Does Conrad Combrink have the best job in the world? Every year he travels the length and breadth of the globe scoping out destinations for Silversea Expeditions, investigating exotic, less-visited places that will appeal to the growing legions of adventurous travellers. To be fair, he has to spend a fair bit of time on dry land, too – planning new itineraries and all the logistics that entails, tweaking existing itineraries and overseeing onboard and offshore programs – so he knows his stuff back to front. Combrink has been Silversea Expeditions' director of expedition planning and strategic development for 7½ years and when he was in Sydney recently he talked about the exciting developments in adventure cruising. "It is most certainly a growing trend, which is clearly shown by the increase in expedition operators," he said. "To give you an example of the increase in passenger numbers, 20,000 people travelled to Antarctica in 2010 and this increased to approximately 34,000 during the 2013-14 season." Antarctica continues to the favourite destination for Australian adventure-cruisers, along with the Arctic and Kimberley. Australians make up a quarter of Silversea Expeditions' overall expedition passengers and Combrink reports that they are increasingly interested in visiting destinations such as the Russian Far East (Siberia) and Madagascar (the island country off the south-east coast of Africa). Voyages in the Indian Ocean will be among new features on the company's 2016-17 itineraries, Combrink said. "The Indian Ocean, including Thailand, Myanmar (Bagan) and more seldom-visited places such as the Andaman Islands and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, are new additions to our program, with the likes of the spectacular Aldabra Atoll, Mozambique Islands and Kilwa Kisiwani [off the southern coast of Tanzania in eastern Africa] already sparking interest." The company is also planning to expand its expeditions in Alaska and the Russian Far East, the latter being one of Combrink's favourite places. "Two destinations I keep returning to are the Russian Far East for the diversity of culture, wildlife and scenery, and Svalbard Arctic. Nothing can compare to seeing the first, second and 100th polar bear," he said. The 120-passenger Silver Discoverer is sailing from Bali on March 28 for its Kimberley season, which starts in Broome on April 9. The ship will run 10-day cruises from Broome to Darwin and vice-versa until May 19, when it heads to Alaska to explore some out of the way places in this perennially popular cruise destination. \nMEET THE CREW \nNAME Frédéric Jansen, from Belgium \nPOSITION Cruise Director, Ponant's L'Austral \nMY JOB … is to make all the passengers happy and make sure they fully enjoy their cruise. \nMY TYPICAL DAY After the morning PA announcement, I oversee the excursion departures and shore activities so they run quickly and smoothly; prepare the printed daily program in French and English; and co-ordinate onboard activities, such as lectures, show rehearsals and cocktail receptions. I also give stargazing lectures, as many guests have no idea about the fantastic show they can witness in the sky every night. Then there's office work, regular safety drills for the crew – and if there is a port of call I haven't experienced, I try to go on a tour with our guests. \nFAVOURITE CRUISE MOMENT During our expedition cruises in Antarctica or in the Arctic, it is very rewarding to take wheelchair-bound guests ashore by Zodiac. And seeing the Northern Lights for the first time from Le Boreal was just amazing. \nFAVOURITE CRUISE PORTS All of them - they are all so different and there is always something interesting to discover. But even though I prefer hot places, I love Antarctica. It's impossible to describe, you have to live it! \nTIP FOR PASSENGERS Attend all our briefings and the lectures: they make the cruise much more interesting. And make friends with one of our bar staff, they make great cocktails! \nTIP If you're planning a trip with children, sign up for Little Passports. This online site mails out travel-themed activity packages designed for kids aged three to five, and five to 10, to get them excited about the big wide world: see littlepassports.com. \nNEWS Vivid Sydney harbour cruises: The spectacular Vivid Sydney festival lights up the city from May 22 to June 8 this year, and what better vantage point to see the spectacle than from the water? Captain Cook Cruises is running several dinner cruises – one hour, 1½ hours, 2½ hours and 3½ hours – every night during the festival, departing from Darling Harbour's King Street Wharf. If you book online before March 31 you can save up to 35 per cent on fares: see captaincook.com.au. Mystery Island Tours: Vanuatu's Mystery Island has long been a popular port of call on Pacific Island cruises and after five years of community consultation, several lines are now adding Mystery Island shore excursions to their itineraries. Carnival Spirit is the first ship to offer a choice of glass-bottom kayak and boat trips, guided snorkelling safaris and stand-up paddleboarding, while cultural tours of nearby Aneityum island's Anelghowhat village will be coming soon. Princess Cruises, P&amp;O Cruises and Holland America Line are also adding Mystery Island shore excursions to their cruises in the near future. carnival.com.au New Princess wine list: Princess Cruises has refreshed the onboard cellars of its local ships, Sun, Dawn and Sea Princess, with a range of new Australian wines to add to the international selection. Now you can sample some top drops from well-known vineyards in NSW, South Australia and Western Australia. Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises' Australia and New Zealand vice-president, said, "The addition of seven new wines from Western Australia, including four from Margaret River, reflects growing passenger demand based on new destinations the cruise line is visiting." princess.com \nDEALS \nOFFER OF THE WEEK Cruise Express has shaved $1000 off solo traveller fares for three 2015 fly-cruise tour packages in Japan. Each one includes return flights to Tokyo, cruises on Diamond Princess, tours to Mt Fuji, bullet-train rides and more. Choose from a 17- or 39-day itinerary departing August 22, and an 18-day itinerary departing July 11. From $7690 for 17 days; phone 1300 764 509, see cruiseexpress.com.au. \nMORE DEALS Avalon Waterways is offering return flights to Europe from $799 when you book any of its 2015 river cruises. Or, if you've already arranged airfares, Avalon is offering a $500 per person credit to use as a discount on the cruise or holiday extras. Phone 1300 230 234, see avalonwaterways.com.au. \nCRUISE TRAVELLER Save $300 on an 11-night "Cuban Odyssey" on Noble Caledonia's MS Serenissima, departing February 17, 2016. There are three days in Havana and calls include Maria La Gorda, Isla de Juventud and Cienfuegos. From $3495; call 1800 507 777, see cruisetraveller.com.au.