Viking Cruises launches new itinerary to Norway in winter in search of the Northern Lights

LIGHTEN UP

Viking Cruises has a new itinerary that gives guests the opportunity to explore Norway's far north in winter, a peak period for sightings of the aurora borealis or northern lights. Sailing between London and Bergen between January and March 2019, the 13-day In Search of the Northern Lights cruise on Viking Sky features overnight stays in Tromso, Alta and Bergen, and a complimentary excursion in each port, such as a trip to a Sami community and an ascent of Mt Ulriken above Bergen. Book before September 30, 2017, for a $2000 a couple air credit towards flights.

Phone 138 747. See vikingcruises.com.au

DOUBLE VISION

Boutique luxury travel company Sanctuary Retreats has a new four-night river cruise between Mandalay and Bagan in Myanmar next year on Sanctuary Ananda. The ship already sails a range of other cruise itineraries of between three and 11 nights in length on either the Irrawaddy or Chindwin, but the new itinerary combines the best of the two rivers, visiting the temples of Bagan, Po Win Caves, the old palaces of Mandalay and the world's second-largest statue, Bodhi Tathaung. The new cruise departs on August 4, 2018, and on four dates in September 2018.

Phone 03 9536 1831. See sanctuaryretreats.com

MORE CHOICES

One of Europe's biggest river-cruise lines has begun selling its cruises in Australia for the first time with a dedicated website and brochure, and prices listed in Australian dollars. Riviera Travel is the largest supplier of European river cruises in Britain and was voted 2017 Travel Brand of the Year by the UK's largest consumer body. In 2018, its fleet of 11 ships – named after famous literary figures such as Jane Austen, Robert Burns and Lord Byron – will sail 300 cruises on nine European rivers and waterways. Australians can book a Riviera Travel river cruise through any travel agent.

See rivieratravel.com.au

POLAR REFRESHMENT

Chimu Adventures' expedition cruise ship Ocean Atlantic has revealed a new look after a recent full-scale refurbishment. The ship now has a range of new cabins and renovated common areas such as its Vinland Restaurant, Veranda Bar and lecture hall. The compact size of the 195-passenger Ocean Atlantic allows the ice-class ship to sail close to the shore and access narrow inlets in Antarctica; it also carries a fleet of Zodiacs for landings and wildlife viewing. Among its itineraries is a 10-day Discover Antarctica cruise departing from Ushuaia in February 2019.

Phone 1300 720 564. See chimuadventures.com

TUCK IN

Crystal River Cruises' new ship Crystal Bach sails off on its maiden voyage tomorrow and will ply Rhine-Main-Danube routes. The new ship is big on the culinary experience, and offers fresh fish and seafood from Holland; meat and poultry from farmers in Bavaria and the Austrian Alps; and wine, beer and cheese specific to the regions through which it sails. European delicacies feature on its menus, including sturgeon caviar from Eindhoven and river crawfish from the Rhine. The ship has three dining venues, and guests also dine ashore at a Michelin-star venue during their cruise.

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Phone 02 8074 6500. See crystalcruises.com

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