Wild Earth Travel

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

"Small Ships, Big Adventures"

Ship
Date
Days
Destination
Information
Lord of the Glens
20.04.2018
25.04.2018
5
Northern Europe, Spring and Autumn in the Highlands
Fare from € 1.025
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Travelroute
Day 1

Inverness

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

Day 2

Loch Ness & Fort Augustus

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

Day 3

Tobermory

Descending the spectacular eight inter-connected locks of ‘Neptune’s Staircase’ the ‘Lord of the Glens’ is lowered to sea level at Corpach and then it is out to sea for a passage along the sheltered waters of Loch Linnhe and the Sound of Mull before reaching Tobermory. Tobermory is best explored on foot and there is plenty of time in the afternoon to visit the famed gaily painted waterfront. Moor Tobermory overnight.

Day 4

Loch Linnhe & Oban

Lord of the Glens descends Neptune’s Staircase, a set of eight interconnected locks, and continues through Loch Linnhe to the town of Oban, set on a picturesque bay on the Firth of Lorn. We’ll have time to explore this lively town on foot, visiting a whisky distillery and McCaig’s Tower, a monument on a hill overlooking the town and bay that was inspired by the Roman Colosseum.

Day 5

Craignure & Oban

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

Day 6

Oban

Disembark after breakfast and drive to Inverness.

Please Note: timings and schedule are subject to weather conditions and tide.

Overview

Spring and Autumn in the Highlands

Nothing to clutter the view, just hauntingly beautiful Scottish Highland scenes brought effortlessly to your panoramic window, this together with excellent cuisine and deluxe State Cabin accommodations provides for a truly unique travel experience. This five night voyage on board the deluxe ‘Lord of the Glens’ encompasses the main highlights of a voyage through the very heart of the Scottish Highlands, including a transit of the intricate and endlessly fascinating inland waters of the Caledonian Canal.
The voyage commences at Inverness and continues via Loch Dochfour and Loch Ness to Fort Augustus and onto beautiful Loch Oich, the highest point of the canal, before reaching Loch Lochy and finally to Corpach (Fort William) which lies in the shadow of Ben Nevis and the gateway to the sea. At Corpach there is time to take the famed ‘West Highland Line’ train to Glenfinnan (Viaduct) returning to ‘Lord of the Glens’ via the Glenfinnan Monument.
At Corpach the ‘Lord of the Glens’ passes through the sea lock and enters the serenely beautiful sheltered waters of Loch Linnhe and then it is onto the Sound of Mull, and to the gaily painted waterfront at Tobermory. The voyage concludes with a call at Craignure (Isle of Mull) for the visit to Duart Castle before reaching the ‘gateway of the isles’ at Oban.

Highlights

Stop in front of the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Explore Fort Augustus. Enjoy a passage on the scheduled West Highland train from Banavie to Glenfinnan Viaduct. Discover Tobermory. Visit Duart Castle.
Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.

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Ship information

Lord of the Glens

Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship

Length: 46 metres

Passenger Capacity: 48

Built: 1985

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

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

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

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

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

Midnatsol
20.04.2018
30.04.2018
10
The Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Navigating the Bays and Islands of Western Europe
Fare from € 3.240
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Travelroute
Day 1

A legendary city built on seven hills

As one of the oldest cities in the world, Lisbon offers centuries of heritage and charm and has been influenced by many different cultures over time. It was home to great explorers like Vasco da Gama, Ferdinand Magellan and Prince Henry the Navigator. Take time to explore this fascinating city before embarkation. Lisbon´s historic districts feel like different villages as you stroll the charming streets. Visit the city’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery. Lisbon has a network of quaint, old-fashioned trams that lurch and screech around the narrow streets. No visit is complete without taking a ride on one of these classic, pre-war, Remodelado trams. Discover the many hidden gems of Portugal’s capital at your own pace.

Day 2

The home of Port Wine

From Leixões, it is a short yet very interesting trip to one of the last undiscovered European metropolises: Oporto. This ancient port is steeped in history and tradition, but with a modern outlook and bold new architecture. The cultural attractions are so diverse they will please everyone. See amazing baroque carvings and churches with spectacular interiors as you walk down the monumental avenue Avenida dos Aliandos and discover the historic centre, Ribeira, with colourful houses facing the river and its charming boats. A river cruise in a replica of the old Rabelo boats offers a perfect view over the historic city from the riverside. Oporto is also the home of the Port wine, made exclusively in this area. Join a wine tour through the spectacular landscapes of Portugal. Visit one of the old wineries and taste this sweet and fortified red wine before you finish the excursion with a Portuguese meal. If you want a taste of wilderness instead, you can have an adventure in the only national park in Portugal: Gerês.

Day 3

The legendary Bay of Biscay

From Portugal on our way to Spain, we will sail the Bay of Biscay. Due to its legendary reputation, many sailors feared this bay. The area is home to large storms during the winter months and there have been countless ship wrecks reported as a result of the gruesome weather. To a large extent this is a result of ships, in the days of square-riggers, being unable to make way to windward, so they were often driven into the Bay by the prevailing westerlies. In addition, the Atlantic swell can build up rapidly near the coast and a number of ports became dangerous to enter or even inaccessible. The average depth of the bay is 1745 meters and the maximum depth is 2790 meters, with parts of the continental shelf extending into the bay. As a result, there are shallows at some places. Some of the fiercest weather conditions of the Atlantic Ocean can still be witnessed in the Biscay Bay, but in late spring and early summer the area is cool and cloudy, with large fog pockets filling the southwestern part of the inlet. We will sail far out to sea, out of sight of land. Enjoy the salt air, hopefully catch a glimpse of birds and sea mammals and listen to the peaceful sound of the ocean. During the day, you can participate in the interesting lectures by the expedition team, and maybe you even get to hear about the many famous naval engagements that have taken place here during the centuries

Day 4

Modern, yet very historical

Bilbao is the heart of the Basque Country. The city boasts an unexpected duality, as it has successfully mixed traditional Basque culture with a new vision for the future. It is sophisticated and humming with action, but at the same time it is super relaxed. And it is an absolute must for design and culture lovers: The Guggenheim Museum designed by architect Frank Gehry, a timeless Metro system designed by Sir Norman Foster, a community center designed by Philippe Starck. The list goes on and on. On the other hand you have the Casco Viejo, Bilbao’s atmospheric old quarter, full of charming streets, the market and plenty of distinctive, independent shops. At the heart of the Casco are Bilbao’s original seven streets, Las Siete Calles, which date from the 1400s. Explore this wonderful and diverse urban landscape, either on your own or with one of our many excursions.

Day 5

A well-kept French secret

As its name suggests, Belle-île is one of France’s most beautiful islands. With stunning cliffs, quaint seaside hamlets, pastel coloured houses, green countryside and jagged rocky coastlines, Belle-île’s beauty has inspired adventure novelists such as Dumas, as well as impressionist painters like Monet and Matisse. The island is a well-kept secret in France, and now it's your turn to discover it! The town of Le Palais is the "capital" of the island. It is situated around the Bassin de la Saline and is overlooked by the massive Citadelle. From here you can either join several hikes and outings with the Expedition team, or discover this busting towns many markets, shops and sights independently.

Day 6

Cruising "The Channel"

We sail through the English Channel, which connects the North Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. This is the world's busiest seaway, with more than 500 ships passing every day. Our observation lounge or on deck are good places to be to watch vessels from all over the world on their way through the Channel. In between relaxing, fully enjoying the experience of being at sea or sharing experiences with fellow adventurers, you can join in for fascinating lectures and talks.

Day 7

So much more than a beach destination

Oostende has a 9 km long white sand beach and is a popular beach destination for locals, but the city offers so much more. The seafront is Ostend’s principal tourist attraction. But as an adventurer, you might enjoy a visit to the small and bustling fish market. Take a walking tour in the Footsteps of Marvin Gay, the American singer who spent time here. Have your own personal moment of Zen in the beautiful Japanese Garden, called Shin Kai Tei. Visit the deceptively large Oostende art museum, with corridors snaking in all directions. Wander through the subterranean fortifications in the best-preserved sections of the infamous German Atlantikwall. Stand in line to get a large steaming pot of delicious mussels and fries, and later, for dessert, have a waffle or some of the famous Belgian chocolate. Or join in on a trip to Bruges and see the historical centre that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 8

Diamonds (and Antwerp) are forever

In the 16th century Antwerp was one the most important financial centres of the world and home to baroque superstar painter Rubens. Today it is Belgium's capital of cool with astonishing architectural and cultural contrasts, and a vibrant fashion and entertainment scene. Antwerp is also the world's leading diamond city, as more than 70% of all diamonds are traded here. Join our city tour to get an overview of the fascinating past and present, before you set out to explore the cobbled lanes, quaint architecture, museums, shops and cafés in the intriguing medieval heart of this Flemish city.

Day 9

Unique in their variety

The Frisian Islands in the Wadden Sea are the five pearls in the north of the Netherlands, and they differ quite a bit from one another. Schiermonnikoog was voted as the prettiest place in the Netherlands by the Dutch, and is one big National Park. Typical for Ameland are the nice commander houses. On Terschelling you can experience the cozy marine atmosphere and visit the famous Willem Barentsz school for navigation. The pure and rough island of Vlieland has an enormous sand area on the west side of the island and is called "Sahara of the north". Texel is the biggest of the islands. A special attraction here is Ecomare, the nature center on the island. The area has a long cultural history, which is important for the region. Because of these unique natural treasures, the islands have been declared a UNESCO natural heritage site. The wealth of life in the Wadden Sea is phenomenal. Not only do you find lots of permanent residents on the Frisian Islands, there are also many of visitors. Every year, at least 10 to 12 million migrating birds make use of these islands. In true explorer style, we’ll find a place to take a closer look these islands of unparalleled natural beauty.

Day 10

Small islands with big history

Germany’s only high sea archipelago consists of two small islands called Helgoland and the Dune. Helgoland is famous for its unique scenery and diverse wildlife. Germany’s smallest nature reserve, Lummenfelsen, consists of one single rock – essentially a huge bird condo, densely occupied by the thousands of sea birds that nest here. Helgoland also has an intriguing history: Originally, it was founded by Frisians, then became a pirate base in the Middle Ages. Afterwards, it was claimed by the Danes, only to be conquered by the British some years later. Then the British swapped the islands with the Germans for Zanzibar. During WWII attempts were made to wipe the entire island of the map for good. It's safe to say that Helgoland is rich with exciting history. Come ashore to explore this fascinating narrow island

Day 11

The largest port city in northern Germany

As we reach Bremerhaven, where the River Weser and the North Sea waters meet, this voyage sees its end. The town was founded in 1827, and even though it is a relatively new city, it has a rich history as a trade port that stretches back to the 9th century. Bremerhaven offers a nice mix of maritime flair, adventure and shopping. Take some time to explore this wonderful city before flying home.

Please note: this is an expedition where weather and wind conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with us is unique.

Overview

Navigating the Bays and Islands of Western Europe

The coast of Europe offers beautiful scenery, interesting ports and a rich variety of cultural and natural heritage. Explore this diverse coastline at a relaxed pace, waking up in your comfortable cabin every morning knowing that you are in for a new and interesting adventure.

UNESCO sites and Port wine
Starting in legendary Lisbon, you should explore the city before embarking MS Midnatsol. Then get a taste of the world famous Port wine in Oporto. Both cities offer UNESCO sites, historical centres that are deeply charming and each creates a unique atmosphere.

