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Friday, 27 April 2012

April 2012 Issue of TravelTalk Magazine

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Thursday, 26 April 2012

Take a Trakkadu from the suburbs to Uluru

Trakkadu in action (top) and Trakkadu setting up camp (bottom)

It is rare to find a dual purpose vehicle in the automotive industry, but Trakka's new range of Trakkadu's are ideally suited for everyday driving as well as holiday touring.

Australia's award winning motorhome and campervan manufacturer, Trakka, has released the Trakkadu in 103kW and 132kW models with optional All Terrain (AT) or Off Road Pak (ORP) packages available for additional off road performance.

Martin Poate, General Manager of Trakka, says that the Trakkadu is ideal for short trips away or for the iconic big trip around Australia.

"The Trakkadu is compact to use as a day-to-day car as it fits easily into parking spaces at the shops," Mr Poate explained.

"But the beauty of the Trakkadu is that it is always ready for a trip away. There is ample storage space and a multi-position sliding bed/seat at the rear with ADR approved seating for two additional passengers if you decide to travel with friends."

"The Trakkadu features a low profile elevating roof which provides an open living area within and great ventilation."

"We have designed a gas strut assisted lift roof, which is easy and light to raise and provides a roomy interior."

"By swivelling the two front seats and erecting the indoor/outdoor table, you can enjoy an open living and dining area," Mr Poate explained.

The Trakkadu is self contained with the kitchen boasting the latest diesel-powered cooktop with an elegant ceramic surface and a stainless steel sink, so you can stop and stay or pick up and move anytime.

"The weekly grocery shop is easy and convenient in a Trakkadu, with the handy inclusion of a fridge/freezer for quick refrigeration of cold items."

"It is also reassuring to have fresh water on board the Trakkadu. It gives you the peace of mind that you can travel to even remote locations with living essentials still at hand," Mr Poate explained.

A deep cycle AGM house battery keeps the accessories on line and a solar charging system can be added as an option to boost the power supply.

A Trakka designed Electronics control system monitors two batteries, water tank levels, temperature and control circuits so travellers are aware of the campervan efficiencies at the touch of a button.

Based on the Volkswagen T5, the Trakkadu's 4Motion all-wheel-drive model allows the campervan to be more sure-footed over slippery or rough terrain.

"The 4Motion system provides extra reserves of traction and gives a reassuring sense of safety, even in adverse weather conditions or on treacherous road surfaces," Mr Poate explained.

The Trakkadu comes in a 103kW turbocharged diesel engine or 132kW twin turbocharged diesel engine. Both options deliver high torque output to provide a smooth and responsive drive.

6-speed manual or 7-speed Direct Shift Gearbox (DSG) automatic transmissions are available for both models with the ORP offering a low ratio gearbox and larger All Terrain tyres for improved all wheel drive.

Like all Trakka models, the Trakkadu is engineered and constructed in Trakka's production facility at Mt Kuring-gai which utilises precise 3D CAD design, the highest quality materials and world-class build technologies.

The Trakkadu is priced from $75,500 drive away in NSW. For more information, visit www.trakka.com.


Monday, 23 April 2012

APT river cruising sails into Paris


Australian travel company APT next year will have one of its riverships visiting Paris on the Seine for the first time since the company pioneered European river cruising in the Australian market in 2000.

APT is adding the Seine (Rouen-Paris) and the Douro (Oporto-Bega de Terron) in Portugal to boost to 14 the number of waterways it cruises in Europe.

Two new riverships, boutique Concerto ship MS AmaVida (for the Douro) and the MS AmaPrima (for cruises Amsterdam-Rousse) will create a fleet of 12 ships APT co-owns with river cruise specialist AmaWaterways.

APT has also announced it is adding a panoramic ship-front second restaurant to its six Aria ships for dining indoors and out.

APT General Manager, Chris Hall said the new ships allowed APT and AmaWaterways to add cruises on the Seine in France and the Douro in Portugal next year.

"This new investment in more ships, enhancements of the Aria ships and the infrastructure required for the new rivers is part of a continuing business development process we started when we launched the Europe river cruising holiday concept here in 2000," Mr Hall said.

"APT's policy is to nurture our relationships with our co-owner expert operators and continue to invest in new product opportunities for our customers – both return customers and new travellers -- while enhancing our hallmark standards of luxury, elegance and style in the process," he said.

See www.aptouring.com.au
 

Diamonds of Australia and Asia cruise.

CRUISE specialists ecruising.travel have released their 26-night package from Sydney to Beijing on board the stunning Diamond Princess departing on March 8, 2013.
Enjoy Sydney for two days before sailing north to Port Douglas and Darwin, with time at sea to enjoy the many activities and entertainment on the ship such as nine-hole putting course, the Calypso and Neptune's reef and pool plus hot tubs, the swim-against- the-current lap pool, the casino, the Princess theatre, wine and caviar bar plus so much more.
There are port visits also to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and three on mainland China.
The Diamond Princess has many dining options including traditional dining, anytime dining, speciality dining, casual dining and of course 24-hour complimentary room service.
Priced from $3889 per person for a quad share cabin or $4629 per person for a twin cabin, it includes one-way airfares back from China to Sydney, 32-nights cruise accommodation with all meals on board, two nights luxury accommodation at Raffles Hotel in Beijing, a full day touring in Beijing including the Great Wall and the Olympic Village, transfers in Beijing and port charges and government taxes.
There are more than 30 cabin grades to choose from on the Diamond Princess, for more details contact ecruising.travel on 1300 369 848 or check-out www.ecruising.travel

Never forget a toothbrush again with ZUJI's Packman app


ZUJI Asia Pacific has launched a brand new iPhone app, aimed at taking the stress out of packing your next big trip.

Known as Packman, ZUJI's innovative app helps travellers organise their itinerary, coordinate their holiday packing and connect with fellow travel partners.   Available for free from the iTunes store, the app enables travellers to create multiple packing lists, share travel schedules, set personal reminders to complete holiday errands, assign trip mates packing lists and see what others are packing.

ZUJI managing director Asia Pacific James Gaskell says Packman's simplicity and ease of use has already made it a winner with travellers.

"Packman turns your mobile device into a complete holiday management tool and effectively removes much of the headaches people commonly have when packing.  It's fast, simple and easy to put together a list, share it with your friends and get out the door, safe with the knowledge that nothing has been left to chance," says Gaskell.

"Holiday packing is an integral step of the journey and the ZUJI Packman is designed to help organise this process whilst making travel planning fun and more efficient. It really encapsulates our company's vision of empowering individuals on their travels."

Since launching last month, the app has been downloaded more than 3,600 times.

ZUJI Packman is available in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, with an Android version to launch soon.

