BACK AND FORWARD
Two cruise lines are celebrating major milestones this month, saluting the past with ambitious plans for the future. Holland America Line marks its 145th anniversary, starting in April 1873 and growing to an awardwinning premium cruise line with 14 ships sailing to more than 400 ports in seven continents.
In December, HAL will welcome Nieuw Statendam to the fleet, the line’s second Pinnacle Class ship after flagship Koningsdam which launched in April 2016. A third Pinnacle Class ship will set sail in 2021.
French-flagged Ponant marks 30 years since April 1988 when a group of 14 enthusiastic French merchant seamen established the line with original yacht Le Ponant – it is now in the process of doubling its fleet.
By 2021 the luxury expedition line will have a fleet of 12 ships sailing the globe with 460 departures spanning the Antarctic to the Arctic including Alaska, the Amazon, the Kimberley, Papua New Guinea and more. HOLLANDAMERICA.COM, AU.PONANT.COM
DOWN UNDER PERK-UP
A 14-night cruise aboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Solstice, departing Auckland for Sydney on March 29 next year, includes full-day visits in Tauranga, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin, Hobart and Melbourne.
The 15-night package is priced from $3095 twin-share per person which includes airfare to Auckland, one night pre-cruise stay at Pullman Auckland with breakfast, 14-night voyage, all on-board meals, entertainment and gratuities plus $US50 (about $65) on-board credit, per couple.
When booking an Oceanview cabin or higher by May 2, 2018, guests can choose two perks for free, from a choice of: a classic beverage package for two including selected spirits, cocktails, wine, beer and soft drinks; an unlimited internet package; or a shipboard credit of $US150 per person, twin share.
Viking has announced a new voyage for 2019, providing guests the opportunity to sail from Santiago to Sydney on Viking Sun. A special offer of one-way flights for $795 a person is available on the 32-day Islands of the South Pacific itinerary, departing on February 12, 2019, from Santiago.
From Santiago, the voyage calls at Easter Island to witness the mysterious stone figures, then the azure waters around Tahiti and Bora Bora, while New Zealand destinations include the Bay of Islands, the capital Wellington and Milford and Doubtful sounds.
Overnight stays in Auckland and Sydney are included on a package priced from $13,995 a person twin share including eight guided tours, valid until July 31, 2018.
VIKINGCRUISES.COM.AU, PH 138 747
See the wilds of the bottom end of South America from the comfort of
the new 210-guest Ventus Australis which offers four-night cruises from Punta Arenas in Chile to Ushuaia in Argentina or return. The voyage in Patagonia through the narrow fjords of Tierra del Fuego offers the chance to go ashore on Cape Horn and take in the snow-capped mountains of this remote region. The season starts this month and runs to September. Australis has cabins from $US1440 (about $1880) a person twin share.
Tour the British Isles, Scandinavia and Russia on a 26-night package priced from $7490 a person twin share including return airfares and two nights in Amsterdam after a 24night cruise on Celebrity Reflection.
The package combines back-toback cruises, first sailing August 13, 2019, from Amsterdam and calling at Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow, Belfast, Liverpool, Dublin, Cork, St Peter Port in the Channel Islands and back to Amsterdam. Then sail for Warnemunde (for Berlin), Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallinn, Stockholm, Copenhagen and back to Amsterdam.
MYCRUISES.COM.AU, PH 1300 69 2784
Savour some Burmese days on a combined river-sea cruise in Myanmar with stops including a town where famed writer George Orwell served as a policeman – and was inspired to write Burmese Days.
Asia cruise pioneer Pandaw has announced a one-off, 18-night voyage sailing on February 28, 2019, priced from $US6095 (about $7950) a person twin share including domestic flight from Yangon to Kawthaung, transfers, excursions, meals, gratuities, kayaks and snorkelling equipment.
The package has eight nights on river ship Katha Pandaw sailing the Irrawaddy delta calling at towns such as Pyapon, Bogale, Myaungmya where George Orwell once served, Bassein, Wakema and Maubin.
Guests then have 10 nights on the motor yacht Andaman Explorer, sailing the Mergui Archipelago from the southern tip of Burma to Yangon with calls such as Coxcombe Island, Phi Lar Island, Tann Shey Island, Bailey Island, Lun Lun Island, Mergui, Tavoy, Kaikkame and Moulmein.
Pinnacle Class ship Koningsdam will be part of the celebrations for Holland America’s 145-year anniversary.
See what inspired writer George Orwell in Myanmar; and explore Patagonia in comfort.