Tag Archives: cruises

Lindblad Expeditions Introduces First Ever Voyages to Japan

Imperial Palace, Tokyo. Lindblad Expeditions will explore the fascinating region of Japan on two new adventurous itineraries in 2021, set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion,inaugural voyages that mark Lindblad’s first foray into Japan and promise a wealth of exceptional experiences. (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK —  Lindblad Expeditions will explore the fascinating region of Japan on two new adventurous itineraries in 2021. Set aboard the 102-guest National Geographic Orion, these inaugural voyages mark Lindblad’s first foray into Japan and promise a wealth of exceptional experiences. 

This iconic island nation holds fast to age-old traditions while embracing today’s cutting-edge technologies. As they sail through 400+ years of history—from the influential Edo period and the Meiji era to WWII and beyond—guests will forge a deeper understanding of how these two worlds thrive in harmony. Roam shores brimming with temples, teahouses, and ancient traditions; discover a seldom-seen wild side on sub-tropical islands where azure waters meet verdant forests; plus, get a taste of Taiwan and Korea too.  Only 400 of Japan’s nearly 7,000 islands are inhabited, and Lindblad will take guests beyond the populous borders of Honshu into wilder realms.

With the state-of-the-art National Geographic Orion as base, plus the company of cultural specialists, historians, and a top expedition team, these two extraordinary adventures offer an incomparable way to discover a truly inspiring place.

Highlights of the two new voyages include:

Coastal Japan: Imperial Dynasties and Modern CultureStep back in time on a voyage into Japan’s riveting history, from the historic castle towns of the Edo period to the elegant shrines and merchant districts of the Meiji era, to the poignant sites of World War II. Trace the shores of Honshu and the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, venture into the homes of samurai and feudal lords and discover exquisite centuries-old gardens of Kenroku-en, Koraku-en, and Sengan-en. Get inspired on the art-filled island of Naoshima, and visit museums and studios dedicated to artists and traditional handicrafts in Matsue and on Shikoku. Take a detour to South Korea to spend a day exploring the rich cultural legacy of Korea’s Silla Dynasty among the incredible ancient ruins of ancient city of Gyeongju. 14 nights/16 days, departs September 15, 2021.  Rates begin at $20,800 per person based on double occupancy in a category one cabin.

Sailing the East China Sea: Japan, Okinawa, And Taiwan:  Island-hop your way from Japan to Taiwan, experiencing a wide array of natural wonders, historic sites, and cultural treasures along the way. Experience some of Japan’s most cherished sites, from Himeji Castle and the historic merchant towns of Ozu and Uchiko to the “floating” torii gate at Miyajima. Explore Naoshima, an island transformed by art and cutting-edge architecture, and visit the culinary hub of Shodoshima. Snorkel the coral reefs of Kerama Island and venture into the mangrove forests of the Yaeyama Islands by Zodiac or kayak. Hike among ancient cedar trees in Yakushima’s rainforest and marvel at the incredible hoodoo spires in Taiwan’s Yehliu Geopark. 13 nights/15 days, departs September 28, 2021.  Rates begin at $19,320 per person based on double occupancy in a category one cabin.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions’ voyages, visit www.expeditions.com, call 800-EXPEDITION (800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

CruiseCompete Highlights 3 of the Most Interesting Cruise Trends for 2019

Cruises can be the vehicle for exploring one’s heritage © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

CruiseCompete, an online cruise marketplace, is projecting three major trends for cruising in 2019:

  1. Dark Skies Cruising – You do not have to be an astronomer to find a dark sky cruise fascinating.

Research by the Light Pollution Science and Technology Institute indicates that 80% of Earth’s land mass suffers from light pollution, and 99% of people in Europe and the USA view a night sky that is obscured by artificial lighting. That being the case, when did you last really take a good look at the night sky and what could you see? You could probably spot the moon, or the Big Dipper if you’re lucky, but opportunities for true constellation admiration are few and far between. Fortunately, designated dark-sky spaces are on the increase, granting stargazers better access to spellbinding panoramas.

Cruising is the ultimate vacation for star-gazing because the open sea affords low light pollution, and some cruise lines have itineraries designed specifically for this purpose. For example, Princess Cruises offers stargazing nights that are led by an astrophysicist.

Or, perhaps you’d like a special kind of star-gazing cruise, one that explores the northern lights. It’s one of those magical experiences on nearly every traveler’s bucket list.  You can simplify the logistics of viewing those shimmering colors in the nighttime sky by booking a northern lights cruise. Cunard offers just such an opportunity on their November 2019 12 Night Norway and Northern Lights roundtrip from Southampton.

