The Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Happy Wednesday, readers, it’s time to mark the mid-point in the working week with a juicy fat cruise wrap.

Evergreen Rebrands with Launch of New 2018 European River Cruising Brochure

Evergreen_ERC 2018 Brochure Cover

Evergreen Cruises & Tours launches a new look brand with the release of its new main 2018 Europe River Cruising brochure.

The New River & Ocean Cruises Available in 2018 include the 15 days from Budapest to Amsterdam that can then be joined with an 11 day Baltic cruise from $12,540pp, or, a 14 night Norway and Arctic Circle cruise from $13,665pp, or a 14 night Scotland and Iceland cruise from $14,520pp.

The 8 day cruise from Basel to Amsterdam with added 14 night Britain and Ireland cruise is from $10,490pp,  Evergreen’s 8 day Sensations of Southern France with a 7 night Mediterranean cruise is from $5,125pp, and Evergreen’s 8 day cruise from Bucharest to Budapest follows a Russian River Cruise from $8,060pp* twin share.

As with all Evergreen’s worldwide cruising and touring programs, the popular “You’re Invited” cultural experiences are complimentary. Tipping and gratuities, port taxes and charges and airport transfers are included. All meals and complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks are available with lunch and dinner while river cruising.

2018 Europe River Cruising offers include: Fly Free*; Fly for $995pp; 2 for 1 Airfares; No Single Supplement* for solo travellers; and Early Payment Discounts with savings up to $800 per couple*.

Uncruise Adventures Adds new Itineraries to 2018 Alaska Cruise Schedule 


UnCruise Adventures’ newly released schedule of 2018 Alaska cruises has added more visits to Glacier Bay National Park, and seven new itineraries.

Also new in 2018, the adventure outpost of Haines is added to five itineraries. The new 2018 itineraries also include: Alaska Yacht—Bears, Bergs & Bushwhacking – New in 2018, Alaska’s Glaciers & Whales – New in 2018, Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers, Alaska’s Inside Passage & San Juans Cruise, Glacier Bay National Park Adventure Cruise,

Every Alaska cruise includes adventure activities in remote wilderness—hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff excursions and whale watching. Knowledgeable expedition guides lead tours and provide interpretation along the way.

Rates for weeklong Alaska cruises begin at $2,995 per person based on double occupancy and include fresh, innovative meals; all beverages including alcohol; adventure activities; transfers day of cruise; hot tub; fitness equipment; a complimentary massage is available on select ships.


Celebrity Constellation to Undergo Bold Refresh

Rooftop Terrace_Constellation

The standard-setting Celebrity Constellation is scheduled to enter dry-dock this upcoming Friday, 12 May 2017, and will emerge two weeks later on Friday 26 May 2017.

During the ship’s revitalisation, she will be fitted with even more iconic venues, including brand new culinary concepts and a few guest favourites, just in time for her second Asian cruise season.

Guests sailing onboard Celebrity Constellation can expect to embark on a gastronomic adventure that promises to have their senses humming with the addition of the ever-popular restaurant Qsine. Everything here is “uniquely unordinary,” from the inventive twists of favourite dishes to the playfully quirky ambiance and the iPad menus.

Introducing the newest dining venue in the Celebrity fleet – Top Deck Burger Bar. Located up on the Pool Deck in the space formally known as Mast Grill, guests can enjoy all the gourmet burgers.

The popular Rooftop Terrace will also be making its debut onboard Celebrity Constellation. Intimate and inviting, the relaxing space features chic, cosy furniture, surprising artistic elements, and a large outdoor soundscape and movie screen. The Rooftop Terrace is also home to the iconic gastronomic adventure A Taste of Film – a unique fusion of film and food.

Celebrity is bringing updated technology to staterooms with the addition of new RFID door locks. Guests can now tap their SeaPass card against their door lock, which will automatically unlock for them.

Every Penthouse and Royal Suite will get updated with new powder room refreshes, including porcelain tiled floors, new glimmering fixtures, marble surfaces, and cosy seats. The rest of the suite areas will get refreshed furnishings like plush furniture, new artwork, luxurious carpeting, drapes, and bed linens – promising guests the most comfortable, relaxing modern luxury experience.