Bay of Biscay, Bilbao, Belle-Île and Belgium
Spending a day crossing the Bay of Biscay gives you time to relax and learn about our next port of call: Bilbao. This is the main city of the Basque Region with an amazing mixture of architecture – and home to the famous Guggenheim museum. Then one of France’s best-kept secrets is yours to discover: Come ashore on Belle-île, famed four its natural beauty and unique culture that has inspired painters and authors for centuries. Belgium’s Oostende is surprisingly diverse in its attractions and in “diamond capital” Antwerp there are several architectural and cultural gems to discover.

Unique islands
The Frisian Islands and Helgoland offer spectacular nature, great birdlife and a fascinating history. Last port of call on this spring adventure is Bremerhaven, a city with a maritime flair and excellent shopping opportunities.

Highlights

See many of the UNESCO World Heritage sites along the European coast. Enjoy visiting big cities, charming towns and beautiful islands. Learn more about the history, culture and nature of the places we visit. Exciting and extensive excursion program.

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Ship information

MS Midnatsol

Vessel Type: Expedition

Length: 136m

Passenger Capacity: 970

Built: 2003

MS Midnatsol has a strong environmental profile and a modern design. The interior’s bright, colourful décor is inspired by the warm sunny climate, a motif also reflected in the many pieces of Norwegian modern art on display. She is also a TV star, being featured in the award-winning documentary "Hurtigruten 365", made by Norwegian TV. On deck 9 you find the sun deck and a Jacuzzi. Key qualities of the MS Midnatsol include the large, two-story panorama lounge above the bow and the large glass expanses that allow natural light to enter while providing extraordinary views.

MS Midnatsol is an ice-class 1X ship and equipped with advanced technology, making her very well suited for expedition voyages in Antarctica.

Two-story panorama lounge, bars, café, library, restaurant, separate a la carte restaurant, playroom, sauna, shop, jacuzzis, fitness room, Amfi theatre for educational lectures and conference facilities.

Harmony G
22.04.2018
29.04.2018
7
Africa, Rivers of West Africa From Banjul
Fare from € 1.550
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Travelroute
Day 1

Banjul / The Gambia

Embarkation at 7-10 pm. After accommodating yourselves on board the Harmony G comfortable cabins, a safety drill and information by the crew will be performed for your own security. Afterwards, you are invited for dinner. Fishermen Night. Overnight in Banjul.

Day 2

Banjul - Bakau / The Gambia

The morning in Banjul will give you the opportunity to take the 1/2 day excursions offered to Bakau with its crocodile "katchikaly", its Botanic Garden and a short Banjul Tour. After lunch, we will leave Banjul and sail upstream. We stop at St. James Island in the middle of the Gambia River. The first settlers on the island arrived in 1651 and under the British rule it became an important slave trading post in The Gambia. In 1976 James island became famous due to the author Alex Haley and its bestseller book "Roots" and the story of a slave, called Kunta Kinteh. The island was recently renamed Kunta Kinteh Island and is now a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. After disembarking by local tenders your local guide will tell you more about the history of James Island and afterwards you will have some time to explore this island by yourself. Late on the afternoon, we leave "Kunta Kinteh" and sail upstream to reach Tendaba. Mediterranean Night in Africa. Overnight at dock in Tendaba.

Day 3

Tendaba / The Gambia

From the ship we take motor pirogues in order to reach Tendaba, located on the South Bank in the Lower River Division, our starting point of our morning optional excursion. It is a small fishing village of mainly Muslim faith with approximately 600 inhabitants whose main occupation is fishing. From there we will walk through to Batelling, a small village at the entrance to Kiang West National Park. The area boasts of over 250 species of birds; many of which are difficult to observe anywhere else. Other residents include Guinea baboons, bushbuck, warthogs, Senegal bushbaby and marsh mongoose. After a refreshing stop in Batelling, we will board an open safari truck which brings us back to Tendaba. On the way we pass again local villages where you get an impression of local life in The Gambia. In the afternoon, we are picked-up from the ship by motor pirogues for another optional excursion to the Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve. This reserve, lying across from Kiang West National Park features six major bolongs (creeks) that provide great birding and boating opportunities. Numerous rare and migratory birds also reside here including the Pel’s fishing owl, African fin foot and brown-necked parrot. Overnight docked in Tendaba.

Day 4

Gambia River - Kuntaur - River Gambia National Park / The Gambia

Early morning we leave Tendaba and sail upstream on the Gambia River all morning to reach Kuntaur. Early afternoon arrival to the bustling Gambian port town of Kuntaur, the last inland stop along the river that is navigable for ocean-going ships. Later in the afternoon we board a large motor pirogue for a 3 hours optional excursion cruise on The Gambia River. First we head to the southernmost tip of Baboon Island, one of the five islands of The Gambia National Park. There a local national park ranger is joining us onboard in order to give more information about the park and its fauna & flora. Then we turn, the motor pirogue slows down and sails slowly back to Kuntaur following closely the shores of Baboon Island. This island is home of the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project. If we are lucky from our motor pirogue we can closely observe the chimps with minimal intrusion. There is also the possibility of seeing hippos, crocodiles, Red Colobus, Green Vervet monkeys and also The Gambia’s famous birdlife. We return to Kuntaur where we are met by the “Kankurang” and a local dance group on the pier. Believed to have spiritual powers the “Kankurang” dispenses justice and wards off evil spirits. Overnight docked in Kuntaur.

Day 5

Kuntaur – Jangjanbureh - Kaur / The Gambia

This morning, our optional excursion by bus takes us to the ferry station of Janjanbureh. There we board the local ferry for a short cruise over The Gambia River to Janjanbureh. We continue our excursion with a visit of one of the oldest towns of The Gambia, formerly called Georgetown. During the walk you get an impression of this laidback town and see the residence of the governor, the market and the Methodist church with its school. Afterwards we take the ferry back and re board the bus to reach Lamin Koto. Through the generosity of Variety Cruises and of many of its clients, a new school building is being built. Later in the morning we stop at the mysterious stone circles in Wassu, a megalithic site believed to be a burial ground thousands of years ago. You will visit the little museum of this archaeological site, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. In the afternoon, after lunch, we sail downstream to Kaur a small fishing village on the banks of the Gambia. You will have the opportunity to walk around this small community and see how Gambians live today. Captains Farewell Dinner. Overnight in Kaur.

Day 6

Kaur - Banjul / The Gambia

We leave Kaur early in the morning and sail further downstream towards Banjul. Dolphins and other animal life will be sighted. Arrival in Banjul around 4 pm. After formalities, later in the evening, we will sail out of the Gambia estuary into the Atlantic Ocean northwards to Dakar. Gambian Night with Kora instrument Concert. Overnight at sea to Dakar.

Day 7

Dakar / Senegal

Early morning arrival in Dakar. After breakfast, we will take you in a optional excursion to Goree Island and Dakar city tour, an exploratory adventure of Dakar surroundings, inviting you to discover the traces of slave trading, and its transformation into today’s African modernity. The history makes room for the present development. Lunch outside the ship. Returning to the ship in late afternoon and preparing for dinner. After dinner, we set sail southward towards the Saloun River Delta. Overnight at sea, cruising southwards along the coast.

Day 8

Djiffere - Banjul / The Gambia

This morning we reach the Sine – Saloum Delta in Senegal, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and also an Important Birding Area, as designated by Birdlife International and natural habitat for many bird species but also such aquatic animals as marine turtles, dolphins, West African manatees and crocodiles. Our optional excursion starts at the primitive fishing village of Djiffere from where we reach the village of Joal Fadiouth, set on an island of clam shells that also are used in local buildings and crafts. In the afternoon, we leave Senegal and the Saloum Delta and sail south to Gambia to reach Banjul, the capital of Gambia and gateway to the 700-mile Gambia River. Arrival in Banjul. Disembarkation upon arrival. We wish you a safe return home.

Additional charges: port taxes € 250,- pp

Please Note: itineraries can be changed at the discretion of Variety Cruises and of the Vessel's Captain in case adverse weather conditions - winds of 6/7 beaufort or more depending on the vessel- on port authorities not allowing a vessel to leave port or in case of other extraordinary conditions. Such itinerary changes do not entitle automatically passengers to any refunds but Variety Cruises guarantees that passengers are disembarked at the advertised port of disembarkation on time for their flights.

Overview

Rivers of West Africa From Banjul

Enjoy a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unravelling the wonders of West Africa.

Highlights

Dakar (Senegal), the westernmost city of the African Continent. The Saloun and Gambia Rivers. The Djiffere fishing village. Tendaba Nature Reserve. Banjul and the Abuko and Makasutu Nature Reserves. Organised excursions are available for most ports of call and our on board Gambian River Naturalist will assist you to discover the amazing flora and fauna.

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Ship information

Harmony G

Vessel Type: Motor Yacht

Length: 54 m

Passenger Capacity: 42

Built/Refurbished: 2001 / 2013

The Harmony "G" is a modern vessel with a sleek high-tech look very similar to the private yachts to be found in the famous ports of the world. The 53 meter long / 7.2 meter wide Mega Yacht Harmony G was launched in January 2001 and renovated in 2009-10 and in 2013. It complies with the most stringent SOLAS safety regulations, while its powerful engines and state of the art stabilizers allow for safe and comfortable cruising.

Life on board centers around the Indoor / Outdoor lounge and its American bar, on Upper Deck. The classy dining room located on Main Deck is surrounded by large windows. The spacious Sun deck is the ideal place to bask in the sun, read a good book or just gaze at the scenery. The swimming platform on Harmony G stern enables you to swim when weather and anchorage conditions permit.

Serenissima
24.04.2018
08.05.2018
14
The Mediterranean, A Cruise Across the Middle Sea
Fare from € 4.565
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Travelroute
Day 1

London to Athens, Greece

Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Serenissima moored in Pireaus.

Day 2

Corinth Canal & Delphi

Be on deck this morning as we transit the Corinth Canal. Completed in 1893 and only 6.4 kilometres long and 21.5 metres wide, it is only small ships like ours which can now make this journey. During the remainder of the morning we sail to Itea arriving in the early afternoon. From here we will visit to the sacred site of Delphi, one of Greece’s most important sites of antiquity. The ruins here are exceptional. We will explore the Sanctuary of Apollo, site of the sacred Delphic Oracle and walk along Delphi’s Sacred Way, visiting the Treasury of the Athenians and the 5,000 seat theatre dating from the fourth century B.C.

Day 3

Olympia

The port of Katakolon will be the base for our morning excursion to Olympia. Pastoral and lush, Olympia’s plentiful ruins are shaded by Aleppo pines and olive trees. The fame of Olympia rests upon the Olympic Games. During the celebrations that accompanied the Games, competitors, while not forgetting that they were Athenians, Spartans or from other city states, remembered that they were Greeks and regarded an Olympic victory as the highest honour. We will see the gymnasium, the stadium and the palestra or wrestling school. We will also explore the Altis, or sacred precinct of Zeus, which houses structures including the Temple of Zeus, one of the largest temples on the Greek mainland and the Archaeological Museum that houses some fine sculptures and artefacts from the site. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at sea as we sail to Sicily.

Day 4

Syracuse, Sicily

After a morning at sea we arrive into Syracuse over lunch. Founded by the Greeks in 734 B.C. by the 5th century Syracuse was a political and military power throughout the Mediterranean and rivalled Athens as the largest and most beautiful city in the Greek world. We have a choice of tours today, either visit the Neapolis Archaeological Park where we 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. Alternatively, explore the Baroque village of Noto. 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. Return to the ship for dinner and sail this evening.

