Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Botanica Takes Guests Beyond The Garden Gate as it Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Gardening author, journalist and television presenter Monty Don, The London Festival Opera and well-known Francophile and gourmand Jane Webster are just a handful of special guests featured in Botanica's 15th Anniversary program for 2014/15.

Celebrating its birthday in style, Botanica is offering five new tours and six new cruises as part of its collection of 33 itineraries. New destinations include Morocco, Hawaii and the Dalmatian Coast.

Also new is the addition of history, art and gourmet themes to the tours and cruises, which according to Botanica Founder, Judy Vanrenen, are a compatible extension to the botanical themes at the core of the collection, "Botanica likes to take guests beyond the garden gate to bring the natural culture and flavor of the destination to life. By adding these new themes and taking our guests to visit places not open to the general public we hope to give them a much deeper insight into the locations they visit."

Monty Don joins Judy Vanrenen and gourmet guide Jane Webster to host one of three special 15th anniversary cruises featured in the brochure. The 15-day Gardens, Gourmet & History Cruise along the Rhine Rhone, Moselle, Saône and Rhône Rivers is priced from $8,995 per person, twin share and departs on 23 April 2015. As well as learning about Europe's history, enjoying French cookery demonstrations, dining at a Michelin Star restaurant and exploring some of the region's finest public and private gardens, guests will receive a guest lecture from Monty Don, who will join the cruise in Avignon for a special cocktail reception. Guests are also joined in France's gourmet capital, Lyon, by Jane Webster, who will share her love and knowledge of the local food and lead a tour to explore some of the
city's edible treasures.

On the 15-day Gardens, History and Landscapes of the Mediterranean celebration cruise Judy Vanrenen is joined
by garden historian Dr Toby Musgrave and botanical expert Judy Horton. Sailing aboard the MS Island Sky, the cruise commences in Nice, around the coastline with stops in France, Spain, Portugal, the Channel Islands and ending in the
UK. Departing on the 10 May 2015, it is priced from $11,795 per person, twin share.

The third special celebration cruise is the 13-day History, Gardens and Music Under Sail in the Baltic. aboard
the Sea Cloud II. Sailing from Oslo to St Petersburg, it stops in Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Estonia and Finland on the way. Guests will be joined by historical lecturer Peter Warwick and Dr Toby Musgrave. Entertaining guests along the way will be the London Festival Opera who will deliver three unforgettable performances.  Botanical highlights include The Linnaeus Garden, Kronburg Castle and Visby, also known as 'the city of ruins and roses'. Priced from $16,995 per person, twin share, the cruise departs on 24 July 2015.

Included in the price of all Botanica cruises and tours are: meals; a dedicated cruise or tour director; accommodation;
sightseeing, wine, beer and soft drink included with lunch and dinner on board cruises; transfers on first and last day; and all tipping, porterage and port taxes.

Botanica's team of experienced guides and lecturers for 2015 also includes Chelsea Flower Show judge and founder of the English Gardening School, Rosemary Alexander; long-term manager of Smith & Gordon nursery in Melbourne, Teena Crawford; botanical artist, Jenny Phillips; botanical guide, Talei Kenyon; Curator of Brisbane Botanical Gardens, Ross McKinnon; award-winning horticulturalist Anthea Guthrie; and garden consultants Simon Rickard and Julie Prent.

In addition to the new program and special 'birthday' cruises and tours Judy Vanrenen has written a stimulating coffee table book detailing the story of Botanica, a copy of which will be given as a gift to all guests who travel with the company in 2015.

Botanica is offering a range of Specials, Savings and Discounts for bookings made from the new brochure. These include the chance to save $1,000 per couple (or $500 per person) when you combine two cruises or tours over 10 days in duration each. Or save $500 per couple ($250 per person) when combing two cruises or tours; one of which must be more than 10 days in duration.

To book contact 1300 305 202, see Botanica's new website or speak to your local travel agent.

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