Friday, 30 August 2013

Clipper Cruising Playgrounds

The lure of exotic cruising will see the clipper ship Star Flyer in two vastly different places in 2014/ 2015 -- the French Riviera and Cuba.

The 170-passenger luxury sailing ship will spend from May to September 2014 cruising the European playground of the rich and famous, then cross the Atlantic Ocean for an inaugural season Star Clipperfullsailof 17 cruises from the sophisticated port city of Cienfuegos (250kms from the capital, Havana) between December 2014 and March 2015.

Lonely Planet says Cienfuegos “has long seduced travellers from around the island with its elegance, enlightened French spirit and feisty Caribbean panache. If Cuba has a Paris, this is most definitely it”.

Seven-night round-trip sailings start at $1845 including port taxes and all meals and entertainment on board. Ports of call are Cayo Blanco, Casilda in Trinidad, Little Cayman, Georgetown (Grand Cayman) Cayo Largo, and the Canarreos Archipelago.

Before moving to Cienfuegos, Star Flyer will make Panama Canal crossings on two special cruises: November 9 -- 14 nights from Barbados to Panama ($ 4842) and on November 23, nine nights Panama to Cienfuegos ($ 2930).

The European program, which starts in May 2014, features seven-night Monaco Grand Prix cruises as well as itineraries from Monaco/Cannes to charming ports in Corsica, Sardinia and Elba, seven-night cruises from Monaco to St Tropez and Palma de Mallorca, and some additional departures to Spain and its party islands.

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Over $400 off last minute British break

Back-Roads Touring is slicing $409 off a last minute small group tour of Britain’s grandest sights including the Lake District, Snowdonia National Park and dramatic moorlands.

The 9-day Highlights of Britain is a comprehensive journey exploring the history, culture and natural attractions of England, Wales and Scotland with a 15 per cent discount now available on the 24 October guaranteed departure from just $2316* per person twin share.

A Back-Roads Touring mini coach winds its way though the Cotswolds
Starting in London, discover the Oxford’s grandest colleges, have dinner at the famous Pudding Club in the Cotswolds, shop at Chester’s Rows, wind your way through Snowdonia National Park, explore Bronte and Wordsworth country, enjoy a free day in medieval York, see Hadrian’s Wall and try the best fish and chips in Whitby.

Clients will also sample award-winning Yorkshire ale, stay overnight in a restored 15th century medieval Scottish castle in the Lake District and pass through dramatic moorlands before finishing in Edinburgh.

The tour includes eight nights in charming accommodation, driver/guide companion, mini-coach transport, full English breakfast daily, four evening meals, fish and chips in Whitby, Yorkshire Ale brewery tour and gingerbread and chocolate tasting.

Back-Roads Touring caters for mature travellers and offers leisurely-paced, small group tours of no more than 18 people across the UK and Europe. The tours travel the back roads instead of major freeways, taking clients to places larger coach tours can’t reach.

Contact Back-Roads on 1300 100 410 or

*Full terms and conditions apply. Discount applies to 24 Oct departure only. Offer is strictly valid for new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer can be withdrawn at any time.  Full payment is required at the time of booking for the saving to be applicable. Promo code must be quoted at the time of booking. Flights are additional. Prices and taxes subject to change without notice. Prices are per person and subject to availability. Accommodation is based on twin/double share. Seasonal surcharges may apply depending on date of travel. Additional levies, government charges and other applicable fees may apply.

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SAVE $1,000 per couple on Europe River Cruises

Cruising Europe’s magical waterways is now even more affordable thanks to these incredible savings on selected Avalon Waterways Cruises, available now from Travelscene American Express.

Couples will receive $1,000 off their booking when they book before 31st of August, and if you’re a repeat traveller, you can join the Avalon Waterways Journeys Club to save an additional 5% on 2014 cruises.

                DEAL 1: 7 night deluxe river cruise from Basel to Amsterdam | Romantic Rhine
                From $1,826 per person, twin share in an Outside Stateroom
                Price includes $1,000 saving per couple! 

Take a romantic cruise down the Rhine, visiting castles, exploring historic European cities and observing the stunning countryside. This luxurious cruise stops in at Strasbourg, Heidelberg, Mainz, Koblenz, Cologne and Amsterdam.

Valid for departure 14 December 2014. Availability is limited. 

