MORE THAN BEFORE
Celebrity Cruises is embarking on its biggest Australian cruise season yet in 2019-20, with more cruises (20) than ever during seven months, its longest Australian season. In addition, Celebrity is operating its first turnaround from Melbourne; visits new port Eden in NSW; and has six overnight calls in Sydney, Hobart, Cairns and Tauranga in New Zealand. Celebrity will also offer three Queensland itineraries, including one open jaw between Sydney and Auckland, plus a South Pacific itinerary and a new four-night sampler cruise from Sydney with a call in Melbourne.
Phone 1800 754 500. See celebritycruises.com.au
LAND OF FIRE
The new 210-passenger ship Ventus Australis was christened at the start of the year and has completed its first voyages for Cape Horn and Patagonia specialist Australis. The current season is heavily booked, with the next season running from September 2018 to March 2019. The ship operates four-night cruises between Ushuaia (Argentina) and Punta Arenas (Chile) through the spectacular fiord country of Tierra del Fuego, Magellan Strait and Beagle Channel, with on-board wildlife lectures and complimentary guided Zodiac excursions in destinations such as Cape Horn, Pia Glacier and Wulaia Bay. Both English and Spanish are spoken on board.
AdventureSmith Expeditions makes new 17-day journeys through the fabled Northwest Passage in Canada's High Arctic this year, with departures from Ottawa in August and September 2018. The historic sea route has only recently become accessible to passenger ships as the ice pack has melted and shifted. Also new for the company is a nine-day Rivers of Adventure cruise along America's Columbia and Snake rivers from either Portland in Oregon or Lewiston in Idaho on Legacy, which is equipped with kayaks, paddle boards and skiffs. The cruises depart between August-October 2018 and September-November 2019.
Aranui Cruises is adding a special cruise to remote Pitcairn Island as part of its 20 voyages in the South Pacific in 2019. It's a first for the adventure-cruise company, which normally offers regular round-trip voyages from Papeete in Tahiti to the Marquesas, Society and Tuamotu islands. Aranui 5 will sail the new 13-day round-trip cruise from Papeete to Pitcairn Island departing on January 10, 2019, and will make inaugural calls to the lagoons of Anaa and Amanu in the Tuamotus; Mangareva and Aukena in the Gambiers; and Raivave and Rapa in the Austral Islands.
Phone 03 9449 3778. See aranuicruises.com.au
Viking Cruises is offering three new Bali cruise extensions to its 17-day Komodo & the Australian Coast and 13-day Bangkok, Bali & Beyond ocean itineraries in 2018 and 2019. The new extensions include a three-day Bali overview and five-day Bali & Yogyakarta tour that visits Java and its World Heritage sites Prambanan and Borobudur Temple, as well as Yogyakarta's royal palace. There's also a four-day Ubud extension with visits to the Monkey Forest Sanctuary, Ubud Palace and the Puri Lukisan Museum, as well as a chance to enjoy a barong dance performance.
Phone 138 747. See vikingcruises.com.au