0 comments on “An Inside Look at Two Unforgettable African Safaris”

An Inside Look at Two Unforgettable African Safaris

An African safari tops most travelers’ bucket lists for its once-in-a-lifetime appeal, the thrilling adventure of witnessing Africa’s wild animals in their natural habitats and the stunningly exotic scenery. Senior Manager of Destination Services Christine Andrusyshyn is our resident expert in all things related to land tours and has a special passion for safaris. Christine recently had the chance to experience two of our African safaris first-hand, and we sat down with her to get an inside look at what they were like, what types of African wildlife she saw and much more.

Pumba Water Lodge, South Africa

 

Tell us about the ambiance of the lodge: From the moment we arrived we were welcomed with open arms and friendly smiles. All of the beautifully appointed chalets overlooked the huge watering hole where animals come throughout the day to drink – and at night we could hear the hippos in the water! The 12 stone-walled, thatched chalets were all very spacious with viewing decks and plunge pools, fireplaces and complimentary port wine. We were there during their winter so they even put hot water bottles under the covers at turndown – this was a lovely touch. The décor was very British colonial safari, completely done in dark, exotic woods.

What wildlife did you see? So many different types — we saw a herd of lions with cubs and white female lion, impalas, giraffes, elephants, warthogs, so many species of birds, hippos, Cape buffalo and much more! Most exciting for me was when a herd of elephants wandered right past our vehicle and stopped to eat right next to us as if we weren’t even there. We also spotted a white female lion sleeping on a rock and little lion cubs that came out from the trees to play next to our jeep. Our ranger was extremely knowledgeable about everything we saw.

 

Evening safaris include sundowners at sunset which was an amazing experience. Our ranger stopped in a clearing in the bush and set up drinks and snacks behind the vehicle. It was so peaceful until a massive heard of some impalas stampeded by us at top speed, obviously spooked by something. We didn’t take any chance. We high-tailed it out of there – it was exhilarating!

What were meals at the lodge like? An early morning spread of biscuits, toast and coffee and tea is served before going out on the morning game drive. After game drives, breakfast is buffet style with both hot and cold options as well as menu selections for eggs and other à la carte items. Lunch and dinner are both served at the lodge’s restaurant with several selections for appetizers, main dishes and desserts. All drinks Every meal was served like a work of art – beautiful presentation, gourmet quality and absolutely delicious. Afternoon tea included refreshments and light snacks before heading out for the evening game drive.

When can you experience it? As an overland tour on Nautica in 2019 and on Insignia in 2020. Here are a few options:

South African Explorer | Cape Town to Cape Town15 days aboard Nautica departing January 5, 2019

Safaris, Sands & Splendors | Cape Town to Singapore30 days aboard Nautica departing January 20, 2019

Around the World in 180 Days | Miami to San Francisco180 Days aboard Insignia departing January 8, 2020

Shamwari Bayethe, South Africa

 

How did the feel of this lodge compare to Pumba Water Lodge? While Pumba was quite British Colonial, Bayethe was much more modern. This lodge is set on a game reserve that houses 6 lodges and 3 education and rehabilitation centers on more than 60,000 acres – it’s massive. At Bayethe, you stay in a tent but each tent is truly a luxury tent. Nothing is spared and we actually felt like we were in a cabin or lodge. Each luxury tent is surrounded by the forest so you feel like you are completely on your own. It’s very private with long walkways to each tent. Our tent had a king-sized bed, seating area, coal-burning stove, separate bathroom area with tub, an outdoor private shower, a beautiful viewing deck and a plunge pool. The main lodge area houses the cozy dining room with two fireplaces, plus a swimming pool with an outdoor seating area on the deck, all overlooking a watering hole. The staff here was incredibly warm and welcoming as they were at Pumba.

What wildlife did you see? We saw so many amazing animals here and in so many different landscapes – jungles, wetlands, mountainous areas, open and arid regions. Two separate herds of lions casually walked by our jeep as if we weren’t there. We also had a face-off with an elephant – he came right up to the jeep and stared at us. We didn’t move a muscle and then after about five minutes, he calmly walked away. We also saw plenty of zebras, several varieties of antelope, pumbas, hippos and much more. The sunsets were spectacular here…the sky was filled with every shade of orange and pink. Our ranger here was also very knowledgeable and helpful.

 

The safari jeeps were especially great here, seating two people per row and in the middle of each row was a console with blankets inside if needed. The jeeps are covered and there’s a pull-out platform that makes getting in and out much easier. Plus, each row was higher than the row in front of it.

What were meals at the lodge like? They were very similar to Pumba Water Lodge. There’s a large breakfast buffet and a lovely restaurant for lunch and dinner with a wide selection of gourmet dishes. Afternoon tea was particularly amazing here – all types of cakes, sweets and coffee and tea. The wait staff even had jars of candies and nuts with scoops and small bags so that guests could take the snacks on safari.

When can you experience it? As a post-cruise land tour aboard Nautica in 2019 and Insignia in 2020. Here are a few options:

Serenity to Safaris | Dubai to Cape Town 30 days aboard Nautica departing December 7, 2019

Atlantic Adventures | Buenos Aires to Cape Town36 days aboard Insignia departing March 4, 2020

Atlantic Endeavor | Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town25 days aboard Insignia departing March 15, 2020

 

Inspired? Start planning the African safari of your dreams.

