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Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Crystal Esprit Christened in the Seychelles, Ready to Set Sail



Crystal Esprit Christened in the Seychelles

Ready to Set Sail

Luxury yacht launches Crystal Cruises' next chapter

Crystal Cruises, the world's most awarded luxury cruise line, has officially welcomed Crystal Esprit to its fleet of ultra-luxury vessels, as the sleek yacht was christened in an elegant ceremony held at Eden Island Marina in Mahé, Victoria, Seychelles.  Crystal's president and CEO, Edie Rodriguez, welcomed a distinguished audience of local dignitaries, yacht guests, travel partners and professionals and executives from the line's new parent company, Genting Hong Kong (GHK), for a day of celebration, as Crystal Esprit marks the beginning of one of the most significant brand expansions in luxury travel and hospitality history.

On hand to christen Crystal Esprit was the yacht's godmother, Lady Gaenor Anne Meakes, fiancée of Mark Richards, one of the world's most awarded and recognised yachtsmen. Richards serves as chief executive of Grand Banks yachts, based in Australia, and is an eight-time champion skipper of the 628-mile Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race. Lady Meakes christened the yacht with the traditional breaking of Champagne against the hull – specifically a bottle of Louis Roederer, Cristal Brut, 2004.  The evening culminated with an elaborate fireworks display at sea.

"To say today is a special day is an understatement," said Rodriguez. "Since joining Crystal just over two years ago, a personal goal of mine has been to see Crystal realize the next step in continuing to pioneer luxury travel and hospitality; and today I am seeing that dream fulfilled." She went on to personally thank GHK Chairman and CEO, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, for his and his company's support of her vision for Crystal's future.

Crystal will, indeed, pioneer the luxury travel and hospitality industry far beyond the reaches of ocean cruising, as the line is poised to launch Crystal River Cruises in 2016 and 2017, with five luxury river yachts – more than double the originally planned number – gracing the waterways of Europe include the Rhine, Seine, Danube, Main, Garonne, and Dordogne Rivers. Crystal Luxury Air will take off with all-first-class outfitted Boeing 777-200LR and Boeing 787 Dreamliner taking guests on multi-week journeys to far-off destinations not typically served non-stop by major airlines.

About Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is the world's most awarded leading luxury cruise provider, having earned more "World's Best" awards than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. In July 2015, Crystal embarked on the most significant brand expansion in the history of luxury travel and hospitality, which will introduce three new classes of cruising – Crystal Yacht Cruises (December 2015), Crystal River Cruises (July 2016), Crystal Exclusive Class Ocean Cruises (late 2018) – and Crystal Luxury Air (late 2017).

For More Information

For additional information contact
Wiltrans International on:


1800 251 174 (Australia)
0800 446 376 (New Zealand)


Monday, 14 December 2015

Grand Aegean & Adriatic Explorer gives 24 Mediterranean nights at the perfect time of year


Winter in the southern Mediterranean is a delight – very much the right place at the right time, less crowded and all yours to explore.

Cruise Traveller (cruisetraveller.com.au) has chosen that time of year for a sparkling new cruise holiday lasting 24 nights and called 'Grand Aegean and Adriatic Explorer'.

A fly-free offer gives free round-trip airfares from Australia to join the ship in Athens and return home from Venice. Transfers are included and the itinerary visits brilliant places away from the tourist beat.

The ship is MS Minerva, operated by Swan Hellenic. This boutique-size vessel carries no more than 350 passengers. There's a wide choice of included shore excursions.

'Grand Aegean and Adriatic Explorer' is available from A$9655 per person twin share, with FREE flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Athens and return from Venice. It's valid at that rate until 31 January 2016 unless sold out beforehand.

The cruise-holiday gets underway on 14 November 2016 with a flight from Australia to Athens to join MS Minerva. The ship boasts all the refinements of an intimate country house hotel, conveying guests in style and comfort to some the world's most fascinating destinations.

There is no shortage of those on this itinerary. The ship stays overnight in Kusadasi (gateway to the ancient city of Ephesus), Athens, Dubrovnik and Venice. You can perch on the peaks of Meteora, known for monasteries set on awe-inspiring heights. Get to know Pella, birthplace of Alexander the Great. A two-night stay in Istanbul gives time to discover its highlights including the Ottoman Blue Mosque. An extended stay in Piraeus includes a visit to Ancient Corinth where St Paul preached and lived for two years.

MS Minerva transits the narrow Corinth Canal and sails along Kotor Fjord to the medieval walled town of Kotor in Montenegro, one of the best preserved and most memorable medieval towns in the Adriatic, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Also listed by UNESCO is Dubrovnik, a masterpiece of cream-coloured stone. Sibenik in Dalmatia is another gem, offering some of the most memorable surroundings on the Croatian coast.

As well as a full exploration of Venice, Minerva offers a phenomenal variety of complimentary shore excursions. They are available on each day of the cruise and all are all covered by the fare.

Choices range from the Royal Tombs of Vergina to Aphrodisia and Nysa in Kusadasi, the Montenegro Riviera and Dubrovnik's Lokrum Island. Enjoy a tour of Split, a city on Croatia's Dalmatian Coast where date palms line a seafront esplanade in front of the Roman Emperor Diocletian's palace – a structure so well preserved that about 3000 people live within its walls today. Explore Istria and marvel at the Doges Palace and St Mark's Square in Venice.

An integrated program of talks by guest speakers aboard ship adds in-depth knowledge to the explorations. Another bonus is being able to forget about tipping – all gratuities, both aboard and while touring ashore, are covered in the upfront price. Entrance fees to places of interest visited are covered too, as are all shipboard main meals, including Welcome and Farewell Cocktail Parties followed by Gala Dinners.

For more information, contact:

Cruise Traveller, Boutique Voyage and Cruise Specialists

Freecall 1800 507 777 or (07) 5575 8094.

Sales@cruisetraveller.com.au

www.cruisetraveller.com.au



Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Mediterranean cruise, Barcelona, Rome and Milan from $4899 from Australia


A boat cruise on Italy's Lake Como joins in-depth guided tours of Barcelona, Rome and Milan to add special flair to a new 18-night holiday centred on a 12-night Mediterranean cruise. The price has just been reduced and you can book until the end of March 2016, unless sold out or withdrawn from sale.

The latest exclusive offer from Worldwide Cruise Centres involves a Mediterranean cruise aboard ms Oosterdam, one of Holland America Line's premium Vista-class ships.

Called 'Roman Walls to Northern Lakes' and very competitively priced (starting from A$4899 twin share per person, a reduction of A$100 on the previous price), the holiday lasts 18 nights and includes hotel stays and tours in Barcelona, Rome and Milan (two nights each), as well as the ms Oosterdam cruise.

The Barcelona and Rome tours come complete with special arrangements that skip the queues to some of those cities' best-known attractions. The stay in Milan includes an excursion to the village of Bellagio, with its tiled roofs, stone staircases, cypress groves and lakefront boat moorings. A cruise on Lake Como, against the backdrop of the snow-capped Rhaetian Alps, is the perfect highlight.

The centrepiece of 'Roman Walls to Northern Lakes', the 12-night ms Oosterdam cruise from Barcelona to Rome, visits Cadiz, Gibraltar, Malaga, Alicante, Mallorca, Marseilles, Corsica, Monte Carlo and Livorno, gateway to Florence and Pisa.

'Roman Walls to Northern Lakes' includes flights from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Barcelona, returning from Milan.

The holiday departs Australia on 8 July 2016 with a flight to Barcelona, one of Europe's most popular cities, where you'll spend two nights in a four-star hotel.

