Hot Off The Press

Viva sells out first Aurora Australis flight, second flight confirmed

Monday, 12 October 2020 22:40

Viva Expeditions has sold out of its first flight to the Southern Lights on 20 March 2021 and has confirmed a second flight will take place the following day on 21 March.

While the first flight virtually sold out in the higher categories within days, Viva had to get on top of economy class requests and wait-lists before it could announce a second flight date.

Business and Premium Economy class seats on the second flight have already sold out and Viva is waitlisting clients for a potential third flight in May.

'I believe we have enough demand for a third flight and we already have people waitlisted for certain categories,' says Viva's founder, Rachel Williams. 'I think after two back-to-back flights we will all need time to catch our breaths before we take to the sky again.'

Williams is reminding agents that with its phone lines overloaded, they should email requests to info@vivaexpeditions.com. These will be processed in the order that they are received.

Wlliams says clients can join Aurora hunter and astrophysicist Dr Ian Griffin and fly into the night to witness one of the world’s most magical natural phenomena – the Southern Lights, also known as the Aurora Australis. The first flight is due to take off on 20 March 2021.

‘Many people spend a small fortune to fly to overseas destinations to see the Northern Lights, but can experience the same phenomena on a flight departing from Christchurch New Zealand.’

Williams says clients will take off onboard an Air New Zealand Dreamliner, and head south over the Southern Ocean towards Antarctica, aiming for latitudes of 62 degrees south where the Aurora Australis is brightest.

‘We take guests far away from light pollution, above the clouds and weather systems to see an unforgettable display with uninterrupted view of the southern lights. Along the way they will see constellations, stars, and planets as they have never witnessed them before.’

Throughout the flights passengers will receive a full inflight catering service in both business and economy classes. Expert astronomers will be onboard.

‘A lot of people want to get on a plane and go somewhere, do something exciting. This is it,’  says Williams.

Flights are available from $1195 per person with various seating options and views available.

Should the flight be cancelled due to Covid-19, a refund will be issued – see booking conditions for more details.

The adventure is being brought to market by Viva Expeditions in partnership with Air New Zealand and the Otago Museum.

https://vivaexpeditions.com/tours/new-zealand/canterbury-upper-south-island/southern-lights-by-flight

Unbelievable’ NZ tourism report still seven months away

Monday, 12 October 2020 21:24

A leading New Zealand tourism entrepreneur says it’s a disgrace the Government’s much vaunted Tourism Futures Taskforce will not be presenting its final report until April next year, and much more urgent work is being overlooked. 

Heritage Expeditions: Kiwis-only Southern Ocean season on

Thursday, 08 October 2020 04:07

Heritage Expeditions is confident the 50-passenger ship Spirit of Enderby will be operating cruises for New Zealanders around New Zealand by late November.

The company's commercial director, Aaron Russ says all clearance and exemption requirements, including Ministry of Health clearance, have been received for the ship to be in New Zealand on the basis of the plan submitted by Heritage Expeditions.

The plan is to operate the first cruise on 24 November. The cruises would initially be around the New Zealand coast, including trips to the New Zealand Subantarctic and Fiordland and would be for New Zealanders only.

Heritage Expeditions' Southern Ocean season is expected to generate around $5 million for the New Zealand economy and help protect jobs and support local businesses (including in the struggling travel industry).

The season includes seven-day expeditions to Fiordland and Stewart Island and eight to 13-day voyages to New Zealand's Subantarctic Islands. The company is also looking forward to the opportunity to return to the heart of Antarctica, the Ross Dependency.

The Spirit of Enderby crew is already quarantining on the ship off Russia for two weeks, having all tested negative for Covid-19. They will then sail here over 29 days and be tested on arrival.
www.heritage-expeditions.com

ProMag