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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Cruise ship review: Kapitan Khlebnikov

Cruise ship review: Kapitan Khlebnikov: "Voyage beyond Arctic ice into a land of legend aboard the world’s most famous passenger-carrying icebreaker, the Kapitan Khlebnikov. Words Roderick Eime."

The Kids from Snowy River

The Kids from Snowy River: "There are many ways to explore and enjoy the great outdoors. One of the most rewarding is from the back of a horse."

All Aboard!

All Aboard!: "Every boy loves a steam train and it seems girls are pretty keen on the noisy coal-fired monsters too."

Biggles flies again

Biggles flies again

Nothing beats the sound of a huge radial engine as it bursts into life. The raw noise immediately creates an aura of excitement and anticipation.

Back to nature with ecotourism

Back to nature with ecotourism

Once upon a time, staying at a caravan park or campground was a hit-and-miss affair. Musty cabins, smelly shower blocks and grumpy caretakers are what many of us remember of caravanning in the '60s, '70s and even '80s.

Calling Super Nanny

Calling Super Nanny

Every parent has to deal with children's "tanties". Yelling, screaming and the occasional foul language are bad enough at home, but a nightmare scenario when travelling. Unruly children will spoil your own holiday and if you're travelling with a group, can have adverse effects on your companions.

Mummy, I feel sick

Mummy, I feel sick

The bane of any travelling parent has to be travel sickness. Some adults seem to be acutely susceptible to travel and motion sickness but it is especially so with children, mainly because they are unable to recognise the symptoms and do not know how to respond.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

In Pursuit of Adventure

Kapitan Khlebnikov

Adventure cruising, and its almost seamlessly interchangeable appellation, “expedition cruising”, has its roots deep in the human psyche. It stems from our innate desire to inquire, explore and expand the boundaries of our environment whilst deriving intellectual rewards from the experience. Expanding on this, one could name great navigators like Magellan, Cook, La Perouse and Pytheas as some of the best known “adventure cruisers”. Often travelling under the veil of commerce, military expansionism, geography or science, these iconic sailors were driven by a desire to expand their own personal knowledge quite apart from obligations to their respective bankrolling empires.

The 21st Century adventure cruiser is transported in vastly different vessels. Complete with state-of-the-art satellite navigation, first rate medical facilities, gourmet cuisine and comfy bunks, gone are the days of deprivation, scurvy and mythical sea monsters.

Just as cruise travel is enjoying a very healthy resurgence despite the woes of the planet, adventure cruising, as a significant sub-set of the segment, is booming. This assertion is backed up by figures and concurs with findings from studies such as the Cendant Corporation's 'The World of Travel in 2020' where their findings indicate travellers are more and more in search of "experience-driven travel".

But how do you tell an adventure or expedition cruise from the regular fun-afloat type?

That which separates adventure cruising from the regular, big ship, variety is a number of factors, namely;

  • Flexible and adjustable itineraries to take account of changing conditions and opportunities.
  • Products driven by destination and experience rather than the allure or cachet of a particular vessel.
  • Destinations often have little or no tourism infrastructure and focus on natural, cultural and ecological attractions.
  • Smaller, more manoeuvrable vessels able to navigate narrow and shallow waterways inaccessible to regular cruise ships.
  • Fewer passengers, enabling operators to better deliver a more personal and fulfilling experience. Typically less than 500, but often as few as just a dozen or so.
  • Extensive shore excursion programme, often with several disembarkations per day.
  • Cruise staff includes lecturers drawn from academia and science able to impart enriching interpretation during a voyage or shore time.
  • Premium pricing.

See: Adventure Associates

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