Category Archives: Oceans and Seas

Antarctic cruise

An Epic Adventure in Antarctica – Waiting for You

Join Peregrine for an Adventure in Antarctica with discounts now available! 

When it comes to vacations, most people take the more structured approach and head for the first all-inclusive resort that catches their eye, intent on lifting nary a finger while on vacation. The middle-ground is solo travel to the backpacker hot spots. The truly daring traveler, meanwhile, may opt for visiting a handful of truly exhilarating destinations. These trips usually require tons of grit and personal planning to pull off successfully, but they make up for it by providing experiences so unique that it’s hard to put them into words. As luck would have it, Peregrine Adventures has just rolled out an amazing discount package on just such a tour and have done all of the hard work for you! For a limited time only, readers can sign up for a guided tour of what is probably planet Earth’s most isolated bit of land, Antarctica, and receive a discount of up to AU$1,650 per person.

Antarctic Cruise

Antarctica Explorer Tour

This thirteen day Antarctic excursion is the perfect tour for first-timers to this type of excursion, as well as for those who can’t or don’t want to commit to a longer voyage. Passengers will use the world’s most southern city as their launching point: Ushuaia, Argentina. The people of Ushuaia are friendly, and the food and wine are not to be missed, but they don’t call this place Tierra del Fuego (The End of the World) for nothing! It won’t be long before the only thing visible from horizon to horizon is the sea. Soon, though, you and your fellow shipmates – fast friends by now - will see the Antarctic Peninsula.

Zodiac Antarctica

Daily land and boat tours of the peninsula and outlying islands and coastal sections will comprise the bulk of your tour, with a heavy emphasis on wildlife. You’ll see lots of penguins and seals, featuring the voracious Leopard Seal, who prey upon them, and if fortune is with you, even pods of migrating humpback whales! This Antarctic Explorer tour is nothing short of incredible. The tour will end where it began, back in Argentina, where you can toast your epic voyage with a glass of delicious wine.

Crossing the Circle via Falklands & South Georgia Tour

The Crossing the Circle Antarctic Tour is one of the more in-depth tours that Peregrine Adventures offers in Antarctica. Want to cross the Antarctic Circle? We do it. Want to snap a few pictures of penguins as they nest in vast flocks? We’ll head off to a penguin colony. Whale-watching opportunities are usually plentiful, and it isn’t uncommon for a zodiac tour to bump into a pod of migrating humpbacks. Watching one of these gentle behemoths surface for air so close to your craft that you can count the barnacles on its skin is nothing less than awe-inspiring. Nature is the jewel of Antarctica, and visitors will experience it in spades. In fact, once the tour leaves from Ushuaia, the first sign youhaven’t sailed off the edge of the map will be the seabirds flitting to and from the Antarctic coastline. This 23 day tour is epic in scope. Weather and circumstances permitting, guests will scour the peninsular coast, including various islands (the Falklands, for instance), isolated bays, and more. Bird-watching, seal and penguin sightings (including rookery tours), night-time iceberg viewings, and more are just some of the things you’ll be able to tell your friends about! You’ll be glad you’ve got the photos to prove it too, so don’t forget to bring a spare memory card.

Antarctic cruise

Indeed, the chance to visit such an alien land as Antarctica is a real gift – one that some have paid for with their lives. A sobering tribute at the grave of the leader of the Shackleton expedition will remind guests that this is still a very savage, if beautiful, place.

If this sounds like something that appeals to you, you need to hurry over to Peregrine Adventures’ website. The steep discounts available on these tours, as well as on our opulent premium cabin options, are going fast. Visit peregrineadventures.com to get yours before they disappear!

If you want to put your own footprints on the shores at the world’s end, go to Peregrine Adventures’ website now and sign up! Be quick though, as the spectacular discounts attached to these Antarctica tours with Peregrine Adventures,including price-cuts on our most luxurious premium cabins, won’t last forever!

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post but it wouldn’t be here if this weren’t a trip I dream of going on – in addition, by including it here there are some astounding discounts available to Vagobond readers. Maybe we’ll see you on board. 

Gokceada Nature

Gokceada Island – Turkey’s Huge Organic Island

Organic travel. I suppose it’s just a matter of time before some clever marketer builds a website completely dedicated to the idea of traveling to places that grow organic food. When they do, Gokceada Island in Turkey will certainly be on the list of ‘must see’ destinations.

Ours was just a day trip to Gokceada, mainly because it was the off season, but still, I could easily see the reason why people like to come to this, Turkey’s largest island. Turkey has a number of islands, as would be expected of a country that is bordered by the Aegean Sea, the Marmara Sea, The Black Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea and which contains the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, however, Gokceada NatureTurkey doesn’t have as many islands as one would think, mainly due to the ancient conflict with Greece who has managed to keep control of most of the islands that the Turks believe should be theirs.

