Monday, 5 May 2008

Free air and free nights

Travel Briefs

By John Crook

Free air and free nights

Cruising with gratuities included in the price. That’s a real drawcard these days and it applies to the 35-night cruise from Athens to Sydney, via Port Said, the Suez Canal, Asian ports, Cairns and Brisbane. The Princess Daphne offers a wonderful mix of yester-year ambience and old fashioned service and first class cuisine. Fly out of Australia on November 11 to join fellow passengers in Athens. Priced from $5250 per person, twin share, inclusive of air and taxes. Bookings and enquiries to Creative Cruising 1300 362 599.

Maleny calls

The magical Blackall Ranges in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is waiting for you. Maleny Views has a romantic mid-week package where you stay in a luxurious cottage for three nights, but only pay for two. The cottage has a spa and log fire. Breakfasts for two days delivered to your private veranda. There’s also a dinner for two included, dining at the Terrace of Maleny restaurant. Telephone Craig or Pauline on (07) 5494 3943 or email

Sail from Rome’s Civitavecchia

Enticing seven night cruises from Rome are offered aboard Costa Concordia, with prices varying from $899 twin share through to peak season from $1999. The cruise visits Savona, Barcelona, Palma De Mallor, Tunis. La Valletta, Palermo, with departures through to November 23. Costa Concordia (pictured) is a four star ship with five restaurants, 13 bars, a casino and heaps more to make for a memorable experience. For more details and cruise prices contact 1300 369 848 or

Chef for a day

Before rushing out to start your own b&b, spend some real time as a chef in the kitchen of The Richardson in Perth. You are invited to join the ‘work’ experience in a busy a la carte kitchen.

Chef Todd Cheavins will happily put you to work helping to create dishes for the Opus Restaurant and after the last of the dishes have been put away, join Chef Cheavins at dinner. The day begins at 9-00am and a uniform will be provided. For prices, availabilities and all the details email

Dancing under the moonlight

Literally thousands of visitors head to the Thai islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. The big drawcard is a ten-night party. Prices, which may be subject to change, start from $400 per person, twin share and that’s for ten night’s accommodation with breakfast daily with return transfers to Koh Phangan. Return airfares to Koh Samui, where the trip begins and ends, are not included. Full details and departure dates from your nearest Student Flights store or telephone 1300 554 175.

It’s crunch time

Sydney’s ANZ Stadium is where the action will play out on July 26. That’s when the Wallabies take on the All Blacks for the first Bledisloe Cup test match. Ticket and accommodation packages start at $525 triple share (well it is rugby after all), $579 twin share and $850 for a single.

All packages include two nights accommodation, official reserved silver match ticket and for the extras contact (02) 9964 0400 or visit