel among gentle whale sharks and sea lion pups, and explore the desert landscape explored by Cousteau. The per person rate for 8 days is from $3,395.

Baja, Costa Rica, Chile/Patagonia, Guatemala, Panama and Peru offer opportunities for both pre-set and on-request land departures that may also include itineraries suited to families. These combine hiking through rainforests, sourcing indigenous wildlife, sometimes whitewater rafting and explorations of archaeology, culture and history.

For example in Peru, the Peru Mountain Lodge Trek Dec. 20-26, Dec. 21-27 Dec. 24-30 Dec. 27-Jan. 2 is the very first trans-Andean lodge-to-lodge trek to one of the ancient world’s most extraordinary sanctuaries: Machu Picchu. After full days of trekking, guests spend evenings unwinding by the fireplace, stargazing and enjoying a comfortable lodge. The 7-day program is from $3,489 per person double.

Costa Rica Christmas Tours, Quest for Pura Vida Dec. 20-28, Dec. 27-Jan. 4, combines the cloud forests of Monteverde and the active Arenal Volcano with the verdant lowland tropical forests of Tortuguero to highlight Costa Rica’s diversity of nature and culture. This 9-day program combining mountains, rainforest and the Caribbean is from $2,700 per person double.

Founded in 2003, AdventureSmith Explorations is based in Tahoe City, CA, along the northern shore of Lake Tahoe. In 2012, owner Todd Smith joined the ranks of Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious 14th Annual Travel Specialists List as the world’s expert on small ship expeditions. A distinction he received again in 2013. For information, availability and 2014 reservations, Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit www.adventuresmithexplorations.com.

 

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Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Orion to Complete Renovations in time for Borneo to Bali Voyage in September

August 12, 2014

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced that National Geographic Orion will undergo renovations to two public spaces during dry dock this September.  The renovations will be made to two public spaces: The Lounge (main) and the Observation Lounge, and are being redesigned to better serve the dynamic, learning-oriented community of guests and staff aboard.

Renovations include:

  • The current library will be removed from The Lounge, providing an additional 20% of space that will enable seating now for all guests and expedition team at once.
  • The Lounge will feature a “circle of truth” in the center (as on National Geographic Explorer), which will serve as the focal area for all presentations and recap discussions by the ship’s expedition team and experts.
  • A newly designed bar.
  • Updating of all furnishings and carpets in a modern, expedition style.
  • Upgrade of all audio and visual functions including large high definition flat screens and contemporary audio system.
  • The Observation Lounge will undergo a complete refurbishment and layout change, and will feature an intimate library, nautical chart table, and a self-serve beverage station.

The renovations are being done by ICF Singapore, a world leader in interior ship design, and will be completed in time for the September 16, 2014 Wild Encounters from Borneo to Bali expedition.

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic launched the 102-guest National Geographic Orion in March 2014. While she has retained all her state-of-the-art comforts, the ship was equipped with a full roster of exploration tools including tandem kayaks, an innovative ROV (remotely operated vehicle reaching depths up to 1,000 feet), snorkeling gear for all, a dive master, scuba gear that can accommodate up to 24 divers at a time, and a glass bottom boat.

For more information or to book Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1.800.397.3348), or call your travel agent.

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Fred Olsen Cruise Lines Unveils New ‘Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise’ for Summer 2015

August 6, 2014

Oporto, Portugal, will be one of the stops on the Boudicca's 16-night "Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise" presented by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Oporto, Portugal, will be one of the stops on the Boudicca’s 16-night “Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise” presented by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Secrecy and suspense will be aboard 880-guest ship Boudicca for a 16-night “Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise,” departing Rosyth (Edinburgh) July 10, 2015. The cruise, presented by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines links the Duchess of Northumberland’s ‘Poison Gardens’ at Alnwick Castle – which starred as ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry’ in the Harry Potter films – and that of Mr. Fred. Olsen Senior in Guimar, Tenerife.

Fred. Olsen unveiled this participative ‘murder mystery’ cruise at an exclusive VIP launch at The Tower of London, hosted by The Duchess of Northumberland and Fred. Olsen Senior, on July 24, 2014.

