Road & Rail

Big Fat Road & Rail Wrap

Why do we love Thursdays? Because there are two wraps! We’re talking about the wraps in the newsletter BTW, not the wraps we have for lunch today.

Mary Valley ‘Rattler’ back on the rails to offer picturesque heritage steam train experience on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast

Mary Valley Rattler Train GYMPIE

The future is looking bright for one of Queensland’s most -loved tourism attractions, with the steam and diesel engines of the Mary Valley Rattler again chugging their way through some of the Sunshine Coast hinterland’s most picturesque countryside.

After many years of extensive upgrades to existing track work and improvements to its fleet of historic steam and diesel locomotives and carriages – each with their own unique story – the heritage railway experience has been relaunched after an almost seven-year hiatus. At its peak, the Valley Rattler, as it was then known, played host to upwards of 30,000 passengers annually.

Morning and afternoon services on the Mary Valley Rattler will now run three days per week on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays for a return journey from the historic Gympie or Amamoor stations via Dagun.

Reputed to be the largest timber railway building owned by Queensland Rail during the 20th century, the historic Gympie station is the headquarters of the Mary Valley Rattler and arguably one of the most stylish and elaborate in the context of timber railway architecture.

Ride a Tour de France Climb, explore Alps on new Sojourn Cycling Tour

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Bike along the shore of Lake Annecy and up one of the climbs of the Tour de France, explore Mont Blanc on foot and stay in elegant accommodations on a new tour in France from Sojourn Bicycling & Active Vacations. Beyond the rides, be charmed by the canals and cobblestone streets of Annecy, explore the shops and brasseries of Chamonix, and savour traditional French and Alpine cuisine. The six-day tour departs June 16, June 23, Sept. 15 and Sept. 22, 2019. Starts at $4,550 per person based on double occupancy.

Starting in Annecy, ride along the west shore of Lake Annecy, France’s third largest lake, then explore the Alps’ glorious Haute-Savoie region, with 7,700-foot La Tournette dominating the dramatic vistas. Stay in the Imperial Hotel, a majestic Edwardian-style property amid a wooded park on the banks of the lake that once hosted the likes of Winston Churchill.

Next, get in a bucket-list ride pedalling up the switchbacks of Stage 10 from the 2018 Tour de France, from Bluffy to La Clausaz, staying in the Hotel Beauregard, which is built in traditional Alpine chalet style.

Then it’s on to Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc, and a stay at Relais & Chateaux luxurious 5-star Hameau Albert 1er. Pedal through the farming villages of Flumet and Megève, hike up the Grand Balcon Sud of Mont Blanc or visit the Mer de Glace ice cave, and finish with an out-and-back ride highlighted by views of Les Grands Montets.

Save 15 per cent on 2019 motorbike tours with Extreme Bike Tours

Motorbike tour - Himalayas pic

Grab your mates and open throttle on some of the world’s most spectacular roads on the back of a classic Royal Enfield motorbike with this special 15 per cent discount from Extreme Bike Tours.

Appealing to the more than one million Australians who ride motorbikes often in clubs or groups, Extreme Bike Tours is offering a special, 15 per cent discount per person on their 2019 ‘Hidden Sri Lanka,’ ‘Luxury Rajasthan,’ ‘Bhutan,’ ‘Madagascar,’ ‘Mongolia,’ and ‘High Himalaya’ tours if you book with three other riders. The special discount is open-ended with no booking deadline.

Extreme Bike Tours’ 13-day ‘Hidden Sri Lanka’ round-tour takes riders from the palm-fringed coastline of the tropical island through to mountainous regions filled with tea plantations, ancient civilisations and exotic wildlife. The 14-day, ‘Luxury Rajasthan’ tour, lets riders explore India’s largest state at full throttle, visiting ancient forts, wandering nomads, grand palaces as well as India’s most iconic monument, the Taj Mahal.

Each tour includes fuel, meals, accommodation and transfers. Flights from Australia are extra. Extreme Bike Tours is one of the world’s leading motorcycle tour companies, offering tours in the Himalayas, Bhutan, Mongolia, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka and Cuba.

International Rail launch new one-stop shop for agents

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Australian-owned International Rail has just launched its new one-stop shop dedicated agent portal, allowing agents to access the numerous products and booking systems the wholesaler offers the Australian market, all with the added peace of mind of local support from the Melbourne based sales and reservations teams.

Over the past 12 months, International Rail has diversified to offer complementary products to its core rail offering. We have created four new divisions catering for ferries, transfers, hotels and shore excursions. The new website, www.agent.internationalrail.com.au, has been designed to simplify the process for agents to provide their clients with an affordable and efficient range of products – all in one place.

Owner and managing director Jonathan Hume said that in recent years the company identified with the needs of its travel partners and has introduced complimentary travel related products worldwide. These include state of the art online bookings systems for ferries, transfers, shore excursions and hotels.

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Destinations

Tourism

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Aviation

Qantas passenger accuses airline of “fat-shaming” after being booted from exit row seat

A Qantas passenger has accused the airline of “fat-shaming” and bullying him after being removed from an exit row seat for being too large.

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Hotels

InterContinental Sydney appoints new PR agency

InterContinental Sydney has chosen a new PR agency, which has already hit the ground running by sending us this announcement.

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Aviation

Virgin Australia culls capacity on Brisbane-Cairns route

Have you recently noticed walking a shorter distance to and from the loo on Virgin’s Brisbane-Cairns flights? Discover why here.

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Destinations

Tourism

Uber launches world’s first rideshare submarine experience to Great Barrier Reef

Ridesharing giant Uber has launched underwater trips. However, will riders receive complimentary bottles of water and breath mints, Travel Weekly asks?

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Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Star Wars mega-famil chance, Viking’s Eurovision contest winners + more

This wrap has something in it for agents who love Star Wars and Eurovision, so bad news for those who hate both.

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Aviation

Destinations

Want to be part of The Living Room’s fabulous Tahiti prize?

Air Tahiti Nui is giving away not one, but two prizes via 10’s The Living Room. Sadly, neither of them include hunk o’ spunk Dr Chris Brown.

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Hotels

Technology

Amadeus signs landmark deal with Booking.com to boost accommodation content

Amadeus appears to be the new black in the travel industry, with the tech player announcing yet another partnership.

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Tourism

Flavour of the Week: Hilton appoints new GM, management change at CTM, Tourism Solomons CEO’s new role + more

Here’s the latest movers and shakers in the travel industry. As in those who have new roles – not epic dance moves.

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Events

REMINDER: Women in Travel Awards early bird ticket deal ends tomorrow!

You know what they say: the early bird gets the worm. So, consider this a worm of the Megascolides australis species.

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Travel Agents

Agent disappears after being ordered to pay back clients (and allegedly owing franchisor 40K)

This story has got a bit of a Catch Me If You Can aura about it, minus Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks.

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Road & Rail

Rail Europe launches summer special for Great Train Journeys

Once again, there isn’t enough road and rail news for us to deliver you a wrap, but we do have this. Or, you can re-read that bullet train story we did last week.

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