Friday 31 May 2013

China Southern Launches New A330-223s in Perth

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China Southern Airlines has reaffirmed its commitment to the West with an industry event to celebrate the arrival of the airline’s modern A330-223 aircraft on the Perth to Guangzhou route.

Perth and Brisbane have become the first Australian ports to receive the new airliners, which offer the latest Airbus features including fully flat seats in Business and First Class and personal televisions throughout.

To mark the fleet upgrade, which will also include an A380 to Sydney in October, China Southern is offering Western Australian travellers the chance to fly return from Perth to Beijing, Shanghai and the airline’s hub in southern China, Guangzhou, from just $720* ($380 before taxes) in Economy, $2380** in Business and $3800** in First Class.

Speaking at the event at Fraser’s in Kings Park last night, China Southern Regional General Manager Australia/New Zealand Henry He said the airline was proud to offer the only direct connection between Perth and mainland China.

“On our Canton Route, we offer Western Australians direct access to our extensive domestic network and onward travel to nearly 200 destinations around the world. And with the brand new A330-223s on the Perth run the journey from Perth to Guangzhou has become even more enjoyable,” Mr He said.

China Southern's Alex Zhao and Henry He with WA Tourism Min Kim Hames, Chinese Consul General Madame Wang, CEO Tourism WA Stephanie Buckland and CZs Bill Bryant
China Southern's Alex Zhao and Henry He with WA Tourism Min Kim Hames, Chinese Consul General Madame Wang, CEO Tourism WA Stephanie Buckland and CZs Bill Bryant
“Just as more and more Cantonese are visiting Australia’s West Coast to enjoy the food, wine and striking landscapes we are seeing more Western Australians flying to Guangzhou to sample our authentic yum cha and enjoy the cultural attractions of China’s third largest city.

“In the second half of this year, too, Guangzhou will offer Australians flying on our Canton Route to Europe and the rest of the world the chance to stop over in Guangzhou without a visa for up to 72 hours, bringing the city in line with Beijing and Shanghai.”

China Southern operates three weekly flights between Perth and Guangzhou and remains the only airline to offer a direct service from Western Australia to mainland China.

The airline introduced its Perth services in November 2011, with its new A330-223 airliners debuting on the route last month.

Phone China Southern Airlines Customer Contact Centre on 1300 889 628 during AEDST/AEST business hours or visit and

Fares are subject to conditions and availability, on sale now until June 4, 2013, and valid for travel from October 28 to December 7, 2013. Prices include taxes correct at date of release.

**Fares are subject to conditions and availability, on sale now until June 12, 2013, and valid for travel from October 28, 2013 to January 31, 2014. Prices include taxes correct at date of release.

Luxury Soars To New Heights As Avista Hideaway Pushes The Bling Boat Out With 'Sea, Sky, And Serenity' Experience

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Avista Hideaway Resort and Spa, Phuket is elevating ultra-luxury experiences and raising the 'bling' bar once again with their latest 'Sea, Sky, and Serenity' package which includes exploratory boat cruises, high-flying helicopter rides and indulgent daily spa treatments.

Guests are invited to embrace a new view on luxury with Avista and escape into a world of unrivalled sight-seeing adventures and ancient Ayurvedic spa treatments whilst enjoying the secluded comfort of the hilltop resort's Tropical Hideaway Pool Suites.

Extravagance is the order of the day from the moment guests arrive at Phuket airport where Avista's chauffeur will welcome them with champagne and provide private stretched limousine transfer to the resort's dramatic cliff top setting.

From there, guests can enjoy cruising the waters around Phuket with full day private boats to the popular destinations of Phang Nga and Krabi or take the less trodden path to the little-known Freedom Bay Beach, Phuket's best-kept secret beach with powdery white sand accessible by a provided longtail boat.

Perfectly capturing Avista's 'two points of view' philosophy, guests are then invited to discover Phuket's waters from an altogether fresh perspective, taking to the skies by helicopter for a breathtaking tour of Koh Phi Phi, which provides a unique viewpoint of the iconic island.

Sky: Guests at Avista Hideaway Resort and Spa are invited to take to the skies for a breathtaking aerial tour of the stunning scenery around legendary Koh Phi Phi.
Offering an ideal contrast to the sky-soaring and sailing is Avista's renowned spa and very down-to-earth Ayurvedic healing centre where doctors disciplined in the ancient Indian science of life provide guests with a personal consultation to help them achieve emotional and physical balance through drizzling oil therapies and rhythmic body massages.

For a complete immersion into blissful comfort and luxury, guests can enjoy a traditional Thai massage every day at their convenience before settling in for an evening of private rooftop wining and dining under the stars complimented by a personal butler service and uninterrupted views across the Andaman sea and the mesmerising depth of the surrounding foliage.

