Cruise

Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Check out this luxurious wrap up of the week’s best cruise deals. If you need us we’ll be daydreaming about Ponant’s body listening sofas.

Last Chance for Scenic Early bird Offers to South East Asia

Scenic Spirit, Exterior

Agents are reminded they have until 31 March 2018 to secure the best offers on a 2018 or 2019 South East Asia River Cruise with Scenic for their clients.

Book now to receive:

  • Included return economy flights for any journey to Indochina of 13 days or longer and Myanmar of 14 days or longer – a saving of up to $2,810 per couple
  • Savings of up to $1,500 per couple on the 11 Day Luxury Mekong and Temple Discovery Cruise or 11 Day Luxury Irrawaddy
  • A free suite upgrade when booking selected cabin categories on Scenic Aura (Irrawaddy) and Scenic Spirit (Mekong) – a saving of up to $1,200 per couple.

Discovering the wonders of South East Asia in all-inclusive five-star luxury has never been more affordable, because with Scenic, all accommodation, transport and transfers, excursions – such as once-in-a-lifetime Scenic Enrich experiences – and even tipping, are included.

Scenic’s early bird offers to India also end 31 March 2018.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Hawaii 2018/19 Cruising Guide

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has recently released its 2018/19 Hawaii Cruising Guide, featuring their award winning seven-day roundtrip cruise from Honolulu – Voted Best Hawaii Itinerary 13 years in a row by Porthole Cruise Magazine. The brochure includes departure dates every Saturday year-round from February 2018 – April 2021. NCL’s Hawaii Cruising Guide is a must-read for anyone wanting to visit the Aloha State – from the white sands of Diamond Head Beach in Honolulu and the nature trails in ‘Heavenly Hana’, through to the ancient sites of the city of Kona – the best parts of Hawaii are all on offer.

Cruising onboard the recently refurbished (2016) Pride of America, guests booking NCL’s Hawaii itinerary will explore the islands of Maui, Kaua’i, O’ahu and of course, Hawai’i – with NCL being the only cruise line visiting four Hawaiian Islands as part of a seven-day sailing.

To really maximise their time stateside, guests travelling with Norwegian Cruise Line also have the opportunity to kickstart their holiday with a pre-cruise NCL O’ahu Explorer Cruisetour. Run over the four days leading up to their cruise, guests will get to explore O’ahu island like a local – from wandering through the surfing towns of Haleiwa and exploring the region’s moving World War II historical sites, to traversing the majestic peaks of Kualoa Ranch.

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic to venture into one of the most rugged and wildlife rich regions on earth in 2019

National Geographic Orion

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced a remarkable program of voyages for 2019 that will venture into the Russian Arctic, one of the most rugged and wildlife-rich regions on the planet. The three new itineraries will give a different glimpse into life in the remote Russian Far East & Bering Sea, where spectacular wildlife, an intriguing native culture, arresting mysteries and world-class exploration history abound.

The human element is one of the richest aspects of visiting the Arctic, and this region is no exception. Communities of Siberian Yup’ik people still follow traditional methods of hunting seals and whales, while the coastal Koryak and Chukchi people of Russia have developed into incredible reindeer herders living off the land – and are a part of why few travellers leave this place unchanged.

Several of Lindblad’s exemplary expedition team have spent time in the region, and were integral to the development of the expeditions.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises highlights benefits of onboard booking with trade awareness campaign

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the most inclusive luxury experience, has launched a trade awareness campaign highlighting the incredible earning potential for travel partners when their clients book their next cruise whilst sailing. The campaign features high-profile executives from cruise travel trade, with the line also giving away an all-inclusive luxury cruise to a travel agent and their guest.

If your clients book another cruise whilst they are onboard, you will automatically be credited the booking and receive full commission for the new cruise. The guests will receive a best price guarantee, bonus savings, reduced deposit plus US$100 shipboard credit to enjoy on their current cruise.

