PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE
Azamara Club Cruises has revealed 2018-19 sailings for its newest ship, which will add 61 more destinations for the cruise line, including 48 late-night and 26 overnight stays. Azamara Pursuit begins its inaugural season in August 2018 in Europe, visiting destinations such as Iceland and Greece, before sailing to South America in November 2018. Among 15 maiden ports of call will be Momenvasia and Samos in Greece, Agadir in Morocco, Lima and other ports in Peru, and the Chilean fjords. The 690-passenger ship is similar in size to Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest.
Phone 1800 754 500. See azamaraclubcruises.com
Celebrity Cruises has unveiled its 2019 cruises in Europe, with five ships sailing the region, including the newest, Celebrity Edge. Itineraries visit 27 different countries, with overnight stays in 16 cities and visits to more than 90 ports of call, including maiden arrivals for the company in Nauplion in Greece, Rijeka in Croatia and Santa Margherita in Italy. Among itineraries, Celebrity Edge sails the Mediterranean on cruises of between seven and 11 nights, while Celebrity Reflection will be homeported in Dublin and Amsterdam, visiting the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia, and Iceland.
Phone 1800 754 500. See celebritycruises.com.au
Silversea Cruises has announced a new 2018 "Couture Collection" of custom-designed adventures. The inaugural collection features nine pre- and post-cruise luxury land programs of five to 11 days, offering immersive travel experiences in remote areas, such as a private helicopter service in Mongolia, vintage rail journey in India, and Gulfstream jet charters in and out of Antarctica. There's also a journey into the rainforest of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda on a two-day trekking experience in search of mountain gorillas, and a big-game drive in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, known for its wildebeest and zebra migration.
Phone 1300 306 872. See silversea.com
EUROPE BY RIVER
Crystal River Cruises has unveiled itineraries for its five ships on Europe's Rhine, Danube, Moselle and Main Rivers for 2019. Shorter seven-day options have been added to the traditional 10- to 16-day routes, and there are more extended and overnight stays in ports. Among the new itineraries is a seven-day "Wonders of the Danube" between Linz and Budapest, a seven-day "Magnificent Christmas Markets" between Passau and Budapest, and an 11-day "Grand Danube Celebration" from Budapest to Nuremburg, which includes overnights in both cities and spends New Year's Eve in Regensburg in Germany.
Phone 02 8074 6500. See crystalcruises.com
Oceanwide Expeditions is adding Hondius to its fleet next year. The new ship is one of the first cruise ships in the world to have Polar Class 6 certification, the highest possible ranking for ice-strengthened vessels, and will be equipped with advanced stabilisers for agile, exploratory voyages into the Arctic and Antarctic. The small ship is designed for intimate cruise environments, and will respond to weather conditions and wildlife encounters. Hondius will feature an observation lounge, library, bar and sheltered Zodiac boarding zone, and will carry 178 passengers.