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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Seadream’s Less-Visited Southern Caribbean In 2016

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SEADREAM Yacht Club is to broaden its reach into the Caribbean by taking-in its less-visited southern islands between January and April 2016, including making three round-trip sailings from colourful Bridgetown in Barbados, and nine between Bridgetown and historic little Marigot on French colonial St Martin.

The mega motor-cruiser SeaDream I, that carries a maximum of just 112 guests served by 95 crew, will include St Vincent, the Grenadines, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Nevis, St Barts, Isle de Saints, St Lucia and others on various sailings, and on some the tiny private island of Mustique with its holiday mansions for such rich and famous as Mick Jagger and Tommy Hilfiger.

As well as beaches, shopping and shore-side dining, optional shore excursions will offer horseback riding along remote beaches, visits to colonial-era settlements dating back to the 1700s, an open-air jeep ride into a picturesque valley with spectacular waterfalls, and a museum whose artefacts date back to 1800BC and the history of the islands’ sugar-cane slavery period.

SeaDream’s famed Champagne and Caviar Splash will also be a highlight on all southern Caribbean sailings… guests wading into sparkling turquoise waters off white sandy beaches to enjoy Champagne and caviar off a linen-draped surfboard –followed by a mammoth beach BBQ, swimming and snorkelling.

Sailings begin from as low as US$3535pp twin share for a 6-day Bridgetown round-trip sailing on January 3 2016; for other prices, detailed itineraries and further information contact Julie Denovan, Director of Business Development Australia on (02) 9958 4444, jdenovan@seadream.com or go to www.seadream.com

Grand Hyatt Taipei Cuts Room Rates by 40% July and August

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Grand Hyatt Taipei is slashing prices by 30% for leisure travelers who book rooms during a four-day window July 4-7 for stays between July 11 and Aug. 31.

And the hotel is cutting rates for Hyatt Gold Passport members by 40% during a three-day booking window July 1-3 for stays between July 8 and Aug. 31. Travelers who enrol in the Hyatt Gold Passport program at the time of booking will be eligible for the discount.

The discounts apply to all of the hotel’s room stock, but the number of rooms available for the booking may be limited. Full payment at the time of booking is required and all bookings will have to take place at the following links:


In April, Grand Hyatt Taipei celebrated a Grand Relaunch after a renovation that took all 853 rooms and suites of the hotel down to their concrete fundamentals. Beyond the rooms, Grand Hyatt Taipei redesigned its Club Lounge, opened a new restaurant in February, Yun Jin, and is looking forward to the debut of Café, after its renovation this October.

The flash sale will be in effect at all Hyatt hotels across the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information, please visit taipei.grand.hyatt.com or contact Grand Hyatt Taipei room reservations at 02-27201200 ext. 3158

Australia’s Largest Cruise Ship Floats First Block During Construction

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Ovation of the Seas, the fourth largest cruise ship in the world and the largest, newest and most technologically advanced ship to ever call Australia home has had one of her blocks floated out of the construction hall at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany.

The ship is constructed in blocks which will then be joined together for the next stages of construction, with delivery expected to be complete in mid-2016.

The float out of her first blocks marks less than 18 months to her maiden Australian arrival where she will claim the title of the largest cruise ship to ever sail in Australia. Ovation of the Seas will also claim the title of equal fourth largest cruise ship in the world when she launches – eclipsed only by sister ships Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.

 Royal Caribbean recently opened bookings for Ovation of the Seas’ first Australian season. The US$1 billion will offer three Australia and New Zealand sailings and a repositioning sailing all departing Sydney from December 2016.

Ovation of the Seas is the third ship in the ground-breaking Quantum Class. She will introduce a new set of first-at-sea onboard experiences to Australia including the Ripcord by iFLY, a heart-pounding skydiving experience; North Star, a thrilling adventure that will transport guests as high as the Sydney Harbour Bridge; cutting-edge transformative venues including SeaPlex, the largest indoor sports and entertainment complex at sea with bumper cars, a circus school and more; and the robotic Bionic Bar. Ovation has also reimagined dining onboard with the introduction of “Dynamic Dining” where guests can choose from 18 unique restaurant concepts, including Jamie’s Italian, Michael’s Genuine Pub, the enchanting Wonderland and Royal Caribbean favourites including Chops Grille steakhouse and Izumi Japanese.

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Technology has also been amped up on Ovation of the Seas with high speed internet offering more bandwidth than all other cruise ships combined so guests can stream, video call and more as fast as they would onshore. New radio frequency smart bands also mean you can get into your stateroom and make onboard purchases without the need for the cruise card. While the Royal iQ app makes keeping track of your onboard schedule simple with all bookings and cruise details stored and updated automatically.

Fares for Ovation of the Seas’ Australian season start from just $1,999 per person for her 10-night New Zealand New Year cruise departing Sydney on 30 December 2016. For further information or to make a booking, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.au, phone 1800 754 500 or see your local travel agent.

Rail Europe 1st Class Summer Promotion

 


Rail Europe has released their summer sale fares for first class travel on selected routes between France, Germany, Belgium and Italy.

