Cruise Type
Ship
Date
Days
Destination
Information
Small Expedition Yacht
Coral Discoverer
26.04.2019
06.05.2019
10
Australia and NZ, Ancient Lands of the Kimberley
Fare from € 6.960
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Travelroute
Day 1

Depart Darwin

Board your ship at 8.00am for planned 9:00am departure > cross Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters > join our expedition staff in the lounge for an informative introduction to the Kimberley > with fellow travellers and friendly Coral Expeditions’ crew, enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks.

Day 2

King George River and Falls

Discover the first of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers, the mighty King George > board Xplorer, our specially designed excursion vessel and explore scenic gorges > take to our inflatable Zodiacs and cruise close to the base of magnificent King George Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfalls in Western Australia, towering some 80 metres above the river below > visit secluded Tranquil Bay for beach walking and exploration.

Day 3

Vansittart Bay DC3 and Jar Island

Join our Expedition Leader on a walk across salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force DC3 which crash landed on the beach during World War II > visit Jar Island and discover the island’s outstanding rock art gallery > with our Guest Lecturers, see fine examples of the Kimberley’s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years.

Day 4

Hathaway’s Hideaway and Mitchell Falls

Anchor in Winyalken Bay > travel ashore aboard Xplorer to explore the maze of natural sandstone caves known as Hathaway’s Hideaway > consider an optional scenic heli-flight over the Mitchell Plateau for close up views of the mighty four-tiered Mitchell Falls (additional expense) > this evening enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as we indulge in a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ.

Day 5

Bigge Island and Careening Bay

Discover the rock art gallery on Bigge Island featuring fine examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art > hear from our Guest Lecturers about these traditional art forms and the myths from the dreamtime that inspired them > explore Careening Bay; named by early explorer Phillip Parker King after his ship ‘HMC Mermaid’ was careened for repairs during his second voyage of discovery in the Kimberley > our Expedition Team will lead us to the site of a remarkable boab tree bearing the inscription ‘HMC Mermaid – 1820’, still clearly visible almost 200 years later.

Day 6

Prince Regent River and King Cascades

Cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard Xplorer to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations > enjoy a picnic lunch at beautiful Camp Creek, where there is also time for a cooling dip in the freshwater pools.

Day 7

Montgomery Reef and Doubtful Bay

Savour a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs > join our Expedition Staff aboard the Xplorer and Zodiacs to experience this natural phenomenon up close > discover the reef’s diverse marine life including turtles, manta rays and reef sharks > cruise through scenic Doubtful Bay.

Day 8

Raft Point and Ruby Falls

Cruise through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry > travel ashore at imposing Raft Point and visit a secluded and very interesting Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and some of the Kimberley’s most well-preserved Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion) > explore Red Cone Creek and enjoy a leisurely swim at Ruby Falls.

Day 9

Horizontal Falls and Bucaneer Archipelago

Meander through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to over 800 islands > in Talbot Bay the region’s 12 metre tides create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls, described by legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders in the world” > the amazing power of the falls is revealed when the region’s 12 metre tides turn, forcing millions of litres of water to rush through the narrow gaps between cliffs > board the Zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls > explore Silica Beach on Hidden Island with its stunning white sands and crystal clear waters.

Day 10

Lacepede Islands

Explore Pender Bay and subject to weather and tides, visit the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef > this nature reserve has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area as it supports up to 18,000 breeding pairs of Brown Boobies and Roseate Terns, possibly the largest such population in the world > board the Zodiacs and explore the island’s lagoon, keeping an eye out for many species of marine birdlife including Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets, gulls and terns > the islands are also renowned as Western Australia’s most significant breeding grounds for the Green Turtle, often seen nesting > this evening we reflect on this wonderful expedition with new-found friends as we enjoy the Captain’s farewell drinks.

Day 11

Arrive in Broome

Our adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning at 8:00am > if you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day visiting world-famous Cable Beach or stroll the historic streets of Chinatown in central Broome > post cruise transfers included.

Please Note: 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

Ancient Lands of the Kimberley

We invite you to discover the remarkable Kimberley Coast. Home to towering waterfalls, rugged outback landscapes, ancient Aboriginal art and abundant wildlife there is simply no place on earth quite like the Kimberley, and no better way to discover it than by small ship.

Join us to experience all of the icons of the Kimberley Coast over ten unforgettable days cruising between Darwin and Broome. In the north, discover the majestic King George River with its towering 80-metre twin falls and the mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion) Paintings of Bigge Island. Explore the Mitchell Plateau and cruise the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers before experiencing beautiful King Cascades, remarkable Montgomery Reef and the amazing natural phenomenon of the Horizontal Falls in the south.

This is a land steeped in ancient Aboriginal culture and the legends of Australia’s pioneering past. Travel ashore to view the world’s oldest known indigenous rock art, the mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) paintings and soak up the history of early explorers such as Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline almost 200 years ago. With two landings most days, with Coral Expeditions you will enjoy more opportunities to fully immerse yourself in the magic of the Kimberley. Aboard our unique ‘Xplorer’ excursion vessel and fleet of inflatable zodiacs, and with the expert local knowledge of our experienced guides, you are assured of making the most of every minute of your expedition, and do it all in total comfort and unrivalled style.

Highlights

Discover the mighty King George River and get in close to the soaring falls on our Zodiac excursions • Visit and learn about ancient rock art with our expert Expedition Team • Explore Hathaway’s Hideaway and the maze of sandstone caves • Indulge in gourmet Aussie beach BBQ as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean • Aboard our Xplorer tender, cruise the Prince Regent River to King Cascades • Experience the tidal phenomenon that expose Montgomery Reef and create the unique Horizontal Falls • Spot amazing marine life and enjoy bird watching

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Ship information

Coral Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 63 metres

Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)

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.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Amazon River Cruise
Aria Amazon
10.05.2019
17.05.2019
7
Latin America, Aria Amazon Expedition Cruise
Fare from € 8.050
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Travelroute
Day 1

Iquitos - Amazon River

We will meet at Iquitos International Airport then enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant or we will serve a box lunch en route, depending on the flight arrival time. The afternoon continues with an introduction to this historic city and the opportunity to meet an indigenous Amazon community. At 6:00pm we will board the ARIA AMAZON. Settle into your generously proportioned suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures. Following a routine safety drill and introduction to our naturalist guides, we gather for innovative Amazonian cuisine created by our Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is the one of Lima’s top ranked dining experiences.

Day 2

Amazon River - Yarapa River - Nauta Caño

Aboard our comfortable skiffs, we set sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Keep your binoculars ready to spot tropical songbirds, black collared hawks and sloths. We’ll go fishing for Amazonia’s notoriously ferocious piranhas while our naturalist guides share stories of Lake Moringo. As the sun sets, we head off on an evening’s wildlife excursion with extraordinary stargazing on the black waters of Nauta Caño.

Day 3

Marañon River - casual jungle walk - Yanayacu-Pucate River

Rise with the sun for an early morning birdwatching along the Marañon River. After breakfast, we will take a jungle walk on the firm soil forest “Casual,” while looking for flora and fauna which include medicinal trees, insects, and poison dart frogs, and learning more about the different rainforest stratas. Later, swim, canoe or kayak in Yanayacu-Pucate River as we look for legendary pink river dolphins. Focus our hi-tech telescope on the night sky to identify the planets and constellations.

Day 4

Nauta Town - village visit - birthplace of the Amazon

This morning, we will visit the local fresh market with your guides who can identify the day’s catch by the fishermen of Amazonia and the region’s exotic fruits. In the afternoon, we witness one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere, the birthplace of the Amazon River. Tonight you will meet the new passengers who have signed on for the four-night trip, as we start our journey together along the Marañon River.

Day 5

Yanallpa River - El Dorado River

By skiff, we explore the black waters of the Yanallpa River, disembarking to walk deep into the Amazonian rain forest. Later, we board the skiffs again to cruise along the El Dorado River for a dusk excursion in search of exotic nocturnal wildlife.

Day 6

Pacaya River - Ucayali River - Tapiche River

The rewards of our early start today are plentiful, including a breakfast picnic accompanied by jungle symphony and fishing along the black waters of the Pacaya River. After lunch, we venture out by skiffs on the Ucayali River alongside the banana boats transporting their jungle products to the port of Requena, keeping an eye out for pink river dolphins.

Day 7

Clavero or Yarapa River - Amazon River

Choose to go jungle walking, canoeing, kayaking or swimming on the black water Yarapa or Clavero River in the morning. Visit a remote Amazonia village in the afternoon. This evening before dinner, we will gather to introduce you to some of the crewmembers whom you may not have met, working "behind the scenes" to ensure your countless exceptional experiences aboard the ARIA AMAZON.

Day 8

Arrival in Iquitos - Manatee Rescue Center - transfer to the aiport

At the Bellavista Nanay morning market along the Nanay River, sample exotic snacks from the Peruvian Amazon like ‘Suri’, Amazon caterpillars that are considered especially appetizing. Return to the ARIA for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye, we will make one last truly memorable stop at the Manatee Rescue Center, a very special kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees. We will also visit San Juan craft market on route to the airport. Lunch or box lunch will be provided, depending on the exact departure flight time, which may vary. Other local activities may be included as well, according to the recommended flight schedule.

Overview

Aria Amazon Expedition Cruise

We highly recommend our 7-night Amazon River Expedition Cruise on the Aria Amazon where you may experience our most luxurious and comprehensive Amazon journey among the Amazon River’s three powerful tributaries: the Marañon, the Ucayali, and the Puinahua as well as several hidden black water lakes.
Enjoy a tour by skiff of the Yacapana Isles, the “Isles of the Iguana”. Meet the gray and pink freshwater dolphins of the Yarapa River. Visit Madgalena Village and her giant water lilies and meet the Cocama Indians of Puerto Prado. Travel down the Ucayali River spotting monkeys and learn about the Amazon River headwaters. Probe deep within the Nauta Caño within Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, known as the mirrored forest, fish for piranha in Charo Lake and learn about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia.

• Low Water Season (June through November) vs. High Water Season (December through May)

If seeing glorious Amazon rainforest at its lushest and getting up close to lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying slightly cooler temperatures) sounds most attractive, then December to May might be your best choice.
If jungle hikes and spotting exotic migratory birds perched on trees between flights across Amazonia appeals most to you, while still having the chance to see capuchin monkeys, kinkajou, and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions, you might be happier choosing the warmer, low water season.

Highlights

See the Amazon River’s rare pink dolphins • Venture deep into the Amazon rainforest among its extraordinary array of mammals and birds • Explore within the five million pristine acres of Pacaya Samiria Reserve, a protected wildlife area teeming with lifelong mating pairs of blue-and-yellow macaw, flocks of snowy egrets, laughing falcons and Amazon kingfishers in the air, squirrel monkeys frolicking in the trees and pink dolphins poking their dorsal fins above the river water while colossal Victoria Regia water lilies float along the surface • Interact with local people in their villages, living largely as they have for centuries

Please Note: More Aria Amazon Expedition Cruises are available, not all of them are listed online. Please contact us for more details.