Full-day sightseeing Barcelona sightseeing, concentrating on artists and historic heritage, includes Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's fabulous cathedral. A special dispensation lets you skip the tourist queues and discover the magnificent interior. See also the elegant Passeig de Gracia, home to the most famous Gaudi houses, Casa Batllo and La Casa Mila.  The Olympic Village, the beach, the Gothic quarter, La Rambla pedestrian mall – all are covered.

Embark now on ms Oosterdam. The ship's centrepiece is a magnificent Waterford crystal globe, prominently displayed in a three-story atrium. ms Oosterdam amenities include The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine; Greenhouse Spa & Salon; Vista Dining Room, Pinnacle Grill and Vista Show Lounge. All shipboard main meals (excluding specialty restaurants) are included.

Ports of call are fabulous. From Moorish-inspired Cadiz, sail to Gibraltar, Britain's Mediterranean outpost, known for its lively troop of Barbary apes. The Spanish seaport of Malaga, one of the world's oldest cities, is where Picasso was born. Bask in the warm, Spanish vibes of Mallorca, then explore shops and cafés of the beachfront Explanada de España at Alicante in sun-soaked Valencia, before sailing on to Marseilles, capital of the South of France. Corsica, birthplace of Napoleon, leads to opulent Monte Carlo on the Riviera and Livorno on the Tyrrhenian Sea, gateway to Florence and Pisa.

Disembarking in Rome, your home for the next two nights (staying in a four-star hotel) you'll see a lot of the city in one day. The tour starts at the Colosseum, where you will skip the queues and learn of gladiators and of the mock sea-battles staged by Nero. Wander the streets and piazzas of the city, taking in sights from the Spanish steps to the Piazza Navona with its Bernini Fountain.

By first-class train now, journey from Rome to Milan. Your two nights in a four-star hotel in Milan include daily breakfast, as with all hotel stays in 'Roman Walls to Northern Lakes'.

From Milan, a day trip to the Italian Lake District visits Lake Como and the village of Bellagio, almost impossibly photogenic. Bellagio has since ancient times been a centre for the production of silk. A walking tour of the city with local guide includes a visit to the Cathedral, with its gothic facade and interior tapestries. A boat cruise sets the seal on a superb day.

Time to explore Milan at your leisure before jetting back home to Australia.

To find your local Worldwide Cruise Centres agent go to:

www.worldwidecruisecentres.com.au

Monday, 7 December 2015

'Big Apple to Big Kahuna': New York, Hawaii and two American cruises


 'The Big Apple to the Big Kahuna' – that's New York and Hawaii. This great 23-night, fly-double-cruise-and-stay holiday offers those two classic American destinations and a lot more: seven-night cruises around New England and Hawaii respectively aboard Norwegian Gem and Pride of America, plus hotel stays and tours.

Like a lot of great adventures, 'The Big Apple to the Big Kahuna' starts in New York.

This cruise-holiday offering, exclusive to Worldwide Cruise Centres (worldwidecruisecentres.com.au), includes a flight from Sydney to New York. On return, you'll stop in Hawaii.

'The Big Apple to the Big Kahuna' also includes five nights at a three-star hotel in New York City, a seven-night Canada and New England cruise aboard Norwegian Gem (round-trip from New York), a visit to the top of the Empire State Building, four nights accommodation in a three-star hotel in Honolulu's celebrated Waikiki Beach area, the Big Kahuna VIP Luau feast at Honolulu Ridge historic estate, and a seven-night cruise exploration of the Hawaiian Islands aboard Pride of America.

Much more is included, such as ship's gratuities on both cruises, so you can forget about that quaint American custom of shipboard tipping.

'The Big Apple to the Big Kahuna' costs from A$7199 twin-share per-person, valid for sale at that rate until the end of January 2016, unless it sells out earlier.

It gets underway with a flight from Sydney to New York on 1 September 2016.

www.worldwidecruisecentres.com.au

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Silversea announces 2017 itineraries



 Schedule features many longer, port-intensive voyages



Silversea Cruises, known for its luxurious ships and exotic destinations, unveiled an exciting collection of 246 voyages for 2017 that are available for travellers to reserve as of today.  These include itineraries for Silversea's current fleet of eight ships, which will collectively visit over 800 destinations across seven continents.

"Every year Silversea strives to offer inspirational journeys that combine the luxury of intimate cruising with the thrill of making new cultural discoveries," said Karen Christensen, General Manager and Director Sales/Marketing, Australasia at Silversea"We believe our voyage collection for 2017, with its wealth of longer, port-intensive cruises, will accomplish just that. From the rainforests of South America to the castles of Europe and the temples of Asia, guests will enjoy experiences that will enrich their lives for years to come."

The following are highlights from Silversea's 2017 schedule:

OCEAN CRUISES

New Ports of Call: Among several new ports are Sassnitz, Germany; Galway, Ireland; Bodø, Norway; Geraldton, Australia; Ilhabela, Brazil; Fredericia, Denmark; Gisborne, New Zealand; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Sir Bani Yas Island, U.A.E.

World Cruise 2017: Departing San Francisco on 6 January 2017, this 116-day ocean voyage to Monte Carlo will visit 62 destinations in 25 countries.  Following a westward path, Silver Whisper will sail through the idyllic isles of Hawaii and cross the International Date Line to the South Pacific, New Zealand, and Australia.  Weaving her way through such tropical wonderlands as Bali and Sandakan, she will then arrive at the shores of vibrant Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore, before setting a course for the ancient temples of India, Arabia's enchanting desert dunes, and the storied capitals of the Mediterranean.

Circle South America: Silver Spirit departs 16 January 2017 on a 63-day roundtrip Grand Voyage from Fort Lauderdale.  Highlights include a crossing of the Panama Canal, two days cruising Chile's majestic fjords, a two-day stopover in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival, plus overnight calls in Buenos Aires and Callao (gateway to Lima and Machu Picchu).

South Africa: Silver Cloud offers a series of four 10-day voyages showcasing South Africa's east coast with convenient roundtrip departures from Cape Town.  The sailings feature calls in Port Elizabeth, Durban, East London, Maputo, and an overnight stay in Richards Bay.  A 14-day voyage includes an overnight stay in Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Mediterranean, Northern Europe & Baltic: From the Greek Isles to the British Isles and Scandinavia, dozens of intriguing voyages, ranging from seven to 17 days, offer a variety of options for travellers seeking to discover the regions' cultural treasures, picturesque harbours, and storied cities. Notable itineraries include:

  • Silver Spirit's Voyage 5713, sailing from Barcelona to Rome, will overnight in Monte Carlo on 27 May 2017, during the city's famous Grand Prix Formula One racing event.
  • Silver Spirit will overnight in Venice on 15 and 16 July 2017 (Voyage 5718), during the celebrations of the Festa del Redentore, offering guests the opportunity to experience the city's amazing display of fireworks and other festivities.
  • Two Silver Wind voyages in September (2722 and 2723) will overnight in Hamburg during the historic port's annual Cruise Days event, when the city welcomes the world of cruises with special attractions and entertainment.
  • On two Silver Cloud sailings (1713 and 1714) and seven Silver Wind voyages (2716 - 2722) the ships will sail the Thames River to dock near (or depart from) Tower Bridge in the heart of historic London - a journey most cruise ships are too large to navigate.
  • A crossing of the legendary Corinth Canal, which is too narrow for most ships to undertake, highlights two Silver Wind voyages (2727 and 2728) and Silver Cloud's Voyage 1711.

Alaska: Silver Shadow returns to explore the majestic natural wonders of Alaska on 16 seven-day voyages between Seward and Vancouver.

Myanmar: Two Silver Shadow voyages (3702 and 3705) feature multi-day stopovers in Myanmar, where guests can explore its famous golden pagodas and ancient temples in depth.

