Category Archives: News

Orion Ship Saves Stranded Sailor in Antarctica

Passengers aboard the Orion where sailing on Day 11 of a 18-day Antarctica expedition cruise when they were drafted to assist in the rescue of a solo sailor who was adrift after his sailboat had sank more than three days earlier.

Crew members from the Orion rescue a sailor adrift in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica

Crew members from the Orion rescue a sailor adrift in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica

Experienced yachtsman, Frenchman Alain Delord was attempting to sail solo around the world, without assistance. He had been at sea since October last year. On Friday, his yacht, Tchouk Tchouk Nougat, was damaged and sank in rough weather off southern Australia’s Tasmania island.

The Orion diverted from its scheduled Antarctic itinerary to assist with the rescue, battling deteriorating weather conditions to reach him before sunset. It was the only ship within 100 nautical miles to respond to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)’s distress call. The AMSA had dropped Delord food, water, communications equipment and a safety suit on Saturday and had stayed in regular contact with him leading up to the rescue.

Read the rest of this entry

Lindblad Expeditions – National Geographic

Want my clients to know that all Lindblad/National Geo sailings are departing with no complications from Sandy. However, their offices in New York are still without power. They are running emergency calls through their Seattle office.

If you have any qustions before your sailing call us….We are on the west coast and here to answer our clients questions and reserve new cabins on Lindblad’s unique expeditions. . Linda 888-815-5428

Oslo – Lindblad passengers are safe

Our passengers on the High Artic Russia sailing are at the Hotel Continental many blocks away from the horrible issues in Oslo. They are being well taken care of and fly out tomorrow on schedule.

Passengers on the Land of the Ice Bears will arrive in Oslo, and are scheduled to overnight at the airport hotel away from the center of town.

Reason to travel with a reputable company like Lindblad/Nationa Geographic, we are on top of it.

Sitka, Alaska new dock no ships

Sitka, Alaska has built a new dock to encourage the big cruise ships to visit their small port town. So far they have a dock and no big cruise ships.

This is the time to take your SMALL ship cruise that visits Sitka. Once the big ships show up the town will be overrun. At this point I do not think there is a single Carribbean gold store in Sitka, as in all the other big ship ports. Sitka is on the verge of change, and not for the better in my opinion. I believe 2013 will see the transition of a native port to a tourist port. Read the rest of this entry

Small ship Alaska and Hawaii cruises – New

It is exciting to have more small ships to offer my clients. As Cruise West closed down, their popular ships are being purchased by other companies and will be put back into service in Alaska. Two ships for now…others to showup in the future.

Hawaii, by small ship. A very new unique one of a kind cruise experience. This is a first and it is filling up amazingly fast. Very popular idea that no other line has jumped on. Being on your almost private yacht for a week sailing between the Hawaiian Islands………sign me up…

By Jay Clarke
Special to The Miami Herald
Two new small-ship cruise lines will start service in Alaska in May.

Alaska Dream Cruises will operate a three-ship fleet that includes two former 78-passenger Cruise West vessels that will be renamed Admiralty Dream and Baranof Dream and a 49-passenger renovated catamaran to be named the Alaska Dream. The new line, created by Allen Marine Tours, will offer seven-night cruises from Sitka.

Inner Sea Discoveries, created by American Safari Cruises, will operate two 49-passenger vessels, Wilderness Adventurer and Wilderness Discoverer. The former Glacier Bay Cruise Line vessels are undergoing extensive renovation. They will explore coves and other rarely seen sites along the Inside Passage. Inner Sea will offer seven-night one-way cruises between Juneau and Ketchikan and 14-night one-way trips between Seattle and Juneau.


A second American-flagged cruise line will begin making cruises within Hawaii next year. The 36-passenger Safari Explorer, owned by American Safari Cruises, will make seven- and 10-night one-way cruises between Maui and the Big Island and reverse starting in October. Ports of call will include the less-visited islands of Molokai and Lanai, and itineraries will be flexible, enabling passengers to explore remote coves, inlets and shorelines.

Travel Dynamics Clelia damaged by wave in Drake Passage, Antarctica

News on Clelia II owned by Travel Dynamics.

Lets hope she is not more damaged than expected. She is a lovely ship that is finishing her winter season and then will move to another company called Orion Cruises. She is to be called the Orion II and will have a new life in fablulous sailings in Asia starting in spring of 2011.

