Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Today means two things, we spilt porridge all over ourselves at breakfast, and it’s time for the cruise wrap! And yes, both happen every Wednesday.

Seabourn’s 2018 Alaska/British Columbia Season to feature World-Class Expedition Team leading “Ventures by Seabourn” optional tours

Seabourn Alaska - Ventures by Seabourn - zodiac2

Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury travel experience, is putting immersive adventure at the forefront for its Alaska and British Columbia season this summer with an impressive offering of optional Ventures by Seabourn guided kayak, Zodiac, catamaran and hiking tours. From exploring Misty Fjords, Holgate Glacier and the Inian Islands by kayak or Zodiac, to hiking Mendenhall Glacier, Rainbow Falls and the Perseverance Trail, all Ventures by Seabourn excursions will be led by a skilled and knowledgeable Seabourn expedition team.

The team includes experienced wilderness experts, scientists, historians and Zodiac operators. Ventures by Seabourn excursions are available for-charge, in select destinations and can be booked in advance by guests. In addition, the line is working with a number of tour operators in Alaska on hiking excursions, bringing an additional wealth of expertise and information on the region.

Guests can participate in up-close exploration of the majestic beauty and fascinating history and culture of America’s Last Frontier. Ventures by Seabourn will be a highlight of more than a dozen 11-, 12- and 14-day itineraries sailed by Seabourn Sojourn from June to mid-October in 2018.

CLIA’s Masters Conference hops around the Pacific Islands with P&O

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Australasia has revealed details of its 2018 Masters Conference with this year’s participants set to enjoy a week-long cruise to the Pacific Islands onboard P&O Cruises’ Pacific Aria.

The annual Masters Conference offers CLIA agents who have achieved Ambassador status the chance to advance their sales and marketing skills in a conference setting, while also experiencing a CLIA cruise line member vessel first-hand.

US-based sales guru and motivator Scott Koepf will return to oversee CLIA Australasia’s 21st Masters, taking participants through a series of seminars from hands-on sales skills to understanding marketing, mastering customer service and even life planning. The conference format, including six three-hour sessions, offers plenty of time to learn as well as ample leisure time to enjoy the ship and port calls.

The seven-day conference cruise will depart Brisbane on October 19, arriving back in the Queensland capital on October 26, with the itinerary including calls to Noumea and Lifou in New Caledonia and Port Vila in Vanuatu.

Save on Kimberley Coast Cruises with Travelmarvel


Travelmarvel are celebrating the launch of their 2019 Kimberley Coast Cruising brochure with some special Earlybird deals for bookings made before September 30. Book early to take advantage of two for one flight deals across all 12, 15, 18, or 21 day tours or scoop up a fantastic Fly Free deal with savings of up to $1,600 per couple on the 29 day West Coast Discovery and Kimberley Coast Cruise.

Experience the vast and remote beauty of the Kimberley Coast aboard Coral Expeditions 1 and get up close to some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders including Montgomery Reef, King George Falls and Horizontal Falls on the 12-Day Kimberley Coast Cruise from Darwin to Broome.

Guests will step ashore to discover ancient Indigenous rock art, pristine beaches and hidden waterfalls, and with just 44 passengers on board, the experienced, knowledgeable and friendly crew will ensure your holiday has just the right mix of adventure and relaxation. Prices start from $9,995 per person, twin share including two for one flight deal and savings of up to $1,000 per couple.

New for 2019 is an 18 Day holiday which includes four nights in Darwin with a visit to Kakadu National Park and three days in beautiful Broome, 15 Day variations also available. The expanded 2019 brochure also features the 21 day Top End and Kimberly Coast Cruise and the 29 day West Coast Explorer and Kimberley Coast Cruise that includes a fantastic fly free deal with a saving of up to $1,600 per couple.

Crystal Ravel joins Crystal River Cruises Fleet


The fifth luxury vessel for Crystal River Cruises, the World’s Most Luxurious River Cruise Line, was officially handed over to the company today in Wismar, Germany. Crystal president and CEO, Tom Wolber, took the “keys” to Crystal Ravel, welcoming the ship to the award-winning fleet ahead of its maiden voyage next month.

