Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Luxury Travel Magazine Spring Issue Out Now

On sale from 22 August, 2016

In the 67th issue of Luxury Travel magazine, we showcase the best scuba diving and snorkelling hot spots across the globe – locations where travellers can set out from a luxurious home base for truly remarkable underwater exploration and diving adventures.

We introduce a new regular section, Luxe for Less, this issue featuring luxury deals from around Australia. The new issue also includes our Annual Travel Planner Ski Calendar, outlining the best times to visit and places to stay at must-visit ski slopes in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, North America and Europe.

Also inserted in this issue is a 24-page supplement, South Africa Luxe For Less, outlining great value travel experiences and accommodation throughout South Africa. This Luxury Travel supplement showcases the best of South Africa, including the buzzing city of Johannesburg, beautiful Cape Town, action and adventure in and around Durban, the scenic Garden Route, rugged beauty in the Northern Cape, and includes an guide on how to plan an unforgettable safari.

In addition, we cover more luxury travel experiences, dining and accommodation in our regular sections including Suite Life, for the best suites in town; City Guide; Dispatches, for the latest luxury hotel openings, trends and refurbishments; Creative Traveller; High Flyer, for the latest flight news and business class reviews; and Epicurean Travels.

Luxury Travel magazine is a quarterly print publication now in its 16th year. It is produced in Sydney by Magnesium Media.

Silk Air makes Laos a little bit more accessible for Australians

Silk Air makes Laos a little bit more accessible for Australians

SilkAir, the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, recently announced it will launch services from Singapore to Vientiane and Luang Prabang in Laos, from November 2016.

According to Asia travel specialists Insider Journeys, which have been operating regular tours in Laos since 1996, the services will positively impact visitor numbers to the country, which has traditionally been more difficult to access than its neighbours.

Unlike Vietnam and Cambodia, both of which have seen strong tourism arrivals in the last 10 years, aided by iconic tourist drawcards such as UNESCO-listed Halong Bay and Angkor Wat, Laos has remained somewhat of an intrepid destination for travellers seeking an 'off the beaten path' experience. This is despite having two UNESCO listings of its own: Luang Prabang town set on the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers and Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape.

"Without a doubt, the majority of our clients who have travelled to Laos with us rave about the place after they've been there," says Paul Hole, Managing Director of Insider Journeys.

"Luang Prabang is the country's standout destination, which is not surprising given its numerous attractions such as the atmospheric night-market, the fantastic dining options, and the many Buddhist temples filled with saffron-robed monks. Travellers are particularly entranced witnessing the monks make their pilgrimage through the village streets each morning to collect alms from devotees in the ancient ceremony called takbat."

The low number of Australian visitors, compared with Vietnam and Cambodia, can be partly attributed to the fact there are no direct flights from Australia to Laos.

"We've noticed that access has historically made it harder for Australians wanting to visit Laos," says Mark Lee, Laos Product Manager at Insider Journeys.

"The absence of direct flights or same-day connections by major airlines, especially to Luang Prabang, has been a deterrent for Australian travellers.

"While we encourage our clients to visit Indochina in one trip whenever possible to experience the diversity and beauty of Indochina, the logistics of flying in and out of Laos, and the need to sometimes backtrack overnight to Hanoi or Vientiane has discouraged travellers who are time-poor. We're really excited about this agreement between Silk Air and Lao Airlines, and think it will definitely strengthen the country's tourism arrival numbers."

Insider Journeys offer three standalone Laos small group journey itineraries, as well as a number of Indochina cross-border trips that include Vietnam and Cambodia. The new flights into Laos by SilkAir are ideal for the 6 day Highlights of Laos, 19 day Indochina Explorer and 15 day Vietnam & Laos Explorer small group journey itineraries.


Special offer

Insider Journeys is offering 15% off any Indochina Small Group Journey booked and deposited by 30 September 2016, for travel prior to 31 December 2016.

Normally from $6,395* per person twin share, save over $1,000 AUD per person, twin share on select departures of the 19 day Indochina Explorer Small Group Journey.

For details, visit:  


* From prices per person twin share. Subject to availability and subject to change. Prices may fluctuate if surcharges, fees, taxes or currency change. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Airfares not included unless otherwise specified.


Low season apartment specials at Falls Creek

The Falls Creek Country Club has some sensational,  low season, mid-week self-contained apartment accommodation offers throughout September.

After about 45 cms of additional snowfall Victoria's most picturesque alpine resort is as good as it gets. All of its ski lifts are operating and the forthcoming spring season will be a good opportunity for skiers or snowboarders to experience the resort's array of slopes from beginner to more challenging options.

It is also a time to take advantage of some low-cost accommodation offers. A three bedroom midweek special offered by Falls Creek Country Club  (a well located apartment complex) costs only $75 per person per day – a saving of up to $465 per person.

