THREE NIGHT 4* JERSEY BREAK FROM £175pp BY SEA OR £239pp BY AIR
Three nights in the 4* Radisson Blu hotel, Jersey from £175pp with Channel Islands Direct.
Spend three nights in Jersey at the 4* Radisson Blu Hotel including breakfast from just £175 per person with Channel Islands Direct.
Situated perfectly along Jersey’s popular St. Helier waterfront, this excellent hotel offers scenic views of St. Aubin’s Bay and Elizabeth Castle. Boasting its own brasserie, bar and health club, the Radisson is a perfect choice for guests looking for a luxurious and revitalising break.
Famous for fine foods and Michelin-starred gourmet eateries, Jersey prides itself on catering for overseas guests. From traditional cream teas to three-course seafood banquets, Jersey can offer dining experiences to win over any critic. Guests of the Radisson Blu can take advantage of the hotel’s Waterfront Brasserie; boasting al fresco dining, an elegant contemporary style and striking views of the Marina and St Aubins Bay. The food is of an excellent standard, unpretentious, hearty cooking with classic Brasserie style and there is a distinct emphasis on exceptional fresh ingredients, local where possible, with traditional recipes interpreted with a modern twist complimented with an extensive wine list from different regions.
A spread of fresh fruits, juices and a selected range of organic produce are also served in the Brasserie for breakfast along with a range of hot and cold buffets, and the hotel’s famous Sunday lunch can be enjoyed from here whilst watching the lulling of the yachts along the harbour. Alternatively, the Lobby Lounge offers a wide selection of gourmet coffees, whilst the Martello bar boasts a comprehensive international drinks menu as well as light snacks and a children’s menu, and their main focal point is a floor to ceiling aquarium which houses dozens of colourful fish.
The Radisson Blu also offers an excellent health club; boasting an indoor pool, sauna, steam room and fitness centre which guests have available to make use of during their stay. Alternatively, anyone who wants to explore more of the island can walk straight onto the stunning St Aubins Bay, or the boutique shopping, bars and restaurants of St Helier can be found only a few minutes walk away. All guests can benefit from complimentary internet access throughout the hotel and a complimentary on-site car park.
This package includes a complimentary breakfast, a free room upgrade to a sea facing room, return flights and transfers from London Gatwick airport, or a return ferry journey as a foot passenger with Condor Ferries from Weymouth. Regional airport departures are also available at an additional supplement (see below). This offer is based on two people sharing, and is valid for departure between 6th January – 31st March 2014.
Regional departures to Jersey are available at the listed supplement per person from the following airports:
Birmingham: from £55
East Midlands: from £60
Edinburgh: from £80
Exeter: from £35
Glasgow: from £85
Leeds: from £65
Luton: from £35
Manchester: from £40
Newcastle: from £50
Southampton: from £59
Southend: from £15
Stansted: from £35
For more information about Channel Islands Direct visit www.channelislandsdirect.co.uk or call 08444 937 095 to book the package above.
MSC Cruises Offering Deals at Half Price
MSC Cruises guests can now receive discounts on select sailings of Caribbean 2014 and 2015 ships, Europe 2014 voyages and Brazil cruises in 2014, courtesy of MSC’s top-of-the-line Wave Season offers.
MSC Unveils Improved Website For Travel Agents
MSC Divina Photo Exhibit Chronicles 1950s Hollywood
Agents on Divina: Clean and Pretty, Some Tweaks Needed
Hands On, On the Road: The Divina’s Luxury Enclave
With the “2-For-1 Plus” offer, guests can sail the world’s most exciting destinations at 50 percent off with the additional option of choosing from one of three bonus incentives: a complimentary beverage package, pre-paid service charges, or up to $400 worth of shipboard credit per stateroom.
The offer is available on MSC’s newest ship to sail the Caribbean year-round, the MSC Divina, as well as other ships in its fleet.
A sampling of “2-For-1 Plus” sailings includes:
Eastern Caribbean: 7 night itineraries starting at $600 per person on MSC Divina, departing Miami on April 19, May 3, May 17, Aug. 9, Aug. 23, Sept. 6, Sept. 20, Oct. 4, Oct. 18, Nov. 1, Nov. 29, Dec. 13, Dec. 27, 2014, Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Feb. 7, Feb. 21, March 7 and March 21, 2015.
