Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Did you read all of the latest cruise news and then undergo memory erasing hypnosis? This cruise wrap couldn’t have come at a better time.

Celebrate Australia Day on Murray Princess Cruise

The Australia Day cruise departs Friday 26th January 2017, and features the popular three-night itinerary combined with Australia Day fun including Australia Day games like Aussie Two-Up, Aussie Quizzes and Aussie bingo.

The cruise also visits Murray Bridge, where passengers can visit some of the town’s historic landmarks and local attractions. Wildlife lovers can opt to spend the morning visiting the unique Monarto Zoo on a private Monarto Zoo Wildlife Tour where they will see Giraffes, Elands, Zebras, White Rhinoceros, Cheetahs, Lions, Hyenas and Wild Dogs. The tour is an additional $60 per person.

Relax on the open top deck or sit back in one of two air-conditioned paddlewheel lounges displaying views of the working paddle wheel and enjoy the ever-changing scenery as the Murray Princess cruises. Food onboard the Murray Princess is a highlight of the cruise. Indulge in a hearty hot buffet breakfast each morning, a two-course or buffet lunch each day and a three-course or buffet dinner each evening.

The early booking saver fares start from $803 per person, twin share. The seven-night cruise, including the Australia Day cruise departs Mannum on January 26, 2017 and early booking saver fares start from $1639 per person, twin share.

iExpedition debuts a specialised booking system for Polar Cruises


The intelligent, user-friendly and visually pleasant site allows travellers to search and filter hundreds of voyages, quickly and easily, in order to find one that fit their travel dates, budget, time frames, dream adventure activities and other personal preferences. Users can also create wish lists, request reservations and book cabins online.

iExpedition’s Polar cruises take travellers through the Antartica, Norway, North Pole, Svalbard, Franz Josef Land or Canada for a range of experiences and adventures.

There are 40 vessels ranging in size from sailing vessels for just 10 passengers, to small, luxury expedition ships that can cater for 300.

iExpedition of offering a 2 for 1 deal or 50% off on the South Georgia in Depth Cruise that departs on 20th of October 2017, with suites start from $9,597. The Commonwealth Bay & Mawson’s Hut voyage, departing 8th January 2018, is on offer with 30 days cruising available for the price of 26, offering savings up to $13,000 per couple.

Olga Dream Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Beyond Travel

Volga Dream 10th Anniversary event 1

Renowned Russian cruise company, Volga Dream, hosted over 60 trade partners from all over the world to help celebrate the 10th Anniversary of cruising the Volga River with Australia’s leading Russian cruise specialist Beyond Travel on board to cement the long-standing partnership of the two companies.

Guests were treated to a private two-night sailing from Moscow to Tver on board the Volga Dream, which included two celebratory cocktail evenings and a gala dinner accompanied by the owners and management.

Beyond Travel’s Peter Smith said that the event was perfectly timed for the lead up to the launch of a new dedicated Australian website ‘Cruise-Russia’ which will offer agents a one-stop shop for all the best Russian cruise products, including exclusive cruise tours aboard Volga Dream vessel.

“With more than 20 years experience in the Russia cruise market we are in a strong position within the trade industry to offer the market a specialised website to assist agents with client bookings and general knowledge information on options of cruises in Russia”, He added.

Coral Expeditions to build next generation expedition cruise ships

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Coral Expeditions has signed a contract with Norwegian shipbuilder Vard to build its fourth expedition cruise ship due to be delivered in mid-2019.

This new ship is designed for ocean voyages to remote areas inaccessible to large cruise vessels. She will carry a maximum of only 120 guests in 60 cabins, and feature natural light-filled lecture lounge equipped with modern technology for daily presentations and briefings by expedition experts.Facilities onboard will host scientific research missions and local exhibitors, and there will be spacious communal areas, including a dining room which seats all guests.

All outside-facing cabins with en-suite bathrooms; over half have private balconies, and a pen bridge policy and guest observation lounge overlooking the bridge. There will also be multiple indoor and outdoor bars to see the world go by over a glass of Australian wine.
The ship will join the Coral Expeditions fleet exploring the Kimberley region, Cape York and Arnhem Land (The Top of Australia), Papua New Guinea, the Spice Islands, Indonesia and the South Pacific. She will be available for bookings in October 2017.

CLIA Australasia’s Masters Conference to cruise on Genting Dream
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This Saturday, 29 travel agents from across Australia and New Zealand will set sail on Dream Cruises Genting Dream for Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia’s 2017 Masters Conference.

The conference will commence in Hong Kong on 16th September, with agents enjoying one-night pre-cruise accommodation, before boarding Genting Dream for a five-night cruise to Japan with port calls at Naha and Miyakojmia.

Returning to oversee the 19th Masters Conference is US-based travel industry trainer, business coach and motivational speaker Scott Koepf. Scott will lead the conference sessions, which are designed to help travel agents advance their sales and marketing skills to selling cruise holidays. Additionally, Thatcher Brown, President of Dream Cruise, will deliver a keynote presentation.

Agents who successfully complete a comprehensive post-conference work-based assignment will attain the elite Master Cruise Consultant accreditation – a prestigious rank for travel consultants.

