John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine • Macao-India 23 Sept 16

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MACAO NEW LUXURY HOTELS PAMPER   One of my favourite places to visit, tourists to Macao, in particular the Asian city’s neon-lit Cotai Strip, can indulge in some additional pampering thanks to the opening of two new resorts.

The Wynn Palace Cotai and The Parisian Macao – have brought about an increase in the number of dining and day spa options.

Step inside the plush Wynn Palace Cotai and you are sure to be impressed by the large scale – and colourful – floral sculptures of a carousel and Ferris wheel, custom-designed for the hotel by world-renowned designer Preston Bailey who created the same tributes for the Wynn Palace in Las Vegas.

Fine dining centres on a quintet of restaurants, of note Andrea’s which offers a blending of Chinese dishes and cocktails, and the SW Steakhouse, where the steaks and seafood are served in an elegant dining room which features a surprising theatrical experience every 30 minutes.

At the hotel’s intimate end is Sushi Mizumi, where the fresh seafood handcrafted by well trained chefs. As is the case at the original Wynn Macau, located on the Macao peninsula, guests will be able to dine on exquisite Cantonese cuisine at the Wing Lei Palace within an imperial-inspired setting.

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Visit The Parisian Macao, a mere 10-minute walk from the Wynn Palace, and the first eye-catching feature is the replica of the Eiffel Tower which not only offers a bird’s eye view of Macao but, on the sixth floor, houses La Chine, a Chinese restaurant with an emphasis on offering mouth-watering dishes in a romantic Paris-like setting.

Other dining options to greet visitors include the signature Lotus Palace, the Brasserie with its authentic French flavours, and Le Buffet with its appealing European themed marketplace.

The former Portuguese enclave retains a heritage built on five centuries of east-meets-west values and characteristics which have achieved UNESCO World Heritage protection. Details: Macao Government Tourism Office, (02) 9264 1488 or visitmacao.com.au

 INDIA AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT   India is home to some of Asia’s most spectacular landscapes as well as some of the most incredible –yet little known – experiences.

Filled with deserts, spice hills, tranquil backwaters, thriving cities, dramatic forts and snow-capped Himalayan peaks, India an unparalleled kaleidoscope of remarkable experiences. It’s also home to incredible safaris and luxury desert glamping.

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According to Insider Journeys’ Senior Product Manager, Eric Finley, India has had a long history of luxury tented camps, and with wildlife to rival any African safari, it is fast-emerging as a leader in the luxury safari stakes. “As the land of the Maharajas, Rajasthan not only has forts and palaces befitting a king or queen, but is also home to India’s wild treasures within splendid national parks and sanctuaries,” says Finley.

Chhatra Sagar, Rajasthan. Chhatra Sagar is a lush oasis in the heart of Rajasthan. The camp owes its existence to the vision of nineteenth century noble Thakur Chhatra Singh of Nimaj, who turned once dry scrubland into a verdant paradise by creating a vast reservoir.

Keen not to detract from the natural beauty of the site, permanent construction was banned and instead luxe safari-style tents were built to house his many guests. With so many visiting nobles and dignitaries, Chhatra Sagar soon become legendary for opulent parties, exotic dinners, high teas and, of course, its luxurious tented accommodation. Each one faces east, allowing spectacular views over the lake. The camp is famous for its evening birdwatching walks, where guests can observe some of the 200 species found on the lake.

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Manvar Desert Camp, Rajasthan. Manvar Desert Camp, sitting majestically amongst the sand dunes of the Thar Desert, prides itself on beauty, tranquillity and solitude. While there is no shortage of five star resorts in India, few blend so seamlessly into their surroundings or have the same dedication to protecting local heritage, culture and wildlife as Manvar Desert Camp.

After a busy day of birdwatching and wildlife spotting, guests can retire to one of Manvar’s thirty opulent safari tents. Set back a staggering 6km from the main resort, they offer guests a true taste of the wilderness without compromising on luxury; each room is kitted out in heritage fabrics, teak furniture and ensuite bathrooms.

Khem Villas, Ranthambore National Park, Rajasthan. From the porch of your lavish tent, it is not uncommon to spot crocodile, jackals, hyenas, desert fox and jungle cats amongst the camp’s wild grasslands. Yet the real highlight of a stay at Khem Villas is the chance to spot the elusive Bengal Tiger. With twice daily trips from the resort, you have every chance of seeing these magnificent big cats in the wild.

After a day in the jungle, guests can retire to their well-appointed tents. Chic, comfortable and full of rustic charm, each tent is built using natural local materials like bamboo, to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding grasslands.

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Osian Desert Camp, Rajasthan. For a truly authentic tented camp experience, head to Osian Desert Camp in the Thar Desert of Rajasthan. Osian was once a key trading post on the silk route between the 8th and 12th centuries, and the resort carefully recreates the original fortress-style layout and authentic feel.