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Aria Amazon

Vessel Type: Luxury River Expedition

Length: 147 feet / 45 metres
Passenger Capacity: 32
Built/refurbished: 2011/2015

In 2015, the Aria Amazon, which first set sail in 2011, was completely refreshed with new upgrades from bed linens to state of the art lighting. The 45 meter (147 foot) long Aria was designed by the innovative Peruvian architect Jordi Puig. Extremely generous dining and lounging areas include an outdoor river facing Jacuzzi. Floor to ceiling windows face the Amazon River in the ship’s 16 Design Suites, each measuring 23 square meters (250 square feet). Four suites can interconnect for families. Upgrades to the spa include new decor for enhanced relaxation. This striking black hulled ship accommodates a maximum of 32 guests plus 26 crew including a paramedic and four English-speaking naturalist guides. Aqua Expeditions highly experienced river pilots and the most rigorous cruise ship standards ensure smooth travel and safety on the waters of the Peruvian Amazon.
Accommodations and Cabins: 16 suites (8 Design Suites measuring 23.2 square meters /250 square feet on the first deck and 8 Design Suites measuring 23.2 square meters / 250 square feet on the second deck). All outside-facing with floor to ceiling panoramic windows. All air conditioned with en suite sitting areas. Four interconnecting suites for families.
Unique Cabin Features and Amenities: Amazon river facing panoramic windows; air conditioning; twin beds that convert to a California king-sized bed; en suite sitting area, bathroom with shower, toilet, sink, cabinet, hairdryer, hot water around the clock and a basket of toiletries; internal communications system.
Common Living and Social Areas: Indoor Bar; Lounge; Dining Room; Outside Lounge; Outdoor Jacuzzi; Exercise Room; Observation Deck; Boutique

Contact
Booking
Luxury Mekong River Cruise
Aqua Mekong
10.05.2019
17.05.2019
7
Asia, Aqua Mekong Expedition Cruise
Fare from € 5.685
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Travelroute
Day 1

Mekong River - My Tho - Ho Chi Minh - Vietnam

We will collect you at the Ho Chi Minh meeting point and transfer you by air-conditioned coach to My Tho dock where we will welcome you aboard the Aqua Mekong. Settle into your floating retreat, with its window wall conferring an endlessly captivating panorama. Enjoy these private Mekong moments on your California king bed, terrace or daybed.

Day 2

Mekong River - Binh Thanh/Sa Dec - My An Hung

Begin the day at Binh Thanh mat weaving village or opt to visit Sa Dec where we will peruse the vibrant market and see the famous house of Marguerite Duras' legendary lover, Mr. Huynh Thuy Le. In the afternoon, visit a typical Mekong Delta village called My An Hung where we will walk through verdant plantations. We will be invited to a local's home to taste local fruits while hearing traditional folk songs performed by villagers followed by a unique unicorn dance. A 17-kilometer Biking option is also available.

Day 3

Mekong River - Chau Doc - Vinh Xuong – Ka’om Samnor border

Travel by skiff along Bassac Canal to Chau Doc floating market then head off by van to Long Son Pagoda atop Sam Mountain. Ask the monks about their age-old Buddhist practices. Return via the bustling morning market. Optional 18 kilometers bike ride on Long Khanh Island or take a rickshaw ride to visit Tan Chau Market with chef. After lunch, relax by the pool, try traditional Khmer massage or learn to cook Mekong inspired dishes while we cross the border.

Day 4

Mekong River - Koh Oknha Tey - Preah Prosop

On this river of time we admire dexterous Khmer artisans dyeing and weaving kroma, the ubiquitous item no Khmer lives without. Explore the riverbank on two wheels if you wish, past Buddhist temples and thatch houses perched on spindly wooden stilts while white oxen wade just offshore. After lunch, we board our marine-grade aluminium skiffs and head towards the tamarind trees of Preah Prosop, a remote village little changed over several lifetimes.

Day 5

Phnom Penh - Cambodia

We show off the Cambodian capital to our passengers by motorized tuk-tuk, the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum of Cambodia, home to the world’s largest collection of Khmer art. For those who wish, we visit the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide and the Killing Field or shopping at Russian Market. We bid farewell to 4-night guests who are disembarking in Phnom Penh.

Return to welcome our 3-night passengers over custom sundowners like the Salted Watermelon Crush with Thai basil. Together we celebrate the onward journey towards the heart of this mighty river with a Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.

Day 6

Tonle Sap River - Koh Chen - Kampong Prasat - Cambodia

In the silversmith village of Koh Chen, we watch artisans producing the magnificent silverware favoured by Khmer royalty. We continue to Udong, the royal capital from the 17-19th centuries, where we learn about a uniquely challenging Buddhist practice at the Vipassana Dhura Mandala, a meditation center. In the afternoon, a walking tour of Kampong Prasat offers a close up perspective on local lives and their riverside environment.

Day 7

Tonle Sap River - Kampong Chhnang – Kampong Tralach - Cambodia

In the cooler hours, we head into the lush countryside to visit traditional potters and palm-sugar producers, astride mountain bikes or chauffeured by shaded tuk-tuk. Into the rice paddies we pedal to watch wizened masters scale sky-piercing palms towering over us. Cruise across the glassy water and disembark among the lotuses for an ox-cart ride along the Tonle Sap riverbanks, past lacquered wooden houses where during these dry months residents take refuge in the relative cool of these outdoor impromptu living rooms.

Day 8

Phnom Penh - Cambodia

Customized exploration of Phnom Penh and disembarkation.

Please Note: you can make the same route vice versa, from: Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Overview

Aqua Mekong Expedition Cruise

Joining us for the full 7-night Mekong Expedition Cruise allows us to share with you all the mysteries and wonders we have discovered between the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers and among the diverse cultures thriving in our midst.

Passengers who travel with us during the high water season (August-November), from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh experience the full history of Mekong life, meeting Khmer farmers, Buddhist monks and our entrepreneurial friends in Vietnam’s kaleidoscopic wet markets along the way.

Sailing in the opposite direction, from the colonial chic of Saigon to the legendary Angkorian heritage in Siem Reap is to travel leisurely back in time across this legendary landscape.

During the low water season (December-August), our program includes much more time on the Cambodia stretch of the Mekong and along the Tonle Sap River.

Highlights

Discover tipped pagoda temples and remote Buddhist monasteries. Meet Buddhist monks and learn about beliefs which have anchored religions and societies along the Mekong. Visit Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and a UNESCO site. Fly through Mekong waters by skiff with helpful insights about local sights and wildlife from our guides. Venture out into local Mekong River villages to discover everyday life unfolding before you. Spot billed pelicans in their last Southeast Asian refuge.

Please Note: More Aqua Mekong Expedition Cruises are available, not all of them are listed online. Please contact us for more details.

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Ship information

Aqua Mekong

Vessel Type: Luxury River Expedition

Length: 62.4 meters

Passenger Capacity: 40

Year Built: 2014

Spacious and indulgent, yet intimate enough to feel entirely exclusive, the Aqua Mekong incorporates relaxed yet refined lounging and dining areas and can accommodate a maximum of 40 guests plus crew. Modern navigation technologies and the highest cruise ship standards as well as our experienced river pilot and crew ensure smooth travel and safety on the water.
The Aqua Mekong has 20 air conditioned Design Suites, each one a generous 30 square meters (320 square feet), eight with balconies and all created entirely of local materials with the relaxed sophistication and contemporary comforts of a five star resort. Floor to ceiling panoramic windows allow guests to gaze upon the Mekong from the pillow top California king size bed that can be converted upon request into two full twin beds. More captivating views await on the plush, roomy daybed placed by the window wall or for our eight balcony accommodations, outside along with a romantic table for two. Those who wish to keep up on the world beyond these enthralling riverbanks will appreciate the flat screen television and complementary high speed wireless internet.
Sunlit indoors and out, the top level Observation Deck aboard the Aqua Mekong has been designed to seamlessly connect guests with the constantly shifting landscape of floating Vietnamese villages, French colonial church spires and gilded Buddhist stupas along this mighty river, always in the utmost comfort. Whether one chooses to relax in the air conditioned Indoor Lounge, go horizontal under the sun outside at the ship’s Outdoor Lounge area or cool off with a plunge in the shimmering pool at the bow side, the Observation Deck ensures that the river always remains in full view.
Guests gravitate to the Indoor Lounge in the mornings for cà phê đá, Vietnamese coffee poured over ice with sweet condensed milk, between excursions to swap travellers’ tales and for daily lectures from the expert local guides.

 

Contact
Booking
Small Expedition Yacht
Tip Top IV
15.05.2019
28.05.2019
13
Latin America, Pacific and Oceania, 14 Day Natural History Galapagos Experience
Fare from € 6.620
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Travelroute
Day 1

Arrive in Quito

The trip begins in Quito, Ecuador. On arrival, you will be transferred directly to the Hotel Mercure Alameda where we will spend the night. We think very highly of the Hotel Mercure Alameda. It is said that, of the finer hotels in Quito, they have the most personal service. Our experiences strongly support this impression. Meals on your own.

Day 2

Quito

Today is a free day in the High Andes city of Quito, with a spectacular old town district that is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Nearby sightseeing possibilities include Indian markets, the Equatorial Monument, tropical cloud forests, the Amazon Basin, and active volcanoes. A wide range of half-day, full-day and multi-day expeditions are available. Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight Quito; Hotel Mercure Alameda.

Day 3

Baltra & North Seymour

A morning flight will take you from the High Andes, to another world; the Galapagos Islands. On arrival in Galapagos we will immediately transfer to the yacht waiting at the nearby harbour. This afternoon we will begin our program of shore excursions with a visit to the island of North Seymour. In addition to being a major nesting area for the blue-footed booby, North Seymour is home to the largest colony of magnificent frigate birds in the Galápagos. Both marine and land iguanas are found in good numbers here, and sea lions often surf the rocky shore break.

Day 4

Tower

Located in the northeast portion of the Galápagos, Tower is an outpost for many sea birds (as is Española to the south - perhaps this is why they are our two favourite islands). Depending on conditions we often will have a chance to snorkel and kayak within the bay. • Darwin Bay is an anchorage within a caldera, with surrounding cliffs forming the inner portion of the rim. Along the small beach there is a forest of salt bush where adjacent colonies of great frigate birds and red-footed boobies nest. There are two endemic gull species found in Galápagos; lava gulls and swallow-tailed gulls – both frequently nest here. • A visit to Prince Philip’s Steps begins with a Panga Ride along the cliffs, watching for red-billed tropicbirds and the occasional fur seal, while squadrons of frigate birds fly overhead in their endless piratical pursuits. On shore dwarf Palo Santo trees are home to a colony of red-footed boobies, while Nazca Boobies nest below on the ground. Along the lava fields storm petrels fly overhead in great numbers, while short-eared owls hunt for them among the lava cracks.

Day 5

Santiago

James Bay/Puerto Egas is home to Fur Seal Grotto - not only a beautiful site, but this is your only chance to get close to the endemic fur seals. Some of the best tide-pooling is also here, drawing a wonderful variety of shorebirds and seabirds, with yellow-crowned night herons and American Oystercatchers being the most commonly seen. Inland you might have a chance to see painted locusts, grasshoppers, and possibly even the Galápagos snake. Galápagos hawks are also common on the inland trail. Santiago • Playa Espumilla is a golden sandy beach where sea turtles nest, and ghost crabs and wading birds abound. Beyond the mangroves that frame the beach lie saline lagoons; further in you can find some of the 10 finches that inhabit Santiago, along with the vermillion and broad-billed flycatchers. • A cruise past Buccaneer Cove shows where sailors cleaned ship, hunted meat from the abundant sea lions along the beach, and collected firewood and water. Impressive tuff cliffs frame the southern cove, while eroded cinder to the north has been carved by time into fanciful shapes.

Day 6

Isabela & Fernandia

The cold waters approaching Punta Vicente Roca offer some of the best opportunities for whales and dolphins, and maybe the chance to snorkel with a Mola mola. Fernandia• This is the youngest of the Galápagos Islands. Punta Espinosa is a wonderful visitor site, with the largest colony of marine iguanas in the islands, in addition to flightless cormorants, Galápagos Penguins, herons and Galápagos Hawks. This is often the best place to see marine iguanas in the water as they feed on the barely submerged rocks along the shore.