                DEAL 2: 14 night deluxe river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest | Magnificent Europe             
                From  $3,999* per person, twin share in an Outside Stateroom
                Price includes $1,000 saving per couple!

This Christmas themed cruise will take you through the ever-enchanting central Europe. Enjoy the jolly atmosphere and your decorated cruise ship as you sail between Amsterdam, Budapest, Miltenberg, Nuremberg, Bratislava and more.

Valid for departure 21 December 2014. Availability is limited. 

                DEAL 3: 15 night deluxe river cruise from Cote d’ Azur to Paris | Grand France
                From $5,326 per person, twin share in an Outside Stateroom
                Price includes $1,000 saving per couple!

Discover the breathtaking scenery of France as you cruise down the Rhône and Saône Rivers. You will travel through history, witnessing the very same river banks and villages that have thrived off the river for hundreds of years. Your cruise will stop at Arles, Avignon, Viviers, Tournon, Vienne, Lyon, Vernon, Giverny, Les Andelyes and more.

Valid for departure 20 October 2014. Availability is limited. 

All deals include:
·         All meals onboard
·         Selected beverages
·         The use of headsets and guided shore excursions
·         The services of a professional Cruise Director and crew
·         Port charges and gratuities 

And there’s more! If you pay in full within four months of departure you can SAVE 2.5% on the land only portion of your tour.

Book these deals and more by contacting your nearest Travelscene American Express agency on
13 13 98 or

* Conditions may apply. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for credit card payments which vary. Contact your nearest Travelscene American Express Member for more information.

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Thursday, 29 August 2013

Two great Air Canada deals on offer for a limited time only

Great news for snow lovers: a predicted bumper Canadian ski season is just around the corner and Air Canada flights are on sale.

If you’ve been a little disappointed with the Southern Hemisphere ski season, never fear, the Canadian ski season is just around the corner and it’s predicted to be a big one.  Last year saw record snowfalls and a huge ski season, and with the 2013-14 season is just around the corner North America’s favourite airline, Air Canada has some great fares on sale right now for a very limited time only.

According to Paul Maclean, general manager, Air Canada, Australians are pretty well guaranteed to have a great time up there: “Admittedly as a Canadian, I am a little biased but our snow is incredible, light,
powdery and perfect for skiing or boarding and - best of all – there is plenty of it. And what better way to get there than with the ‘Best Airline North America' according to the Skytrax World Airline Awards survey of more than 17 million air travellers.”

Snap up one of these airfare bargains from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Vancouver from $1798.00 including taxes.  Fares are available for travel from17 September to 09 December 2013 and then from 01 February to 31May 2014. Conditions apply – book by 03 September 2013. Talk to your travel agent for the best fare or call Air Canada reservations on 1300 655 767 or visit

Air Canada’s fares now on sale, offering great value return airfares to Canada and US
Autumn is a beautiful time to travel in the USA and now is the time to grab a great deal with Air Canada’s fantastic flight sale. For a limited time, Air Canada is offering incredible economy class airfares from $1509.00 to North American destinations, for immediate travel through to 22 November 2013.

‘Fall’ in the US and Canada is famous for its colours and Australian travellers looking to see the leaves change can get there in style on North America’s Best Airline*, with Air Canada offering bargain airfares on routes to Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York via, Vancouver. Air Canada’s routes also offer travellers the perfect gateway to the USA via Vancouver, where international passengers can conveniently clear US Customs and Immigration before flying onto 51 destinations throughout North America.

“Our fantastic flight sale offers a range of perfectly priced airfares for Australian’s travelling to any number of our great destination cities on one of the world’s best airlines, voted “Best Flight Experience to Canada” by Executive Travel magazine’s 2013 Leading Edge Awards,” said Paul McLean, general manager, Air Canada Australia & New Zealand.

Snap up one of these fantastic deals from Sydney below.  All prices include fuel surcharges and taxes and are correct as at 23 August 2013:
San Francisco
New York
Conditions apply – book by 03 September 2013.  Talk to your travel agent for the best fare or call Air Canada reservations on 1300 655 767 or visit

* Voted Best Airline in North America by independent firm Skytrax based on an annual survey of 18 million international travellers.

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Trisara's Limited Edition USD 120,000 Holiday Package

World-renowned destination, Trisara is offering a special package for a limited time.

