Browse newly released expeditions to your favorite arctic destinations departing in 2022

by Micro-Cruising

Immerse yourself in splendid isolation on newly released voyages to Greenland, Svalbard, the Canadian High Arctic, and the Russian Arctic. Join our expeditions in 2022 to encounter iconic arctic wildlife, experience the Northern Lights firsthand, and follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers.
EXPLORE ALL 2022 VOYAGES
helicopter above Ultramarine
Explore the Arctic aboard Ultramarine

Ultramarine is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer.

Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, Ultramarine offers the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size.

ULTRAMARINE VOYAGES
Highlights You'll Love
Polar Bear in the Arctic
Svalbard

Travel to the land of the midnight sun on a quest to observe polar bears and other arctic wildlife.

colorful Greenland houses
Greenland

Join our exclusive adventure program exploring deep into Southern Greenland’s mountains and fjords.

Passengers explore the Arctic on foot
Canada

Explore mountains, glaciers, arctic tundra and towering granite cliffs by land, sea, and air.

A passenger overlooks the Russian Arctic
Russia

Encounter vast seabird colonies and ice-strewn fjords while retracing the routes of legendary explorers.

Book with Confidence

Reach out today to speak to our Polar Travel Advisers and learn about our early booking bonuses, including up to 25% off select expeditions, big savings on transfer packages, and much more.”

 

Aqua Nera Introduced by Aqua Expeditions

by Micro-Cruising

https://www.porthole.com/aqua-expeditions-aqua-nera-amazon-river-cruise-ship/

 

How much do you really know about South America’s famed Amazon river? More than 4,000 miles long and home to an abundance of life, the river isn’t usually high on a cruiser’s bucket list. Aqua expeditions is changing that mentality, however. The cruise line unveiled Aqua Nera on friday, a ship set to sail the Peruvian Amazon. The luxury river ship was custom-built in Vietnam, the same as her sister ship Aqua Mekong, and adds the Amazon to the already impressive list of places Aqua Expeditions explores.

Last week, Porthole Cruise spoke with Aqua Expeditions founder and CEO Francesco Galli Zugaro about the state of expedition cruising and why his fleet has an advantage over others. You can watch that entire interview here.

About Aqua Nera 

Aqua Nera features 20 suites on board and has a 1:1 guest to crew ratio that allows for a more personalized cruise experience. The ship was constructed in the record time of under a year, and ceremonially launched with a Buddhist blessing on July 29.

 

 

Unfortunately, the crew can’t sail a river cruise ship halfway around the world to its home on the Amazon. The ship will catch a ride on board a specially rigged ocean freighter from Hai Minh Shipyard in Ho Chi Minh City to Belém, Brazil at the mouth of the Amazon.

According to Zugaro, “Aqua Nera was built to be unparalleled in the world of small-ship expeditions”.

For her first voyage, Aqua Nera will navigate the entire length of the Amazon: a 15-day, 1,500-mile upriver journey to the Peruvian city of Iquitos, its new home port.

Regional Cuisine

Aqua Expeditions partnered with Peruvian chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino to be the vessel’s head chef. Sometimes referred to as “jungle chef”, Schiaffino is known for his use of Amazonian ingredients and cooking styles at his restaurant Malabar in Lima, Peru. We often see luxury cruise lines incorporating local ingredients into their menus but having a chef with an expertise in using them is definitely a plus.
Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino

Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino | Photo: Aqua Expeditions

Guests will get up close to the flora and fauna thanks to on board naturalists who guide excursion through the world’s most diverse ecosystems.

The plan is to begin sailing in the last quarter of 2020. Aqua Expeditions is currently operating small ship river cruises in Asia and has modified their health and safety protocols on board.

HERITAGE LINE UPDATES CRUISE SCHEDULE

by Micro-Cruising

Over the past weeks and months, some countries around the globe have achieved great success in dealing with the Coronavirus (most notably our travel destinations in Southeast Asia, along with some oversea markets such as Europe, Australia and New Zealand).

However, international travel is still full of uncertainties, particularly for the remainder of 2020 and most likely the early months of 2021. Therefore, Heritage Line has paused operations in all of our destinations and will resume cruising as follows:

Destination Cruise Schedule
Upper Mekong [Laos] The original planned launch of our new cruise destination Upper Mekong in early October 2020 will not be possible. The first-ever boutique, luxury ship in Laos, Anouvong now has its 3-night inaugural journey currently scheduled for 01 August 2021 from Luang Prabang to Huay Xai.
Ayeyarwady & Chindwin [Myanmar] The destination of Myanmar is also taking a hard hit from Covid-19, leaving Heritage Line no choice but to pause cruising for a year from now until mid-August 2021. The first cruise will be our wonderful expedition up the Chindwin River, departing in Mandalay on 19 August 2021 for an unforgettable 11-Night sailing adventure that ends at the UNESCO Heritage Site of Bagan.
Halong Bay & Lan Ha Bay [Vietnam]

Lower Mekong [Vietnam & Cambodia]

For the most part, both Vietnam and Cambodia have either closed their borders or placed heavy restrictions on international travel. Heritage Line, therefore, has decided to close all departures in 2020 on the Lower Mekong River as well all cruises in Halong Bay and Lan Ha Bay. A big question remains as to when borders will re-open for international visitors and what the travel conditions will look like. These answers will determine the likelihood of offering cruises to our guests in early 2021. We will keep everyone updated as the situation develops.

Updated departure dates can be found in the Rates & Departures section of our website.

For the latest developments on the ongoing situation, including travel restrictions and our flexible booking policy, please also see our Covid19 Updates.

Fiji 45% off our 3, 4 and 7 night cruises Flexible travel available through to 30 June 2022!

by Micro-Cruising

 

For a limited time, get 45% off our 3, 4 and 7 night Blue lagoon Cruises which include all meals, selected beverages and a range of amazing activities on and off our small ship as well as plenty of time spent on shore each day.

Our fantastic offer comes with the flexibility for your clients to book now and be able to amend their travel date as needed. Travel is from 1 April 2021 all the way until 30 June 2022.  For added peace of mind, your clients will be able to receive a full refund if they change their mind and cancel within 7 days of booking (otherwise these never to be seen again deals are non-refundable).

Our bespoke small ship cruises (with a maximum of only 68 guests on board) include all meals, morning & afternoon teas, selected beverages and allow our guests plenty of time to relax on shore in the sun.  We also have our own private beach - the perfect location for sipping a tropical cocktail or two!

Guests can explore everything Fiji's magical Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands have to offer with a range of activities and excursions included in our itineraries.

They can try their hand at something new such as swimming with reef sharks, snorkelling the tropical reefs, paddle boarding or just sit back, relax and enjoy the spectacular views.

Things you need to know:
  • Valid for sales: 21 August - 30 September 2020
  • Travel dates: 01 April 2021 to 30 June 2022 (note that 01 April 2021 remains subject to international borders reopening and flights recommencing from Australia and/or New Zealand to Fiji).
  • Specific cruise dates can be selected or alternatively booked as open dated, unlimited changes are available up to 14 days prior to the date of travel
  • 45% Discount applies to the 2021/22 pricing for the 3 Night Explorer, 4 Night Wanderer & 7 Night Escape to Paradise Cruise fares in both Hibiscus & Orchid grades
  • Discount valid for twin/double only. Single Cabins can be booked at 2x the per person twin share price (no further discount applies to the normal single/child fares)
  • This offer is available for bookings of up to four cabins per day for each guest and/or trade partner
  • The offer is valid for new bookings only and not able to be combined with any other offer in market
  • Payment: Full payment is required in full 7 days after the booking date, upon which time you are accepting the terms and conditions of this offer regardless of normal trade partner payment terms.

  • 7 Day Change of Mind Guarantee: A 7 day change of mind guarantee allows guests to receive a full refund upon written advice of the cancellation being received by Blue Lagoon Cruises within 7 days of the original date of booking / purchase.

  • Need to Change: Once dates are selected, guests can make unlimited changes to the travel date of their booking and one (1) change to the travellers name(s),  provided these changes are made no less than 30 days before the original cruise departure date booked and provided the new departure date is available.  Any change of date / customer name(s) must be made in writing
  • Cancellations & Refunds: Outside the “7 day change of mind guarantee”, bookings confirmed on this promotional rate are fully non refundable.

E-Motion ship delayed delivery

by Micro-Cruising

Unfortunately, we and our joint customers will have to wait until 2022 to discover our new beautiful and innovative E-Motion ship. The delivery will be delayed as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. The new target date for the first sailings is April 2022 on the Northern Rhine. The ship is currently under construction at the Severnav shipyard in Romania with the interior to be completed at the Concordia Damen shipyard in the Netherlands.

We are already looking forward to welcoming your customers on board our new ship and showing them what has been born of our mission. The ship surpasses any river cruise ship that you have ever seen: it´s greener, more spacious, more innovative, more stylish and more family-friendly.

A dream holiday retreat Our cabins are modern, comfortable and more luxurious than ever. There is much space and all cabins and suites feature a large balcony to enjoy the views.
A dream holiday retreat
Welcome families We have designed our new ship to be more family-friendly than ever. It has a children’s pool on deck, a Kids Club with its own dedicated rooms and our family cabins are even more spacious.
Welcome families
Making cities greener With battery propulsion and air-bubble technology, our new E-motion ship meets the challenge of making our river cruises more eco-friendly.
Making cities greener
Meanwhile, we would like to thank you for your patience and great support in these challenging times!

25% off Early Summer Arctic 2021 expedition cruise

by Micro-Cruising

We’re all anxious to start travelling again, and it’s an ideal time for your clients to start planning for an early Summer 2021 expedition cruise aboard the 114-passenger Sea Spirit! Best of all, special savings of 25%* USD for all the Suites are in place for our first four departures of the season:

Legendary History & Wild Nature of the British Isles (13 days, May 10-22) Plymouth to Edinburgh – Starting at $4,496 p.p., triple occupancy

From the Highlands to the High Arctic (12 days, May 22-June 2) Edinburgh to Longyearbyen – Starting at $3,671 p.p., triple occupancy

Svalbard Discovery (8 days, June 1-8; June 7-14) Round trip from Longyearbyen – Starting at $3,296 p.p., triple occupancy

You can plan your clients’ trip with confidence with our new “relaxed booking policy”:

  • 10% deposit to confirm reservation;
  • transferal of deposit up to 90 days before departure to a future cruise should the client choose not to travel on the scheduled date.
*Special savings of 25% are first-come, first-served, new bookings only.

A message from Raúl García, CEO of Anakonda Amazon Cruises

by Micro-Cruising

Hello my friends,

It is definitively true we are living in unprecedented times. Today, I would like to share with you my most meaningful experiences which have shown me the true meaning of life. Love, solidarity, and resilience are part of this journey, and while traveling, you will find we are all linked through the same feelings. To know that sense of belonging towards nature and the people in places that you never imagined is a true gift, and that is what I invite you to experience.

It has been some time since our world is not the same as it was five months ago. That’s why the importance of our work has been of great significance as we navigate uncertainty and constantly adapt to the new changes of realities for all of us. However, we strongly believe that our efforts today will have a remarkable impact in the future. Better times are coming so that we can reconnect in these magical places of the Amazon and encounter adventure and a deeper connection with ourselves. Rest assured that our team is aligning with the Ecuadorian government and local health authorities to care for the welfare of our guests, staff, and communities. Ecuador has already received the first group of tourists in the Galápagos Islands, and we are hopeful things will start to open up as we move forward in the rest of this year. Quite soon we will be able to travel and experience all these adventures again.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy this video.

Click here to watch the video

For Culture


International Day of Indigenous People On the 9th of this month, we commemorated this day and it is an honor for us to consistently work with unique and rich cultures through the communities that live in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Click here to know more

Avel's Native House


Amazon Stories from our Guides Avel is from the Kichwa community and he will share with us how a day with his family looks like in the middle of the jungle. Click here to watch video

Updates & Promotions

WE ARE KEEPING OUR 2020 RATES FOR 2021
Aware of these times, we have the opportunity to be both creative and proactive when it comes to promoting and selling a unique experience. The Ecuadorian Amazon is an untouched environment where guests can enjoy nature to the fullest. For this reason, it is our pleasure to announce we are maintaining our 2020 rates for your 2021 bookings for cruises onboard the Anakonda and the Manatee. These rates will be handled in conjunction with our “Early Monkey” special discounts in 2021 plus flexible terms and conditions for bookings due to COVID-19.

Up to 25% off Arctic and 40% off Antarctic expeditions.

by Micro-Cruising

Planning a trip for next year or beyond?

Secure your cabin for just 10% down!

We know that most of our passengers plan their polar expeditions a year in advance—and sometimes earlier. That’s why we’ve been developing programs that help those of you who are in the planning stages. For example: our reduced deposit program that allows you to secure a cabin on a future polar expedition by making a down payment of just 10% instead of our standard 20%. Travellers have responded so well to this offer that we’ve decided to extend it for new bookings made up until November 30, 2020 so more of you can benefit.

This program gets even sweeter when combined with any of our in-market offers of up to 25% off Arctic and 40% off Antarctic expeditions.

Here are a few money-saving offers on some of our favorite expeditions:
Passengers walk amongst Greenland houses
Greenland Adventure: Explore by Sea, Land and Air

Starting from: $7,995 $7,195

9 Days

Passengers walk across the Arctic tundra
Arctic Express Canada: The Heart of the Northwest Passage

Starting from: $6,995 $6,295

9 Days

Passengers photograph curious walrus
High Arctic Odyssey: Remote Russian Archipelagos

Starting from: $17,495 $13,384

22 Days

A penguin stands in the foreground of passengers
Antarctic Explorer: Discovering the 7th Continent

Starting from: $11,995 $10,795

11 Days

Bear in mind that all new bookings benefit from our enhanced Book with Confidence program that offers risk-free cancelations and flexible rebookings. This really is the best time to finalize that dream polar expedition.