Until 24 August, travellers booking journeys on the Brussels – France TGV; Paris – Luxembourg TGV; Paris – Freiburg TGV; France – Germany High Speed; France –Italy TGV; and on domestic TGVs and InterCity rails can take advantage of fares lower than the advance booking fares. Fares are subject to availability and will sell out quickly.

With one-way tickets starting from AUD50, travellers need to book at least three days in advance and travel between 3 July and 31 August 2015. Terms and conditions apply.

Visit www.raileurope.com.au for more details.

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

Monday, 29 June 2015

Qantas’ Perth-Singapore Service Returns To The Skies


Qantas customers in Perth and Singapore can once again enjoy direct
flights between the two cities with the service returning to the airline’s international network from today.


QF71 departed this afternoon from Perth bound for Singapore, one of five return services that Qantas will operate each week with its Boeing 737 aircraft. With a flying time of just over 5 hours, the flight is scheduled to land at 5.20pm.

Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said the airline was pleased to again offer its customers in Perth and across Western Australia a direct option with Qantas to Singapore, as well as seamless travel across Asia.

“Our customers told us they missed us – so with the right strategy and the right aircraft on the right route, we’ve come back to meet that demand,” said Mr Evans.

“There has been a fantastic response since we announced the new services in April, with customers jumping to book great deals to Singapore and beyond.

“We’re seeing many of our customers choosing to make the most of the early evening arrival into Singapore and the excellent connections if offers to the rest of Asia with our airline partners, with Koh Samui, Phuket and  Tokyo being some of the most popular choices.

“Many of our codeshare partners have also been attracted to our Perth-Singapore schedule, adding their code to the Qantas flights, with nine carriers now marketing the services to their customers,” added Mr Evans.

“This is great news for tourism in Western Australia, with the route being promoted to more international customers than ever before.”

Customers travelling between Perth and Singapore will experience seat back in-flight entertainment and new Economy meals. A dedicated 12 seat Business Class cabin features Neil Perry menus and amenity kits from Kate Spade and Jack Spade.

Eligible customers travelling through Singapore can also enjoy access to our award-winning Singapore Lounge with menus designed by Neil Perry.

More for customers in WA in 2015:

 Qantas’ new domestic Business Lounge which has capacity for more than 350 customers is expected to open in late August.

 Seasonal direct services for the third year in a row from Perth to Auckland between October this year and April 2016.

 Refurbished A330 aircraft continue to be progressively introduced on network, with four refurbished domestic aircraft now in our fleet. All of our east-west overnight flights from Perth are now operated by refurbished A330 aircraft.


Book cheap flights at Traveloscopy

So Relaxing Treatment At So Spa, Sofitel So Bangkok


This July, escape the hustle and bustle of city life with tranquillity at So SPA, located on 11th floor of Sofitel So Bangkok, overlooking the infinity pool and Lumpini Park.

Ease your stress with So Relaxing Treatment with traditional Thai and Moroccan massages to rebalance your energy at only THB3,600 net per person (from the normal price of THB5,150 net per person). 

So Relaxing Treatment in July 2015
THB3,600 net per person
  • Foot Ritual
  • Thai Wisdom Massage (60 minutes)
  • Moroccan Massage (60 minutes)
So SPA opens from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm daily. The last treatment reservation is at 9:00 pm. So SPA opens to guests of the hotel and to non-residents. For more information or to book, please call 02-6240000 or email H6835-TH2@Sofitel.com.  Advance reservations are highly recommended.

Suite Winter Deals


Balinese property Semara Luxury Villa Resort Uluwatu has the perfect remedy for Australians suffering from the winter blues, offering 60% savings on luxury suites from now until August 31, 2015.

Bask in the warm Balinese sunshine enjoying world class surrounds and service from just US$475 ++ per room per night for a Garden Terrace Suite.

Semara Uluwatu offers a range of suite rooms to suit couples’ style and budget.  The Ocean View, Private Plunge Pool and Garden Terrace Suites all include in king beds, TV, outdoor and indoor shower, bathtub, luxurious amenities and more.

Meanwhile, 40% discounts are also available for the resort’s 3, 4 and 5 bedroom villas with the added extras of return airport transfers, car and driver for eight hours daily and a private chef and butler for 8 hours daily.

Options include three bedroom villas for up to six people from just US$1890 per night and five bedroom villas for up to 10 people from only US$2036 ++ per night, valid from July 16 to August 31, 2015.

Each of Semara’s seven breathtaking villas offers an exclusive haven of privacy with 30 meters of cliff frontage and private swimming pools overlooking the ocean.
They offer a selection of unique and flexible holiday solutions for extended families, large groups of friends and special occasions such as corporate events and launches, weddings, birthday and anniversary celebrations.

Since its opening three years ago, Semara has established itself as one of Asia’s most exclusive villa properties, playing host to a number of celebrity events including the 2013 wedding of Jennifer Hawkins and Jake Hall.

It was crowned Best New Villa Property in 2012 from Hello Bali and is rated the number one hotel in its class on Trip Advisor, above established brands including Banyan Tree and Karma Kandara.