Additionally, guests can discover some of the top names in fashion and merchandise in the completely revitalised shopping area. The fresh space will rival even the chicest boulevards around the world. After guests have refreshed their wardrobe, they are encouraged to visit The Studio, Celebrity’s new high-end portrait studio ideal for capturing holiday photos.

Fantasea Cruising Revolutionises Water Taxi Pricing to make Sydney Harbour Affordable for Everyone

Fantasea Cruising have introduced a new Zone pricing model to drive down prices and increase access for all travellers wishing to get out on the harbour.

“We’ve made a significant change to both the availability and pricing structure of water taxis on Sydney Harbour. With an increase in our fleet to 12 and with another brand-new taxi on the way, water taxis are more affordable and available than ever,” Fantasea Cruising CEO Anthony Hayes said.

“Within the most common zone on Sydney Harbour – Zone 1 – all trips will incur a $40 booking fee plus just $10per person thereafter. This makes travelling across the harbour more affordable than ever as for two people travelling within Zone 1, it’s just $60!”

Fantasea Cruising operate a fleet of 23 vessels on Sydney Harbour, Pittwater, Townsville and beyond. Cruise experiences include Classic Aussie Cruise, whale watching, sightseeing, charters and build your own cruise options.


Bite-sized Royal Caribbean Voyage on Sale

Explorer of the Seas

Royal Caribbean has released a new six-night Tasmania cruise onboard one of the largest and most adventure-packed cruise ship sailing in Australia, Explorer of the Seas – perfect for first time cruisers.

Departing Sydney on Saturday 9 December 2017, the six-night round-trip cruise includes two port days and three days at sea before calling to Hobart, so guests can explore the tranquil wilderness and incredible local flavours of Tasmania, as well as to Melbourne.

The recently revitalised Explorer of the Seas is one of the largest ships sailings down under, and features the FlowRider surf machine, full size sports court, rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, a large indoor promenade lined with shops, a pub and dining venues, as well as three pools, a large theatre with Broadway-style entertainment and eight different dining venues to choose from.

Fares start from just $749per person twin share in an Interior Stateroom, including 30 percent saving and half price deposits as part of Royal Caribbean’s Endless Summer Sale, if booked before 31 May 2017.

Viking Cruises announces first three winners of golden tickets

thumbnail_iTalk Travel Fountain Gate

Is your agency sitting on gold? The first three winners of Viking Cruises’ golden ticket giveaway have been found as brochure deliveries start to land, with Cruise Travel Centre Hobart, Escape Travel Mackay and italktravel Fountain Gate each winning one of seven Rhine Getaway river cruises.

The four remaining golden tickets can be found between Viking’s new 2018 river brochures, and will see the winning agency win an eight-day Rhine Getaway river cruise for two from Amsterdam to Basel (or vice versa) on a pre-selected date.

As the final deliveries are made, agents are encouraged to check if they are one of the last lucky winners so they can claim their prize.


Azamara Asia sale!

Azamara Club Cruises is putting spectacular Asia on sale, with huge savings of up to $1,500 per stateroom on a range of voyages sailing throughout the magical continent.

The offer applies to a range of sailings departing from 4 November 2017 through to 26 April 2018 onboard the recently revitalised Azamara Journey when booked by 31 May 2017.

The line also offers hundreds of intimate experiences that allow guests to connect locally. The custom experiences curated by Azamara’s expert team accommodate every travel style whether it be experiencing local life behind the scenes (Cruise Global, Meet Local), food and wine (Cruise Global, Taste Local), exclusive, custom after-dinner experiences (Cruise Global, Nights Local), cycling on Azamara’s own bicycles (Cruise Global, Bike Local) and much more. P

lus each cruise, guests are treated to a complimentary, unique AzAmazing Evening event.



CAM 05-10
CAM 05-10

Today Viking Cruises announces the launch of their new ship, Viking Ra with guests setting sail on a new Egypt itinerary, Pharaohs & Pyramids in March 2018. The all-suite Viking Ra will boast 24 suites and accommodate 48 guests, reflecting Viking’s award-winning Scandinavian design and intimate sailing experience.

