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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Captain Cook Cruises Fiji Sale Extended




Captain Cook Cruises Fiji has extended its 'Three Nights Free Sail', until 31 March 2018 with travel valid till 31 March 2019. Book any eleven or seven-night Fiji cruise and save up to AUD$1535.00 per person, twin share.

All 11-night Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruises, 7-night Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands cruises and 7-night 4 Cultures or Colonial Discovery cruises are aboard the 130-passenger, fully accommodated MV Reef Endeavour small ship cruise vessel.

The newly refurbished ship can visit parts of Fiji larger ships cannot get to, allowing passengers the unique experience of visiting remote villages, churches and schools and taking part in traditional village sevusevu ceremonies and Meke and Lovo feasts.

As well as being immersed in Fijian culture there is plenty of time for relaxing on white sandy beaches, swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding in crystal clear waters and snorkelling and glass bottom boating over amazing coral reefs. The ship is equipped with a hydraulic platform ensuring boarding and disembarking the glass bottom boat is easy.

Get the brochure now free

Experience the underwater world with mind-blowing scuba diving operated by Viti Water Sports, a PADI5 Star Dive Centre. Two or three dives are offered daily and always in different locations.

A complimentary Kids Club is available for children 5 to 9 years and operates between 9.00am and 12noon, 2.00pm to 5.00pm and from 6.00pm and 9.00pm for early dinner and activities.

The 7-night Yasawa Islands and Mamanuca cruise departs Port Denarau every Tuesday and Saturday for the ultimate Southern and Northern Yasawa Island experience.

The 7-nights 4 Cultures Discovery cruise circumnavigates Vanua Levu, Fiji's second largest island and visits four distinctive Fijian cultures including Ellice Islanders (Polynesians), Banabans (Micronesia), Fijians and Indians.

The 7- nights Colonial Fiji Discovery Cruise reveals the unique history, art and culture of the Northern Fiji Islands and allows passengers the ultimate experience of 'standing' on the 180th Meridian, the natural dateline.

Seven-night Discovery Cruises depart on selected dates on the first Tuesday of the month throughout 2018 and 2019.

The eleven nights Lau and Kadavu Discovery Cruise departs 6th November 2018 and 5th March 2019 and explores the length of the most easterly islands in the Fiji group, the Lau Islands and Kadavu, a part of Fiji rarely seen by tourists.

Prices for the 'Three nights Free Sail' for the seven-night Fiji cruises start from AUD$2045 per adult twin share, normally AUD$3395 per adult twin share and AUD$640 per child (5-17 years) sharing with an adult, normally AUD$1065 per child sharing with an adult.

Prices for the eleven-night discovery cruise start from AUD$4090 per adult twin share, normally AUD$5625 per adult twin share and AUD$1280 per child (5-17 years) sharing with an adult, normally AUD$1760 per child sharing with an adult.

The 'Three Nights Free' cruise sale is on sale until 31 March 2018 and valid for travel until 31 March 2019. The sale is valid on all room categories including "A" Tabua Suites, "B" and "C" Ocean Staterooms and "D" Porthole Cabins.

Fares include shipboard accommodation, all meals, guided village, school and island tours, snorkelling and glass bottom boat excursions, daily island stopovers and water activities, hikes and Kayak safaris, on board entertainment, kids club (5-9 years), onboard Wi-Fi, 24-hour self-service tea and coffee bar, post cruise transfers to Nadi and Denarau hotels and Nadi airport and use of the ship's facilities including a swimming pool, jacuzzi, mini gym, sun deck, cocktail bar and library.

For further information and bookings visit www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com or contact your local travel agent.

Website: www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com


Tauck 15-day Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise


#rivercruising

Tauck Australia announces Air Credit and Bonus Night on Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise

Tauck Australia is offering a $500 per person air credit and bonus night hotel stay on bookings made by 30 March for Tauck's 15-day Amsterdam to Budapest by Riverboat northbound and southbound cruises in 2018.

