Wild Earth Travel Wild Earth Travel is more a travel organization rather than a cruise company. Wild Earth Travel is founded by expedition leaders who followed their hearts and have a worldwide network of various cruise companies. These specialists have been following their passion for more than 30 years, creating the most beautiful expeditions in the furthest corners of the world. They know from first hand and foremost what itineraries are worth to visit. Apart from interesting destinations, they know where the routes and colonies are located of many animal species. Their experience gives them a unique position within the world of small-scale cruises and especially those of expeditions. These cruises are recommended for adventure travellers who are interested in nature and related cultures. Do you like a cruise on a small ship, where you can expect a lot of personal attention? This is the right place where you can find a cruise that suits you best! With Wild Earth Travel you can visit the wild habitat with its special species, all over the world. The highly selected partners of Wild Earth Travel with their professional crew and their local expertise offer you an enormous range of choices. And all expeditions are done under the guidance of experienced guides and specialists. You can choose from small sailing boats and catamarans up to various sorts of motor yachts. They have quite a range of expedition ships and small luxury ships up to imposing icebreakers. All equipped with comfortable and often luxury accommodations, intimacy, and comfort guaranteed. With Wild Earth Travel adventure and experience seem infinite. Go for it! Through the years a huge supply of expedition and small cruise ships has been formed. The ships vary in size from 2 up to 300 passengers. No long rows for the buffets or excursions. Just have a good old-fashioned exploration of a destination with a small group of interested travellers. Most of the ships have all kinds of amenities to guarantee you a pleasant stay. Small ships, which are designed to reach special and remote places, will guarantee you an amazing experience! Wild Earth Travel provides you with a cruise or expedition not only to enjoy but also to see and experience. In addition to all the relaxation, your trip is also worth learning!

Small Ships, Big Adventures

Cruise Type
Ship
Date
Days
Destination
Information
Luxury Expedition
Hebridean Sky
19.09.2021
26.09.2021
7
The Mediterranean, September in the Mediterranean
Fare from € 4,350
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Travelroute
Day 1

London to Palma, Mallorca

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Hebridean Sky. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.

Day 2

Mahon, Menorca

Over breakfast we arrive in Menorca, the most northerly of the Balearics and the least dedicated to tourism. The island offers pastoral countryside, historic towns and superb beaches. This morning choose to join an island drive including the mysterious rock mounds (talayots) and megalithic stone monuments which were erected some 4,000 years ago before making our way to aristocratic Ciudadella, the architectural showpiece of Menorca. Situated at the head of a long channel from the sea, the city has had its share of disputes over sovereignty, and its character reflects the influence of Moorish, Turkish and Spanish rule. Alternatively, spend the morning exploring the pretty harbour town of Mahon at your own pace. Return to the MS Hebridean Sky for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at sea as we sail to Sardinia.

Day 3

Alghero, Sardinia

The Medieval city of Alghero was colonised by the Catalans in the 14th century and today there is still a strong Catalan identity throughout the town, and it is often even referred to as “Barceloneta”. We will use the attractive port as our base for a day of exploration in the region. This morning’s panoramic drive takes us to Nuraghe Palmavera with its main tower of the Nuraghe, which still has its domeshaped ceiling that dates back to 1100 years BC. The complex, which was abandoned in the 5th century BC due to fire, shows the different phases of social life and political organisation of the tribal community. We return to Alghero for lunch on board and the afternoon is free to explore the town at your own pace. Maybe enjoy a walk through the Medieval streets and along the city walls or visit the archaeological museum before we sail in the early evening. Please note that we will be at anchor today and will use the vessel’s Zodiacs or local tender to transfer ashore.

Day 4

L’Ile Rousse & Calvi, Corsica

Arrive this morning in Corsica and the prosperous Balagne region of the island. A morning tour will take us to Calvi where our guide will lead us through the alleyways and cobbled streets before continuing to the imposing citadel. Built by the Genoese, this 15th century structure has seen off several assaults through the centuries and offers wonderful views from its five bastions. We will also see the Caserne Sampiero and 13th century Cathedral St Jean Baptiste. This afternoon, after lunch on board, there will be an opportunity to explore the flora of Corsica with a visit to the seven hectare Parc de Saleccia where you can explore the range of paths through the gardens and see the tough plants of the maquis, pines, myrtles, figs and over 100 varieties of olive trees. Alternatively, spend some time exploring L’ile Rousse at your own pace.

Day 5

Portoferraio, Elba

Today we call into the enchanting island of Elba, best known as Napoleon’s island of exile from 1814 to 1815. Departing from the island’s busy capital Portoferraio, we set out for a delightful drive exploring the southern region of this charming island with superb views over the coastline. The first stop will be Villa San Martino which was the summer residence of Napoleon Bonaparte and has been transformed into a museum. Later enjoy some time at leisure in Porto Azzurro to browse around and shop among the many local boutiques of this delightful town which is dominated by an ancient Spanish fortress and a picturesque harbour. Our drive continues along the coast to the 17th century country wine farm, La Chiusa which is beautifully nestled in a vineyard estate surrounded by olive trees and overlooking the ocean. As any self-respecting mansion on Elba, La Chiusa claims to have once housed Napoleon during his exile here. Experience the estate’s interesting cellar to learn how the wine is handled and produced and in the estate’s garden facing the sea we will enjoy a delicious sampling of the local wine. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Portoferraio.

Day 6

Bonifacio, Corsica

Return to Corsica and Bonifacio’s stunning natural harbour. Well known by Odysseus as the home of the savage and giant laestrygonians, today Bonifacio’s breathtaking cliff-top setting and relaxed pace make it one of the most welcoming ports in the Mediterranean. On our morning tour we will explore the narrow streets and the historical heart of the town. We will discover the Bosco quarter with the St Francis Convent, the 14th century church of St Marie Majeure and take in the views from the clifftop on which the city is built. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy the afternoon in port to explore further at your own pace. Maybe take a local boat ride to the Lavezzi Islands or a walk in the nearby Marine Park which offers some stunning views.

Day 7

Naples, Italy

After a morning at sea we arrive in Naples at lunchtime and see the Norman castle that protects the port and the backdrop of Vesuvius in the distance. An afternoon tour will visit Herculaneum, a wealthy Roman town which was completely submerged by volcanic mud following the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius. Since its rediscovery in 1709, excavations have revealed beautiful public baths, villas and gardens of noble families, decorated with murals and floor mosaics, and the remains of a theatre. Return to the ship this afternoon as we moor overnight.

Day 8

Naples to London

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Overview

September in the Mediterranean

There are of course no shortages of cruise vessels plying the major ports and cities of the Mediterranean, but few are inclined to focus on the islands as we have done with this delightful journey from Mallorca to Naples aboard the MS Hebridean Sky. Our intention has been to design a voyage as if it were to be undertaken on a small private yacht, staying away from the larger commercial centres and concentrating on some of the most picturesque and interesting places in the region.
Highlights
Late summer is the perfect time for our voyage, when the crowds of August have dispersed but the weather is perfect for touring and sightseeing. We have created our itinerary to combine time in the islands of the Balearics, Sardinia, Corsica and Elba, all of which are easy to visit individually but difficult to combine independently, before ending our voyage in Naples with an afternoon exploration of Herculaneum. We will have time on each island to see the main sites but also to explore some of the smaller ports and less visited destinations and have ensured that each day has an enjoyable mix of culture with some time at leisure for independent exploration • In addition to exploring fascinating ports of call we have the pleasure of cruising aboard the MS Hebridean Sky. From time to time we may pass a huge cruise liner and at moments like this we can be thankful that with just 118 passengers, we are able to visit atmospheric ports and villages which the big ships cannot access. We will discover timeless islands with their aura of history, unique island lifestyles and spectacular beauty which will capture our hearts as we travel a less well trodden path across the Mediterranean

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Ship information

MS Hebridean Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 91 meters
Passenger Capacity: 118
Crew Capacity: 70
Built / Refurbished: 1992 / 2016
The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky.
Your Suite On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a sitting area and fourteen suites have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton Decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring vanity unit with sink and walk-in rainfall shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Additional facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The beds in each suite can be configured as twins or double with the exception of suite 601 and 602 which feature fixed double beds. The impressive Hebridean Suite, located on the Shackleton Deck consists of a separate bathroom and sitting room with extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry.
Your Space The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky include a large lounge on the Byrd Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. In addition to the Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also offers a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Mawson Deck is The Library which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Amundsen Deck and is a bright and charming setting to enjoy the delicious meals on board. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Scott Deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this, on the top Shackleton Deck there is an observation area which offers a fantastic platform for spotting wildlife complete with deck furniture, ideal for relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request.
Your Dining It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice. In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose. The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.
For Your Comfort The MS Hebridean Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.
Contact
Booking
Luxury Small Ship Cruise
Silver Origin
25.09.2021
02.10.2021
7
Latin America, Galápagos Islands Luxury Cruise
Fare from € 9,540
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Travelroute
Day 1

San Cristobal and Kicker Rock

Like so many of the islands in the Galápagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 6,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galápagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.
Kicker Rock is the vertical remnant of a former tuff cone less than 5 kilometers to the west of San Cristobal. Both its Spanish name “Leon Dormido” (Sleeping Lion) and English name Kicker Rock imply that it is one rock only -when in fact it is a larger one 300 meters long by 100 meters wide with a maximum height of approximately 150 meters and next to it an obelisk-like rock separated by a narrow channel some 20 meters deep. When approaching Kicker Rock, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies and frigatebirds can be observed in the air, while sea lions can be seen along the shore. Snorkelers and divers have reported manta rays, hammerhead sharks and turtles. The Spanish name implies that the geological formation seen from the south resembles a sleeping lion. An interesting explanation for the English name suggests that James Colnett in 1794 likened it to famous landmarks in Portsmouth.

Day 2

Isla Bartolome and Buccaneer Cove, Santiago

Our ship anchors in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé, at Sullivan Bay. Zodiacs bring guests ashore to ascend a boardwalk of 388 steps. Passing through the arid volcanic landscape provides a chance to watch for lava lizards, Galapagos Hawks, and Blue-footed Boobies. However, the climber’s ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galapagos Islands – the view towards Pinnacle Rock with black, volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance. On the way down watch how the sunlight catches the green of pioneering plant species in stark contrast against dark volcanic rock, and look forward to time swimming and snorkeling from the golden beach at Bahia Dorada.

Day 3

Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela) and Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)

Punta Vicente Roca is one of the marine sites Isabela Island has to offer. On the southern side of Ecuador Volcano, the tip of land on the western end of Isabela is named after Vicente Ramon Roca, President of Ecuador from 1845-49, who as Prefect of Guayas had proposed the Ecuadorian annexation of the Galapagos Islands in 1831. The geological formations, the underwater caves and lava tubes offer fascinating views of the coastline. The South Equatorial Countercurrent hits this part of the archipelago from the west and the water offers abundant food sources for different marine life and seabirds. It is normal to see Pacific green turtles, but sharks, rays, whales and dolphins can also be expected, apart from a small colony of fur seals. Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Brown Noddies and other seabirds nest in the cliffs and both the endemic Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants have established small colonies nearby. Marine iguanas also like this area because of the rich variety of seaweeds growing underwater along the western coast of Isabela. As a marine site, deepwater snorkeling is also possible at Punta Vicente Roca.
With the gentle slopes of La Cumbre volcano in the distance, the low, lava-forged coast of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is a spectacular sight. Hundreds of marine iguanas rest on the black rock of recent lava flows absorbing heat from the stone and defending their territories against one another. Galapagos sea lions and their pups also take shelter here, resting on the beach and playing in the shallow tide pools sprinkled along the coast. Walk past high sandy areas where marine iguanas lay their eggs and along low, shallow mangrove ponds ringed with bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs and Flightless Cormorants drying their stubby wings in the sunshine.

Day 4

Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay

Tagus Cove is bordered by a steep rocky coastline and has for centuries offered shelter for ships and yachts. The cove is named after the British frigate HMS Tagus visiting the Galapagos in 1814. Already by the 1830s other ships had their visits recorded by painting or scratching their name onto the rocks. On approach Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants –both birds mainly found on Isabela’s west coast and neighboring Fernandina- are often seen. From the landing a trail through an incense tree forest leads past Darwin Lake to a viewpoint on top of a splatter cone. During the hike several land birds including Medium Ground-Finches, Galapagos Hawks, Yellow Warblers as well as Large-billed and Vermilion Flycatchers are often present. Brown Noddies and Blue-footed Boobies prefer the rocks along the shore.
Elizabeth Bay is one of the marine sites on Isabela’s west coast. South of Alcedo Volcano and north of Sierra Negra, Elizabeth Bay is found at Isabela’s narrowest east-west extension where the lava flows of these two volcanoes have connected each other. Elizabeth Bay’s shores show mangroves and specifically the easternmost part, a cove which can only be entered via a narrow channel, has red, white and black mangroves. Different animals prefer different parts of Elizabeth Bay. Las Marielas, three rocks at the entrance to the bay, are favored by Blue-footed Boobies, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins as a resting place, while the mangrove area is preferred by Great Blue Herons for hunting or the Magnificent Frigatebirds for perching. The bay is used by turtles, rays and even sharks for feeding or resting. The shallow water and the root system of the mangroves in the small inlet allow smaller fish to hide from bigger predators.

