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Saturday, 23 July 2016

New Chocolate Tour for Brooklyn



For the past eleven years, A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours (www.asliceofbrooklyn.com) has been the leader in guided bus tours of Brooklyn’s favorite foods, neighborhoods, landmarks and famous movie locations. Best of all, our tours depart from Manhattan! Our tours have been featured on the Today Show, the Food Network and the Travel Channel.

We currently have three popular tours: the Pizza Tour (voted the #1 tour of Brooklyn on TripAdvisor for the past five years in a row!), the Neighborhood Tour and the Christmas Lights Tour of Dyker Heights.

New Brooklyn Chocolate Tour!

This new 4 hour guided bus tour will feature five of the best chocolate makers in Brooklyn: Jacques Torres in DUMBO, The Chocolate Room in Cobble Hill, Raaka Chocolates and Baked both located in Red Hook and Li-Lac Chocolates located in Industry City.

Guests will sample signature chocolate creations at each stop, see how the chocolate is made and meet the chocolatiers themselves. There will also be opportunities to purchase items to take home.

The Chocolate Tour will depart conveniently from Union Square in Manhattan and feature the history, architecture and inside tidbits of the Brooklyn neighborhoods featured on the tour such as DUMBO, Cobble Hill, Red Hook and Industry City. Just like all their other tours, the experience will be enhanced by the audio-visual presentation on the screens of the bus which features music, slides and videos about the history of chocolate. The tour will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10am with plans to add other days of the week soon thereafter.

“It’s an amazing time to be in Brooklyn if you love chocolate”, says A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours owner, and admitted chocoholic, Tony Muia. “Whether it’s Li-Lac Chocolates which has been around since the 1920’s or famed pastry chef Jacques Torres, aka “Mister Chocolate” who opened his first shop in Brooklyn in 2000 or newcomer Raaka Chocolate which is reinforcing what we call “bean to bar” production, the tour will open peoples’ eyes to all things chocolate in the borough.”

A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours was started in 2005.

“I originally wanted to create an easy way for visitors to hop on a bus in Manhattan and experience Brooklyn from a native’s perspective” says owner/operator Tony Muia. “When I started doing tours ten years ago, nobody was bothering to go pick people up in Manhattan by bus and bring them to Brooklyn. So I took it upon myself to become Brooklyn’s official ambassador. The tours feature Brooklyn’s favorite foods, neighborhoods, landmarks and famous movie locations like Saturday Night Fever, Goodfellas, the French Connection and more.”

Another thing that sets A Slice of Brooklyn apart is the tour guides. Muia’s only requirement: “They must be Brooklyn-born, licensed NYC tour guides. What’s the point of offering someone an authentic Brooklyn experience if you’re not getting it from a native Brooklynite?”

Other tours include the Original Pizza Tour (voted the #1 tour of Brooklyn on TripAdvisor for the past five years in a row), the Neighborhood Tour which focuses on the cultural and historical parts of the borough and the wildly popular Christmas Lights Tour of Dyker Heights. The tours have been featured on the Travel Channel, the Food Network, the Today Show, Good Morning America and in the pages of the New York Times, the London Times and Time Out New York.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Australians can expect big fun in the South Pacific on Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas



This summer cruise season, Australians can expect big fun in the South Pacific on Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas - Royal Caribbean's twin sister ships that are dedicated to sailing Pacific itineraries all summer long.

Both are newly revitalized from bow to stern to the tune of US$180 million, and with itineraries that lend themselves perfectly to families and amenities to match, Royal Caribbean is positioning the South Pacific Sisters as the go-to summer cruise holiday for families of all ages and sizes.

2016/17 summer cruise itineraries will whisk guests away to idyllic destinations like Mystery Island and Port Vila in Vanuatu, and Noumea, Isle of Pines and Lifou (Loyalty Islands) in New Caledonia.

Plus, the South Pacific Sisters will make more calls than ever before to perennial island favourite, Fiji. The megaliners will more than double the amount of Fiji calls year on year, with 34 visits across the season to two destinations, Suva and Lautoka. There will even be two Fiji overnight calls, when Explorer of the Seas stays the night in Suva during her repositioning voyages between Australia and Seattle.