EXPEDITION CRUISES

Silversea's luxury expedition fleet will expand to four ships in November 2017 when Silver Cloud joins Silver Explorer, Silver Discoverer, and Silver Galapagos.  Over 100 expedition cruises will explore the world's most fascinating and remote regions.  Featured among dozens of inaugural calls are such places as Ampangorinana, Nosy Komba (Madagascar); Aride Island, Seychelles; Maheshkhali Island, Bangladesh; Makura Island, Vanuatu; Isle of May, Scotland; and Grimsey Island, Iceland.

Fresh from an extensive refurbishment and conversion to an ice-class expedition ship, Silver Cloud launches a series of Antarctica voyages in November and December, featuring itineraries from 10 to 19 days, and sailing mostly roundtrip from Ushuaia.

Silver Explorer's schedule retains its ever-popular expedition cruises to Antarctica, South and Central America, the British Isles, Northern Canada, Greenland, and Arctic Norway.  Of special note is a 15-day expedition (7719) focused on Greenland and the Canadian Arctic.  Sailing 31 August 2017 from Kangerlussuaq to St. John's, this voyage features a rare visit to Canada's remote Torngat Mountains National Park, renowned for its spectacular natural scenery.

Silver Discoverer's six expedition cruises along Australia's Kimberley Coast from March to May highlight an exotic program that encompasses Madagascar, Seychelles, Indonesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Russian Far East, and remote Alaska.  On the schedule is a new 16-day, Colombo-to-Kolkata sailing (9704) departing 11 February 2017, to explore the Andaman Islands and make the first-ever cruise ship visit to Bangladesh, with explorations of Chittagong, Maheshkhali Island, and the Sundarbans, one of the world's largest mangrove forests and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Silver Galapagos will again operate year-round voyages exploring the pristine and biologically diverse islands of the Galápagos.

For all-inclusive at its most inclusive, Silversea is leading the way.  Guests enjoy ocean-view suites, gourmet cuisine, the personalised service of a butler, and a generous selection of all-inclusive shipboard amenities, including complimentary beverages, wines and spirits, a stocked in-suite beverage cabinet, onboard gratuities, and complimentary WiFi for each guest.

Voyages for Silver Muse, scheduled to debut in early 2017, will open for reservations in the coming weeks.

For more information contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand), or visit www.silversea.com

Capture the timeless traditions of Asia aboard Silversea




Uncover Asia's fascinating history, tantalising cuisine and intriguing culture on this 16-day voyage aboard Silversea's ultra-luxurious vessel, Silver Shadow. With a spectacular itinerary including four overnight stays, all-inclusive shore excursions, two nights pre-cruise accommodation at the Shangri-La, and complimentary WiFi, guests are left to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of this region.

Departing Hong Kong on 21 April 2016, Silver Shadow sails first to Keelung, Taiwan, where guests can enjoy an included Confucious Temple and Market excursion, before porting in Shanghai, China. Here, guests can spend the next two days venturing through one of East China's traditional waterside towns, discovering the remarkable ancient architecture, walking the famous Bund, or exploring the cobbled alleyways of the Yu Yuan Gardens with Silversea's included shore excursion.

Silver Shadow continues her journey to Dalian, China, situated at the tip of Liaodong Peninsula. Here, guests can marvel at the colonial buildings located at the prominent People's Square, before experiencing the ancient art of kite flying. Arriving in Tianjin, Beijing, guests are offered the unique opportunity to view one of the New Seven Wonders of the World from the air with an optional exhilarating 15-minute aerial flight-seeing tour over the Great Wall of China. Silver Shadow then cruises to Korea's southernmost volcanic island, Jeju, boasting stunning white sand beaches and lush countryside.

Anchoring at Osaka, for an overnight stay, guests are offered ample time to truly embrace the Japanese culture with an excursion to the beautiful Mt Rokko, followed by a guided tour of a Sake Brewery.. The following day, guests are welcomed into the fascinating capital of Tokyo, a city of many contrasts, from shrines and gardens, to bustling streets and exquisite fine dining. This voyage concludes in Tokyo, with guests enjoying their final overnight stay, before disembarking on 07 May 2016.

As with all of Silversea's 2016 Asia voyages aboard Silver Shadow, this departure includes a two night pre-cruise stay at the Shangri-La, with transfer to the ship, complimentary Silver Shore Select shore excursions and free WiFi.

Prices are per person, starting from AU$10,650 in a Vista Suite double occupancy. Silversea fares include: all-suite accommodation with butler service; all-inclusive shore excursions; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; complimentary WiFi and all gratuities.

This voyage is subject to availability. Terms and conditions apply. For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit www.silversea.com.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Princess Cruises names new ship: Majestic Princess


Princess Cruises announced today that its ship now under construction, a sister ship to Royal Princess and Regal Princess, will be named Majestic Princess. The new ship will be based in China year-round beginning in summer 2017 and become the first vessel built specifically for Chinese guests incorporating a unique blend of international and Chinese features.

"Royal Princess and Regal Princess were named after iconic previous vessels, while Majestic Princess will carry a name that was chosen by our global employees," said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. "The name Majestic Princess is well suited to the Princess Cruises experience in China, and she will offer a truly magnificent experience to our Chinese guests," added Swartz.

Befitting her dedication to the Chinese market, Majestic Princess will also carry a Chinese name on the hull (Shèng Shì Gōng Zhǔ Haò) – an interpretation selected by Carnival plc's China employees, which has the suggestive meaning of "Grand World" or "Grand Spirit."

The 143,000-ton vessel, Majestic Princess, is being built at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy. She will be home-ported in Shanghai, carrying 3,560 guests for cruises to Japan and Korea, and will offer many of the special features that have made Royal Princess and Regal Princess so popular and distinctive. These include a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship; the unique over-the-ocean SeaWalk - a glass-floor walkway extending 8 meters (28 feet) beyond the edge of the ship; the Princess Live! interactive studio; and the special Chef's Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds guests in a curtain of light

Friday, 9 October 2015

Royal Caribbean set for biggest season yet




3,2,1…GO! ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISES KICKS OFF ITS BIGGEST, BOLDEST, RECORD-BREAKING SEASON YET

3: All three Royal Caribbean brands in Australia for the first time with Azamara Club Cruises' debut

2: Voyager-Class ships based in Sydney, Australia including new ship Explorer of the Seas

1: Legend of the Seas – the first Brisbane-based ship for RCI

9 October 2015: Today marks the start of RCL Cruises Australia's biggest, boldest season yet, with the arrival of Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas to Sydney – the first of seven of the biggest, youngest and most exceptional cruise ships to sail local waters this summer.

For the first time ever, all three RCL Cruises brands will be based down under, with Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and new arrival Azamara Club Cruises offering a range of 95 itineraries around Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia.

RCL will carry a quarter of a million guests over the season with almost 60,000 of them coming from overseas countries including the USA, Canada, UK and Germany.

"Today marks the start of a record-breaking season in which we will double our guest capacity, introduce a new cruise brand to the region and offer a total of seven ships – around 20 percent of RCL's global fleet," said Gavin Smith, Regional Vice President, RCL Cruises Asia-Pacific.

"For nearly a decade we have delivered the world's biggest and best ships to Australians, offering them a cutting edge cruise product and a style of holiday that they would previously have had to travel overseas to experience," Smith continued.

Already an Australian favourite, the destination-focused Azamara Club Cruises brand will sail in Australia for the very first time this summer.  Normally based in Europe and Asia, the 686-passenger Azamara Quest arrives in Darwin on 28 December as the first of three new ships to join the local fleet this season.

Sydney's biggest summer cruise line, Royal Caribbean International, will welcome Explorer of the Seas, which sets sail from Barcelona today en route to Sydney.  The 3,800-passenger megaliner will take the title of Australia's largest cruise ship from her twin sister, Voyager of the Seas, and the ships will meet in beautiful Sydney Harbour on Saturday evening on 28 November for a historic big-ship harbour rendezvous.