'Sea, Sky and Serenity' package includes:
  • Accommodation in Tropical Hideaway Pool Suite (maximum 2 persons)
  • Stretched limo airport transfer
  • Daily breakfast, lunch and private dinner with free flow sparkling wine
  • Welcome bottle of champagne
  • Ayurveda spa consultation
  • Daily one hour Thai massage
    Serenity: Guests can enjoy stunning views over Patong and Freedom Bays after an authentic Ayurvedic spa experience at Avista Hideaway Resort and Spa.
  • Helicopter tour around Koh Phi Phi
  • One full day private cruise to Phang Nga and Krabi
  • One day longtail boat trip to Freedom Bay Beach
  • 24 hour butler service
Further details:
  • 5-nights: THB265,000 (now until 31 Oct); THB397,000 (1 Nov 2013 to 31 March 2014)
  • 10-nights: THB428,000 (now until 31 Oct); THB650,000 (1 Nov 2013 to 31 March 2014)
  • 15-nights: THB593,500 (now until 31 Oct); THB925,500 (1 Nov 2013 to 31 March 2014)
**Advance booking is recommended with a minimum 7 days prior to arrival notice based on first come first served basis.

1,000,000 Guests in a Year! Scoot Celebrates its First Millionth Guest with a Special Promotion!

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Scoot, LCC of the Year, welcomed Ms Melissa Cham as its 1,000,000th guest on board its Singapore to Sydney flight early this morning. The million guest milestone comes just a few days ahead of the airline’s first anniversary on 4 June.

Ms Cham was instantly upgraded to ScootBiz and awarded another pair of round-trip ScootBiz tickets to Sydney. In addition, Ms Cham also received a three-night accommodation voucher at the Mercure Sydney Hotel with breakfast for two and an AUD100 dining voucher at The Waterfront Restaurant compliments of Destination NSW.

Said Campbell Wilson, CEO of Scoot, “Reaching a million guests in less than a year of operation, with just four aircraft operating medium-haul flights, is a great milestone for Scoot. It’s especially fitting that the millionth guest travelled on our Singapore–Sydney route, which was Scoot’s inaugural service. We are grateful for their faith and support of each and every one of the million folk who’ve travelled with us.

“To achieve an average load factor above 80% whilst inducting four aircraft and launching nine routes is a good start, but only the start. With a fifth aircraft and flights to Nanjing and Seoul commencing in the next few days, plus 20 Boeing 787’s arriving from next year, Scoot looks forward to introducing Scootitude to millions more in years to come,” continued Campbell.

Special Promotion
In celebration of its millionth guest, Scoot’s airfares are going on sale!
·        From Singapore, fly to Taipei, Nanjing or Tianjin from SGD148; to Qingdao or Shenyang from SGD168, or to Sydney, Gold Coast, Seoul or Tokyo from SGD188.
·        From Gold Coast, fly to Singapore from AUD179.Campbell Wilson - photo_hires
·        From Sydney, fly to Singapore from AUD199.
·        From Taipei, fly to Singapore from TWD2,688, or to Seoul or Tokyo from TWD2,888
·        From Tokyo, fly to Taipei from JPY11,980 or to Singapore from JPY16,980

These special promotional fares are available at from 9.00am (Singapore time) on 30 May 2013 (Thursday) until 11.59pm (Singapore time) on 3 June 2013(Monday), or until seats sell out.

Scoot’s network now comprises nine cities including Singapore, Sydney, Gold Coast, Bangkok, Taipei, Tokyo, Tianjin, Qingdao and Shenyang, with Seoul and Nanjing commencing shortly. Including destinations offered in conjunction with four partner airlines, Scoot’s total network comprises 47 cities. To receive the latest news, updates and exclusive promotional offers, register at or
Scoot was named “LCC of the Year” at the World Low Cost Airlines Asia Pacific Forum’s Budgie$ & Travel Awards in January 2013.

Explore with Accor - Specials to Indonesia, Bali, Lombok and Malaysia



Novotel Lombok pool villas

Travellers are being invited to explore Malaysia, Indonesia, and Bali and Lombok Islands through Accor's recently released "Explore" promotional deals.

"The Explore Malaysia and Indonesia, including Bali-Lombok promotions allow guests to book and stay worry-free, while providing more reasons for domestic and international travelers to come and explore more of these exotic destinations," said Adi Satria, Regional Director for Sales, Marketing & Distribution - Accor Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore.  

The Explore promotional deal for each country is as follows: 

Explore Malaysia

Guests can book rooms at participating Accor hotels in Malaysia with 25% discount off the room rate, complimentary breakfast for two persons, unlimited WiFi access, and a RM50 food and beverage voucher for guests who spend a minimum of RM100 in a single bill at the hotels' restaurants, or a spa voucher to be utilised throughout the stay.