The megaliners are amongst the region's largest – second only to Royal Caribbean's Ovation of the Seas – and boast an array of features that can only be found on Royal, like the twin FlowRiders that feature on their top decks, ice skating rinks where the young and young at heart can test their skills and virtual balconies for real time ocean views in interior staterooms.

Royal Caribbean's Voyager Class pioneered the interior promenade in cruise ship design, allowing interior staterooms to look down on to an indoor street lined by cafes, shops and bars, where colourful characters from much loved movies like Shrek and Madagascar light up the night with family parades and shows^.

Royal Caribbean is known as an innovator, and for good reason, says Adam Armstrong, Managing Director for Royal Caribbean International in Australia and New Zealand.

"Since we arrived in Australia some eight years ago, we've been delivering Australians with the style of cruising they had previously been travelling overseas for. With two Voyager Class megaliners now sailing from Sydney, there's double the opportunity to cruise on Australia's most feature-packed ships, and double the fun," Armstrong concluded.

Because they have the size and space to offer something for everyone, the South Pacific Sisters are perfect for families of all shapes, ages and sizes, including the growing trend for inter-generational family holidays.

Voyager and Explorer of the Seas boast a range of accommodation options, such as interconnecting staterooms and luxurious, multi-room suites, as well as the new panoramic family staterooms that offer all the benefits of an apartment, including floor-to-ceiling windows and a separate bunk room for the kids.

When parents and grandparents are looking for some downtime, the award-winning kids club program, Adventure Ocean, offers a range of age appropriate activities and spaces that kids can call their very own. Included in the fare, Adventure Ocean groups range from Aquanauts (aged three to five years old), Explorers (six to eight) and Voyagers (nine to eleven). Tweens and teens have their own spaces too, including a dedicated night club. Babies aged 6-18 months can attend the Royal Babies and Tots playrooms, where trained youth staff, together with parents, oversee learning and play sessions. In-room babysitting services are available for a small fee.

There's no better time to start planning a family getaway in the sunshine than with Royal Caribbean's Island Time Sale, with savings across the South Pacific Sisters' itineraries. Fares for a seven night roundtrip sailing on Voyager of the Seas start from AUD$1,009 for the first guest and AUD$549.50 for the second, when booked before 30 July 2016. The cruise departs Sydney 1 November 2016 and includes calls to Noumea and Isle of Pines in New Caledonia*.

For further information or to book a Royal Caribbean cruise, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.au, phone 1800 754 500 or see your local travel agent.
 

^DreamWorks not available on all ships. See www.royalcaribbean.com.au for full detail.

*Terms and conditions apply, see www.royalcaribbean.com.au for full detail.

 

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Heron Island one of the world’s major breeding grounds for Green and Loggerhead Turtles

From October to April each year, the iconic Heron Island becomes the breeding home to thousands of Green and Loggerhead turtles and their hatchlings. These giants of the sea return to the island some 30 years after they hatched here to lay their own clutch of eggs. This circle of life is one of the great natural phenomena of the world.

Heron Island has a resident population of around 4,000 turtles which is a major attraction – however – it is when these resident turtles are joined by the migratory turtles returning to lay their eggs – that the true wonder of these giant sea turtles can be witnessed.

To find a turtle, simply walk along Heron Beach one or two hours after the evening’s high tide. Look for the tracks in the sand where the turtle has come in from the sea and as the hatchlings emerge you will see them scurrying towards the ocean keen to avoid the many perils that will meet them along the way.

“Heron Island is truly an amazing place to be part of the annual laying and hatching of the Green and Loggerhead turtles. Watching these giants of the sea lug themselves up the beach and settle in to lay up to 120 eggs per clutch is one of the most amazing and breathtaking things to see”, says Sandy McFeeters, General Manager of Heron Island Resort.

As a coral cay – Heron Island is literally a part of the Great Barrier Reef – so between turtles watching, step off the beach and snorkel to discover the underworld wonderland that exists.

