Thursday, 4 February 2016

North Korea: Experience the world’s most mysterious country

Guided tour: April 29 - May 5, 2016

Summary: A new tour available through Active Travel will take intrepid travellers into the mysterious country of North Korea. Travellers can join in local public holiday celebrations, ride the underground Pyongyang Metro (the deepest in the world) and visit the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum, where they will hear history from the North's perspective. The seven-day tour will provide a fascinating lesson in culture and history and is priced from A$3850, twin-share. For details, visit or call 1300 783 188.

Full details:

A new seven-day tour available through Australian travel agency, Active Travel, will take intrepid travellers on a truly memorable cultural experience – journeying into North Korea, one of the world's most mysterious countries.

Travellers can join the locals in celebrating International Labor Day, visit the Kumsusan Memorial Palace of the Sun – the mausoleum of former supreme leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, travel on the deepest underground rail system in the world and hear the history of the Korean War from the North's perspective at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation Museum. The unique cultural experience is certain to provide engaging dinner conversation on return.

The tour will begin on April 29, 2016, in Beijing, where guests will then fly to Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. There a local guide will show sites such as the Arch of Triumph, which marks the 1945 liberation from Japan, the Mansudae Grand Monument with its huge statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, and propaganda murals along the way. The following day, May 1, is International Labor Day and travellers will be able to join in local celebrations, such a folk festival, communal dancing and watching spectacular fireworks displays.

Guests will visit various historical and cultural sites the following day, including the Demilitarised Zone, with its armistice signing hall just metres from the border with South Korea, and the Koryo History Museum, dedicated to Kaesong's past as capital of Korea. The final full day in the country will begin with a visit to Kim Il Sung Square, home to North Korea's famous military parades, and travellers will ascend the Juche Tower for a spectacular view of Pyongyang from above.

The Pyongyang Metro is the deepest underground rail system in the world and guests will visit its elaborate stations decorated with murals, mosaics and chandeliers, and ride with locals for several stops. A visit to the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum will take place next, followed by a visit to the USS Pueblo, a spy ship captured and kept as a trophy in 1968. Travellers will then catch a train back to Beijing the following day before flying home.

Including meals, English speaking local guides, admissions as per itinerary, flight from Beijing to Pyongyang and the return train journey, the seven-day tour costs from A$3850, twin-share. A $434 single supplement is also available, and return flights to Beijing from Australia are extra.

For details, visit or call 1300 783 188.


Win a Tassie Road Trip with Spirit of Tasmania


Spirit of Tasmania has announced a 'Tassie road trip' competition for two couples and a group of four friends to win separate three-day self-drive holidays to explore Tasmania's hidden hotspots and must-do activities.

Over three days, the lucky winners will experience the finest produce and activities available in the state, from indulging in Bruny Island fine wine, whisky and cheese to tasting delicious salmon in Deloraine, exploring the spectacular Marakoopa Cave in Mole Creek to adventuring through the Cradle Mountain Canyons and much more. Winners will also experience the excitement of a return journey on board Spirit of Tasmania.

Road trippers ready for an autumn adventure can enter by uploading an original and creative photo of themselves enjoying their favourite holiday moment and explaining why, in 25 words or less, they would like to feature in Spirit of Tasmania's Driving Holiday video campaign.

Winners in each category will be chosen to appear in a 'Tassie road trip' video and a film crew will follow them on their adventure to capture all the fun.

Spirit of Tasmania chief executive officer Bernard Dwyer said the aim of the competition was to encourage “real people” to enjoy a short Tasmania escape, while the footage created would form part of the company's Driving Holidays video campaign.

“The purpose of this competition is to promote Tasmania as the ideal self-drive holiday destination – we're showcasing to travellers how easy it is to take their car on the vessel and explore some of Tassie's best attractions and natural wonders,” he said.

“The footage captured during these three adventures will be made available online and promoted to Spirit of Tasmania's database, and will allow couples and groups of friends to experience the newly refurbished ship and discover Tasmania, through the eyes of real travellers.”