The highlight of a stay at Osian is of course a safari, and the resort offers both camel-back and jeep varieties to spot desert wildlife, as well as village safaris to see local life. After a day amongst the dunes, dinner is served in the fortress-style main camp, with traditional entertainment like Rajasthani dancing and music laid on for guests.

image001.jpgA stay at a luxury desert or safari camp is a must-do while in India and can be arranged as part of a private tour, or as an extension to one of Insider Journeys’ popular India small group journeys.

A stay at Manvar Desert Camp is included on Insider Journeys’ 14-Day Highlights of Rajasthan Tour. Insider Journeys is offering 10% off all Small Group Journey tours and a selection of private travel itineraries booked and deposited by 30 September 2016.

Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to availability, changes of terms and conditions may apply.   MORE: http://www.cruiseandtravelmagazine.net

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Wynn Palace Hotel/Casino Macao

The Parisian Hotel/Casino Macao

India Osian Desert Camp

India Tours with Insider Journeys

India Wildlife

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John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine HAL 16 Sept 16

$999 FLIGHTS TO EUROPE WITH HOLLAND AMERICA  Back again for 2017, Holland America Line is offering its guests $999 return airfares to Europe when booking a Verandah or above in conjunction with select sailings across the Mediterranean, Adriatic and Baltic. Valid on select 2017 sailings booked between 1 September and 18 November 2016, the airfare offer is also combinable with with Holland America Line’s current Explore4 offer which includes a complimentary Signature Beverage Package, Pinnacle Grill dinner and a 50% reduced deposit. “It’s definitely not every day Australian’s can fly return to Europe in peak season for less than $1000!” said Tony Archbold, Holland America Line Director of Sales in Australia and New Zealand.

HAL Koningsdam2.jpg2017 eligible sailing highlights. 29-day Adriatic Treasures and European Splendour Holland America Line’s newest ship, ms Koningsdam, will be sailing four eligible itineraries. ms Koningsdam represents a new class of ship for Holland America Line offering guests an array of new dining, entertainment and enrichment experiences. A highlight will be the 29-day Adriatic Treasures and European Splendour sailing departing 15 April from. 14-day Celtic Explorer. Departing 3 June from Amsterdam on ms Prinsendam, this sailing offers an extensive exploration of Ireland with five port calls including Dublin and Galway. In addition, Prinsendam will make calls in Guernsey, Wales and Antwerp before returning to the Netherlands.

HAL Fine Dining .JPG12-day Mediterranean Rivieras. Sailing from Barcelona to Civitavecchia (Rome) on ms Westerdam, this sailing takes in some of the most iconic coastline of the Mediterranean. Mallorca, Corsica and Monaco to name a few.

24-day Fjords & Highlands and Baltic Adventures. This 24-day roundtrip Copenhagen sailing on ms Zuiderdam will take cruisers on a journey spanning eight countries, with highlights including Estonia, Russia, Sweden and Norway. From $7,899 pp in Verandah.  Airfare offer is available on select flights and gateways and booked through Holland America Line’s Flight Ease or by calling their travel professional. hollandamerica.com or call 1300 987 322.

 Princess Cruises Unveils Majestic Princess    Princess Cruises has unveiled the design and key features of Majestic Princess, the newest and most luxurious ship in its global fleet. Majestic Princess will offer its guests a variety of enticing features and experiences, including two new specialty restaurants: Harmony, created in partnership with Chef Richard Chen formerly of Wynn Las Vegas “Wing Lei” (the first Chinese restaurant in North America awarded a Michelin star) this restaurant will feature haute Chinese cuisine, serving Chef Chen’s interpretation of classic Cantonese dishes.

Other dining includes Le Bistrot, located in the lively atrium, will offer casual French home-style dining with a modern twist. Reminiscent of a Parisian bistro, guests will enjoy traditional escargot casseroles, braised ox tongue and mushroom ragout, along with baguettes, tarts and pastries. Other dining includes The exclusive Chef’s Table, Lumiere, Alfredo’s, then to top it off with a wide selection of all-day gastronomy in the World Fresh Marketplace, where guests can taste flavours from diverse food stations around the world ranging from Mediterranean dishes to colourful farmer’s market salads and a new “East Meets West” street food specialty counter. Fares start from $3459* for a voyage from Barcelona to Athens, departing April 16, 2017 and visiting 13 ports including a host of destinations in Spain, France, Greece and Malta. visit www.princess.com, call 13 24 88 *subject to availability, conditions apply.

Golden Princess.jpgCruise Sydney to Melbourne – Return on Two Historic Trains   From just $1690 for 5 days including most meals. Two historic trains, a heritage tram and a 21st century ship form part of a never-before-offered rail and sail tour from Sydney to Melbourne and back. Celebrating the golden age of rail travel, the unique, escorted trip from Cruise Express this November will appeal to both rail and cruise lovers, with journeys aboard a rail motor, the famous Spirit of Progress train, Melbourne’s stylish tramcar restaurant and the 2600-passenger cruise ship, Golden Princess.

