The Big Fat Cruise Wrap

The Big Fat Cruise Wrap

Wednesday, we meet again.

Now that we’re officially half way through the week, we can go on and get a little more excited about the impending weekend.

It’s set to shine a bit brighter today, making it a brilliant day for cruising.

Let’s go for a sail…

Fashion on the seas

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 02:  (L_R) Lynsey Reid and Robin Brister pose during Myer Fashions on the Deck aboard the Pacific Pearl on November 2, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. In the biggest single injection of punters to the Melbourne Cup, three cruise ships, P&O Cruises Pacific Pearl, Pacific Jewel and Carnival Spirit will carry a record 6000 passengers from Sydney to 'the race that stops the nation'. The passengers will account for an estimated 10 per cent of all people visiting Melbourne for Tuesday's Cup.  (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images for P&O Cruises)

With its entire fleet cruising south for ‘the race that stops the nation’, P&O Cruises is offering a winning field of onboard talent to ensure guests have the ultimate Melbourne Cup cruise experience.

For the first time, all three P&O ships will dock at Station Pier for this year’s Melbourne Cup, with Pacific Dawn offering its inaugural Cup cruise from Brisbane.

With close to 6000 punters to entertain, the cruise line is upping the odds across its three ships with popular Australian personalities including Carmelo Pizzino (Pacific Jewel) from Dancing With The Stars, author and radio personality Bianca Dye (Pacific Pearl), and tv presenter Zoe Sheridan (Pacific Dawn) joining their maiden Cup cruises to host P&O Cruises’ Myer Fashions at Sea events.

Fashion designer and stylist Katie Perry (Pacific Pearl), stylist Noami Bell (Pacific Dawn) and Kylie Sultana from the Style Vine (Pacific Jewel), will also sail on their first Cup cruises, offering styling workshops and taking part in the onboard fashion parade.

Pacific Pearl and Pacific Jewel will depart Sydney on October 31 on their six-night Cup cruises, while Pacific Dawn’s seven-night maiden Cup cruise will depart Brisbane on October 31.

To join the cruise race to the Cup next year, fares start from $999* per person quad share on Pacific Dawn’s seven-night cruise departing Brisbane on October 31, 2016, including transfers and entry into Flemington on Cup day, plus onboard meals, entertainment and activities.


Marvellous Travelmarvel

TM Vietnam & Cambodia 1617_Cover_HR

Travelmarvel’s new Vietnam and Cambodia River Cruising brochure for 2016/17 has launched and according to Executive General Manager David Cox, it offers more value for money than any other premium cruising and touring program in the region:

Travelmarvel’s new 68 page brochure is available in travel agents now and offers a choice of 35 departures across 11 itineraries. While the mainstay of the program is Vietnam and Cambodia, Travelmarvel’s brochure also offers itineraries that feature Myanmar, China, India and Sri Lanka.

Lead in itinerary for 2016/17 is the 12-day Essential Vietnam and Cambodia, priced from just $3,295* per person, twin share.


Silversea early booking bonus

Silversea Cruises is offering an Early Booking Bonus for a limited time on select 2016 voyages.  Travellers can save 10% on new bookings when they book and pay in full by 10 December 2015.  The special offer applies to more than 60 ocean and expedition voyages departing between 1 October 2016 and 31 December, 2016.

Enhancing the value of the Early Booking Bonus is an extraordinary array of included amenities.  Guests enjoy ocean-view suites, gourmet cuisine, the personalised service of a butler, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, select wines and spirits, a stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, onboard gratuities, and complimentary WiFi for each guest.


Jamie on vacation

Jamie on location in Bordeaux with Scenic and Getaway (6)

Tune in to Getaway over the next three weeks as Jamie Durie joins Scenic on a luxury river cruise through beautiful Bordeaux. The Nine Network will be screening three full half hour episodes on Saturday 17, 24 and 31 October.

Join Jamie as he explores the medieval town of Cadillac before touring the architectural jewel of Roquetaillade Castle. Next he heads to the prestigious Château Guiraud in Sauternes, one of the many Grand Cru wineries on this river cruise. This is followed by a visit to the picturesque town of Saint-Émilion home to the iconic Monolithic Church. This episode concludes with Jamie enjoying Scenic’s exclusive Sundowners event.

