Scenic's inaugural Bordeaux river cruising season started at the beginning of August after Scenic Diamond was relocated from the Rhine and Danube to sail on the region's three waterways: the Gironde estuary and Garonne and Dordogne rivers. Scenic Diamond is operating the new 11-day Beautiful Bordeaux river cruise. With no overnight sailing, the leisurely float docks in the ports of Cadillac, Libourne, Blaye, Pauillac and Bordeaux, leaving passengers ample time to soak up their respective charms. Highlights include some of the region's famous wineries, stunning Gothic architecture and cloud-scudded landscapes.
Phone 13 81 28. See scenic.com.au.
Sea Cloud Cruises is adding an anniversary trip in April next year to celebrate the 85th birthday of its windjammer Sea Cloud. The ship was built in 1931 for a Wall Street broker; since 1979, the glamorous private yacht has been a cruise ship travelling around the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Central America. As part of the celebrations, Sea Cloud will sail the Portuguese and Spanish coastlines with Sea Cloud II for five days between Porto and Valencia. Birthday cruisers will be invited to a special cocktail evening and concert in Barcelona.
Phone 1300 583 572. See seacloud.com.
TO THE FIORDS
Cruise Express is offering a 15-night Winter Lights of Norway tour in February which includes a six-night cruise deep into the Arctic Circle and a chance to experience the Northern Lights. The package features a ride on the scenic Flam Railway and a six-night Hurtigruten voyage from Bergen along the fiords to North Cape and beyond to isolated Kirkenes on the Russian border. Here, passengers will stay at the SnowHotel, where the rooms are carved from ice, and enjoy husky-led sled rides and snowmobile tours. There's also a two-night stay in Oslo.
Phone 1300 764 509. See cruiseexpress.com.au.
G Adventures is offering a new seven-day cruise package to the Galapagos Islands in collaboration with low-impact, community-based ecotourism outfit Planeterra Foundation. It includes four nights on board Queen of Galapagos, a luxury yacht with just nine cabins. The cruise will feature nature walks and snorkelling at Floreana Island, wildlife-spotting on Espanola, and a visit to San Cristobal, with its diverse wildlife such as flamingos and marine iguanas. The package also includes flights to and from the Galapagos and two nights in the Ecuadorean capital, Quito.
Phone 1300 853 325. See gadventures.com.au.
SAILING THROUGH HISTORY
Star Clippers' new Mediterranean program for 2016 includes an inaugural Eastern Mediterranean cruise in September on Royal Clipper. Royal Clipper will cruise new seven-night itineraries from Rome to Athens or the reverse, exploring the coastlines of Italy and Greece, in addition to its signature Italy and Croatia program between Rome and Venice. Royal Clipper not only provides the masts and riggings of an almost-vanished age of sailing, but on-board luxuries such as two swimming pools, elegant bars and dining – and, of course, sunset cocktails on its elegant decks.
Phone 1300 295 161. See starclippers.com.