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PONANT NOW includes daily off-ship excursions built into fares across its entire global itineraries.

Already available on its polar and tropical expeditions in Antarctica, Greenland, Japan and Australia’s Kimberley, the move means daily adventures off the ship are also now built into fares in destinations such as the Mediterranean, Caribbean and North America’s Great Lakes.

Guests can now choose from one excursion in each port of call in their chosen itinerary, with options ranging from supervised outdoor water sports activities, local cultural events or tours to local landmarks and highlights.

All excursions must be pre-booked and are subject to availability and capacity limits, with bookings made on a first-come-first-served basis and accepted between two months and seven days prior to departure.

A range of more exclusive activities and optional excursions with a surcharge are also available on each voyage, including ice fishing, dogsledding, scenic helicopter flights and exploring a volcano.

The change is effective from Australasia’s 2024/25 summer season which recently went on sale featuring 32 departures across 17 itineraries in Oceania, Asia, Antarctica and Northern Europe.

“This enhancement not only streamlines our offerings but also immerses our passengers in the heart of each destination’s culture and natural wonders even more, making every Ponant journey a captivating and uniquely enriching adventure,” said Deb Corbett, Ponant General Manager Sales & Marketing for Asia Pacific.


CUNARD IS offering savings of up to 35 per cent on selected 2024 and 2025 voyages.

Destinations include Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Alaska, South America and Japan.

When booking before December 1, guests can enjoy Cunard’s signature experiences such as West End-style entertainment, fine dining and White Star service on Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria, flagship Queen Mary 2 and the new ship Queen Anne.

Some highlight itineraries are:

  • Five-night inaugural Australian Literature Festival at Sea on Queen Elizabeth departing Sydney on December 11, 2024, from $1,499 per person in a twin share balcony stateroom instead of $1,949.
  • 15-night South Pacific voyage on Queen Elizabeth departing Sydney on January 22, 2025, from $4,699 per person in a twin share balcony stateroom instead of $6,699.
  • 25-night Sydney to Singapore sailing on Queen Anne departing Sydney on February 28, 2025, from $8,499 per person in a twin share balcony stateroom instead of $11,299.
  • 10-night Alaska sailing on Queen Elizabeth departing Vancouver on June 21, 2024, from $2,199 per person in a twin share balcony stateroom instead of $3,649.
  • 52-night South America Discovery on Queen Victoria departing Fort Lauderdale on January 21, 2025, from $11,599 per person in a twin share balcony stateroom instead of $19,299.
  • 21-night Mediterranean Highlights on Queen Victoria departing Rome on August 19, 2024, from $4,399 per person in a twin share balcony stateroom instead of $7,299.


ANOTHER NEW player has announced its intention to expand into the Australian market.

Cruise and land packages with award-winning luxury river cruise line AmaWaterways will now be available from January 2025 onwards.

The line’s expansion into the Australian market opens Virtuoso member access to global commercials, tailored guest offerings that resonate with the regional market and enhanced consumer marketing initiatives.

Virtuoso’s existing partnership with AmaWaterways spans North and South America, Asia and Europe, and encompasses the river cruise line’s entire product range including Vietnam and Cambodia, Southern Africa, Egypt, Colombia and the rivers of Europe.

“We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to AmaWaterways as the latest addition to our esteemed group of preferred cruise partners in the region,” said Fiona Dalton, Virtuoso General Manager, Australia and New Zealand.

“As a launch partner for their expansion to Australia and New Zealand, we are collaborating closely with their executive team to fully harness the potential of our global partnership.”

Virtuoso comprises more than 1,200 travel agency locations with 21,000 travel advisors in 54 countries.

“This is an exciting opportunity for now we get to promote Ama’s entire product range in one of the most important markets in the industry, Australia and New Zealand,” said Gary Murphy, co-owner of AmaWaterways.

“Just as importantly this means I can add Australia on my travel schedule more frequently. Both will bring me great joy.”


