Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Sail away, sail away, sail away; on one of these amazing cruise deals. Enya would be proud.

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic conducts first ever biodiversity assessment

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic, the global leader of expedition cruises and adventure travel experiences, has completed the first stage in their pilot Citizen Science BioBlitz in the Sub-Antarctic, marking the first ever biodiversity assessment completed by citizen science in South Georgia.  With a resounding 80% guest participation, the goal was a digital record of every living organism that they encountered.

Lindblad’s first BioBlitz series was launched aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer on two November voyages in one of the planet’s most wildlife-rich locations. In the Southern Ocean, data is scarce and exceedingly expensive to collect by classic scientific survey expeditions. Enter citizen science, where Lindblad’s guests – equipped with a camera or iPhone on hikes, Zodiac cruises and along beaches –  made a real and meaningful contribution to science, with 7,500+ photos contributed documenting the Sub-Antarctic ecosystems and marine systems of these remote places.

Aurora Expeditions reveals program for new world-class expedition ship Greg Mortimer’

Aurora Expeditions, Australia’s leading expedition cruising company, has today launched the full program for its new world-class expedition ship ‘Greg Mortimer’ and its inaugural 2019/2020 polar season.

Following Greg Mortimer’s maiden sea voyage ‘Spirit of Antarctica’ in late October 2019, the ship will operate an additional 20 expeditions across the 2019/2020 season with itineraries spanning Antarctica (Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and Falkland Islands) and the Arctic (Svalbard, Franz Josef Land, East Greenland, Jan Mayen, Iceland and Norway).

Launching with the itineraries are two exclusive deals including a free upgrade from Aurora Stateroom to Balcony Stateroom valid on all 2019/2020 Antarctica and the Arctic voyages or the option to save up to $6,000 per person on other selected cabin categories.

New Ship Sets Sail In Croatia With APT

Australia’s most awarded luxury cruise and tour operator, APT, will set sail in 2019 along the Adriatic Coast in the brand new Queen Eleganza.

In partnership with Noble Caledonia, APT will be chartering the brand new Croatian made, yacht-style, Small Ship along the famed coastline. The Croatian flagged vessel sets sail on her maiden voyage with Noble Caledonia in the spring of 2018 before embarking on a full season with APT in 2019.

With only 18 passenger cabins, the Queen Eleganza was purpose-built for the Adriatic coasts tight coves and isolated islands, allowing exploration of hidden gems that larger ships cannot access.

Halong Bay Cruise Gives $3,000 Back to Lucky Passenger


The leading luxury cruise provider in Vietnam’s famed Halong Bay has launched a limited-time promotion that will end with one lucky customer thousands of dollars richer.

Between now and Feb. 13, anyone who books a cruise with Paradise Cruises through its official website — — will be entered in a random draw to win $3,000.

The prize is about five times the value of a standard overnight cruise with Paradise, which operates nine luxury cruise ships in Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage site about four hours by car from the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi.

“We wanted to kick off the new year with something different, something special,” said Nguyen Cao Son, Paradise’s Chief Operating Officer. “And while the contest isn’t over yet, we already know we want to do more of this kind of thing in the months to come.”

Windstar Cruises’ Mediterranean Sale

Wind Surf

Windstar Cruises has announced a special offer on selected 2018 Mediterranean cruises for bookings made by 6 February.

The 7-night Barcelona & Grand Prix of Monaco return round trip Barcelona cruise on Star Pride departing 22 May will be priced from $5604 per person twin share during this offer period, representing a saving of $4802.

Highlights include:

  • Hosting of the cruise by Formula One expert, Bob Varsha who will provide behind-the-scenes insights into the world of elite motor racing
  • Pit pass access for the Saturday qualifying race for the Grand Prix
  • Reserved Section K seats for Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s final races
  • A special Grand Prix-themed cocktail reception and dinner aboard Star Pride

Crystal Cruises’ 2018-2019 Worldwide Atlas Details Global Luxury Voyages And Adventure

Crystal Cruises has unveiled its guide to its award-winning global itineraries, the Worldwide Atlas for 2018 and 2019. The brochure features the comprehensive collection of voyages aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity including innovative itineraries ranging from six to 129 days, maiden calls and immersive destination experiences. Within its 212 pages, the atlas also draws travellers into the enriching and varied activities on board the ships.