Both Voyager Class vessels are the largest cruise ships based in the southern hemisphere and have recently emerged from a combined USD$160 million bow-to-stern facelift, equipping them with brand new features never seen before at sea in Australasia such as the FlowRider surf simulator and revolutionary Interior "Virtual" Balconies.

Finally, Royal Caribbean International will base a ship in Brisbane for the first time.  From 8 December, Queenslanders will have their very own world class ship, Legend of the Seas, when she commences sailing from Portside Wharf, Hamilton with no less than 15 itineraries.

The seven ships will make 185 port calls and 85 turnarounds in Australia this season, which is expected to inject more than $185 million into the local economy in passenger spending alone.


Key Dates

Friday 9 Oct: Radiance of the Seas: Arrives Sydney, kicks off RCL's cruise season

Wednesday 21 Oct: Celebrity Solstice: Arrives Sydney, starts Celebrity Cruises' local season

Thursday 5 Nov: Voyager of the Seas: Arrives Sydney, starts local season

Friday 13 Nov: Explorer of the Seas: Arrives in Fremantle (Perth), first ever Australian port

Tuesday 17 Nov: Explorer of the Seas: Maiden Adelaide call

Thursday 19 Nov: Explorer of the Seas: Maiden Melbourne call

Saturday 28 Nov: Sydney Harbour Rendezvous: Explorer of the Seas is welcomed to Sydney for the first time by twin sister Voyager of the Seas

Wednesday 2 Dec: Legend of the Seas: Arrives in Darwin – first Australian call for season

Tuesday 8 Dec: Legend of the Seas: Arrives in Brisbane to start maiden season and Royal Caribbean's first season sailing out of Brisbane

Monday 28 Dec: Azamara Quest: Arrives in Darwin – first ever Australian port call for Azamara Club Cruises

Monday 4 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden Cairns call

Tuesday 5 Jan: Azamara Quest: Departs Cairns on first ever local voyage

Monday 11 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden call in Brisbane

Thursday 14 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden arrival Sydney

Monday 18 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden arrival Melbourne

Wednesday 20 Jan: Azamara Quest: Maiden arrival Hobart

Saturday 13 Feb: Azamara Quest: Departs Sydney on last local sailing

Saturday 19 Mar: Explorer of the Seas: Maiden Hobart call

Tuesday 29 Mar: Celebrity Millennium: seventh and final ship of the season arrives in Sydney

Sunday 3 Apr: Radiance of the Seas: Departs Sydney, completing local season

Saturday 9 Apr: Celebrity Solstice: Departs Sydney, completing local season

Saturday 16 Apr: Voyager of the Seas: Departs Sydney, completing local season

Wednesday 20 Apr: Legend of the Seas: Departs Brisbane, completing local season

Saturday 23 Apr: Explorer of the Seas: Departs Sydney, wrapping up the 2015/16 international cruise season


For more information visit www.royalcaribbean.com.au, www.celebritycruises.com.au or www.azamaraclubcruises.com, call 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent.


Sail along French and Spanish shores with Silversea



From the sun-drenched shores of Nice, to the bohemian spirit of Barcelona, sail through the Balearic Sea on a 7-day luxury cruise aboard Silver Cloud.  

Commencing on 15 April 2016, guests are first treated to an overnight stay in beautiful Nice, France, offering ample time to discover the Old World charm, admire the beauty and explore the stunning architecture of the city and its surrounds.  Continuing her journey through France, guests then travel to Saint Tropez, made famous by Brigitte Bardot, before anchoring in Marseille, home to the Notre-Dame de la Garde, a basilica boasting panoramic views of the Mediterranean and the city.  From here, Silver Cloud ports at the gateway to Montpellier, Sete, where guests can choose to visit the Château de l'Engarran, a prestigious wine estate dating back to the 18th century, or play a round of golf at the Cap d'Agde Golf Club, a championship course, as part of Silversea's optional excursions.

Beginning the Spanish portion of this journey, Silver Cloud sails south to the island of Mallorca, renowned for its coastal beauty.  Silver Cloud then sails to Valencia, where guests can enjoy a range of optional activities, from a culinary introduction to cooking Paella, to a sightseeing excursion where guests are taken underground to the cellars and caves situated beneath the Old Quarter.  To conclude this spectacular voyage, Silver Cloud docks in Barcelona overnight, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia, wander down La Rambla and indulge in the regional tapas cuisine, before disembarking on 22 April 2016.  

Prices are per person starting from AU$3,650 in a Vista Suite double occupancy. Silversea fares include: one hour of complimentary WiFi for every guest per day, all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.

This voyage is subject to availability.  Terms and conditions apply.  For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit www.silversea.com


Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to headline Bravo! South Pacific cruise



DAME KIRI TE KANAWA HEADLINES BRAVO! CRUISE OF THE PERFORMING ARTS 2016

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SAILING FROM SYDNEY TO THE SOUTH PACIFIC
7 NIGHTS FROM 17TH – 24TH OCTOBER, 2016
On sale Tuesday 6 October, 2015
 
Australia's leading music themed charter company Choose Your Cruise is pleased to announce BRAVO! Cruise of the Performing Arts 2016 featuring a stunning program of over 30 acts and artists from musical theatre, the classics and opera.   The star-studded line-up is the largest gathering of artists from the world of the Performing Arts ever assembled on water.  Tickets go on sale Tuesday 6 October.
 
For an exclusive performance and headlining this grand maritime production is Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  one of the most beloved sopranos in the world who says "I was delighted to be invited to share my music on the high seas!  I've performed at venues as diverse as Glyndebourne, Tanglewood and the Verona Arena – and in many unusual places – golf courses, vineyards, viaducts, the Outback of Australia and even a helicopter hanger – but this will be my first performance during a Bravo! South Pacific cruise and I'm really looking forward to it."

On the concert stage, her natural serenity and vocal beauty have joined with major orchestral ensembles on the world's most coveted stages, and she "can't wait to do it with BRAVO!"

Born in New Zealand with European and Maori heritage, Dame Kiri gained legendary status almost overnight following her sensational debut in Figaro and moved rapidly into the front rank of international opera to become a familiar figure in the leading opera houses of the world including Covent Garden, the Metropolitan, Paris Opera, La Scala and the Sydney Opera House.
 
Choose Your Cruise is delighted to reveal Dame Kiri Te Kanawa will be joined on BRAVO! by a long list of sensational artists showcasing an array of magnificent music, traversing classical, musical theatre, opera and much more, including:-
Teddy Tahu Rhodes, David Hobson (Ambassador of Bravo!), Marina Prior, Cheryl Barker AO, Peter Coleman-Wright AO, Greta Bradman, Jonathon Welch AM, Simon Tedeschi, The Idea of North, Richard Fidler, Rachael Beck, Guy Noble, The Metropolitan Orchestra and many more. Over 30 acts in total.

Internationally renowned operatic bass-baritone, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, is thrilled to be included in the line-up for the second time and joining the star-studded extravaganza at sea, bringing his award-winning performances to the stage. Teddy has established an international career on both the opera stage and concert platform having enjoyed huge success with South Pacific for Opera Australia, in 2014 the role of the King in The King and I, and more recently his leading role performance of Don Giovanni for Opera Australia.

Passengers will have the opportunity to experience performances by world class International and Australian acts, all while taking in the dazzling indulgence of Royal Caribbean's luxurious cruise-liner, Radiance of the Seas, featuring seven unique performance venues to be explored and experienced across seven days and nights October 17 – 24, 2016.  Departing from Sydney BRAVO! will visit the best that the South Pacific has to offer including Mare and Noumea (New Caledonia).  
   