Viking Ra, named in honour of the Egyptian sun god Ra, will feature three suite stateroom categories, as well as an onboard spa, two Jacuzzis and an outdoor pool. Designed by experienced nautical architects and engineers, the ship combines elegant Scandinavian design with local design influences, including geometric Arabic patterns and terrazzo floors to fully immerse guests in the local surroundings.

The onboard dining, bar and lounge will include both regional and international cuisine, with Viking’s Culture Curriculum available onboard including: world-class lectures on history and art, informative port talks and enriching Destination Performances featuring folkloric shows and musicians.

During the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, guests will experience Egypt’s cultural treasures across seven ports. The itinerary begins with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, where guests visit iconic sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Citadel of Saladin and Mosque of Muhammad Ali.

Guests will then fly to Luxor, where they will board Viking Ra for a 7-day roundtrip sailing on the Nile River to Aswan, featuring excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, and a visit to a colourful Nubian Village where guests can experience a traditional elementary school. Finally, the journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in this historic city.

Book a 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids cruise and save $2,000 per couple plus fly free to Egypt. Offer valid until 30 June 2017. Pricing from $6,895 for 18 May 2018 departure.

Alaska & the Inside Passage Wilds of A Great Frontier

Immerse yourself in a world of Tlingit heritage with Viking Cruises. The 11-day cruise stops at eight ports across Canada and Alaska including Vancouver, Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Valdez and Seward.

As you cruise this pristine wilderness of misty fjords, discover Vancouver’s stunning coastline before taking in the natural splendour of one of Alaska’s most scenic waterways, the famed Inside Passage. Visit the once Russian capital of Alaska, Ketchikan to learn more about the fur trade and then head to the only US capital inaccessible by road, Juneau for gold panning.

Book an 11-day Alaska & the Inside Passage ocean cruise and save $1,000 per couple. Offer valid until 30 June 2017. Pricing from $6,395 for 5 June 2019 departure.

Silversea Partner with the Australian Ballet

Silversea Cruises announce a new multi-year partnership with Australia’s national ballet company, The Australian Ballet. The agreement epitomises the perfect partnership, bringing together two prestigious brands and a world of beauty and elegance.

“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with The Australian Ballet, an organisation which has many shared values with Silversea Cruises. As one of the world’s premier ballet companies, The Australian Ballet has a commitment to excellence, a spirited style, and a willingness to take risks, whilst inspiring and delighting its audiences. This vision for delivering high standards and a passion for life strongly resonates with Silversea Cruises, making this a partnership which is very well aligned,” Silversea’s Managing Director, Asia-Pacific, Amber Wilson said.

Recognising the worldwide interest in and appeal of this fascinating art form, Silversea Cruises currently offer enrichment ballet voyages providing guests the unique opportunity to be transported into the majestic world of ballet, with exclusive performances by world-class ballet stars from the most renowned theatres.


Carnival Gets into the Mexican Spirit with Cinco de Mayo Celebrations

thumbnail_Carnival Cinco de Mayo Celebrations on Carnival Spirit

Carnival Cruise Line has marked the Mexican national holiday, Cinco de Mayo, with the announcement of a new Australian agent incentive for bookings on its popular Mexican itineraries.

For the month of May, all Australian agents who book a client on a Carnival Mexican cruise will go in the draw to win a seven-night cruise to the Mexican Riviera or one of three MEXI-FUN hampers up for grabs each week.

Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke and Director of Sales Anton Loeb launched the incentive promotion in true Mexican style, joining a group of Sydney-based agents onboard Carnival Spirit in Sydney for Mexican food and margaritas in the ship’s BlueIguana Cantina.

Fares on a seven-day cruise on Carnival Miracle sailing from Long Beach in Los Angeles to the Mexican Riviera start from AU$976 per person twin share. The cruise departs on November 11, 2017 with calls to Cabo, San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.

Scenic launches 2018 luxury Europe river cruises brochure

Enrich, Sound of Music, Salzburg, Austria

Scenic has released its full brochure for 2018 Europe River Cruising, jam-packed with idyllic itineraries cruising down iconic waterways, in Europe, France, Portugal and Russia.