1 comment on “Top 5 Romantic Islands Around the World”

Top 5 Romantic Islands Around the World

Seeking a serene escape for you and your significant other? From secluded beaches and famed lagoons to dramatic cliffs, epic sunsets and lush rainforests, these islands span the four corners of the globe and make it hard not to swoon. For your next romantic getaway, here’s what our Destination Specialists say are your best bets.

1. St. Lucia

St. Lucia

 

What’s not to love about settling into the relaxing rhythm of St. Lucia amidst the stunning backdrop of the UNESCO-protected Pitons? This lush island is favored by honeymooners and those looking to escape and reconnect. Stroll the French colonial gem of Soufrière hand-in-hand, explore the majestic old-growth rainforest or perhaps spice things up and learn the island secrets of traditional St. Lucian dishes on one of our popular Culinary Discovery Tours™.

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: Island Spices & Cooking Tour

2. Santorini

Is there any place in the world that can compete with the vistas of Santorini? Dramatic cliffs, ancient ruins, picturesque villages – all with your significant other by your side. You really can’t go wrong with adventures in this Greek paradise, but one involving Santorini wine tops our list.

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: Food & Wine Trails: Santorini’s Boutari Winery, Oia & Fira Visits

3. The Seychelles

The Seychelles

 

A naturalist’s paradise, the Seychelles are one of those locations on the planet that truly are a world away. La Digue offers gorgeous and romantic beaches, while mountainous Mahé offers excellent hiking and beautiful natural parks as well tropical beaches.

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: these secluded islands need no advance planning – arrive, relax and savor every moment of the surreal beauty.

4. Boracay

Declared “World’s Best Island” by Travel+Leisure, Boracay Island is dreamy hidden paradise free from crowds. White Beach is perfect for lazing in the sun by day and enjoying leisurely sunset strolls by evening. The surrounding waters are ideal for snorkeling and often lead you to even more secluded and tranquil stretches of beach that you can enjoy all to yourself.

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: Island Beach & Snorkeling

5. Bora Bora

Bora Bora

 

From the island’s fabled lagoon to off-the-beaten-path villages and beaches, Bora Bora offers endless corners of paradise to uncover together. There are plenty of options for adventures both on land and by sea – off-road safaris, island tours, snorkeling, lagoon cruises and more. Why not cap your Bora Bora island experience off by indulging in a sumptuous dinner at St. Regis on our new exclusive Culinary Discovery Tour?

Romantic Shore Excursion Pick: Gourmet Dinner at St. Regis Bora Bora

A romantic island cruise vacation is the perfect chance to rekindle and re-connect – explore more options now.

1 comment on “Why Namibia Should Be on Your Travel List”

Why Namibia Should Be on Your Travel List

From exciting safaris and genuine cultural interactions to sprawling deserts and surreal landscapes, Namibia has it all. Discover our Destination Specialists’ top 4 reasons you should sail to this stunning African country with us.

shutterstock_718093627.jpgThe Breathtaking Namib Desert
The 80 million-year-old Namib Desert is one of the oldest deserts in the world, home to the world’s highest-shifting sand dunes and adorned with a kaleidoscope of vivid colors. Within the Namib Desert, you can discover the smaller UNESCO-protected Namib Sand Sea, unique plant life and spectacular rock formations.

Discover this vast and fascinating landscape firsthand on our Treasures of the Namib Desert by Off-Road Vehicle shore excursion. 

Immerse Yourself in the Unique Culture
Get an insider’s look at Namibian culture with an expert guide. Discover more about the country’s history, watch a food demonstration, sample local dishes, see traditional dances and more.

Delve into African culture with our Swakopmund Township Tour.

shutterstock_717980434.jpgBird-lovers’ Paradise
Home to thousands of different bird species, Walvis Bay Lagoon attracts many different types of birds due to its rich feeding grounds. This is an ideal location to spot birds such as sandpipers, plovers, pelicans and herons, depending on the season.

Try our Birding Tour to observe a huge variety of shore birds and waders, plus a large Cape Fur Seal colony. 

shutterstock_719043952.jpgWalvis Bay Lagoon
As a RAMSAR Natural Heritage Site and one of the most important wetlands along Southern Africa’s west coast, the Walvis Bay Lagoon is not only renowned for its native bird species, but also bottlenose dolphins and a seal colony. The calm water is perfect for natural explorations and appreciating the beautiful scenery.

For relaxing nature cruise on Walvis Bay Lagoon paired with sparkling wine and fresh oysters, try our Dolphin & Seal Cruise.

Join us in Africa this winter!

1 comment on “The Seychelles: The World’s Oldest Islands”

The Seychelles: The World’s Oldest Islands

By Guest Lecturer Dr. John Freedman

In my many interesting conversations with fellow travelers at sea, I’m often asked about my favorite destinations. High on the list is the unique granitic archipelago of the Seychelles.

3 comments on “Guest Post: Top World Travel Adventures”

Guest Post: Top World Travel Adventures

Passionate traveler and Oceania Cruises guest Isabel G. shares some of her most memorable travel experiences, plus where she’s dreaming of next.

As a passionate traveler I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to see many parts of the world. Some places were harder to travel to than others and some cultures were more unique and surprising. Throughout the years, I’ve learned that one of my favorite ways to visit some of the farthest corners of the world is aboard a small ship – with Oceania Cruises.