Trisara’s experience offers 8 people, staying in the Resort’s exclusive 4 bedroom Ocean Front Residence
with your own private Chef, Butler, Limousine and Driver. The package is all inclusive with return private jet to/from Phuket, food and beverages, VIP fast-track arrival and departure with Limousine transfers, and unlimited Spa Treatments and or/Yoga. The Ultimate Experience also includes a full day on Phang Nga Bay on your own private yacht.

This experience of a lifetime is available from now until October 31, 2013.

Trisara, in Sanskrit meaning the "Third Garden in Heaven", is South East Asia's most intimate and exclusive Resort & Spa, renowned for its exquisite villa accommodation and unparalleled attention to detail and service. Nestled over its own private bay, just 15 minutes from Phuket International Airport, the resort is
hidden amongst lush tropical jungle, with 39 hotel villas, all with private pools, dramatic sea views and a true sense of privacy. There are also 18 larger residences, comprising two to six bedrooms with private kitchens, 20 metre pools and dedicated cooks and staff who provide impeccable Thai hospitality.

US$120,000 +++  
2 nights’ accommodation for 8 people in 4 Bedroom Ocean Front Residence Return Private Jet to/from Phuket (departure city: Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, or Hong Kong)
Unlimited Food & Beverage
Unlimited Spa Treatments
Private Chef and Private Butler
Personal Social Media Butler

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Birthday Celebrations At Explora

SOUTH American eco-adventure operator, explora is celebrating its 20th year of operation and marking this milestone with a complimentary night’s stay when a four-night program is booked at their Atacama, Patagonia or Rapa Nui (Easter Island) properties.

Hotel Salto Chico Patagonia
The free night is available for stays booked between April 14 and October 14 at Hotel Salto Chico in Patagonia Chile, Hotel de Larache in the Atacama Desert or Posada de Mike Rapu in Easter Island.

An example is a four night package to Atacama priced from $2720 per person twin share; including transfers from local airports to the lodge, three meals a day with open bar and daily explorations with guides and equipment, including horses, vehicles and boats.

Activities vary at each property but can include horse riding, treks, boat rides, bird watching, astronomy viewing, wine tasting, informative lectures, Jacuzzis, sauna and steam rooms, pools, outdoor barbeques and much more.

This offer can also be used in conjunction with the explora Passport; by reserving two four-night stays at two properties, guests will receive two free nights plus the additional five per cent discount when staying at multiple properties.

For more details visit

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Conrad Koh Samui Unveils ‘Weekend Offer’ with 20% Off for All Discerning Travelers

Conrad Koh Samui unveiled the ‘Weekend Offer’ promotion, specially created for all discerning travelers who book a weekend stay at the luxury resort between now and December 17, 2013.

The ‘Weekend Offer’ promotion, entitles guests a 20 percent discount off their weekend stays on accommodations, food, beverage and spa throughout the year. With a minimum two-nights’ stay, the rate for a luxurious Waterfront Pool Villa starts from THB 20,560 per night, inclusive of daily breakfast for two and subject to 18.7 percent VAT and service charge. 

Sunset at Aura Lounge
Stefano Ruzza, general manager of Conrad Koh Samui said, “These promotions offer our guests a fantastic opportunity to enjoy a special rate for any weekend stays at Conrad Koh Samui before the end of the year. Guests will be able to enjoy a relaxing spa break, indulge in fine dining or simply relax in the five star surroundings with stunning views over the Gulf of Thailand”.

Terms and Conditions
  • Offer valid at Conrad Koh Samui for stays booked between now and December 17, 2013, and completed before December 22, 2013. Blackout dates may apply and vary. Offer is subject to availability.
  • Rates are valid for single/double occupancy and are exclusive of all taxes, incidental charges, gratuities, and resort fees where applicable.
  • Five days advance reservations required.
  • Full non-refundable prepayment required at time of booking. Your credit card Waterfront Pool Villawill be charged immediately for the total amount quoted for the entire stay as reserved and refunds or credits will not be issued unless otherwise indicated by local law. Charges cannot be applied to other stays, services or merchandise. Booking cannot be changed.  
  • This offer may not be combined with other select promotions, offer or discounts and is not valid for existing reservations or groups.
  • Offer components are non-transferrable or redeemable for cash, and cannot be used during future stays.
  • 20% discount off total food and beverage bill at selected outlets of Conrad Koh Samui and 20% discount off total spa treatment bill at The Spa for the duration of your stay.
Not applicable in conjunction with any other food and beverage offer.
  • To book, please call +66 (0) 77 915888 or email If you are making this reservation by phone, please request the promotion code “PR42WO” or the “Weekend Offer" package. 
For further information on Conrad Koh Samui, please visit Become a fan at or follow the hotel on Twitter @ConradKohSamui and Instagram @conradkohsamui.

