Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Asia and Australia Sail and Rail aboard Legend of the Seas ship and Australian Indian Pacific train

CRUISE holiday specialist are offering savings of up to $3000 per person on an exciting 20-night cruise and rail package from Singapore to Sydney experiencing both the Legend of the Seas ship and the famous Australian Indian Pacific train.

The adventure begins on September 10, 2015, with three days in Singapore staying in the central area of Clarke Quay- home of many restaurants, bars and retail outlets.

On board the Legend of the Seas, spend 14 nights cruising through South East Asia with port visits to Port Klang and Langkawi in Malaysia, Phuket in Thailand and Bali and Lombok in Indonesia before entering Australian waters to visit Broome and Geraldton then disembarking in Fremantle.

Join the Indian Pacific for three nights and travel across Australia to Sydney. Upgrade for a Gold Cabin for $1250 per person to have all meals included and unique outback excursions at Whistle Stops along the way in Kalgoorlie, Adelaide or Broken Hill.

Ecruising is selling this exclusive package from $3399 per person, which includes one-way economy airfare from Sydney and Perth, three nights accommodation at the Holiday Inn Express Clarke Quay, entry to the Singapore Flyer, Singapore City sightseeing pass, 14 nights cruise accommodation with all meals and entertainment on the ship, three nights Red Saver accommodation on the Indian Pacific, transfers, port charges and government taxes.

The package is priced from $3679 for Brisbane and Melbourne passengers, Coolangatta from $3789 and from Adelaide from $3699.

For more information contact on 1300 369 848 or visit

Winter Rail Travel in Europe - save


Travellers heading to or from France for their European winter holidays can look forward to savings on their point-to-point rail journeys on various services including the Eurostar, Thalys and TGV. 

In conjunction with its 20th anniversary, Eurostar is celebrating the occasion with a heavily discounted promotion on its London – Paris & Brussels services. Travellers who book their tickets by 17 November can enjoy one-way journeys in Standard Class for AUD58 or AUD144 in Standard Premier when travelling between Mondays and Thursdays. All travel must be completed between 7 November 2014 and 31 March 2015.

Travellers visiting France, Germany, The Netherlands and Belgium can take advantage of Thalys' winter promotion where one-way ticket bookings made between 11 November and 14 December will enjoy prices as low as AUD36. Travel must be completed between 6 January and 28 February 2015.

TGV is also offering massive discounts of more than 70% off on their 1st and 2nd class routes between Brussels and Paris CDG; and Brussels and Marseille. One-way tickets start at AUD59 and bookings must be made by 3 December 2015.

Finally, TGV Lyria is offering travellers one-way tickets at AUD43 on 2nd class and AUD80 on 1st class for journeys between Paris and Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Basel or Zurich. Bookings must be made by 3 December and travel completed within the next 90 days.

Black out dates and terms and conditions apply. Visit for more details.



Image: Travelling through the Swiss winter

Monday, 20 October 2014

Get outta here from $129 with Scoot

Save up to 75% on hotels with ScootStays.

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Get the best car rental deals only with Scoot-A-Car.

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* Fares comprise the price of the air ticket and associated taxes and surcharges. Taxes and surcharges are subject to change due to currency fluctuations. Fares indicated are one-way, for travel originating out of Gold Coast, Perth and Sydney. Blackout periods may apply during school holidays and event periods. Selected flights beyond Singapore are operated by Tigerair. Unless stated otherwise, Economy class fares exclude checked baggage, meals, inflight entertainment and other optional charges, such as service fees that may be levied for bookings made through the Call Centre. Payment processing fees per guest segment are not included. Full list of fees are available at Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights or all dates. Bookings are not refundable except as provided in the Conditions of Carriage. All the terms and conditions are available at

Holiday blog writing contest for junior travel writers

Digital storytelling website TRAVELTHERENEXT.COM is calling all talented junior travel writers. There's still time to enter the TRAVELTHERENEXT holiday blog writing contest.

Enter before 31 October to win a cash voucher of AUD$100 (first prize) and the chance to be featured on, alongside award-winning travel journalists.

The top three (3) winners will be picked by a panel of award-winning travel writers.

To be eligible to participate, entrants must be under 13 years of age.