Across all of the itineraires, exclusive Scenic Enrich experiences will take you to the cultural heart of Europe. Enjoy private concerts in palaces, join in with The Best of the Sound of Music and Salzburg Show, enjoy a Russian Ballet or, experience a traditional cabaret with Scenic Rouge.

Scenic’s iconic 15 days Jewels of Europe, from Amsterdam to Budapest allows you to experience a region steeped in history of ancient trade routes, forested hillsides and idyllic vineyards. Discover the ancient Bavarian city in Nuremberg, and acquaint yourself in the opulent city of Vienna. From only $6,995 per person including return flights.

Scenic’s historic 11 Day Normandy and Gems on the Seine is a round trip from Paris, showcasing some of the most celebrated sites from the Somme battlefields to Monet’s house and gardens and starts from on $6,645 per person including return flights to France.

Azamara Club Cruises Announces Additional Cuba Voyages

Azamara Club Cruises have added four additional sailings to its exciting line up of Cuba voyages. Departing from Miami, the sailings onboard the recently revitalised Azamara Quest feature overnights in Havana, as well as visits to two maiden ports of call – Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. As the cruise brand that pioneered truly immersive destination experiences, Azamara is offering more opportunities for guests to travel deeper into Cuba.

Azamara has created a variety of unique people-to-people shore excursions in Cuba. Travellers can enjoy the destination from sunup to sundown – exploring historic sites by day, followed by mojitos and sultry Cuban music in the evening. Multiple overnight stays also allow guests the opportunity to experience the destination at night when the cobblestone streets are filled with music from salsa clubs, the scent of hand rolled Cuban cigars, and delicious local cuisine.

Shore Excursion offerings feature a variety of experiences including a visit to the open air cabaret, Tropicana, a Nelson Dominguez art gallery tour, Havana by classic car along the Malecón waterfront and Hemingway’s Havana, with more experiences coming soon. All tour programs offered by Azamara are designed to meet U.S. requirements for travel to Cuba.

Scenic launches South America program for 2018

Scenic has launched its South America program for 2018 which features a brand-new 12/29 day tour, Icons of South & Central America. With its rich, colourful history, this Scenic-exclusive tour combines the very best of South America, from the history-steeped Havana and Trinidad to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, Machu Picchu and Cuzco.

There’s a new Scenic Enrich experience, a horse-and-carriage ride and dinner in Cartagena, as well as a host of new Scenic Freechoice options: think Cuzco cooking classes, off-road adventures in Los Glaciares National Park and a Classic Havana tour.

Also new for 2018 is a Belmond Andean Explorer two-day luxurious rail journey across the awe-inspiring Andes to Lake Titicaca on Scenic’s 16 day Peru Discovery tour, where guests will delve into Peru’s Sacred Valley and visit the World Heritage site of Machu Picchu.

Book by 31 October 2017 and fly to South America from $995 when you book a journey of 20 days or longer – a saving of up to $2,330 per couple; or fly from $1,295 on journeys of 11 to 19 days.

Fantasea Cruising celebrates Sydney with the launch of spectacular “Picnic on the Harbour” experiences

WT Picnic cheers

Picnic basket, check. Bottle of bubbles, Check. Secluded island in the middle of Sydney harbour, check. Views of Sydney’s iconic features, check. Commissionable for agents, check. Fantasea Cruising this week launches the most exciting new product to hit Sydney Harbour in years…Picnic on the Harbour with Yellow Water Taxis.

“Working in partnership with Bel & Brio, a funky deli at Barangaroo, the catering options are of a high quality, with a bottle of bubbles included, or red or white wine options if preferre,” Fantasea Cruising CEO Anthony Hayes said.

“Our fantastic water taxis seat up to 16 or 24 people and our experienced skippers will whisk visitors across to Clark Island in the middle of the harbour for a picnic on the lovely green grass. They’ll then return to pick them up 2 hours later, or whenever they prefer. This is a fabulous way to experience Sydney like a local, not just see it out the window.”