Day 5

Valletta, Malta

Sail this morning into the grand harbour of Valletta, the 16th century “Fortress City” built by the Knights of St John. On our morning tour we will see the highlights of Valletta and enjoy stunning views across the harbour from the Barakka Gardens. We will explore Merchants Street, containing the surviving auberges built by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem and the palace where Napoleon Bonaparte is believed to have stayed in 1798. Our final stop will be at the richly decorated St John’s Cathedral. The barrel vault of the cathedral is painted with scenes from the life of St. John and the floor is inlaid with the glittering tombs of 400 Knights. Chapels around the sides belong to the different “tongues” of the Order and in the oratory is Caravaggio’s intensely moving picture, “The Beheading of St. John”. We will return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and this afternoon you can choose to relax on board, return to Valletta or join a tour to Mdina which lies at the heart of the island. It was originally given the name of “Citta Nobile” and is now known as the “Silent City”. Mdina is Phoenician in origin and was the fortified capital of the Island before the arrival of the Knights.

Day 6

Licata for Piazza Armerina, Sicily

Founded in 280 B.C., Licata has grown into an important commercial centre but the main reason for our visit is to drive inland to what is regarded as the finest Roman site on 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 wine making 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. Return to the MS Serenissima in the late afternoon and sail this evening.

Day 7

Trapani

Trapani was the landing point for Peter of Aragon in 1282 to start the Spanish occupation of Sicily and is our base for the day. From the port choose to either travel to the nearby town of Erice, famed in antiquity for its temple dedicated to the goddess of love, the Phoenician Astarte, Greek Aphrodite or Roman Venus. A tour will take us to this stunning site high above the sea and to the beautifully preserved Medieval town characterized by its winding cobbled stone streets and beautiful courtyards. Alternatively, travel inland to explore Segesta, one of the grandest Doric monuments to survive. See the unfinished temple dating from 424 B.C. as well as the theatre from which you can enjoy excellent views of the countryside and distant coastline. Return to the ship for lunch and a free afternoon to explore Trapani at your own pace.

Day 8

At sea

Enjoy a day to relax at sea. Perhaps join one of the lectures in the lounge or find a quiet spot on deck.

Day 9

Port Mahon, Menorca

Arrive this morning into Menorca, the most northerly of the Balearics and the least dedicated to tourism. The island of Menorca offers pastoral countryside, historic towns and superb beaches. On our afternoon tour we will see 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. Return to the MS Serenissima for lunch and enjoy the afternoon at leisure in Mahon.

Day 10

Port de Soller, Mallorca

The largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca has a rich history dating back to the Phoenecians when it was under control of Carthage the principal city at that time, before flourishing under Roman rule. This morning we anchor off the attractive town of Soller from where we will take the beautifully maintained vintage train that connects Soller with Palma. Whilst on board we enjoy splendid mountain views of the Serra de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over the course of just seven kilometres the railway rises 199 metres and runs through thirteen tunnels and crosses several bridges. We will return to Soller this afternoon for the opportunity to enjoy some free time to explore the quaint town. Please note that we may be at anchor today and therefore use the vessel’s Zodiacs or local tenders.

Day 11

Cartagena, Spain

After a leisurely morning at sea we arrive this afternoon in Spain’s main naval port of Cartagena. Enter the deep natural harbour through two fortified rocky headlands for an afternoon of exploration in a historic city that dates back to the Phoenicians. The city walls remained intact until the 20th century, creating a dense historic centre. Take the lift or walk up to Concepcio Castle for amazing views of the city and harbour, view the Roman amphitheatre and the archaeological site of Molinete where work continues to uncover the Roman city. Later enjoy a stroll along the tree-lined harbour promenade as we return to the MS Serenissima.

Day 12

Motril

Motril is the base today for our visit to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Alhambra, one of the finest examples of Moorish culture, art and architecture. Alhambra’s construction began in the 11th century on the red hill known as Assabika which overlooks Granada. The Alcazaba fortress was the first structure to be built, followed by the royal palace and residence of members of the court. We will visit the most important halls and courtyards of the Alhambra, including the Alcazaba Fortress, the Serrallo, the Patio of los Arrayanes (Myrtle Courtyard), the Hall of la Barca, the Salon of the Embajadores (Ambassadors Hall), the Patio de los Leones (Lions Courtyard), the Hall of the Abencerrajes, the Royal Baths and the Palace of Charles V. Next to the Alhambra, we will also visit the sumptuous Generalife Gardens, the luxurious summer retreat of the Moorish kings of Granada. The beautiful gardens feature abundant and varied flora and stunning water features. Day 13 Cadiz. Located on a peninsula jutting out into a bay Cadiz is almost entirely surrounded by water. It is the oldest surviving city in Spain, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 B.C. and later occupied by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. During our guided tour we will discover the most beautiful feature abundant and varied flora and stunning water features.

Day 13

Cadiz

Located on a peninsula jutting out into a bay Cadiz is almost entirely surrounded by water. It is the oldest surviving city in Spain, founded by the Phoenicians in 1100 B.C. and later occupied by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors. During our guided tour we will discover the most beautiful monuments and landmarks of the city including the Mudejar-style tobacco factory, Santo Domingo Church, the Santa Catalina Fortress and finally the Cathedral of Cadiz and Diocesan Museum in the old city. Return to the ship for lunch and an afternoon at leisure to explore further. Alternatively, join a full day tour to Seville where we will see the Alcazar with its exotic terraced garden. Built by the Moors in the 14th century it is still used as a residence by the King of Spain. Also see the Christian Cathedral, reputed to be the largest Gothic style church in the world and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.

Day 14

Portimao, Portugal

Our first call in Portugal is at Portimao where we will wander back in time to the era of the Portuguese Discoveries. Our morning tour will take us to Lagos, the ancient maritime town that Prince Henry the Navigator called home. On a guided walk we will see the city walls, the fortress, the site of the former slave market and the statue of Prince Henry the Navigator. We then head for Sagres, a fishing village that was the starting point for many expeditions and the location of Prince Henry’s navigation school. Return to the ship via Cape St. Vincent, the most South West point of Europe known as “The End of the World” and the lighthouse for one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Enjoy lunch on board and an afternoon at sea.

Day 15

Lisbon to London

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

Overview

A Cruise Across the Middle Sea

Come with us to some of the greatest historic cities, ancient sites and charming islands as we make our way from the Aegean across the Middle Sea to Lisbon aboard the MS Serenissima. Our journey is perfectly timed to take advantage of the gentle temperatures and for us to witness the coast and islands at their springtime best before the crowds of summer arrive. Sailing from Athens we will traverse the Corinth Canal by daylight before visiting the fascinating sites of Delphi and Olympia, Sicily with its incredible wealth of treasures and spend time exploring the Balearic Islands. Upon reaching mainland Spain we will call into the naval port of Cartagena and Motril, from where we will explore the treasures of Moorish Spain during our visit to the magnificent Alhambra, before our arrival in the great maritime city of Cadiz.

With lectures of David Abulafia during your cruise! David Abulafia is a maritime historian whose research on medieval Mediterranean trade, in Sicily, the Balearic Islands and the Levant, has led him to write a large history of the Mediterranean across time, entitled The Great Sea, which was awarded the British Academy Medal in 2103. He maintains a strong interest in medieval and early Renaissance Italy, with an emphasis on southern Italy and the major islands; his works include a biography of Emperor Frederick II and a series of articles about the kingdom of Naples in the fifteenth century from economic, cultural and political perspectives. His interest in the meeting of religions in medieval Spain and Sicily led him into the Atlantic, and a study of the first encounters between Europeans and the native peoples of the eastern and western Atlantic around the time of Columbus. He is now writing a history of the oceans for Penguin Books, reaching back into the ancient and medieval periods to see how and with what results the oceans became connected through long-distance trade. He has spent his career in the History Faculty at Cambridge University where he is Professor of Mediterranean History and Papathomas Professorial Fellow of Gonville and Caius College.

This itinerary is very much a classic that has been enjoyed over the decades and combines some ‘must see’ sites together with some smaller places that are totally unsuitable for vessels larger than ours. Owing to the fact that our small ship can moor centrally, we have the added advantage of being able to access the towns by foot in many ports of call and we have also included time at leisure for individual exploration enabling you to soak up the atmosphere at your own pace. We have the added benefit of excellent local guides and our knowledgeable guest speaker who will add much to your experience and knowledge of this fascinating region.

Highlights

Enjoy a visit to the sacred site of Delphi, one of Greece’s most important sites of antiquity • Have an excursion to Olympia which fame rests upon the Olympic Games • Sail into the grand harbour of Valletta, the 16th century “Fortress City” built by the Knights of St John • On a tour of Menorca see the mysterious rock mounds (talayots) and megalithic stone monuments which were erected some 4,000 years ago • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage listed Alhambra, one of the finest examples of Moorish culture, art and architecture

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Ship information

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship
Length: 87 metres
Passenger Capacity: 107 (from Dec 2018 - 95)
Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / 2018
We are delighted to have had the MS Serenissima on long term charter since 2013. There are so few ships of her generation still cruising and the fact that she is is a great testament to her owners who invest considerable sums to keep her in top form. In December 2018, the vessel will once again undergo a significant refurbishment after which she will accommodate a maximum of just 95 guests.
MS Serenissima is a charming vessel and one of her best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During a major refit the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.
The vessel is equipped with a fleet of Zodiac landing craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible. The European Captain, Officers, Expedition Staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

Delfin III
24.04.2018
28.04.2018
4
Latin America, Amazon River Cruise (5 days) Delfin III
Fare from € 1.790
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Travelroute
Day 1

Arrive to Iquitos, embarkation, orientation, and jungle walk in Amazonas

AM: Arrive to the Amazon city of Iquitos: Our crew will be expecting your arrival at the airport, then transfer all together in our comfortable private vehicle. We will start you off with a lunchbox as we begin a panoramic tour of Iquitos city. After the tour we will travel over paved road to the city of Nauta, 95 kilometers away. Nauta is literally the "end of the road" where you will embark on the Delfin. Along the way, you will see vibrant "terra firma" (non-flooded forest) and various aspects of daily jungle life. Arrive to Nauta port: Nauta is a small riverside town on the banks of the Marañon River and was the first city founded in the department of Loreto. Once we reach Nauta, you will enjoy a VIP greeting at our private port along the shores of the Marañon River where the vessel awaits you. PM: Embarkation: Aboard Delfin, you will be served by our qualified staff who will introduce you to your exquisite and cozy suite, specially equipped with all the amenities for the experienced traveller as yourself. Orthopedic beds, pure cotton sheets, pillows of 100% pure natural latex, cotton bathrobes, air conditioning, and private bathroom with Spanish style hot water showers are all framed with a spacious private terrace we are sure you will enjoy to the fullest. PM Marayali / Pauhuachiro: Our first excursion will be done by skiff where we visit our first location populated by sloths, iguanas, and recently a new favourite location for anteaters. Birdwatchers are likely to check off their bucket list, the yellow rumped caciques and the very elegant egrets. Happy Hour and orientation: While the Delfin begins its initial navigation, you will enjoy the most fantastic panoramic views from the elegantly outfitted observation area located on our third deck. Our bartender will be waiting to serve you with an exotic cocktail made with regional fruits and pisco, the beloved national brandy liquor of Peru. Then, your naturalist guide will give you an overview of your journey's schedule, activities, route, highlights, wildlife and vegetation to keep your eye out for, geographical and historical background, and other useful details. The third deck features an entertainment center which offers use for film presentations, as well as extensive literature about the area (fauna, flora, etc.) There is also a completely equipped bar so you can test any combination of regional and international liquors and aromas that the bartender will be happy to provide for you to enjoy under the spell of the beautiful Amazonian afternoons and night, and the sweet breeze of the rainforest. Moreover, should you have any doubts or questions, our guides are always fully at your service. PM Confluence of the 3 Rivers: Better known as the “Union de los Rios” we will toast and witness the distinguished colours of the 3 rivers. It is known that the Ucayali River, which in turn confluences with the Marañón River upstream of Iquitos, Peru, to form what countries other than Brazil consider to be the main stem of the Amazon River. Great photo opportunity as you witness your first Amazon Rainforest Sunset. Our vessels all have an open bridge policy, so you are welcome to learn about the navigation systems and spend time with the driving captain at any time. Moreover, should you have any doubts or questions, our guides are always fully at your service. After dinner we invite you to the third deck were you can enjoy stargazing while we cruise in to the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. PM Amazonas Night Time Jungle Walk : Just before settling down for dinner we will take you out to your first jungle walk. And how exciting it will be to see what goes bump in the night. We take this opportunity to enjoy a small village along the rivershore and our guides will share with you some interesting legends of the Amazon as you sit around a small campfire.

