I'm happy to see that the always reliable and delightful land-tour company Collette is offering more cruises of late, and has recently launched one aboard the small ship Stella Australis, operated by Chile's most sustainable tourism company. The 13-day "Patagonia: Edge of the World" cruise-tour sounds like a corker, beginning in Buenos Aires and continuing to the meeting of mountains and fiords that form Tierra del Fuego National Park. A cruise through Patagonia follows, with visits to destinations such as Garibaldi Glacier and penguin-rich Magdalena Island. Tours depart in November and December 2020.
Phone 1300 792 196; see gocollette.com.au
THE THIRD VIKING
Viking established its reputation as a river-cruise company and garnered rave reviews when it turned to ocean cruising. Now it has announced the launch of Viking Expeditions, with its first vessel Viking Octantis sailing from January 2022 in Antarctica and North America's Great Lakes, and second vessel Viking Polaris sailing in Antarctica and the Arctic from August 2022. The new ships will carry 378 guests, and have similar decor and public spaces that make its current ships so attractive. They'll also carry Zodiacs, six-seater submarines, kayaks and 12-seater convertible RIBs.
Phone 138 747; see vikingcruises.com.au
Silversea's first-ever destination-specific ship Silver Origin has already floated out of the shipyards and is all set for its inaugural season in the Galapagos Islands from 18 July 2020. The ship will alternate two Saturday-to-Saturday, seven-day itineraries between Baltra and San Cristobal. Its expedition team will lead shore excursions by Zodiac and hikes and nature walks ashore to spot giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and sea lions, among other renowned Galapagos creatures. The ship features ocean-view suites, butler service, fine dining and wines, all-inclusive amenities and complimentary Wi-Fi and expedition gear.
Phone 1300 306 872; see silversea.com
Celebrity Cruises has unveiled its 2021-22 season, during which its 14 ships will visit over 280 destinations in nearly 75 countries across seven continents. It has added eight new ports of call and will offer over 125 overnight stays in 30 destinations, including New Year's Eve in Montevideo. Newly modernised Celebrity Solstice will become the first ship in Celebrity's Solstice series to sail Asia, while Celebrity Infinity will sail its first Mediterranean season since its transformation. Celebrity Millennium is charting a new course for the Caribbean, where it sails two new itineraries.
Phone 1800 754 500; see celebritycruises.com.au
DOWN THE MEKONG
Evergreen Cruises & Tours is offering eight-day "Majestic Mekong" cruises aboard new ship Emerald Harmony this year. Among the highlights is a visit to a silk-producing factory, another to Phnom Penh's royal palace, and an evening tuk-tuk ride through the Cambodian capital. There are also more in-depth "Majestic Mekong Discoverer" cruises that run for 13 days and include a traditional Buddhist blessing from the resident monks at Oudong temples, and a visit to Angkor Wat. Hop to it and pay in full before 21 February 2020 for savings.
Phone 1300 383 747; see evergreentours.com.au