Day 7

Isabela

Tagus Cove is a natural harbour featuring steep cliffs replete with graffiti from ship’s crews dating as far back as 1836 carved into the face. The cliffs are populated by marine iguanas, penguins, crabs, sea lions, and in the crevices outside the bay, Brown Noddy terns and the occasional Galápagos Martin. Ground and tree finches, hawks, yellow warblers, large-billed flycatchers and perhaps the woodpecker finch can be viewed along the way. • Elizabeth Bay is a mangrove inlet explored by zodiac, with an amazing concentration of green sea turtles and rays. The neighbouring Marielas Islets are home to the largest colony of Galápagos Penguins, with penguins often seen in the water at Elizabeth Bay.

Day 8

Isabela

Urbina Bay was the site of a dramatic volcanic uplift in 1954, where 4 miles of coastline suddenly rose nearly 15 feet, with the coastline driven three quarters of a mile farther out to sea. The marine remnants and giant coral heads are a stark reminder. Inland land iguanas, and an occasional tortoise, are often found here. Along the shore flightless cormorants and brown pelicans typically nest. We might have a chance to snorkel along the rocky bay. • Situated against a backdrop of 3 volcanos, Punta Moreno features views of Isabela’s Sierra Negra & Cerro Azul, and Fernandina’s Le Cumbre. The trail traverses sharp Pahoehoe lava to verdant interior and coastal brackish lagoons. You’ll find all 3 types of cactus colonizing this relatively recent lava flow. The shoreline features Blue-footed Boobies and nesting flightless cormorants while the lagoons are home to white-cheeked pintail ducks and flamingos feeding on abundant brine shrimp.

Day 9

Floreana

Punta Cormorant is one of the most interesting landings (on an olivine beach), with an emphasis on plant life and shore birds. A brackish lagoon is home to flamingos, pintail ducks, and commons stilts. Panga cruising and snorkelling at the offshore islet of Champion (where you might also get a glimpse of the endemic Charles Mockingbird on shore). • Post Office Bay is one the most historically famous island locations - be sure to bring a postcard or two ashore with you to "mail". • Black Beach & the Highlands - while not official park visitor sites, both are rewarding. Much of the early human history of the Galápagos, and especially the Wittmer family, played out in the highlands of Floreana. A visit to the highlands is also your only opportunity in the archipelago to search for the endemic medium tree finch. The seaside Wittmer hotel features an exhibit of early photographs of sailing expeditions and explorers to call on the island.

Day 10

Santa Cruz

A trip to the Highlands (by mini-bus) traverses all 7 vegetation zones of the Galápagos. In addition to two enormous pit craters, other volcanic formations include some of the largest known lava tunnels in the Galápagos. Not surprisingly, the lush highland vegetation is home to a variety of land birds, including vermillion flycatchers, Galápagos Flycatchers, woodpecker finches, dark-billed cuckoos, and Barn Owls. Tortoises are often seen in the wild here. • Puerto Ayora is the scientific heart of Galápagos, including the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and Galápagos National Park tortoise center, as well as the primary population center. This will be the only opportunity to see the rare Galapagos saddleback tortoises.

Day 11

Espanola

Punta Suarez is a paradise for birders, with waved albatross, Nazca Boobies, blue-footed boobies, Galápagos Hawks, Galápagos Doves, and also marine iguanas (the most colourful in the islands) all vying for center stage. • Gardner Bay is a tranquil white sandy beach known for sea lions, lava lizards, finches, yellow warblers, & Hood Mockingbirds, to name just a few. Gardner or Tortuga Rocks offer great snorkelling, as well as the occasional chance to kayak.

Day 12

San Cristóbal

This is the easternmost island in the archipelago (and also the provincial capital). • Punta Pitt is a coastal tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds, including blue-footed, Nazca & red-footed boobies (the only site where all 3 species might be seen together), frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, and storm petrels. • Cerro Brujo is a very striking, eroded tuff cone. One of the first places visited by Charles Darwin, the beautiful white coralline sand beach and lagoon are home to brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls, plus a variety of shore birds. Stroll the beach and you will soon realize that you are being watched by hundreds of shy ghost crabs. San Cristóbal is also home to the endemic Chatham Mockingbird. • Kicker Rock is a similarly eroded tuff cone, this time rising almost 500 feet from the ocean. The yacht will cruise around Kicker Rock as the sunlight plays off the contours of the cliffs and formation (complete with blue-footed boobies, Nazca Boobies, and frigate birds).

Day 13

Mosquera

This is a tiny islet, really more of a long, narrow sand spit, with a huge population of sea lions. Additional occupants include Sally Lightfoot Crabs and lava lizards, plus a wonderful variety of birdlife flying over. It makes a perfect "last landing" to reflect on the wonders of Galápagos experienced during your 11 days in the islands. • Baltra - A mid-morning departure will have us back in Quito this afternoon. On arrival (late afternoon) in Quito, we will be transferred directly to the Hotel Mercure Alameda where we will spend the night. We will have a group Farewell Dinner at one of the leading restaurants in Quito.

Day 14

Departure from Quito

Transfer to the airport today for your return flight home. Or, if you prefer, remain on in Ecuador for a few days exploring the High Andes, Amazon Basin, or tropical cloud forests…

Additional charges: Galápagos National Park Entrance Fee/Migration Card + Fuel Surcharge. From: € 410,- pp

Overview

14 Day Natural History Galapagos Experience

Galápagos Photography Tour
Our trips are different. This voyage spends 11 days in the Galapagos Islands. Out trips are the longest regularly available tours of the Galapagos.

‘’It is the fate of most voyagers, no sooner to discover what is most interesting in any locality than they are hurried from it’’, Charles Darwin, 1845

Our trips are educationally-oriented and are accompanied by a Tour Leader / Biologist in addition to a local Naturalist Guide. The tours are oriented to the passenger who wants to observe and learn as much as possible about the Galapagos – the animals and plants – on land and in the water.

The tours are also oriented to photographers (although you don’t have to be a photographer to get full value and enjoyment from our trips). We do offer some light photographic advice and, more important extensive, unique, and excellent photo opportunities.

Highlights

Maximize and get the most out of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure travel experience. Our Workshops provide an in-depth orientation to the islands beyond the scope of most “vacation- type” tours • Spend a longer time in the islands than most tour groups. We feel that 11 days is the minimum time necessary to see most of the important Visitor Sites (including the outer islands) and be assured of a maximum viewing opportunity of the significant plant and animal species. We include 3 days in the volcanically-active western islands, where we whale-watch, see penguins, flightless cormorants, and giant tortoises in the wild • In addition to the legally-required Naturalist Guide, we provide a Tour Leader/ Biologist who gives daily lectures on natural history. The Guide’s role is to escort people on shore, to provide some wildlife interpretation, and to make sure the rules of the National Park are enforced. Having a Tour Leader adds a serious educational orientation to the trip • Our two daily island visits are longer (2-4 hours each) than most tours. We also go on shore earlier in the day (typically landing between 6 and 7am. vs. 8am for most other vessels) to enhance viewing and photographic opportunities.

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Ship Overview

Tip Top IV

Vessel Type: Motor Yacht

Length: 27 metres

Passenger Capacity: 16

Built / refurbished: 2006 / 2015

The 125 ft, steel-hulled, TIP TOP IV was built in Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2006, and totally refurbished in 2015. The design includes all modern navigation instrumentation and safety features. She has a crew of 7 and carries just 16 passengers in 10 air-conditioned double cabins (4 on the bridge deck and 6 on the lower deck). All cabins feature 2 lower twin beds, which can also be modified to create a double bed if guests prefer. The interior is very spacious and attractive, and features a library/conference room, and a spacious dining room. There are extensive outside viewing (both sun and shade) areas. Twin diesels give her a cruising speed of 12 knots. Shore landings are made via twin 17-foot inflatable zodiacs. Special equipment on board includes basic snorkelling gear to loan as well as kayaks.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Amazon River Cruise
Aria Amazon
17.05.2019
24.05.2019
7
Latin America, Aria Amazon Expedition Cruise
Fare from € 8.050
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Travelroute
Day 1

Iquitos - Amazon River

We will meet at Iquitos International Airport then enjoy lunch together at a local restaurant or we will serve a box lunch en route, depending on the flight arrival time. The afternoon continues with an introduction to this historic city and the opportunity to meet an indigenous Amazon community. At 6:00pm we will board the ARIA AMAZON. Settle into your generously proportioned suite as you begin one of life’s greatest adventures. Following a routine safety drill and introduction to our naturalist guides, we gather for innovative Amazonian cuisine created by our Executive Chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, whose restaurant, Malabar, is the one of Lima’s top ranked dining experiences.

Day 2

Amazon River - Yarapa River - Nauta Caño

Aboard our comfortable skiffs, we set sail from the Amazon River to the Yarapa River. Keep your binoculars ready to spot tropical songbirds, black collared hawks and sloths. We’ll go fishing for Amazonia’s notoriously ferocious piranhas while our naturalist guides share stories of Lake Moringo. As the sun sets, we head off on an evening’s wildlife excursion with extraordinary stargazing on the black waters of Nauta Caño.

Day 3

Marañon River - casual jungle walk - Yanayacu-Pucate River

Rise with the sun for an early morning birdwatching along the Marañon River. After breakfast, we will take a jungle walk on the firm soil forest “Casual,” while looking for flora and fauna which include medicinal trees, insects, and poison dart frogs, and learning more about the different rainforest stratas. Later, swim, canoe or kayak in Yanayacu-Pucate River as we look for legendary pink river dolphins. Focus our hi-tech telescope on the night sky to identify the planets and constellations.

Day 4

Nauta Town - village visit - birthplace of the Amazon

This morning, we will visit the local fresh market with your guides who can identify the day’s catch by the fishermen of Amazonia and the region’s exotic fruits. In the afternoon, we witness one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere, the birthplace of the Amazon River. Tonight you will meet the new passengers who have signed on for the four-night trip, as we start our journey together along the Marañon River.

Day 5

Yanallpa River - El Dorado River

By skiff, we explore the black waters of the Yanallpa River, disembarking to walk deep into the Amazonian rain forest. Later, we board the skiffs again to cruise along the El Dorado River for a dusk excursion in search of exotic nocturnal wildlife.

Day 6

Pacaya River - Ucayali River - Tapiche River

The rewards of our early start today are plentiful, including a breakfast picnic accompanied by jungle symphony and fishing along the black waters of the Pacaya River. After lunch, we venture out by skiffs on the Ucayali River alongside the banana boats transporting their jungle products to the port of Requena, keeping an eye out for pink river dolphins.

Day 7

Clavero or Yarapa River - Amazon River

Choose to go jungle walking, canoeing, kayaking or swimming on the black water Yarapa or Clavero River in the morning. Visit a remote Amazonia village in the afternoon. This evening before dinner, we will gather to introduce you to some of the crewmembers whom you may not have met, working "behind the scenes" to ensure your countless exceptional experiences aboard the ARIA AMAZON.

Day 8

Arrival in Iquitos - Manatee Rescue Center - transfer to the aiport

At the Bellavista Nanay morning market along the Nanay River, sample exotic snacks from the Peruvian Amazon like ‘Suri’, Amazon caterpillars that are considered especially appetizing. Return to the ARIA for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye, we will make one last truly memorable stop at the Manatee Rescue Center, a very special kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees. We will also visit San Juan craft market on route to the airport. Lunch or box lunch will be provided, depending on the exact departure flight time, which may vary. Other local activities may be included as well, according to the recommended flight schedule.

