True North Adventure Cruises

True North Adventure Cruises
Excelling in Australia's North West

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Renowned West Australian Photographer to join TRUE NORTH cruise


Roebuck Bay, Broome (c) Christian Fletcher

North Star Cruises Australia is delighted to confirm that Christian Fletcher will be joining Kimberley Wilderness Cruise 13a & b in 2009.

You are probably aware of Christian's enviable reputation as a landscape photographer and you probably also appreciate that the Kimberley presents as the ultimate panorama. Accordingly, we are sure that you will be interested to note that Christian will not only be providing instruction on how to capture that perfect image – he will also be conducting tutorials in software refinement and, printing techniques.

A one-stop opportunity to work with a revered professional; with nothing but stunning material to work with and, relaxed how-to instruction on everything from shot selection to the ultimate in presentation.

If you've got the shutter-bug – don't miss this one!

The cruise will depart Broome on the 29th of August and the 'split cruise' format offers complete flexibility. Guests can embark in Broome and remain onboard for the entire 2 week cruise disembarking in Wyndham and taking advantage of our courtesy coach transfer to Kununurra. Alternatively, guests can embark/disembark mid-cruise in the Hunter River taking advantage of our light aircraft/helicopter transfers from/to Kununurra (included).

Don't miss out – early indication is that this will be a very popular departure – contact our adventure partners now to secure your cabin!

For more information on Christian visit: www.christianfletcher.com.au

Email: cruise@northstarcruises.com.au URL: www.northstarcruises.com.au

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

50% Off a True North Cruise!

North Star Cruises Australia has unveiled an unprecedented offer – 50% off its new Southern Safari Cruise on board the revered adventure-cruise ship, True North.

North Star's General Manager Peter Trembath said the company had taken the unusual step of offering a discount in support of the new Southern Safari cruise which explores the stunning South Australian coastline.

"The maiden 2008 Southern Safari cruise was an outstanding success and to assist with establishing the cruise as an annual adventure option, all cabins on the 2009 departure are being offered at an amazing 50% off," said Mr Trembath.

The offer includes 8 nights from just $3,748 - with all activities and fine dining included PLUS, a return airfare to Adelaide*.

"Never before has there been a more appealing opportunity to experience the unique True North," said Mr Trembath.

"This is an excellent chance to indulge in the complete luxury of a True North adventure cruise while experiencing the magic of the South Australian coast," he said.

The cruise includes a day touring the McLaren Vale's best wineries, a visit to Kangaroo Island, seeing great white sharks, exploring beautiful Coffin Bay, experiencing a 'tuna rodeo', and fishing at Pearson and Franklin islands.

"We have complete confidence in this cruise – it's a ripper," said Mr Trembath.

"All we need to do is give our guests an incentive to try it out. Once people have experienced what the South Australian coast has to offer – they will rave about it and thereafter, it will be first in, best dressed."

True North Background

The multi award winning adventure cruise ship, True North, allows discerning guests to experience wilderness in surroundings more akin to one of the world's most exclusive hotels. Lavish features include:

  • A sundeck, forward observation lounge, ship's lounge, alfresco bar, internet café, plasma screens with interpretive information, lower deck dining room with large panoramic windows, and fine dining.

· All cabins feature enhanced décor, en-suite facilities, in-house entertainment and satellite telephones.

· Multiple expedition boats allow passengers to do "what they want, when they want".

· The True North is the only Kimberley adventure-cruise ship that sails with its own helicopter.

· The purpose built True North is able to explore the upper reaches of shallow river systems

· Adventure cruises and expeditions operate along the magnificent coastlines of Australia and the South Pacific.

The True North – one of the finest adventure-cruise ships in the world!

*Conditions apply. Contact North Star Cruises for full terms and conditions.

For more information visit http://www.northstarcruises.com.au/ss.asp

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kimberley: Awesome Wonder



Michael Gebicki - Sydney Morning Herald - November 13, 2008

Whether you tour it, four-wheel-drive it, cruise it, or fly over it, the Kimberley will leave you lost for words.

In the Kimberley, words run out of puff. Faced with the dimensions of the country, full-flavoured adjectives turn pale and limp. How to describe this wild, arid plateau at the northern end of Western Australia, a place half the size of NSW with a population of barely 31,000 that is crossed by only two roads, where the coastline is almost totally inaccessible except from the sea, where the cattle stations are measured by the million hectares, and where the trees come from Africa and the climate from the furnace?

Read Full Story

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Coral Princess Explores the Kimberley Wilderness by Cruise & 4WD in 2009

Coral Princess Cruises has released its new Kimberley & Across the Top of Australia brochure, with 2009 and 2010 dates and rates for Coral Princess's most popular cruise: a voyage exploring the remote Kimberley coast between Broome and Darwin.

The 10-night Kimberley cruise visits Kuri Bay, home of the South Pacific pearl industry, and ventures ashore to view the world-famous Bradshaw (Gwion) paintings, - the world's oldest known indigenous art – and the towering, 80-metre King George Falls, the tallest waterfalls in Western Australia. There is an optional helicopter flight over the Mitchell Plateau for views of the impressive four-tiered Mitchell Falls, as well as excursions into secluded gorges and to rock pools perfect for swimming. The cruise explores the Buccaneer Archipelago – made up of 800 islands – and includes an exhilarating Zodiac ride through the 'Horizontal Waterfall', where the tide floods between rocky cliffs.

Next year, Coral Princess is venturing into the Kimberley by both land and sea, with a new, 24-night Kimberley Cruise & 4WD Expedition, combining the 10-night cruise and a 4WD tour through the Kimberley's rugged and beautiful interior.

The Kimberley wilderness of Western Australia is three times larger than England with a population of just 30 000. The combination cruise/drive reaches areas that are largely inaccessible by other means.

The 4WD journey travels the length of the legendary Gibb River Road,stopping at million-acre El Questro station to hike into Emma Gorge and soak in the hot pools of Zebedee Springs. Further along the road, Lake Argyle is the largest man-made lake in the Southern Hemisphere, with 18 times the capacity of Sydney Harbour. A highlight of the road trip is World Heritage-listed Purnululu (Bungle Bungle) National Park, and 'camping out' in style overnight at the award-winning Bungle Bungle Wilderness Lodge.

Coral Princess operates two ships in the Kimberley. The Oceanic Discoverer accommodates a maximum of just 72 guests and travels with a purpose-built excursion vessel, Xplorer and inflatable Zodiacs. Coral Princess accommodates a maximum of just 48 guests. In true expedition
style, the itinerary may vary to take maximum advantage of opportunities to venture ashore or to explore the many waterfalls, river systems, reefs and other natural attractions.