The historic, five-day ‘Intercapital Daylight’ adventure begins at Sydney’s Circular Quay on November 11, 2016, with a three-night cruise to Melbourne aboard Princess Cruises’ 17-deck Golden Princess.

In Melbourne guests will stay one night stay at the Vibe Savoy Hotel, including breakfast, with free time to enjoy the city’s famous shopping, arcades, laneways, gardens and cafes. Also included is a roaming dinner aboard Melbourne’s historic and elegant Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.

Rail motor.jpgOn day five, guests will begin their rail adventure back to Sydney by boarding the blue and gold carriages of the famous Spirit of Progress at Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station. The train connected Sydney and Melbourne for almost half a century from 1937 to 1986.

Breakfast aboard the Spirit of Progress on the way to Seymour, where guests will transfer to a waiting, heritage 621/721 rail motor. The rail motor will take guests from Seymour to Sydney, with an included lunch stop at the 138-year-old Junee Railway Station. Morning and afternoon tea will be served on the train, with additional stops made at Albury and Goulburn before reaching Sydney’s Central Station.

Including 12 meals and the services of a Cruise Express Tour Manager, the ‘Intercapital Daylight’ rail and sail tour is available from $1690 per person, twin-share, or from $2190 for solo travellers. Flights to Sydney are additional.

  • Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to availability, changes of terms and conditions may apply.

MORE: www.cruiseandtravelmagazine.net   ©John Pond

PHOTOS:

Holland America ms Koningsdam

Tony Archbold, Holland America Line Director of Sales Australia/New Zealand

Majestic Princess Bistro

Spirit of Progress

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John Pond • Cruise and Travel Magazine. Azamara 9 Sept 2016

 

AZA_Journey379RT.jpgAZAMARA Announces Second Boutique Ship Down Under   President and CEO Larry Pimentel marks six months until the arrival of Azamara Journey to our shores. I had the pleasure of re-connecting with Larry when he was in Sydney last week. AZAMARA is one of my favourite shipping lines, I love the size of their ships and their food and service plus all the extras that make this a truly 5 star line.

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In just six months’ time, the 690-guest Azamara Journey from boutique cruise brand Azamara Club Cruises will make her Australian debut. To mark the milestone, president and CEO Larry Pimentel is in Australia making final arrangements for the maiden arrival of the luxury cruise ship, fresh from a USD$25 million refurbishment.

AZA_Journey_Atrium2.jpg“Wherever in the world we sail, the Australian effect is unmistakable. Australia is one of our top three source markets  worldwide, which is why it made sense to finally bring our unique style of small-ship, slow cruising down under last season,” Pimentel said.

“We were incredibly impressed with the response when we debuted Azamara Quest in Australia last summer so the time is absolutely right to bring sister ship Azamara Journey down under for the very first time,” he continued.

“When Azamara Journey arrives, she’ll be completely unlike the ship you saw last season. She will sail to Australian shores refreshed and renewed after a multi-million dollar revitalization that took place earlier this year,” Pimentel concluded.

The revitalisation of both Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest saw not only the addition of new venues and technologies, but also a beautiful redesign and rework of her suites and staterooms, as well as a complete refresh of all public spaces.

CovaCafe2.jpgAzamara Club Cruises worked with several of the world’s leading design consultants to help transform the ship, to ensure not only that they looked terrific, but so that they also offer all the modern services and amenities that travellers have come to expect on land, such as pervasive wi-fi.

Azamara Journey’s new staterooms and suites feature an elegant redesign, which is both sophisticated and welcoming, making each room a sanctuary for guests for the duration of their cruise. The ship now also offers exquisite new Spa Suites, located adjacent to the refreshed Sanctum Spa and offering exclusive spa amenities. Each bathroom of these coveted suites is like a mini spa; showers have glass walls offering spectacular views while the outdoor soaking tub overlooks the ocean.

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Aqualina Restaurant – Deck 10 Starboard Aft Azamara Journey – Azamara Club Cruises

As well as completely reimagined public spaces and staterooms, additional new features onboard include The Patio, an al fresco poolside dining area; The Living Room, a casual bar, dining and entertainment room with beautiful views; and new pervasive Wi-Fi with faster speeds to even accommodate streaming.

Azamara Journey’s maiden Australian season will see the small ship call to Australian ports 21 times; injecting more than $2.85 million into the local economy in passenger spend alone.

As with all Azamara sailings, each of Azamara Journey’s Australian voyages will see guests treated to a complimentary, bespoke AzAmazing Evening event arranged by the cruise line, unmasking more of the destination. Renowned for its elegant cruising style and destination focus, Azamara Journey will first arrive to Darwin on 8 February 2017 as part of her Asia repositioning, and stay sailing in the region until early March, offering two Australia & New Zealand sailings and a return Asia repositioning voyage.

About Azamara Club Cruises   With smaller ships that are able to go to places other cruise ships can’t, Azamara Club Cruises differentiates itself – and gains loyal fans – by making destinations the hero. It does this by offering longer stays, more overnight calls and night touring, which gives travellers the opportunity to truly experience a destination – taking in the sights, sounds and flavours of local cultures in every port. More than half of all of Azamara Journey’s maiden season calls stay longer or overnight in port.

