John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine 22 July 2016

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APT New Wine Series Cruises for 2017   APT has announced it will continue with its successful Wine Series European River Cruise journeys in 2017, having once again secured the support of some of the leading figures from the Australian wine industry. Four Wine Ambassadors will play host to APT guests on its Wine Series cruises in 2017, all of whom represent wineries from Australia’s First Family of Wines, a collective of 12 of the country’s leading multi-generational winemakers that are the heart and soul of Australian wine.

APT Wine Ambassadors for 2017 are: Scott McWilliam of McWilliam’s Family Winemakers; Peter Barry from Jim Barry Wines; Cherry Stowman, Senior Brand Ambassador for Taylors Wines; and Bruce Tyrrell of Tyrell’s Wines.

APT’s special hosts will bring with them a personal selection of their own wines to provide tasting sessions on board the cruise. They will also host special dinners paired with their own wines, lead excursions to wineries to meet local vintners, explain the nuances of traditional wine-making techniques and educate guests on European wine heritage and traditions. Each ambassador will travel with guests for the duration of their cruise. All four departures are part of APT’s Special Interest European River Cruise Collection. Commenting, APT’s Executive General Manager, Global Sales and Marketing, Debra Fox said, “Our Wine Series river cruises have been incredibly popular amongst our guests. That’s because they recognise that by having our special ambassadors onboard, they will be able to unlock the deeper cultural significance that wine making has to the riverside communities of the European destinations that our cruises visit.

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“Tasting and being guided by some of Australia’s most knowledgeable wine experts is a special addition to the APT Collection. As a proud Australian family-owned and operated business that next year celebrates a heritage of 90 years, we are particularly pleased to partner with Australia’s First Families of Wine, of which all of our Ambassadors are members,” she said.

APT’s luxury European river cruises are all inclusive and include all meals; complimentary beverages throughout; room service, butler service and complementary laundry in select suites, all sightseeing and entertainment; and transfers, port charges and tipping. There is even a fleet of bicycles on board for guests to use at their leisure. For further information about APT’s Wine Cruises call 1300 196 420, visit or see your local travel agent.

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Royal Caribbean’s South Pacific   This summer cruise season, Australians can expect big fun in the South Pacific on Explorer of the Seas and Voyager of the SeasRoyal Caribbean’s twin sister ships that are dedicated to sailing Pacific itineraries all summer long. Both are newly revitalized from bow to stern to the tune of US$180 million, and with itineraries that lend themselves perfectly to families and amenities to match, Royal Caribbean is positioning the South Pacific Sisters as the go-to summer cruise holiday for families of all ages and sizes.

2016/17 summer cruise itineraries will whisk guests away to idyllic destinations like Mystery Island and Port Vila in Vanuatu, and Noumea, Isle of Pines and Lifou (Loyalty Islands) in New Caledonia. Plus, the South Pacific Sisters will make more calls than ever RCI_Desgined for Wow_Ice Skate.jpgbefore to perennial island favourite, Fiji. The megaliners will more than double the amount of Fiji calls year on year, with 34 visits across the season to two destinations, Suva and Lautoka. There will even be two Fiji overnight calls, when Explorer of the Seas stays the night in Suva during her repositioning voyages between Australia and Seattle. Royal Caribbean’s Voyager Class pioneered the interior promenade in cruise ship design, allowing interior staterooms to look down on to an indoor street lined by cafes, shops and bars, where colourful characters from much loved movies like Shrek and Madagascar light up the night with family parades and shows.

Adam Armstrong .JPGRoyal Caribbean is known as an innovator, and for good reason, says Adam Armstrong, Managing Director for Royal Caribbean International in Australia and New Zealand. “Since we arrived in Australia some eight years ago, we’ve been delivering Australians with the style of cruising they had previously been travelling overseas for. With two Voyager Class megaliners now sailing from Sydney, there’s double the opportunity to cruise on Australia’s most feature-packed ships, and double the fun,” Armstrong concluded.

VIKING ANNOUNCES CRUISE ITINERARIES STARTING IN 2017 Including Havana, on Viking Ocean Cruises  Viking Sea now part of the growing ocean fleet, on Viking Ocean Cruises, she recently announced the addition of 10 new itineraries to its offerings for 2017
and 2018 sailings. Adding more than 30 ports of call to Viking’s portfolio, the new itineraries will explore destinations throughout Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean, including Cuba. “As we continue to grow our fleet, we have more opportunities to offer guests new and different options for experiencing the Viking way of destination-focused cruising, an approach that is completely unique in the industry,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “Our guests are experienced travellers who are curious about the great art, history and cultures of the world, which is why we design our ships and itineraries to help immerse them in the destinations they visit.”

JP HAW.jpgJOHN POND COMMENT: 2017 looks like being a great year for cruising with many new and revitalized ships headed to our shores. I predict that we will see some really competitive prices as the big 3 battle it out for market share. NCL, the new kid on the block (to our shores) together with The Carnival and Royal Caribbean brand have many exciting offerings, so choosing the right ship for your cruise, may even be a little harder. All are good, if in doubt ask your certified cruise agent.

PHOTO BELOW: Viking Star

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


APT Wine Region Germany

APT Rivership

RCI Voyager

RCI Entertainment

NCL Penthouse Suite


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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One Response to John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine 22 July 2016

  1. lewis levi says:

    John is so Knowlegible, he gives me so many ideas


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