Cruise

Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Is the disaster that is Hell’s Kitchen the talk of the office today? Manoeuvre the chat to something less dull with this.

DNCE AND Bonnie Tyler celebrate rare celestial moment on Royal Caribbean

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Bonnie Tyler and DNCE performed “Total Eclipse of the Heart” during the Great American Eclipse – a total solar eclipse 99 years in the making – on board Royal Caribbean International’s adventure-packed Oasis of the Seas.

As the moon made its way to cover the sun for the celestial event of the century, DNCE took center stage in Oasis of the Seas’ open-air AquaTheater, performing the band’s chart-topping hits, including “Kissing Strangers,” “Body Moves” and, of course, “Cake by the Ocean.”

The concert culminated in the ultimate performance by DNCE and the Welsh-born singer. All eyes were on Joe Jonas and Tyler, alongside DNCE bandmates Cole Whittle, JinJoo and Jack Lawless, as they sang a powerful remix of Tyler’s classic, paying tribute to the solar eclipse.

The 7-night Total Eclipse Cruise set sail on Aug. 20 from Orlando (Port Canaveral), Florida and will visit Eastern Caribbean destinations including Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; and Nassau, Bahamas.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Showcases Brand New Atlas Brochure for Sailings Through 2020

Regent Seven Seas Cruises is offering its brand new cruise Atlas brochure for Australian and New Zealand travel agents for sailings from January 2018 through to June 2020. Agents can order their copies through Brochure Flow within Australia, Travel Marketing BrochureNet within New Zealand or the company’s website.

The new collection showcases over 110 destination-rich itineraries, all of which have been designed to inspire travellers, as they sail to new and exotic locations, including UNESCO World Heritage sites, iconic capitals and culinary-focussed regions.

“Our travel agent partners and guests alike stand to benefit from the early release of our new itineraries through to June 2020, allowing them to plan holidays well ahead of time. We remain committed to leading the way in all-inclusive luxury cruising with all-suite accommodation, specialty restaurants, unlimited shore excursions, unlimited beverages including fine wines and premium spirits, Wifi and pre-paid gratuities included in our fares,” Vice President Sales, Australia & New Zealand at Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Lisa Pile said.

Discover the treasures of the world’s most coveted diving destinations, with Paul Gauguin Cruises

Whether sailing amongst the Society, Cook, or Marquesas Islands, every voyage aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin offers the chance to view parrotfish, clownfish, giant clams, sea turtles, sharks, octopuses, and many other underwater treasures.

An experience fit for a first-time snorkeler to an experienced diver, The Gauguin is the only luxury small ship in the region to offer internationally recognised diver certification on board. The onboard dive teams offer Discover SCUBA diving classes and refresher courses, as well as credit towards PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) certification.

Not only will guests immerse themselves in the underwater wonders of the French Polynesian coral reefs and aqua lagoons, Paul Gauguin Cruises offer 24 hour room service, complimentary beverages, including wines and spirits, and access to their private beach in Bora Bora.

For a completely immersive dive and snorkel experience, The Gauguin offers a 14 night cruise across the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Society Islands, with 2018 departures on 14 April, 11 August, and 20 October.

Oceania Cruises introduce La Cuisine Bourgeoise 

Oceania Cruises, the culinary and destination focussed cruise line, unveiled its latest epicurean masterpiece, La Cuisine Bourgeoise, by Jacques Pépin.

An elegant seven-course affair, La Cuisine Bourgeoise, is rooted in fresh, seasonal ingredients, time-honoured flavours and celebrates the rituals of the table and sharing a meal with friends, and family. The dining experience features many classic dishes that the Oceania Cruises’ Executive Culinary Director, Master Chef Jacques Pépin, has enjoyed over the years.

The meal is expertly paired from start to finish with wines that complement and echo the history of the dishes, while providing diners with a hint of the flavours, complexity, and nuances that were experienced during the mid-20th century.

La Cuisine Bourgeoise is now available aboard Marina and Riviera. This exclusive experience is limited to only 24 guests and reservations are required. Guests are encouraged to make reservations via the Dining Reservations desk located on Deck 5.

Celebrity and Canyon Ranch SpaClub Introduce Mindful Dreams

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Celebrity Cruises and Canyon Ranch SpaClub have launched their new wellness program, Mindful Dreams. This curated program invites modern luxury travellers to experience new treatments, products and sleeping aids. Additionally guests receive nutrition advice on the best culinary choices to aid in sleep, access to expert lectures and special instructional classes promoting a holistic approach to mindful sleep, both on land and at sea.

