Monday, 9 August 2010

APT Canada-Alaska, Seadream, Queen Mary 2, Hong Kong, Princess Cruises,


APT is launching its 2011 Canada-Alaska tour-cruises preview flyer with three fly-free-to-Canada offers for bookings made by October 15, 2010.

The first offer is free return airfares to Canada when booking a Majestic Rockies & Alaska cruise (valid for all departures), the second is fly-free for April 2011 departures of packages of 21 days or more, and the third is a companion fly-free offer for May to September 2011 departures of packages 21 days or more. In all cases, air taxes of $400 are included in the free return airfares.

For example, the free airfare deal applies to the fully-escorted 21-day Rockies Explorer and Alaska Cruise package departing April 27, 2011 which is priced from $9445 per person, twin share, departing from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

The price includes 11 nights' accommodation (two-night stays at Victoria, Vancouver and Banff plus one-night stays in Whistler, Sun Peaks, Jasper, Kamloops and Lake Louise), two-day Rocky Mountaineer train journey in GoldLeaf Service,  seven-night Alaskan cruise in a Verandah Stateroom onboard the Holland America Line, 39 meals, port charges and tipping for cruise and land staff.

Among activities are a guided tour of Vancouver, including the spectacular Waterfront, ride a gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park, join a Mountain Heritage Guide for an unforgettable walk along the shore of Lake Louise, travel the Icefields Parkway and board an Ice Explorer for a journey onto the Athabasca Glacier.

Breakfast is included at the renowned Butchart Gardens in Victoria, discover Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Glacier and Mt Revelstoke National Parks, see Moraine Lake located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, and visit the ski resort town of Whistler, still buzzing from the 2010 Olympics

Phone 1300 656 985, see or ask travel agents.


Cruise Specialist Holidays has an unusual opportunity to sail half as long again on a holiday in the Mediterranean this October, but at almost half the normal price, aboard the world's highest-rated boutique motor-cruise yacht, SeaDream I.

It's because SeaDream, that has just 56 staterooms for a maximum 112 guests pampered by 95 officers, staff and crew, will transfer from Athens across the Mediterranean to Malaga in Spain, in preparation for her annual Autumn re-positioning from there to the Caribbean.

SeaDream I departs Athens on October 2 for twelve nights (compared with normal sailings of seven nights,) visiting eleven of the Mediterranean's most desired ports – many of them too small for larger cruise ships to access – and a transit as well of the historic Corinth Canal that only small ships can access.

And prices start from US$5731pp twin-share (down from previously advertised US$11,132pp) including all onboard gourmet 5-star dining, drinks from the no-charge bars, wines with lunches and dinners, nightly cocktail gatherings, use of a 50-course golf simulator, power and sail watersports  where allowed by local authorities, port taxes, and even onboard gratuities.

For full details Cruise Specialist Holidays toll-free 1300 79 49 59.

PORTS that SeaDream I will visit after departing Piraeus (the port for Athens) are Aigina Island and Mykonos (Greece,) through the Corinth Canal to Itea and Fiskardho in Greece, Taormina (Sicily,) Valetta in Malta, La Goulette in Tunisia, Palma de Mallorca (Spain,) Ibiza and Motril in Spain, and Malaga where there is a night aboard ship.


BOOK a 20-night cruise aboard the grand Queen Mary 2 from Cape Town to Sydney in January 2012 and if you do it through your holiday will amazingly include a further 12-nights pre-cruise in Dubai, East Africa's legendary Masai Mara National Game Reserve with a morning hot air balloon ride over the wildlife, a visit to South Africa's Winelands and Cape Town.

And through it's priced enticingly from just $14,269pp twin-share, more than 50-per cent below the originally advertised.

This rare all-in-one opportunity includes air and taxes from mainland capitals to Dubai, 2-nights at the Raffles Hotel Dubai, a flight to Nairobi for a night at the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel with breakfasts, a scenic flight over the Great Rift Valley, and transfers to Masai Mara National Game Reserve for 5-nights at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club with all meals included, daily game rides and an early morning hot air balloon ride over the vast plains of wildlife.