The 15-day Danube, Main and Rhine cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest - and in reverse direction - will take guests on an amazing journey past grand cathedrals, medieval monasteries, castles and vineyards, travelling through the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, and exploring legendary cities such as Amsterdam, Vienna, Köln, Nürnberg, Bratislava and Budapest.

Tauck's all-inclusive private shore excursions will take in many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the historic districts of Budapest, Vienna and Bamberg, and the Wachau and Rhine valleys.

In Vienna, there is a choice of visiting Schönbrunn Palace or the Hofburg's Imperial Sisi Museum and guests will attend a grand Imperial Evening in a traditional palace and tour the famed Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. This wonderful journey will also visit Köln Cathedral and Melk Abbey; medieval Regensburg; romantic Rothenburg or Würzburg; Budapest's Heroes' Square and much more.

The cruise is priced from $8590 per person twin share (Category 1 Cabin) and includes:

  • Gratuities to ship staff, drivers, local guides, Tauck Directors and Tauck Cruise Director
  • Tauck's private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at $3080
  • A private Imperial Evening at a traditional palace in Vienna featuring dinner and Viennese performers
  • Choice of bicycle excursions in Rüdesheim & Bamberg
  • In Amsterdam, a guided tour of the famed Rijksmuseum, home to many masterpieces
  • Day exploring Nürnberg, the walled medieval town whose history is forever intertwined with World War II
  • Choice of sightseeing in Vienna – a visit to the Sisi Museum and the Imperial Apartments in the Hofburg or to Schönbrunn Palace
  • Memorable visits to Melk Abbey, Kölner Dom, and Siegfrieds Mechanisches Musikkabinett in Rüdesheim
  • Guided sightseeing in the historic European capitals of Bratislava, Slovakia, and Budapest
  • Unlimited complimentary beverages aboard ship include regional wine, beer and premium spirits in addition to speciality coffee, water and soft drinks
  • Airport and train station transfers upon arrival and departure
  • All meals included – 41 (14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners); select meals in local restaurants, wine with dinner on the riverboat
  • Service charge, taxes, porterage and applicable fuel surcharges
  • $500 per person air credit and bonus hotel night for bookings made by 30 March 2018

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

Monday, 19 February 2018

Mantra's Biggest Ever Global Sale



Mantra Hotels is set to launch its biggest ever Global Sale with massive savings on more than 130 Mantra, Peppers, BreakFree and Art Series Hotels, booked between 13 - 21 February 2018.

With rates starting from $99* per room per night at selected properties, there are deals perfect for couples, families or groups of friends available at hotels across Australia, New Zealand, Bali and Hawaii.

Here is a sneak peek at some of the deals on offer during the sale, featuring a selection of beach getaways, city breaks or country escapes.

To book any of the below or to check out the other fantastic offers available, visitwww.mantrahotels.com or call our 24-hour Reservations Centre on 1300 987 603. Don’t delay – the deals are on sale for the next nine days or until sold out!



QUEENSLAND

Port Douglas: Discover the magic of Port Douglas with a stay at the popular Mantra PortSea. Offering spacious accommodation, a swim-up pool bar and a range of leisure families, the resort is perfect for couples and families alike. Stayfrom $99* per night in a Hotel Room including 2-for-1 continental breakfast (minimum two night stay – total cost $198*). Valid for travel until 22 June, 2018.

Sunshine Coast: Mantra Mooloolaba Beach, One Bedroom Apartments start from $149* per night (Sunday to Thursday) (minimum two night stay – total cost $298*). Valid for travel until 21 September, 2018.

Gold Coast: Enjoy the sun, surf and sand of the Gold Coast by staying at Mantra Legends Hotel in the heart of Surfers Paradise. Stay in a Hotel Deluxe Twin Room from $109* per night (Sunday to Thursday) (minimum two night stay – total cost $218*). This deal includes a two-for-one seafood buffet dinner voucher (valid at the hotel’s Fables Restaurant) and a 20% off beverage voucher. Valid for travel until 27 September, 2018.

Brisbane: The Johnson from $149* per night in a Studio Suite including plated breakfast for two and WiFi. Valid for travel until 7 May, 2018.

