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Friday, 21 July 2017

MSC Cruises Caribbean combo- making it easy.



MSC Cruises offers an incredible cruising experience aboard their luxury fleet, and makes combining cruises a seamless experience for a truly immersive holiday.   As the leading cruise company in the Mediterranean, MSC Cruises offers a range of wide and varied itineraries in this beautiful region, all year-round.  MSC Cruises' popular Grand Mediterranean cruise combines east and west Mediterranean itineraries to discover Italy, France, Spain, Malta, the Greek Islands, Greece and Crete.

With a choice of four Mediterranean itinerary combinations departing every Saturday and two combinations departing every Sunday, from Genoa or Venice, you can enjoy 14 or 21 nights.  MSC Cruises will also look after your transfers from Genoa to Venice (or vice versa) complimentary for two adults and $100pp for additional persons travelling together.  Your luggage will also be transferred direct to your ship, allowing you to explore Genoa for the day before setting sail in the evening!  

Northern Europe with MSC Cruises is sure to tick off your bucket list experiences.  With weekly departures, you can combine Baltic capitals, Norwegian Fjords and Iceland itineraries to explore spectacular glaciers, historical architecture, meet locals in Reykjavik, or simply take in the beauty of the midnight sun at the North Cape.  With a range of flexible embarkations to choose to commence your cruise, MSC Cruises are really good at making it really easy for you at a really great price.  Depart every Saturday from Kiel (Germany) or Copenhagen or every Sunday from Copenhagen or Warnemunde (Berlin).

But, it is not just in the Mediterranean or Northern Europe that affords you this flexibility.  Why not join West and East Caribbean itineraries.  MSC Cruises will have you dancing the tango, exploring cobbled streets and lush rainforests or simply soaking up one of the most beautiful and fascinating destinations in the world over 14 or 21 nights.

Take advantage of MSC Cruises Caribbean combination cruise with 50% off the second passenger.  Departing Miami January 25, 2018 sail the Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, St Maarten, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda and Martinique for some French flair.  You will then savour the sights of Jamaica, Colombia and Costa Rica in the south of the Caribbean.  Priced from $3,112 for the first passenger and $1725 for the second passenger.

To book your 21 night Caribbean combination special today, call 1300 028 502, www.msccruises.com.au or your local travel agent.  

 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Byroads Sri Lanka Small Group Tour



For centuries a magnet from around the world for its gems, pearls, spices and tea, Sri Lanka boasts as many secrets as treasures, many revealed on a Byroads Travel Secrets of Sri Lanka 13-day tour.

Designed for small groups, this tour – March 15-27, 2018 – begins in the capital Colombo and covers such sought-after sights as the cave temples at Dumbulla and the ancient ruins at Polonnaruwa, not forgetting the spectacular rock citadel at Sigiriya.

Led by Byroads Travel’s Steve Mortimer, who with 30 years’ experience has visited more than 100 countries, the Secrets of Sri Lanka tour passes through the scenic Knuckles Range to the old Sinhalese capital at Kandy.

The breathtaking highlands at Nuwara Eliya, in the heart of the tea growing industry, are also visited along with scenic hill town Ella, the tallest Buddha statue in the world and Ude Walawe National Park, Sri Lanka’s premier elephant reserve.

The tour also covers the much-celebrated south coast and its beaches and resorts, the highlight being Galle, a perennial favourite among many, before returning to Colombo.

The tour, limited to 16 passengers, is priced from USD3695 per person, twin share (about AUD$4860). Return air fares from Australia are extra.

Details: Phone Byroads Travel on (02) 9357 6800 or visit www.byroads.com.au

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Celebrate Summer At The Empire State Building



    -- Free Amenities Offered to Millions of Visitors

The Empire State Building (ESB) today announced additional amenities designed to enhance the visitor's experience.  The binoculars located on the open-air 86th floor Observation Deck are now free of charge for guests' viewing pleasure, alongside the free Empire State Building Observatory Experience and Destination Midtown apps, and free Wi-Fi available at the ESB.

