February 2, 2014

Andrew Halsall - Aurora Expeditions - Antarctica & Ship - Polar Pioneer

Adventure travel seems to be gaining in popularity amongst all age groups and is not only the domain of the young and ultra fit, but is now opening up to those other more physically challenged and less adventurous travellers, the “armchair tourists”, who are breaking down the barriers to enter the realms of those who like their adventure with a capital “A”.

For those adventurous soles who love to push the boundaries and try unique experiences when they travel, something that is sure to make the hairs on the back of their neck stand up is Polar Snorkelling.

TASHI TENZINGAustralian adventure company, Aurora Expeditions, is the first operator to offer this ground breaking activity as part of their refreshed Antarctic program, which includes the introduction of a new port and Antarctic Gateway, Puerto Williams. While witnessing the wildlife and scenery, not found in any other place on earth, Polar Snorkelling gives passengers the opportunity to explore the icy waters alongside penguins, seals and whales.

After decades of experience taking passengers to Antarctica via South America, Aurora Expeditions has also introduced a brand new “Ecuador in Depth” voyage, exploring Ecuador’s Amazon Basin and the wildlife of the Galapagos Islands by small ship.  All their expeditions are on ships limited to 60 passengers or less, allowing for greater flexibility if tides, ice or weather dictate schedule changes and because there are less people to ferry ashore, they make more landings.  Aurora’s expedition staff are remote area specialists whose on board lectures will expand your knowledge

As well as their expeditions to the Polar regions, Aurora Expeditions offer passengers the opportunity to follow migrating humpbacks up Alaska’s Inside Passage or closer to home, explore Australia’s tropical north by combining in one voyage the Kimberley Coast, Arnhem Land, Cape York and the Great Barrier Reef.

If ocean going adventure is not to your liking, why not take in some mountain scenery while trekking through some of the world’s most remote land locked countries including Nepal, Bhutan and Patagonia.  Penguin Antarctic Peninsula - Aurora ExpeditionsThe treks fit their ethos of small groups and educational experiences in remote places.  In Nepal, join Aurora’s climbing guide, three times Everest summiteer Tashi Tenzing, as he introduces trekkers to Sherpa culture and hospitality in the heart of the Mt Everest region.  In Bhutan, share mountain trails with Buddhist pilgrims and yak herders while in Patagonia the ten day program of walks amongst the pampas and ice capped peaks of the Andes is the perfect warm up for those taking an Antarctic cruise.

CEO of Aurora Expeditions, Lisa Bolton said “The exciting addition of adventure treks and expansion of our expedition cruise program is in response to the high level of demand for respectful travel to hard to reach destinations.  Our commitment to providing authentic small group experiences and our reputation for pushing the boundaries is a winning combination and I look forward to developing the program further”.

Aurora Expeditions recently launched their 2014/2015 brochure which features seven new destinations across nineteen itineraries

Sandra Tiltman 


February 2, 2014


Laughter is not often associated with opera, but laugh the audience did at Opera Australia’s current production of Rossini’s “The Turk in Italy”.  Never before have I laughed virtually from the beginning to the end of an opera performance, I only wish I could have understood Italian so I did not have to keep reading the sur-titles to understand what was being sung.

Gabriela Tylesova’s ultra chic set with pink neon tube lighting, provided the perfect Naples beachside café atmosphere for the evening’s mayhem to occur.

The sight of a stage full of white clad Elvis (complete with slick back hair and sunglasses) and Marilyn Monroes, dressed a la “Seven Year Itch”, was certainly a sight to behold.

Take two long lost lovers (a gypsy and a prince), add a quarrelling couple (a free spirit and a fool) and stir in a secret lover for good measure. Mix them with a masquerade ball, a dash of the seashore (with 1950s bikinis of course), dancing, deceit and delightful confusion, simmer it all and there you have it, a night of pure entertainment, not only for opera buffs but for everyone.

“The Turk in Italy” is playing at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House until 12 February as part of Opera Australia’s Sydney Summer Season 2014.

Sandra Tiltman