Ecoventura thrilled to welcome guests as Theory returns to the seas

by Micro-Cruising

AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team Delighted to be back doing what they love most, our team welcomed a family aboard Theory

A year ago it would have been unthinkable to imagine how 2020 would unfold, but on a positive note the global pandemic reminded us what is most important in life and taught us that nothing can be taken for granted.With travel at the center of our existence, these months of standstill have not come naturally to the Ecoventura team. So, it was met with unbridled joy when August brought a family down from the United States to spend a week with us aboard our newest Relais & Chateaux yacht, Theory, exploring the enchanted islands.

“The level of care, attention to detail, correspondence and organization was simply extraordinary,” wrote the family as they set off on their trip. ”

The excitement was contagious as the family landed in the Galapagos Islands and we began our week-long expedition charter. Always a bucket-list destination, visiting after long months without tourists with more wildlife around than ever, is truly an experience of a lifetime.

“Thank you to the entire team for a magical, wonderful adventure. We are honored to be some of the first visitors to return to Ecuador and the Galapagos”.  These were the words of our first guests back on board following a pandemic-enforced hiatus of over four months. Whilst positive feedback always leaves us feeling proud of our crews and guides, not to mention thrilled that we’ve been able to share our love and enthusiasm of the Galapagos Islands a little wider, after such a long lull these words do feel a little more special.

With the Galapagos reopened to visitors and Ecoventura taking to the seas once again, it goes without saying, we’re thrilled. Thrilled to be showing this wonderful archipelago off to visitors once again after so long on our own. Thrilled to be sailing through the warm, azure waters of the Galapagos seas after so long at anchor. Thrilled to be admiring the incredible wildlife – above and below the waves – again after so long away from the trails, snorkel spots and beaches.

And, of course, our team couldn’t be happier to take to the seas once again too. After all, with our vessels moored for months on end, our crews and guides have had a far quieter 2020 than they would ever have anticipated.

All the crew were really happy to return because for them this ship is their second home” says Mariuxi Medina, concierge on board and the team member primarily tasked with attending to our guests’ every need. “Working as a team again and receiving passengers was the most exciting thing for everyone because it is something we all love and enjoy to do.” 

Whilst we are delighted to have guests to show off the incredible wildlife and landscapes that the Galapagos have to offer, it’s interesting to hear from our crew as well. After all, many in our team have sailed the islands for years and know the Galapagos better than anyone, and so are well-positioned to offer their own, fascinating insights in to post-lockdown life on the archipelago.

“Something I was very interested in was to see the state of the islands” explains Ivan Lopez, one of our naturalist guides on board for this voyage talking about returning to the field after several months stuck at home. “I thought I was going to witness big changes, but the wildlife and nature has thrived. The animals were probably wondering where all the humans went!”.

Of course, things haven’t returned to what was once considered normal, and we wouldn’t expect it to. We have an enhanced cleanliness and sanitation protocol in place to safeguard the health and safety of all onboard, passengers and crew alike. Our maximum guests per guide ratio has been reduced to 8 and additional bio-safety measures are explained to guests during the welcome briefing.

But whilst we all have a part to play and we have made changes where necessary, our commitment to the Galapagos will remain as strong as ever.

We are proud to play an active role in the conservation of these pristine islands, and we are delighted to announce the Charles Darwin Foundation has awarded us a platinum medal in recognition of our commitment and support to science and conservation efforts in the Galapagos. It is immensely pleasing to see that conservation projects in the islands have continued at strength even through the worst of the pandemic.

With voyages recommencing, we will also be infinitely better placed to continue supporting the local economy through our activities – did you know, for example, the majority of ingredients on our menus are locally grown or caught, thereby providing an income for local Galapagos farmers and fishermen?

And as our guide Ivan remarked, returning to the seas “represents a light of hope to more than a thousand naturalist guides in the Galapagos who were filled with joy to know we have taken a great first step towards a new beginning”. Whilst this first voyage will be only the first small step in moving towards normality, it certainly helps remind us all what a wonderful, inspiring experience travel in the Galapagos can be.

It has been so heart-warming to see such a strong sense of unity among our staff as they have adapted to the new norms on board.

But of course, without guests to visit none of this would have been possible. So it’s only fitting to finish with some final words from this wonderful family who took a week to visit the Galapagos with us: “I trust Ecoventura will be welcoming many guests back in the coming weeks. My sincere gratitude to each of you for all of the time and effort to make this journey a success. Should any future guest need some reassurance that their trip will be equally as successful as ours, I would be happy to share our experience” – Ecoventura guests, August 2020.

Bike & Boat Adventures in Asia

by Micro-Cruising

Thailand Bike, Boat & Beach Bangkok - Kanchanaburi - Koh Yao 7 days / 6 nights from USD 2750.- pp

Cruise the scenic River Kwai and immerse into the history of the infamous Death Railway, built during WWII. Pedal deep into the forests on narrowing paths and dirt roads, always knowing your comfortable river vessel is waiting for you. This tour combines a river cruise and an extension to the island paradise in Southern Thailand, Koh Yao.

India, Bike & Boat the Brahmaputra Jorhat - Guwahati, 8 days / 7 nights from USD 3790.- per person

Welcome to Jorhat, one of two major tea centers in Assam! Embark your ship for the week. Cycle on the world’s largest river island, Majuli and explore rural villages which rarely see foreign visitors. There will be national parks with plenty of wildlife from rhinos to elephants and birds - with a bit of luck there might even be tiger sightings!

Mekong Bike & Boat Adventure Saigon, Vietnam -  Siem Reap, Cambodia 9 days / 8 nights from USD 4990.- pp

This epic journey on the Mekong takes you from colonial Saigon in Vietnam to breathtaking Angkor in Cambodia. Cycle through Vietnam’s scenic and vibrant Mekong Delta before exploring Cambodia’s remote corners and bustling Phnom Penh, with its colonial and Art Deco architecture. The trip culminates with a visit to the world’s largest religious structure, Angkor Wat.

BATU MONCO – BEAUTIFUL ANCHORAGES INDONESIA

by Micro-Cruising

by : 

One of the most important aspects of any journey on a private yacht is finding a beautiful anchorage. On the Samata we cruise the Indonesian Archipelago exclusively and therefore know many quiet and secluded spots. The Komodo National Park is home to some of our favourite anchorages in the country. One such location is the beautiful Batu Monco Bay on the northern end of Komodo Island.

Batu Monco Coral
This well sheltered bay is one of the quieter spots within the park. Although Komodo is home to scuba diving boats, they rarely venture out to the more remote areas and Batu Monco is not often on their itineraries.

BATU MONCO – AN ANCHORAGE WITH EVERYTHING

Deer at Batu MoncoWe love this anchorage because it offers everything that makes Komodo special. The low lying hills are covered in a savanna like grass which hides deer and the occasional dragon. Sharp eyed guests often spot a small group of Timor deerwalking along the beach. The local sea eagles are a constant source of delight as they glide the thermals or plunge to the ocean after a fish. Of course these terrestrial animals are only a portion of the wildlife we see in Batu Monco Bay.

DIVING AND SNORKELING

“Ten Foot Reef” is the name of the shallow patch of reef in the NW section of the bay. We believe this is the most beautiful coral reef in the entire Komodo National Park. Why is it named “10 Foot Reef” you may ask? All of the best attractions on this world class reef are found at 10 feet of depth (3 metres). This means that it’s a perfect site for both scuba diving as well as snorkeling.

The healthy corals are home to hundreds of species of fish that abound in a rainbow of colour. The sheltered waters inside the bay provide the perfect location for new explorers to learn the art of scuba. Our team of dive guides and instructors love this spot as the life is so prolific and the water is always calm. This mean this is the perfect anchorage for families who love to spend time in the water.

With shelter from the south and east, Batu Monco boasts flat water throughout most of the cruising season. This makes for perfect conditions to jump on our paddle boards and kayaks to explore the bay on a more personal level. Never tried paddle boarding before? Not to worry, our crew are experienced instructors and will help you on your way in no time. If you are lucky, you may even run into a giant manta ray feeding on plankton at the surface of the water.

THE BEST SUNSET

Batu Monco SunsetNo day at Batu Monco is complete without experiencing the finest sunset in the world! With open water to the west, the setting sun is not blocked by any major landmasses. If that is not enough, the beautiful twin peaked volcanic island of Sangeang lies a few miles to the west. This active volcano offers up an optical feast that not many other locations can match. With a constant stream of smoke emitting from it’s active peak, the volcanic ash adds incredible colors to the sunset. If you are lucky, it will even produce a small “puff” during sunset which is quite a sight to see. Even more rare is the opportunity to experience the legendary “Green Flash” as the sun sets below the horizon.

KOMODO CRUISES

EagleKomodo is a year round destination. Although many boats only visit during the “high season” from June to September, it offers something special all year long. We love to cruise areas of the park that most yachts never visit. With the ease of reaching Komodo from both Jakarta or Bali, this region is a great destination for a short or long getaway. Our private yacht is the perfect ship for your family or small group to explore this beautiful corner of the world.

A shallow hard coral garden featuring several species of hard coral including finger and plate corals such as Porites sp., and Acropora sp., Komodo National Park, Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, Pacific Ocean.

https://samataliveaboard.com/batu-monco-anchorages-indonesia/?fbclid=IwAR0dbKZujNP-73uV364BILZjLcoaVL2enAJVFGSc88EmCXOUnQCBcSpPBgY

Micro-Moments: Ternate Indonesia

by Micro-Cruising

Our first Fort of call :) was Fort Tolukko built in 1512.  A phallic-shaped fort built by the Portuguese to cement their trade in spice, namely cloves and nutmeg which were status symbols in the West at the time.  Until the 18th century, cloves grew only on a few islands in the Moluccas: Bacan, Makian, Moti, Ternate, and Tidore.  The Portuguese learnt of the Ternate and Tidore twin-island rivalry and used it to their advantage, Tidore was allied with the Spanish.

 

We then went to the Sultans palace where we were asked to cover our legs in respect.  The age of the items on display was mind boggling, helmets and cannons from 1510!

We then went to what is known as Alfred Russell Wallace's house or base from which he explored the region.

 

Tolire Lake was a sight. A fully enclosed volcanic lake with no access and with metres of sheer cliff circumnavigating it.  Nothing holding us back from falling in too! There are said to be crocodiles living in it.

 

Ship Review: Ombak Putih Sea Trek Sailing Adventures

by Micro-Cruising

She harks back to an ancient time in maritime history.  A time that used the vessel type, a Phinisi or Pinisi, as a functional and purposeful vessel and not a pleasure vessel which she is very much is.

Literally, the word pinisi refers to a type of rigging (the configuration of masts, sails and ropes (‘lines’)) of Indonesian sailing vessels. A pinisi carries seven to eight sails on two masts, arranged like a gaff-ketch with what is called 'standing gaffs'  Pinisi-rigged ships were mainly built by the Konjo-speaking people of Ara, a village in the district of Bontobahari, Bulukumba regency, South Sulawesi, and widely used by Buginese and Makassarese seafarers as a cargo vessel.  Today, the word 'pinisi' is, often rather indiscriminately, used to name most types of wooden ships of Indonesia.

Heard of the Boogeyman?  During the 1800s, there existed a group of pirates, known as the Bugis, or Buganese, pirates. These ruthless pirates were known for their dark black sails and cannibalistic hunger. The pirates terrorized sailors from the British East India Company and the Dutch East India Company who were either trading with or colonizing the area. It is believed that these European sailors then returned to their home countries with the fear of the "Bugi Men".

Although her cabins may be small they are perfectly formed and thankfully airconditioned seeing the warm climes she frequents.  Eating under a canopy under the stars almost every evening is a real treat.  One night we had a storm so ate indoors which was perfectly comfortable.

The upper Sun deck is the place to lounge and read with plenty of day beds.

The food onboard is buffet style and Asian in theming.

Evening entertainment is in the form of guest lectures inside with a projector screen.  One can follow the course when not watching a lecture by the navigation system being beamed live.

One can help themselves to drinks as one pleases, an honesty bar for beer and wine is stocked outside of mealtimes.

If you have problems with stairs you might struggle with the steep stair incline from the cabins to the main deck.

 

Micro-Moments: Tidore the start of our Sea Trek

by Micro-Cruising

The Islands of Tidore and Ternate are a great start to our Sea Trek Sailing Adventure. Benteng Tahula and Benteng Tolukko forts were a real highlight.

Another highlight was being invited to an ironworks or was it steelworks? but not in the sense that we know in the west.  This was in a backyard behind a house.  How these men work in the heat, I will never know.

 

Micro-Moments: A steaming beach Taliabu Timur Selatan and Mantarara Village

by Micro-Cruising

I tried to research these fantastically remote islands that I was to sail to prior to boarding with Sea Trek Sailing Adventures however most of the time I came up empty-handed.  This is because very few people have visited these islands in Molucca Sea, Indonesia.  In fact, this particular Island of Taliabu had pale-faced people like myself last visit 2 years ago and that was the first time they had seen westerners.  They were ever so kind giving us almost a celebrity like welcome with a crowd of children curiously following us wherever we walked.

The very hot springs running from the jungle to the sea meant that as soon as I stepped into the water from the Zodiac it was like stepping into a bath, the water was so warm.  Those going closer to the mouth of the spring risked burning their feet in such hot temperatures. Remember that the temperature is pushing 40C and the humidity is very high (over 80% for sure) so to see the steam coming off the beach in these photos is saying something!

 

Ship Review: Pandaw on the Mekong

by Micro-Cruising

Colonial comfort and all that you need in a Mekong river vessel.  She is all about Wood and I'm very much OK with that.  I loved walking along the external promenade stepping outside my cabin.  I could make the cabin as cool as I wanted, a real sanctuary to come home to.  The communal spaces cooled us with overhead fans at the ready.  There is a sun drenched portion of the deck with lounges for those with reptilian tendencies. The dinning was just fabulous, healthy plentiful and always offered with a smile.  For heat respite you can always retreat to the quiet and dark downstairs area with Spa, Gift shop and cinema area.