  1. Exploring your DNA may offer memorable travel that will give treasured connections to family experienced through travel.

    According to ABC News, genealogy is the second most-popular hobby in the United States, surpassed only by gardening. The study of our family trees and DNA testing has a universal appeal, because most of us have a history that extends far beyond the nation where we’ve been born and bred.

    We live in the information age, which allows us to document our family history with a high degree of accuracy, but does it tell us where we really come from? A true connection to history can only be experienced through travel, where names on paper become real, live people, and foreign locations become ancestral homelands filled with the treasures of family history.

    2019 will see a surge in travel that reflects people’s desire to visit the cities and countries that feature prominently in their family history. Ancestry.com, for example, will offer an 11-Day Irish Ancestry Tour that visits Dublin, Cork, County Kerry & Galway in August 2019. This special tour, designed with The Irish Ancestral Research Association, allows for research time in archives/libraries and would be perfectly complemented by a 25 Night British Isles Grand Adventure From Dublin, Ireland to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

    Or, explore on your own terms with a pre- or post-cruise visit that allows you to study a region in even greater depth. Expand PONANT’sSep 27, 2019 In the Wake of General MacArthur: The Legacy of World War II cruise, with tours of the cities and countries, reflects your personal history.

  2. Mystery, Adventure & Spiritual Inspiration – The Ultimate Cruise Travel Experience

    Would you take a mystery trip? One where you won’t know where you’re going, what you’ll see, where you’ll stay or what you’ll be eating? Earlier this year, Intrepid’s first ever trip of this kind, the Uncharted Expedition, sold out virtually overnight with 10 travelers choosing to journey 3,500 kilometers from Kazakhstan to Mongolia reminiscent of the bygone days of Genghis Khan.  Imagine your journey on roads not yet mapped by Google and where there is only intermittent electricity and WIFI, a few cold showers and fermented mares’ milk as a treat along the way!

    Also finding favor with seasoned travelers for 2019 is the “mystery cruise”. Saga has one such cruise scheduled, and Fred Olsen has 3 slated this year. The demand for these cruises won’t stop there. Expect them to see a sharp rise in popularity, fueled by people’s sense of adventure and delight in the unknown.

    Then there is a different kind of mystery, one deeply spiritual in nature.  There are literally hundreds of cruise itineraries that provide access to sacred places– global sites of healing, guidance, and spiritual inspiration. The significance of these hallowed sites cannot be expressed in words or pictures – to understand the sense of awe they invoke, travelers must experience them in person.

    See a full listing of sacred places that are accessible via cruise ship.

CruiseCompete has been a premier online cruise marketplace since 2003, where consumers can come to research and book cruise vacations. They can compare offers, see consumer reviews of agents and agencies responding, then contact travel agents directly for more information and to book cruises. More than 1.5 million users have generated close to 4 million requests from consumers and agents have delivered almost 17 million quotes since 2003. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, a leading authority and resource for family travel information and is home to the Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations.

 

CruiseCompete has won honorable mention in Travel + Leisure’s “Top 60 Best Apps and Websites for Travelers”. The Wall Street Journal praised CruiseCompete as “Best Cruise Travel Site,” and the site has been reviewed by The New York Times (“independent travel agents compete to offer you the best deal”), The Street (“Score luxury cruises at bargain prices”) and Travel + Leisure, Kiplinger and The Washington Post.

For more information, visit https://www.cruisecompete.com/ or https://www.cruisecompete.com/group_cruises/

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Sacred Places: Spiritual Sites That Can Be Visited Via Cruise Ship

Praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, one of more than 100 holy sites that can be visited on a cruise.

There are more than a hundred cruise itineraries that provide access to sacred places – worldwide sites of healing, guidance, and divine inspiration. The significance of these hallowed sites cannot be expressed in words or pictures – to understand their impact, the faithful must visit them in person, to experience healing, guidance or divine inspiration.

While many of the world’s most sacred sites have historically been inaccessible to all but the hardiest of travelers – those who were able to make arduous overland journeys – the travel experts at CruiseCompete say travelers will find that today’s cruise itineraries make many of these locations surprisingly easy to visit.

