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Wednesday 24 July 2019

OUT NOW: Winter 2019 Cruise Edition of Signature Luxury Travel & Style

200 pages of the best-of-the-best in luxury cruising, travel and style

The Winter 2019 Issue of Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine is out, and we’re sailing the seven seas on board the world’s finest luxury cruise ships with our annual Cruise Edition.

Our 68-page Cover Story is a celebration of luxury cruising in Australia and overseas with compelling features on the boom in cruising, our third annual Luxury Cruise Awards, an array of out-of-this-world ‘Luxpedition’ cruises to far-flung destinations and 10 of the world’s finest ocean and river cruises.

We travel by sea to the lesser-known islands of the Caribbean, sail through the winelands of Bordeaux on the Garonne and Dordogne, savour a culinary cruise in Asia and meander leisurely along the exotic waters of the mighty Mekong.

We look at the growing popularity of the ‘ship within a ship’ concept, uncover hotels and resorts with their own luxury yachts and profile Sarina Bratton, a pioneer of the Australian luxury cruise industry.

By land, we explore Bali, Tokyo and Macao, waltz our way through a fairytale Viennese ball, play beach polo in Broome, discover the newly minted Hayman Island by InterContinental and board a memorable scenic flight over Antarctica.

Signature’s expert stylemeisters reveal the unexpected backstory to Pucci – one of Italy’s iconic fashion houses – as well as the whimsical, creative and very colourful world of leading American interior designer and architect Bill Bensley and his magical resorts that redefine the art of hospitality.

We lust after exquisite vanity cases, heirloom watches and lustrous pearls and savour the indigenous ‘bush tucker’ fare of Adelaide’s award-winning Orana restaurant and the lush, green oasis of Sydney’s The Grounds of Alexandria – an ideal venue for an upscale corporate event.

All this – and much more – in the Winter 2019 Cruise Edition of Signature Luxury Travel & Style, out now.

About Signature Luxury Travel & Style

Signature Luxury Travel & Style is Australia’s leading and widest circulating, audited luxury travel and lifestyle publication for discerning world travellers. For the past decade, we have inspired our affluent readers with bespoke travel experiences, Michelin-starred cuisine, sophisticated style, desirable luxury goods, stunning home design and MICE/team-building getaways. Our ethos at Signature is to provide high-quality editorial content on the best the world has to offer.

Subscribe online at or download the digital version via the App Store or Google Play. Visit to join our Signature Connoisseurs’ Club, delivering the very latest in luxury travel direct to your inbox. And share your travels by tagging #signatureluxury on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Signature is a quarterly print publication, produced in Sydney by Signature Media, Australia’s leading independent publisher of luxury and family travel titles.

Monday 22 July 2019

The Best of World Cruising

Did you know Australia is the largest cruise market in the world per capita? Did you know the best time to book a trip is on a Tuesday? And research shows holiday goers are most happy, not when they're on their trip, but in the lead up to it? Catriona Rowntree has been travelling the world for the last 23 years as the host of Getaway. She has gained a lifetime's knowledge, learning every trick in the trade. 

In The Best of World Cruising, she turns her attention to the sea, sharing her favourite trips by water as well as her top travel tips making it easy for readers to pick the best cruise for them and travel the world.

The cruise market is in growth mode, and in 2016 Australian cruise passengers produced the biggest growth rate in the world. Yet, up until now there hasn’t been a cruise guidebook specifically for Australian and New Zealand travellers.

The Best of World Cruising is Catriona’s curated list of the top 40 ocean and river cruise destinations around the world written especially with the Aussie and New Zealander traveller in mind. From sailing the sun-soaked islands of Croatia, to gliding through the glaciers of Alaska on a cruise liner, to discovering the epic waterfalls of the Kimberley on an expedition boat, there is something for everyone and every budget. For every destination, there is detailed information on key ports and not-to-be missed attractions, as well as a whole host of travel tips such as when to go, what to pack and whether this cruise is really for you.

