Australia’s newest expedition ship, Coral Adventurer, will take modern-day explorers on a rare, cultural immersion voyage this October to remote destinations in Papua New Guinea, West Papua and the Maluku Islands just north of Australia.
A new, all-inclusive, 24-night ‘Customs and Craftsmen Expedition’ package has been released by Cruise Express for the inaugural itinerary, with solo travellers able to join the special voyage without a single supplement if booked by August 31, subject to availability.
Purpose-made for expedition cruising from Australia, the 120-passenger, state-of-the-art Coral Adventurer was launched in April this year for Coral Expeditions and offers a wrap-around Promenade Deck, an open guest lounge on the bridge, restaurant, lounge, deck bar, gym and hi-tech tenders and Zodiacs to take guests ashore.
Coral Expeditions’ first-ever art and culture expedition begins in Darwin on October 7, 2019, where Cruise Express has included a night’s stay before guests board Coral Adventurer for a 22-night journey to Cairns via rarely visited destinations in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Visiting far-flung islands and villages, the unique itinerary aims to help guests interact with local craftsmen and artists, with villagers also performing colourful dances for passengers. New Guinea tribal art expert, Richard Aldridge, will also join the cruise as an art guide and lecturer.
The itinerary includes visits to 18 pristine destinations in Papua New Guinea, West Papua and the Maluku Islands – places unfamiliar to most Australians but rich in exotic culture and abundant coral reefs. Adventures ashore include a high tea at the Sultan’s Palace in Ternate overlooking the islands of the Molucca Sea and a traditional dinner under the stars at Fort Belgica in Banda while guests can also help search for giant whale sharks a Cenderawasih Bay in West Papua.
The voyage ends in Cairns with Cruise Express including a night’s stay before the flight home.
Including flights from and back to Sydney and beverages with lunch and dinner onboard, the 24-night package is available from $20,269 per person, twin-share. Fares from other Australian cities are also available. Solo travellers can join the voyage without paying a single supplement for the cruise – subject to availability – with solo fares from $20,540.
Special offer – free onboard beverages in Balcony stateroom or above
Media Release, 28 May 2019
Ship and train lovers will all be happy on an exclusive, new, rail and sail cruise tour to New Zealand this October.
Cruise Express has released the fully hosted ‘New Zealand Rail and Sail’ itinerary, offering complimentary, onboard drinks for bookings made in Balcony staterooms or above. The offer is available until sold out.
The 16-night package features a 12-night cruise aboard Celebrity Solstice from Sydney to Auckland and a four-night North Island tour including a two-day ride aboard a historic train between Auckland and Wellington.
Sailing from Sydney on 27 October 2019, the cruise will visit Hobart, Fjordland, Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, Tauranga and the Bay of Islands before the cruise ends in Auckland.
A four-night land tour follows including a night in Auckland and a two-day trip to Wellington aboard the historic, privately chartered RM31 railcar, ‘Tokomaru’. Built in 1938 and named after a Maori canoe, the railmotor was used for North Island passenger rail services for more than 30 years until the early 1970s and still retains her traditional, art deco charm.
Half-way through the journey, guests will stay at the grand, 90-year-old Chateau Tongariro hotel on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu. The tour ends with two nights in Wellington with a lunch visit to the wineries of the famous Martinborough wine region – famous for pinot noir.
Including a flight home to Australia, the 16-night New Zealand Rail and Sail cruise tour is available from $4,790 per person, twin-share, in an Inside Cabin.In Balcony Cabins and above (from $5,690 per person twin-share), passengers will receive a bonus Classic Beverage Package for drinks onboard Celebrity Solstice. The offer is available until sold out.
The cruise tour will be hosted by a Cruise Express Tour Manager.
Sydney to Brisbane by heritage rail and return by sea
Low solo supplement
Media Release, 14 May 2019
A unique, six-day rail and sea adventure just launched for this September will see slow travel lovers enjoy a three-day, heritage train trip from Sydney to Brisbane and a return journey aboard a cruise ship.
Released and hosted by Cruise Express, the new ‘Border Loop’ rail and sail tour will tap into increasing demand for nostalgic, long-distance travel aboard historic trains.
Ideal as a spring short break, the ‘Loop’ begins on 12 September 2019, when the restored, privately chartered rail motor 621/721 leaves Sydney for a leisurely, three-day journey north to Brisbane. Built in 1962 to serve the Hunter region of NSW, the rail motor offers windows that open for fresh air and clear views of the passing countryside.
The train will stop at the Rail Motor Society yard at Paterson in the Hunter Valley where there will be time to view the other rail motors in the collection. Overnight hotel accommodation and dinner are included in both Port Macquarie and Grafton en route to Brisbane, with the final day seeing the train travel through the Border Ranges and the Border Loop, where the line spirals up around a mountain and back over itself into Queensland.
After a half day and night in Brisbane, guests will board the 19-deck Majestic Princess for a two-night cruise back south to Sydney. There’s time to enjoy the ship’s 13 dining venues, four pools, six jacuzzis, spectacular stage shows, open decks and a glass-bottomed walkway extending over the edge of the ship before passengers arrive back in Sydney
Including 13 meals, the five-night ‘Border Loop’ cruise tour from Sydney is available from $1,790 per person, twin-share, and just $2,290 for solo travellers.