NEW SOUTH WALES

Kingscliff: Cool off and kick back in the sensational nearby surf and facilities of Mantra on Salt Beach. This is Kingscliff accommodation at its very best. Stay in a Hotel Room from $119* per night (Sunday to Thursday) (minimum two night stay – total cost $238*). This deal includes 2 for 1 buffet breakfast and a 25% off Season restaurant dining voucher, Wi-Fi and parking. Valid for travel until 27 September, 2018.

Sydney: The new Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport offers travellers contemporary and stylish accommodation within a short stroll of their Sydney Airport domestic departure gate. Stay in a Studio King Room from $149* per night (Friday to Sunday) including 1GB of Wi-Fi daily and a 12pm late check-out. Valid for travel from 1 April, 2018 until 27 September, 2018.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

Canberra: Mantra MacArthur Hotel was the only hotel to have opened in Canberra in 2017 and is modern, contemporary accommodation centrally located in the heart of the city. Stay in a Studio Room from $119* per night (Thursday to Monday). Valid for travel until 14 September, 2018.

VICTORIA

Melbourne: Enjoy a city escape at Mantra on Jolimont located in the heart of Melbourne’s sport and entertainment precinct. Stay in a 1 Bedroom Apartment from $109* per night (Sunday to Thursday). Valid for travel from until 30 September, 2018.

Melbourne: The Blackman from $170* per night in a Studio Suite Balcony. Valid for travel from 26 March, 2018 until 30 September, 2018.

TASMANIA

Tamar Valley: Enjoy the seaside views of Tamar Valley at Peppers York Cove and experience one of Tasmania’s most sought after tourist destinations. Deluxe Hotel Rooms start from $149* per night. This offer includes a welcome bottle of house wine and a midday checkout. Valid for travel from until 30 September, 2018.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Adelaide: Located in Adelaide’s thriving West End, the heart of the city’s thriving arts, dining and entertainment precincts, BreakFree Adelaide has Studio Rooms from $99* per night including WiFi and a 12pm late check-out. Valid for travel from 23 March, 2018 until 31 May, 2018

Adelaide: The Watson from $139* per night in a 1 Bedroom Balcony Suite including Wi-Fi, late check-out and parking. Valid for travel until 30 September, 2018.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Perth: Mantra on Hay provides a comfortable experience and a perfect retreat when exploring the Perth CBD. Stay in a spacious One Bedroom Apartment from $119* per night. Valid for travel until from 30 March, 2018 until 30 September, 2018.

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Darwin: Mantra Pandanas is just minutes from the Smith Street Mall and offers fantastic views over Darwin Harbour and the city. Stay in a Hotel Room City View from $109* per night (Thursday to Monday). Valid for travel until 30 April, 2018.

NEW ZEALAND

Christchurch: Slow down after a busy day and enjoy all that BreakFree on Cashel has to offer, centrally located within the Christchurch culture hub. Stay in a City Urban Double Room from NZ$99* per night, including WiFi. Valid for travel from 1 May, 2018 until 31 August, 2018.

HAWAII

Honolulu: Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra is the perfect location to relax alongside Ala Moana Beach Park and shop-till-you-drop at the neighbouring Ala Moana Shopping Centre, the world’s largest open-air shopping mall. Stay in a City Mountain View Room, Kona Tower from US$149* per night (minimum two night stay – total cost US$298*). Valid for travel until 30 September, 2018.


*Conditions apply, subject to availability. Valid for sale from 13 February, 2018 to 21 February, 2018. Block-out dates may apply. From rates advertised only available at selected properties.



Monday, 12 February 2018

Seabreeze Resort Samoa booking bonuses

 

The exclusively for adults, Seabreeze Resort Samoa has launched some amazing stay/pay deals and bonuses with savings of up to over AU$1000 per couple. Deals are on sale until 31 March 2018 and valid for travel until 30 April 2018 and between 1 November 2018 till 31 March 2019.

