Thursday 31 October 2013

Unique weddings at sea with Sea Cloud Cruises

Those seeking a unique and utterly romantic wedding celebration can now tie the knot aboard a magnificent tall ship with Sea Cloud Cruises, the specialist in boutique yachting.

Sea Cloud Cruises’ two elegant and intimate sailing yachts - the 64-guest Sea Cloud or the 94-guest Sea Cloud II - offer the highest standards of luxury, personalised service and gourmet cuisine, combined with a relaxed, convivial ambiance. Couples can choose whether to charter the whole vessel for their wedding, or simply have an intimate wedding aboard with close family or friends.

A special Wedding Package is available for EUR 1.995, which includes a traditional legal marriage ceremony performed by the captain; completion of all official procedures and fee payments; a bottle of Champagne; a Champagne breakfast served in the couple’s cabin; a romantic dinner for two; a wedding reception including Champagne and canapés, and honeymoon decoration in the couple’s cabin.

Sea Cloud made her debut in 1931 and was widely regarded as the most magnificent sailing yacht in the world. Many features of the legendary windjammer are preserved in the luxurious style of the 1930’s, creating a unique and impressive backdrop for any voyage. Sea Cloud II combines the atmosphere of her sister ship with the very latest in modern comfort. The intimate size of the yachts mean they can access idyllic anchorages that larger ships cannot reach.

The two windjammers sail to a range of enticing regions worldwide, including the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and Cuba, and Costa Rica and Central America. After their wedding onboard, couples can begin their honeymoon immediately, exploring these exotic regions from the luxury of their Sea Cloud Cruises sailing yacht.

For instance, a romantic 7 night round trip Caribbean cruise on Sea Cloud II is available from 31 March to 07 April 2014.  Sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados couples will enjoy picture-book perfect islands, idyllic beaches and dreamy sun filled days as they call in to ports such as the fashionable St Barts, Anguilla and the Iles des Saintes.  Rates start from €2,095 per person and include all meals, excursions, port fees and beverages.

For more information on Sea Cloud Cruises and the various sailing adventures on offer please contact Sales Activation Marketing (Sea Cloud Cruises representative for Australia/New Zealand) on toll free 1300 583 572 (Australia) or or visit

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Astor offering huge savings on Bali cruise

When it comes to Australians holidaying, two types of getaway dominate the wish lists – cruising and Bali.

Cruise and Maritime Voyages is allowing passengers to combine both of these two great loves on the spectacular ship ASTOR.

It is also currently offering a very generous cabin upgrade as well.
Book in a Category 3 cabin on either the full 11-night Fremantle-Bali-Fremantleitinerary; the 5-night Fremantle-Bali itinerary; or the 6-night Bali-Fremantleitinerary and receive a complimentary upgrade to a Category 7 cabin.

Australia’s cruise fans are loving the fact that they can now break up some ofASTOR’s amazing itineraries to fit in to their own schedules.

The details of the Bali cruise, including the upgrade offer are:
  • 11-nights (Frem-Bali-Frem – departs Jan 2, 2014) from $1669pp (save $1040pp)
  • 5-nights (Frem-Bali – departs Jan 2, 2014) from $760pp (save $470pp)
  • 6-nights (Bali-Frem – departs Jan 7, 2014) from $910pp (save $569pp)
This amazing upgrade offer is available to new bookings only and is available for sale until November 30, 2013.

The prices listed above are based on the cruise only, on a twin share basis and include port charges, taxes and gratuities. Visas, transfers and shore excursions, plus Indonesian departure taxes are not included.
The upgrade is subject to the availability of cabins.

Contact a travel agent for more information or visit:

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"What a performance" at Fancourt in South Africa

bfe078af58f38578_400x400arGuests at Fancourt are in for a real treat as Fancourt showcases local South African talent on selected "Classic Thursdays" from October until mid March 2014.

This month saw the first of a number of “Classic Thursdays” - a series of seasonal classic dance and music concerts to be hosted at Fancourt on South Africa’s famous Garden Route.

Each show will feature top local musicians and music groups, as well as dance troupes from academies in the area. The concerts will be held at the glamorous ballroom at the Fancourt Conference Centre.

Concerts take place between 19:00 and 20:00 on selected Thursdays from 10 October until 14 March next year. Tickets are R100 (less than £7) per person and R30 (less than £2) for scholars.

The hour-long concerts will offer lovers of the classic performing arts in George and other nearby towns the chance to enjoy high quality 'live' productions in one of the most beautiful settings on the Garden Route. Making the drive 8aaf076b15261651_800x800arworthwhile is the option of rounding off the evening with a delicious dinner at one of Fancourt's superb restaurants. Contemporary European cuisine can be savoured at the elegant Henry White's restaurant, while La Cantina offers one of the best Italian-style family dining experiences in the region.

The series kicked off on 10 October with a celebration of dance, featuring a combined performance by the Dance Academy's Studio Group, the talented young dancers from the Diana Townsend School of Ballet and the George High dance group .

On 31 October a choral performance by the South Cape Children's Choir is sure to inspire a new appreciation of this music genre, when 104 young voices from primary schools along the Garden Route will be raised in unison, under the baton of Concert Director, Jan-Erik Swart.  Swart also happens to be the classical music curator of the Absa Klein Karoo National Arts Festival.