Prices for the 10-night Kimberley cruise start at $6450 aboard the Coral Princess and $7750 aboard Oceanic Discoverer. The 24-night Cruise & 4WD Expedition starts at $12 610 aboard the Coral Princess and $13 910 aboard Oceanic Discoverer. Prices are per person, twin share. This includes the cruise and 4WD transport; all meals, lectures and services of expedition staff on board and group transfers. There are regular departures from both Darwin and Broome between April and September 2009.

At the beginning and end of the season, the Kimberley cruise can be combined with an 11-night voyage, Across The Top of Australia, between Cairns and Darwin. Prices for this cruise start at $6450 per person. There is a 10 per cent discount for booking the two cruises together.

For further information and reservations contact Coral Princess Cruises on 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralprincess.com.au.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Coral Princess Cruises Awarded “Top Gong” at Tourism Awards

Coral Princess Cruises was recognised at the Tropical North Queensland (TNQ) Tourism Awards on Saturday night, taking out the top tourism award category of Major Tour and Transport Operator for the company’s three, four and seven-night Great Barrier Reef cruises.

In Coral Princess Cruises’ 25th anniversary year, the tourism award is welcome acknowledgement of the company’s commitment to the local industry and eco-sensitive cruising on the Great Barrier Reef.

Coral Princess Cruises’ Founder and Managing Director, Tony Briggs, pioneered small ship, expedition-style cruising in Australia, beginning in North Queensland 25 years ago and still based in Cairns. In the years since, the company has grown to become Australia’s premier small ship cruise line and has expanded operations to include itineraries in the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Melanesia and New Zealand.

“Being recognised by our industry peers in such a vibrant and competitive market is a great honour – especially in our anniversary year. We are very proud to have played a founding role in the development of environmentally-sensitive tourism in North Queensland and – along with our dedicated and highly-skilled staff - we’ll continue to promote the Reef as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders,” said Mr Briggs.

Coral Princess is a family-owned, eco-accredited and multi-award-winning company that operates two vessels – the Coral Princess and Coral Princess II – on the Great Barrier Reef, taking up to 48 passengers on each ship. The third ship in the company’s fleet is the luxury 72-passenger Oceanic Discoverer which operates in the Kimberley, PNG, New Zealand and the Pacific. For further information, call 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralprincess.com.au.

Nearly 500 tourism representatives and supporters attended the Tourism North Queensland Awards, held at the Cairns Convention Centre on Saturday, October 11, where winners who had excelled in their field over the past 12 months were announced in 23 award categories.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cruise Weekly Comment: Helicopter Crash


Cruise Weekly – Comment by Roderick Eime

I must admit that news of a second helicopter crash in the Kimberley inside two weeks has given me some goose bumps. I flew with Slingair, the first to lose their machine in a quadruple fatality over the Bungle Bungles, on a fixed wing charter after a week aboard True North where I made numerous flights in their now sunken Bell 407.

True North's machine was like brand new to me and flew faultlessly throughout the cruise. All passengers wore automatically-inflating life jackets and the great big doors were easy to get in and out of. Thankfully, no one lost their lives in what must have been a hair-raising event. There is some mystery however, as to why the flotation devices attached to the landing gear did not activate and an investigation is now under way.

So what does this mean for the many expedition vessels that employ helicopters either onboard or as optional flight-seeing tours? Helicopters add an extra dimension to any cruise experience and are invaluable on many polar itineraries.

There is a degree of risk assessment in any form of travel and helicopters are nowhere near the top of any 'most dangerous transport' list. Statistics are traditionally dominated by the rattly minibus and motorcycle, even crossing the road rates way up there, especially in SE Asia, Africa and the sub-continent. I, for one, will continue to fly in helicopters and light aircraft knowing that the taxi ride to the airport will constitute the single highest risk factor on any given trip.

No matter where you are or what you're doing, assess the risk, enjoy yourself and travel safely.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cruise Weekly Comment: PNG


Cruise Weekly – Comment by Roderick Eime

If ever there was a destination perfect for adventure and expedition cruising, it would have to be Papua New Guinea.

I'm about to set sail for PNG again next week and this will be my fourth visit. I can't imagine getting tired of visiting this wild and colourful country so close at hand.

Australians still need to overcome reservations generated by decades of bad PR. True, some places you just want to stay clear of, Port Moresby for one. But in the Solomon and Bismark Seas to the north and northwest, up the mighty Sepik River and over to the Louisiades, there is a Papua New Guinea seldom seen by mass tourists.

Compact, low-impact expedition vessels like Orion, Oceanic Discoverer and True North are now regularly plying the friendly waters, stopping at tiny islands with villages of just a few hundred inhabitants and absolutely no tourism infrastructure at all. No touts, trashy nick-nacks or wharf urchins to upset your experience, just a pure and unadulterated cultural encounter.

Just as expedition cruising is not for everyone, neither is PNG. Passengers need to be open-minded, intellectually self-sufficient and prepared to embrace the experience as it is presented. The modern vessels offer plenty of comfort and even luxury for softies like me, so it's not all hard going.

There's great diving and snorkeling, fishing, brilliant tribal art, raw dance and rituals to make your eyes pop and anthropological and wartime history in abundance.

Most itineraries take place after the Kimberley season closes in September and each operator usually only conducts two or three voyages each season of between seven and 14 days. Website: www.png-tourism.com

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cruise Weekly Comment: Kimberley


Cruise Weekly – Comment by Roderick Eime

I'm almost embarrassed to say it has taken me this long to get to the Kimberley.

Such is the demand for Australia's premier adventure cruise destination that passengers are having to book many months, sometimes years ahead.

I've just spent six days aboard the multi-award-winning, True North, an acknowledged Kimberley expert. We're all aware of the other acclaimed itineraries by Orion, Coral Princess and Kimberley Quest, but with twenty-plus years of intimate experience, knowledge of the uncharted river systems, off-the-radar rock art sites and an onboard helicopter, the North Star Cruises product is hard to beat.

I wish they wouldn't use the term ?finest of fine dining?, because bare feet and t-shirts sort of precludes that experience. The food, however, is beyond reproach. Ex-Cable Beach Club chef, Ian ?Irish? Prendergast received a standing ovation on the last day as a fitting tribute to his efforts. The wine list, with many beautiful Margaret River vintages, will please finicky tipplers too.

Days were jam-packed with activities including fishing, light trekking, freshwater swimming in gorgeous hidden spring-fed water holes, usually with a sublime waterfall under which to rinse off and, of course, the breathtaking helicopter flight-seeing.

Premium cabins are equivalent to better 4-star hotel rooms and everything is meticulously maintained by an all-Australian crew. Just three years old, it still feels brand new.

I just had time to chat to luxury doyenne, Claudia Rossi-Hudson, as she embarked for the next six night instalment. We may be seeing much more of North Star Cruises.

