John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine 6 May 2016

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VIKING To Australia.  Some exciting news, Viking Ocean Cruises is coming to Australia as part of their first ever world-cruise! Viking Sun, Viking Ocean Cruises fourth ship, will set sail in December 2017 on a 141 day itinerary from Miami to London. Along the way, the ship will be birthing in Sydney for an overnight stay, marking the first time the Nordic cruise line has ventured to Australian shores. Viking Sun will also be visiting Auckland, New Zealand and Havana, Cuba for the first time.

Guests will be visiting five continents, 35 countries and 66 ports with 12 port overnights. Departing on December 15, 2017, this epic journey from Miami to London will allow guests to explore Cuba and the Caribbean; sail the Panama Canal and the South Pacific; call upon ports in Asia, from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City; and see the Arabian, Red and Mediterranean Seas, before concluding in the North Atlantic.

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APT & AmaWaterways’ Ships Take Top Ten. Luxury travel operator APT, along with partner AmaWaterways, has today announced that its ships have taken the top ten spots in the second annual edition of the Berlitz: River Cruising In Europe travel guide.

Written by Douglas Ward, cruising expert and author of the popular Berlitz: Cruising and Cruise Ships, this year’s river cruising edition evaluated 310 river vessels. “We are once again delighted that an esteemed expert such as Douglas Ward has recognised our impressive fleet of riverships as being the best in Europe,” said APT’s Executive General Manager Sales and Marketing, Debra Fox. “We work hard to exceed expectations, delivering exceptional service and the finest cuisine across our fleet of European river ships. So it’s particularly pleasing to receive accolades that specifically recognise our onboard experience. We believe that achieving such high praise from an independent source once more reinforces APT’s position as the best Australian-based European river cruise operator,” she added.

APT and AmaWaterways has helped to redefine European river cruising. Ward goes into detail saying, “APT is a partner of AmaWaterways, some of whose riverships are used for its European river cruise programmes, and it maintains the same very high standards.”

In addition to earning the top ten spots overall, APT and AmaWaterways’ European fleet secured two additional spots in the top fifteen.  Receiving the highest possible accolades in the book were AmaPrima, AmaReina, AmaSerena, AmaSonata, AmaVida, AmaVerde, AmaVenita, AmaCerto, AmaBella, AmaLyra, AmaDante, AmaDolce and AmaCello. AmaStella and AmaViola, APT and AmaWaterways’ newest European vessels, joined the fleet this year and have not yet been included in the Berlitz reviews.

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APT Expands Kimberley Coast Cruising in 2017

Australia’s leading domestic travel operator APT is expanding its Kimberley Coast Cruising in 2017, announcing the addition of a new ship to its cruise portfolio.

The new APT Kimberley Coast Cruising 2017 brochure offers the largest range of cruising to the region.

Available in travel agents, it features a choice of three cruises styles – luxury, expedition and boutique – across three different vessels. APT is also seeing a surge in popularity amongst those wishing to combine coastal cruising in the region and so is offering a range of cruise and 4WD Kimberley Wilderness Adventures so guests can explore the region from land and sea.

The latest addition to APT’s Kimberley cruise portfolio is a luxury cruise experience that showcases the highlights of the Kimberley aboard L’Austral. The ship offers capacity for 230 guests, who enjoy APT’s fully inclusive lifestyle both on and off the ship. Cruises aboard L’Austral operate three departures between Broome and Darwin, and are accompanied by two of APT’s expert Cruise Directors. A 12-strong expedition team sails on this vessel and guests are taken ashore by the ship’s fleet of 12 Zodiacs.

For guests wanting to explore the Kimberley in more depth the brochure features expedition style cruising aboard APT’s own MS Caledonian Sky. The 57-suite vessel enters its third season sailing the Kimberley coast line and APT is offering a choice of five departures on it’s popular 11-day Kimberley Coast Cruise between Darwin and Broome (or Broome to Darwin).

Guests are accompanied by a 10-strong expedition team and a fleet of 10 Zodiacs enable guests to explore the coastline up close and in-depth.

Boutique cruising that allows you to get to the heart of the Kimberley is APT’s third cruise style available in 2017, with a choice of three cruises are being offered aboard the Coral Discoverer.

APT’s Kimberley Coast Cruise itineraries are fully inclusive and cover all sightseeing, APT’s bespoke Signature Experiences, park and cruise fees, expert services of an APT Expedition Leader/Team, an all day drinks package on the MS Caledonian Sky and L’Austral or drinks with lunch and dinner on board the Coral Discoverer cruise, transfers to and from the ship, expert guest lecturers and all meals. APT is offering a ‘Fly Free’ SuperDeal to the region on all cruise and land tour combinations, representing a saving of up to $2,400 per couple. Cruise-only bookings qualify for a ‘Companion Fly Free’ offer. Availability is limited, terms and conditions apply and the offers are valid until 31 July 2016 or until sold out.



“Wake up with Macao” . . . that’s the message which will warm welcome daily commuters to Sydney’s CBD. From Monday to Friday (May 9-13) between 7am and 10am, office workers arriving at the bus terminal near bustling Wynyard Park will be able to warm to a complimentary cup of coffee as part of the Macao Government Tourism Office’s campaign to promote its new slogan – Experience: Your Own Style.

Focus will also be on Macao’s colourful calendar of festivals and events with consumers having the chance to win a sophisticated $2400 coffee maker and accompanying barista starting kit.

“We intend to showcase to passersby what Macao really has to offer as a holiday and business destination,” said Helen Wong, general manager of the Macao Government Tourism Office (Australia and New Zealand). “A large colourfully decorated container will be in place with two baristas preparing and serving complimentary coffee in attractive cups to guests in promoting our new motto,” she said. “About 100,000 Australians visit Macao each year and we believe such a promotion will further boost the number of holidaymakers.” The “Wake up with Macao” promotion will be one of a number of campaigns to be unveiled throughout the year which much interest on such events and festivals as the annual Macau Grand Prix in November, the International Fireworks Display Contest in September and the annual Macao Marathon in December.

Details: Macao Government Tourism Office, phone (02) 9264 1488,

#Terms and conditions may apply to offers. Subject to availability. Not responsible for errors or omissions. ©John Pond.


Viking Ocean Ship

APT Budapest

APT Rivership Lounge




About John Pond, J.P.

Pioneer in television as producer of thousands of hours of TV shows on Australian and American television including Graham Kennedy, Tommy Leonetti, People in Conflict, Hollywood Bowl, Major Specials and Dr John‘s Casebook TV Shows. TV manager J. Walter Thompson & McCannErickson Advertising and head of production for Columbia Pictures TV. John changed careers to the hospitality industry working for Sydney’s top 5 star hotel as director of sales and marketing and GM. Then with Harrah’s/Caesar's World, the world’s largest hotel and casino group in Nevada. Playboy Magazine in Chicago, head of worldwide PR/Marketing, for their Resorts, Clubs, Hotels & Casinos. Producer at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Co-creator of hit US network TV show Joker, Joker, Joker, first TV show to give away a million dollars. Writer travel articles for magazines and newspapers including Washington Post, New York Times, American Playboy as well as local Australian papers and magazines. In the USA represented many personalities including Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, and many other major names. John is Editor at Sea of Australia’s leading cruise magazine, Travel & Cruise writer for The Retiree Magazine, Destinations Magazine and Spectator Group of Newspapers. John reviews cruise ships, Destinations and Hotels, and is ably assisted by his Associate Editor Sandra Tiltman.
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