The Shipping News: Premium mountain-biking holiday

On your bike

Premium mountain-biking holiday specialist H+I Adventures, based in northern Scotland, has launched what it says is the first mountain-biking expedition in the Norwegian fjords. Into the Labyrinth cruises will drop off passengers with their bicycles at remote jetties, from which they will tackle steep fjord climbs, wild mountain ridges and technical descents to return them back to their ship Gassten, a converted, ex-military Scandinavian minesweeper. The weeklong cycle-cruises run between Molde and Alesund, the first departing June 24, 2017, with four more departures following up to October 2017.

See mountainbikeworldwide.com

Best at sea

Australian chef Mark Best is bringing his culinary artistry to the table for Dream Cruises with the launch of Bistro, his first restaurant at sea, on the company's inaugural ship Genting Dream. Bistro's menu will focus on small Australian beef, lamb, river fish and seafood, and unite Western and Asian-inspired ingredients and flavours, such as lamb served with potato and kimchi, or potatoes poached in butter with seaweed. Guests can indulge in wine-pairing menus, a widely acclaimed signature feature of Best's on-shore restaurants; there will also be an eight-person private Chef's Table.

Phone 1300 658 666. See dreamcruiseline.com

Africa to Australia

Ecruising has released its ever popular South African Sojourn for January 2018, which includes hotel stays in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Dubai and a five-night safari stay at Kirkmans Kamp in Sabi Sands Game Reserve. Guests then board Queen Mary 2 – which underwent an extensive dry-dock refurbishment this year – for a 16-night cruise between Cape Town and Fremantle in Western Australia that calls at Port Elizabeth, Reunion and Mauritius on its way across the Indian Ocean. The return journey allows plenty of time at sea to enjoy the celebrated service on board the Cunard vessel.

Phone 1300 369 848. See ecruising.travel

Southern charms

Captain Cook Cruises is combining its Murray River cruise with Adelaide and Kangaroo Island on eight, nine or 12-day cruise-land packages that showcase South Australia. The package includes two nights in Adelaide and a city tour before a river cruise from Mannum on the newly refurbished paddlewheeler Murray Princess for an exploration of the river's landscapes, fauna and historic ports. The tour ends with two days on Kangaroo Island with visits to a eucalyptus distillery, honey farm and wildlife park, and opportunities to admire the island's sea lion colonies and national parks.

Phone 1300 729 938. See murrayprincess.com.au

Australian encore

Seabourn Cruise Line has announced that its newest ship Seabourn Encore, which will be spending its first summer cruising Australian waters in early 2017 It will be back at the end of the year when it will offer five 16-day voyages in our region between December 2017 and February 2018. Among them is a cruise from Sydney to Auckland that visits Tauranga, Wellington, Phillip Island and Melbourne. At the end of its three-month stint Down Under, Seabourn Encore will depart Sydney on an 18-day voyage along the Queensland coast to Bali.

Phone 13 24 02. See seabourn.com

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