Ports of call include Phillipsburg (St. Maarten), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas).
Western Caribbean: 7 night itineraries starting at $600 per person on MSC Divina from Miami on Apr. 12, Apr. 26, May 10, Aug. 2, Aug. 16, Aug. 30, Sept. 13, Sept. 27, Oct. 11, Oct. 25, Nov. 22, Dec. 6, Dec. 20, 2014 and Jan. 3, Jan. 17, Jan. 31, Feb. 14, Feb. 28, March 14 and March 28, 2015.
Ports of call include Falmouth (Jamaica), Georgetown (Grand Cayman), Cozumel (Mexico) and the private island of Great Stirrup Cay (Bahamas).
Western Mediterranean: 7 night sailings starting at $550 per person on MSC Musica, departing Genoa on April 5, April 12, April 19, April 26, May 3, May 10, May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7, June 14, June 21, June 28, July 5, July 12, July 19, July 26, Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 16, Aug. 23, Aug. 30, Sept. 6, Sept. 13, Sept. 20, Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Oct. 11, Oct. 18, Oct. 25, Nov. 1, Nov. 8 and Nov. 15, 2014.
Stops are made in Civitavecchia (Italy), Palermo (Italy), La Goulette (Tunisia), Palma de Mallorca (Ibiza), Valencia (Spain), Marseille (France) and Genoa (Italy).
Eastern Mediterranean: 7 night sailings on MSC Preziosa start at $650 per person, departing Venice on May 3, May 10, May 17, May 24, May 31, June 7, Sept. 20, Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Oct. 11, Oct. 18, Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 2014, calling on Venice (Italy), Bari (Italy), Katakolon (Greece), Izmir (Turkey), Istanbul (Turkey) and Dubrovnik (Croatia).
Brazil Positioning: Explore the beauty of South America, during two Brazil repositioning cruises, starting at $1,020 per person aboard the MSC Divina.
The ship departs Miami on May 24 and returns on July 14, with stops in Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas), Bridgetown (Barbados), Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago), St. George (Grenada) and Fortaleza, Salvador, Ilheus and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Bookings must be made by March 31, 2014 in order to qualify for this promotion.
The “2-For-1 Plus” sailings are also available on several vessels of the MSC fleet, including MSC Armonia, MSC Fantasia, MSC Divina, MSC Lirica, MSC Musica, MSC Poesia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Sinfonia and MSC Splendida.
River Cruise Line Offers 10 – and 14-Night Itineraries Myanmar Starting in 2014
2015 Cruises in Europe and Asia Now Open for Booking
CALABASAS, CA (Nov. 21, 2013) – Award-winning AmaWaterways Will launch a new ship and new river cruise program on Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River in November 2014. Complete details for two itineraries – the 10-night Golden Treasures of Myanmar and 14-night Hidden Wonders of Myanmar – are Outlined in the company’s just-published “River Cruises through Myanmar (Burma) 2014-2016″ brochure. Information can be found on the aussi AmaWaterways’ website
AmaWaterways is Now accepting bookings for cruises icts Myanmar (November 2014 through April 2016), as well as icts 2015 cruises in Vietnam & Cambodia and in Europe (Including departures on the newest additions to the European fleet, and AmaSonata AmaReina). This is welcome news to travel agents eager to book customers AmaWaterways schedule vacations in 2014 and / or 2015 Especially as demand for the company’s cruises continued to grow.
“We Have So Many exciting Developments in the works, Especially our new program and new ship in Myanmar,” Said Kristin Karst, AmaWaterways Executive Vice President and Co-Owner. “My own experiences in Myanmar-have-been absolutely amazing. Our new cruises There Will immerse our guests in a Place That HAS long-been shut off from the rest of the world, and that’s an opportunity no world traveler Will want to pass up.”
One of the World’s Most secretive, mysterious and fascinating places, Myanmar HAS single centuries-old culture, and spectacular architectural wonders, Including sacred structures gilded with gold leaf and encrusted with precious gems. AmaWaterways’ river cruises are Carefully crafted to hit all the country’s highlights:
Bagan – A cultural treasure trove of more than 2,200 temples, stupas and pagodas, one by with Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex mass.
