The Shipping News: Maldives magic in a dhoni


World Expeditions is offering a series of six-day Dhoni Cruise in the Maldives itineraries from June onwards on a dhoni, or traditional Arab sailing vessel, built locally from coconut-palm timber. The dhonis have been converted into live-aboard cruise boats with couchette accommodation and a saloon indoors, plus plenty of deck space outside. Daytime is spent swimming and snorkelling, and evenings are spent moored off different islands in order to meet locals and enjoy seafood barbecues on the beach. Packages include accommodation, meals, activities, transfers and the services of a guide and captain.

Phone 1300 720 000. See


Luxury Marseilles-based line Ponant has released its 2018 Mediterranean voyages,  including first cruises on new expedition ships Le Laperouse and Le Champlain in addition to other voyages on Le Lyrial and the classic sailing yacht Le Ponant. The 31 diverse cruises depart between April and November 2018, offering seven- to nine-night itineraries across eight countries including Morocco, Egypt and Montenegro. Some are themed to specific interests including gastronomy, music (more particularly jazz, classics and opera), golf and scuba diving.

Phone 1300 737 178. See


Viking Cruises has announced new itineraries over the next few years as its existing ships expand their horizons and new ships get ready to sail the world. Among them is a 23-day trans-Pacific North Pacific Passage on Viking Spirit, departing Tokyo on May 5, 2019, for an experience of the cultural riches and scenic beauty of Japan, Russia, Alaska and Canada. The cruise crosses the Bering Sea and visits Alaskan ports such as Kodiak and Sitka, as well as sailing the Inside Passage before finishing in Vancouver.

Phone 1800 131 744. See


If you feel you've missed out on the northern springtime display this year, then take heart. Avalon Waterways is offering a seven-night round-trip river cruise from Amsterdam this time next year that visits Rotterdam, Antwerp, Ghent, Middleberg and Willemstad, as well as the famed gardens at Keukenhof, known for their fabulous tulip displays. There are also optional excursions to Gouda and Brussels. The Tulip Time cruise has various departure dates between April 6 and May 1, 2018; the  April 13 departure is specifically themed on gardens and nature.

Phone 1300 230 234. See


Expedition company AdventureSmith Explorations is upping the challenges in Antarctica with new activities for intrepid passengers. Among them is stand-up paddleboarding among the ice floes and cross-country skiing past penguins while on cruises on the 199-guest Ocean Endeavour. Guests on other AdventureSmith ships can also take helicopter rides and sleep overnight on the white continent in a tent. Experienced cold-water divers can try shallow ice diving and scuba diving along an ice wall; leopard seals, penguins and jellyfish might be spotted.