 

Ship Review: Jayavarman on the Mekong

by Micro-Cruising

Utterly charming and ornate like a carpet ride is how I would describe this river vessel on the Mekong.  I could've spent spend hours watching the world go by on any of the outdoor and undercover areas and I did, mostly next to the bar.  It felt like there was just so much per person space onboard, I hardly saw anyone using the gorgeously cooling lap pool during my time onboard, how wonderful to have it to oneself at a whim.  Having a small balcony with seating provided privacy when floating down the river.  As always, you have to get in early to book in the spa for fear of missing out.

 

Raja Ampat & the Bird's Head Seascape Sea Trek Sailing Adventures

by Micro-Cruising

SHIP'S LOG JULY 2020 with Tour Leader Nita Cesar Sea Trek Sailing Adventures

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Ship Review: Aqua Mekong

by Micro-Cruising

Understated European sophistication is how I would describe this dark and welcoming vessel.  I say dark meaning enveloping and cosy and cooling, very much the sanctuary to return to after a sense intense and heat filled day seeing the Mekong sights.  They've thought of everything, a gym with a view, outdoor lounging space, Fussball, drinks cabinets, his and hers sinks, outside glass shutters, balcony shutters, lounge balconies, Movie room with ottomans for your feet and luxe spa with relaxing lighting.  She has it all.  We were even welcome to see the crew accommodation which is a first for me, it really proved the pride in their staff offering for life on the water.  Their crisp and clean engine was a joy to behold even though I had no idea what I was looking at under the hood.

 

Micro-Moments on small ships - Ox cart on the Mekong

by Micro-Cruising

Kampong Tralach Village Green school

Day two of our Heritage Line Mekong cruise and we stopped for an Ox Cart ride, as one does. These beautiful beasts met us early to take us to the Village Green Schoool to help school kids practise their English and be entertained by their song.  We were so impressed by the youngsters and their confidence in speaking English once you get them going.  To sing a song to them we decided on twinkle twinkle little star which they seemed to enjoy.

 

Micro-Moments on small ships - Kampong Cham

by Micro-Cruising

It was 2018 when I cruised the Mekong and a standout moment was meeting a 60-year-old coconut tree climber, a small man with hands like a bunch of bananas.  He happily without encouragement ascended one of his coconut trees to show off a lifetimes worth of experience. His hands were thick with calluses and seemed bigger than he would've naturally been born with after a career of manual labouring.

There is much to make of the fact that his work may one day be a lost farming community of people working off the land, the majority of youngsters make their way to the cities to make a living but we did meet a lovely young lady who decided to stay put and create great pottery that is traditionally made in the region.  We sat under her stilted house and watched her show us her centuries-old tradition with her mum looking after her baby.

Video: Alaska with Maple Leaf Adventures

by Micro-Cruising

Maple Leaf Adventures 2021 and 2022

by Micro-Cruising

2021 Trip Schedule Now Available!
Now more than ever, an escape deep in nature is a balm for body and soul. Explore our very small expeditions on Canada and Alaska's west coast.
Our 2021 trips run April through October, and range from 4 to 10 nights in duration. We explore the rainforest, fjords and beaches, view wildlife and learn about it from our naturalists. Each yacht has a limited number of guests and plenty of fresh air and deck space.
Destinations include:
  • Desolation Sound (Canada)
  • Gulf Islands (Canada)
  • Great Bear Rainforest (Canada)
  • Haida Gwaii (Canada)
  • Vancouver Island (Canada)
  • Alaska (USA)
2022 Trip Schedule Now Available!
We know a number of people are planning ahead to 2022, so we've created our 2022 departure schedule, and we're delighted to now share it with you!
Includes Preliminary 2022 Fares
To get the schedule to you as quickly as possible, we have used our best estimate on 2022 fares, so that if you are one of the people who'd like to book in 2022, you have a good idea of the fares. We haven't done our final evaluation of the costs to operate our trips in 2022 quite yet, and we plan to confirm 2022 pricing at the end of 2020.
In the meantime, you are able to book with our normal deposit but with no cancellation fee for now. If the price changes at the end of 2020, we can make it up on the final balance, or if you're not comfortable with a change, you can cancel when we give you the final price with no fee.
Select 2021 trips booked before September 30, 2020 have access to special extras including:
  • Free hotel stay in Sitka, Ketchikan or Petersburg on Alaska Adventures and Supervoyages (Jun, Jul, Aug)
  • Free transportation between Vancouver and the trip departure and end points on qualifying British Columbia trips.
Covid-19 Policy
Our top priority is ensuring the safety and health of the Maple Leaf Adventures guests and crew, as well as respecting the coastal communities we operate in.
As a professional ecotourism company that has been operating in our coastal home for over thirty years, we make decisions with long-term thinking. To ensure everyone’s safety throughout the trip, we have adjusted our policies and practices (as well as our tools) for covid-19.
Click "Read On" below, and scroll to the covid-19 section of the web page to review the details.

First Mast Installed on New Sea Cloud Spirit

by Micro-Cruising

The Sea Cloud Spirit is taking shape as a 54-meter (177 feet) high aft mast was installed on the new tall ship in Vigo, Spain.

"With this we have taken an important step towards the completion of the Sea Cloud Spirit,"  said Daniel Schäfer, Managing Director, Sea Cloud Cruises.

The mast was installed by specialists from the Polish shipbuilding company Chorén as the 138-meter-long three-mast full-rigged ship for 136 guests will be put into service this year.

With rigging, work on the Sea Cloud Spirit has entered a decisive phase, according to a statement.

One by one, the three masts, already fully equipped with shrouds and stays, are now being erected, which will later feature the total sail area of almost 4,100 square metres.

Raising the aft mast is an important prerequisite for the completion of the Sea Cloud Spirit.

"As soon as the shrouds and stays are attached and the mast is aligned, we can start testing the engine," explained Schäfer.

 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23311-first-mast-installed-on-new-sea-cloud-spirit.html

Uncruise for 2020

by Micro-Cruising

 

UnCruise Adventures announced that they will be the only small boat setting sail in Southeast Alaska this summer.

The company’s CEO Dan Blanchard will welcome aboard excited guests and ensure safety and experiential travel are in place for the August 1 departure out of Juneau.

The company credits its travel relaunch to pivoting quickly as a small business along with establishing crucial conversations with government officials and leading the Small Boat Operators Coalition, according to a press release.

The groundwork that has been set for months with their dedicated team has stepped-up streamlined safety training and protocols for the Wilderness Adventurer to depart on Saturday with 37 guests and 30 crew aboard.

“Travelers want to have a positive impact upon communities and the environment now more than ever,” states Captain Dan Blanchard, UnCruise Adventures CEO. “We left the term of tourists behind long ago. Tourism isn’t about a one-way channel. A balance is needed and that is what Untourism is. Our guests are adventurers not tourists.” he continues. “Coming up on our 25th year we are mindful of where we go from here, and our roots are in a people-to-nature connection. That is the future of travel.”

Among the new protocols are additional physical distancing, added daily activity rosters, thorough testing, and extensive health and safety protocols.

The Alaskan season has five seven-night Glacier Bay Adventure departures scheduled with a strong occupancy. They are providing an industry-leading self-imposed 66% occupancy cap for the Alaskan itineraries.

 

 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/23317-uncruise-adventures-set-to-restart-cruise-operations.html

Variety Cruises are back

by Micro-Cruising

July 24, 2020 marked a historical date as Variety Cruises was the first cruise company worldwide to restart sailings in the Aegean Sea and the Cyclades, honoring our tradition as the pioneers of the Greek Seas since 1968.  The Galileo opened its sails from Marina Zeas, Athens with 31 passengers as maximum capacity and 18 crew members on board.

“The line has struck a balance between enhanced health protocols and providing the onboard experience cruisers love” writes CruiseCritic.com, hosted on board our Inaugural cruise.

Following a carefully crafted step-by-step safety & comfort protocol, we have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of our guests and crew alike, with our SOLAS Certified boats and highest standards of safety procedures, so that our guests can unplug and relax as they embark on our award winning Jewels of the Cyclades program.

We have announced more Jewels of the Cyclades sailings, with departures offered weekly through November 2020 on the 24-cabin M/S Galileo.

So we welcome back your clients as we strive once again to offer our unparalleled experience of our Family at Sea on board our small boats.

Restarting Together, Responsibly | Sailings as of July 24, 2020 JEWELS OF THE CYCLADES & ANTIQUITY TO BYZANTIUM On the M/S Galileo 24 July - November 6, 2020

2021 SPOTLIGHT
Please find below upcoming seasons' spotlight on three four exciting destinations:
New! TAHITI & ITS ISLANDS ON THE 25-CABIN PANORAMA IIALL YEAR ROUND FRENCH POLYNESIA Dec. 2020-Nov. 2021 7 NIGHTS from Tahiti to Bora Bora,  Moorea, Huahine, Raiatea, and Rangiroa. 10 & 11 NIGHT cruises at the Society & Tuamotu islands.
New! THE BEST OF GREECE ON THE 36-CABIN VARIETY VOYAGER April – October 2021 7 NIGHTS | Round trip from Athens, Greece: 10 islands, including Santorini, Rhodes, Mykonos, Symi, Patmos
New! GREECE & THE ADRIATIC ATHENS TO DUBROVNIK OR REVERSE ON THE 17-CABIN CALLISTOJune-August 2021 7 NIGHTS | From Athens to Dubrovnik or reverse: Gozo Island· Syracuse · Lipari · Panarea · Cruising around Stromboli · Catania · Taormina · Vulcano.
New! ITALY, SICILY & MALTA ON THE 21-CABIN HARMONY GMay - July 2021 7 NIGHTS | Round-trip from Valletta, Malta: Gozo Island· Syracuse · Lipari · Panarea · Cruising around Stromboli · Catania · Taormina · Vulcano.

Variety Cares The Lamin Koto School

by Micro-Cruising

In regards to our Variety Cares, our Foundation aims to contribute to the welfare of all destinations we visit worldwide. Particularly in Gambia, since our first visit in the area back in 2010, we went a step further by truly getting involved with and support the local community.
LAMIN KOTO LOGOWith the support of our local cruise director who became the liaison between the company, its guests, and the local community we built a school from scratch.

The Lamin Koto School in Kuntaur village, Gambia, a charitable project that was funded by donations of past passengers and Variety Cruises. In 2010 our West Africa cruise became a unique opportunity to get involved with local communities when we discovered the need to provide additional education infrastructure to the village of Lamin Koto by the Gambian River.

The school improved the schooling conditions and lives of 100 children from Lamin Koto and four neighboring villages, providing them with a new 4-classroom school building that opened in 2012. We hope to build more classrooms, improve the water supply and, given time, offer free education to all the children in the area.

In 2014 as part of our passion to support the education of The Gambia, Variety Cruises initiated the Kuntaur Film Festival. The Festival was born from a wish to bring the cinema experience to villages in The Gambia with limited or no access to electricity. Focus lies on sharing educational and classical films from all over the globe with local communities, with children at the forefront being the overwhelming majority. An abandoned skill center in Kuntaur with a missing roof provided the ideal first setting for the ultimate outdoors cinema experience. The Festival’s mission as it continues to grow is to connect Global Film Communities within The Gambia, and to provide a platform for emerging talent.

 

https://www.varietycruises.com/variety-stories/lamin-koto-school

Variety cares First project in Gambia

by Micro-Cruising

Born out of a wish to showcase children's classical films to communities without access to electricity.

Deep inside Gambia and 280km from the river's mouth in the Atlantic Ocean, the Kuntaur Film Festival was initiated by Ithaka Films.

KUNTAUR FILM FESTIVAL brings films such as THE LION KING to rural villages starting with KUNTAUR in the riverbank of THE GAMBIA and spreads joy, entertainment, and education to hundreds of children and grownups during each screening. Locals and volunteers gather together and pop popcorn and share sodas as the communities enjoy generator driven cinema under the African sky...

The Festival is an open space where all are welcome.

https://www.varietycruises.com/variety-stories/kuntaur-film-festival

Inside Out Project in Gambia with Variety Cruises

by Micro-Cruising

First project in Gambia
On March 2, 2011, JR won the TED prize at the TED on March 2, 2011
JR won the TED prize at the TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and called for the creation of a global participatory art project with the potential to change the world. This project is called inside OUT.

INSIDE OUT gives everyone the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement for what they stand for. It is a global platform for people to share their untold stories and transform messages of personal identity into works of public art. Each INSIDEOUT group action around the world is documented, archived and exhibited online.

Over 260,000 people have participated in 129 countries. This is the first ever INSIDEOUT project to take place in THE GAMBIA. OUR MISSION is to bring awareness to the remote town of Lamin Koto and to provide an education platform that acts as an education PROTOTYPE bringing

In 2014 as part of our passion to support the education of The Gambia, Variety Cruises initiated the Kuntaur Film Festival. The Festival was born from a wish to bring the cinema experience to villages in The Gambia with limited or no access to electricity. Focus lies on sharing educational and classical films from all over the globe with local communities, with children at the forefront being the overwhelming majority.

An abandoned skill center in Kuntaur with a missing roof provided the ideal first setting for the ultimate outdoors cinema experience. The Festival’s mission as it continues to grow is to connect Global Film Communities within The Gambia, and to provide a platform for emerging talent.

https://www.varietycruises.com/variety-stories/inside-out-project

Variety Cruises excursion in Thailand

by Micro-Cruising

THAILAND ISLAND – HOPPING IN THE ANDAMAN SEA

Hop on a bamboo raft and float along the waters, relax and enjoy the stunningly beautiful rainforest around you as your raft is pulled by a local boatman.

Visit a sea turtle conservation center working to save and increase the number of sea turtles in the region. The Royal Thai Navy plays an active role in turtle conservation and baby turtles are brought to the center, where they are nursed for 6-8 months before being released into the sea.

Finish the tour with a trip to Ton Pling Waterfall, the most popular waterfall in the area. Experience the lovely atmosphere and marvel at the amazing environment surrounding you. Swim in the small ponds at the waterfall and just enjoy the relaxing ambiance, before being dropped off back at your hotel.