Mandalay – The country’s last royal capital and second large largest city, the “Golden City” of Mandalay is Regarded as Myanmar’s cultural heart, renowned for icts master craftsmen and Its patronage of the arts.
Mount Popa – The stunning shrine perched at the top of Mt Popa is Considered the legendary home of spirit gods worshiped by Burmese Buddhists.
Ancient Royal Cities – Inwa (Ava) Was the capital of the Burma for more than 400 years, Amarapura Has the world’s longest teak bridge, Sagaing is famous for icts tranquil atmosphere, and Mingun HAS Many historic sights to explore.
Yangon (Rangoon) – The “Garden City of the East,” Retains much of colonial charm icts with cobblestoned streets, tree-lined avenues and Victorian architecture.
Guests Will cruise the Ayeyarwady aboard the newly built all-suite AmaPura (2014), a 56-passenger vessel furnished with a combination of modern and traditional motifs. All 28 spacious suites feature a balcony (a French Balcony, a step-out Full or Twin Balconies Balcony), a well-appointed en suite bathroom and Many Other deluxe amenities. The ship’s elegant public Areas include a restaurant, lounge and hand bar, gift shop, spa, refreshing pool and a sun deck perfect for lounging, enjoying a cool drink, or simply gazing out at the passing scenery.
An optional 4-night post-cruise land extension is available on Both itineraries, featuring three nights in Inle Lake and one night in Yangon. A 3-day/2-night post-cruise extension in Bangkok également pre-gold.
For additional information or to request a “River Cruises through Myanmar (Burma) 2014-2016″ brochure, please visit www.amawaterways.com . To book a cruise, please contact a professional travel agent or call at 800-626-0126 AmaWaterways. Join AmaWaterways’ growing online community on Facebook and Twitter .
Founded in 2002 by river cruise pioneers Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and Jimmy Murphy, AmaWaterways is the first river cruise line on Europe’s Danube, Douro, Main, Mosel, Rhine, Rhone and Seine rivers. Known for icts custom-designed ships, complimentary amenities and friendly service, family-owned and-operated AmaWaterways Consistently lead the way in river cruising. With itineraries in Europe, Russia, Asia and Africa, AmaWaterways offers an enticing variety of authentic, in-depth experiences for discriminating travelers The Most.
AmaWaterways’ current European fleet and the AmaDagio (2006). The line’s newest ships feature Twin Balcony Staterooms, multiple dining came, complimentary in-room Internet and Infotainment, a heated swimming pool or whirlpool, plus many more single design elements. The company’s AmaVoyages division HAS fleet of five ships That includes AmaPura (2014) on the Ayeyarwady in Myanmar; Amavida (2013) on the Douro River in Portugal; AmaLotus (2011) and La Marguerite (2009) on the Mekong in Vietnam and Cambodia , AmaKatarina (rebuilt 2011) on the Volga in Russia, and the Zambezi Queen (2009) on the Chobe River in Botswana.
Award winning luxury cruise and tour operator, APT, has announced it will launch a new ship and new river cruise program on Myanmar’s Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River.
APT will offer guests the choice of two exclusive APT-only sailings in February and April 2015 aboard its new AmaPura river ship as well as joint sailings, along with partner AmaWaterways, from November 2014.
Full details of itineraries and pricing will be made available in January 2014 but travel trade partners and guests are being encouraged to pre-register their interest early as APT anticipates high demand.
Commenting on the news, Debra Fox, APT’s General Manager Marketing, said, “These are exciting times for APT, especially with the launch of our new ship in Myanmar. It’s a unique and spellbinding destination and one that has previously been out of reach to the Australian travelling public. Therefore we are anticipating high demand and would encourage guests to pre-register their interest early. We’re looking forward to helping our guests explore this fascinating destination in depth while enjoying the all-inclusive luxury signature style that is synonymous with an APT river cruise.”
One of the world’s most secretive, mysterious and fascinating places, Myanmar has a unique centuries-old culture and spectacular architectural wonders, including sacred structures gilded with gold leaf and encrusted with precious gems. APT’s river cruises are carefully crafted to hit all the country’s highlights:
Bagan – A cultural treasure trove of more than 2,200 temples, stupas and pagodas, on par with Cambodia’s massive Angkor Wat temple complex.
