Cruise Express has a new cruise and rail tour to Norway to see the aurora borealis. The 15-night Journey to the Northern Lights departs Australia on February 18, 2019, with two nights in Oslo, train journeys to Voss and Bergen, and a six-night voyage on Hurtigruten's 691-passenger ship Kong Harald. The cruise stops at ports such as Trondheim and Alesund and traces the fiords above the Arctic Circle as far as Kirkenes on the Russian border, where guests can see reindeer, ride in a dog-sled and stay at the ice-carved Snow Hotel.
Phone 1300 766 537. See cruiseexpress.com.au
Azamara Club Cruises is transforming its new ship Azamara Pursuit so that it is almost identical to the company's sister ships Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey. It sails on its first post-transformation voyage from Southampton on August 1, 2018, to visit eight destinations in Norway on one of its Destination Immersion country-intensive cruises. Azamara Pursuit then departs Southampton for an Iceland-intensive voyage on August 13, 2018, before a special rechristening voyage on August 28. The ship departs Southampton once more on August 30 for a 13-night Wine & Romance voyage.
Phone 1800 754 500. See azamaraclubcruises.com
ROCKS OF AGES
APT is continuing its 40-year experience in the Kimberley with its iconic 11-day Kimberley Coast small-ship cruise, which explores the waterfalls, gorges and reefs of this corner of Western Australia. Guests can ride a high-powered fast boat through Horizontal Falls, search for marine life as the tide recedes at Montgomery Reef, and admire Indigenous rock art. New for 2019 is the chance for guests to extend their tour to include Arnhem Land in the Top End and interact with Indigenous communities, who will share their ancient art, culture and heritage.
Phone 1300 196 420. See aptouring.com.au
BREAKING THE ICE
In the last week of 2017, Chimu Adventures took passengers on the Russian icebreaker Akademik Shokalskiy to Cape Denison, close enough to see the historic huts and memorial cross from Australian explorer Sir Douglas Mawson's expedition into Antarctica. It has been seven years since a cruise ship has managed to penetrate the pack ice and reach the huts. The company has now launched two new charter cruises to Mawson's Huts for the 2018-19 season, In the Wake of Mawson departing in December 2018, and Spirit of Mawson departing in January 2019.
Phone 1300 720 564. See chimuadventures.com
Cruiseco has a new 2018-19 program for its river ship Cruiseco Adventurer on the Mekong. An 11-night journey from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Siem Reap in Cambodia (or the reverse), includes a seven-night river voyage, while a 15-night holiday enables guests to see Hanoi and Halong Bay before joining the Cruiseco Adventurer itinerary in Ho Chi Minh City. Three- and four-night extensions are available in Hanoi, Halong Bay, Angkor Wat, Sapa and Hanoi An. Cruiseco Adventurer accommodates 60 guests and has a dining room, bar, large sun deck, pool and spa facilities.
Phone 02 9492 8520. See cruising.com.au