Quark Expeditions Releases Sustainability Report

by Micro-Cruising

Quark Expeditions released its first annual Sustainability Report, which provides a detailed analysis of the company’s comprehensive sustainability strategy in the polar regions, highlighting milestones while also outlining concrete, measurable goals to be met by 2025.

http://globalcruise.news/quark-expeditions/quark-expeditions-releases-sustainability-report 

Quark Expeditions’ first annual Sustainability Report, a key deliverable in our Polar Promise strategy, reflects our ongoing commitment to responsible travel in the polar regions,” says Lyndsey Lewis, Operations and Sustainability Manager for Quark Expeditions. “This comprehensive report establishes a baseline—and culture —of accountability in the Arctic and Antarctic. Last April, we unveiled our sustainability strategy under the title ‘Polar Promise,’ which is the most comprehensive and holistic strategy of its kind in the polar expedition industry. As part of this effort, we shared specific, concrete goals which we intend to meet by 2025. This report, in full transparency to our passengers and partners, marks how we’ve been tracking with respect to those goals and clearly outlines our commitment moving forward.”

Quark Expeditions, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has been on the forefront of sustainability and environmental protection in the polar regions since its inaugural North Pole expedition in 1991. “Sustainability has always part of our DNA,” says Lewis. “We were one of the founding members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO), and we’ve been active in the environmental conservation efforts of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) since 2007. This first annual Sustainability Report cements our ongoing role in safeguarding the pristine polar regions for generations to come.”

Quark Expeditions’ sustainability achievements include:

As a long-time supporter of polar research and conservation, including the efforts of organizations such as Polar Bears International, Quark Expeditions enables scientists to access remote locations in both the Arctic and Antarctic and donates the proceeds from our onboard auctions to science and conservation organizations. Quark Expeditions’ onboard charity auctions have raised $686,729 for the citizen science group Penguin Watch since 2012. Since 2014, Quark Expeditions’ onboard auctions have raised $169,924  for the South Georgia Heritage Trust and Friends of South Georgia to support the Habitat Restoration project, whose goal was to restore the sub-Antarctic island to its original status as one of the world’s most important seabird sites. Funds were used for baiting during the eradication phase and to support rodent-detecting dogs for the current monitoring and maintenance phase. In 2017, Quark Expeditions eliminated single use plastics. In 2019, the Quark Expeditions team eliminated 14,000 Individual yogurt containers and 320,000 single use plastic bottles. In 2018-19, Quark Expeditions diverted 103.11 cubic meters of glass, 60.11 cubic meters of plastic and 106.82 cubic meters of cardboard. Historical analysis confirms that Quark Expeditions’ has decreased emissions from its fleet by 28% since 2010. Quark Expeditions’ Polar Promise is based on four main pillars which have been implemented across all sectors of the company:

Planet: Quark Expeditions plans to reduce its footprint and build resilience through best practices and advanced sustainability technologies. Partnerships: To lead change through community engagement, Quark Expeditions will continue supporting scientific conservation and sustainable development in polar communities. Principles: The company will implement sustainable practices throughout the business—in the polar wilderness and in their offices. Positive Impact: Quark Expeditions will continue to demonstrate that the positive benefits of polar exploration will increase awareness of these integral areas and have a positive impact for future generations. “These pillars define our measurable goals,” says Lewis. “For instance, given these robust plans, Quark Expeditions will reduce carbon emissions by roughly 10% per passenger by 2025, by which time we also plan to work exclusively with suppliers, vendors and external partners who share our commitment to sustainability in the polar regions, while continuing to lead change through community engagement, and supporting scientific conservation and sustainable development in polar communities.”

Quark Expeditions will also continue to grow its recently-launched Polar Ambassador Program, which involves the education of polar visitors who, upon returning home, apply their commitment to sustainability and stewardship of the planet wherever they live in the world.

Quark Expeditions’ commitment to sustainability was the driving force in the design and conception of the company’s new ship, the technologically-advanced Ultramarine, which will be launching in 2021. Ultramarine’s advanced sustainability features include: the Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), which converts waste into energy; four diesel engines to meet fluctuating power needs; a heat recovery system; eco-friendly lighting; and a re-imagined hull and propeller design that ensures the lowest possible resistance (which translates into energy savings).

Leading Ecuador Tour Operator Invests in Sustainability for Galapagos

by Micro-Cruising

BY THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE 03-04-2020 03:33:42

 
Latin Trails, an Ecuador and Peru luxury tours specialist, has announced that a number of new investments have been put in place to make their small boat Galapagos cruises more sustainable than ever before. The organization, which offers Galapagos Islands tours aboard its two 16-person vessels, is committed to finding new ways to share the unique beauty and biodiversity of the islands while minimizing the potentially threatening impact of tourism.

One of the biggest investments to have been made by the tour operator is strategic upgrades to its vessels — Sea Star Journey and Seaman Journey — to boost onboard recycling, optimize use of fuel, and completely eradicate the use of plastic on all its Galapagos vacations. With new water processing and purification plants, more than 3,000 single use plastic bottles have been eliminated from the vessels and replaced with reusable aluminium bottles.

Sea Star Journey, which features a 100 percent recyclable iron keel, remains one of the only luxury boats operational with the Galapagos which has been completely made by hand, and which supports local artisans in Ecuador not only at the initial build, but also at every two-year maintenance. Onboard, guests will find a series of watercolor paintings and wood carvings by skilled Ecuadorian artists, each representing the local flora and fauna of the reserve.

Marcel Perkins, Managing Director of Latin Trails said, “The Galapagos is fragile, but sustainable boat operations can help to preserve the islands. For the continuation of the incredible biodiversity across the entire National Park, it is vital that we educate and share, but with the impact of traditional tourism becoming increasingly apparent, it’s time that more cruise providers and tour leaders were investing in a sustainable future for the islands, and this is something that will remain our top priority as we promote the Galapagos.”

In addition to vessel upgrades, Latin Trails has also presented a new ebook for potential travelers, highlighting the rules of the Galapagos National Park to ensure that all visitors take the appropriate measures to protect the unique environment. The Galapagos Conservancy sets out rules and regulations for all visitors, which include remaining on marked trails and respecting signage, maintaining a distance of six feet from wildlife, and refusing the offer of souvenirs or trinkets made from materials such as black coral, animal, native wood, lava rock, shells, and vegetation, the removal of which is illegal.

The Ecuador luxury tours operator is also proud to support a number of conservation projects in the National Park and Marine Reserve. As part of the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association, Latin Trails donates to the Galapagos Conservation Trust, and also supports the trust through the Tourism Partners scheme, creating sustainable, responsible partnerships.

The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.

30% off AUG Greenland and Spitsbergen expedition cruise

by Micro-Cruising

EXPLORE GREENLAND AND SPITSBERGEN: FJORDS AND GLACIERS

13 days, Longyearbyen to Longyearbyen

 

Our recently launched Greenland expedition departing August 19, 2020 is now available for with a 30% discount

 

Promo Code: G20EPP 030EXP01

 

Trip: GPXXVGLNX200819 - Explore Greenland Fjords and Glaciers

Book: March 12 - April 11, 2020

Travel: August 19, 2020

 

Sail into a part of the world few ever venture, as the nimble G Expedition gives you a glimpse into the unspoiled wilderness of Greenland and Spitsbergen. Your adventure goes beyond the deck of the ship, with zodiacs and your own two feet taking you deeper into this glacial paradise. From exploring Northeast Greenland National Park to taking in frigid ocean horizons to a stop at the community of Ittoqqortoormiit, this journey shows you how those — whether person or polar bear — make the Arctic their home.

 

What's Included

  • 12 nts aboard the G Expedition
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Transfer from meeting point to ship (Longyearbyen)
  • Zodiac excursions with our expert expedition team
  • Lectures and educational programs
  • Visit to a local community (Greenland)
  • Waterproof boots supplied for USA sizes 4 - 16
  • Expedition parka

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: Marine

Small-ship adventures on the world’s great seas, rivers, and other places only accessible by boat.

Physical Rating: 2 - Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Terms and conditions apply

Do you want to learn a little bit about beaches in Croatia?

by Micro-Cruising

 

On a Croatia cruise, paradise beaches await in any direction you go.

Croatia is a country full of enchanting beaches, and it is difficult to single out the most beautiful ones. However, some beaches in Croatia with their engrossing turquoise colours are a true masterpiece of Mother Nature.

In this blog, we’ll give you some useful tips, in case you want to visit just the most spectacular beaches in Croatia. So, let’s start with your virtual Croatia cruise of the Adriatic!

 

North Adriatic – start the unforgettable Croatia cruise at some of the best beaches in Croatia
Sveti Ivan Beach on the island of Cres is the most beautiful in the whole Cres-Lošinj archipelago. It has a perfectly sculpted beach, native pine trees and emerald green sea.

The beach, nestle at the foot of cliffs and the fairytale Lubenice, is quite a sight. Lubenice is a medieval fortified town just above the beach, with a steep path leading towards it. Since such a climb takes about 1:30 minutes of hiking, the beach is almost exclusively visited by boaters, adding to the points for one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia.

However, when the west winds start to blow, it is wise to leave it as soon as possible.

Right next to it lies Žanje Bay and the Blue Cave (Plava Špilja), a sea cave sparkling with all shades of blue giving a magical experience to all explorers.

Image result for Sveti Ivan Beach cres

 

Sakarun Beach (island of Dugi otok), is one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia. For many, such a sea landscape symbolizes a perfect sailing vacation. Specifically, this sandy beach of turquoise shades is irresistibly similar to Caribbean bays. It is simply postcard perfect.

The specific features of the bay are the numerous underwater cold springs which make it refreshing even in the highest heat. There is no shelter from the southern winds, but those blow only occasionally in the Adriatic. During the day many boats visit it, as well as island tourists.

Our recommendation is to experience Sakarun under the stars! You can tie the boat to one of the 20 available floats and enjoy a romantic evening on your boat or chill at the beach bar with a glass of your favourite drink.

Image result for Sakarun Beach island of Dugi otok

 

Middle Adriatic – visit the most popular beaches in Croatia
Zlatni rat beach on the island of Brac proudly bears it’s ‘golden’ (i.e. zlatni) name. Namely, it is the most spectacular beach on the Adriatic. It is a cape several hundred meters long, and it changes its shape every day under the influence of wind and waves. At first glance, it may appear sandy, but actually, those are tiny white pebbles. Among them is a special type of seashell similar to the sea snail. Locals call it ‘the stone of happiness’. Legend has it that whoever finds this unique shell will be happy throughout their life!

Buoys are erected on the east side of the beach, while on its western side you should anchor. It is most convenient to visit it in the early morning when the sea is mostly calm, and the beach is not ‘occupied’ by many other visitors.

If you get annoyed by the surrounding murmur, sail to the calm atmosphere of nearby Blace Bay. Take a walk through the pine trees to a unique monastery erected on a cliff. A visit to this unique architectural monument of the island of Brac will surely remain in your fondest memories.

Image result for zlatni rat

 

Stiniva Beach (island of Vis) was declared the most beautiful beach in Europe for 2016 (source: European destinations). It used to be a cave, and nowadays bay was created by the collapse of the vault of that caveSubsequently, the waves carried by the south winds transformed this ‘pile of stones’ into a beautiful bay. Unfortunately, glory has taken its toll, and Stiniva is visited at the heart of the season by numerous inflatables and various other vessels. The coy beauty of this masterpiece of nature is hard to feel at the time. It’s worth a visit in the early morning or late afternoon, though.

In case you cannot reach it due to too many other boats, sail to the western shores of the nearby island of Bisevo. There you’ll find the Porat Beach, listed by The Irish Times among the seven most beautiful beaches in the world.

It is certainly one of the best beaches in Croatia. It has turquoise sea colours, a rocky shoreline, a sandy beach covered with pine trees, and a small ‘love’ cave – perhaps the reason many associate the bay of Porat with the fondest memories of their Croatia cruise.

Image result for stiniva beach

 

South Adriatic – discover the most beautiful hidden beaches in Croatia
Divna Beach (Peljesac Peninsula) best describes its name – meaning wonderful. A long beach made of white pebbles nests at the foot of the green slopes of the Peljesac peninsula. The turquoise colours of the sea and the islet that is easy to swim to give to its seduction.

Not in the usual fairway, this hidden beach is a vision of the perfect Croatia cruise for many romantic souls. Due to the nearby campsite, you’ll find many people swimming there, but only a few boats anchor in the bay.

Image result for divna beach

 

Saplunara Beach (island of Mljet) will at first glance captivate you with its beauty, whether you are watching it from the air or approaching it from the sea. According to many, it is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Croatia. It’s a long beach with several restaurants that provide mooring for the boaters. In its eastern part, there is a beach bar from which a promenade leads to another sandy pearl of the island of Mljet, Limuni Beach. Although boaters love to visit Saplunara, in this spacious bay almost every seafarer can find a quiet corner for themselves.

Image result for saplunara beach

 

After you decide to rent a boat in Croatia, your long-awaited Croatia cruise can begin. It doesn’t matter if you prefer sandy, pebbly or rocky beaches. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to visit the best beaches in Croatia, or if you find them more attractive, those are hidden. During your Croatia cruise, you will surely find – the beach of your dreams!

 

After you decide to rent a boat in Croatia, your long-awaited Croatia cruise can begin. It doesn’t matter if you prefer sandy, pebbly or rocky beaches. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to visit the best beaches in Croatia, or if you find them more attractive, those are hidden. During your Croatia cruise, you will surely find – the beach of your dreams!