Competition details:
  • a free return journey aboard Spirit of Tasmania
  • free accommodation and activities in Tassie
  • $500 spending money per person
  • a car for the duration of the trip.
Competition entries are now open and close on Sunday 14 February 2016. Entrants must be available to travel on the dates listed below.

Three categories and travelling dates
Category 1: 2 adults aged 50+ (travelling 4-7 March 2016)
Category 2: 2 adults aged 18-50 (travelling 11-14 March 2016)
Category 3: A group of 4 friends aged 18+ (travelling 1-4 April 2016)

Entrants must upload an original and creative photo (max 2.8MB) of themselves that depicts their favourite holiday moment within Australia and describe in 25 words or less why they should be chosen.

Five entrants will be shortlisted from each category. Upon notification, these entrants will be required to submit a short, original and creative video (30 seconds - one minute) introducing themselves and their nominated travelling companion(s), explaining why they would like to feature in the Driving Holidays campaign.

To enter, visit

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Rembrandt Bangkok celebrates Chinese New Year

Are you mischievous, curious, witty, innovative, versatile and successful in business? If so, you may have been born in the Year of the Monkey, the focus for Chinese New Year 2016 that falls on 8 February and is celebrated for 15 days.

To celebrate, the 407-room luxury Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok is hosting a delicious celebration Buffet Dinner by the 4th floor pool on Sunday, 7 February from 6 pm. A highlight will be a giant gala fireworks display.

The Rembrandt chefs are creating an authentic Chinese feast with traditional Chinese and fresh seasonal local delicacies. Salads include mixed mushroom, chicken and tofu and jelly fish. Appetizers include crab and spring rolls, Dim Sum, and Man Toh. For mains, wet-fresh steamed sea bass, stir fried egg noodles and chicken plus braised pork, beef and baked prawns. Steaming soups and a variety of rice dishes and sweets will also be served.

Bangkok is regarded as an ideal location to see the CNY celebrations. The main strip of Bangkok’s China Town is packed with worshipers and fun seekers and the streets decorated with red and gold lanterns, cherry blossoms, balloons and dragons that remain a focus for the celebrations.

Chinatown on the first day is brilliant as it hosts lion dances, dragon dances, drummers and vendors a sign of good luck for the upcoming New Year and end with a magnificent firework display. At the gate of Chinatown, spectacular music, dancing and acrobatic shows take place with acrobat’s death defying spins at the top of 40 feet poles. Temples are colourfully decorated and a general aura of celebration permeates the city.

The Rembrandt Hotel is offering special room rates to catch the atmosphere of Chinese New Year, 2016. See below for booking details.

The Rembrandt Hotel Bangkok
19 Sukhumvit Soi 18, Sukhumvit Road, Klong Toei, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
Phone +66 (0) 2261 7100

Monday, 1 February 2016

Free and Discounted Rail Travel in Europe

Rail Europe has released discounts and free travel days on the France and German Rail Passes; Eurostar and Eurail Passes.

Any bookings made by 31 March 2016 on the range of France Rail Pass will not only enjoy a generous 20% discount, but also bonus discounts on city passes and other activities. Also, up to two children (aged 4-11) travel for free with each accompanying adult.

Until 31 March 2016, bookings for the seven flexible or consecutive travel days within one month of the German Rail Pass will receive a 20% discount as well. Travelers should note that reservations are not required on most German trains and that the German Rail Pass now covers travel to other popular destinations in Belgium, Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic without additional country passes or tickets. The German Rail Pass also offers free travel for up to two children (aged 6-11) with each accompanying adult.

Until 8 March 2016, Eurostar Standard Premier and Standard tickets will enjoy discounts with one way tickets starting at €44 from UK to Paris, Brussels or Lille, €54 from UK to Lyon and €65 from UK to Avignon or Marseille.

Finally, bookings for Eurail Passes made by 1 April 2016 will receive between one and five free travel days, depending on the type of pass purchased:

-                     Bookings made for the 15 and 22 continuous Global Passes will receive two free travel days, while a month's pass will receive five free travel days.