In a recent Facebook survey, ZUJI customers admitting to regularly leaving toothbrushes, cameras, sunscreen, socks and – in rare occasions – passports sitting at home as they set out on holiday.



Images – Packman in action:

Friday, 20 April 2012

ecruising.travel Cruisin' Competition


CRUISE specialists ecruising.travel are celebrating their 2011 success with Delta Air Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines by giving you the chance to be a travel reporter for 15 days on a cruise from Los Angeles to Miami on board the luxurious Norwegian Pearl. The prize includes the cruise for you and a friend, a Sony HD video camera, return economy airfares for two people on Delta Airlines, a 15-night cruise on the Norwegian Pearl from LA to Miami, one night in LA and one night in Miami!

Simply go to ecruising.travel’s Facebook page and upload your best "cruisin' image" to go in the draw to win this prize for two people. The images can be interpreted any way you like, cruisin’ can be hanging out on the beach, chilling with your dog or hitting some backyard cricket with your mates.

Your job is to be the exclusive travel reporter on the cruise. Tasks can include interviewing staff such as the Captain, Executive Chef, Cruise Director and Ecruising.travel clients, plus, general highlights of the cruise experience like the Rock Climbing Wall and all the fun things to do on board – you’ll upload the video’s daily to Facebook and YouTube for ecruising.travel’s Facebook fans to see your progress and what they missed out on!

Entering is easy just head to the ecruising Facebook page and click on the "Enter Now" tab before June 7. Tell your friends to vote for you or better still, tell them to enter and if they win, take you!

The winner will be chosen by guest judges - radio broadcaster Kate Waterhouse, cruise journalist Joanna Hall, former newsreader Ian Ross and cruise veteran Brett Dudley- with the winner being announced on June 11, 2012.

For all details log onto https://www.facebook.com/ecruising.travel


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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Two for One Cruise Holidays Take in Both Sides of the Atlantic


CRUISECO has three exciting new fly, cruise and stay holidays that take you to both sides of the Atlantic for literally two cruise holidays in one – and even better still, two people do the cruise sectors of these packages for the price of just one.

All three cruises are aboard the ships of MSC Cruises that are famed for their hospitality and service, start in Italy, cruise several ports in the Mediterranean, and then cross the Atlantic and conclude in either Fort Lauderdale, Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro in South America.

Prices start from $4,155pp twin-share for a 19-night package that includes return Economy Class international airfare from Sydney to Genoa and back from Fort Lauderdale, one night stay in Genoa at the Continental Hotel with breakfast, 16-night cruise aboard MSC Poesia from Genoa on November 11 this year to the Caribbean and on to Fort Lauderdale, and 2-nights stay in Fort Lauderdale at the B Ocean Hotel with breakfast daily.

For detailed itineraries of all three fly, cruise and stay packages, shipboard information and facilities and the name of your nearest Cruiseco cruise specialist travel agent, go to www.cruising.com.au.

ADDITIONAL CRUISES: An 18-night package from $4,195 twin-share includes return Economy Class international airfare from Sydney to Genoa and back from Rio de Janeiro, one night stay in Genoa at the Continental Hotel with breakfast,  15-night cruise departing Genoa aboard MSC Orchestra on November 25 this year, and two nights in Rio de Janeiro at the Hotel Ipanema Plaza at Rio's famous Ipanema Beach with breakfast daily.

The third package is priced from $4,565pp twin share and includes return Economy Class international airfare from Sydney to Venice and back from Buenos Aires, 2-nights in Venice at the Starhotel Splendid with breakfast, 19 night cruise departing Venice aboard MSC Musica on 18 November this year, and 2 nights stay at the Hotel Madero Buenos Aires with breakfast daily,

                                                             

Bumper Issue of Vacations & Travel, Out Now


The April/May/June 2012 issue of Vacations & Travel is at newsstands now, and it's our biggest issue yet!

This edition we spotlight Australia, bringing you the lowdown on how to see Sydney, minus the hoards; a tasty new tour around Tasmania; and the latest attractions on the Gold Coast.

Away from the country we give you tips on how to conquer kimchi in Seoul, present highlights from the London 2012 Festival, and explore the world's largest water village in Brunei. As an added bonus the issue comes with a 20-page Bali lift-out and a 68-page Malaysia supplement.

That's more than 300 pages of essential holiday ideas and information for just AU$9.95.

PLUS: One lucky subscriber to Vacations & Travel will win five luxurious nights at the W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak. To enter, visit vacationsandtravelmag.com

Vacations & Travel is out now at newsagents. For subscriptions, call Global Publishing on 61-2/9555-8100; e-mail info@globalpublishing.com.au; or visit vacationsandtravelmag.com 

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Cheapflights.Com.Au Circles the World in Search of New Olympic Sports

Camel racing
With just 100 days left to go, the website issues its ideas for the world’s Top 10 Alternative Olympic Sports

The Olympic Games are now coming up fast so, to celebrate their near arrival, Cheapflights.co.au, the online leader in travel deals publishing, unleashes its favourite picks of alternative Olympic sports.

With athletes competing in 39 disciplines from across 26 sports, audiences may think they will see it all in London this summer. However, Cheapflights.com.au’s in-house experts, having spanned the globe in search of sports that aren’t on the Olympic radar and can confirm there’s a whole range of exciting competitions that would add some new dimensions to the Games.

From camel racing in Dubai to bun climbing in China and even Quidditch, the real life version inspired by Harry Potter – literally an entire world of competition awaits.

Check out five of Cheapflights.com.au’s top 10 picks, two of which can be witnessed and enjoyed from right here in Australia.

Tuna Tossing: The Tuna Tossing World Championship occurs annually at the Tunarama Festival in Port Lincoln, Australia. Men and women from 16 years up fight it out to toss their tuna the furthest, hoping to win a share of AU$3,000. Contestants can toss the 10kg frozen tuna in any way they want, so twirl, throw, fling and chuck that tuna to victory. But be warned, the record for the longest tuna toss of all time stretches for an enormous 25 metres, so competition is fierce! For younger tossing hopefuls between the ages of five and ten, the Tunarama Festival also holds an annual prawn toss.

Outhouse Racing: Rugged living leads to rowdy sports, or so it would seem given those who embrace the sport of Outhouse Racing. Found from the upper peninsula of Michigan and much of the upper mid-west and west in the U.S. through the Canadian Rockies and on into Alaska, this is a sport of hometown fun and foolishness. Aussies also have a turn at it, though here it is known as Dunny Racing. By either name, it’s a sport you can form a mental picture of quickly. Or possibly not. Here’s how it works in one Australian town: Every second year in September, the town of Winton in the outback of Queensland hosts the Sorbent Australian Dunny Derby. Twenty “dunny jockeys” sit astride dunnies on wheels pulled by a team of four to race to the finish line of a 250 metre track. All the jockeys are weighed in before and after each race and a professional race caller is present to call the race. Pick your favourite dunny and you can bet on it, although you may not win as much as the winning team, which is awarded AU$3,000. After the Derby has finished, everyone joins together to sing and dance to their favourite Country Music.