With Swart once again at the helm, the charismatic George Male Choir will take the stage on 14 November. With renditions of contemporary classics, their range of rich tenors and baritones will be showcased.

The Appassionata Ensemble , directed by Elisabeth Potgieter, will herald the start of the festive season on 12 December with accomplished young pianists James Redfern and Laura Pauna welcoming in the new year on 9 January 2014 with their passionate Piano Duo recital .

The Classic Thursdays concert season concludes on 14 March with a foray into the fabulous world of cabaret, when Tenor Voldi George and Soprano Petronel Baard (previous winner of the Afrikaanse Taal en Kultuurvereniging Crescendo song competition) will present their brilliant slice of musical theatre, Come to the Cabaret.

Selected concerts will also form part of Fancourt's annual Festive Season Festivities , a jam-packed programme of events, activities and sensory experiences that are designed to create happy memories for the whole family.

To book tickets for the Classic Thursdays concerts call Fancourt on +27 (0) 44 804 0000.

For more information visit    and Follow on Twitter on @FANCOURTSA or contact Fancourt on +44 804 0010 or email .

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Wednesday 30 October 2013

Kids Sail Free On Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line has a present for parents: kids* sail free on a range of sailings fleetwide*** in November and December 2013, offering incredible family fun.  Available through November 8, 2013, Norwegian’s Kids Sail Free offer is applicable on new reservations and is combinable with most other offers, including the “Let’s Cruise” sales event, on now.

Norwegian’s newest ship, Norwegian Breakaway, recently voted “Best New Ship” by Cruise Critic, offers families an array of family-fun opportunities including exclusive Nickelodeon programming; a massive five-slide Aqua Park, featuring the fastest waterslides at sea; and so much more. In addition, families can cruise comfortably in a variety of stateroom categories including Family Suites. Norwegian Breakaway sails seven-day cruises from New York City to the Bahamas & Florida, visiting Orlando and the Beaches (Port Canaveral), Florida; Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, Norwegian’s very own private Island. 

Fares start at $399**.vcsPRAsset_950942_104150_78dd909f-7922-4366-b6b9-1197e6614545_0
Kids can sail free on Norwegian Epic, the ship Named “Best Ship for Sea Days” by Cruise Critic and“Best Overall Cruise Ship” by the readers of Travel Weekly two years in a row.  Norwegian Epic features exclusive Nickelodeon-themed activities and entertainment, as well as the array of other exciting entertainment and dining options that guests of all ages will enjoy while cruising to the Eastern Caribbean on seven-day cruises from Miami. Families will love exploring tropical destinations including: Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas, with fares starting at $339**.

Families who book a cruise on board the recently-enhanced Pride of America can explore Hawai`i on the line’s seven-day inter-island cruises, setting sail year-round from Honolulu. This unparalleled itinerary offers families nearly 100 hours of port time and visits Hawai’i’s four main islands, including an overnight in Kahului, Maui; an overnight in Nãwiliwili, Kaua`i; stops in Hilo, Hawai`i and Kona, Hawai`i; as well as an afternoon cruise by the jaw-dropping Nãpali Coast, fares start at $999**.

Norwegian’s Kids Sail Free is also available on a range of other ships and sailing dates from homeports around the US and Europe, including Norwegian Pearl and Norwegian Sun from Miami; Norwegian Gem from New York, Norwegian Jewel from New Orleans, Norwegian Dawn from Tampa and Norwegian Spirit from Barcelona. Select three and four-day sailings on Norwegian Sky from Miami are also available for families who are looking for a shorter cruise vacation option.

Norwegian recently enhanced its youth program, Splash Academy, and teen program, Entourage, and this limited time offer is the perfect opportunity for families to experience these new programs, which have received rave reviews from parents and kids alike. Both Splash Academy and Entourage feature a different theme every day. Whether it’s ocean-related, pirates, space cowboys, jungle fever or circus, every day offers kids a new surprise - tailored to their specific age group - Guppies for ages up to - 2; Turtles for ages 3 to 5; Seals for ages 6 to 9; and Dolphins for ages 10 to 12. The enhanced curriculum focuses on team building and assisting in developing children’s interpersonal and confidence-building skills. With activities that are tailored specifically to each age group, the new youth and teen programs focus on creative and unique activities, along with more sporting events, through a partnership with King’s Foundation and Camps. Another highlight of the program is a circus school in partnership with Hilario Productions’ Cirque du Jour, a New York-based company that specializes in teaching children real circus skills. Splash Academy also offers activities for cruisers under three and their parents who can enjoy sensory play classes which include baby art featuring “Wee Can Too” organic art products.

To take advantage of the “Kids Sail Free” limited time offer and book by November 8, contact a travel professional, call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit

* Ages 17 and under sailing in the same stateroom with two adults.
**All cruise fares are per person, based on double occupancy.

***Excludes Norwegian Jade.

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The Athenaeum Hotel's Playful Partnership with London Palladium for Barry Humphries' Farewell Show "Eat, Pray, Laugh, Stay"

The Athenaeum Hotel has a playful partnership with the London Palladium for Barry Humphries’ farewell show “Eat, Pray, Laugh”. 

