Monday, 21 March 2011

Four Seasons Sydney - Cruise Hawaii - South Africa Rail Cruise - MSC Deal - Easter Q Station


OKAY so your hotel room does have views of Sydney Harbour – but does it have a master bathroom with a bathtub in a bay window overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and most of the Harbour from the 34th floor?

Or a four-poster bed, rich leathers on other furnishings, and the ambience of a circa 1930s New York-style apartment?

If not, then book into this one – the Presidential Suite – at the Four Season's Hotel Sydney that's just come out of a two-year refurbishment at a cost of $1.6m. And if you have to ask the price, then as they say, you can't afford it (so we'll satisfy your curiosity now: the Presidential Suite starts from $5925 a night.)

Designed by one of Australia's leading interior and architecture practices, Bates Smart, that Presidential Suite, a Deluxe Royal Suite (from $3925 per night) and two Royal Suites (a snip at just $1925 per night each) offer a kind of hotel-staying that's definitely in a world of its own.

And while that Presidential Suite features the luxuries usually associated with royalty or their more-wealthy rock-star cousins, the three Royal Suites aren't to be sneezed at either: with their undertones of penthouse glamour matched with metropolitan flair they invite guests to enter each through grand, full height double doors, stepping then into million dollar views that simply say "Wow."

And parquet floors, timber wall paneling, wallpaper and soft Roman blinds create a feeling of intimacy and warmth that will have you simply not wanting to leave.

And while we dream of the day we take out that Lotto win and have to decide between the Presidential Suite, the Deluxe Royal Suite or a Royal Suite, we can always book a special night in one of the hotel's Deluxe Rooms from just $275 a night. Ring them on toll-free 1800 222 200.



THREE days and two nights in Honolulu, another day in Hawaii's picturesque Lahaina on the Island of Maui, then day's ashore in dreamy French Polynesia's Papeete, Moorea, Raiatea and Bora Bora, before cruising into beautiful Sydney harbour – these are the highlights of a 21-night fly, cruise and stay package with Cruiseco in November of this year.

Guests will have two nights at the Waikiki Resort Hotel in the heart of Waikiki and just seconds from the beach, before sailing away on November 11 aboard Celebrity Cruises' 70,000-tonne Century for 19-nights of 4.5-star luxury cruising.

Prices start from $3835pp twin-share that includes one-way economy class airfare from Sydney to Honolulu, 2-nights pre-cruise stay at the Waikiki Resort Hotel, 19-nights aboard Celebrity Century with all dining and nightly entertainment, port charges and government fees, onboard gratuities and air taxes.

For full details and names of Cruiseco's cruise-specialist travel agencies Australia-wide, visit

Guests will enjoy thirteen full days at sea between ports to unwind and indulge Century's many facilities including a golf simulator, pool, jogging track, fitness centre, AquaSpa, card room, library, a show lounge and celebrity theatre, cinema, casino, and a selection of bars and lounges.

And when it comes to meals, a choice of gourmet fine-dining in the Grand Restaurant, or for more casual café-style, dine in the Islands Café, Cova Café and Sky Bar.


TWO glamour queens of transport which recapture the romance of travel– the famous Rovos Rail train and ocean liner, Queen Mary 2 – will be combined in a new luxury rail and sail tour in South Africa in 2012 offered by Australian cruise agency, Cruise Express.

The new "Pride of Africa' trip is one of seven hosted tours Cruise Express will offer in Africa in January, 2012, with fly/cruise packages available from $4990 per person, twin-share for a two-week adventure.

The 'rail and sail' trip departs Australia January 17, 2012, and includes a three-day 'tick-off-the-must-do list' journey on Rovos Rail's legendary train, The Pride of Africa, from Pretoria to Cape Town as well as a 14-20 day voyage back to Perth, Adelaide or Sydney aboard the world's grandest ocean liner, Queen Mary 2.

Queen Mary 2 encapsulates the golden age of ocean

The Pride of Africa train – described as a luxury liner on tracks – boasts stylish Edwardian furnishings, crisp linen, fine china, exquisite cuisine, afternoon teas and elegant double bed cabins, with guests sipping Champagne in opulent lounges during black tie evenings.