Quidditch: Yes we mean the sport of Harry Potter and his friends. It’s played now in the “muggle” world with everything but the flying. Imagine instead people running astride broom sticks, working to get a ball through a hoop without getting smashed by an opponent aiming another ball at their heads, dodgeball style. Or chasing a gold suited player darting around, carrying a sock stuffed with tennis balls, serving as the all-important “snitch,” which must be captured to end the match. This low-flying version of the game started at Middlebury College in Vermont in 2005 and now plays out at more than 300 college and high school campuses across the US and 12 other countries, according to The International Quidditch Association, Inc., which also hosts the annual World Cup and is considering an exhibition match in London to coincide with the Olympics.

Bun Climbing: The annual Cheung Chau Bun Festival is held on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese calendar. Thousands of locals and tourists gather on the tiny fishing island of Cheung Chau to celebrate the festival and watch the bun climbing in amazement. The Bun Mountains are 60 foot tall steel structures covered with delicious, decorative steamed buns and bamboo scaffolding. Men compete in a race to climb up the towers and grab as many buns as possible. The person with the most buns wins. This peculiar sport shouldn’t be taken lightly though, as potential bun climbers must take a training course to learn basic mountaineering skills. At the end of the training period, twelve finalists are chosen to compete in the bun climbing competition. For safety reasons, fake buns are now used to stop the possibility of climbers slipping.

Buzkashi: Literally translated, it means “goat grabbing.” As for how it’s played, well, imagine polo but with one slight modification. Both sports involve two opposing teams competing on horseback with the aim of manoeuvring an object into the scoring area. The only difference is that in Buzkashi you use the carcass of a goat or calf instead of a ball. These days, a calf is used more often than a goat as the carcass of a calf is more durable. This is a fiercely competitive sport and definitely not for the faint hearted. To be in with a chance to win, both the player and the horse must undergo long and strenuous training. Buzkashi is the Afghan national sport and the Afghan Olympic Federation has now implemented official rules for the game.

For the full Top 10, visit http://www.cheapflights.com.au/travel-tips/top-ten-alternative-olympic-sports/
To search and compare flights to these or any other destination, visit http://www.cheapflights.com.au/
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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Delve Into The Lands, Lore And Legends Of The Vikings

FAR HORIZONS has a captivating 21-day fully escorted tour this August into the lands, lore and legends of the Vikings, travelling by plane, helicopter, private boats and coach from Denmark through the Shetland and Orkney Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands.

Major highlights include archaeological sites with their Viking, Pictish and Bronze Age remains, 5000 year old tombs, a Viking Ship Museum, nature reserves teeming with birdlife, ancient cathedrals and palaces, an arts centre, Iceland's geothermal area of Geysir, a boat ride through iceberg dotted waters that skirt a massive glacier, and a helicopter flight for spectacular views from Kulusuk in Greenland to Reykjavik in Iceland.

There's also a visit to the oldest inhabited wooden house in Europe built 900 years ago, and the world's oldest parliament on the Faroe Islands.

And as an interesting aside, there are visits to the Shetland Islands' Sullom Voe Oil Terminal that handles production from the North Sea oil fields, and to Scapa Flow on Orkney Island that provided a safe haven not only for the Vikings in their day, but for the Royal Navy during both World Wars.

The 21-day package includes return air from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth, best available hotels, all meals, daily sightseeing and helicopter and boat trips, a Far Horizons escort and local guides, gratuities and taxes. It is priced from $22,500pp twin-share with a single supplement of $1800 available. Details 1800 083 141, (02) 9955 0444 or www.farhorizons.com.au.


'Ballet & Stay' in Right-Royal Style with Mantra





As the official accommodation partner for the English National Ballet, the 'Ballet & Stay' packages are designed to let guests make the most of a night out.

Mantra Chatswood provides the most convenient option, situated within walking distance of The Concourse in Chatswood, the brand new intimate 500 seat venue within the Performing Arts Centre where the 14 performances will take place.

Or for those wanting to a CBD stay following the performance, packages at Mantra 2 Bond Street and Mantra on Kent are also on offer.

'Ballet & Stay' packages at Mantra Chatswood start from $449* per room per night in a Studio Apartment or $459* per night in a One Bedroom Apartment and include two premium tickets to the English National Ballet and a bottle of wine on arrival. Late check-out to 1pm is also included allowing time to enjoy the heated lap pool, sauna and spa, and in-house movies.

Just 10 minutes away the Sydney CBD offers two other accommodation options for ballet lovers wishing to stay in the heart of the city and also include two premium tickets to the performance.

'Ballet & Stay' at Mantra 2 Bond Street, close to Sydney's premier shopping precinct, from $489* per night in an Executive Studio Apartment or from $529* per night in a One Bedroom Apartment.

Mantra on Kent provides views overlooking iconic Darling Harbour and is offering packages from $489* per night in a One Bedroom Apartment or from $499* per night in a One Bedroom Deluxe Apartment.

For further information on the English National Ballet 'Ballet & Stay' packages, call 13 15 17 or visit www.mantra.com.au/ballet.

*Subject to availability. Block-out dates and minimum night stays apply.

ABOUT MANTRA HOTELS, RESORTS & APARTMENTS
Whether for business or leisure, the extensive collection of hotels, resorts and apartments captures the natural charm and ambience of their diverse locations, from bustling cities to serene coastal escapes. Stylish decor, quality service and the best locations are all part of the offering at over 50 Mantra properties across Australia and New Zealand. www.mantra.com.au

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Rare Deals on Aurora Expeditions' Cruises to The Kimberley Coast, Russian Arctic and Scotland





For a limited time, Aurora Expeditions is offering the chance to travel on a number of its iconic expedition cruises to the Kimberley, Russian Arctic and Scotland in 2012 at special discounted rates.

