MEKONG AND MORE
Scenic Luxury Cruises is now offering its south-east Asian cruises for 2020-21 on Scenic Spirit, which sails the Mekong through Vietnam and Cambodia, and Scenic Aura on the Irrawaddy in Myanmar. Mekong cruises visit Siem Reap for the temples of Angkor Wat, and riverside towns such as French-influenced Cai Be and Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. New for the season is a 25-day "Luxury Mekong and Japan in Focus" cruise-tour that combines Mekong cruising with a tour in Japan to destinations such as Tokyo and Asuka. Book before October 31 2019 for early-bird offers.
Phone 13 81 28. See scenic.com.au
Silversea Cruises has unveiled its new summer 2020-21 voyages in Asia, with Silver Muse and Silver Spirit visiting 58 destinations in 18 countries between September 2020 and May 2021. In addition to itineraries that visit major ports such as Mumbai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo, there are cruises with multiple overnights calls in Vietnam, as well as round-trip voyages from Tokyo during the cherry blossom season. Among the latter is a 15-day cruise departing on April 5 2021 that circumnavigates Japan's largest island Honshu and also visit Yeosu in South Korea.
Phone 1300 306 872. See silversea.com
THE NEAR ANTARCTIC
While most cruises to Antarctica depart from South America, Crystal Cruises' new polar-class ship Crystal Endeavor is offering two cruises to Antarctica in early 2021 that sail from Hobart and Christchurch (Lyttleton). Highlights of the "Antarctica & the Ross Sea" expeditions include visits to the historic huts of explorers Scott and Shackleton, New Zealand's Balleny Islands and the Ross Sea, and a sail through ice-pack at the incredible Drygalski Ice Tongue. Crystal Endeavor is a polar-class mega yacht and carries a seven-person submarine, two helicopters, underwater scooters, wave runners and jet skis.
Phone 1300 059 260. See crystalcruises.com
National Geographic has partnered with luxury expedition company Ponant in a series of Antarctic voyages in 2019-20, accompanied by a National Geographic expert and photographer who will join guests to share their knowledge and insights, give presentations and offer informal discussions and photography tips. Among the cruises is a 21-day "Antarctic Odyssey" departing 19 November 2019, and a 22-day "Antarctica to Africa'' itinerary departing February 25 2020 that links Tierra del Fuego to the Cape of Good Hope. An 11-day "Emblematic Antarctica" itinerary departing February 26 2020 visits the Antarctic Peninsula and Weddell Sea.
Phone 1800 889 088. See nationalgeographic.com.au
Bookings are open for the inaugural expedition season of Seabourn Venture, Seabourn's first ultra-luxury purpose-built expedition ship, launching in 2021. The new itineraries include 25 voyages which visit more than 150 destinations worldwide. The season begins in Northern Europe and the Arctic, starting with a 10-day pre-inaugural "Highlights of the English Channel" cruise departing July 5 2021 from Lisbon via France and Belgium to Greenwich on the Thames River in London. The ship then makes its way to the Arctic, Caribbean, Central America and South America, Antarctica and the Amazon.
Phone 13 24 02. See seabourn.com