Guests will get to take part in this great adventure as it unfolds on board, whilst Boudicca takes a leisurely cruise to Leixoes (for Oporto, Portugal), Funchal (Madeira), Santa Cruz (Tenerife), Las Palmas (Gran Canaria), Lisbon (Portugal) and Newcastle (UK) – famous as the ‘Agatha Christie Route’.

This intriguing ‘Poison, Murder & Mystery Cruise’ is a first for any cruise line, and is the result of a creative collaboration between Mr. Fred. Olsen Senior and Her Grace, the Duchess of Northumberland. Fred. Olsen is delighted that, as well as hosting the largest participative ‘murder mystery’ event ever held on a cruise ship – which will be officially witnessed on board by ‘Guinness World Records’ – the Duchess will be joining the ship for part of the voyage, along with Mr. Fred. Olsen Senior, it is hoped.

“In Fred. Olsen, I was excited to meet someone with a fellow passion for poison plants, and together we have sown a seed that has flourished into this fascinating cruise experience for Fred. Olsen’s guests next year, linking our two unique gardens,” Her Grace, The Duchess of Northumberland, said.

“I wanted to create a ‘theatre of poisons and poisoning’, and working with Fred. has allowed me to bring this desire to life aboard a cruise ship, where guests can sample something new, something different and something very special indeed!”

“It seemed to me the most natural thing to undertake such a cruise, with so few ‘Poison Gardens’ in Europe,” said Fred. Olsen Senior, Chairman of the Fred. Olsen group of companies. “For me, it is very special to be able to link these gardens with a unique cruise itinerary, and we know that many of our guests share an enthusiasm for gardening. We also know, from previous experiences such as our Titanic Centenary cruise in April 2012, that they enjoy dressing up and taking part in murder mystery-themed events.”

Highlights of this cruise include:

– Visit to The Alnwick Garden and Alnwick Castle – the grand and magnificent home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Here, guests will not only see the Gardens – which have been transformed by Her Grace with an investment of over £40 million – but also visit the only ‘Poison Garden’ in Britain.

– In Tenerife, discover the mythical ‘Pyramids of Guimar’ and their own ‘Poison Garden’.

– Throughout the cruise, the subject of poison and mystery will be everywhere, with plays, talks and special tours – and a murder mystery starting as soon as guests get on board, which will run through to a ‘Grand Finale’ at Alnwick Castle.

Felix Francis, younger son of thriller-writing legend, Dick Francis, will be penning a short crime story on board as the intrigue around this cruise unravels.

Guest speakers on this cruise include:

Peter Dean, Her Majesty’s Coroner for Essex and a former Forensic Medical Examiner with the Metropolitan Police, with some fascinating and gruesome insights into his varied and often ‘dark’ career.

Doctor Dan Jones, eminent poison Historian and Archaeologist, who gives a closer look into Rasputin and the Borgias family’s darkest secrets!

Doctor Mark Siddall, curator of ‘The Power of Poison’ exhibition at The American Museum of Natural History, will be cooking up all manner of potions and poisons in a hands-on, interactive demonstration.

The Duchess of Northumberland is the visionary behind The Alnwick Garden, the largest visitor attraction in the North East. It is a registered charity, which aims to raise aspirations and run charitable programmes for the education and well-being of the local community. It offers local people access to projects, events, services and opportunities and it aims to promote a healthy, fulfilled quality of life. Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden welcome over 800,000 visitors each year. She has travelled worldwide and around the UK, giving over 400 lectures about The Alnwick Garden and its charitable ethos.

She is particularly interested in natural poisons and aphrodisiacs and has built one of the only ‘Poison Gardens’ in the world, in which every plant is a killer. She had a trilogy of books published called ‘The Poison Diaries’ and recently a ‘Little Book of Poisons, Potions and Aphrodisiacs’ and one of ‘Jams, Jellies and Preserves’, with her own range of marmalades being commercially made from the oldest known recipe in the world.  The latest book, ‘The Little Book of Cocktails, Cordials and Elixirs’ – just recently launched – features some of the oldest recipes for cocktails and cordials ever recorded.