Overview

Aria Amazon Expedition Cruise

We highly recommend our 7-night Amazon River Expedition Cruise on the Aria Amazon where you may experience our most luxurious and comprehensive Amazon journey among the Amazon River’s three powerful tributaries: the Marañon, the Ucayali, and the Puinahua as well as several hidden black water lakes.
Enjoy a tour by skiff of the Yacapana Isles, the “Isles of the Iguana”. Meet the gray and pink freshwater dolphins of the Yarapa River. Visit Madgalena Village and her giant water lilies and meet the Cocama Indians of Puerto Prado. Travel down the Ucayali River spotting monkeys and learn about the Amazon River headwaters. Probe deep within the Nauta Caño within Pacaya-Samiria Reserve, known as the mirrored forest, fish for piranha in Charo Lake and learn about sustainable resource management projects in Amazonia.

• Low Water Season (June through November) vs. High Water Season (December through May)

If seeing glorious Amazon rainforest at its lushest and getting up close to lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying slightly cooler temperatures) sounds most attractive, then December to May might be your best choice.
If jungle hikes and spotting exotic migratory birds perched on trees between flights across Amazonia appeals most to you, while still having the chance to see capuchin monkeys, kinkajou, and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions, you might be happier choosing the warmer, low water season.

Highlights

See the Amazon River’s rare pink dolphins • Venture deep into the Amazon rainforest among its extraordinary array of mammals and birds • Explore within the five million pristine acres of Pacaya Samiria Reserve, a protected wildlife area teeming with lifelong mating pairs of blue-and-yellow macaw, flocks of snowy egrets, laughing falcons and Amazon kingfishers in the air, squirrel monkeys frolicking in the trees and pink dolphins poking their dorsal fins above the river water while colossal Victoria Regia water lilies float along the surface • Interact with local people in their villages, living largely as they have for centuries

Please Note: More Aria Amazon Expedition Cruises are available, not all of them are listed online. Please contact us for more details.

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Aria Amazon

Vessel Type: Luxury River Expedition

Length: 147 feet / 45 metres
Passenger Capacity: 32
Built/refurbished: 2011/2015

In 2015, the Aria Amazon, which first set sail in 2011, was completely refreshed with new upgrades from bed linens to state of the art lighting. The 45 meter (147 foot) long Aria was designed by the innovative Peruvian architect Jordi Puig. Extremely generous dining and lounging areas include an outdoor river facing Jacuzzi. Floor to ceiling windows face the Amazon River in the ship’s 16 Design Suites, each measuring 23 square meters (250 square feet). Four suites can interconnect for families. Upgrades to the spa include new decor for enhanced relaxation. This striking black hulled ship accommodates a maximum of 32 guests plus 26 crew including a paramedic and four English-speaking naturalist guides. Aqua Expeditions highly experienced river pilots and the most rigorous cruise ship standards ensure smooth travel and safety on the waters of the Peruvian Amazon.
Accommodations and Cabins: 16 suites (8 Design Suites measuring 23.2 square meters /250 square feet on the first deck and 8 Design Suites measuring 23.2 square meters / 250 square feet on the second deck). All outside-facing with floor to ceiling panoramic windows. All air conditioned with en suite sitting areas. Four interconnecting suites for families.
Unique Cabin Features and Amenities: Amazon river facing panoramic windows; air conditioning; twin beds that convert to a California king-sized bed; en suite sitting area, bathroom with shower, toilet, sink, cabinet, hairdryer, hot water around the clock and a basket of toiletries; internal communications system.
Common Living and Social Areas: Indoor Bar; Lounge; Dining Room; Outside Lounge; Outdoor Jacuzzi; Exercise Room; Observation Deck; Boutique

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Caledonian Sky
18.05.2019
01.06.2019
14
Asia, Russia, Circumnavigation of Hokkaido
Fare from € 8.135
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Travelroute
Day 1

Hakodate

Arrive in Hakodate on the south coast of the island of Hokkaido. Transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay and spend the rest of the evening at leisure to explore or relax in the hotel.

Day 2

Hakodate

Spend the morning at leisure. Early risers may wish to make their way to the market where you will find many stalls and restaurants selling fresh seafood and local specialties including Ika-somen, a squid sashimi. Alternatively, explore the 19th century Fort Goryokaku, built as a citadel but now a public park, take the cable car up Mount Hakodate for views over the city or simply relax in the hotel. In the early afternoon 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 birch and maple forests. Return to the city and embark the MS Caledonian Sky later in the afternoon. Enjoy Welcome Dinner and Drinks as we sail late this evening.

Day 3

At sea

We have a day at sea as we start our cruise around Hokkaido. Enjoy our onboard lecture programme and learn more about the culture, flora and fauna of this northern region of Japan.

Day 4

Teuri-Jima & Rishiri Island

At dawn we arrive at the tiny island of Teuri Jima, part of the Shokanbetsu- Teuri-Yagishiri National Park and an important sanctuary for nesting seabirds including common murre and black-tailed gulls. We will use our ship to sail by the cliffs and if time permits we will use the Zodiacs for a closer look. Later this morning we continue our journey to the Rishiri-Rebun- Sarobetsu National Park, arriving at lunchtime. At Rishiri Island the skyline is dominated by the dormant volcano of Mount Rishiri which climbs to 1721 metres. On an afternoon tour we will see the beautiful scenery and alpine wildflowers in bloom at Himenuma Pond and Kutsugata Cape Park whilst we hope to see black woodpecker during a walk at the Forest Park.

Day 5

Rebun Island

We remain at anchor overnight in the National Park and will spend the day at neighbouring Rebun Island which is famous for its rich flora, including many alpine flowers some of which cannot be found anywhere else on the world, and which carpet the island from late April to mid September. Today we will take a series of walks around the coastline offering views over to Rishiro volcano and Cape Gorota. We also hope to see the protected “Rebun Usuyukiso” alpine flower. Return to the ship for lunch and sail this afternoon. We will clear immigration formalities from Japan this evening as we sail to Russia.

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, the Regional Museum housed in an impressive former Japanese mansion, and the bustling market. Return to the ship this afternoon as we return to Japanese waters.

Day 7

Shiretoko National Park, Japan

We return to Hokkaido this morning at the port of Abashiri where we will spend a day and a half. From here we will make a full day excursion to the Shiretoko National Park which covers the majority of the Shiretoko Peninsula. This remote and untouched park combines rivers, forests, mountains and waterfalls and is home to an array of wildlife including brown bears, Yezo shika deer and red fox whilst birders can keep an eye out for Steller sea eagles, Blakiston fish owl and white-tailed eagles. If weather permits we will also take the Shiretoko pass offering stunning views of Mount Rausu. We will return to the ship via the Koshimizu Gensai-kaen, an eight kilometre long dune covered in over 40 varieties of wildflowers against a backdrop of the Sea of Okutsk. Return to the ship this evening as we moor overnight in Abashiri.

Day 8

Abashiri

There will be a choice of activities this morning. Choose to take a trip to Lake Kussharo, a beautiful caldera lake where we can enjoy the scenery or join a nature walk and maybe take a dip in one of the hot spring baths. As we return to the ship we hope to see the Shibzakura Park in Ozora, an eight hectare park which is covered in tiny red, pink, white and purple flowers during the spring. Alternatively spend a more leisurely morning in Abashiri and learn more about the Ainu at the Hokkaido Museum of Northern Peoples and visit the Okhotski Sea Ice Museum which offers insight into the sea ice that surrounds the city during the winter. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon on deck as we sail this afternoon around the Shiretoko Peninsula and into the Nemuro Channel where we will keep an eye out for wildlife ashore, the abundant birdlife and minke, orca and sperm whales who inhabit these waters.

Day 9

Kushiro

Today we will visit Kushiro Marshlands, Japan’s largest wetland and marsh habitat and home to the only known population of Japan’s sacred red-crowned 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 observatory with displays of the fauna and fauna of the region and views over the marshlands before taking the walking trails. Return to the ship via the small but excellent Kushiro City Museum that offers an insight into Ainu culture and natural history of the area.

Day 10

Tomakomai

Spend the morning at sea as we arrive into Tomakomai in the early afternoon. Choose to visit the Shiraoi Poroto Kotan Museum, one of the country’s best museums about the Ainu people, situated on the banks of Lake Poroto. Made up of five traditional thatched houses each demonstrate different aspects of Ainu traditions and culture and offer a rare chance to see traditional dance and music. Alternatively visit Hokkaidos’s capital city of Sapporo where we can explore the colourful botanical gardens, visit the small Ainu museum displaying around 2500 artefacts and enjoy a tour of the famous brewery.

Day 11

Muroran

Our final day in Hokkaido will be spent around the Shikotsu-Toya National Park named after the two caldera lakes which offer wonderful scenery and excellent hiking and walking opportunities. This area is still an active area and a geological wonder with the volcano Showa Shinzan only created in the 1940s. Our day will be flexible around the weather but if clear we may take the cable car to the top of Mount Usu for the wonderful views to Lake Toya, visit Jigokudani, “Hell Valley”, a steaming lunar like valley of steam vents and sulphurous streams formed over 10,000 years ago or enjoy scenic walks in the volcanic peaks that surround Lake Shikotsu.

Day 12

Aomori

This morning we arrive on the northern coast of Honshu. From our berth in Aomori we offer a choice of options. Maybe join the tour to Towada Hachimantai National Park, which involves a scenic drive through the Kayano plateau, Hakkoda mountains and scenic Oirase Valley. We will take the Hakkoda cable car which climbs to 1324 metres above sea level and offers stunning views before continuing to Lake Towada, a magnificent ancient caldera lake surrounded by deciduous forests. Enjoy walking along the paths and through the woodlands to the viewpoints around the lake. Alternatively, visit the former Feudal town of Hirosaki which was the political capital of the region in the Edo Period. A tour of the city will include the 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.

Day 13

Akita

Spend the day in Akita Prefecture, known for its rice farming, traditional festivals and treasured dog breed of the same name. This morning we will drive inland to Kakunodate. Established in 1620 by the Lords of Akita as a military outpost with a castle built on Mount Furishiroyama. Two distinct areas were then developed, one for samurai and the other for merchants. Today it remains one of the best examples of a castle town in Japan and the Uchimachi samurai quarter maintains a number of the original wooden houses and well maintained gardens which we can explore. The afternoon is free to explore Akita. At the centre lies Senshu Park, built from the ruins of Kubota Castle, a former samurai fortress. Lotus flowers now fill the remnants of old moats, and tree-lined walking trails lead to its watchtower, temple and shrine. Whilst the Akita Museum of Art includes a large collection of work by Fujita Tsuguharu including his giant “Annual Events in Akita” mural.

Day 14

Niigata to Tokyo

Disembark this morning and take the bullet train to Tokyo. On arrival we enjoy an afternoon city tour including Meiji Shrine, Sensoji Temple and the Imperial Palace Plaza. We then transfer to our hotel for an overnight stay.

Day 15

Tokyo

After breakfast in the hotel transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

Overview

Circumnavigation of Hokkaido

Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost and least developed island is often considered by the Japanese to be the country’s last frontier and is a world away from the traditional view of Japan. Every year the island emerges from a bitter Siberian winter into the warmth of spring, when the thaw reveals a glorious landscape littered with wild flowers. 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 during our visit, but what the island lacks in regard to 21st century development, it more than makes up for in natural wonders with large swathes of wild, open spaces, primeval forests, crystal clear lakes, beautiful alpine flowers, active volcanoes and bubbling hot springs. During our circumnavigation of this remarkable island, we will visit the outlying Rebun and Rishiri Islands, explore nature trails, watch for wildlife in the national parks, learn more of the indigenous Ainu people and hopefully see the multitude of colourful flowers that should be in bloom to 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 shika deer and red fox whilst birders can keep an eye out for Steller sea eagles, Blakiston fish owl and white-tailed eagles. Whilst in the Kushiro Marshlands we visit the home of Hokkaido’s resident red-crowned cranes, Japan’s iconic bird, known as the bird of happiness. We hope you can join us for this rare circumnavigation of Japan’s most enchanting isle.