Golden Princess Marks 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea

Golden Princess Memorial Service for 75th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea

A poignant remembrance service was held onboard Golden Princess yesterday as the ship sailed off far northern Queensland, 75 years to the day since the closing stages of the pivotal Battle of the Coral Sea, regarded as the turning point of the war in the Pacific.

Guests and crew alike paused for the service to remember those who died in the biggest naval battle ever to take place near Australia and the first in naval history where two opposing fleets at no stage came within sight of each other.

The battle raged for four days from May 4-8 in 1942 and was the first clash to halt the advance of Japanese forces reducing the immediate threat to Australia and setting the scene for the Battle of Midway, a clear cut Allied victory, a month later.

Two Royal Australian Navy ships, HMAS Australia and HMAS Hobart, were part of the joint US and Australian naval force involved in the series of naval engagements over the four days of the battle. At the time, the events of May 1942 were being followed very closely by the Australian Government with Prime Minister John Curtin making an historic statement to the Parliament as the outcome of the battle hung in the balance.

P&O Cruises Takes Casual Dining to Next Level on Pacific Explorer 

P&O Cruises will soon be serving gourmet burgers and traditional Italian Neapolitan pizzas at sea, revealing plans to launch a new poolside grill called Luke’s by Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan and a new partnership with popular Melbourne-based pizza maker Johnny Di Francesco on its latest ship, Pacific Explorer.

The new casual dining outlets have been unveiled in the cruise line’s latest brochure, which features record ship deployments for both Brisbane and Adelaide as part of P&O’s 2018-19 offering.

For the first time, Australia’s home grown cruise line will base three ships in Brisbane, with Queensland holidaymakers able to enjoy a spring season of cruises on Pacific Jewel from September to November 2018, as well as year-round cruising on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria. Between them, the three ships are scheduled to offer 126 cruises from Brisbane in 2018, with fares starting from $428* per person quad share for a three-night comedy cruise departing Brisbane on February 9, 2019.


Princess Cruises’ Travelling Film Festival Trilogy

Movies Under The Stars

Princess Cruises has announced it will bring award-winning film to the seas again this year, as it celebrates the third Travelling Film Festival at Sea on Sun Princess in November. Lovers of cinema will enjoy a selection of high calibre film screenings curated by Sydney Film Festival Director Nashen Moodley and hosted by acclaimed film critic Richard Kuipers during the ship’s six-night roundtrip cruise from Sydney to Tasmania (November 5-11).

Featuring top hits of Sydney Film Festival, highlights will include Cannes-winning films Captain Fantastic and Mustang, the off-beat romantic comedy Maggie’s Plan starring Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore and Greta Gerwig, and Elvis and Nixon starring Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon.

The cruise will also feature a full schedule of activities highlighting the best of Sydney Film Festival, including thought-provoking Q&As with guest speakers, cocktail parties and opportunities to mingle with other movie addicts. 

Fares for the Travelling Film Festival cruise start from $899* per person twin share. The cruise will depart Sydney on November 5, 2017, with guests visiting Burnie and historic Port Arthur and enjoying an overnight stay in Hobart before returning to Sydney.


Seabourn Offers Coveted Access On New UNESCO World Heritage Tours In Europe

Pacific Explorer - 400 Gradi (email)

Seabourn has announced new UNESCO Partner Tours at World Heritage Sites across Europe over the cruise season ahead, as part of its exclusive partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The tours will offer guests privileged access, guide-led exploration, and remarkable experiences, as with all such offerings since the partnership began in 2014. 

Available on select scheduled Seabourn cruises starting this summer, each UNESCO Partner Tour focuses on individual UNESCO World Heritage Sites selected – and protected – for their cultural, historical, scientific or other significance to humankind. The tours include:

The tours include:

  • Portland, England: Stonehenge
  • Amalfi, Italy: Extraordinary Amalfi Cooking Class
  • Valencia, Spain: The Silk Exchange
  • Gibraltar: The Ultimate Archeologist Experience at Gorham’s Cave
  • Barcelona, Spain: The World of Gaudi
  • Valletta, Malta: Megalithic Malta & the National Museum of Archaeology


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