Web site: www.northstarcruises.com.au Ph: 08 9192 1829

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Join Orion in 2009 to discover the other side of Asia

Orion, acclaimed for its expeditions to the Kimberley and Arnhem Land, Papua New Guinea and the Antarctic is heading to places less visited in Asia as part of its 2009 Calendar of Sailings.

The coastline and islands of Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia beckon and there is no finer way to experience these culturally exotic destinations than as a guest onboard the purpose-built 5 star expedition ship, Orion.

In addition to visiting some of Asia's major centres, Orion's Gulf of Siam and Vietnam Explorer expeditions provide the opportunity to experience Asia from a different perspective, often far away from the crowds.

Pulau Tioman, lying off the east coast of Malaysia, is endowed with miles of coconut palm lined white beaches and crystal clear water – no wonder it was the setting for the film Bali Hai. It remains one of the world's most beautiful islands and an Orion destination.

From the unhurried lifestyle of fishing villages to exploring the undeveloped parts of Koh Samui and Koh Kut, Orion's languorous voyage contrasts wondrous sights of waterfalls, free flowing streams and snorkelling over pristine reefs with wide boulevards and historic buildings of the French colonial influence in Ho Chi Minh.

Visit a beguiling 200 year old village at Nha Trang, in Vietnam, where home-made beer is still sold, roadside, from the keg, and stroll beaches secreted away from the resorts where vendors carry buckets of lobsters and crabs for sale. Market economy rules, even in thinly disguised communist states.

Unlike larger ships that occasionally visit Ho Chi Minh (mooring at sea) Orion will berth 60 kilometres up the Song Sai Gon (Saigon River) virtually in the middle of the city, just minutes walk from the French built Post Office, Notre Dame cathedral and the shopping areas, art galleries, museums, bustling markets and top quality restaurants and bars.

Reach out and touch some of Australia's modern history. With Orion as your base, connect with the Vietnam War at the infamous Cu Chi Tunnels (where they still show anti-American Vietnam War propaganda films), and visit places the names of which are etched into Australian's minds – Da Nang, Vung Tau, Nui Dat, Long Tan.

These voyages provide a balance of history, culture and relaxation on sublime islands and beaches as well as exposure to Asian chaos in the markets. From Sihanoukville in Cambodia, guests will be able to visit Phnom Penh and the renowned UNESCO world heritage listed temples at Angkor Wat, with exquisite bas-relief Hindu stories on the walls and ancient temples overgrown with trees and foliage.

For a different view, experience a tethered balloon flight above the temples, an elephant ride to witness sunrise from the top of a temple or travel through rice paddy fields in a horse cart enroute to an extraordinary village – complete with schools, homes, and shops – literally floating in a lake.

These two exclusive Asian Orion Voyages of Discovery cultural expeditions balance traditional and modern Asia, with plenty of time to mingle with the locals and take in the sounds, colours and fragrances of these fascinating destinations.

Orion's expedition team and specialist guest lecturers enhance the experience with comprehensive briefings and onboard workshops designed to provide insight and understanding.

The two itineraries can be taken back to back to provide an exciting voyage highlighting much of Asia's mystique.

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Gulf of Siam Explorer – 29 September 2009 - 11 nights. Singapore, Tioman Island, Kuala Terengganu, Ko Samui, Ko Kood, Kampot (for Angkor Wat), Ho Chi Minh.


Vietnam Explorer – 10 October 2009 - 11 nights. Ho Chi Minh, Da Nang (overnight for Hue), Nha Trang, Vung Tau, Sihanoukville, Ko Phangan, Singapore.


Fares Guide:

Fares begin from $8,600 per person for an ocean view Category B stateroom

Suites begin from $11,860 per person for a Junior Suite

Owners’ Suites with French Balcony are $18,010 per person

An additional fuel charge of $50 per person per night applies

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Orion information: When referring to Ho Chi Minh it is always written as such but in spoken reference it is still referred to as Saigon.

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Ranked #2 expedition cruise ship in the world in the current Berlitz Cruise Guide, Orion is the world's latest and Australia’s only purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship.

With 75 crew and a maximum of just 106 passengers Orion offers the highest staff to guest ratio and guest to public space ratio of any ship based in Australian waters.

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website www.orionexpeditions.com

For reservations or to obtain a brochure call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email: info@orioncruises.com.au

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cruise Weekly Comment: Kamchatka


Cruise Weekly – Comment by Roderick Eime

Expedition cruising has evolved somewhat from the hard-core voyages that rekindled this travel sector in the 1960s and ‘70s. Today, some ‘adventure cruises’ are simply hedonistic boutique yachts with champagne on tap, but just last week I was reminded that the core product is still alive and well.

At a recent industry function I caught up with travel doyen, John Borthwick, and asked him about his recent trip to Kamchatka aboard Aurora Expeditions’s 100-berth Marina Svetaeva, a trusty former Russian survey vessel of the type that helped springboard Antarctic and Artic tourism after the fall of the USSR.

“There’s not much out there?” I inquired, recalling my own visions of bleak Siberian plains. John nearly choked on his entrée.

“Well,” he spluttered indignantly, “if you overlook the volcanoes, grizzly bears, walruses, sea otters, reindeer and Koryak shaman!”

John then proceeded to enthrall the table with dizzying accounts of vast stampeding herds of reindeer, packs of marauding brown bears and the graceful antics of the sea otters.

The Kamchatka Peninsula, asserts John, is Russia’s Alaska or Kimberley without a tourist in sight.

“It’s at the extreme of remote wilderness beauty, totally unpopulated and bursting with wildlife,” he finished, leaving us agog.

This was Aurora’s first Kamchatka expedition and NZ’s Heritage Expeditions is also exploiting the region, but the seasonal window is narrow and access complicated, so it will remain, for the time being at least, a niche destination to be savoured by a fortunate few.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Cruise Weekly Comment: Top End


Cruise Weekly – Comment by Roderick Eime

Historically, modern expedition cruising goes back to Lindblad’s Antarctic cruises of the 1960s, while in our region, Coral Princess Cruises founder, Tony Briggs was one of the first to offer extended cruises on the Great Barrier Reef with a converted, Fairmile class, WWII-era submarine chaser in the early 1980s.

Today, small ship, adventure-themed cruises abound and many new operators are capitalising on the abundant scenic and natural wealth of our coastline from the Kimberley to Tasmania. But while WA’s Kimberley enjoys solid capacities, some of our other regions do not.

Initially the repositioning sector from Cairns to Kimberley was developed to incorporate Arnhem Land and Cape York expeditions, but these cruises have sometimes struggled to attract viable numbers.

Kimberley region stalwarts, North Star Cruises, have deleted their “Over the Top” itinerary in favour of an ambitious West Papuan itinerary for 2009. Their first exploration is fully booked with loyal past passengers, leaving just Orion and Coral Princess to operate this region.

“This (11-night voyage) is one of the most underrated itineraries we have,” says Briggs, “Arnhem Land presents some of the best indigenous experiences anywhere and along with World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Cape York, it’s a spectacular voyage.”

