Thursday, 1 April 2010



SMALL-group Italian tour specialists Carolinasusi Italia Tours have savings of $500 per couple and $250 for singles with early bookings for their fully-escorted tours of Tuscany and Umbria in Spring and Autumn of 2011.

The 22-day tours are unique in that they are not big-city-centred with daily excursions into the surrounding countryside. Rather they're based for a week in each of three regional centres, with daily touring into cities, large towns and rural villages to view iconic architecture and to delve into the workshops of ceramics and leather artisans, and to visit makers of wines, chocolates, cheeses and olive oils… even join a cooking class in an 11th century abbey.

As well there's the best Italian dining in a diversity of street cafés and exceptional restaurants, a chance to view some of Italy's finest art, listen to its grandest music, view its spectacular scenery and become immersed in its ancient history - all supplemented with ample time for shopping both regions' boutiques and plazas with Carolinasusi's shopping-savvy tour escorts.

A week is based in Tuscany's spa town of Montecatini Terme, another in the Umbrian village of Montefalco and a third in Tuscany's historic Pienza with visits to Florence, Siena and Assisi and numerous towns and villages daily.

Tours depart Rome April 29 2011 and September 23 2011, priced from $7495pp twin-share (single supplement $995;) save $500 (couples) and $250 (singles) by booking by June 30 and September 30 2010 respectively.

Price includes pick-up/drop-off at Rome airport, 21-nights accommodation, all breakfasts, most dinners, one lunch with wine, day trip coach transfers, select local tours, required train, ferry and funicular tickets, and full-time tour escorts.



A boom in Australian holidaymakers using lease vehicles in Europe with the continuing surge in value of our dollar against the Euro, has prompted Renault Eurodrive to extend by a month an offer that gives an additional 7-days free vehicle use on top of 21-day bookings, free delivery and return at 18-French cities and airports, and 50-per cent of delivery and return in eight other European cities*.

"It makes for exceptional value in self-drive holidaying in Europe and provides an extra month for travellers to take advantage of this great offer," said Managing Director of Renault Eurodrive Australia, Paul Hodges.

Additionally, Renault Eurodrive's prices in 2010 are actually below those of 2009, with a Megane Coupe Petrol 1.4 4-door now starting from just $1499 for 21-days use, plus the free additional 7-days… and for those who've leased one of their vehicles any time between 2005 and now, the company will give a further three-days free use on top of this as well. Extra days are available beyond this at only $33 per day.

And for families or couples travelling together it's also added to its lease fleet for the first time the Renault Koleos 4 X 4 and the 5/7 seat Renault Grand Scenic Diesel Automatic, priced from $2999 and $3399 respectively for 21-days, and again including the additional free-day bonuses.

This offer has been extended for bookings made and paid by April 30 and for collection any time up to December 31 2010. See travel agents, phone toll-free 1300 55 11 60 or visit where full details can be found online as well as a detailed brochure.

*These countries are Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.

All Renault Eurodrive vehicles are brand-new ex-factory and come with full insurance, no excess in 42-countries, no limit on the number of kilometres travelled, and 24-hour roadside assistance. The Renault Eurodrive lease program has been operating since 1955, with many models covered by Renault's Five Star Safety rating.


Princess Cruises has announced that its superliner Sea Princess will be based in Australia over the 2011-12 cruise season, taking the size of the locally-based Princess fleet to an unprecedented four ships.

Sailing from Sydney from October 2011 until March 2012, the 77,000-tonne Sea Princess will offer cruises to New Zealand, Japan and Tasmania.

She will join Dawn Princess, Sun Princess and Sapphire Princess in cruising Australian waters.

Sea Princess' move to Sydney means that the popular Sun Princess will head north to Brisbane from September 2011 until February 2012, becoming the first Princess Cruises' ship to be based in the Queensland capital.
Sun Princess' cruises from Brisbane will include seven two-week sojourns to New Zealand, two 11-night South Pacific cruises to Fiji and an exciting new 41-night voyage to Asia, featuring visits to Brunei, Vietnam, Japan and China including Beijing.
Meanwhile, Dawn Princess will return to Melbourne for another summer season, offering cruises to New Zealand, around Australia and to Tahiti and Hawaii.