As well as its 1000 seat Aurora Theatre, Radiance of the Seas features acres of glass enclosing the nine-storey central atrium, lifts facing the sea and floor-to-ceiling windows throughout.  Plus eight new dining experiences, ranging from casual eats to premium dining.

The return of BRAVO! is another affirmation of the cruise industry's incredible growth in Australia. The Australian cruise industry is celebrating a quadruple whammy of accomplishments, revealed in its latest source market figures cracking one million passengers (1,003,256) in a calendar year for the first time, becoming the world's fastest growing source of cruise passengers, retaining its top global position for market penetration, and becoming the first nation to exceed 4% penetration in cruising history.
 
Prices start at $2,414.00 pp Twin Share

For more information including how to book your cabin go to
 www.chooseyourcruise.com.au

OR call 1300 247 371.



P&O Cruises Australia fleet to grow to six




Princess Cruises vessel to transfer to P&O Australia fleet

Carnival Australia has just announced changes to its Australia-based year-round fleet, which will see Princess Cruises offload its Dawn Princess vessel to P&O Cruises, with the move effective from May 2017.

The 2000-passenger Dawn Princess will become the sixth and largest vessel in the P&O Cruises Australian fleet. The news comes just over a month out from P&O taking delivery of its fourth and fifth ships Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden.

P&O Cruises senior vice president Sture Myrmell said Dawn Princess would be reflagged and renovated to take on the P&O product prior to its transfer to the fleet.

"This ship is a great addition to P&O Cruises' fleet, with her larger size opening up opportunities for new onboard product and experiences," he added.

The gap created in the Princess inventory will be filled by Golden Princess (pic above), which will now remain in Australian waters throughout 2017. To make its debut in Australia this summer peak season, based in Melbourne and initially as a seasonal visitor, Golden Princess will join Sea Princess and Sun Princess in the line's locally based fleet on a year-round basis from May 2017.

"One of Golden Princess' key sailings for the year will be a 75-night Circle Pacific itinerary taking holidaymakers on a roundtrip cruise from Australia to Asia, Alaska and America," Princess Cruises senior vice president Australa and New Zealand Stuart Allison said.

More information in today's Cruise Weekly, to be published soon.Source: Cruise Weekly.

Friday, 2 October 2015

QM2 - the word's largest ocean liner

The RMS Queen Mary 2 was introduced in 2004 and is the largest, longest, tallest and widest passenger liner in the world today, writes Alex Naughton.

When she entered service she took over the mantle of the transatlantic ocean liner tradition from the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2. Remarkably she is the first true transatlantic ocean liner to be built for over 30 years since the introduction of the QE2.

RMS Queen Mary 2 - the Biggest Ocean Liner in the World (supplied)
She is a dual role ship combining the transatlantic crossing (Southampton to New York) and world cruising. When not on the transatlantic route she cruises around European waters, the Caribbean and to South America. In 2006 she will make a historic voyage around South America from New York to Los Angeles, thus becoming the largest passenger liner to pass the Cape Horn and circumnavigate South America since the original RMS Queen Mary. In 2007 she will make yet another historic voyage when she departs on her Maiden World Cruise and thus joins the QE2 in this noble tradition.


Which cruise lines have the best shows? - Cruise Critic


Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A short history of Princess Cruises

Canadian Pacific’s 6,026-ton Princess Patricia (above), when
chartered to Princess Cruises in 1965, gave her name to a new cruise line.
by Alex Naughton

Princess Cruises:

From its modest beginnings in 1965 with a single ship cruising to Mexico, Princess Cruises has grown to become one of the premiere cruise lines in the world. Today, its fleet carries more than a million passengers each year to more worldwide destinations than any other major line.

The most recognized cruise line in the world was catapulted to stardom in 1977 when Pacific Princess was cast in a starring role on a new television show called The Love Boat. The weekly series, which introduced millions of viewers to the still-new concept of a sea-going vacation, was an instant hit and both the company name and its "seawitch" logo have remained synonymous with cruising ever since.

Princess Cruises' modern fleet has grown considerably in recent years to include Caribbean Princess (2004), Coral Princess (2003), Dawn Princess (1997), Diamond Princess (2004), Island Princess (2003), Pacific Princess (1999), Regal Princess (1991), Royal Princess (1984), Golden Princess (2001), Grand Princess (1998), Sapphire Princess (2004), Star Princess (2002), Sun Princess (1995) and Tahitian Princess (1999). Two additional new ships will join Princess Cruises' fleet by 2007, making it one of the most modern fleets on the high seas.

Personal Choice Cruising:

Building on past success, Princess Cruises is continually evolving to meet the needs of the today's cruise passenger. In the mid-1990s the company pioneered the concept of putting passengers in control of their own cruise experience with the introduction of its Sun-class ships. These revolutionary vessels gave passengers the freedom to choose from a wide range of flexible onboard facilities, amenities and services in order to create a personal vacation experience that takes the regimentation out of the cruise experience and suits each passenger's own needs and preferences.

Today, the line's signature emphasis on Personal Choice Cruising is apparent across the fleet, with each vessel offering its own unique version on a host of multiple dining options and locations; flexible and varied entertainment selections; renowned customer service; and a full complement of onboard activities including a variety of ScholarShip@Sea enrichment classes featuring computer training, ceramics, culinary arts, finance and photography. Often copied but never duplicated, the Princess concept of cruise holiday customisation has since been adopted as the touchstone of new ship design for the entire cruise industry.

Affordable Luxury and an Abundance of Balconies:

In addition to incorporating a wide range of choices, vessels in the Princess Cruises fleet are specifically designed to provide the ultimate in affordable luxury, with an emphasis on "big ship choice with small ship feel." No matter the size of the ship, public spaces are designed to feel intimate and are decorated in a contemporary style, allowing passengers to enjoy themselves in an informal, relaxed onboard atmosphere that mirrors today's lifestyles. The company has also long been the leader in building ships specifically designed to accommodate an extensive number of the most sought-after shipboard luxury -- the private balcony. In the mid-1980s Princess pioneered the concept of the affordable veranda, once an exclusive feature incorporated in only the most expensive suites. Today, the Princess Cruises' fleet offers one of the highest percentages of balcony cabins in the industry, across all cabin categories. The physical design and décor of the ships, coupled with Princess Cruises' hallmark service excellence, creates an onboard atmosphere of relaxed luxury in which passengers can enjoy their perfect holiday experience.

Regal Princess, a Royal Class cruise ship, is the latest development from Princess Cruises

Worldwide Destinations:

Princess Cruises' philosophy of choice is also reflected in its sailing schedule. Offering voyages to more worldwide cruise destinations than any other major line, Princess Cruises has more than 150 itineraries ranging from seven to 72 days. The line sails to all seven continents and calls at nearly 260 ports around the world. Princess Cruises passengers can enhance their cruise experience through the Adventures Ashore program featuring more than 1,500 in-port excursions worldwide, and the company's expanding cruise tour offerings enable passengers to combine their cruise with a full land tour. Destinations on all seven continents include the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Mexican Riviera, South America, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, Hawaii, Tahiti/French Polynesia, Asia, India, Africa, Holy Land, Canada/New England and Antarctica.

Having led the way in Gulf of Alaska cruising, Princess Cruises maintains a strong presence in Alaska. Through its Seattle-based Princess Tours division, the company operates a wide variety of spectacular land and sea experiences in the majestic "Land of the Midnight Sun." The largest cruise and tour operator in the state, Princess Cruises operates six cruise ships, five riverside wilderness lodges, luxury Midnight Sun Express Ultra Dome rail cars, and a fleet of deluxe motor coaches; allowing cruise passengers to connect seamlessly to a landside tour and experience several distinctly unique facets of the Alaska wilderness in a single trip.