Eight guests sharing a deluxe three bedroom, two bathroom, self-contained apartment for five nights including ski/board hire from $75 per person per day. Valid 11 September – 2 October

Direct bookings only.  Prices based on five night stay. Shorter stays available

Terms and conditions apply.

For more details call 03 5758 3391 or visit

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Europe river cruising deals

#Cruise Europe in Ultimate #Luxury

The slow travel movement might very well have its roots in river cruising. The gentle undulation of the river is an ideal way to meander through the continent, following the rich history and changing landscape of Europe at a more meaningful pace.
The famous rivers of Europe have seen empires rise and fall, and have endured through shifting borders and alliances. Seeing the continent from the water has its advantages too – small ships can traverse narrow passages and river cruising itineraries allow more frequent port stops to lesser-known locales to explore the countryside and charming towns along the way.
Not surprisingly, the romance of river cruising continues to swell the imagination of culturally curious Australian travelers. Regardless of which European region you choose, from an ever evolving range of inspired itineraries, this is sure to be a trip‑of‑a-lifetime.
Like the very rivers they cruise upon, each Europe river cruising operator has its own stories and unique character, which Travel Associates will help you discover.

Click the link below for comparisons between the companies and ask me any more specific questions, then click below for latest earlybird deals for next year, remember you don;t have to land and depart with the cruises to utilise the airfare deals.

Uniworld - Fly Business for $3,995

Saturday, 20 August 2016

India Travel Specialists launches 2016-17 itinerary program

India Travel Specialists Launch 8 Special Tours 2016-17

Fabulous India tours at great prices

India Travel Specialists, the leading India group travel operator, has launched its 2016-17 program of eight unique, escorted and private touring itineraries: a romantic value-packed program to 'Experience the Living Cultures of India', which can be tailored by destination, duration and budget.

Tours and indicative pricing are detailed in an exciting 27-page full colour 2016-17 India Travel Specialists brochure available at; 1300 039 481

Tours range from the 8 day Enchanting Golden Triangle, 14 day Splendour of Rajasthan with the Golden Triangle, and fabulous Great India Wildlife tours through to the 19 day Safari through Ladakh, 15 day The Himalayan Kingdoms of Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan, and the 13 day South India with Backwaters tours.

A major highlight of this year's program is 'taking tea' at magnificent palaces once the domain of imperial maharajahs, a 5 day MV Mahabaahu cruise on the breathtaking Brahmaputra River and 4-8 day Great Train Journeys of India tour.

Guest on the Golden Triangle and Rajasthan tour receive a complimentary Gold Pass entry to the Kingdom of Dreams live Bollywood show in New Delhi.

Prices begin at $1,376 for the 8 day Enchanting Golden Triangle tour and $3,685 for the 14 day Splendours of Rajasthan with the Golden Triangle tour.  All tours can be tailored to meet personal needs as well as shopping excursions and side tours including gourmet food, meditation and photography classes.

Tour guests travel in air-conditioned private vehicles and local English-speaking guides.  Accommodation ranges from budget three-star to five-star luxury hotels, luxurious palaces and heritage properties – all at excellent rates.

A 40-year travel industry veteran, Ian Norris, says India creates a lifetime of memories.

"Modern India is a vibrant country bursting with energy:  from the snow-capped Himalayas to the white sand beaches of southern Goa, and glassy waterways and banana plantations of Kerala.  It is a spectacle of senses melding people, traditions and landscapes that creates romance and a lifetime of memories."

1300 039 481


Thursday, 28 July 2016

Lonely Planet's "Epic Bike Rides of the World"

Lonely Planet Explores the World's Most Thrilling Cycling Routes with Epic Bike Rides of the World

Five Australian Cycling Routes Showcased

30 Countries * 50 Cycling Routes * 200 Ideas for Bike Rides

Published this August, Lonely Planet's Epic Bike Rides of the World is set to inspire two-wheeled travel all over the globe.

This beautifully illustrated book features tales of 50 cycling routes in 30 countries (from Australia to Bhutan), as well as 200 ideas for bike rides - ranging from family-friendly jaunts, to backcountry expeditions, via city tours, classic circuits and meandering adventures.

Australia is represented by five cycling routes highlighted in the chapters "Beaches and Bicycles in Adelaide", "Australia's Atherton Tablelands", "The Acheron Way", "The Munda Biddi Trail" and "Tasmania's Wild West".

"Everybody has their personal interpretation of 'epic'," Lonely Planet says. "You can have an epic adventure straight from your front door and be back in time for tea. Or you can follow in the tyre tracks of adventurer Alastair Humphreys and pedal around the world."