The Athenaeum’s Eat, Pray, Laugh - Stay package, inspired by the glitz and glamour of Dame Edna, 
includes well placed double tickets to the show, a full English breakfast for two, a delicious cocktail and canapé selection, and a fine room with gladioli in abundance – ready to be taken as a farewell gift to Australia’s living national treasure.

You can also book a chauffeur driven 1967 Cadillac to take you to and from the London Palladium in the West End.

In a premium Mayfair location the five star Athenaeum offers personal warmth as a home away from home for individuals, couples and families.  It also has a long standing, close association with showbiz and West End productions, often accommodating many star producers, directors and actors.

“We relish presenting theatre and arts packages with a difference” said the hotel’s specialist entertainment sales director, Steve Margo. “As huge fans of Dame Edna’s we are delighted to partner with what is set to be a sell-out London run of Eat, Pray, Laugh.” 

The Eat, Pray, Laugh – Stay package prices – exclusive to guests at the Athenaeum from 13 November 2013 to 5 January 2014 are from  £452 (inc. VAT and booking fees) for an overnight stay for two in a Superior room, a full English breakfast and two theatre tickets worth £95 at the London Palladium. And of course, gladioli in room to take to Humphries’ performance Wi-Fi is free, as are snacks and soft drinks from the mini-bar Canapés are available at £25 per person.
The 1967 Cadillac is booked separately at approximately £200 and is available on Fridays and Sundays.
Booking is subject to availability, with no amendments or cancellations

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Shop Till You Drop Then Chill in LUXSA Spa With Hansar Bangkok’s Shop and Spa Package

Thailand is one of the world’s favourite shopping destinations.  Hansar is a dream for a quick shop and spa break in Bangkok.  You can shop till you drop then head to the award-winning LUXSA Spa to recharge your batteries for another day at the malls or markets.

The hotel is located literally at the footsteps of the shopping zone of Bangkok, yet tucked away into a peaceful and calm surrounding where you can relax and recharge from the hectic pace of the city.

Hansar Bangkok, Thailand, on the 9 August 2010.Hansar Bangkok’s Urban Suites are an impressive 71 square meters, so you can be sure there is plenty of space should your shopping bags start to pile up!
The SHOP AND SPA Package for two, includes:
  • ARRIVE IN STYLE, Round Trip Airport Transfers via BMW 5-Series
  • SLEEP WELL, Nightly Accommodation in an expansive Urban Suite (71 Sq m) with interior garden wall, custom Terrazzo tub, luxurious bedding and pillow menu
  • RELAX and RECHARGE with two (30 Min.) Serenity Massages at our esteemed LUXSA Spa, with a 30% discount on additional spa treatments during your stay
  1. Complimentary WI-IFI
  2. Complimentary Minibar (replenished daily)
  3. Daily Buffet or a la carte breakfast served at Eve Restaurant
  4. Nightly turndown gift
  5. One Complimentary cocktail at ROUGE Bar (per guest)
  1. Central World, The 6th Largest Shopping Complex in the World, is just a 10 minute walk from Hansar Bangkok
  2. Siam Paragon, The World-Class Shopping Sensation is just one BTS Skytrain stop from Hansar Bangkok
  3. Siam Center, the place for trendsetters and local designers is just one BTS Skytrain stop from Hansar Bangkok
  4. MBK Center, with over 2,000 shops, restaurants and service outlets is just 2 BTS Skytrain stops from Hansar Bangkok.
  5. Gaysorn Plaza, Bangkok’s most luxurious and high-end shopping destination is just a 10 minute walk from Hansar Bangkok
  6. Chatuchuck Weekend Market, the largest weekend market in the world is directly accessible via a BTS Skytrain ride of less than 20 minutes.
  • 2 Nights for two people, just 19,200 THB (USD615) Inclusive of all tax and service charge. Or just 9600 THB per person.
  • 3 Nights for two people, just 26,000 THB (USD835) Inclusive of all tax and service charge. Or just 13,000 THB per person, a little over $400 USD
Valid November 1st  2013 until March 31st  2014, subject to availability.  Blackout dates December 20th- January 5th and January 29th to February 2nd.

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Tuesday 29 October 2013

The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas Introduces Suite Escape Package, Featuring In-Suite Champagne Breakfast or a Choice of Luxury Spa Treatment

The suite life has become sweeter at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, thanks to the introduction of its new Suite Escape package created for weekday or weekend stays.

Suite Escape provides not only luxury Dallas accommodations but also a choice among three special amenities. The new package is priced from $539 per suite per night and includes overnight accommodations in a suite, in addition to a choice of one of the following per night stayed:TN-198086_Dallasluxuryhotel
  • In-Suite Champagne American Breakfast for Two
  • One 50-minute Ritz-Carlton Signature Massage at The Ritz-Carlton Spa
  • One 50-minute Ritz-Carton Signature Facial at The Ritz-Carlton Spa
The 51 suites of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas offer outstanding views of the city, premium locations within the hotel and enhanced in-room features. Nearly 25 percent of the hotel's accommodations are devoted to suite categories, among them the 2,385-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Suite and its coveted setting on the top floor of the hotel. Several accommodations on the uppermost eighth floor of The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, including The Ritz-Carlton Suite, are configured into a private, multi-suite wing to ensure enhanced privacy and the feeling of an exclusive, contained compound.

Suite Escape at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas is offered through April 2014. The package is based on double occupancy and based on availability, and it excludes taxes and gratuity. Reservations may be requested at, by telephone at 1 (800) 960-7082, or through a travel professional.