Russian Arctic - 2 for 1 Deal! Prices from US$4,445 (including discount)
2 for 1 Discount on 14 day Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land 'Voyage to the End of the Earth' departing 8 - 21 September, 2012.
With only one other voyage being run to this region in 2012, Aurora Expeditions is the only 'small ship' tour operator visiting the undiscovered region of Novaya Zemlya in the Russian Arctic in 2012.
An area shrouded in secrecy, the ability to visit the far reaches of the Russian Arctic is almost impossible to most. Akademik Shokalskiy carries a maximum of 54 passengers, providing intimate exploration of this region. The Novaya Zemlya archipelago comprises one large island and many small, stretching 1000km in an elongated crescent between the Barents and Kara seas. A veritable feast of wildlife and history, it is the easternmost point in Europe and remains one of Russia's most restricted regions; which is why so few operators have permission to travel there. Whereas, Franz Josef Land is an archipelago of 191 ice covered islands, the planet's last major landmass to be discovered and the modern day realm of the polar bear. This spectacular voyage promises to deliver adventure by the bucket-load. One night's accommodation in Murmansk pre-voyage (7 September 2012) is included in the voyage price, along with airport transfers and a Murmansk city tour.
Prices start from US$4,445 (including discount)

Kimberley Coast - AU$500 Discount
$500 Discount on all new bookings on 11 day Broome - Broome voyages departing in 28 May - 7 June and 8 - 18 June, 2012*
To celebrate the $1 million refurbishment of their Kimberley ship Coral Princess, Aurora Expeditions are offering $500 OFF* all new bookings on Broome - Broome voyages departing in 2012. Voyages will be led by the original Kimberley adventurer, Mike Cusack (of Australian Geographic's first Wilderness Couple) and his experienced team including Art Historian Garry Darby and expert Naturalist Dan Balint. Travelling aboard the newly refurbished Coral Princess with a maximum of 44 passengers, Aurora's innovative itineraries ensure passengers explore new locations each day, discovering all the highlights (and a few hidden gems) of the Kimberley Coast. Activities include fascinating rock art interpretation, night time croc spotting cruises, Horizontal waterfalls, bush walks, beach BBQ's and shark feeding.
Prices start from AU$6490 (including discount)


Wild Scotland and Faroe Islands - Savings of up to AU$1,050
Receive 10% discount off the 14 day Wild Scotland and the Faroe Islands voyage departing 11 - 24 June, 2012 *
Imagine seabird-speckled cliffs, towering sea stacks, mysterious standing stones, secret waterways, glorious mountains and windswept moors. From the mournful beauty of the Outer Hebrides to mountainous Skye, the remote outliers Foula and St Kilda to the Orkney's fertile farmlands and Shetland's rocky shores, the Scottish Isles offer remarkable diversity. The Faroe Islands are all this, steeped in a Viking past that survives today. Kayaking and scuba diving are also available on this voyage. Prices start from AU$6750 (including discount) This 14 day voyage departs Oban, Scotland on 11 June 2012, return to Copenhagen, Denmark on 24 June 2012.
Price includes flight from Torshavn, Faroe Islands to Copenhagen Denmark.

*All discounts valid to new bookings only. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer. Subject to availability. Other terms and conditions may apply.

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Captain Cook Cruises Popular Whale Watching Cruise Back in 2012





After 989 whales were spotted in the 2011 Whale Watching season plus hundreds of dolphins and fur seals, Captain Cook Cruises is back again in 2012 with daily Whale Watching cruises operating from 18 May until 31 October and offering a Whale guarantee or cruise again for free!

Captain Cook Cruises Whale Watching cruises takes passengers past the Sydney Opera House, Fort Denison and all the beautiful homes located in the bays of Sydney Harbour and out through the heads onto the open waters. Here the direction of the vessel is totally dependent on where the whales have been sighted - north towards Manly or south towards Coogee. Most whales are found within 2kms of shore.

The number of Humpback and Southern Right whales passing through Sydney on their annual northern migration between Antarctica and the Great Barrier Reef, is expected to reach its traditional peak around the Winter Solstice on June 22nd.

After calving in the northern waters between August and September, the whales will then again head south past Sydney, making their long journey back to Antarctica.

Passengers will be able to spot the whales onboard ocean-catamarans, featuring two decks both with spectacular open-air viewing and a comfortable inside all-weather lounge for the entire family.

Captain Cook Cruises offers a whale guarantee. If a whale is not sighted during the cruise, passengers can cruise again for free.

Whale Watching cruises depart daily from Darling Harbour at 9.30am returning at 1.30pm, from Jetty 6 Circular Quay at 10.00am returning at 1.00pm, and from Manly at 10.30am returning at 12.30pm.

An additional Whale Watching cruise operates on Saturday and Sunday from Darling Harbour at 1.30pm returning at 5.00pm and from Circular Quay at 2.00pm returning at 4.30pm.

Tickets can be purchased from No.6 Jetty Circular Quay and Pier 26, Aquarium Wharf, Darling Harbour or online at www.captaincook.com.au and are priced at adults $79, concession $65, child (5-14) $50 and family (2ad+2ch) $215 including coffee, tea and biscuits


For further information and bookings, please contact Captain Cook Cruises +61-2-9206 1111, Email: sydney@captaincook.com.au or visit www.captaincook.com.au

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Swap Predictable for Fabulous this Mother's Day



Aussies spent an estimated $1.3 billion on Mother’s Day gifts last year, including $467 million on the always-predictable trifecta of flowers, chocolate and jewellery.*

This year, break with tradition and give your mum a Mother’s Day memory that will last longer than a bunch of pink carnations and say more than a card ever could.

Whether she’s a foodie, fashionista or fun seeker, Queensland is the perfect place to spoil your mum on Sunday May 13.

For the food-loving mum:

Tempt mum’s tastebuds with a three-course Mother’s Day Luncheon at the Vineyard Café in Stanthorpe. Featuring Ballandean mushroom risotto, saltwater barramundi and Granite Belt apple tart, the sumptuous lunch menu includes wine and is just $65 per person ($55 for seniors). www.vineyardcafe.com.au

Treat mum to a meal at Watt Restaurant + Bar in New Farm overlooking the beautiful Brisbane River. Enjoy a two-course set lunch menu for $52 per person ($25 per child), which includes a glass of celebratory bubbles for all mums. www.wattrestaurant.com.au

The annual Arts in the Olives Festival, held on Sunday May 13 at the Worendo Olive Grove just 90 minutes south of Brisbane, showcases local food and wine and a variety of artisan stalls selling handcrafted goods. Channel your inner-artist with a full- or half-day workshop in stone carving, blacksmithing, crotchet or basketry. Entry to the festival is $6 per person and half-day workshop prices start at $25 plus material costs. www.artsintheolives.com

For the fashionista:

Make her feel like Mother of the Year with a fashionable High Tea Soiree at the Marriott Hotel Brisbane, including a glamourous Style Session by a Westfield stylist. For $70 per person indulge your sweet tooth with a selection of freshly baked scones and pastries as well as finger sandwiches and mouth-watering savoury bites and sparkling wine. www.variety.org.au/marriottmothersday

Treat your mum to the ultimate shopping day out with a Shop In Style Escape experience. Whether it’s a shopping tour of the best boutiques in Brisbane or a full personal styling experience that comes complete with a make up session and amazing gift bag. Prices start at $265pp for a style session. www.shopinstyleescape.com

For the fun seeker:

Surprise mum with an experience she’ll never forget; a scenic hot air balloon ride. Hot Air has flights taking off daily from Cairns and the Gold Coast. Mother’s Day gift vouchers start from $235 per person. www.hotair.com.au

Jump aboard the Mother’s Day Train bound for the Darling Downs. On Sunday May 13, dash along the line from Warwick to Clifton on the Southern Downs Steam Railway. The train departs Warwick at 10am and includes a 90-minute stop in Clifton where you can enjoy lunch at your leisure. Prices start at $140 for a family of four. www.southerndownssteamrailway.com.au

Set sail with mum on the crystal blues waters off Magnetic Island with a Sealink ‘Island Sunset Sail & Dinner’ experience. Including a return cruise to Magnetic Island, three-hour tall ship sunset sail and two-course dinner at Peppers Boardwalk Restaurant and Bar, this package starts from $139 per person. www.sealinkqld.com.au

Pamper mum:

Indulge in some quality mother-daughter bonding time with a luxurious spa treatment at the Harbour Day Spa in Broadbeach. The ‘Just The Two Of Us’ package includes a luxurious facial and pedicure followed by lunch and bubbles for $340. www.harbourdayspa.com.au

Peppers Pier Resort in Hervey Bay certainly knows the way to a mum’s heart, with a special Mother’s Day Package from $245 per night. Stay in a one-bedroom suite for three nights, enjoy the resort’s facilities and receive complimentary wine, chocolates, bath salts and two bathrobes to take home. www.peppers.com.au/pier-resort

Head out to the Sunshine Coast hinterland for a cooking class mum is sure to love. The beautiful Freestyle Escape is running a ‘Gluten Free, Grain Free’ cooking class with Tania Hubbard in the outdoor kitchen for just $250pp. Learn how to cook simple, nutritious meals and then enjoy all your hard work over lunch.

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Sea World Resort Offers the Ultimate Theme Park Holiday




School holidays may be over but there is still plenty of family fun to be had! Sea World Resort & Water Park is offering guests a fantastic opportunity to escape the cold and enjoy all the facilities that the award winning 4.5 star Resort has to offer, plus daily theme park fun on the sunny Gold Coast.

Save up to 65% with the Red Hot Special package which includes one nights' accommodation and unlimited theme park entry for the length of your stay for only $139 for two adults, plus you can bring the kids for an extra $10 each per night.

For the length of your stay you'll receive unlimited entry to Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Wet'n'Wild Water World, providing hours of entertainment for the kids. Plus, if you stay for two nights or more, you'll receive a free Dolphin Discovery Presentation at Sea World, exclusive to resort guests.

Sea World Resort & Water Park General Manager Bikash Randhawa said that this Red Hot special is not to be missed, especially with all of the fantastic facilities on offer including an ultra cool Kids Club, a relaxing Day Spa and the new Nickelodeon 'SpongeBob SplashBash' aquatic playground.

"'SpongeBob SplashBash' brings the undersea world of Bikini Bottomto life through amazing special effects including the spectacular dancing water display featuring a mixture of water jets and LED lights, which has proven to be a hit with the whole family.

"The kids club is a great option for entertaining the kids while Mum and Dad can themselves in the Day Spa or relax by the pool, making it the perfect place for the entire family to relax and play," he said.

There's plenty of theme park fun to be had, including the out of this world Green Lantern Coaster which features the steepest drop in the Southern Hemisphere at Movie World, the all-new 'SpongeBob ParadePants' at Sea World, and all of your favourites at Wet'n'Wild.

Plus, don't miss the electrifying new coaster experience, Arkham Asylum - Shock Therapy, which launched this Easter at Movie World. Thrill seekers will be harnessed into the Ivy League of Insanity, reaching speeds of up to 85km and pulling 4.2Gs

Located on the stunning Broadwater, Sea World Resort & Water Park is the ultimate family theme park holiday destination, featuring two lagoon pools and direct monorail access to Sea World.

There is so much for the whole family to enjoy, so why not stay, splash and play at the award winning Sea World Resort & Water Park for your next winter escape. For full terms and conditions of the Red Hot Special Package, phone 1800 074 448 or visit www.MyFun.com.au

*Offer is valid for stays from 23 April to 22 June or until sold out. Subject to availability.

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Monday, 16 April 2012

CityPASS: Save Big on a Visit to Fun-loving, Freewheeling San Francisco





San Francisco — San Francisco consistently dominates top travel lists around the world, including those for best U.S. city, best dining city, best walking town, most creative, happiest, and, well, the accolades and honors go on and on. And that's no small feat, considering how many great cities there are in the U.S. But, then again, no other city can quite compare to San Francisco's fun-loving, freewheeling, dance-to-my-own-beat élan.

And San Francisco CityPASS, which saves 48 percent on attraction admissions, makes planning a getaway to this perennial American favorite a breeze. In addition to a Muni and Cable Car 7-Day Passport, which lets visitors enjoy an unlimited number of rides on the city's iconic cable cars, CityPASS covers prepaid admission to the California Academy of Sciences, a Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise, Aquarium of the Bay and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, as well as a choice between the Exploratorium and the de Young and Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museums.

2012 visitors won't want to miss the California Academy of Sciences, the world's first "Double Platinum" museum, as rated by the U.S. Green Building Council. Prepare to be moved when a major new Earthquake exhibit and planetarium show rumble into the museum on May 26. The exhibit will feature a walk-through model of the Earth, an enclosure for live baby ostriches (there are surprising connections between earthquakes and ostriches), an earthquake simulator designed to resemble one of San Francisco's graceful Victorian homes, and lots more.

Another San Francisco must-see is the Golden Gate Bridge, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. For an up-close look at this historic landmark, catch a one-hour, narrated Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise, which sails right under the bridge.

San Francisco CityPASS costs $69 for adults (a value of $132.90) and $39 for kids, 5-12 (value $83.90). Passes, which can be purchased online at CityPASS.com or at any of the CityPASS attractions, are valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use.

For 15 years, CityPASS has been the premier product for travelers who want to visit a destination's top attractions while enjoying savings of up to 50 percent. CityPASS, which has a 99 percent customer approval rating, is also available for New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hollywood, Houston, Philadelphia, Seattle, Southern California and Toronto. Visit CityPASS.com.

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Thursday, 12 April 2012

Australia’s first close-to-home Travel Expo

Leading tourism operators across Australia and New Zealand will come together for a one day only "Aus & NZ Travel Spectacular" hosted at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on Sunday, 29th April 2012.

Expo hosts Flight Centre are excited to present travel enthusiasts with a rare opportunity to compare hundreds of airfares, tours, cruises, hotels and experiences on offer throughout Australia & New Zealand.

Tourism experts will lead free 30 minute presentations throughout the day, packed with advice and travel ideas for attendees.  "Whether your ideal holiday is an outback adventure or sipping cocktails on a private island, this event will have you covered," says Saxon Templeton, Flight Centre's Marketing Manager VIC/TAS.  "Come along knowing what you want or in need of inspiration, and leave with the holiday of your dreams."

