Cruise Type
Ship
Date
Days
Destination
Information
Luxury Mekong River Cruise
Aqua Mekong
17.09.2021
24.09.2021
7
Asia, Mekong River - Aqua Mekong Expedition Cruise
Fare from € 6.650
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Travelroute
Day 1

Siem Reap

Gather at our Siem Reap meeting point then board our air-conditioned bus for the scenic 45-minute countryside ride to the dock on the Tonle Sap Lake for check-in to your 3-story, five star Mekong abode. 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

Prek Toal - Moat Khla

Set off by skiff into the 22,000-hectare Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve, one of the largest freshwater bodies in Asia and the last refuge in Southeast Asia for large waterbirds like the spot-billed pelicans, milky stork, black-headed ibis and the elusive masked finfoot. After lunch, we visit the floating village of Moat Khla, accessible only by water, and attend a Buddhist blessing ceremony in this isolated community.

Day 3

Chhnok Tru - Kampong Chhnang

Explore remote villages around the Tonle Sap Lake, designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997. In Chhnok Tru, we “slide” into an ice factory and learn from locals what it’s like to live in a town where schools, churches, pagodas, and even the karaoke bar and police station all float. We continue learning about Khmer riverside life in Kampong Chhnang, the 'Port of Pottery' so called because archaeological findings here date to the 6th century.

Day 4

Koh Chen - Koh Oknha Tey

This morning, we visit Koh Chen, a silversmith village known for its fine craftsmanship. Keep an eye out for their famous silver bowls, regularly chosen by Cambodia's king as gifts for visiting dignitaries. In the afternoon, we set off for the Mekong's 'silk islands' where renowned weavers allow us to wander freely, admiring their intricate craftsmanship. Biking is optional for those who wish to explore deeper into the island.

Day 5

Phnom Penh

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

Ka ́om Samnor-vinh Xuong Border Crossing – Chau Doc - My An Hung

Say ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’ while we cross the border and sail towards Tan Chau, a vibrant border town where we take the local rickshaw called xe loi for a trip around town or pedal 18 kilometers on the peaceful island of Long Khanh. In the afternoon, we 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. Biking option is also available for those who wish to explore on wheels.

Day 7

Binh Thanh/sa Dec - Cai Be

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. We continue downstream for Cai Be, zigzagging in our sampan past lone fishermen on their long tail boats. Later, our skiffs moor at a wooden pier. Here in Cai Be, walk or bike ride among high-roofed open courtyard houses, some dating back more than 100 years, and currently inhabited by gracious locals who will invite us to glimpse their property.

Day 8

My Tho - Ho Chi Minh

Disembarkation. En route to Ho Chi Minh, we stop at Vinh Trang Pagoda, one of the largest Mahayana Buddhist temple in the region. You will notice the mixed architectural style and see three large buddha statues plus an impressive collection of bonsai trees.

Overview

Mekong River – Aqua Mekong Expedition Cruise

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

During the period from December to August, our program includes much more time on the Cambodia stretch of the Mekong and along the Tonle Sap River, a more rural and scenic area of Cambodia, untouched by tourists. You will have plenty of opportunities to explore, from daily biking options (10 – 15km), kayaking, to relaxing excursions on shaded tuk-tuk and experience the authentic life of people around the river.

Passengers who travel with us from August to November experience the full history of Mekong life, meeting Khmer farmers, Buddhist monks and our entrepreneurial friends in Vietnam’s wet markets along the way. Travel leisurely back in time across this legendary landscape and visit the Tonle Sap Lake, a spectacular freshwater lake that that is inhabited by more than three million people living around its bank.

River cruises on the Mekong and Amazon with Aqua Expeditions can be made in 4, 5 or 8 days. Aqua Blu cruises in Indonesia can be made in 8 or 13 days.

Highlights

Start the day with a guided meditation on a sundeck overlooking the emerald greenery around the river • Travel in luxury amidst captivating landscapes along the Mekong river, from the Silver Pagoda and Art Deco of the Cambodian capital to the fascinating, modern Vietnam • Sail into the agrarian heartlands of the Khmer and Vietnamese people, little touched by the modern world, making indelible memories as you cycle and kayak far, far off the beaten path

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Ship information

Aqua Mekong

Vessel Type: Luxury River Expedition

Length: 62.4 meters

Passenger Capacity: 40

Crew 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, 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
Luxury Amazon River Cruise
Aria Amazon
17.09.2021
24.09.2021
7
Latin America, Aria Amazon Expedition Cruise
Fare from € 5.650
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Travelroute
Day 1

Iquitos - Nauta - Embarkation - Marañon River

We will meet at Iquitos International Airport then journey together by air-conditioned vehicle through the Peruvian countryside to arrive at our Nauta Lounge in time for lunch, or we will serve a box lunch en route depending on the flight arrival time. In the afternoon, we will set off on your first skiff excursion along the Marañon River. 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

Yanayacu Pucate River - Marañon River

We commence today’s adventures near the main entrance of Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, cruising along Yanayacu Pucate in the comfort of our state-of-the-art skiffs. Kayak, canoe and swim in theseunspoiled black waters, keeping eyes peeled for the Amazon’s legendary pink dolphins. In the afternoon, we will visit a remote village along the Marañon River to learn about traditional customs. Focus our hi-tech telescope on the night sky to identify the planets and constellations.

Day 3

Samiria River - Nauta Caño Or Pna (amazonian Natural Park)

We set off by skiffs for an excursion along the Samiria River with optional fishing. Listen carefully to our after lunch flora and fauna lecture, then venture out for a singularly thrilling jungle walk across the high Amazon rainforest. On our return in the evening, enjoy the jungle symphony and extraordinary stargazing on local boats along the “Enchanted Lake”.

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, together we will 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

Ucayali River - Pacaya River

Boarding our skiffs, we start the day like Amazon River dwellers, cruising along the Ucayali River. As these farmers and fishermen go about their business, we search for pink river dolphins in these pristine waters. Later in the day, we return to the skiffs, to ride along the black waters of the Pacaya River at dusk, searching for the mysterious wildlife that come out after dark.

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 jungle products to the port of Requena, keeping an eye out for pink river dolphins.

Day 7

Clavero Lake - San Jose De Sarapanga Forest

Choose to go jungle walking, canoeing, kayaking or swimming on the black water Yarapa or Clavero River in the morning. Come afternoon, take a short jungle walk in the San Jose de Sarapanga forest and see the unforgettable giant water lilies. 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 Nauta - Manatee Rescue Center - Transfer To The Airport

We will visit the town of Nauta, founded in 1930. Today, villagers from around Amazonia gather here to sell the products they harvest in their rural communities. Together we will walk around Nauta to gain insights into the daily life of these remotes people. Return to the ARIA for breakfast and to pack up. Before saying goodbye, we will visit the Manatee Rescue Center, a kind of animal orphanage for Amazonian manatees to rescue, rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. 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.
Allow the mighty Amazon River time to slowly unveil her majesty and wonders in nature. Kayak, canoe or swim in these unspoiled black waters, keeping eyes peeled for the Amazon’s legendary pink dolphins. Be witness to one of the great spectacles of the Southern Hemisphere, the birth of the Amazon River and see the unforgettable giant water lilies. Search for three-toed sloths, toucans, and macaws, fish for piranhas, and meet taricaya turtles in their natural habitat. Enjoy a breakfast picnic accompanied by the jungle symphony and fish along the black waters of the Pacaya River. As our vessel journeys towards the union of the Ucayali and the Marañon Rivers, considered the birthplace of the Amazon, learn from our experienced, expert naturalist guides about the diverse Amazon wildlife and birds of the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve.