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Wind Surf's Culinary & Wine Delights

Discover the jewels of southern Spain one mouthwatering bite and sip at a time on Windstar Cruises' Wind Surf's sailing yacht.

Wind Surf accommodates 310 guests with a 190 person crew offering a truly unique and intimate cruising experience offering only one departure setting sail on the 19th April 2014, from Lisbon and sailing to Cadiz, Malaga, Aimeria, Cartagena, Valencia, Soller and Barcelona.

Travellers will explore regional wines and cuisine with a SAVEUR culinary expert and renowned winemaker Jorge Ordonez. They will enjoy the best of Spanish food and wine pairings during hosted dinners with special menus as well as sample a selection of six Spanish wines in addition to daily wine tastings throughout the cruise.

Guests will experience two complimentary vineyard and culinary shore excursions and can take part in cooking demonstrations of local regional cuisine. They can also discover the magic of flamenco in a special onboard dance performance.

Each day is filled with special themed events and activities designed to expand the knowledge and appreciation of Spain's great bounty. On the itinerary guests will visit Jerez de la Frontera, the "Sherry Capital of the World," explore the Museo de Vino (Wine Museum) in Mijas,  snack on tapas, prepare paella under the guidance of a local chef, and learn the traditional method of producing olive oil in Mallorca. 

Every port offers a new treat for the palate.

8-night cruise departs Lisbon to Barcelona on 19 April 2014 and start from $3,810 per person twin share.

For bookings please contact Travel the World on 1300 857 437 or visit 

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Tuesday, 27 August 2013

MSC Cruises “Special Sale For The National Cruise Week ”

The National Cruise Week is back and so MSC CRUISES is offering the best possible value to the cruise market!

2014 Early Bird Discounts, 2nd person pays only 1$, Yacht Club Upgrade and so much more!
Massive sale of selected departures for Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Caribbean, Arabian image001Peninsula, Canary Islands, West Indies, Grand Voyages!

-          Once-in-a-lifetime cruise on a Grand Voyage from 11 to 19 night cruise, starting from AUD 900/ NZD 1160 per couple and visiting Italy, Spain, Canary Islands, Brazil, West Indies, France, Portugal, Argentina, Northern Europe, Croatia, Greece!

-          Visit Mediterranean ports, Northern Europe cities and Caribbean paradises saving up to $300 per person booking by 30th September 2013

-          Visit Arabian Peninsula and cruise for only AUD 880 / 1160 NZD per couple, AUD 440 / 580 NZD per person

-          Discover West Indies and relax at only AUD 800 / 1060 NZD per couple, AUD 400 / 530 NZD per person

-          Explore MSC Cruises new destination: Canary Islands AUD 590 / 790 NZD per couple, AUD 295 / 395NZD per person

-          Experience the Dolce Vita in the MSC Yacht Club, saving up to AUD 820 / 1060NZD per person

Don’t delay bookings must be made between 2nd of September 2013 and 9th of September 2013 ONLY

For full terms and conditions please note attached flyers.

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Turn Away from Technology and Surrender to Serenity

The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa is welcoming all executives to take the opportunity to truly disconnect from their everyday pressures with the option to turn in their mobile phone at check in at the luxury resort and enjoy total seclusion and serenity during their stay.

From now until March 2014, the five star haven is offering Australian businesspeople the ‘Ultimate Business Break’ – a rare opportunity for busy professionals to literally switch off and immerse themselves in the holiday they truly deserve.  That means no mobile phone, no Wi-Fi available to them and their very own personal Ikotani Butler to act as an Executive Assistant during their stay.

With recent studies stressing that Australian workers often don’t take the breaks they deserve, the Ultimate Business Break has been designed to provide the ‘no excuses’ solution for executives in desperate need of recharging their batteries with rest, relaxation, and self indulgence with a partner or friend. 

IC Fiji
“We want the best for our guests and having seen so many of our high-flying guests from Australia being taken away from quality time with family by their phone or a laptop, we want to offer them something truly revitalising.  By giving professionals the option to hand in their phones and switch off their internet access at the onset of their holiday, in addition to the luxurious creature comforts of the Club InterContinental, we hope to help them have the truly relaxing holiday they want and need” said Scott Williams, General Manager.