Orion offers similar expeditions, instead split into two products; the 7-night “Art of Arnhem Land” and the 5-night “Tropical Reefs and Culture” from Thursday Island to Cairns.

Orions’ fares begin at about $700pp per night, while Coral Princess are slightly cheaper.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Cruise Weekly Comment: Top End Expedition Cruising


Historically, modern expedition cruising goes back to Lindblad’s Antarctic cruises of the 1960s, while in our region, Coral Princess Cruises founder, Tony Briggs was one of the first to offer extended cruises on the Great Barrier Reef with a converted, Fairmile class, WWII-era submarine chaser in the early 1980s.

Today, small ship, adventure-themed cruises abound and many new operators are capitalising on the abundant scenic and natural wealth of our coastline from the Kimberley to Tasmania. But while WA’s Kimberley enjoys solid capacities, some of our other regions do not.

Initially the repositioning sector from Cairns to Kimberley was developed to incorporate Arnhem Land and Cape York expeditions, but these cruises have sometimes struggled to attract viable numbers.

Kimberley region stalwarts, North Star Cruises, have deleted their “Over the Top” itinerary in favour of an ambitious West Papuan itinerary for 2009. Their first exploration is fully booked with loyal past passengers, leaving just Orion and Coral Princess to operate this region.

“This (11-night voyage) is one of the most underrated itineraries we have,” says Briggs, “Arnhem Land presents some of the best indigenous experiences anywhere and along with World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Cape York, it’s a spectacular voyage.”

Orion offers similar expeditions, instead split into two products; the 7-night “Art of Arnhem Land” and the 5-night “Tropical Reefs and Culture” from Thursday Island to Cairns.

Orions’ fares begin at about $700pp per night, while Coral Princess are slightly cheaper.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dreaming of a lost world ... ?


Discover the forgotten Kimberley Coast

In collaboration with the Australian Geographic Society, Aurora Exepeditions invites you to discover one of Australia's least visited regions. Carved by millions of years of extreme tidal patterns, complex river systems, waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes complete the Kimberley's many delights.

Aurora's onboard team, including passionate Kimberley explorer Mike Cusack, a naturalist and a guest lecturer, are Kimberley experts who interpret its unique history, plants and animals from Aboriginal and European perspectives.

In true Aurora style, we cruise with a flexible itinerary and explore islands alive with nesting birds, revel at the amazing Montgomery Reef, uncover the ancient secrets of Aboriginal rock art and participate in the excitement of spotlighting saltwater crocodiles.

Voyage 1 & 2 - Broome to Broome Departs: June 1 & 12, 2009
These voyages take us north to Bigge Island and back again, allowing additional time to explore the intricate maze of coral reefs, hidden valleys and rocky islands along the way.

Voyage 3 - Broome to Darwin
Departs: June 22, 2009
This voyage takes us from one end of the Kimberley to the other, providing an opportunity to visit the magnificent King George River, before crossing the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf.

Download or order your free Kimberley Coast 2009 brochure here

Click here to view our Kimberley photo gallery

Prices are from AU$6,450 per person twin-share, including all meals on board and Zodiac excursions.

Expedition Lord Howe
This September is the perfect time to explore the world heritage beauty of Lord Howe Island, using the luxury of Capella Lodge as your base. Capella Lodge are offering special deals on their last two available suites. Click_here for more information.

To reserve your berth or for further details, contact us on +61-2-9252-1033 (1800-637-688 within Australia) or email Aurora at auroraex@auroraexpeditions.com.au

Kimberley Coast with Aurora Expeditions


Dreaming of a lost world?

Aurora Expeditions offers travellers the chance to experience Australia’s remote Kimberley Coast on board one of their three expedition cruises departing in June 2009.

Led by legendary Kimberley expeditioner Mike Cusack of Australian Geographic’s first ‘wilderness couple’ fame, adventure awaits as Aurora’s trusty ship Coral Princess explores the hidden bays, estuaries and spectacular sandstone gorges of this pristine wilderness. Mike offers a special insight into one of Australia’s least visited areas, where his intimate knowledge reveals the secrets of this ancient and forgotten land.

With such an isolated coastline, many of the Kimberley Coast’s most fascinating sites can only be accessed by sea. Passengers will visit islands with nesting boobies and frigate birds, revel in the amazing Montgomery Reef, uncover the ancient secrets of Aboriginal rock art galleries and participate in the excitement of spotlighting saltwater crocodiles. Carved by millions of years of extreme tidal patterns, complex river systems, waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes complete the Kimberley delights.

As with all Aurora cruises, emphasis is placed on a combination of interactive experiences with the environment and a strong educational element. Aurora’s onboard team of lecturers and naturalists are Kimberley experts who interpret history, plants and animals from Aboriginal and European perspectives.

Voyages 1 & 2 – Broome to Broome

Depart – 1st and 12th of June 2009 (11 days)

These unique expeditions travel from Broome to Bigge Island off the Kimberley’s northwest coast and back again. Along the way travellers wander the long sandy beaches of the Lacede Islands, a prime breeding ground for green turtles and tens of thousands of breeding birds, inspect the tidal pools of Montgomery reef and uncover the secrets of controversial Wandjina spirit paintings.

Voyage 3 – Broome to Darwin

Departs – 22nd of June 2009 (11 days)

Aurora’s third voyage explores from one end of the Kimberley Coast to the other, crossing Joseph Bonaparte Gulf and visiting the spectacular King George River on the north coast. Cruising north, expeditioners will explore the renowned horizontal waterfalls, the shark, turtle and whale rich waters of Montgomery Reef, Prince Regent National Park and the spectacular 90 metre plunge of the King George Falls.

Prices are from AU$6,450 per person twin-share, including all meals on board and Zodiac excursions.

For more details or to obtain a copy of Aurora’s new Kimberley Coast 2009 brochure, contact Aurora Expeditions on 1800 637 688, visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au or email auroraex@auroraexpeditions.com.au

Friday, July 25, 2008

Orion 2009 brochure features new destinations


Orion's latest 30 page full colour brochure, just released, features expansive colour spreads depicting key 2009 destinations, along with an overview of guest experiences and life onboard.

In addition to spreads on each major region visited, the 2009 brochure contains useful information for potential travellers with a detailed deck plan of the ship and her 5 star facilities, the range of guest accommodation (with floor plans from Staterooms to Owner's Suites) and examples of the onboard comforts such as boutique, massage, elevator and lounges – and Serge Dansereau's award winning cuisine.

For the technically minded there is comprehensive information on Orion's specifications including details on size, speed, tonnage, ice class hull construction, sonar and oversized stabilisers.

Personal insights by members of the onboard Expedition Team make interesting reading, adding another dimension to each itinerary.