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Princess Cruises Offers Special 50% Off Cruise Deal

Princess Cruises is offering an unusual deal on the line’s brand new three-day Princess Getaway Cruises from Los Angeles aboard Golden Princess. During the “100% Princess Getaways Up to 50% Off” promotion, passengers booking cruises from Los Angeles that depart between November 15 and December 1, 2013, will receive 50 percent of their cruise fare back as a credit toward a future cruise.

The limited-time offer ends November 15, 2013.

Passengers sailing on one of these convenient roundtrip voyages from Southern California will receive half of whatever cruise fare they pay as a credit.

“Our new Princess Getaway cruises are perfect for last-minute escape, and we’re so confident that passengers will love the Princess experience, that they’ll want to come back for more,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “So we’re making it even easier to cruise again with this amazing offer.”

Onboard Golden Princess passengers will enjoy expertly prepared international cuisine, dazzling production shows, renowned comedians, a luxurious spa, and signature Princess features such as the poolside Movies Under the Stars giant screen.

This special deal is available on three-day roundtrip cruises from Los Angeles with a call in Ensenada aboard Golden Princess: November 15, 2013, November 18, 2013, November 21, 2013, December 1, 2013.

The future cruise credit passengers receive can be used toward any single published future cruise of seven days or longer, departing before December 31, 2014.

The offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older.

More information about the “100% Princess Getaways Up to 50% Off” promotion is available at :

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent.

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Angkor Wat & Other Sacred Sites Set For Crystal’s New Complimentary Three-Night Land Program

Crystal Cruises is offering a brand new, complimentary inclusive three-night Extended Land Program to Thailand and Cambodia with its March Asia-toAfrica World Cruise segment. 

Prior to sailing from Singapore to Cape Town aboard Crystal Serenity, guests will embark on an exotic overland journey, first exploring Bangkok’s energetic markets, nightlife, and heavenward temple spires, and then flying to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where they will visit some of the world’s most awe-inspiring spiritual monuments and landmarks, such as:
  • Angkor Wat – The world’s largest religious monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 12th century.
  • The Grand Palace – A vast complex of buildings, pavilions and gardens, the palace has been the primary residence and official ceremonial site for Kings of Siam since 1782.
  • Temples of the Emerald, Golden and Reclining Buddhas – The most sacred temple in Thailand, the world’s largest solid gold statue (nearly six tons!), and one of the largest overall Buddha statues in the world, respectively.
  • Angkor Night Market – Open until at least midnight with more than 100 shops and merchants, the market sets the perfect scene for post-dinner shopping.
  • Khmer Ruins – An array of ancient Cambodian architectural masterpieces, from Bayon Temple, known for its forest of heads and maze of dark rooms and galleries, to Ta Prohm, an Indiana Jones-like lost temple in the jungle, entwined in massive tree roots.
  • Apsara Dance Performance – Prima ballerinas from the Royal Ballet of Cambodia will perform this elaborate traditional dance, exclusively for Crystal guests. 
Included for guests sailing on the single “Temples & Safaris” itinerary (the fourth segment of Crystal’s 2014 World Cruise), the land program begins on March 7 and features meals, inter-Asia transportation, and a night at fellow Travel + Leisure World’s Best honoree Peninsula Bangkok, followed by two nights at the five-star Sokha Angkor Wat Resort.  The cruise voyage begins March 10 with an onboard overnight in Singapore, then sails to Jakarta, Indonesia; Mauritius/Port Louis, Republic of Mauritius; and Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town, South Africa (overnight).

“Together, this land/cruise program offers the best of all bucket lists: a fully hosted immersion into the ancient, artistic and spiritual history of Thai and Cambodian cultures, a choice of several optional safaris in Africa, a mix of unusual destinations, and a substantial piece of Crystal’s coveted World Cruise, filled with glorious days at sea,” says Thomas Mazloum, Crystal’s senior vice president, operations.

With US$700 in savings if booked by October 31, 21-day land/cruise fares begin at US$7,520/person.
Crystal’s passion for creating exclusive, eye-opening luxury shore-side experiences are cornerstones of its Crystal Adventures program, helping earn the line top ratings for two decades.

For additional information or booking, please contact Miramar Express at +852 3960 0388 or email; also visit the luxury line's website at

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Monday 28 October 2013

Enjoy a Cracker of a Christmas Feast at Accor Hotels

Take the stress out of Christmas lunch and dinner this year and let the chefs at Accor hotels do the cooking so you can enjoy quality time with family and friends.

Christmas comes easy this year with a range of exciting festive dining offers available at a variety of Accor hotels across the country.

