Tauck has expanded its range of shore excursions on river cruises in Europe from April and May, with second activity options added to eight- to 15-day itineraries on the Danube, Seine and Rhine rivers. For example, on the Blue Danube cruise guests can now visit either Salzburg in Austria or Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic, while guests on the Rhine Enchantment itinerary can enjoy a wine tasting in Riquewihr or a guided bicycle ride in the Black Forest. The latter is one of several active hiking and cycling options on 2018 cruises.
Phone 1300 732 300. See tauck.com.au
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has enhanced its circumnavigation of Australia on the recently refurbished, all-inclusive Seven Seas Mariner. The 36-night itinerary departs Sydney on December 15 and will allow extra time for leisurely exploration and more time in ports, with some overnight stays, as well as an exclusive New Year's Eve party ashore in Bali and up to 64 included shore excursions. The cruise visits iconic destinations such as Broome, Kangaroo Island and the Barrier Reef, as well as Papua New Guinea and Komodo Island in Indonesia.
Phone 1300 455 200. See rssc.com.au
Australian cruise operator Ahoy Buccaneers is expanding this year, offering its first cruises outside the Kimberley region when it debuts a new, six-night cruise through the Torres Strait Islands in October and November. The company's 19-guest motor yacht Oceanic will take passengers on a round-trip cruise from Horn Island in the company of a local guide who will showcase the archipelago's history, from early indigenous cultures to World War II sites. Passengers will also stop for a beer at Australia's most northerly pub, the Torres Hotel on Thursday Island.
Phone 08 9193 7650. See ahoybuccaneers.com.au
Australian small-ship company Aurora Expeditions has announced its new expedition ship will be named Greg Mortimer in honour of the Australian adventurer and company's co-founder. The new 104-metre ice class 1A expedition ship will launch in 2019, utilising the latest advancements in naval design and technology. Among the design elements is an Ulstein X-Bow, which provides more stability than a traditional bow by being less subject to vertical movement. The ship will also be fitted with dynamic positioning technology that allows it to automatically maintain its position, without using its anchors, when launching Zodiacs and kayaks.
Phone 1800 637 688. See auroraexpeditions.com.au
Crystal River Cruises has a new collection of nearly 200 port experiences and excursions on its river cruises along the Danube, Rhine and Main rivers in Europe. Among them are Personal Connections tours hosted by local residents, artisans and other experts; Tantalising Gastronomy tours that feature regional specialties, dining and hands-on cooking experiences; and Cultural Discoveries with special insights into historical landmarks, museums and architecture. Examples include behind-the-scenes tours of tulip greenhouses in Amsterdam, a vintage photography tour in Vukovar, wine-tasting at Vienna's Coburg Palace, and canoeing along Strasbourg's canals.
Phone 02 8074 6500. See crystalcruises.com