The handover ceremony for Crystal Ravel took place at MV WERFTEN shipyard, where each of her predecessors were built. Joining Wolber were Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, chairman and CEO of Crystal’s parent company, Genting Hong Kong (GHK), Colin Au, group president of GHK, and Jarmo Laasko, managing director of MV WERFTEN. They were joined by the ambassador of Malaysia, Sarah Nava Rani Al Bakri Devadason, who attended as the guest of honour.

Crystal launched its Crystal River Cruises experiences in 2016 with Crystal Mozart and was quickly voted “Best River Cruise Line” by the readers of Travel + Leisure in the magazine’s 2017 World’s Best Awards after only one year in operation. The new ships offer all-suite accommodation with butler service and boast all categories of accommodations above the water line.

Crystal Ravel joins Crystal River Cruises approximately one month after her sister ship, Crystal Debussy, was received by the company at the shipyard. Crystal Debussy embarked on her maiden voyage last week on April 9 from Amsterdam.

Symphony of the Seas arrives in Naples


Watch a timelapse video of the world’s largest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas, arrive in Naples, Italy for the first time.

The ship arrived in Italy yesterday morning and you can view the time-lapse here.

Special Offers: 20 per cent Savings & Early Bird discount on Self-Drive Boats


French Travel Connection, Australia’s leading specialist in travel to France, is pleased to announce an exciting range of special offers for select self-drive boating holidays in Canal du Midi and the regions of Aquitaine, Camargue and Burgundy-Franche-Comté, as well as early bird discount on 2019 cruises.

Cruise down the River Saone through the rustic Burgundy-Franche-Comte region where prestigious vineyards, unspoilt landscapes and authentic rural scenes surround medieval cities such as Dijon and Besançon. Aquitaine by the Canal de Garonne continues to entice with its picturesque village of Damazan, impressive Abbey of St. Pierre in Moissac and the traditional market in Valence d’Agen where one can find delightful foie gras. The UNESCO-listed Canal du Midi remains one of the most scenic waterways in France, winding its way through ancient cities, numerous abbeys and breathtaking natural wonders. Then there’s Camargue where the flat, marshy wilds are home to the region’s famous small white horses and teeming birdlife including candy-pink flamingos.

Book on or before 30th April 2018 to enjoy these special offers:

  • 20 per cent discount DISCOUNT on cruises for seven nights or more in Burgundy-France-Comte (River Saone) and Aquitaine (Canal de Garonne)
  • 15 per cent discount on Canal du Midi and Camargue cruises
  • UP TO 15 per cent early-bird discount on 2019 cruises

Tauck’s ms Treasures and ms Esprit return from Massive Reconfiguration


Tauck has officially welcomed ms Treasures and ms Esprit back into its riverboat fleet in April 2018 following a massive reconfiguration of the vessels’ interior spaces that has resulted in enlarged cabins and reduced passenger count.

The Treasures and Esprit are the last of Tauck’s four 110-metre ships to undergo the radical transformation. Tauck’s two other 110-metre ships, ms Sapphire and ms Emerald, were similarly reconfigured a year ago, and returned to service in time for their 2017 sailing seasons. With the reconfigurations, Tauck continues to prioritise creating larger cabins and roomier public areas for its guests, rather than taking the more conventional approach of maximising passenger count.

The Treasures and Esprit were fully gutted in a ‘down-to-the-studs’ refurbishment, with the most dramatic change occurring on their Ruby (middle) Decks, where 30 14-square-metre cabins in each ship’s original configuration were replaced by 20 larger cabins measuring 21 square metres.

With the total number of cabins reduced from 59 to 49, each ship’s overall capacity has been reduced from 118 passengers to 98 per vessel – a 17 per cent reduction.

Escape with an upgrade – seven nights on sale!

Now is the time to plan your clients Winter escape to Fiji, with our latest offer!

Book your clients on a seven night “Escape to Paradise” cruise and they will receive a free upgrade from a Hibiscus Cabin to an Orchid Cabin (with full Orchid Cabin inclusions).