 The brand offers unique and tailored Land Discoveries in each port to help guests uncover new destinations, from sailing in the Whitsundays, tasting your way around the Cairns Tablelands, exploring Hobbiton in Tauranga or visiting a local farm in Napier.

Azamara’s Insider Access takes guests behind the scenes at heritage estates, family farms, local shops and art galleries. In Australia guests go behind the scenes and meet the owners of The Botanical Ark in Port Douglas, or can experience a guided tour to hand feed animals at the Bonorong Wildlife Park during the call to Melbourne. While Nights and Cool Places are exclusive after-dinner experiences in small, intimate groups, ranging from a Sydney Harbour yacht experience to a Crocodile watching River Cruise.

Although destinations are the highlight, what’s onboard also keeps guests coming back for more. Not only is Azamara Journey completely refreshed, guests onboard also receive exceptional and personal service and enjoy fine cuisine and boutique wines from around the world. More is included in each cruise – such as beverages, gratuities, self-service laundry, English Butler service for suite guests and shuttle transportation to city centres in ports, where available.

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For those wishing to enjoy a true 5 star cruising experience, close to home, AZAMARA is the ship for you. AZAMARA is part of the Royal Caribbean family.

visit www.azamaraclubcruises.com, phone 1800 754 500 or contact your local travel agent. Travel professionals can call 1300 754 500 or visit cruisingpower.com

  • Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to availability, changes of terms and conditions may apply.

MORE: http://www.cruiseandtravelmagazine.net

 PHOTOS:  AZAMARA, AZAMARA President and CEO Larry Pimentel with Adam Armstrong, Managing Director, Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia & NZ, AZAMARA ATRIUM, AZAMARA Café, Cocktails at Sydney party

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John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine • 2 Sept 2016

CEL_Constellation.jpgCELEBRITY CRUISES to sail from ABU DHABI   Celebrity Cruises is offering sailings out of Abu Dhabi for the first time ever this year, giving travellers the chance to blend modern luxury with timeless tradition on a range of cruises onboard Celebrity Constellation.

The premium cruise ship will make the Emirate’s newest cruise terminal her home from November 2016 to January 2017, the ideal season to visit this part of the world, offering cruises that range from 9 to 14 nights and calling at the exotic ports of the United Arab Emirates and India, around the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.

Celebrity Constellation Rooftop Terrace_Constellation.jpgThe opulence of the modern cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai are contrasted with the ancient traditions of Muscat, Mumbai, Goa, Cochin and New Mangalore, cities that pulse with age-old culture and fascinating history.

Enjoy camel-riding in Abu Dhabi’s sprawling desert sands, a visit to Dubai’s spice and gold souks and a day of indulgence on one of Goa’s famed, golden-sand beaches. The sailing departs  Abu Dhabi on 28 November 2016 and will take guests to Dubai for an overnight call, as well as New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai and Khasab in India. As well, the cruise includes five days at sea, where guests have plenty of opportunity to try out the luxurious Canyon Ranch Spa Club, eat at specialty restaurants such as Tuscan Grille, and keep in touch with family and friends with high speed internet, “Xcelerate”, onboard one of the cruise line’s best-loved ships, Celebrity Constellation.

Fares start at AUD$1559/NZD$1689 for an Oceanview stateroom on the nine-night, Arabian Coast Immersion cruise, a round-trip which begins in Abu Dhabi on 10 December 2016 and includes calls to the enthralling ports of Dubai where the ship spends two nights in a row, Muscat for a night, as well as a call to Khasab on the journey, before returning to Abu Dhabi for an additional overnight stay. 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent. Silver Explorer ..jpgDiscover Antarctica on Silver Explorer   Discover the ice-covered wonderland continent of Antarctica, on a 10-day voyage aboard Silver Explorer.  Departing Ushuaia, Argentina, on 26 February 2017, Silver Explorer journeys toward the Antarctic Peninsula, where guests will marvel at the incredible array of wildlife against the stunning backdrop of spectacular iceberg sculptures and calving glaciers.

Silver Explorer.jpgSilver Explorer discovers the Aitcho and South Shetland Islands. Silver Explorer journeys its way through other regions of the Antarctic Peninsula, where guests are able to view the 745-meter-high ice-caped mountain of the Tabarin Peninsula, the penguin colony on Paulet Island, and the collapsed volcano of Whalers Bay. Silver Explorer­ concludes her journey, returning via Drake Passage, disembarking in Ushuaia, Argentina, 08 March 2017. Fares include: all shore and Zodiac excursions hosted by an expedition leader; all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ship; an outstanding expedition team of expert guides and lecturers; complimentary WiFi and all gratuities. Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit www.silversea.com.