Mandalay – The country’s last royal capital and second largest city, the “Golden City” of Mandalay is regarded as Myanmar’s cultural heart, renowned for its master craftsmen and its patronage of the arts.
Mount Popa – The stunning shrine perched at the top of Mt. Popa is considered the legendary home of spirit gods worshipped by Burmese Buddhists.
Ancient Royal Cities – Inwa (Ava) was the capital of the Burma for more than 400 years, Amarapura has the world’s longest teak bridge, Sagaing is famous for its tranquil atmosphere, and Mingun has many historic sites to explore.
Yangon (Rangoon) – The “Garden City of the East,” retains much of its colonial charm with cobblestoned streets, tree-lined avenues and Victorian architecture.
Guests will cruise the Ayeyarwaddy aboard the newly built all-suite AmaPura (2014), a 56-passenger vessel furnished with a combination of modern and traditional motifs. All 28 spacious suites feature a balcony (a French Balcony, a step-out Full Balcony or Twin Balconies), a well-appointed en suite bathroom and many other deluxe amenities. The ship’s elegant public areas include a restaurant, main lounge and bar, gift shop, spa, refreshing pool and a Sun Deck perfect for lounging, enjoying a cool drink, or simply gazing out at the passing scenery.
The fifth annual Dominican Republic Professional Golf Tournament (DR OPEN 2014) will be held from May 12-18, 2014 in the world-famous Teeth of the Dog golf course, in Casa de Campo, one of the Caribbean’s most exclusive resorts.
The Teeth of the Dog course is ranked as the number one golf course in Latin America and number 47 in the world. Winners will take home US$150,000 in prizes.
The announcement was made by the Dominican Golf Federation (FEDOGOLF) at a ceremony held in the offices of the Dominican Olympic Committee as a way of celebrating the inclusion of golf in the Olympic games.
The DR OPEN, jointly with PGA Tour Latin America (NEC Series Tour), will have a prize purse of US$150,000.
The program will also include a ceremony for the induction of national players into the National Golf Hall of Fame.
Juan Cohen, president of the Dominican Golf Federation, explained that “the PGA Tour has been supporting this initiative for the past two years, placing this tournament at the same level as other important world-class golf tournaments.”
Casa de Campo
The tournament is dedicated to the Casa de Campo resort, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. Casa de Campo is recognized worldwide for its impressive golf courses.
For the past six years Casa de Campo has been chosen as the World Leader in Golf Resort. In 2013 it also received the Gold Tee Award, issued by the Meetings & Conventions magazine, to hotels and resorts that feature extraordinary golf facilities.
The Magallenes award, given by the U.S. Travel Weekly magazine, chose Casa de Campo as the “Best Golf Resort” in the world in 2013.
The winners are chosen by a panel of professionals from the travel industry in the United States.
Casa de Campo’s golf courses have been designed by the legendary Pete Dye.
This post is also available in: Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese
Cruise News from Canada: New Ship, Photographing Bears and Whales, and with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Maple Leaf Adventures, Canada’s boutique expedition cruise company, is pleased to announce the addition of a second classic schooner to their fleet for the 2014 season. The company has made a name for its wildlife, nature and culture cruises on the Alaska and British Columbia coast aboard a classic sailing ship. Their flagship, the Maple Leaf, a 1904 Canadian schooner, has been sailing at capacity for years. Maple Leaf is pleased to add a new , 70 foot wooden schooner to the fleet, offering addtiional trips in Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) in May and June, and in the Great Bear Rainforest in September and October.
Photographing Bears and Whales
From August 23 – September 2nd, 2014
MapleLeaf adventures are offering a Boutique Expedition Cruise and Workshop. There are a lot of photography trips out there. What distinguishes this one is three fold. First, the exceptional guest to instructor ratio. Second, its led by some of the coast’s most experienced bear guides in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. Third, it includes a land based workshop followed by a 10 day expedition aboard the classic, Canadian schooner Maple Leaf.
This is a trip for beginner, intermediate or advanced photographers who wish to photograph grizzly bears, whales, rain forest, fjords and seascapes. Limited to just 8 participants, there are two professional nature photographers as instructors, with plenty of time for one on one instruction at each participant’s level of experience. Add to htis the ship’s expedition bear guides and a gourmet chef, plust 6 million hectares of fjords and bear meadows, and you have the makings of an epic photography trip.