Carnival Cruise Line launch a Carnival Fun Sale

Aussies that book a Carnival Cruise between now and 26 September 2017 will get to experience all the fun
with huge savings of up to $800 per twin balcony cabin, plus half price deposits per cabin on select cruises to New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

There are 45+ daily activities from the thrilling Green Thunder waterslide, dressing up for theme nights, live Broadway-style entertainment and the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss with Seuss at Sea.

On an extended cruise from Sydney to Singapore via Airlie Beach, Bali (Benoa), Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My) and Ko Samui in May next year, Interior Twin Fares PP From $2,399, and balcony Twin Fares PP from
$3,199. For all the cruises in the promotion visit the Carnival Cruise site.

Win an eight-day European river cruise with Avalon Waterways

To celebrate the launch of its new national television commercial (TVC), Avalon Waterways is giving Australian travel agents the chance to win an eight-day European river cruise for two people – and all you have to do is demonstrate your knowledge of the Avalon Waterways experience.

The competition closes on 31 October, 2017 with the winner drawn on 11 November, 2017. The trip must be redeemed in 2018 and terms and conditions apply.

To enter, travel agents need to visit the website,, where you’ll be greeted by the two teenagers, who star in the new TVC, and have been left to their own devices at home whilst their parents are enjoying an Avalon Waterways river cruise. Taking on a playful tone, you are invited to help the kids with their homework by answering five questions relating to Avalon Waterways cruises. Upon completing the five questions, you then need to submit 25 words or less describing your ultimate Avalon European river cruise, you will then go into the running to win an incredible eight-day European trip.

Cruise in style with Paradise Cruises 2018 Industry rates

Paradise Luxury

Halong Bay’s finest cruise company Paradise Cruises have launched 2018 trade rates for three of their amazing cruises including the soon to be launched Paradise Prestige.

Trade rates on Paradise Elegance start from $284 for a single cabin on a 2 day/1-night cruise. Launched in March this year Elegance is a meticulously-designed steel boat that boasts grand architecture and classical interiors.

The Paradise Luxury has trade rates from $356 for a single cabin. Boasting an expansive sundeck filled with sun beds and comfy lounge areas, Paradise Luxury is one of the best ways to cruise Halong Bay.

The soon to be launched all-inclusive Paradise Prestige has trade rates from $810 for an amazing 3-day/2- night cruise. Prestige which will debut this October is a beautifully appointed wooden junk with modern amenities, which also includes a free flow of food and beverages whilst onboard and a daily 50-min spa treatment.

Agents Cruise France with Viking on River Cruise Famil


Viking Cruises recently hosted 17 travel agents from Australia and New Zealand on board Viking Heimdal and Viking Delling to experience Viking’s popular 8-day Lyon & Provence itinerary cruising between Avignon and Lyon in the beautiful summer month of August.

During the trip, the two different groups enjoyed included excursions to Les Arènes amphitheatre and the Pont du Gard. They also tapped into their inner van Gogh at an Arles painting class, witnessed the beauty that inspired artists like Cézanne and Chagall, and explored Avignon’s Palace of the Popes. The groups indulged their taste buds in the capital of French gastronomy, Lyon, savoured Beaujolais wines, went truffles hunting and saw how chèvre cheese is made.

Plus they experienced Viking’s exclusive Culture Curriculum onboard program of lectures, port talks and enriching performances; destination focused dining; and central docking along the waterways.

Broome to host Australian Cruise Association Conference in 2018

The Australian Cruise Association (ACA) will hold its annual conference and AGM in Broome held from 12-14 September 2018. The successful bid by Tourism Western Australia was announced at the completion of the 2017 Conference held in Mooloolaba, on the Sunshine Coast.

It is anticipated that around 120 people will attend the Conference, this includes leading national and international cruise executives and representatives from the supply side of the cruise sector – shore excursion operators, port authorities, providores, shipping agents and tour businesses.

The conference, AGM and associated functions will be held at the award-winning Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa, situated on the world-famous 22km-long Cable Beach, offering a stunning backdrop to the event.

“In 2016 the BCCI formed ‘Cruise Broome’, a committee of local business representatives with the Kimberley Ports Authority focused on the future development of Broome as a destination for cruise ships. Cruise Broome works closely with local partners to help provide high quality services and amenities for cruise visitors and I am delighted to learn that the 2018 ACA Conference bid has been successful,”
President of Broome Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), Peter Taylor said.

Cruise the Mediterranean with a local

Marseille-based PONANT luxury expedition cruises has been sailing the Mediterranean waters for almost thirty years. The extensive range of Mediterranean cruises include 31 departures between April and November 2018, with a range of 7 to 9 night itineraries visiting 8 countries that include many important UNESCO World Heritage sites.

PONANT is offering a Bonus advance purchase savings off the published fare on voyages but savings will reduce as space is sold. Book now while some voyages are available at up to 30% savings.

Some voyages are specially themed to appeal to those who have specific interests, for example gastronomy, music (jazz, classics and opera) or playing a round of golf on some of the Mediterranean’s stunning courses, while other guests may enjoy discovering the underwater world of the Mediterranean, Scuba diving while on Le Ponant.