-                     Bookings made for the five or seven days within a month Global Flexi Pass will receive a free travel day, while bookings for the 10 or 15 days within two months will receive two free travel days.

-                     Bookings made on the two, three or four Country Select Pass will receive an extra travel day.

-                     Bookings made for 3, 4, 5 or 7 days within a month One Country Pass will also receive a day's free travel.

Terms and Conditions apply. Visit for more information.

About Rail Europe

Rail Europe is the world's No. 1 distributor of rail tickets and passes, offering travellers the widest and best selection of European rail products across no less than 30 countries and 25,000 destinations on more than 11,000 different routes. Its portfolio of products include Eurail Passes and Swiss Passes as well as rail carriers such as SBB (Switzerland), SNCF (France), Trenitalia & NTV (Italy), DB (Germany), the ATOC (UK), Eurostar, Thalys, TGV Lyria and more.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

2016 ‘Rode to Everest’ adventure at 2015 prices

May and September, 2016 – Save US$500 and no solo rider supplements

Book by March 31, 2016

Australians can ride the world’s oldest motorcycle brand among its tallest peaks this year, with motorbike tour operator, Nomadic Knights, offering two 2016 trips to Mt Everest at 2015 prices if booked by March 31, 2016.

The two-week ‘Rode to Everest’ adventures through the mystical land of Tibet to Everest Base Camp leave Kathmandu in May and September, 2016, promising one of the most spectacular road trips on Earth.

Leaving the Nepalese capital on May 14 and September 10 this year, the guided, 14-day tour climbs north to the endless, high-altitude deserts, snow-capped peaks, deep gorges and high, prayer flag-draped passes of Tibet.

The 1965km-long, round-trip route will see adrenalin-seekers ride classic 500cc Royal Enfield Bullets across hundreds of switchbacks and past glaciers and turquoise lakes, with the sky-piercing, Himalayan mountains accompanying them the whole way. Established in 1893 and made in India, the legendary Royal Enfield brand of motorcycles is the oldest motorbike design in history.

In Tibet, riders will visit the fabled city of Lhasa and the imposing edifice of Pothala Palace – the spiritual home of the exiled Dalai Lama. Guests will stay in the high altitude Rongbuk Monastery and visit the nearby, 5200m-high Everest Base Camp in Tibet which provides the closest vehicle access to the world’s highest mountain.

According to Nomadic Knights founder and managing Director, Alex Pirie, the Road to Everest tour offers a life-changing experience.

“This is one of the most amazing and enlightening road trips any motorcyclist can take, with Tibet overloading the senses every hour of the day,” said Alex who personally guides each of Nomadic Knight’s 10 motorbike tours in India, Nepal, Tibet and India each year. “Tibetan Buddhists are the most compassionate and gentle people I know despite their life of struggles so, coupled with the incredible adventure, this tour offers many highs - spiritually, culturally and literally!”

Staying in guesthouses, lodges and Buddhist monasteries, the two ‘Rode to Everest’ tours this year are available at 2015 prices – US$4980 for riders – and US$4480 for pillion riders, if booked by March 31, 2016. These special fares represent savings of US$500 for riders and pillions.

Fares include accommodation, bike hire, fuel, breakfasts, dinners and also medical, mechanical and logistical support throughout the trip. Riders travelling solo can share accommodation with other single riders without any solo traveller supplement. The tour is suitable for competent motorcyclists. Tours and fares are subject to availability and conditions apply. Flights to Nepal are extra.

Born and raised in Scotland, Alex Pirie moved to India in 2008 where he met his Indian wife and founded Nomadic Knights, combining his passion for bikes, mechanics, adventure and India. Since then, Alex has ridden more than 200,000km onboard a Royal Enfield Bullet. Nomadic Knights attracts adventurers from around the world, with Australia and the UK the key markets.

Details and bookings are at .

Monday, 25 January 2016

Six Senses Con Dao Invites Experts in Holistic Healing 2016

Six Senses Con Dao Invites Experts in Holistic Healing 2016

Visiting Practitioner Calendar Supports On-Site Wellness Program

Six Senses Con Dao has rolled out its wellness calendar for 2016, accented by invited holistic experts. The program supports the extensive offering of signature spa treatments and the three yogic programs: discover Yoga; Yogic detox; Yogic sleep.