Among the exclusive offerings is the relaxation treatment of which the program takes its namesake – Mindful Dreams. This incomparable sleep-encouraging experience incorporates products specifically designed to soothe alongside a sleep-inducing cultural massage and meditation techniques. This focused treatment promises to evoke instant tranquility and fosters inner well-being, calmness and serenity, transporting guests to the perfect getaway state-of-mind.

Additional treatments include: organic lavender and seaweed sugar glow, age-defying restorative facial, lazy days detox seaweed bath, and more!

Mindful Dreams programming will debut on Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Summit in August 2017 and become available fleet wide throughout September 2017.

Crystal River Cruises’ name an internationally renowned Soprano, Godmother of Crystal Bac

Crystal River Cruises has announced that famed soprano vocalist and beloved German performer, Anna-Maria Kaufmann, will be the godmother of Crystal Bach. The newly-built “Rhine Class” river ship embarked on her maiden voyage from Amsterdam last Sunday and was christened by Kaufmann during her call to Rüdesheim, Germany.

Kaufmann’s decades-long career has spanned the globe, bringing her from her native Edmonton, Alberta to some of the world’s most prestigious stages and events. As Crystal Bach’s godmother, she blessed the ship during the christening ceremony, and serenade her and attending guests with her own special performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air.”

Crystal Bach is the first of four Crystal “Rhine Class” river ships to debut on the rivers of Europe, joining Crystal Mozart as part of the Crystal River Cruises fleet recently named “World’s Best River Cruise Line” by Travel + Leisure. Sailing 10- and 14-day voyages predominantly along the Rhine River, she will call in medieval towns and modern hubs in Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Germany.

Queen Mary 2 Cruises for Everyone 

Queen Mary 2 in Sydney

Cruise expert ecruising.travel is giving everyone the chance to enjoy the luxury of a short voyage from an Australian port aboard Queen Mary 2.

During February and March 2018, ecruising is offering a choice of five cruises of two to six nights aboard QM2 beginning with a four night itinerary from Fremantle to Adelaide on February 12 for $1,209 per person twin share.

Other scheduled voyages include Adelaide to Melbourne, two nights, from $629 on February 16, Melbourne to Sydney, two nights, on February 22 from $519 twin share and Sydney to Brisbane two nights on March 09 from $719.

There is also a 12-night Fremantle to Melbourne on February 12 from $1,979.

As sister ship Queen Elizabeth is in the region about the same time there is a seven night voyage aboard her from Auckland to Sydney on February 23 from $2079 per person. All fares include all meals and entertainment aboard, port charges and taxes.

Silver Muse launch voyages to South America 

Silversea Cruises’ newest flagship vessel, Silver Muse, is set to circumnavigate South America in 2017 and 2018, offering guests the incredible opportunity to discover one of the world’s most exhilarating continents.

These two exclusive, roundtrip Grand Voyages are set to depart from Fort Lauderdale on: 13 October 2017 for 66 days; and on 03 January 2018 for 69 days. Guests who book before 30 September 2017 on select sectors* aboard these Grand Voyages, can also take advantage of free Economy Class airfares, or can choose to upgrade to Business Class for $4,999* per person, subject to availability.

Highlights of these awe-inspiring voyages include: a flight seeing adventure over the Nazca Lines; a zip-line trip in Costa Rica’s famous rainforest canopy; and evening caiman spotting with overnights in Manaus, Brazil.

Fly Free to South America: Guests booking by 30 September 2017 can take advantage of FREE Roundtrip economy class air or a business class upgrade for only AU$4,999 per person on *select segments of these two Grand Voyages.

PONANT announces Latin America & the Caribbean 2018 – 2019 Collection

PONANT has released an extensive range of voyages covering the period October 2018 – April 2019, featuring a range of 21 cruises (10 being designated Expedition Cruises) to 26 countries – exploring both east and west coasts of South America and the Caribbean.  The new collection is available as either an e-brochure download here, at or as a printed brochure on request through travel agents or directly from PONANT.

No less than 26 listed UNESCO World Heritage sites and 5 major pre-Columbian era sites hint at the range of destinations to be had. From ancient Mayan and Inca civilisations, colonial cities, extraordinary jungles with colourful wildlife and massive waterfalls, to the Guiana space centre, monasteries, salsa and mojitos. Guests will discover a multitude of experiences from on board PONANT’s modern and luxurious ships: Le Boréal, L’Austral & Le Soléal as well as the new-era Explorer Class ship, Le Champlain, and PONANT’s classic three-masted yacht, Le Ponant.

Some voyages are designated Expeditions, taking advantage of the ships’ compact size and manoeuvrability to probe hidden waterways, before launching Zodiac® expedition boats for adventurous close-up opportunities of local flora, fauna, and local tribes. Throughout Expedition cruises, an expedition team of naturalists will enhance the experience.