Princess Cruises is part of Carnival Corporation & PLC, one of the largest cruise holiday companies in the world.

History of The Sitmar Line

(Societa Italiana Trasporti Marittimi)

The Sitmar Line (Sitmar = Società Italiana Trasporti Marittimi) was formed by Russian émigré Alexandre Vlasov. Sitmar ships all carried a "V" for Vlasov on their funnels. Vlasov operated cargo ships under various flags (including Greek, Italian and British) before and during the war. After the war, numerous American wartime standard ships were available for purchase, and Vlasov bought the Wooster Victory and Vassar Victory. These were suitable for emigrant carriers since both had been troopships in the war. He chartered them to the IRO (International Refugee Organisation - run by the UN). The Vassar Victory was renamed Castelbianco, under the Italian flag, whereas Wooster Victory initially operated under her original name, before becoming the Castelverde when she also became Italian flagged. By 1952, the IRO charters were coming to an end, and Castel Bianco and Castel Verde (as their names were later rendered), were put into service as emigrant carriers between Genoa and Central America. Before starting this service, both ships were substantially rebuilt. Sitmar withdrew the Central American service in 1957, and the two ships were sold to the Spanish Line.

Official postcard of Fairsea
Vlasov also bought two American C3 ships, and rebuilt one as the 1800 passenger Fairsea. She was Panamanian-flagged, and initiated the naming style for future Sitmar ships. Fairsea initially operated IRO charters, and was then put on the Australian run. She also made a few North Atlantic crossings. In 1955, Fairsea was given a long-term contract by Australia to carry emigrants from Southampton. The other C3 ship became the Fairsky in 1957, under the Liberian flag, and also joining the Australian service. Also joining the Australian service were the Castel Felice, originally the BI Line's Kenya, and Fairstar, previously the Bibby Line troopship Oxfordshire. These four ships maintained this service until 1970, when the contract passed to Chandris Lines.

Official Fairsky postcard
An attempt to regain the Australian contract was made when Vlasov acquired the Cunarders Carinthia and Sylvania in 1968. The plans came to nothing, and they remained laid up at Southampton for a number of years as the Fairland and Fairsea. The loss of their regular contracts forced Sitmar to change direction, and they devoted their activities towards becoming a major cruise company. Fairsea had already been scrapped in 1969, following a fire in the engine room, and Castel Felice was scrapped in 1970 at the end of the Australian contract. The ex-Cunarders Fairland and Fairsea received substantial conversions into cruise ships. Although an appropriate name for an emigrant liner, Fairland was deemed unsuitable for a cruise ship, and she was renamed Fairwind before entering service in 1971.

Fairstar sails out of Sydney for the final time in 1997
These two fine conversions joined the Fairsky and Fairstar in building an excellent reputation for Sitmar as a cruise line in the American market. The Fairsky was sold for scrap in 1977. A third large ship was sought to replace her, initial interest in the Queen Anna Maria being thwarted when she was bought by Carnival. Finally, the Portuguese liner Principe Perfeito was bought to replace her in 1979, being renamed Fairsky. She was due to be converted in a Spanish yard, for completion in 1981, but it was eventually decided that the project was uneconomic, and she was sold to John Latsis in 1982. In her place, the new Fairsky was delivered in 1984. In 1989 Sitmar Cruises was purchased by P&O Princess PLC and merged with Princess Cruises.

Cruise deals for Australians - Cruise Critic


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Go On, Play A Round on SeaDream

GO ON, PLAY A ROUND ON SEADREAM

GOLF buffs need not fear they'll miss out on their weekly round or two when deciding on a getaway aboard boutique mega motor-cruisers SeaDream I or SeaDream II in the Mediterranean in 2016 – over a dozen sailings from May to October will include the chance to play some of the most famous courses in a broad sweep of ports along the coasts of Italy, France, Monaco, Spain and Portugal.

Opportunities include having a game or more pre or post embarking SeaDream I or II for seven or eight night Mediterranean voyages, and in some ports there's even a choice of different courses to play.

Some sailings include the possibility to play golf in a different port every day, and on others on select days; SeaDream Yacht Club arranges guest's tee times, round-trip transfers from vessel to courses, shared golf carts, and will assist with organising rental of any other equipment needed… and for those who want to get even more from their sailing, both yachts have free 36 international course golf simulators.

The cost of golf outings is additional to SeaDream's voyage prices that begin from US$4626pp twin share for 7-days including drinks from the open bars, wines with lunch and dinner, power and sail water-sports in ports where permitted, onboard gratuities, and Government charges and taxes.

And while SeaDream I and II are rated the world's finest boutique passenger vessels carrying a maximum of just 112 guests served by 95 crew, there's no call for formal wear – with smart casual being the norm at dinner.

For full details see travel agents or visit www.seadream.com

                                                          


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

34-night Mediterranean itinerary aboard the luxurious Azamara Journey

Cruiseco is delighted to offer travellers an expansive 34-night itinerary aboard the luxurious Azamara Journey.  Departing Nice on 20 April 2016, guests will visit some of Europe's most exquisite countries, stopping at unusual destinations along the way to Venice.

Amber Wilson, International Marketing Manager at Cruiseco:

"This exceptional voyage features five overnight stays and 30 ports of call, showcasing an incredible selection of destinations, coastlines and cuisines.  The Mediterranean is a place of rich history and profound beauty, which continues to entice and amaze travellers." 

"Azamara Journey takes guests closer than other ships can, enabling guests who embark on this luxurious voyage to visit the less-frequented gateways of this spectacular part of the world.  In addition, guests will benefit from longer days in port, providing them with more time to explore and uncover the hidden delights of each destination."

Guests can expect to visit some of the more unusual ports of the Mediterranean, including: Sanary Sur Mer, a relaxed resort along the Riviera with a beautiful yacht harbour and fascinating outdoor produce market; Sete, where guests can take an optional tour to the World Heritage Listed walled city of Carcasonne; Olbia, the economic capital of North East Sardinia with a history that dates back centuries; and Trapani, which was badly damaged in World War II but has been redeveloped as an incredible resort city that plays homage to its rich history.

Prices start from AU$11,500 per person, based on twin share.  This 34-night charter includes: all meals aboard Azamara Journey; house wine and beer served with lunch and dinner; bottled mineral water throughout the cruise; full on board programme of entertainment, enhancement and port lectures; gratuities to dining room and stateroom staff aboard Azamara Journey; arrival and departure transfers, port charges and taxes.

To book whilst cabins are still available, or for more information, visit www.cruising.com.au, call (02) 9492 8520 or visit your local Cruiseco agent. 

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Cruise Europe with Ponant - Classic European Cruises Collection - 2016



Save up to 30%, with No Single Supplement charges on many voyages

French luxury and expedition cruise line PONANT has announced an extensive  range of European voyages for 2016 - many currently available at 30% savings and no single supplement charges.

The PONANT European Collection, released both as a printed brochure and a convenient e-brochure download - http://bit.ly/PONANT-Europe-2016 - features 41 hand-crafted voyages, many including important UNESCO listed World Heritage highlights. The itineraries showcase the crossroads of ancient cultures that have shaped the modern world; a diversity of destinations endowed with layers of history, art, music, architecture and boundless culinary temptations.

With over 25 years of European cruising experience, PONANT draws on its heritage to offer guests a range of sailings designed to appeal to regular cruisers, as well as tempting those who have not yet cruised but understand the benefits of relaxed exploration by sea.