Cruise Express' all-inclusive 'Pride of Africa' tour starts with two nights and three 'big five' safari drives at the luxurious Tinga Private Game Lodge with its private swimming pools and panoramic viewing decks in the wildlife-rich Sabi Sands Game Reserve in the world-famous Kruger region. Also included is the Rovos Rail journey, four nights in Cape Town, the voyage back to Australia aboard Queen Mary 2, sightseeing trips in South Africa, a flight from Australia to Johannesburg, connecting flights in South Africa, 23 meals in South Africa and all meals and entertainment onboard Queen Mary 2.

The tour lasts from 22-28 nights, depending on the disembarkation point in Australia aboard Queen Mary 2.

Fly, cruise, rail and tour fares start from $12,690 per person, twin-share for passengers disembarking in Perth (22 night trip) $13,390 for Adelaide (25 nights) and $13,990 for NSW, QLD and Victorian passengers disembarking in Sydney (28 nights).

For bookings or a brochure, contact Cruise Express on 1300 766 537 or visit



TAKE a friend or cruise as a couple and you pay for only one passenger through MSC Cruise's two-for-one fares on ocean voyages in 2011-2012.

The world's leading family-owned cruise ship line is offering this money-saving deal on 13 continent-to-continent cruises; as an example, a 16-night voyage from USA's Fort Lauderdale to Genoa in Italy is priced from just $2358 a cabin for two on board MSC Poesia.

This lead-in fare applies to a cruise in March next year, calling at Puerto Rico's San Juan, St Maarten and the St John's, also in the Caribbean, before crossing the Atlantic to Madeira Island in Portugal, and Malaga, Alicante and Barcelona in Spain, and ultimately Genoa.

"These ocean voyages are perfect for passengers who love to take a holiday with plenty of sea days to explore the ship," said Lynne Clarke, managing director of MSC Cruises (Australia and New Zealand). "They have ample time to not only get to know their ship, but to warm to it, the facilities, the friendly crew,  the daily programs, and the many other fine aspects of ocean cruising.

"Guests also have the opportunity to a number of ports that are not normally included on regular cruises."

Book a cabin on the MSC Melody for its 18-night ocean voyage between Genoa and Cape Town in November this year and price starts at $2438, the second passenger free. It will call at Barcelona, Cadiz (Seville), Tenerife (Canary Islands), Dakar (Senegal) and Walvis Bay in Namibia.

MSC Melody's return voyage to Europe, in February next year, starts at $2798, calling at St Helena, Walvis Bay, Dakar, Arrecife, Cadiz and Palamos before reaching Genoa.

Other voyages in the two-for-one – between October this year and April 2012 – link South America with coastal Africa and Europe; fares include on board meals and entertainment, port charges for two, a Captain's cocktail party and a Gala Dinner.

As well children under 18 years, who share a cabin with two adults, cruise free. However, port charges of up to $500 per child apply. Entry to the children's club is also included.

Details: MSC Cruises, phone 1300 028502,



SYDNEY's waterfront heritage retreat Q Station has released a choice of Easter escapes featuring luxury accommodation overlooking Sydney Harbour.

With its panoramic views from Manly's North Head, Q Station combines a National Park setting with the unique heritage buildings of Australia's first quarantine facility.

Two Easter escapes are available:

Family Fun Package - from $199* per night, including accommodation for two adults and two children in a Heritage Queen Suite, full buffet breakfasts, a family pass to Oceanworld in Manly and a free inhouse movie.  Plus, kids 12 and under eat free when dining with their parents at Q Station's Boilerhouse Restaurant.

Easter Escape - from $160* per night including accommodation for two in a Heritage Queen Room including breakfasts.

Q Station has a wealth of activities including its popular ghost tours, history tours and activities on its own secluded beach.  The site is accessible over the holidays via the Harbour Hopper ferry service and is just a few minutes from all the bars, restaurants and activities of Manly.

For full details and bookings contact Q Station on 02 9466 1500. See also

*Packages available for stays April 8 to May 1, 2011.  Minimum two night stay required for reservations over a Saturday.  Heritage Queen Suites and Heritage Queen Rooms feature private external bathrooms.