We're now in the middle of Cruise Month, organised each October by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and next week focusing on expedition cruising, so if you're keen to get cruising it's a great chance to bag a bargain, book a cruise or simply get advice on which ships or journeys might be best for you. Expedition cruising usually features smaller ships, more remote destinations and more active excursions, and might convince cruise sceptics that there's much more to cruising than the stereotypes.
To contact a specialist CLIA travel agent in your area, see cruising.org.au
AROUND NEW GUINEA
Coral Expeditions has launched a pioneering new 35-night "Circumnavigation of New Guinea" cruise in 2020 aboard Coral Adventurer. The journey features visits to Raja Ampat and the Gumdrop Islands, the Spice Islands, Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island, the Fly Islands and Tufi Fjords. The ship will also sail the Sepik River to visit the remote villages of Bien or Kopar, and spend two mornings at Cenderawasih Bay to experience swimming with whale sharks. The cruise, which can also be done in half segments, departs from Darwin on October 2, 2020.
Phone 1800 079 545, see coralexpeditions.com
Guests aboard Crystal Endeavor's 16-day "Indonesian Immersive & Great Barrier Reef" remote expedition from Bali to Cairns, departing on October 15, 2020, will not only explore Australia and Indonesia but enjoy the cuisine of celebrated chef Nobu Matsuhisa, the culinary star behind Crystal's Umi Uma & Sushi Bar restaurant. Chef Nobu joins the voyage to host two dining experiences and special events including a cooking demonstration, cookbook signing and photo session. Nobu's signature Japanese-Peruvian fusion fare is served aboard Crystal Symphony, Crystal Serenity and Crystal Endeavor.
Phone 1300 059 260, see crystalcruises.com
Tahitian cargo cruise line Aranui Cruises has added three itineraries to its 2021 program, taking guests to 11 new island destinations, including the cruise line's maiden voyage to the Cook Islands, an expanded Pitcairn itinerary and the first dedicated Society Islands cruise. In all, there are 21 scheduled cruises around the South Pacific on Aranui 5, a 125-metre mixed freight and passenger vessel, which offers one of the few remaining cargo cruise experiences in the world. Most of the cruises are departures of Aranui's original 13-day round-trip cruise from Papeete to the Marquesas Islands.
Phone 03 9449 3778, see aranuicruises.com.au
Ponant has announced its Arctic voyages for 2021, with three new itineraries among 40 voyages that range in length from seven to 24 nights in destinations including Alaska, Greenland, Norway, Iceland, the Russian Far East and Baffin Bay. One of the new itineraries between Tromso and Nome tackles the Northeast Passage across the polar reaches of Russia, visiting destinations such as Murmansk, Franz Josef Land, Novaya Zemlya and Wrangel Island. Meanwhile, a "Best of Spitzbergen" itinerary has multiple departures and focuses on the chance to see polar bears in the wild.
Phone 1300 737 178, see au.ponant.com