Thursday, 11 February 2010

We're on Countdown Central here at Chez Veness, ready for our big epic adventure of the year - off to Chile and a week's cruise with Nomads of the Seas followed by a post-cruise stay in the capital Santiago.

It marks the start of our loose 'theme' with World of Cruising magazine for 2010, the whole subject of adventure cruising and the best ways to do it in different parts of the world.

We have already highlighted the new Adventure Cruise Collection just published by our sister company The Cruise Line Ltd, but our subjects for the magazine promise to go into a lot more depth in each case.

We will open the Spring edition with the great Pacific North-West, exploring the little-known region between Seattle and Vancouver (including the charming San Juan islands), and then go on to present Chilean Patagonia in all its splendour. After that, we go on to sample river-cruising in Indo-China; the classic Norwegian Coastal Voyage of Hurtigruten; the Galapagos with Haugan Cruises; Alaska in the company of American Safari Cruises; and discover how to enjoy a true African safari with your cruise.

But, for now, we are suitably excited about the prospects of a flight from Miami to Santiago and then Santiago to Puerto Montt (both with LAN Airways, about whom we hear good things) to meet up with Nomads and their unique operation.

It is certainly one of the most unusual and enticing trips I will have tried as editor of the magazine, and one which has been a long-standing ambition since I first saw the BBC TV documentary series Flight of the Condor back in the 1970s.

The whole region of sub-equatorial South America has long been a major fascination for me and this will be the ideal opportunity to discover if the fantasy lives up to the reality. We should get to see a lot of the Chilean Andean landscape and its wildlife (the whole week is subtitled as a Wildlife Cruise), and I will have the camera very firmly primed for lots of pictures - many of which you will see in our Summer edition.

Following that up with a few days in Santiago and a chance to visit the neighbouring wine country should be equally captivating. It is a city and region about which I know little (apart from what the Lonely Planet guidebook has told me so far!), but it promises to add an extra dimension to our trip.

So you'll have to excuse me if I seem a little distracted this week. But it should be worth waiting for...!