Here is a partial list:

Asia/Far East
Beijing, China, Hanging Monastery
Beppu, Japan, Beppu Onsen
Delhi, India, Taj Mahal
Delhi, India, Rishikesh
Hiroshima, Japan, Peace Memorial Park
Kochi, Kanyakumari, India, 3 oceans unite, Ghandi Memorial
Mumbai, India, Ajanta and Ellora caves
Qingdao, Tai Shan, China, Tai Shan Dai Mai Complex
Shanghai, South Korea, Lotus Lantern Festival
Shimizu, Japan, Mt Fuji
Taipai, China/Taiwan, Wenwu Temple
Yangon, Myanman, Bagan

Caribbean
Bridgetown, Trinidad and Tobago, Diwali

Europe
Bordeax, France, Lourdes
Bucharest, Romania, Hurezi Monastery
Cologne, Germany, Aachen Cathedral
Cologne, Germany, Shrine of the Three Kings
Dublin, Ireland, Newgrange
Holyhead, Holywell, Wales, St Winefride’s Well
Lisbon, Portugal, Our Lady of Fatima
Madrid, Spain, Mezquita
Beaches of Normandy, France, Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial
Paris, France, Chartres Cathedral
Paris, France, Mont-St.-Michael

Mediterranean
Cairo, Sinai peninsula, Mt Sinai/St. Catherine’s Monastery
Haifa, Nazareth / Galilee (Haifa), Israel, Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias)
Istanbul, Turkey, Blue Mosque
Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Cave of the Nativity
Jerusalem, Israel, Western Wall
Jerusalem, Israel, Holy Sepulchre Church
Jerusalem, Israel, Yad Veshem
Tripoli, Lebanon, Cedars of God Lebanon
Livorno, Italy, Chapel of the Stigmata
Luxor, Egypt, Valley of the Kings
Rhodes, Greece, The Cave of the Apocalypse
Rome, Italy, Abbazia Di San Galgano
Rome, Italy, St. Peter’s Basilica

Middle East
Aqaba, Jordan, Petra

North America
Baltimore, Virginia, Arlington National Cemetery
Huatulpo, Mexico, Day of the Dead
New York, New York, Ground Zero
Baltimore, Washington DC, Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial

South America
Copacabana, South America, Islands of the Sun and Moon
Easter Island, South Pacific, Easter Island
Lima, Peru, Mcchu Picchu/ Sacred Valley of the Inca

For more information, visit CruiseCompete’s full listing of sacred places that are accessible via cruise ship.

For more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruisetour, visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor.

Find CruiseCompete’s “Sea Tales 2019 Family Cruise Travel Planner” at www.cruisecompete.com/resources.php. To see consumer feedback click here.

CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003 (see media praises).

Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. More than 1.5 million users have generated close to 4 million requests from consumers, and agents have delivered almost 17 million quotes since 2003. They can compare offers from trusted travel agents, see consumer reviews of agents and agencies responding, then contact travel agents directly for more information and to book cruises. CruiseCompete is a member of the Family Travel Association, a leading authority and resource for family travel information and is home to the Sea Tales 2018 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want in cruise vacations.

CruiseCompete takes top honors in Travel + Leisure’s “Top 60 Best Apps and Websites for Travelers” with an honorable mention. The Wall Street Journal praised CruiseCompete as “Best Cruise Travel Site,” The New York Times says, “… independent travel agents compete to offer you the best deal,” and follows similar praise from Travel + Leisure, Kiplinger and The Washington Post. The Street says, “Score luxury cruises at bargain prices.”

For more information, visit https://www.cruisecompete.com/ or https://www.cruisecompete.com/group_cruises/

CruiseCompete is an Iowa limited liability company, is not a travel agency or owned by a travel agency.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Gift of Travel: Once-in-a-Lifetime Cruise in French Polynesia Aboard Aranui 5

The Aranui 5, a passenger-freighter vessel, sails among the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.

SAN MATEO, CA – This holiday season, surprise your loved one with a once-in-a-lifetime cruise aboard the Aranui 5, a passenger-freighter vessel to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.

Atop any adventurer’s wish list, the soft adventure cultural voyage boards in Papeete, Tahiti, for a 13-day complete vacation experience sailing 800 miles north to some of most remote islands in the world including Fakarava and Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Archipelago, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, as well as Nuku Hiva, Ua Pou, Hiva Oa, Fatu Hiva, Tahuata and Ua Huka in the Marquesas Islands.

Passengers are fully immersed in Polynesian heritage with onboard activities and offshore excursions to delight in, such as breathtaking hikes, visits to sacred ritual sites and small museums, encounters with local inhabitants, a visit to French artist Paul Gauguin’s grave, snorkeling in the translucent waters of the atolls, on-island picnics and restaurant lunches featuring local food, a visit to a pearl farm and more.