Gokceada is about 13 by 30 kilometers, a small island when compared with Oahu or Hawaii, but big enough to have some small mountain ranges. Gokceada is strange to visit in that it feels very Greek. In fact, it too, used to be under Greek control and was then called Imbros. We were told by a young man we met and spoke with in Gokceada Town that nearly 60% of the population are Greek Orthodox, hard to believe when you see the mosques, but then, it is one of the only places I’ve seen Christian churches that weren’t ruins in Turkey, so I’ll trust the local on this one. Turkish Greek Town

We took the ferry from Kabatepe on the Gallipolli Peninsula. The dolmus to the ferry was three lira each and the ferry was four lira each with the return trip being free. The weather wasn’t great, but we still stood on the deck and took in the view. It was both of our first trip to an island in Turkey and knowing that the other islands we could see in the distance were Greek made it feel doubly interesting. Ferry to GokceadaPlus, we met and made friends with the cutest kids on the boat. The ferry docked in the tiny village of Kuzulimani and rather than getting into the incredibly crowded mini-buses, we decided to walk. A car coming off the ferry offered us a ride into Gokceada Town.

As I said, the weather wasn’t great, but still, Gokceada was gorgeous. Small villages, rolling hills, pine forests, and craggy small mountains along with plenty of goats, sheep, chickens, and cows along the way. Gokceada TourismOur kindly driver dropped us off, he didn’t speak any English and our Turkish allows for only the barest of conversation, but still, the smiles and waves seemed to be enough.

We picked up a tourist map in Gokceada Town and stopped in a tiny grape vine covered cafe to have coffee and baklava. The owner told us that most of the seaside hotels and pensions had closed for the season and that was the main thing that decided us. Later we had a look at the hotels in landlocked Gokceada town, but the prices were high and the amenities not great. We realized that we could have a day trip, take the ferry back, catch an overnight bus to Izmir, and then be back home in Manisa for the same price and without having to stay in the somewhat stinky rooms of the hotels and it was decided.

Fishing in the AegeanWe hitchhiked out to Kalekoy, the main seaside village. A nice couple from Aydin picked us up. Again, not much communication, but lots of smiles and a few laughs. It was true, all the pensions in Kalekoy were closed, but still we enjoyed sitting on the jetty, watching the fishermen, and eating a picnic lunch which Hanane had wisely decided to bring with us. There were deserted greek stone houses reminiscent of Kayakoy in the hills, but we didn’t feel particularly like hiking through them, so we simply walked through the regular inhabited village which actually felt just as deserted as the other, though with glass in the window’s still.

Gokceada Island Empty BuildingsGokceada is trying to become the first 100% organic island in Turkey. To me, that makes it pretty cool. I’d heard that the residents were still keen on offering visitors a room in their houses for 10-20 lira a night, but in our wanderings, no one offered. This is called ev pansiyonu and appears to have disappeared…at least during the off season.

Before leaving on the evening ferry, we hiked around the countryside seeing plenty of ducks, sheep, and picturesque Greek/Turkish houses and farms. We had a not very notable supper in Gokceada Town and then caught the dolmus to the ferry to the dolmus to Eceabat where the great staff at Crowded House Hotel allowed us to chill out in their lounge and stash our bags before we caught the bus which took the ferry to Canakkale and then back to Izmir where we caught the bus to Manisa and enjoyed an early morning walk back to our apartment.

Free Accommodation in Gokceada Island, Turkey, Kalekoy

When I saw this, I told Hanane we\’d found our room for the night but despite the double mattress and bathtub, she felt it was lacking something. Curtains?

I’m looking forward to the next time we visit Gokceada Island, definitely it will be during ‘the season’ though.

The French Riviera

See a different side to the French Riviera in the Hyeres Islands…

The French Riviera

by Maddy Coleborn

The French Riviera is one of the world’s oldest and most popular holiday destinations,
renowned for its glitz and glamour as much as for the azure waters and golden sandy beaches of its coastlines.

But for those of us who lead busy lives, the fast pace of the region’s chic cities can seem exhausting. If you love Rivieran culture, but prefer your beaches more quiet and secluded than ‘sardines on the sand’, you might well find your holiday heaven in the stunning Hyeres Islands, which lie just off the coast of Nice.

Nicknamed the îles d’Or (or the Golden Isles), the three islands of Porquerolles, Port-Cros and the île du Levant are well and truly off the beaten track, known only to a select few – making them perfect for a ‘getaway from it all’ style break.


Nice is more than Nice - it's magicGetting there

Fly to Nice and from there it is just a short trip overland to Hyeres where you can catch the ferry to the main port in Porquerolles.

Where to stay

Accommodation is limited on these tiny islands (the largest, Porquerolles, is just 7km long and 3km wide), so make sure you book in advance. Whether you fancy the luxury of a hotel stay or the seclusion of a private villa, there should be something to suit every taste. But be aware that camping is forbidden on the island.

What to see and do

As soon as you arrive at the port of Porquerolles, you’ll be captivated by the island – from the boats bobbing in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea, to the first glimpses of the quaint houses nestling in the lush greenery (the island is a Nature Reserve). Head north for golden sandy beaches, or south for rugged cliffs – the wild and majestic landscape will take your breath away. Don’t forget to explore the array of olive and lemon groves that line the island’s interior for a taste of rural Provence.

Food and drink

With over 300 days of sunshine a year, you’ll find that exploring the Hyeres can be thirsty work. Porquerolles is home to some of France’s finest vineyards, so you should make sure to try some of the local plonk during your stay. And of course, the al fresco restaurants which line the picturesque main square will be serving the top notch cuisine for which France is famous.

There are plenty of flights leaving from airports across the UK, so bag a bargain Riviera break before France’s best kept secret gets out.