Seabreeze deals include; stay a minimum of five nights and receive one night free and a one-way arrival airport transfer for two people; stay a minimum of seven nights and receive one night free and return airport transfer for two people and stay a minimum of ten nights and receive two nights free and return airport transfers for two people.

The stay/pay deals also include regular rate inclusions of a la carte breakfast daily, nightly turndown service, complimentary mini bar replenished daily, use of new smart phones during guests' stay, complimentary food platter in room for arrivals after 9pm and before 7am and complimentary use of glass bottom kayaks and snorkelling equipment.

The award winning Seabreeze Resort is the ultimate in boutique luxury, gently nestled into a private secluded bay on Samoa's famous south-east coast of Upolu.  The resort provides the ideal romantic getaway for honeymooners and couples or those seeking luxury and intimacy.

Seabreeze has become one of the most sought after resorts in Samoa, recently winning Samoa's Leading Hotel for the fifth consecutive year at the 2017 World Travel Awards.

Seabreeze boasts 12 air-conditioned villas, all with ocean, lagoon or reef views including the ultimate Honeymoon Point House. Villas have been designed to provide an ambience of relaxation and tranquillity.

With quality, innovative cuisine and outstanding customer service paramount, Seabreeze Resort offers three dining options including the romantic a la carte Waterfront Bar & Restaurant offering uninterrupted ocean and lagoon views, Cbreeza Pizzeria and Paulini's Pool Bar.

From the time guests wake there is always something to experience - relax by the infinity pool, laze on the beach, or grab a glass kayak or snorkelling equipment and discover the beautiful underwater world in the resorts private lagoon.

Seabreeze has a recipe for relaxation, "when hungry you eat, when thirsty you drink, when tired you sleep and be pampered at every opportunity".  With this motto in mind, guests can be treated to a range of totally indulgent and nurturing massages and facials in the privacy of their own villa.

Stay a minimum of five nights and receive one-night free deal starts from AU$1526 per room, save AU$381 per room and includes one-way airport transfers for two people valued at AU$130.

The stay a minimum of seven nights and receive one-night free deal starts from AU$2,289per room, save AU$381 per room and includes return airport transfers for two people valued at AU$259.

The stay a minimum of ten nights and receive two nights free deal starts from AU$3,052 per room, save AU$762 per room and includes return airport transfers for two people valued at AU$259.

For further information visit Seabreeze Resort, T; 685 7748643, email: bookings@seabreezesamoa.com or visit www.seabreezesamoa.com


Monday, 5 February 2018

Romance on the Harbour this Valentine’s Day

#valentinesday

Celebrate the most romantic day of all, Valentine's Day on 14 February 2018 and be seduced by the spectacular beauty of Sydney at night on one of Captain Cook's Valentine's Day Dinner cruises.

For the ultimate in romance Captain Cook Cruises Gold Penfolds Dinner & Drinks cruise, onboard the prestigious Sydney 2000 offers it all.

Indulge in a six-course degustation menu, Penfolds bin and vintage wines to match each course, priority boarding, cocktail reception, lounge entertainment and an open bar of beer, house spirits and soft drinks.

The Gold Penfolds Dinner & Drinks cruise is priced from $215 per person.

Lovers can dance the night away to a live band and enjoy a scrumptious four-course Valentine's menu on the 7.30pm Valentines Lovers Dinner & Drinks cruise and Captains Dinner Cruise.

The Captains Dinner cruise is priced at $159 per person and the 7.30pm Valentines Lovers Dinner & Drinks cruise is priced at $165 per person and also includes a Glass of Moet, chocolate gift and an open bar of house wines, beer and soft drinks.

The Gold Penfolds Dinner & Drinks cruise and the Captains Dinner cruise departs at 7.00pm from Jetty 6, Circular Quay returning at 9.30pm or at 7.30pm from King Street Wharf No.1, returning at 10.00pm. The 7.30pm Valentines Lovers Dinner & Drinks cruise departs from King Street Wharf No.1 at 7.30pm returning at 10.00pm.

A guaranteed window table is available for $25 per person and bar packages can be upgraded.