Day 2

Fundo Casual & Yanayacu

AM: Fundo Casual: The walk at Fundo Casual jungle trail will take you deep into the rainforest on terra firme (non-flooded forest) where your guide will point out the dynamic creatures and vegetation of the Amazon. Be sure to keep an attentive eye open for spotting surprises! PM Yanayacu: Later, we start cruising through the Yanayacu and , peeking into different creeks and lagoons. This is one of the best preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide will use his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region. If you want to interact directly with the waters of the Amazon, go out on one of our paddle boards. You will even have the opportunity to swim in the jungle river along with the famous pink dolphins!

Day 3

Pucate River & Yanayaquillo

AM Pucate River: After a delicious breakfast, we will visit the Pucate River, a calm river where we can explore the shoreline spotting monkeys in the treetops or enjoy an early day swim. PM: Yanayaquillo: After a delicious lunch you will start cruising through the creeks of Yanayaquillo, peeking into different creeks and lagoons. This is one of the best preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide will use his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region. This is also a popular dolphin feeding spot so we won´t be the only one enjoying our happy meal here.

Day 4

Nauta Caño Creek & Piraña Caño Creek / San Francisco

AM Nauta Caño Creek: After breakfast, we will explore Nauta Caño Creek and its various delights via skiff. You will also fish for the famous carnivorous piranhas! As night approaches, your guide will take you on a night safari in search of caiman alligators and night birds. PM Piraña Caño Creek / San Francisco: This lovely creek which leads to a lagoon is an ideal place to spend the afternoon in search of birds and playful monkeys. As your naturalist guide spots various creatures for you, also try to pinpoint some yourself now that you’ve been in the jungle for a few days and have trained your eye a bit! Next we will visit the community of San Francisco will include a short skiff ride and jungle walk to meet local villagers who have called Amazonia their home for generations. Here we will visit a market featuring amazing arts and crafts from the local women. Following this visit will be a jungle walk with our guides to search for nocturnal creatures

Day 5

Manatee Rescue Center: disembarkation & visit to ACOBIA mantee center

AM: Disembarkation: With heavy hearts, the staff will wish you farewell as you begin your departure. At the port of Nauta, our ground crew will be waiting to take you by our private vehicle back to the city of Iquitos, about 95 kilometers journey by paved road. The Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA): On our way from Nauta back to Iquitos airport, you will visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you will have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. You will also have the chance to pet and feed these kind manatees. As well, there are also some other animals cared for by the center that have been rescued from capture for the intention of being turned into pets and other threatening conditions. We welcome you to donate to this ambitious organization and education center as you wish. Our land personnel will wait for you at the airport and give your boarding passes and help you check in. Airport departure: Our staff will be on hand to help you with your luggage and check in at Crnl. FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport in Iquitos. The return flight (additional charge) will take you directly to the city of Lima, the capital of Peru. At the security gate, your guide and Delfin crew will say goodbye. We truly hope that you enjoyed your stay and Amazon travel experience with us!

Please Note: this Itinerary based on High Water Season. Itineraries vary based on whether the travel dates fall in the high water/rainy season or low water/dry season. The itineraries are subject to change due to weather conditions at certain times of the year. The water levels of the rivers also vary from time to time, as well as the hours of sailing. Excursions may be modified at the discretion of Delfin III crew.

Overview

Amazon River Cruise (5 days) Delfin III

The Amazon Rainforest is named after the Amazon River, the live force of the jungle. It is a unique ecosystem that harbours 1/3 of all living species in the world! The total extent of this incomparable tropical jungle is estimated in comparison to the complete land area of the United States. 28 billion gallons of its waters flow into the Atlantic every minute, diluting the salinity of the ocean for more than 100 miles offshore The Amazon watershed is home to the world’s highest biodiversity. As well, it is home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet, and its biodiversity is so astounding that scientists regularly discover new species of flora and fauna.
Your Amazon journey takes off on arrival in Iquitos, were we will pick you up and take you to our vessel. In the following days, you will experience an ideal combination of natural wonders, dramatic scenery, indigenous cultural history, and a relaxed self-contained way to explore the rainforest while sightseeing nature at its best. Here in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, you are about to explore one of the world’s most intriguing environments. Flora and fauna are abundant and time seems to stands still.
High Water Season (November to May) vs Low Water Season (June to October):
If seeing the glorious flooded forest and getting close-up looks at lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature) sounds attractive, then the flooded season might be the best choice. (Remember: Despite its name it only gets about 10% more rain than falls in the dry season). If jungle hikes, seeing exotic migratory birds perch on trees as they pass through Amazonia, still having the chance to see monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions top your list, you might be happier choosing the hotter, less rainy dry season. Perhaps the best solution of all: choose one, and we hope that you will like it so much that you may want to return to experience the other season in the Amazon as well.
Highlights
Canopy discoveries in the treetops. Hiking & trail walks. Fishing for piranhas & other underwater wonders. Paddleboarding. Kayaking. Birdwatching. Swimming with dolphins. Skiff explorations along the banks. Visiting native communities.., and much more!

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Ship information

Delfin III

Our newest vessel, the Delfin III, offers guests an immersive rainforest experience while simultaneously treating them to the highest levels of luxury. This brand new vessel is also the largest in our fleet, with capacity for up to 43 passengers. The ship has been beautifully finished with the finest details, hardwood floors, designer furniture, and handmade Peruvian artifacts. The itineraries have been carefully planned and are set to offer an unforgettable experience. Guests will have no shortage of up close rainforest experience and gourmet food to compliment.

Guests have the option of four room classes. On the first deck there are 8 Suites complete with floor to ceiling panoramic windows as well as 2 spacious Corner Suites facing the front of the ship. The second deck is comprised of 10 Upper Suites and the largest of all, the Owner's Suite. The top deck features beautiful indoor and outdoor lounge, a sundeck with plunge pool, a spa and gym, and of course the bar.

Katharina
26.04.2018
03.05.2018
7
Asia, Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes
Fare from € 2.670
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Travelroute
Day 1

Bali

Arrive independently in to Bali, take your private transfer to the Jimbararn Bay Beach Resort & Spa (or similar) We will meet in Sanur (Bali) in the morning and depart for either Padang Bai or Amed, on Bali’s the southeast and eastern coasts respectively, where the ship will be anchored and waiting for us. This is a pleasant and beautiful drive of either approximately 1 hour or 2.5 hours (depending on the departure point), and a great opportunity to see a little bit of the island. After we board the vessel you will have a chance to settle in before the captain gives the orders for the anchor to be lifted prior to crossing the Lombok Strait. This deep trench of water between Bali and Lombok marks part of a very important ecological boundary, which was first described by Sir Alfred Russel Wallace, the British naturalist. Wallace noticed that the flora and fauna of the islands to the west are home to Asiatic animal and plant species, whereas the islands to the east of the invisible ‘Wallace Line’ have a greater similarity to species found in Australia. In the afternoon we will make our first stop at one of the three Gili islands, a popular holiday destination just off Lombok’s northwest coast. We will spend a few hours here, during which time you can choose from a number of water activities: swimming, snorkelling, paddleboarding, kayaking or simply enjoying the beautiful white-sand beach.

Day 2

Bali

Day 3

North Lombok

Moored off the coast of North Lombok, we will enjoy a hearty breakfast before going ashore and boarding a private bus for a trip into the interior of the northern side of the island and the traditional village of Senaru. Here, we will be taken on a tour, by one of the local women-guides, of the simple thatched houses and gardens of fruits and spices, which will give us an insight into the culture of the indigenous Sasak people. Our mellow adventure will then lead us down a well-trodden flight of steps through the tropical forest to Sindang Gila, a roaring 40-metre tiered waterfall. The small gravel beach and flat rocks at the base of the falls are a meeting place for the local people, and if we want we can take a dip under the full force of the intense flow. Our walk will continue alongside an old irrigation canal offering panoramic vistas of rice fields stretching towards the sea. The area around Senaru and Bayan was the birthplace of Lombok’s unique Wektu Telu belief system in which ancient animist practices are combined with Islam. If we have time, we will visit Bayan Beleq, a grass-roofed mosque with woven bamboo walls. Said to have been founded in the 16th century, this is the oldest mosque in Lombok. We will also see some weavers and spinners demonstrating their age-old skills. After re-embarkation, we will explore one of the coral reefs near Gili Sulat, which is a marine conservation area.

Day 4

Moyo & Satonda

This morning we will moor off Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo, visit the village and then walk to Diwu Mba’i waterfall, where can swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below, or simply bathe in the refreshing cool water. Our next stop will be Satonda, a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its centre that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. The eruption was the biggest volcanic explosion in the collective memory of mankind; it had roughly four times the energy of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, and gave rise to the ‘year without a summer’ because of the effect on North American and European weather. Local people believe Satonda to be magical, and with this in mind, we will walk to the lip of the caldera to view the mysterious lake, alongside which are trees believed to be ‘wishing trees.’ Visitors to the island tie a small stone to a tree and make a wish. If your wish comes true, you are bound to return to the island to offer thanks. The seas surrounding the island are rich with soft and hard corals and colourful tropical fish, so we will spend the afternoon swimming and snorkelling. Another highlight of our visit to Satonda will be the sight of thousands of flying foxes that commute at dusk from the island to feed on the mainland, returning before first light the next day. Immediately after sunset, we leave for an overnight passage on a course due east.

Day 5

Sumbawa & Banta

Today we will visit Wera, a Buginese settlement on the northeast coast of the island of Sumbawa, where the men build wooden boats along the black-sand shores and the village women spend days weaving brightly coloured cloth. Here we will visit the village and have a look at the hand-built boats in various stages of construction. Some of these boats are colossal in size, and it is fascinating to see how they are constructed. We will then proceed to the island of Banta, passing Sangean island, an active volcano towering 1800 metres above the surrounding waters. Banta island lies within the boundaries of the Komodo National Park; it is uninhabited and perfect swimming and snorkelling.

Day 6

Komodo Island

When we wake up, the boat will be anchored off the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. We will go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang for an early morning ranger-led trek through the park searching for Komodo dragons. In this savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, we will encounter, at a safe distance, these awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. We may spot deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. After returning to the onboard we will cruise around the coast and visit Komodo village, where we can buy some local handicrafts. Later we will head to the gorgeous Pantai Merah ‘red-beach,’ which takes its name from the particles of red coral mingled with the sand. Here we will swim and snorkel over one of the richest reefs in Eastern Indonesia, relishing the unforgettable spectacle of the region’s many varieties of coral and marine life.