This isn't the first year invited practitioners have enhanced the wellness collection at the resort. An annual occurrence, those selected for this year's program all have one commonality: results-driven treatments. "We've chosen to work with practitioners who best understand our guests' travel and health opportunities, whether they be emotional or physical," says Spa Manager Fadi Haddad. "Some of the practitioners, like Marty (Martin Fildes) are returning due to exceptional guest testimonial. Others, such as Nimisha Rattan, are new to Six Senses Con Dao, but are tried and tested in the Six Senses Spas portfolio. What each of them bring to our guests – and hosts alike – is a deep connection to wellness and holistic healing that is pervasive across every touch point of interaction."

Konrad Langewand is a physiotherapist from Germany. After his examination as physiotherapist he started to work as well as massage therapist and sports physiotherapist. During his 10 years in the spa and health industry he continued his education, learning and building up his knowledge about different massage treatments in courses all over the world. Konrad's specialties are deep tissue massages and therapeutic back treatments. Konrad is also the perfect guy for your fitness needs. He is TRX® certified; trained in back pain prevention programs and teaches the Wat Pho style of Ruesi Dutton (Thai Yoga). When not at work you find him training Cross fit and Olympic lifting in the very early morning. His fitness training and massage therapies are available February 1 to 21, 2016.

Sandra Laznik graduated at University of Sport Science in Slovenia. Besides becoming a professor of sport education, she possesses a license for a swimming, fitness and aerobic instruction. She upgraded her knowledge with TRX® suspension trainer and Gliding® course, completed a training in sports and classical massage and is a passionate certified (200 RYS) Yoga teacher. For more than seven years she has been working in top fitness and wellness studios as a personal and group course trainer, cooperating with the most well-known health experts from Slovenia. She is a founder of a spa program named Sauna Yoga that has been launched in the biggest water park in Slovenia. For a Slovenian surf school she created the project Surf & Yoga , enriched it with professional articles and videos, moved to Portugal and taught surf Yoga on the beach. She offers fitness training, Yoga, active meditation and sports massage throughout the month of March, 2016. Her holistic expertise is perfectly poised to add to the resort's annual plans of celebration on International Women's Day (March 8), Earth Hour (March 19) and World Water Day (March 22, 2016).

Nimisha Rattan- Nimisha is a Holistic Healer and works with a passion to heal guests with her energies. She qualifies in Yoga, Ayurveda and Energy Healings and provides life transforming techniques during her sessions. Her prime concern is "self-healing through self-awareness". She has guided people to experience physical healing, emotional freedom, mental expansion and a higher state of consciousness through her presence and holistic touch. She designs programs that help to restore balance and accelerate healing within the body and mind to its optimum level. Guests can experience her endorsed Ayurvedic massages, chakra balancing or Reiki while in residence from April 1 to May 15, 2016 and again from December 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. Expect to see highlighted sessions from Nimisha on Earth Day (April 22) and during the resort's peak festive season (December 22, 2016 to January 3, 2017).

Martin (Marty) Fildes' specialty is Reiki (energy healing) together with chakra balancing which he uses for stress management, weight loss, issues with addiction and to help guests achieve general well-being. Marty is a Reiki Master with over 20 years' experience in practicing and over 10 years qualified as Master. He also specialises in guided meditation and Reflexology, during which he blends in Reiki to create a unique experience. He studied extensively in Japan, UK and India and says he is happiest when he heals people. His chakra balancing and reiki is available for the month of August, 2016.

Isabella dos Santos is a technically skilled wellness professional with over 25 years of experience, ranging from the traditional techniques of deep tissue and Swedish massage, through aqua wellness therapy, Yoga and NIA to the cutting-edge techniques of the energy work of Eric Pearl (The Reconnection), Access Consciousness by Gary M. Douglas and cupping, with a proven track record of transforming an ordinary wellness experience into an extraordinary one. Her massages and Deep Sleep treatment are available for the month of November, 2016 and make for a perfect add-on to the resort's Yogic sleep program.