Enjoy French ambiance on the world's youngest fleet afloat, or sail on PONANT's classic three masted yacht. Either way, experience the difference small ship cruising offers. Venture where large ships simply cannot; experience the thrill of transiting the legendary Corinth canal; moor in intimate bays such as in Hvar and the Cyclades islands; view legendary Mt Stromboli; stroll the walls of Dubrovnik, explore the preserved streets of Valletta and wonder at the Imperial grandeur of St Petersburg.

Destinations include Corsica, Spain and Malta, Greece, Croatia and Montenegro, Turkey, Italy, Scandinavia and Russia - often venturing off the main marine highway to explore smaller, less visited ports of call including Elba, Corsica and the dramatic coasts of Ireland and the United Kingdom, Estonia and the Norwegian fjords, with the flexibility of exploring by Zodiac to get even closer to the action.

This European Collection of itineraries ranges in duration from 7 nights to 12 nights with pricing from A$3918pp* port taxes included, for a 7 night cruise on board Le Lyrial from Civitavecchia to Athens, twin share in an ocean-view DeLuxe Stateroom with private balcony, deck 3.
[*Ponant Bonus price per person based on a double occupancy, including port taxes. Based on the first stateroom category available and subject to change based on availability.]

The PONANT hallmark - French ambiance, fine food and wines (open bar included, of course), intuitive service, indulgent pampering options and renowned design touches, all the while travelling in understated luxury - is epitomised in this collection of European itineraries.


INFORMATION & RESERVATIONS

Details of all PONANT European Collection voyages, including itineraries, pricing and shore excursion highlights are available at http://bit.ly/PONANT-EuropeanCruises2016
 or directly by contacting PONANT on Australia:1300 737 178 or + 61 2 8459 5000 / New Zealand: 0800 44 32 62, or emailing reservations.aus@ponant.com                                    

Further information available on the website:  www.ponant.com

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Silversea cruises in Asia: The perfect balance of old and new


 

 

Ultra-luxury cruise line, Silversea Cruises, invites guests to explore Asia's mesmerising blend of ancient and contemporary wonders aboard Silver Shadow's unique itineraries.  Sailing from Japan, Hong Kong or Singapore, between October and December 2015, over nine to 16 days, guests will experience stone-carved temples and towering skyscrapers, whilst uncovering Asia's diverse history, landscapes, culture, cuisine and coastlines.

 

Karen Christensen, General Manager & Director of Sales/Marketing, Australasia, says even for the most discerning traveller, Asia never fails to fascinate.

 

"Asia's breathtaking fusion of old and new, in addition to its rich culture, continues to entice curious travellers from every corner of the globe.  Guests can expect to see almost futuristic skylines, gilded shrines and bullet trains that speed past rice paddies and tea plantations.  Asia is a truly surreal and a wonderful combination of modernity and tradition."

 

"From early October to late December is the perfect time to cruise through Asia.  Guests can choose from Silversea's selection of itineraries, which span journeys through beautiful destinations such as Yangon, Penang and Chan May, plus bustling cities including Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Bangkok."

 

Silversea's 2015 Asia itineraries aboard Silver Shadow include:

 

V3529: Departing Hong Kong on 18 October 2015, guests spend 11 days travelling to some of the most charming corners of Vietnam and Thailand, where the city meets the verdant countryside and ancient empires have given rise to glimmering modern architecture.  Fares start from AU$5,850 per person, based on twin share.   

 

V3531: Cruising to some of Asia's most enigmatic destinations, Silver Shadow departs Singapore on 10 November 2015 for a 12-day journey, where guests discover the enchanting dichotomy of Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.  Fares start from AU$6,350 per person, based on twin share.  

 

V3534: Sailing through Vietnam from 12 December 2015 to 21 December 2015, guests can discover this incredible country's dynamic culture as they explore the karst towers, winsome landscapes and century-old cities laced with French colonial flair, with a 9-day voyage aboard Silver Shadow.  Fares start from AU$4,150 per person, based on twin share.

 

V3535: Departing on 21 December 2015, guests sail on a roundtrip voyage from Singapore over 15 days.  From the ancient cultural capital Yangon, to the rugged coastline of Port Blair, India, guests will be captivated by the region's rich and diverse surroundings.  Fares start from AU$9,350 per person, based on twin share.

 

Book select Asia voyages by 30 June 2015 and select a two-category suite upgrade, 50% savings on a second suite or US$1,000 onboard credit per suite to use for shore excursions – or if you prefer - spa treatments, specialty restaurants and more.

 

For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872, or visit www.silversea.com

 


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Seabourn Reveals Signature Lounge On Seabourn Encore



In the lead up to the debut of Seabourn Encore this summer, the award-winning small ship cruise line has revealed renderings of the lounge space on the ship: The Club. 

As envisioned by design icon Adam D. Tihany, who is fashioning interiors throughout Seabourn Encore, The Club will unfold as an elegant and inviting lounge with striking elements and a world-class program of music, dancing and entertainment. 

"One of the hallmarks Seabourn is known for is the private country-club-like ambiance that adds to the very social and friendly atmosphere aboard our ships," Seabourn Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales John Delaney said. "From pre-dinner drinks to late-night dancing, The Club is the perfect spot for guests to gather and mingle and enjoy their journey as they travel the globe aboard the world's finest ultra-luxury vessel."

Expanding on his vision throughout Seabourn Encore, Tihany has employed modern design elements to cast The Club as a bespoke and engaging space. The multifaceted lounge, located on Deck 5 of the 12-deck vessel, will include contemporary seating with yachting references visible in the furnishings, design elements and balustrade. Modern illumination will highlight the line's extensive array of complimentary spirits and liquors and will provide a central focal point for the bar.

The Club will feature custom-crafted cocktails and fine wines, canapés served at cocktail hour, and live music before and after dinner. In addition, The Club will house an intimate, full-gaming casino.

Adding to the elegant atmosphere, guests will have direct access to the Club Terrace, an intimate exclusive aft pool lounge area set immediately behind The Club with a plunge pool, two whirlpools, and an illuminated fountain. Meanwhile, deck service will be available throughout the day providing refreshments and food.

Scheduled to debut in December 2016 and cruise Australian waters during its first season, Seabourn Encore will feature modern design elements and innovations consistent with the line's reputation for understated elegance. The 40,350-tonne ship will be configured with one additional deck and new expanded public areas, and is expected to carry just 600 guests, based on double occupancy. In addition, every suite will feature a 

For more information on Seabourn Encore visit http://encore.seabourn.com

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Luxury Alaska Cruises with Silvesea

Uncover the wonders of Alaska with Silversea

Experience the wild wonders of Alaska, as you sail past sapphire-blue glaciers and vast evergreen forests on a 7-day cruise aboard the ultra-luxurious Silver Shadow.

Beginning the Alaska voyage in Vancouver, Canada, on 27 August 2015, guests will disembark in Seward (Anchorage) on 3 September 2015.  

Alaska is the wild wonder of the American north. On this cruise, wind your way through its Misty Fjords and intriguing inlets, and sail through the Inside Passage and breathtaking Hubbard Glacier. Perhaps see Iditarod dogs on land or watch a whale breach in the Gulf of Alaska. In a land that clearly calls out to be explored, you can kayak, hike, fish, snorkel and enjoy a vast array of other discovery activities.

Guests that begin or end their voyage in Seward will receive complimentary transfers to/from the Anchorage Airport Train Station via chartered rail service. The 4.5-hour scenic train ride along the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula is said to be the most scenic in all of Alaska.

Prices are per person starting from AU$4,550 in a Vista Suite double occupancy. Silversea fares include: all-suite accommodation with butler service; gourmet meals with menus inspired by Relais & Châteaux; complimentary wines, Champagne and spirits served throughout the ships; and all gratuities.

Book this voyage by June 30 2015 and select a two-category suite upgrade, 50% savings on a second suite or US$1,000 onboard credit per suite to use for shore excursions, spa treatments, specialty restaurants and more.