The spa vouchers are available at upscale Pullman hotels only.  

The highlight of the Explore Malaysia package is a chance to win an Apple iPad Mini through a lucky draw held every month.

Le Club Accorhotels and Accor Advantage Plus members will stand twice the chance to win an Apple iPad Mini.

Accor Advantage Plus members also enjoy an additional 15% discount.  

Accor's participating hotels in Malaysia include Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside, Pullman Kuching, Novotel Kuala Lumpur City Centre, ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur Fraser Business Park and ibis Styles Kuala Lumpur Cheras.

The Explore Malaysia package is available for booking from now until 30 June 2013, for stays until 31 August 2013.

Visit for more information about the package  


Explore Bali – Lombok

Guests booking the Explore Bali-Lombok package at participating Accor hotels in Bali and Lombok will have a chance to win one of the following great prizes in the weekly lucky draw: free tickets to see the Kecak dance at Uluwatu temple, pottery lesson at Jenggala Keramik in Jimbaran, rafting, tour to Ubud and many other great prizes.  

In addition, hotel guests can also win a free two-night stay at participating hotels in our monthly lucky draw.

Three lucky winners will each receive a Grand Prize of three-night stay at an Accor hotel in Bali, Malaysia or Singapore.

Accor Advantage Plus and Le Club Accorhotels members stand twice the chance to win the weekly, monthly and the three Grand Prizes.

Accor Advantage Plus members also enjoy an additional 10% discount.

Accor's participating hotels in Bali and Lombok include Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana, The Royal Beach Seminyak Bali - MGallery Collection, Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua – MGallery Collection, Novotel Bali Benoa, Novotel Bali Nusa Dua, Novotel Lombok, Mercure Resort Sanur, Mercure Bali Nusa Dua

The "Explore Bali-Lombok" offers are available through online booking at or through Accor call centre (toll free 62 21 255 33 400) from now until August 31, 2013for stays until 15 September 2013

Explore Indonesia with ibis Family

Accor also extends an Explore program to the ibis family of hotels in Indonesia (ibis, ibis Styles, and ibis budget), for stays until 30 June 2013

Guests staying at ibis family hotels in Indonesia will receive free breakfast for two persons, free WiFi Internet access, and a dining voucher of IDR 50,000 per stay per room at ibis family hotels.

Breakfast and dining vouchers are redeemable at ibis and ibis Styles hotels only.

Through the Explore Indonesia with ibis family package, guests will also get a chance to win a free night stay in a weekly lucky draw

There are more than 500 free night stay vouchers to be won.

Participating ibis family hotels in Indonesia include a total of 20 ibis family hotels in nine cities across Indonesia, including Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Pekanbaru and Balikpapan.  
This offer is valid for every booking and stay from now until 30 June 2013. For more information about Explore Indonesia with ibis family, please visit


Thursday 30 May 2013

Norwegian Launches Europe Bonus Days

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Norwegian Cruise Line is launching a limited time sales event, offering incredible savings on the line’s award-winning cruises throughout Europe.

Guests who book a Europe cruise from May 29 through May 31, 2013, can receive up to $400 to spend on board. Guests can use their on board credit towards a variety of shore excursions in Europe, pampering treatments in the ships’ award-winning Mandara spa, dinner in any of the ships’ specialty restaurants, and much more. Air credits of up to $1,000, military and AARP discounts are also available on select sailings.

Named “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line” five years in a row by the World Travel Awards, Norwegian offers an array of Europe itineraries that give guests the ease, value and convenience of exploring Europe’s most popular ports of call.

Norwegian Spirit’s 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruise offers guests the rare opportunity to visit five countries in one itinerary. Departing from Venice, now through October 14, 2013, guests will have the chance to explore some of the most popular European ports of call, including Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Izmir), Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey; Mykonos, Greece; Naples, Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; Provence (Toulon), France; and Barcelona, Spain. Fares start at $599*.

Guests can explore the Baltic Capitals on a nine-day cruise on board Norwegian Star. Setting sail from Copenhagen, Denmark through September 10, 2013, Norwegian Star will visit ports of call including Berlin (Warnemünde), Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland and Stockholm, Sweden. Fares start at $449.

Norwegian Epic, named “Best Overall Cruise Ship” by the readers of Travel Weekly two years in a row, and “Best Ship for Sea Days” by Cruise Critic, sails seven-day Western Mediterranean itineraries through October 13, 2013 from Barcelona, Spain. Ports of call include Naples, Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Florence/Pisa (Livorno), Italy; Provence (Marseille), France; and Palma, Majorca, Spain, with fares starting at $499*.