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

River cruises on the Amazon and Mekong with Aqua Expeditions can be made in 4, 5 or 8 days. Aqua Blu cruises in Indonesia can be made in 8 or 13 days.

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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Ship information

Aria Amazon

Vessel Type: Luxury River Expedition

Length: 45 meters
Passenger Capacity: 32

Crew Capacity: 27

Built/refurbished: 2010/2015

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 meters 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. 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 27 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 square meters on the first deck and 8 Design Suites measuring 23 square meters 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
Safari Cruise
Zambezi Queen
17.09.2021
20.09.2021
3
Africa, African Chobe River Safari
Fare from € 1.725
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Travelroute
Day 1

Kasane

PLEASE NOTE THIS IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFORMATION:

Make sure that you get your passport stamped at the airport when you enter Botswana.
You’ll then be met by a representative at the airport who will help with your luggage and transfer you to the Kasane Immigration Office (KIO) in an air-conditioned vehicle.
Once you arrive at KIO, a Zambezi Queen Collection staff member will meet you and help with formalities at passport control as you exit Botswana.
You’ll then be transferred by a smaller tender boat with a Zambezi Queen Collection staff member to the Namibian Immigration Office.
You then need to get your passport stamped at the Namibian Immigration Office. Please wear comfortable shoes, as there is a short walk to the immigration office.
If you arrive with the 13:00 and 14:00 transfers, you’ll be served lunch, while if you’re transferred at 15:00 or 16:00 you’ll be served a snack before the sunset cruise by tender boat starts. Once all our guests have boarded in the late afternoon, after a safety breathing and if the weather permits, we’ll go in search of some big game by tender boat. This is the perfect time of day to make the most of that golden glow of the African sunset by getting some iconic shots of the animals as they gravitate towards the river before night falls.

Return back to the Zambezi Queen and freshen up before meeting your host on the upper deck with a welcome drink. After taking in the spectacular scenery, you’ll make your way to the dining room where you’ll be served a delectable three-course dinner along with an excellent choice of paired wines. Finish off with an espresso or nightcap at the bar before retiring to the night sounds of Africa in the distance.

Day 2

Chobe River

We know that some guests like to watch the sunrise as they sip on their coffee while others like to take a more leisurely approach. That’s why we let you choose your morning activities, depending on the type of holiday you’re searching for. Perhaps you want to enjoy a water-based safari or a village tour on the Namibian side of the river?

Or perhaps you’d prefer a spot of bird watching or fishing instead? You may even decide to simply remain on board as the luxurious Zambezi Queen glides its way along the banks of the Chobe River.

After your morning activities, enjoy lunch on board while using your unique vantage point to spot wild animals and drink in the expansive views. Join our guide in the afternoon for a water-based safari on a tender boat where you can get up close to an array of wildlife, including some of the 120 000 elephants for which the Chobe is well known. After a delicious dinner, settle down for a restful and tranquil night in your luxurious suite.

Day 3

Chobe River

After a hearty breakfast, head off to experience those activities you didn’t manage to fit in yesterday: enjoy a water-based river safari by tender boat, go bird watching or go fishing for tiger or bream. Return for lunch on board and some relaxation time before the afternoon activities start. Again, you have the choice between tiger or bream fishing, game viewing by tender boat or bird watching. In the evening, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy our traditional African dinner, served with festive African singing and dancing. You can even join in the festivities if you feel like it!

Day 4

Kasane

Enjoy a morning cruise during breakfast as you do your last bit of animal spotting and take some memorable pictures. Bid our crew a reluctant farewell and then make your way via boat to the Namibian Immigration Office. Once you’ve had your documents stamped you’ll be transferred via boat to the Kasane Immigration Office where you’ll have your documents stamped once again before entering Botswana.

Overview

African Chobe River Safari

The Zambezi Queen is a floating boutique hotel offering game viewing in 5-star opulence along the banks of the Chobe National Park, boasting one of the densest populations of wildlife on the African continent. The Zambezi Queen departs and returns to the same point, navigating roughly 25km of the Chobe River weather permitting.
Experience the thrill of an African safari from your own private suite aboard a luxurious 45m boat on Botswana and Namibia’s great Chobe River. There can be few natural wonders as synonymous with Africa’s raw wilderness as this stretch of untamed waters. The Chobe River divides Botswana’s Chobe National Park from Namibia’s Caprivi Strip and its exotic banks boast one of the densest populations of wildlife on the African continent.
This National Park is teeming with life and sprawls across some 11,000km² of lush African bush. It is home to the largest population of elephants in the world, currently estimated at about 120,000. Along with the elephants, prides of lion, leopard, huge herds of buffalo and numerous species of antelope can be seen on the river banks, with hippos and crocodiles in the waters alongside. It is on this great expanse of water that an adventure unlike any other awaits.
Zambezi Queen is unlike any other houseboat on this stretch of water, providing a sophisticated, elegant experience that has retained the essence of all that is uniquely African. Close your eyes and imagine a burning orange sun melting into the horizon. The wind is in your hair and the last rays of sun are on your face. On the river’s edge a family of elephants playfully shower each other with water and dust. The call of a fish eagle breaks the solitude. Whether dining on the top level while watching the wildlife gather at the waters at dusk, game viewing from one of the private boats, or attempting to land your first tiger fish, Zambezi Queen’s professional team will be on hand to meet your every need.
The three sisterships: Chobe Princesses is like being on your very own houseboat. With only a small number of guests per boat you’ll be able to completely relax in an intimate river safari experience. The entire boat can also be booked exclusively, giving you your very own private villa on the water.

Experience Impalila Island’s Tented Camp

Ichingo Chobe River Lodge offers the ideal location to experience all that the Chobe has to offer with the added benefit of being on the Namibian side of the river. Quieter, more secluded and personalised the lodge is ideal for families, couples or groups.The lounge, bar and open air-dining room set above the flowing waters of the Chobe River provide the ultimate in comfort allowing you to completely unwind and enjoy the sights and sounds of a true African river safari experience.

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFORMATION!

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Ship information

Zambezi Queen

Vessel Type: Luxury River Expedition
Length: 42 meters
Passenger Capacity: 28
Crew Capacity: 22
Built: 2009 / renovated 2015
Designed specifically for wildlife viewing, the intimate 28-passenger Zambezi Queen made her debut in one of the world’s most captivating places, Africa’s legendary Chobe River. As she drifts along the river, animals perceive no threat, affording you with once-in-a-lifetime up-close game experiences. Additionally, to ensure no harm to the environment, the eco-friendly Zambezi Queen uses a water jet propulsion system, fuel-efficient and low-emission generators, and a solar heating system. An enclosed, air-conditioned dining room, lounge and bar grace the top deck, as well as an open-air Sun Deck complete with plunge pool. Suites feature private balconies where you can enjoy unobstructed views of the river and African landscape. Throughout the day, be treated to complimentary South African wines, beer, local spirits, soft drinks and bottled water. And on one special night, enjoy an African-themed dinner with traditional dishes and entertainment.
Suites - Uniquely African
-Our standard suite come with en-suite bathrooms (shower only) and full length sliding shutters for both privacy and protection from the sun. Hairdryers, toiletries, gowns and slippers are provided for your comfort, while electronic safes in each room are ideal for storing your valuables. All suites accommodate two adults, and two of the larger standard suites can take a maximum of three adults.
-Our master suites let you relax and unwind in a luxurious setting as they are slightly bigger, and have larger balconies that house two deckchairs and a table for your viewing pleasure. King size bed with an en-suite bathroom (shower only). The master suites feature both side and front sliding doors for a truly panoramic view of your surroundings. Each suite was designed with the warm climate in mind equipped with air-conditioning and room fans to ensure you keep cool.
A Culinary Experience

From a creamy bowl of warming porridge in the morning to a helping of decadent white chocolate parfait at night, dining on Zambezi Queen is an indulgent treat, all on its own. Using seasonal ingredients sourced from local markets, meals on board our luxury houseboat consist of a full English breakfast, a buffet lunch and a choice of two plated menu options for dinner. Every mouthwatering dish is prepared by our locally trained Namibian kitchen staff, who combine authentic local flavours with their passion for creating sophisticated meals suited to discerning palates.