Day 5

Post Office Bay (Floreana), Champion Islet, Floreana and Punta Cormorant (Floreana)

Floreana’s Post Office Bay has received its name as the site was used to leave mail for retrieval by others who were thought to stop at the Galapagos Islands or might be heading for the addressee’s direction. First mentioned by Porter in 1813 as “Hathaway’s Postoffice”, HMS Beagle’s captain FitzRoy stated that it was not in use in 1835 as the island was already settled at that time. Floreana had been the first island to be settled by Ecuadorians in 1832. Today a barrel instead of the original box is used by visitors who leave their own postcards and retrieve mail for hand-delivery. Apart from the beach and mail barrel the bay offers good swimming and snorkeling. The area holds remains of a failed Norwegian fish canning plant and settlement dating back to the 1920s. A lava tube in the vicinity can also be explored. Although Floreana is inhabited, the number of residents is reduced because of the difficult access to water. A track from Post Office Bay connects with the only road from Puerto Velazco Ibarra on the west coast to a spring in the highlands.
Champion Islet is a small islet some 700 meters off the northeast coast of Floreana. It is one of four marine sites surrounding Floreana and offers excellent deepwater snorkeling opportunities. Curious sea lions approach the snorkelers while turtles slowly swim by and sharks, sting rays, and a high diversity of colorful fishes can usually be seen. During a Zodiac cruise around Champion Islet not only seabirds such as Nazca Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, or Red-billed Tropicbirds will be seen, it is also possible to spot the rare Floreana Mockingbird.
Floreana Island’s northernmost point is called Punta Cormorant – named after the British naval vessel HMS Cormorant and dating back to the late 19th century. From the landing beach a short track leads to a shallow lagoon that is famous for its flamingos. The brilliantly pink birds skim the salty waters for shrimp and tend to chicks on the nest. The trail then scales a low hillside through scattered Palo Santo trees to reveal an idyllic white-sand beach on the other side of the point. Standing at the edge of the lapping waves, you might spot mammoth female sea turtles hauling themselves out of the sea to lay eggs in the sugar sand dunes that lay high above the tide line. Before returning to the landing site your guides may also point out White-cheeked Pintails, Blue-footed Boobies, Yellow Warblers, and Medium and Small Ground Finches.

Day 6

Santa Cruz Highlands and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Puerto Ayora

Los Gemelos (The Twins) is a visitor site in the Santa Cruz highlands. Found some 15 kilometers northwest of Puerto Ayora, the road leading from Puerto Ayora in the south of Santa Cruz to Itabaca in the north dissects the twin pit craters. Pit craters are formed when the roof of an underground void collapses. The smaller pit crater is on the eastern side of the road, while the larger one is on the western side. See from above, the two openings in the ground are not at all identical. Their layout might imply an elongated magma chamber or a lava tube leading further west and the larger twin actually having formerly been two small pit craters whose connecting wall collapsed as well. Trails through a Scalesia forest not only give access to good views of the pit craters, but also permit to observe some of the smaller land birds. Vermilion Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Doves, Medium Ground Finches and several other finch species can often be seen there.
Silver Origin will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the centre’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.

Day 7

Cerro Dragon (Santa Cruz), Isla Guy Fawkes and Bahía Borrero, Santa Cruz

Cerro Dragón’s land iguanas once played an important part in a conservation program headed by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park. When the reptiles’ numbers declined in the 1970s, some animals were taken to breed in captivity and were released back into undeveloped areas. Today, it is an honor to see the success of this program firsthand at Cerro Dragón. Walk inland on a trail past small saltwater lagoons that periodically feature flamingos, to see the reintroduced animals. In a periodic local phenomenon, during rainier times the salinity in the lagoons drops with the inflow of freshwater. As a consequence crustacean populations decline, which in turn means the shorebirds become scarce.
In the northern area of Santa Cruz Island, Bahía Borrero is a beautiful white coralline beach used as a nesting site by Green Sea turtles. Behind the dunes, we have a forest of typical vegetation from the arid zone: Palo Santo, Leather leaf, and Salty bushes. This vegetation welcomes Yellow Warblers, and some of the most characteristic species of Darwin Finches, such as the Common Cactus Finch or the Small Ground Finch. This extinct volcano, due to its altitude, shows all the different zones of vegetation, changing from the littoral to the arid, and then with more moisture into the humid zone, to end in the dry pampa zone. It is an impressive landscape to enjoy while you swim in the turquoise waters of the bay or have a nice relaxing walk along the beach.

Day 8

Baltra

Disembarkation.
Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is truly the entrance to the Galapagos Islands. Despite not being considered as part of the National Park proper, Baltra definitely offers a taste of the weird and wonderful nature that thrives on the islands. The island is located in the central part of the archipelago. At just eight sq. mi it is one of smallest islands, yet its flat, volcanic rock surface and central location in the archipelago makes it an ideal place for one of the islands’ two airports. The airport was built by the US Air Force, who used it as an army base during WWII. As a travel destination in itself it offers few attractions, and all travellers who come here are just passing through, either on either way to or from the islands. There is no tourism infrastructure (save a few agencies that offer tours of the islands) or shops on Baltra and any purchases that you might wish to make should be done at the airport if they can. However, land iguanas and Galapagos finches are popular sights, and the iguanas are often seen running across the runway itself. As you cross the Itabaca Channel to or from Santa Cruz, be on the lookout for some other Galapagian locals: giant turtles and playful sea lions completely oblivious to the humans around.

Ship information

Galápagos Islands Luxury Cruise

Including return flights between Ecuador and Galápagos.

The weird and wonderful Galápagos Islands are definitely contenders for the world best travel destination. These are the islands where the animals look at humans curiously, rather than the other way around! Inspiring and educational, each island has its own species and strengths, ranging from miles of dramatic coastline to nesting colonies of endemic birds. The islands may be small, but be prepared for some big surprises! Ticking off all 15 species of the Galapagos Big 15, this seven day voyage is perfect for curious cruisers! From marine iguanas to Galapagos Hawks, to the iconic blue-footed boobie, no other place on Earth can compare to the Galapagos’ fusion of flora and fauna. Join us to explore the volcanic landscapes that time forgot, discover unique wildlife both above and below the sea, drinking in the drama and depth of natural history along the way.
Highlights

Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team • Isla Bartolomé & Santiago Island • Fernandina Island, Isabela Island and more • Amazing Wildlife & Snorkelling

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Ship information

Silver Origin

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 101 metres
Passenger Capacity: 100
Crew: 90
Built: 2020

The first destination specific ship built by Silversea, Silver Origin is the height of experiential travel in the Galápagos. Never before have the islands been so superbly presented: a team of Ecuadorian national expert guides, the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the Galápagos, 8 Zodiacs, seamless hybrid spaces that offer an extraordinary voyage – for extraordinary people. All-suite accommodation, Horizon Balconies, butler service, sophisticated interiors, interactive basecamp, Ecuadorian inspired cuisine … no aspect of Silver Origin has been left to chance. The most environmentally conscious ship we have ever built, take a vertical leap and transform your idea of travel with Silver Origin.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Hebridean Sky
26.09.2021
04.10.2021
8
The Mediterranean, Sicilian Odyssey
Fare from € 4,750
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

London to Naples, Italy

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Hebridean Sky and enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.

Day 2

Trapani, Sicily

Spend the morning at sea arriving into Trapani over lunch. This was the landing point for Peter of Aragon in 1282 to start the Spanish occupation of Sicily. This afternoon choose to travel inland to explore Segesta, one of the grandest Doric monuments to survive. See the unfinished temple dating from 424 BC as well as the theatre from where you can enjoy excellent views of the countryside and distant coastline. Alternatively visit Erice, famed in antiquity for its temple dedicated to the goddess of love, the Phoenician Astarte, Greek Aphrodite or Roman Venus. A tour will take us to this stunning site high above the sea and to the beautifully preserved Medieval town characterised by its winding cobblestone streets and beautiful courtyards.

Day 3

Palermo

Arrive this morning in the Sicilian capital of Palermo. After breakfast we will explore the city, famous for its jumbled and picturesque streets punctuated with ornate Baroque churches, domed Arab mosques and the glittering Byzantine mosaics that reveal a unique and diverse heritage. We visit the impressive 12th century cathedral which houses the royal tombs of Henri VI and King Ruggiero. Return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon either enjoy some time to explore independently or join an excursion to Monreale Cathedral, said to be the most beautiful Norman Church in Italy, designed and completed by William the Good in 1174. With its thick walls and powerful towers, the exterior looks like an austere fortress yet it is the interior of this great cathedral which is its crowning glory. Here the large nave, with its side aisles and grey granite columns set off the exquisite Byzantine mosaics on the walls above the arches.

Day 4

Messina for Taormina

From the nearby port of Messina we will visit Taormina, a walled town lying in the shadow of Mount Etna, Europe’s highest volcano. The town has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century and our guided tour will include walking the characteristic alleys before visiting the 15th century Palazzo Corvaja and the impressive Greek Theatre from where there are marvellous views over the town and coast. Those who wish to spend longer here will be able to take lunch independently in one of the local restaurants and spend an afternoon exploring at leisure before our coach returns to Messina. Alternatively, return to the ship for lunch and enjoy free time in Messina before we sail this evening.

Day 5

Syracuse

Syracuse was founded by the Greeks in 734 BC and by the 5th century was a political and military power throughout the Mediterranean which rivalled Athens as the largest and most beautiful city in the Greek world. On leaving the vessel we visit the Neapolis Archaeological Park where we will find a well preserved Greek theatre with seats carved from limestone. Paradise Quarry, now an attractive garden and orange grove, was the primary source of that limestone and is the site of the curious ‘Dionysus’ Ear,’ a vast grotto with an amplifying resonance. We will continue to explore the island of Ortigia where we find the Temple of Apollo, considered to be Sicily’s most ancient Doric temple and the Baroque Cathedral, erected over the remains of the Temple of Minerva. The afternoon is free to explore independently before we meet this evening for a private concert in one of the town’s palazzos accompanied by local food and wine.

Day 6

Noto & Ragusa

From our berth in Pozzallo we will explore the Baroque villages of Noto and Ragusa. Built in 1703 Noto is a picturesque city located on the terraced slopes of Mount Iblei, among olive groves and almond trees. Here we find Sicillian Baroque style palaces and monuments. A quiet walk along the central streets will reveal the 18th century Palazzo Ducezio and some baroque churches: San Francesco Immacolata, the cathedral, San Carlo, Santa Chiara and the imposing Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, built in 1737. We return to the MS Hebridean Sky for lunch and this afternoon continue to charming Ragusa. It has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list for its artistic-architectural heritage with its Baroque palaces, churches, squares, stairways and winding narrow streets, all of which create an evocative and ancient atmosphere. We will discover the wonderful Ragusa Ibla: the “Pearl of the Baroque”, the gardens, the magnificent palaces, the splendid church of San Giuseppe and the Dome of San Giorgio, built in the 18th century on the site where an older church stood before the earthquake of 1693.

Day 7

Agrigento & Valley of the Temples

Although handsome in its own right and awash with Medieval atmosphere, Agrigento is not our main reason for calling at this southern coast port. Close by is the Valle dei Templi, a series of Doric temples and the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains, a grouping unique outside Greece. Surrounded in greenery of olive and almond trees, admire the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concordia, the Dioscuri Temple, the Temple of Olympic Jove and the Temple of Hercules. After lunch on board the afternoon is free to explore Agrigento and shuttles will run from the port to the town and the excellent archaeological museum which you can explore at leisure.

Day 8

Licata for Piazza Armerina

From the port of Licata we travel inland to what is regarded as the finest Roman site in Sicily, the Imperial Roman Villa of Casale, which is located close to Piazza Armerina amidst wooded rolling countryside. This huge villa was built in the 3rd century and has some stunning floor mosaics. Our return drive takes us through the province of Caltanissetta, recognised today as one of the best winemaking regions in Italy thanks above all to its production of high quality, prestigious red wines including Nero D’Avola. We will break our journey at one of these vineyards and enjoy a chance to sample some wine over a Sicilian lunch.

Day 9

Malta to London

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Overview

Sicilian Odyssey

We have the perfect vessel and time of year for our exploration of the wonderful island of Sicily and her archaeological treasures. Sicily is a land that has seen more than its fair share of invasions, resulting in some lofty and noble architecture from magnificent Doric temples to great Byzantine cathedrals and Norman palaces. With its benevolent climate and superb strategic position, the island has been coveted, fought over and colonised with the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Byzantines and Bourbons all having made their mark on this astonishing island.
Highlights
Sicily is endlessly fascinating and if you have promised yourself that one day you will visit, this is the time to go and what better way to explore her treasures than from aboard a small ship. The geography of the island lends itself beautifully to exploration by sea, as most points of interest are close to the coast. Appreciate, in comfort, Sicily’s rich artistic legacy of so many invading civilisations. The island is a celebration of the greatest achievements of Mediterranean cultures and with such a wealth of ancient sites, it is certainly not somewhere which should be visited in a hurry. With seven days spent exploring the island, we have the luxury of time and are able to visit the stunning Greek theatre at Taormina, the superbly well-preserved Greek temples of Segesta and the Valle dei Templi, the Norman Royal Palace and Palatine Chapel in Palermo, Byzantine Monreale Cathedral, the Roman mosaics of Villa Romana di Casale as well as the beautiful Baroque villages of Noto and Ragusa. Our Guest Speaker will contribute greatly to our enjoyment and understanding of Sicily and once visited it is a place you will never forget and will wish to return to time and time again.

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Ship information

MS Hebridean Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 91 meters
Passenger Capacity: 118
Crew Capacity: 70
Built / Refurbished: 1992 / 2016
The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky.
Your Suite On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a sitting area and fourteen suites have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton Decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring vanity unit with sink and walk-in rainfall shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Additional facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The beds in each suite can be configured as twins or double with the exception of suite 601 and 602 which feature fixed double beds. The impressive Hebridean Suite, located on the Shackleton Deck consists of a separate bathroom and sitting room with extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry.
Your Space The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky include a large lounge on the Byrd Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. In addition to the Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also offers a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Mawson Deck is The Library which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Amundsen Deck and is a bright and charming setting to enjoy the delicious meals on board. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Scott Deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this, on the top Shackleton Deck there is an observation area which offers a fantastic platform for spotting wildlife complete with deck furniture, ideal for relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request.
Your Dining It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice. In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose. The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.
For Your Comfort The MS Hebridean Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.
Contact
Booking
Small Expedition Yacht
Coral Adventurer
27.09.2021
07.10.2021
10
Australia and NZ, Ancient Lands of the Kimberley
Fare from € 6.850
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Travelroute
Day 1

Depart Broome

Board your Coral Expeditions ship at 4.00pm where there is time to settle into your stateroom before our 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard as we cruise northwards towards Cape Leveque.