The cruise returns to Edinburgh on the morning of July 26, 2015, after two weeks of mystery, poison and murder at sea.

Prices start from $4125 per person, based on two adults sharing a twin-bedded, Inside cabin, and include accommodation, all meals and entertainment, plus port fees. If guests book by August 31 2014, they can take advantage of free door-to-door travel for guests who live within 250 mainland miles of Rosyth or up to $250 per person free onboard spending credit.

For further information on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, visit the website at www.bortonoverseas.com.

 

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Variety Cruises Offers 2-for-1 Special on March 9 Sailing of Treasures of Costa Rica and Panama Canal Cruise

February 19, 2014

Small ships cruise line Variety Cruises is offering a 2-for-1 special on the March 9, 2014 sailing of its Treasures of Costa Rica and Panama Canal cruise. When one traveler books the cruise at the regular price, starting at $2590, his or her partner cruises for free. Travelers wishing to take advantage of the special offer should mention “SELECTED SPECIAL” at the time of booking by calling 1-800-319-7776.

The 2-for-1 fare offer does not apply for existing bookings and cannot be combined with any other offers. All special fare bookings must be fully paid within seven days of booking confirmation date. Port charges are excluded from these discounts.

Variety Cruises, one of the world’s largest small ships cruise companies, has been offering passengers worldwide a total yachting experience since 1949. Their fleet of 11 fully-owned vessels varies in size from 4 to 36 cabins. Their yachts and staff provide an intimate and relaxed environment; a comfort filled starting point for the discerning travelers as they visit well known and unique ports of call. Fine locally-flavored cuisine, exciting itineraries and personalized service are just a few of the things that have made Variety Cruises the choice for the ever growing number of travelers looking for distinctive small ship cruise experiences. For more information on Variety Cruises, visit www.varietycruises.com.

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Variety Cruises Offers 9 Sailings of “Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal’

September 11, 2013

Variety Cruises is offering nine sailings of The Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal, a seven-night cruise from Los Suenos, Costa Rica to Cartagena, Columbia, from December 2013 – March 2014. Sailing on the Mega Yacht Variety Voyager, travelers will cross the celebrated Panama Canal while enjoying a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting. The cruise travels the Pacific Ocean coast line of Costa Rica with stops at the Corcovado National Park in Drake Bay, Manuel Antonio National Park in Quepos, the protected area of Golfo Dulce, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Isla Coiba and the San Blas Archipelago.

Cruise-goers will have the opportunity to explore a new port of call each day. In Quepos, white sand beaches are backed by a jungle sheltering hundreds of fascinating plant, mammal and bird species. Golfo Dulce offers sensational botanical gardens and orchid viewing, while Granito de Oro is a swimmer and snorkeler’s paradise. Fans of engineering will marvel at the Panama Canal as the Voyager sails through the Canal’s three sets of locks, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. On Panama’s San Blas Islands, travelers will meet the indigenous Kuna community and learn about their customs, dances and way of life.

The 36 cabin Variety Voyager, launched in May 2012, complies with the most stringent SOLAS safety regulations. All cabins are equipped with individually controlled air conditioning, mini bars, flat screen TV’s, DVD players and all the amenities of a luxury ship.

The Treasures of Costa Rica and the Panama Canal sails from December 2013 through mid-March 2014, with rates ranging from $2,590 – $5,990 per person, depending on cabin category. Travelers who book their cruise by August 31, 2013 will receive a 25% reduction on cruise fares when they mention “Special Offer 2013 B.” (The offer does not apply to existing bookings and cannot be combined with other special offers).

Variety Cruises 2013 brochures and flyers are now available by calling 1-800-319-7776.  For more information, visit http://www.varietycruises.com/ .