The Dining Room
Take a seat at your own private table and enjoy panoramic views of the wildlife during breakfast and lunch. Special dietary requirements can be catered for. Unfortunately this also means that we’re not able to cater for Halaal and Kosher guests.
The Bar
The bar on the upper deck is open until 10pm and stocks a selection of local and imported spirits, wine and beers. Included in your accommodation rates are all locally sourced wines, beers, soft drinks and water, while spirits, sparkling wine and dessert wine are for your own account.
The Lounge
On the upper deck of Zambezi Queen you’ll find our dining room, bar and a comfortable lounge with unobstructed views of the unique African landscape that surrounds you.
Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition
Hebridean Sky
19.09.2021
26.09.2021
7
The Mediterranean, September in the Mediterranean
Fare from € 4,350
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Travelroute
Day 1

London to Palma, Mallorca

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

Day 2

Mahon, Menorca

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

Day 3

Alghero, Sardinia

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

Day 4

L’Ile Rousse & Calvi, Corsica

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

Day 5

Portoferraio, Elba

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

Day 6

Bonifacio, Corsica

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

Day 7

Naples, Italy

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

Day 8

Naples to London

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

Overview

September in the Mediterranean

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

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Ship information

MS Hebridean Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 91 meters
Passenger Capacity: 118
Crew Capacity: 70
Built / Refurbished: 1992 / 2016
The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky.
Your Suite On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a sitting area and fourteen suites have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton Decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring vanity unit with sink and walk-in rainfall shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Additional facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The beds in each suite can be configured as twins or double with the exception of suite 601 and 602 which feature fixed double beds. The impressive Hebridean Suite, located on the Shackleton Deck consists of a separate bathroom and sitting room with extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry.
Your Space The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky include a large lounge on the Byrd Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. In addition to the Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also offers a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Mawson Deck is The Library which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Amundsen Deck and is a bright and charming setting to enjoy the delicious meals on board. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Scott Deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this, on the top Shackleton Deck there is an observation area which offers a fantastic platform for spotting wildlife complete with deck furniture, ideal for relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request.
Your Dining It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice. In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose. The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations.
For Your Comfort The MS Hebridean Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck.
Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition Cruise
Wayra
19.09.2021
26.09.2021
7
Latin America, The Toquilla Expedition - Ecuador
Fare from € 6.000
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Manta Welcome Dinner – Bahía de Caráquez

• Pick up from hotel and transfer to M/Y Kontiki Wayra
• Check-in and sunset cocktail
• Welcome dinner
• Overnight sailing to Bahía de Caráquez

Day 2

Bahía de Caráquez – Mompiche

• Visit Isla Corazon mangroves
• Transfer and visit to Ruta del Cacao
• On site farm to table lunch (tasting menu)
• Visit to Humedal la Segua – birdwatching
• Dinner and overnight sailing to Mompiche

Day 3

Mompiche – Manta

• Visit to Mompiche – artisan fishing interpretation
• Visit to Portete mangrove and shellfish collection
• Return to yacht for lunch
• Expedition to private natural reserve and Jupiter Island
• Dinner and overnight sailing to Manta

Day 4

Manta – Isla de la Plata

• Visit to Pacoche refuge and natural reserve
• Land transfer to the community of Pile
• On site lunch in Pile with executive chef
• Visit to Montecristi’s toquilla hat shops
• Ancestral cuisine dinner onboard
• Overnight sailing to Salango

Day 5

Isla de la Plata – Machalilla National Park & Beaches

• Water activities and guided snorkeling in Salango
• Return to yacht for lunch
• Visit to Agua Blanca museum and reserve
• Visit to Los Frailes Beach
• Dinner and overnight sailing to Isla de la Plata

Day 6

Machalilla National Park & Beaches/Ayangue – Puerto Bolívar

• Visit to Isla de la Plata – land exploration
• Guided water activities in Isla de la Plata
• Return to yacht for lunch
• Guided snorkeling expedition – whale watching
• Teppanyaki sunset onboard
• Dinner and overnight sailing to Puerto Bolivar

Day 7

Puerto Bolívar/Zaruma – Guayaquil

• Visit to Buenaventura reserve
• Land transfer to Mina El Sexmo for guided visit
• On site lunch in Zaruma’s old town
• Transfer to Puerto Bolivar and yacht
• Farewell dinner and overnight sailing to Guayaquil

Day 8

Guayaquil

• Breakfast and check-out
• Visit to Guayaquil’s old town Las Peñas
• Visit to historic park and lunch y Casa Julian
• Visit to Cathedral and Centenario Park
• Transfer to hotel or airport

Overview

The Toquilla Expedition – Ecuador

Kontiki Expeditions is an all-inclusive Boutique Sea Expedition along the coastline of Ecuador with all the comforts of a luxury yacht, reimagined to offer a small number of visitors a dreamy stay.

Both Toquilla & Spondylus Expeditions are designed for 8 days/7 nights, with various itineraries to explore and get connected with the beauty of Ecuadorian nature and culture. Travel aboard the yacht Wayra to remote locations and unique scenery, giving you a chance to interact with new surroundings along the American coast.

The Toquilla Route, or the northern route, starts in Manta every Sunday afternoon. Toquilla takes its name from the traditional toquilla straw hats made in Ecuador since the 1600’s. Mompiche, Bahía de Caráquez, Manta, Isla de la Plata, Machalilla and Zaruma are some of locations that we will explore during our sea adventure.

Get to know the culture, tradition and gastronomy of native communities from within, always in the company of our expert crew and guides. Discover magical locations where people’s warmth and heartfelt attentions will become the main reason to come back.

Boat expeditions along unexplored routes covering forests and landscapes of unmatched beauty, marine flora and fauna, pristine beaches, ecological reserves and the true treasures that make Kontiki Expeditions the best adventure destination.

Diving in Isla de la Plata, whale-watching in Salango or enveloping oneself in a tropical jungle after celebrating an ancestral purification ritual are some of the activities that our guests can enjoy.

Kontiki Expeditions is the perfect experience for people who travel to go “beyond” a destination. It is for those who want to be swept away by adventure on a wellness expedition, who want an immersive conscious experience.

Please Note: make the yacht Wayra all yours with friends and family for a more personalized experience. Both Toquilla & Spondylus Expeditions are offered for your group, but why not make use of Kontiki’s flexibility and decide for a tailor-made expedition specially designed in accordance with Kontiki Expeditions.