As part of this compelling initiative, guests who are caught catching up on work emails or making business calls after choosing to disconnect while at the InterContinental Fiji are susceptible to ‘pampering penalties’ issued at the discretion of their Ikotani Butler.  These range from spending an hour in the pool to enjoying cocktails and canapés at sunset that night. 

Club Living
Acting as a ‘executive assistant for your holiday’, an Itokani Butler is also at hand to deliver a suite of exclusive privileges and unique experiences for each Business Break guest, such as tailor made holiday itineraries, and romantic dining on the private balcony.* They will also relay any important messages that come via the Hotel Reception for the guests.

The Ultimate Business Break is available to guests who book the InterContinental’s luxurious Club Plunge Package, which includes:
  • ·         Minimum 4 nights’ accommodation
  • ·         Breakfast for two in a choice of three venues:  A la carte in Club InterContinental Lounge, full buffet breakfast at Sanasana Restaurant, or a continental breakfast at Toba Bar & Grill
  • ·         FJD800 resort credit
  • ·         Upgrade to a Plunge Pool Suite
  • ·         Private return airport transfers
  • ·         Earn points towards your IHG Rewards Club Membership, featuring new member benefits
  • ·         All Club InterContinental privileges** 
Upon choosing the Ultimate Business Break at booking, guests will also receive:
  • ·         A 60 minute massage for two in the luxurious Spa InterContinental
  • ·         The option to hand in mobile phones on check in to help in disconnecting, whereby the Itokani butler becomes guests’ EA and emergency contact
  • The option for no Wi-Fi access in the room
  • The option to accept ‘pampering penalties’ 
Family and friends will be provided with all relevant resort and room numbers for emergencies, and guests may choose to opt out of the communications ban at any time.

To take advantage of this fantastic offer, visit, select the Club Plunge Package, and enter “Business Break” in the special request box.

The Ultimate Business Break starts at FJD5920.00 for four nights on advance purchase rate, and is available until 31st March 2014.  Terms andConditions apply.***

Fiji Airways flies direct to Nadi from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane with both business and economy fares available on their luxurious new A330s and refurbished B373s.

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Learn ’Aquaticity’ at Soneva Fushi

Discover the underwater world on one single breath. As anyone doing  yoga around the world will know, holding your breath under water, naturally leads us to a state of ’being in the moment’.

Soneva Fushi is delighted to reintroduce a Freediving Course for the peak season (October – end April 2014), one built on the foundations : breath, awareness, relaxation, safety and knowledge. Some people freedive just for fun – to look at the fish and corals or simply to relax. Others want to improve their aquatic skills, depth and time or to overcome fear and build self-esteem. Whatever our motive is, we usually find great pleasure in the learning, training and experience of Freediving. And often hidden capacities and potentials surface in so doing.

While the technical content of the course is professionally presented, the whole process is meant to be entertaining and in a word, fun, for the participants.

This is an opportunity to really discover the joy of bonding with the ocean and trying your hand at Freediving. This is a fascinating experience and has been ’love at first attempt’ for many a newcomer. You will learn and improve your swimming/finning technique, breath length capacity, ability to relax and focus, equalization, and to be comfortable in the water, in short - Aquaticity.

You will learn the theory, physiology and physics in Freediving and to be more confident in the water. Health, diet and fitness benefits will also be discussed.

The group course is charged at $120/hour or for those who want the full attention of the Soneva instructor private sessions are available for $250.

Japanese-Danish, founder of KYMA – Kiriyama Yoga & Meditation Academy.

Through his teenage years Ken was a martial artist, a dancer, runner and amateur road bicycle racer. In martial arts his curiosity about body, mind and health opened the doors to Yoga, Meditation and breath work. He has practiced the 3 main paths of Yoga followed nowadays and has travelled the world extensively to study and practice, especially India, and he did his Iyengar Yoga teacher trainings in Australia. His approach is pragmatic, straight and simple, helping each student 
Resort_Maldives,_Soneva_Fushi__-_freedivinunfold their unique qualities and potential.