A food lover’s paradise, the resort’s Finns Beach Club has been rated the number one restaurant in Ungasan.

For bookings or further information visit  http://www.semarauluwatu.com/

++Subject to 11% service and 10% government tax charge, conditions apply, prices subject to change and availability.



Friday, 26 June 2015

Last-minute winter holiday ideas with Oaks Hotels & Resorts

To celebrate the imminent arrival of the mid-year winter school holidays, leading accommodation provider Oaks Hotels & Resorts has released a selection of last-minute deals at a collection of its Australian and New Zealand properties for holidaymakers seeking a relaxed seaside escape, vibrant city stay or action-packed snow adventure.


QUEENSLAND
OAKS SEAFORTH, SUNSHINE COAST

Experience life on the sublime Sunshine Coast this winter and take advantage of hot accommodation rates at Oaks Seaforth Resort in Alexandra Headland, situated on the famous Sunshine Strip between Maroochydore and Mooloolaba and just steps from the sand. Stay in a self-contained, coastal inspired one bedroom apartment from $129 per night mid-week or $159 per night on weekends, or spacious two-bedroom apartment from $189 per night (minimum two night stay). Enjoy a bonus midday late checkout and free Wi-Fi during your stay, plus access to the resort’s leisure facilities, including a giant lagoon swimming pool, heated lap pool, sauna, spa, children’s wading pool and outdoor barbeque facilities set against the resort’s tropical surrounds.

To book, call 1300 766 950 or visit www.oakshotelsresorts.com/oaks-seaforth-resort/
T&Cs apply; min. two night stay; travel from now until 17 September 2015.  

NEW SOUTH WALES
OAKS WATERFRONT RESORT, THE ENTRANCE

Escape to The Entrance on New South Wales’ Central Coast and take advantage of last-minute school holiday rates at Oaks Waterfront Resort, starting from $102 per night (minimum two night stay) for a studio mid-week, or $114 per night on weekends, or a two-bedroom apartment from $189 per night, including FREE Wi-Fi and a bonus midday late checkout. Unwind in the heated swimming pool and spa, splash out in the children’s wading pool, work out in the gymnasium, or spot a magnificent humpback whale from one of the region’s excellent whale viewing locations.

To book, call 1300 784 474 or visit www.oakshotelsresorts.com/oaks-waterfront-resort/
T&Cs apply; min. two night stay; travel from now until 17 September 2015.

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SOUTH AUSTRALIA
OAKS EMBASSY, ADELAIDE

Take some time out to enjoy Adelaide’s eclectic city experiences this winter with Oaks Embassy as your base. Stay in a spacious one-bedroom apartment from $139 per night midweek or $154 on weekends (minimum two night stay), and enjoy FREE Wi-Fi and complimentary car parking, normally valued at $18 per day, plus full use of the onsite heated lap pool, fully equipped gymnasium, sauna and steam room. Be immersed in the city’s unique café culture, theatre scene and premium shopping, or explore the famous South Australian wine regions beyond the CBD.

To book, call 1300 721 514 or visit www.oakshotelsresorts.com/oaks-embassy/
T&Cs apply; min. two night stay; travel from 21 June to 31 August 2015.

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NEW ZEALAND
OAKS SHORES, QUEENSTOWN

Queenstown’s snow season is in full swing and Oaks Shores is offering winter deals across various room types for snow-enthusiasts looking for apartment-style accommodation from which to experience the world-class ski fields. Set against a stunning Lake Wakatipu backdrop, book a cozy hotel room from $199 per night or expansive two bedroom lake-view apartment from $429 per night (minimum two night stay), complete with full kitchen facilities, underfloor heating and fire place, plus FREE Wi-Fi. Dine in at the newly refurbished Shores Restaurant & Bar, unwind in the sauna and gymnasium, or take the free shuttle bus to Queenstown’s city centre.

T&Cs apply; minimum two night stay; travel from 26 June to 31 August 2015.

To check out these winter offers and many more visit www.oakshotelsresorts.com
Terms and conditions apply, subject to availability. Minimum two-night stay. Unserviced rates. Mid-week rates apply to Sunday-Thursday nights; weekend rates apply to Friday and Saturday nights.

Sydney’s best nature play program is back and hunting for poo this winter!


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The Banksia Buddies ‘Poo Detectives’ in week one of the upcoming school holidays will teach children aged 3 to 5 years about food chains and discover what the animals of Centennial Park eat by looking at the ‘unmentionable’!

Week 2 focuses on weather and kites. Children witness a cloud made in a bottle, sculpt clouds using shaving cream and make and decorate their own kites to fly in the park.

“You can learn a lot from poo, such as what an animal eats, how much it eats and how much it drinks. Children will work out what creature left a little present in the shed by dissecting a sterilised pellet,” said Cordelia Hough, Banksia Buddies founder and teacher.

“Kids will also hold a 100 million year old fossil dinosaur poo, make a scratch and sniff painting and role-play with a food market. Each of the Banksia Buddies sessions involve a short presentation, story and song followed by free play and craft so the kids are really engaged throughout and most of all have lots of fun.”