To highlight the benefits of booking onboard, Regent is running a competition for travel agents to go in the draw to an all-inclusive luxury cruise onboard Seven Seas Voyager. The winner will sail from Monte Carlo, Monaco to Barcelona, Spain on a seven-night voyage which will also stop at Antibes, France; Livorno, Italy; Ajaccio, Corsica; Mahon, Menorca; and Ibiza, Spain. Included in the prize are return economy flights, unlimited shore excursions, speciality dining, premium drinks, Wifi, transfers and gratuities.

Pacific Jewel’s Makeover Begins

P&O Pacific Jewel_OasisL

P&O Cruises’ Pacific Jewel has begun a makeover which will bring a fresh and modern look and feel to the ship’s popular public spaces and venues. Over the next 10 days, the 70,310-tonne vessel will be fitted with a range of new features and furnishings including an outdoor barefoot lawn bowling green first introduced on Pacific Explorer last year.

Following positive reviews from guests on Pacific Explorer and Pacific Dawn, Shell & Bones will make its debut on Pacific Jewel serving up locally sourced seafood, grill and vegetarian dishes. The ship’s well-known public areas will be redesigned to mirror the striking contemporary look which has become a trademark of the P&O fleet in recent years.

Orient Bar continues as a live-music venue with sumptuous soft furnishings made from luxe fabrics for guests to sit back and enjoy live jazz and blues as well as comedy shows.  Popular lounge spot Connexions Bar takes on a summer-inspired pub theme with custom-printed fabrics and botanical patterns inspired by The Explorer Hotel on Pacific Explorer.

RCL Cruises announces Asia Pacific leadership changes

Royal Caribbean has today announced the resignation of its Associate Vice President and Managing Director in Australia & New Zealand, Adam Armstrong.

Armstrong has been with the business since 2009, when Royal Caribbean opened its local office, and is leaving to pursue other interests, effective August 2018.

Armstrong first joined the company as Commercial Manager as one of the first locally-based employees. In 2016, he took on the role of Managing Director and has overseen a period of significant growth for the RCL family of brands, culminating with all three cruise lines – Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara – sailing down under for the past three cruise seasons.

Armstrong will be replaced by Susan Bonner, currently based in Miami as Vice President of Revenue Management and Onboard Revenue for Celebrity Cruises. Bonner has been with the company for over 10 years, and brings considerable skills and expertise to the role to ensure the continued success of Royal Caribbean in the region. Susan will transition to the Sydney office over the coming months.

Why Australians have fallen in love with cruising the last frontier

JU43, Juneau, Mendenhall Glacier, Wilderness and Wildlife Tours, Flightseeing, Adventure Tours, dogsled, dogs, wildlife, Destination, Alaska

Australians are choosing to cruise Alaska in record numbers, as premium cruise line Celebrity Cruises prepares to send three ships to the region for the 2018 summer season to cater to the incredible demand.

Industry-wide, CLIA reported that Australians choosing to cruise Alaska increased by 25.5 per cent in 2016, while Celebrity Cruises saw growth of over 65 per cent during the same year.

Between May and September 2018, thousands of Australians will experience Alaska’s magnificent scenery onboard three of Celebrity’s beautifully modern cruise ships; Celebrity Solstice, Australia’s highest rated cruise ship according to Berlitz, Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Infinity.

Together, the three ships will offer 50 Alaskan itineraries and visit 13 different ports of call, including scenic cruising through some of the region’s most famous waterways, such as the Hubbard Glacier, Tracy-Arm Fjord and Alaska’s Inside Passage. And in 2019, Celebrity’s capacity in the region will increase by 20 per cent when Solstice’s sister ship Celebrity Eclipse joins the Alaska-based fleet, taking the place of Celebrity Infinity, which will transition to Europe.

Interferry to make a splash into Hobart in 2020

Tasmania’s growing reputation for hosting international business conferences has been boosted further with the announcement that global trade association Interferry has chosen Hobart as the venue for its 45th annual conference in October 2020.

Business Events Tasmania (BET) worked closely with TT-Line Company Pty Ltd, operators of the Spirit of Tasmania vessels, and Tasmania’s Department of State Growth to bring this event to Tasmania. This will be only the third time that the ferry industry’s showcase event will have been staged in Australia, following Sydney in 1995 and Gold Coast in 2002.

