Big Fat Cruise Wrap

This is our last cruise wrap for 2018 – and also one of our longest. Which means you can probably procrastinate until the end of the week if you look at the pictures for long enough.

Best Seats on the Harbour this New Year’s Eve!!!


Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018 with Captain Cook Cruises on the most beautiful harbour in the world. Be dazzled by Sydney’s famous Harbour fireworks from the best seat in the house – on one of Captain Cook’s many New Year’s Eve Cruises.

Come aboard Captain Cook Cruises Sydney 2000, John Cadman 2 or Matilda 3 and be one of the privileged few cruising in the Harbour Lights Parade, inside the fireworks exclusion zone.

The Sydney 2000 is Sydney’s most prestigious cruise ship and hosts the Club and Show Deck New Year’s Eve dinners featuring an indulgent four-course a-la-carte menu, superior wines, all spirits and liqueurs and premium Veuve Clicquot Champagne to toast at midnight.

Promising the night is one to remember, both Club and Show Deck include deluxe seating, a fantastic live band and access to the open top deck with uninterrupted 360-degree firework and Sydney Harbour views.

See the best of India’s man-made and natural icons with ‘Taj Mahal and Tigers’ River Cruise Package 

MV Mahabaahu in Assam

The majestic jewel of India, the Taj Mahal, the legendary Bengal tiger and the remote, sacred river of Brahmaputra combine as highlights of a new river cruise tour to India in 2019.

Released by Cruise Traveller in partnership with Indian river cruise company, Adventure Resorts and Cruises (ARC), the 12-night ‘Taj Mahal and Tigers’ package in December, 2019,  links a five-night tour of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur with a seven-night cruise on the sacred Brahmaputra River in Assam, a culturally intact region in far-north-east India that sees few tourists but boasts so much wildlife it is known as the ‘Serengeti of India’.

Cruise Traveller and ARC are offering an early-bird discount of up to A$2230 per couple on the Taj Mahal and Tigers tour if booked by April 30, 2019.  Including international return flights with Singapore Airlines from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth plus domestic flights in India, the 12-night land and river cruise package is available from A$6495 per person, twin share, in a river view stateroom – a saving of A$764 including the early-bird discount.

The fare in a suite is from A$7555 per person, twin-share – a saving of A$1,115 including the early-bird discount. The early-bird discounts are only available if booked before April 30, 2019, and are subject to availability.

Coral Expeditions officially launches new flagship Coral Adventurer

Coral Expeditions_Float out for Coral Adventurer 2 low res

Coral Expeditions officially launched their new vessel, Coral Adventurer, into the ocean on 8th December 2018. The float out ceremony, which involved two days of relocating the vessel from yard onto the floating dock, was a key milestone for Australia’s pioneering cruise line, Coral Expeditions.

With her build firmly on track and on time, Coral Expeditions expect no delays preparing their fourth vessel for her sold-out maiden voyage in April 2019.

Sea trials will commence in February, handover in late March, followed by shakedown cruises in April. Her official launch will be celebrated in Singapore on April 23rd 2019 before she enters service on her first 18-night departure ‘In the trail of Tasman’.

The vessel will then arrive for the first time in Australian waters for an official welcome in Darwin on May 13th 2019.

Celebrity Cruises announces North America deployment for 2020-21

MDR View 2_ 2018-05-14

Celebrity Cruises has announced its 2020-21 deployment plans for North America, featuring a record number of destinations.

Travellers will have the opportunity to sail on newly modernised ships as the brand continues to invest in luxuriously redesigned accommodations, refreshing spaces, and custom experiences across its fleet as part of the Celebrity Revolution.

Freshly from a multi-million dollar modernisation, Celebrity Summit will kick off her North American season of sailings with a completely new program. Summit will visit 19 destinations and seven countries – both marking new milestones – and bring travellers to Greenland for the first time, along with a Statue of Liberty experience. She’ll stay for more than 10 hours in port at a record 56 stops, docking in 39 of those ports for more than 12 hours.