Discover Scenic’s Mighty Mekong with “Dicko” on Getaway

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Tune in to Getaway over the next three weeks to witness Ian “Dicko” Dickson’s luxury Scenic river cruise along Indochina’s Mekong River on board Scenic Spirit from Cambodia to Vietnam. The Nine Network will be screening three full half hour episodes on Saturday 19 and 26 August and 2 September.

This luxury journey will reveal the hidden secrets of South East Asia, from its charming riverside communities, chaotic markets – both on land and on water – to its lesser known, yet still awe-inspiring temples and culinary delights.

Starting at sunrise in Siem Reap, the gateway to Cambodia’s famed Temples of Angkor, Dicko begins his “adventure of a lifetime” with a quick history lesson about the most well-known structure, Angkor Wat, before taking to the jungle to explore the temple of Ta Promh – otherwise known as the Lara Croft Tomb Raider temple – and the Bayon Temple, with its curious carved faces.

Scenic is offering one lucky Getaway viewer the opportunity to win a place on an 11 Day Luxury Mekong and Temple Discovery cruise and tour, including return flights – valued at over $17,000. Viewers will also receive a discount of $250 per person off all Mekong cruise and tours departing in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

The Moorings luxury yachts announce early bird discounts on all Greece itineraries

Sail on one of the Moorings luxury yachts with or without a skipper and chef and live like a billionaire on visiting many luxury islands such as Corfu, one of the greenest of the Greek islands bursting with a carpet of olive trees. Here you can still find a remote glade where villagers celebrate summer-and-autumn panigýria (religious festivals) with music and merchandise stalls.

A Corfu sailing holiday presents the northern and southern Ionian Islands, some of the most famous in Greece, such as fabled Ithaca known for its fearless ruler, Odysseus (Ulysses), hero of the Trojan War and Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey. Navigation is straightforward. During the cruising season from April through November expect northwest winds from 10 to 15 knots, with calms in the morning. The tidal range is just one to two feet and therefore tidal currents are practically nonexistent, except in the sea level Lefkas Canal (no locks), where currents are noticeable. A Corfu yacht charter is well within the reach of sailors who have basic skills in coastal navigation.

The Moorings early bird discount is for sale until 31 August for travel from 1 April – 30 November 2018 on minimum seven night sailings, bareboat, skipper or power yachts. Prices start at $2,694 for two passengers for seven nights on a Moorings 42.1 – 3 Monohull.

Star Clippers launch brochure for 2018 – 2019 with a fly free deal to Thailand

Star Clippers have launched their unique brand of sailing adventures in the new brochure for 2018 – 2019 with an incredible fly free offer to Thailand.

From just $2999 you can fly return from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth to Thailand and spend seven nights aboard the Star Clipper. From Phuket, plunge into the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, explore exotic Penang and lie back on powdery white island beaches on this Star Clippers Tall Ship sailing adventure. Explore the many islands that are scattered off the coast of Thailand and Northern Malaysia with some of the most beautiful beaches and dazzling marine life in the world.

Star Clippers new brochure shows an array of itineraries with special offers of up to 35 percent off with returning guests receiving a five percent discount.

This year’s brochure offers sailings to the Caribbean, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, and the Mediterranean, Cuba, the Panama Canal and Ocean Crossings.

Hit a Hole in One with APT

Luxury travel operator APT has introduced multiple golfing opportunities to their 2018 European tours as part of their expanded Freedom of Choice Sightseeing program.

A round of golf is just one of over 200 included sightseeing and dining options across APT’s European cruises and tours. The numerous options are divided into four themes, Cultural Insight; Gourmet Delight; Relax and Revive; and Active Exploration to help personalise each trip and discover Europe your way.

The 22-day Best of France river cruise is a great opportunity for golfing enthusiasts to play some of the finest international courses, offering up to three opportunities to play premium courses in France. The Grand Avignon Golf Course features flat, wooded and water hazards designed by Georges Rouméas and the French champion Jean Garaialde. In Bordeaux, experience Le Châteaux, voted Best Golf Course in France in 2014 by the World Golf Awards. The course is routed across flat open country in the fashion of inland links.

Priced from $14,590pp, the all-inclusive luxury river cruise also includes 18 hole greens fee, electric golf buggy and a full set of clubs.

Cunard Prepares to Set Sail for QE2 50th Anniversary Celebrations

Cunard is honouring the 50th anniversary of its longest serving ocean liner, QE2, with a special voyage onboard the luxury cruise liner Queen Elizabeth. The voyage departs 8 September and returns 25 September.