“The Worldwide Atlas is the ultimate planning tool for travellers, comprising the entirety of the Crystal Experience, beyond itinerary details to the nuances of the personalised service, and the experiences on board and ashore that enrich the journey,” says Karen Christensen, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Australia & New Zealand.

Tauck Offers Shore Excursion Choice with New Options for Active Travellers on 2018 River Cruises

ms Swiss Emerald in Lyon

Tauck has announced an expanded range of enhanced shore excursions on its 2018 European Spring river cruise departures.

With fewer crowds and mild spring temperatures, Tauck’s April and May departures include a choice of eight to 15-day itineraries exploring 10 different countries while plying the Danube, Rhine, or Seine rivers.

“Not only does Tauck provide guests with a virtually all-inclusive travel experience, but in addition to all gratuities, meals, shore excursions, and more included in the cruise price, guests can now also choose shore excursions that fit their interests and lifestyles,” said Tauck CEO Dan Mahar.

“We’re thrilled to offer guests a second activity option and make their Tauck river cruise even more memorable because of the choice.”

Australia’s biggest game of Hide and Seek to launch on Royal Caribbean


Australia’s biggest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, will host Australia’s Biggest Game of Hide and Seek on 18 February 2018.

In an Australian first, Aussies aged eight and over will have the chance to board the megaship docked in Sydney Harbour to play a mega version of the iconic childhood game, as part of a unique competition.

We know that Aussies are great sports, are highly competitive and have a great sense of fun so it seems fitting that what may be the world’s first official and biggest – game of Hide & Seek at sea takes place here in Australia, on our very own Ovation of the Seas said Ovation’s Cruise Director, Joff Eaton.

Mekong Cruising A Hole In One-Golfing Extensions with APT and Travelmarvel

Hit a hole in one with your next group booking by arranging a golfing extension on either an APT or Travelmarvel seven night Mekong River Cruise.

The new sporting extension is available for groups of ten or more and includes two rounds of golf in both Siem Reap and Ho Chi Minh City, before and after the cruise portion of the trips.

Perfect for passionate golfers, active groups or corporate travellers, the golf extension includes club hire (if required), transfers to and from courses, green fees, cart hire and caddies.

With the opportunity to play four rounds of golf on Cambodia and Vietnams finest courses there is no better way to start and finish a Mekong River cruise.

New cruise tour package in remote part of India

A new cruise tour package that combines India’s most popular attraction – the Taj Mahal – with one of the country’s most beautiful but least visited destinations – the remote State of Assam – has been launched in Australia to meet growing demand from seasoned Australian cruise fans for journeys to more far-flung regions.

Released by Cruise Traveller in partnership with Indian river cruise company, Adventure Resorts and Cruises (ARC), the 12-night package in December, 2018, links a 5-night tour of Rajasthan and Agra with a seven-night cruise on the sacred Brahmaputra River in Assam, a culturally intact region in far-north-east India that sees few tourists but boasts so much wildlife it is known as the ‘Serengeti of India’.

Australians Invited to be Part of History on Queen Elizabeth

Australian travellers have the opportunity to be part of Queen Elizabeth’s history-making season Down Under next year, with cruises ranging from two to 18 nights on offer.

Cunard says there is still some availability on Queen Elizabeth during her record two-month deployment in local waters next year, giving Australians a wonderful opportunity to experience the timeless elegance of the luxury cruise line’s youngest ship across a selection of itineraries.

Carrying 2080 guests, the 90,900-tonne Queen Elizabeth will be based in Sydney and Melbourne between February and April 2019 – the longest deployment Down Under for any of Cunard’s current fleet of Queens.

South-East Asia and India in 2019

Silver Shadow. Pic supplied by Silversea

Visiting the jewels of South-East Asia and India will be on the itinerary for travellers joining’s Beauties of South-East Asia & the Golden Triangle expedition in March 2019.

The new 25-night package includes a 15-night voyage on board Silver Shadow – cruising from Singapore to Mumbai via Penang, Phuket, Trincomalee, Colombo, Cochin, New Mangalore and Goa – as well as an escorted land tour through India’s north visiting Jaipur, Agra and Delhi.