If you are ready to be a part of one of nature's greatest journeys, take advantage of the special offer on the Turtle Season Holiday package.

Heron Island Turtle Packages commences from $330 per night (twin share) Children 12 years and under stay free when using existing bedding

Key Inclusions:

· Accommodation
· Breakfast daily
· 2 snorkel trips
· Special turtle gift

Offer Valid 12 September 2016 – 31 March 2017 – subject to availability. Terms and conditions and blackout dates apply.

For more information or book your Heron Island escape, visit www.heronisland.com or 1300 731 561.

Ten Ways to have a Rustic Japan Trip in Tohoku, Japan


Japan National Tourism Organization and All Nippon Airways partner to promote the Tohoku region of Japan


Sydney, Australia (14 July, 2016) Japan National Tourism Organization, Sydney Office and All Nippon Airways (ANA) have launched a cooperative campaign, ‘10 Ways to have a Rustic Japan Trip’ to promote travel to the Tohoku region of Japan to Australian travellers.

The campaign features 10 different ways to have a rustic travel experience in the Tohoku region, the north-eastern part of the main island of Japan; an area famous for outdoor adventures and deep culture. The campaign features various places, from secluded onsen (hot springs) first discovered by samurai to temples where rugged ascetic training is carried out by monks. ANA has partnered to offer free airfares between Tokyo and four different airports in the Tohoku region (Akita, Odate-Noshiro, Shonai and Sendai airports), for travellers who purchase an international ticket between Sydney and Tokyo during the campaign period. The special fares are also available for travel agents as well.

Tickets are available for a limited time only, for booking between 11 July and 31 July, for travel between 1 September and 27 December. The campaign is currently promoted on Traveller (www.traveller.com.au), Escape (www.escape.com.au) and Expedia (www.expedia.com.au).

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Ken Duncan to lead photographic tour to China


Leading Australian photographer Ken Duncan is to lead an inspirational tour to China covering some of the country’s most scenic naturally-rich regions.

Internationally renowned for his panoramic landscape images, Ken has teamed up with established China specialist Helen Wong’s Tours to host a 13-day “Discover China through the Lens” itinerary for camera enthusiasts and budding photographers.

The exclusive group tour - from October 11-23, 2016 – is priced from $9200 per person, twin share, including return Cathay Pacific air fare, domestic air fares, accommodation with daily breakfasts and meals, visa for Australian passport holders and many other features.


Guests will visit:

· Hangzhou where they will take a leisurely cruise on scenic West Lake;
· Tunxi and its fascinating architecture along Ancient Street;
· Huangshan, famous for its “four ultimate beauties” of the Yellow Mountain;
· Chongqing, bustling mountain city on the banks of the Yangtze;
· Huanglong and its valley shadowed by snow-capped peaks;
· Jiuzhaigou and its UNESCO World Heritage-listed alpine valley, peaks, waterfalls and colourful lakes;
· Chengdu, home of the giant pandas.

“I personally travelled to China last year to do the reconnaissance for this whole trip to ensure it would be something very special,” said Ken, who will be accompanying the group and assisting the guests in perfecting their photography skills throughout the trip.

“This unique trip begins in the heavenly beauty of Hangzhou where you will capture the best possible autumn coloured leaves, then travel to Huangshan to marvel at the serenely presented mountain scenery,” he said.

“You will also be amazed by the sapphire lakes of Jiuzhaigou and delighted by your encounter with the adorable pandas in Chengdu.”

The group will stay in quality hotels throughout the tour with all meals included in the price, along with the services of English-speaking travel guides.

All specified transfers, all sightseeing, cable car ride and entrance fees are also included along with a Helen Wong’s Tours travel kit and backpack.

Details: Phone 1300 788 328 or check out www.helenwongstours.com

Save on UTracks European Bike & Barge deals



Still looking to head to Europe and escape our chilly winter? It’s not too late to book for a bike and barge adventure in Bordeaux or Belgium this season and save.

UTracks is offering a $250 per person discount on the “Bordeaux Bike & Barge” or “Belgium Bike & Barge” trips, for all new bookings made before 31 July, 2016.