 

Ema Škabar Commercial Director

Orvas d.o.o., Uvala Baluni 9, 21 000 Split, Croatia

2020 Adventures & Updates from BC & Alaska

by Micro-Cruising

These epic summer trips offer fresh adventures every day, warm hospitality, and none of the hassles of so many other kinds of travel. Let us sweep you away, take care of you and put you in touch with the wonder of the coast.
Summer Trip Snapshots
Alaska Adventures - An odyssey by the tugboat Swell throughout southeast Alaska that covers it all: calving glaciers, fishing bears, grand rainforest, remote hot springs, historic towns, epic whales and more.
  • 10 or 11 days,
  • June 23-July 2, July 1-10, July 11-20, July 22-Aug 1, Aug 2-12, Aug 13-23, Aug 23-Sep 2.
  • From approx USD $7520 (Swell)
Whales & Wild Isles / Great Bear Rainforest Summer - A supervoyage along the Great Bear Rainforest in high summer lets us access remote islands, epic whale behaviour, cetacean researchers, and yhe rest of the rainforest, too.
  • 8 or 9 days,
  • July 20-28, July 24-Aug 1, Aug 2-9, Aug 10-17, Aug 19-27.
  • From CAD $5995 (Maple Leaf) or $7292 (Cascadia)
Vancouver Island's Wild Side - Come explore the last remote coastline on Vancouver Island: Brooks Peninsula & the north coast. There are no roads here. But there are whales, puffins, otters, a glacial refugium, and a beautiful visit with the welcoming people of Kyuquot. One of CEO Kevin's favourite places.
  • 7 days,
  • July 9-15, July 16-22.
  • From CAD $6173 (Cascadia)
Whales & Totems - Sail the 200 islands against the southern Great Bear Rainforest's fjords. In summer, northern resident orca clans reunify, socialize and feast here. We'll explore cetaceans and other wildlife, as well as the culture of the Kwakwaka'wakw people.
  • 6 days,
  • Aug 2-7, Aug 8-13, Aug 14-19.
  • From CAD $3710 (Maple Leaf)
________________________________________________________
The Unwritten Routes: One of the joys of spring is freedom -- longer days for staying outside, warmer weather with flowers bursting forth, and the ability to start exploring again. Join us along these hidden routes and un-visited islands to throw off winter and share the joy of spring in full flush.
Spring Trip Snapshots
Salish Sea and Hidden Gulf Islands - Off the beaten track islets, marine mammals, walks to sweeping vistas, congrations of seabirds, beautiful forests -- this is the Salish Sea in spring. We also cover cultural history, frequently with an indigenous elder as our guide to some special sites and history here.
  • 5 days,
  • Apr 16-20, Apr 21-26.
  • From CAD $2095 (Maple Leaf) and $3013 (Swell)
Desolation Sound - Towering mountain peaks, from the adjacent mainland coastal range, plunge into deep water fjords, with islands close at their mouths. This creates one of the world's best small boat havens, and with the emergence of wildlife in spring (and no summer boaters), Desolation Sound is becoming one of the best spring destinations on the coast.
  • 5 days,
  • Apr 24-29, May 5-9, May 10-14.
  • From CAD $2095 (Maple Leaf), $3013 (Swell), $4082 (Cascadia)
  • plus an 8-day supervoyage Apr 27-May 4, from $3948 (Swell)
Note: These trips qualify for the spring special offer, below.
_____________________________
These special offers, expiring Feb 29, help you experience the spectacular resurgence of life on the coast:
  • Free flight on spring getaways listed at the link below. (Can swap it for a bus ticket if you like.)
  • Free hotel night in Alaska before or after your trip.
  • Free flight on Cascadia's summer getaways, listed at the link below.
Find the full list of special offers here

Fiji cruise for Cruise for longer sale extended

by Micro-Cruising

This great holiday deal has been extended for one more month! For sales until the 31st of March only, your customers pay for the 4 night Wanderer Cruise and get a free upgrade to the 7 night  'Escape to Paradise' cruise! 
  • Valid for sales: 24 Feb - 31 Mar 2020
  • Valid for the following 7 night cruise departures only (please note new dates - some new sailings have been added and some removed due to availability): 13 Mar - 17 Apr, 01 - 29 May, 5, 12 & 29 Jun, 03 - 31 Jul, 14 & 28 Aug, 04, 18 & 25 Sept, 9 Oct, 20 & 27 Nov, 11, 18 & 25 Dec 2020, 01 Jan - 26 Mar 2021
  • Valid for both cabin grades (Orchid & Hibiscus)
  • Bookings are subject to availability until you receive a booking confirmation
  • Valid twin/double only. Single Cabins can be booked at 2x the per person twin share price (no further discount applies to the normal single/child fares)
  • The offer is not able to be combined with any other offer in market 
  • Valid for new bookings only

No single supplement special offer

by Micro-Cruising

We currently have a no single supplement offer (as a reminder usually there is usually a 50% supp to have guaranteed solo occupancy of your cabin). The no single supplement offer isn’t combinable with any offer we have on the same voyage but for someone wanting their own cabin this offer is better!) on select voyages between May and September 2020

Travelling solo is a fantastic way to tick things off your bucket list, connect with mesmerising destinations and enjoy exciting experiences how you want to – without distractions and compromises. And who knows, you might even make some lifelong friends along the way! At the moment we are offering solo customers a special no single supplement* offer on the itineraries showcased below.

Here at Aurora Expeditions, not only do we have exciting experiences we’ve also put great measures in place to ensure our solo travellers are welcomed and well looked after. Thanks to our small group ethos, getting to know your fellow passengers is a total breeze. And the best part? Due to our focus on adventure, wildlife, and visiting remote destinations, you can rest easy knowing that everyone else is in the same boat where passions and interests are concerned – quite literally!

If you’re ready to explore some of the world’s greatest wildernesses, come and join us on the adventure of a lifetime!

Offer ends 31 March 2020.

House in West Greenland

West Greenland Explorer

11 Days from AU$9,700 per person Known as the ‘birthplace of icebergs’, West Greenland boasts some of the most spectacular, awe-inspiring ice on Earth. Experience nearly 24 hours of daylight above the Arctic Circle.

Northern lights in Greenland

Iceland, Greenland & East Canada

21 Days from AU$14,900 per person From the world’s youngest volcano to some of the oldest rocks found anywhere on Earth, you’ll encounter traditional Inuit communities unchanged for tens of thousands of years.

Iceland Circumnavigation

11 Days from AU$9,700 per person Explore the ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ where snow-capped peaks rise above glaciers and active volcanoes rumble in one of the most geologically active places on earth.

*Terms & Conditions apply. Valid on select ship voyages only and select cabin categories only – Aurora Stateroom Twin and Balcony Staterooms. Offer is valid on new bookings only aboard the Greg Mortimer which must be booked and deposited by March 31st 2020, or until sold out, whichever comes first. Promotion is subject to availability at the time of booking and capacity controlled. The promotion is not available in conjunction with any other offer, can be withdrawn at any time and is not redeemable for cash. For solo or triple share pricing please contact us. Normal booking terms and conditions apply. To confirm your booking, a completed booking form and non-refundable deposit of $2,500 pp in the booking currency is required within 7 days of reserved berth/s. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Please visit auroraexpeditions.com.au/terms-and-conditions for full terms and conditions.

3 nights free - Sale extended to 31 March 2020

by Micro-Cruising

We have extended our great Annual Sale to the end of March 2020 for sale and travel to the end of March 2021.  We wont be notifying the retail network for another week to give you the opportunity to extend in your system.

 

Book Reef Endeavour 7 & 11 night cruises and 3 nights are FREE!!

The Deal:  Cruise 7 or 11 nights and 3 are free
Dates for Sale: To 31 March 2020
Dates for Travel: Now to 31 March 2021
The Code to note: AS343
Accommodation types:  Porthole Cabins, B & C Ocean Staterooms and 2 Tabua Suites per departure
Conditions:  Rates are based on our regular 4 night brochure fares. (Pay 4 nights - cruise 7 nights) Not valid with EBS fares or any other special offer. Available on new bookings only. Valid for FITs and group bookings up to 20 passengers. Valid on Mamanuca & Yasawa itineraries, Remote North itineraries (4 Cultures and Colonial) and Lau & Kadavu cruises (Cruise 11 pay 8 - 2 x 4 night price).

Quasar Expeditions Official 2021 Rates, Updates and Exciting News

by Micro-Cruising

We would like to announce the official release of our 2021 Galapagos Islands Cruise rates for the M/V Evolution and the M/Y Grace. Please click on each of the yacht names to enjoy a video of the yacht.

For the 2021 Galapagos rates, flight rates, & booking terms please click here: Quasar Expeditions Galapagos 2021 Rates

Additional Exciting News and Useful Information:

• It’s official! The M/Y Grace’s new 7-night itineraries will now run from Tuesday – Tuesday, and are packed full of exciting activities and unique wildlife as only Quasar Expeditions and the Galapagos Islands can offer. The itineraries will start in May 26, 2020, and here they are: New M/Y Grace Tuesday - Tuesday Itineraries

• Speaking of great itineraries, we also have a new visitor site for our M/V Evolution, San Cristobal “Beyond Darwin’s Footsteps”. We now visit “Cerro Brujo” on Day one of the itinerary instead of Isla Lobos. This inviting powdery beach beside a turquoise waters is a great introduction to the islands offering your first opportunity to go snorkeling with sea turtles, rays and the archipelago’s playful ‘wolves of the sea’ i.e. sea lions. Download our Detailed M/V Evolution San Cristobal Itinerary for more details.

• Join award-winning photographers in Galapagos for the photo-safari of a lifetime Quasar Expeditions has partnered with award-winning photographers to lead specialty photography cruises in 2019, 2020 and 2021 aboard its iconic yacht, the M/V Evolution. Whether you are an amateur or a professional photographer, if you have a passion for photography, then these adventures are for you. Click here to learn more Quasar Expeditions Photo Safaris

 

Take Advantage of Our Complimentary Flight Extensions to Siem Reap

by Micro-Cruising

We are happy to announce a luxurious upgrade to our Aqua Mekong itineraries in order to further distinguish our services to our guests.  Aqua Expeditions will now be offering flight extensions to the city of Siem Reap for the following Aqua Mekong itineraries ending in Phnom Penh:
  • 4-night Phnom Penh to Phnom Penh, now known as 4-night Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (extension)
  • 4-night Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh, now known as 4-night Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap (extension)
  • 3-night Phnom Penh to Phnom Penh, now known as 3-night Phnom Penh to Siem Reap (extension)
  • 7-night Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh, now known as 7-night Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap (extension)
In providing this service, your valuable guests will have the chance to visit the recognized UNESCO World heritage site of Angkor Wat.
Previously these itineraries did not offer a transfer to Siem Reap and ended in Phnom Penh. However, as cruise vessels are seasonally unable to travel up the Tonle Sap Lake due to low water levels, Aqua Expeditions has decided to expand options to guests who would like to continue their journey onwards to Siem Reap. We are proud to be the only Mekong cruise line that will be offering complimentary flight extensions.
The flight extensions will take effect as of 27th March 2020 and will include a fully escorted private luxury car transfer to Phnom Penh airport upon disembarkation. Flights will be booked on Cambodia Airways or Cambodia Angkor Air so guests may carry on their Mekong discovery to Siem Reap and its ancient lost city of Angkor Wat in comfort and style.
Requests for flight changes and/or upgrades will not be available. Please kindly inform our Reservations team should the guest choose to remain in Phnom Penh after disembarkation.

Captain Cook Cuises Book 7 nights and pay 4 Fiji Cruise deals

by Micro-Cruising

Our fantastic Annual Sail will be finishing in 2 weeks. Book a 7 or 11 night cruise today and don't pay anything for 3 nights. Our small ship cruises, with only 130 passengers aboard, provide an incredible, personal experience.

Fiji is a great place to visit and so pristine, this is the time to book your holiday to the place where happiness finds you.

Great for couples, solo travelers or family travel (no children under 5yrs).

Amos, our marine biologist, has been appointed the first Bulanaire or happiness ambassador of the year by Tourism Fiji. Congratulations Amos!

7 Night - Cruise and 3 nights are free
We have released our schedule for 2020-21 and you can cruise in paradise in the Fiji Islands, and 3 nights are free for cruises to 31 March 2021. All your meals, transfers after the cruise, and most activities are covered.

A great experience for anyone who enjoys a cultural and marine immersion with all the comforts of a resort.

From AU$2145 pp

 

Bula Ball
Amos, Tourism Fiji's newest Bulanaire
Amos Daniel will be known to many of you as the enthusiastic, passionate Marine Biologist educating our passengers on Reef Endeavour and at Tivua Island. His shark talks are notorious and he performs as a really mean Fijian Warrior.

 

Daniel was appointed as Tourism Fiji's newest Bulanaire or happiness ambassador. As next month is happiness month, Amos will be very busy indeed!

Photo courtesy of Tourism Fiji

Press release
are freeVanuabalavu, Bay of Islands, Lau Islands
Mamanuca Magic Package
We have put togther this amazing package combining the best of Fiji!

 

The Mamanuca Magic Island & Cruise package offers a stay on Castaway Island with a great Reef Endeavour Cruise.

 

Book now and  you receive a free Helicopter transfer with a minimum of 7 nights booked.  From A$2875 - save over A$500 per person! Click here for more details.

 

 

Email Enquiry
 
 

ANNOUNCING OUR BRAND NEW DESTINATION: FRENCH POLYNESIA WITH VARIETY CRUISES

by Micro-Cruising

Unraveling The Wonders of Tahiti and French Polynesia 2020-2021 Aboard the 25-cabin Motor Sailer Panorama II
We are delighted to announce our French Polynesia cruises for 2020/2021, with two island-hopping itineraries in the Society and Tuamotu Islands.

Sailing round-trip from Papeete port, Tahiti, the 25-cabin/49-guest sail cruiser Panorama II will sail into spectacular islands and atolls and discover sacred maraes (temples), pristine beaches and lagoons, magnificent mountain peaks, and uncover French Polynesia's welcoming culture.