Details: Cdn $6970 per person based on double occupancy , includes 2 daypre cruise workshop and accommodations and meals, all shipboard accommodations and cruising, gourmet meals and snacks by the ships chef, all beverages including wine and beer, all shore trips, photo instruction and guiding, and use of all gear on board ship including kayaks. 11 days/10 nights departng Port McNeill, BC and return Bella Bella, BC (Gateway airport Vancouver, BC)
Sail the Great Bear Rainforest with the Royal Canadian Geographical Socieity and Robert Bateman
June 19 – 27th, 2014
In the Great Bear Rainforest, on the west coast of Canada, 6 million hectares of fjords, mountains, islands and forests stretch from north of Vancouver Island to the Alaska border. Its teeming with wildlife , from whales and seabirds to ocean swimming wolf packs, to grizzly bears and the rare, white spirit bear. Most cruise ships are bound for Alaska and blindly sail past this great land in the dark, their theatre shows and movie screens in full blare.
But if you step aboard the Maple Leaf Adventures expedition cruise here, you’ll sail down the fjords by classic schooner, go ashore in the rain forest, view bears eating sedges in wildflower meadows, feel the breath of whales drift across the deck, and set foot on remote sandy beaches with no one around for miles.
This special trip, a fund raiser for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, includes Canada’s most famous living painter, Robert Bateman, a naturalist, as well as experts from the RCGS,and local researchers and residents. Plus, there are just 8 guests per ship – for a personalised adventure.
Details: Cdn$9995 per person double occupancy includes air fare from Vancouver to Bella Bella, all accommodations and cruising, gourmet meals and snacks by the ships’s chef, all beverages including wine and beer, all shore trips and guidling and use of all gear on board including kayaks. 9 days/8 nights, depart & return Vancouver.
For more information on all of the above check out www.MapleLeafAdventures.com
Prices do not include international airfares.
One Ocean Expeditions is offering an exciting opportunity to travel through Canada’s fabled Northwest Passage on a special cruise to mark the 70th anniversary of the first ever single season transit of the legendary route.
Travelling in comfort on board the ice-strengthened Akademik Ioffe between Cambridge Bay and Iqaluit, the celebratory 12-night voyage departs 25th August 2014 to retrace the deep-sea route followed by the RCMP St Roch in 1944 under the command of Staff Sergeant Henry Larsen.
On board for the occasion will be Larsen’s grand daughter, Doreen Larsen Riedel who, together with passengers and crew, will have the opportunity to enjoy anniversary celebrations, interact with remote communities, visit historic locations such as atmospheric Beechey Island, where the Franklin expedition over-wintered before disappearing forever, and witness spectacular scenery and wildlife.
The first ever transit of Canada’s Northwest Passage was between 1903-1906 under the command of the great Roald Amundsen of Norway.
The feat was not repeated until 1940-42 when the RCMP St Roch completed a West to East transit of the passage. In 1944, Larsen undertook an East to West transit in the same season, marking the first ever single season crossing of the Northwest Passage and making the St Roch the first vessel to complete the route in both directions.
Following in the wake of those courageous men, today’s travellers will enjoy a much more comfortable experience. All One Ocean Expeditions’ voyages include on board accommodation, all meals, use of onboard expedition rubber boots, wet weather gear, shore excursions and landings, as well as educational presentations, expedition guides, naturalist staff, hospitality staff, an ER trained doctor, guided hikes/walks, complimentary tea and coffee, and access to a multimedia room and download stations.
During the voyage, there will be a real chance of seeing pods of beluga or bowhead whales, rafts of ringed, harp or bearded seals and herds of walrus, all against a fabulous backdrop of stunning Arctic fjords, cliffs and glaciers.
Stopping off at remote local communities, rich in culture and tradition, such as Cambridge Bay and Pond Inlet, will allow passengers to see both the modern and ancient aspects of the Inuit culture, and perhaps to purchase carvings, jewellery and other crafts available from local Inuit artisans.
Prices start from US$9095 per person sharing a twin cabin on a full board basis including excursions (flights extra). www.oneoceanexpeditions.com
Cunard has announced its line-up of guest speakers for the upcoming 2014 world cruises with authors, professors, broadcasters and even award-winning television writers joining Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria as they sail around the globe.