Announcing Princess' expansion in Australia, Princess Cruises President Alan Buckelew said Australian interest in Princess Cruises' ships was at an all-time high.

"Since Princess Cruises first based a superliner, Sun Princess, in Australian waters full time in late 2007, it's been clear that Australians love the cruise line's relaxed style of cruising as well as the exotic destinations that it offers," Mr Buckelew said.

"Dawn Princess debuted full time in Australia in late 2008 and has been just as successful as Sun Princess, so we think the time is right to introduce their sister ship, Sea Princess, into the Australian market.

"Meanwhile Sapphire Princess, the youngest ship to be deployed in Australian waters, attracts a large number of Australians and Americans on its trans-Tasman voyages each summer."
A sister ship to Dawn Princess and Sun Princess, Sea Princess first debuted in the Princess fleet in 1998. She carries 1950 passengers and offers 975 staterooms, including more than 400 with private balconies. Her other features include two showlounges, four pools, two main restaurants, a steakhouse, pizzeria and 24-hour café as well as a giant poolside moviescreen.



For travellers heading across the Tasman this winter seeking adventures in New Zealand's winter wonderland of snow capped mountains, Jucy Rentals is offering customers the chance to ski for free.

For every day a vehicle is hired in New Zealand between 1 July 2010 and 30 September 2010 customers will receive one free all day lift day pass to Treble Cone ski field in Wanaka (valued at approximately $91)*.

With rentals starting from a mere $29 (NZD) a day, the Ski for Free deal attracted over a thousand bookings last year alone – with 30 percent of those bookings coming from Australia.

"New Zealand is home to some amazing slopes and in some cases it's actually cheaper to ski in New Zealand than in Australia – especially with offers like our Ski for Free deal," says Tim Alpe, co-founder of Jucy Rentals.

The latest data from Tourism New Zealand shows that Australian's account for the majority of overseas visitors to New Zealand with 95,700 visitors in January 2010 alone[1]. Queenstown Airport, which is the closest to Wanaka ski field, also reported double digit growth the last six months of 2009, accommodating for 409,426 visitors, reflecting increasing travel within the region[2].

"One of the extra benefits of hiring a car or campervan is being given the freedom to explore the country on your own terms," says Alpe.

"In addition to our Ski for Free deal, cheaper flights to New Zealand in recent times make New Zealand an all round affordable holiday getaway," says Alpe.

Treble Cone is one of New Zealand's most exciting skiing destinations, located in Wanaka, it is home to world heritage site Mt Aspiring National Park. Treble Cone is the largest ski region in the South Island, consisting of 550 hectares of land and offers magnificent views and unparalleled terrain for both avid and amateur skiers and snowboarders.

Jucy Rentals offers a range of cars and campervans across Australian and New Zealand. The Ski for Free deal is just one of many specials offered by Jucy New Zealand.

For more information about the Ski for Free deal visit or call 1800 150 850.



To celebrate Thai Airways International's 50th anniversary, Royal Orchid Holidays have just released a range of hot specials on selected hotels and destinations throughout Thailand.

Exclusive to Royal Orchid Holidays, you can enjoy up to 50 per cent off accommodation packages in some of the most beautiful and exotic destinations, including Bangkok, Pattaya, Chaing Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui and Krabi.

An example is a six-night package on the largest Thailand island, Phuket, staying at the South Sea Karon in a superior room from only $252 per person.

For somewhere a bit more exclusive and quiet, enjoy the many natural attractions that Krabi has to offer with six nights at the Krabi La Playa hotel in a deluxe room from just $234 per person.

There is also a range of two-night Bangkok packages starting from just $102 per person including daily breakfast.

All prices include daily breakfast and are for twin share accommodation.

For more super savings deals visit  or call 1300-369-747


[1] Tourism New Zealand, 1st March 2010, 'Visitor Arrivals Hold Strong for Summer Peak Season' viewed 3rd March 2010, <>

[2] Queenstown Airport, 10th January 2010, 'International Passengers Up 29% and Domestic Up 10% For Half Year', viewed 23rd March 2010, <>