5pm dinner cruises and a Long Lunch cruise are also available.

For further information visit: www.captaincook.com.au


Thursday, 1 February 2018

A thousand more reasons to smile in Bhutan, the land of happiness


Australia's leading adventure travel company, World Expeditions, has launched a new tour in Bhutan, at a fraction of the normal price, to take advantage of a once in a lifetime "friendship offer" between Bhutan and Australia.

To mark 15 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Royal Government of Bhutan has announced a one-time "Bhutan – Australia Friendship Offer" to Australian nationals visiting Bhutan in June, July and August, 2018.

During the 'friendship' period, the 'all-inclusive mandatory minimum package rate', which includes accommodation, meals and professional guiding services, will be reduced from US$200 per night per person, which means savings for people, whose chosen style of travel costs less than US$200 per night per person.

To celebrate the friendship offer, World Expeditions has created a seven-day "Western Bhutan Cultural Tour", a relatively short, gentle itinerary that will provide a deep impression of the land, its people and history priced from just $2190*per person (around $1000 less than a comparable trip to Bhutan).

Known as "the land of happiness", the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures its development and progress in terms of a happiness index.

According to World Expeditions CEO, Sue Badyari, one of the most remarkable aspects of the country lies in how completely separated from the outer world it still appears.

"This specially crafted itinerary introduces many of Bhutan's interesting contrasts and defining characteristics," she said.

"Fortress monasteries stand as powerful symbols of the nation's history while simple village communities and ancient temples convey the relaxed atmosphere of modern Bhutan, a nation steeped in tradition. In a situation that is so completely different from the familiar, tiny spontaneous moments become treasured personal memories."

The trip covers the highlights of Western Bhutan: Paro, Thimphu and Punakha Valley including a hike up to the famous Taktshang 'Tiger's Nest' Monastery and includes:

•        Six breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners
•        English speaking local guide
•        Good quality accommodation on a twinshare basis throughout
•        Private internal transfers
•        All airport transfers, sightseeing & sight entry fees as listed
•        Bhutan Government visa and sustainability fees (valued at US$430)


Travellers are still required to book their Bhutan travel through licensed tour operators, such as World Expeditions.  World Expeditions will also offer private departures with customized itineraries during this period.

The Kingdom of Bhutan will also waive the usual surcharges for groups of less than three travellers, of US$40 per person per night and US$30 each for two persons as part of the offer, and airfares and accommodation will also be discounted by the government airline and by partnering hotels.

Full details of the 'friendship' offer here: http://www.tourism.gov.bt/announcements/bhutan-australia-friendship-offer

What's the fine print?

·         This offer is only available to those travelling on Australian passports.
·         This offer is only available from 1 June and travel must be completed by 31 August, 2018.
·         While it is monsoon season in Bhutan at that time, this isn't expected to be too much of an issue as it usually only rains overnight at this time of year.
·         The Bhutan Government's Sustainable Development Fee of US$65 per person per night will remain, as will a one-time visa fee or US$40.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Hot cruising deals from Cruiseco




#traveldeals

Cruiseco Hot Deals

SEABOURN ENCORE SINGAPORE TO SYDNEY INCLUDES 3 NIGHT EASTERN AND ORIENTAL EXPRESS

REDEFINING ELEGANCE AT SEA, Seabourn's second new class of ship, the strikingly beautiful mega yacht Seabourn Encore will cruise from Singapore to Sydney via twelve remarkable ports of call on 26 November 2018.

Cruiseco's magnificent 29 night enticing package now starts from $19,760* per person, twin share in a Suite V4 Verandah Suite (free stateroom upgrade from Suite V1 Veranda Suite), which includes Economy Class one way airfare from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide to Bangkok. Deduct $116 per person ex Perth.