Complimentary cabin upgrade with Silversea Cruises, saving up to $2000 per couple – Book by June 2019
Media Release, 7 May 2019
A complimentary cabin upgrade valued at up to $2000 per couple is available for a new luxury, escorted cruise tour in 2020 designed to showcase ancient lands from Turkey and Greece to Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
Hosted by Cruise Express, the exclusive, 35-night ‘Voyage of Antiquities’ holiday also includes a dawn landing on the shores of Gallipoli for a special commemoration service and a spectacular hot air balloon ride in Turkey over the whimsical, other-worldly landscape of Cappadocia, where churches and houses are hewn from rock.
Departing Australia on October 18, 2020, the tour begins with a 17-night exploration overland through Turkey and Greece.
The itinerary takes in the elaborate mosques and buzzing bazaars of Istanbul, the legends of Troy and its Trojan Horse and the ethereal ruins of temples built millennia ago. On October 29, 2020, guests will land at dawn by boat on the storied sands of Anzac Cove at Gallipoli for a special commemoration service at Lone Pine hosted by Cruise Express. In Greece, more stunning sights await including the monasteries clinging to the cliffs of Meteroa, the ancient, outdoor theatres of Delphi and the mighty Acropolis standing guard over Athens.
The tour then takes to sea for a 16-night cruise from Athens to Dubai aboard the luxurious ship, Silver Spirit, which offers every guest a butler in an ocean-view suite as well as complimentary, premium wines and spirits all day long. From ports in Jordan, Israel, Egypt and Oman, guests can visit iconic places like Jerusalem, Bethlehem, the Dead Sea, the awe-inspiring Valley of the Kings and the ancient ‘Rose City’ of Petra – one of the wonders of the ancient world – hidden in a narrow canyon and carved from pink, sandstone cliffs.
At the end of the cruise in Dubai, a farewell night is spent in the futuristic, skyscraper city of Dubai before the flight home to Australia.
Including return flights from Australia, the 35-night escorted ‘Voyages of Antiquities’ cruise tour is available from $14,990 per person, twin-share, in a Vista Suite, with a complimentary upgrade to a Panorama Suite – worth – $1000 per person – available for bookings made by June 7, 2019.Conditions apply.
Complimentary cabin upgrade – Book by 31 May 2019 Media Release, 1 May 2019
A complimentary cabin upgrade is on offer for a new circle-Japan cruise tour in 2020 timed to coincide with the spring-time spectacle of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms.
Hosted by Cruise Express, the 18-night ‘Blossoms of Japan’ itinerary is designed to immerse Australians in the country’s rich traditions and customs, with guests joining tea ceremonies, donning kimonos, learning to make sushi and watching a sumo wrestling display. Shinkansen Bullet Train rides, the neon-lit shopping frenzy of Ginza and iconic Mt Fuji are also featured in the exclusive, escorted cruise tour.
Departing Australia on 2 April 2020, the tour begins in Osaka with a nine-day overland tour of Japan that first heads to the ancient, cultural capital of Kyoto with its 1,600 ornate shrines and temples. Experiences in Kyoto include a traditional tea ceremony, the spectacular Arashiyama Bamboo Paths, the striking Fushimi Inari Shrine, the Giant Buddha Temple, Nara Deer Park and the majestic, lakeside temple of the Golden Pavilion, framed by fluffy cherry blossoms in spring.
A 320km/h Bullet Train then takes the group to Hiroshima, once destroyed in World War 2 but now a city devoted to peace. Another Bullet Train is taken to Hakone for a scenic ride on the Hakone Ropeway and a cruise on beautiful Lake Ashi, backdropped by Mt Fuji – Japan’s spiritual epicenter.
In Tokyo, the capital’s many shrines and temples are visited, with guests also joining a sushi-making class, watching sumo wrestlers tussle and joining the crowds at the busy, neon-lit shopping district of Ginza.
In Yokohama, guests then board Princess Cruises’ Japanese-built Diamond Princess for an eight-night, round-trip cruise circling the main island of Honshu. Boasting a large sushi bar and the largest Japanese bathhouse at sea, the 2670-passenger ship will call at five Japanese ports including the cherry blossom gardens of Niigata, the
ancient temples of Tsuruga, the preserved geisha houses of Kanazawa, the sacred mountains of Sakata and the city of Sakaiminato, famous for the 100 bronze statues of supernatural characters spread across the city centre. The cruise also visits the South Korean city of Busan known for its beaches and where drinking tea is treated as a form of calming meditation.
After disembarking back in Yokohama, a day tour will reveal the city’s cultural attractions before flying home.
Including return flights from Australia, the 18-night escorted ‘Blossoms of Japan’ cruise tour is available from $9990 per person, twin-share, in an Inside Cabin, with a complimentary upgrade to an Obstructed Oceanview Cabin available for bookings made by 31 May 2019.Conditions apply.
For more information on this incredible journey click here.