Celebrate Christmas Day by the stunning Sydney harbour at The Sebel Pier One and choose from three venues all offering sumptuous luncheons and a spectacular dining experience with water views: Water @ Pier One overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park and North Sydney from 12pm - 3pm priced at $249 per adult, Dawes Point Room with water views over Walsh Bay from 12pm - 3pm priced at $220 per adult or Front Restaurant with dining on and over the water from 1pm - 4pm priced at $220 per adult. Children aged 4-12 years receive a 50% discount and kids under 3 dine free. Sebel Pier One's Christmas lunch buffet packages include fresh seafood, traditional roasts and beverages, as well as a visit from Santa Claus. To book, call (02) 8298 9938 or visit

Dine in all new style this Christmas Day and become one of the first to experience Quadrant's stylish makeover at Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour. Within the brand new setting of the rebranded waterfront restaurant, enjoy a 5-course degustation menu featuring a glass of the finest Taittinger Champagne and of course those magnificent harbour views from 12.30-3.30pm. Priced at $220 per adult and $165 per child (4-14 years). To book, call (02) 9256 4011, email or visit

Perfect for families, enjoy a gourmet Christmas luncheon with plated entree, main courses and a delicious dessert buffet at Mount Lofty House - a member of the MGallery Collection. Enjoy live band entertainment and festive cheer with a visit from Santa for the little ones, all set in the Piccadilly Restaurant from 12pm - 2.30pm. Priced at $195 for adults, $99 for Children aged 13-17 and $69 for children 12 and under with a beverage package including sparkling, white and red wines, beers, soft drinks and fresh juices. To book call (08) 8339 6777,  or visit

Let Mercure Grosvenor Adelaide's experienced and dynamic Executive Chef, Damian Tiedeman, and his team serve you a full Christmas buffet without the stress or washing up. Choose from a variety of seafood such as Harris of Hahndorf warm smoked trout with lime aioli and succulent meats hand carved at the carvery station. Kids can play in a dedicated area and will be treated to a surprise visit from Santa. The Christmas Day package is inclusive of a full beverage package from 11.30am-3pm priced at $99 per adult, $55 13-17 years, $30 up to 12 years and under 4 free. To book, call (08) 8407 8827, email  or visit

Spoil the family and savour a 5-star Christmas feast at the award-winning Other Side of the Moon Restaurant at Pullman Resort Bunker Bay. Created by new executive chef, Nathan Flannery, Pullman's Christmas Day lunch and dinner buffet features only the freshest local produce, including slow-cooked Cape Naturaliste beef and Yallingyup vinno, pork dishes from Witchcliffe, charcuterie from Margaret River Farm House, squid from Geographe Bay and fresh cherries from Manjimup. Lunch begins at 12pm and the last seating is at 2.30pm priced at $135.00 per adult, $135.00 per child 12+ years, $50.00 per child 5-12 years, $25.00 per child 3-5 years, children 0-3 years are free. Price includes soft drink, juices, tea and coffee. All other beverages are on consumption basis. Dinner begins at 6pm and the last seating is at 8.30pm. There will be a complimentary kids club to keep the children entertained, plus Santa stops by the lunch service with his sleigh of huskies. To book, call (08) 9756 9100, email  or visit

Treat yourself and the family to a Christmas Day buffet lunch or dinner at Novotel Perth Langley. A delicious lunch and no washing up awaits you for $180 per person (Accor Advantage Plus members $170). The lunch package from 1pm - 4pm includes beverages and a visit from Santa with gifts for little ones. From 6.30pm - 9.30pm enjoy the festive cheer with a glass of sparkling wine and bonbons. To book, call (08) 9221 1200 or visit

Christmas comes early at Mercure Perth with an exciting lunch offering perfect for small groups. TEN Restaurant will serve up a scrumptious Christmas lunch menu on Friday 20th December from 12pm - 2.30pm priced at just $55 per person which includes a complimentary glass of house beer, wine or soft drink on arrival. To book, call (08) 9326 7078, email or visit

Relax this Christmas with family and friends at Ibis Perth iBistro Restaurant and let the team prepare you a traditional feast. From 12pm - 3pm enjoy a full Christmas buffet with seafood and carvery as well as a complimentary glass of sparkling wine or tap beer on arrival. Priced at $75 per adult and $35 per child (6-12 years). To book, call (08) 9214 4336 or email

Spend Christmas Day in picturesque surroundings overlooking Albert Park Lake and feast on a sumptuous seafood and carvery buffet lunch at the newly refurbished Pullman Melbourne Albert Park. Rejoice from 12pm - 3pm with a selection of refreshments and live music. A dramatic ice sculpture will be positioned amongst the elaborate buffet offerings, while a visit from Santa and his elves plus a Christmas kids corner with face painter and magician will keep children happy. Priced at $185 per adult, $165 (13-17 years), $95 (children 4-12 years) and toddlers under 4 are free. To book, call (03) 9529 4300, email  or visit

Surprise your loved one to a decadent Christmas Day lunch at the boutique Hotel Lindrum - a member of the MGallery Collection. A 5-course lunch featuring barbequed king prawns, crayfish, roasted poussin and Christmas pudding bombe Alaska will be served in felt restaurant from 12.30pm - 4.00pm priced at $125 per person. A children's menu is also available and there will be gifts from Santa. To book, call (03) 9668 1111 or visit
In fine festive style, Novotel Melbourne Glen Waverley is celebrating Christmas Day with special lunch and dinner offerings. A mouth-watering buffet lunch is on offer in both Infusion Restaurant and in the hotel's conference centre, while dinner is held exclusively in Infusion. Dishes include grilled Tasmanian salmon, roast meats and carvery, as well as fresh seafood, salads and desserts. Kids will love their own buffet selection and a treat from Santa. Lunch is held from 12pm - 3pm and priced at $145 per adult and $90 for children up to 16 years. Children under 5 are free. Christmas dinner is from 6.30pm - 10pm and priced at $110 for adults, $75 for children up to 16 years and under 5's are free. Christmas lunch or dinner guests are entitled to a special accommodation rate of $109 room only. To book, call (03) 8561 2345, email  or visit