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Ship information

Wayra

Vessel Type: Motor Yacht
Length: 39 meters
Passenger Capacity: 18
Crew Capacity: 10
Built/Refurbished: 2011 / 2021

During the eight-day voyage, the yacht Wayra becomes a temple of wellness and discovery that sails along the coast of Ecuador, revealing unexplored land and sea and providing superb comfort, beauty and attention to detail.

Nine exclusive staterooms are designed with a contemporary flair and the finest materials, for maximum comfort, a fitting complement to the beauty of the surroundings and the panoramic views that can be enjoyed from every corner. The staterooms are a welcoming space to enjoy the privileged feeling of "neo-luxury."

Aboard the Wayra there are three different types of rooms for you to find your perfect one (four interconnected rooms for families with children).

Onboard activities; enjoy a variety of water sports: kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling and more. An intimate, serene spa and a gym add to your on-board wellness experience.

Outdoor areas; outdoor spaces that inspire serenity and foster relaxation. Enjoy the opportunity to connect and disconnect in a variety of areas including the Organic Bar, the Chill Parlour or the Jacuzzi.

Onboard connectivity; high-speed connectivity for travelers who want to share their experiences or don’t want to miss their favorite shows, while respecting the preferences of those who wish to disconnect and “be forgotten” during the voyage.

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition Cruise
Le Soléal
20.09.2021
04.10.2021
14
Alaska, North America, Russia, The Best of Kamtchatka - with National Geographic
Fare from € 9.830
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Nome, Alaska

Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly coloured houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sledge-racing... People here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.

Day 2

At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3

At Sea

Day 4

Chukotka

Located between the glacial Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, on the eastern point of Russia, Chukotka is one of the world’s most isolated regions. Made up of vast plains of tundra, which take on magnificent colours in summer, the region is the kingdom of the Chukchi, a nomad people that has now settled. Present on these lands for millennia, they are one of Eastern Siberia’s oldest communities and still live from hunting and fishing today.

Day 5

Chukotka

Day 6

Chukotka

Day 7

Kamchatka Peninsula

The Kamchatka Peninsula evokes the power of wild and preserved nature. Dotted with over 200 volcanos, making up a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this “land of ice and fire” stretches over more than 1,000 km between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. Its vast forests and prairies, islands, rivers and wet lands fed by glaciers located inland are home to many tens of thousands of Kamchatka brown bears, and rich biodiversity: the largest variety of salmon in the world and many sea birds and marine mammals (northern fulmars, guillemots, puffins, cormorants, Steller's eiders, Aleutian terns, Steller's sea eagle, Steller's sea lions and other species of sea lions, and whales).

Day 8

Kamchatka Peninsula

Day 9

Kamchatka Peninsula

Day 10

Kamchatka Peninsula

Day 11

Kamchatka Peninsula

Day 12

Kamchatka Peninsula

Day 13

Kamchatka Peninsula

Day 14

Kamchatka Peninsula

Day 15

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka

Petropavlovsk, the oldest town in the Russian Far East, was established in October 1740, when the ships Saint-Pierre and Saint-Paul, captained by Vitus Jonassen Bering, the Danish explorer working for the Russian Navy, first entered the bay. The Military Glory Museum, found in the town centre, is the most important in all of northern Russia. Keep your camera at the ready, though, as nearby is the picturesque Petrovskaya Hill, which also has some surprises in store for you - don’t forget to admire the sumptuous views across the Bay of Avacha from its summit. The bay’s circular shape creates a natural protection against the impetuous wind, all the while providing ships with easy access into port.

Overview

The Best of Kamtchatka – with National Geographic

Including Flight Seattle/Nome + transfers + Flight Petropavlovsk/Seoul

Set sail with PONANT for a 15-day expedition cruise in the Russian Far East aboard Le Soléal. Discover the highlights of the Bering Sea, and fall under the spell of this unique unspoiled and little-visited region, home to rich wildlife on land as well as in the sea.

You will board your ship in Nome, in Alaska, before charting course towards Russia.

You will sail the strait discovered by the Danish explorer Vitus Jonassen Bering at the beginning of the 18th century. This 83-km-long natural border connecting the Bering Sea to the Chukchi Sea is used at the end of summer every year by numerous Pacific walruses, the emblematic species of the Far North.

On the eastern tip of Russia, you will discover the vast expanses of the colourful tundra of Chukotka, one of the world’s most isolated regions.

Le Soléal will then reach Kamchatka, a peninsula of spectacular volcanic landscapes, where you may have the chance to observe the Kamchatka brown bear and many sea birds and marine mammals: northern fulmars, guillemots, puffins, cormorants, Steller’s eiders, Aleutian terns, Steller’s sea eagle, Steller’s sea lions and other species of sea lions, and whales.

Highlights

A cruise in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert onboard • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides • A cruise to the heart of the pristine lands of the Russian Far East, discovering a breathtakingly beautiful natural region and the wildlife that lives there • Abundant and varied wildlife: walruses, many marine birds, Steller sea lions, fur seals, whales, ribbon seals, Arctic ground squirrel, the Kamchatka brown bear • Landscapes : vast expanses of tundra, uninhabited islands, mountains, forests, volcanoes • Encounters with Chukchi people

 

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Ship information

Le Soléal

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 142 meters
Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica)

Crew Capacity: 140
Built: 2013

Like Le Boréal and L’Austral, the two sister ships that preceded it, Le Soléal further reaffirms PONANT's signature approach: to take passengers to the farthest reaches of the planet onboard five-star ships offering top-of-the-range services.

An elegant appearance and refined interior design combine with cutting-edge technology to offer a new type of cruising: adventure in a luxury setting.

Cuisine
Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark.
Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The gastronomic restaurant serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. In the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportunity to eat outside and enjoy themed dinners.
Life On Board
Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, Le Soléal has been designed to meet the needs of every guest.
Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Fitted with the latest equipment (Fitness studio) the Beauty Centre on Le Soléal welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering -a spa in partnership with SOTHYS™ (beauty treatments, hairdresser, hammam, balneotherapy). Comfortable Staterooms & Suites, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please.
Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition Cruise
Le Boréal
21.09.2021
05.10.2021
14
Alaska, North America, The Arctic, Russia, Fire and Ice in the Arctic
Fare from € 9.680
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Nome, Alaska

Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly coloured houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sledge-racing... People here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.

Day 2

At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3

Provideniya

Across the Bering Strait from Alaska, which it almost touches and can be glimpsed when the weather is fine, the town of Provideniya seems to keep a watchful eye over ships heading for the East Siberian Sea. Nestled against mountains with peaks of up to 2,000 m, Provideniya is the gateway to the Chukotka Peninsula, a polar region as yet unknown to the general public, with striking landscapes and a primitive beauty like no other.

Day 4

Big Diomede

From your Zodiac®, discover Big Diomede, between Siberia and Alaska. This island, measuring approximately 30 km2 and located in the middle of the Bering Strait, is Russia’s most easterly point. Although it was once inhabited by the Inuit, it is now home to just a handful of Russian soldiers on a military base. Just a few kilometres further east, on the other side of the International Date Line, lies Little Diomede, an American island which Russia sold to the United States in 1867.

