The Shipping News: The Nile high club

NILE SMILE

Viking River Cruises has a new itinerary in Egypt. The 12-day journey explores the Great Pyramids and Cairo during a three-night stay in the city, and is followed by a four-night Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan. It finishes with a visit to the colossal temple of Abu Simbel and three nights sailing Lake Nasser. The 'Pathways of the Pharaohs' itinerary includes 17 fully escorted tours and a cultural program that features guided tours with Egyptologists, traditional Nubian music and dance performances, a camel ride, and lectures on hieroglyphics and Egyptian papyrus.  

Phone 1800 131 744. See vikingcruises.com.au

GOING DUTCH

Canal and river cruise company Le Boat is opening a new base in Hindeloopen in the northern Netherlands this March. The port, with its seventeenth and eighteenth-century buildings, is one of Europe's prettiest villages and sits on Lake Ijsselmeer, where activities include kite surfing, windsurfing and fishing. Le Boat will offer four suggested itineraries that start or finish in Hindeloopen, with passengers sailing on fully equipped, self-catering motor launches (no experience required) to explore fishing villages, museums and farms, as well as the cities of Utrecht and Amsterdam. 

Phone 1800 118 940. See leboat.com.au

ELVIS CRUISE

2017 is the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley and, to mark the occasion, Cruise Express is offering a cruise-tour which will take music lovers to the rock-'n'-roll legend's birthplace, recording studios and home at Graceland, where Elvis is buried. The new 17-night ''Mississippi, Elvis and the Southern Sounds'' cruise-tour also takes guests to music cities Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans, and includes a six-night cruise on the Mississippi aboard American Queen to explore historic towns, river ports and plantations. The trip, which includes flights, departs Australia on May 28, 2017.

Phone 1300 764 509. See cruiseexpress.com.au

CROATIA CRUISING

Very small-ship cruising is a recent hot trend, and Beyond Travel has been on the ball in Croatia with the introduction of several small-ship itineraries in the Adriatic nation. Now the company has announced six more vessels are being built specifically for Croatia for the 2017 cruise season. One of them is MS Equator, which the company will charter for a 10-day ''Croatian Encounters'' cruise-tour between Dubrovnik to Zagreb, with seven nights sailing the Dalmatian Coast and three nights on land visiting inland towns and national parks. Departures are in June, August and September 2017.

Phone 1300 363 554. See cruise-croatia.com.au

PONANT ITINERARIES 

In cruising it pays to think ahead, and Ponant is already taking bookings for Arctic, European, Asian and some Pacific sailings in 2018, including itineraries on its new ships Le Laperouse and Le Champlain, as well as on its existing four ships and sailing yacht Le Ponant. The voyages range from seven to 22 nights, with luxury expeditions in destinations such as Greenland, Iceland and the famed Northwest Passage; the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Norwegian fjords; and, closer to home, sailings in Japan, the Malaysian archipelago, Melanesia and Polynesia.

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Phone 1300 737 178. See ponant.com

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