See details here


TRAVELTHERENEXT is a digital storytelling portal that publishes high quality original and engaging content about amazing travel destinations and experiences.

Stories, photographs and videos are produced by award-winning travel writers, photographers and new media influencers. The company has a strong presence on social media on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Emerging platforms include Pinterest, Tumblr, Flipboard and Trover.


Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular

The Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular this year is promising to be bigger than ever with 1.5 million lights on display and Mercure Hunter Valley Resort is right where the action is.

A special 'Hunter Valley Christmas Lights package' is now available which includes overnight accommodation, full buffet breakfast and entry to the Christmas Lights Spectacular for two adults and two children. Rates start from $289 per night weekdays for stays between 7 November and 23 December. Terms and conditions apply.

For those wanting a special Christmas Day with ease, a 'Christmas Escape package' is also available. The package includes:

  • Two nights' accommodation (Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
  • Full buffet breakfast daily
  • Three-course Christmas lunch
  • A welcome bottle of wine
  • Two adult tickets to the Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular on Christmas Eve
  • A Christmas dinner picnic hamper for two

Rates start from $899 per package for a twin share studio room and two night's minimum stay. Terms and conditions apply.

The Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Lights Spectacular will be the biggest display of its kind in Australia and will feature an array of fantastic activities including fountain firework lights, a larger than life nativity scene, children's entertainment and Santa Claus will of course make an appearance. New features include Cinderella's Castle, a Light's Spectacular marquee, underwater light display as well as a display train.

Located just footsteps away from this magical wonderland, Mercure Hunter Valley Resort offers a range of accommodation styles including studio suites, garden studios, spa rooms, and family rooms. Leisure facilities include tennis courts, a heated pool and spa, games room, day spa and lounge library with pool table. The hotel is within walking distance of half a dozen wineries and the Roche Wines cellar door, with McGuigans Winery and The Cheese Factory right on the doorstep.

For bookings, visit or call (02) 4998 2000.

APT Reveals First Images of New Burma Rivership

unnamed (7)Award winning luxury cruise operator APT has revealed the first artist impressions of the interiors of its new boutique rivership, the RV Samatha (pronounced Sa-ma-ta), in its latest Burma River Cruising 2016/17 brochure.

An image of one of the Twin Balcony Suites showcases the design standards APT will apply to the 30 stylish suites, the largest of which is the Executive Suite offering 48.7 square meters. As well as offering a range of sizes, all suites are positioned on the outside of the ship to ensure all guests enjoy either a panoramic or twin balcony.

Also illustrated in the brochure is the main restaurant, which has been heavily influenced by local design. 

The restaurant will play host to the cuisine of APT’s Asia Ambassador, celebrity chef, Luke Nguyen, who will play a central role in designing the onboard culinary program.

Guests who set sail aboard the RV Samatha on the Irrawaddy with APT will enjoy exclusive dinners every evening that have been personally designed by Luke.

Also exclusive for APT guests is the chance to sample Luke’s specially designed degustation menu in the ship’s private dining room, an intimate eight-seat venue.

The new vessel also offers guests all the facilities synonymous with an APT luxury rivership, including a sundeck with swimming pool; day spa; complimentary Wi-Fi; and a main lounge and bar.

The onboard experience is matched by exciting and culturally immersive itineraries that feature APT’s Signature Experiences, specially designed once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing experiences.

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For example on the 18-day Hidden Wonders of Burma with Inle Lake, priced from $9,395 per person, twin share, guests sail from Mandalay to Yangon aboard the RV Samatha. Cruise highlights include stopping along the way to experience the Mahamuni Buddha Temple; touring Inwa by horse drawn cart and seeing the ‘leaning tower of Inwa’; enjoying a pottery making demonstration in Yandabo; spending a day of discovery at the Bagan Archaeological Zone; wandering through the Bogyoke Aung San Market, a major bazaar in Yangon famous for its colonial architecture and cobblestone streets; and visiting the 99-metre high Shwedagon Pagoda.

After the cruise, guests fly to Heho for a three night stay at Inle Lake where they will explore the southern section of the lake by boat, taking in its stunning gardens, witnessing the ingenious one-legged rowing technique used by local fishermen and visiting the famous Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery (also known at the ‘Jumping Cat Monastery’) where for centuries monks have trained cats to jump through hoops.