Banksia Buddies is now one of Sydney’s best nature play programs for early year’s children, which run every Tuesday and Thursday during the school holidays, which kicks off next Tuesday 30 June 2015.

The Banksia program offerings are growing these school holidays with Banksia Babies and Banksia Buddies meets My Little Ponies launching in Centennial Park next week.

Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa Launches New John McDermott Gallery and Photography Tours


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Illustrating how authentic indigenous experiences can be creatively enhanced by international flair, Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa in Siem Reap, Cambodia now proudly houses The McDermott Gallery, featuring an ethereal collection of Angkor monument images by the award-winning photographer John McDermott, who is also hosting guests for exclusive photography tours of these iconic UNESCO temple ruins.


John first came to Angkor in 1995 to witness a total eclipse of the sun. Inspired by the surreal light of the eclipse, he spent over a decade creating a definitive artistic portrait of the ancient Khmer temples before the arrival of tourism. These magical images reveal a hidden realm of Angkor temples lost in the forest, conjuring a 19th century explorer’s dream.

John’s evocative Angkor photography can be seen in his fine art book Elegy: Reflections on Angkor and at his galleries in Siem Reap. His images are on display at the National Museum in Phnom Penh and have been published and exhibited worldwide. His photographs are held in private collections worldwide and have been printed in numerous books and publications, including Time, Newsweek, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Times which calls John McDermott “the Ansel Adams of Angkor”, writing that his photographs are “not just beautiful but iconic. . . dreamlike photos which look as though they were taken in an ancient, forgotten world.”


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Housed in a setting that is perfectly suited to viewing and appreciating the dramatic photography, The McDermott Gallery is located on the second floor in an open air environment overlooking the resort’s beautiful front courtyard. All artworks on display at the gallery are available for sale.

Anantara Angkor Resort & Spa is also delighted to offer once in a lifetime Angkor photography tours with John McDermott for guests who aspire to take direction from this leading photographer. The new bespoke tours are tailored to the personal interests and passions of each guest, whether they are a budding amateur or a more serious photographer who would relish the opportunity to capture magnificent images of these ancient ruins. Half day photography tours are priced at USD $350 per couple and full day tours are charged at USD $600 per couple.

For more information, please contact Anantara Angkor Resort and Spa on  +855 63 966 788 or email  angkor@anantara.com

Cruise the Mediterranean with Silversea Cruises


Indulge in the classic elegance of the Mediterranean with Silversea Cruises



Enjoy the postcard-perfect sights of quaint Greek villages and iconic Turkish minarets as Silver Wind sails through the Aegean Sea on a 9-day voyage.

Departing from Istanbul, Turkey on 21 October 2015, guests are treated to an overnight stay in this stunning port where Europe and Asia meet, before sailing to Kusadasi, and Marmaris. Here, guests can discover the ancient and sacred sites of the Temple of Apollo and Claros, or explore the picturesque coastline of the Turkish Riviera. Continuing her journey, Silver Wind ports in Alanya, renowned for its long Mediterranean beaches that sweep across the town's rock citadel, and Antalya, a destination rich in natural and historic beauty.

Silver Wind then sails to the breathtaking isles of Greece, docking in Rhodes, Santorini and Nafplion. With ancient medieval architecture, crystalline waters and spectacular scenery, guests will be immersed in the classic masterpiece that is the Mediterranean. This voyage concludes in Piraeus (Athens), with guests disembarking on 30 October 2015.

Prices are per person starting from AU$5,350 in a Vista Suite double occupancy. Silversea fares include: all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.

To enhance Silversea's 2015 Mediterranean all-inclusive pricing, guests are able to take advantage of included Silver Shore Select excursions, which are offered in every port of call, as well as two hours of WiFi per day.

Book this voyage by 30 June 2015 and select a two-category suite upgrade, 50% savings on a second suite or US$1,000 onboard credit per suite to use for shore excursions, spa treatments, specialty restaurants and more.

This voyage is subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872, or visit www.silversea.com

Follow Silversea on Twitter, Facebook and the Silversea Blog.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

World cruise sectors from $144 a day aboard Magellan named after round world explorer.



See the World – or a Bit of It

From Only $144 a Day

Cruise Express is offering Australians the chance to join a round-the-world voyage in 2017 aboard Magellan, Cruise and Maritimes Voyages' newest ship, named after the Portuguese explorer who led the first circumnavigation of the world almost 500 years ago.

Ferdinand Magellan headed the first voyage around the planet in 1519 but only one of the ships finished the circumnavigation in 1522 and without Magellan, who passed away during the voyage.

The 2017 world voyage aboard the 1250-passenger Magellan will offer passengers infinitely more comfort than that experienced by the early explorers, although the ship, known for its warm and friendly ambience, is still small enough for crew to know passengers by name. Magellan will take 120 nights to visit 45 destinations, including Australia where local, modern-day explorers can embark or disembark the ship for a traditional line voyage between here and England.