Head to the forest for a fantastic Christmas lunch this year and relax with views overlooking the golf course at Novotel Forest Resort Creswick. Devour a buffet lunch including fresh seafood and carving a station with roast beef, roast pork, turkey and ham with all the trimmings. Novotel's lunch headed up by Italian chef Donatello Pietrantuono is available from 12pm- 2.30pm and includes a 2 hour drinks package and a visit from Father Christmas. Priced at $130 per adult and $65 per child aged 5-16 years. To book, call (03) 5345 9600 or  and quote 'Christmas Lunch Buffet'.

Dine like royalty this Christmas Day at Pullman Brisbane King George Square with a delicious seafood buffet lunch in the Presidential Ballroom. Make merry with friends and family, leaving the hard work to the hotel. Savour a superb seafood buffet with hot and cold selections, delicious salads, a carvery, traditional Christmas treats and decadent festive desserts. Live entertainment and a 3.5 hour beverage package including beer, sparkling, red and white wine and soft drinks are included from 11.30am - 3pm. Priced at $170 per adult, $125 (13 - 17 years), $55 per child (6 - 12 years) and children under 5 free. Or be treated to a gourmet 3-course lunch (12pm - 3pm) at $125 per adult or dinner (6pm -10pm) at $75 per adult in Bistro Allure created by executive chef Ben Limpus, including a 3-hour beverage package. To book, call (07) 3222 1128, email  or visit 

The Sebel Suites Brisbane is offering a festive buffet lunch that is really great value for money. In addition to receiving a sumptuous buffet lunch including a dessert buffet, guests will also enjoy a plated seafood entrée platter served to the table, two hours of unlimited premium selected beverages and port to finish. Complimentary on-site car parking is available while dining (limited availability) and a visit from Santa will delight children. Priced at $150 per adult, $110 for 13-17 years and $65 for 4-12 years and children under 4 dine complimentary. To book, call (07) 3224 3511, email  or visit
Celebrate Christmas in the clouds with a private dining experience at Quay West Suites Brisbane. Dine in the luxury of your own private balcony suite with the Brisbane Botanic Gardens as the stunning backdrop to your celebrations. Featuring a sumptuous 5-course lunch and 3-hour premium beverage range. Priced from $199 per person. Choose from a spacious fully self-contained 1 or 2 bedroom apartment, 2 or 3 bedroom penthouse apartments or an executive suite.

Quay West Suites Brisbane is also offering a traditional buffet lunch and set dinner in McMahons Restaurant including sparkling wine on arrival. Relax with family and friends as you enjoy a 5-star dining experience with all the holiday trimmings. Enjoy a 3-course lunch from 11.30am and dinner from 5.30pm priced at $125 per adult, $95 for 13-17 years and $55 for 3-12 years. To book, call 1800 672 726, email  or visit
Have a merry Christmas at Novotel Brisbane and allow executive chef, Sean Collins, and his team to provide a magical setting for family and friends to celebrate in style. Savour a selection of Queensland seafood, traditional dishes, fresh salads, fruits and of course all the regular trimmings and dessert from 12pm - 3pm. The Novotel's buffet lunch includes champagne cocktails on arrival, 3-hour beverage package and festive themeing, music and a special appearance from the big man in red. Priced at $180 per adult, $85pp (14-17 years) and $50pp (7-13 years) and kids under 6 are free. To book, call (07) 3309 3370 or email  or visit

Make Christmas 2013 a day to remember at Mercure Brisbane with two fabulous options for festive celebrations and dining. Enjoy a Seafood buffet with all the traditional Christmas favourites in the Banquet room from 12pm - 3pm with lots of entertainment for all ages. Priced at $149 per adult, $89 for ages 13-17 and $49 for ages 6-12. Or choose a more intimate Christmas lunch for grownups only at Mercure's Quays Restaurant with sweeping views of the Brisbane River - the perfect setting to celebrate Christmas Day lunch. Priced at $169 per person and includes a premium drinks package. To book, call (07) 3237 2499, email  or visit

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The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong And Nicholas & Bears Attempts A Guinness World Records Title

Record Breaking Tea_600The festive season is the time we gather together to celebrate with those we love. While we reflect on all that we are thankful for, it is also a good time to give back to the community and with our guests’ participation, attempt a Guinness World Records achievement for Longest line of teddy bears on December 30, 2013.

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong in conjunction with the leading international children’s fashion brand Nicholas & Bears, together with the participants will attempt a record – Longest line of teddy bears.  Thousands of teddy bears will gather together during the timeless tradition of the teddy bear afternoon tea and the proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish, spreading love and holiday spirit to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

This quintessential teddy bear afternoon tea experience will bring smiles to the faces of children and grown-ups through an assortment of savory and sweet delights, including cashew nut bear macaroonsbear chocolate lollipopsbear cupcakesteddy smiles sable cookiesprosecco gummy bears and much more. In order to form the longest line of teddy bears, Nicholas & Bears has specially designed a limited edition stuffed bear which are all planned for fundraising purposes and guests are welcome to purchase them at the event with proceeds go directly to Make-A-Wish.