Featuring a crew primarily of inhabitants from the Marquesas Islands and throughout French Polynesia, and with expert lecturers and guides, Aranui 5 combines  mesmerizing scenery and culturally enriching experiences to create an unforgettable vacation.

With six sailings sold out, travelers can enjoy their holiday gift of an all-inclusive adventure throughout the year on 14 available dates between April and December 2019.

The cruise includes three meals daily with complimentary wine for onboard lunches and dinners, guided excursions as outlined in the itinerary, picnics and meals on shore, cultural activities and Polynesian entertainment. Travelers booking a stay aboard the Aranui 5 can choose from eight different cabin categories.

Prices for a 2019 Aranui 5 vacation start at $2,920 per person and do not include port tax, cruise tax and tourism tax.

For more information or to book an Aranui vacation, visit www.aranui.com, call 800-972-7268 or email cptm@aranui.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Save over 67% on Victoria Cruises’ Acclaimed 3 Gorges Yangtze River Cruise in China by Combining Promotions

Victoria Cruises is offering reduced winter rates on February departures of its popular three- and four-night Three Gorges Highlights itinerary. The discount can be combined with Victoria Cruises 2-for-1 offer on bookings received by Feb. 28, 2019 for a total savings of more than 67% of the cruise fare.

NEW YORK, NY  – Victoria Cruises, the only American-managed luxury cruise line operating on China’s mist-shrouded Yangtze, is offering reduced winter rates on February departures of its popular three- and four-night Three Gorges Highlights itinerary. The discount can be combined with Victoria Cruises 2-for-1 offer on bookings received by Feb. 28, 2019 for a total savings of more than 67% of the cruise fare.

“The Three Gorges region of the Yangtze is geographically closer to Vietnam than Beijing. As a result, our cruises typically feature more temperate weather during the wintertime,” said Larry Greenman, manager of public relations and customer service for Victoria Cruises. “February is therefore a great time to experience river cruising in China at a significant cost savings.”

In order to qualify for the 2-for-1 discount, bookings must include a $90 per person mandatory shore excursion package (billed at $45 per person after 2-for-1 savings is applied). The package features three excursions including an educational tour of the Three Gorges Dam, a tranquil sampan excursion along one of the Yangtze’s scenic tributaries and a visit to a famous Chinese monument such as a 100-foot-tall statue depicting the Jade Emperor, the supreme deity of Chinese Taoism, or Shibaozhai’s famous red pagoda. Excursions are subject to change.

With all discounts included, passengers can sail for as low as $285 per person, based on double occupancy – representing a total savings of $1,170 per couple.

Optional add-on excursions such as the Tribe of the Three Gorges cultural experience or an opportunity to experience the world’s largest ship elevator (capable of elevating a volume of water roughly equivalent to four Olympic-sized swimming pools), are available for onboard purchase starting at $45 per person, per excursion.

Onboard passengers will enjoy a world-class dining program designed for the Western palate, while Tai Chilessons and traditional dance and musical performances emphasize local culture.

Passengers can upgrade their onboard experience for an additional $200 per person with Victoria Cruises’ Luxury Amenities program, which offers VIP perks including upper deck stateroom placement, access to exclusive ship areas, “white glove” service, enhanced culinary privileges featuring a la carte options as well as wine and beer with dinner, exclusive happy hour and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access. The nominal $200 per person upgrade becomes $100 per person when the Luxury Amenities program is booked in conjunction with Victoria Cruises’ 2-for-1 offer.

New York-based Victoria Cruises established new standards of excellence for sailing China’s Yangtze River when its first ship edged out of port in 1994. Victoria Cruises remains a service leader on the Yangtze River with each ship earning the coveted five-star rating from the China National Tourism Administration. Victoria Cruises has earned numerous awards and recognitions over the years including the 2011 TravelAge West WAVE Award Editor’s Pick for Best River Cruise Line as well as Best New River Cruise Ship in 2010 with the launch of the luxurious Victoria Jenna. In that same year, Travel Weekly also selected the Victoria Jenna as a Silver Award Winner for the Magellan Awards’ River Cruise Ship category. The cruise line operates a variety of itineraries on the Yangtze ranging from four to eight days. 