As dusk falls meet your fellow travellers, the Captain and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Day 2

Lacepede Islands

The Lacepede Islands are a protected class-A nature reserve and are significant as a seabird nesting rookery for brown boobies and roseate terns. Other species often sighted at the Lacepedes include Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets and gulls. The four low-lying islands are also an important breeding and nesting habitat for green turtles.

If weather and tide conditions are suitable, we will explore the lagoons by Xplorer and Zodiac tender vessels.

Day 3

Horizontal Falls and Buccaneer Archipelago

he Horizontal Falls are one of the Kimberley’s biggest attractions and are a result of the mammoth 11m tides the Kimberley is renowned for. Naturalist David Attenborough described the Horizontal Falls as ‘one of the greatest natural wonders of the world.’

The Horizontal Falls are created as the ocean thunders through a narrow gorge in the McLarty Ranges. Water builds up on one side and is forcibly pushed through the bottleneck, creating a rushing horizontal waterfall of swiftly flowing seawater. Riding the rapids on our Zodiac inflatable tenders is one of the highlights of our Kimberley expedition cruises.

Talbot Bay is at the heart of the Buccaneer Archipelago, where rocks on the 800 or so islands are estimated at over 2 billion years old. At Cyclone Creek, you will see evidence of massive geological forces in the impressive rock formations and cruise through the Iron Islands, past Koolan Island, before enjoying sunset drinks at Nares Point.

Day 4

Doubtful Bay and Raft Point

Raft Point guards the entrance to Doubtful Bay, a vast body of sheltered water which harbours significant sites such as the ancient Wandjina rock art galleries, considered some of the finest in the Kimberley. If a Traditional Owner guide is available to accompany us, we will be able to visit the galleries.

Doubtful Bay is the traditional country of the Worrora people who follow the Wandjina, their god, law-maker and creator. Images of Wandjina are found throughout the Kimberley, recording their stories, knowledge and culture in stone.

Other sites we aim to visit in Doubtful Bay include the mighty Sale River, Steep Island and Ruby Falls at Red Cone Creek.

Day 5

Montgomery Reef

Montgomery Reef is a biologically diverse area covering over 400sq km and was named by Phillip Parker King. Twice daily, as the sea recedes in mammoth 11m tides, Montgomery Reef rises from the Indian Ocean in a cascade of rushing water revealing a flat-topped reef pockmarked with rockpools and rivulets.

As the reef emerges, we get up close in our Xplorer and Zodiac inflatable tenders to witness the spectacle as our Expedition Team share their knowledge on the formation of the reef and the myriad wildlife. Opportunistic birds take advantage of the emerging reef, feeding on marine life left exposed in rock pools. Turtles and dolphins too are also attracted to feeding opportunities as the ocean recedes.

The ocean is awash in a swirl of eddies and whirlpools as the moon’s gravitational force takes hold. Then, a few hours later the entire water-borne drama is reversed as the tide comes in and Montgomery Reef disappears below sea level.

Day 6

Prince Regent River and Careening Bay

King Cascade is a classically beautiful terraced waterfall and is one of the most photographed waterfalls in the Kimberley. Falling from a considerable height and around 50m across, water tumbles down a staggered terrace of Kimberley sandstone. Layer upon layer of the ochre-hued and blackened rock sprouts grasses, mosses and ferns in a sort of lushly vegetated hanging garden.

We reach King Cascade after cruising in our Xplorer tender vessels down the Prince Regent River which is a remarkable anomaly as the river runs dead straight along a fault line.

Lt. Phillip Parker King named nearby Careening Bay after he beached his leaking vessel HMC Mermaid to effect repairs. While stranded on this remote coastline for 17 days the ship’s carpenter carved HMC Mermaid 1820 into the bottle-shaped trunk of a boab tree near the beach. 200 years later, the Mermaid Boab Tree has since split into two trunks and sports a mammoth girth of 12m. Significantly, the bulbous tree is listed on the National Register of Big Trees and the carpenter’s careful inscription now stands almost as tall as a person.

Day 7

Prince Frederick Harbour and Biggie Island

Prince Frederick Harbour is one of the Kimberley’s most spectacular locations at the southern end of York Sound. The harbour is dotted with islands lined with mangroves and monsoon rainforests, set against a backdrop of ochre-hued escarpment.

White-bellied sea eagles and other birds of prey are often seen here, and at low tide, expansive mudflats reveal large populations of mudskippers and mangrove crabs. We will take our Xplorer tender vessels on a cruise up Porosus Creek to view some striking rock formations.

Day 8

Mitchell Falls, Winyalkan & Swift Bay

Tumbling down the Mitchell Plateau in a series of tiered waterfalls and emerald green rock pools, the Mitchell Falls are the photogenic poster child for the Mitchell River National Park. Take a scenic heli flight (additional cost) to multi-tiered Mitchell Falls where emerald-hued rock pools cascade down the escarpment.

Mitchell River National Park is inhabited by significant numbers of mammals, amphibians, reptiles and bird species which are lured by a year-round water source. Sandstone terraces beside tiered rock pools make a terrific viewing platform from which to savour the serenity of this ancient landscape.

An alternative option to Mitchell Falls is exploring the sandstone caves of Hathway’s Hideaway. This mass of weathered tunnels, arches and columns form a labyrinth-like maze and was once an Aboriginal midden. Another option while anchored at Winyalkan Bay is a visit to a series Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock art galleries at Swift Bay.

In the evening we will enjoy watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean while indulging in a gourmet BBQ.

Day 9

Vansittart Bay

Vansittart Bay is home to many cultural and historically significant sites like the remarkable Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) Aboriginal rock art galleries estimated to be up to 20,000 years old. Jar Island is so-named after the pot shards found here, brought to the island by Macassan fisherman harvesting sea cucumbers (also known as trepang).

Nearby, on the Anjo Peninsula lays the well-preserved wreckage of a US Airforce C-53 Skytrooper aircraft, the result of a pilot losing his bearings flying from Perth to Broome in 1942 and putting down on a salt pan near present-day Truscott Airbase.

Day 10

King George River and Falls

Fed by the King George River draining across the Gardner Plateau, 80m tall King George Falls are the most impressive Kimberley waterfalls and the highest twin falls in Western Australia. Before reaching the mist-like spray rising from the base of King George Falls, we cruise through steep-sided gorges carved by a flooded river system that carved a swathe through the Kimberley landscape 400 million years ago.

Early in the waterfall season, we may cruise around the base of impressive King George Falls while in later months we take the opportunity to view the honeycomb erosion patterns of sandstone cliffs up close.

As our incredible Kimberley adventure draws to a close, on our last evening aboard we enjoy the Captain’s farewell drinks amongst new-found friends.

Day 11

Arrive in Darwin

Our incredible adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Darwin this morning at 8:30am. Bid farewell to new-found friends and the Captain and crew. Post cruise transfers to CBD hotels or the airport are included.

If you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day enjoying the tropical city of Darwin with its landscaped waterfront and harbourside Wave Pool.

Overview

Ancient Lands of the Kimberley

Perfected over three decades, our 10-night Kimberley cruise takes you on an unforgettable journey from Broome to Darwin. Expert guides interpret 40,000-year-old rock art and retrace the history of Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline 200 years ago. Later in the season, witness Humpback Whales on their migration north to breeding grounds along the Kimberley coast.

Board a Zodiac and touch the spray from the magnificent King George River and its towering 80-metre twin falls. Join an expert guide to learn about the history of the ancient Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock paintings. Witness waterfalls cascading off Montgomery Reef as it rises out of the ocean on the ebbing tide, whilst discovering the reef’s diverse marine life.

Highlights

Experience the thrill of riding the tidal rapids through Horizontal Falls aboard a Zodiac • Marvel at King George River and get in close to the soaring 80m high King George Falls • Visit Indigenous rock art galleries and learn about ancient Wandjina and Gwion Gwion art • Spot crocodiles, tawny nurse sharks, sea turtles, humpback whales, and rock wallabies • Get up close to Montgomery Reef as it emerges from the sea and discover the tidal reef’s diverse marine life • Visit the Important Bird Area of the Lacepede Islands, and spot numerous bird species throughout your voyage, including Eastern Ospreys and White-breasted Sea Eagles • Follow in the wake of Phillip Parker King on a cruise up the Prince Regent River to King Cascade waterfall • View the Kimberley landscape from the air on an optional scenic helicopter flight to Mitchell Falls (additional cost) • Enjoy sunset canapes and drinks on the beach as dusk settles over the Kimberley

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Ship information
Coral Adventurer
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship
Length: 93.4 meters
Passenger Capacity: 120
Crew Capacity: 42
Built: 2019
Designed and built to be the most modern tropical expedition ship afloat, Coral Adventurer debuted in April 2019. She features comfortable Australian interiors, Xplorer tender mechanism, intimate guest experience, and personalized service.
Bigger is not better
At a time when cruise ships get larger and glitzier, we remain stubbornly compact and intimate. Our ships are designed to take you to unspoilt destinations not accessible to large ships.  We want you to have the luxury of space, dine with whom you please, or find your quiet corner on deck.  So we have limited the Coral Adventurer to 60 spacious Staterooms and Suites.  This preserves the intimate atmosphere we are known for without sacrificing the stability and comfort of a true ocean going vessel.
Built for discovery
The Coral Adventurer features our trademark dual ‘Xplorer’ tenders cradled on a hydraulic platform slung off the back of the ship, enabling our guests to go ashore in comfort and ease.  The shallow draft of the ship enables us to go closer to shore than larger ships. Together with our renowned expedition team, our new ship will offer the most advanced expedition capabilities of any small ship afloat.
Built for comfort
With active stabilisers dampening sea motion, mostly balcony cabins, and interiors designed with the colours and textures of tropical Queensland, the Coral Adventurer is a comfortable ship.  She features promenade decks, generous communal areas that accommodate all guests, a passenger elevator, and an open kitchen where you can observe our chefs whip up small batch cuisine from locally sourced ingredients.
Built for personal service
The Coral Adventurer will continue our proud tradition of Australian flagged vessels with friendly and professional Australian crew.  Our onboard atmosphere remains refreshingly informal and intimate.  Take your seat at our bridge lounge, chat with the captain at your leisure or accompany our chefs on a market tour.
Food and wine features
Single seating dining area with communal ‘wine table’ finished with Australian stone; serving buffet breakfast and lunch, and multi-course table d’hote dinners • Showcase galley visible to guests for fresh small-batch cuisine featuring Australian produce • Multiple indoor and outdoor bars, including our Explorer bar on the sundeck for sunset drinks with 180 degree views • Curated wine cellar featuring modestly priced boutique wines for daily drinking and exceptional vintage Australian reds.
Guest comfort
All outside-facing Staterooms and Suites with en-suite bathrooms; majority have private balcony • Active stabilisers to dampen sea motion • Gym equipped with elliptical trainers and treadmills • Passenger elevator • Wi-Fi available in all guest areas
Contact
Booking
Small Yacht Cruise
Lord of the Glens
27.09.2021
02.10.2021
5
Northern Europe, Spring and Autumn in the Highlands
Fare from € 1,350
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Travelroute
Day 1

Inverness

Embark in Inverness at 4pm. Evening welcome reception & dinner.
Moor Inverness overnight.

Day 2

Loch Ness & Fort Augustus

Sail in the morning via the first man-made section of the Caledonian Canal into Loch Dochfour, before reaching Loch Ness. The 21 mile transit of Loch Ness provides for a brief photo opportunity by pausing in front of the ruins of Urquhart Castle before reaching Fort Augustus. The afternoon is free to explore Fort Augustus where everything is close to hand. Moor Fort Augustus overnight.

Day 3

Loch Oich, Loch Lochy & Banavie

The ‘Lord of the Glens’ is elevated from the shores of Loch Ness with the assistance of six inter-connected locks that run through the centre of Fort Augustus, before entering the stunningly impressive tree-lined Laggan Avenue. Later continue into Loch Oich, Loch Lochy and finally to Banavie in the very shadow of Ben Nevis itself. The afternoon is reserved for a passage on the scheduled West Highland train from Banavie to Glenfinnan. Moor Banavie overnight.

Day 4

Tobermory

Descending the spectacular eight inter-connected locks of ‘Neptune’s Staircase’ the ‘Lord of the Glens’ is lowered to sea level at Corpach and then it is out to sea for a passage along the sheltered waters of Loch Linnhe and the Sound of Mull before reaching Tobermory. Tobermory is best explored on foot and there is plenty of time in the afternoon to visit the famed gaily painted waterfront. Moor Tobermory overnight. (Due to ferry movements it is sometimes not possible to moor overnight at Tobermory. On such occasions the visit is still made to Tobermory and the ship moors overnight at Oban)

Day 5

Craignure & Oban

The voyage concludes with a call at Craignure (Mull) for the visit to Duart Castle. Later sail to Oban, followed by an afternoon walk to include a Whisky Distillery & McCaig’s Folly. Evening farewell reception and dinner. Moor Oban overnight.

Day 6

Oban

Disembark after breakfast and drive to Inverness.

Overview

Spring and Autumn in the Highlands

Nothing to clutter the view, just hauntingly beautiful Scottish Highland scenes brought effortlessly to your panoramic window, this together with excellent cuisine and deluxe State Cabin accommodations provides for a truly unique travel experience. This five night voyage on board the deluxe ‘Lord of the Glens’ encompasses the main highlights of a voyage through the very heart of the Scottish Highlands, including a transit of the intricate and endlessly fascinating inland waters of the Caledonian Canal.
The voyage commences at Inverness and continues via Loch Dochfour and Loch Ness to Fort Augustus and onto beautiful Loch Oich, the highest point of the canal, before reaching Loch Lochy and finally to Corpach (Fort William) which lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis and the gateway to the sea. At Corpach there is time to take the famed ‘West Highland Line’ train to Glenfinnan (Viaduct) returning to ‘Lord of the Glens’ via the Glenfinnan Monument.
At Corpach the ‘Lord of the Glens’ passes through the sea lock and enters the serenely beautiful sheltered waters of Loch Linnhe and then it is onto the Sound of Mull, and to the gaily painted waterfront at Tobermory. The voyage concludes with a call at Craignure (Isle of Mull) for the visit to Duart Castle before reaching the ‘gateway of the isles’ at Oban.
Included: Full board, excursions as indicated in the itinerary, all port dues and taxes, transfer from/to Inverness at pre-determined times.
Not Included: soft and alcoholic beverages and gratuities.