From A$5780 pp twin share, passengers can join a 7 night Nice/Nice ‘Great Corsican Loop’ voyage, select from 4 voyages in July and August 2018, Le Ponant. Twin share, Marie Galante Stateroom. While From A$4920 pp twin share, passengers can join a 7 night Venice/Venice ‘Best of Croatia’ voyage, 10 May 2018, Le Lyrial. Twin share, Superior Stateroom.

One of Europe’s biggest river cruise lines targets Australia for first time

Jane Austen on the Danube

The booming river cruise market in Australia is set to be disrupted by the emergence here of a major, European river cruise line, Riviera Travel, that offers inclusive, five-star cruises at fares up to 50 per cent lower than river companies more established in Australia.

The award-winning, UK-based company – the largest supplier of European river cruises in Britain – is also supporting Australian travel agents with a dedicated sales manager, set commissions, a no-direct-booking policy and a new distribution channel steered by wholesalers Cruiseco and Cruise Traveller, which allows Australians to book a Riviera Travel river cruise through any travel agent.

Voted the 2017 Travel Brand of the Year by UK’s largest consumer body, Which? – the equivalent of Australia’s Choice – and ranked by British travel agents in 2016 as the best river cruise operator in the TTG Travel Awards, Riviera Travel will offer 250 cruises on nine European rivers and waterways this year while in 2018. Riviera also enjoys one of the highest repeat booking rates in the industry, with 97 per cent of guests indicating they would book again and a high 65 per cent doing so.

Cruise fares with Riviera Travel are available from A$2099 per person – twin-share or solo use – for a seven-night Blue Danube cruise and from A$4349 per person – twin-share or solo use – for Riviera’s most popular cruise itinerary, a 14-night Heart of Europe cruise between Cologne and Budapest.

ms Koningsdam’s USD $4.1 Million Art Collection represent artists of 21 nationalities

Holland America Line’s newest vessel, ms Koningsdam, which launched in April 2016, has a collection worth USD $4.1 million. The ship highlights the talents of leading hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany, working with art curator ArtLink, and YSA Design to procure a thought-provoking collection of diverse works that complements the ship’s design while stimulating conversation.

The result is a floating art gallery with 1,920 pieces ranging in value from USD $500 to USD $600,000 that spans the decks, public rooms and staterooms with more than 21 nationalities are represented by Koningsdam’s artists.

The largest and most expensive work is the stunning Atrium sculpture titled “Harps” that is based on a concept by Adam D. Tihany, who was at the helm of the ship’s design and is regarded as one of the world’s pre-eminent hospitality designers. The USD $600,000 piece is an impressive 7.5-ton stainless steel sculpture that spans three decks.

Some of the most charming pieces can be found nestled inside special tables at the Grand Dutch Café on Deck 3. Royal Goedewaagen created handmade and hand-painted ceramic buildings that showcase a little bit of Dutch history with canal houses, mills, palaces and Zaanse Schans houses (typical greenhouses from a specific region of Holland).

Special Offer for Tahiti & the Society Islands with Paul Gauguin Cruises

Wiltrans International has crafted a new Sojourn featuring Paul Gauguin Cruises, operator of the highest-rated and longest continually sailing luxury cruise ship in the South Pacific, the m/s Paul Gauguin. To secure a place on this 9-night luxury South Pacific island escape, travellers must book prior to October 31.

Book prior to October 31 for a 9-night luxury Sojourn that includes return economy class airfares from Sydney, a 2-night pre-cruise stay at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa, Papeete, in a lagoon view room with daily breakfasts, and a luxurious 7-night Tahiti & the Society Islands cruise on the multi-award-winning m/s Paul Gauguin.
Fares ex-Sydney from: 29 Dec 2017 – $6,693, 02 Feb 2018 – $5,739, 16 Feb 2018 – $5,720, 30 Mar 2018 – $6,046, and 04 May 2018 – $6,069.

Australia’s biggest Cruise lovers celebrate 100th cruise and offer top tips for newbies

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Gold Coast couple, Mark and Leanne Weston have celebrated their 100th cruise, on board Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Spirit. The seasoned travellers began their cruising journey 40 years ago on the Fairstar to the Pacific Islands falling in love with the fun, frivolity and vibrant atmosphere onboard.

The Weston’s were the first couple to become Carnival Diamond Members in 2014, having spent over 300 nights onboard.

The Weston’s top five tips for people that are new to cruise:
1) Make the most of the spectacular live entertainment on board – we love the live comedy shows offered on Carnival Cruise Line.
2) No matter what age you are, try some new adrenaline rush activities such as the Green Thunder waterslide.
3) Eat at the specialty restaurants on board, such as the incredible Nouveau Restaurant on Carnival.
4) Get involved in the theme nights – there are only a few occasions where you can bring out your best 80s clothing!
5) Amongst all the fun activities happening, make sure you take some time to yourselves – our favourite spot are the relaxation pods in the adults only Serenity Retreat area on Carnival.


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