Departing Tilbury, England, on January 5, 2017, Magellan will visit Amsterdam and then head for the Azores in the Atlantic and the Caribbean before transiting the Panama Canal on course to the Mexican Riviera, Tahiti, the Cook Islands and New Zealand, before visiting Sydney, the Whitsundays, Townsville, Cairns and Darwin. From Australia, the itinerary takes in ports across Asia, the Maldives, India and Oman as well as Egypt, the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean, with Magellan ending the four-month odyssey back in Tilbury on May 5, 2017.

Cruise Express is offering Australians various world cruise sectors including:

* 27 nights from Sydney on February 23, 2017, to Hong Kong from $3899 per person, twin-share, or $144 a day
* 37 nights from Sydney on February 23, 2017, to Singapore from $5399 per person, twin-share
* 49 nights from Tilbury on January 5, 2017, to Sydney, from $7069 per person, twin-share
* 71 nights from Sydney on February 23, 2017, to Tilbury from $10,249 per person, twin-share
* The full 120-night world voyage from Tilbury on January 5, 2017, from $17,550 per person, twin
    share, or $146 a day

Connecting flights can also be booked through Cruise Express. For bookings and details, call Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au

Monday, 22 June 2015

Save Up to 40% Plus Free Breakfast at Over 100 AccorHotels

Rates from as low as $71 per night

AccorHotels' famous Super Sale – one of the best online hotel sales in the world – is back again, offering discounts of up to 40% plus free breakfast for members of AccorHotels' loyalty programs (Accor Plus and Le Club AccorHotels) and 30% with free breakfast for the general public when booking onwww.accorhotels.com

Rates start from as low as $71 a night at Ibis Styles Eagle Hawke in Canberra, $125 at ibis Sydney World Square, $139 at Novotel Brisbane and $146 at Pullman Melbourne on the Park.

The sale applies to selected hotels across Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, The Sebel, Novotel, Mercure, ibis, ibis styles and ibis budget hotels across Australia.

With over 100 hotels participating in the sale, holiday seekers can chase the sun in Cairns, Port Douglas or Palm Cove; choose to rug up by the fireplace in the heart of wine country in the Hunter or Barossa Valley, or enjoy a romantic city escape to Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra or Perth – the choices are endless.

The sale applies to bookings made online from 22-26 June 2015 for stays between 10 July–29 August 2015.

Bookings are subject to availability and conditions apply. To book head towww.accorhotels.com.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

What's On in Melbourne's Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges




ALL MONTH


HIGH TEAS - Across various venues in the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges

LIVE MUSIC - Live music is happening in venues across the Yarra Valley & Dandening Ranges

U-PICK - There is always a variety of U-Pick available in the Yarra Valley & Dandenong Ranges.

Tractor Fruit Tasting at Rayners Stonefruit Orchard

Fruit Bottling Workshops at Rayners Stonefruit Orchard


REGIONAL EXHIBITIONS

Consequences by Jenny Reddin - Memo, Healesville - June 5 - 30

Lynette Orzlowski. Unleashed - Art at Linden Gate, Yarra Glen - May 29 - July 6

Australia Will Be There - Yarra Ranges Regional Museum, Lilydale - May 30 - Aug 23

Contents Under Pressure: Stencil Art in Australia from 2003 - 2010 - Burrinja Cultural Centre, Upwey - May 26 - Jun 28

MARKETS

St Andrews Market - every Saturday

Yarra Valley Organic Market at Healesville's Coronation Park - every Saturday

Upper Ferntree Gully Market - every Saturday

ALL THE MARKETS FOR THE REGION LISTED HERE:

YARRA VALLEY & DANDENONG RANGES MARKETS


VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES (VICS)

Need more information regarding the local region? Then contact your nearest VIC and chat to the team of friendly staff and volunteers. They can also help you with your accommodation needs.

Dandenong Ranges VIC - 1211 Burwood Hwy, Upper Ferntree Gully. Phone: 03 9758 7522

Marysville VIC - Murchison St, Marysville. Phone: 03 5963 4567

Warburton VIC - 3400 Warburton Hwy, Warburton. Phone: 03 5966 9600

Yarra Valley VIC - The Old Courthouse, Harker St, Healesville. Phone: 03 5962 2600


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Tauck: 7 Day Cuba Tour. Miami return 2015


Book now and receive 1 FREE hotel night before or after your trip at Hyatt Regency Coral Gables*

For immediate release: 18 June 2015

Tauck has been providing People-to-People educational exchange travel to Cuba since 2012. Meet with local residents and share thoughts, gain knowledge, and connect with Cuba's cultural heritage on our 7-day, Havana-based Cuba: Connecting with People and Culture. Centered on key themes of Cuban culture, travellers will have the opportunity to interact directly with the people of Cuba. Meet Cuban students, teachers, architects, artisans, musicians, farmers and athletes. Dine at paladares (small, privately operated Cuban restaurants) and connect with Cuba and Cubans on Tauck's cultural exchange.