Day 5

Wrangel Island Reserve

Imagine a natural island that is mostly mountainous and, for the rest of its landscapes, alternates between vast tundra plains and areas of great lakes, lagoons and cliffs. Welcome to Wrangel, the most important hotspot of Arctic biodiversity. Situated between the East Siberian Sea and the Chukchi Sea, the island was named after the Russian explorer Ferdinand von Wrangel. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island is a rare, precious and very ancient ecosystem with unique vegetation, as well as an exceptional fauna: it is home to the majestic polar bear and the vast majority of the Russian Arctic’s walrus population. The island also holds traces of the last mammoths and is home to several endemic species.

Day 6

Wrangel Island Reserve

Day 7

Wrangel Island Reserve

Day 8

Wrangel Island Reserve

Day 9

At Sea

Day 10

Saint Matthew island

Saint Matthew island is right in the middle of the Bering Sea, between Siberia and Alaska. Classified as a National Wildlife Refuge by the United States, this island covered in wet tundra corresponds to the northern boundary of the polar bear’s range during winter. It is home to many birds, including the McKay's bunting, an endemic species whose population is estimated at 6,000 individuals. We can also find Arctic foxes there. Although populated by the Aleut during prehistoric times Saint Matthew Island is uninhabited today.

Day 11

Saint Paul island, Pribilof islands

Part of the Earth’s History was written between Alaska and Russia. We invite you to discover a unique environment that seems to stretch out to infinity. Lost in the middle of the Bering Sea, the Pribilof archipelago is made up of four volcanic islands where nature has crafted exquisitely beautiful landscapes. Here, on the islands of Saint Paul and Saint George, you will find majestic volcanoes, lava deserts and crater lakes, offering travelers a magnificent vantage point from which to observe a fauna composed almost exclusively of fur seals. The archipelago is also renowned as a paradise for birds, especially on Saint Paul, as more than 240 different species of seabirds take flight from the top of its majestic cliff.

Day 12

Dutch Harbor, Unalaska

During your cruise, discover an exceptional site: Unalaska Island and its port, Dutch Harbor. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, on the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor is the only deep water port in the archipelago. As for the island itself, it offers you unique landscapes: volcanic summits swept by the wind and surrounded by the sea, lush green valleys, sometimes covered with bright summer flowers, sometimes with deep winter snow… Unalaska is not only an island with astonishing nature and very varied wildlife, it is also rich in history, where ancient indigenous cultures and remains from World War II can be seen and their tales be told.

Day 13

Chankliut island, Alaska

Off the Alaska Peninsula hides a small gem: Chankliut. From mountainous terrain to flowery moors and valleys covered in sea lyme-grass, this island, which is part of the Aleutian archipelago, offers landscapes with a unique charm. During your walk around a lake, you will cross a sumptuous meadow where beautiful aconite and willowherb vie for attention. The more courageous will venture onward to the neighbouring valley and its ancient calderas to admire the splendour of the scenery. This totally uninhabited island bears no trace of any past settlement. Small, curious heads will catch your attention, however: crested puffins and horned puffins bask on the water near spotted seals…

Day 14

Geographic Harbor, Alaska

Here you are in the heart of Katmai National Park and Preserve. Here, the rocky cliffs are punctuated with white marks. These are the remains of ash deposits that accumulated following a volcanic eruption in the past. A little further south, you will explore every part of Geographic Harbor and its tall cliffs covered in vegetation and plunging into the sea.

Day 15

Seward, Alaska

Seward is located on the Kenai peninsula, south of Anchorage. This bustling port, built for the fishing and shipbuilding industries, will show you just how vibrant it is, with its shops and galleries. The entrance gate for the sublime Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward nestles in the heart of very beautiful scenery, between glaciers, mountains and very rich marine life (whales, sea otters, orcas, seals…).

Overview

Fire and Ice in the Arctic

Including Flight Seattle/Nome + transfers + flight Anchorage/Seattle

Embark with Ponant aboard Le Boréal for an unforgettable expedition cruise to discover the wonders of Arctic Alaska.

Over 15 days, cruising between Russia and the United States from Nome to Seward, you will have the chance to sail in the Bering Strait and discover extraordinary landscapes combining ice, volcanoes, and tundra dotted with the ephemeral flowers that bloom during the Arctic summer.

This is also a wonderful region for wildlife observation. Listed with UNESCO, the nature reserve on Wrangel Island is a unique ecosystem where the greatest biodiversity in the Arctic can be found. It is home to a large population of walruses, countless sea birds, and of course the lord of the Arctic: the polar bear.

Le Boréal will then make its way along the Alaska Peninsula, an emerged part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Here, each island is a volcano crowned with ice. The Aleutian Islands form a barrier between the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean, so the marine wildlife here is particularly abundant.

You’ll then reach Geographic Harbor, situated in the heart of the stunning Katmai National Park and Preserve. There is a strong chance you’ll be able to observe grizzlies, as they reign supreme here.

At the end of your cruise, you will disembark in the small city of Seward for your return flight to Seattle.

Highlights

A cruise amid the stunning Arctic and volcanic landscapes of Alaska and Russia • Shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with your naturalist guides • Discover the Wrangel Island Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site • Sail in the heart of the Bering Sea, surrounded by the planet’s most remote islands • Sail in the Chukchi Sea • Possibility of observing brown bears at Geographic Harbor, in Katmai National Park • The wildlife: polar bears, grizzlies, walruses, grey whales, sea otters, spotted seals, and seagulls • Meet the locals: the Aleut, Inuit, and Chukchi people

<close>

Ship information

Le Boréal

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 142 meters
Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica)
Crew Capacity: 140
Built: 2010
Le Boréal, like its Sisterships L’Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial, epitomises the unique feel and atmosphere of the ships of the PONANT fleet. Subtly combining luxury, intimacy and serene well-being, the ship has been designed to offer passengers both moments of conviviality and spaces conducive to peaceful tranquillity and a sense of escape and getting away from it all. Its exterior and interior lines testify to the ingeniousness and refinement with which the Sisterships have been designed.
Cuisine
Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark.
Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The gastronomic restaurant serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. In the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportunity to eat outside and enjoy themed dinners.
Life On Board
Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, Le Boréal has been designed to meet the needs of every guest.
Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Fitted with the latest equipment (Fitness studio) the Beauty Centre on Le Boréal welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering -a spa in partnership with SOTHYS™ (beauty treatments, hairdresser, hammam, balneotherapy). Comfortable Staterooms & Suites, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please.
Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition Cruise
L´Austral
23.09.2021
07.10.2021
14
Alaska, North America, Alaska and its Fur Traders - with National Geographic
Fare from € 11.870
<read more>
Travelroute
Day 1

Nome, Alaska

Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly coloured houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sledge-racing... People here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.

Day 2

At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3

Saint Matthew island

Saint Matthew island is right in the middle of the Bering Sea, between Siberia and Alaska. Classified as a National Wildlife Refuge by the United States, this island covered in wet tundra corresponds to the northern boundary of the polar bear’s range during winter. It is home to many birds, including the McKay's bunting, an endemic species whose population is estimated at 6,000 individuals. We can also find Arctic foxes there. Although populated by the Aleut during prehistoric times Saint Matthew Island is uninhabited today.