For more information and a free color brochure or promotional DVD, contact Victoria Cruises at 136-18 39th Avenue, 12th Floor, Flushing, NY 11354; phone (800) 348-8084, (212) 818-1680; fax (212) 818-9889. E-mail contact@victoriacruises.com or visit www.victoriacruises.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Cruising where Few Have Cruised Before, AdventureSmith Explorations Announces New Small Ship Cruises for 2016

AdventureSmith Exploration's new cruise, Tahitian Affair, sails over eight days round-trip from Bora Bora, also visiting the islands of Tahaá, Raiatea and Huahine.
AdventureSmith Explorations’ new cruise, Tahitian Affair, sails eight days round-trip from Bora Bora, also visiting the islands of Tahaá, Raiatea and Huahine.

Small ship cruise expert AdventureSmith Explorations plans to go where few have cruised before. Itineraries unveiled for 2016 include regions only recently opened for cruising, along with new routes and the introduction of state-of-the-art, newly built vessels.

“Where there’s curiosity and desire to experience some place new and where we’re seeing our established destinations explored in a new way are two of the major themes in our 2016 new trip line-up,” said Todd Smith, AdventureSmith Explorations’ founder and director.

The Top New Cruises for 2016 Include:

Tahiti
The 24-guest Island Passage sails May through October in Tahiti before returning to New Zealand for the austral summer. The new cruise, Tahitian Affair, sails over eight days round-trip from Bora Bora, also visiting the islands of Tahaá, Raiatea and Huahine. This is an active cruise with kayaking, fishing, swimming, snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding spliced in with visits to a vanilla plantation, local markets and the Maeva Marae archaeological site. Time will also be spent listening to a local choir and learning how to crack coconuts.

Cuba
The US embargo against Cuba, in place since 1960, once prevented ordinary Americans from traveling to Cuba, but now with a special visa under the provision of a “people-to-people exchange,” US citizens can visit on properly licensed tours. The new Cuba People to People Cruise aboard the 49-guest Panorama sail cruiser focuses on bringing travelers into contact with Cuban people, culture and their communities. Departures start in late December and run through April 2016 for the cruise’s inaugural season. Panorama and Panorama II, with their white sails and masts, provide a romantic yet modern home base.

Peru
According to AdventureSmith, the Amazon River and its tributaries represent a hot destination with travelers right now, with high- and low-water seasons providing a varied travel experience year-round. One new itinerary and vessel recently introduced is the newly built 44-guest Amazon Discovery, an all-suite riverboat that sails round-trip from Iquitos and includes a visit to a private reserve on Monkey Island, home to seven different species. The Amazon Discovery Cruise offers seven-day departures year-round, with the inaugural voyage sailing in December 2015.

Croatia
The Dalmatian Coast Cruise utilizes, among other sister ships, a 2015-built vessel, the 38-guest Infinity, on explorations of the Adriatic Sea coastline between Split and Dubrovnik over eight days. These port towns are featured in the popular Game of Thrones HBO series. The show’s fictional city of King’s Landing is filmed in Dubrovnik, with Split also appearing in scenes. Sailings start at $1,425 per person and start in May 2016.

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The 90-guest Santa Cruz II made its maiden voyage last October and is the star in AdventureSmith’s Santa Cruz Galapagos Cruise, the top pick for what’s new and exciting in the Galapagos for 2016. The completely refurbished vessel has been refitted for the Galapagos Islands’ style of cruising, and it represents a 58 percent increase in passenger space and a 31 percent reduction in fuel consumption over its predecessor. See: 6 New Ways to Cruise the Galapagos

New Zealand
Voted by Lonely Planet as its fifth top region to travel to in 2016, New Zealand’s Waiheke Island is making many travelers’ lists for 2016. The Bay of Islands Explorer cruise aboard the 24-guest Island Passage visits this 36-square-mile island just north of Auckland before sailing farther north to the Bay of Islands region. Highlights of the eight-day itinerary include wine tasting on Waiheke, dolphin watching, dining on the region’s famed green-lipped mussels, a scenic helicopter ride in the Bay of Islands and visiting the wild and enchanting Great Barrier Island, home to the beautiful Fitzroy Harbour.

Costa Rica
A new ship and itinerary to Costa Rica, Uncharted Isthmus: Sloths, Monkeys & Mangroves aboard the 64-guest Safari Voyager, is an eight-day cruise offering guests twice-daily options by skiff, hike, stand-up paddleboard, snorkel and kayak. Itinerary highlights include transiting the 48-mile-long Panama Canal connecting the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, visiting Costa Rica’s largest park, Corcovado National Park, and snorkeling the crystalline waters at Panama’s Granito de Oro.

