Cruise

Big Fat Cruise Wrap

It’s Hump Day today and we’re celebrating with this juicy cruise wrap. Best enjoyed with a side of wholegrain mustard and glass of Shiraz.

Carnival Cruise Line to increase capacity on cruises to Mexico amid rising demand

Carnival Cruise Line has announced it will expand capacity on its cruise offerings to Mexico from Galveston and New Orleans beginning in 2019.

The announcement is a reflection of the cruise line’s position as a leader in Mexican cruising, with recent figures showing an 8.5 per cent increase in Australians cruising to Mexico with Carnival Cruise Line this year.

Carnival Dream will launch four- and five-day cruises to Mexico year-round from Galveston beginning in May 2019, becoming the newest and largest Carnival ship to operate a short cruise program from that port, providing Australian travellers with the perfect opportunity to extend a trip to the U.S.A by just a few extra days.

In turn, Carnival Valor, currently based in Galveston, will shift to New Orleans to begin year-round four- and five-day cruises, beginning May 2019. It will be the largest ship to offer a year-round short cruise schedule from New Orleans.

Bentours and Hurtigruten announce newest hybrid ship sailings

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As the world leader in exploration travel, Hurtigruten have published the first voyages of the 2019/2020 season, revealing the most extensive Arctic and Antarctica program in their history.

Named after two of the greatest heroes in Polar history, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen, Hurtigruten’s new hybrid powered expedition ships, will combine state of the art technology and premium on-board experience with Hurtigruten’s 125 years of experience and unparalleled destinations.

With the addition of the latest hybrid vessel, MS Fridtjof Nansen, there will now be three ships operating out of South America for the full 2019/2020 season offering more options and departures than ever before.

Celebrity Cruises Black Friday deals

Celebrity Cruises have released incredible deals for Black Friday – the American tradition that has become a worldwide sales phenomenon and has now taken hold in Australia.

Celebrity Cruises is offering savings of up to $600 per person on Europe 2018 sailings, including a free Classic Beverage package for Oceanview bookings and above as well as reduced deposits at just $25 per person, when booked between 24 – 29 November 2017.

Choose a seven-night Italy, France and Spain cruise onboard Celebrity Constellation, departing Rome on 23rd June, 2018. Priced from just AUD$1,749 per person twin share for an Oceanview stateroom, including a free drinks package, the cruise calls to Florence, Nice, overnight in Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca and finish with an overnight in Barcelona.

Earlybird Offer – Receive two nights’ free accommodation on new Torres Strait Islands cruise

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Kimberly coast cruise operator, Ahoy Buccaneers, has announced it will expand in 2018 with its first cruises outside the Kimberley region. In addition to its low-cost Kimberley adventures off the north-west coast of Australia, Ahoy Buccaneers will debut a new, six-night cruise through the remote and rarely visited Torres Strait Islands off the top of Cape York in October and November, 2018.

To mark the launch of its new six-night Torres Strait cruise, Ahoy Buccaneers is offering a free night’s accommodation before and after the cruise, at four-star hotels on Horn Island, for people who book before December 22, 2017.

The 274 islands of the Torres Strait archipelago are scattered across a 150km stretch of ocean between Cape York and Papua New Guinea and are home to stunning, blue waters and an abundance of marine life perfect for snorkelling and fishing. Ahoy’s cruise will centre on the sheltered, southern islands of the group closest to the Australian continent.

Viking launches new six-day India cruise extension

Taj Mahal at dawn in Agra, India

Viking Cruises has announced the launch of a new six-day pre and post cruise extension including Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. India’s Golden Triangle extension is applicable on the 21-day Passage to India itinerary and the 16-day Across the Bay of Bengal itinerary.

In Delhi, tour the walled city known as Old Delhi, encompassing the UNESCO-listed Red Fort and the awe-inspiring Jama Masjid mosque. View the 14th-century ruins of the Firoz Shah Kotla, the royal citadel of Firozabad. And visit Raj Ghat, a black marble memorial marking the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation in 1948. Enjoy a rickshaw ride through the bustling Chandni Chowk, India’s oldest market dating back to the 17th century.

In New Delhi, admire the grandeur of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the residence of India’s president. Completed in 1929 and formerly known as the Viceroy’s House. Marvel at the imposing India Gate with its Amar Jawan Jyoti (Flame of the Immortal Soldier) memorial.

Discover the rarest pearls with Silversea Cruises

Silversea Cruises is pleased to unveil its latest collection, The Rarest Pearls, an exclusive series of nine expedition voyages, sailing aboard Silver Discoverer. These extraordinary voyages have been carefully curated by Silversea’s Expedition Team, providing incredible itineraries that are far beyond a typical cruise, with increasingly remote, immersive, awe inspiring and adventurous experiences.