Day 4

Saint Paul island, Pribilof islands

Part of the Earth’s History was written between Alaska and Russia. We invite you to discover a unique environment that seems to stretch out to infinity. Lost in the middle of the Bering Sea, the Pribilof archipelago is made up of four volcanic islands where nature has crafted exquisitely beautiful landscapes. Here, on the islands of Saint Paul and Saint George, you will find majestic volcanoes, lava deserts and crater lakes, offering travelers a magnificent vantage point from which to observe a fauna composed almost exclusively of fur seals. The archipelago is also renowned as a paradise for birds, especially on Saint Paul, as more than 240 different species of seabirds take flight from the top of its majestic cliff.

Day 5

Dutch Harbor, Unalaska

During your cruise, discover an exceptional site: Unalaska Island and its port, Dutch Harbor. Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea, on the Aleutian Islands, Dutch Harbor is the only deep water port in the archipelago. As for the island itself, it offers you unique landscapes: volcanic summits swept by the wind and surrounded by the sea, lush green valleys, sometimes covered with bright summer flowers, sometimes with deep winter snow… Unalaska is not only an island with astonishing nature and very varied wildlife, it is also rich in history, where ancient indigenous cultures and remains from World War II can be seen and their tales be told.

Day 6

Unga island, Alaska

After a short Zodiac® journey between the rocks in the company of your naturalist-guides, you will land in a former village of which many vestiges remain: run-down wooden houses scattered around a flowery meadow, a church with crumbling walls but a roof that still stands, a cemetery… Originally called Ougnagok by the Aleuts, this small hamlet, which was home to some 100 inhabitants in the 19th century, was renamed Delarof, after Evstratii Ivanovich Delarov. While working for the Shelikhov-Golikov Company, he was the first Greek mariner to discover the Aleutian Islands. These days, this small ghost-village now overrun by willowherb is called Unga.

Day 7

Chankliut island, Alaska

Off the Alaska Peninsula hides a small gem: Chankliut. From mountainous terrain to flowery moors and valleys covered in sea lyme-grass, this island, which is part of the Aleutian archipelago, offers landscapes with a unique charm. During your walk around a lake, you will cross a sumptuous meadow where beautiful aconite and willowherb vie for attention. The more courageous will venture onward to the neighbouring valley and its ancient calderas to admire the splendour of the scenery. This totally uninhabited island bears no trace of any past settlement. Small, curious heads will catch your attention, however: crested puffins and horned puffins bask on the water near spotted seals…

Day 8

At Sea

Day 9

Tsaa fjord, Icy Bay, Alaska

Formed by the retreat of the Guyot, Yahtse and Tyndall glaciers over the past 100 years, Icy Bay is one of those timeless places where silence reigns supreme. Let yourself be enthralled by landscapes of breathtaking beauty, enhanced by magnificent views over the Saint Elias Mountains, visible in the background. The bay, several kilometres wide, is often scattered with icebergs sliding on clear and deep waters. It will let you access several sounds, among which are the Tsaa fjord, very close to the Guyot glacier. Many marine mammals and sea birds have chosen to live on this territory with very few visitors in the south of Alaska.

Day 10

Sitka, Alaska

Formerly a Russian colony located on Baranof island, to the west of the Alexander archipelago, Sitka is brimming with history. The historical national park of Sitka shelters totems carved out of red cedar, a tree that is omnipresent in the region. These totems are testimonials of the former presence of Tlingit Indians. This place is full of natural wonders too. You just have to look up to admire the mountain range around the port. In the distance, the snow-peaked Edgecumbe volcano stands majestic. Numerous islands scattered around Sitka stretch out before you in a vision of preserved Alaska.

Day 11

Kake, Alaska

Discover the small Tlingit village of Kake, around 60 kilometres west of Petersburg. Located on Kupreanof Island, it houses a community of over 500 inhabitants. Kake is paradise for salmon, which spawn in the Gunnuk River near the village. Bald eagles often make an appearance, as do black bears, which come to enjoy the fish. Another singularity of these parts: the presence, on a hill, of a totem pole standing over 60 metres tall, considered the highest in the world.

Day 12

Prince Rupert

Wild and extraordinary, Prince Rupert is a dynamic town where the open spaces are “larger than nature”. Located on the remote Kaien Island, off the coast of British Columbia, this little town founded in 1910 witnessed the history of the North West Pacific with the birth of American Indian nations, such as the Haida and Gitksan. During this port of call, make a point of admiring its grandiose landscapes where more than 300 pairs of bald eagles have made a home here; its picturesque residential districts where the sea mist often lingers; and its famous Museum of Northern British Columbia, home to a large collection of ancient totems.

Day 13

At Sea

Day 14

Alert Bay & sailing in the Johnstone Strait

Right near the north coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, hides the small wooded island of Cormorant. Surrounded by pebble beaches, it offers wonderful opportunities for hikes and for whale watching. The surrounding waters are also home to harbour seals, orcas, Steller sea lions, dolphins, and a multitude of seabirds. When your ship calls at Alert Bay, a small sheltered fishing port located in the island’s south, set off to discover the indigenous culture and its traditions. The ‘Namgis community, which is part of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations, lives here in harmony with the other village inhabitants.
Along the north-east coast of Vancouver Island, Johnstone Strait is a 100 km-long channel formed by an old glacier bed, dotted with a string of lush islands. Sailing amid this wilderness offers fantastic opportunities to observe the wildlife. Indeed, blue whales, humpback whales and the world’s largest population of orcas can be found in the cool and sheltered waters of the strait, and you can try to spot some from your ship’s deck.

Day 15

Vancouver

Verdant and cosmopolitan, Vancouver is one of Canada's most multi-cultural cities. Located in British Columbia on Canada's west coast, it's surrounded by mountains and outdoor activities are popular. In the city, you can immerse yourself in the Asian atmosphere of bustling Chinatown, shop for pashminas and silk saris at the Punjabi Market Indian district and explore the historic area of ᅠGastown. Vancouver Art Gallery is known for works by regional artists, while the Museum of Anthropology houses important First Nations collections. Granville Island Jetty is a fascinating revitalised industrial area that hosts galleries, restaurants and a huge produce market.

Overview

Alaska and its Fur Traders – with National Geographic

Including Flight Seattle/Nome + Transfer

PONANT invites you to follow the steps of trappers and of the indigenous peoples of Alaska, during a 15-day expedition voyage aboard L’Austral.

From Nome to Vancouver, discover a remote territory still unknown and wild, landscape from infinite tundra to glittering lakes, wide spaces, gigantic glaciers, steep mountains and temperate rainforest.

During your trip, discover the unique wildlife at some of the sites that have marked the history of Alaska.

Your ship will first sail along the Bering Strait, before heading south to reach Saint Paul in the Pribilof Islands. In a Zodiac® dinghy you will then land on the lush shores of Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, where you will have the option of participating in organised hikes.

After sailing in the magnificent Icy Bay to discover a fjord surrounded by hanging glaciers and vertiginous waterfalls, succumb to the charms of Alaska’s forests and discover the Tlingit village of Kake, where you might be lucky enough to spot some black bears.

Then, set off to meet the whales and other marine mammals in Alert Bay, in British Columbia, before making your way to Vancouver, your disembarkation port.