Celebrity Eclipse, Celebrity Millennium and Celebrity Solstice will return to Alaska for the northern hemisphere summer. Together they will visit 12 Canadian and U.S. destinations and spend more time in these ports than ever before.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises unveils new Go Local Tours and Regent Choice Small Group Tours for luxury travellers 

This week, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, the world’s leading luxury cruise line, announced two shore excursion innovations designed to offer luxury travellers the most bespoke experiences in destinations around the world: Go Local Tours and Regent Choice Small Group Tours.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises guests will enjoy a more direct way to experience the culture of a destination through Go Local Tours. Now, guests can spend a day at a family-owned goat farm in the countryside of Andalusia to learn the generations-old way of making cheese, or discover the joy of fishing with the residents of Portofino, or observe skilled artists in their studios on Palma de Mallorca. Guests will experience the world through the eyes of those who live in the community and discover the best of a favourite destination.

In 2009, Regent Seven Seas Cruises elevated the luxury cruise industry by introducing FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions, an innovation which demonstrated the tremendous value Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers with one all-inclusive voyage price. Regent Choice small group tours are smaller versions of the cruise line’s existing popular FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions and Regent Choice tours. Hosting no more than 16 guests for a subsidised, supplementary fee, Regent Choice small group tours allow for more personal destination engagement with a knowledgeable guide.

Royal Caribbean announces 2020-21 International Deployment 

HM, Harmony of the Seas, OOH, night, nighttime drone shot, aerial of ship, aft, rear view, colorful lights, Ultimate Abyss in center, top pool decks,

Royal Caribbean International has today launched its deployment plans for 2020-21 season, touting a fleet of Royal Amplified ships sailing to exciting destinations.

A newly revitalised Oasis of the Seas will deliver new holidays from the Northeast with seven-night Caribbean itineraries that include a day at the cruise line’s highly anticipated private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, The Bahamas. Oasis will be the first ship in her class and the world’s largest to sail from the Northeast. For the first time since 2015, Anthem of the Seas will return to the U.K. to sail alongside Independence of the Seas, marking the cruise line’s biggest presence in the region to-date.

Celebrating its one-year anniversary in summer 2020, Perfect Day at CocoCay will welcome ten ships from more ports than any previous deployment, including newly added Galveston, Texas, as well as Barcelona, Spain on Allure and Rhapsody of the Seas’ transatlantic sailings in November 2020.

Royal Caribbean will tout seven ships in 2020-21 that have emerged from the global cruise line’s $1 billion Royal Amplified modernisation program launched in 2018, introducing a wide range of bold, new adventures designed to appeal to all ages.

Relax and escape on the Cunard Queens

Luxury cruise line Cunard is inviting Australian travellers to sail into 2019 with indulgent escapes still available on the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth and her sister ship Queen Victoria.

Cunard’s youngest ship, Queen Elizabeth will return to local waters in February 2019 for a record 54-day season Down Under, giving Australians the opportunity to be among the first to experience her refit, including the brand new holistic spa concept, Mareel. Mareel Wellness & Beauty offers guests a new luxury space and a unique treatment menu, featuring mineral-rich seawater and marine-based experiences.

During their voyage, guests can also enjoy Cunard’s renowned dining and entertainment offerings, with Queen Elizabeth featuring more than 10 restaurants and cafes, a Games Deck with paddle tennis, croquet and bowls, a ballroom and a three-deck Royal Court Theatre.

Tauck Australia announces new Douro Riverboat cruising in 2020

iStock - Cibelese Square, Madrid

Tauck Australia has announced three cruises commencing in April 2020 aboard Tauck’s new 80-metre Douro Riverboat which has been purpose-built for traversing Portugal’s fascinating Douro River and offers spacious accommodation for 84 guests. Cruise itineraries and dates are as follows with full pricing to be available in February 2019:

12-day Exploring the Douro, Plus Lisbon & Madrid – Discover the Iberian Peninsula’s riverside gems, accompanied by two-night land stays in Lisbon and Madrid. Lisbon invites discoveries of then and now in a delightfully paced parade of monumental sites, palaces aplenty and azulejos chronicling life from Moorish times to present day.