Day 7

Rinca Island

Today we will visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island where we will have another ranger-led nature trek in search of more Komodo dragons, which are indigenous to this small group of islands. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer as well. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. In the afternoon we can go snorkelling. With over 1000 species of fish in the waters of the national park, there is much more to this wildlife reserve than just dragons. In the evening we will go ashore to an island where you can enjoy a quintessential SeaTrek experience and a highlight for many guests. With your feet in the sand and the stars rising in the vast Indonesian sky, the crew will build a bonfire and prepare a beach barbecue as a final celebration of our memorable voyage.

Day 8

Flores to Bali

After breakfast in Labuan Bajo, we will visit the local market or take a private bus to the inland village of Melo. Here, local ‘strongmen’ will perform the ‘Caci,’ a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of Western Flores are famous for this test of daring and skill, requiring lightning quick moves to dodge the infliction of a wound. The winner is loudly applauded and cheered by the village. Besides this, the cultural group will also showcase other traditional dances. After the performance, we will have lunch on the boat before transferring you to the airport for your included flight back to Bali.

Please Note: every effort will be made to carry out our cruise itinerary as planned; however, our itineraries are subject to change at the captain’s discretion. When touring at sea, weather, currents, and even harbour masters don’t always co-operate with our planned itinerary, which sometimes make our planned schedules challenging or even impossible to carry out. For that reason, our written itineraries must be approached with reasonable flexibility. We reserve the right to make alterations due to circumstances beyond our control and/or other factors, in the best interests of all. It’s all part of the adventure.

Overview

Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes

Immerse yourself in the Komodo National Park and Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands from an intimate perspective, cruising through a panorama of islands and encountering new wonders on a daily basis.
This adventurous, 7-day inclusive voyage of discovery aboard the 12-passenger ‘Katharina’ offers a cross-section of remote beaches, quiet coastal villages, jungle-clad mountain ranges, towering volcanoes, rivers, waterfalls, tribal rituals, a mysterious lake, and the legendary Komodo Dragons. As always, there will be ample opportunity to snorkel and view the kaleidoscopic beauty of the underwater world. Unlimited use of the stand-up paddleboards and sea kayaks onboard will add yet another dimension to your nature explorations.
Note:
Dances, Dragons and Magical lakes Bali – Flores travels outbound; guests meet the ship in Bali and later return to Bali by air from Labuan Bajo in Flores. The airfare is not included in the cruise price but we will be happy to assist you with any information and local flight reservations. In order to ensure that you are able to enjoy the full programme, please do not book any flights that are scheduled to leave before midday on Day 7.
Highlights
Enjoy swimming, snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking or relaxing on the beautiful white-sand beaches. Visit Bayan Beleq, a grass-roofed mosque with woven bamboo walls. See some weavers and spinners demonstrating their age-old skills. Walk to Diwu Mba’i waterfall, where you can swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below. Search for Komodo dragons – giant lizards, Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. Spot deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms.

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Ship information

Katharina
Vessel Type: Yacht
Length: 40 metres
Passenger Capacity: 14
Built / Refurbished: 1995 / 2014
The Katharina is a traditional Indonesian pinisi, built in 1995 in Kalimantan using only the very best grades of ironwood. Her slim hull was originally being planned for commercial sailing carrying freight before we spotted her in the making. We bought her and fitted her out as a cruising vessel, and then again in January 2014, the Katharina was the subject of a major interior refit. Working with the unique heritage this vessel represents, her transformation is a conservation exercise back to authenticity, using only the best traditional materials, shaped by highly skilled Indonesian craftsmen. Yet, what goes on behind the scenes is the use of the most up-to-date technology and she is now equipped with a super yacht grade AC station and we are optimizing our systems to the latest safety standards.
Not only is the Katharina very elegant on the water, she is also fast becoming a classic yacht, as very few of these original designs remain. Katharina’s overall length is 40 metres, providing comfortable accommodation for up to 14 guests in six cabins located below decks. All cabins offer creature comforts and necessary amenities including double beds or twins, private en-suite bathrooms, natural light, safety boxes, individually controlled air-conditioning and storage space including a safe.
Led by Captain Iwan, the Katharina is catered to by an all-Indonesian crew of 12, with each member dedicated to making your stay aboard truly memorable.

Coral Discoverer
27.04.2018
07.05.2018
10
Australia and NZ, Ancient Lands of the Kimberley
Fare from € 6.710
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Travelroute
Day 1

Depart Darwin

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

Day 2

King George River and Falls

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

Day 3

Vansittart Bay DC3 and Jar Island

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

Day 4

Hathaway’s Hideaway and Mitchell Falls

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

Day 5

Bigge Island and Careening Bay

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

Day 6

Prince Regent River and King Cascades

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

Day 7

Montgomery Reef and Doubtful Bay

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

Day 8

Raft Point and Ruby Falls

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

Day 9

Horizontal Falls and Bucaneer Archipelago

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

Day 10

Lacepede Islands

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

Day 11

Arrive in Broome

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

Please Note: this itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

Overview

Ancient Lands of the Kimberley

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

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

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

Highlights

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

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Ship information

Coral Discoverer

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 63 metres

Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)

Built: 2005 / Refurbished: 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Silver Cloud
27.04.2018
09.05.2018
12
The Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Epicurean Europe
Fare from € 6.475
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Travelroute
Day 1

Lisbon, Portugal

Embark Silver Cloud this afternoon and depart on your exciting 12-day Silversea Expedition — Epicurean Europe. This afternoon you will attend a safety drill before leaving port. Later there will be a Sail Away cocktail and you will be introduced to your Expedition Team and our guest lecturers. Tonight we invite you to the first of many memorable dinners in one of the restaurants, specially prepared by the Culinary Experts and our Executive Chef.

Day 2

Leixoes (Oporto), Portugal

Oporto is located near the mouth of the Douro River and the second largest city in Portugal. During our visit to the city centre (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) where we will visit the “Bolhao” market, the oldest in town. We will see the impressive 14th century St. Francis Church with its magnificent 18th century gold-encrusted interior. Our day in Oporto would not be complete without a visit to a well-known wine cellar for a taste of some world-famous port wine and to learn how over the years, methods of maturing and blending were refined and continue today. 3 different types of port wine will be offered for tasting. We then proceed to Ribeira, its picturesque riverfront quarter made up of narrow, twisting streets lined with brightly tiled or pastel-painted façades. If history is more your field of interest, accompany us to see Guimaraes – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the cradle of the nation and first capital of Portugal. Our extensive walking tour will take us to the medieval King’s Castle and the 15th century Palace of the Dukes of Bragança. This palace houses a fantastic museum and a beautiful art gallery. On our walking tour we will see the old town with its narrow cobblestone streets and quiet corners. There will be some free time to browse the local shops. Our wine lovers will want to see the Douro Valley (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). This excursion will take you to the village of Peso da Regua and the wine lodge “Quinta da Pacheca”. There we will get acquainted with the different varieties of wine grown and will have a tempting lunch of typical Portuguese specialities using products of the Douro region, accompanied by the best-suited Quinta da Pacheca wines.

Day 3

La Coruña, Spain

A Coruna (La Coruña) is an important coastal town of Galicia and has the oldest Roman lighthouse still in use (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Be out on deck early in the morning to see it while Silver Cloud approaches the harbour. Today’s excursion takes you to the city of Santiago de Compostela and its famous Obradoiro Square and the Cathedral. You have two options: you can either walk on one of the most beautiful paths into Santiago – normally made at the end of the “Camino de Santiago”- or you can choose to explore the Plaza Obradoiro in depth. In both cases you will have the opportunity to attend the 12 o’clock mass and see the impressive swing of the incense burner (known as the Botafumeiro). You will have some free time before meeting again at the Square, heading over to the impressive Parador de los Reyes Catolicos for a tapas lunch and wine tasting –and watching the performance of a Galician dance group.

Day 4

Ribadessella, Spain

Ribadesella serves as the starting point for three very different full day excursions: a drive to Oviedo and Gijon will permit you to visit the culturally and historically important city of Oviedo, the modern capital of Asturias and to enter La Laboral, Spain’s biggest building –holding the “City of Culture” and part of Gijon’s university. A traditional lunch will be served in a local restaurant in Gijon. For nature lovers a visit to the lakes of Covadonga will be of interest. Located within the National Park Los Picos de Europa, beautiful panoramic views of the lakes and surrounding landscape can be enjoyed –as long as fog does not prevent the drive up to the lakes. Covadonga holds a special historical meaning for Spain, as the Reconquista started here in 722 after the first Christian victory over the Moors. Lunch will be served at the Parador de Cangas. For those interested in architecture, an excursion to Comillas and Santillana del Mar will let you see “El Capricho”, the modernist palace of the Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi, and one of the most beautiful and well-preserved towns in Spain. Lunch will be at a Parador in Santillana.

Day 5

Bilbao, Spain

From Silver Cloud you will be driven along the estuary down to the Gran Via, which reflects Bilbao’s 19th century mining and industrial prosperity, to the heart of the city. On the way you will notice how the city is redefining itself through modern constructions and buildings. Undoubtedly the most emblematic is the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art -one of Frank Gehry’s masterpieces in flowing titanium and limestone, with sail-like shapes suggesting Bilbao’s maritime heritage. The Museum in itself is a piece of art. Apart from an outside explanation, we will have a 90 minutes specially guided visit. After some free time we will head for a local restaurant for welcome drinks and miniature cuisine known as “pintxos” (the local Basque version of tapas). Reputed to be the best of Spain, the selection will go from grilled wild mushrooms to spicy stuffed peppers. During the afternoon we will cross the Bay of Biscay on our way to France and Bordeaux. Let our food and wine specialists pamper you with more information on delicacies from the Basque region and the Medoc.

Day 6

Bordeaux, France (Overnight)

Silver Cloud will get into Bordeaux during the early morning and there will be many choices to spend the two days in and around Bordeaux. After breakfast you might want to get ready for a walking tour of this historic UNESCO World Heritage city. We begin with a look at the 18th century Grand Theatre, one of the most beautiful in Europe. Our walk continues through the old Bordeaux district, taking in the Place du Parlement and Place de la Bourse, the cathedral Saint Andre and the City Hall. Our tour concludes in the luxury boutiques district, called “the triangle” by the locals, and the Quinconces square. During our time ashore we will discover some local traditional specialties, such as chocolate, canelé cake, cheese and of course sample some fine Bordeaux wines. If you think the walking tour will let you gain too many calories, how about jogging through Bordeaux accompanied by an experienced guide –without the tasting of local delicacies? If you like exercise, yet want to taste some wine –select the biking adventure through Saint-Emilion vineyards (with tasting wines at Chateau La Dominique). You will be driven to St-Emilion where your bicycle awaits you. A 90-minute cycling adventure, pedalling along a combination of flat and hilly roads, will let you enjoy the beautiful landscape and famous vineyards you will pass before reaching Chateau La Dominique. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown on a 30-hectare terroir. If you prefer hiking and want to climb Europe’s highest sand dune, then the Pyla sand dune and oyster tasting should be your choice. Driving through the Landes de Gascogne forest, you will be taken to Arcachon Bay and Le Pyla. To climb the 105 metres tall sand dune, wooden steps will make the first part easier. From the top you will have sweeping views of the Landes forest, Arcachon Bay and the sea. Afterwards you will be taken to a local oyster farm, where the owner will share insights into the oyster business before you will get to sample 6 oysters, accompanied with rye bread, butter and dry white wine. For food lovers we have two different choices: to either visit the traditional food market of Creon –some 45 minutes southeast of Bordeaux- tasting bread, ham, cheese, canelé cake (all local produce) during a guided visit; or to delve into Slow Food and visit a conservatory orchard and vegetable garden that specialises in “forgotten” vegetables. In the middle of a landscaped garden you will find more than 600 different species and varieties of edible plants. Most of them have undeservedly disappeared from tables and kitchens and today you will be able to enjoy a commented tasting of those forgotten produces. Silver Cloud will be docked in Bordeaux overnight, and the evening is yours to spend as you please. Enjoy the comfort of Silver Cloud’s many restaurants, ending the evening with a liqueur in one of the lounges and bars or a cigar in The Connoisseur’s Corner. Or take the opportunity to head out and try one of the many local restaurants for a dinner ashore. Having explored the historical sights of Bordeaux and done some exercise, we then turn to the culinary highlights as well: a French breakfast — how about some fresh local croissants, croque-monsieur, or pain-au-chocolat? — will permit us to be in the best of conditions for a special visit at one of the Bordeaux classified wine estates. Depending on your choice of excursions you will enjoy a special lunch at some of the most acclaimed Michelin star restaurants of the Bordeaux region on one of the two days in Bordeaux. The excursion will visit acclaimed vineyards where you will get to taste different wines before heading to carefully selected restaurants. The beautiful settings of these restaurants will charm you. There you will appreciate the art of careful selection of dishes from a constantly growing repertoire of recipes; the purchase of local products whose flavours go well together; the pairing of food with wine; the setting of a beautiful table; and, obviously, the smelling and tasting of the items at the table. UNESCO has accepted the French gastronomic meal as an intangible cultural world heritage — and Silversea has the pleasure of offering you a memorable meal in a historical setting. During the evening Silver Cloud will leave Bordeaux, cruising down the estuary.