"As we welcome millions of visitors from around the world, we continue to make free additions and modernizations to enhance the visitor experience at the Observatory," said Jean-Yves Ghazi, Senior Vice President of the Empire State Building Observatory.  "We are expanding upon the already all-inclusive experience of visiting our world-famous Observatory by offering this additional amenity."

The powerful, full-circle rotation binoculars allow visitors to magnify the unobstructed views in every direction.  The ESB's 86th floor Observatory is ADA compliant, equipped with lowered viewing walls and binoculars.  Formerly, they required payments with coins.

The Empire State Building Observatory Experience and Destination Midtown apps are available to download for free from either the Apple Store ( https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/official-empire-state-building/id1071468429?mt=8 ) or Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.esbnyc.fretour).  Visitors may also download them upon arrival via free Wi-Fi.  As guests travel through the building, the Empire State Building Observatory Experience app is designed to ensure visitor engagement for the entirety of their experience.  As guests explore the surrounding neighborhood, the Destination Midtown app provides visitors with an expertly curated itinerary to iconic attractions and hidden gems located in Midtown Manhattan, all within 15 minutes walking distance of the iconic Empire State Building.

To purchase tickets online in advance of visiting ESB, visit http://www.esbnyc.com/buy_tickets.asp.

About the Empire State Building

Soaring 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan (from base to antenna), the Empire State Building, owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., is the "World's Most Famous Building." With new investments in energy efficiency, infrastructure, public areas and amenities, the Empire State Building has attracted first-rate tenants in a diverse array of industries from around the world. The skyscraper's robust broadcasting technology supports major television and FM radio stations in the New York metropolitan market. The Empire State Building was named America's favorite building in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, and the Empire State Building Observatory is one of the world's most beloved attractions as the region's #1 tourist destination. For more information on the Empire State Building, please visit www.empirestatebuilding.com, www.facebook.com/empirestatebuilding, @EmpireStateBldg, www.instagram.com/empirestatebldg, http://weibo.com/empirestatebuilding,  www.youtube
 .com/esbnyc, or www.pinterest.com/empirestatebldg/.

Source: Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Banyan Tree Phuket - Tropical Escape for Families

Nestled in the enclave of Laguna Phuket, Banyan Tree Phuket offers a hidden paradise that is perfect for family getaways.  At Banyan Tree Phuket, guests can frolic in their generously-appointed Two Bedroom Pool Villas endowed with barbecue pits and a spacious poolside terrace. With an endless array of activities, guests can spend their afternoons biking, taking part in cooking classes, kayaking, visiting a local market or embarking on a cultural tour around Phuket Old Town.



Designed specifically for kids, Banyan Tree's Turtle Club provides non-stop entertainment for the little ones. With an outdoor playground, nap room and dozens of exciting activities — including waterball, treasure hunt, puppet shows, swimming lessons, and zumba for kids, they will definitely experience an action-packed day. Parents can join in the fun or utilise the resort's babysitting service. Mums can pamper themselves at the blissful Banyan Tree Spa while Dads play a round of golf at the award-winning Laguna Golf Phuket course.

As part of Laguna Phuket's integrated resort, guests of Banyan Tree Phuket can explore the tropical parkland of fine restaurants, lagoons, beaches and bars via a complimentary shuttle bus or boat service.



Discover Banyan Tree Phuket's Sense of Family package to enjoy access to the Turtle Kids Club, food and beverage credit per day for 2 adults and 2 children at THB 4,500, savings of 20% on all body massages at Banyan Tree spa and much more.

For reservations and further information, please contact phuket@banyantree.com or call +66 76 372 400.


Monday, 10 July 2017

Silversea's enchanting destinations of Europe - free roundtrip airfares


Experience the history, culture, treasures, and breathtaking scenery of Northern Europe and the Mediterranean with Silversea's incredible Europe Fly Free* offer.  Guests making new bookings until 30 September 2017, on select European 2018 voyages, will be able to take advantage of free economy class roundtrip air fares or for $4,998*pp upgrade to business class, subject to availability.  For guests paying in full before 31 August 2017, an Early Booking Bonus* may also apply.

In 2018, Silversea will embark on 70 voyages through Northern Europe, the British Isles, and the Mediterranean, encompassing over 170 ports and adding nearly 30 new destinations to the ultra-luxury cruise line's itineraries.  Silversea's team of experts enable travellers to fully immerse themselves in the idyllic cities and ports visited, providing gastronomic, architectural, and historical insights.

The fleet of Silversea vessels are specifically designed to allow guests to disembark closer to shore, maximising the amount of time spent exploring.  Guests can expect to explore and discover a myriad of spectacular destinations, or simply sit back, relax, and be mesmerised by the stunning beauty of the passing landscapes.

Silversea's luxurious fleet provides travellers with comfort, style, and intimacy combined with unsurpassed service.  Silversea's vessels visiting Northern Europe and the Mediterranean in 2018 include: Silver Spirit; Silver Wind; Silver Whisper; and the latest addition to their fleet; Silver Muse.

Featured voyage:

·         Grand Voyage 2018 - Departing Venice on 05 June 2018, an extraordinary 42-day circumnavigation aboard Silver Muse, Silversea's newest flagship vessel, will venture to 38 ports across nine countries.  This ultimate European voyage showcases: sunsets in Santorini; the glamourous French Riviera; the bohemian shores of Ibiza; culinary delights of Sorrento; Dubrovnik's cobbled paths; ancient cities of Athens and Rome; ultra-luxurious Monte Carlo; and much more.  Prices are available on request.

Silversea's cruise fares include: all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary on board wines and spirits; and one hour of complimentary WiFi per day for each guest or unlimited WiFi for select suite categories, and all gratuities.
 

FEATURED EXCLUSIVE OFFERS:

Mediterranean Fly Free and Northern Europe Fly Free: Valid from 01 July 2017, free roundtrip economy class air fares or a business class upgrade is available for only AU$4,998* per person, on select 2018 European voyages. First Class Air Fare offers now available. Valid on new bookings, made until 30 September 2017* and is subject to availability.

Exclusive Savings Offer: Guests who are not utilising the Europe Fly Free offer will receive an exclusive savings offer of AU$1,300* per guest.

Early Booking Bonus: Valid from 01 July 2017, guests can also save 10% off the voyage fare, if booking and paying in full by 31 August 2017*.


*These special offers are valid on new bookings and are capacity controlled.  They are subject to change and may be withdrawn at any time. Terms and conditions apply.

For more information contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 (Australia), or visit www.silversea.com


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Conrad Macao Offers Facebook Fans Chance to Win #TravelBear2017 Getaway Package

#travelcompetitions

Upload a photo of a Conrad Macao Bear at a famous location around the world to your Facebook timeline for a chance to win


Conrad Macao, Cotai Central's(http://www.conradhotels.com/macao) Facebook fans have the chance to win an incredible getaway when they upload a photo of one of the hotel's signature bears at a world famous landmark to their Facebook timeline between 14 July and 31 August, 2017. All photos must have #TravelBear2017 and also tag Conrad Macao Cotai Central's Facebook page to be eligible with the post setting to be public. The best photo will win a two-night stay in the magnificent Presidential Suite, including breakfast, valued at MOP65,000.

Photo - https://photos.prnasia.com/prnh/20170629/1887966-1
An entry with a Conrad signature gold bear and Sydney Opera House in the background - fans can upload a photo of one of the hotel's bears at a world famous landmark with the best photo winning a two-night stay in the property's Presidential Suite.

Over the past four years, Facebook fans have submitted photos of Conrad bears on location around the world including Australia, USA, France, Italy, UK, Thailand, Russia, Japan, Belgium, South Korea, Taiwan and China. Conrad Macao's collection of signature bears have become collectors' items since the hotel first opened in April 2012. In addition to the signature gold bear guests receive when they stay at the hotel, there is also an exclusive collection of four bears produced every year.

"Liquide metal" is the inspiration behind the 2017 collection, which includes a Shining Red Bear created for Chinese New Year, a Glossy Black Bear for Conrad Macao 5th Anniversary back in April, a Polished Pink Bear to support Breast Cancer awareness in October and a Shimmering Silver Bear for Christmas.

"We know our hotel guests are world travellers and that our Conrad bears would make great additions to their destination photos. We encourage all guests and Facebook fans to take pictures with their bears against a famous, iconic backdrop anywhere around the world and upload it to their Facebook timeline. The best photo will have a chance to win an incredible stay here at Conrad Macao," said General Manager of Conrad Macao, Cotai Central, Bede Barry.

Photos will be judged by a team of hotel executives according to their creativity, along with the number of shares and likes each picture receives on Facebook. The lucky winner will be notified by Conrad Macao on their Facebook page by 8 September, 2017.

For more information, explore Conrad Macao's Facebook Page( https://www.facebook.com/#!/ConradMacao).

Terms and conditions:

- Only Conrad Macao bears are eligible to be used in the photo
- Photos must only include the bear and a famous landmark, not people
- Each post must include hashtag #TravelBear2017 and tag Conrad Macao, Cotai Central Facebook Page ((a) Conrad Macao, Cotai Central)
- Post setting has to be "Public"

For a full list of terms and conditions visit HERE( https://www.sandscotaicentral.com/content/dam/macao/sandscotaicentral/master/main/home/hotel-activities/conrad-macao/travel-bear/2017/conrad-macao-travel-bear-2017-tnc.pdf)

Located within Sands Cotai Central and surrounded by luxury international shopping, restaurants, bars and entertainment, Conrad Macao is the perfect location for business or leisure. To stay up to date with Conrad Macao, follow us at facebook.com/conradmacao and instagram.com/conradmacao, or visit Conrad Macao, Cotai Central( http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/macao/conrad-macao-cotai-central-MFMCSCI/index.html) for more information.


Snow or Sun? Choose Your Winter Escape in the New Issue of Vacations & Travel Magazine, Out Now



The new issue of Vacations & Travel magazine is out now and gives some excellent suggestions on where to go for your next USA ski holiday. We head to Sun Valley, Jackson Hole, the volcanic peaks of Oregon and check out Mammoth Lakes in California. For those who want to escape the Australian winter, feel the heat at favourite tropical destinations such as Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

We tie on hiking boots for the best walks in Australia and New Zealand, pay our respects to the fallen in Flanders, see the sights of Beijing and marvel at the beauty of the largest sand island in the world – Fraser Island. Amsterdam entices with its history and museums, Dallas and Fort Worth are a wonderful duo in Texas, Canberra has emerged as the capital of cool and for cruise lovers, we board Silver Discoverer from Bali to Broome and the Wind Spirit in the turquoise waters of French Polynesia.

With 238 pages of essential holiday ideas and information, our team of respected writers travel far and wide presenting informative and beautiful stories on destinations the world over. We also update readers on the latest news in spas, hotels, cruising, travel books, restaurants, galleries and museums, street markets, travel apps and ways to give back through travel in our global village.

This issue also covers the following stories:

- Safari heaven at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve
- Pitcairn Island
- Kerala in India
- Bangkok's green spaces

That's 238 pages of essential holiday ideas and information … for just AU$9.95.

PLUS: One lucky Vacations & Travel reader will win a five-night holiday in Vanuatu, flying with Air Vanuatu and staying at the Iririki Island Resort & Spa. To enter, sign up for our newsletter, if you haven't already, at vacationsmag.com

Vacations & Travel is out now at newsagents. For subscriptions visit vacationsmag.com or call Morris Media on +61 2 9555 7477.


Sydney’s Newest Hotel Brand Launches With Opening Of Veriu Broadway



Sydney has welcomed a new hotel brand – Veriu Hotels & Suites – with the opening of the 64-room serviced apartment hotel, Veriu Broadway.

Veriu Broadway is an $18 million conversion of a former warehouse space offering self-contained studios, each over 40 square metres, and one and two bedroom loft style apartments.  Ideally located on Mountain Street, Ultmo, close to the International Convention Centre, the hotel provides 24-hour reception with staff trained as local area guides, plus on-site food & beverage in keeping with the precinct's contemporary café and bar offerings.  

To celebrate the launch of Veriu Broadway the hotel is offering an opening special saving 25% on 2 night stays or 15% on 1 night stays with rates starting from $170* per night.  The opening special is valid for booking until 15 August and valid for travel until 28 September 2017.  Visit www.veriu.com.au for bookings and further information.

With an authentic local experiences paramount to the Veriu ethos, guests will also receive complimentary drinks and snacks from local area operators and local artists are also engaged to incorporate designs based on the genuine character of the building and neighbourhood.

Guests will also be able to discover their surroundings with use of the hotel's complimentary 'explorer bicycles' – a service that will be offered in all future Veriu hotels.  Other complimentary offerings common to all Veriu properties include a welcome drink, complmentary WiFi and in-room tunes via Smart TV technology.

Beyond this, guests are encouraged to move freely through the Veriu hotel network utilising the "Veriu Connect" concept.  This allows any guest to pay a visit to any Veriu hotel, show their room card and enjoy a complimentary drink and ask the concierge about the best places to explore. 

Coinciding with the Veriu opening, a rebrand of properties in Camperdown (28 rooms) and Randwick (35 rooms) will also take place following completion of refurbishments to bring them up to Veriu Hotel standard.

The current network is complemented by a pipeline of hotel developments to take place over the next two years, including Veriu Pyrmont (36 rooms) opening 2018, Veriu Central (110 rooms), opening 2018 and Veriu Green Square (142 rooms) opening early 2019, with further developments in discussion.

In celebration of individuality, Veriu have created a bespoke collection of hotels and suites, each with its own distinct personality and style. All different – and yet all the same in their commitment to providing true and genuine service, a superb location and at the end of the day, a great night's sleep.

* Rate listed is after discount is applied.  Subject to availability, black out dates may apply.



Taste Japan with Wendy Wu Tours


Australian travellers are having a shunkan – that's "moment" in Japanese. Our new short-stay snow sports capital is the perfect place to escape the Aussie winter, and head to warmer climes with decadent dining.

"We've seen huge growth in Japan bookings in 2017, of over 55%, as people flock back to this idyllic country." said Andrew Mulholland, Wendy Wu Tours Managing Director for Australia & New Zealand "In fact, we've seen traveller interest in Japan almost double year on year, a terrific sign that Aussies are rediscovering the historic culture and fresh food of this island nation".
For Wendy Wu Tours, hotspots in demand are Kyoto, Koyasan, Osaka, Hiroshima and Koyasan – telling us that Australian travellers are becoming more familiar with the destination and more specific in the areas they want to travel to. Responding to this demand, the company released a new Trails of Japan tour for 2017, giving visitors the change to meet Snow Monkeys in Yudanaka.

Australian travellers are on the hunt for unique experiences and to embrace our innate love of the great outdoors. This was evident in the unprecedented interest in Japan's cherry blossom season in 2017 – in fact, it tripled from the year before. Mulholland said: "Wendy Wu Tours sends more Australians to view Japan's Cherry Blossoms than any other Australian tour company." With that in mind, 2018 cherry blossom tours are selling fast! Mulholland suggests booking soon to avoid disappointment and to enjoy Easter in Japan in 2018. Sakura-flavoured Easter eggs, anyone?

In the coming years, Japan will be front-and-centre in the mind of Australian travellers. Global eyes will be on the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics. "As the world wakes up to the wonders of Japan, I'd encourage you to visit in 2018 before the rest of the world does. Experience Japan at its best, before these global sporting events" said Mulholland. "Wendy Wu Tours is also interested in assisting any of our agency partners that are looking to organise groups to these special events."

Ancient Culture Meets Culinary Masterpiece

The cuisine of Japan has permeated the Australian dining table for years. From the upmarket dining experience of Tetsuya's in Sydney, to the ubiquitous Sushi Train in every shopping centre; like too much wasabi on your sashimi, Japanese food is right under our skin.

But there's so much more to Japanese food than what we've come to love. Wendy Wu's resident Japan expert, Angela Papalexandris, gives us the inside scoop, by destination, on the company's most popular tour, the 14-day Discover Japan.




TOKYO PREFECTURE: Days 1 - 4

You may have heard of the famous Tsukiji market in Fukagawa, Tokyo, and for good reason. Inside is a veritable feast of sashimi, ramen and stew. But Tokyo prefecture is more famous for the Fukagawa Don. Packed with juicy short-necked asari clams, unpeeled ginger and eggs, sitting on a bed of rice, you can taste this speciality all over Tokyo, before strolling around the Hamarikyu Gardens.

TAKAYAMA PREFECTURE: Days 5 - 8

Try your hand at traditional Japanese pickled wasabi vegetables in one of Japans largest wasabi farms. The perfect accompaniment to the region's famous Kurikinton. Said to bring you wealth, these little mushy combinations of sweetened chestnut and sweet potato are for those who'd love to live on dessert. You might even pick up your own fresh ingredients at the Miyagama market.

KYOTO PREFECTURE: Days 8-11

Cleanse your palate with a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in Kyoto….then absolutely bombard it with a traditional Kaiseki Ryori. A traditional multi-course Japanese dinner, Kaiseki today includes a minimum of an appetizer, sashimi, a one-pot dish, a grilled dish and a final steamed dish – but often includes as many as 15 belly-busting courses.




Fortunately, the following day you'll head to the tranquillity of the Issuien Gardens at Nara, it's beautiful ponds giving you time to reflect on why you will, in future, stick to the requisite 3 course meal.

OSAKA PREFECTURE: Days 11-14

It's all about Okonomiyaki in Osaka. Quite literally translating to "grilled as you like it", this is a savoury pancake cooked with cabbage, seafood, and sometimes even pork, before being covered with Japanese mayonnaise and dried bonito.

After filling up on the delicious pancake, climb the steps to wander through Osaka's Castle, to make room for dinner at Dotonbori, the city's restaurant mecca.

TASTE THE ADVENTURE

Take your tastebuds on a journey through Japan's finest, on the 14-day Discover Japan tour from Wendy Wu Tours. Priced from $10,560 per person twin share, including flights with Cathay Pacific, fully inclusive from SYD/MEL. To whet your appetite for Japan, here's a video from Wendy Wu Tours.

About Wendy Wu Tours.

In 1994, Wendy Wu took her first group to China, and by 1998 Wendy Wu Tours was established and running 10 tours annually. Today, Wendy operates tours to 22 countries in Asia, and has offices in Sydney, London, New York, Shanghai and Xian. The Asia experts, Wendy Wu Tours offers tour styles for all travellers, including Classic, Discovery and Deluxe Collections; as well as Tailor-Made, Private Tours & Special Groups. For more information and to book, visit www.wendywutours.com.au or call 1300 727 998.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Hot deals for winter - Aloft Perth




Winter Staycation at Aloft Perth

Winter is the perfect excuse for sleep ins and cocktails by the fireplace which is why we're offering a special $149 winter staycation at Aloft Perth. The offer includes a one night stay for two along with a signature cocktail and grazing breakfast for each guest to enjoy. We've even added in a 12pm late check out to ensure guests can enjoy every minute of staying and playing at Aloft Perth.

Terms and conditions apply, more information available here.

From AUD 149.

Valid until 31 August 2017.

Winter Sale at Aloft Perth

It's time to enjoy a little fun at Aloft Perth and save up to 25%.

Terms and conditions apply, more information available here.

From AUD 147 including breakfast.

Valid until 2 July 2017 for stays up until 8 October 2017.


Opening Special at Aloft Perth

Experience the buzz of the brand new Aloft Perth with our opening offer. The offer includes overnight accomodation, complimentary wifi and double SPG Starpoints. Not a SPG member yet? Enrol online, it's free.

Terms and conditions apply, more information available here.

From AUD 133.

Valid until 30 November 2017.


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