Interferry has more than 230-member companies – comprising operators and suppliers – in 37 countries.

Celebrity Cruises reveals transformative & immersive culinary experiences for Celebrity Edge

MAGIC_CARPET_7

From an exhilarating, sky-high dinner cantilevered 16 decks above the ocean to an immersive fusion of technology, animation and dining like nothing ever before seen at sea, the latest culinary hot-spots will be found on Celebrity Cruises’ transformative new ship, Celebrity Edge.

With 29 world-class, palate-pleasing venues – including four main dining restaurants, two exclusive Suite and AquaClass restaurants, seven brand new specialty restaurants, five complimentary dining venues, and 11 bars and lounges – guests are invited to embark on a cross-continental culinary journey with more restaurant and bar options than ever before.

Celebrity has redesigned the main dining experience on Celebrity Edge, to include not one but four complimentary restaurants. Each restaurant has a distinctive design and ambience inspired by a specific region of the world. Menus in every restaurant feature signature dishes that are offered today across the fleet, which change nightly, and also selections of dishes to showcase the inspiration.

2018 cruises still open in Croatia

Cruising the Adriatic Sea with Cruise Croatia. Pic supplied by Cruise Croatia

Everyone knows Croatia is hot for cruising this year and while itineraries continue selling fast there are still ample cabins available on boats exploring the magnificent Adriatic Sea if you know where to look.

Cruise Croatia’s general manager business development Peter Smith says that while June and September tend to sell first there is still space for Australian travellers at those times, as well as other months, despite the perception Croatia is already full.

Cruise Croatia – the Beyond Travel Group subsidiary specialising in small-ship voyages around the Adriatic – has launched a “last minute availability” button on its website to help agents easily see those remaining cabins searching by date, departure port, and cruise type.

Silversea to welcome back prominent scientist and conservationist Biruté Mary Galdikas in 2019

Luxury expedition cruise specialist Silversea has announced that renowned primatologist Dr. Biruté Mary Galdikas will join two Silver Discoverer voyages in 2019 as a guest lecturer. Internationally recognised for her studies and work with the orangutans of Indonesian Borneo in their natural habitat, she is considered the world’s foremost authority on the orangutan.

A duo of expedition cruises with departures on 24 June 2019 (Darwin to Bali) and 9 July 2019 (Bali to Singapore) will explore the exotic islands of Indonesia, with an overnight stay in the port of Kumai, gateway to Tanjung Puting National Park and its legendary Camp Leakey. Operated by Dr. Galdikas’ non-profit Orangutan Foundation International (OFI), Camp Leakey is the site of the anthropologist’s pioneering research in the wild. Silversea is the only cruise company partnering with Camp Leakey to offer its guests such exceptional wildlife-focused experiences.

For each guest on these special voyages of Silver Discoverer, Silversea Expeditions will donate $100 to the non-profit Orangutan Foundation International.

During an enriching on-board presentation, Dr. Galdikas will share insights from her many years devoted to the study, care and preservation of endangered orangutans. Additionally, she will lead a private tour to Camp Leakey, where guests can experience close-up encounters with these amazing animals. Immersed in magnificent tropical scenery, guests may also spot proboscis monkeys, gibbons and macaques, as well as birds from more than 200 species.

Seabourn to tempt guests with a wealth of culinary options aboard Seabourn Ovation

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Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is readying an exceptional menu of dining options to delight guests of its newest ship, Seabourn Ovation. Scheduled to launch in May 2018, the fifth ultra-luxury vessel in the Seabourn fleet will set the table for world-class, award-winning dining with five restaurants, each in keeping with the high quality and inventiveness that has earned the line wide praise from culinary observers.

Seabourn’s world-class dining rivals the finest restaurants anywhere, and Seabourn Ovation will be no exception. The line’s skilled chefs prepare gourmet dishes using fresh, seasonal ingredients and take inspiration from regional flavors, including new artisan gelato. The highly talented culinary team are experts in offering dishes that are designed to satisfy a range of appetites. Whether indulging poolside, in the comfort of a private veranda or in a more formal setting, all dishes are carefully curated and plated with an artistic eye.