Highlights

Stop in front of the ruins of Urquhart Castle • Explore Fort Augustus • Enjoy a passage on the scheduled West Highland train from Banavie to Glenfinnan Viaduct • Discover Tobermory • Visit Duart Castle

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Ship information

Lord of the Glens

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship

Length: 42 meters

Passenger Capacity: 54

Crew Capacity: 18

Built: 1985 Reconstructed & Renovated since 2000

Until recently, size-limiting locks prevented travellers from seeing the Highlands from the remarkable vantage point of the inland waterway that links Scotland's most famous lochs. Now, with the style of a classic luxury yacht, the 48-guest Lord of the Glens journeys through this spectacular countryside in spectacular style.

The moment you step aboard the Lord of the Glens you are surrounded by the rich mahogany finishes of the reception area and lobby. The ship is magnificently appointed and brings to mind that one is in a stately country manor rather than a five-star ship.

Cabins: Cabins are tasteful, comfortable and spacious with wonderful outside views. Most cabins have large picture windows (four have two large portholes). Facilities include a private bathroom with shower, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, satellite television, music system, hairdryer, telephone, safety deposit box, bathrobes and toiletries.

Public Areas: With all round teak decks, hardwood finished interiors and fine fabrics, the Lord of the Glens offers a stylish and relaxing ambience. The two lounges and two open-air viewing areas are social hubs aboard shop, and the small library and cozy bar are a refuge for the more solitary.

Meals: Served in the elegant single-seating Dining Room. Chefs create healthy, delicious cuisine served by an attentive staff.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Coral Discoverer
29.09.2021
06.10.2021
7
Australia and NZ, Great Barrier Reef Adventure
Fare from € 2.850
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Travelroute
Day 1

Depart Cairns

Board Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm where there is time to settle into your cabin before our 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard as we cruise northwards from Cairns toward Cooktown. At days end join fellow explorers and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Day 2

Cooktown

Come ashore in historic Cooktown and experience a traditional welcome to country ceremony. Share a spiritual connection through storytelling and the traditional smoking ceremony with the Guugu Yimithirr, the first people of this ancient country. Discover recent European history with a visit to the site where Lt. James Cook beached HMB Endeavour to effect repairs in 1770. Wander through the rare flora collection at the Botanic Gardens and visit James Cook Museum, where the story of Cook’s landing is told from an Aboriginal perspective and where artifacts are on display. Later, we cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset drinks at Turtle Beach. After dinner, look for giant trevally and tawny nurse sharks during a fish feeding exhibition off the aft deck.

Day 3

Lizard Island

We spend a whole day at Lizard Island where there is time to hike to the summit of Cook’s Look and enjoy the same view Lt. James Cook did when searching for safe passage through the maze of coral reefs. Snorkel over giant clam gardens from the beach at Watson’s Bay, relax on the white-sand beach beneath shady she oak trees and learn about the tragic story surrounding Mary Watson. There may be an opportunity to visit Lizard Island Research Station, operated by the Australian Museum to facilitate coral reef research and education on the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 4

Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef is the summit of an undersea 2,000m mountain located beyond the continental shelf with no landmass visible. Enjoy amazing underwater visibility here, and observe magnificent corals, plummeting drop-offs and many fish in the crystalline waters. Osprey Reef is a highly prized tropical dive location amongst scuba divers, called an ‘oasis for living creatures of all kinds’ by Sir David Attenborough. Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.

Day 5

Ribbon Reef #9 & Hope Island

The Ribbon Reefs are a narrow line of outer coral reefs on the edge of the continental shelf and are renowned for their prolific marine life and extensive coral species. Enjoy the rare opportunity to snorkel and dive on the Ribbon Reefs which sit on the edge of the continental shelf. Due to their location far offshore from the Australian coast, the Ribbon Reefs offer excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities, with Ribbon Reef #9 a favourite for its wide variety of marine life and pinnacles cloaked in coral. Join a guided snorkel tour led by our expert Expedition Team and witness this extraordinary ecosystem up close. These northern reefs are renowned for spotting iconic marine species such as potato cod, wrasse, sharks and turtles. In the late afternoon we stretch our legs on remote Hope Island before joining fellow explorers and crew for sunset drinks on the beach as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Day 6

Daintree River & Ribbon Reef #3

Explore the 127km-long Daintree River which cuts through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. With an expert guide onboard we look for the region’s famed wildlife such as saltwater crocodiles, rare and endangered cassowaries and the prolific bird species that inhabit the forest and mangrove-lined river banks. We step ashore at a Daintree wilderness centre on the banks of the river and walk on forest trails overhung with lush vegetation. Immersed in the rainforest, we learn more about the diverse Wet Tropics ecosystem which contains the largest habitat of flora and fauna in the world. Cruising southwards along the Ribbon Reefs, there are more spectacular diving and snorkelling opportunities at Ribbon Reef #3 where we look for iconic species as well as the vibrantly coloured coral gardens the Ribbon Reefs are renowned for.

Day 7

Fitzroy Island & Sudbury Cay

At Fitzroy Island enjoy a walk through the Secret Garden rainforest or for the more adventurous, a walk to the de-commissioned lighthouse rewards hikers with panoramic views of Coral Sea, islands and mainland mountain ranges. Snorkel over the fringing reef, relax on the beach and lend a hand to the volunteers as we learn about the turtles at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where sick and injured turtles are cared for before being returned to the wild. Late in the afternoon, we arrive at Sudbury Cay, a tiny sand cay that barely rises above the Coral Sea. Far removed from the bustle of civilisation, we slip off our shoes and feel the sand between our toes as the tropical waters of the Coral Sea lap gently against the shoreline. Surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, we enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as we relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon, enjoying the Captain’s Farewell Drinks at sunset on our own private sand island.

Day 8

Arrive Cairns

Our Great Barrier Reef adventure concludes in Cairns this morning as we bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew, disembarking at 8:00am.

Please Note: tours of the Lizard Island Research Station are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed due to operational considerations. This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

Overview

Great Barrier Reef Adventure

Journey beyond the known and to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef to discover abundant marine life, ancient cultures, seabirds and solitude.
Covering an area of over 2600 km and encompassing over 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest living structure and home to an abundant and thriving array of marine and birdlife species. It holds pride of place as one of the 7 natural worlds wonders of the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage area.
Coral Expeditions pioneered extended expedition cruises on the outer reaches of the Great Barrier Reef 34 years ago and have forged a reputation for excellence and expertise in that time.
In 2021, a new era of reef exploration will begin with the introduction of the yacht-like expedition vessel Coral Discoverer to the reef commencing immersive 7-day adventures to the remote and untouched Northern reef precinct. Operating from June to December annually, we will take a maximum of 72 guests to explore the hidden corners, uninhabited sand cays, small islands and pristine reef systems. Along the way find freedom and solitude amidst this iconic seascape.
Meet charismatic marine species including the sea turtles surfing the ocean currents, find Nemo nestled amongst the coral gardens and marvel at the magnificent humpback whale migration in the deep blue of the Coral Sea. Share the journey with soaring seabirds and swim, dive and snorkel at far-flung Osprey, Escape and Ribbon Reefs. Learn about ancient indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown. Visit a Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and stretch your legs with a hike to the summit of “Cooks Look”. Enjoy a sundowner with the sand beneath your toes and the setting sun at deserted Sudbury Cay.
Onboard, you will be accompanied by expert guides and our purpose designed small ships are custom built for expedition cruising. With refined steering capabilities, shallow draught and nimble explorer tenders we will bring you closer to remote sites and natural habitats. You will enjoy freshly prepared small-batch cuisine featuring the best local ingredients and relax and enjoy quality local beers and wines. With an intimate atmosphere and our renowned warm Australian hospitality, you will quickly feel at home and make new connections with new friends.
Highlights

Immerse yourself in one of the world’s great seascapes with the Great Barrier Reef experts • Make a connection with indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown • Swim, snorkel, dive or simply view the iconic marine species of the Great Barrier Reef • Observe the vibrant underwater world of the untouched outer Great Barrier Reef • Enjoy solitude and seven magical Queensland sunsets • Sip sundowners and feel the sand beneath your feet on isolated sand cays and uninhabited islands • Visit a turtle rehabilitation centre and participate in efforts to conserve the Great Barrier Reef

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Ship information

Coral Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 63 meters

Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)

Crew Capacity: 24

Built: 2005 / Refurbished: 2016

Launched in 2005, Coral Discoverer set a new benchmark standard for small ship cruising in Australia. Refurbished in November 2016, she continues to raise the bar to new levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere.

The 1800-tonne Coral Discoverer is the grand vision of Coral Expeditions, pioneers in expedition and adventure cruises around Australia, Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. Her shallow draught and manoeuvrability allow her to go where larger vessels cannot. Her tender vessel, Xplorer, can seat all 72 passengers for excursions to beaches and rivers. Coral Discoverer is equipped with latest technology active stabilisers to ensure comfortable cruising in open waters and is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment and wireless internet facilities.

Coral Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience. Australian flagged, and staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience aboard Coral Discoverer will be unique.

After the refurbishment, the Sun Deck has evolved to become a new social space and the hub of on board community living. This area has been converted into an undercover deck area complete with round ‘Explorer Bar’ with bar stools and sun deck with lounges and an area for outdoor exercise equipment.

Guest accommodation has also received a substantial upgrade with the addition of six Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms providing coveted inside/outside living quarters. Each of our other Stateroom grades has also received a full upgrade with updated bathroom fixtures, soft furnishings and artwork making for an even more comfortable stay on board Coral Discoverer.

The Coral Discoverer offers five different grades of staterooms, ranging from Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms to Main Deck Staterooms. Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms are on the top deck and have private balconies opening out from French windows. All rooms are furnished with contemporary flair and feature original artwork, a small private en-suite, individually-controlled air-conditioning, an iPod dock, ample storage and Australian toiletries. All staterooms are serviced daily. Each stateroom is spacious, sized between 15sqm (161 square feet) to 20 sq. (215 square feet) and has either a balcony, feature picture windows or porthole windows. Most staterooms can be configured to either junior king or twin bedding.

Facilities on board

Sun Deck with undercover area, sun lounges and ample seating • Three fully stocked cocktail bars, including brand new round Explorer Bar on Sun Deck • Spacious, modern dining room, recently refurbished • Forward lounge • Reference library • Gift shop • Open bridge • Workout Area • Wireless internet available for laptops, mobile devices or via onboard guest computer • Limited laundry facilities available • SCUBA diving department (selected itineraries)

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Island Sky
04.10.2021
20.10.2021
16
Asia, Autumn Colours of Northern Japan
Fare from € 9,350
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

London to Tokyo, Japan

Fly by scheduled flight.

Day 2

Tokyo

Arrive today and transfer to our hotel for a two night stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure before we meet for dinner this evening.

Day 3

Tokyo

After breakfast in the hotel we will make our way to the Meiji Shrine which is dedicated to the deified spirit of Emperor Meiji and a popular place for traditional Japanese weddings. Surrounded by over 100,000 trees, Meiji is an oasis of serenity and spirituality in a city that never sleeps. We will continue to the Nezu Museum which exhibits an excellent collection of Japanese and East Asian art. Hidden away in its spacious forest-like garden you will find ponds, stone lanterns and several tea houses. The afternoon and evening are free to relax in the hotel or explore independently.

Day 4

Tokyo to Otaru

After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to Sapporo. On arrival transfer to the port of Otaru where we will embark the MS Island Sky. Tonight enjoy welcome dinner and drinks as we sail.

Day 5

Rishiri Island

Sail this morning into to the Rishiri-Rebun- Sarobetsu National Park and berth at Rishiri Island where the skyline is dominated by the dormant volcano of Mount Rishiri, which climbs to 1721 metres. An island drive will include the beautiful scenery at Himenuma Pond and Kutsugata Cape Park whilst we hope to see black woodpecker during a walk at the Forest Park. There will also be free time to explore the town or visit the hot springs. Sail in the early evening to Wakkanai where we will clear immigration formalities this evening.

Day 6

Korsakov, Russia

Arrive this morning at Korsakov where we will clear into Russia. Once the formalities are concluded we will explore part of this city which was founded in 1853 as Sakhalin’s first Russian military post. From here we drive to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the capital of the island with a population of just over 160,000. Founded as a small Russian settlement in the 1880s, the city became a Japanese prefect capital when the southern half of Sakhalin was declared a Japanese colony in 1905; after World War II it was returned to Russia. Highlights include a visit to the Russian Orthodox Church and the Regional Museum housed in an impressive former Japanese mansion. Return to the ship this afternoon as we return to Japanese waters.

Day 7

Abashiri & Shiretoko National Park, Japan

We arrive in Hokkaido this morning at the port of Abashiri where we will spend a day and a half. There will be a full day excursion to the Shiretoko National Park which covers the majority of the Shiretoko Peninsula and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the diversity of its ecosystems. This remote and untouched park combines rivers, forests, mountains and waterfalls and is home to an array of wildlife including brown bears, Yezo sika deer and red fox. If weather permits, we will take the Shiretoko Pass offering stunning views of the autumn leaves on Mount Rausu. Continue to the Shiretoko Nature Centre where we can learn about the wildlife of the park. Here there will be a choice of either a long or short walk through the wilderness on the lookout for wildlife, the autumnal colours and views of the lakes. Return to the ship via the Oshin Koshin Waterfall and remain moored overnight in Abashiri.

Day 8

Abashiri

Spend a leisurely morning in Abashiri and learn more about the Ainu culture, clothing, legends and crafts at the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples which also provides an insight into the cultures and traditions of the peoples inhabiting the sub-Arctic regions of the globe including Inuit and Sami. Afterwards we travel the short distance to the Okhotski Sea Ice Museum which offers insight into the sea ice that surrounds the city during the winter. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and spend the afternoon on deck as we sail around the Shiretoko Peninsula and into the Nemuro Channel where we will keep an eye out for wildlife on land and in the water.