This is one of four featured itineraries in the 52-page brochure, which offers a wide choice of departures on river cruises in Burma, as well as combination itineraries that include Vietnam and Cambodia.

The all inclusive lifestyle available to guests travelling on APT’s Burma holidays in 2016 and beyond features most meals (including all meals and beverages with lunch and dinner on its cruises), all flights within Asia, five star luxurious accommodation, an APT cruise or tour director, all sightseeing, transfers, airport taxes, port charges and tipping.

According to APT’s General Manager Sales and Marketing, Debra Fox, Burma is increasing in popularity as a destination, “Burma is one of the most exciting emerging river cruise destinations and we’re delighted to be introducing our first ship there on the Irrawaddy. As well as sailing aboard our stylish new rivership, guests will enjoy menus designed by our Asia Ambassador Luke Nguyen and will be treated to the most fantastic sightseeing program thanks to our expert Asia product team. We’re predicting this will be a hot selling product for our travel agency partners and we’re looking forward to helping them secure bookings.”

APT is offering a choice of two ‘SuperDeals’ on all bookings made by 31 March 2015. For bookings on any holiday to Burma of 15 days or longer a ‘Fly Free, including taxes’ deal is available; or alternatively fly Business Class from $2,995 per person. Offers are subject to availability and terms and conditions apply.

APT’s new Burma River Cruising 2016/17 brochure is available now. Call 1300 196 420, visit or see your local business development manager for further information.

Savings of AU$750 on New Antarctica Air and Cruise Voyages in 2015/16

unnamed (5)Australian agency, Active Travel, is offering AU$750 off international flights for every traveller who books one of 10 Antarctica, South Georgia and Falkland Islands voyages sailing from October, 2015, to March, 2016.

Among the tours are three new air and cruise packages that include ‘shortcuts’ by plane to reduce the sailing time to the polar region and allowing passengers more time to explore the Antarctic Peninsula and also South Georgia, which boasts more wildlife per square metre than any other place on Earth.

The air credit offer is valid for 2015/16 Antarctica earlybird bookings made with Active Travel before November 30, 2014. The adventures are run by longstanding, polar travel specialists, One Ocean Expeditions, which Active Travel pioneered in the Australian market in 2008.

The three new Antarctic and sub-Antarctic ‘air and cruise’ packages range in length from 11-15 days and all include flight sectors to cut the time at sea, reduce the chance of cross-passage sea sickness, allow more exploration time on land and reduce the length and cost of the tour.

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The three new voyages are aboard the Russian, ice-strengthened ship, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, with the maximum passenger load lowered from 92 to 70 passengers, allowing for more personal service and attention.

Active Travel’s first new package – the 11-day ‘Antarctic Peninsula Explorer and the Falklands’ – starts with a 90-minute flight from Punta Arenas to Port Stanley in the Falklands, followed by a 10-night cruise along the Antarctic Peninsula and then a two-hour flight from the South Shetland Islands back to Punta Arenas. The itinerary in Antarctica includes walks ashore with naturalist guides, visits to historic huts, cruising in zodiac boats to view spectacular icebergs and witnessing an abundance of wildlife species including seals, whales and penguins. Including the two flight transfers, the package is priced from US$9795 per person, triple share, or form US$11,795 twin-share. Departures from Punta Arenas are on December 19, 2015, and January 9, February 13 and March 7 in 2016.

A 12-day ‘Ultimate Antarctica’ tour begins with a flight from Punta Arenas to the South Shetland Islands, followed by an 11-night cruise to the Falklands via the Antarctic Peninsula and ending with a flight from Port Stanley back to Punta Arenas. Departing Punta Arenas on December 8 and 29, 2015, and January 19 and February 23 in 2016, the package is available from US$10,045 triple-share, or from US$12,045 twin-share, including the two air transfers.

The third package – the 15-day ‘South Georgia in Depth’ – includes one flight – from Punta Arenas to the Falklands, with passengers then spending 14 nights at sea, including eight days exploring the snow-capped peaks, stunning fjords and wildlife-rich shores of South Georgia Island, famous for its massive colonies of King penguins and elephant seals which jostle for space on the foreshore. Only 30 scientists live on the remote and rugged island in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The voyage, which ends in Ushuaia, Argentina, is available from US$10,145 triple-share and from US$11,245 twin-share, including the flight transfer. One departure is available on October 17, 2015.