Ken is a Freediving athlete and instructor in Apnea Academy. His teaching approach is based on relaxation, breathing and awareness. He has the ability to help people move beyond their limits and inspires them to enjoy being in the water.  One of the best things, as he says, is ”when you see that enthusiastic glow on the face of somebody who has really ”fallen” for Freediving”.  He won a bronze medal in the No Fins category in Hellas Freediving Competition in 2010 and a silver medal in the Danish Depth Championships in 2011.

”To Freedive is one of the most amazing activities you can do. The feeling after a good dive is similar to the effects of meditation -  you feel relaxed, peaceful and happy”   – Ken Kiriyama

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Monday, 26 August 2013

Villa Maly Launches Runners’ Package in Luang Prabang

Though lauded as a land where slow movement is all but a way of life, they’ll be running their hearts out in the one-time royal capital Oct. 5 in a half-marathon aptly dubbed La Procession.

Named for the daybreak processions of Buddhist monks, who walk the streets, bowls at the ready, seeking alms,  the 2013 event will be the first ever half marathon in Luang Prabang. The route will lead runners past the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s iconic attractions, from Phousi Hill, by the palaces of the one-time royal seat and past a plethora of wats.

As a complement to one of the region’s most-buzzed about events, Villa Maly has worked up a special Runners’ Package to help athletes gear up for the race and wind down afterward. Rates for the package start at US$230 net for single occupancy and US$330 nett for double sharing, including:
  • Two nights in a superior room at Villa Maly
  • Pre-race and post-race massages
  • Round-trip transfers to the airport
  • Round-trip transfers to the race
  • Breakfast
“Many of these racers will be coming into Luang Prabang for the first time,” said Axel de Boynes, general manager of the Villa Maly. “How they’re going to take in the marvelous visual appeal of this place, and race at the same time, will be a challenge, indeed!”
The $200 entry fee and all other funds raised during the event will be dedicated to “support and empower marginalized youth in the local community,” according to the race organizers web site.
Validity dates for Villa Maly’s Runner’s Package are Oct. 4 - 6. For further information and reservations, email Villa Maly’s sales team at or call (856) 7125 3902-4.

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Active Adventures Launches an Extended 11-Day Ultimate North Island Adventure in New Zealand

Active Adventures, a New Zealand-based tour operator known for legendary Kiwi hospitality on their small group adventures, has launched an extended adventure vacation in New Zealand’s North Island.

Aimed at travelers looking to tour New Zealand in an active style, the trip includes Northland, a special region known locally as ‘birthplace of the nation’, offering more of an insight into our cultural background. The 11-day Ultimate North Island Adventure, nicknamed the ‘Kauri’, is Active’s first small group adventure to visit this part of the country.

gI_131760_Emerald Lakes
Activities on the Ultimate North Island Adventure ‘Kauri’ average four to six hours on most days, including hiking and cycling, while guides share their extensive knowledge of the historical significance of the region. “We’ve long been offering tours in New Zealand through our magnificent scenery, but this trip is special as it combines scenery with our extraordinary culture,” says Matthew Yates, a travel specialist at Active Adventures New Zealand. The extended ‘Kauri’ has it’s foundations on the successful 5-day Essence of the North Island ‘Kauri’, recently named in 50 Tours of a Lifetime 2013 by National Geographic Traveler. “We’re adding to an award-winning itinerary by extending into Northland and sharing more of our cultural heritage with our guests” Yates explains.

Hikes include a forest walk through stands of giant kauri trees, a ridge top hike out to Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands, as well as arguably the best mountain day-hike in New Zealand, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The tour also includes a free day in Auckland, mountain biking near Rotorua, a visit to wild west coast beaches, and a choice of sea kayaking or snorkelling in New Zealand’s second oldest marine reserve, Poor Knights Islands. For those looking to squeeze in more time on the water, there is an add-on option available for an overnight cruise to explore more of the beautiful Bay of Islands.

The ‘Kauri’ is US$3799 + tax per person, which includes lots of hearty home-cooked meals as well as some nights out at local restaurants, 10 nights of accommodation in lodges and bed and breakfasts, Kiwi guides, comfortable ground transportation and all activities as described in the ‘Kauri’ New Zealand itinerary. The first tour departs on 06 November this year.

“We’ve nicknamed the trip the ‘Kauri’ after our largest, living native tree which is unique to the Northland region, and second only in size to the sequoia redwood in Oregon. The trip is perfect as an add-on to any of our South Island tours, combining the North and South Island to offer a complete New Zealand adventure” says Yates.