Highlights

Arrive at the tiny island of Teuri Jima, part of the Shokanbetsu- Teuri-Yagishiri National Park and an important sanctuary for nesting seabirds including common murre and black-tailed gulls
• Spend the day at Rebun Island which is famous for its rich flora, including many alpine flowers some of which cannot be found anywhere else on the world • Enjoy a full day excursion to the Shiretoko National Park which covers the majority of the Shiretoko Peninsula • Visit the Shikotsu-Toya National Park named after the two caldera lakes which offer wonderful scenery and excellent hiking and walking opportunities

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Ship information

Caledonian Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 90 metres

Passenger Capacity: 114

Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012

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 is 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 74 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. There are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. Super quality Cuisine and various spacious public rooms.

Contact
Booking
Small Expedition Yacht
Coral Adventurer
24.05.2019
03.06.2019
10
Australia & NZ, The Kimberley: Darwin to Broome
Fare from € 6.780
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Travelroute
Day 1

Depart Darwin

Board your ship at 8.00am for planned 9:00am departure > cross Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters > join our expedition staff in the lounge for an informative introduction to the Kimberley > with fellow travellers and friendly Coral Expeditions’ crew, enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks

Day 2

King George River and Falls

Discover the first of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers, the mighty King George > board Xplorer, our specially designed excursion vessel and explore scenic gorges > take to our inflatable Zodiacs and cruise close to the base of magnificent King George Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfalls in Western Australia, towering some 80 metres above the river below > visit secluded Tranquil Bay for beach walking and exploration

Day 3

Vansittart Bay DC3 and Jar Island

Join our Expedition Leader on a walk across salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force DC3 which crash landed on the beach during World War II > visit Jar Island and discover the island’s outstanding rock art gallery > with our Guest Lecturers, see fine examples of the Kimberley’s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years

Day 4

Hathaway’s Hideaway and Mitchell Falls

Anchor in Winyalken Bay > travel ashore aboard Xplorer to explore the maze of natural sandstone caves known as Hathaway’s Hideaway > consider an optional scenic heli-flight over the Mitchell Plateau for close up views of the mighty four-tiered Mitchell Falls (additional expense) > this evening enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as we indulge in a gourmet BBQ on the sundeck or the beach.

Day 5

Bigge Island and Careening Bay

Discover the rock art gallery on Bigge Island featuring fine examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art > hear from our Guest Lecturers about these traditional art forms and the myths from the dreamtime that inspired them > explore Careening Bay; named by early explorer Phillip Parker King after his ship ‘HMC Mermaid’ was careened for repairs during his second voyage of discovery in the Kimberley > our Expedition Team will lead us to the site of a remarkable boab tree bearing the inscription ‘HMC Mermaid – 1820’, still clearly visible almost 200 years later

Day 6

Prince Regent River and King Cascades

Cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard Xplorer to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations > enjoy a picnic lunch at beautiful Camp Creek, where there is also time for a cooling dip in the freshwater pools

Day 7

Montgomery Reef and Doubtful Bay

Savour a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs > join our Expedition Staff aboard the Xplorer and Zodiacs to experience this natural phenomenon up close > discover the reef’s diverse marine life including turtles, manta rays and reef sharks > cruise through scenic Doubtful Bay

Day 8

Raft Point

Cruise through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry > travel ashore at imposing Raft Point and visit a secluded and very interesting Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and some of the Kimberley’s most well-preserved Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion) > explore Red Cone Creek

Day 9

Horizontal Falls and Buccaneer Archipelago

Meander through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to over 800 islands > in Talbot Bay the region’s 12 metre tides create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls, described by legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders in the world” > the amazing power of the falls is revealed when the region’s 12 metre tides turn, forcing millions of litres of water to rush through the narrow gaps between cliffs > board the Zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls > explore Silica Beach on Hidden Island with its stunning white sands and crystal clear waters

Day 10

Lacepede Islands

Explore Pender Bay and subject to weather and tides, visit the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef > this nature reserve has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area as it supports up to 18,000 breeding pairs of Brown Boobies and Roseate Terns, possibly the largest such population in the world > board the Zodiacs and explore the island’s lagoon, keeping an eye out for many species of marine birdlife including Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets, gulls and terns > the islands are also renowned as Western Australia’s most significant breeding grounds for the Green Turtle, often seen nesting > this evening we reflect on this wonderful expedition with new-found friends as we enjoy the Captain’s farewell drinks

Day 11

Arrive in Broome

Our adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning at 8:00am > if you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day visiting world-famous Cable Beach or stroll the historic streets of Chinatown in central Broome > post cruise transfers included
Please Note: 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

The Kimberley: Darwin to Broome

Perfected over 21 years, this 10-day voyage takes you on an unforgettable journey from Darwin to Broome. Ancient ochres meet thundering waterfalls on this voyage that explores the ‘bucket list’ destinations that you’ve always imagined visiting. From the remarkable Horizontal Falls, described by David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”, to the pounding Mitchell Falls and King George Falls, see the power of nature at her best. Expert guides interpret 40,000 year old rock art, and retrace the history of Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline almost 200 years ago. Later in the season, watch Humpback Whales calf in these waters. Aboard our unique ‘Xplorer’ excursion vessel and fleet of inflatable Zodiacs you will come face-to-face with this ancient land and her inhabitants.
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 mysterious Gwion Gwion Paintings of Bigge Island. Aboard the Explorer, cruise along the Mitchell Plateau and marvel at the power of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers. Then you’ll be moved by beautiful King Cascades, the remarkable Montgomery Reef and the unique natural phenomenon of the Horizontal Falls.
Be awed by the power and vastness of this land, steeped in ancient Indigenous culture, experienced firsthand as you.. travel ashore to view the world’s oldest known indigenous rock art, the mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) paintings. Soak up the history of early explorers such as Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline almost 200 years ago and landed at Careening Bay. Offering the opportunity to enjoy two landings most days, our guests will find themselves immersed in the magic of the Kimberley. With facilities tailor-made for expedition cruising including our unique ‘Xplorer’ excursion vessel and fleet of inflatable Zodiacs, coupled with the expert local knowledge of our experienced guides, you’ll complete this voyage with a new understanding and deep respect for this unrivaled region.

Highlights

Marvel at the plunging 80 metre high King George Falls • View the mysterious Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) rock art and learn about the ancient cultures of the indigenous people • See crocodiles, humpback whales, rock wallabies, turtles, and birdlife  • Witness Montgomery Reef rise out of the ocean with the falling tide • Learn about the first explorers to chart this magnificent coastline

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Ship information
Coral Adventurer
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship
Length: 93.4 meters
Passenger Capacity: 120 (60 staterooms)
Built: 2017
Our brand new ship is built to take you closer to unspoilt vistas in comfort, style and safety. A culmination of two years of design and three decades of passion for expedition cruising – Coral Expeditions is proud to invite you to experience the Coral Adventurer.
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 cabins.  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 guest cabins 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 Expedition Yacht
Coral Discoverer
07.06.2019
17.06.2019
10
Australia and NZ, Ancient Lands of the Kimberley
Fare from € 6.960
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Travelroute
Day 1

Depart Darwin

Board your ship at 8.00am for planned 9:00am departure > cross Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters > join our expedition staff in the lounge for an informative introduction to the Kimberley > with fellow travellers and friendly Coral Expeditions’ crew, enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks.

Day 2

King George River and Falls

Discover the first of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers, the mighty King George > board Xplorer, our specially designed excursion vessel and explore scenic gorges > take to our inflatable Zodiacs and cruise close to the base of magnificent King George Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfalls in Western Australia, towering some 80 metres above the river below > visit secluded Tranquil Bay for beach walking and exploration.

Day 3

Vansittart Bay DC3 and Jar Island

Join our Expedition Leader on a walk across salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force DC3 which crash landed on the beach during World War II > visit Jar Island and discover the island’s outstanding rock art gallery > with our Guest Lecturers, see fine examples of the Kimberley’s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years.

Day 4

Hathaway’s Hideaway and Mitchell Falls

Anchor in Winyalken Bay > travel ashore aboard Xplorer to explore the maze of natural sandstone caves known as Hathaway’s Hideaway > consider an optional scenic heli-flight over the Mitchell Plateau for close up views of the mighty four-tiered Mitchell Falls (additional expense) > this evening enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as we indulge in a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ.

Day 5

Bigge Island and Careening Bay

Discover the rock art gallery on Bigge Island featuring fine examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art > hear from our Guest Lecturers about these traditional art forms and the myths from the dreamtime that inspired them > explore Careening Bay; named by early explorer Phillip Parker King after his ship ‘HMC Mermaid’ was careened for repairs during his second voyage of discovery in the Kimberley > our Expedition Team will lead us to the site of a remarkable boab tree bearing the inscription ‘HMC Mermaid – 1820’, still clearly visible almost 200 years later.

Day 6

Prince Regent River and King Cascades

Cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard Xplorer to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations > enjoy a picnic lunch at beautiful Camp Creek, where there is also time for a cooling dip in the freshwater pools.

Day 7

Montgomery Reef and Doubtful Bay

Savour a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs > join our Expedition Staff aboard the Xplorer and Zodiacs to experience this natural phenomenon up close > discover the reef’s diverse marine life including turtles, manta rays and reef sharks > cruise through scenic Doubtful Bay.

Day 8

Raft Point and Ruby Falls

Cruise through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry > travel ashore at imposing Raft Point and visit a secluded and very interesting Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and some of the Kimberley’s most well-preserved Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion) > explore Red Cone Creek and enjoy a leisurely swim at Ruby Falls.

Day 9

Horizontal Falls and Bucaneer Archipelago

Meander through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to over 800 islands > in Talbot Bay the region’s 12 metre tides create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls, described by legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders in the world” > the amazing power of the falls is revealed when the region’s 12 metre tides turn, forcing millions of litres of water to rush through the narrow gaps between cliffs > board the Zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls > explore Silica Beach on Hidden Island with its stunning white sands and crystal clear waters.

Day 10

Lacepede Islands

Explore Pender Bay and subject to weather and tides, visit the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef > this nature reserve has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area as it supports up to 18,000 breeding pairs of Brown Boobies and Roseate Terns, possibly the largest such population in the world > board the Zodiacs and explore the island’s lagoon, keeping an eye out for many species of marine birdlife including Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets, gulls and terns > the islands are also renowned as Western Australia’s most significant breeding grounds for the Green Turtle, often seen nesting > this evening we reflect on this wonderful expedition with new-found friends as we enjoy the Captain’s farewell drinks.

Day 11

Arrive in Broome

Our adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning at 8:00am > if you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day visiting world-famous Cable Beach or stroll the historic streets of Chinatown in central Broome > post cruise transfers included.

Please Note: 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

Ancient Lands of the Kimberley

We invite you to discover the remarkable Kimberley Coast. Home to towering waterfalls, rugged outback landscapes, ancient Aboriginal art and abundant wildlife there is simply no place on earth quite like the Kimberley, and no better way to discover it than by small ship.

Join us to experience all of the icons of the Kimberley Coast over ten unforgettable days cruising between Darwin and Broome. In the north, discover the majestic King George River with its towering 80-metre twin falls and the mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion) Paintings of Bigge Island. Explore the Mitchell Plateau and cruise the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers before experiencing beautiful King Cascades, remarkable Montgomery Reef and the amazing natural phenomenon of the Horizontal Falls in the south.