Day 7

Bordeaux, France

Day 8

Belle Ile en Mer, France

Although one might think that a name like “the beautiful island in the sea” might be a little too poetic, artists and painters have come to love the nature of this largest of the Brittany islands. “Les Aiguilles de Port Coton”, a famous painting by Claude Monet, depicts the wild southern coast and rocks exposed to wind and waves. The island has a ‘soft’ side too. Its northern shore has two ports and long sandy beaches. At the port of Le Palais is one of the historical gems of the island. Mentioned by Alexandre Dumas in his second book about the Three Musketeers, the Citadelle de Belle Ile had great strategic importance as access to the south of Brittany was controlled by Belle Ile and its smaller neighbours Houat and Hoed. The beautifully maintained fort is now a museum. There are other spectacular and unique fortifications along the island’s shore During the afternoon we will go ashore to explore Belle Ile en Mer and its attractions.

Day 9

Bay of Douarnenez, France

Today you have the opportunity to visit Locronan, France’s most picturesque medieval village. Once there, you will have a guided visit and will see the church with its 15th century stained glass depicting the passion of Saint Ronan. At Le Guillou bakery you can taste the traditional Breton butter cake known as “kouign amann” before watching a group of Breton dancers in their traditional costumes, introducing you to Brittany’s rich culture and identity. You can also combine a visit to the medieval town of Quimper with a visit and lunch at a Crêperie in Locronan without the traditional folkloric presentation. In both towns you will have guided walks to see the architectural highlights. If you like fresh air and handicraft choose to visit Tronoen, the “Cathedral of the Dunes”. Driving through along the “Pays Bigouden” and picturesque villages you will reach Penmarc’h Cap to walk on the coastguard paths. At Pont L’Abbé you will have a local Breton lunch. In the afternoon you will then be welcomed by the renowned embroiderer Mr. Le Minor, who will talk about the embroidery special to Brittany. As a designer-manufacturer his printed and embroidered fabrics, as well as fashion accessories, decorative tapestries are all steeped in the maritime and cultural identity of Brittany.

Day 10

Saint-Malo, France

Today you have the choice of three different excursions: during the late morning we can visit the legendary Mont Saint Michel (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). After breakfast we will set off for this spectacular granite tidal island, situated on the border between Normandy and Brittany. Upon arrival, we will stroll through the narrow streets of the mediaeval village and up to the Abbey. After descending back down to the village you will free time for shopping or simply enjoying this special place before heading back to Saint-Malo. One other option involves less of a drive: A visit to the Bretagne on a culinary expedition would not be complete without tasting oysters or crêpes. On this excursion you will have a chance to sample both! We will leave Saint-Malo and drive along the coastal road to the picturesque fishing village of Cancale. There, thousands of oysters are farmed in “banc d’huîtres” (oyster beds). We will first taste different varieties of oysters at a local restaurant before heading over to a “Crêperie”. There you will appreciate the flavour of the traditional galette (Crêpe de Sarrasin) served with local farm cider. If you are interested in a different culinary aspect of the region, you might want to visit a salt meadow lamb farm near Mont Saint Michel. After learning about the salt meadow lamb –considered a delicacy because of the high salinity and iodine content of the pasture- you will be taken to a nearby restaurant where you will be served a gastronomic menu featuring the delightful salt meadow lamb. After these different excursions you should take the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about cider and attend a conference and tasting in the Hotel Magon. Built in 1725 for one of the most powerful ship-owners and director of the French East Indies Company, the manor is a Historic Monument. There you will meet a specialist of cider and will get a full explanation of the cider tasting world. After the conference you will taste 4 very different ciders, accompanied by Breton galettes.

Day 11

Le Havre, France

Located at the mouth of the Seine, Le Havre has France’s second most important harbour. Since the town had been heavily bombed during World War II the city centre had to be completely rebuilt. This post-war reconstruction with its systematic use of a modular grid, prefabrication and favouring as material mainly concrete resulted in Le Havre’s central city being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 for its outstanding example of urban planning. Le Havre is also considered a green city with Monteon Forest and Rouelles Park located within the Upper Town. The Normandy Bridge, the Seine’s bridge closest to the Channel, was the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge when inaugurated in 1995. This bridge facilitates access to the famous landing beaches of D-Day. Today you have to choose between modern history and medieval times: The two excursions to commemorate D-Day differ in one featuring a visit to Arromanches, a visit to the American Cemetery with its 9,386 marble crosses and a drive to Omaha Beach, while the other will start with the American Cemetery and a small ceremony honouring the fallen, proceeding then to Arromanches before returning to Le Havre. The “medieval” excursion will head for Rouen and its historical part –the Old Market Place where Joan of Arc was burned in 1431, the modern Joan of Arc Church and the Gothic Cathedral. After having seen the historical highlights, it is time to discover local products visiting a distillery. The Drouin-Coeur de Lion estate is in the heart of the Auge Country. There you will see the process from the apple press to the aging of calvados in oak casks. You will be invited to taste cider, pommeau and calvados, accompanied by three types of delicious Norman cheeses: Camembert, Livarot and Pont L’Eveque. Leaving France in the afternoon, Silver Cloud will sail for London.

Day 12

London, England

Today you have a morning cruise up the very interesting River Thames ahead of you. You will pass the O2 just before crossing the Greenwich Meridian, having a marvellous view of the University of Greenwich, the old Royal Naval College, the National Maritime Museum and Greenwich Park. We will go past the splendidly renovated Cutty Sark and Canary Wharf. As a further highlight Silver Cloud will pass the Tower Bridge and the impressive Tower of London. During the day you can embark on a panoramic tour showing you the essential highlights London has to offer. The tour will pass St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square with Nelson’s Column, and the National Gallery, continuing on towards Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Park and The Mall. From London’s main ceremonial avenue we travel down to Whitehall and Downing Street before entering Parliament Square. You will see the historic Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and the immense structure of the magnificent Westminster Abbey. The tour then heads back down the Embankment towards Silver Cloud. In the evening Silversea and the Royal Geographical Society have arranged for a very special reception at the Royal Geographical Society’s headquarter. You will enjoy a reception across the ground floor of the Society, soaking up the atmosphere of the Map Room and Hall. You will then be escorted into the Ondaatje Theatre for a welcome by the Silversea’s representatives, Alasdair MacLeod, Head of Collection & Resources, RSG-IGB, and a guest speaker. Following the welcome there will be an “Open House” style evening – guests can enjoy private views of the Society’s Collections in the Foyle Reading Room while refreshments will be served in the Fine Rooms of the Society’s historic home. From over two million items in its Collections, the specially curated exhibit will include artefacts, maps, photographs, archival and personal items used by famous Antarctic and Arctic explorers (including Scott, Shackleton, Mawson, Amundsen, Nansen and Peary), plus a selection of iconic pieces from the Society’s wider holdings which document world exploration over 500 years.

Day 13

London, England

Following breakfast, disembark Silver Cloud.

Please Note: expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Guest speakers are subject to change and/or cancellation without notice. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Overview

Epicurean Europe

Gourmets everywhere will be whetting their taste buds as the jewels of Europe’s gastronomy are showcased during this voyage. From sampling Portugal’s famous port and Bordeaux’s delicious wine, to feasting your eyes on UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the world-renown Guggenheim in Bilbao, this epicurean adventure is a must for anyone with a combined love of food and adventure.

Highlights

See Guimaraes – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the cradle of the nation and first capital of Portugal. Discover the city of Santiago de Compostela and its famous Obradoiro Square and the Cathedral. Enjoy a visit to the lakes of Covadonga. Spend 2 days in Bordeaux. Explore Belle Ile en Mer and its attractions. Join the “medieval” excursion of Rouen and its historical part – the Old Market Place, the modern Joan of Arc Church and the Gothic Cathedral.

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Ship information

Silver Cloud

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 157 m.

Passenger Capacity: 200-260

Built: 1994 Refurbished & Rebranded: 2017

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

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

Wilderness Discoverer
28.04.2018
05.05.2018
7
North America, Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands
Fare from € 2.230
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Travelroute
Day 1

Seattle, Washington – Embarkation

Seattle was founded along the shores of Elliott Bay. Today, set sail from Fishermen's Terminal, transit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, and cruise the city’s picturesque waterfront before dropping anchor in a tucked away bay.

Day 2

Salish Sea / Deception Pass

Wake up surrounded by the wilderness of the Salish Sea. Today, there will be many opportunities to investigate this sea-salty playground of islands. A guided kayak reveals local inhabitants - sea stars, anemones, jelly fish, perhaps even inquisitive harbour seals. Walk along a curiosity-rich intertidal zone or stretch your legs on a mossy hike. And tides and current permitting, sail through swirling waters of Deception Pass. Cap off your first day of adventure with a front-row view of the sunset from the bow.

Day 3

Lopez Island / San Juan Island

You’ve landed in one of the most scenic areas of the Salish Sea. The rocky outcroppings of Lopez Island play host to harbour seals - and it’s also orca territory. Keep your eyes peeled above and below the surface, whether you opt for kayaking or a chance to snorkel. Join your expedition team on deck searching for whales, seals, and sea lions as you cruise through the myriad San Juans - no two islands are the same. Drop anchor near San Juan Island—the second largest landmass in the archipelago - to explore tide pools and skiff or kayak into hidden coves, as conditions permit.

Day 4

Orcas Island

Your Captain navigates through the islands to your basecamp at Orcas Island - for a day of play where the options are unending. A local favourite, hike Mt. Constitution - it’s the highest peak in the San Juan Islands and has a stunning view of the archipelago. If you’re interested in skiff exploration or more paddling, the kayaks and paddle boards are up for grabs.

Day 5

Sucia Island

The treats keep a-coming! Enjoy your day anchored at picturesque Sucia Island - total year-round population of four - a Washington State Marine Park filled with hidden coves and bays. Explore the intertidal zone with your guides, hike across the island, and kayak in a protected bay. Weather permitting; there’ll even be a barbeque ashore.