Prague Four Seasons Spa    Four Seasons Hotel Prague has opened its new AVA Spa dedicated to local traditions and luxurious pampering with breathtaking views of Prague Castle. Historically, “ava” is the Celtic word for water. To this day, ava remains part of the names of many Czech rivers, including the Vltava River that runs right by Four Seasons Hotel Prague. Water and historical Czech spa traditions are central to the theme of the new AVA Spa concept.

FourSeasons PRG_648_aspect16x9.jpgAVA Spa has named its five treatment rooms after five nearby rivers including the Vltava, Morava, Otava, Litava and Svitava. The Vltava is a large couples´ suite with rhassoul and a bath that offers stunning views of Prague’s most beautiful sights, such as Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge. In addition to the spa suites, guests are invited to enjoy the sauna, steam bath and vitality pool with a waterfall, massage jets and hydrotherapy surrounded by comfortable lounge chairs and a fireplace for a truly relax atmosphere.

cq5dam.web.press.400.keepaspectratio.jpegFeaturing Swiss Perfection and Sodashi cosmetics and treatments not found anywhere else in Czech Republic, the AVA Spa offers guests the opportunity to sample traditional Czech-inspired baths, exclusive facials and signature spa rituals. The Spa is open for both Hotel and outside guests.

“What makes AVA Spa unique to Prague is their select line of cosmetics and signature treatments,” says Claudia Santos, Spa Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Prague. “We are especially proud of our spa rituals, which include purifying baths, detoxifying massages and age-defying facials.”

The Karlovy Vary Inspiration uses bath water infused with healing compounds to detoxify and purify the body. For a more intense detoxification, the Signature Detox begins with a rhassoul steam bath and includes both a Sodashi Marine Mineral Body Scrub and contouring pink clay mask. A full body massage and special scalp and feet pampering complete the purifying process.

PRG_645_aspect16x9.jpgSenses will be soothed and a full body glow achieved following the Golden Ritual. This luxury Omorovicza treatment combines a full-body scrub to revitalise the skin; a soothing Bath Retreat; a relaxing Gold Body Massage and finally a divine anti-ageing Gold Lifting Facial. The Cellular Exclusive Lift Concept is a five-step Swiss Perfection lifting treatment that naturally lifts the skin and brings long term benefits. For guests who simply need to be revitalised, the La Bohéme Massage is inspired by the Czech national tree and uses detoxifying and regenerating linden blossom oil.

Before your next River Cruise spoil yourself (+420) 221 427 830, email: spa.prague@fourseasons.com

Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to availability, changes of terms and conditions may apply. MORE: http://www.cruiseandtravelmagazine.net

PHOTOS:

Celebrity Constellation

Celebrity Upper Deck

Silverseas Silver Explorer

Four Seasons Prague Spa

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John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine 19 Aug 2016

Insider J.jpgThe Inside Scoop on Indochina  Asia travel specialists Insider Journeys have revealed that sales to Indochina destinations have grown year on year, with Laos small group journey sales up a significant 23% and Cambodia up 9%.

Managing Director Paul Hole attributes this growth to Australian travellers better understanding the depth of experience and beauty within Indochina.

“Indochina has so much to offer, with stunning scenery, fascinating culture, historic relics and ruins, and a renowned cuisine,” explains Hole.

“Our travellers have a seemingly insatiable appetite for new experiences. In response, we’ve increased our travel options and the destinations we cover across Indochina to provide continually more engaging experiences for our passengers. We’re introducing Vietnam.jpgmore options to visit lesser known places like Cambodia’s newest ‘in destinations’ – Kratie, Kampot and Battambang. “Travellers are also starting to see Indochina as offering premiere beach options, especially in the resort locations near Danang and Hoi An in Vietnam, and Sihanoukville in Cambodia. “We’ve seen increasing interest in touring and cruising in the Mekong Delta as small boat river cruising offers a unique opportunity to gain greater access and deeper insights into a traditional way of life along Asia’s most iconic waterways, witnessing a way of life that has remained relatively unchanged.”

 Insider Journeys is offer 15% off any Small Group Journey to Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos booked by 31 September, for travel prior to 31 December 2016.Visit:http://www.insiderjourneys.com.au/promos/indochina/index.html

Celebrity Millennium.jpgCELEBRITY CRUISES OFFERS MORE FOR LESS  Throughout the month of August, modern luxury cruise brand Celebrity Cruises is giving travellers even more reasons to experience amazing Asia. Oceanview stateroom reservations and above on sailings departing from November 2016 through to June 2017, will receive a free Classic beverage package and US$300 onboard credit per stateroom.

Celebrity Millennium offers a range of sailings from Singapore and Hong Kong to some of Asia’s most incredible destinations, and after her recent US$8 million refurbishment she feels brand new. The 2,000-passenger ship now features a new roof top terrace which hosts the new Taste of Film program – where guests are treated to movies under the stars paired with matching food inspired by the exotic destination the film is set in. Celebrity Millennium now also features the brand’s signature Italian steakhouse, Tuscan Grille, plus the Solarium and all of her Suites have been refreshed with new fittings and soft furnishings, making her a modern and elegant vessel to explore Asia. Fares start from AU$1849 visit celebritycruises.com.au, call 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent.

