GREAT CRUISE ESCAPES
Ice maidens: Seabourn has announced details of landing sites, including meetings with Chilean research teams, on its four inaugural Ultimate Antarctica & Patagonia voyages aboard the 225-suite Seabourn Quest later this year. Featured in the mix is Half Moon Island in the South Shetlands, home to chinstrap penguins, blue-eyed cormorants, kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, terns and skua. Special fares for the 21-day voyage, departing November 20 from Buenos Aires to end in Valparaiso, Chile, start at $10,999 a person twin-share with veranda suite upgrade and shipboard credit of $US1000 ($1120) a suite. More: 132 402; seabourn.com. Share and save: Cruise and share with a partner or friend and there are savings of 50 per cent off for the second passenger on Royal Caribbean’s Australian, New Zealand and South Pacific voyages from October to March. The deal applies to Voyager of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas; a seven-night sailing aboard Rhapsody to Melbourne and Hobart departs December 12 from Sydney return and starts at $1099 for the first passenger ($549 for the twin-share second). A nine-night South Pacific cruise from February 1, also on Rhapsody, is priced from $1699 ($ 849). More: 1800 754 500; royalcaribbean.com.au. Cargo cult: French Polynesiabased freighter cruise line Aranui has a series of 17 round-trip 14-day departures from Papeete next year on itineraries that include artist Paul Gauguin’s final resting place in the northernmost Marquesas. The mixed passenger and cargo vessel Aranui 3 delivers supplies to far-flung ports while passengers explore the islands on guided excursions. Ultimate Cruising has packages from $8299 a person twin- share, including touring, meals with selected wines, return economy airfares from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, plus transfers and pre and post-cruise hotels in Papeete. More: 1300 485 846; ultimatecruising.com.au. Alaska alert: Travel on a fournight tour aboard the Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canadian Rockies and then cruise Alaska’s Inside Passage and coastline on an ocean liner for seven nights on a new Cruise1st fly, tour and cruise package departing May 12. Included are international flights and credit of $125 for Rocky Mountaineer optional excursions. Departures ex Sydney, $4499 a person twin-share; Melbourne and Brisbane, $4699; Adelaide, $ 4999; Perth, $ 5199; and Canberra, $5099. The deal also covers a full-day tour of Banff, heli ride over the Rockies and hotels. More: 1300 596 345; cruise1st.com.au.