Day 6

Captain’s Choice

Make it an ideal morn by kicking it off with an early soak in the on-deck hot tub, a paddle along the shores of the Olympic Peninsula, or both! Your Captain sets the course today for explorations in the rain shadow of the Salish Sea. You may find yourself hiking deep into the mossy, towering old growth of the Olympic Peninsula or beachcombing for anemone and hermit crabs along the shores of Puget Sound. Or perhaps, a chance to kayak and paddle board, investigate bird rookeries, or search for whales in the Sea’s rich emerald waters.

Day 7

Olympic National Park

Wake up in one of the quietest reaches of Puget Sound - Hood Canal, a glacial fjord separating the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas. You’ll be hiking in the Olympic Mountains - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - surrounded by rainforest, old growth forest, and small quaint towns. Keep watch for resident bald eagles. And, enjoy the bounty of the sea - a tasting of locally-grown oysters and clams. This evening, wrap it up with a Farewell Dinner and slide show highlighting your week’s adventures.

Day 8

Seattle – Disembark

After breakfast, say goodbye to your newfound friends and disembark the ship back at Fishermen’s Terminal. Transfer directly to the Seattle airport or to your Un-Cruise overnight hotel stay.

Additional charges: port taxes and fees: € 180,- pp

Please Note: passport required (non USA citizens). Itineraries are guidelines; variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur to maximize your experience.

Overview

Explore! Olympic Wilderness & San Juan Islands

A wild world of natural wonder. Explore islands, hike in rainforests and up mountains, paddle in Puget Sound waterways and the San Juan Islands, and watch for birds, orca, and other marine life.

Highlights

Transit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and cruise the Seattle waterfront. Olympic National Park—UNESCO World Heritage Site, San Juan archipelago & Deception Pass. Kayak, paddle board, and skiff in glacial fjords and winding island channels. Hike in temperate rainforest, old growth forest, state parks, and Mt. Constitution. Watch for whales, orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, and sea birds. Birding opportunities. Taste local oysters and clams.

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Ship information

Wilderness Discoverer

Vessel type: Expedition
Length: 176 feet
Passenger Capacity: 76 guests
Built: 1992, renovated 2012
Active adventure is top-of-mind aboard the Wilderness Discoverer. Complementing the wilderness outside, the décor of the main lounge including reclaimed Alaskan yellow cedar on the bar top evokes the feel of a National Park. The casual, welcoming ambiance of the lounge and dining room with an open floor plan between them creates easy camaraderie among guests. Three public decks are easily accessible—the sun deck features both covered and open spaces for viewing no matter the weather, and the bow and observation deck offer unencumbered views.
The Wilderness Discoverer comes equipped for adventure with kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, hiking poles, wet suits and snorkel equipment, and yoga mats. The EZ Dock launch platform makes getting into the water a cinch. A hydrophone transmits below-surface sounds and a bow-mounted underwater camera shows the action. For wellness and relaxation, the vessel offers two hot tubs and fitness equipment.
There are four cabin categories aboard the Wilderness Discoverer: Navigator; Trailblazer; Pathfinder; and Explorer. Depending on the cabin, singles, doubles or triples can be accommodated.
Common to all cabins are: Air conditioning; flat-screen TV/DVD; iPod docking station, private bath with shower; a view window (no portholes).

Arca Fiumana
28.04.2018
05.05.2018
7
The Adriatic, Central Croatia Luxury Cruise
Fare from € 1.190
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Travelroute
Day 1

Split

Embarkation starts at 13:00. Get settled, and later join your fellow “sailors” for a Welcome Reception with dinner.

Day 2

Split – Krka NP National Park – Zadar

Depart from Split early in the morning to Primošten with visit of the Krka National Park, with its magnificent waterfalls. Afterwards, coach to Vodice, return to the ship and enjoy lunch, while sailing to Zadar, a city of exceptional history and rich cultural heritage. In the late afternoon, set out on a walking tour of Zadar historical centre and admire the old walls built in 16th century by Venetians as a defence from Turks. Also see the 16th century Port Gate where the Venetian lion still guards the entrance, the Square of the Five Wells, Church of St. Donat, the Roman Forum and the largest cathedral in Dalmatia, St. Anastasia. Your evening is at leisure in town.

Day 3

Zadar – Kornati National Park – Zlarin

Morning departure for the Kornati National Park containing more than 140 islands, islets and rocks. Afterwards we continue to Zlarin, a typical small Dalmatian village widely known for tradition of hunting and processing corals, where we will overnight. Tonight enjoy Captain`s dinner on board.

Day 4

Zlarin – Vis

Leaving Zlarin we will have an early morning cruise towards the island of Vis, once a strategic naval Yugoslav base and closed to the public. Due to this isolation, Vis has a special charm – “the Mediterranean as it once was” making it really interesting to visit. Situated on the northern side of the island, Vis has developed near the remains of the ancient Issa, first urban center in Croatia. Upon arrival in town of Vis join the orientation walking tour to visit the remains of the Roman thermal place and views of the beautiful Villae Rusticae situated along the waterfront. Overnight in town Vis.

Day 5

Vis – Biševo (Blue cave) – Hvar

We will have an early morning cruise towards small island Biševo to visit the Blue cave, a magnificent natural phenomenon (entrances to be paid on the spot – approx. 7 EUR). As sometimes weather conditions can be very unpredictable, the possibility of our visit will depend on those conditions, however you will be notified of this on time. Continue to the island of Hvar, Croatia’s sunniest island with swim stop in one of the secluded bays. Hvar is a favourite holiday destination for international celebrities and yachters; thus, beyond all the glitz and glamour, Hvar town is a charming seaside resort with 8 centuries of architecture waiting to be explored. On a walking tour, breathe in the pine scented breeze, as you absorb vistas of the old town with the picturesque little streets and the first public theatre in Europe. Enjoy some free time to pop into craft shops or cafes, tucked into old Venetian palaces. Your evening is free to explore Hvar on your own.

Day 6

Hvar – Bol / Milna

Enjoy a relaxing cruise as we sailing towards to our final island destination – the island of Brac where swimming is planned at the most famous beach in Dalmatia – Zlatni Rat near Bol – whose pebbles shifts from side to side as the wind and waves constantly change in shape. Bol is a typical fishermen’s village converted into a popular tourist destination. We will either moor up in the port of Bol on the southern side of the island, or in the waterside town of Milna. The island of Brac is famous for its native Mediterranean pine trees, relaxing atmosphere, and beautiful secluded bays. You’ll spend your afternoon swimming and relaxing in either of these stunning areas, with the evening reserved to experience a local restaurant or waterside café.

Day 7

Bol / Milna – Split

Embrace your last morning cruising the Dalmatian coast as we make our way back to Split. Enjoy your final swim stop in one of Brač island`s secluded bays and then have a lunch while we cruise into Split Harbour in the afternoon. This UNESCO World Heritage city bases the city centre in and around the stunning Diocletian’s Palace, the Roman emperor Diocletian’s retirement palace from 295-305 AD. Stroll through the palace basement filled with market stalls and outside experience the historical architecture of this beautiful palace. See the remnants of Split`s Roman heritage, it`s Renaissance and Gothic structures, Jupiter`s temple, The Peristyle and many other unique sites. Overnight in Split.

Day 8

Split

Disembark after breakfast.

Additional charges: Port fees € 25,- pp

Overview

Central Croatia Luxury Cruise

Starting and finishing in the beautiful city of Split, this cruise visits a few of the less visited islands making this a really interesting cruise. The beautiful walled port of Zadar was built in 16th century by Venetians as a defence from Turks and is a delightful stop. We will also visit Kornati National Park, comprising of more than 140 islands, islets and rocks.

Another highlight will be Vis which has a special charm – “the Mediterranean as it once was” making it really interesting to visit. Weather permitting we will also have an early morning cruise towards small island Biševo to visit the Blue cave, a magnificent natural phenomenon.

We will cruise for around 4 hours most mornings, stopping for a swim en route. After lunch on board we will have plenty of time to enjoy a guided walk or to explore the towns and ports where we are moored. In the evening you are free to explore to cafes and restaurants of the towns.

What’s included:
7 nights cruise from Split to Zadar and back to Split • Arrival & departure transfer from/to Split airport or hotel • Captain’s dinner • Buffet breakfast daily • 6 lunches with 4 courses starting with the 4 course welcome dinner on Day 1 • Water 0.5 L per person per day • Complimentary fresh fruits available daily • Professional Cruise Manager throughout • Daily cabin servicing •
Free Wi-Fi on board • Whisper technology enhanced touring • Sightseeing tours of Krka National Park, Zadar, Kornati National Park, Vis, Hvar, Split included in price

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Ship information

Arca Fiumana

M/S Arca Fiumana is a modern deluxe vessel launched in 2017, with maximum capacity of 38 passengers in 19 twin and double cabins. All cabins are modern and fully equipped with A/C, LCD TV, safe deposit box, fire alarm, internal communication system between room and bar.
Bathrooms are equipped with toilet, shower, wash basin, hair dryer, slippers, bathrobe, and for added convenience cosmetic package. All cabins are sound-proof and each cabin comes with the fire-proof doors. A fully air-conditioned upper deck  dining room can accommodate all passengers at once, yet offer a great degree of privacy for each guest. There is free wireless internet (Wi-Fi), loudspeakers, audio-system, and a direct telephone communication cabin-bar on board. The kitchen is made in line with the latest HACCP standards. An extension of the restaurant is outdoors, on the covered part of the upper deck, spacious enough for all passengers and tables, chairs and including one public lavatory. To make the most of every swimming opportunity, there is a platform with a ladder for easy access to the water, as well as small swimming pool at the rear of the ship. Electricity on board: 220V.

Delfin III
28.04.2018
01.05.2018
3
Latin America, Amazon River Cruise (4 days) Delfin III
Fare from € 1.375
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Travelroute
Day 1

Arrive to Iquitos, embarkation, orientation and jungle walk in Amazonas

AM: Arrive to the Amazon city of Iquitos: Our crew will be expecting your arrival at the airport, then transfer all together in our comfortable private vehicle. We will start you off with a lunchbox as we begin a panoramic tour of Iquitos city. After the tour we will travel over paved road to the city of Nauta, 95 kilometers away. Nauta is literally the "end of the road" where you will embark on the Delfin. Along the way, you will see vibrant "terra firma" (non-flooded forest) and various aspects of daily jungle life. Arrive to Nauta port: Nauta is a small riverside town on the banks of the Marañon River and was the first city founded in the department of Loreto. Once we reach Nauta, you will enjoy a VIP greeting at our private port along the shores of the Marañon River where the vessel awaits you. PM: Embarkation: Aboard Delfin, you will be served by our qualified staff who will introduce you to your exquisite and cozy suite, specially equipped with all the amenities for the experienced traveler as yourself. Orthopedic beds, pure cotton sheets, pillows of 100% pure natural latex, cotton bathrobes, air conditioning, and private bathroom with Spanish style hot water showers are all framed with a spacious private terrace we are sure you will enjoy to the fullest. PM Marayali: Our first excursion will be done by skiff where we visit our first location populated by sloths, iguanas, and recently a new favorite location for anteaters. Birdwatchers are likely to check off their bucket list, the yellow-rumped caciques and the very elegant egrets. PM Confluence of the 3 Rivers: Better known as the “Union de los Rios” we will toast and witness the distinguished colors of the 3 rivers. It is known that the Ucayali River, which in turn confluences with the Marañón River upstream of Iquitos, Peru, to form what countries other than Brazil consider to be the main stem of the Amazon River. Great photo opportunity as you witness your first Amazon Rainforest Sunset. Our vessels all have an open bridge policy, so you are welcome to learn about the navigation systems and spend time with the driving captain at any time. Moreover, should you have any doubts or questions, our guides are always fully at your service. After dinner we invite you to the third deck were you can enjoy stargazing while we cruise in to the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. PM Amazonas Night Time Jungle Walk : Just before settling down for dinner we will take you out to your first jungle walk. And how exciting it will be to see what goes bump in the night. We take this opportunity to enjoy a small village along the rivershore and our guides will share with you some interesting legends of the Amazon as you sit around a small campfire.