This is a land steeped in ancient Aboriginal culture and the legends of Australia’s pioneering past. Travel ashore to view the world’s oldest known indigenous rock art, the mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) paintings and soak up the history of early explorers such as Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline almost 200 years ago. With two landings most days, with Coral Expeditions you will enjoy more opportunities to fully immerse yourself in the magic of the Kimberley. Aboard our unique ‘Xplorer’ excursion vessel and fleet of inflatable zodiacs, and with the expert local knowledge of our experienced guides, you are assured of making the most of every minute of your expedition, and do it all in total comfort and unrivalled style.

Highlights

Discover the mighty King George River and get in close to the soaring falls on our Zodiac excursions • Visit and learn about ancient rock art with our expert Expedition Team • Explore Hathaway’s Hideaway and the maze of sandstone caves • Indulge in gourmet Aussie beach BBQ as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean • Aboard our Xplorer tender, cruise the Prince Regent River to King Cascades • Experience the tidal phenomenon that expose Montgomery Reef and create the unique Horizontal Falls • Spot amazing marine life and enjoy bird watching

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Ship information

Coral Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 63 metres

Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)

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.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Caledonian Sky
08.06.2019
24.06.2019
16
Asia, Island Realms of Japan
Fare from € 9.370
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Travelroute
Day 1

London to Osaka, Japan

Fly by scheduled indirect flight.

Day 2

Kyoto, Japan

Arrive this morning and transfer to our hotel in Kyoto for our two night stay. Spend the rest of the evening at leisure to explore or relax in the hotel.

Day 3

Kyoto

After breakfast at the hotel discover Kyoto, Japan’s former historic capital and Emperor’s home for nearly 1000 years. On a morning tour we will visit Kinkakuji Temple and enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore independently.

Day 4

Kyoto to Kobe

Depart the hotel after breakfast and discover Nara en-route to embark the MS Caledonian Sky. During the 8th century Nara was Japan’s capital for 74 years and many of the temples and shrines from this era still remain. We arrive in Kobe to embark later in the afternoon and enjoy Welcome Drinks and Dinner before sailing later in the evening, along Japan’s Inland Sea.

Day 5

Koraku-en & Kurashiki

From the port of Uno-Ko we will visit one of Japan’s most famed gardens, Korakuen, which translates as “Garden of pleasure after”. This 17th century formal garden has 28 acres of walking trails, ponds, plum and cherry trees, and a classic teahouse where we will experience a traditional tea ceremony. After a Japanese lunch in a local restaurant we will continue to Kurashiki where we explore the old merchant quarter and its fine 17th century wooden warehouses painted white with traditional black tiles, along a canal framed with weeping willows and filled with koi.

Day 6

Takamatsu

The MS Caledonian Sky will berth in Takamatsu located on Shikoki Island on the northern shores of the Seto Inland Sea. This morning we visit Kinashi Town preserving a rich history of producing bonsai for 250 years. We will explore the town, visit a Bonsai nursery and make our way to Ritsurin Garden, recognised as one of the most beautiful in Japan and built by feudal lords in the early Edo Period. With a backdrop against the wooded Mount Shiun, we will wander along the paths of this historic landscape garden dotted with ponds, historic trees and pavilions. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure exploring Takamatsu town.

Day 7

Miyajima & Hiroshima

Considered one of Japan’s top scenic wonders, Miyajima provides a picture postcard vista of the scarlet Torii gate, the giant camphor wood gates at the entrance to the Shinto Shrine. We will use the vessel’s Zodiacs to go ashore and explore the Itsukushima Jinja Shrine, founded in the 6th century and dedicated to three sea goddesses. The shrine is a designated World Heritage Site. Over lunch we sail to Hiroshima for our visit to the compelling Peace Memorial Park. The park is dotted with memorials, including the cenotaph which contains the names of all the known victims of the A-bomb and the permanently lit “Flame of Peace”. Just outside the park, the A-Bomb Dome is a haunting reminder of the destructive forces that were unleashed on the city being one of the few original buildings to survive. In the museum we will see photos, videos and victim’s personal effects relating to the bomb.

Day 8

Ube, Yamaguchi

We continue our exploration of Japan and visit some sites of historic, southern Yamaguchi prefecture. From our base at the port of Ube we will travel inland to visit the picturesque five-storied Pagoda of Rurikoji Temple and the surrounding park. Dating back to 1442, the pagoda was built in memory of Yoshihiro Mori Terumoto who ruled this area during this period. We also hope to visit the Fujigochi Tea Plantation and enjoy a tour of the tea factory and plantation where the local Ono Tea is produced from 70 hectares of gentle rolling countryside

Day 9

Aberatsu

Today we will visit Obi castle in southern Miyazaki, a region off the well beaten tourist trail. The castle was ruled by the Ito Clan for fourteen generations during the Edo Period (1603-1867). We will see the castle and stroll in the grounds known for their serene grove of 140 year old cedar trees. The nearby town has several traditional streets, former samurai houses and quarter, as well as quaint streams. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure.

Day 10

Yakushima Island

We sail to the very south of Kyushu and the island of Yakushima which became Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and has a particularly diverse flora. We will spend the afternoon on a choice of nature walks in Yakusugi Land, a nature park populated by a number of the island’s ancient cedar trees, such as the Buddhasugi, Futagosugi and Sennensugi, which are over 3000 years old.

Day 11

Amami Oshima, Amami Islands

We continue sailing south and arrive this morning in Amami Oshima, a natural sub-tropical, paradise situated in the Amami Islands and surrounded by transparent waters, brightly coloured coral reefs and tropical fish. The island is almost entirely covered in forest and mangrove and offers fantastic bird watching and wildlife sightings. We have the whole day to explore and will visit the Nature Observation Park where we can walk through the forest and hope to see the Amami Jay, Ruddy kingfisher, Ryukyu Akashobin, butterflies and possibly the rare black hare. We will also see local industry and watch the process of making tsumugi and kasuri silk-cotton fabrics, used for making kimonos, at the Oshima Tsumugi Village, a craft complex in a beautiful hillside setting amongst flowers. Many of the local plants are used in dyeing. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure exploring the local area.

Day 12

Okinawa, Ryuku Islands

Arrive today in the largest of the Ryuku Island archipelago, Okinawa. It is probably best known for the long and bloody battle of World War II which lasted 82 days. There will be a choice of excursion this morning, either choose to learn more about this significant encounter when we visit the former Japanese Navy Underground Head Quarters, the Peace Memorial Park and Himeyuri Tower, which commemorates the fate of female high school students, who worked in army field hospitals in caves under horrendous conditions. Alternatively, stretch your legs as we walk through the Gangala Valley, a working excavation site with human pre-historic remains dating back some 18,000 years. We will walk past the “walking Banyan tree” and see the caves, the history of which our guides will explain. Before returning to the vessel we will see the Shuri Castle, perched on a hill overlooking Naha which used to be a centre of the Ryukyu Kingdom. Enjoy an afternoon of exploring independently.

Day 13

Miyako-Jima, Miyako Islands

After a morning cruising we arrive around midday at Miyako-Jima, the largest of the eight islands of the Miyako Island Chain. The island bears many historical relics and beautiful white sandy beaches including Maehama, Painagama, Sunakawa and Shigira Beach. For our afternoon tour, we will embark on a glass bottom boat ride and scenic tour including a walk around the narrow Higashi Henna Cape the point where the Pacific Ocean meets the South China Sea. We also hope to offer a snorkelling opportunity.

Day 14

Ishigaki & Taketomi, Yaeyama Islands

Our final call in Japan will be at the Yaeyama Islands, a cluster of coral reefs and forested mountains. This morning, from our base in Ishigaki we take the short journey by local ferry to neighbouring Taketomi. This tiny island, just 1500 metres at its widest point and home to 300 people still offers a traditional Ryuku way of life. We will be transported by traditional buffalo drawn carts to view the traditional bungalow style houses with low slung terracotta roofs and rocky walls covered in hibiscus and bougainvillea. Alternatively enjoy a glass bottom boat experience on Kabira Bay before visiting Yaima village. We return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon is free to relax on board or ashore.

Day 15

Hualien, Taiwan

From our berth in Hualien we will enjoy a full day tour to the Taroko Gorge National Park. Taroko means “magnificent and beautiful” in the local Truku language and it is clear to see why the name was used. The gorge itself stretches for 20 kilometres with marble cliffs rising hundreds of metres above the Liwu River. We will see the Swallow Grotto and the Tunnel of Nine Turns, a 1.9 kilometre path cut into the cliffs following the route of the original tracks along the gorge and the Changuang Temple, a Buddhist monastery with commanding views of the river. We will have a local lunch before returning to the ship later in the afternoon.

Day 16

Keelung to London

Disembark this morning and join a tour of Taipei after which we transfer to the airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London. Our tour will include a visit to the outstanding National Palace Museum, a repository of over 600,000 priceless Chinese artefacts which is located in the green hills just outside the city as well as the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall.

Day 17

London

Arrive this morning.

Overview

Island Realms of Japan

Join the MS Caledonian Sky for this unusual voyage which focuses on the small islands and ports of southern Japan. Sailing south from the cultural capital of Kyoto, we visit Japan’s intriguing and diverse islands including the subtropical Amami and Yaeyama Islands where a slower pace of life is enjoyed and which offer an altogether different experience from Japan’s mainland. Over the course of just twelve nights we will be able to see a variety of cultures, natural wonders and architectural styles. Amongst the many highlights will be the iconic gardens of Koraku-en and Ritsurin, the shrines and pagodas at Miyajima and Rurikoji and Obi Castle which harks back to an era dominated by feudal lords. For the natural world enthusiasts we will explore the natural and underwater worlds of the southern archipelago and for those who prefer a historical perspective, we will see the Peace memorial at Hiroshima and the remnants of the World War Two battle at Okinawa. Our expert Guest Speaker and local guides will provide an insight into Japanese culture and history along the way.

Our voyage will end in Taiwan. Sitting between China and Japan it is a surprisingly beautiful island about half the size of Scotland and we will visit one of its natural wonders, the Taroko Gorge National Park. Chiang Kai-shek, the Chinese nationalist leader and Mao’s great adversary crossed the sea from China with a million and more of his followers in 1949, together with many great treasures from the Forbidden City. These treasures are now housed in the magnificent National palace Museum in the nation’s capital of Taipei which we will visit before returning to London, a wonderful epilogue to a fascinating trip.

Highlights

Discover Kyoto, Japan’s former historic capital and Emperor’s home for nearly 1000 years
• Visit one of Japan’s most famed gardens, Korakuen, which translates as “Garden of pleasure after” • Explore Miyajima – one of Japan’s top scenic wonders • Visit Obi castle in southern Miyazaki, a region off the well beaten tourist trail • Travel to the island of Yakushima which became Japan’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and has a particularly diverse flora

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Ship information

Caledonian Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 90 metres

Passenger Capacity: 114

Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012

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 is 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 74 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. There are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. Super quality Cuisine and various spacious public rooms.

Contact
Booking
Small Expedition Yacht
Tip Top IV
12.06.2019
25.06.2019
13
Latin America, Pacific and Oceania, 14 Day Natural History Galapagos Experience
Fare from € 6.620
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Travelroute
Day 1

Arrive in Quito

The trip begins in Quito, Ecuador. On arrival, you will be transferred directly to the Hotel Mercure Alameda where we will spend the night. We think very highly of the Hotel Mercure Alameda. It is said that, of the finer hotels in Quito, they have the most personal service. Our experiences strongly support this impression. Meals on your own.