Included with this year's brochure is a useful lift-out reference booklet featuring in-depth itinerary details by destination, 2009 pricing and Calendar of Sailings detailing all expeditions throughout 2009 and early 2010.

Landscape format and photography reflect seascapes and vistas typically encountered on Orion expeditions. The Kimberley spread features a dramatic photo of King George River taken from above the falls, then by way of contrast is a photo of the massive falls themselves towering above Orion's Zodiacs on the river.

Arnhem Land is full of bright colours, indigenous interaction and the ancient rock art of the Dreamtime; while the popular voyages to Papua New Guinea and Melanesian islands features photography of World War II relics, idyllic beaches, crystal waters and fascinating village cultures.

New for 2009 are Orion's Spice Islands, Gulf of Siam and Vietnam Explorer voyages to Asia, plus a Forgotten Islands itinerary and expeditions to New Zealand and the remote World Heritage-listed Sub Antarctic islands.

The Antarctic continent remains a strong Orion drawcard for adventurers lured by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the historic Antarctic explorer bases of Mawson, Scott and Shackleton.

Those seeking warmer climes can cruise our own Great Barrier Reef – perfect for a short break in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

The Orion 2009 brochure can be downloaded from www.orionexpeditions.com/brochure/ebrochure or mailed simply by contacting Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or visiting your travel agent.

Email: info@orioncruises.com.au

Ranked #2 expedition cruise ship in the world in the current Berlitz Cruise Guide, Orion is the world's latest purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship, featuring an unmatched range of onboard facilities.

With 75 crew and a maximum of just 106 passengers Orion offers the highest staff to guest ratio and guest to public space ratio of any ship based in Australian waters.

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website www.orionexpeditions.com

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

North Star Cruises and Expeditions



North Star Cruises Australia is the Kimberley region's longest established cruise operator and winner of national awards. The company now offers a suite of itineraries especially designed for the most discerning adventurer. For more information on North Star's full range of itineraries check out the website: www.northstarcruises.com.au


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Orion Kimberley Voyages Declared One of Australia's Best Travel Experiences



Orion declared one of Australia's best travel experiences in Travelling In Australia Magazine

In the recently announced Travelling In Australia 20 Best Experiences Awards, Orion Expedition Cruises' Kimberley voyages have been nominated winner of the Cruise/Sailing Experience category.

TIAM set about finding the best of the best with a panel of hard-core Austraholics (international Premier Aussie Specialists) determining the winners.

One of the international judges, Sunnie Rossi, President of Aussie Experts, FCm Bannockburn Travel Solutions, USA, summed up her nomination of Orion by saying "Discerning travellers don't want to just see a destination, they want to experience it and feel it. Orion allows passengers to explore the Northern Territory's rugged coastline and see some ancient Aboriginal rock art. They can jump in a Zodiac and touch a cascading waterfall, or relax in the ship's jacuzzi sipping fine wine in five-star luxury."

The full list of Travelling In Australia 20 Best Experiences Awards Nominees is available by visiting www.travellinginaustralia.com.au/survey

Ranked #2 expedition cruise ship in the world in the current Berlitz Cruise Guide, Orion is the world's latest purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship, featuring an unmatched range of onboard facilities.

With 75 crew and a maximum of just 106 passengers Orion offers the highest staff to guest ratio and guest to public space ratio of any ship based in Australian waters.

Further information on all Orion Expedition Cruises to the Kimberley and Arnhem Land can be obtained by visiting the website www.orioncruises.com.au

For reservations or to obtain a brochure call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email: info@orioncruises.com.au

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stricken by Disease and Pestilence, Wretched Port Abandoned

Despite twelve deaths and the grounding of HMS Pelorus in a ferocious cyclone, Port Essington was rebuilt and continued to struggle against the elements for a further ten years before the inevitable. In 1849, the tragic settlement was abandoned.

Port Essington, or Victoria Settlement, is located on the rugged Coburg Peninsula, part of the Northern Territory's Arnhem Land and all that remains of the ambitious mid-19th Century village is a few stone ruins.

An excursion and exploration of this poignant site is part of North Star Cruises' annual "Over the Top" itinerary, exploring some of the lesser-known, more adventurous destinations our great country has to offer.

Departing Darwin on 18 October, the journey can be experienced as a single 14-night adventure or as a 6-night expedition beginning in either Darwin or Thursday Island. Either way, the cruise culminates in Cairns on November 1.

Other highlights include helicopter flightseeing from the ship's own helicopter (extra cost), Great Barrier Reef snorkeling or scuba diving, great fishing, guided nature hikes and, of course, North Star Cruises' famed cuisine.

Prices for either of the 6-night itineraries start from $8,995 per person, twin share and from $13,995 per person for the full 14-night adventure.

Bookings can be made by contacting North Star Cruises on (+61 8) 91921 829 or by email to reservations@northstarcruises.com.au. Website: www.northstarcruises.com.au

ENDS

For more information, images or brochures, please contact North Star's Adventure Partners.

Ph: (+61 8) 91921 829 E: cruise@northstarcruises.com.au

About North Star Cruises

Broome-based North Star Cruises is a wholly Australian owned company operating the 840 tonne, 36-passenger luxury expedition yacht, True North. The multi-award-winning company operates exclusive adventure cruises along the West Coast, the Kimberley, across the Northern Territory to Cape York, Papua New Guinea, Sydney and Adelaide. Apart from ecologically sensitive shore excursions and activities, guests can also indulge in fishing, snorkelling and scuba diving. True North is one of the very few such vessels to operate with its own helicopter on selected itineraries.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Join Ken Duncan for an Orion Antarctic photographic odyssey

Join Ken Duncan, world renowned photographer, onboard the luxury expedition ship Orion for an unforgettable voyage to Antarctica this December.

Ken Duncan, widely regarded as Australia's premier panoramic landscape photographer, will be joining Orion's specialist Antarctic Expedition Team for a 16 night Antarctic Continent expedition to Commonwealth Bay, home to the site of the historic Mawson's huts built for his 1911 Antarctic expedition.

Although panoramas are his signature style, Ken Duncan is also an expert in using a multitude of different formats and media and he will be sharing his expertise with Orion's guests to help them make the most of capturing the myriad of photo opportunities afforded on this Antarctic voyage.

With convenient embarkation in Bluff, New Zealand, Orion will head south with her 100 passengers (and 75 crew) to visit remote sub-Antarctic Snares and Auckland islands en-route to World Heritage listed Macquarie Island, with its vast breeding grounds of penguins and seals. The remnants of the old whaling station provide a dramatic photographic contrast to the wildlife in this remote sanctuary.

Orion is scheduled to cross the Antarctic Circle and head further south to Cape Denison located at 67 degrees south. Time ashore, weather permitting, will provide guests with a rare chance to visit Mawson's huts and have a look inside this icy time-capsule, left as-is after Mawson's departure.