Discover the rolling hills of France's premier wine growing region by bike and from the comfort of your barge hotel on the eight-day Bordeaux Bike & Barge tour.

The offer is for trips departing on 1, 8 or 15 October 2016. Cost was $2590 now $2340 per person (departing Bordeaux) - includes all meals, accommodation, bike rental and tour leader

Or discover the beautiful landscapes and charming towns of Belgium as you travel between Bruges and Brussels. The eight-day Belgium Bike & Barge tour was $1950 now $1700 per person (for select trips departing Brussels or Bruges in July, August, September) - includes all meals, accommodation, bike rental and tour leader).

All discounted dates for both trips are guaranteed to operate.

Conditions apply. Further information at: www.utracks.com or 1300 303 368.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Broome on Sale #‎justanotherdayinWA‬



The much anticipated Broome on Sale deal is being released again this year with flight specials and bonuses with popular Broome hotels.

Return flights are on sale from $399 ex Perth, $659 ex Adelaide and $699 ex Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane when booked with land.

It’s the perfect opportunity for a quick break, with three night packages from $215pp twin share and bonus offers including free car hire, food & beverage credit and spa vouchers across hotels including The Billli Resort, Oaks, Ramada Eco Beach and Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa Guests can choose to relax by the pool with a cocktail or watch a famous Kimberley sunset while riding a camel along Cable Beach, while foodies will be able to enjoy mangoes straight from the tree or freshly caught barramundi as the mango and barra seasons start late in the year.

The Broome on Sale deal is available for bookings from now until 29 July 2016, and for travel from

*1 September to 30 November 2016.

*conditions apply

For more information or to book, call Broome, Kimberley & Beyond on 1300 357 057 or email reservations@broomekimberley.com

Monday, 4 July 2016

helloworld exclusive deals on luxury European river cruises in July



helloworld is excited to announce a range of exclusive luxury river cruise deals available in helloworld stores this month.

Throughout the month of July helloworld customers will have access to a number of exclusive 2 for 1 offers on luxury European river cruises including:

1) Danube Holiday Markets

Celebrate the Christmas season on the historic Danube River enjoying a 7-night luxury river cruise from Passau to Budapest in a Riverview Stateroom. All meals, unlimited beverages and gratuities on board as well as Captain's Welcome Gala and Farewell Dinners and 6 days of onshore excursions.

Glorious baroque architecture, delightful concerts and ravishing scenery will make this Christmas season unforgettable as you sail through the holidays on the Danube.

8 days from $2359 per person twin share. Valid for departure 9 December 2016. Terms and conditions apply.

2) Castles Along the Rhine

Jump on board a luxury river cruise from Basel to Amsterdam in a Riverview Stateroom. Enjoy all meals, unlimited beverages and gratuities on board and find inspiration in the romantic, soul-stirring beauty of the fabled Rhine.

Cruise along the Rhine—Germany on one side, France on the other and enjoy 6 days of onshore excursions. The spires of medieval churches and castles appear around each bend in the river, and beautiful vineyards climb the verdant hillsides.

8 days from $2389 per person twin share. Valid for departure 23 October 2016. Terms and Conditions apply.

3) European Jewels

Indulge your passion for majestic art, architecture, music and history on an all-encompassing journey through four countries along three great rivers—the Danube, Main and Rhine—and to countless UNESCO World Heritage sites.

From exotic Budapest, “Queen of the Danube” to imperial Vienna, “City of Waltzes,” to the sky-high spires of Cologne’s Gothic cathedral—centuries of intriguing history and culture unfold before your eyes. Experience it all on a magnificent, all-inclusive Rhine River cruise showcasing Europe’s greatest treasures and off-the-beaten-path gems.

All meals, unlimited beverages and gratuities on board included as well as a Captain's Welcome and Farewell Dinners.

15 days from $5599 per person twin share. Valid for departure 25 September 2016. Terms and conditions apply.

