John Pond C&TMagazine 27 May 2016

Azamara Journey hull refurb.jpg

AzAmazing Bonus Deals on AZAMARA. Boutique cruise line Azamara Club has launched a bonus deal on Azamara Journey sailings between 10 December 2016 and 12 May 2017, offering USD$500 in onboard spending money per stateroom. The bonus deal is available to book until 31 May 2016, and includes a range of sailings throughout the ship’s extensive Asia season, departing from Hong Kong, Singapore and Mumbai, as well as Azamara Journey’s two Singapore-Sydney 18-night repositioning cruises, departing Singapore 1 February 2017 and the reverse itinerary departing Sydney on 22 March 2017.

More is included as standard on Azamara, such as alcoholic beverages, pre-paid gratuities and of course the famous AzAmazing Evenings, where guests are treated to a bespoke cultural evening experience in a destination per cruise – which  means that guests can choose to spend their onboard credit on other extras such as wi-fi or land discoveries.

Azamara CovaCafe2.jpgWith smaller ships that are able to go to places other cruise ships can’t, Azamara Club makes destinations the star of the show. Offering longer stays, more overnight calls and night touring, travellers have the opportunity to truly experience a destination – taking in the sights, sounds and flavours of local cultures in every port. visit phone 1800 754 500 or contact your local travel agent.  

Celebrity Cruises Modern Luxury Makeover. Celebrity Millennium emerges from drydock refresh more luxurious and stunning than ever, joining Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Infinity following US$8 million revitalizations. Movies viewed under the stars and paired with a specially curated menu of delectable food; freshly redecorated suites and a modernised, fully realised Italian steakhouse.

CEL MILL _Europe_Italy_Venice_Aerial_5.jpgEmerging from a dry-dock, reenergized and more luxurious than ever, with the same lineup of stunning enhancements that Celebrity Summit and Celebrity Infinity have received in recent months at a cost of US$8million each. Guests sailing on Celebrity Millennium in Alaska this summer will be among the first to enjoy her new spaces and experiences, and Australian guests can expect to enjoy the new features a little closer to home in Asia, where Celebrity Millennium sails from Singapore and Hong Kong to Thailand, Vietnam, The Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea and more Asian favourites.

Northern Laos – Great Archaeological Sites. The least visited of the Indochina destinations, with just over 4 million international visitors per year, Laos is a tranquil nation of natural beauty and great historical significance. Its atmospheric northern town of Luang Prabang, which is UNESCO world heritage listed, is one of the most popular attractions in Laos for many travellers. The country is also home to one of Asia’s least known and greatest archaeological sites – the Plain of Jars. Asia travel specialist Insider Journeys has seen strong growth in demand for Laos, with an 18% increase in year on year small group journey bookings. The company includes a visit to The Plain of Jars in Phonsavan as part of its Inside Laos small group journey.

N Laos.jpgThe archaeological sites are Laos’ answer to Stonehenge are steeped in legend. There are approximately 2,500 huge stone jars ranging from one to three metres tall and up to two metres in diameter dotted over 85 sites across the country. The Inside Laos Small Group Journey starts in Chiang Rai, and includes a Mekong river cruise, a night at the Kamu Ecolodge, a visit to Pak Ou Caves, Luang Prabang, a walk between two of the Plain of Jars sites, Vang Vieng and Vientiane. Starting from $3,525 per person twin share, the 13-day journey includes: 11 nights’ hotel accommodation and one night’ lodge accommodation, breakfast daily, three lunches and dinners, one cruise, transport in air-conditioned vehicles, small group touring with a maximum of 16 passengers, entrance fees, local English speaking guides and a Western tour leader for groups of 7 or more. visit

 Cruise with APT and Fly to Myanmar . Set sail on any APT Myanmar river cruise holiday of 15 days or longer in 2017 and 2018 and as well as enjoying the luxury surroundings of its new rivership and enjoying a special private dining experience designed by celebrity chef Luke Nguyen, you’ll pay just $795 per person for return economy flights, including air taxes, with Singapore Airlines.

This special deal features in APT’s new Myanmar 2017/18 brochure, available in travel agents. For example book the 18-day Hidden Wonders of Burma with Inle Lake and as well as qualifying for return international flights for just $795 per person, you’ll pay from $10,845* per person, twin share. Guests sail between Mandalay and Yangon. Cruise highlights include two APT Signature Experiences; a champagne sunset cruise alongside the U Bein Bridge; and a day of discovery at the Bagan Archaeological Zone where guests enjoy a spectacular sunset from a viewing tower overlooking the temples.


Other sightseeing includes stopping along the way to experience the Mahamuni Buddha Temple; touring Inwa by horse drawn cart; enjoying a pottery making demonstration in Yandabo; and visiting the 99-metre high Shwedagon Pagoda.

After the cruise, fly to Heho for a three night stay at Inle Lake where guests will explore the southern section of the lake by boat, taking in its stunning gardens, witnessing the ingenious one-legged rowing technique used by local fishermen and visiting the famous Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery. Included in the price is: 48 meals, complementary house wines, local beers, local spirits and soft drinks included throughout your cruise, all flights within Asia, five star luxurious accommodation, an APT cruise or tour director, all sightseeing, transfers, airport taxes, port charges and tipping. Bookings must be made before 30 September 2016. Offer is subject to availability and terms and conditions apply. Call APT on 1300 196 420, visit or your local travel agent.

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


Azamara Cafe

Azamara Journey

Celebrity Millenium

Northern Laos

APT River Cruise



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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