New found photographic skills promise great opportunities to record the extensive wild life, huts, and historic debris and artifacts still to be found here.

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Ken Duncan has produced numerous books and received many awards for his work. He has been published by National Geographic and Time magazines and he has undertaken assignments for The Passion of The Christ and World Vision.

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Fares Guide:

16 nights Antarctic Continent – Commonwealth Bay departs Bluff (Invercargill) NZ 11th December 2008, arriving in Hobart 27th December 2008. (Ken Duncan voyage)

Fares begin from $15,790per person twin share for an ocean view Category B stateroom

Suites begin from $21,775 per person twin share for a Junior Suite

Owners' Suites with French Balcony are $33,055 per person twin share

Ranked #2 expedition cruise ship in the world in the current Berlitz Cruise Guide, Orion is the world's latest purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship, featuring an unmatched range of onboard facilities.

With 75 crew and a maximum of just 100 passengers for Antarctic expeditions Orion offers the highest staff to guest ratio and guest to public space ratio of any ship based in Australian waters.

Further information on all Orion Expedition Cruises to Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, Asia, New Zealand, the Kimberley and Arnhem Land can be obtained by visiting the website www.orioncruises.com.au

For reservations or to obtain a brochure call Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or your travel agent. Email: info@orioncruises.com.au

Monday, May 19, 2008

ORION EXPEDITION CRUISES ANNOUNCES NEW PARTNER

SYDNEY (20 May, 2008) – Sarina Bratton, Founder and Managing Director of Orion Expedition Cruises today announced the purchase of the company by KSL Capital Partners, a leading private equity company in the USA.

Following several unsolicited approaches to purchase Orion Expedition Cruises, the current shareholders have agreed to an offer from KSL Capital Partners, a Denver based private equity company specialising in high end travel and leisure enterprises. This majority shareholding will provide the capital and opportunity for Orion Expedition Cruises to expand beyond its one ship operation (through the building of new ships and/or other acquisitions), ahead of the original business plan.

Founded in early 2004, Orion Expedition Cruises is the only world class expedition cruise line operating from Australia to pristine wilderness areas in Antarctica, the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia and Asia. After three years of operation, OEC has achieved a reputation worldwide for its new and diverse itineraries and sustainable operations. Sarina Bratton will continue as a significant shareholder and Managing Director.

“Consumer desire for experience driven, sustainable tourism is not a passing trend,” Sarina explained today. “Experienced travellers globally are seeking small, niche, culture and nature based experiential tourism products that allow for a more informed and in-depth interpretation of, and interaction with, the destinations. It is considered that Australia and its close neighbours are well positioned for growth in this area. I am very excited about the opportunity this partnership presents and look forward to working with KSL to take Orion Expedition Cruises to the next level.”

Steven Siegel, Partner and Chief Operating Officer of KSL Capital Partners said, “We believe Orion Expedition Cruises can be much more than a one ship, or even two ship company. Our investment in Orion Expedition Cruises will see the company grow to a multi-ship operation, fulfilling the potential of the brand in the Asia Pacific region. Our investment in Orion is a testament to the strength of the business, the management team and the growth opportunity in the sector. There is great synergy between Orion and our other tourism and hospitality businesses and we are looking forward to working with Orion and its management team.”

About KSL
KSL Capital Partners is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in five primary sectors: hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. KSL Capital Partners is headquartered in Denver. For more information, please visit http://www.kslcapital.com.

Notable investments made by the principals of KSL include:


* ClubCorp, Inc., the world’s largest owner and operator of golf, country and business and sports clubs
* Western Athletic Clubs, headquartered in San Francisco, California
* Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, Texas
* The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia
* Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California
* Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone Mountain Resorts
* La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West in La Quinta, California
* Doral Golf Resort & Spa near Miami, Florida
* Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa on Maui in Wailea, Hawaii
* Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona
* La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California
* Hotel del Coronado near San Diego, California

For more information about Orion Expedition Cruises please visit our website www.orionexpeditions.com or contact Michael Corbett, Public Relations Manager Orion Expedition Cruises on 02 4572 1885.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Guide to the Southern Skies



Orion Expedition Cruises

Ancient legends and modern science of the Southern Skies revealed

If you are interested in the enormity of the night skies but don't yet know a black hole from a white dwarf, or simply can't find your zodiac sign among the millions of stars in the night sky then this Orion 'Guide to the Southern Skies' expedition is the voyage for you.

In addition to the highlights of exploring the East and West Kimberley coast this 11 night voyage from Darwin to Broome will have a special astronomical focus when Professor Fred Watson, astronomer in charge of the Anglo Australian observatory at Coonabarabran, and Professor David Malin, astronomical photographer, writer and lecturer, join Orion's guests to reveal the ancient legends and modern science of the universe.

Far from being a series of dry academic lectures, these popular presenters will explain in layman's terms the wonders of the southern night skies from the perfect vantage point onboard the expedition cruise ship Orion. Typically crystal clear evenings, so often enjoyed in the remote Kimberley at this time of year, make this a must-do for anyone interested in the science and mythology of the night skies.

By contrast, dawn reveals the rich ochre of the Kimberley coast and the start of another day of exploration. Ancient aboriginal artworks are visited and revealed by Orion's expedition team and Orion's Zodiacs take guests between rugged gorges and up rivers, home to salt water crocodiles, to experience waterfalls and the wonder of the Kimberley close up.

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Did you know? Orion, in astronomy, is a prominent constellation able to be seen from both northern and southern hemispheres, identified in Greek mythology with the hunter – you may know the star grouping as the plough, big dipper, saucepan, shopping trolley or Orion's belt.

2009 is the International Year of Astronomy

Join Professors Fred Watson and David Malin on Orion Expedition Cruises' 21 June 2009 Kimberley Guide to the Southern Skies voyage between Darwin and Broome visiting West Timor (Kera Island), Roti and Kupang, Wyndham (for the Bungle Bungles and El Questro), King George River and Falls, Bigge Island, Hunter River (for Mitchell Falls), Montgomery Reef and Raft Point.

Fares Guide:

11-night Kimberley East and West 'Guide to the Southern Skies' departs Darwin 21st June, 2009.

Fares begin from A$8,430 per person for an ocean view Category B stateroom

Suites begin from A$11,625 per person for a Junior Suite

Owners’ Suites with French Balcony are A$17,655 per person

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Orion Islands magazine Blue List

Orion selected in the top 100 examples of responsible tourism in the world

Orion Expedition Cruises has been included in the current edition of the US travel magazine Islands inaugural Blue List of the top 100 tourism products from around the world that best represent responsible tourism.

In a letter of congratulations, Ty Sawyer, Editorial Director of Islands magazine, said that Orion was included "because you have exceeded all expectations in this arena, and you impact your world in an ongoing, sustainable and positive manner".