With a selection of dishes inspired by Seabourn’s partnership with world-renowned, Michelin-starred Chef Thomas Keller served in venues across the ship, including The Grill by Thomas Keller, and the remarkable design of onboard restaurants by hospitality design icon Adam D. Tihany, guests of Seabourn Ovation can look forward to the finest culinary experience on the high seas.

Evergreen Cruises & Tours launches Eight-Day Yacht Cruise along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast

Evergreen Cruises & Tours announces a preview of its 2019 Europe program with a new yacht cruise itinerary along Croatia’s dramatic Dalmatian Coast.

Operated by sister company Emerald Waterways on the brand new 18 cabin yacht MV Adriatic Princess II, the eight-day Islands of Dalmatia cruise will ply the waters between Trogir and Dubrovnik, Croatia. The spectacular Dalmatian Coast is known for its pristine landscapes, clear azure waters, fascinating history dating back to the seventh century, and laid-back Mediterranean culture.

Departures will be offered between April and October, 2019 and these will be seamlessly combined with Evergreen’s land tours and river cruises for Australian guests.

The MV Adriatic Princess II is a newly-commissioned deluxe yacht. With just 18 well-appointed cabins holding 36 guests, this intimate ship has been specially designed to navigate the Dalmatian coast and its many small ports to provide the quintessential yachting experience.

World leader of luxury expeditions announces a fleet of 12 ships by 2021

BLUE EYE EXPLORERS (c) Studio PONANT STIRLING DESIGN INTERNATIONAL

With a fleet of 12 ships, 2000 crew members and 460 departures planned for 2021, PONANT, the world leader of luxury expeditions, will cover all the world’s seas. The company is remaining loyal to its philosophy of sailing to places where others do not venture, offering an ever-richer selection of authentic journeys to exceptional destinations, even the most remote: Antarctica, Arctic, Alaska, the Amazon, the Orinoco, or the Scattered Islands, Kimberley, Papua New Guinea, and even the roof of the world, the Geographic North Pole and the North-East Passage.

The latest order has been placed for two additional sister-ships, delivery of which is scheduled for the first and second quarters of 2020. Like the four previous vessels, the construction of these two new ships will be entrusted to Norwegian shipyard Vard, part of Fincantieri Group. Combining moderate size (just 92 staterooms and suites, each with a balcony), refined design, cutting-edge technology and respect for the environment, they will comply with the international CLEANSHIP label (Bureau Veritas).

The six PONANT EXPLORERS fleet will be fitted with a world first: the “Blue Eye”. This multi-sensorial underwater lounge, a major innovation, will allow passengers to discover and experience the underwater world via two portholes in the form of a cetaceous eye, looking out on to the sea bed, non-intrusive underwater lighting, and hydrophones integrated into the keel that retransmit the natural symphony of the deep water, as well as Body Listening sofas, offering a unique sensorial listening experience by corporal resonance.

Pre-Register Now to Experience the Northwest Passage with Scenic Eclipse

Baffin Bay - Northwest Passage

Following the recent addition to the Scenic Eclipse fleet, there has been unprecedented demand from travellers keen to experience the Northwest Passage on board Scenic Eclipse – The World’s First Discovery Yacht.

Scenic Eclipse, where luxury meets discovery, is the perfect way to experience this remote region and guests wanting to travel need to pre-register now to secure their place.

Limited to just 200 guests and departing in late 2020, this once-in-a-lifetime journey through the Northwest Passage, from Kangerlussuaq to Nome, is the pinnacle of polar exploration.

With its on board helicopters, submarine, Zodiacs and kayaks, Scenic Eclipse features many opportunities for travellers to immerse themselves in the best this spectacular destination has to offer.

Over 21 days, guests will travel in all-inclusive 6-star luxury as they trace the historic routes of early Arctic explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen and explore the archipelago of Canada’s High Arctic.

Aviation

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Aussie family shocked by whopping $30,000 holiday phone bill

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MH370: Report sheds new light on suicide theory and Malaysian cover-up

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