TAHITI ·  BORA BORA · MOOREA · HUAHINE · TAHA'A · RAIATEA · RANGIROA · TIKEHAU · AHE · TETIAROA 

AT A GLANCE:
  1. Tahiti and the Pearls of French Polynesia: a 7 night / 8 day Tahiti – Tahiti visiting all but one Society Islands including Bora Bora, Huahine and Moorea to name a few.
  1. Tahiti, the Society and Tuamotu Islands: an 11 night / 12 day Tahiti – Tahiti cruise. This program explores the islands included in the 7 night program before crossing over to the lesser known but even more exotic and magnificent Tuamotu Archipelago islands including Tikehau, Ahe, Tetiaroa and the world-famous Rangiroa.
Dates: December 2020 - March 2021 Embarkation: From/to Papeete port, Tahiti The Ship: M/S PANORAMA II Accommodating: 49 guests in 25 ocean view cabins Meals: Full board
TAHITI - FRENCH POLYNESIA: DOWNLOAD DATES & RATES >
 
THE SHIP 
The 25-cabin/49-guest sail cruiser PANORAMA II will sail this new program in Tahiti. The 50-meter/164-ft M/S Panorama II was launched in 2004 and was renovated in 2015. Her 25 cabins are located on Upper Deck (1 cabin), on Main Deck (12 cabins) and on Lower Deck (12 cabins). They are upscale and intimate, decorated with lustrous wood trims and warm fabrics. All of the cabins have marble-appointed en suite bathrooms with showers and are equipped with windows (Upper and Main deck cabins) and portholes (Lower deck cabins). All cabins offer individually controlled A/C, are fitted with Flat screen TV, telephone (for internal use), hairdryers, mini-fridge, central music, public address system and safe deposit boxes. 4 Main Deck cabins are convertible into 2  suites. 4 Lower Deck cabins can be offered as Triple cabins. Last but not least, as you may already know, we have successfully completed a no-single-use plastic program on board the Panorama II.
VIEW SHIP PHOTOS >
SMALL IS BETTER | YACHTING IN FRENCH POLYNESIA 
  1. NO ONE GETS YOU CLOSER : Our 50-meter/164-ft sail cruiser Panorama II will sail into lagoons and drop anchor
  1. COMFORT & INTIMATE YACHT AMBIANCE: 30-49 passengers maximum mean your clients will enjoy intimate atmosphere & personalized service on board and on shore. With ocean-view cabins and indoor/outdoor spacious public areas, the destination discovery begins on board.
3. A VARIETY OF SHORE EXCURSIONS: Authentic experiences on shore will be offered on almost all islands including historical, cultural, 4WD, boating and underwater activities.

4. KAYAK, SNORKEL & SWIM OFF THE YACHT: Take out the kayaks and paddle boards, snorkel or swim from the yacht's swimming platform.

5. ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE SHIP: Our small ships run on clean fuel, Marine Diesel Oil and do not use non-refined Heavy Fuel Oil. Plus, we have successfully completed a single-use plastic elimination program since January 2019, eliminating single-use plastic items such as stirrers, lids, cups, straws and all items wrapped in plastic.

DESTINATION PHOTOS & CRUISE MAPS >

Can’t decide between itinerary A or B? We speak to a guest who did both back to back with Ecoventura

by Micro-Cruising

AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team

Cristina Anderson’s two week trip included both itineraries back to back. Here she talks about her amazing experience and shares her thoughts on what each itinerary has to offer

In 2012, the Galapagos National Park imposed new rules on the Galapagos islands to help protect their wildlife and unique ecosystem. These regulations declared that no vessel was permitted to visit the same National Park landing site within a 15 day period, in order to give the islands and their inhabitants a small “breather” from visitors. As a result, all of the yacht operators had to revise their itineraries.

Ecoventura opted to split the 15 days into two 7 night itineraries: Itinerary A: Southern & Central Route and Itinerary B: Northern & Western Route. Given that many travellers have a limited number of days to travel every year, and the fact that their bucket lists are so long, the majority of our passengers tend to opt for either A or B. However, lately a select number of our passengers have decided to combine both itineraries together resulting in a wonderfully all-encompassing fortnight.

Cristina Anderson recently travelled with her family and did just this. In our latest blog, she shares a little bit about her experience of doing two of our itineraries back to back, and her thoughts on what each itinerary has to offer.

 

How did you learn that there were two available itineraries? Given that many guests opt for one, what made you take the plunge and choose to do both?! 

I did not know that there were two itineraries until I consulted the Ecoventura website. I discovered Ecoventura somewhat accidentally; having decided to travel to the Galapagos Islands, I surfed the internet a great deal looking for information. Almost every question I asked online was answered by someone who had been on an Ecoventura cruise.

Because the Galapagos were a bucket destination for me, I decided to see as much as possible because I thought I would never return (but now that I’ve been and fallen in love with the area, who knows…?). I really wanted to feel that I had experienced the islands rather than simply have a taste of them.

If you had only had time for one week, which itinerary would you have gone for?

Both itineraries are set by the National Park, not Ecoventura, and both are worthwhile. That said, if I had to choose only one I would say that I prefer itinerary B. I think it has slightly more variety in terms of activity and sites visited. Itinerary A was great if you are really into beaches because you visit many of these during that week. However, you stay close to the inhabited islands whereas itinerary B strikes further afield, which makes you feel that you are seeing something even more special.

What were your highlights/favourite parts of each itinerary, and of your trip as a whole?

Everything was absolutely wonderful so it is difficult to highlight particular aspects of the cruise as being my favourites. First, the people stand out. The entire crew was wonderful – they made us feel incredibly welcome and nothing seemed to be too much trouble for them. They always anticipated our needs/desires. The guides were also of an incredibly high standard. The ship offered superior comfort with just the right amount of space allocated to everything (rooms, lounge, sun deck, etc).

It was great that there were specific family departures and that the number of guests was limited to twenty. Of the sites/activities, some of my absolute favourites were the panga ride on the north side of Santa Cruz island, snorkelling at Fernandina and Tagus Cove, the red beach of Rabida, the albatrosses on Espanola, the striking landscape of South Plaza and the frigate birds of North Seymour island.

How did the itineraries differ – what stood out between the two? 

I liked the feeling of having to journey relatively far on itinerary B to our destinations. This also meant more movement on the ship. Itinerary A felt less adventurous in this respect and felt like it had a slightly slower start. I already mentioned the larger number of beaches visited on itinerary A. Itinerary B visited the younger islands, so their volcanic nature was more evident. The wildlife was interesting on both trips and while there was some overlap, there were also some animals (such as the albatrosses on itinerary A) that you only see on one itinerary. Although not the most active of excursions, the panga rides did allow us to see a large number of sea animals, and these happened mostly on itinerary B.

Did doing the two itineraries back to back feel more like two separate trips, or one extended voyage?

Both – the other passengers were different on the second week, so that made it very different, while at the same time we were already familiar with the ship routines so that the second week seemed to pass slightly quicker than the first. Knowing the crew already made the second week especially nice.

What would you suggest to fellow travellers – A followed by B, or vice versa?

This depends on what you are looking for in your holiday. If you are looking for the most active excursions, you may wish to do itinerary A first and then B. If you want to feel like you are really far from home and having a special experience, you may wish to do itinerary B first. Personally, I am very happy that we did B first followed by A.

 

https://www.ecoventura.com/cant-decide-between-itinerary-a-or-b-we-speak-to-a-guest-who-did-both-back-to-back/

HOW CAN I PACK SUSTAINABLY? Ecoventura gives us the low down

by Micro-Cruising

Travelers and holidaymakers are increasingly conscious of the impact their travel has on the environment - follow our guide to help do your part.

Reuse gear from previous trips, travel light, focus on sustainably and ethically produced clothing, use reef-friendly and natural toiletries and sunscreens and make the most of the amenties on board - the planet will thank you for it!

Packing for any holiday can seem a little overwhelming, but packing for an expedition cruise to the Galapagos Islands even more so; there is little opportunity for a last-minute dash to the shops once onboard, and arriving unprepared could mean pulling on a damp swimsuit for the next snorkeling trip! To help our passengers, we feature a comprehensive packing list on our website, and see our What to pack blog for more tips.

Travelers and holidaymakers are increasingly conscious of the impact their travel has on the environment. We believe that by making the right small choices, everyone can make a difference, and so it’s worth considering sustainable choices when turning your attention to holiday packing.

“Reduce, reuse, recycle” has been a key maxim for many years and applies as much to holiday packing as shopping at home – regular travelers will probably find they have lots of suitable gear from previous trips so there’s no need to buy everything new for your next Galapagos trip. Our planet will thank you for it!

If you do need to buy new wardrobe pieces, there are many great ethical options around, such as items made from recycled or natural fibers, Fairtrade or sustainably sourced material. We are big fans of Ecoalf which use recycled cotton to make their clothes, and their flip flops (ideal for padding about on deck) are made from 100% recycled tires!

Where possible, we have tried to help reduce the luggage you need (lighter suitcases mean lower fuel consumption and lower luggage allowances for you!). Each cabin on board Theory and Origin includes a pair of waterproof binoculars for guests to use, as well as a metal refillable water bottle, slippers, and a bathrobe. Every bathroom is stocked with biodegradable soap, body wash, shampoo, and conditioner so you can leave yours at home and be kind to the ocean.

Whilst reducing plastic has rightly become a topic of much focus recently, less is made of the damage toiletries themselves can do to marine wildlife. Sunscreen, for example, is highly damaging to juvenile corals and marine life and is one of the less well-known factors contributing to coral bleaching – worth bearing in mind next time you take a dip in the ocean. Thankfully, there are reef-friendly sunscreens now widely available such as Sun Bum, so while you enjoy the underwater delights of the Galapagos Archipelago, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re not damaging its fragile eco-system. The same goes for insect repellent – we encourage guests to avoid those containing harsh chemicals such as DEET and opt for a natural insect repellent such as Mosi Guard which is plant-based yet long-lasting and effective.

It’s frightening to think that every plastic toothbrush or razor you’ve ever owned still exists, so how about converting to bamboo which is strong, durable and biodegradable? With Christmas around the corner, why not take a green approach to filling those stockings? Many companies are targeting bamboo alternatives for their products – even sunglass manufacturers!

For some time now, Ecoventura has supported Rebecca Rothney’s fantastic initiative “Pack for a Purpose” which helps people make use of their luggage allowance in order to bring supplies to local communities, such as  the Alejandro Alvear School that supports English activities for physically and mentally challenged children. We provide guests with a list of supplies and ask guests to allocate a meager 5 lbs. of their luggage towards this. To hear more from its inspirational founder please read about our interview with Rebecca Rothney and if social responsibility is equally important to you, do get in touch to see how you can get involved.

We hope you agree that making these slight adjustments to your packing can only lead to positive outcomes. It’s also important that our guests appreciate that by choosing Ecoventura as your Galapagos operator, you are helping support a number of local organizations which are focused on giving back to the Galapagos Islands, and shows what makes us ECOventura.

We look forward to welcoming you on board!

 

https://www.ecoventura.com/how-to-pack-sustainably-for-a-galapagos-cruise/

Amazon Save Up To 20% OFF for 2020 Selected Departures

by Micro-Cruising

This special offer is valid only for new bookings, received until May 31st, 2020.
                         SELECTED DEPARTURES

Luxury Barge Cruise Offers Available Now

by Micro-Cruising

With UP TO 20% OFF CABINS & CHARTERS, now's the time to secure a fantastic deal on a European Waterways luxury barge cruise. Your clients can experience the very best of Champagne, the Scottish HighlandsVeniceBurgundy and beyond!

Read on for a selection of our favourites, or view the full list to find out how your clients can take advantage of these unmissable savings...

Finesse

Up to 20% off Burgundy 

MORE DETAILS

Scottish Highlander

Up to 20% off Scottish Highlands

MORE DETAILS

Panache

Up to 20% off Champagne 

MORE DETAILS

Renaissance

Up to 20% off Loire / Burgundy

MORE DETAILS

Anjodi

Up to 20% off Canal du Midi

MORE DETAILS

La Bella Vita

Up to 20% off Venice to Mantua

MORE DETAILS

NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT OFFER

Book a solo Venice to Mantua cruise aboard La Bella Vita on either Apr 5, 19 or May 10, 17 and we will waive the single supplement fee!

MORE DETAILS

10% OFF EXCLUSIVE SOLO CRUISE

Book a space on our new and exclusive solo cruise aboard La Bella Vita on 11 October as she cruises Venice to Mantua, and receive 10% off the booking - for a limited time only.

MORE DETAILS

Arosa river cruise COUNTDOWN to Great Savings

by Micro-Cruising

Don’t miss out to benefit from our Super Early Booking Discount until 29 Feb 2020 for 2020 departures on all rivers. Hurry – limited time offer!
The Super Early Booking Discount! Recommend our special offer and save.
Super Early Booking Discount on 2020 departures on the Danube, Rhine, Rhône, Seine and Douro. On selected 2020 Danube and Seine cruises you will get a double Super Early Booking Discount of up to € 600 per person!

Premium all inclusive rate with a whole host of benefits, such as: included high-quality alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks throughout the day, refined gourmet buffets and Wi-Fi free of charge.Double Super Early Booking Discount

7 nights Danube Classics
YOUR ADVANTAGES:

From € 1,099 pp

Incl. double Super Early Booking Discount of € 200 per person

A-ROSA Premium all inclusive

Change of reservation fee (until 30 days prior to cruise)

Free choice of cabin category and cabin number

ITINERARY: from Engelhartszell to Vienna, Esztergom, Budapest, Bratislava and Melk to Engelhartszell

DATES: May - October 2020

The perfect culinary experience! New speciality dinings on board A-ROSA.
With the beginning of the 2020 season, we will offer a new gastronomy concept on the Danube and Rhine. In addition to our well-known gourmet buffets, a three-course menu including wine accompaniment will be offered daily from the second evening. The speciality dinings inspire with culinary delights from Portugal, France, Austria, Hungaria and classics along the Rhine. With the new concept we can provide the guests more flexibility in the design of their meals. The menu is offered for only 11.90 € per person.
 