Record Breaking Tea_500During the event, all Nicholas & Bears’ teddy bears will line the circumference of the entire 102nd floor at 420 meters above sea level, and guests are encouraged to buy a personalized bear at the event to join hands with the rest in an attempt to create a Guinness World Records title. An official Guinness World Records adjudicator will travel to Hong Kong to verify the world record attempt.

In addition, all guests are invited to join young Kerry at her art exhibition on the same day at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong.  She will be showcasing 30 pieces of her works of which some teddy-bear themed pieces were drawn specially for the event.  Kerry has just been through brain tumor surgery and her wish to Make-A-Wish is to showcase her talent in art by hosting an exhibition.  Tin Lung Heen restaurant’s private dining room will be transformed into a beautiful gallery decorated to her liking where guests have the chance to buy her art work and Nicholas & Bears will match the value and donate the full amount generated to Make-A-Wish.

General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong Pierre Perusset said, “At The Ritz-Carlton, one of the key roles for all our ladies and gentlemen is embracing Community Footprints and creating The Ritz-Carlton Mystique. As a current Guinness World Records record holder of the highest hotel in the world, we are proud to partner with Nicholas & Bears, to create another record that will benefit the well-being of children in need, but more importantly inspire people to positively impact the lives of others, especially during the joyful season when everywhere is surrounded by love.”

Joey Tong, Chief Operations Officer of Nicholas & Bears commented, “Having a nice afternoon tea with the most teddy bears and the most spectacular view of the Hong Kong skyline, we hope every participant will enjoy the meaningful event, which conveys the message of caring for the unattended groups in society around the world.”  Joey continued, “This is the Guinness World Records achievement for Hong Kong, and for all those kids who are in desperate need, for the more care you show, the more love they can get. So let’s join hands, spread the message to all, this is our record, our Guinness World Records achievement for our kids.”

The record-breaking teddy bear afternoon tea will be served on the entire 102nd floor with spectacular views of the city and Victoria Harbour. It will be served between 3:00pm and 6:00pm on December 30, 2013 and priced at HK$498 + 10% per person (including one mini-sized limited edition stuffed bear designed by Nicholas & Bears).

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Bentours celebrates 100 years since Shackleton's epic Antarctic expedition

zodiac in AntarcticaNext year marks the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton's historic Endurance expedition through the Antarctic, the world’s most extreme continent. Bentours is offering travellers the chance to voyage where Shackleton journeyed with its special expert-led Spirit of Shackleton cruise departing January 2014 and January 2015. 

Bentours’ centenary expedition is a 21-day tour departing from Ushuaia, Chile on board the MS Expedition vessel. This spectacular adventure retraces the route of the legendary British explorer, cruising past incredible pristine ice-filled bays, towering ice-capped mountains and the giant icebergs that make up this mystic southern world.

Packages start from AU$15,999 per person twin share and include all onboard meals, access to lectures and education programs with experts in the field, scheduled visits to scientific research stations and photography programs, as well as Antarctic excursions and landings in Zodiac boats.

Shackleton began his epic journey in 1914 and has been hailed as the last great explorer of the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration. His aim was ambitious - to cross the Antarctic Continent via the South Pole and become the first person to traverse Antarctica.  Aboard Bentours’ Spirit of Shackleton, travellers have the chance to map the great explorer and discover the region’s rich history and unique wildlife.

Expedition expert and on-board lecturer, Susan Adie, commented:  “Travellers continue to be drawn to explore the Antarctic region because it is the last great wilderness on earth - a place of intense natural beauty and incredible wildlife. It is difficult to describe Antarctica to those who haven't been there, as it can't be compared to anywhere else. So many of the travellers aboard the MS Expedition have been blown away by the sheer magnitude, the Shackleton shiplandscape, wildlife and of course the history of the region, it is no wonder that so many great explorers travelled epic journeys to discover this region”.

Highlights of the tour include visiting the Falkland Islands, where guests have the rare opportunity to witness the biological diversity and extraordinary scenery of the sub-Antarctic islands. Penguins and albatross are abundant in the Falklands and the islands boast the largest colony of black-browed albatross in the world. Travellers also visit South Georgia and the incredible Antarctic Peninsula where they set foot on this awe-inspiring icy land. Weather permitting explorers can encounter Gentoo, chinstrap and Adelie penguin rookeries, as well as leopard seals, orca, humpback and minke whales. King Penguins can also be found in both the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

Optional activities include camping and kayaking through the world’s last great wilderness.
Bentours offers a number of Antarctica packages, making the world’s most remote wilderness more accessible to Australian adventurers.