Clelia 11 Cancels Next Cruise
The ship is now operating at normal speed on its way back to Ushuaia. The next cruise was cancelled to allow for a technical assessment. The ship will resume its normal sailings on December 22. A strong wave in the Drake Passage broke a window on the bridge, damaging electrical circuitry and injuring one crew member. The storm produced waves of six to seven metres with winds up to 45 knots. The damage to the electrical circuitry caused a loss of communications and affected engine performance. The National Geographic Explorer, operated by Lindblad Expeditions, was nearby. It accompanied Clelia II for much of the day and provided assistance in restoring Clelia II’s communications. Late Tuesday, Chilean authorities provided clearance for the National Geographic Explorer to resume speed, and for Clelia II to continue north
to Ushuaia under its own power. Speed was gradually increased during the night. A Lloyd’s surveyor will meet and inspect the ship which is expected tomorrow morning. The current cruise was to have ended today. The ship’s last Antarctica season was cut short for a propeller replacement. On Dec. 26, 2009, a strong current near Petermann Island pushed Clelia II against rocks, damaging the starboard propeller. There were no injuries, and the ship made its way back to Ushuaia under its own power.

Cruise West Spirit of Oceanus/Sea Spirit will sail again

Cruise West Spirit of Oceanus gets new life…Sea Spirit

 Cruise West, Spirit of Oceanus sold to a charter company who re named her Sea Spirit is going to get a new life and sail again.

Quark will charter her to temporarily take the place of their present charter which is in dry dock being repaired.

She will replace the Clipper Adventurer who ran around during her Arctic 2010 season. That incident led to the cancellation of  first three scheduled voyages of the 2010-11 Antarctic season. The repairs to Clipper Adventurer will take longer than previously expected. As a result,  Sea Spirit, formerly known as Spirit of Oceanus, for the Antarctic 2010-2011 season. Sea Spirit will be used instead of Clipper Adventurer, taking over Clipper Adventurer’s scheduled voyages.

Her first voyage as a Quark Expeditions vessel will be the 20-day Explorers’ Quest .  Sea Spirit will carry a maximum of 120 passengers. She is equipped with rigid inflatable boats – RIBs – for shore transfers and cruising. The RIB fleet is comprised of Achilles and Zodiac boats.  

Once the Clipper Adventurer is repaired the Sea Spirit will be sent home for a new company to use her.

Quark’s Quality Adventure Coupled with Unsurpassed Comfort and Style

Sea Spirit guests sail in the most spacious cabins in our fleet and have a choice of one King Size bed or two twin beds. All 57 cabins have private facilities and exterior views. Fifteen of the cabins have private balconies for viewing the extraordinary Antarctic icescape. While enjoying the excitement of Quark’s 20-day Explorers’ Quest, your clients can phone home on the in-room phone with satellite access. Every cabin has individual temperature controls, a sitting area, refrigerator and in-room safe.

Sea Spirit has 7 cabin categories, including triple cabins and the very spacious Owner’s Suite.

Hawaii – Small ship cruise sails the islands

American Safari Cruises Introduces Exclusive and Inclusive Hawaiian Island Adventures for 2011

Action Packed Exploration in Maui, Moloka’i, Molokini, Lana’i and Hawaii
SEATTLE, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ — American Safari Cruises , best known for offering compelling yachting adventures in Alaska and Mexico’s Baja, introduces “authentic Hawaii,” fall 2011. Choose from the 7-night Hawaiian Seascapes and the 10-night Hawaii’s Traditional Shores, both boasting active adventures and cultural exchanges designed to thoroughly engage guests’ senses and take full advantage of the islands attributes as no other cruise can do.

Hawaii is a natural extension to the 13-year-old company’s existing product line-up given the rich marine mammal environment and opportunities to kayak, hike, snorkel, sail, bike, stand-up paddle board and more. American Safari Cruises is the first operator to offer unstructured inter-island yacht cruising in Hawaii, where the next port may not be a port at all, but a magical passage rich with wildlife, a secluded and inviting beach or a quiet cove that beckons to be explored. After a day of action, adventurers can ease tired muscles in the sauna or soak in the on-deck hot tub aboard the elegant 36-guest Safari Explorer.