Enjoy three memorable nights aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express from Bangkok to Singapore in a Pullman Cabin; private transfers between railway station, hotel and port in Singapore; one night pre-cruise stay at the Shangri-La Hotel Singapore, including breakfast; 25 night cruise aboard Seabourn Encore from Singapore to Sydney; all on-board meals, entertainment and crew gratuities; all port charges, fees and air taxes

Offering outstanding value, and for new bookings made with Cruiseco by 31 March 2018, guests will receive an exclusive US$200 on board credit per stateroom in addition to the $400 on-board credit and reduced deposits provided by Seabourn.

Link to deal: http://www.cruising.com.au/Seabourn%20Encore%20-%2025%20Night%20Cruise%20-%20Singapore%20to%20Sydney%20(7875A)%20Special/2018-11-26/79090/SBN/SE/7875A/SIN/SYD

To find out more about Cruiseco or this voyage, visit www.cruising.com.au

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer and displayed prices are valid as at 24 January 2018. The offer may be withdrawn at any time.

========

70 NIGHT SYDNEY TO TILBURY VIA THE ORIENT AND MIDDLE EAST ON BOARD COLUMBUS

JOIN CRUISE AND MARITIME VOYAGE'S NEWEST MID-SIZE SHIP 1400-guest Columbus on a 70 night voyage departing 24 February 2019 from Sydney to Tilbury (London) via Papua New Guinea, Japan, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, India, Oman and Egypt. Discover the 'lost city' of Petra in Jordan before transiting the Suez Canal to Ashdod for Tel Aviv and the Holy Land of Jerusalem, Malta and Portugal.

Cruiseco's 72 night fly, cruise and stay holiday start from $9,845* per person, twin share in a Category IG Voyager Inside Guarantee stateroom - includes coach transfer from Tilbury port to Victoria Station (central London) - provided by CMV; 2 nights post-cruise stay in London at Radisson Blu Edwardian Vanderbilt, including breakfast; one way Economy Class airfare from London to Australia*; port charges and government fees and air taxes.

*Ex Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth

Link to deal: http://www.cruising.com.au/Columbus%20-%2070%20Night%20Cruise%20-%20Sydney%20to%20London%20Tilbury%20-%2024FEB19%20SPECIAL/2019-02-24/78514/CMV/CL/C9SY2

To find out more about Cruiseco or this voyage, visit www.cruising.com.au

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer and displayed prices are valid as at 24 January 2018. The offer may be withdrawn at any time.

……………………..

BONUS BENEFITS ON AMAZING ASIAN ESCAPE FROM SHANGHAI TO TOKYO

BE PREPARED FOR A HOST OF ADDED INCLUSIONS on this remarkable 12 night Shanghai to Tokyo voyage departing 16 April 2018 aboard 2,376-guest Norwegian Jewel - whilst enjoying an almost endless range of onboard dining and entertainment throughout her 15 decks of premium facilities.

Cruiseco's 15 night fly, cruise and stay holiday starts from $3,995* per person, twin share in a Category IF Interior stateroom. Includes return Economy Class airfare from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide  to Shanghai, returning from Tokyo; 2 night pre-cruise stay at Sofitel Shanghai Hyland including breakfast; 12 night voyage from Shanghai to Tokyo aboard Norwegian Jewel; one night post-cruise stay at Hyatt Regency Tokyo including breakfast; port charges, government fees, air taxes and prepaid gratuities.

*Deduct $40 per person, twin share ex Perth.

Offering outstanding value, Norwegian Cruise Line also have on offer for all new bookings in an Oceanview stateroom, Balcony stateroom or Mini Suite receive a choice of two bonus benefits* – a Beverage Package valued at US$89 per person per day, specialty dining package valued at US$84 per stateroom or shore excursion credit of US$50 credit per cabin for each port – excluding embarkation port.

Cruise highlights include visits to Beijing, Dalian, Sakaiminato, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, Kochi, Kobe, Shimizu and Yokohama.