This collection of voyages include: free economy class air or upgrade to Business Class air roundtrip for AU$1,999; AU$1,500 non-use Air Credit per guest; transfers between the airport, hotel and ship and; one night pre-cruise hotel accommodation, where applicable.

Silversea’s guests can also indulge in: all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet menus with menus inspired by Relais & Chateaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all on-board gratuities.

Crystal Cruises Presents Close-to-home 2018 ‘Crystal Getaways’

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In its continued commitment to offer luxury travellers more choices, Crystal Cruises has unveiled an expanded selection of Crystal Getaways – abbreviated voyages derived from longer existing itineraries for 2018. New to the roster of Getaways are three shortened segments of Crystal Serenity’s 2018 World Cruise voyages, exploring Southeast Asia and the South Pacific.

These Asia-Pacific voyages range from six to 14 days in length, meaning busy travellers don’t need all the time in the world to experience a luxurious Crystal cruise.

Sail the South Pacific with a 17-day Pacific Sojourn Getaway from Honolulu to Sydney aboard Crystal Serenity, departing 30 January, 2018. Guests will embark on an island discovery like no other, beginning in Honolulu, before visiting the birthplace of Polynesian culture in Samoa and experiencing the myriad of cultures of Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Deluxe Stateroom with Veranda fares start from US$8,901per person.

Guests can make the most of every single moment of their holiday as Carnival Cruise Line announces Faster to the Fun

It’s time to maximise the fun with Carnival Cruise Line, with the launch of the new Faster to the Fun package, saving guests time and hassles as they skip the queues and dive straight into making the most of their holiday.

Starting in December, the new program allows guests to secure a package of perks ahead of their cruise. Highlights include priority check-in, first-in tender boarding and a dedicated guest services number, all with the aim of providing guests extra time to kick-start their new adventure.

A limited number of Faster to the Fun packages will be available for bookings made through Polar for cruises on Carnival Spirit from 2 December 2017 and on Carnival Legend from 6 December 2017. Prices start at AUD$50 per cabin for a three-day cruise.

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Destinations

Russia approves controversial COVID-19 vaccine

by Christian Fleetwood

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Cruise

Royal Caribbean posts $2.3 billion quarterly loss, but 2021 bookings “trending well”

by Huntley Mitchell

With its global cruise operations having been suspended since March, Royal Caribbean’s quarterly results come as no surprise.

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Destinations

“I Blame”, “Coal Village” and “Jumpsuit”: Visit Mexico site accidentally gives literal translations for destinations

Have you done something embarrassing at work recently? Take comfort in knowing it almost definitely wasn’t as bad as this gaffe by whoever is in charge of translating Visit Mexico’s webpage.

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Aviation

Private charter airline offers flights to Antarctica on board Qantas Dreamliner

by Christian Fleetwood

The first couple of flights to the frozen continent are set for a November take-off, with travel agents encouraged to get selling.

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Hotels

Marriott’s RevPAR falls more than 80pc in Q2, but CEO notes “steady signs” of demand returning

by Huntley Mitchell

Here’s yet another serving of dour financial results from a hotel giant, this time with a dash of optimism.

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Cruise

Cruise Wrap: MSC’s Mediterranean return, Silverseas’ new expeditions + MORE

This week’s Cruise Wrap is one of our longest yet, with enough information to fill the Pacific Ocean. Or maybe just the Tasman Sea. It will fill your kitchen sink, at least.

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Travel Agents

Get your skills verified with AFTA’s new Micro Credentials Program

Fancy adding some shiny new credentials, or verifying your existing skills? Here’s a quick and easy way to get there.

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Wholesalers

CATO granted access to utilise ‘Safe Travels’ protocols

Unsure what this good news means for you as a CATO member? All is explained here for you, thanks to Travel Weekly’s copying and pasting of a press release.

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Technology

“Very difficult” second quarter sees Amadeus limp to $324m half-yearly loss

by Huntley Mitchell

Amadeus boss Luis Maroto has been forced to pause the order of a new leather chair and credenza for his office after announcing the company’s half-yearly financials.

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Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Bench Africa’s Bonnie-Sue O’Garey

This week, we went on a virtual safari with Bench Africa’s state manager for NSW and the ACT. And by that, we mean we looked at YouTube videos of elephants while we interviewed her.

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Destinations

Northern Territory’s border measures to remain for “at least” 18 months, says Chief Minister

Were you lining up a Christmas jaunt to the Top End for your clients in the hope that the NT’s border restrictions will be relaxed by then? Well, beware of this deflating news.

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Cruise

Two key players shielded from Ruby Princess inquiry

The special inquiry into Ruby Princess will have to report without being able to question two key federal officers who helped clear the cruise ship.

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