The Aus & NZ Travel Spectacular truly caters to all tastes and age groups, providing a unique one stop shop for anyone who likes to travel.  Even the kids will be entertained with free face painting and meet and greets with Wiggles favourites, Dorothy the Dinosaur and Captain Feathersword.

All attendees will receive $50 'Expo Cash' that can be redeemed on any booking of airfares and a minimum of two nights' accommodation simply by attending.  Travel credits of $500 are available to win every hour throughout the day for anyone booking and depositing a holiday at the Expo.

Australia's first close-to-home Travel Expo is a day of one-off special deals that will make booking a holiday anywhere in Australia & New Zealand an easy decision.

Event Details:
Date:                Sunday, 29th April 2012
Time:                10am – 5pm
Location:          Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, Door 9
                        2 Clarendon Street, South Wharf (Exhibition Centre entrance)
Entry:               Free

For more details, please visit the website: www.travelexpo.net.au/ausnz


P&O Just because sale!

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Mother's Day at Four Seasons Hotel - Treat Mum to a Lavish Lunch or High Tea

Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is offering two elegant experiences to celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday May 13, including a bountiful buffet lunch at Kable's and an indulgent High Tea at The Bar.

Gather the family together and sit down to a long lunch for $99 per person or $110 with a glass of Champagne. Enjoy six exotic food stations located around the restaurant featuring a selection of hot and cold dishes; grilled barramundi, herb-crusted lamb loin, fresh seafood, salads, Asian-style finger food and a carving station with roast beef and salmon. Finish the occasion at the dessert station with a chocolate fountain and delicious range of sweet treats, fruit and cheeses.

During lunch, give Mum a well-deserved break and keep the little ones entertained at the 'Kid's Corner' in Kable's Private Dining Room.  They will get to eat their very own buffet lunch while having the chance to make Mum a card, decorate cupcakes or relax in front of a movie.

Also on offer is a special Mother's Day High Tea at The Bar in the Hotel's lobby. Guests will be treated to a selection of sandwiches, freshly-baked scones, cakes and tarts. High Tea is available at $40 per person or $50 including a glass of Champagne.

If you're simply looking for a special gift that every Mum will adore, gift certificates for The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney are available for purchase.  Select from a range of facials, massages, full body and beauty treatments and Spa packages – the perfect way to show Mum how much you care.

To arrange a gift certificate at The Spa, email Sydney.spa@fourseasons.com or phone (02) 9250 3388.

For Kable's and High Tea reservations for Mother's Day email lucy.frazer@fourseasons.com or phone 02 9250 3306. Reservations are essential.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

High Tea at Sea Christmas in July with Captain Cook Cruises

Captain Cook Cruises is celebrating Christmas in July on their High Tea at Sea Cruise every Wednesday and Saturday throughout July 2012. The cruise departs at 2.30pm from No.6 Jetty Circular Quay and returns at 3.45pm on a Saturday and at 4.30pm on a Wednesday. Groups of four or more people will receive a 20% discount when they book.

The Christmas in July High Tea cruise menu includes a variety of savoury and sweet foods including Crystal Bay prawns on dill blini crème fraiche, selection of finger sandwiches, caramelized onion, beetroot, goats cheese baby tartlet, chervil, porcini mushroom, chilli jam and spec pork sausage rolls, mini scones with strawberry jam and vanilla cream, mini plum puddings, mini mince pies, mini Christmas cookies, mini Christmas macaroons and Chocolate dipped strawberries.

The cruise also includes an extensive tea menu with 15 different teas to choose from and million dollar views of Sydney Harbour.

The High-Tea at Sea cruise is held on the prestigious MV Sydney 2000 and is priced at $55.00 per adult and $35 for children (5-14yrs) including a glass of delectable bubbles for adults.

For those that book for groups of four or more people adults will pay only $44 and children only $28.

For further information and bookings, please contact Captain Cook Cruises; Int +61-2-9206 1111, Email: dine@captaincook.com.au or visit www.captaincook.com.au

CRUISING ON CUNARD'S QUEENS

SAILING on Cunard's magnificent Queen Elizabeth is a life ambition for many people so imagine how good it would be to spend 14 days sailing around the Baltic on her and then joining sister ship Queen Mary 2 for a seven day voyage to New York.

Australia's leading on-line cruise operator ecruising.travel has put together a unique 28-night package on the two ships, including return air fares from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane  and two nights' accommodation in London, and three nights in both New York and Las Vegas for just $9379. The first cruise departs on July 13.

Queen Elizabeth does a 14-night roundtrip from Southampton which visits Hamburg, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Kiel and Bruges whilst the Queen Mary voyage is a point-to-point sailing from Southampton to New York, perfect to experience the quality Cunard service and the ships renowned facilities.

The price also includes airport transfers, all taxes and port charges, plus all meals and entertainment on both ships.

More details from ecruising.travel on 1300 369 848 or check-out www.ecruising.travel

Monday, 9 April 2012

Treat yourself regally on royal princess's inaugural sail

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LET Cruiseco put you amongst the very first to sail aboard Princess Cruises' spectacular new Royal Princess when she sails her first-ever Mediterranean cruise in June of next year, straight after her maiden voyage from Southampton.

This inaugural Mediterranean sailing will take the 3,600 passenger Royal Princess 12-nights from Barcelona to Venice on June 23 2013 by way of Livorno (for Florence and Pisa,) Civitavecchia (Rome,) Naples for Capri and Pompeii, Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi for Ephesus, Athens, and Venice (includes an overnight stay on board ship) When booked with Cruiseco, this fly, cruise and stay package starts from $6,190pp twin share.

And Cruiseco has a 12-night sailing from Venice back to Barcelona on July 5 2013 via the same ports, and with the inclusion of Toulon for Provence in France, package prices start from just $6,145pp twin-share*.

Cruiseco also has similar 12-night sailings on Royal Princess from Venice to Barcelona on August 22 and Barcelona back to Venice on September 3 2013. Both fly, cruise and stay packages start from a low $5,695pp twin share.

All package prices include return airfare from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane  2 night hotel stay at the Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona and 1 night hotel stay at the Hilton Molino Stucky Venice, port charges, government fees and air taxes.

The innovative new Royal Princess will feature a first-of-its-kind cantilevered bar with glass walls and a glass floor extending over the ship's side from her top deck, an adults-only pool with plush private cabanas, and in another Princess Cruises' "first," dazzling evening water and light shows.