Day 9

Kushiro

Today we will visit the Kushiro Marshlands, Japan’s largest wetland and marsh habitat and home to the only known population of Japan’s sacred redcrowned cranes. The cranes were thought to have been made extinct due to overhunting and habitat destruction. However, in 1926 a group of 20 birds were discovered in this area and with conservation efforts now number more than 1000. We will visit the Kushiro Onnenai Visitor Centre with displays of the fauna and fauna of the region and views over the marshlands before taking the walking trails where we hope to see the cranes and birds in their natural habitat. Continue to the Kushiro Crane Reserve, which was created 60 years ago to protect and preserve the crane population and continues to rescue injured birds whilst also breeding and releasing young birds into the wild. Return to the ship via the Washo Market where you may wish to eat like a local by creating your own “rice-bowls” with the market’s sushi and sashimi. Alternatively enjoy lunch on board the MS Island Sky followed by an afternoon at leisure. We remain in Kushiro overnight for anyone wishing to go ashore this evening.

Day 10

Lake Akan

This morning we will drive inland to see one of the most scenic lakes of Hokkaido. Arriving at Lake Akan we will board one of the local boats for a cruise, providing the perfect vantage point to the colourful forests lining the banks with views up to the surrounding volcanos of Me-Akan and O-Akan. The lake is also famous for marimo, an aggregation of algae which forms into balls which is unique to this lake. During our cruise we will pass by Takiguchi, one of Lake Akan’s most beautiful spots, and also visit the observation centre on Churui Island. Enjoy lunch before we walk to Akanko Ainu Kotan, where we will be able to see the traditional crafts and dance and learn about the culture of the indigenous Ainu people of Hokkaido before returning to the MS Island Sky later this afternoon.

Day 11

Tomakomai & Sapporo

After a leisurely morning at sea we will arrive into Tomakomai over lunch. From our berth we visit Hokkaido’s capital city of Sapporo where we enjoy a tour of the famous brewery. Hokkaido is the birthplace of beer in Japan and it has been brewed in Sapporo since 1877. Our tour of the museum will introduce the history of the industry and includes a tasting. We will also visit Takino Suzaran, a huge park on the outskirts of the city and a must visit location in autumn. We will take walks along the trails through the woodlands, one of which will take you to the lovely Ashiribetsu Waterfall.

Day 12

Muroran

We will spend our morning around the Shikotsu-Toya National Park, named after the two caldera lakes which offer wonderful scenery and excellent hiking and walking opportunities. This is still an active area and a geological wonder with the volcano Showa Shin-zan only created in the 1940s. Our day will be flexible around the weather and if it is a clear day we may take the cable car to the top of Mount Usu for the wonderful views to Lake Toya or visit Jigokudani, “Hell Valley”, a steaming lunar like valley of steam vents and sulphurous streams formed over 10,000 years ago. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure in Muroran, maybe visit the scenic cape and lighthouse or you may wish to walk up Mount Sokuryo offering views to the city below.

Day 13

Hakodate

Our final day in Hokkaido will be at the southern port of Hakodate. We will make our way to Onuma Park, on the outskirts of the city and known for its picturesque, island-dotted lakes and majestic dormant volcano, Mount Komagatake. We have the option to take a series of walks around the lake’s peninsulas and islands, several of which are connected with each other by small bridges and surrounded by coulourful birch and maple forests. Return to the MS Island Sky for lunch and this afternoon either relax on board or join a city tour which will include the 19th century Fort Goryokaku, built as a citadel but now a public park. We will remain in Hakodate until late for anyone who wishes to take an after-dinner stroll or perhaps even the cable car up Mount Hakodate for the spectacular night views.

Day 14

Hirosaki

This morning we arrive in Aomori, on the northern coast of Honshu. Here we can immerse ourselves in Japanese history and culture as we visit the former Feudal town of Hirosaki which was the political capital of the region in the Edo Period. On a tour of the city we will see the small three storey castle, which was the focal point of the old city and the base of the powerful Tsugaru Clan. Surrounding the castle was the samurai and merchant district where we can visit the preserved houses and the Fujita Kinen Teien, a Japanese landscape garden built in 1919. After a local lunch, we spend the afternoon visiting Neputu Mura Museum showcasing the crafts of the area and dedicated to the annual Neputa festival held in August. We will remain moored overnight in Aomori allowing for an after dinner stroll or dinner ashore.

Day 15

Aomori & Oirase Gorge

Today we will head inland to the spectacular Towada Hachimantai National Park which involves a scenic drive through the Kayano plateau, Hakkoda mountains to the scenic Oirase Valley and Lake Towada, a magnificent ancient caldera lake surrounded by deciduous forests. The scenery is stunning, especially as the hillsides change to red and orange. We will wander the trails at the Tsuta Nana-numa Ponds, a collection of seven lakes which are surrounded by a forest of Japanese beech trees before continuing to Oirase Gorge. The gorge runs for 14 kilometres from Lake Towada to Yakeyama and we will walk alongside the crystal clear Oirase stream seeing the beautiful scenery, autumnal foliage and waterfalls. After lunch return to the ship in Aomori or alternatively, enjoy some free time in the city, visit the market or view the crafts and local produce at the A-Factory market.

Day 16

Aomori to Tokyo

Disembark this morning and transfer to the train station to board our Shinkansen service to Tokyo. A lunch box will be provided on the train before we arrive in the early afternoon. Transfer to our hotel for some free time before we meet for dinner this evening.

Day 17

Tokyo to London

After breakfast in the hotel we will transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Please note: The autumn colours are a natural phenomenon and sightings are not guaranteed. We have timed our journey to meet the traditional times for the changing colours in Hokkaido and Aomori but will be too early to see the colours in Tokyo.

Overview

Autumn Colours of Northern Japan

Following on from many successful spring seasons in Japan, we are delighted to be returning to the country for autumn 2021, a magical time of year when the landscapes burst into colour with the arrival of the autumn leaves. Our unique voyage aboard the all-suite MS Island Sky focuses on the island of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost and least developed island which is often considered by the Japanese to be the country’s last frontier and is a world away from the traditional view of Japan. Only colonised by Japan in the past 150 years, we won’t find a land of ancient temples and shrines or developed cities with skyscrapers but instead large swathes of wild, open spaces, primeval forests, crystal clear lakes, beautiful alpine flowers, active volcanoes and bubbling hot springs. We will also spend time on Honshu visiting the former Feudal town of Hirosaki, the spectacular Towada Hachimantai National Park and Oirase Gorge.
During our time cruising around the remarkable island of Hokkaido, we will explore nature trails, watch for wildlife in the national parks, learn more of the indigenous Ainu people and hopefully see landscapes burst into colour with the arrival of the autumn leaves that should coincide with our visit. More than two million acres on Hokkaido are dedicated to national parkland and we will visit some of the most remarkable including the Shiretoko National Park located on the north eastern tip of the island and which in Ainu means ‘end of the world’. UNESCO has called it one of the richest integrated ecosystems in the world and in 2005 designated it as a World Heritage Site. We will have a full day to explore the national park, home to brown bears, Yezo sika deer and red fox whilst birders can keep an eye out for Steller sea eagles, Blakiston fish owl and white-tailed eagles. We also visit the Kushiro Marshlands, home of Hokkaido’s resident red-crowned cranes, Japan’s iconic bird known as the bird of happiness and the lakes of central Hokkaido including beautiful Lake Akan.
Helping us understand all we will see and experience, and travelling with us throughout the voyage, will be our expert naturalist, our knowledgeable Guest Speaker and three Japanese guides, all adding immeasurably to your enjoyment and understanding of this fascinating country.

Including return flight from London!

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Ship information

Island Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 91 meters
Passenger Capacity: 118
Crew Capacity: 70
Built / Refurbished: 1992 / 2017
The MS Island Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Caledonian Sky and MS Hebridean Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world.
Your Suite On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a sitting area and fourteen suites have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton Decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring vanity unit with sink and walk-in rainfall shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Additional facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The beds in each suite can be configured as twins or double with the exception of suite 601 and 602 which feature fixed double beds. The impressive Hebridean Suite, located on the Shackleton Deck consists of a separate bathroom and sitting room with extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry.
Your Space The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky include a large lounge on the Byrd Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. In addition to the Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also offers a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Mawson Deck is The Library which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Amundsen Deck and is a bright and charming setting to enjoy the delicious meals on board. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Scott Deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this, on the top Shackleton Deck there is an observation area which offers a fantastic platform for spotting wildlife complete with deck furniture, ideal for relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request.
Your Dining It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice. In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose. The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.
For Your Comfort The MS Hebridean Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.
Life Onboard If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels. When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship. The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.
Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Hebridean Sky
04.10.2021
13.10.2021
9
The Mediterranean, Africa, Passage to Morocco
Fare from € 5,150
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Travelroute
Day 1

London to Valletta, Malta

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Hebridean Sky and enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.

Day 2

Agrigento & Valley of the Temples, Sicily

Although handsome in its own right and awash with Medieval atmosphere, Agrigento is not our main reason for calling at this southern coast port. Close by is the Valle dei Templi, a series of Doric temples and the most captivating of Sicilian Greek remains, and a grouping unique outside Greece. Surrounded in the greenery of olive and almond trees, admire the Temple of Hera, the Temple of Concord, the Dioscuri Temple, the Temple of Olympic Jove and the Temple of Hercules. After lunch on board the afternoon is free to explore Agrigento and shuttles will run from the port to the town and the excellent archaeological museum where you can explore at leisure.

Day 3

Trapani

Trapani was the landing point for Peter of Aragon in 1282 to start the Spanish occupation of Sicily and is our base for the day. From the port choose to either travel to the nearby town of Erice, famed in antiquity for its temple dedicated to the goddess of love, the Phoenician Astarte, Greek Aphrodite or Roman Venus. A tour will take us to this stunning site high above the sea and to the beautifully preserved Medieval town characterised by its winding cobblestone streets and beautiful courtyards. Alternatively, travel inland to explore Segesta, one of the grandest Doric monuments to survive. See the unfinished temple dating from 424 BC as well as the theatre from which you can enjoy excellent views of the countryside and distant coastline. Both tour options will end at an 18th century family run olive oil farm where we will learn about the production process and also enjoy a lunch of locally sourced dishes and wines. After lunch there will be time to explore Trapani at your leisure or return to the ship before we sail later this evening.

Day 4

Cagliari, Sardinia

Arrive over breakfast in the Sardinian capital of Cagliari, an ancient city which dates back to the Phoenicians and Romans. During our walking tour we will stroll around the old town with its narrow streets running along a steep hillside. See the terraced Piazza del Palazzo and the 14th century Cathedral of St Mary. Alternatively, drive along the southwestern coast to reach Nora which was founded by the Phoenicians but also has Carthaginian and Roman ruins. After a period of Roman prosperity, there was a decline and in the 3rd century AD the city was engulfed by the sea. Still visible today are the remains of Carthaginian warehouses and various Roman buildings including the baths with splendid mosaics and the theatre. Return to the ship for lunch as we sail this afternoon towards the North African coast.

Day 5

Bejaia, Algeria

Bejaia is built on a beautiful bay protected by mountains which give the city a splendid backdrop. A minor port in Roman times it was named Saldae having been founded by the Roman Emperor Vespasian and is our base for a choice of excursions today. Maybe choose a full day tour to Djemila, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 due to its unique adaptation of Roman architecture to a mountain environment. In a remarkable setting the ruins are some of the finest preserved in North Africa. We will drive along a very scenic route and traverse spectacular scenery as we climb from little Kabilya towards the high plateau of Setif where the Roman ruins are located. View the Arch of Caracalla, the Forum, the Basilica and the Temples before seeing the mosaics which are displayed in the museum, representing the best collection in Algeria. This is a long but rewarding excursion. Alternatively, there is the option to drive through the valley of the Soumman, the legendary meeting place of the leaders of the Freedom Fighters. It was here that they launched the revolution of the 1st November 1954 which lasted for seven years until they gained independence for Algeria on the 5th July 1962. Afterwards visit a Berber village in Kabylia where we see a typical house and various workshops where things are still made in the oldfashioned unhurried way. Enjoy a “dégustation” of Berber olive oil whilst tasting the different types of bread and other local produce as we gain an insight into Berber culture and history.

Day 6

Algiers

Depart this morning for the ancient city of Tipaza which was probably founded by the Phoenicians but really came into being under the Romans. The city was extended by Emperor Claudius and grew wealthy on Mediterranean trade. It was built on three small hills which overlooked the sea. There are ruins of three Basilicas, two cemeteries, the baths, the theatre, the Nymphaeum and the unusual oval shaped Amphitheatre. After visiting the city we will enjoy a typical Algerian lunch before continuing to the mysterious Mausoleum of Mauretania, which lies in the hills above the sea about 18 kilometres away from Tipaza. It is one of the most breathtaking sights in Algeria. The vast pyramid-like structure is named the Tomb of the Christian on account of the large crosses that decorate the tomb which predates Jesus Christ. We return to the ship via the Martyrs‘ Monument which offers spectacular views over the city.

Day 7

At Sea

Spend the day at sea, maybe join a lecture or find a spot on deck to relax.

Day 8

Ghazaouet for Tlemcen

This morning we reach the western side of Algeria and the port of Ghazaouet located close to the border with Morocco. From here we drive approximately 50 miles inland to Tlemcen, an interesting and cultured city. Our visit will include the 11th century Great Mosque and the deconsecrated Sidi Bel Hassan Mosque which was transformed into a museum in 1901 and houses a selection of mosaics, carvings and pottery. After a local lunch we will continue to El Mansourah to see the remains of an old minaret and El Mechouar, which was built as a citadel in 1145 before it became the royal residence of the Zianide dynasty in the 13th century.