Norwegian Jade also offers a variety of exciting European adventures including seven-day Eastern Mediterranean, Adriatic, Greece & Turkey cruises from Venice, Italy. This exciting itinerary includes visits to Dubrovnik, Croatia; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Izmir), Turkey; and Split, Croatia, with fares starting at $399*. Guests can also explore the beauty of Greece on Norwegian Jade’s incredible seven-day Eastern Mediterranean & Greek Isles itinerary from Venice, Italy. Guests will enjoy visiting ports of call such as Corfu, Greece; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; and Olympia (Katakolon), Greece, with fares for the seven-day itinerary starting at $629*.

Vacationers who have time to explore Italy before or after their cruise can choose to add on a convenient Europe Cruise Tour package, offering guests the freedom and flexibility to explore the incredible cuisine, history and culture of Italy. For a limited time, those who book a Cruise Tour will receive an additional $100 to spend on board during their cruise.

Whether guests are embarking on a family vacation, romantic escape or a solo getaway, Norwegian offers a variety of flexible accommodations ranging from Studio staterooms specially designed for solo travelers, to balcony staterooms and opulent suites in The Haven, the ultimate in luxury accommodations.

To book a cruise through Europe on “Europe’s Leading Cruise Line,” contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit

Orlando Bloom Jets Into Sydney for British Airways Event

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Internationally-renowned Hollywood actor Orlando Bloom has been the guest star at an exclusive British Airways lunchtime event in Sydney.

British Airways delivered a touch of the UK to Australia; with guests enjoying beautiful canapés and sipping Pimms while taking in the stunning Sydney Harbour view.

Orlando Bloom in Sydney
Orlando Bloom in Sydney
Arriving in from London this morning, Orlando Bloom joined British Airways VIP customers and Australian celebrities to celebrate the exciting new service updates on the Sydney-London route.

Passengers travelling between Sydney and London can now enjoy the new 777-300ER aircraft, the latest in the British Airways fleet, boasting upgraded products to all cabins.

Orlando Bloom aboard British Airways
As well as the new aircraft, British Airways continues to provide Australian customers the option to fly on their preferred route via Changi Airport, recently named by Skytrax as the best airport in the world. The Australian service now flies into Terminal 5, British Airways’ home at London Heathrow and the best airport terminal in the world according to Skytrax. Australian passengers can enjoy British Airways’ six state-of-the-art lounges, and access to over 100 retail and dining options. Passengers travelling through T5 will also benefit from smoother and seamless connections with British Airways’ vast European network.

Orlando Bloom said: ”I’ve flown with British Airways since I was a boy and it feels really special to be a friend of BA – having gone from European family holidays to being fortunate enough to fly in First. In my mind, there is no better First that British Airways’ First.

“I’ve made a long journey to be with you today, having just flown in from Cannes, and enjoying breakfast in the Concorde Lounge - a delicious breakfast, and even better for the fact that you don’t need to pay at the end.”

Nicole Backo, British Airways Regional General Manager, South West Pacific said: “The event today was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the next chapter for British Airways in Australia and to thank our loyal customers, and having Orlando join us was incredible.

British Airways is very excited about the recent changes on the Australian route, and we are very proud to be building upon our strong heritage of providing the best of British service for our Australian customers.”

The event also served as an opportunity to announce the upcoming launch of British Airways’ chauffeur service for Australian First customers. From July 1, First customers will travel in style to and from Sydney Airport, just as Orlando did today, in either Jaguar or Range Rovers, as provided by Unity Cars.

To celebrate Orlando’s visit and to highlight the style and elegance that sets the airline apart, British Airways is offering a very special fare for Australian passengers. Customers can book a return Club World business class ticket from Sydney to London, and receive a one-leg upgrade to First Class, with prices starting from $7,250*. Seats on this special offer are limited so customers are urged to book early to avoid disappointment. For more information please visit

Celebrate Stockholm with Special Fares from Emirates

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To celebrate its newest European destination announcement, Emirates is offering special fares to Stockholm for Australian travellers.

Return Economy Class airfares start at just $1,766 from Perth, $2,015 from Melbourne, $2,022 from Adelaide, $2,032 from Sydney and $2,049 from Brisbane.

These special airfares are valid for travel between 4th October – 5th December 2013 and 16th January – 24th March 2014. All bookings must be completed by 26thAugust 2013.

Emirates operates 84 flights per week from Australia to Dubai, and with daily onwards connections to Stockholm from 4th September, when flights to the Scandinavian city commence.

Emirates boasts a network of 34 European destinations, all via one convenient stop in Dubai. Passengers across all class enjoy service from an international crew, gourmet food and wine menus and an award-winning inflight entertainment system.