Alaska
New to the company’s wilderness cruise program is the Alaska’s Islands, Whales & Glaciers itinerary, featuring eight days between Sitka and Juneau aboard the intimate 10-guest yacht Misty Fjord. Native culture and off-the-beaten path explorations along with sea kayaking, hiking and zodiac adventures engage guests in the pleasures of exploring Southeast Alaska. A hover flight at Taku Glacier offers a ride on an amphibious vehicle designed to travel over ice, water, sandbars and grasslands.

For information on all of AdventureSmith’s small ship cruises, itineraries, availability and 2016 reservations, call 800-728-2875 toll-free or visit www.adventuresmithexplorations.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

 

Galapagos Small-Ship Cruise Operator Ecoventura To Launch the Islands’ Newest Premium Class Vessel

Ecoventura is now taking bookings for MV Origin’s inaugural cruise Jan. 3, 2016.
Ecoventura is now taking bookings for MV Origin’s inaugural cruise Jan. 3, 2016.

Ecoventura, which operates an environmentally friendly fleet of small expedition yachts in the Galapagos Islands, plans to debut the region’s newest ship in early 2016.

Construction of the 20-passenger motor vessel is underway at the shipyard in Guayaquil, Ecuador but Ecoventura has begun taking bookings for MV Origin’s inaugural cruise Jan. 3, 2016. When launched she will be the newest and most comfortable 20-passenger yacht operating in Galapagos.

The vessel’s owner, Ecoventura, has more than two decades experience in sustainable tourism.

“We are exploring ways to make the Origin the most comfortable and environmentally efficient yacht in Galapagos,” Ecoventura founder and owner Santiago Dunn. “Our first goal is to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 45 percent (from 1800 gallons to 1000 gallons per week),” he explains. “This is no simple achievement when you consider our plans to sail at 12 knots on two engines so that guests can spend as much time as possible at each visitor site.”

MV Origin, designed for guests with a highly evolved lifestyle, will combine modern sophistication and a high level of comfort and service, with quality guided land excursions in small groups, gastronomical experiences, exciting physical activities and a dose of intellectual science for a life enriching experience. A veteran crew supervised by a master-level captain, two expert naturalist guides and a concierge will be at the beck and call of guests. Social areas offer private moments on board with a library, boutique, computer station, lounge areas, dining room, bar, Jacuzzi, sun deck, recliners and wet bar.

Guests aboard Origin will enjoy locally sourced, healthy, gourmet-style menus designed by top local chefs and creatively prepared by Ecoventura’s culinary school trained chefs. Some lunches will be served al fresco on deck. Passengers will have an open bar policy, including wine and local beer.

The vessel will feature 10 deluxe staterooms all located on the main deck with panoramic windows and private bathroom. Each stateroom is 140 square feet, with two twin beds that convert to a king, two connecting cabins, two triples, fine linens, bathrobes, and satellite TV.

Guests wishing to stay in shape will enjoy a fitness center with cardio equipment. The services of a professional masseuse can also be arranged at an additional charge on private charters only. Twice daily cabin cleanings are provided. Laundry service is also available. Guide lectures, cooking demonstrations and yoga will be part of the on-ship activities.
Ecoventura’s Director of Sales & Marketing, Doris Welsh, explained that MV Origin rates reflecting a premium class vessel will be higher than those on its three existing first class vessels, the Eric, Flamingo and Letty.  A per person double rate for an eight-day all-inclusive cruise will be $6,500. Rates include cabin accommodation, all meals and snacks, all beverages including open bar, Captain’s welcome and farewell party, guided shore excursions, services of a concierge, use of wet suits, snorkelling equipment, stand-up paddle boards and sea kayaks, and transfers in the islands between the airport and dock.

There are two distinct itineraries on weekly (Sundays), year-round departures from the island of San Cristobal. The tours visit the most spectacular visitor sites of the archipelago; western/northern and central/southern.

Ecoventura is a family-owned company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, with sales offices in Quito and Miami. In operation since 1990, the cruise company transports 4,000+ passengers annually aboard its fleet of at present three identical, 20-passenger first-class motor yachts, Eric, Flamingo and Letty, and the 16-passenger luxury dive live-aboard the MV Galapagos Sky. Departures are every Sunday from San Cristobal offering two unique seven-night itineraries.

Contact Ecoventura, at 800.633.7972, or e-mail info@galapagosnetwork.com. To access current rates, schedules and itineraries log on to www.ecoventura.com.

___________________________

© 2014 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin, www.examiner.com/eclectic-traveler-in-long-island/karen-rubin, www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. ‘Like’ us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures.