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Monday, 15 October 2018

Cruise the Nile in Style

#rivercruising

Refurbished Sun Boat IV unveiled. 



A wish list destination for centuries, there never has there been a better time to travel Egypt. An extended period of stability has seen a real resurgence of interest in a country which is buzzing with renewed optimism and visitors are starting to flood back.

But if you need any more persuading, then a Nile cruise aboard the recently unveiled  Sun Boat IV, back on the river after an extensive refurbishment, is guaranteed to tempt. Following the mighty Nile from Aswan to Luxor through the heart of Egypt, the stunningly transformed Sun Boat IV brings new levels of elegance to the Nile with its contemporary-yet-classic design.

With just forty rooms, including two presidential suites and two royal suites, time on the boat is spent in unrivalled luxury. In each cabin, elegance has been elevated with rich teak flooring, Egyptian marble, hand-painted decorative details and other distinctive touches including neutral-toned textiles complementing soft fabrics draped artfully over sumptuous oversized beds. Here, and elsewhere throughout the ship, shades of sandstone echo the colour scheme of the surrounding desert and temples, blending traditional references with a modern sense of style, to create a serene and tranquil environment a world away from traditional river-cruise cabins.

Of course, each cruise is as cultured as it is calming. On board, guests can indulge in exquisite meals prepared by gourmet chefs and discover the secrets to regional specialities such as Kushari, a spicy mix of black lentil, rice, chickpeas with tomato and fried onion, and Mahshi – delicious stuffed vegetables; enjoy a Nubian dance night and a chance to dress up in colourful traditional Egyptian galabeyas; or soak up the sun by the ship's spectacular river-view pool – the perfect place to watch Egypt's ancient sites pass by.

Indeed, gliding down the world's longest waterway, the county's past remains vibrant and alive in its many majestic monuments and relics, threaded along the river banks. Cruises take in some of the best-known highlights including the Valley of the Kings and Queens, the Temple of Karnak the Unfinished Obelisk, Philae and Luxor, as well the more remote, but equally spectacular Denderah, Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples, with expert Egyptologists on hand to bring history to life on all shore excursions.


Saturday, 29 September 2018

Choose Cruise Month - up to $800 onboard credit with MSC Cruises


MSC Cruises will be offering up to $800 onboard credit per cabin, during October for Choose Cruise Month. With over 45 itineraries to choose from in the Mediterranean, Norwegian Fjords, Baltics, Arabian Peninsula & India, Caribbean & Cuba and great repositioning cruises, it will be hard to say no to this great offer.

Nobody knows the Mediterranean like MSC and during Choose Cruise  Month they are offering a 10-night Mediterranean cruise from $1,239 per person with a bonus $500 onboard credit per cabin (twin share). Mix with celebrities in Portofino, re-trace the steps of history in Rome and Malta and discover the vibrancy of Barcelona and Marseille in France on board MSC Sinfonia.  

In Northern Europe, over 7 nights MSC will take you to spectacular fjords, ancient cities and picturesque hamlets aboard state of the art MSC Meraviglia from $1,099 per person with a bonus $400 onboard credit per cabin (twin share).

Fancy a longer cruise? Journey from Rio de Janeiro to Genoa, Italy over 18 nights. Book a balcony cabin from $3,059 per person and receive a bonus $800 onboard credit per cabin (based on twin share).

Just a sample of the itineraries available with MSC Cruises' onboard credit promotion, valid during Choose Cruise Month until October 31.  To BOOK call 1300 028 502, www.msccruises.com.au or call your local travel agent.

*Conditions apply

Monday, 24 September 2018

Tauck Under The Tuscan Sun


Tauck Australia's new Under The Tuscan Sun event is being hosted from 14 to 19 October 2019.

Guests will be taken on an immersive 6-day/5-night journey into Tuscany, celebrating the region's cultural pleasures and hilltop treasures in depth, up close and authentically rich in every way, and including a keynote address from author Frances Mayes, whose best-selling book, 'Under the Tuscan Sun' later became a box office success in the movie of the same name.

This authentic view of Tuscany includes hosted accommodation at Toscana Resort Castelfalfi, born out of a medieval hamlet 800 years old and embraced by vineyards and olive groves. This beautiful property will host a cooking class for guests and conduct insider lectures on the history of Tuscan City States. There is plenty of time at leisure to perhaps immerse in the scenery, refresh and rejuvenate in an indoor pool, steam room and sauna and play a round of golf of 9 and 18-hole courses.

In-depth exploration awaits guests on daily sightseeing tracks including Etruscan Volterra, The Alabaster City and discovering a wealth of architectural treasures on a guided walking tour that showcases the temple walls of the Etruscan Acropolis,  the Medici Fortress, and the artistry of alabaster craftsmen.

In Siena, guests will see the Duomo and Baptistery and learn the history behind the 17 colourful, flag-lined contrade (districts) that are so much a part of the fabric of life here during an exclusive presentation by Dario Castagna in his contrada.

In Chianti Country, guests will spend the day with the Corsini family (whose legacy as one of the oldest families in Florence includes ties to the Vatican) at their Villa Le Corti estate, to sample their wine and olive oil, tour their private villa, listen to stories about the family business, and dine al fresco amidst stunning views of the Chianti Classico region.

There is a guided walking tour of hilltop San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage Site encircled by 13th-century walls and its iconic towers plus truffle hunting, pasta making, wine pairing and olive oil tasting, and many more optional activities including golf, bicycling and yoga classes. 

Tauck's exclusive welcome reception and dinner will be hosted in a medieval castle showcasing the finest of Tuscan cuisine and wines whilst the farewell dinner on the final evening will be held at the Piaggio Museum.

Tauck Australia's 6-day/5-night Under The Tuscan Sun is priced from $6490 per person twin share.

Bookings are to be directed to your travel agent or Tauck Australia on 1300 732 300 or reservations@tauck.com.au

www.tauck.com.au

Monday, 10 September 2018

Intrepid launches new range of South America experience



Intrepid's New South America Program Offers Adventurous Alternatives to the World's Most Saturated Tourist Experiences

Travellers now have an alternative to trek the 'other Inca Trail', try an alternative pilgrimage to the Camino or swap Everest for the Southern Hemisphere's highest mountain, with Intrepid Travel's new range of South America experiences that follow a less-trodden path without overtourism.

Tourists equate to 14 per cent of the population in Peru, and Intrepid wants to disperse the tourist dollar into more communities while taking travellers even further off-the-beaten-path.

"Intrepid recorded growth of 68% to South America this year from Australian travellers and according to our Adventure Travel Index the number one thing that Australians want on an adventure is to go to places less visited by mainstream tourists. We'll be putting the adventure in adventure travel as we take our very first groups to the Glacier of Tears, the summit of Mt Bonete and the Choquequirao Inca site in 2019," Intrepid Travel South America product manager Martin Ruffo said.

"While Mt Everest and Machu Picchu are always going to be high on the traditional bucket list, there are alternatives which are less trodden, just as beautiful and sometimes even more special," Ruffo added.

These 'not hot' spots are featured in the travel company's 2019 South America trips, on sale now:

  • Switch the Lost City: Offering a less-trodden and less touristy alternative to the Inca Trail, Intrepid is offering a trek to Peru's other Lost City, Choquequirao, which is believed to be up to three times larger than Machu Picchu and home to some of the best preserved Inca ruins. The road to Choquequirao takes travellers deep into the wilds of the Peruvian Andes, along steep trails that zig-zag through dense cloud forest, dusty desert and scenic passes with views of dramatic landscapes and snow-capped peaks. With only a handful of people making the journey each day, visitors often have the place to themselves. Because a trip to Peru wouldn't be complete without Machu Picchu, this trip also includes a guided tour of the famous Inca city and time to explore historic Cusco. The 13-day tour includes eight days of hiking and is priced from $2470*.
  • Switch Base Camp: Instead of Everest Base Camp, Intrepid is offering a hike to the base camp of Aconcagua, the Southern Hemisphere's highest mountain. Walking through glacial valleys and over rugged Andean peaks on a seven-day trek that reaches the 5000m-high summit of Mt Bonete, this Argentinian experience has everything that Everest does, plus the added bonus of starting and finishing in the Mendoza wine region offering ample opportunity to sample malbec. The 10-day tour is priced from $3412*.
  • Switch the Pilgrimage: The Valley of Tears mightn't be as well-known as the Camino trail but it has one hell of a story. Intrepid is offering a four-day trek through the rugged Andes to the site of one of the most famous plane crashes in history. The story of the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 and the lengths survivors went to survive, including cannibalism, was told in the '90s movie 'Alive'. The eight-day tour is priced from $2735*.

For more information or to book visit:  https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au



*Subject to availability, conditions apply


Saturday, 8 September 2018

Cruise the Treasures Of The East




In March 2019, Ecruising invites travellers to discover some of the most spectacular natural and historical wonders of Eastern Asia on its Terracotta Warriors, Giant Pandas and Oriental Treasures journey.

As part of the sensational 23-night itinerary, guests will embark upon an escorted 8-night land tour from Beijing to Shanghai, including stopovers in Xi'an and Chengdu, before boarding Celebrity's Millennium cruise ship in Shanghai where they'll set sail on a 14-night cruise to Tokyo, Japan.

In each destination, guests will experience some of the Orient's most iconic sights and treasures, from face-to-face encounters with giant pandas to a visit to the celebrated Terracotta Warriors, one of the world's greatest archaeological finds.

On arrival in Beijing on 22 March, guests will spend one night in the luxurious Beijing Penta Hotel, before travelling aboard a high-speed train to Xi'an for a 2-night stay. Here, they will be fully immersed in China's culture. Day one includes a stroll through the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of China's holiest Buddhist sites, along with a mandarin lesson and a calligraphy session at the famed Tang Dynasty Museum, while the second day features an escorted tour of the Terracotta Warriors, followed by a visit to the ancient Xi'an City Wall.

On 25 March, guests will make their way to Chengdu via train for a 2-night stay at the Buddha Zen Hotel. Upon arrival, guests will be escorted to Du Fu's Thatched Cottage, now a museum commemorating the famous Tang Dynasty Chinese poet. In the afternoon, travellers can explore Chengdu's Kuanzhai Xiangzi district, an intriguing maze of alleys blending ancient culture with international flair, filled with restaurants and street vendors selling local Sichuan cuisine.

Of course, Chengdu is most famous for being China's panda capital, and day two in the city includes a visit to the renowned Dujiangyan Panda Base. Here travellers can see endangered giant pandas first hand and learn about China's research and conservation efforts to protect its most famous mammals. After lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, guests will continue on to the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On 27 March, guests will fly to Shanghai for a 3-night stay where they will be transferred on arrival to the Shanghai Central Hotel, followed by an afternoon exploring China's most cosmopolitan city at their leisure. The next morning they will pay a visit to the Shanghai Museum, containing over 120,000 pieces and hailed as one of the world's finest collections of ancient Chinese art and antiques, followed by stroll along the famed Bund and Nanjing Road. The afternoon is a chance for guests to immerse themselves in Shanghai's more contemporary history, with an escorted walk through the charming tree-lined streets and Art Deco architecture of the city's former French Concession.

The last morning in Shanghai is chance to explore its Old Town district, with its bustling narrow alleys and noodle houses, including a stopover at the picturesque Yuyuan Garden, while the afternoon includes a visit to Shanghai's M50 Art Community, a thriving artists quarter on the banks of Suzhou Creek.

On 30 March, guests will board  Celebrity's Millennium, setting sail across the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea to Tokyo. Along the way they will explore Seoul, Jeju Island and Beijing, before the cruise heads eastwards towards Japan. After one last stop in Kobe and a visit to Mt Fuji, the journey concludes in Tokyo on 13 April, where guests will spend one night before flying home the following day.

Prices for Ecruising's Terracotta Warriors, Giant Pandas and Oriental Treasures itinerary start from A$6,519 per person twin share, departing on 22 March 2019.

Subject to availability. Term and conditions apply.

For more information about the cruise and Ecruising please visit: www.ecruising.travel or phone 1300 369 848.

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

The Library Koh Samui Secret Pool Villas Offer


#traveldeals

The Library in Koh Samui, Thailand is offering special discounts on its Best Available Rates (BAR) for bookings received by 20 October 2018 for guest stays in the stunning new Secret Pool Villas until 20 December 2018.

The Library's Advance Purchase Promotion for stays during this offer period in the Secret Pool Villas includes 20% off BAR for 60 days' advance booking, 15% off BAR for 45 days' advance booking and 10% off BAR for 30 days' advance booking plus round-trip Samui Airport transfers for stays of three or four nights and an additional dinner for two people at either The Page or The Gallery for stays of a minimum five nights.

