ICYMI: top cruise stories in April

Latest Antarctica program from Aurora

Aurora Expeditions has launched its 2018/2019 Antarctic program, offering voyages among destinations including the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, the wild Weddell Sea and the Falkland Islands.

The program features 11 small-group expeditions aboard the 54-passenger vessel Polar Pioneer, departing between November 2018 and March 2019.

Returning next year is the recently introduced Sub-Antarctic Safari, a 15-day expedition to the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. It offers close encounters with wildlife including king penguins, seals and birdlife, and is priced from US$11,100 per person twin share.

An early bird offer provides savings of up to 15% when booked before 30 June 2017.

Pacific Partnership program to expand

P&O Cruises’ Pacific Partnership fundraising program has broken the million-dollar barrier since it was launched in 2013.

The line is now expanding the partnership with two new community programs to assist women and young children in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, working in conjunction with Save the Children Australia.

In PNG, the partnership will help support a project for newborns, encouraging mothers to have their babies delivered at health centres by helping to cover medical fees, while in the Solomon Islands it will support an early childhood development project.

P&O formed its Pacific Partnership with Save the Children in 2013. Since then, P&O passengers have raised $1 million which has helped construct kindergartens and build health posts in Vanuatu.

Azamara expands Australian program

Azamara Club Cruises will expand its range of Australian and New Zealand itineraries in 2019, including the line’s first departures from Melbourne and Perth.

Azamara Quest will arrive in late 2018, first offering a 15-night cruise from Perth to Melbourne via Sydney where it will spend three nights docked over New Year’s Eve. It will also offer a 16-night voyage from Melbourne, ending in Auckland.

The Australian and New Zealand itineraries are part of Azamara’s 2019 worldwide program which will offer a record 250 ports.