The cruise line will mark its 40th anniversary year of Cunard’s speaker program – Cunard Insights – with a number of leading lights including celebrated authors Bill Bryson and Sir Max Hastings, award-winning TV writers Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais, eminent Professor of Science and Society Lord Winston, broadcaster and Royal commentator Jennie Bond, and Falklands and Counter-Terrorism expert Admiral Lord West.
Cunard was the first cruise company to introduce speakers as a key part of its entertainment schedule and in the four decades since 1974, its award-winning speaker program has featured eminent names including Nelson Mandela, John Cleese, President Jimmy Carter and Australia’s own Baz Luhrmann.
“The quality of our ‘Insights’ speaker program on board our ships is something which sets Cunard apart and we are delighted to welcome such pre-eminent and internationally respected figures to our 2014 world cruise speaker line-up,” Cunard Line CEO David Dingle said. “They will bring an extra dimension of interest and engagement to our passenger experience onboard.”
Bill Bryson: Queen Elizabeth, New York to San Francisco, January 18- February 5
Internationally renowned as a writer and broadcaster, Bill Bryson is the best-selling author of books such as “Notes from a Small Island” and “A Short History of Nearly Everything,” a science volume that won the Descartes prize. His books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide. He recently sailed on Queen Mary 2 from New York to Canada.
Sir Max Hastings: Queen Mary 2, Cape Town to Sydney, January 28– February 19
Sir Max Hastings is an author, journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in every British national newspaper. He has written 22 books and his latest, “Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War,” has just been published to wide acclaim.
Lord Robert Winston: Queen Mary 2, Bali to Shanghai via Australia, March 2-29 Ma
Robert Winston first achieved prominence as an expert in human fertility. Now the first Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London and Emeritus Professor of Fertility Studies there, he runs a research program with a long-term aim of improving human transplantation.
Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais: Queen Mary 2, Southampton to Cape Town, January 10 – 27
Together, this comedy-writing duo have enjoyed a unique creative partnership spanning more than four decades. From “The Likely Lads” in the 1960’s, to the award-winning follow-up series, “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?”, the team went on to create “Porridge,” starring Ronnie Barker and in recent years they have been as busy as ever, including adapting “The Rotters’ Club” and “Archangel,” starring Daniel Craig, for the BBC.
Jennie Bond: Queen Victoria, Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires, January 12 – 28
Jennie Bond has been broadcasting about Britain’s Royal Family for 25 years, through some of the most turbulent times the monarchy has known. She’s also well-known on British television as a presenter of the antiques show “Cash in the Attic” – but it was probably her time in “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here,” when she was buried in a coffin full of rats in the Australian jungle, that made her a household name.
Admiral Lord West: Queen Victoria, Buenos Aires to Chile, January 28 – February 9
Admiral The Right Honourable Baron West of Spithead, GCB, DSC, PC, ADC, DUniv, is a former First Sea Lord and Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism. He spent the majority of his naval career at sea, including commanding the frigate HMS Ardent to the Falkland Islands in 1982 and leading the Navy during its successful role in the initial invasion of Iraq.
Waking up to exotic islands each morning, swimming with amazing corals and fish life, to mingling with descendants of a Tongan Prince and being among the first group of tourists to step ashore on what was once a sacred Island, Captain Cook Cruises, Fiji has successfully completed its first ever 11 night Lau cruise.
The cruise onboard Fiji’s largest cruise ship, the MV Reef Endeavour was given a musical ticker tape send off from Port Denarau on 22 October, 2013 by Fiji’s Minister responsible for sea transportation, Navy Captain Timoci Lesi Natuva and the popular Fiji Police Brass Band.
In 11 days, passengers of the Reef Endeavour visited Fiji’s Garden Island of Taveuni, the remote, once upon a time lighthouse Island Wailagilala and the Lauan islands of Vanuabalavu, Oneata, Fulaga, Vuaqava, Kabara, Totoya and Namuana on the island of Kadavu.
Cruise highlights included Vanuabalavu, where passengers swam in and around three limestone caves inside the Bay of Islands, and met and were entertained by descendants of Maa’fu, the Tongan Prince whom the High Chief of Lau later honoured with the Tui Lau (King of Lau) title. Passengers also joined the Island of Oneata for a polotu (Choral Church Service) and swam, snorkelled and dived in the beautiful waters of Fulaga.