The following summarises the practitioner schedule for Six Senses Spa Con Dao:

Konrad Langewand | February 1 to 21, 2016
Sandra Laznik | March 1 to 31, 2016
Nimisha Rattan | April 1 to May 15, 2016 and December 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017
Martin (Marty) Fildes | August 1 to 31, 2016
Isabella dos Santos | November 1 to 30, 2016

All visiting practitioners offer a private consultation at the spa and a weekly wellness activity, each with the resort's compliments. Six Senses Spa Con Dao is set with the dramatic backdrop of the Lo Voi Mountains and is surrounded by tropical gardens. It offers four indoor treatment rooms, three outdoor treatment salas, a Yoga and Meditation Pavilion, and Hammam treatment. Wellness treatments are led by the resort's resident wellness expert.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji releases 20 per cent discount offer on five night stays

Fiji's unique all villa, luxury boutique offering, Nanuku Auberge Resort is offering a 20 per cent discount plus free return land transfers on all bookings of five nights or more made before 31 March 2016.

Valid for travel up until 31 March 2017*, the special offer comes complete with

all gourmet meals and a host of extras ranging from personal villa mama and Nanuku buddy, private nanny services, Wi-Fi and in-villa movies, all non-motorised water sports, a personal golf buggy, on resort and cultural activities and daily evening canapés.

Each of Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji's residences have been designed with huge air-conditioned living and entertaining areas, luxurious en suites complete with spa baths, private yoga bures, plunge pools, media rooms, expansive decks and outdoor living rooms, private landscaped gardens and daybeds.

The resort also offers guests a dedicated spa, yoga classes and resident fitness instructor and for families one of the best organised children's programs in Fiji with free access to the resort's 'Lai Lai' adventure club and bure and a wide range of age appropriate, environmentally oriented activities for older children.

*Conditions apply. The 20 per cent discount is valid for all bookings made up to 31 March 2016.

Black-out period is from 01-29 April 2016,  20 June – 15 July 2016, 10 September – 09 October 2016, 20 December 2016  – 21 January 2017.

For terms, conditions and more information call toll free on 1800 791501, email or visit



Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Free European City Stays Among Avalon's New Year Specials

Avalon Waterways has kicked off 2016 with a celebratory range of New Year specials, including free Monograms city stays in Europe and savings of up to $1690 per couple on some of its most popular river cruise itineraries.

Available for bookings until April 8, 2016, the specials give travellers a choice between cash savings or the opportunity to extend their holiday in cities like Paris, Amsterdam, London or Rome:

·        Free Monograms City Stay – Receive a free four-day Monograms city stay package with dozens of select 2016 departures. Choose from a range of different European cities and six cruise itineraries, priced from $3303* per person twin share for an eight-day cruise on the Seine, Paris to Normandy's Landing Beaches.

·        Save $1690 per couple – Book select 2016 European river cruise departures and save $1690 per couple.  Choose from dozens of departures and more than 20 different itineraries on rivers including the Rhine, Danube, Rhône and Seine.  Prices start from $2684* per person twin share for the eight-day Essential Holland & Belgium.

Monograms city stay packages offer all the freedom of independent travel but with a dedicated host to help with additional arrangements and advice. They include pre-arranged accommodation and sight-seeing, but still allow travellers the freedom to explore on their own.

Four-day Monograms packages include three nights' superior hotel accommodation, daily breakfasts, the services of a local host at the hotel and VIP sightseeing with local guides.  More than a dozen different destinations across Europe are available to choose from.

Avalon Waterways operates the most modern fleet of river cruise ships in Europe, with an average age of just over three years.  Its revolutionary Suite Ship design offers 30 per cent more cabin space than the industry average, with wall-to-wall panoramic windows that can be opened to turn its suites into open-air balconies.

For full details and bookings see licensed travel agents, visit or phone 1300 230 234.