Silversea waiter.jpg SILVERSEA $170 MILLION FLEET REFURBISHMENT  Silversea, the leading ultra-luxury cruise line, is delighted to announce the biggest fleet-wide refurbishment plan in its history, worth US$170 Million.  This investment is not aimed at simply maintaining Silversea’s self-imposed high levels of excellence. “We are thrilled to be moving ahead with these major refurbishments and look forward to welcoming guests aboard and sharing our unique vision of ultra-luxury cruising, both in terms of service and physical environment”, said Manfredi Lefebvre, Chairman of Silversea. “We pride ourselves on being the reference when it comes to ultra-luxury cruising and this investment reflects our long-term commitment in this regard toward our ships, our guests and our crew”.

Silverseas -Silver-Whisper.jpgSilver Whisper, host to the iconic World Cruise, will undergo a refurbishment that will take place by the end of 2016, and has been largely influenced by feedback from World Cruisers, proving that Silversea guests truly are at the heart of the company operations.  This also ensures that 2017 World Cruisers will get to experience a top coat of luxury, and be the first guests to help massage the fresh feel into the understated glamour that the brand has become synonymous with. Silver Whisper’s communications hub is set for a major overhaul with the addition of two satellite antennas, vastly improving Internet speeds on board and enabling guests to take full advantage of the new, interactive TVs and on demand movies available in every suite.

The refurbishment programme extends to Silver Wind during her dry dock scheduled for October 2016. Once again, refurbishment of furniture and furnishings, technology upgrades that include interactive TVs and on demand movies complete the contemporary, yet understated levels of luxury in every suite. Visit Silversea.com or contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand).

Amber Wilson Silversea.jpgNEW SILVERSEA BOSS IN Asia-Pacific  Silversea Cruises announced that Amber Wilson is the cruise line’s General Manager for Asia Pacific.  Based in the Sydney office, Wilson will be responsible for the Asia Pacific markets, revenue and the direction of sales and marketing management with the Sydney and Singapore teams reporting directly to her.
“I am thrilled to be joining a company widely acknowledged as being the pioneer of ultra-luxury cruising,” said Wilson. “It is a privilege to have this opportunity to drive the Silversea brand forward and build upon the reputation of luxury and unrivalled service, while strengthening relationships with industry partners in the region.”

With over 17 years’ experience in the travel and cruise industries and a strong commercial background, Wilson has worked across a range of senior management roles in Australia and the UK. Most recently, Wilson held the position of General Manager, Sales & Marketing at Cruiseco.

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REMEMBER WHEN  Passengers used to wear their Sunday best when flying.

  • Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to change and terms and conditions may apply.

PHOTOS:

Indochina

Vietnam

Celebrity Millenium

Silversea

GM Silversea Amber Wilson

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John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine 12 Aug 2016

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KNOW YOUR CRUISE LINES   There are a great number of cruise lines, but unfortunately, many Australian cruisers are not aware of the subtle, and not so subtle differences. Those who cruise often usually look not only for good value, but more upmarket features. Often the more expensive option offers greater value, with more inclusions – you decide.

NCL -nclBrkwyWaterfrontBoardwalk.jpgNorwegian Cruise Line   Awarded ‘Europe’s Leading Cruise Line’ eight consecutive years in a row by the World Travel Awards, Norwegian Cruise Line’s 14 purpose-built vessels are am   the youngest, most contemporary afloat catering for 1,936 to 4,248 passengers. Norwegian Cruise Line offers unparalleled freedom, flexibility and choice with accommodations ranging from studio cabins specially priced for solo travellers to family suites and luxury accommodation in The Haven, and the greatest variety of restaurants and entertainment at sea – with up to 29 dining options on each ship. Worldwide, the line offers 190 sailings travelling to 65 ports of call in 24 countries – and in 2017, five ships will cruise Europe offering 60 different itineraries.

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“Norwegian Cruise Line’s most popular Europe itinerary among Australians is Norwegian Spirit’s 11-day Rome

ncl SHOWROA7hires.jpg (Civitavecchia) to Barcelona sailing – however with Norwegian Spirit, Epic, Star, Jade and Getaway cruising Europe in 2017, travellers will have even greater choice.”  Highlight itineraries for 2017:

Norwegian Star will sail 15 different European itineraries ranging from 7 to 14 days visiting Spain,

Monaco, France, Italy, the Canary Islands, Morocco, Greece, Croatia and more, with fares starting from AU$656 pp for a 7 day cruise.