"This book attempts to reflect that diversity and those varying levels of commitment," Lonely Planet adds. "We've sought out some of the most entertaining experiences you can have on a bicycle, whether you're a casual rider or a cyclist with a stable of carbon-fibre machines. The settings of these experiences range from some of the world's most remote places – Mongolia, Bhutan and the Outer Hebrides – to its hippest cities and dreamiest islands. Some of these rides take just a couple of hours, others a day or two, a week, or more than a month."

How to Use Lonely Planet's Epic Bike Rides of the World

The main stories in each regional chapter feature first-hand accounts of fantastic bike rides in that continent. Each includes a toolkit to enable the planning of a trip – when is the best time of year, how to get there, where to stay. But beyond that, these stories should spark other ideas. We've started that process with the 'more like this' section following each story, which offers other ideas along a similar theme, not necessarily on the same continent. Many of these ideas are well established routes or trails. The index collects different types of ride for a variety of interests.


Published 3 August 2016 / 328pp, full colour, H260mm x W200mm / hardcover / RRP: AUD $44.99


Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Vomo will reopen the luxurious resort on 1 September with reopening offer

Vomo  will reopen the luxurious resort on 1 September after substantial upgrades and repairs, following Tropical Cyclone Winston in February this year.

After almost seven months, Vomo will have had changes to roofing, joinery, air conditioning, the main kitchen and landscaping as well as a makeover of Reception.

Teams of tradesmen are on Vomo, working solidly to replace all of the above-mentioned areas and to ensure the re-opening on 1 September.

Landscaping specialist 'Meli', originally from New Zealand, has transformed the gardens with fresh, vibrant plants, bursting with colourful and fragrant blooms. Native species that were removed over the years have been added.

There are new flowers blooming everywhere which have enticed new species of bird-life not seen on Vomo before.

The results are stunning and this island paradise is glowing.

Mark Leslie, General Manager said, "Although we were hit hard by the cyclone, it gave us an opportunity to make some subtle changes to continue to give Vomo the opulent 'edge'".

The island will also unveil two stunning new beachfront homes available for nightly or weekly rental when it opens.

The BeacHouse and The Palms are contemporary new three and four bedroom private residences, each with their own swimming pool, entertainment and media facilities, absolute beachfront location and villa concierge services.

All meals are included in the nightly rates for up to 8 people. Rates start at FJD$5620 per night if staying 7 nights or more for 6 people including meals and non alcoholic beverages. (around AUD$3,600 per night).

Vomo is offering up to two nights on a complimentary basis in all villa and private residence categories when staying from:

10 October to 23 December 2016, 09 January to 31 March 2017, 1 May to 23 June 2017.

Book a stay of seven nights and only pay for five or book a stay of five nights and only pay for four.

As a special re-opening bonus, book by 31 August to stay between 10 October and 23 December, 2017 or 9 January to 31 March, 2018 and receive an additional F$500 Resort Credit to spend on spa treatments, rather copious amounts of cocktails, champagne and beer, five fishing excursions, a Discover Scuba Diving Course and a night dive or 33 hours of Baby Butler to mind the children.

Conditions apply.

For further information contact your travel agent or Vomo. Book hotels at Traveloscopy


Saturday, 23 July 2016

New Chocolate Tour for Brooklyn

For the past eleven years, A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours ( 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.

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Scoot launches Singapore-Bangkok-Tokyo: TZ292

Scoot has launched its inaugural Singapore-Bangkok-Tokyo service, with TZ292 departing Singapore last night for Bangkok then Tokyo, linking three exciting and iconic Asian cities.

Scoot’s Chief Commercial Officer Mr Leslie Thng said: “Scoot is excited to expand our presence in Japan. With this new route, Scoot’s services to Tokyo will double from the present daily service via Taipei, to twice daily – once via Taipei and once via Bangkok. This will allow us to offer guests from Singapore more flight options to Tokyo and better serve the increasing demand for air travel between Thailand and Japan. At the same time, we are preparing for the launch of our three-times-weekly Singapore-Taipei-Sapporo services on 1 October, which will bring our Japan network to three cities – Tokyo, Osaka and Sapporo.”

“With our all-787 Dreamliner fleet – a world’s first, we can offer guests spacious overhead bins, improved humidity and cabin pressurization, as well as a wide range of inflight amenities such as on-board Wi-Fi, in-seat power and extra legroom options,” he added.

Scoot’s existing Singapore-Bangkok return service TZ302/301 will be re-numbered to TZ292/291 Singapore-Bangkok-Tokyo return. Flight schedule details for the daily TZ292/291 are outlined below. For the most updated schedules, please visit

Book cheap flights at Traveloscopy

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, phone 1800 754 500 or see your local travel agent.

^DreamWorks not available on all ships. See for full detail.

*Terms and conditions apply, see for full detail.


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