Coming in August 2012: An Arctic Double-Header

Rod will disappear into the high arctic wilderness for August 2012 to undertake, firstly, a voyage from Iceland to Greenland aboard Ponant's luxury expedition vessel, Le Boreal,  backed up by a traverse across the icy wastes of Canada's Northwest Passage aboard One Ocean's sturdy Akademik Sergey Vavilov. Both voyages are timely in that the diminishing polar ice cap now allows previously unheard-of opportunities to navigate these notoriously treacherous waters to witness the last of the great glaciers, including the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ilulissat Icefjord in Greenland. In Canada, Vavilov will seek out the last known location of the famous Franklin Expedition which disappeared without trace in 1845. To finish, Rod will spend a few days checking out the city attractions of Ottawa and MontrĂ©al.
Naturally precommissions exist and I will be happy to outline these to avoid potential overlap or conflict.

Rev Up for Disneyland Cars Land Launch

In June, Rod will attend the media launch of Disneyland California's new Cars Land attraction.

The event also reviews all new attractions at the destination as well as those opened in the last five years.

He is happy to accept commissions for this event.

If you require further details, please email : rodeime (at)

Vanuatu: Liner strikes mine, 5000 wade ashore

SS President Coolidge strikes two mines and is run aground and later sinks

Inside the Coolidge
She was one of the premier cruise liners of the era, but in time of war, the 22000 ton luxury, SS President Coolidge, answered the call to serve her country.
Carrying 5000 men and many tons of valuable war cargo, she strikes two mines at the mouth of Luganville's busy harbour in the New Hebrides.
All but two men escaped before the once proud vessel rolled to port and sunk in more than 70m of water. Today the SS President Coolidge is perhaps the most famous dive wreck in the world, visited by hundreds of avid scuba divers each year.
Allan Power, recently inducted into the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, began diving the sunken wreck in the 1970s and after more than 25,000 dives, still visits her watery grave.
Rod travelled to Vanuatu in May to see the wreck for himself and meet the man dubbed 'Mr President' by divers from all over the world.
Who is the famous 'lady' divers refer to?
Why wasn't Captain Nelson advised of the minefield?
This year will be the 70th anniversary of the sinking and Rod is ready with interviews, historical research, documents and original photography to produce stories for your magazine or website.
Image library: Vanuatu May 2012
Also: Million Dollar Point, the world's most expensive rubbish dump. Just why did the US dump tons of brand new heavy equipment into the sea near Luganville?
Contact: or reply to this message
Rod was hosted by Vanuatu Tourism, Air Vanuatu and the Vanuatu Scuba Diving Association

Media case study: Ponant Cruises

Ponant Cruises' L'Austral
Case Study: Ponant Antarctica
Vessel: L'Austral
Destination: Antarctic Peninsula, November 2011

Sydney travel marketing company, Travel the World (TtW), recently acquired GSA for French-flagged cruise line, Ponant.

TtW appointed public relations firm, Black Communications, to handle their media and PR activity.

Rod travelled aboard the then brand new vessel, L'Austral, on one of its Antarctic Peninsula itineraries in November 2011. Here is a summary of press results from that single trip.

News Ltd Escape: Suite Dreams on Antarctic Cruise
Also at News Ltd: Herald Sun | AdelaideNow | PerthNow | Courier Mail
Ocean Magazine: Haute Couture in Antarctica
Get Up 'n' Go: Autumn 12
Cruise Passenger Magazine: High Stepping into Antarctica
Toyota Drivers World:  Southern Exposure
Travel + Living: A new wave
From the Bridge: Vive la France 

Online: (not counting my own sites) Suite dreams on Antarctic cruise (PDF newsletter): Kicking Your Heels Up in Antarctica Snow Petrels and Showgirls in Antarctica
USA Today: Snow Petrels and Showgirls in Antarctica (since offline)
Yahoo!7: Kicking up your heels in Antarctica

The voyage was the subject of a 15 min ABC Local Radio segment on Monday Night Travel with Tony Delroy

Links to:

In the wake of the 'Sea Devil'


Felix Count of Luckner
IN 1917, the shipwrecked German skipper of a commerce raider, Seeadler, took a 10m lifeboat from the Society Islands to Fiji in an attempt to rescue his stranded crew and the prisoners they had accumulated.

Felix Count of Luckner, was of the old school of gentleman sailors who would not spill blood without just cause. Despite sinking numerous vessels during his raids in the South Pacific, there was only one accidental casualty in all these incidents.

But the stories don’t end there and even after the war, von Luckner, a powerfully built and dominant character became a hero of a different kind.

Beginning in March, Rod will journey along the course taken by von Luckner while aboard the luxury German adventure vessel, the 184-passenger HANSEATIC, currently the only such vessel to receive a Berlitz 5-star rating.

I think I'm going Guamanian


A quick note to let you know I will be travelling to Guam in March 2012 on a Contintental/United famil and still have plenty of editorial slots left.

I will be joining a small group covering most of the major outlets (ie you can read that as News Ltd and Fairfax) but I understand I will be the only non-aligned freelancer, so please hit me up.

As this will be my first visit to Guam, I'm not sure exactly what will arise, but I'm expecting scuba diving, sightseeing, history, Micronesian culture and the mandatory round of luxury hotels and resorts.

Editorial and pictorial will be available from second week of March.



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