From April to October, Norwegian Epic will offer weekly departures from Barcelona sailing a 7 night Western Mediterranean itinerary, starting from AU$659 pp   visit www.ncl.com.au , phone (AU) 1300 255 200

Oceania Cruises NAUTICA_001.jpgOceania Cruises   Acclaimed for delivering the finest cuisine at sea™, Oceania Cruises’ specialty on-board restaurants include classic steak and seafood at Polo Grill, incredible Italian at Toscana, high-end Parisian fare at Jacques, Asian fusion at Red Ginger, al fresco dining at the Terrace Café, casual seafood and BBQ at Waves Grill, daily high tea at Horizons and wine seminars, dinners and tastings at La Reserve. The line also offers exclusive Culinary Discovery Tours™, immersive shore excursions that allow guests to delve deep into each regions’ culinary heritage. Oceania’s six-strong fleet visits over 330 destinations, with 32 cruises across Mediterranean, UK, Scandinavian and Nordic itineraries on offer over the European 2017 Summer – and multiple cusp-season sailings available.

Oceania Cruises’ special offer for early bookings invites guests to enjoy free unlimited WiFi, plus choose from either four free shore excursions, a free house beverage package or shipboard credit. Some of their many cruises include:

10 day Glamorous Riviera Rome roundtrip aboard Oceania Riviera departs 4 June 2017 from AU$3,420 pp Visiting ports including Florence, Portofino, Amalfi/Positano, Monte Carlo, Ibiza and Barcelona, Oceania Riviera’s on-board hands-on cooking school, The Culinary Centre (available on board Oceania Marina and Riviera), provides the opportunity to learn local cooking techniques and recipes, guided by Master Chefs and including classes inspired by the French and Italian destinations visited.

20 day Trail of the Vikings London roundtrip aboard Oceania Nautica departs 15 July 2017 from AU$10,750 pp

Visiting ports including the lands of the midnight sun, the icy caps and rolling hills of Denmark and Iceland and the famous hospitality of the Scottish and Irish in Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin, the recently refurbished Oceania Nautica features four open seating restaurants, eight lounges and bars, a world class fitness centre and spa, a casino, lavish suites and luxurious staterooms – nearly 70% of which feature private verandas. visit www.oceaniacruises.com Phone: (AU) 1300 355 200, (NZ) 0800 625 691

Regent Seven Seas Voyager.jpgRegent Seven Seas Cruises   Renowned for setting new benchmarks in all-inclusive ultra-luxury cruising, Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ includes free unlimited shore excursions in every port of call, unlimited free WiFi, complimentary fine dining, fine wines and spirits, prepaid gratuities, ground transfers and complimentary deluxe pre or post-cruise hotel stays and Land Programs. The line’s four-vessel fleet includes the highly anticipated Seven Seas Explorer – the Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built, debuted on 20 July 2016.

For most 2017 European Summer cruises departing London, a complimentary three-night pre-cruise ‘Legendary London’ land program, including airport transfer and an optional West End theatre package, is available. Highlight cruises include:

      11 night Discover the Isles ex-London aboard Seven Seas Explorer departs 3 June 2017 from AU$10,730 pp

An incredible exploration of the United Kingdom and its Isles, destinations include Newcastle, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Dublin, Cork and Holyhead with up to 43 free land excursions taking in incredible castles, mighty fortresses, historic churches and cosy villages.      12 night Baltic Odyssey ex-London aboard Seven Seas Explorer departs 14 June 2017 from AU$10,190 pp

Toscana3.jpgVisiting destinations including Belgium, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Russia with up to 56 free shore excursions, such as chocolate making, touring the KGB, sea kayaking, the Russian Ballet and Scandinavian canals – this is truly the Northern European cruise of a lifetime.visit www.rssc.com  Phone: (AU) 1300 455 200, (NZ) 0800 625 692

About Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd    NCLH operates a combined 24 ships with approximately 45,000 lower berths visiting more than 520 destinations worldwide. Six new ships are planned across the brands from 2016 to 2020, alongside a range of new itineraries including within the Australasian region.

  • Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to change.

PHOTOS:

Balcony Scene

NCL Deck Bar

Owners Suite Bathroom

NCL Showroom Entertainment

Oceania

Regent Seven Seas

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John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine 5 Aug 2016

NCLJo artFI_07-15-16-2.jpgNCL’s FIRST-EVER SHIP FOR CHINA FEATURE CUSTOM ARTWORK BY TAN PING    World’s Leading Large Ship Cruise Line Commissions a Renowned Chinese Artist to Paint the Hull of its New Breakaway-Plus Class Vessel for China, Norwegian Joy the artwork to be featured on the hull of its soon to-be-unveiled Breakaway-Plus class vessel Norwegian Joy. Scheduled for release in Summer 2017, with home porting in Shanghai and Beijing, Norwegian Joy will be Norwegian Cruise Line’s first ship that is purpose-built for the Chinese market.

NCLJoy_FI_07-15-16.jpgA painter, printmaker, and educator, Tan Ping straddles the worlds of both art and design. His abstract paintings and copper plate etchings are in the collections of such renowned museums as The National Art Museum of China; Portland Art Museum, USA; Ludwig Museum, Germany; and The Shanghai Art Museum. Tan Ping also enjoys the distinction of having led and directed a team of designers from Central Academy of Fine Arts to complete the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games Image and Landscape Design Project. His subject for Norwegian Joy is the phoenix, an iconic mythical bird believed to reign supreme over all birds of the world.