The 50th anniversary of this much-loved ship will be remembered as Queen Elizabeth sets sail from Southampton on Friday 8 September for a 17-night voyage. Departing guests will enjoy Venice’s iconic canals, mythical Mount Etna in Sicily and Corfu’s leafy beauty.

Celebrations focus on five special theme days, each of which will be accompanied by QE2 inspired menus, talks from special guests, historical snippets in the daily programme, past-passenger gatherings and QE2 quizzes.

As part of Cunard’s renowned and award winning Insights Speaker programme, a number of special guests connected to QE2 will be sailing onboard. These include Captain Ian McNaught – QE2’s last Master; Commodore R. W. Warwick who served as QE2’s Captain for 13 years; QE2 social hostess Maureen Ryan who served onboard the original Cunard Queens as well as Queen Mary 2; and maritime historian Chris Frame, author of a series of books about QE2 and Cunard.

Scenic Releases New 2018 Europe Tour Brochure

Scenic Europe Land 2018 Cover

Scenic revealed an array of travel incentives to mark the release of its Grand Wonders of Europe 2018 brochure, offering savings of up to $5,760* per couple on selected bookings.

The Grand Wonders of Europe 2018 brochure features 15 itineraries ranging in length from nine to 23 days, plus city stays in some of Europe’s most loved destinations. Travellers can also combine their land tours with river cruises in France and Portugal, as well as along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers.

Book by 30 September 2017 and receive:

  • · Included flights for any land journey booked in conjunction with a European cruise of 11 days or longer – a saving of up to $5,760* per couple
  • · Savings of up to $1,500* per couple on any land journey of 13 days or longer, such as the popular 22 Day Majestic Britain & Ireland tour or the 23 day Grand European journey from Paris to Amsterdam; or up to $1,000* per couple on any land journeys of 12 days or less, including Scenic’s 12 day Eastern Europe Explorer or nine day Bel Viaggio tour of Italy.
  • · An early payment discount of $600* per couple on cruises of 11 days or longer or $300* on cruises of 10 days or less, when booked in conjunction with a land journey, for bookings paid in full by 31 October 2017.

 

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Road & Rail

Is New South Wales getting a fast rail?!

Fancy getting from Sydney to Canberra in just one hour? It could soon be a reality. Let’s just hope it doesn’t face as many setbacks as Sydney’s light rail.

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News

Toxic chemicals found at popular south coast tourist hotspot

Tourists are being warned about to steer clear of certain parts of Jervis Bay after toxic chemicals have been found in the water ahead of peak holiday season.

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Destinations

This massive Amsterdam tourist attraction is gone for good

BREAKING: the I amsterdam sign has been removed! We’ve also been removed from the cafe downstairs after emptying the entirety of their chocolate powder onto our cappuccino.

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Wholesalers

Big Fat Wholesaler Wrap

Start getting excited, because there’s only two more Mondays until Christmas Eve! Which means this is our second last wholesaler wrap of the year – and boy, is it a goodie.

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Tourism

Overtourism should be “front of mind” says Insight Vacations Travel Director

by Lauren Croft

Insight Vacations’ Jake Stewart talks sustainable travel, overtourism, and life as a travel director. He sold the last one so well, we’re handing in our resignation today.

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Destinations

Is this destination the new Galapagos Islands?

Have you got clients who are interested in the Galapagos Islands but are put off by the prospect of travelling the 40 + hour slog? We’ve got just the thing.

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Travel Agents

Helloworld-owned business wins major government contract

Big congratulations are in order for QBT for taking out a new contract with the South Australian government! We’re using this as an excuse to have cake for lunch again.

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Cruise

Royal Caribbean partners with WWF to protect Hawksbill turtles

Monday morning got you down? Here’s a feel-good story to give you a nice little pick-me-up. And if this doesn’t work, you have our permission to indulge in an extra coffee or two.

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Hotels

Hotel slammed after staff make creepy effigy of guest’s dead son

You can bet your butt this article is just as cringy and awful as the headline suggests. We actually feel better about every embarrassing misunderstanding we’ve had after reading this.

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Aviation

Qantas accused of “wage theft” over Christmas volunteer program

Qantas is being accused of “wage theft” and “Grinch” behaviour after launching a new program asking workers to volunteer at the airport over the busy period.

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Tourism

The top destinations for honeymooning Aussies

Japan has just been crowned top trending destination for Aussie honeymooners! We’re considering marrying ourself as an excuse to take an impromptu trip.

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Destinations

Eiffel Tower and the Louvre forced to close as Paris riots continue

Meanwhile, we’re very close to forcing our office to close if our boss doesn’t change his policy on midday naps and early marks.

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