Silversea Cruises has released its 2018 voyages, which feature 300 maiden calls and over 850 destinations worldwide, ranging from big-name cruise cities to expedition destinations such as Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands. The company continues to concentrate on luxury small-ship cruising, and will have nine ships afloat in 2018, including its most recent ship Silver Muse and the refurbished Silver Cloud, which has been adapted to become Silversea's fourth expedition ship. Next year will see the culmination of the current fleet-wide refurbishment plan for the luxe company, whose ships feature large suites, butler service and fine dining.
Phone 1300 306 872. See silversea.com
Paul Gauguin Cruises has also rolled out its 2018 itineraries. They include seven-night ''Tahiti & the Society Islands'', 11-night ''Cook Islands & Society Islands'' and 14-night ''Marquesas, Tuamotus & Society Islands'' cruises. Paul Gauguin will become the first cruise ship to visit Vairao in Tahiti Iti, the smaller of two landmasses that comprise the island of Tahiti, which offers a wild coastline, ancient petroglyphs, marae (temples) and Polynesian culture. On all 2018 sailings, guests receive complimentary access to the company's two exclusive retreats, one on the islet of Motu Mahana and one in Bora Bora.
Phone 1800 251 174. See pgcruises.com
SeaDream Yacht Club has an unusual, extended cruise itinerary in the Greek Cyclades that includes an overnight in Mykonos and day calls into smaller port towns that cannot be accessed by large cruise ships. Departing on September 13, 2017, from Piraeus (Athens), the 10-day round-trip cruise on SeaDream I visits former Greek capital Nafplio and the islands of Spetses, Santorini and Patmos before overnighting in Mykonos. It then continues to Naxos, Patmos, Sifnos and Hydra, which guests can explore by bicycle or donkey, since the island has no motorised vehicles.
Phone 02 9958 4444. See seadream.com
Construction has started in France on Celebrity Cruises' newest ship Celebrity Edge, the company's first foray into a new ship class in a decade. The Edge Class ship is due for delivery in late 2018 and will be joined by just-named sister ship Celebrity Beyond and two further (as yet unnamed) Edge-Class ships in 2021 and 2022. The company remains coy about details but promises cutting-edge innovation and design, environmentally friendly technologies, and the amenities of a large ship matched with the itineraries of a small ship. The four new ships will carry 2900 passengers each.
Phone 1800 754 500. See celebritycruises.com.au
Cape Horn and Patagonia specialist Australis has announced January 2, 2018, as the date for the maiden voyage of its new 210-passenger ship Ventus Australis, twin sister to the company's other ship Stella Australis. The ship will operate four-night cruises between Ushuaia in Argentina and Punta Arenas in Chile, taking in the spectacular mountain and glacier-lined fjords of Tierra del Fuego, the Magellan Strait and Beagle Channel, and zodiac excursions in destinations such as Cape Horn, Wulaia Bay and Pia Glacier. Ventus Australis offers complimentary guided excursions, nature lectures and gourmet cuisine including local dishes and Chilean and Argentine wines.