Aurora Expeditions has launched a new Arctic itinerary on its brand-new expedition ship Greg Mortimer. Departing on June 12, 2020 from Reykjavik and sailing to Longyearbyen, the 11-day cruise visits Iceland's Westfjords, the seldom-visited Jan Mayen Island – the world's northernmost active volcanic destination – and Svalbard's northwest coast, and reaches within 965 kilometres of the North Pole. Guests can take Zodiac excursions past dramatic bird-filled cliffs and glacial fiords, study unique volcanic geology, hike across Arctic tundra landscapes and kayak through pack ice where whales, polar bears and walruses may be seen.
Phone 1800 637 688. See auroraexpeditions.com.au
Sales are open for Silversea's new ship Silver Origin, which has been designed for cruises in the Galapagos Islands. The all-suite, 100-guest ship will embark on its maiden voyage in July 2020 and will operate two alternating and different seven-night itineraries between Baltra and San Cristobal (or the reverse). On both, guests might spot giant tortoises, marine iguanas, sea lions and penguins among much other wildlife, with local naturalists on hand to share their knowledge and insights during excursions, some made by Zodiac or kayak. There will also be opportunities to snorkel with turtles.
Phone 1300 306 872. See silversea.com
If you're looking to escape the pre-Christmas madness then Ecruising has a 20-night "Orchid Isles & The Coral Coast" cruise package departing December 1, 2019. The journey starts with three nights at a luxury hotel in Bali followed by a 17-night cruise on Seabourn Encore that visits Komodo Island, Darwin and Queensland's Coral Coast, where it will call at Cairns, Townsville and Airlie Beach, the stop-off for an exploration of the Whitsunday Islands. The cruise then continues to Moreton Island and ends in Sydney on December 20.
Phone 1300 369 848. See ecruising.travel
NEW YEAR'S WISH
A Murray Princess cruise that departs only once every two years is sailing out again on December 27, 2019. The seven-night "Renmark New Year's Eve" cruise follows in the footsteps of 19th-century inland pioneers and explores 420 kilometres of the Murray River. Guests enjoy a spectacular New Year's Eve dinner, festivities and dancing, and explore the history of the region in towns such as Kingston-on-Murray, Loxton and Waikerie. The cruise also takes in Ngaut Nguat Aboriginal Reserve, cellar-door tastings, birdwatching, a wildlife shelter visit and a woolshed show.
Phone 1300 729 938. See murrayprincess.com.au
Evergreen Cruises & Tours is celebrating French cuisine on eight-day "Flavours of Burgundy and Provence" cruises along the Rhone and Saone rivers. Among the food experiences is a visit to gourmet chocolate maker Valrhona in Tain l'Hermitage, a taste of regional produce in Avignon markets, a tour of the wine cellars of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and a visit to Lyon, gastronomic capital of France. Guests sail on Emerald Liberte, which features several dining choices and an active shore-excursion program that includes bike tours and hikes in order to burn off the calories.
Phone 1300 383 747. See evergreentours.com.au