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Experience the Thrill of Monaco's Grand Prix

Leading the RaceExperience the best of Italy and France on Windstar Cruises’ glamorous voyage along the sundrenched Italian and French Rivieras.

This incredible itinerary departs on the 20th May 2014 with Windsurfs sleek yacht setting sail for seven nights from Rome to Nice.

Enjoy the natural wonderland of pine forests, tranquil beaches, and charming fishing villages, as you travel back in time to experience the historical wonders of Rome. Enter the enchanted world of Portovenere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site lined with brightly coloured houses and narrow medieval streets and gateway to the charming town of Cinque Terre.

In Portofino travellers will discover why yachtsmen consider this to be the world’s most beautiful small port. In Cannes enjoy a taste of the jetsetter’s lifestyle from the luxurious boutiques to the fashionable promenade strolling Nice’s famous Promenade des Anglais with its palm trees and sparkling Côte d’Azur. 

Fares for a 7 night cruise start from $4,048 per person twin share.

An optional Grand Prix excursion is a spectacular addition along the Côte d'Azur entering the famed harbour of Monte Carlo. On this package guests will get to discuss the fine points of the extraordinary Monaco circuit with other race aficionados onboard at an exclusive cocktail party. Tickets for both the main event and time trials are included. Fares for the optional Grand Prix excursion in Monte Carlo to the voyage start from $2,194 per person.

For bookings please contact Travel the World on 1300 857 437 or visit

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Friday, 23 August 2013

Sydney Royal Rendezvous and Gallipoli Visit Feature in Cunard’s 2015 World Voyage Program

Cunard Line has announced details of its 2015 world voyage program, featuring a Royal Rendezvous of Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria in Sydney and a special visit by Queen Elizabeth to the waters off Gallipoli to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the WWI campaign.
Cunard's Franconia - image by Frederick Garner Wilson, courtesy of Australian National Maritime Museum

The program, which marks the cruise line’s 175th anniversary, also includes visits to Australia and New Zealand by all three of Cunard’s magnificent liners, as well as Queen Mary 2’s second Royal Circumnavigation of New Zealand.

On sale from September 6, the three cruises will encompass 83 destinations in 46 countries, with Queen Mary 2 offering a 113-night voyage, Queen Elizabeth sailing on a 112-night circumnavigation and Queen Victoria offering a 103-night exploration of the Pacific.

The many highlights include a spectacular meeting of Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria on Sydney Harbour for the first time. The Royal Rendezvous is planned for March 12, 2015, before Queen Mary 2 departs the city on her 13-night circumnavigation of New Zealand.

Another special note for Australians and New Zealanders will be Queen Elizabeth’s cruise through Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth Royal Rendezvous in Sydney 2011the waters off the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 24, after transiting the Suez Canal.

The new program also includes Queen Mary 2’s maiden call to Sanya in China on February 19 to ring in the Chinese New Year, as well as a Royal Rendezvous of all three Queens in Southampton on May 3 at the end of their world cruises.

In Australia, Queen Elizabeth will make her maiden call to Yorkey’s Knob off Cairns on March 9, while across the Tasman Queen Victoria will make her first call to Akaroa on March 17. Other maiden calls for Queen Victoria include Bora Bora, Puerto Limon, Rarotonga and San Juan del Sur while Queen Mary 2’s itinerary will feature her first visits to Bandar Seri Begawan, Bitung and Sihanoukville.

The program is a fitting celebration of Cunard’s 175th anniversary and its leadership in world cruises. Cunard invented world cruising in 1922 when Laconia set off on the first ever circumnavigation by a passenger ship. The cruise line has since undertaken more world voyages than any other.

“We are the world cruise experts having started this tradition over 90 years ago,” Cunard Line Managing Director and President Peter Shanks said. “No other ships are welcomed around the world as warmly as the Cunard fleet. Our ships’ arrivals into port attract well-wishers in their thousands, on the water and ashore – it’s part of the magic of the Cunard experience.”

Cruises featured in the new 2015 program include:
  • Queen Mary 2’s Royal Circumnavigation of New Zealand, departing Sydney March 12 and visiting Milford Sound, Akaroa, Wellington, Auckland and Bay of Islands. Fares start from $3349* per person double occupancy.
  • 61 nights on Queen Elizabeth sailing from Sydney to Southampton on March 3, including the liner’s visit to the waters of Gallipoli. Fares start from $15,749* per person double occupancy.
  • 27 nights on Queen Victoria, sailing from Sydney to Los Angeles and embarking on March 11 before the meeting with Queen Mary 2. Fares start from $7299* per person double occupancy.
*subject to availability, conditions apply

Onboard credits of up to US $1700 per person apply to bookings made by December 31, 2013. For more details on Cunard visit  phone 132441 or see a licensed travel agent.