Day 2

Yarapa River, Yucuruchi & Fundo Casual

AM: Yarapa River / Yucuruchi: Along the Yarapa River river, you will get to explore this tributary intimately. Start your morning with exploring by skiffs and listen closely for the sounds from within the mysterious jungle. After, we will venture to find the giant Amazonian water lily Victoria regia. This beautiful aquatic plant grows in small lagoons known as cochas. PM: Fundo Casual: The walk at Fundo Casual jungle trail will take you deep into the rainforest on terra firme (non-flooded forest) where your guide will point out the dynamic creatures and vegetation of the Amazon. Be sure to keep an attentive eye open for spotting surprises!

Day 3

Yanayacu River & Nauta Caño

AM: Yanayacu Pucate: This morning, you will start cruising through the Yanayacu and Pucate Rivers, peeking into different creeks and lagoons. This is one of the best preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide will use his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region. If you want to interact directly with the waters of the Amazon, go out on one of our paddle boards. You will even have the opportunity to swim in the jungle river along with the famous pink dolphins! PM: Nauta Caño: After a delicious lunch we will visit Nauta Caño Creek where you will have the chance to do some kayaking. Also, go fishing for the famous piranha, a delightful and challenging experience you won't forget! As night approaches, your guide will take you on a night safari in search of caiman alligators and night birds.

Day 4

Manatee Rescue Center, disembarkation & visit ti ACOBIA mantee center

AM: Disembarkation: With heavy hearts, the staff will wish you farewell as you begin your departure. At the port of Nauta, our ground crew will be waiting to take you by our private vehicle back to the city of Iquitos, about 95 kilometers journey by paved road. On our way from Nauta back to Iquitos airport, you will visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you will have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. You will also have the chance to pet and feed these kind manatees. As well, there are also some other animals cared for by the center that have been rescued from capture for the intention of being turned into pets and other threatening conditions. We welcome you to donate to this ambitious organization and education center as you wish. Our land personnel will wait for you at the airport and give your boarding passes and help you check in. Airport departure: Our staff will be on hand to help you with your luggage and check in at Crnl. FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport in Iquitos. The return flight (additional charge) will take you directly to the city of Lima, the capital of Peru. At the security gate, your guide and Delfin crew will say goodbye. We truly hope that you enjoyed your stay and Amazon travel experience with us!

Please note: this Itinerary based on High Water Season. Itineraries vary based on whether the travel dates fall in the high water/rainy season or low water/dry season. The itineraries are subject to change due to weather conditions at certain times of the year. The water levels of the rivers also vary from time to time, as well as the hours of sailing. Excursions may be modified at the discretion of Delfin III crew.

Overview

Amazon River Cruise (4 days) Delfin III

The Amazon Rainforest is named after the Amazon River, the live force of the jungle. It is a unique ecosystem that harbors 1/3 of all living species in the world! The total extent of this incomparable tropical jungle is estimated to the complete land area of the United States. 28 billion gallons of its waters flow into the Atlantic every minute, diluting the salinity of the ocean for more than 100 miles offshore. The Amazon watershed is home to the world’s highest biodiversity. As well, it is home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet, and its biodiversity is so astounding that scientists regularly discover new species of flora and fauna.

Your Amazon journey takes off on arrival in Iquitos, were we will pick you up and take you to our vessel. In the following days, you will experience an ideal combination of natural wonders, dramatic scenery, indigenous cultural history, and a relaxed self-contained way to explore the rainforest while sightseeing nature at its best. Here in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, you are about to explore one of the world’s most intriguing environments. Flora and fauna are abundant and time seems to stands still.

High Water Season (November to May) vs Low Water Season (June to October):

If seeing the glorious flooded forest and getting close-up looks at lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature) sounds attractive, then the flooded season might be the best choice. (Remember: despite its name it only gets about 10% more rain than falls in the dry season). If jungle hikes, seeing exotic migratory birds perch on trees as they pass through Amazonia, still having the chance to see monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions top your list, you might be happier choosing the hotter, less rainy dry season. Perhaps the best solution of all: choose one, and we hope that you will like it so much that you may want to return to experience the other season in the Amazon as well. Highlights Canopy discoveries in the treetops. Hiking & trail walks. Fishing for piranhas & other underwater wonders. Paddleboarding & Kayaking. Birdwatching & swimming with dolphins. Skiff explorations along the banks. Visiting native communities and much more!

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Ship information

Delfin III

Our newest vessel, the Delfin III, offers guests an immersive rainforest experience while simultaneously treating them to the highest levels of luxury. This brand new vessel is also the largest in our fleet, with capacity for up to 43 passengers. The ship has been beautifully finished with the finest details, hardwood floors, designer furniture, and handmade Peruvian artifacts. The itineraries have been carefully planned and are set to offer an unforgettable experience. Guests will have no shortage of up close rainforest experience and gourmet food to compliment.

Guests have the option of four room classes. On the first deck there are 8 Suites complete with floor to ceiling panoramic windows as well as 2 spacious Corner Suites facing the front of the ship. The second deck is comprised of 10 Upper Suites and the largest of all, the Owner's Suite. The top deck features beautiful indoor and outdoor lounge, a sundeck with plunge pool, a spa and gym, and of course the bar.

Safari Quest
28.04.2018
05.05.2018
7
North America, British Columbia's Yachters' Paradise
Fare from € 3.575
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Travelroute
Day 1

Seattle, Washington – Embarkation

Transfer to the Safari Quest at Seattle’s waterfront, where the crew greets you with champagne and smiles. Set sail in time for cocktail hour and dinner as you cruise into the Salish Sea.

Day 2

Victoria, British Columbia & Butchart Gardens

After clearing customs, it’s all ashore for free time in downtown Victoria. Take in a visit to the elegant Empress Hotel; Royal British Columbia Museum; or browse the quaint shops nuzzled about this garden city. Later, travel by coach to Butchart Gardens for High Tea and to leisurely enjoy the garden’s 52-acres of botanical wonder. Back on board the yacht, set sail through the Gulf Islands and settle into the rhythm of the Salish Sea.

Day 3

Sunshine Coast / Princess Louisa Inlet

Discover nature’s wonders today off the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Small group skiff rides keep you busy in a sheltered bay or along rugged shoreline, where sea lions, tide pools, driftwood, and superb birding are common sights. Pass through the Malibu Rapids into the calm waters of Princess Louisa Inlet, one of the most beautiful locations on earth. Only half a mile wide and walled in by 5,000-foot, near-vertical mountains, The Princess culminates at the tremendous Chatterbox Falls. Anchor in the inlet for exploration on foot and by kayak. The evening offers up relaxation in the upper deck hot tub or, when conditions are right, campfire camaraderie with your yacht mates.

Day 4

Princess Louisa Inlet / Jervis Inlet

Watch the early light play through Princess Louisa Inlet, brightening your morn. Set aside time for one last paddle or exploring the inlet by skiff before heading out to the “yachter’s paradise” of Jervis Inlet. Binoculars in-hand, keep all eyes open for orca, porpoise, seals, and sea lions along the rocky shoreline as you cruise through the waters of Princess Royal Reach.

Day 5

Harmony Islands / Jedediah Island

Wake up with a guided kayak or skiff outing among the remote Harmony Islands. During lunch onboard, take in the sights around you. Arriving at Jedediah Island—the most diverse island in a chain of more than thirty islands and islets—hike and investigate the tide pools with your knowledgeable crew in this provincial park.

Day 6

Captain's Choice – Gulf Islands

Situated in the heart of the Salish Sea, today's passage carries you south, back into the protected waters and intricate passages of the Gulf Islands. Towns throughout these islands harbor artist’s hamlets, organic farms, vineyards, and sublime glacially-carved landscapes in a backdrop painted with harbor seals, bald eagles, sea lions, and Douglas fir. Your captain navigates to where land and sea explorations await. The location determines the adventure de jour—a coastal hike, explorations in a quaint seaside town, or searches for orcas. It’ll be a treat—wherever the tides take you.

Day 7

Washington’s San Juan Islands / Friday Harbor

An early start has you meandering through the San Juan Islands—172 islands and rocky islets make up this archipelago. On the largest of the islands, San Juan Island, you’ll clear customs in the tiny town of Friday Harbor before a visit to the intriguing Whale Museum. Learn about the resident pods of orca that call these island waters home before getting underway for a day of “gunkholing,” or exploring, as landlubbers would say. The scenery is stunning and the passages are just right. Be on watch for orca and other marine wildlife. Delight in a festive Captain’s Farewell Dinner this evening and enjoy a picturesque recap of the week with your expedition leader.

Day 8

Seattle – Disembark

After breakfast on board, the Captain and crew bid you a fond farewell. Safe travels to all!

Please Note: a passport is required on this cruise. Due to the nature of our explorations, itineraries are guidelines and will change in order to maximize wildlife and natural encounters. Variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur.

Overview

British Columbia’s Yachters’ Paradise

Enjoy an inclusive boutique exploration and sail into a yachters’ paradise on both sides of the border—take in nature’s wonders by kayak, skiff, or on foot, witness British Columbia’s stunning Princess Louisa Inlet, British-influenced Victoria, enjoy High Tea in a garden, and discover the San Juan Islands and a charming seaside town.

You’ll experience first-hand Mother Nature’s role in creating some of the most dramatic scenery along British Columbia.

Highlights

Boutique yacht adventure – only 22 guests. Princess Louisa Inlet – A World’s Most Beautiful Place (Condé Nast). San Juan, Harmony, and Gulf Islands. Kayak, paddle board, and skiff in Princess Louisa Inlet, Buccaneer Bay, and Jervis Inlet. Search for orcas, eagles, and Dall’s porpoise. Leisure time to explore Victoria, British Columbia High Tea at Victoria’s Empress Hotel. Visit the Whale Museum in quaint Friday Harbour. Casual beachcombing and guided nature walks. Cruise the Seattle waterfront. Gunkholing in a yachters’ paradise.

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Ship information

Safari Quest

Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 36 m
Passenger Capacity: 22
Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2006
Unwind into adventure aboard our 22-guest boutique yacht. Four decks offer invigorating spaces to get away from it all and take in up-close views of surrounding wilderness. Recap the day's activities, relax, or watch a movie on the wide screen TV in the comfortable and sophisticated salon. The yacht also features a fully stocked bar and a library with large view windows for reading or discussing marine life with fellow guests.
Ready for adventure, the Safari Quest is equipped with kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, and hiking poles, includes a full-beam swim step for easy access to water activities, and hydrophones for listening to below-surface sounds. The onboard wellness program includes a hot tub and fitness equipment in the sun lounge.
There are four cabin categories aboard the Safari Quest: Single; Mariner; Commander; and Captains. Captains are suited for single and double accommodation.
Common to all cabins are: Heated tile floors in bathroom; air conditioning; private bath with shower; Tempur-Pedic® memory foam mattresses; flat-screen TV/DVD; iPod docking station.