Highlights

A cruise in partnership with National Geographic Expeditions offering enrichment with a National Geographic Photographer and an Expert onboard • Shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides • Hiking opportunity • Visit traditional villages and encounter the indigenous peoples of the Far North: the Aleuts, Tlingits, Kwakwaka’wakws, Yupiks, and Haïdas • Landscapes: fjords, tall mountains, huge glaciers, primary forest, jagged cliffs • Wildlife: brown bears, grizzlies, Arctic terns, common seals, whales and orcas

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Ship information

L´Austral

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 142 meters
Passenger Capacity: 264 (200 in Antarctica)

Crew Capacity: 140
Built: 2011

Innovative design, sleek shape and profile, refined interior decoration, friendly, intimate atmosphere: French designers and decorators have managed to give this ship a unique style and veritable signature of its own. Combinations of fine materials, colours and tones harmoniously livened up with touches of bright colour, elegant lines, discreet and subtle refinement… everything has been designed to create a unique atmosphere onboard, a veritable personality: the chic style and naturally relaxing ambiance of a veritable private yacht.

Cuisine
Loyal to the great French tradition, the haute cuisine on board is worthy of the finest restaurants, where discreet, attentive service is the hallmark.
Our two restaurants welcome you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The gastronomic restaurant serves you French and international cuisine accompagnied by fine wine. In the Grill Restaurant, you will have the opportunity to eat outside and enjoy themed dinners.
Life On Board
Whether you want to join other guests in the theatre or relax on your own in a quiet corner of the library, L´Austral has been designed to meet the needs of every guest.
Everything has been done to preserve the independence of each guest to suit their personal tastes: lounges for lectures and shows, but also more intimate spaces such as the library and internet corner. Fitted with the latest equipment (Fitness studio) the Beauty Centre on L´Austral welcomes you for some unforgettable moments of relaxation and pampering -a spa in partnership with SOTHYS™ (beauty treatments, hairdresser, hammam, balneotherapy). Comfortable Staterooms & Suites, nearly all with private balcony, are available for families either as triples or as communicating cabins. There is also a games area with Wii™ consoles, children’s menus, and a baby-sitting service. Just as if you were on a private yacht, your time is your own to do as you please.
Contact
Booking
Luxury Small Ship Cruise
Silver Origin
25.09.2021
02.10.2021
7
Latin America, Galápagos Islands Luxury Cruise
Fare from € 9,540
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Travelroute
Day 1

San Cristobal and Kicker Rock

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

Day 2

Isla Bartolome and Buccaneer Cove, Santiago

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

Day 3

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

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

Day 4

Tagus Cove and Elizabeth Bay

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

Day 5

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

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

Day 6

Santa Cruz Highlands and Fausto Llerena Breeding Center, Puerto Ayora

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

Day 7

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

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

Day 8

Baltra

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

Ship information

Galápagos Islands Luxury Cruise

Including return flights between Ecuador and Galápagos.

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

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

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Ship information

Silver Origin

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

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

Contact
Booking
Small Expedition Yacht
Aqua Blu
25.09.2021
02.10.2021
7
Asia, Indonesia, Bali - Komodo National Park Cruise
Fare from € 7.150
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Travelroute
Day 1

Benoa (Bali)

Arrive at Bali to a warm welcome. Board Aqua Blu and cruise to Moyo Island as the sun sets.

Day 2

Moyo Island

Arrive in Moyo, a remote hilly island with a handful of fishing villages. Discover wildlife en route to the spectacular waterfall at the center of the island and snorkel at the shallow Angel Reefs for an unforgettable experience.

Day 3

Saleh Bay, Sumbawa

Depart early in the morning for Saleh Bay. On arrival, prepare for an up-close encounter with friendly whale sharks while guided by Conservation International Rangers. In the evening, witness a dramatic flight of the fruit bats at Sattonda.

Day 4

Gili Banta - West Komodo

Enjoy a spectacular sunrise and breakfast with Sangeang volcano as the backdrop and arrive at Gili Banta, a remote haven for beachlovers, snorkelers and divers (dive sites such as Star Wars and K2 are among the world's best) alike. Or hike the Eastern Ridge for stunning views.

In the afternoon, sail to nearby West Komodo to encounter Komodo Dragons in the wild.

Day 5

Linta Strait - Padar

In the morning discover Linta Strait, a world famous spot for drift snorkeling and diving. Large pelagics fish are very common as well as manta rays, giant trevallies and big school of barracuda.

In the afternoon, arrive at the picturesque Padar Island. Hike up the savannah hill for iconic views before a sunset cocktail on the beach.

Day 6

Horseshoe Bay - Pink Beach

After a morning sailing through a spectacular sea passage, arrive in Horseshoe Bay, a dramatic curvature of land that is the remains of an ancient volcano caldera. Visit sea eagles' and Komodo dragon's favourite haunts aboard Aqua Blu's skiffs or choose to dive or swim.

In the late afternoon, the iconic Pink Beach awaits. Trek, witness the flight of bats or visit the local village. Or simply relax on the beach.

Day 7

Rinca - Gili Lawa Laut

Discover Komodo National Park's largest Komodo Dragon population on land at Rinca before sailing to Gili Lawa Laut, an islet that features expansive beaches and shallow reefs for kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. Meanwhile, diving and snorkeling spots that offer the chance to spot turtles.

Day 8

Labuan Bajo

Depart Gili Lawa Daut anchorage for Labuan Bajo and disembark for your outbound flight.

Overview

Indonesia, Bali – Komodo National Park Cruise

Departing from Bali and Flores, this sensational 7-night cruise offers an in-depth exploration of the legendary Komodo National Park and Moyo Island of East Indonesia

Rising from the seas of East Indonesia where two continental plates collide, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Komodo National Park is a wonder of nature in every way imaginable. Ancient volcanic activity has created some of the most spectacular coastal terrain on Earth, with picture-perfect savannah hills, bays and beaches. The Park’s dramatic landscape also sets the perfect stage for stunning marine discoveries at some of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the world.

Komodo National Park spans an area of 669 square miles (1,817 square kilometers) and comprises of three main islands — Komodo, Padar and Rinca — and 26 smaller islets. Several of these are inhabited by prehistoric creatures, the native Komodo Dragon, that are the largest lizard species to walk the Earth.

Highlights

Rinca and Padar Island – Discover the two key islands of the Komodo National Park • Moyo Island and Saleh Bay – An off-the-tourist radar nature reserve with hidden rewards for the explorer • Linta Strait – Known as Current City, this narrow channel is a nourishing force for marine life • Horseshoe Bay – This is a surreal Jurassic landscape where adventure awaits • Gili Lawa Islands – A prime haven for leisure within Komodo National Park • Pink Beach – A wonder of nature and one of the best beaches in the world
Please Note: More Aqua Expeditions voyages are available, not all of them are listed online. Please contact us for more details.

Aqua Blu cruises in Indonesia can be made in 8 or 13 days. River cruises on the Mekong and Amazon can be made in 4, 5 or 8 days.

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Ship information

Aqua Blu
Vessel Type: Expedition Yacht
Length: 60 meters
Passenger Capacity: 30
Crew Capacity: 25
Built/Converted/Refurbished: 1968/2006/2019
Presenting a brand-new cruise experience in the pristine East Indonesian Archipelago.