Scenic is giving viewers the opportunity to win an 11 Day Breathtaking Bordeaux river cruise for two departing 3 October 2016, worth $21,900. Included in the prize is return economy airfares from Australia and all activities, sightseeing and exclusive events. To enter the competition, starting Saturday 17 October, visit Competition closes on Sunday 25 October at 11.59pm (AEST).


Celebrity revamps

Rooftop_after - 2

Celebrity Cruises is upgrading two of its Millennium Class ships with a series of exciting refreshes, set to enhance the modern luxury experience onboard.

During a scheduled drydock this month, Celebrity Infinity will receive a new chic, multi-functional Rooftop Terrace venue, the first in Celebrity’s fleet; significant renovations to her Penthouse and Royal Suites, and will add one of Celebrity’s signature Italian restaurants Tuscan Grille. Celebrity Summit will also follow with a similar scheduled drydock in March of 2016.

The two ship refurbishments build on Celebrity Cruises’ multi-million dollar investment in previously “Solsticizing” its Millennium Class ships.

During the day, the new Rooftop Terrace will offer guests a relaxing, open space with, a modern metal garden design, comfortable modular furniture, cabanas and unique artistic elements. At night, the space will be illuminated by decorative lighting, stereo surround sound and a large screen that will showcase movies and entertainment.


Crystal luxury open to all

Starting next month, travellers can book their luxury yachting holiday with Crystal Yacht Cruises, the most recent innovation from the world’s most awarded cruise line. As Crystal Esprit charts new waters with its maiden voyage this winter, Crystal Cruises is unveiling the complete itineraries and fares for 2016 through the beginning of 2018.

The new routes mark Crystal’s first-ever offering of immersive itineraries focused in warm waters and reaching remote and coveted locales not easily reached by larger cruise ships.

The extravagantly appointed yacht – outfitted for adventure, both, on board and ashore – is set to call in ports never before visited by Crystal’s acclaimed ocean vessels, Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity.


Scenic supports first timers


Scenic has launched a first time river cruise guide to help assist those who are new to river cruising.

The new guide includes information on what to expect on board a Scenic Space-Ship, the differences with ocean cruising, where and when to go, and what inclusions you can expect. It aims to answer all the questions would-be river cruisers may have and allow them to choose the cruise that is right for them.

Agents can order their copies of First Time Wonders – Your Guide to River Cruising from TIFS. It is also available online.


Uniworld’s newest ship to sail India

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will launch its newest luxury river cruise ship, the Ganges Voyager II, in January 2016. This 56-passenger, all-suite vessel will sail India’s exotic Ganges River on Uniworld’s newest itinerary, the 13-day “India’s Golden Triangle & the Sacred Ganges,” featuring a seven night cruise and five nights in luxurious Oberoi Hotels & Resorts in New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.

Highlights include Delhi’s Humayun’s Tomb, the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort, Jaipur’s City Palace, Mother Theresa’s home and tomb in Kolkata, Verdic temple in Mayapur, and Kalna’s Rajbari Temples.

The ship’s spacious, high-ceilinged suites provide all the comforts of a five-star hotel, each offering beautiful hand-painted murals, cozy sitting areas and French balconies with floor-to-ceiling glass doors.

Plush beds are dressed in soft linens with customisable pillow options and marble bathrooms boast rain showers, robes, slippers, and spa-quality Molten Brown bath products. Other high-end amenities include flat-screen televisions with a wide selection of on-demand movies, individual climate control, and a generous amount of closet space and under-bed storage.


Fresh fairy godmother

APT's AmaVenita sailing through Wurzburg2015

APT and AmaWaterways have this week officially announced that Nexion President Jackie Friedman will serve as Godmother of the new AmaViola. Friedman will christen the vessel at a special blessing ceremony, which will take place in Vilshofen, Germany at the conclusion of the ship’s June 9, 2016 Melodies of the Danube sailing.

Friedman has served as a leader within the US travel industry for more than 20 years. The 158-passenger AmaViola will offer 7- and 14-night cruises along the Danube, Main, Rhine, Dutch and Belgian Waterways.

APT is also celebrating news that its US partner AmaWaterways has been awarded two accolades as part of the 8th Annual Cruise Critic US Editors’ Picks Awards. This year for the first time ever, Cruise Critic designated specific awards for its new River Cruise Line category, with AmaWaterways receiving the following:

  • Best River Line for Dining
  • Best River Line for Active Cruisers


Royal Caribbean gets techy


Royal Caribbean International has this week launched a refresh of The changes included an overall refresh of the design on the homepage and deals pages resulting in a clean and easy to navigate website allowing guests to find all the information they need for booking and researching their Royal Caribbean holiday.