For full detail, prices from other gateways and the name of your nearest Cruiseco cruise specialist travel agent, go to www.cruising.com.au 


ADDITIONAL ONBOARD DETAILS: Royal Princess's twelve dining options will range from a traditional Dining Room, to two "Anytime" Dining Rooms, optional-cost Italian and Steak-and-Seafood Restaurants, and a top-deck Buffet, Pastry Shop, Pizzeria, Seafood Bar, Gelateria, International Café, and a Wine, Sushi and Tapas Bar.

 


Friday, 6 April 2012

2012 AUSTRALIAN BODY ART CARNIVALE


WHAT TO EXPECT @ THE 2012 AUSTRALIAN BODY ART CARNIVALE

The 2012 Australian Body Art Carnivale will be taking place on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May.

Australia's premier body art event, the Carnivale is a colourful and creative festival experience for all ages, and is FREE for members of the public.

The Australian Body Art Carnivale is held annually in the artistic Sunshine Coast hinterland town of Eumundi, only 15 minutes from Noosa and around an hour north of Brisbane.

Event Manager Danielle Taylor says the event is nothing short of a 'A Festival of Colour' centred around body art in its many and varied forms.

"As the name suggests, the Australian Body Art Carnivale certainly has a strong focus on body art in its many and varied forms – from the more readily seen face painting right through to full body painting in the categories of brush and sponge, airbrush and special effects," she says.

"For members of the public, it's an event like nothing you've seen before to watch the human canvases take shape during the competitions," she says.

"While we will have experienced body and make-up artists competing, body art experience is not a prerequisite," says Danielle. "Many entrants in previous Carnivales had never before painted on a body – they simply used their artistic flair to work on a very different canvas … the human body!"

And it's not just body art competitions. The Carnivale will also host competitions and exhibitions in:

Wearable Art (fabulous fashion made from recycled treasures)

Vehicle Body Art – a Show & Shine comp for those with vehicles already painted, along with a Car Bonnet Art comp where artists paint a car bonnet

Photography (photo print + digital categories)

The competition theme for this year is "Under the Sea", providing an absolute wealth of inspiration for artists as they compete for over $12,000 in cash and prizes.

The Carnivale will also see world-class street performers, buskers and bands, craft workshops, a Saturday Night Gala Event at Fig Tree Restaurant (ticketed) and a whole lot more.

Visit www.australianbodyart.com.au for more info, competition registration, sponsorship opportunities and to sign up to receive eNewsletters in the lead-up to the event.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Easter DIY disasters could cost more than a holiday


Bungled DIY projects could cost Aussies more than a Queensland holiday experience this Easter, Tourism Queensland has warned.

Tourism Queensland CEO Anthony Hayes said new research from a UK insurance company* revealed that over the Easter long weekend more than a third of the country's DIY-ers would get stuck into home improvements,10 percent of which would end in disaster, costing them each an average of £166 (AUD$265 ) to put right.

"No doubt there are also plenty of Queenslanders with DIY Easter project lists stuck to the fridge – and there's a high probability that many of these will not turn out quite as planned or within budget," Mr Hayes said.

"Tourism Queensland is therefore urging Queenslanders to not become a "DIY disaster", down tools and spend that money having some fun in Queensland over Easter.

"Even if you can't afford to go away, there are plenty of value for money day trips and activities you can do.
"In the end it will probably cost you less and create a much more harmonious home environment."

Mr Hayes said Australians were estimated to have more than 123 million days of annual leave stockpiled**, making us one of the hardest working nations in the world.

"Queenslanders in particular worked tirelessly in 2011 which is even more of a reason why you should reward yourself with a Queensland break this Easter – even if it's a 'staycation' where you stay at home and go on day trips," he said.

"In 2011 almost 34 million day trips were taken in Queensland of which 24 million were taken within Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.

"Day-trippers to South East Queensland, specifically travelling to Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast spent more than $2.3 billion on their visits in 2011, a four percent increase on the previous year.

"So if you've decided to have a staycation, we've compiled a few great value-for-money ideas to encourage you to ditch the DIY plans and get out of the house and into Queensland's backyard where you can make the most of the Easter break."

For example:

Trying to avoid the public holiday crowds? 

Lace up the boots and set off on one of the Great Walks of Queensland. There's a series of world-class walking tracks that traverse some of the state's most beautiful natural areas, including three World Heritage-listed sites which can be experienced in short half-day treks through to full eight-day hikes. Here's a few suggestions - Thorsborne Trail at Hinchinbrook Island, Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk and the Whitsunday Ngaro Sea-Trail.
Cost: Free once you get there.

If you're more of a 'taster' than a 'trekker' Queensland's food and wine trails will give you something to bite into. Take a drive, sample some produce, meet the growers and learn more about the paddock-to-plate process. Try the Granite Belt Wine Country Nude Food Trail, Gold Coast Food and Wine Trail or Food Trail Tours to the Atherton Tablelands. 

Cost: Guided wine tours cost around $150 per person including a nice meal and wine tastings. Drive yourself and buy your own food and a nice bottle or two to take home.

A scenic hot air balloon ride to discover South East Queensland from the air with uninterrupted views of the city and the country.
Cost: Around $300 per person.

For other spectacular views, head to the 77th level of the world's tallest residential tower, Q1 on the Gold Coast offers breathtaking 360 degree views from its QDeck.
Cost: $54.50 for a family pass.

If thrill-seeking is your thing make the ultimate entrance and skydive onto one of Queensland's beaches.
Cost: Around $250.


Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Caravan and Camping Supershow Tickets on Sale Now

The first step to creating lifelong memories starts at Australia's largest caravan, camping and leisure event the NSW Caravan, Camping, RV and Holiday Supershow from 21-29 April, 2012 at Rosehill Racecourse. 

Theo Whitmont, President of the Caravan and Camping Industry Association of NSW (CCIA) believes that the Supershow is the ideal place to plan your next holiday.

"There is a huge range of holiday destinations on display at the Supershow and once you have decided where to go you get to decide how to do it. From camping in a tent to travelling in a motorhome, the Supershow has something for every lifestyle at any budget and the best part is you can research, book and buy all in the one spot."

Now in its 44th year the Supershow promises to be better than ever. Due to the continued growth of the caravan and camping industry the Supershow boasts the latest products with many being launched for the first time. As well as displaying the latest and greatest, the Supershow has unbeatable show discounts.

Whilst browsing through the 400 exhibits make sure you visit the entertainment area where the kids can get up close and cuddly with their favourite farm animals, have their face painted by Fairy Belle or shoot hoops and slip through slides on the Disney themed jumping castles. There is plenty for the adults as well including; daily seminars, towing demonstrations and live music. When the whole family needs reenergising there is a variety of dining options including; fast food outlets, licensed bars, a brassiere and a 300 seated ascot restaurant.

By picking up a Passport on entry each visitor to the Supershow has the chance to win a share in over $52,000 worth of prizes including a brand new Nova Caravan, thanks to Sydney RV Centre.