Bookings are to be made in Orchid cabins, the upgrade will be confirmed at time of booking, subject to availability.
Valid for immediate sale until 15 May 2018 for the following cruise departures; 31 Aug, 4 & 21 Sep, 02 Nov 2018 – 31 Mar 2019 (subject to availability or unless sold out prior to sale end date).

European Waterways offering fleetwide specials starting at AU$4,440, many with a complimentary hotel stay


European Waterways is helping travellers warm up to the joys of luxury hotel barge cruising by offering up to 20 per cent off charter and cabin prices for departures across Europe. Some cruises also include a complimentary stay at an iconic Paris hotel, with private chauffeured transfers to and from the vessel.

These specials reflect the company’s increased focus on attracting travellers who are looking for more intimate, experiential opportunities as they cruise the scenic countryside – all while enjoying first-class service and amenities aboard some of the finest hotel barges in the industry.

Among the vessels eligible for the promotion is the 12-passenger La Belle Epoque, which cruises the famed Burgundy Canal. It offers 20 per cent off whole-boat charter prices for departures April 29 and May 13; and 10 per cent off charter prices on the July 15 and August 5 departures. Charters include a free night’s stay at a Paris hotel and return transfers in top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz minivans. La Belle Epoque also offers 20 per cent off per cabin on its June 17 departure. It offers 10 per cent off per cabin on departures April 22, May 6, July 1, July 29, and August 12 departures.

Norwegian Cruise Line invites guests to ‘feel free’ with up0 to US$1000 onboard spend on select sailings

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering guests the opportunity of a lifetime, with bookings made on select sailings between today and 17 April 2018 eligible to receive up to US$1,000 onboard spend, depending on cabin category booked. Guests can take advantage of this offer when they book a new sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line in an inside, oceanview, balcony, mini-suite, suite or The Haven. This limited time offer is available on Australia & New Zealand, Asia and South Pacific sailings onboard Norwegian Jewel departing between 13 December 2018 – 13 February 2019.

Guests can enjoy Norwegian Cruise Line’s flexible approach to cruising, including the added bonus of up to US$1,000 in onboard spend. Whether it’s sipping a drink by the pool, indulging at one of Norwegian Jewel’s specialty restaurants, enjoying a relaxing massage at Mandara Spa or exploring the local delights on a shore excursion, guests can take advantage of a range of choices for utilising their onboard credit.

Included in the offer is Norwegian Jewel’s 19-day South East Asia sailing, departing from Sydney on 13 February 2019, allowing guests to experience the wonders of Cairns, Darwin, Bali and Komodo. Or, celebrate Christmas and the New Year with Norwegian Jewel’s 16-day Australia and New Zealand sailing from Sydney, departing on 20 December 2018 and taking in the sights of Auckland, Napier, Wellington and Dunedin.

There has never been a better time to book with Norwegian Cruise Line – with this limited offer expiring on 17 April 2018, and Norwegian Jewel’s second season itineraries selling fast, book now to secure your dream cruise!

Silversea celebrates momentous milestone in 2018: 10 years of ultra-luxury expedition cruising

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Silversea, a world-leading provider of luxury travel experiences, will celebrate 10 years of luxury expedition cruising in June 2018.

Since becoming the world’s first luxury cruise line to launch a range of expedition voyages in 2008, Silversea has continuously redefined notions of travel with its pioneering itineraries; the unmatched quality of its expedition team; and its fleet of deluxe, intimate ships. In the past decade, many noteworthy milestones have been reached by Silversea, establishing the cruise line as a world-leading travel authority and the leader in the field of expedition.

Each destination on all expedition itineraries is individually scouted by Silversea’s knowledgeable team of travel experts – a process that often takes a number of years – in order to ensure guests’ safety and comfort, and to guarantee the potential for an enriching travel experience. It is through these comprehensive scouting missions that Silversea has discerned itself as an artisan of experiences, unlocking the world’s most remote and captivating destinations for guests, who travel deeper in ultimate luxury.

The latest destination to be announced by Silversea is the Philippines; here, guests will have a chance to snorkel with whale sharks, visit rice terraces, and explore the country’s beautiful landscape in a jeep. Guests of Silversea can expect plenty of new, unique destinations to come.


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