Responsible Antarctic Tourism with Quark Expeditions

by Micro-Cruising

Cruising with Quark in the Antarctic I recall having to vacuum the very corners of my pockets and hems in my ski pants (velcro proved to most painful and most necessary to make organic free) and scrubbing my boots in a briefing that I was unlikely to get anywhere else but than in Antarctic waters.    This briefing is mandatory for all guests stepping ashore on the white continent to prevent seeds, worms, spiders and even grasses being introduced onto the ice.  This is campaign is known as "Don't pack a pest" what is also asked of guests is to not take anything either, souvenir rocks, bones, eggs, fossils or plants.

 

These guidelines are set out by IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators), a fundamental body of which the vast majority of operators are members of.    "IAATO's operational guidelines, which are based on the Antarctic Treaty System, including the Antarctic Treaty and the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, along with IMO Conventions and similar international and national laws and agreements, are designed to promote travel to the region that is not only safe but also that all of the necessary precautions are taken to minimize impact on the environment and wildlife." IAATO

 

"As a result, there has been virtually no discernable impact on the environment in the 40+ years that tourism has been taking place to the region. the International Maritime Organisation that require ships to burn lighter-grade fuels while in the Antarctic Treaty Area (the sea south of 60 South latitude). An additional regulation placed on the large cruise ships by IAATO and more recently the Antarctic Treaty Parties is that if the vessel is carrying more than 500 passengers on board, it is not allowed to land any passengers while in Antarctic waters" IAATO. This means these operators are then cruise-only or as I like to call them Drive-by cruises, much too big for Micro-Cruising.

Sea Spirit Poseidon Expeditions showcase

by Micro-Cruising

Notes from the Poseidon Sea Spirit showcase 20th & 21st May 2019

 

Here we are Boarding the Sea Spirit.
Everything was very professional and right from the get-go everyone was naturally friendly, I think because of their passion and enthusiasm - they truly loved what they were doing.
We had a Buffett BBQ Lunch out on the deck - they sometimes do breakfasts as well.
One of the Expedition Leaders (Canadian Geologist John) who sat with us along with Huw the Expedition Leader for the UK trip, his wife and daughter.
Our room 3rd deck  Room 333 - same level as Reception
There were two dressing gowns, nice large windows, some had portholes (lower decks) - some rooms had different sized balconies.
We also had a lounge area in our cabin.
Vessel Tour
The rooms were spacious and well decorated - lots of wood and there was a curtain that you could pull across to divide the room.
The lounge could be an extra bed.
Owners Suite - very luxurious - a section away from other cabins, numerous rooms and large balcony.
Welcome by the Captain - Cocktail Party in the Lounge Area where most of the presentation was held - they had 5/6 TV screens across the front
Introduced the Crew
Dining Room
Actually we ended up at this table in the evening having dinner with Kate from Sales.
Delicious:  We had the Lobster, Lamb and I can’t remember desert (maybe too much wine and champagne earlier). The Chef came round to each table at the end of the meal and chatted - nice touch!
Actually there was an organised carry on party afterwards but it was 10ish by the time we finished the meal.
Passing the Sea Spirit the next night from the Ferry crossing…looks like they had to do the same thing again and anchor in the bay to let the ferry dock!
The schedule was very professional and well-presented, they gave us lectures on the kayaks and zodiacs there is also a gymnasium.
Apart from going to both the South & North Pole, the next day they were trialling a trip around the UK…looked fabulous.
We were spoilt staying overnight on this luxurious ship and had a very enjoyable time on the Sea Spirit.

What makes Zadar, Croatia so special?

by Micro-Cruising

Planning a trip to Croatia? Then the city of Zadar should be on your travel list. Also known as the “city of various events” is visited by thousands of tourists every year. It is even in the good books of various famous people from all over the entertainment industry, business men and political leaders.

According to the Croatia’s statistics, the Byzantine emperor and travel writer Constantine Porfirogenet, Zadar is one of the historic cities and is even older than Rome. Being a historical city gives it an edge from tourism point of view. The historical periods have left marks and scars of past destruction, different architectural buildings and sightings, visible art work etc which serves as an attraction for the present world.

Zadar is a big city, big enough to keep the tourists occupied for the whole day and beautiful enough to take their breath away. Tourist can travel here and take the scenic route by small ship and upon arriving they can observe that even the streets are made with bright smooth marble. A small ship cruise brings you the opportunity to see the beauty to its fullest.

Zadar is not an overcrowded place. Providing the tourist an advantage of its big area where they can easily roam around. Also, there are number of restaurants in the city. There are many spots in the city that the tourists and guest can observe, some of the most visited places are:

Sea Organ

One of the most surprising and interesting spots in the city of Zadar is waterfront with the Sea organ. Upon contact with the sea water it produces sound like music, higher the waves louder will be the sound/music.

Sun Salutation

Apart from the sea organ there is Sun Salutation with a blue disc fitted inside it. The blue disc is solar power and illuminates light at night creating a wonderful sight for the observer.

Museums in Zadar

Since Zadar is a historic city it is home to one of the oldest well-preserved artifacts and ruins. Large number of tourists visit the museums and learn a great deal of the city’s rich history between the museum walls. Some of the best museums of Zadar includes Arheološki muzej, Museum of Ancient Glass, muzej iluzija etc.

Water Based Activities in Zadar

It may be surprising, but Zadar has no beaches at all but the city makeups for it in numerous other ways. If you are still willing to visit the sea then you can take small ship cruises to enjoy activities such as swimming, scuba diving even dining after a day full of exciting activities. You can even book small cruises for 2-3 days if your time is limited.

WHY VISIT BOL, CROATIA

by Micro-Cruising

Croatia is becoming a sought-after place among tourists; it is one of those European countries which has rich culture and history, stunning architecture, scenic views and flavorful cuisine to offer. The tourism in Croatia saw a boom in recent years. One of the most popular travel destinations in Croatia is the city of Dubrovnik. However, there is so much more to Croatia than this city alone.

Bol is a small port town located on Brac island. Visit Bol to experience the Croatia cruise that every traveller

raves about. There are a lot of reasons to visit Bol, via small ship cruise:

  1. Zlatni Rat Beach
Zlatni Rat Beach is without any doubt the prettiest and most photographed beach in Croatia. What makes this beach unique from others is that it protrudes about 500 meters out in the Adriatic Sea in a tongue like shape; which is subject to change depending upon the wind and water currents. Spend your day on the beach soaking the sun on a small ship to explore enjoying by a small cruise.
  1. Blaca Hermitage
In addition to pristine beaches and small cruises, Croatia is also famous for its many architectural splendors. Blaca hermitage or Blaca monastery is a 16th century complex, that was established by two monks seeking asylum. It is now turned into a museum, which now contains many artifacts from that period, including a 400-kilo piano.
  1. Dragons cave
Bol has got you covered if you are a fan of mythical legends. Dragons cave is located near the village of Murvica, it takes about an hour’s hike to reach it; but it is worth all the sweat. The cave consists of a series of odd yet fascinating drawings and carvings of animals, dragons and religious symbols. A number of travel and tour companies offer a guided trip to this popular tourist destination (apart from the official tour guide to explore the monastery of Dragons cave).  You can book a tour in advance to save from any last minute hassles.
  1. Stina Winery
When on a small cruise, watching the sunset, the moment calls for a fine wine relish.  Stina Winery is a local Bol winery which incorporates traditional and modern techniques to come up with Croatia’s finest wine. Visit it during the day for some wine tasting experience and don’t forget to take some bottles home for your loved ones.
  1. Croatian cuisine
It is a known fact that food options available on Islands are always fresher and more flavorful. In Croatia, cuisine varies from region to region. Bol is a port town so the cuisine heavily consists of fresh out of water seafood. You can find a lot of eateries to have a decent and fulfilling meat as per your budget. However, do visit Terasa Santo to enjoy fresh seafood with a view of the ocean.

Top 5 to-dos in Dubrovnik, Croatia

by Micro-Cruising

The time of the year to plan your Northern hemispohere Spring/Summer getaways has arrived, so this year choose the beautiful city of Dubrovnik.  Up until recently, Dubrovnik used to be a hidden gem, but its popularity has surged in the recent years owing to its magnificent scenery and lush green geographical layout. Here’s a list of things that you can do while you’re enjoying your vacation In Dubrovnik:
  1. Game of Thrones Tour:
Nowadays, many people come to Dubrovnik, because it is one of the major locations for Games of Thrones. According to one of the show’s senior production members: “Dubrovnik was built for Games of Thrones”! The comment is primarily related to the scenic and aesthetic value of the landscape and beauty of the surroundings. So, booking your Game of Thrones Tour is definitely the first thing you should do while in Dubrovnik. This will add some real memories to your tour.

 

  1. Cruising in Croatia:
Croatia is one of the best places in the world for cruising. A lot of cruise trips companies offer mini cruises as well as week long cruises. A small ship cruise is an ideal solution for exploring all the tiny ports of call, magical hidden spots of innumerable islands and historical gems along the Croatian coast.

 

  1. The city pedestrian tour and the cable car
The defensive stone city walls of Dubrovnik Old Town, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1979, are a truly imposing sight. From the top, views of both the inner city with its sandy coloured buildings and terracotta roof tiles, and the glistening waters of the Adriatic are astounding. Or you can take a cable car ride to the peak of Srđ mountain and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea, Old Town Dubrovnik, Island Lokrumand the surrounding Elaphiti islands Koločep, Lopud and Šipan. The top of Srđ Mountain is the ideal spot for photos, the best time being around sunset. A restaurant, café and souvenir shop are also available to visitors at the upper Cable Car station and Fort Imperia.
  1. Feast on fresh and delicious oysters.
Dig into that oyster plate even if it’s your very first time. Trying the delicious and fresh oysters is definitely a must. We suggest you go to Lokando Peskarija located on the Old Harbour in the vicinity of the fish market. They also serve an assortment of other fresh, local seafood that you will fall in love with.

 

  1. Dubrovnik Trails
If you want a fresh and unique alternative to regular sightseeing, you should definitely go to the Dubrovnik trails. Upon booking your desired trail you'll receive your trail equipment. Each trail allows you to learn about Dubrovnik and its history.

Top 5 to-dos in Split, Croatia

by Micro-Cruising

Croatia's second-largest city, Split (Spalato in Italian) is a great place to see Dalmatian life. Always buzzing, this exuberant city has just the right balance between tradition and modernity. Step inside Diocletian’s Palace (a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most impressive Roman monuments) and you’ll see dozens of bars, restaurants and shops thriving amid the atmospheric old walls where Split has been humming along for thousands of years. To top it off, Split has a unique setting. Its dramatic coastal mountains act as the perfect backdrop to the turquoise waters of the Adriatic.  Planning your trip is a great idea before you hop in your cruise to Split. Make a to-do list before starting your journey, and here’s the list that we carefully made for you to make the most of your memorable trip to one of the most beautiful cities in the world:
  1. Cruising
Split is one of the best places in the world for cruising. You can choose from a variety of cruise lines to get mini cruises for people passionate about cruising! You can get a small cruiser and an ideal solution for spending your holiday and exploring all the tiny ports of call, magical hidden spots of innumerable islands and historical gems along the Croatian coast.

 

  1. Reach the Beach!
Build a sandcastle, relax and enjoy the sun, sip your favourite juice, or dive into the beach, it’s all yours!

There are number of beautiful beaches in split; Bacvice Beach, Kasjuni Beach, Kastelet Beach, Znjan Beach, Bene Beach etc. You can rent a bicycle or a car and reach there to enjoy your time at Split. The beaches are very popular for being the clubbing spots! So never miss a beach party while you’re in Split.

 

  1. Outdoor fun
Split is full of adventure and fun, enjoy a rafting experience through crystal green waters of cetina river or get the high adrenaline experience at Zipline split where guests descend through the canyon! If you’re into sea and under water life, you should definitely try Scuba diving! You can also go for Basic canyoning, Extreme canyoning and Sea kayaking.

 

  1. Shopping
Shopping in Split can be a great fun. The most amazing thing about doing shopping is, you can also enjoy touring the main sightseeing points at the same time, as everything is going one in rather restricted central area. There are a number of malls where you can go for shopping; Emmezeta mall, Mercator, Joker mall center, city center one, etc. where you can find a number of brands of your choice and enjoy shopping!

 

  1. Historic Site Seeing
Settled in by Ancient Greeks and Romans and subsequently defended against Venetians and Ottomans, Croatia displays more than 2,000 years of history, from Istria to Dalmatia. Diocletian’s Palace, Dubrovnik City Walls, Poreč, Euphrasian Basilica, Pula Amphitheatre are some of the best places historic places that you should never miss!

What We Love to do in Hvar, Croatia

by Micro-Cruising

Hvar is regarded as one of the most spectacular sites for cruising in Croatia.  Apart from sightseeing, there are tons of activities to do in Hvar. If you are one of those people who love to cruise and want to explore the marvels of nature, then Croatia is your ultimate choice as the country is filled with a lot of opportunities for cruisers due to the numerous islands which are present there. So, buckle up and let’s go on a journey full of adventures and fun right in Hvar, Croatia. Here are some of the fun activities which you can do during your stay at Hvar.
  • Explore the Beaches
Hvar is full of beaches as it is an island so be ready to explore them. All the beaches within the vicinity of Hvar are worth to visit. You can visit the nearby beaches in the town or cruisers can sail around and enjoy the paddleboards and jet skis as well.
  • Fortica, the Main Attraction of Hvar
Hvar is famous for its historically significant fortress known as Fortica which was built by the Venetians in the 16th century. It is a great place to view all of the Hvar town in one picture from atop. The view of the gorgeous islands from such height is breathtaking. One can go on foot to the fort or drive. If you want to walk then it is advised to go early in the morning as later on, the weather becomes really hot.
  • Visit the Pakleni Islands
A string of small beautiful islands are worth exploring during your visit to Hvar town. They are located just right off the Hvar’s coast where you can find lagoons, clear waters and isolated beaches. The beauty of the islands leaves an imprint on the mind. These islands offer excellent cruising opportunities for small cruise passengers to enjoy the experience in the crystal-clear waters.
  • Grapceva Cave
Another nature’s wonder is located in Hvar is the Grapceva cave which is situated right by the town of Homac. It is a Neolithic cave is famous as being the home of the oldest civilization in the Adriatic that dates back to 5000 B.C. The Adriatic Sea is famous for beach lounging, snorkeling and cruising in small ships. This is a great place for the people who love to cruise and enjoy this nature’s marvel to the fullest.