For flight information and bookings contact Emirates on 1300 303 777, visit your local travel agent or go to

Wednesday 29 May 2013

More savings on ASTOR cruise itineraries

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THE generous Saver Fares offered by Cruise & Maritime Voyages on itineraries for the cruise ship ASTOR’s summer season have been extended to June 30.

The Saver Fares allow for discounts of up to 25% on twin cabins aboard the premium cruise ship that will be based in Fremantle from December 11.

The extension of the Saver Fares (beyond the initial expiry date of May 15) is due to a high interest in ASTOR’s inaugural Australian summer season from the strong European cruise market.

This interest has prompted CMV to release a new brochure highlighting the 620-passenger cruise ship ASTOR’s first visit to Australia for its many loyal European customers.

ASTOR, along with cruise ships MARCO POLO and DISCOVERY make up the CMV fleet that are currently enjoying solid European seasons.

The amazing savings offered through the Saver Fares were also including in the new European brochure.

The good news for Australia’s cruise holiday makers is that CMV has decided to extend the Saver Fare offering Down Under to align with the sales dates offered to the many cruise enthusiasts in Europe.

This also means that Australia’s cruise holiday makers will need to secure their preferred cabin quickly to avoid disappointment as they can now expect competition from those in the Northern Hemisphere looking to head to Fremantle to enjoy this premium product and all that Western Australia has to offer.

Saver Fares are applicable to twin cabins only and are not extended to the New Year Cruise on December 30. These fares are also subject to availability.

See a travel agent of visit:

Escape to a Whitsundays winter wonderland

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Swap the winter woollies for a pair of bikinis or boardies and head to the tropical Whitsundays with 25% off a three-night getaway at Daydream Island Resort and Spa.

Bask in the warmth of winter on the Great Barrier Reef and enjoy three nights in a luxurious Garden Balcony Room, a scrumptious full buffet breakfast daily and a bonus $50 voucher to be spent at the onsite Rejuvenation Spa from just $336* per person, twin share.

You can bring the kids along too - children aged up to 14 can stay and eat breakfast free of charge.
The deal also includes a free holiday portrait during your stay, a shell necklace and mocktail on arrival, free Wi-Fi in the Atrium 24 hours a day and over 20 free activities including kayaks, catamarans, stand-up paddle boards, a stingray and shark feeding show and an open air cinema.

The offer is valid for stays between 1 July and 13 September 2013 and available for booking until 10 September 2013. Room upgrades are available.

Daydream Island Resort and Spa is located in the tropical Whitsundays, only a 30 minute boat ride from Hamilton Island and a 30 minute ferry ride from Airlie Beach in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. 

The award-winning resort features 296 rooms and suites and is home to one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoons known as The Living Reef, a great selection of restaurants and bars, lagoon swimming pools, mini golf and a fringing coral reef.

Daydream Island also boasts the world class Rejuvenation Spa, which offers a comprehensive selection of health and beauty treatments including the popular Flowing Melody – an invigorating full body exfoliation underneath a horizontal Vichy shower bar.

For bookings and enquiries call reservations on 1800 075 040, visit or contact your local travel agent.

*Conditions apply: Subject to availability. On sale until 10 Sept 13. For travel 1 July – 13 Sept 13. Children aged 0- 14 years inclusive stay and eat breakfast free of charge when sharing a room with parents/adults and utilising existing bedding. Cots can be provided free of charge. Max capacity of 4 people per hotel room/suite. Max capacity of 8 people per family room. Additional costs apply for transfers.

China Southern Welcomes A380 with Introductory Savings

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China Southern Airlines is celebrating the arrival in Australia of its A380 with attractive introductory savings across three classes on flights to China’s largest cities.

On sale now for a limited time for flights from October 28, 2013, travellers will be able to fly from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth to Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai from $2380* in Business Class and $3800* in First Class. 

a380 runway
Return economy fares from all ports are priced from $720**, or just $380 before taxes.

“These A380 welcome fares are the best we have ever offered to China because we want to celebrate the introduction of the superjumbo when it starts into Sydney on October 28,” said China Southern Regional General Manager Australia/New Zealand Henry He.

“While at this time the A380 will only be on the Guangzhou-Sydney run we are welcoming its arrival by applying the same introductory fares to all our Australian ports - Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth as well as Sydney.”

Mr He said that when the A380 service starts on October 28, all of China Southern’s Australian ports will be serviced by the very latest Airbus aircraft – the A380 Superjumbo in Sydney and brand new A330-200/300 airliners all offering fully flat seats in Business and personal televisions throughout.

“Our fleet is ultra-modern and our fares are ultra-competitive, and I invite all Australians to check out our Canton Route fares to the rest of the world as well as to China.”