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Tickets Still Available to the Sold Out NRL Premiership Grand Final

Missed out on tickets to the NRL Grand Final? Don’t panic, because Travelscene American Express still has tickets to the 2013 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final and they’re on sale now!

With the current ticket allocation exhausted, this is your opportunity to secure your spot to the biggest Rugby League event of the year.

NRL Grand Final ticket & 1 night accommodation
From $220 per person, twin share

Grand Final Package includes:
  • 1 night accommodation at Vibe Hotel Rushcutters in a Guest Room
  • Includes a Bronze ticket* to The 2013 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final on 06 October 2013 at ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park
  • Your ticket includes free public transportto and from the event
  • Valid for sale to 16 September 2013, unless sold out prior. Valid for travel 06 October 2013.
Upgrade options:
  • Upgrade to a Silver ticket from $128* per person twin share
  • Upgrade to a Platinum ticket from $308* per person twin share
  • Upgrade to a Diamond ticket from $398* per person twin share.
Plus, if you live out of Sydney, Travelscene American Express can help you source the most suitable flights for your travel.

Availability is limited, so book now by contacting 13 13 98 or visit to find your nearest Travelscene American Express Member.

* Conditions may apply. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking. Agents may charge service fees and/or fees for credit card payments which vary. Contact your nearest Travelscene American Express Member for more information.

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Travel, Shop And Save This Christmas

Australian-based boutique travel consultancy, LA Experience has just made Christmas shopping a whole lot more fun this festive season - by combining a Christmas shopping expedition with a luxury holiday in Los Angeles, timed perfectly to coincide with what can only be described as the biggest annual retail sale in the United States, the Thanksgiving super sales in late November.

Grab your friends, mother and sister, and head over to the States for a five-night escape and tick everyone off your Christmas shopping list at the same time. Across the Thanksgiving weekend guests can expect to bag some truly incredible bargains from some of the most loved US brands like Nike, Coach, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Polo Ralph Lauren, Guess and Gap offering up to 70% off.

Leading department stores like Nordstrom, Macys and Bloomingdales are the ultimate shopping meccas, where it would be impossible not to find the perfect present – and Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware are homeware heaven, perfect for dressing the home for Christmas. LA Experience know exactly where to go and a driver is on hand to collect the mountain of shopping bags at each stop - no sore arms on this tour!

It’s not all about buying for others on this trip, it is also the perfect opportunity to sneak in some much deserved pampering time and to enjoy LA like never before. Take a break with your girlfriends before the silly season really kicks off at home and come back rejuvenated and prepared for all of the holiday events.

Guests stay in luxury five-star accommodation at the Montage Beverly Hills and the all-inclusive itineraries include private stylist appointments, a visit to Rodeo Drive, an indulgent afternoon of pampering, lunch at celebrity hotspot The Ivy, and a private driver each evening at some of the coolest restaurants and bars in LA. Fancy seeing Michael Buble perform? That can be arranged too.

Kate, mother of four and a recent LA Experience guest said, “I had an amazing five nights of luxury and I got to see LA in a way I never could have accessed on my own. I also snapped up birthday presents for the year and a few Christmas ones too. My kids love Lego and I was able to buy a whole stack for an unbelievable price and I also purchased a timeless Ralph Lauren trench coat for my daughter that was marked down from USD$250 to USD$70, which she just loves. The prices were amazing and so too was the access to brands that we just can’t get in Australia.”

The only thing you have to arrange is who to go with - the rest is taken care of by LA Experience. And if hubby insists on coming along then no need to worry, he is catered for via a concurrent sports tour – offering a private suite to watch the action of the NBA (basketball) and NFL (ice hockey) leaving you to get down to business.

The itinerary kicks-off in LA on 27th November and prices start from USD$3,950 for four nights all inclusive.

27th Nov – 2nd Dec
7th Apr – 14th Apr
22nd May – 27th May
Head to the LA Experience website for a full list of tour dates and further information on what will be the ultimate shopping experience for even the most seasoned retail aficionado!

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