Tauck Value Includes:

· All hotel accommodation – 1 night in Miami at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables and 5 nights in Havana at the Meliá Habana

· Tauck's "Leave Your Worries at Home" service, with all day-to-day travel details taken care of for you

· Escorted travel from the moment your People-to-People trip begins in Miami, accompanied by a professional Tauck Director and experienced local Cuban guides, all fluent in both English & Spanish

· Six days of "People-to-People" educational exchange in Havana, Finca Vigia, Viñales and Pinar del Rio

· Discussions with representatives from Cuban community and arts organizations, educational institutions and museums, community art projects, architectural preservation organizations, tobacco and cigar production facilities, baseball organizations and more

· Exclusive Tauck Experiences fostering meaningful cultural connections with Cuban families, artists, musicians, students, educators, agricultural workers, artisans, entrepreneurs, community leaders, baseball coaches and players and others

· All ground transportation

· Airport transfers upon arrival and departure

· All meals in Cuba – 17 (6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners), including authentic Cuban cuisine at local restaurants and private paladares throughout your trip

· All gratuities to Tauck Director, local guides and drivers, hotel and restaurant staff; all taxes, admission fees, porterage and departure tax

From US$5,490* pp twin share 7 day tour departs 15, 22 Oct; 5, 12 Nov & 3 +17 Dec '15

24 Dec '15 from US$5,890*pp twin share

*Prices are per person twin share are in US dollars. Prices are correct as at 11 June '15. Seasonal surcharges apply. Prices are subject to availability, currency fluctuations and seasonal surcharges. Free hotel night is not guaranteed and is subject to availability. One room per reservation



Sales Now Open on Biggest Cruise Ship to Ever Visit Australia - Ovation of the Seas


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Maiden season fares start from only $979 including exclusive charter on historic first voyage Down Under

Cabins can now be booked to and from Australia aboard the biggest and newest cruise ship to ever visit our shores – the massive, 5000-passenger Ovation of the Seas, with leading cruise agency, Cruise Express, offering fares from just $979 on an exclusive charter on the ship’s first voyage Down Under from Singapore to Australia.

Stretching for more than a third of a kilometre (348m) with an aerial observatory reaching higher than the pylons on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Royal Caribbean International’s A$1.3 billion Ovation of the Seas will be the world’s fourth largest cruise ship when she arrives in Australia for a ground-breaking season here in December, 2016, just eight months after her launch next April.

Currently under construction in Germany, Ovation of the Seas will boast features never before seen on a ship in Australia including a glass capsule suspended 91m above the sea, a skydiving simulator, flying trapeze school, bumper car arena, 19 restaurants and cafes, super-fast internet, a multi-sensory show arena, a robot bar and wristbands that open cabin doors and make onboard purchases. Also offering four pools, the 168,666-ton ship will be 14 per cent bigger than the Queen Mary 2 (current title holder of the biggest cruise ship to visit Australia) and the most technologically advanced ship to ever sail here.

During her maiden season here, the head-turning, 18-deck Ovation of the Seas will offer three, round-trip cruises from Sydney to New Zealand in December, 2016, and January, 2017, as well as a chartered cruise from Singapore to Australia on November 30, 2016, and a voyage back to Singapore on January 23, 2017.

Cabins on the first voyage are only on sale via selected agents, including Cruise Express. Per person twin share fares on this special, inaugural voyage from Singapore to Australia are available from $979 to Perth (six nights), $1879 to Adelaide (11 nights), $2239 to Hobart (13 nights), $2339 to Melbourne (13 nights including flight from Hobart to Melbourne as Ovation will not call at Melbourne), and $2599 to Sydney (15 nights) for her first spectacular arrival in the harbour city on December 15, 2016.

The three, round-trip cruises from Sydney to New Zealand - a 15-night Christmas departure on December 15, 2016, a 10-night New Year’s holiday on December 30, 2016, and a 14 night itinerary from January 9, 2017 - are available from $1899 per person, twin-share, for the 10-night cruise. The 14-night cruise from Sydney back to Singapore on January 23, 2017, is available from $1889 per person, twin-share. Onboard spending credits of up to $100 per stateroom are also available

Cabins for Ovation of the Seas’ five-cruise maiden Australian season are expected to fill quickly. Fares are subject to availability. For details and bookings, call Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au.

Ovation of the Seas maiden voyage to Australia on sale now





Cruiseco, the leading provider of cruising options in Australia and New Zealand, is now offering guests the chance to book cabins on board Ovation of the Seas' maiden voyage to Australia. This latest addition to Royal Caribbean International's fleet will depart from Singapore on 30 November 2016, visiting four ports in Australia, providing travellers with a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the inaugural sailing.

Amber Wilson, International Marketing Manager, says:

"Ovation of the Seas' state-of-the-art facilities are set to completely redefine cruising in Australia. Cruiseco is delighted to exclusively charter the full ship for her first voyage to Australia. As the biggest ship to ever sail Australian waters, this very special event will provide guests with memories to last a lifetime. Whether you're a first time cruiser, or a seasoned traveller, there is something for everyone onboard Ovation of the Seas."

