Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Travel Weekly’s Wednesday cruise wrap is here to inform, excite and delight – although if you’re none of the above please don’t write to complain.


Celebrity Cruises has released a brand new range of exclusive, locally-inspired shore excursions designed for small groups to enjoy more in-depth experiences in the regions they visit.

The first tours in the growing Celebrity Discovery Collection will be offered in the Western Mediterranean, with more tours being added globally throughout 2018.

 Created with both the seasoned wanderer and new-to-cruise in mind, the tours range from eclectic, off-the-beaten-path adventures for the naturally curious explorer, to tours that take travellers to the must-see locales of every port. With a maximum of 24 guests in each tour, guests will get more time at each location, individual interaction with their guide, and a more up close and personal travel experience.

New Celebrity Discovery Collection Shore Excursions include:

·         French Day Experience in Nice at St. Paul de Vence

Guests will venture into a 17th century underground vault and storied wine shop in Old Nice, enjoy lunch at Michelin-starred restaurant La Colle-sur-Loup, and visit the enchanting St. Paul de Vence.

·         Italian Pasta Experience
Guests will arrive at the famed Martelli pasta factory by carriage for a tour of the facilities, followed by an entertaining pasta-making demonstration at Torre a Cenaia in Tuscany.

·         Barcelona’s Secret Basilica – Concert at the Bell Tower
Guests will be transported back in time with a live concert of medieval music at Basilica del Pi’s bell tower.

·         Valldemossa and Exclusive Lunch in Deia
Guests will explore the Mallorcan countryside, enjoy a private piano concert and visit the La Cartuja ancient monastery.

Upper Murraylands Cruise

Murray Princess & Cliffs

Captain Cook Cruises has released the 2018 departure dates for their seven-night Upper Murraylands Cruise, onboard Paddlewheeler, PS Murray Princess.

This popular cruise explores the northern area of the Murray River from Mannum to Morgan, before returning to Mannum. Departing once a month its diverse itinerary ensures this cruise offers something for everyone.

The Upper Murraylands 2018 cruise departures include 16 February, 16 March, 20 April, 11 May, 8 June, 17 August,14 September, 12 October and 21 December. 2019 departures include 15 February and 15 March.

The Upper Murraylands cruise visits the historic towns of Waikerie, Morgan and Swan Reach, where guests are taken on fascinating guided walks and can visit their historic museums. At Blanchetown guests will be enthralled with the experience of going through Lock No. 1 (one of thirteen along the river).

Escape with Carnival and receive upgrades

Today, Carnival Cruise Line updated its Escape With Carnival Sale with the addition of FREE upgrades from Ocean View to Balcony Cabins on top of the already incredible savings of up to AUD $800 per cabin + half price deposits for Aussie fun seekers!

The promotion is available on select sailings between 28 January 2018 and 30 December 2019, for bookings made by 26 February 2018.

With this amazing sale, fun-loving couples and families can choose to holiday at some of Carnival’s most picturesque destinations, including Moreton Island, and the beautiful South Pacific islands of New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

Aussies that book will get to experience all the fun that Carnival has to offer, with 45+ daily activities, from the thrilling Green Thunder waterslide, themed nights, live Broadway-style entertainment and the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss with Seuss at Sea.

The Whitsundays farewells the Clipper Yacht Race flee

Parade of Sail Dept Race-0021

The Whitsundays farewelled the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crews last week after a break in the beautiful Whitsundays, enjoying everything the tropical paradise has to offer

The fanfare on the dock at Abell Point Marina as the yachts slipped lines was emotional, with farewells for family and friends but also an atmosphere of excitement as crews embarked on the next chapter of their 40,000 nautical mile race around the world.

Whitsundays Mayor Andrew Willcox made a short address and wished crews ‘bon voyage’ on their global voyage. The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race crews have enjoyed a two-week break in the Whitsundays, with the Red Carpet well and truly rolled out for the region’s guests.

The two-week long Whitsundays Clipper Race Carnival (January 13-29) was organised as a celebration of the crews’ visit and also to showcase the wonderful Whitsundays to the world.

Majestic Whales Encounters launches first QLD adventure – Swim with dwarf minke whales on the Great Barrier Reef

minke whale swim

Two of Australia’s natural World Heritage sites – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest – feature in a brand new package offered by Majestic Whales Encounters, which will see travellers swim with dwarf minke whales, snorkel on the famous reef, and stay in a luxurious rainforest treehouse.

The ‘Swim with Dwarf Minke Whales’ 10-night package is the first Queensland trip offered by Australian company, Majestic Whales, which is known for its whale swim holidays in Tonga and now expanding into other whale-rich waters, including Norway and Queensland.

After staying in the Silky Oaks Lodge for three nights, guests will then transfer to Cairns and board the Spirit of Freedom for eight days of swimming with dwarf minke whales and exploring the remote Ribbon Reefs – perfect for snorkeling and diving with their huge range of biodiversity, from the giant, fluorescent clam to the vividly red flame file shell. A marine biologist will be onboard to share his knowledge.