 

Bottom Line

Hvar is a major attraction as this island is filled with beautiful places to explore starting from the exotic landscapes and clear waters to cruise Croatia.

Korcula, Croatia’s Best Attraction

by Micro-Cruising

Croatia is well known for its scenic beauty and a string of islands. The land is pure and natural with a lot of breathtaking views which one can explore. It is heaven for those who love to cruise on small ships. Korcula, Croatia is rich in vineyards, has a lot of olive groves and a number of villages which constitutes a rich lifestyle. This island of Korcula is one of the Adriatic islands and is regarded as the sixth largest island which is 47 km in length. On the southern coast, one can find a number of coves and sandy beaches while on the northern coast, there are more rocks and pebbles.

The Traditional Life of Korcula

The villages in Korcula are historic. It is famous for its hospitality, the locals arrange folk dances and music for the travellers. The landscapes always welcome the tourists with their breathtaking views. On the coasts, local boats and ferries are available so that people can enjoy the view along with experiencing the taste of the local delicacies.

Lumbarda, A Great Place to Relax

Lumbarda is located outside the town of Korcula which is just a 10-minute ride from the town. The seashore is usually not so crowded, and one can spend some quiet and alone time here and admire the beauty of the nature to the fullest. Korcula is also famous for its wine making business which the local families have opened for making their livelihood.

Korcula’s Olive Oil Business

Just like the wine, Korcula is also known for the production of olive oil on a large scale. There are many families with olive oil business still are running and maintaining it with pride and joy. On your next cruise trip to Korcula, don’t forget to taste and buy the natural and organic oil from the locals of the island.

Blato, A Focal Point of Korcula

At the western side of Korcula, Blato is located which was a place to save all the oldest settlements of the island in order to keep them safe from the pirate attacks. Blato is famous for its long linden tree avenues, sanctuary of Marija Petkrovic of the crucified Jesus, church of all saints and ethno house barilo.

Places in Korcula that are Worth Cruising

The island of Korcula is a heaven for the cruisers as it has a number of sites which people can explore and enjoy. Among them, Vela Luka Bay, Island of Prozid, Vela Spila cave are the top most favorite places of tourists as they are easily accessible.

Bottom Line

For small cruise in Croatia, Korcula is a best place to visit and explore the seaside as the tourism industry is active and supports cruising activities.

Why Vis, Croatia Is A Must-See Destination

by Micro-Cruising

 

 

Croatia being one of the most beautiful European countries is a spot famous for its amazing beaches where some of the beaches are as long as 1km. The country offers several tourist attractions, either you want to enjoy your evening on a small cruise or are craving for a good food, Croatia brings everything for you.

Vis, A Must-See Destination

Located in the Adriatic Sea is a beautiful island of Croatia, known as Vis. Even though there are numerous other islands, yet Vis has its own beauty and is the furthest inhabited island from the coast. The island of Vis was closed to public for a long period from the 1950s to 1989 due to its strategic location on the open sea. It served much of its history as Yugoslav military base thus remained untouched for years.

As Vis was used in the war which lacked proper facilities for the residents so they immigrated to other countries. As soon as the island was made open to public, the locals returned to their home land to see their fore fathers’ traditions and honor it. This mix of history, culture and natural beauty is what makes Vis stand out the most.

Tourist Attractions

Tourist travel to the island is via small ships as there is no other means of transport to go there. Major tourist attractions on the island includes beautiful beaches fortress houses, archaeological museum, a church made on a roman theater, public bath, foods, resorts etc yet there’s another attraction for the locals as well.

Famous Food Items

For food lovers, Vis is a must visit place. Some of the mouthwatering dishes that are enjoyed by the locals as well as recommended to tourists are:
  • Janjetina- Janjetina is a roasted lamb garnished with Mediterranean herbs.
  • Zagrebačkiodrezak- Steaks with meat stuffing including cheese breaded and fried.
If you have a taste for sea food, then the restaurants are also packed with its local cuisines such as salata od hobotnice, an Octopus salad or the lingje (Croatia squid).

 

Beautiful Beaches

There is a mixture of sandy and pebbled beaches on Vis but some of the most famous spots are:

 

Stoncica Beach

Stoncica Beach is a sandy beach located close to lighthouse on the north side of Vis Island. It is a great family beach with soft sand, volleyball court and shallow water for the children as well as adults to enjoy. After spending the day at beach, you can enjoy the local specialty at the nearby Konoba resturant.

 

 

Stiniva Beach

Just as Vis is special, the Stiniva is also one of its kind with its eye-catching pebbled beach but there is a twist to it. In order to reach the beach you have to take down a narrow path downhill from above the cove which is not for the faint hearted or you can just travel by the boat.

 

 

 

Highlights of Elaphiti Islands

by Micro-Cruising

Croatia is one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world.  The weather, hospitality and welcoming attitude of Croatian people, and the delicious Croatian cuisine are just some of the reasons. When in Croatia, one of the must see places are the Elaphiti islands.

Elaphiti islands are an archipelago of 13 islands which present stunning views along with other enjoyments hence, your Croatia cruise should include the exploration of these islands. Only 3 of these 13 islands are inhabited; Lopud, Sipan and Kolocep. A lot of small cruises explore these islands. Small cruises can let you explore all the three islands in one day. However, if you want to take your time in enjoying the beauty of these islands, you can hire private small ship for customized tour. Below are the highlights of these 3 main Elaphiti islands:

Lopud

Lopud is a small car-free island; it has a population of about 220 residents and reaching here from Dubrovnik in a small ship or ferry takes about an hour. The northern bay of the island has a line of restaurants and ice-cream parlors. Towards South, lays the Sunj Bay which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Croatia (apart from many other amazing beaches you can visit in Croatia). The island is also home to monasteries and complexes built by the well-off families of the past. Visiting these buildings is like taking a step in Croatia’s history. Dordic-Mayneri park is a family park along the sea side that contains botanical specimens from around the world.

Sipan

Sipan is the biggest of the Elaphiti islands. Just like Lopud, Sipan can be reached by a ferry or a small ship. The island is famous for its wine and rustic lifestyle. Dubrovnik's wealthy families-built palaces and forts here. There are several villages that are connected via a main road. Sudurad welcomes most of the ferries and small ships. This village is made stoned houses and cobbled streets, that take you to the medieval times. Sipanska Luka is a fishing island that contains churches with medieval paintings. The northwest of the harbor also has a gravel beach that is lined with eateries and coffee houses.

Kolocep

Kolocep is the smallest of these 3 islands, having a population of about 170 people. It takes 20 minutes from Dubrovnik to reach here via a small ship. The island is characterized by olive groves, vineyards, pine trees, lemon and orange orchards. There are two settlements; Gronje and Donje Celo and both have a small beach. The island also has a small naturist beach. The best thing to do inn Kolocep island is to dive in the pristine water and explore the coastline. You can also swim your way to the Blue cave and experience the hard to forget sight of yourself dipped in the pristine azure colored Adriatic Sea.

Deluxe young professionals cruise in Croatia

by Micro-Cruising

 

Offering itineraries to those who desires for a more intimate voyage, Deluxe Young Professionals Cruise Ships are the perfect way to make the most of your cruise. Sailing to Croatia, one of the most beautiful and trending destinations in the world, your itinerary allows you to explore some of the most relaxing regions by the Adriatic Sea. Your time onboard will be well-spent thanks to our inclusive options. With a crew there to serve your needs, you’ll feel pampered and relaxed as you’re sailing the blue seas. If you desire this sort of casually elegant yachting experience speak to us.

 

Game of Thrones fans are particularly passionate about seeing the sets. If you’re another Game of Thrones geek, then this cruise is a must for you. How about simply relaxing under the beautiful sun and sipping your favorite margarita?

 

There are seven different stops on the route; split, makarska, Hvar, Korcula, Miljet, Dubrovink.

The cruise begins on Saturday when the ship departs from Split towards Hvar where you have to stay overnight. Hvar is a fun city for all the young party animals! So go on, do some hiking, taste some wine and dance with your partner in some pub and paint the town red!

 

You’ll then head south to the island of Mljet where you can enjoy the beautiful salt lakes and the greenery. You can also take a tour of the island on rented bicycles, scooter or even convertible cars. For some extra fun, we have set your dinner on board. Enjoy that delicious feast with the sweet smell of the sea and the cool breeze. Next we take you to Dubrovnik, also known as the ‘heaven for Game of Thrones fans’ as there are sets for you to explore. Make sure you book your Game of Thrones tour where you will be taken to places of the city where the many parts of the world famous TV show were filmed! Can you already feel those goose bumps!

 

On Tuesday, you get to visit the island of Korcula, which is also known as the ‘birthplace of Marco Polo’. You’ll stop there for lunch and enjoy fantastic cuisines! On Wednesday we’ll take you to Ploce, a beautiful city where we have arranged a Private BBQ party on the riverbank for all of you so don’t forget to get your bikini! The last of all the places is Makarska, that you’ll reach on Thursday where you’ll cruise on the Dalmatian, swim in the beach of enjoy your own beach party!

 

The deluxe cruises are luxurious and you can with sun bathing facility, gourmet food, fine dining and a lot more that you can’t imagine.  So call your friends, put a group together book your tickets now for the ultimate fun.

Why you must cruise Croatia by small ship

by Micro-Cruising

 

Croatia or the Republic of Croatia is a beautiful country located on the Adriatic Sea and shares a maritime border with Italy. The country is famous for its splendid ports, its calming blue waters, and magical lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. The cities have exotic destination spots worth a visit at least once in a lifetime. The best way to and around Croatia is by taking a small ship cruise to cover the 1800km coast line.

Small ship cruises are quite popular all-around Croatia. They offer a chance to enjoy a breath-taking experience, with the view of magnificent islands and beaches, their highlights and the iconic tourist spots. Larger cruise ships are a wonderful treat as well, but getting around in smaller ships is easier, more convenient and enjoyable as you will be able to visit all the destinations via simpler accessibility. The experience is quite unique as these cruise ships can go to various lengths and distances to show you the most extravagant parts of Croatia’s coastline. This way, you will be able to cater to your more diverse itineraries.

The cruise ships allow you to visit all the attractions at multiple islands. You can explore the inner cities, their exciting bars, and restaurants, along with their lovely markets. The islands themselves are wonderful entertainment for everyone. This makes for an adorable couple spot, or simply if you are traveling with your friends or families. As it is easier to get around because of the small cruise ships, it is ideal for the elder generation too, as the whole vacation is quite relaxing, refreshing and extremely enjoyable. As Croatia is a mystical country, the beaches and islands are quiet and calm.

The islands offer many marvelous attractions, such as 5-star resorts which provide world-class hospitality and services. The national parks in Croatia are a must to visit, along with the stunning waterfalls which will leave you mesmerized. Taking a swim or dipping your toes in such cool waters will be one of the highlights of your trip. The town of Bol is known for its exciting water activities and sports along with a striking sandy peninsula. Getting to these towns, waterfalls, lakes, parks, etc., is made simpler due to the amazing small ship cruises.

The small cruise ships are more enjoyable as they have a capacity for smaller groups, which makes it easier to go around and explore. These cruise ships are superb for hosting group parties or celebrations while on vacation. Cruising around Croatia in small ships is a great way to soothe your mind, calm your heart and let go of any stress in life. It will replenish and nourish your soul, while you sail through the breezy coast of Adriatic Sea and explore the gorgeous, clear, blue waters.  All the spots are perfect for taking stunning pictures of yourself in the landscapes. It is a marvel and a wonderful experience for a lifetime, leaving you with innumerable happy and peaceful memories. The small ship cruise ships are not to be missed for sure.

Mljet, Croatia must do's

by Micro-Cruising

Croatia has some of the world’s beautiful islands but the one island that stands out the most is Mljet island. It is one of the largest, greenest and well-preserved islands of the Adriatic Sea.  It is home to one of the colourful wildlife including trees such as forest pine trees and oak trees.

Mljet is also one of the oldest islands as numerous Greek ships wreck have been found along its coast and as proof, it has also been mentioned in Greek writings as a resting point of Greek sailors during their journeys. It has a relatively small population due to which there is little transport through cars and buses due to which locals travel through small ships and tourists take the scenic route in small cruises.

Lakes

there are various attraction points in Mljet among which its two beautiful lakes Malo jezero and Veliko jezero are the major tourist attraction. The water in these lakes makes a beautiful blue-green shade mixed in correct proportion. These lakes are surrounded with thick vegetation that adds to the beauty of these lakes. Tourist can enjoy a good walk around the lake as well as ride their bikes around the track. There are various Croatia cruises available where you can enjoy the serenity. There are even private small cruises available that you can take and enjoy the view alone or with friends. The rates and time duration/route of these small cruises is variable. You have the choice to pick a cruise that suits your budget and availability of time.

 

 National Park

Another spot that is famous among tourists is the Miljet National Park. One can engage in various activities in this park and enjoy the natural beauty. Tourists are provided with various options to explore the park such as biking, hiking even boating. Bikes and canoe can easily be rented in the park but if you are willing to discover the whole area then there are different hiking trails as well. There are a number of trails each with a difficulty level, more difficult the hiking trail is the more beautiful spot you will discover.

Odysses Cave

Odysses Cave being another major attraction on Miljet island is an egg-shaped cave where you can find water at the bottom of it.  If you know how to swim, then you can enjoy the spot to the fullest. There are three ways to enter the cave, by coming down through steep steps, by boat or directly enter the cave through swimming. The spot is also famous for fishing activity in the past, however, owing to better conservation efforts on local marine environment and tourism development, the spot is now popular tourist attraction. In summer, if the sun is bright and the tourist are lucky, they can observe an eye-catching spectrum in the cave made by the sun light. Its indeed a pleasant scene to observe, capture as well as save in the memory of those who visit.