Link to deal: http://www.cruising.com.au/Norwegian%20Jewel%20-%2012%20Night%20China,%20South%20Korea%20&%20Japan%20-%20Shanghai%20to%20Tokyo%20-%2016%20Apr%2018/2018-04-16/NJEPVGTYO12N18

To find out more about Cruiseco or this voyage, visit www.cruising.com.au

*Terms and conditions apply. This offer and displayed prices are valid as at 24 January 2018. The offer may be withdrawn at any time.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Lonely Planet calls on travel industry to do more for solo travellers



1 in 3 Australian travellers say they have felt disadvantaged by choosing to travel alone;

Lonely Planet urges industry to cater better for growing trend


World leading travel authority Lonely Planet has called on the travel industry to do more to cater for solo travellers. This follows new research revealing that the growing number of solo travellers face higher costs than those travelling with family or friends, including an average of nearly 20% on travel insurance and over 50% on accommodation.

Lonely Planet surveyed members of their dedicated global community of travellers, with more than 1 in 3 Australian respondents claiming to have felt disadvantaged when choosing to travel alone, despite 85% of those asked having taken or planning to take a solo trip in the future. Examples given in the survey by solo travellers of poor service from the industry included lack of choice in organised excursions and poor service in restaurants and bars.

Solo travel is no longer just a rite of passage for young travellers, but despite these changing trends and demographics, travellers' reports would suggest that many their needs are not met by travel and hospitality companies.

One in two Australian travellers said that they have had to pay a single person supplement when travelling alone, and 90% of those surveyed said they would look more positively on a company that did not charge this. Restaurants were also particularly criticised by respondents to the survey, with typical comments involving poor service from staff, being seated in the worst places and even being refused bookings.

Despite these challenges, solo travel is on the rise. To help those planning on going it alone, Lonely Planet has compiled the top tips and advice from their experts in The Solo Travel Handbook, published this month, from the practical (meeting people and staying safe) to the inspirational (health, fitness and sustainable travelling). The travel company is also calling on the industry to look more positively on those travelling solo, rather than just as single occupants of rooms and dinner tables.

Lonely Planet Spokesperson Chris Zeiher says: "Travelling solo can be one of the most rewarding ways of experiencing any destination, and most travellers will find themselves alone on the road at some point in their travelling lives.  Sadly, a significant number of travellers cite a lack of choice or increased cost as a barrier to this type of travel.

The profile of the solo traveller has changed substantially over the last few years and is now spread across age groups, diverse backgrounds and, interestingly, evenly balanced across gender. Over the coming years we expect the desire to travel alone to continue its growth, setting the challenge for tourism providers to better serve this popular and lucrative travel trend."

To find out more about The Solo Travel Handbook, and top tips for travelling solo, visit www.lonelyplanet.com/explore-every-day.

Lonely Planet's Solo Travel Handbook

Published January 2018 / 168pp, full colour / H210 x W165mm, paperback / AUD $29.99



Monday, 15 January 2018

Intrepid Travel's new active adventures



As we enter the New Year with good intentions to shed Christmas kilos and improve our fitness levels, adventure travel company Intrepid Travel has revealed new active trips, due to an increase in demand for this style of travel.

Designed to experience a destination through hiking, biking, rafting and kayaking, the latest additions to Intrepid's active adventures combine a love of health and wellness with travel.

In 2017 Intrepid offered 17 active-style itineraries and this year the adventure company now has 24 itineraries, increasing its offerings by 41%.

"Money spent on wasted gym memberships this January can be put to better use by booking an active adventure", said Brett Mitchell, Intrepid Travel Regional Director Asia Pacific. "Our trips give travellers motivation to train towards a specific goal while continuing to stay active on holiday."

"Australians have a real appetite for active trips and these itineraries offer bucket-list activities like white-water rafting on the Amazon River and cycling through villages in Chang Mai," said Mitchell.

Intrepid Travel's new active trips include:

India: Hike, Bike and Raft takes adventure seekers to ride white water rapids down the Ganges, hike & bike through the Himalayan foothills, hike through Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, cycle through to the temple-studded town of Gopeshwar and practice yoga in the spiritual hub of Rishikesh. The 12-day trip starts from AUD $2,840 per person twin share.

