Monday, 12 November 2007



Week beginning 12 November 2007

travellers good buys: with david ellis


IF shopping's not your go, but you've a special someone you want to give a special something, Accor Hotels has a Christmas Gift Card they can use towards stays in any of its ninety hotels and resorts Australia-wide. The Card can be bought for any value from $100 to $1000, and used in one go, or spread over a number of stays within a 12 months period, the cost of each stay deducted from the Card until the value is fully used. Cards are available by phoning (02) 9280 9764, online from and from most Post Offices.

TOURS of the Kremlin and the Hermitage Museum, and a cruise on the canals of St Petersburg are part of 9-day small-group packages of Russia priced from $3200 through Russia & Beyond in 2008. Twelve tours are scheduled between May and October, and a Winter Special on December 19, with accommodation in centrally-located western-managed hotels. The tours also visit Vladimir, Suzdal, and Sergiev Posad; hotels, most meals, coach and rail transport, gratuities to English-speaking guides are included. Air is extra. Phone 1300 363 554 or visit

ESCAPE to a 4-star luxury cottage at Tasmania's Greens Beach that sleeps up to four and is priced from $215 per night for 7-night stays between December 1 and June 30 2008. The cottage looks out to the mouth of the Tamar River, Low Head Lighthouse, Bass Strait and the Narawantapu National Park and is roughly an hour from Launceston Airport and Devonport Ferry Terminal; stays include a breakfast hamper on arrival that's stocked with local wood-smoked bacon, eggs, fresh brick-oven bread, Tamar Valley yoghurt, fruit preserves and cheeses. Guests also get two days free use of eco-friendly electric bikes or scooters to go exploring (no licence required.) Full details

A 5-star 40-day cruise aboard Prinsendam from Cape Town to Lisbon includes a dozen ports in South Africa, Reunion, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Kenya, Oman, Egypt, Spain and Portugal. The cruise departs on April 13 next year and is priced from $13,623pp twin-share including all onboard dining and entertainment; air is additional. Details from 1800 044 066 or

DON'T get stumped for a hotel room if you're planning on going to Melbourne for the traditional Boxing Day Test – Flight Centre Hotels has Superior Rooms from $147 per night and 1-bedroom city apartments from $269 per night. Phone 1800 005 125 or check-out for this and other deals.

TRUE: THE GUINNESS Book of Records has stripped Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa of its title as the world's most out-of-kilter structure: its given the accolade to a church steeple in the German village of Suurhusen that leans at 5.07-degrees, compared with just 3.97-degrees for Pisa's famous Tower.