For bookings or further information, please contact Bentours on 1800 221 712 for a copy of the new Antarctica 2014/2015 brochure or email

*Price is per person, based on twin share accommodation & subject to availability. Spirit of Shackleton is valid for sale and travel until 10 Jan 15.  Advertised price is based on twin share accommodation in a Deck 2 Cat 2 Outside Cabin for the 10 Jan 14 departure. Price quoted includes all onboard meals. Prices quoted are accurate as at 08 Oct 13. Cancellations made 100 days or more prior to departure will be subject to loss of deposit. Cancellations made up to 99 days prior to departure will be subject to loss of up to 100% of total cost. A deposit of $750 per person is required within 7 days of booking.  Full payment is required 100 days prior to departure date. Single supplements apply. All airfares are excluded. Prices are subject to availability and may change due to currency fluctuations. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Tempo Holidays trading as Bentours International A.B.N. 51007331213 VIC License 31341

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Saturday 26 October 2013

Weekly Deals & News from Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruises

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Royal Caribbean International Deal: Xmas & New Year Cruises

Forget the roast and fruit cake at gran's place! Most of us just want to get away from it all over the Christmas holidays. It's easy to get into the holiday spirit with special activities on board Royal Caribbean's cruises. The festive season comes to life with carol singing, Christmas parties, visits from Santa, holiday-inspired menus and Christmas treats such as gingerbread houses built by talented onboard pastry chefs.

Nine night cruise to Fiji on board Voyager of the Seas departing Sydney 18th December, 2013

Cruise from AU$1,599 per person twin share in an interior stateroom.*

Nine night cruise to the South Pacific onboard Rhapsody of the Seas departing Sydney 19th December, 2013

Cruise from AU$1,579 per person twin share in an interior stateroom.*

Nine night cruise to the South Pacific onboard Radiance of the Seas departing Sydney 20th December, 2013  Cruise from AU$1,839 per person twin share in an interior stateroom.*

* From price applies to lowest available interior stateroom. Other Conditions apply. Subject to availability. For full terms and conditions see:

For more information about Royal Caribbean International or to book:

AUS:, call 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent.

Royal Caribbean Newsflash: #InstaFilmFest

Royal Caribbean International is hosting the world's first Instagram film festival. Everyone is invited to capture their "WOW moments" in 15 seconds of video footage and upload to Instagram via the hashtag #InstaFilmFest to go into the draw to have their film screened at a special VIP event and to win a cruise to the South Pacific.*

*For full competition terms and conditions, visit:

For more details, visit the InstaFilmFest microsite:

Celebrity Cruises Deal: Cruise to New Zealand in Modern Luxury Style

Enjoy cruising in New Zealand with Celebrity Cruises onboard Celebrity Solstice, Australia's highest rated superliner.* Departing 3rd January, 2014 from Auckland, there is no better way to kick off a new year than sailing in Modern Luxury taking in the highlights of New Zealand. This itinerary includes Auckland, Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin, Dusky Sound, Doubtful Sound, Milford Sound in New Zealand and Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney in Australia.

Cruise from AU$1,649 per person twin share in an interior stateroom.**

*Based on the Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships 2013.

** From price applies to lowest available interior stateroom on cruise departing Auckland 3/1/2014 only. Other Conditions apply. Subject to availability. For full terms and conditions see:

For more information about Celebrity Cruises or to book:, call 1800 754 500 (AUS) or contact your travel agent.

Celebrity Cruises Newsflash: Celebrity Cruises Bites into the Big Apple with Culinary Events

In October, Celebrity Cruises is taking its award-winning cuisine to New York City in a series of land-based events. The program has been designed to give food and wine enthusiasts a glimpse into its modern luxury approach to culinary innovation. Events include: a health food trends panel in NYC, dinner at James Beard House and a sponsorship of the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE. The James Beard House dinner and Food Network New York City Wine and & Food Festival are open to members of the public; tickets are for sale at and

For more information about Celebrity Cruises, visit:

Azamara Club Cruises Deal: 14 Night Vietnam & Thailand Voyage

Azamara Club Cruises allow guests to be immersed in their destination. Discover the rich culture, lifestyle and food of Southeast Asia whilst cruising onboard Azamara Journey. This cruise includes visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites including: Halong Bay, Hue and Hoi An. Plus, a unique AzAmazing evening event – a magical evening at Binh Quoi Village – including performances of traditional music, dancing and martial arts. This cruise departs Hong Kong on 9th December and concludes in Singapore.

Cruise from AU$2,999 per person twin share in an interior stateroom.**

* From price applies to the lowest available interior cabin on cruise departing 9/12/2013 only. Other conditions apply. Subject to availability. For full terms and conditions contact Azamara Club Cruises in Australia or speak to your local travel agent.

Contact your local travel agent to make a booking and for more information, visit:


Friday 25 October 2013

Solomons Airlines Releases New ‘Summer Fun’ Fare Initiative

Solomon Airlines has announced a new ‘Summer Fun Special’ fare initiative offering return flights between Brisbane and Honiara for AUD520.00* inclusive of taxes.

This fare initiative is in line with Solomon Airlines recent announcement of its fifth (5th) service between Brisbane and Honiara in the Solomon Islands commencing 11 November and running through to February 2014

Valid for immediate sale until 15 November 2013, this initiative can be used for travel from 01 November until 16 December 2013 and again from 20 January to 27 February 2014.

The ‘Summer Fun Special’ fare is available for travel ex-Brisbane on any Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and ex-Honiara on any Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

This full service fare includes meals, beverages; entertainment and baggage.

The fare is available via all GDS and also online at

Solomon Airlines Regional General Manager Australia, New Zealand & Asia, Victor Sharan advised that the ‘Summer Fun Special fares are limited and it was very much a case of ‘first-in best-dressed’ to avoid disappointment’.

For any enquires please contact Solomon Airlines Reservations on 1300 894311 or via email at

*Conditions apply.

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