John Pond Cruise and Travel Magazine 21 Oct 2016


China VICTORIA KATARINA.JPGMORE AUSTRALIANS BOOK CHINA HOLIDAYS    AUSTRALIA’S continued fascination with China continues to grow with more opting to travel and holiday there than in the previous year.

The number of Australian passport holders visiting mainland China has increased by 14,000 compared so far this year with the same period in 2015, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Helen Wong .jpgFrom January till the end of August in 2016, 297,000 travelled to mainland China for a holiday or business compared with 283,000 over the same months last year (* figures do not include Hong Kong and Macao). “An increase such as this indicates a strong willingness by Australians to see and learn more about the interesting and historically rich country,” said Helen Wong, managing director and founder of leading China wholesaler Helen Wong’s Tours. “While contemporary change has been swift in the major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, a great deal of interest focuses on China’s ancient cultures and traditions, along with a number of scenic natural treasures such as the Yangtze River and the spectacular Three Gorges. “From our brochure, the Yangtze cruises aboard Victoria Cruises are very popular, a trend which is sure to continue with the growth in popularity of cruises.” Details: Helen Wong’s Tours: Phone (02) 9267 7833 or visit Ponant night.JPEG

PONANT New Brochure    Just released, PONANT’s October 2017 to May 2018 brochure features 45 voyages, carefully created for those who seek the benefits of exclusive compact ship luxury and expedition cruising in the one package. Itineraries include polar and tropical expeditions to Latin America, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Antarctic onboard two of PONANT’s luxurious fleet of small ships, L’Austral and Le Boreal. Monique Ponfoort, Vice President Ponant Australasia, commented “The brochure is a comprehensive A to Z of the globe’s finest luxury and expedition voyages – intimate travel experiences from Antarctica to Zululand  and just about everywhere in-between! An extensive range of destinations that include voyages to the Amazon and Orinoco rivers, Costa Rica, Papua, the Bissagos Islands, Polynesia, Myanmar, the Seychelles, Latin America, Japan, and the vast icy wilderness of Antarctica, with voyages spanning 6 nights to a Grand Voyage of 85 nights duration from Vietnam to New Zealand”.

Ponant butler.JPEG“Select from itineraries that offer immersion in Maori and Melanesian cultures, the samurai and Torii of Japan, Borneo’s orang-utans, the wonders of Australia’s own Great Barrier Reef, the mysterious statues of Easter Island, World War II remnants in the Solomon Islands, active volcanoes and the heady appeal of the famed Spice Islands …… I like to think we have something for everyone”. “Or, for a change of pace, totally relax under sail aboard the classic three masted yacht, Le Ponant, with a stylish Caribbean cruise to exotic Martinique and Tobago Cays – perhaps enjoy a Christmas of creole and calypso with a splash of rum.” All in all, very civilised ways to travel from A to Z, each voyage imbued with PONANT’s trademark dash of panache whichever ship, yacht or itinerary selected.

 190924 FXF-liberty-island -POV05-R04.jpg

Statue of Liberty Museum   The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. (SOLEIF),  with the National Park Service/U.S. Department of the Interior have recently unveiled the plans for the building of a new Statue of Liberty Museum on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, which is projected to open to the public in 2019.

The new museum—which is the key part of a beautification plan that also includes landscaping and lighting— will give the more than 4.3 million annual visitors to the Statue of Liberty the opportunity to learn about and honor the Statue’s history, influence, and legacy in the world. The current Statue of Liberty Museum, located inside the Statue of Liberty monument, is only accessible to a small fraction of the Statue’s visitors due to the safety upgrades that were put in place following September 11, 2001. “The Statue of Liberty is not just one of the most recognized monuments in the world, but an international symbol of hope that deserves to have her story shared with everyone who visits Liberty Island,” said Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation President and CEO Stephen Briganti. “

190926 FXF-POV04-DIFF-R04.jpg“Lady Liberty is the symbol of everything America is about: freedom, hope, possibility and resilience. It is She that millions of immigrants saw first as they arrived in this country, their hearts full of dreams for a brighter future.

As ‘godmother’ of this new chapter of Lady Liberty’s rich history, von Furstenberg had the idea to create a magnificent mural at the museum’s entrance, an artistic evocation inspired by yet another of America’s most meaningful symbols – the American flag. Each of the fifty “Liberty Stars” will be sculpted into a mural crafted from the original hand-forged iron bars, created by engineer Gustave Eiffel which supported the Statue of Liberty for 100 years and were removed and preserved during her 1986 centennial restoration. The underwriting of each Liberty Star is $2 million.

“With state-of-the-art exhibitions and iconic artifacts including the Statue’s original torch, the new Statue of Liberty Museum will ensure that future generations know, understand, and appreciate all that Lady Liberty represents in America and around the world,” said Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island Superintendent John Piltzecker.

Access to the museum will be free with purchase of a ferry ticket to visit Liberty Island and Ellis Island. Liberty Island will continue to be open to visitors throughout construction of the new museum. Ferry tickets and boat schedules to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are available at 

For more information about the Statue of Liberty Museum visit

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



China cruises popular

Helen Wong (insert


Ponant Butler

Liberty New Museum

Liberty New Museum (rendering)



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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