Aqua Blu is a long-range explorer yacht sailing the region’s most prized destinations, including Komodo National Park, Spice Islands and Raja Ampat on unforgettable 7- and 12-night itineraries.
Where modern luxury meets naval heritage.
With a grand legacy as the former British Naval Explorer HMS Beagle and later as the private yacht of a European aristocratic family, Aqua Blu is a compelling maritime statement. A 2019 refurbishment overseen by Dutch yacht design maestro Cor D. Rover brings the vessel to world-class cruising specifications. Guests can expect to embrace an distinguished sense of history and seafaring evolution when they set foot on this one-of-a-kind cruise ship.
Inside the four-deck, 15-suite Aqua Blu, Cor has tastefully paired with a brass-and-ivory interior theme with generous and inviting indoor and outdoor social spaces, including a sun deck.
Unlocking access to the Earth’s most intriguing destinations.
Faster, further, greater safety and comfort — Aqua Blu’s naval pedigree makes it the perfect vessel to navigate East Indonesia’s vast seas. Having attained the highest international classifications (RINA, SOLAS, ISM) in safety, the vessel is additionally equipped with Quantum Zero Speed stabilizers for optimal comfort at rest or while sailing.
Aqua Blu’s range stands heads and shoulders above that of its peers in East Indonesia. Able to cover vast distances in a short span of time — and in any sea condition — the vessel enables explorers on board to experience the most varied, enjoyable and rewarding coastal cruise itineraries in this wild and stunningly beautiful region of the world.
On Board Living and Social Areas:
Sun Deck with Outdoor Seating, Lounge Sofa and Barbecue • Bridge Deck with Jacuzzi, Outdoor Lounge Area, Spa and Exercise Zone • Forecastle Deck with Outdoor Dining and Seating Area • Indoor Lounge Bar, Library and TV Room • Main Deck with Outdoor Seating, Salon and Dining Room

Contact
Booking
Luxury Expedition Cruise
Wayra
26.09.2021
03.10.2021
7
Latin America, The Spondylus Expedition - Ecuador
Fare from € 6.000
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Travelroute
Day 1

Guayaquil Welcome Dinner

• Pick up from hotel and guided visit in Guayaquil
• Lunch in Casa Julian – Historic Park
• Transfer to M/Y Kontiki Wayra for check-in
• Welcome Dinner
• Overnight Sailing to Puerto Bolivar

Day 2

Guayaquil – Puerto Bolívar/Puyango

• Visit Puyango Petrified Forest
• Return to yacht for lunch
• Visit to Isla Santa Clara
• Cocktail party at sundeck
• Dinner and overnight sailing to Salinas
• Constellation observation at sundeck

Day 3

Puyango Petrified Forest & Isla Santa Clara – Salinas

• Visit to La Chocolatera and La Lobería
• Return to yacht for Lunch
• Water activities in Ayangue
• Teppanyaki Sunset Cocktail party at sundeck
• Dinner and overnight sailing to Machalilla

Day 4

Salinas & Ayangue – Machalilla National Park & Beaches

• Visit to Isla de la Plata (land visit and birdwatching)
• Return to yacht for Lunch
• Water activities in Isla de la Plata
• Short cooking class on sundeck and cocktails
• Dinner and overnight sailing to Salango

Day 5

Machalilla National Park & Beaches – Isla de la Plata

• Water activities and guided snorkeling in Salango
• Return to yacht for lunch
• Visit to Agua Blanca museum and reserve
• Visit to Los Frailes Beach
• Dinner and overnight sailing to Manta

Day 6

Isla de la Plata – Bahía de Caráquez

• Visit Pacoche natural reserve
• Land transfer to the community of Pile
• On site lunch in Pile with executive chef
• Visit to Montecristi’s toquilla hat shops
• Ancestral cuisine dinner onboard
• Overnight sailing to Bahía de Caráquez

Day 7

Bahía de Caráquez – Manta

• Visit Isla Corazon and mangroves
• Land transfer to Ruta del Cacao
• On site farm to table lunch (tasting menu)
• Visit to Humedal la Segua – birdwatching
• Farewell dinner and overnight sailing to Manta

Day 8

Manta

• Breakfast and check-out
• Visit to Ligüiqui archeological site
• Visit to Santa Marianita beach – Kite beach*
• On site lunch at the beach
• Transfer to hotel or airport
*Kitesurf lessons available

Overview

The Spondylus Expedition – Ecuador

Kontiki Expeditions is an all-inclusive Boutique Sea Expedition along the coastline of Ecuador with all the comforts of a luxury yacht, reimagined to offer a small number of visitors a dreamy stay.

Both Toquilla & Spondylus Expeditions are designed for 8 days/7 nights, with various itineraries to explore and get connected with the beauty of Ecuadorian nature and culture. Travel aboard the yacht Wayra to remote locations and unique scenery, giving you a chance to interact with new surroundings along the American coast.

The Spondylus Route, or the southern route, starts in Guayaquil every other Sunday. Spondylus takes its name from the spondylus shell that served as local currency due to its rare value. Guayaquil, Salinas, Isla Santa Clara, Puyango, Isla de la Plata, Manta and Bahía de Caráquez are some of locations that we will explore during our sea adventure.

Get to know the culture, tradition and gastronomy of native communities from within, always in the company of our expert crew and guides. Discover magical locations where people’s warmth and heartfelt attentions will become the main reason to come back.

Boat expeditions along unexplored routes covering forests and landscapes of unmatched beauty, marine flora and fauna, pristine beaches, ecological reserves and the true treasures that make Kontiki Expeditions the best adventure destination.

Diving in Isla de la Plata, whale-watching in Salango or enveloping oneself in a tropical jungle after celebrating an ancestral purification ritual are some of the activities that our guests can enjoy.

Kontiki Expeditions is the perfect experience for people who travel to go “beyond” a destination. It is for those who want to be swept away by adventure on a wellness expedition, who want an immersive conscious experience.

Please Note: make the yacht Wayra all yours with friends and family for a more personalized experience. Both Toquilla & Spondylus Expeditions are offered for your group, but why not make use of Kontiki’s flexibility and decide for a tailor-made expedition specially designed in accordance with Kontiki Expeditions.

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Ship information

Wayra

Vessel Type: Motor Yacht
Length: 39 meters
Passenger Capacity: 18
Crew Capacity: 10
Built/Refurbished: 2011 / 2021

During the eight-day voyage, the yacht Wayra becomes a temple of wellness and discovery that sails along the coast of Ecuador, revealing unexplored land and sea and providing superb comfort, beauty and attention to detail.

Nine exclusive staterooms are designed with a contemporary flair and the finest materials, for maximum comfort, a fitting complement to the beauty of the surroundings and the panoramic views that can be enjoyed from every corner. The staterooms are a welcoming space to enjoy the privileged feeling of "neo-luxury."

Aboard the Wayra there are three different types of rooms for you to find your perfect one (four interconnected rooms for families with children).

Onboard activities; enjoy a variety of water sports: kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling and more. An intimate, serene spa and a gym add to your on-board wellness experience.

Outdoor areas; outdoor spaces that inspire serenity and foster relaxation. Enjoy the opportunity to connect and disconnect in a variety of areas including the Organic Bar, the Chill Parlour or the Jacuzzi.

Onboard connectivity; high-speed connectivity for travelers who want to share their experiences or don’t want to miss their favorite shows, while respecting the preferences of those who wish to disconnect and “be forgotten” during the voyage.

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

London to Naples, Italy

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

Day 2

Trapani, Sicily

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

Day 3

Palermo

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

Day 4

Messina for Taormina

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

Day 5

Syracuse

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

Day 6

Noto & Ragusa

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

Day 7

Agrigento & Valley of the Temples

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

Day 8

Licata for Piazza Armerina

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

Day 9

Malta to London

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

Overview

Sicilian Odyssey

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

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Ship information

MS Hebridean Sky

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