Variety Cruises, one of the world’s largest small ships cruise companies, has been offering passengers worldwide a total yachting experience since 1949. Their fleet of 11 fully-owned vessels varies in size from 4 to 36 cabins. Their yachts and staff provide an intimate and relaxed environment; a comfort filled starting point for the discerning travelers as they visit well known and unique ports of call. Fine locally-flavored cuisine, exciting itineraries and personalized service are just a few of the things that have made Variety Cruises the choice for the ever growing number of travelers looking for distinctive small ship cruise experiences.

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Small Ships Cruise Company Variety Cruises Offers 25% Discount on Summer Cruises Booked by March 31

March 13, 2013

Small ships cruise company Variety Cruises is offering a 25% discount on Summer 2013 cruises booked by March 31, 2013, for both cruise fares and single occupancy supplements.

The special offers are available on the following select Variety Cruises sailings:

The Seychelles: Cruises in the Garden of Eden on board M/Y Pegasus

March through October 2013 sailings

Classical Greece on board M/Y Harmony V

April 26, 2013; May 3 and 10, 2013; June 7, 2013; Oct 11 and 25, 2013 sailings

Jewels of the Cyclades on board S/M Galileo

April 26; May 3, 17 and 24; June 21 and 28; Oct 11 and 18 sailings

Adriatic Odyssey on board S/C Panorama June to September 2013

From Corfu: July 7 and 21; August 11 and 18 sailings

From Dubrovnik: July 10 and 24; August 14 and 21 sailings

Dodecanese Mosaic on board S/C Panorama II

From Crete: June 1; July 6 and 20; August 3 and 24 sailings

From Rhodes : June 4; July 9 and 23; August 27 sailings

Antiquity to Byzantium on board S/C Panorama II

March 29; April 5 sailings

The Romantic Rivieras on board M/Y Variety Voyager

July 21; Aug 4 and 18 sailings

Treasures of South Italy & Malta 2013 on board M/Y Variety Voyager

June 16 and 23; Oct 13 and 20 sailings

Offers do not apply to existing bookings and cannot be combined with any existing or future offers. Travelers should mention “Special Offer 2013 A” when booking.

Variety Cruises 2013 brochures and flyers are now available by calling 1-800-319-7776. For more information, visit http://www.varietycruises.com.

Variety Cruises, one of the world’s largest small ships cruise companies, has been offering passengers worldwide a total yachting experience since 1949. Their fleet of 11 fully-owned vessels range in size from 4 to 36 cabins. Their yachts and staff provide an intimate and relaxed environment; a comfort filled starting point for the discerning travelers as they visit well known and unique ports of call. Fine locally-flavored cuisine, exciting itineraries and personalized service are just a few of the things that have made Variety Cruises the choice for the ever growing number of travelers looking for distinctive small ship cruise experiences.

Pacific Princess will Sail Eastern Caribbean on Special 10-day Itinerary in January

September 11, 2012

Princess Cruises has just announced a new Caribbean cruise opportunity for travelers looking to get away from the cold January weather. Featuring the intimate cruise experience of its small ship Pacific Princess, this 10-day sailing features the line’s only calls at the boutique ports of Tortola and St. Barthelemy in 2013.

Sailing from January 17-27, this Eastern Caribbean voyage also offers full-day calls in Antigua, St. Lucia and St. Kitts, which features a late evening departure for more time on the island.

“Because Pacific Princess travels the globe, we rarely have the opportunity to offer a Caribbean cruise on this popular small ship,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “But because we’re rescheduling the ship’s drydock, we now have a wonderful chance to offer this unique one-time itinerary option before she takes off on her yearly world cruise.”

Among the in-port opportunities for passengers on this sailing are tours to Virgin Gorda from Tortola to see the famous geologic formation “The Baths,” as well as the chance to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites of Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park on St. Kitts and the dramatic Pitons in St. Lucia.

Passengers will enjoy an intimate cruise experience aboard small ship Pacific Princess. Carrying just 680 passengers, the ship offers a rich selection of amenities, including specialty restaurants Sabatini’s and Sterling Steakhouse.

Fares for the Pacific Princess Eastern Caribbean cruise begin at $899 per person, based on double occupancy.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.