For more information see a local travel agent, call 1300 889 628 during AEDST/AEST business hours or visit or

*Fares are subject to conditions and availability, on sale now until June 12, 2013, and valid for travel from October 28, 2013 to January 31, 2014. Prices include taxes correct at date of release.

**Fares are subject to conditions and availability, on sale now until June 4, 2013, and valid for travel from October 28 to December 7, 2013. Taxes correct at date of release.

Amazing Thailand travel deal

Same same but different

Customise your next island holiday getaway to Phuket Thailand with these four star luxury accommodation and flight packages from LivingSocial Escapes. For just $1149 twin share, you can stay for five nights at Dewa Phuket Beach Resort overlooking the Andaman Sea, PLUS five nights at Paradise Koh Yao Boutique Beach Resort and spa located on beautiful Koh Yao Noi Island. Upgrade your accommodation at both resorts for an additional $200 per person. Families or groups of four can choose an eight night stay at Dewa Phuket Beach Resort for just $1799 per person. Each package includes return Air Asia flights leaving Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast or Perth. Daily breakfast, one dinner and airport transfers are included, plus a range of leisure activities. For more information on each packages inclusions and terms and conditions, go to Hurry and book now as this unbelievable offer ends 10 June, 2013.


Papua New Guinea's amazing festival season underway

Huli Wigmen of Tari 

Crocodiles, war chants, flamboyant masks and canoe races are some of the quirky highlights of Papua New Guinea's annual festival season between June and November.

Papua New Guinea's festival season, which includes the popular Goroka Show, the National Canoe and Kundu Festival and the fascinating Crocodile Festival, offers travellers a taste of PNG's rich and varied culture.

The festivals are still largely a local affair meaning travellers get an authentic PNG experience.
With over 800 different languages and hundreds of indigenous cultures, the festivals are colourful displays showcasing epic legends, impressive costumes and traditional Sing-Sing performances.

Key festival highlights include:

National Mask Festival 17-21 July 2013 Kokopo, East New Britain
The National Mask Festival is the only festival of its kind in Papua New Guinea, bringing together tribes from all over the country to showcase their unique and elaborate masks. Each mask's style forges the cultural identity of a tribe, along with costumes, dances and songs. The performances are unique to the National Mask Festival and cannot be found anywhere else, making the festival a truly special and unique traditional experience.

Crocodile Festival 6-7 August 2013 East Sepik Province, Wewak
The Sepik people honour their special bond with crocodiles in the annual Crocodile Festival. This festival features live crocodile encounters, traditional dance contests, and tours of the sacred spirit houses where men undergo intensive initiation rituals. The Sepik River hosts some of the world's largest saltwater and freshwater crocodile populations and the richness of life in this area is celebrated during the WWF-supported festival.

Mount Hagen Show 17-18 August 2013 Mount Hagen
The world-famous Mount Hagen Show attracts up to 75 different tribes from all areas of Papua New Guinea and is one of the largest cultural events in the country. Tribesmen paint and dress themselves in accordance with each of their unique traditional cultures. The festival acts as a display of the colourful variety of cultures within the country and as a peaceful interaction between tribes. The mountain location gives spectacular natural views, making this an ideal festival for travellers who want to experience as much indigenous culture and scenery as possible.

The Goroka Show 13-15 September 2013 Eastern Highlands
This is one of the most exhilarating displays of culture, music and dance in Papua New Guinea and over 100 tribes come together in Goroka for the annual show. Dressing in brightly coloured feathers and body paint representing their tribe they perform Sing-Sings for visitors of other villages. An iconic image of the show is the Asaro Mudmen from a village not far from Goroka who wear hand-made heavy clay masks with mud covered bodies.

National Canoe and Kundu Festival 1 - 4 November 2013 Alotau
This popular festival brings hundreds of tribes to Alotau, along with their impressive canoes, which each tribe spends months making and decorating just for the event. Competitive canoe and sailing races are held as entertainment, as well as traditional songs and dances rarely seen by outsiders. The festival celebrates the crucial role canoes play in the everyday life of Papua New Guineans, as the hundreds of scattered islands mean sea travel is paramount for trade and tribal relations.

The larger festivals can be accessed through organised tours and for the others it is recommended you contact the local tourist board for advice on transport and accommodation.

More information on the festivals and tour operators in the area can be found at

Asaro Mudmen Huli Wigmen of Tari National Mask Festival
Goroka Show Mount Hagen Show

For further information about PNG and its popular upcoming festivals and recommended tour operators visit

Tuesday 28 May 2013

Silversea Expeditions Introduces New Galápagos Cruise And Land Packages

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Silversea Expeditions is offering travellers the opportunity to take advantage of special cruise and land packages for its 2013 Galápagos program.