The spacious 1-bedroom Secret Pool Villas feature a custom-made 3m-wide bed, a dedicated entertainment space, full dining area with pantry, spacious Jacuzzi bathtub, saltwater swimming pool, oversized tandem rain shower and two walk-in closets.

The 2-bedroom Secret Pool Villas offer the exclusivity of a private home, with spacious comfort for hosting two couples travelling together or a group of friends. In addition to an expansive 10-metre long saltwater swimming pool and equally roomy triple king-size beds, these villas also feature a private gym equipped with a treadmill machine and body weights.

A member of Design Hotels, The Library will unveil 2 adults-only villas in September. The Editor, a luxurious villa, will be geared towards the working creative and The Writer, a singular, expansive unit, will feature beach frontage and access, dedicated living and dining spaces, a personal library, private gym, outdoor cinema, upper floor terrace with a spectacular sea view and a saltwater swimming pool.

For The Library bookings contact your travel agent or rsvn@thelibrarysamui.com

www.thelibrarysamui.com

Rayavadee, Krabi - Bonus Night Villa Offer


#traveldeals

Rayavadee in Krabi, Thailand has announced a Bonus Night Villa Offer for new bookings of guest stays in the resort's Family Villa 105, Rai ta Lay Villa, Rayavadee Villa and Phranang Villa 404 until 30 September 2018.

This special offer is applicable for 1 + 1, 2 + 2, 3 + 3. 4 + 4 and 5 + 5 paid and bonus nights across all of Rayavadee's stunning villa categories.



The Bonus Night Villa Offer includes private butler service, daily breakfast, an additional bed and third person occupancy.

A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Rayavadee presents award-winning architecture, fine cuisine, a relaxation spa and a fleet of speedboats for excursions to surrounding islands.

Bookings of the Rayavadee Bonus Night Villa Offer can be made through your travel agent or reservation@rayavadee.com

www.rayavadee.com

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Cycling tours in Japan


Self-guided inn-to-inn along the Noto Peninsula on Honshu



Japan is a land of contrasts, where an appreciation for the modern combines with a reverence for tradition, where skyscrapers sit side-by-side with peaceful ancient shrines. Active holiday specialists Outdoor Travel, based in Bright, Victoria offer cycling holidays which combine the ancient with the modern Japan with a truly unique insight into the Land of the Rising Sun.

The Noto Peninsula on Japan's largest island Honshu is just a few short hours' travel from Tokyo and Osaka.  It has a rugged coastline and picturesque fishing ports and villages. The cycling is mainly on flat coastal plains and quiet mountain roads in an area rarely visited by tourists.

Cycle unguided, at your own pace, stay in traditional family-run lodgings and hot-spring Ryokan inns and sample the traditional Japanese dishes made from fresh, local produce.  Uniquely, modern folding (Brompton) bikes are provided for this tour that you can easily use on public transport to shorten any of the days of cycling.

Dates:             Daily departure from April to November, 2018
Cost from:     $2925 per person twin share. Single room supplement on request

For details call Outdoor Travel on 1800 331 582 or see: https://bit.ly/2ISb2Wz


Monday, 13 August 2018

The Family Pleasure offer at InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort


InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort – special promotions




The InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort on Thailand's Koh Samui provides the perfect location to enjoy family holidays this year like never before with extensive activities for children and romance for parents.

The InterContinental Koh Samui provides magical views of the Gulf of Thailand, breathless sunset views, mouth-watering cuisine and award-winning service to its 79 romantic luxury guest rooms, suites and villas.

Featured is the multi-award-winning Baan Thai Spa by HARNN offering a variety of aroma and relaxation therapies and pampering including therapeutic head-to-toe massage.

On offer are free meals for kids and complimentary activities including the Resort's own kids' club Planet Trekkers, featuring activities and entertainment for children aged 4 –12 years.

