John Pond C&T Magazine 24 June 2016

water-ocean-jump-humpback-whales-Favim_com-483018.jpegSEE A WHALE “GUARANTEED”  Fantasea Cruising Sydney, operators of Sydney Seven Wonders Coastline adventure cruises, that offers a day trip covering the seven most iconic sights on Sydney’s waterways and coast, have added whale watching as a no-cost bonus – with a guarantee. From May to November, the whale watching season, all guests travelling on a Seven Wonders cruise will also get the opportunity to see humpback whales as they return from Port Hacking back to Sydney Harbour. Fantasea is so confident they will see whales they are offering a Whale Watching Guarantee. If you don’t see a whale then you will be provided with a complimentary ticket on another Fantasea Whale Watching cruises.

Experience the harbour and coastal highlights of Sydney in one day. From inner harbour sites to historical monuments plus whales. Adding to the experience, their onboard team will provide expert commentary, pointing out places of special interest. With access to a secluded beach to relax and unwind, this is a trip that has something for everyone.

Popular with interstate and overseas travellers. Locals too are now also enjoying exploring from the water – a special way to introduce visitors to Sydney, harbour and coast. Cruise departs Darling Harbour on Thursdays and Sundays at 10.30am, providing spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Sydney Heads and Bondi Beach, before heading to Botany Bay and Captain Cook’s first landing place where he first stepped ashore in 1770.

Time is spent at Bundeena in the Royal National Park viewing ancient indigenous rock carvings, before heading back to Sydney Harbour to view Manly and Middle Head, returning to Darling Harbour. Pricing: Adults $165 / Child 5 to 15* $100 / Family (2 adults, 2 children) $495. Call 1800 326 822

Hyatt Macau.jpgGRAND HYATT MACAU RECEIVES GOLD PRIZE   “The drop of rain makes a hole in the stone, not by violence, but by falling.” Grand Hyatt Macau has shown its persistency in earnestly carrying out environmental protections, which was proven in part by the fact that, the hotel won the Gold Prize at the Macao Green Hotel Award 2015, which was organized by the Environmental Protection Bureau in collaboration with the Macao Government Tourism Office.

Initiatives included a complete ban on the consumption and procurement of shark fin at all the restaurants and Banquet and identify other sustainable sources of seafood in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The hotel strived the opportunity to make a positive and lasting impact through policies and practices that reflect the core values and address the most pressing issues of our global community.

Championing a healthier planet, associates chose to repurpose objects used around the hotel, creatively transforming them into dazzling Christmas trees and other ornaments.  Associates also initiated a green visit to the Cotai Ecological Zones on April 30, 2016, raising awareness about conservation and the protection of different life forms. Grand Hyatt Macau will continue to exceed expectations and demonstrate their determined commitment to the planet by creating far-reaching environmental and social impacts.

APT China & Japan2017_Cover_HR.jpgAPT Launches New China and Japan 2017 Brochure   APT has added Japan as a new destination to its Asian portfolio, showcasing new land tours and two styles of ocean cruising as part of its latest China & Japan 2017 brochure.

The new brochure offers a choice of four Japan itineraries. As well as staying at impressive luxury hotels, a range of travel styles feature – from bullet train to coach travel, soft expedition cruising and classic ocean cruising.

APT has also compiled an unforgettable sightseeing program. Highlights include Signature Experiences such as: the chance to meet with Grandma Hiroko in Tokyo to learn more about the Japan of yesteryear and trying your hand at cooking traditional cuisine; meeting a Maiko (apprentice Geiko) or Geiko (Geisha) while at a traditional tea ceremony within a tatami tearoom; visiting the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to meet local volunteers and construct paper cranes at the Sadako Memorial; and spending a full day at World Heritage-listed city of Gyeongju, ancient capital of the Shilla Dynasty. Several travel styles are available, Brochure is available now. Call 1300 196 420, visit aptouring.com.au or see your local travel agent.

AUSSIE DOLLAR DRIVES CRUISE BOOKINGS  As the Aussie dollar tumbles against the US$, the cruise industry emerges as the one to weather the storm. Cruiseabout general manager Jarrod Pask said travellers take currency shifts into account when booking their holiday and respond to volatile conditions by focusing their attention on options that offer stability and certainty.

Money TIPS.JPG“Cruising is a popular way to keep a holiday budget in check when the dollar is unstable, especially when the onboard currency is Australian dollars. “Cruising offers travellers’ greater predictability for their expected travel costs because the price includes accommodation, transport, meals and entertainment, giving holidaymakers greater peace of mind compared to land-based holidays that are more susceptible to currency fluctuations,” Mr Pask said. Cruising on ships trading in AUD onboard has proved to be the preference for many travellers given the current climate. “Our bookings for the first quarter of 2016 indicate cruise lines such as P&O and Carnival, where the onboard currency is Australian dollars, are the top pick for travellers, with bookings for these cruise lines growing this year.”

Cruiseabout reports bookings taken so far in 2016 are up by 30 per cent for P&O compared to the same booking period last year, while Carnival Cruise Lines is up 25 per cent and Princess Cruises up 8 per cent. “Travelling on these cruise lines ensures passengers can head overseas without having to worry about foreign exchange shifts, meaning they can bypass the headache of overseas transaction fees and being short changed when converting from AUD. “The value really becomes apparent when we look at the per-night cost of equivalent holidays.

“For example, a 10-night Pacific Islands cruise costs about $120 per person a night, while a five-night stay at a three-stay resort in Fiji with flights costs around $243 per person per night, but that doesn’t include expenses like meals and entertainment, all of which would be subject to exchange rates and international transaction fees.”

JP: A fine example of what great value cruising can be. Visit http://www.johnpond.com  Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to change. MORE: cruiseandtravelmagazine.net

PHOTOS:

Humpback Whale

APT Brochure

Hyatt Macau

Macau Skyline

Australian Dollars

 

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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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