APT HAS celebrated the maiden voyage of its newest and most luxurious ship cruising the Mekong River.

The company’s Mekong Serenity set sail from M? Tho in Vietnam on September 11.

The 44-suite ship hosted the first guests, including eight of APT’s top travel agents. Celebrations included a drumming lion and dragon dance, a ritual commonly performed to bring good luck and fortune, along with a special welcome ‘happy hour’ hosted by the company’s CEO, David Cox.

“What an auspicious occasion to be on board this beautiful ship as she sets sail on her maiden voyage,” said Mr Cox.

“The Mekong Serenity is the first Asian ship we have built from scratch to our own specifications and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

The ship will sail on all APT Vietnam and Cambodia itineraries, including the 11-day ‘Spiritual Cambodia and The Mekong’, which includes an in-depth exploration of Siem Reap and the ancient city of Angkor.

Guests then join the ship for the eight-day cruise featuring lesser-known riverside gems including Koh Pen, Angkor Ban and Oknha Tey provide an insight into regional Cambodia and contrast with the bustling atmosphere of Phnom Penh, while a special Buddhist Blessing Ceremony in Oudong is among the highlights.


DISNEY CRUISE Line has chosen the name of its seventh ship which will mark the line’s debut in the Asian market.

Disney Adventure will homeport year-round in Singapore until at least 2030. The ship will helm a new Global class for the line and is completing its construction in Germany, ahead of its relocation to Singapore by 2025.

Onboard she will feature a variety of Disney, Pixar and Marvel stories that draw on fantasy and discovery and are familiar with travellers worldwide.

More details about the ship, including a more precise passenger capacity, are due to be released in the coming months.

Meanwhile the line has revealed that Disney Treasure will be the name of the second ship in its Wish class.

“The Disney Treasure will bring brand new stories to life, blending one-of-a-kind experiences with the extraordinary entertainment, world-class dining and unparalleled hospitality that make every sailing so memorable,” said Sharon Siskie, Disney Cruise Line Senior Vice President and General Manager.

Disney Treasure will set sail on its maiden voyage from Port Canaveral on December 21, 2024, in the form of a seven-night Eastern Caribbean voyage, with bookings now open.


EMERALD CRUISES has unveiled a preview of its new collection of luxury yacht cruises from October 2024 to April 2026.

New destinations are included in the Indian Ocean and Seychelles, plus updated itineraries in the Mediterranean, Adriatic, Red and Caribbean seas.

A newly released Cruise Calendar marks the preview of the Emerald Cruises 2024-2026 yacht cruise collection, on board Emerald Azzurra and Emerald Sakara, which is available to view or order via the Emerald Cruises website.

“Due to popular demand for Emerald Cruises luxury yacht cruising program, we have released our October 2024 to April 2026 program much earlier,” said Angus Crichton, Director of Sales, Marketing & Product for Emerald Cruises.

“While the full brochure will be available later this year, our new 20-page Cruise Calendar will assist guests to plan ahead, with pricing and detailed itineraries now available on our website.”

Super early bird savings from $1,500 per person are available on eight-day cruises, with full payment due 10 months prior to departure.


ROYAL CARIBBEAN has unveiled the first look at its adults-only beachfront getaway opening early next year.

Hideaway Beach will make its debut on Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas in January.

Highlights include a private beach, two heated infinity-edge pools, 20 exclusive cabanas, seven open-air bars, spots to grab a bite and live music.

Adventurers can access all Perfect Day at CocoCay has to offer from 22 Royal Caribbean ships that depart from ports across nine cities.

Getting away can range from three nights on the world’s biggest weekend, the new Utopia of the Seas that debuts in July 2024, to seven nights on Icon of the Seas, setting sail in January.

“Hideaway Beach is a completely new vibe and experience that vacationers are looking for on Perfect Day at CocoCay,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

“Everything from its hidden-like location to the exclusive beach and pools to the private cabanas is designed for adults who want a day just for them.”