Flights from Australia to South America are extra. Bookings made for the cruises before November 30, 2014, will receive a flight credit of AU$750 per person, to be used towards international flights booked in conjunction with the cruise through Active Travel. Pre/post cruise accommodation can also booked through Active Travel.

For details of the Antarctica packages, visit or call 1300 783 188.

Early bird to South America has begun!

The early bird gets the worm and in this case, the early bird gets the flight to South America! LAN Airlines has launched its special sale with return economy flights starting from AUD$1,399* (including taxes) to Santiago, the gateway to South America.

For Aussies planning their 2015 adventures, take advantage of this incredible fare by booking before 19 November, 2014. Flights are valid for travel between 1 May and 31 August, 2015, the perfect time to sashay through the streets of Rio de Janeiro, hike dramatic landscapes in Chile, or explore the vast, steamy world of the Amazon jungle.
This diverse region is no longer a once in a lifetime destination. Since the merger of LAN and TAM Airlines to form LATAM Airlines Group in 2012, the two airlines offer connections to more than 115 destinations, giving Aussies access to the most comprehensive network in South America.

In addition to this offer, Aussies can also book flights from Sydney through to Lima, South America’s culinary capital in Peru, via Santiago from just AUD$1,499*, or flights to Argentina’s seductive city Buenos Aires and Brazil’s Sao Paulo from just AUD$1,499*.

With LAN Airlines now offering seven flights per week from Sydney to Santiago, Chile, the gateway to South America, travellers have so many reasons to add South America to their bucket list for 2015.

Adventure Travel Expo in Sydney

This year marks the 20th year of instigating dream experiences for the Adventure Travel Expo and the exhibition promises to be a huge meeting of like-minded travellers at Sydney Town Hall on the weekend of November 8 and 9, 2014. Warning: attendance is guaranteed to inspire a debilitating bout of wanderlust.

Globetrotters of all ages and destinations are invited to come along for free on Saturday Nov 8 and Sunday Nov 9, to pick the brains of a room full of adventure aficionados ready to send you to all corners of the globe. Whether you're planning on trekking the peaks of Mount Everest, or staying a little bit closer to home and sleeping under the stars by Australia's iconic Uluru in Alice Springs, all the information you need is in the one place at the Adventure Travel Expo.

A very special guest of the Expo will be this year's Adventure Travel Ambassador: Jeremy Scott. A heroic human being, Scott cycled 52,000kms around the world, despite being born with a huge hole in his aorta valve and undergoing open heart surgery at the tender age of 4 years old. Come along to hear his courageous story and more, and grab some awesome freebies while you're there. Also go in the draw to win some amazing prizes, including a trip to the Amalfi Coast, two for one deals and a $1000 STA Travel Voucher to go toward your next escape.    


Head to Sydney @travelexpo this Nov 8-9, plan your thrill-seeking adventure with leading travel experts. Travel freebies, deals and more


Sunday, 19 October 2014 deal of the week: Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong, Beijing

Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong, Beijing

Visit for more details or call ‎1800 687 236‎                                                                                    

Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong, Beijing

Save up to 32%
Book by: 31st December 2014
Stay by: 31st December 2014
Prices from: AU$ 156 per night

With just a 5 minute walk to Jianguomen subway station, the Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong puts you in the perfect location to explore this vibrant city. Visit to the luxuriously decorated Scitech Plaza, take a walk down the colourful Wangfujing Street and Silk Street Market, or visit the Ancient Observatory, one of the oldest observatories in the world. With four restaurants, a bar, swimming pool and fitness centre, the Hotel New Otani Chang Fu Gong is perfect for all travellers especially those looking for a few days of leisure at the end of a business trip!

Follow on Twitter @hotels_com_ANZ for more travel inspiration

^Hotel Deals: Price quoted is per room per night based on two people sharing and is inclusive of all fees and taxes. Rates are subject to availability. Minimum stay requirements and black-out dates may apply. Prices are available as of 17 October, 2014. Prices may fluctuate due to changes in taxes, fees and currency. Visit for full terms and conditions.

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