Kabara saw the chief and his people honour Captain Cook Cruises for being the first cruising company to visit the island by removing the tabu surrounding the visit of outsiders to their sacred uninhabited island of Vuaqava. Vuaqava has a large lake in the centre of the island and the 2 ½ kilometre hike from the beach to the lake offered passengers an insight into an abandoned Fijian village and burial sites. Reef Endeavour passengers later enjoyed an island feast in their village rara (green) and were performed ceremonies and dances that are usually reserved for very important guests. Many young maidens of Kabara still proudly wear their traditional hair locks, a mark of virgin purity.
The stop on Udu Village on Totoya allowed guests to visit and mingle with the 16 students of Udu Village School and their three teachers. The final stop was to witness the rare but sacred calling of the turtle ceremony by the people of Namuana Village in Vunisea, Kadavu.
“Since it was our very first cruise to the remote Lau Islands, it became an expedition in a lot of ways and our guests loved it,” says Jackie Charlton, Managing Director of Captain Cook Cruises, Fiji. “They knew that hardly any tourist has been to the parts of Fiji they were visiting and we all felt honoured and blessed in that way.
“To see the people of Lau living as they really do was just an amazing experience for the 126 passengers and 56 crew of the Reef Endeavour.”
Captain Cook Cruises Fiji Director Commander Semi Koroilavesau, did a reconnaissance of the Lau Group to finalise the itinerary and was overwhelmed with the outcome.
“The chiefs and people of Lau are natural hosts of visitors and the ceremonies, the meke (dances) and handicraft they have on offer are as genuine and authentic as you can get. As a director of Captain Cook Cruises, I am glad that we have established a very good working relationship with them and can offer passengers an amazing cultural and exploratory experience”.
The next 11 night Discovery Lau cruise departs Tuesday 22 April 2014 at 1.00pm from Port Denarau.
Prices include accommodation, all meals, daily stopovers and water activities, guided village, school and island tours, glass bottom boat excursions, Marine Biologist and cultural talks, child minding during meal times (5 -10 years), on board entertainment and use of the ship’s facilities including swimming pool, spas, pool bar, sun deck, sauna, cocktail bar, day spa and library.
M/V Sea Adventurer
Currently part of Quark’s Antarctic fleet, Sea Adventurer will undergo a refurbishment of cabin interiors before sailing during the Arctic 2015 season. This ship is a customer favourite because of its intimate size and ample public space. With a 1A ice-class rating and its operational range, this ship is well-equipped to navigate some of the more ice-laden regions visited by some of Quark’s Arctic itineraries. Formerly known as Clipper Adventurer, Sea Adventurer has an active stability system which helps steady the ship when sailing through rough waters. With a maximum occupancy of 117 passengers and plenty of outdoor deck space, this ship offers a comfortable journey with plenty of opportunities for up close and personal viewings of wildlife,scenery and ice.
The Sea Adventurer will operate eight itineraries in Iceland, Greenland, Svalbard, the Canadian Arctic and the Northwest Passage during the 2015 Arctic season.
M/V Ocean Nova
Originally designed to take on challenging ice conditions as a year-round Greenlandic ferry, the Ocean Nova is a 1B ice-class vessel with a small draft that allows her to navigate in shallow waters and reach places larger ships are unable to access. Last used by Quark during the Antarctic 2011/12 season, there are few expedition vessels available these days with fewer than 100 passers, therefore Ocean Nova offers a unique and intimate experience to her passengers all the while offering full private facilities and public spaces. The top deck observation lounge allows passengers access to views of incredible ice, fjords and wildlife. With a maximum of 84 passengers, this will be Quark’s most intimate ship.
The Ocean Nova will operate 11 itineraries through Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen, the UK and Norway during the 2015 Arctic season.
“We’re thrilled to have both of these nimble and capable vessels in the Arctic season,” said Quark Expeditions® president, Hans Lagerweij. “The high ice class of both these ships will allow for easier navigation through Arctic ice, will enhance our passengers’ expedition experience and provide unprecedented access on our northern itineraries.”
Arctic 2015 Season Details
Quark’s 2015 Arctic season is scheduled to be announced in February 2014. For more information visit www.quarkexpeditions.com or call 0808 120 2333
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