Seven-night Douro Discovery – Start with a two-night stay in Lisbon, stepping foot where the world’s first explorers set sail and visiting a palace, historic monuments, museums and more. Then embark your riverboat in Porto, home to port wine, storytelling mosaics, Harry Potter influences, and sightseeing aboard a 19th-century tram and a funicular railway.

Eight-day Villages and Vintages – Experience an authentic taste of daily life in the Douro River Valley steeped in a legacy of winemaking for more than 2000 years. Enjoy wine tastings at picturesque quintas hosted by expert winemakers who share insights on Douro Valley wines.

Exploring the hidden gems of Canada’s North over the holiday season

Roberto Serrini_arctic_443150817

People’s dream of visiting Canada’s North can become a reality with One Ocean Expeditions (OOE), a world leader in expedition cruising to polar regions. Exploring the Canadian Arctic is a gift for intrepid travellers in need of active, educational and festive cultural adventures.

OOE’s guests returning from the experience are humbled by the beauty of the land, the Inuit communities and their culture and the prolific wildlife. They are deeply touched by the environment’s serenity and fragility, becoming advocates for the protection and conservation of this remote land.

With the Canadian Arctic’s popularity on the rise, OOE is now operating the largest fleet of small expedition cruise vessels in the region. They offer a wide diversity of itineraries and enriching cruise programs of various interests over a relatively short cruise season, from early August to mid-September. Although OOE does not operate Arctic voyages over the winter months, the exploration of this pristine destination is still possible throughout the darkest days of the year.

With an unwavering sense of community, the Inuit people gather to celebrate in winter months; singing, dancing and partaking in meals together, sitting in circles with no displayed hierarchy. In their small communities, doors are always open for anyone ever in need of food and shelter.


Leave a Reply


Review: Le Farnatchi is a truly boutique beauty in the heart of Marrakech

by Nancy Hromin

Hidden in plain sight in the middle of the Medina, Le Farnatchi is a truly boutique beauty with only 10 suites offering a quiet and peaceful reprieve.




Sydney’s Great West Walk extended by 80km

Hikers, rejoice! This iconic trail has been extended to cover a whopping 140km, making it possible to walk from Parramatta to Katoomba.




Hilton and Carnival named among Australia’s best workplaces

Travel Weekly unfortunately missed out on the list, though we do often hold up balloons that spell out our company name like in the featured image. It really boosts team morale!




ACCC raises concerns over Qantas’ acquisition of Alliance Airlines

The ACCC is also concerned about whether Alan Joyce’s volunteering on the tarmac has affected productivity, with workers beginning to raise eyebrows after his eighth morning tea break.




Virtuoso reveals hottest bounce back trends at Travel Week

Are you living it up at the fashion week of travel in Vegas this year? Or are you sitting at home suffering from FOMO? Either way, we’re sure these insights will tickle your fancy.




Tourism New Zealand seeks to attract “high-quality visitors” in new campaign

Nothing says ‘adventure’ like ziplining through a forest in New Zealand. Zipliners are up there with Marco Polo in our opinion.




Azamara rolls out luxe bar championing destination immersion

The line will launch its new bar concept across the entire Azamara fleet, with delicious destination-themed cocktails to get passengers in the zone.




Aurora Expeditions announces new Patagonia treks

Travellers are set to weave their way through the remotest parts of South America with these new itineraries, in their Patagonia gear of course.




New expert sessions announced for Cruise360

These new sessions have us so excited we went out and booked a cruise, only for us to realise the date overlapped with Cruise360 so we had to cancel.




Club Med’s flash sale has 30% off Asian resorts

Just to clarify, it’s 30% off resort deals, not the actual resorts themselves. Although that would be quite the sale.



Midweek Interview

Midweek catch-up with Visit West Hollywood’s Tom Kiely

This week we caught up with the CEO of Visit West Hollywood Tom Kiely who kept praising Australia and our travel industry. We just couldn’t stop blushing!




Corona announces its own tropical island destination in South America

If drinking beer on the beach is one of your favourite holiday activities then there’s no better destination for you!