Day 9

Tangier, Morocco

Having passed the Straits of Gibraltar this morning we arrive in Tangier at lunchtime. Since Tangier was founded in the 4th century BC, Carthaginians, Romans, Phoenicians, Vandals, Arabs, Spaniards, Portuguese and the English have jealously fought for the right to control it. On an afternoon walking tour we will explore the Medina, see the views from the Kasbah situated at the highest point of Tangier, visit the museum and then wander through the Grand Souk. Alternatively, drive across the beautiful Rif Mountains to Tetouan. Visit the unique School of Art Dar Sanaa which is situated in a former palace and teaches the most traditional of Moroccan crafts to its students. We continue to the ancient Medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of narrow alleys and streets with vendors selling local handicrafts, foods and spices. Our tour will end at the old Royal Palace, a 17th century building which is itself a reflection of the Hispano-Moresque architecture, and the nearby Hassan II square. Stop to savour the Moroccan tea and fresh pastries at a local Riad in the heart of the Medina before returning to Tangier.

Day 10

Casablanca to London

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Overview

Passage to Morocco

Located in Sicily and on the North African coast, between the desert and the sea are some of Ancient Rome’s most magnificent sites which we will discover during this fascinating voyage from Malta to Casablanca. Our cruise begins with two days of exploration in Sicily, an endlessly fascinating island which lends itself beautifully to discovery by small ship as most points of interest are close to the sea. We will visit the magnificently sited Doric temples of Agrigento and Segesta, one of the grandest Doric monuments to survive.
Highlights
Like Sicily, North Africa’s Barbary Coast is best explored by sea and after a morning in the Sardinian capital of Cagliari we will sail south to Algeria where the favourable desert influenced climate has been remarkably kind to the historic sites. During our two days in Algeria we will visit Bejaia from where you can discover the Roman ruins of Djemila, some of the finest preserved in North Africa. We also spend a morning exploring the ancient city of Tipaza which was probably founded by the Phoenicians but really came into being under the Romans and Medieval Tlemcen, one of the country’s finest cities • For those who enjoy exploring the ancient world, this itinerary has it all. The magnificent sites provide an unparalleled experience of life in classical times which, with the help of our knowledgeable Guest Speaker and local guides, will be brought vividly back to life

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Ship information

MS Hebridean Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 91 meters
Passenger Capacity: 118
Crew Capacity: 70
Built / Refurbished: 1992 / 2016
The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky.
Your Suite On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a sitting area and fourteen suites have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton Decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring vanity unit with sink and walk-in rainfall shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Additional facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The beds in each suite can be configured as twins or double with the exception of suite 601 and 602 which feature fixed double beds. The impressive Hebridean Suite, located on the Shackleton Deck consists of a separate bathroom and sitting room with extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry.
Your Space The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky include a large lounge on the Byrd Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. In addition to the Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also offers a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Mawson Deck is The Library which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Amundsen Deck and is a bright and charming setting to enjoy the delicious meals on board. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Scott Deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this, on the top Shackleton Deck there is an observation area which offers a fantastic platform for spotting wildlife complete with deck furniture, ideal for relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request.
Your Dining It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice. In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose. The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.
For Your Comfort The MS Hebridean Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.
Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Coral Discoverer
06.10.2021
13.10.2021
7
Australia and NZ, Great Barrier Reef Adventure
Fare from € 2.850
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Travelroute
Day 1

Depart Cairns

Board Coral Discoverer at 4:00pm where there is time to settle into your cabin before our 5:00pm departure. Take the time to become acquainted with all the facilities onboard as we cruise northwards from Cairns toward Cooktown. At days end join fellow explorers and crew for the Captain’s Welcome Drinks.

Day 2

Cooktown

Come ashore in historic Cooktown and experience a traditional welcome to country ceremony. Share a spiritual connection through storytelling and the traditional smoking ceremony with the Guugu Yimithirr, the first people of this ancient country. Discover recent European history with a visit to the site where Lt. James Cook beached HMB Endeavour to effect repairs in 1770. Wander through the rare flora collection at the Botanic Gardens and visit James Cook Museum, where the story of Cook’s landing is told from an Aboriginal perspective and where artifacts are on display. Later, we cruise towards Lizard Island, arriving in time for sunset drinks at Turtle Beach. After dinner, look for giant trevally and tawny nurse sharks during a fish feeding exhibition off the aft deck.

Day 3

Lizard Island

We spend a whole day at Lizard Island where there is time to hike to the summit of Cook’s Look and enjoy the same view Lt. James Cook did when searching for safe passage through the maze of coral reefs. Snorkel over giant clam gardens from the beach at Watson’s Bay, relax on the white-sand beach beneath shady she oak trees and learn about the tragic story surrounding Mary Watson. There may be an opportunity to visit Lizard Island Research Station, operated by the Australian Museum to facilitate coral reef research and education on the Great Barrier Reef.

Day 4

Osprey Reef

Osprey Reef is the summit of an undersea 2,000m mountain located beyond the continental shelf with no landmass visible. Enjoy amazing underwater visibility here, and observe magnificent corals, plummeting drop-offs and many fish in the crystalline waters. Osprey Reef is a highly prized tropical dive location amongst scuba divers, called an ‘oasis for living creatures of all kinds’ by Sir David Attenborough. Osprey Reef is a true expedition-style destination and our visit is subject to appropriate weather conditions.

Day 5

Ribbon Reef #9 & Hope Island

The Ribbon Reefs are a narrow line of outer coral reefs on the edge of the continental shelf and are renowned for their prolific marine life and extensive coral species. Enjoy the rare opportunity to snorkel and dive on the Ribbon Reefs which sit on the edge of the continental shelf. Due to their location far offshore from the Australian coast, the Ribbon Reefs offer excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities, with Ribbon Reef #9 a favourite for its wide variety of marine life and pinnacles cloaked in coral. Join a guided snorkel tour led by our expert Expedition Team and witness this extraordinary ecosystem up close. These northern reefs are renowned for spotting iconic marine species such as potato cod, wrasse, sharks and turtles. In the late afternoon we stretch our legs on remote Hope Island before joining fellow explorers and crew for sunset drinks on the beach as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Day 6

Daintree River & Ribbon Reef #3

Explore the 127km-long Daintree River which cuts through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest, the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. With an expert guide onboard we look for the region’s famed wildlife such as saltwater crocodiles, rare and endangered cassowaries and the prolific bird species that inhabit the forest and mangrove-lined river banks. We step ashore at a Daintree wilderness centre on the banks of the river and walk on forest trails overhung with lush vegetation. Immersed in the rainforest, we learn more about the diverse Wet Tropics ecosystem which contains the largest habitat of flora and fauna in the world. Cruising southwards along the Ribbon Reefs, there are more spectacular diving and snorkelling opportunities at Ribbon Reef #3 where we look for iconic species as well as the vibrantly coloured coral gardens the Ribbon Reefs are renowned for.

Day 7

Fitzroy Island & Sudbury Cay

At Fitzroy Island enjoy a walk through the Secret Garden rainforest or for the more adventurous, a walk to the de-commissioned lighthouse rewards hikers with panoramic views of Coral Sea, islands and mainland mountain ranges. Snorkel over the fringing reef, relax on the beach and lend a hand to the volunteers as we learn about the turtles at the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, where sick and injured turtles are cared for before being returned to the wild. Late in the afternoon, we arrive at Sudbury Cay, a tiny sand cay that barely rises above the Coral Sea. Far removed from the bustle of civilisation, we slip off our shoes and feel the sand between our toes as the tropical waters of the Coral Sea lap gently against the shoreline. Surrounded by glistening sea and bathed in the glow of twilight, we enjoy sundowner drinks and the company of like-minded explorers as we relax and watch the sun gently sink below the horizon, enjoying the Captain’s Farewell Drinks at sunset on our own private sand island.

Day 8

Arrive Cairns

Our Great Barrier Reef adventure concludes in Cairns this morning as we bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew, disembarking at 8:00am.

Please Note: tours of the Lizard Island Research Station are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed due to operational considerations. This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition, we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

Overview

Great Barrier Reef Adventure

Journey beyond the known and to the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef to discover abundant marine life, ancient cultures, seabirds and solitude.
Covering an area of over 2600 km and encompassing over 900 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the worlds largest living structure and home to an abundant and thriving array of marine and birdlife species. It holds pride of place as one of the 7 natural worlds wonders of the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage area.
Coral Expeditions pioneered extended expedition cruises on the outer reaches of the Great Barrier Reef 34 years ago and have forged a reputation for excellence and expertise in that time.
In 2021, a new era of reef exploration will begin with the introduction of the yacht-like expedition vessel Coral Discoverer to the reef commencing immersive 7-day adventures to the remote and untouched Northern reef precinct. Operating from June to December annually, we will take a maximum of 72 guests to explore the hidden corners, uninhabited sand cays, small islands and pristine reef systems. Along the way find freedom and solitude amidst this iconic seascape.
Meet charismatic marine species including the sea turtles surfing the ocean currents, find Nemo nestled amongst the coral gardens and marvel at the magnificent humpback whale migration in the deep blue of the Coral Sea. Share the journey with soaring seabirds and swim, dive and snorkel at far-flung Osprey, Escape and Ribbon Reefs. Learn about ancient indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown. Visit a Turtle Rehabilitation Centre and stretch your legs with a hike to the summit of “Cooks Look”. Enjoy a sundowner with the sand beneath your toes and the setting sun at deserted Sudbury Cay.
Onboard, you will be accompanied by expert guides and our purpose designed small ships are custom built for expedition cruising. With refined steering capabilities, shallow draught and nimble explorer tenders we will bring you closer to remote sites and natural habitats. You will enjoy freshly prepared small-batch cuisine featuring the best local ingredients and relax and enjoy quality local beers and wines. With an intimate atmosphere and our renowned warm Australian hospitality, you will quickly feel at home and make new connections with new friends.
Highlights

Immerse yourself in one of the world’s great seascapes with the Great Barrier Reef experts • Make a connection with indigenous culture and Australian heritage at historic Cooktown • Swim, snorkel, dive or simply view the iconic marine species of the Great Barrier Reef • Observe the vibrant underwater world of the untouched outer Great Barrier Reef • Enjoy solitude and seven magical Queensland sunsets • Sip sundowners and feel the sand beneath your feet on isolated sand cays and uninhabited islands • Visit a turtle rehabilitation centre and participate in efforts to conserve the Great Barrier Reef

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Ship information

Coral Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 63 meters

Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)

Crew Capacity: 24

Built: 2005 / Refurbished: 2016

Launched in 2005, Coral Discoverer set a new benchmark standard for small ship cruising in Australia. Refurbished in November 2016, she continues to raise the bar to new levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere.

The 1800-tonne Coral Discoverer is the grand vision of Coral Expeditions, pioneers in expedition and adventure cruises around Australia, Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. Her shallow draught and manoeuvrability allow her to go where larger vessels cannot. Her tender vessel, Xplorer, can seat all 72 passengers for excursions to beaches and rivers. Coral Discoverer is equipped with latest technology active stabilisers to ensure comfortable cruising in open waters and is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment and wireless internet facilities.

Coral Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience. Australian flagged, and staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience aboard Coral Discoverer will be unique.

After the refurbishment, the Sun Deck has evolved to become a new social space and the hub of on board community living. This area has been converted into an undercover deck area complete with round ‘Explorer Bar’ with bar stools and sun deck with lounges and an area for outdoor exercise equipment.

Guest accommodation has also received a substantial upgrade with the addition of six Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms providing coveted inside/outside living quarters. Each of our other Stateroom grades has also received a full upgrade with updated bathroom fixtures, soft furnishings and artwork making for an even more comfortable stay on board Coral Discoverer.

The Coral Discoverer offers five different grades of staterooms, ranging from Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms to Main Deck Staterooms. Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms are on the top deck and have private balconies opening out from French windows. All rooms are furnished with contemporary flair and feature original artwork, a small private en-suite, individually-controlled air-conditioning, an iPod dock, ample storage and Australian toiletries. All staterooms are serviced daily. Each stateroom is spacious, sized between 15sqm (161 square feet) to 20 sq. (215 square feet) and has either a balcony, feature picture windows or porthole windows. Most staterooms can be configured to either junior king or twin bedding.

Facilities on board

Sun Deck with undercover area, sun lounges and ample seating • Three fully stocked cocktail bars, including brand new round Explorer Bar on Sun Deck • Spacious, modern dining room, recently refurbished • Forward lounge • Reference library • Gift shop • Open bridge • Workout Area • Wireless internet available for laptops, mobile devices or via onboard guest computer • Limited laundry facilities available • SCUBA diving department (selected itineraries)

Contact
Booking
Luxury Small Ship Cruise
Silver Origin
09.10.2021
16.10.2021
7
Latin America, Galápagos Islands Luxury Cruise
Fare from € 9,000
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Travelroute
Day 1

San Cristobal and Kicker Rock

Like so many of the islands in the Galápagos, San Cristobal is formed by dormant volcanoes. It lies to the east of the archipelago and is one of the oldest islands in the group. Approximately 6,000 people live on the island, making their living from tourism, fishing, in government offices, or off the rich volcanic soils with some limited farming existing in the highlands. Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on the southwestern tip of the island is the capital city of the Galápagos Islands. A statue of Charles Darwin graces the harbor, marking one of the first places he likely stepped ashore in the 1830s.
Kicker Rock is the vertical remnant of a former tuff cone less than 5 kilometers to the west of San Cristobal. Both its Spanish name “Leon Dormido” (Sleeping Lion) and English name Kicker Rock imply that it is one rock only -when in fact it is a larger one 300 meters long by 100 meters wide with a maximum height of approximately 150 meters and next to it an obelisk-like rock separated by a narrow channel some 20 meters deep. When approaching Kicker Rock, Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies and frigatebirds can be observed in the air, while sea lions can be seen along the shore. Snorkelers and divers have reported manta rays, hammerhead sharks and turtles. The Spanish name implies that the geological formation seen from the south resembles a sleeping lion. An interesting explanation for the English name suggests that James Colnett in 1794 likened it to famous landmarks in Portsmouth.