Norwegian Cruise Line celebrates first contraction milestone for newest ship

Norwegian Encore

Today Norwegian Cruise Line marked the start of construction for its newest ship. Named Norwegian Encore, Norwegian’s latest addition to its young, modern fleet will sail The Caribbean from Miami seasonally beginning in North-American autumn 2019.

Norwegian Encore will be the seventeenth ship in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet and the line’s fourth and final ship in the Breakaway Plus Class, the most successful Class in the brand’s history. At approximately 169,700 gross tonnes and accommodating 4,000 guests, Norwegian Encore will sail weekly seven-day Caribbean cruises each Sunday from PortMiami, offering guests the superior service, world-class entertainment, signature dining and onboard experiences that Norwegian Cruise Line is known for around the globe.

Norwegian Encore will feature amenities and interactive experiences that will excite and inspire, and more details on the ship’s design, accommodation, dining and onboard offerings will be shared in the coming months. The ship will be available for reservations in March 2018.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises launches Marketing Central

Luxurious all-inclusive cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced the launch of Marketing Central, an innovative, trade-facing online platform hosting a library of customisable brand approved marketing collateral, including flyers, posters, advertising and brand imagery.

Marketing Central, which is completely free with agent log-in details, can be accessed via the Regent Travel Agent Centre and offers tools and resources to help travel partners book and sell Regent Seven Seas Cruises including:

  • Official logos, images and videos
  • Downloadable and customisable print-ready flyers, posters, advertising and more to come
  • Social media assets
  • Brochure ordering
  • Dedicated support team and contact details of Business Development Managers

As an incentive to register for the portal, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is giving the opportunity to win a fantastic hosted dinner for six guests (plus a representative of Regent Seven Seas Cruises). To win, agents must register to Regent Marketing Central, sign-up to the webinar and be our top seller in term of revenue from 01.02.18 to 28.02.18.

Reimagined Mariner of the Seas infused with incredible adventures


Royal Caribbean International has unveiled brand new features for the reimagined Mariner of the Seas. After an extensive USD$90 million makeover, Mariner will offer out of this world thrills like the Sky Pad – a brand new virtual reality bungee trampoline experience, a glow-in-the-dark laser tag experience as well as The Perfect Storm – a duo of racing waterslides.

Beginning in June 2018, Mariner of the Seas will offer three-and four-night Bahamas escapes from PortMiami to Nassau and CocoCay – Royal Caribbean’s private island destination – where guests will experience a variety of new thrills, heart-pumping nightlife and exotic culinary creations.

The 15-guest deck Mariner of the Seas will continue to offer an array of signature Royal Caribbean experiences, including a Studio B ice-skating rink, a 40-foot rock-climbing wall, a nine-hole miniature golf course, three pools, a full-sized basketball court and “Dive-In” outdoor movie nights poolside.

Harri the Sea Princess stowaway galah home again to emotional family reunion in Brisbane

Harri Sea Princess 3

Having flown the coop for a cruise adventure of a ‘birdtime’, Harri the stowaway galah returned to Brisbane today on Sea Princess for an emotional family reunion at the Portside Cruise Terminal.

Family members Michelle and Brett Cozzi and four-year-old daughter Georgia delivered Harri’s birdcage to the terminal and then waited patiently while Harri received a pre-disembarkation veterinary check, which, as expected, she passed with flying colours.

During her 14-day New Zealand cruise odyssey, Environmental Officer Tibor Filipovic was Harri’s friendly onboard guardian under the watchful eye of the ship’s Master, Commodore Giuseppe Romano, as they followed the strict biosecurity guidelines that enabled fully fledged Australian bird citizen Harri to return to Brisbane.

Now an honorary crew member with her own laminated crew identity card, Harri made world headlines after being found on Sea Princess between Brisbane and New Zealand days after escaping from her cage in suburban Nundah with the family fearing their pet was gone forever.

Romance on the Harbour this Valentine’s Day

Romance Dinner Shot

Celebrate the most romantic day of all, Valentine’s Day on 14 February 2018 and be seduced by the spectacular beauty of Sydney at night on one of Captain Cook’s Valentine’s Day Dinner cruises.
For the ultimate in romance, Captain Cook Cruises Gold Penfolds Dinner & Drinks cruise onboard the prestigious Sydney 2000 offers it all.

Indulge in a six-course degustation menu, Penfolds bin and vintage wines to match each course, priority boarding, cocktail reception, lounge entertainment and an open bar of beer, house spirits and soft drinks.

Lovers can dance the night away to a live band and enjoy a scrumptious four-course Valentine’s menu on the 7.30pm Valentines Lovers Dinner & Drinks cruise and Captains Dinner Cruise.

The Gold Penfolds Dinner & Drinks cruise and the Captains Dinner cruise departs at 7.00pm from Jetty Six, Circular Quay returning at 9.30pm or at 7.30pm from King Street Wharf No.1, returning at 10.00pm. The 7.30pm Valentines Lovers Dinner & Drinks cruise departs from King Street Wharf No.1 at 7.30pm returning at 10.00pm.

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