To find your local store, call 131415 or visit helloworld.com.au/agents

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Events in Western Austrialia this July

#justanotherdayinWA



JULY 2016

Winter Festival 

June 24 to July 17
Fremantle, Experience Perth
Winter Festival is returning to Esplanade Reserve in Fremantle from June 24 to July 17. Visitors to the event can experience 24 days of outdoor ice-skating fun, with skating sessions kicking off from 9am to 10pm Sunday to Thursday, and 9am to 11pm on Friday and Saturdays. Australia's largest pop-up ice-skating rink (sitting at 600 square metres), will be accompanied by a two story wrap around bar, new family rides and winter entertainment.

Stars on the Bastion

July 2
Wyndham, Australia's North West
Wyndham Stars on the Bastion is a night of fine dining and entertainment by some of Australia's top country music singers, set on top of the spectacular Bastion Range – one of Australia's best lookouts. Start this amazing experience off by taking in the magnificent sunset on top of the 'Bastion' at the Five Rivers lookout. Enjoy an evening listening to Australia's own talented music artists, both well-known and rising stars.

Mowanjum Festival

July 7
Derby, Australia's North West
A public concert featuring more than 200 Aboriginal performers from across the Kimberley region. The festival is a celebration of Indigenous cultural life for the people of the Kimberley, in particular the Worora, Ngarinyin and Wunumbul people involving dance, music, song, story and art. Prior to the performance, free afternoon workshops are held by Aboriginal artists which include Boab Nut carving, Ochre painting and Didgeridoo playing.




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Friday, 1 July 2016

July/August/September 2016 Issue of Vacations & Travel is Out Now

The Weather Outside is Frightful, But That Fire is So Delightful

The new issue of Vacations & Travel magazine has hit the stands, with its wintery and welcoming front cover image of the St. Regis Deer Valley inviting you to snuggle up and get cosy with 250 pages of travel inspiration.

We bring you some of the top ski resorts from around the world; from snow temples and onsens in Japan and magical winter villages in Innsbruck, to serious terrain, nightlife, and family friendly snowcations in the USA that are sure to impress even the most discerning snow bunnies.

After the snow, we take you to the sea for a balanced mix of luxury cruising followed by expedition cruise adventures, offering once-in-a-lifetime experiences through Antarctica, the Pacific, and our very own Kimberley.

For those that prefer the wide open road to the sea and snow, we finally tick the quintessential all-American road trip off our bucket list, and explore the great land through iconic highways, dynamic cityscapes, and jagged coastlines.

We then head east to South Korea to check how preparations are coming along for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and stop by Japan to get traditional in our very own version of Memoirs of a Geisha.

Closer to home, we spoil you with luxurious indulgences and premium experiences in New Zealand's Bay of Islands, and tug at your heart strings with nostalgic images of the Australian outback, telling the story of its people and sunburnt landscapes through the camera lens.

Our winter issue of Vacations & Travel magazine wouldn't be complete without a good dose of dining, and on the menu we tease your tastebuds with innovative Peruvian delicacies in Lima, fresh market finds in New Caledonia, fine dining in Fiji and take you on a food adventure through the streets of Macau that will leave you wanting more.

Full of essential holiday ideas and information, we keep you up to date with the latest news in spas, hotels, cruising, travel books, restaurants, galleries and museums, markets, travel apps, flights, hikes, and how to get involved and give back in our global village – the Mercy Ships story is especially powerful and inspiring.

This issue also covers the following stories:

- Hawaii: The Big Island
- French Polynesia: Cult Heroes in the Marquesas
- India: Adrift on the Brahmaputra
- Netherlands: Rotterdam Reinvented

That's 250 pages of essential holiday ideas and information … for just AU$9.95.

PLUS: One lucky Vacations & Travel reader will win a four-night holiday in Bali, staying two nights at Villa Issi in Seminyak, and two nights at Villa San in Ubud, thanks to Elite Havens Luxury Villa Rentals. To enter, visit vacationsmag.com

Vacations & Travel is out now at newsagents. For subscriptions visit vacationsmag.com or call Morris Media on +61 2 9555 7477. Also visit vacationsmag.com to subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter.

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