The Shipping News: New options in cruise-tours combinations

LAND AHOY

One of the growing cruise trends to look out for in 2020 is the extended cruise-tour that goes beyond a mere week on a ship to include a significant land component. While cruise-tours have been around for decades, they're becoming much more varied and adventurous and have being embraced by luxury companies such as Silversea, whose add-ons include visits to Chilean wine country, Sri Lanka's archaeological sites and Chitwan National Park in Nepal. Extensions to Tibet, northern Mongolia and the Rwandan rainforest further demonstrate that even landlocked places are now within reach of cruise passengers. Phone 1300 306 872; see silversea.com

HOT PURSUIT

Last year I was on Amazara Pursuit and found it a delightful ship that provides a luxury feel on a mid-range budget; a good choice for anyone upgrading from big ships to a more sophisticated, intimate experience. Great news, therefore, that the ship is visiting Australian waters for the first time on six sailings between December 2020 and March 2021, departing from Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Auckland. Pursuit is making 15 late-night port calls, and visiting smaller destinations such as Fraser Island in Queensland and Gisborne in New Zealand. Phone 1800 754 500; see azamaraclubcruises.com

FEELING CHILE

Seabourn's new expedition ship Seabourn Venture will sail the Caribbean, Central America and South America during its inaugural season from July 2021. I'm particularly liking some of its more unusual destination choices in Chile, which include Pio XI Glacier – one of the few glaciers currently growing, rather than shrinking – and Jorge Montt Glacier in the Aisén region at the north end of the vast Southern Patagonian Ice Field, which coughs up huge and abundant icebergs. It should be an interesting cruise into global warming, the hot topic of our times. Phone 13 24 02; see seabourn.com

FEELING GREEN

Cruise ships have long had a woeful environmental record, but public pressure and more stringent regulations are finally resulting in change. Hurtigruten is leading the way in sustainable cruising; in November it launched Roald Amundsen, the first cruise ship to feature a hybrid engine. Now the company has announced that sister ship Fridtjof Nansen will be completed ahead of its April 1, 2020 inaugural voyage, and will offer five-night pre-inaugural cruises in the UK in March. Its maiden season will be spent in Norway, Greenland and Iceland before it heads to Antarctica. Phone 1300 489 872; see hurtigruten.com.au

THAT'S THE SPIRIT

Crystal Yacht Cruises has announced its roster of 2022-23 itineraries for Crystal Esprit. Among the 55 itineraries are 11 new cruises in the Greek islands, Amalfi Coast and Italian and French Rivieras, the Emirates and Holy Land. Sailings in the latter destination explore the rich history of Cyprus, Israel, Egypt and Jordan, with several overnights offered in Larnaca, Ashdod and Aqaba on select sailings, and the chance to explore Luxor, Petra and Jerusalem. Crystal Esprit also returns to the Seychelles with eight seven-night voyages round-trip from Mahé in 2022 and nine seven-night options in 2023. Phone 1300 059 260; see crystalcruises.com

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