Special reference was made to Orion's expeditions to Papua New Guinea and in particular remote Watam village near the mouth of the Sepik River, commenting "… Watam culture thrives, thanks in part to their relationship with Australian-based Orion Expedition Cruises. The company brings clothing, equipment and medical assistance ….. and landing fees paid by Orion help support community development initiatives such as purchasing school materials and agricultural supplies".

Editorial attention was paid to Orion's environmental responsibility, stating that Orion is "rigged to be environmentally friendly, recycling paper and water and using specially designed engines that promote energy efficiency".

This recognition follows Orion's recent ranking as #2 Expedition Cruise Ship in the world in the latest Berlitz Cruise Guide ratings.

Orion is Australia's only purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship, with year round voyages to the Kimberley coast, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, New Zealand and the Antarctic.

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website www.orioncruises.com.au

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Orion 2009 – 2010 Calendar of Sailings

Orion Expedition Cruises

Orion adds plenty of spice in 2009

Building on established expedition voyages to the Antarctic, Kimberley and Papua New Guinea, Orion Expedition Cruises' 2009 - 2010 Calendar of Sailings adds three inaugural Voyages of Discovery to the exotic islands of Asia, a visit to Norfolk Island and exciting new sub-Antarctic island wildlife expeditions.

Asia: Brand new for 2009 are Orion's Spice Islands, Gulf of Siam and Vietnam Explorer expeditions to Asia. Depending on the chosen voyage these 9, 10 and 11
night itineraries (September and October 2009) include both popular and rarely visited Asian destinations. Visit a string of beautiful Indonesian islands including Bali plus expeditions to the exotic coasts and islands of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam (including an optional side trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia).

Departing late October 2009 is a 10 night cruise between Bali and Cairns. This Forgotten Islands expedition will feature the island of Komodo, famous for its dragons, Maluku, Yamdena Island and Thursday Island in the Torres Strait before arriving in Cairns.

Sub-Antarctic Islands: Orion's expeditions to the Antarctic have sold out each year with adventurers appreciating the departures from Hobart and Bluff to Commonwealth Bay and the Ross Sea regions and the chance to visit the historic explorer's bases of Scott, Shackleton and Mawson.

The Sub-Antarctic Islands component of these voyages is so popular that in 2009 dedicated Sub-Antarctic Wildlife Adventure expeditions are planned focussing on the extraordinary wildlife found on the wilderness islands of World Heritage Macquarie, Campbell, Auckland and Snares Islands and spectacular New Zealand fjordlands. Spectacular scenery combined with abundant bird and marine life creates island adventures in a photographer's paradise for those not wishing to journey to Orion's Antarctica.

The Kimberley voyages: 10 voyages between May and September 2009 feature the dramatic highlights of the iconic Kimberley coast including the ever-popular Opera Under The Stars voyage (a one-off voyage on the 21st August 2009 that includes a night at the Opera in Broome as a guest of Orion) and a Guide to the Southern Skies voyage. This 11 night voyage from Darwin to Broome will have a special astronomical focus when Professors Fred

Watson, astronomer in charge of the Anglo Australian observatory at Coonabarabran, and David Malin, astronomical photographer, writer and lecturer, reveal the ancient legends and modern science of the universe to Orion's guests.

Arnhem Land: Orion's expeditions in 2006 and 2007 really sparked interest in the indigenous art world and so a further 7 night Art of Arnhem Land voyage, departing Thursday Island for Darwin, will be undertaken in April 2009 exploring the isolated art communities of Arnhem Land. Hosted by pre-eminent authorities on indigenous art this is the perfect voyage for art collectors and enthusiasts alike

Norfolk Island and Melanesia: In February 2009 Orion will undertake a 19 night Norfolk and Melanesian Islands Discovery voyage through the South Pacific, between Auckland, New Zealand and Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. This meandering cruise will include the Bay of Islands before heading for a 2 day stay at historic Norfolk Island.

Other expedition highlights include the picturesque Isles of Pines, Anatom - in the middle of no where - and the cargo cult island of Tanna with its still-active Mt Yasur volcano. Capturing the romance of Melanesia, Orion will also visit Malakula, Nggella (Florida Islands) and Marovo Lagoon before arriving in the flooded volcanic caldera of Simpson Harbour, Rabaul.

Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait: For time-restricted adventurers seeking a shorter voyage near home, Orion has a tempting 5 night North Queensland Tropical Reefs and Culture voyage in April 2009 cruising from Cairns via Lizard Island, Stanley Island (with its outstanding indigenous rock art), Orion Reef (perfect snorkelling) and the Torres Strait island of Poruma (Coconut Island) before concluding at Thursday Island.

Or slip away for an early summer holiday in November 2009 and join Orion's one-off 6 night Great Barrier Reef voyage that includes Hardy Reef, Hayman Island and Percy Island; then enjoy a few leisurely days at sea before disembarking in Newcastle.

Tasmania remains a favourite for Orion's sell-out Food and Wine themed voyages. Cruising between Sydney and Hobart, enroute visiting picturesque Eden, Flinders Island, famous Wineglass Bay, Coles Bay and the Southwest Wilderness region of Tasmania, guests will enjoy 5 nights of food and wine tastings to balance the expeditionary activities onshore.

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises 2009 – 2010 Calendar of Sailings can be obtained by visiting the website www.orioncruises.com.au

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Coral Princess Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises Join Forces on the Great Barrier Reef


MEDIA RELEASE
CORAL PRINCESS CRUISES
JANUARY 31, 2008.
Coral Princess Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises
Join Forces to Grow the Great Barrier Reef
Leading Australian small-ship cruise lines Coral Princess Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises have announced plans to join forces to further the growth of their Great Barrier Reef cruise divisions. The partnership will ensure the ongoing growth of both companies and provide unique opportunities to improve business efficiencies.
The new partnership, a result of long-term discussions between Coral Princess Cruises Managing Director Tony Briggs and Captain Cook Cruises Executive Chairman Captain Trevor Haworth AM combines over 40 years experience operating multi-night cruises on Queensland's Great Barrier Reef.
Both companies are excited by the new opportunities this partnership will provide. Both Australian family-owned companies, they share common philosophies and existing cruise itineraries.
The opportunity to consolidate both companies' Great Barrier Reef cruise operations has progressed joint plans for the design of a new, state-of-the-art, purpose-built small-ship to operate their schedule of three, four and seven-night Great Barrier Reef cruises.
Whilst planning for the new luxury vessel continues, both companies will operate schedules utilising Coral Princess's fleet of small-ships. Captain Cook's Reef Endeavour is to be sold following its final Great Barrier Reef cruise on February 22, 2008.
Coral Princess Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises look forward to further developing this exciting partnership into the future.
Coral Princess Cruises also operates expedition and adventure cruises to the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Melanesia and New Zealand.
Captain Cook Cruises Fiji and Murray three, four and seven-night itineraries and two-night Sydney Harbour itinerary will remain un-affected and continue as scheduled.
For further information and bookings, visit www.coralprincess.com.au or www.captaincook.com.au

Monday, January 28, 2008

Save the Kimberley

Save the Kimberley

This website has been put together by the 'Save The Kimberley' group.

