Coral Expeditions' new ship Coral Geographer to set sail in 2021

EXPEDITIONS ARE US

Within days of Coral Expeditions' new ship, Coral Adventurer, heading off on its first Kimberley season earlier this month, the company announced it is building a sister ship. Coral Geographer's maiden voyage series – Small Islands of the Indian Ocean – will set sail from Singapore in January 2021.

The 120-passenger Coral Geographer – the fifth in Coral Expeditions' fleet – will be similar to Coral Adventurer but will have six rather than two large bridge deck suites. Coral Expeditions specialises in tropical destinations such as Papua New Guinea, West Papua, the Indonesian archipelago, the Great Barrier Reef and Arnhem Land, and will celebrate 35 years as Australia's "pioneering expedition line" in 2020.

"We've witnessed significant demand for our unique style of expedition cruising and are confident in the ongoing strength of the expedition sector," says Mark Fifield, Coral Expeditions' group general manager.

Another renowned Australian expedition company, Aurora Expeditions, is also expanding its fleet. Its first new build, the Greg Mortimer, is due to make its maiden voyage to Antarctica in October and, following "phenomenal demand", Aurora has ordered a second ship. Both feature the inverted "X-Bow" that allows for gentler sea crossings and reduced emissions.

"We have been forced to turn away some passengers who are eager to sail on-board the Greg Mortimer, so we are delighted to offer our customers another great ship," Aurora Expeditions' managing director Robert Halfpenny says. "It will launch out of Ushuaia in spring 2021, ahead of the 2021-22 Antarctic season."

CARIBBEAN MARDI GRAS

Be among the first to sail on Carnival's new activity-packed Mardi Gras with ecruising.travel's fly/land/cruise package. The 19-night Caribbean Mardi Gras adventure kicks off on September 28, 2020, with two nights in New York, where you board the ship for a 15-night cruise to Orlando, Florida, and finishes with two nights in Orlando. Mardi Gras boasts the first rollercoaster at sea and shore calls at Caribbean islands such as St Maarten, St Kitts and Grand Turk feature more thrills – horse-riding, zip-lining, parasailing, snorkelling and swimming with dolphins. Fares start from $5339. See ecruising.travel

CONTEMPORARY CLASS

Next April, Travelmarvel's new 182-passenger Contemporary Class river ship will set sail on Europe's waterways for the first time, along with the newly refurbished Classic river ships Travelmarvel Diamond and Jewel. Flights are included in the $5595 fare for the 15-day European Gems itinerary, which sails between Amsterdam and Budapest, as well as for a selection of Russian river cruises – available until sold out. "Our combination of delivering more value, inclusions and choice is evident in the exceptional offers and the breadth of holidays we deliver," Travelmarvel CEO David Cox says. See travelmarvel.com.au

CMV WORLD CRUISES

Sailing around the world has just become more affordable. Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has special offers on its Grand Voyages in 2020-21, including its 120-night world cruise. Columbus sets sail from London (Tilbury) in January 2021 and returns in May after visiting more than 38 destinations across 24 countries – with  fares that start from $16,649 per person, or less than $140 a night, if you book the current Buy One Get One Free deal before it sells out. Other options include the 49-night London to Sydney and 71-night Sydney to London sectors. See cmvaustralia.com

CRUISE QUIZ

Which cruise line operates the world's largest fleet of river ships – 72 – in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, China and south-east Asia?

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Last week's answer: Port of Miami, Florida, US

STOW IT

PURE GOLD

This super-stylish carry-on from the Lexicon Hardside Collection is also highly functional. It has 34 litres of packing space while recessed wheels and handles maximise the carry-on dimensions. Even better, it comes with a clever multi-functional tool – hidden beneath a sliding ID tag are a USB port, a pen and a SIM card replacement tool. Simply connect the USB port to a battery pack and you can keep your device juiced up anywhere. RRP $895. See traveluniverse.com.au

CONSTANT CRUISER

TRACEY O'DAY, CORLETTE, NSW

NUMBER OF CRUISES TAKEN

Five

LAST CRUISE

My husband and I sailed on Oceania Sirena from Rome to Barcelona. The highlights included a tour of the Tufo cities of Pitigliano and Sovana in beautiful Tuscany, and spending time in Cinque Terre, Monte Carlo and St Tropez. We also visited Mahon, on the little Spanish island of Minorca, and dropped into Ibiza. Barcelona was the perfect end to a spectacular cruise.

NEXT CRUISE

We loved the Oceania Sirena cruise so much that we booked on Oceania Riviera for a cruise from New York to Montreal in September this year. New England in the autumn has always been on our bucket list and this is the perfect way to see it. We will also enjoy two nights in Boston and sail down the St Lawrence River.

DREAM SHIP

Any of Oceania Cruises' ships! We like smaller ships because you can embark and disembark without wasting time in long queues. The dining is exceptional and lives up to its claim of being the "finest cuisine at sea".

DREAM CRUISE

One that includes Iceland, Greenland and Russia would be my perfect cruise.

DREAM PORT

Valencia, Spain. This city has such diversity between old and new architecture and seeing it on a two-hour bike tour on our last cruise was fabulous. Even better, the bikeways are flat!

BEST CRUISE TIP

If you have multiple sea days, buy a beverage package if there's one available.

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