*Prices include discount, subject to availability and conditions. Available for bookings until April 8, 2016, or until sold out. Offers cannot be combined except with 5% Journeys Club discount.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Experience the sights, sounds and flavours of India

Cruiseco, the leading provider of worldwide cruising options in Australia and New Zealand, invites guests to experience the mesmerising sights, enchanting sounds and tantalising flavours of India with its new exclusive Authentic Asia India itinerary. Departing in February and March 2016, Authentic Asia India now includes ports of call in Barangar, Katwa, Mayapur, Shantipur and Chadernagore.

Guests can choose to enjoy either a 10 night Authentic Asia India ‘cruise only’ package, sailing aboard the intimately luxurious RV Ganges Voyager, or join a 26 night holiday, beginning with a 16 night land tour with stays in some of India’s most exquisite 5-star hotels, followed by a 10 night cruise.

Amber Wilson, International Marketing Manager at Cruiseco says:

“Authentic Asia India takes guests on a magical journey through the beautiful countryside, traditional towns, and into the rich culture and homeland of the Bengalis, offering guests an opportunity of a lifetime to experience the delightfully intriguing wonders of this spectacular destination.”

Itinerary options and departure dates include:

· ‘Fly, Cruise and Tour’ package prices start from AU$17,074 per person, based on twin occupancy in a Signature Stateroom. This option departs Mumbai on 28 February 2016 and includes 16 nights in luxury 5-star accommodation, followed by a 10 night voyage roundtrip river cruise from Kolkata. Guests that select this option can now enjoy a bonus complimentary dinner at Mehrangarh Fort, one of the largest forts in India, located in Jodhpur, Rajashan, valued at AU$400 per person.

· ‘Fly and Cruise’ package prices start from AU$4,340 per person, based on twin occupancy in a Signature Stateroom. This option departs Kolkata on 15 March 2016 for a 10 night roundtrip luxury river cruise and includes return economy class airfares from Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth) to Kolkata.

· ‘Cruise only’ package prices start from AU$2,990 per person, based on twin occupancy in a Signature Stateroom which includes a 10 night roundtrip luxury river cruise departing Kolkata on 15 March 2016.

“From February to March is amongst the best time of year to visit India, with warm days turning into cool nights, allowing guests to simply enjoy this beautiful region. With the departure dates fast approaching and only 56 guests accommodated on Cruiseco’s Authentic Asia India, I urge guests to book now to secure their place on these exclusive holiday package,” adds Wilson.

Prices for Cruiseco’s Authentic Asia India 10 night luxury cruise include: spectacular sightseeing stops in every port; all meals whilst aboard RV Ganges Voyager; local beer, soft drinks, coffee, tea, mineral water whilst onboard; house red and white wine with lunch and dinner; and onboard gratuities to dining room and cabin staff, as well as ashore to guides and drivers.

For additional itinerary options or to book whilst cabins are still available, visit or call (02) 9492 8520.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

January luxury ski apartment specials at Niseko Japan

rippingNiseko.jpg has some limited availability at Alpen Ridge ski in ski out apartments in the heart of Niseko, a collection of the most popular interconnected ski areas on Japan's north island of Hokkaido.

There's 10% off peak season tariffs at the well located apartment complex. And even better news for snow enthusiasts is the Snow to Date (that's fallen since the ski lifts began spinning in early December) is over five metres at the higher elevations. Australian skiers and boarders are relishing Niseko's current quintessential powder snow and Rod White,'s Niseko-based Snow Reporter said: "A healthy drop of Hokkaido Crystal in the last 24 hour period delivered another 16-20cms of top quality snow."

Last minute ALPEN RIDGE PEAK SEASON offer – 10% off plus free welcome gift!

Package price from $2,500 per person (six-share) includes seven nights accommodation in a three bedroom, two bathroom luxury apartment in Alpen Ridge located alongside one of the resort's key ski lifts. Also included is a six days all mountain ski lift pass ( including night skiing), return airport coach transfers from Chitose International Airport, meet & greet by's team at the airport on arrival and a Free welcome gift from Ridge Cafe.

For more details contact Tel 1300 137 411 or check out its

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