All advice is delivered in Catriona’s charming and vivacious style, accompanied by glorious photography to spark your nautical wanderlust. In cases where Catriona has not personally visited a region, she has called on fellow cruise lovers to share their travel advice, including Livinia Nixon and Gabriel Gaté. There are also a number of ‘Captains of Industry’ interviews with Sir Richard Branson and other travel and cruising experts.

So whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or just starting to consider booking your first cruising holiday, let Catriona fill you in on everything you should know before stepping on board.

 RRP AUD$35.00

Tuesday 16 July 2019

How SMALL ships became a BIG success for Cruise Traveller

The journey of Cruise Traveller

SeaDream and Oasis of the Seas illustrate the contrast between big and small ships

Small ships launched big dreams for Cruise Traveller Managing Director and co-founder, Craig Bowen, back in 2003. Passionate about travel and sharing the world’s great places with other like-minded modern explorers, Craig started a luxury travel company in Australia called Connoisseur Tours in 1999 so travellers could discover the world in style. At the same time, cruising, worldwide, took off in a big way but it was the small things about cruising that inspired Craig.

While cruise ships were getting bigger and travel companies around the world were jumping on the growth and obsessed about the growing size of vessels, Craig noticed no-one was looking after small, boutique ships, which boasted their own unique appeal to cruisers who valued intimacy, style, relaxation and elegance. So over a beer with a friend from New Zealand and his brother, the keel for Cruise Traveller was laid in 2003 and today, the guiding motto to make small things big still steers the growing business which is now the most experienced and successful small-ship cruise agency in Australia.

“Back in 2003 no travel company was specialising in boutique, luxury ships,” says Craig. “But we knew this sector held appeal and we were right, with the small-ship industry now 20 times the size it was in 2003, with a plethora of smaller ships now cruising the seven seas with many more on order.”

But what also galvanised Craig’s belief in small ships was a voyage he did to Antarctica in 2004. “That trip totally inspired me about the allure of expedition cruising and making remote and wild places like Antarctica more accessible to people for more wonder in their life. When I returned from Antarctica, I resolved to totally specialise in small-ship travel and Cruise Traveller has not strayed from that objective ever since.

“I’ve been to Antarctica three times now and can’t wait to go back again. What also struck me on my first polar trip was how beautiful and fragile our planet’s wild places are and how we need to preserve them. I think we have a role in the travel industry to protect the amazing places we enjoy on small ship cruises and that’s why we actively support environmental causes and only represent cruise companies that respect nature in what they do. Education is an integral component of travel and Cruise Traveller is at the bow of that if you like.”

Today, Cruise Traveller represents around 50 small ship cruise lines that sail to all corners of the world, with a focus on remote and exotic destinations. “Because we specialise in small ships, we are experts in this field and can offer a one-stop-shop to Australians seeking to see the world on a smaller ship,” says Craig. “I often say we don’t know a lot about the 90 per cent of the industry that we don’t sell but we know absolutely everything about the sector that we do specialise in. To that end, we invest significant resources every year into sending our team members on small-ship cruises around the world so that they can experience, first-hand, the amazing products we sell so that our guests are getting an expert opinion 100 per cent of the time.

“Our clients are very savvy, discerning and demanding which is perfect because excellent and efficient service is also our specialty. My background is in hotel customer service so offering our clients the best personal service possible is our aim. We have a high customer repeat rate of up to 40 per cent so we know we’re doing a good job but we always strive to do better.”

In 2003, Craig and an assistant, Karen, were the only staff at Cruise Traveller and they promoted just three small-ship cruise operators. Karen is still with the company all these years later alongside 13 other staff across the areas of product development, marketing, reservations and administration and Craig and his two Kiwi co-Directors are still navigating the business to bigger and better things, with a ten-fold growth in business since 2003 already.

But as Craig adds: “Although we’re growing in business, our aim has never been to get too big. We just want to do what we do well.”