Monday, 3 December 2007


YOUR WEEKLY TRAVEL TIPS for week beginning 3 December 2007

travellers good buys: with david ellis


NOT one, but two 77,000 tonne superliners are to be based in Australia
to cater to a booming cruise market that's grown 18 per cent in the
past year – twice the growth rate of the North American cruise market.
Princess Cruises brought Sun Princess to Sydney early in November, and
Dawn Princess that will arrive late in 2008 for what was originally
intended as a 5-months Australian season, will now be based here
permanently from next November. Between them the two superliners, that
each carry nearly 2000 passengers, will cruise to the South Pacific,
New Zealand, around Australia – and Dawn Princess will do a first-ever
round-world originating from Australia in 2009. For these superliners'
itineraries and prices see travel agents.

FLIGHT Centre has a package to the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens from March 28 to 30 next that from $1848pp includes return air from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, 4-nights twin-share hotel, Welcome Drinks with former Wallaby, Gary Pearse, and daily entry to the Rugby. There's also an official polo shirt and cap; local taxes are included but air
taxes are additional. Phone 131 600.

WATCH former world number one, Lleyton Hewitt play international greats including Frenchman, Richard Gasquet at the final staging of the Next Generation Adelaide International from December 31 to January 6. has a stay 4-nights, pay-3 at the Miller
Apartments in the heart of Adelaide's CBD and shopping district, with
prices from $483; details on 1300 72 70 72 or
; tennis entry is extra.

BOOK by January 31 and a 3-night package at Fiji's Lomani Island Resort is available any time up to June 15 2008 from just $505pp
twin-share including full American breakfast in your suite, or at the
resort's signature The Flame Tree restaurant. The offer also includes
return airport transfers; air to Fiji is additional. The resort, whose
name means 'love' in the local language, has just twelve luxury
beachside suites. Details on

AVOID the pitfalls of renting cars when you arrive at your destination
by pre-booking through an Australian operator like globalCARS which
currently has Hertz rental cars available in the United States from
as little as A$48 a day or A$259 a week. The rates are available
until December 14 for bookings up to March 31, 2009. globalCARS is
also offering Earlybird deals such as free upgrades to bigger
vehicles for bookings from 1 April 08 onwards. Hertz also has "GREEN"
vehicles including Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Buick LaCrosse and
Hyundai Sonata which have fuel economy of 28mpg or better.
globalCARS are available at 50 locations across America at fully
inclusive rates offering unlimited miles, loss damage waiver with zero
excess and all local taxes and airport surcharges. More details from
1300-789-992 or visit

A UNIQUE 15-day coach tour from Munich to Venice includes Salzburg
(Mozart's baroque city of cobblestoned streets,) The Holy Mountain in
the Bavarian Alps with its 14th century abbey, Hitler's WWII retreat
at Berchtesgarten (The Eagle's Nest,) the Austrian Tyrol, and a stay
on the shores of Lake Bled in Slovenia. There's also Opatija in
Croatia, once referred to as the Nice of the East, and a stay in an
Italian castle, Castelbrando in the Dolomites; cost is from $4789pp
including 14-nights twin-share, all breakfasts, 12-dinners, entries,
coach travel, guides, tips and porterage. Air is additional. Phone
1300 135 015 or see travel agents.

TRUE: A UK-based airline has blamed a "rostering problem" for one of its planes flying from London's Heathrow Airport to New York recentlywith no flight attendants – and no passengers. London newspapers
dubbed it the "Ghost Flight," while environmentalists raised eyebrows
at it occurring at a time the airline had just announced increases in
fuel surcharges.