Seabourn watersport marina

(8:25 a.m.) -- Seabourn passengers will have more adventurous excursions in Australia and New Zealand next year, with the local expansion of its popular expedition program.

Designed for small groups, Ventures by Seabourn excursions enable guests to explore waterways, inlets and islands on Zodiac inflatable boats or double sea kayaks, launched from the ship’s fold-out water sports marina, and accompanied by scientists, scholars and naturalists.

Seabourn Encore during its inaugural Australian season in early 2017, will offer Zodiac tours of Phillip Island the mangrove systems of Northern Australia in search of wildlife; kayaking in Sawmill Bay, Hamilton Island, including the chance to swim at a secluded beach and hike to the top of Whitsunday peak; scenic kayaking or Zodiac tour of New Zealand’s Milford Sound; and a Zodiac tour from Halfmoon Bay to Ulva Island for bird watching; and a guided hike during calls to Oban on Stewart Island, New Zealand’s southernmost island.

Since launching in Europe in 2015, the Ventures program has expanded to remote locations across the globe including the Amazon earlier this year, and Antarctica, Asia and Alaska in 2017.

“From the spectacular Fiordland National Park in New Zealand’s South Island to the pristine waters of Queensland’s Whitsundays and the abundant wildlife in the Top End, Australia and New Zealand provide the perfect backdrop for Ventures by Seabourn expeditions,” said Seabourn Director of Sales Australia Tony Archbold.

When Seabourn Encore cruises down under in early 2017, it will be the youngest and most luxurious ship to ever visit Australia. Following a gala naming ceremony in Singapore, the 40,350-tonne, 600-passenger ship will sail for Australia arriving in Darwin on January 22. Encore will make nine maiden calls to Australian ports including Cairns on January 26, Sydney on February 2 and Melbourne on February 5.

Fares start from $23,499 per person double occupancy for a 24-night cruise on Seabourn Encore from Singapore to Sydney departing November 10, 2017.

--By Louise Goldsbury, Australia Editor.