The team have also changed the booking engine so guests can see a day by day breakdown of itineraries, details about the ship and clear breakdown of discounts that could be available for your booking.

From early 2016, the website will also integrate customer reviews to further assist guests choose the right cruise holiday for them.


Christmas in the Caribbean

SeaDream off Perfect Beach

With growing numbers of Australians adding the Caribbean to an American vacation, SeaDream Yacht Club has a tempting alternative for Christmas this year with 8-days in the Southern Caribbean, including Christmas Day at Grenada’s capital St George’s that cuddles within the crater of a long-extinct volcano.

Beginning and ending in Bridgetown, Barbados, a maximum of just 112 guests will enjoy some of the Caribbean’s most picturesque islands, and without the crowds as many of these islands are simply too small for regular cruise ships.

Prices for this December 19th sailing start from US$5647pp twin-share – plus you can add the week before’s voyage from Marigot on Saint Martin to Barbados from US$3391pp twin-share.


Aurora offers fixed exchange rate

Aurora Expeditions have launched a special offer on their US dollar-priced tours to help protect Aussie travellers from the fluctuating Australian dollar.

The company is offering travellers the opportunity to lock in their exchange rate when paying for their trip-of-a-lifetime to help ease the pressure of shifting rates and to offer security in knowing that the price of their trip won’t increase. By booking now for 2016, travellers will be able to secure their preferred expedition date and cabin choice

travellers are required to deposit 50 per cent of their expedition cost upfront, at the exchange rate of the day; this exchange rate will then be fixed as the minimum rate for all future payments should the dollar continue to fall. Travellers will have the option of paying their outstanding amount at their original fixed exchange rate, or should the dollar rise, at the exchange rate of the day when final payment is made – whichever rate offers the traveller the best value.

The special fixed exchange rate offer is available across all of Aurora Expeditions’ US dollar-priced expeditions to Antarctica, Alaska, Africa, Ecuador and Patagonia. Offer ends 31 December 2015.


Cuban Cigars and NY stars


Change is coming to Cuba and next year brings the opportunity to visit the Caribbean island in style before the fabulous old atmosphere drifts away.

An ideal way to see Cuba is by ship. ‘Cuban Cigars and New York Stars’, the latest cruise holiday offering from Cruise Traveller (, lets you circumnavigate Cuba aboard ms Saint Laurent, a stylish boutique-size ship carrying a crew of 90 and no more than 210 passengers.

The nine-night ms Saint Laurent cruise is a round trip from Miami, which eliminates the need to fly into Havana. There are no scheduled commercial flights from the US to Cuba.

Cuban Cigars and New York Stars’ costs from A$12,699 per person twin share (or A$20,869 single) and departs on 20 February 2015. Departures on other dates operate at varying prices.


Cruising growth in Indochina

Vietnam 2016 cover

Market demand for more variety of cruise options in Indochina has seen Wendy Wu Tours expand its 2016 program making it the largest range to date with a focus on various cruising products in Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

These cruising options have been designed to coincide with group tours allowing customers to add pre or post touring in conjunction with their cruise. A new fully inclusive Classic Tour has also been designed for 2016; the 12-day Irrawaddy Voyager which includes three nights in Yangon and a seven-night cruise along the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to Bagan.

This new product, as well as expanded product for independent travellers, is featured in WWT’s newly designed 2016 Vietnam brochure. All brochures have been redesigned to clearly categorise four distinct tour types, Classic, Discovery, Deluxe Tours and Independent Travel. The Vietnam brochure includes a separate cruise section to be more consumer and agent friendly by highlighting the most relevant information.


Cruise the sparkling Med

Norwegian Spirit

Cruise the sparkling Mediterranean and Aegean aboard Norwegian Spirit; enjoy a three-night stay in a Barcelona hotel and two-nights in Venice – plus two nights in Verona, setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and two nights in stylish Milan.

‘Spanish Flair to Italian Charm’, a new fly-cruise-and-stay holiday, is exclusive to Worldwide Cruise Centres (

Prices for the 21-night holiday start from A$7999 per person twin share from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Barcelona and return from Milan.

‘Spanish Flair to Italian Charm’ gets underway with a flight to Barcelona on 27 May 2016, as European springtime turns to summer.

Email the Travel Weekly team at

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