There's another night back in Nairobi (room and breakfasts,) a private plane flight* to Cape Town for 3-nights at the One&Only Cape Town Hotel (that Travel+Leisure Magazine rated "one of the year's top new hotels/resorts") with breakfasts included, and a full day's Winelands and Table Mountain tour.

Guests then join Queen Mary 2 for a grand 20-night cruise that begins with a night and a day in Cape Town, then Durban, Port Louis (Mauritius,) Perth, Adelaide and Sydney with all onboard dining and nightly big-show and other entertainment. *Private plane subject to availability in 2012.

Full details 1300 369 848 or


AS growing numbers of travellers seek a smoke-free environment, from this month (August) the Cosmo Hotel in Hong Kong has gone 100% smoke-free in all guest rooms and indoor areas, saying it's now the only 4-star smoke-free hotel in the city.

Located within the hectic business and entertainment area of Causeway Bay and Wan Chai, the Hotel says a choice of smoking/non-smoking rooms is no longer adequate, as third-hand smoke – the residue of tobacco smoke that settles in the air even after a cigarette has been extinguished – affects human health on an equal level.

So it's decided on a 100% smoke-free policy for all guest rooms and indoor areas, while retaining the outdoor Breeze area to still be available for smokers. "We can now guarantee our guests the best quality environment to stay in, and therefore a real oasis," said Anita Chan, General Manager of the Cosmo Hotel Hong Kong.

And she says the benefits will be felt not only by guests, but staff as well.

The Cosmo Hotel Hong Kong is at 375-377 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai. For reservations phone Hong Kong 3552 8388 or email


Princess Cruises has released details of its largest ever Australian cruise program, spanning three locally-based ships for the first time and offering summer sailings from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the summer of 2011-12.

Featuring a total of 48 cruises to Asia, the South Pacific and Australasia, the new program includes more New Zealand cruises than all other visiting cruise lines combined, with 27 departures on offer.

Travellers can also save up to 45 per cent on all bookings made before September 30, 2010.

The latest Princess superliner to be based in Australia, Sea Princess, will offer 12 cruises from Sydney between October 2011 and March 2012 during her maiden Australian cruise season.

A highlight of Sea Princess' season will be a 42-night sailing to Japan to experience all the magic of its spectacular cherry blossom season, departing Sydney on March 4, 2012. The superliner will sail north via Queensland, Darwin, the exotic port of Kota Kinabalu and China before returning via Guam and Rabaul. Fares start from $6999* per person twin share, with balcony cabins priced from $10,999*.

Sea Princess will also offer nine 13-night cruises from Sydney to New Zealand priced from $2279* per person or from $3459* for a balcony cabin. Passengers will enjoy sailing through the stunning Fjordland National Park before returning via Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Napier, Tauranga, Auckland and Bay of Islands.

Also on offer are a 14-night cruise to Fiji and the South Pacific and an eight-night sojourn to Tasmania including a call at Melbourne.

Meanwhile, Princess Cruises' fleet expansion means Brisbane will welcome a Princess superliner of its own in the 2011-12 summer season, with Sun Princess sailing her maiden Queensland cruise season.

Sun Princess' season will begin with a 42-night cruise to China and Japan in September 2011, with the superliner also offering seven 14-night cruises to New Zealand and two 11-night cruises to Fiji and the South Pacific throughout the six-month season.

Fares for an 11-night South Pacific sailing visiting Noumea and Isle of Pines as well as Vila in Vanuatu and Fiji start from $1999* per person or $3099* for a balcony cabin.

Dawn Princess will return to Melbourne for another summer season from December until March 2012, offering seven 13-night cruises to New Zealand, a 25-night circumnavigation of Australia and a two night coastal cruise to Sydney. The superliner will also sail a 35-night cruise to Tahiti and Hawaii from Sydney departing April 13, 2012.

Princess Cruises' locally-based fleet of Sea Princess, Dawn Princess and Sun Princess all feature Australian onboard currency and entertainment designed for Australian tastes, as well as Movies Under the Stars, a child-free Sanctuary and more balcony choice than any other cruise line in the region.

For more information visit, phone 132 488 or see a licensed travel agent. *Prices are per person, twin share. Subject to availability, conditions apply.