Guests will fly to Singapore on March 31 next year and spend three days exploring the Lion City before embarking on the Silver Shadow with the 382-passenger vessel scheduling overnight stops in Phuket, Colombo and Cochin as well as two days at sea crossing the Bay of Bengal.

Coral Expeditions release first brochure for new ship, the Coral Adventurer

Coral Expeditions_Kimberley_SP39327 low

Coral Expeditions, Australia’s pioneering cruise line, has released its first brochure for their new expedition cruise vessel, the Coral Adventurer.

The fourth and biggest vessel in the specialised, Australian-owned fleet, the Coral Adventurer’s maiden voyage on April 24, 2019 will be from a series of themed itineraries called “In the trail of Tasman”.

This trail retraces the historic explorations of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, who was the first to map the coastlines of New Zealand, New Guinea and Northern Australia in the seventeenth century. The 18-night cruise will begin in Singapore and finish in Darwin, Australia.

Ponant Explorers: Construction of Le Lapérouse enters the home straight

The first ship in the PONANT EXPLORERS series, Le Lapérouse, has just arrived in Norway, where her construction will continue in the VARD shipyard.

Transferred by rail, then lowered into the water by synchrolift on 18 December 2017 in Rumania, Le Lapérouse, the new expedition ship from PONANT, has just reached the Norwegian shipyard of Vard, a subsidiary of the Fincantieri group, where her construction will be completed. The ship was towed by BB Troll, and sailed through the Mediterranean, passing Gibraltar, the Bay of Biscay and crossing the English Channel to reach Norway and the Vard shipyard.

Le Lapérouse will be the first of the four expedition ships, the PONANT EXPLORERS, to be operational, in June, followed by Le Champlain, set for delivery in autumn 2018. Le Bougainville and Le Dumont-d’Urville will be operational in 2019.


Leave a Reply


Uniworld sues MSC over $18.5m in damages from Venice ship collision

by Christian Fleetwood

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises has levelled a lawsuit against MSC Cruises over massive damages sustained in a Venice ship collision last year.



Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Registrations open for RWC 2023, Counselling for agents impacted by bushfires + MORE!

This week’s Agent Wrap is full of everything you need on a Friday: news of agents on voyages around the world, plenty of pictures and, most importantly, a short word count.




Wholesaler launches flexible European coach-touring brand

The new brand combines the convenience of escorted tours and the independence of FIT, with guaranteed departures on all tours, regardless of their size.




Aussie influencer slammed after tricking airline into free business-class upgrade

by Huntley Mitchell

An Australian influencer has copped a swathe of criticism after wearing a moon boot to successfully con airline staff into a free business-class upgrade.




South Australian Tourism Commission warned ‘Old mate’ ads weren’t “child-friendly” months before launch

Just released documents have shown that the SATC was warned its now infamous ‘Old mate’ ads were inappropriate months before the campaign even launched.




Flavour of the Week: Ex-Liberals leader named Boeing’s new regional boss, CMV’s team expansion + MORE!

If this edition of Flavour of the Week was a marine animal, it would be a blue whale. In other words, this wrap is an absolute whopper.




PHOTOS: Coco the very good rabbit scores a seat in business class

Nobody freak out, but we’ve got some very important news: this very cute bunny rabbit wearing a bowtie just scored its own seat in business class, and the photos are SO CUTE!




Coronavirus poses bigger threat to Aussie airports than SARS: analyst

Meanwhile, China has placed more than 18 million people in lockdown overnight as the number of those infected climbs to 650, with 18 confirmed deaths.




Wendy Wu Tours’ Aussie boss exits after less than three months

Troy Ackerman’s sudden departure follows that of Wendy Wu Tours global CEO Joe Karbo in July last year.




Qantas, Virgin Australia update pet travel policies following dog deaths

by Christian Fleetwood

Australia’s leading carriers will introduce further precautions on their pet policies, in association with the RSPCA.




Canberra Airport closed as fire services use airfield to fight “out of control” bushfire

Canberra Airport has cancelled departures and arrivals as its airfield is used by aviation fire services to facilitate aerial firefighting efforts.




Hotel Wrap: Accor’s new rideshare partner, Melia Hotels International opens first Thai hotel + MORE!

Welcome to the Hotel Wrap. This week’s addition features some gobsmackingly wonderful properties which we warn could cause a severe case of FOMO.