Seven new shorter Silver Galapagos voyages of just 3 and 4 days have been combined with pre- and post-cruise South America land adventures to create a collection of enticing holiday packages of 8, 10 or 11 days.

"These new cruise and land packages are convenient options for the luxury traveller who wants to experience a Galápagos cruise adventure and also explore some of the most intriguing regions of South America -- but who may not have time for a lengthy holiday," said Karen Christensen, Silversea’s General Manager and Director Sales and Marketing Australasia. 

The new 4-day, Baltra-to-San Cristóbal expedition voyages, encompassing the islands of Santa Cruz, Genovesa, and Seymour Norte, are:
8301A: 28 September – 2 October
8307A: 9 - 13 November
8309A: 23 - 27 November
8311A: 7 – 11 December
The new 3-day, San Cristóbal-to-Baltra voyages, tracing a route through the islands of Española, Santa Cruz, and Plazas Sur, are:
8307B: 13 – 16 November
8309B: 27 – 30 November
8311B: 11 – 14 December
Silver Galapagos expedition cruises offer adventurous travellers the life-enriching chance to discover a wild, pristine paradise that has long been regarded as a natural laboratory of evolution. On complimentary expeditions ashore guided by an experienced image003expedition team (certified by the Galápagos National Park Service), Silversea's guests may experience up-close encounters with an abundance of wildlife that includes sun-basking land iguanas, giant tortoises, blue- and red-footed boobies, colourful marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins and Darwin's famous finches.

The cruise and land packages include an expedition voyage aboard the luxurious, all-suite Silver Galapagos, Silversea's Galápagos air package (between Quito or Guayaquil and Galápagos), the Galápagos National Park entrance fee, plus pre- or post-cruise South America land extensions. The land programs include deluxe hotel accommodation, all transportation, transfers, guided sightseeing and some meals.

Below is a selection of the new Galápagos cruise and land package options (prices are per person, based on double occupancy):

8-Day Machu Picchu & Galápagos Package
Guests will enjoy 2 days surrounded by the history and culture of Ecuador's vibrant capital on the "Quito Discovery" land extension before embarking on their 3-day Galápagos expedition cruise. After witnessing the natural treasures of the Galápagos Islands from their base of luxury aboard Silver Galapagos, guests will then journey to Peru to spend 3 days exploring the glorious Lost City of the Incas on an exciting "Machu Picchu Explorer" land adventure, highlighted by a scenic journey in Peru's Vistadome train. This 8-day package is priced from AU$6,833.

10-Day Puno, Lake Titicaca & Galápagos Package
The magnificent Andes and Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, are the setting for an exciting 4-day "Puno & Lake Titicaca" pre-cruise adventure. Highlights include a visit to the Sillustani tombs, a cruise to the floating reed islands of the Uros people with their centuries-old way of life, and a visit to Taquile Island to admire ancient weaving traditions. Guests then embark Silver Galapagos for an unforgettable 4-day expedition voyage through the Galápagos Islands, followed by 2 days absorbing the fascinating sights and attractions of Ecuador's capital on the "Quito Discovery" post-cruise land extension. This 10-day package is priced from AU$7,703.

11-Day Amazon Explorer & Galápagos PackageGuests enjoy 2 days taking in the artistic, cultural and historic attractions of Ecuador's capital on the "Quito Discovery" land extension before embarking on their 3-day expedition voyage aboard the elegant Silver Galapagos. Following the Galápagos program is a unique 6-day journey to Peru's Amazon basin where it is possible to witness pygmy marmosets, howler monkeys, colourful toucans and other exotic wildlife that inhabit the region's lowland forests. Participants will cruise the Amazon in all-suite luxury aboard m/v Aqua, dining on perhaps the finest Amazonian-Peruvian gourmet cuisine on the river. Expert naturalists will be on hand to share insights about this amazing and fragile ecosystem. This 11-day package is priced from AU$9,559.

For more details on the new Galápagos cruise and land packages, visit 

For more information and a brochure contact your preferred Travel Professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit

Sell two Topdeck trips and see Australia or NZ free

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Sell two Topdeck Australia or New Zealand trips by 30 September and score your own free adventure of up to 15 days in either country.

The ‘Sell 2 Get 1 Free’ offer applies to sales of any of the youth travel brand’s Australia and New Zealand itineraries - from the 3-day Bay to Bay through NZ’s spectacular Bay of Islands to the 24-day Grand Aussie from Sydney to Darwin via Queensland.

The two trips sold can be on the same or different booking numbers.

The offer applies to new confirmed bookings paid in full and travelling before 30 September. All Topdeck passengers/agents must be 18 to 39 years old at the time of booking.

Topdeck unveiled its 2013 Australia and New Zealand program in March, offering over 50 thrilling itineraries with over 3000 departure dates which take travellers from Sydney, Cairns and Uluru to Fiordland National Park, Fox Glacier, Queenstown and more.