Sri Lanka: Hike, Bike and Raft lets travellers ride through tea plantations, canoe down rivers, and hike to ancient fortresses on this fitness-focused adventure from Negombo to Colombo. This trip gives travellers the chance to get active and experience Sri Lanka's pristine coastline, ancient ruins, rugged peaks and wildlife-filled national parks. The 13-day trip is priced from AUD $2,340 per person twin-share.

Japan: Hike, Bike and Kayak takes travellers along the famous Nakasendo trail that linked Tokyo and Kyoto in ancient times, cycling along the beautiful Kamon river in Kyoto, to kayak the beautiful bay at Ise Shima and take the Kumano pilgrim trail- one of only 2 UNESCO listed pilgrimage trails in the world. The 12-day trip starts from AUD $5,195 per person twin-share.

Nepal: Hike, Bike and Raft lets adventurers explore the northern Kathmandu Valley on two wheels while continuing to help the quake-stricken country rebuild. While most tours tend to focus solely on the hiking trails, this eclectic round-trip from Kathmandu combines classic trekking with mountain biking and river rafting, with a yoga class to stretch out and finish up. The 12-day trip starts from AUD $1,675 per person twin-share.

Peru: Bike, climb and hike lets travellers climb, bike and hike through Peru and discover ancient civilisations on the Inca Trail. Explorers can skirt along zip lines, haul themselves up cliff faces using via ferrata climbers and pedal past farming communities in this breathtaking adventure along the Inca Trail.

The 10-day trip starts from AUD $3,245 per person twin-share.

Ecuador: Raft, Bike and Hike lets travellers hike from the glistening crater lake of Quilotoa to the tiny Andean village of Chugchilan, go mountain biking down the world's highest active volcano in Cotopaxi National Park and hit the rapids on a main tributary of the Amazon River, the Jatunyacu (Big Water) River. The trip also includes a guided walking tour of Amazonian jungle, and lets travellers discover the World Heritage-listed charms of Quito. The 10-day trip starts from AUD $1,895 per person twin-share.

Myanmar and Thailand: Hike, Bike and Raft lets travellers hike to the dramatic mountain-top location of Pan Pet, kayak to explore floating gardens & stilt settlements, and bike through the Golden Triangle and on to Chiang Mai. The 12 day trip starts from AUD $2,995 per person.

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

Monday, 8 January 2018

Cruise the Mediterranean in Spring and save up to $900 per cabin




#cruise

Enjoy an affordable holiday with an MSC Cruise this northern hemisphere spring.  Picture colourful flowers everywhere, climbing walls, filling fields and sprouting on balconies, it seems there are blooms everywhere you look in this stunning region.  And, there is nowhere else where you can cruise to so many different countries and sample its many flavours, cultures and re-trace the footsteps of history.

Spring is a great time to explore must-see locations.  MSC Cruises itineraries include the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Florence Duomo, Rome Colesseum & Sistene Chapel, UNESCO World Heritage site at Bari (Italy), Archaeological site of Pompeii, Marrakech city tour in Morocco, stunning coastal views of Montenegro and the picturesque Greek village of Santorini.  Guests can experience the cultural and ecological diversity that every place has to offer.

Save up to $900 per balcony cabin when you book a 9 night West Mediterranean cruise on MSC Orchestra, departing Barcelona March 8, 2018. Highlights include the Learning Tower of Pisa and the Florence Duomo, the Rome Colesseum and Sistene Chapel.  

Save up to $800 per balcony cabin when you book a 7 night East Mediterranean cruise on MSC Lirica, departing Venice 6 April, 2018. Enjoy a full day in Mykonos, Byzantine churches and Greek temples of Corfu and the 16th century 'old town' of Dubrovnik.

Save up to $800 per balcony cabin when you book a 7 night East Mediterranean cruise on MSC Musica, departing Venice 25 March, 2018. Experience Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, Medieval architecture of Kotor, Montenegro and the picturesque Greek village of Santorini, Greece.

Call MSC Cruises on 1300 028 502 or visit www.msccruises.com.au or your local agent to book TODAY!

*Conditions apply. Save up to based on balcony cabin, twin share. Prima price compared to brochure price.


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