Day 2

Quito

Today is a free day in the High Andes city of Quito, with a spectacular old town district that is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Nearby sightseeing possibilities include Indian markets, the Equatorial Monument, tropical cloud forests, the Amazon Basin, and active volcanoes. A wide range of half-day, full-day and multi-day expeditions are available. Lunch and dinner on your own. Overnight Quito; Hotel Mercure Alameda.

Day 3

Baltra & North Seymour

A morning flight will take you from the High Andes, to another world; the Galapagos Islands. On arrival in Galapagos we will immediately transfer to the yacht waiting at the nearby harbour. This afternoon we will begin our program of shore excursions with a visit to the island of North Seymour. In addition to being a major nesting area for the blue-footed booby, North Seymour is home to the largest colony of magnificent frigate birds in the Galápagos. Both marine and land iguanas are found in good numbers here, and sea lions often surf the rocky shore break.

Day 4

Tower

Located in the northeast portion of the Galápagos, Tower is an outpost for many sea birds (as is Española to the south - perhaps this is why they are our two favourite islands). Depending on conditions we often will have a chance to snorkel and kayak within the bay. • Darwin Bay is an anchorage within a caldera, with surrounding cliffs forming the inner portion of the rim. Along the small beach there is a forest of salt bush where adjacent colonies of great frigate birds and red-footed boobies nest. There are two endemic gull species found in Galápagos; lava gulls and swallow-tailed gulls – both frequently nest here. • A visit to Prince Philip’s Steps begins with a Panga Ride along the cliffs, watching for red-billed tropicbirds and the occasional fur seal, while squadrons of frigate birds fly overhead in their endless piratical pursuits. On shore dwarf Palo Santo trees are home to a colony of red-footed boobies, while Nazca Boobies nest below on the ground. Along the lava fields storm petrels fly overhead in great numbers, while short-eared owls hunt for them among the lava cracks.

Day 5

Santiago

James Bay/Puerto Egas is home to Fur Seal Grotto - not only a beautiful site, but this is your only chance to get close to the endemic fur seals. Some of the best tide-pooling is also here, drawing a wonderful variety of shorebirds and seabirds, with yellow-crowned night herons and American Oystercatchers being the most commonly seen. Inland you might have a chance to see painted locusts, grasshoppers, and possibly even the Galápagos snake. Galápagos hawks are also common on the inland trail. Santiago • Playa Espumilla is a golden sandy beach where sea turtles nest, and ghost crabs and wading birds abound. Beyond the mangroves that frame the beach lie saline lagoons; further in you can find some of the 10 finches that inhabit Santiago, along with the vermillion and broad-billed flycatchers. • A cruise past Buccaneer Cove shows where sailors cleaned ship, hunted meat from the abundant sea lions along the beach, and collected firewood and water. Impressive tuff cliffs frame the southern cove, while eroded cinder to the north has been carved by time into fanciful shapes.

Day 6

Isabela & Fernandia

The cold waters approaching Punta Vicente Roca offer some of the best opportunities for whales and dolphins, and maybe the chance to snorkel with a Mola mola. Fernandia• This is the youngest of the Galápagos Islands. Punta Espinosa is a wonderful visitor site, with the largest colony of marine iguanas in the islands, in addition to flightless cormorants, Galápagos Penguins, herons and Galápagos Hawks. This is often the best place to see marine iguanas in the water as they feed on the barely submerged rocks along the shore.

Day 7

Isabela

Tagus Cove is a natural harbour featuring steep cliffs replete with graffiti from ship’s crews dating as far back as 1836 carved into the face. The cliffs are populated by marine iguanas, penguins, crabs, sea lions, and in the crevices outside the bay, Brown Noddy terns and the occasional Galápagos Martin. Ground and tree finches, hawks, yellow warblers, large-billed flycatchers and perhaps the woodpecker finch can be viewed along the way. • Elizabeth Bay is a mangrove inlet explored by zodiac, with an amazing concentration of green sea turtles and rays. The neighbouring Marielas Islets are home to the largest colony of Galápagos Penguins, with penguins often seen in the water at Elizabeth Bay.

Day 8

Isabela

Urbina Bay was the site of a dramatic volcanic uplift in 1954, where 4 miles of coastline suddenly rose nearly 15 feet, with the coastline driven three quarters of a mile farther out to sea. The marine remnants and giant coral heads are a stark reminder. Inland land iguanas, and an occasional tortoise, are often found here. Along the shore flightless cormorants and brown pelicans typically nest. We might have a chance to snorkel along the rocky bay. • Situated against a backdrop of 3 volcanos, Punta Moreno features views of Isabela’s Sierra Negra & Cerro Azul, and Fernandina’s Le Cumbre. The trail traverses sharp Pahoehoe lava to verdant interior and coastal brackish lagoons. You’ll find all 3 types of cactus colonizing this relatively recent lava flow. The shoreline features Blue-footed Boobies and nesting flightless cormorants while the lagoons are home to white-cheeked pintail ducks and flamingos feeding on abundant brine shrimp.

Day 9

Floreana

Punta Cormorant is one of the most interesting landings (on an olivine beach), with an emphasis on plant life and shore birds. A brackish lagoon is home to flamingos, pintail ducks, and commons stilts. Panga cruising and snorkelling at the offshore islet of Champion (where you might also get a glimpse of the endemic Charles Mockingbird on shore). • Post Office Bay is one the most historically famous island locations - be sure to bring a postcard or two ashore with you to "mail". • Black Beach & the Highlands - while not official park visitor sites, both are rewarding. Much of the early human history of the Galápagos, and especially the Wittmer family, played out in the highlands of Floreana. A visit to the highlands is also your only opportunity in the archipelago to search for the endemic medium tree finch. The seaside Wittmer hotel features an exhibit of early photographs of sailing expeditions and explorers to call on the island.

Day 10

Santa Cruz

A trip to the Highlands (by mini-bus) traverses all 7 vegetation zones of the Galápagos. In addition to two enormous pit craters, other volcanic formations include some of the largest known lava tunnels in the Galápagos. Not surprisingly, the lush highland vegetation is home to a variety of land birds, including vermillion flycatchers, Galápagos Flycatchers, woodpecker finches, dark-billed cuckoos, and Barn Owls. Tortoises are often seen in the wild here. • Puerto Ayora is the scientific heart of Galápagos, including the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and Galápagos National Park tortoise center, as well as the primary population center. This will be the only opportunity to see the rare Galapagos saddleback tortoises.

Day 11

Espanola

Punta Suarez is a paradise for birders, with waved albatross, Nazca Boobies, blue-footed boobies, Galápagos Hawks, Galápagos Doves, and also marine iguanas (the most colourful in the islands) all vying for center stage. • Gardner Bay is a tranquil white sandy beach known for sea lions, lava lizards, finches, yellow warblers, & Hood Mockingbirds, to name just a few. Gardner or Tortuga Rocks offer great snorkelling, as well as the occasional chance to kayak.

Day 12

San Cristóbal

This is the easternmost island in the archipelago (and also the provincial capital). • Punta Pitt is a coastal tuff formation that serves as a nesting site for many sea birds, including blue-footed, Nazca & red-footed boobies (the only site where all 3 species might be seen together), frigate birds, swallow-tailed gulls, and storm petrels. • Cerro Brujo is a very striking, eroded tuff cone. One of the first places visited by Charles Darwin, the beautiful white coralline sand beach and lagoon are home to brown pelicans, blue-footed boobies and swallow-tailed gulls, plus a variety of shore birds. Stroll the beach and you will soon realize that you are being watched by hundreds of shy ghost crabs. San Cristóbal is also home to the endemic Chatham Mockingbird. • Kicker Rock is a similarly eroded tuff cone, this time rising almost 500 feet from the ocean. The yacht will cruise around Kicker Rock as the sunlight plays off the contours of the cliffs and formation (complete with blue-footed boobies, Nazca Boobies, and frigate birds).

Day 13

Mosquera

This is a tiny islet, really more of a long, narrow sand spit, with a huge population of sea lions. Additional occupants include Sally Lightfoot Crabs and lava lizards, plus a wonderful variety of birdlife flying over. It makes a perfect "last landing" to reflect on the wonders of Galápagos experienced during your 11 days in the islands. • Baltra - A mid-morning departure will have us back in Quito this afternoon. On arrival (late afternoon) in Quito, we will be transferred directly to the Hotel Mercure Alameda where we will spend the night. We will have a group Farewell Dinner at one of the leading restaurants in Quito.

Day 14

Departure from Quito

Transfer to the airport today for your return flight home. Or, if you prefer, remain on in Ecuador for a few days exploring the High Andes, Amazon Basin, or tropical cloud forests…

Additional charges: Galápagos National Park Entrance Fee/Migration Card + Fuel Surcharge. From: € 410,- pp

Overview

14 Day Natural History Galapagos Experience

Galápagos Photography Tour
Our trips are different. This voyage spends 11 days in the Galapagos Islands. Out trips are the longest regularly available tours of the Galapagos.

‘’It is the fate of most voyagers, no sooner to discover what is most interesting in any locality than they are hurried from it’’, Charles Darwin, 1845

Our trips are educationally-oriented and are accompanied by a Tour Leader / Biologist in addition to a local Naturalist Guide. The tours are oriented to the passenger who wants to observe and learn as much as possible about the Galapagos – the animals and plants – on land and in the water.

The tours are also oriented to photographers (although you don’t have to be a photographer to get full value and enjoyment from our trips). We do offer some light photographic advice and, more important extensive, unique, and excellent photo opportunities.

Highlights

Maximize and get the most out of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure travel experience. Our Workshops provide an in-depth orientation to the islands beyond the scope of most “vacation- type” tours • Spend a longer time in the islands than most tour groups. We feel that 11 days is the minimum time necessary to see most of the important Visitor Sites (including the outer islands) and be assured of a maximum viewing opportunity of the significant plant and animal species. We include 3 days in the volcanically-active western islands, where we whale-watch, see penguins, flightless cormorants, and giant tortoises in the wild • In addition to the legally-required Naturalist Guide, we provide a Tour Leader/ Biologist who gives daily lectures on natural history. The Guide’s role is to escort people on shore, to provide some wildlife interpretation, and to make sure the rules of the National Park are enforced. Having a Tour Leader adds a serious educational orientation to the trip • Our two daily island visits are longer (2-4 hours each) than most tours. We also go on shore earlier in the day (typically landing between 6 and 7am. vs. 8am for most other vessels) to enhance viewing and photographic opportunities.

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Ship Overview

Tip Top IV

Vessel Type: Motor Yacht

Length: 27 metres

Passenger Capacity: 16

Built / refurbished: 2006 / 2015

The 125 ft, steel-hulled, TIP TOP IV was built in Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2006, and totally refurbished in 2015. The design includes all modern navigation instrumentation and safety features. She has a crew of 7 and carries just 16 passengers in 10 air-conditioned double cabins (4 on the bridge deck and 6 on the lower deck). All cabins feature 2 lower twin beds, which can also be modified to create a double bed if guests prefer. The interior is very spacious and attractive, and features a library/conference room, and a spacious dining room. There are extensive outside viewing (both sun and shade) areas. Twin diesels give her a cruising speed of 12 knots. Shore landings are made via twin 17-foot inflatable zodiacs. Special equipment on board includes basic snorkelling gear to loan as well as kayaks.