Australia to America via Paradise with Air Tahiti Nui’s Pacific Loo   Air Tahiti Nui has released a new combination fare offering Australian travellers the ultimate way to travel to the United States with a stopover in Tahiti one way and a seamless non-stop flight home.

Air Tahiti Nui aircraft exterior.jpgThe exciting new Pacific Loop allows guests to make a stopover in Papeete en route to Los Angeles with the convenience and value of one airfare. The return journey is a swift non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Sydney with American Airlines. The journey can also be reversed. For the ultimate Pacific exploration, guests can also take advantage of a stopover in Auckland to combine three countries for the price of one. The Pacific Loop from Sydney to Los Angeles via Auckland and Papeete is priced from $1599* in economy class and from $7999* in business class. Air Tahiti Nui General Manager Australia New Zealand Alan Roman said the combination fare was a great way for Australians to explore the region. visit www.airtahitinui.com

PONANT BROCHURE   PONANT has released a comprehensive brochure featuring an extensive range of itineraries exploring the Asia and Pacific regions during 2017 – 2018.

Ponant Broch .JPEG7 cruises onboard the modern luxury expedition ship L’Austral will reveal the highlights of Asia, featuring 16 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Itineraries include Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Sabah and Papua, plus inaugural voyages to and from Myanmar. In the Pacific region, a further 7 voyages on L’Austral and sister-ship Le Boréal explore from Hawaii to French Polynesia, the Marquesas Islands, mysterious Easter Island, the Solomon Islands and Noumea, as well as the fiords and sub Antarctic islands of New Zealand and the east coast of Australia. A range of itineraries that feature no less than 14 World Heritage sites. Easily accessible departure and arrival points such as Cairns, Bali, Manila and Wellington belie the many rarely-visited remote destinations included in this range of enticing voyages. 5 voyages are designated ‘Expeditions’, appealing to adventurous travellers who enjoy exploring in absolute luxury

Once-in-a-lifetime itinerary options range from exploring the remote islands of the Sub Antarctic to viewing the archaeological enigma of Easter Island’s giant stone Moais and the thousand year old petroglyphs of Fatu Hiva. In Vanuatu and Solomon Islands meet members of the John Frum Cargo Cult, climb an active volcano and snorkel in waters renowned for Second World War wrecks; while Borneo provides the opportunity to see the ‘man of the forest’, our cousin the orang-utan, in his natural habitat.

Be one of few to visit the remote Asmat region of Papua, snorkel in the pristine bio-diverse marine area of Raja Ampat, photograph giant dragons in Komodo, or sail in the wake of famed mariner Captain Bligh when you visit Pitcairn Island and the islands of Tahiti.

Japanese itineraries provide ample opportunity to experience their culture and customs. Monique Ponfoort, Vice President, PONANT Australasia, commented “we encourage you to book as early as possible in order to secure the best possible fares and accommodation options onboard.” For solo travellers, we offer single supplement fares across many voyages, including some cruises which currently have NO single supplement, while others are offered from just 15%.

FLY DIRECT FROM ADELAIDE to CHINA   In celebration of the proposed launch of direct flights between Adelaide and Guangzhou with China Southern Airlines from December this year, Asia travel specialists Insider Journeys have prepared a list of the top reasons for Adelaideans to visit China

China image006 (1).jpgFew places offer travellers the variety of natural experiences that China does. Spectacular landscapes with sweeping views have inspired a multitude of traditional Chinese paintings and even the epic sci-fi movie, Avatar, and continue to transfix travellers. The country’s landscape includes the snow-capped peaks of Tibet, the karst lime formations of Yangshuo and Guilin, dramatic mountainous areas in remote Yunnan and sweeping sand dunes across the Silk Road en route to the ancient city of Kashgar

image005.jpgEating can be a 24/7 endeavour and nowhere more so than China with so much to try. Outside of the often quoted eight styles of Chinese cuisine, which include the numbing and spicy Sichuan cuisine, the sweeter and lighter seafood dishes of Guangdong (Cantonese), and varieties from Hunan, Fujian, Zhejiang and Jiangsu, Shandong Anhui, there are also Beijing, Dongbei (northeastern) and Uighur styles to sample. The modern metropolises of Shanghai and Beijing, with their perennial hustle and bustle are a huge contrast to the ancient artefacts and towns waiting to be discovered across the country. The remarkable Army of Terracotta Warriors in Xian, the historic Lijiang in the southwest and ‘Chinese Venice’ Suzhou in the east, the Forbidden City and the hidden hutongs in Beijing are just some of the gems worth exploring. Insider Journeys offers a range of small group journeys and private travel options to China. For details, call 1300 138 755 or visit www.insiderjourneys.com.au.

Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to change.

PHOTOS:

NCL – New Ship

Air Tahiti Nui

Ponant

China

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