Day 2

Isla Bartolome and Buccaneer Cove, Santiago

Our ship anchors in sight of the volcanic moonscape of Isla Bartolomé, at Sullivan Bay. Zodiacs bring guests ashore to ascend a boardwalk of 388 steps. Passing through the arid volcanic landscape provides a chance to watch for lava lizards, Galapagos Hawks, and Blue-footed Boobies. However, the climber’s ultimate reward is one of the most beautiful panoramas in all of the Galapagos Islands – the view towards Pinnacle Rock with black, volcanic cones of Baltra, Daphne Major and Daphne Minor in the distance. On the way down watch how the sunlight catches the green of pioneering plant species in stark contrast against dark volcanic rock, and look forward to time swimming and snorkeling from the golden beach at Bahia Dorada.

Day 3

Punta Vicente Roca (Isabela) and Punta Espinoza (Fernandina)

Punta Vicente Roca is one of the marine sites Isabela Island has to offer. On the southern side of Ecuador Volcano, the tip of land on the western end of Isabela is named after Vicente Ramon Roca, President of Ecuador from 1845-49, who as Prefect of Guayas had proposed the Ecuadorian annexation of the Galapagos Islands in 1831. The geological formations, the underwater caves and lava tubes offer fascinating views of the coastline. The South Equatorial Countercurrent hits this part of the archipelago from the west and the water offers abundant food sources for different marine life and seabirds. It is normal to see Pacific green turtles, but sharks, rays, whales and dolphins can also be expected, apart from a small colony of fur seals. Blue-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Brown Noddies and other seabirds nest in the cliffs and both the endemic Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants have established small colonies nearby. Marine iguanas also like this area because of the rich variety of seaweeds growing underwater along the western coast of Isabela. As a marine site, deepwater snorkeling is also possible at Punta Vicente Roca.
With the gentle slopes of La Cumbre volcano in the distance, the low, lava-forged coast of Punta Espinoza on Fernandina Island is a spectacular sight. Hundreds of marine iguanas rest on the black rock of recent lava flows absorbing heat from the stone and defending their territories against one another. Galapagos sea lions and their pups also take shelter here, resting on the beach and playing in the shallow tide pools sprinkled along the coast. Walk past high sandy areas where marine iguanas lay their eggs and along low, shallow mangrove ponds ringed with bright red Sally Lightfoot crabs and Flightless Cormorants drying their stubby wings in the sunshine.

Day 4

Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay

Tagus Cove is bordered by a steep rocky coastline and has for centuries offered shelter for ships and yachts. The cove is named after the British frigate HMS Tagus visiting the Galapagos in 1814. Already by the 1830s other ships had their visits recorded by painting or scratching their name onto the rocks. On approach Galapagos Penguins and Flightless Cormorants –both birds mainly found on Isabela’s west coast and neighboring Fernandina- are often seen. From the landing a trail through an incense tree forest leads past Darwin Lake to a viewpoint on top of a splatter cone. During the hike several land birds including Medium Ground-Finches, Galapagos Hawks, Yellow Warblers as well as Large-billed and Vermilion Flycatchers are often present. Brown Noddies and Blue-footed Boobies prefer the rocks along the shore.
Elizabeth Bay is one of the marine sites on Isabela’s west coast. South of Alcedo Volcano and north of Sierra Negra, Elizabeth Bay is found at Isabela’s narrowest east-west extension where the lava flows of these two volcanoes have connected each other. Elizabeth Bay’s shores show mangroves and specifically the easternmost part, a cove which can only be entered via a narrow channel, has red, white and black mangroves. Different animals prefer different parts of Elizabeth Bay. Las Marielas, three rocks at the entrance to the bay, are favored by Blue-footed Boobies, Flightless Cormorants and Galapagos Penguins as a resting place, while the mangrove area is preferred by Great Blue Herons for hunting or the Magnificent Frigatebirds for perching. The bay is used by turtles, rays and even sharks for feeding or resting. The shallow water and the root system of the mangroves in the small inlet allow smaller fish to hide from bigger predators.

Day 5

Post Office Bay (Floreana), Champion Islet, Floreana and Punta Cormorant (Floreana)

Floreana’s Post Office Bay has received its name as the site was used to leave mail for retrieval by others who were thought to stop at the Galapagos Islands or might be heading for the addressee’s direction. First mentioned by Porter in 1813 as “Hathaway’s Postoffice”, HMS Beagle’s captain FitzRoy stated that it was not in use in 1835 as the island was already settled at that time. Floreana had been the first island to be settled by Ecuadorians in 1832. Today a barrel instead of the original box is used by visitors who leave their own postcards and retrieve mail for hand-delivery. Apart from the beach and mail barrel the bay offers good swimming and snorkeling. The area holds remains of a failed Norwegian fish canning plant and settlement dating back to the 1920s. A lava tube in the vicinity can also be explored. Although Floreana is inhabited, the number of residents is reduced because of the difficult access to water. A track from Post Office Bay connects with the only road from Puerto Velazco Ibarra on the west coast to a spring in the highlands.
Champion Islet is a small islet some 700 meters off the northeast coast of Floreana. It is one of four marine sites surrounding Floreana and offers excellent deepwater snorkeling opportunities. Curious sea lions approach the snorkelers while turtles slowly swim by and sharks, sting rays, and a high diversity of colorful fishes can usually be seen. During a Zodiac cruise around Champion Islet not only seabirds such as Nazca Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, or Red-billed Tropicbirds will be seen, it is also possible to spot the rare Floreana Mockingbird.
Floreana Island’s northernmost point is called Punta Cormorant – named after the British naval vessel HMS Cormorant and dating back to the late 19th century. From the landing beach a short track leads to a shallow lagoon that is famous for its flamingos. The brilliantly pink birds skim the salty waters for shrimp and tend to chicks on the nest. The trail then scales a low hillside through scattered Palo Santo trees to reveal an idyllic white-sand beach on the other side of the point. Standing at the edge of the lapping waves, you might spot mammoth female sea turtles hauling themselves out of the sea to lay eggs in the sugar sand dunes that lay high above the tide line. Before returning to the landing site your guides may also point out White-cheeked Pintails, Blue-footed Boobies, Yellow Warblers, and Medium and Small Ground Finches.

Day 6

Santa Cruz Highlands and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Puerto Ayora

Los Gemelos (The Twins) is a visitor site in the Santa Cruz highlands. Found some 15 kilometers northwest of Puerto Ayora, the road leading from Puerto Ayora in the south of Santa Cruz to Itabaca in the north dissects the twin pit craters. Pit craters are formed when the roof of an underground void collapses. The smaller pit crater is on the eastern side of the road, while the larger one is on the western side. See from above, the two openings in the ground are not at all identical. Their layout might imply an elongated magma chamber or a lava tube leading further west and the larger twin actually having formerly been two small pit craters whose connecting wall collapsed as well. Trails through a Scalesia forest not only give access to good views of the pit craters, but also permit to observe some of the smaller land birds. Vermilion Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Galapagos Doves, Medium Ground Finches and several other finch species can often be seen there.
Silver Origin will anchor in front of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, where the prestigious Charles Darwin Research Station is located. The station also houses the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center for giant tortoises and land iguanas where guides interpret the centre’s captive breeding and reintroduction programs. In addition to these star species, throughout the station there are huge prickly pear cactus trees being fed upon by the pretty Galapagos Cactus Finch. To round out the stay in Puerto Ayora, enjoy free time in town where local artists have created charming art galleries and corner cafés.

Day 7

Cerro Dragon (Santa Cruz), Isla Guy Fawkes and Bahía Borrero, Santa Cruz

Cerro Dragón’s land iguanas once played an important part in a conservation program headed by the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park. When the reptiles’ numbers declined in the 1970s, some animals were taken to breed in captivity and were released back into undeveloped areas. Today, it is an honor to see the success of this program firsthand at Cerro Dragón. Walk inland on a trail past small saltwater lagoons that periodically feature flamingos, to see the reintroduced animals. In a periodic local phenomenon, during rainier times the salinity in the lagoons drops with the inflow of freshwater. As a consequence crustacean populations decline, which in turn means the shorebirds become scarce.
In the northern area of Santa Cruz Island, Bahía Borrero is a beautiful white coralline beach used as a nesting site by Green Sea turtles. Behind the dunes, we have a forest of typical vegetation from the arid zone: Palo Santo, Leather leaf, and Salty bushes. This vegetation welcomes Yellow Warblers, and some of the most characteristic species of Darwin Finches, such as the Common Cactus Finch or the Small Ground Finch. This extinct volcano, due to its altitude, shows all the different zones of vegetation, changing from the littoral to the arid, and then with more moisture into the humid zone, to end in the dry pampa zone. It is an impressive landscape to enjoy while you swim in the turquoise waters of the bay or have a nice relaxing walk along the beach.

Day 8

Baltra

Disembarkation.
Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is truly the entrance to the Galapagos Islands. Despite not being considered as part of the National Park proper, Baltra definitely offers a taste of the weird and wonderful nature that thrives on the islands. The island is located in the central part of the archipelago. At just eight sq. mi it is one of smallest islands, yet its flat, volcanic rock surface and central location in the archipelago makes it an ideal place for one of the islands’ two airports. The airport was built by the US Air Force, who used it as an army base during WWII. As a travel destination in itself it offers few attractions, and all travellers who come here are just passing through, either on either way to or from the islands. There is no tourism infrastructure (save a few agencies that offer tours of the islands) or shops on Baltra and any purchases that you might wish to make should be done at the airport if they can. However, land iguanas and Galapagos finches are popular sights, and the iguanas are often seen running across the runway itself. As you cross the Itabaca Channel to or from Santa Cruz, be on the lookout for some other Galapagian locals: giant turtles and playful sea lions completely oblivious to the humans around.

Ship information

Galápagos Islands Luxury Cruise

Including return flights between Ecuador and Galápagos.

The weird and wonderful Galápagos Islands are definitely contenders for the world best travel destination. These are the islands where the animals look at humans curiously, rather than the other way around! Inspiring and educational, each island has its own species and strengths, ranging from miles of dramatic coastline to nesting colonies of endemic birds. The islands may be small, but be prepared for some big surprises! Ticking off all 15 species of the Galapagos Big 15, this seven day voyage is perfect for curious cruisers! From marine iguanas to Galapagos Hawks, to the iconic blue-footed boobie, no other place on Earth can compare to the Galapagos’ fusion of flora and fauna. Join us to explore the volcanic landscapes that time forgot, discover unique wildlife both above and below the sea, drinking in the drama and depth of natural history along the way.
Highlights

Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team • Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team • Isla Bartolomé & Santiago Island • Fernandina Island, Isabela Island and more • Amazing Wildlife & Snorkelling

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Ship information

Silver Origin

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 101 metres
Passenger Capacity: 100
Crew: 90
Built: 2020

The first destination specific ship built by Silversea, Silver Origin is the height of experiential travel in the Galápagos. Never before have the islands been so superbly presented: a team of Ecuadorian national expert guides, the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the Galápagos, 8 Zodiacs, seamless hybrid spaces that offer an extraordinary voyage – for extraordinary people. All-suite accommodation, Horizon Balconies, butler service, sophisticated interiors, interactive basecamp, Ecuadorian inspired cuisine … no aspect of Silver Origin has been left to chance. The most environmentally conscious ship we have ever built, take a vertical leap and transform your idea of travel with Silver Origin.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Caledonian Sky
12.10.2021
24.10.2021
12
The Mediterranean, Ancient Wonders of the Aegean
Fare from € 7.650
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Travelroute
Day 1

London to Istanbul, Turkey

Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Caledonian Sky and embark. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner and be on deck after dinner as we depart our berth and sail down the Bosphorous.

Day 2

Canakkale for Troy

Enjoy a leisurely morning at sea arriving in the early afternoon at Canakkale, our gateway for Troy. Ongoing archaeological excavations have revealed nine different layers of cities superimposed in rings on a massive mound rising above the Plain of Ilium. It was at one of these cities, as legend has it, that the Greeks fought the Trojans as told by Homer in the Iliad. Our tour follows the excavations made by Heinrich Schliemann, the archaeologist who discovered Troy and “Priam’s Treasure”, the jewels that, Schliemann claimed, were worn by Helen of Troy. We will walk the walls that held Helen of Troy and look down at the plain where Achilles dragged the dead body of Hector. We can also visit the new Troy museum on site.

Day 3

Pergamum

From the port of Dikili we will drive inland to Pergamum with its splendid Acropolis towering above the valley of the Caicus River. This city, built by Alexander’s warring generals became one of the cultural capitals of antiquity, its library rivalling those of Athens and Alexandria. Today Pergamum is one of Turkey’s finest archaeological sites. We will take a cable car up to the Acropolis to see the remains of the citadel and the city walls, the foundations of the Zeus Altar and the Royal Palace. We will enjoy a local lunch and time in the archaeological museum before returning to the MS Caledonian Sky and sailing this evening.

Day 4

Kusadasi for Ephesus

From our berth in Kusadasi we will drive to the nearby ancient city of Ephesus, a stunning and partially excavated site where digging has been taking place for over a century. Broad streets are lined by impressive buildings including the library of Celsus and the temples of Serapis and Hadrian. Once the capital of Ionia, St Paul preached here on his second missionary journey and we will see the spectacular Grand Theatre, originally built in the 3rd century BC by the Greeks, and later expanded by the Romans. This afternoon is at leisure to explore Kusadasi independently.

Day 5

Patmos, Greece

Of all the Greek islands, Patmos is the most sacred to Christians both Orthodox and Western; it was here that St John received his revelation. This morning we will make our way to the grotto of St John. This small cave, now converted into the beautiful chapel, is where the Saint lived, had his revelation and wrote ‘Book of the Apocalypse’. From here we continue to the village of Chora, with its simple houses and Byzantine churches and climb to the Monastery of St John the Theologian. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon and evening at leisure.

Day 6

Kos

According to myth, Kos was the homeland of the Giants. The island has given to the world Hippocrates, father of medicine and the 4th century painter Apelles. We will drive the short distance to the Asklepion, the infirmary of Antiquity, which was constructed in the 4th century BC. Among the ruins are part of the Doric Temple of Aesculapius, the altar and the Stoa which housed the famous Hippocrates Medical School. After lunch on board you have the afternoon to explore Kos Town at your own pace, maybe head to the once impregnable Castle of the Knights, the 3rd century BC Agora, see the museum housing fine mosaics or simply relax at one of the cafes in the squares.