"The facilities will be truly spectacular - from 'North Star', a large capsule that carries passengers over 300-feet above sea level, to the 'RipCord', an air machine that lets you feel like you're flying. The cruise ship offers the perfect experience for the entire family. Not only is there access to a myriad of fun and exciting facilities, such as wave surfing and bumper cars, but also an incredible 18 different dining options and exquisite cabins with all the mod-cons. This truly is the ultimate holiday for the whole family.

Ovation of the Seas' debut Australian voyage is on sale now, with the following itinerary options available:

· Singapore to Fremantle: 6-night voyage, with fares starting from AU$979 per person, based on twin share.

· Singapore to Adelaide: 11-night voyage, with fares starting from AU$1,879 per person, based on twin share.

· Singapore to Hobart: 13-night voyage, with fares starting from AU$2,239 per person, based on twin share.

· Singapore to Melbourne: Although Ovation of the Seas will not visit Melbourne, guests wishing to travel from Singapore to Melbourne will disembark in Hobart and fly to Melbourne. Fares for this 13-night voyage start from AU$2,339 per person, based on twin share. This price includes transfers to Hobart airport and a one-way economy class flight from Hobart to Melbourne.

· Singapore to Sydney: 15-night voyage, with fares starting from AU$2,599 per person, based on twin share.

Cabins on the inaugural sailing to Australia are available for sale exclusively through Cruiseco agents. To book, visit your local Cruiseco agent or www.cruising.com.au.

"This is an opportunity not to be missed – I encourage guests to book quickly before cabins sell out," adds Amber.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Herman’s Hermits playing at the Novotel Vines Resort


NO MILK TODAY – WINE DINNER AND HERMAN'S HERMITS

Two nights of nostalgia at The Novotel Vines resort in August

If you are into something good, then book yourself some tickets to see the legendary Herman's Hermits playing at the Novotel Vines Resort for two nights only, Friday 7th & Saturday 8th August, 2015.

From 6.30pm you will be able to sing along to the hits of the 60's and reminisce with hits such as There's a Kind of Hush, I'm into Something Good, Henry the 8th and "Mrs Brown you've got a Lovely Daughter".

One of the most popular and successful English pop bands of the 60's is coming to Perth, with their UK and US chart topping hits. See the iconic Herman's Hermits perform over two nights at the Novotel Vines Resort

Included in your ticket price of $160 per person is a gourmet buffet dinner with your choice of house beer, wine or soft drink on arrival. After dinner there is a cash bar available.

Doors open at 6.30pm with dinner served at 7pm and Herman's Hermits on stage from 8.30pm in the Barrett Lennard Room.

Early bird tickets available now for just $150 per person

Make the most of it and stay the night.... click here to book our Herman's Hermits Accommodation package including 2 tickets to the show with overnight accommodation in a Premium Resort Room (for two people) with buffet breakfast in Muscats Restaurant - just $599 per night.

Bookings essential – book your ticket online at www.vines.com.au

Novotel Vines Resort Verdelho Drive, The Vines WA 6069

www.vines.com.au

 


Thursday, 11 June 2015

Discover the Secrets of Sri Lanka with Byroads Travel on a 13-Day Small Group Tour

Sri Lanka has a magnetic appeal and its gems, pearls, ivory, and spices have attracted seafaring traders for many centuries. In the 13th century Marco Polo visited the island twice and he was followed by the Portuguese, Dutch and British.

Byroads Sri Lanka.Pollonaruwa1
It is a fascinating island, packed with ancient and modern sights, which you’ll discover with Byroads Travel on a 13-day small group tour. Stay in fabulous boutique hotels, see all the major sights, and explore lesser-known gems including the cave temples at Dambulla, picturesque Ella and a secret hideaway on the south coast.

Departs 3 March 2016. $3875 p/p land only twin share).

For details call 02-9357 6800 or visit www.byroads.com.au.

Byroads Sri Lanka.98 Acres Resort


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Cruise Deal - Free Air To New Zealand, Upgrades and Onboard Extras With Celebrity Cruises

Experience the natural beauty of New Zealand in style and comfort onboard Celebrity Solstice, one of Australia’s highest rated cruise ships, and enjoy terrific savings on selected itineraries booked before 20 June 2015, including free international airfares, a free upgrade from an Oceanview to a Balcony Stateroom plus a choice of a free beverage package for two or up to USD$300 onboard credit per stateroom.



A 12-night New Zealand cruise, departing Sydney on 2 November 2015 or from Auckland on 14 November, starts at just $2,499 per person. The twin sailings include calls at Hobart, Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds, Dunedin, Akaroa, Wellington, Tauranga and the Bay of Islands. Fare includes one-way economy airfares between Auckland and Sydney, as well as a free upgrade to a Balcony Stateroom and a free beverage package for two or up to USD$300 onboard credit per stateroom.

Or choose to sample Celebrity Solstice’s unique brand of modern luxury on 12-night New Zealand cruise that also includes Melbourne, departing Sydney on 4 December 2015. Priced from $2,199, the fare includes one-way economy airfares from Auckland to Sydney, as well as a free upgrade to a Balcony Stateroom and a free beverage package for two or up to $300 onboard credit per stateroom.