Paradise shows its true colors via genuine and rewarding experiences that would be virtually impossible to do on one’s own. Both the 7- and 10-night itineraries cruise from Lahaina, Maui to Kona, Hawaii or reverse and feature whale viewing; exploring cliff-lined bays and beaches around the private island of Lana’i; visiting ancient Hawaiian homelands of Moloka’i to enjoy a private Hawaiian Pa’ina (feast); hiking on the Laparuse Trail to view ancient ruins and seizing the rare opportunity to night snorkel in the marine rich environment of Molokini; and strolling on Black Sand Beach near the southernmost tip of the United States, Ka Lae, Hawaii. In addition, optional activities such as scuba diving, helicopter tours, mule ride and golfing are available at select locales.

The 10-night Hawaii’s Traditional Shores also includes three days of island exploration on Hawaii, allowing for ample time to explore this volcanic landmass by foot and small water craft, finesse kayaking skills, seek out Green Sea Turtles and other sea life or lounge on a quiet secluded beach to soak up the fine Hawaiian sunshine.

The 36-guest Safari Explorer offers an on-deck hot tub, sauna, exercise equipment, two-person kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, sail boats, snorkeling equipment and motorized shore boats for close-up exploration, a wine library, and a large-screen TV in the main salon. Exceptional cuisine is prepared with fresh, local ingredients, and the complimentary bar offers premium spirits, fine wines and microbrews. All staterooms offer Tempur-pedic mattresses, flat screen TV/DVD players and iPod docks. The guest-crew ratio is 2 to 1, with an all-American crew that includes two professional naturalists, masseuse and Captain – some who hail from the Hawaiian islands.

The inaugural Hawaiian cruise departs October 26, 2011 with weekly departures through mid-May 2012.

Inclusive prices start at $4,995 for 7-night cruises and $6,495 for 10-nights.

Alaska, Cruise West ships get new life

New cruise line to launch in Alaska with ships from failed Cruise West

By Gene Sloan, USA TODAY

An Alaskan company with a long history in the boating business has announced plans to launch a new small ship cruise line in the state.

As was first reported today by industry watcher Travel Weekly, the new line will be called Alaskan Dream Cruises and operate two vessels that until last month were part of the Cruise West fleet.

Cruise West, one of the most storied names in Alaska tourism, collapsed in September after years of dominating small ship cruising in the state.

Alaskan Dream Cruises is being launched by Sitka, Alaska-based Allen Marine Tours, which has operated day tours in the state since the 1970s and also owns a boatbuilding business. The new line will operate Cruise West’s 78-passenger Spirit of Columbia and Spirit of Alaska, which will be renamed the Admiralty Dream and Baranof Dream.

A third vessel, a 49-passenger catamaran to be called the Alaska Dream, also will be part of the Alaskan Dream Cruises fleet, the line says.

State of Galapagos Island travel

Galapagos Islands – There are a huge number of cruise operators in this area of the world. At Sunstone Tours we only work with a handfull of operators that we know and trust, like Lindblad Expeditions and International Expeditions.  It is times like these that our expertise and experience comes into play. Our clients who are now traveling in the Galapagos are taken care of, our agency is kept up to the minute by our suppliers who are on the ground in Ecuador and Galapagos. We can sleep at night knowing our clients are well taken care of.

Without a good travel agent you are on your own !!!

Lan Suspends Flights To Quito Yesterday Lan cancelled flights to Quito and increased security at its installations because of political unrest in Ecuador. Hundreds of angry police,who were incensed after a law was passed to cut their benefits,plunged Ecuador into chaos yesterday, shutting down airports and blocking highways in a nationwide strike. The government declared a state of siege, putting the military in charge of public order, suspending civil liberties and allowing soldiers to carry out searches without a warrant. Colombia closed its border with Ecuador and Peru decided to close its borders as well. LAN, which has domestic passenger operations in Ecuador, said the airport at the country’s business hub Guayaquil was not closed, but passengers were not being checked in for flights. The military is currently in control of the situation in Ecuador as of 1 October 2010, and efforts are underway to clear debris from roadways. However, due to the widespread unrest that occurred on 30 September, a significant amount of debris and still-burning tires continues to hamper ground transportation, and disruptions will continue throughout the day. There have been no reports thus far of any further protest actions or disturbances; the military is also now in control of the police force. Airports, including Quito’s international airport and Guayaquil’s Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport , are currently open and flight operations are scheduled to return to normal on 1 October; however, in light of the number of aircraft on the ground the majority of initial flight operations will be departures until the backlog is cleared sufficiently to begin accepting arriving flights. Travelers should ensure that roads are passable and that they will be able to book travel on scheduled flight services before attempting to reach airports. It is not currently known to what extent local businesses will resume operations on 1 October.