Day 7

Rhodes

Our tour this morning will take us to the ancient Acropolis of Lindos. From here the views of the Pelagus and St Paul’s Bay, where the apostle anchored during his voyage to Ephesus, are stunning. The Medieval walls which guard Lindos were constructed by the Knights of St John. This afternoon there will be the opportunity to relax on board, explore at leisure or join a guided Rhodes Town walk before sailing in the late evening.

Day 8

Xanthos & Patara, Turkey

From the harbour at Fethiye, we travel south east to discover the rich Lycian towns of the past. Drive along the Esme River to the ancient city of Xanthos, Lycia’s prominent capital city built on a great cliff overlooking the river. Xanthos boasts several significant ruins, including the Nereid Monument, an exquisite iconic building whose figured friezes are in the British Museum. Continue to Letoon, a city named after Leto, mother Goddess of Lycians. We will see the ruins of the temples dedicated to Leto, Artemis and Apollo and the amphitheatre. Enjoy a local lunch before visiting Patara, located amidst sand dunes and by a long sandy beach. The city was conquered by Alexander the Great and St Paul stopped here on his way to Rome in AD 60. It was also the birthplace of St Nicholas. See the Grand Theatre and the ruins of the temples.

Day 9

Myra & Kekova

From our anchorage in the Bay of Cayagzi we will use local boats to visit the ancient port of Myra, the former capital of Lycia and the departure point of Paul to Rome in 60 AD. Surrounded by orchards and miles of greenhouses stands a large, well-preserved Roman theatre backed by splendid Lycian cave-tombs with delicately carved façades. In the town of Myra, the birthplace of St Nicholas, we visit the 11th century Church of St Nicholas, only recently excavated, with its faded frescoes and beautiful mosaic floors. After lunch on board, this afternoon is free to relax or join a local boat excursion into Kekova Bay. Here we can view the half-submerged ruins of the ancient city of Simena. We will also land at the village of Kalekoy where a strenuous walk will take us up to the Lycian castle with sarcophagi overlooking the sea.

Day 10

Antalya

Over breakfast we will arrive in Antalya from where we explore the principal Roman ruins along Turkey’s southern coast. We will pass the modern city of Antalya en-route to the ancient city of Perge which dates back to 1000 BC and was founded by Mopsus and Calchas after their retreat from Troy. See the Basilica of Perge, which played an important role in the spread of Christianity, the 2nd century AD stadium, the baths complex and two magnificent round towers of the Greek Gate. We drive further east for a visit to Aspendos, whose amphitheatre built in the 2nd century AD is considered the best preserved in the Mediterranean. After lunch in a local restaurant continue to Antalya to visit the excellent Archaeological Museum.

Day 11

Alanya

Our final day in Turkey will be based in Alanya. After breakfast we will drive through the town, with views of the Taurus Mountains in the east, then towards Incekum along the Turkish Riviera to the west, where we pass citrus and banana plantations and visit Damlatas Cave which is a masterpiece of nature, known for its curative effect on asthma. Drive along the beautiful Turkish Riviera towards the ancient city of Side which was one of the leading Pamphylian cities on the south coast of Anatolia. Visit the Grand Theatre, a perfect example of a Roman theatre built on vaults on flat land. Walk through the town, view the old harbour and see the remains of the Apollo Temple. After lunch on board, this afternoon is free to explore the town of Alanya with its Medieval fort perched on a rocky peninsula.

Day 12

Paphos, Cyprus

After a leisurely morning at sea we arrive at our anchorage at Paphos over lunch. Paphos was the ancient capital of Cyprus and birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty symbolised by the legendary Aphrodite’s Rock. We will visit the 13th century Chrysopolitissa Church which is shared by the Anglican and Catholic congregation. Saint Paul visited Paphos in 45 AD in an attempt to convert the ruler of the time to Christianity. He was successful in his efforts, but not before being tied and whipped to an otherwise unremarkable lump of stone, the Pillar of Saint Paul, which we will see during our visit. Also see the archaeological park, known as the House of Dionysos with the fabulously preserved mosaics which date back to the 2nd century AD.

Day 13

Larnaca to London

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.

Overview

Ancient Wonders of the Aegean

The awe-inspiring sites of the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean have attracted, inspired, and fascinated travellers throughout the centuries and during this voyage we will concentrate on the splendid archaeological sites of the Eastern Aegean, an incomparable region of Greek and Roman architectural treasures. Visiting some of the most historic and scenically beautiful places in Turkey and Greece, our itinerary represents small ship cruising at its best and is timed for October when the absence of high summer crowds will contribute towards making this a very memorable journey. By the end of the cruise you will have seen and learnt so much, all from the comfort of the all-suite MS Caledonian Sky which allows us access to ports which the big ships simply can’t reach.
Our cruise begins in Istanbul, a city of endless fascination and a fitting starting place for our voyage to the great sites of antiquity. We continue to some truly magnificent ancient sites including Pergamum, one of the cultural capitals of antiquity and one of the finest archaeological sites in Turkey, and Ephesus, one of the most famous Graeco- Roman sites in the Mediterranean. We continue to Greece enjoying some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the Mediterranean, learning more about the great cities that flourished and fell and the intriguing civilisations that so coveted these ancient lands before returning to the Turkish coast and finally across to Cyprus.
After many years of experience of operating cruises in the Aegean, we believe we have the perfectly balanced itinerary with a mix of guided excursions and time at leisure to explore the charming villages independently. We have planned some late departures from port, which affords the opportunity to enjoy an after dinner stroll in some towns which are particularly atmospheric in the evening. With just over 100 fellow passengers, our trips ashore with local guides will be a pleasure and whether your interest lies in ancient history, modern politics or simply the joy of experiencing new places, this journey has something for everyone.

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Ship information

Caledonian Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 90 meters
Passenger Capacity: 114
Crew Capacity: 70
Built: 1991 / refurbished 2018
The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.
If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 70 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.
Your Suite
On board there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites, 23 of which have private balconies located on the Promenade or Bridge Decks. Following a comprehensive refurbishment of the suites in November 2018, the suites on each deck have their own colour theme utilising fabrics from companies such as Osbourne & Little and Zimmer & Rohde. Soft hues, blended tones and the classic contemporary fabrics enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. Each suite exudes great character and grandeur with wood panelling and brass features found throughout. The large suites are arranged over four decks and all have outside facing views. All suites feature a sitting area complete with coffee table, armchairs and flat screen televisions (DVD players and DVDs can be borrowed from reception for use in your suite).

Your space

The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Caledonian Sky include a large lounge featuring comfortable seating. Daily briefings given by the onboard team and talks from Guest Speakers take place in the Main Lounge which is fitted with multiple screens. For your convenience it is also possible to follow the onboard lectures from the comfort of your suite. Also in the Lounge is a 24-hour tea and coffee station along with an elegant bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. In addition to the Main Lounge on the Caledonian Deck, there is the recently refurbished Lounge on the Panorama Deck which has a bar, library and further spacious seating arrangements, ideal for watching the world go by as you cruise to your next destination. The Travel Library is the perfect place to relax with a good book and is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a collection of essential reads. A selection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Castle Deck. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck which is complete with deck tables and chairs where meals are served in warm weather under shade and often occasions such as sail away parties and barbeques are held here.
On the Panorama Deck towards the front of the vessel there is an additional Observation Deck, complete with bar and comfortable cushioned deck furniture for sun bathing, relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. On the Promenade Deck there is also a small gymnasium featuring a treadmill, bicycle and cross trainer, and a hairdressers with appointments made on request. For your wellbeing, there is a clinic with Doctor on board and a lift which serves all decks.

Your dining
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.

For your comfort
MS Caledonian Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. As is the joy of small ship cruising, during your voyage, we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey (subject to weather or security conditions). There is a navigation channel on the television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.
Gratuities
Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.
Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Hebridean Sky
13.10.2021
23.10.2021
10
Africa, Passage to Cape Verde
Fare from € 5.750
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Travelroute
Day 1

London to Casablanca, Morocco

Fly by scheduled indirect flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Hebridean Sky and enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as we sail this evening.

Day 2

Safi

This morning we will depart the port of Safi and head along the coast to Essaouira. Founded in the 18th century, Essaouira was built to be a rival city to Agadir. Formerly known as Mogador, meaning small fortress, it was designed as a fortified town surrounded by Vauban-style ramparts and played a major role as an international trading seaport, linking Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa with Europe and the rest of the world. On our full day tour, we will see the amazing mixture of Portuguese and Berber architecture, the 16th century sea bastions built to protect the city, the 18th century Medina and in the Mellah we will find the souks dedicated to gold, spices and fish. We enjoy a seafood lunch near the beach before returning to the MS Hebridean Sky.

Day 3

Agadir

This morning we arrive in southern Morocco in the vast bay of Agadir. A morning tour will include time at the Kasbah, built to defend the Atlantic shoreline and offering wonderful views over the coast, and the Talborjit Mosque. After some time in the souk we will drive through the fertile Souss valley to the gold, pink and orange tinted imperial city of Taroudant, a past capital of the Saadian dynasty. Explore the medina with its souks, see the red ramparts and end with a visit to the Assarag and Tamaklotte Squares. After a local lunch we return to the ship and sail this evening.

Day 4

At Sea

Spend the day at sea, maybe join a lecture or find a spot on deck to relax.

Day 5

El Marsa for Laayoune

From the port of El Marsa drive across the sand dunes to the city of Laayoune. There are not many travellers who can boast of a visit this far south in Morocco. Mostly consisting of flat desert, it is one of the least populated regions in the world. It makes for a really interesting morning as we take in the unique Spanish-Saharan architecture in the old town, visit the Roman Catholic church, the Moulay Abdelaziz Mosque and see the food and artisan markets. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at sea.

Day 6

Dakhla

Enjoy a morning at sea and arrive after lunch in Dakhla. The town occupies a long peninsula which juts out into the Atlantic and is well off the traditional tourist routes. We will drive along the lagoon, a paradise for migratory birds, before visiting a Sahraoui camp in the sand dunes. Here we will learn about the nomadic Sahraoui culture, partake in a tea ceremony and use the 4x4 vehicles to see the stunning views from the top of the dunes. Return to the ship and sail this evening.

Day 7

At Sea

Enjoy a relaxing day spent at sea as we cruise to the Cape Verde Islands.

Day 8

Palmeira, Sal, Cape Verde

The island of Sal was relatively undeveloped until the mid-nineteenth century when the salt export business was established and this afternoon we will visit one of the original sites at Pedra de Lume. We will see the saltpans, learn of the salt extraction process and even have the chance to float in the waters. Alternatively transfer to the town of Santa Maria for a relaxing afternoon swimming from the beaches or exploring the local shops for Cape Verdean crafts.

Day 9

Tarrafal, Sao Nicolau

Sao Nicolau is a charming, peaceful and attractive island of plantations, small holdings and busy farming villages. It also has impressive, almost untouched mountain scenery, friendly residents and lively traditions. On our tour we will drive through a spectacular landscape towards the historical capital Ribeira Brava. Here we will discover the lively centre of the island which reflects the character of the people and learn why Ribeira Brava was the bedrock of Cape Verdean intellect in the 19th century. After lunch enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Day 10

Porto Novo, Santo Antao & Mindelo, Sao Vicente

We have a full day on the most beautiful of the islands, Santo Antao. Driving up the old trading route we pass the volcanic crater ‘Cova’ with its agricultural plantations and enjoy panoramic views of the island before arriving in the tiny picturesque mountain village of Fontainhas, on the northern side of the island. After lunch in the seaside village of Ponta do Sol, we will take the coastal road towards the greenest valley in the archipelago, the valley of Paul. Here we will enjoy a coffee break whilst learning about the production of sugarcane on the island. We will also discover ‘Grogue’, the national drink of the islands and have a taste of it at the oldest traditional Grogue distillery of the island. Drive back along the coast to the southern side of the island and our waiting ship. This evening we will make the short hop over to Mindelo and after dinner we will be joined by local musicians and dancers for a spectacular farewell performance.

Day 11

Mindelo to London

Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

Overview

Passage to Cape Verde

Join us aboard the wonderfully comfortable MS Hebridean Sky for a journey that will take us from the port of Safi along the Moroccan coast visiting the magnificent cities of Essaouira and Agadir on the Atlantic shoreline. We then continue our voyage to two little visited places along the coast of North Africa, Laayoune and Dakhla. This region promises to be a most memorable experience and, for those who enjoy visiting out of the way places where tourists are a rarity, it is a unique opportunity.
Highlights
Reaching the Cape Verde archipelago, we will island hop between these remote islands and discover the saltpans of the island of Sal, bustling farming villages as well as spectacular mountain scenery and volcanic landscapes. It is a little world of its own, each island having a distinct culture and atmosphere and an ideal region for exploring by small ship • Our voyage will be particularly enjoyable as it includes some daytime sailing, allowing for time to relax on deck and attend the informative lectures by our knowledgeable Guest Speaker who, along with the excellent local guides will bring to life all we see

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Ship information

MS Hebridean Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 91 meters
Passenger Capacity: 118
Crew Capacity: 70
Built / Refurbished: 1992 / 2016
The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky.
Your Suite On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a sitting area and fourteen suites have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton Decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring vanity unit with sink and walk-in rainfall shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Additional facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The beds in each suite can be configured as twins or double with the exception of suite 601 and 602 which feature fixed double beds. The impressive Hebridean Suite, located on the Shackleton Deck consists of a separate bathroom and sitting room with extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry.
Your Space The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky include a large lounge on the Byrd Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. In addition to the Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also offers a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Mawson Deck is The Library which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Amundsen Deck and is a bright and charming setting to enjoy the delicious meals on board. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Scott Deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this, on the top Shackleton Deck there is an observation area which offers a fantastic platform for spotting wildlife complete with deck furniture, ideal for relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request.
Your Dining It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice. In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose. The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.
For Your Comfort The MS Hebridean Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.
Contact
Booking