The majestic Kimberley is one of the world’s last great wilderness regions. This pristine area rich in culture, heritage and biodiversity is Australia’s last untouched frontier. Home too many endangered species the Kimberley wilderness is a virtual Noah’s Ark, a shielded system that is much as it was from the beginning of time. Humpback whales, turtles, Dugongs, the Golden Back Tree Rat let alone the many other species of flora and fauna that are yet to be discovered. Can you believe that this World class treasure is under threat?"

North Star Cruises’ Inaugural Southern Safari a Hit


True North at anchor off Pearson Island in the seldom-visited Investigator Group (photo: Roderick Eime)

For immediate release: 26 January 2008


North Star Cruises’ Inaugural Southern Safari a Hit

Broome-based North Star Cruises is delighted at the passenger reaction to the recently completed Southern Safari adventure cruise in the waters off Adelaide, South Australia.

“We’ve been coming this way for several years now on our way back from Sydney,” said Craig Howson, managing director of North Star Cruises, “and we thought it was about time we made a proper exploration of the wonderful beaches, fishing and attractions down here.”

Passengers aboard the 740 tonne, 50m luxury expedition vessel True North enjoyed relaxing wine tasting in McLaren Vale, stunning sightseeing on Kangaroo Island and the Eyre Peninsula, sensational fishing for SA’s famous King George Whiting and an exhilarating cage dive with great white sharks off Port Lincoln. The busy 8-night itinerary retraced and revisited many of the sites first explored by Mathew Flinders in 1802 including the pristine Investigator Group.

The journey began in Adelaide on January 17th and finished in Streaky Bay on the 25th, with guests transferring back to Adelaide by commercial flight.

“We’ll make a few small refinements to the itinerary for next year, but otherwise we’re happy with the product and, most importantly, the passengers are too,” said Howson.

“Putting the whole package together was made much easier by the welcome and enthusiastic cooperation we received from all levels of government here in South Australia and we extend our thanks and congratulations to the many departments and individuals who went out of their way to ensure the smooth running of our first Southern Safari. Thank you South Australia.”

The Southern Safari will now be a regular annual offering in multi-award winning North Star Cruises’ expanding catalogue of adventure itineraries that include Adventures in Paradise (PNG), Over the Top (NT and Qld) and their acclaimed signature product, the Kimberley Wilderness Cruise (WA).

Bookings for the 2009 Southern Safari begin immediately with the new itinerary and dates available shortly.

For further information, images or brochures, please contact North Star Cruises on
(+61 8) 91921 829 or visit the website at www.northstarcruises.com.au

About North Star Cruises – “Go Wild in Style”

The recipient of numerous state and national adventure tourism awards and with over twenty years operational experience, North Star Cruises and their purpose-built expedition vessel, the 740 tonne, 36-passenger True North, specialise in enriching nature and culture based cruise tours in a luxurious, yet laid-back style with an unmistakably Australian flavour.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Expedition and Adventure Cruising Guide


Adventure and Expedition Cruising is the fastest growing area of the already burgeoning cruise market. In fact some would say it’s not cruising at all, rather adventure by ship.

As such, we at Cruise Passenger Magazine recognise that this very special form of experiential travel now requires its own magazine. An expert, specialist publication devoted to the unique needs of the ship and tour operators that clearly sets it apart from the traditional large ship product.

The magazine will be produced by the regular Cruise Passenger Magazine team, with the addition of Roderick Eime as guest editor. A regular contributor to Cruise Passenger, Rod is a confirmed adventure cruiser, having travelled to both the Antarctic and Arctic, Galapagos, Amazon, Melanesia, New Zealand and more aboard everything from motorised dugouts to icebreakers.

Readers will expand their horizons with new destinations and itineraries to keep their passion alive as well as investigate new ships that will take them there.

From the frozen reaches of the North Pole to the furthest Antarctic extremes and everything in between, Cruise Passenger Magazine’s Essential Adventure and Expedition Cruising Guide will be the definitive reference for the new wave of modern seaborne adventurers.

Advertisers will be offered a potent blend of editorial and advertorial allowing them to highlight their product in the most favourable light. Editorial will highlight the exciting new destinations only adventure cruising can deliver plus explain for the first time traveller what to expect, how to pack and why adventure cruising will introduce them to a whole new world of life enriching experiences.

The list of destinations will include the must-do’s of Antarctica, Russian Far East, Papua New Guinea, The Kimberleys, Melanesia, the Great Barrier Reef, the Amazon, Alaska, the Galapagos and much more.

Expedition Cruising, Adventure Cruising

Adventure Quest

Committed adventure cruiser, Roderick Eime, shares some insight on one of the fastest growing travel sectors.

Flick through the pages of any magazine or newspaper and you’re confronted with an overflowing smorgasbord of cruise travel possibilities. If this explosion of romantic ocean-going itineraries leads you to think cruise travel is on the up, then you are right. Cruising is on a rocket. But look closer and you’ll find, sometimes tacked on the end of a larger ad, adventure possibilities you may never have dreamed of.

Sure, everybody knows the irresistible, fairytale allure of the South Pacific, Caribbean and Mediterranean, but what about the frozen reaches of the Antarctic, the wilds of the Kimberley or the tiny atolls of Melanesia? Within this huge category of ‘cruising’ there exists a sometimes overlooked subset generally referred to as “adventure and expedition cruising”.

Once almost a secret society among wealthy adventurers and well-heeled thrillseekers, this type of travel has ignited the imagination of those looking beyond regular, packaged products. Travel marketers and advertising pundits are calling this emerging genre “experiential and transformational” travel where the journey is all about delivering uplifting and life-changing experiences.

Ships plying these waters can vary enormously too. They range from luxury pocket cruise-liners, replete with every creature comfort and a “quick response” crew ready to fulfill your every whim, through to refurbished ex-Soviet spy vessels. These Russian vessels are the ones largely responsible for opening up the frozen extremes of our planet and include mighty icebreakers and hardy oceanographic ships built to operate in the most challenging conditions.

At the softer end, vessels like the Australian-based Orion and Oceanic Discoverer, world-travelling Seadream I and II and Seabourne are examples of ships constructed to deliver a high, even opulent, level of luxury and still retain the flexibility and versatility of an expedition yacht. Orion, for example, not only cruises the rich tropical backwaters of PNG and the Kimberley, but ventures to the most remote reaches of Antarctica, well below the ‘circle’ and into the exclusive realm of Emperor Penguins and historic explorers.