There are a host of recreation activities to enjoy during your school holiday stay - truly something for everyone:  From snorkelling to Thai boxing, Thai cooking classes to yoga, dolphin watching to walks through the Angthong National Marine Park.  And,

Water Sports Centre offering stand-up-paddle boarding, windsurfing, kayaking and snorkelling
  • PADI Dive Centre 
  • Fully-equipped fitness centre
  • Yoga and Pilates
  • Thai Chi
  • Fit Ball classes
  • Aerobics
  • Beach volleyball
  • Mini beach soccer
  • Table tennis
  • Mountain biking
  • Thai cooking classes including a visit a local market
  • Cocktail classes
Special promotions have been created for the spring school holidays and are available until December 2018 only online and are subject to availability.  Five islands of Koh Samui tour is now included in the offer for the first 25 guests to book.

The Family Pleasure offer includes a stay at the luxurious Club Napa reserve Three Bedroom Residence Villa or three nights for two adults and two children at the Club Two Bedroom Residence Villa from THB 71,000 (AUD $2868.24).

The package also includes free meals for children designed by our consultants of celebrity chefs in all outlets for the entire stay plus

  • Daily breakfast for the family at Amber, our Award-winning restaurant by Thailand Tatler
  • Complimentary two-hour babysitting by our certified Nannies
  • One 60-minute therapeutic body massage for two adults at our Beach Sala (once per stay)
  • Complimentary daily access to Planet Trekkers, InterContinental Samui's signature Kids Club (for 2 kids)
  • One Junior Master Chef Cooking Class for the children (once per stay)
  • Welcome children's amenities
  • Complimentary WiFi access throughout the Resort

Koh Samui is one of Thailand's most popular island getaways.  The 5-star award winning resort spans nine hectares (22 acres) on the unspoilt west coast of Koh Samui, only one hour by air from Bangkok and a 45-minute drive from the airport.

Surrounded by more than 50 islands the property is a self-contained relaxed paradise that offers sheer tranquillity and romance for parents and a range of activities for the children. The resort is also idyllic for couples and honeymooners as well as weddings and corporate functions.

The resort focusses on water fun with seven swimming pools and a variety of aquatic sports for guests supported by a fully equipped Fitness Center featuring life fitness cardio machines, resistance and free weights.

Further information: http://samui.intercontinental.com

 

InterContinental Koh Samui: A Unique Photographic Opportunity


InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort




Some of the greatest photographic opportunities in the world are on offer at the luxury InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, perched on a mountainside overlooking the Gulf of Thailand on Koh Samui's west coast.

The luxury beachfront resort has been named in the World Travel Awards (WTA) as Asia's Most Romantic Resort and ranked in the New York Times bestseller 1000 Places to See Before You Die with world-class views on offer from almost every room, suite and villa in addition to the signature Air Bar and restaurants.

The InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort offers a stunning backdrop for filming, commercial photography, fashion shoots, engagement photos and weddings.

"The resort lends itself to countless creative photographic and artistic opportunities," says the Resort's Jocelyn Whiteside. "It presents one of the most breath-taking vistas you will ever see.  Guest have recorded stunning images during sunset and sunrise, weddings and other events with our numerous locations including our suspended bridge and private pier. We extend an invitation to photographic minded people, organisations and professionals to visit the Resort, enjoy its facilities and services and capture that gem of an image or memorable photo shoot," she said.

The InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort is a super luxury resort set on a cliff that descends to a white sandy beach. It is surrounded by 22 acres of lush tropical gardens overlooking magical views of the Gulf of Thailand, nearby Five Islands and Ang Thong National Marine Park. The 79 guest rooms, suites and villas are situated on the former site of Baan Taling Ngam Resort which commands legendary status as Koh Samui's first luxury resort.

Featured are two restaurants, Amber and Flames, which serve Thai, Asian and modern European cuisine; an open-air cocktail lounge, Air Bar, and Club InterContinental, lobby bar and café. The award-winning Baan Thai Spa by HARNN offers an exclusive range of HARNN body and beauty treatments.

The Resort's own kids' club, Planet Trekkers has activities and entertainment for children aged 4 –12 years.

Koh Samui is an hour's flight from Bangkok with direct domestic connections to Phuket and Pattaya. International direct flights with key Asian cities include Hong Kong, Singapore and, Kuala Lumpur.

"The resort would like to offer its luxurious accommodation, facilities and world ranked views to businesses or individuals keen to produce outstanding commercial images and captivating family shots," said Jocelyn Whiteside.  

"Interested parties should contact at e-mail: events@ickohsamui.com for more information on request date and time, a member of our team will contact you shortly to discuss your request".

Further information: samui.intercontinental.com


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