This voyage is subject to availability.  Terms and conditions apply.  For more information, contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872, or visit www.silversea.com

 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Royal Caribbean International ‘buy one, get one up to fifty per cent off’




BUY ONE GET ONE HALF PRICE WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN

Throughout the month of May, Royal Caribbean International guests are invited to take advantage of a special 'buy one, get one up to fifty per cent off' offer, applicable to most local and international itineraries and ships.

Plus, eligible bookings made on 2016 and 2017 departures will also receive a discount of up to 50 per cent off the cruise fare for third and fourth guests in the same booking, excluding taxes, fees, port expenses and gratuities.

This unbeatable offer is available to book from 1 – 31 May 2015 and is applicable on eligible itineraries departing from 1 June 2015 onwards of five-nights or longer.

Enjoy an eight-night South Pacific Bliss itinerary departing Brisbane onboard Legend of the Seas on 18 February 2016 from just $1,099 for the first person and $549.50 for the second. From Brisbane, where Legend of the Seas will call home, the roundtrip sailing explores the tropical paradise of Noumea in New Caledonia and Mystery Island and Port Vila in Vanuatu.

Experience South East Asia on a 10-night sailing from Singapore to Perth departing 3 November 2015 onboard Explorer of the Seas, priced from just $1,099 for the first passenger and $549.50 for the second. From Singapore, the cruise calls at Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi in Malaysia and Phuket in Thailand, before travelling down the coast of Western Australia to arrive in Fremantle.

Explore Australia's Top End over 16-nights onboard Radiance of the Seas from $2,799 for the first passenger and $1,399.50 for the second. Departing Perth 17 November 2015, the sailing travels up the coast of Western Australia to Bali before calling at Darwin, Cairns, Brisbane and arriving in Sydney.

Or sample New Zealand in summer on an 11-night roundtrip cruise from Sydney onboard Voyager of the Seas departing 18 December 2015, priced from $2,599 for the first person and $1,299.50 for the second. The sailing calls at Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington and Picton.

For more information about Royal Caribbean International or to book a cruise, visit royalcaribbean.com.au, call 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent.

Terms and conditions for the offer: Valid for new individual bookings only. Offer excludes Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, transatlantic voyages and all sailings departing from China. Price quoted is per person based on lowest available interior cabin and prices are subject to change. Sale is not combinable with any other offer or promotion and will expire on 31 May 2015 unless sold out prior. For full terms and conditions, visit: www.royalcaribbean.com.au.

Royal Caribbean AU & NZ Instagram: instagram.com/royalcaribbean_aunz

Royal Caribbean AU & NZ Facebook: facebook.com/rciaustraliaandnz

Royal Caribbean AU & NZ YouTube: youtube.com/rciaustraliaandnz

Silversea's pick of the world's luxury and adventure destinations



SILVERSEA'S PICK OF THE MOST DESIRED DESTINATIONS IN LUXURY CRUISING

Take your journey to the next level by exploring the world's most breathtaking and enticing destinations with Silversea Cruises, the leader in ultra-luxury cruising.  Karen Christensen, General Manager and Director Sales/Marketing, Australasia, shares her insights on this year's must-see cruising destinations.

"Silversea's voyages boast enviable, tailor-made itineraries visiting some of the most stunning corners of the world.  Our guests rely on us to provide them with journeys which showcase distinct, beautiful and dramatic landscapes, rich history and culture, and exotic cuisine, all while travelling in utmost luxury.

"Each year, our team of experts research and handpick the finest destinations to ensure that our itineraries are second to none.  We pride ourselves on continuing to be one step ahead, offering our guests the chance to discover destinations they may never have considered travelling to before," says Christensen.  

FEATURED DESTINATIONS

1.    French Polynesia (South Pacific) and the Marquesas Islands

Explore the stunning lagoons of the Tuamotu Archipelago, and encounter the diverse wildlife of the Marquesas Islands, aboard this 10 day voyage through the peaks and atolls of French Polynesia. As one of Silversea Expeditions' specialist diving voyages, guests aboard will have the opportunity to snorkel and discover colourful marine life such as  sea turtles and rays, while qualified divers will encounter sharks, barracuda, manta rays and eagle rays. Visit the French painter Paul Gaugin's grave at Hiva Oa and marvel at the spectacular peaks of the Marquesas Islands. This voyage is the perfect adventure for the snorkelling enthusiast, keen diver or passionate explorer.

9522 Silver Discoverer, Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia roundtrip, 10 days, departs 25 October 2015. Silver Privilege fares from AU$10,750pp.

2.    Galápagos Islands, Ecuador



Discover Ecuador's pristine paradise, a natural laboratory of evolution.  Experience up close encounters with marine iguanas, giant tortoises, blue and red-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins and Darwin's famous finches - guests have the opportunity to witness wildlife species found nowhere else on earth.  Silver Galapagos, Silversea's newly refurbished expedition ship, travels along the scenic coastlines with Zodiac exploration, snorkelling and walks across spectacular lava fields – experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.  

Silver Galapagos offers year-round 7-day roundtrip expeditions from Baltra. Fully-inclusive Galápagos voyages now include roundtrip economy air between Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands, a two-night pre-cruise hotel stay, all transfers, National Park entrance  fees and more . Silver privilege fares from AU$8,150pp.

3.    Istanbul, Turkey

Witness the captivating remnants of ancient civilisations whilst sailing through the Aegean Sea, from Istanbul to the picturesque Greek Islands.  Guests can discover Istanbul's historic treasures during a scenic orientation of the city, including a visit to the Grand Bazaar, the world's largest covered market, a tour of the Topkapi Palace Museum, which housed the Ottoman Empire for nearly four centuries, and the Rustem Pasa Mosque, a small and exquisite mosque built in the 16th century.  

2530 Silver Wind, Istanbul, Turkey roundtrip, 9-days, departs 12 October 2015. Guests on this journey benefit from shore excursions and complimentary Wi-Fi; now included on every 2015 Mediterranean voyage. Silver Privilege fares from AU$5,750.

4.    Alaska, North America




One of the most pristine coastlines in the world, Alaska is home to national parks the size of nations, exquisite glaciers and incredible wildlife. Experience Alaska sailing along an insider's path through the Inside Passage. See diamond–blue icebergs and spot a plethora of wildlife including brown bears, bald eagles and humpback whales.  Guests will have the opportunity to fly over the world famous Mendenhall Glacier on an optional heli-flight, set foot on the 'river of ice', and take part in a private Catamaran cruise through Sitka Sound.

3524 Silver Shadow, Vancouver, Canada to Seward (Anchorage), AK, USA, 7-days, departs 27 August 2015. Includes complimentary scenic rail transfer along the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula. Silver Privilege fares from AU$4,550pp.

5. The Malay Archipelago

Explore the Malay Archipelago, an undiscovered and untouched part of the world.  Anchored off the Alor-Pantar Strait, guests will view traditional villages built halfway up the mountains of Alor Island and explore mangrove forests on the uninhabited island of Kakaban, Borneo.  On this Silversea Expeditions voyage, guests will discover abundant wildlife, on land and sea, from Borneo proboscis monkeys, crocodiles, rare birdlife and the orangutans of the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre (SORC), to sea turtles, stingless Papuan jellyfish and other exotic marine life. The beauty of this region continues to radiate as guests uncover its rich history and culture, experiencing traditional village customs and ceremonies and visiting the towering menhir stones of Bori – "The Stonehenge of Indonesia".

9513 Silver Discoverer, Darwin, Australia to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 14-days, departs 29 May 2015.  Silver Privilege fares from AU$14,450pp.

For more information contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 or visit www.silversea.com