With the start of the 2023-24 Antarctic cruise season just over three months away, Viva reports that some popular Antarctic operators are close to sold out on many departures.
Viva has seen massive interest in Antarctica recently, with the continent making up more than 60% of the company’s enquiries in recent months.
Viva Expeditions has released a new seven-day itinerary taking in the highlights of Northern Morocco.
Departing from Casablanca, the Moroccan Northern Delights package includes a guided tour of Rabat, two nights in the ‘blue city’ of Chefchaouen, an excursion to the Akchour waterfalls, and two full days exploring the culture, cuisine and history of Fes.
Moving full steam ahead with a strong team and product mix is the priority for Viva Expeditions as it marks its first 15 years in business, says managing director Rachel Williams.
The company had a double celebration at the Ellen Melville Centre in Auckland late July, focusing particularly on the launch of its new Africa collection as well as the significant anniversary.
Viva has launched a new range of Africa tours and packages today, encompassing 13 countries from South Africa to Jordan. While this is the first time Viva has offered travel to Africa, the adventure travel company has strong ties to the continent.
Viva Expeditions has a new 13-day ‘VIP Antarctica’ small-ship tour with special guests onboard – Sir John Key and modern-day polar explorer Professor Mike Stroud.
Chartering the new luxury expedition vessel Ocean Albatros, Viva is taking them and up to 196 passengers to the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands in November 2023.
Viva Expeditions has welcomed back Daniela Wards into its reservations team after stepping back during Covid.
Hailing from Chile and with a depth of experience in travel to Latin America, Wards is an expert on South America and Central America.
Domestic travel with an eye to exceptional experiences for Kiwis will remain a focus for Viva Expeditions, even as its pre-pandemic business starts to gain momentum again, says founder Rachel Williams.
With offices here and in South America, Viva is back promoting two-way travel between the destinations. However, successful forays into the local market have shown Williams the worth of having domestic product with a difference on offer.
Though the borders look set to remain shut longer than many in the industry were hoping after some promising signs late last year, agents are being reminded that the domestic market still provides some opportunities for short term revenue generation.
Rachel Williams, managing director of Viva Expeditions, says the company’s attention has turned back to New Zealand for the Kiwi market.
In Cuba the vaccination rates are advancing rapidly and there are some advances with respect to tourism, according to Viva Expeditions.
Managing director of Viva Expeditions, Rachel Williams reports that Havana has already lifted many of the restrictions, having opened restaurants and other recreational places, and it was announced that on 15 November the country will begin to open more widely to tourism. Several Spanish hotel companies such as Melia and Iberostar have already announced the reopening of their hotels, and 23 airlines will resume flights during October.
Viva Expeditions is promoting Antarctica day flights from Australia on a Qantas Dreamliner (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane).
Managing director, Rachel Williams says this is a great way to experience and appreciate the sheer size of Antarctica in a day. ‘Weather permitting we’ll hope to reduce the flying altitude to approximately 20,000 feet to give improved viewing of some areas. The South Pole flight will spend significantly longer over Antarctica, mostly at cruising altitude as we aim to reach the South Pole.