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Small Expedition Yacht
Coral Adventurer
14.06.2019
24.06.2019
10
Australia & NZ, The Kimberley: Darwin to Broome
Fare from € 6.780
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Travelroute
Day 1

Depart Darwin

Board your ship at 8.00am for planned 9:00am departure > cross Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters > join our expedition staff in the lounge for an informative introduction to the Kimberley > with fellow travellers and friendly Coral Expeditions’ crew, enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks

Day 2

King George River and Falls

Discover the first of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers, the mighty King George > board Xplorer, our specially designed excursion vessel and explore scenic gorges > take to our inflatable Zodiacs and cruise close to the base of magnificent King George Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfalls in Western Australia, towering some 80 metres above the river below > visit secluded Tranquil Bay for beach walking and exploration

Day 3

Vansittart Bay DC3 and Jar Island

Join our Expedition Leader on a walk across salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force DC3 which crash landed on the beach during World War II > visit Jar Island and discover the island’s outstanding rock art gallery > with our Guest Lecturers, see fine examples of the Kimberley’s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years

Day 4

Hathaway’s Hideaway and Mitchell Falls

Anchor in Winyalken Bay > travel ashore aboard Xplorer to explore the maze of natural sandstone caves known as Hathaway’s Hideaway > consider an optional scenic heli-flight over the Mitchell Plateau for close up views of the mighty four-tiered Mitchell Falls (additional expense) > this evening enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as we indulge in a gourmet BBQ on the sundeck or the beach.

Day 5

Bigge Island and Careening Bay

Discover the rock art gallery on Bigge Island featuring fine examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art > hear from our Guest Lecturers about these traditional art forms and the myths from the dreamtime that inspired them > explore Careening Bay; named by early explorer Phillip Parker King after his ship ‘HMC Mermaid’ was careened for repairs during his second voyage of discovery in the Kimberley > our Expedition Team will lead us to the site of a remarkable boab tree bearing the inscription ‘HMC Mermaid – 1820’, still clearly visible almost 200 years later

Day 6

Prince Regent River and King Cascades

Cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard Xplorer to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations > enjoy a picnic lunch at beautiful Camp Creek, where there is also time for a cooling dip in the freshwater pools

Day 7

Montgomery Reef and Doubtful Bay

Savour a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs > join our Expedition Staff aboard the Xplorer and Zodiacs to experience this natural phenomenon up close > discover the reef’s diverse marine life including turtles, manta rays and reef sharks > cruise through scenic Doubtful Bay

Day 8

Raft Point

Cruise through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry > travel ashore at imposing Raft Point and visit a secluded and very interesting Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and some of the Kimberley’s most well-preserved Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion) > explore Red Cone Creek

Day 9

Horizontal Falls and Buccaneer Archipelago

Meander through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to over 800 islands > in Talbot Bay the region’s 12 metre tides create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls, described by legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders in the world” > the amazing power of the falls is revealed when the region’s 12 metre tides turn, forcing millions of litres of water to rush through the narrow gaps between cliffs > board the Zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls > explore Silica Beach on Hidden Island with its stunning white sands and crystal clear waters

Day 10

Lacepede Islands

Explore Pender Bay and subject to weather and tides, visit the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef > this nature reserve has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area as it supports up to 18,000 breeding pairs of Brown Boobies and Roseate Terns, possibly the largest such population in the world > board the Zodiacs and explore the island’s lagoon, keeping an eye out for many species of marine birdlife including Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets, gulls and terns > the islands are also renowned as Western Australia’s most significant breeding grounds for the Green Turtle, often seen nesting > this evening we reflect on this wonderful expedition with new-found friends as we enjoy the Captain’s farewell drinks

Day 11

Arrive in Broome

Our adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning at 8:00am > if you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day visiting world-famous Cable Beach or stroll the historic streets of Chinatown in central Broome > post cruise transfers included
Please Note: 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

The Kimberley: Darwin to Broome

Perfected over 21 years, this 10-day voyage takes you on an unforgettable journey from Darwin to Broome. Ancient ochres meet thundering waterfalls on this voyage that explores the ‘bucket list’ destinations that you’ve always imagined visiting. From the remarkable Horizontal Falls, described by David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”, to the pounding Mitchell Falls and King George Falls, see the power of nature at her best. Expert guides interpret 40,000 year old rock art, and retrace the history of Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline almost 200 years ago. Later in the season, watch Humpback Whales calf in these waters. Aboard our unique ‘Xplorer’ excursion vessel and fleet of inflatable Zodiacs you will come face-to-face with this ancient land and her inhabitants.
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 mysterious Gwion Gwion Paintings of Bigge Island. Aboard the Explorer, cruise along the Mitchell Plateau and marvel at the power of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers. Then you’ll be moved by beautiful King Cascades, the remarkable Montgomery Reef and the unique natural phenomenon of the Horizontal Falls.
Be awed by the power and vastness of this land, steeped in ancient Indigenous culture, experienced firsthand as you.. travel ashore to view the world’s oldest known indigenous rock art, the mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) paintings. Soak up the history of early explorers such as Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline almost 200 years ago and landed at Careening Bay. Offering the opportunity to enjoy two landings most days, our guests will find themselves immersed in the magic of the Kimberley. With facilities tailor-made for expedition cruising including our unique ‘Xplorer’ excursion vessel and fleet of inflatable Zodiacs, coupled with the expert local knowledge of our experienced guides, you’ll complete this voyage with a new understanding and deep respect for this unrivaled region.

Highlights

Marvel at the plunging 80 metre high King George Falls • View the mysterious Gwion Gwion (Bradshaw) rock art and learn about the ancient cultures of the indigenous people • See crocodiles, humpback whales, rock wallabies, turtles, and birdlife  • Witness Montgomery Reef rise out of the ocean with the falling tide • Learn about the first explorers to chart this magnificent coastline

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Ship information
Coral Adventurer
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship
Length: 93.4 meters
Passenger Capacity: 120 (60 staterooms)
Built: 2017
Our brand new ship is built to take you closer to unspoilt vistas in comfort, style and safety. A culmination of two years of design and three decades of passion for expedition cruising – Coral Expeditions is proud to invite you to experience the Coral Adventurer.
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 cabins.  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 guest cabins 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
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Booking
Luxury Expedition
Silver Cloud
18.06.2019
02.07.2019
14
The Arctic, From Iceland to Norway
Fare from € 9.735
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Travelroute
Day 1

Reykjavik

Day 2

Latrabjarg cliffs & dyjandi

Day 3

Vigur Island & cruise along Hornbjard Cliffs, Iceland

Day 4

Akureyri

Day 5

At Sea

Day 6

Jan Mayen

Day 7

At sea

Day 8

Svalbard Northern Region

Day 9

Svalbard Northern Region

Day 10

Svalbard Northern Region

Day 11

Svalbard Southern Region

Day 12

Svalbard Southern Region

Day 13

Svalbard Southern Region

Day 14

Cruise & explore Bear Island

Day 15

Tromsø

Overview

From Iceland to Norway

Join us for a journey from Iceland to Norway, visiting isolated islands and remote regions. Aboard the Silver Cloud, and as weather permits on her Zodiacs, go past spectacular bird cliffs in Iceland and the Norwegian Archipelago of Svalbard, marvelling at the multitude of puffins, guillemots and gulls that congregate to nest. While in Iceland, explore the area around Lake Myvatn to see how geology plays an important factor in Iceland’s daily life, or go whale-watching along Iceland’s northern coast. In Svalbard, encounter fascinating landscapes, mountains, fjords and glaciers while looking for walrus and polar bears. Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife, botany and history of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable on board Expedition Team.

Highlights

Latrabjarg Cliffs, Iceland – Silver Cloud will sail next to one of Europe’s largest bird cliffs and a truly stunning sight to experience. The 14 kilometer cliff is covered with tens of thousands of Atlantic Puffins, Northern Gannets, Razorbills and guillemots that perch there safely from predators. • Dyjandi, Iceland – Iceland is well-known for its dazzling waterfalls, and the Dyjandi is recognized as one of the country’s most impressive and majestic. Hike past 6 other spectacular waterfalls to reach Dyjandi, the Westfjords’ biggest at 100 feet wide, with a 330-foot tumble into the fjord below. Dyjandi means the thundering one, named for its enormous sound. • Vigur Island, Iceland – Visit the tiny and private island to see how Icelanders collect eider down. The island is also home to Atlantic Puffins and Arctic Terns, which can be seen while walking across the island. After the walk enjoy home-baked cakes and cookies made by Vigur Island owners. Akureyri, Iceland –Akureyri is the gateway to Lake Myvatn (Midges Lake). The lake is part of a protected nature reserve and many birds (including thirteen species of ducks) frequent the surrounding wetlands. Nature’s power is plainly displayed in Namafjall’s geothermal springs, as well as on a walk along the lake’s shore onto some pseudo-craters, through the massive, often unusual lava formations of Dimmuborgir. • Jan Mayen, Norway – With permission from the Norwegian authorities and the right weather conditions, we will make a landing at this rarely visited outpost to visit the research and weather station. Walks to the station and beyond will give us a bird’s-eye view of the meteorological station and of the long black sandy eastern shore of the island. From the water the shear mass of Jan Mayen is impressive and is a known feeding ground for whales of several species. • Svalbard Northern Region, Norway – Silver Cloud will be cruising past majestic red Devonian sandstone mountains to reach the end of Liefdefjorden, for a Zodiac cruise along the 5-kilometer-long front of Monacobreen and the neighbouring Seligerbreen. This is a great place to look for seals, Black-legged Kittiwakes and Ivory Gulls.With the reinforced hull of Silver Cloud, we have the perfect platform to search for walrus and polar bears as we devote time to explore the pack ice north of Spitsbergen. Conditions permitting, we might head out in the Zodiacs for an even closer look. • Svalbard Southern Region, Norway – In Svalbard we will enter fjords, searching the ice and the shores for seabirds, walruses, seals, and polar bears. Shore walks and Zodiac landings will bring us up close to these mystical wintry settings. The Expedition Leader and Captain will determine Silver Cloud’s best course, depending on changing weather, ice conditions and the wildlife we encounter. • Bear Island, Norway – Close to 9 kilometres of cliffs are home to some of the largest bird colonies of the Northern Hemisphere. Common Guillemots, Brünnich’s Guillemots, Little Auks, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Northern Fulmars, and Glaucous Gulls are all found along the cliff. Other species have been observed, including Atlantic Puffins and even Northern Gannets. Weather depending, we will take the Zodiacs to explore the rugged coastline. Kayaking –Weather permitting, the Silver Cloud offers the opportunity to kayak in a small group under the guidance of certified kayak instructors. These special excursions are a chance to appreciate the wilds of the Arctic in silence. • Meet the owners of Vigur Island to learn about Eider Duck farming. Enjoy their company over a cup of tea or coffee and home-baked cookies and cakes. • Wildlife Watch List: Polar bear, Svalbard reindeer and Arctic fox, bearded seals, grey seals, harbour seal, ringed seal, and walrus. Humpback whales, Minke whales, beluga whales, and harbour porpoises.

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Ship information

Silver Cloud

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 157 m.

Passenger Capacity: 200-260

Built: 1994 Refurbished & Rebranded: 2017

After extensive refurbishment, Silver Cloud will be the most spacious and comfortable ice class vessel in expedition cruising. Her large suites, her destination itineraries and her unparalleled service make her truly special. Her five dining options will tantalise your taste buds and as 80% of her suites include a veranda, watching a breaching whale or a few cavorting penguins has never been so personal. Broad sweeping decks with multiple open spaces and a swimming pool complete what is surely the most distinctive expedition ship sailing today.

A limited number of guests, particularly with just 200 in polar waters, mean that Silver Cloud has the highest space to guest and crew ratios in expedition cruising. With her 18 zodiacs, possibilities are almost limitless with ship-wide simultaneous explorations. Finally, a team of 19 passionate and dedicated experts are always at hand to ensure your voyage is enhanced every step of the way.

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