With its unique contemporary luxe style, Celebrity Cruises lets guests explore New Zealand on the region’s highest rated superliner, offering world class cuisine, outstanding service, exceptional wellbeing and fitness programs, all while taking you to some of the most spectacular destinations.

No other cruise line offers the luxury of a real grass lawn onboard, allowing guests to have a picnic or play a game of boules on manicured lawn in the middle of the Tasman Sea. Celebrity Cruises also provides guests with delectable meals, specially designed spa-holidays in AquaClass rooms and gorgeous spaces throughout the ship to explore or relax in.

Celebrity heightens the modern luxury experience with Suite Class, offering a new private dining experience and more premium inclusions, such as beverage packages, specialty dining, and unlimited internet, a dedicated butler and a VIP lounge for Suite guests.

For more information about or to book a cruise, call 1800 754 500, contact your travel agent or visit http://celebritycruises.com.au/specials/123go/.


Celebrity Cruises AU & NZ Facebook: facebook.com/celebritycruisesausnz 

Celebrity Cruises AU & NZ YouTube: youtube.com/user/celebritycruisesaunz

*Price is a from price only and applies to the lowest category of stateroom. Subject to availability and conditions apply. For full terms and conditions, visit: www.celebritycruises.com.au.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

APT Celebrates the End of the Financial Year with Special Europe River Cruise Savings




Book and pay in full for any 2016 all inclusive luxury APT Royal Collection European River Cruise before 30 June 2015 and you could save up to $2,000 per couple. Furthermore, this special discount is combinable with APT's current brochure offers, such as free return flights.

APT is offering the special savings to celebrate the end of the financial year, with discounts of $1,000 per couple available on select Royal Collection river cruises of 7-14 days and $2,000 per couple on select cruises of 15-day or longer for those than pay in full by 30 June 2015.

The promotion applies to a selection of Royal Collection river cruise departures in Central Europe, France and Portugal, offering guests a choice of destination and departure.

For example book to travel in a category E and D cabin on APT's 15-day Magnificent Europe river cruises from Amsterdam to Budapest in October to December 2016 and as well as free return flights to Europe, including air taxes of up to $1,100 per person, you'll also save an extra $2,000 per couple.

With the saving the cruise is priced from just $6,795 per person, twin share, and travels through five countries: Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary. Highlights include the three royal jewels in APT's sightseeing crown; a journey aboard the luxurious Majestic Imperator train, authentic replica of the Imperial Royal train of the Hapsburgs; a private visit to Namedy Castle, including a cocktail reception and lavish royal banquet; and a private musical soiree at Vienna's newly refurbished City Palace, featuring members of the Mozart Boys' Choir.

Also included are all meals aboard the cruise; complimentary beverages throughout; room service and butler service in select suites, all sightseeing and entertainment; and transfers, port charges and tipping. There is even a fleet of bicycles on board for guests to use at their leisure.

Offer is valid for new bookings that are made on select dates and paid in full by 30 June 2015. For full terms and conditions for this offer, please refer to APT's website aptouring.com.au Offer is subject to availability.

Call APT on 1300 196 420, visit aptouring.com.au or see your local travel agent for more information.

 
 

Glamour Ports of the Mediterranean



Two Weeks of Luxury From only $4759 including Return Flights from Australia

Four nights in a five-star hotel designed to look like an ocean liner on Barcelona’s waterfront will be followed by an eight-night Mediterranean cruise aboard the luxurious Azamara Quest as part of a special holiday package this September offered by Cruise Express.

Some of the most glamorous ports of the Mediterranean, including Monte Carlo, Ibiza, Palamos and Calvi, are included in the cruise which offers the 686 pampered passengers aboard Azamara Quest complimentary beers, wines, spirits, soft drink, bottled water, teas and coffees.

Departing Australia on September 26, 2015, the Cruise Express itinerary begins with a flight from Australia to Barcelona and four nights’ accommodation with breakfast at the deluxe Eurostars Grand Marina Barcelona Hotel which is nestled on the waterfront near the cruise terminals and designed to resemble an ocean liner.






On September 30, guests transfer to a real cruise ship, the stylish Azamara Quest, for an eight-night, round-trip cruise to six ports in Spain, Italy France and Monaco after the peak summer season, and when the crowds have thinned.

First port of call is the famous and lively resort island of Ibiza, followed by Rome and Livorno for tours to nearby Florence and Pisa in Tuscany. The beautiful beaches of Calvi on Corsica, with its imposing, 15th century fortified citadel looming above the town, appear next on the itinerary followed by the glamorous yachts, boutiques and cafes of Monte Carlo. The final destination is the Spanish Riviera resort of Palamos where passengers can top up their tans on the golden beaches.

The cruise also includes a leisurely day at sea aboard Azamara Quest which is renowned for its country club style, intimacy, gourmet cuisine and non-stop pampering from the 408 crew.

Including return flights from Australia, four nights in Barcelona, eight days on Azamara Quest and onboard gratuities, the 14-night package is available from A$4759 per person, twin-share, from Melbourne and Perth, $5059 from Sydney and $5359 from Adelaide and Brisbane.

For bookings and details, call Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au



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