The Supershow has proudly been a plastic bag free event since 2006 and free calico bags are available for the convenience of Supershow visitors. This is a great way to store all of your goodies.

Don't forget to visit the NSW Caravan and Camping exhibit (no.400) in the JR Fleming Stand to pick up your free copy of the popular NSW Caravan and Camping Holiday and Touring Guide, Products and Services Buyers Guide and the National Recreation Vehicle Towing Guide.

Everyone deserves a holiday and the Caravan, Camping, RV and Holiday Supershow is the perfect place to start planning your next trip.

For more information and to book your tickets online visit www.supershow.com.au

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Huge Savings on NCL Fly/Cruise/Tour

CRUISE experts ecruising.travel are offering savings of nearly $7000 per couple on a 37-night fly/cruise/rail/ tour package through the Americas - departing Sydney  on April 16, 2013.

The deal is great value as it includes return air fares with Delta Airlines, 28 nights aboard the Norwegian Pearl, three nights in Las Vegas, two at the Hilton in Miami, a night in each of Seattle, Vancouver, Banff and Kamloops and two days travelling through the Canadian Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer.

The new price of $7,439 is available until sold out and also includes all meals and entertainment on the ship, meals on the train, airport transfers and all port and air taxes.

After the stay in Miami Norwegian Pearl departs for a stop in Columbia before passing through the Panama Canal to Costa Rica. It then makes three port calls in Mexico and calls on Los Angeles and San Francisco on the way to Seattle.

The ship then spends several days cruising the waters of Alaska with stops at Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan before returning to Seattle for a road trip to Vancouver to join the Rocky Mountaineer.

More details from ecruising.travel on 1300 369 848 or check-out www.ecruising.travel


Relax and unwind with a top drop at Distil - lebua Hotels & Resorts, Bangkok


Believe it or not, amidst the hustle and bustle of buzzing Bangkok, high above the action below, sits an elegant escape – and its name is Distil

Positioned regally on the 64th floor as part of exciting entertainment destination The Dome at lebua – the fine food and wine hub of Bangkok's leading all-suite luxury hotel, Tower Club at lebua – Distil is the place to find what you can't find anywhere else.

Sprawling over 650 square metres, Distil is renowned for its refined and decadent ambience, all set to the sounds of chilled tunes spun by fabulous resident DJs.

Serving only premium drinks and luxury food items, the emphasis at Distil is on ensuring visitors enjoy only the finest of everything.

Nowhere else in Thailand will you find Martin Miller's gin, Havana Club Selección de Maestros Rum, Absolut 100 vodka, Martin Miller's gin, L'Or Martell Cognac, Royal Salute 100 cask whisky and Royal Salute 62 Gun Salute whisky as well as exclusive champagne of G.H Mumm Rene Lalou 1999, G.H Mumm Grand Cru and Perrier-Jouët, Blason, Rosé.

Adding to the air of exclusivity and indulgence is Distil's Oyster Bar, serving only the finest fresh Eagle Rock, Pickering Passage, Hama Hama and Fines de Claire oysters, flown in twice a week from the US and France.

Besides oysters, Distil dishes up delectable sushi and sashimi alongside the world's finest Iranian Caviar, including: Almas; Beluga Impérial Huso Huso; Ossetra Royal Réserve and Sevruga Royal Réserve.

And to complete the experience, why not enjoy one of Distil's authentic hand-rolled Cuban cigars on the open-air Cigar Terrace, which boasts exquisite views over the Chao Praya River and glittering city skyline below.

lebua Hotels & Resorts are currently offering a Stay Longer! Save More! Package starting at AUS$190++ per room per night*. The package includes daily buffet breakfast and Tower Club privileges including exclusive to lebua Bvlgari amenities (coming in April: amenities by Acca Kappa), complimentary soft drinks in the in-room mini bar, in-suite broadband access, priority dining reservations at the Dome and exclusive use of the Tower Club lounge where complimentary canapés, alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks are served daily from 6am-6pm and afternoon high tea served daily from 3-6pm.

Additional privileges include complimentary upgrade from a Tower Club City View suite to Tower Club Riverview suite with late check out for those staying for one night.

For those enjoying extra nights, lebua Hotels & Resorts will not only include the complimentary upgrade but also include a one way Airport transfer to or from the hotel (max 3 persons).

*This package is available until 27 December 2012 and subject to availability. Rates are based on single/double occupancy and subject to a 10% service charge and applicable government taxes per night. (Dress code at Tower Club Lounge and The Dome is smart casual).

For reservations, please call: +66 (0) 624 9555 or email reservations@lebua.com

About lebua Hotels & Resorts

A luxury hotel chain with properties in Bangkok, New Zealand and India, lebua Hotels & Resorts is internationally acclaimed for its innovative business strategies and use of cutting edge research and technology. Rated within the top 1% of companies in the world in terms of Customer Satisfaction by TNS research (TRM*M Index), lebua's business management strategies have been the active focus of discussion in several top business schools including Harvard, Kellogg, INSEAD, NYU, Columbia and IIMs. Currently, it is in the subject of a case study at Harvard Business School.

With its restaurants rated among the world's best, lebua has broadened its horizons to include a luxury lodge in New Zealand, and now plans to expand into Europe, the Caribbean and additional parts of India, with a luxury period property just outside of Paris and an all-suite luxury boutique property in Saint Martin as well as hotels in India.

Monday, 2 April 2012

P&O Cruises Kicks A Goal for AFL Fans

Giant screens on P&O ships will host live AFL games
Just four weeks after launching live NRL coverage across its fleet, P&O Cruises has today announced AFL games will join the sports line-up onboard its ships, giving fans the chance to catch both footy codes at sea.

For the entire 2012 season, Friday night AFL matches, as well as the final series and grand final, will be shown on the giant outdoor screens and in other public areas on P&O Cruises’ three ships.

Sture Myrmell, Vice President of Hotel Operations for Carnival Australia, which operates P&O Cruises, said the cruise line was thrilled to offer passengers access to live AFL games.

“Australians love their sport and we’re delighted that P&O Cruises can bring them even closer to the action onboard our ships,” Mr Myrmell said.

“Since announcing the NRL agreement the other week we’ve been inundated with feedback from our passengers keen to see AFL games onboard as well so we know this news will be well received.”

Under the agreements, AFL games will screen Friday night and NRL matches will run over Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

“Whichever code our passengers follow – NRL or AFL – we’re now bringing the action to them live wherever they are cruising,” Mr Myrmell said.

P&O Cruises’ three ships – Pacific Jewel, Pacific Pearl and Brisbane-based Pacific Dawn – offer the only year-round sailings from Australia.

For more information contact a licensed travel agent or P&O Cruises on 13 24 94 or visit www.pocruises.com.au

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