The program features a host of exciting new experiences including kangaroo and emu meat tasting in a tiny outback town in South Australia and a Great Barrier Reef cruise.

Some of its most popular itineraries include the 14-day Island Suntanner from Sydney to Cairns featuring surfing lessons in Crescent Head, a Fraser Island 4WD adventure, overnight sailing in the Whitsundays and a Great Barrier Reef cruise.

For more information email, contact your sales manager or visit

*Offer subject to availability, valid for trade only and not combinable with any other offer. 2 passengers confirmed on any Australia and or New Zealand Topdeck trip equates to 2 trips sold - this can be on the same or different booking numbers. All Topdeck Australia and New Zealand trips are eligible to count towards the total of 2 trips sold, with the longer of the trips dictating the length of free travel available to the agent up to a maximum of 15 days. The offer applies to new confirmed bookings made by and travelling before 30 Sept 13. The free trip is within Australia or New Zealand only with any additional costs outside of the specified inclusions being the responsibility of the agent/passenger. The 'Sell 2 Get 1 Free' cannot be redeemed by agent for travel for the following  trips and their reverse trips operated in the Northern Territory; Opals and Outback, Rock N Top, Rock The Centre, Didgeridoo Dreams, Kakadu & Litchfield. Other conditions apply. Visit

Book your Sunny Escape this Winter, with Club Med’s ‘Free Nights’ Promotion

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Aussies looking to escape the cold weather this winter can take advantage of Club Med’s newly released ‘Free Nights’ promotion, which offers up to 3 nights free during a minimum 7-night stay at selected sun resorts.
Available across 6 premium all-inclusive sun resorts worldwide, the deal is only available for bookings made between now and 30 June 2013, for travel between now and 31 October 2013.

Club Med Bintan IslandOffering fantastic value and activities to suit all the family, the all-inclusive packages start from just $1020 per adult and $590 per child for 7 nights*. The packages include accommodation, threegourmet meals daily, open bar and snacking service, Kids Club for 4 to 17 year olds, a wide variety of sports and activities with expert tuition, daily and evening entertainment, return airport transfers and Club Med membership with travel insurance.

The promotion is valid during peak and off-peak travel periods, including the July and September school holidays, and connecting rooms for families are allocated and guaranteed upon availability at time of reservation.

With a wide choice of premium resorts, Club Med has a destination to suit all holidaymakers - whether they are seeking adventure and excitement, relaxation and pampering, culture and cuisine or pure indulgent luxury.

Escapes for families: Phuket (Thailand), Cherating Beach (Malaysia), Nusa Dua (Bali) 
Phuket, Thailand
Located on the stunning Kata Bay, the resort is the perfect place to discover the tastes and culture of Thailand. The newly renovated resort has a quiet Zen pool area and a specialty restaurant with local cuisine. Packages start from $1,020 per adult and $590 per child. Club Med PhuketChildren under four stay free. 

Escapes for couples: Guilin (China), Bintan Island (Indonesia), Kani (Maldives) 
Bintan Island, Indonesia
With miles of sandy beaches, beauty of lush natural surroundings and premium spa and well-being offerings, the island of Bintan in the south of Singapore is a haven of tranquility and refinement, combining modernity with Asian tradition. Club Med Bintan Island recently won the 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of excellence, cementing its reputation as the perfect destination to relax and rejuvenate. Stay 7 nights and pay for 5, with packages starting from $1380 per person – savings of $485.

For bookings and enquiries contact your local travel agent, call Club Med on 1800 258 263 or visit 

Club Med Kani
*Terms and Conditions; Winter Sun Free Nights Offer -
For sale until 30 June 2013. For travel until  31 October 2013 depending on seasonality for high and low season. Minimum 7 night's consecutive stay required, at all resorts in this promotion.High season: Stay 7, Pay 5 promotion available for: Guilin, Bintan Island and Kani. Stay 7, Pay 4 promotion available for: Phuket, Cherating Beach and Bali Nusa Dua. Based on travel dates: 21 September 2013 for Phuket, Cherating Beach and Bali Nusa Dua. Guilin, Bintan Island and Kani are based on travel 31 August 2013. Savings and pricing advertised based on per person accommodation for adults (12+), staying in asuperior room twin share non-connecting, except for Bali (Superior Balcony room twin share non-connecting) and Guilin (superior courtyard hotel room). Other departure dates may be available on the same Free Nights offer at the same or different pricing. Prices may vary for stays overlapping two travels periods. Offer valid for new bookings only and subject to availability and may change without notice. Not valid for Group travel and not valid in conjunction with any other offer. For full terms and conditions, please contact Club Med.

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