Monday, 21 May 2012

Egypt Special - China Southern Europe - Explora South America - Europe River Cruise - Christmas Europe -

David Ellis
21 May 2012

Howard Carter


BENCH International has released a deal offering $500 per couple off an Egypt itinerary to mark the birthday this month of Howard Carter (above), the man who discovered Tutankhamen's tomb nearly 100 years ago in the Valley of the Kings.

The package is a fully escorted 17-day tour departing on September 5.

The itinerary includes a four-night Nile River cruise with a visit to the West Bank in Luxor to the tombs of the Pharaohs and the romantic Valley of the Kings where Carter found the remarkable tomb in 1922.

The tour will travel with Bench's sales director Martin Edwards, as well as a local expert Egyptologist and take in major sites including Cairo's Pyramids at Giza, the history of the Mediterranean city Alexandria, a five-day cruise  along the River Nile combined with a three night cruise on tranquil Lake Nasser, along with key archaeological sites along the way and at Abu Simbel in Upper Egypt.

The new special price of from $5345 per person includes return air fares from Sydney and Melbourne with Etihad Airways, taxes, most meals, tipping and all sightseeing. The package is also available from Brisbane and Adelaide.

More details from Bench International at 1300-135-871.


CHINA Southern Airlines has announced great-value earlybird fares to Europe from $1370* to celebrate the launch of its new Canton Route.

Return economy fares from Melbourne and Sydney to Amsterdam start from $1370* and $1390* respectively, while return flights to Paris are priced from $1400* from Melbourne and $1420* ex-Sydney.

Return economy fares from Sydney to London via Guangzhou on China Southern's new Canton Route start from $1500*.

"These hot earlybird fares give Australians a taste of what is to come when we start flying three times a week to Heathrow via our hub in Guangzhou on June 5," said China Southern Regional Manager for Australia/New Zealand, Henry He.

"With only a brief stopover in Guangzhou, the Canton Route will take as little as 26 hours to connect Australians with the UK, which compares favourably with existing routes via Singapore and Bangkok."

The earlybird specials are on sale until June 7, 2012 for travel between September 1 and November 14, 2012.

For more information call China Southern's national reservations line on 1300 889 628 during AEDST/AEST business hours, see a travel agent or visit .

*Fares are subject to conditions and availability. Prices include taxes correct at date of release.


SOUTH American eco-adventure company explora has started their 2012 season of operating a range of seven different specially-designed nomadic journeys for groups of up to six people who are generally experienced travellers seeking new experiences.

Known as travesias, the journeys travel for eight or 11 days through remote, little-known places, crossing country borders, trekking and staying overnight in a variety of places.

Typical of the eight-day journeys is one beginning in either San Pedro Atacama in Chile or Salta in Argentina, with the journey crossing the imposing Andes Mountains spending three nights in the Calchaqui Valleys, (the birthplace of pre-Columbian culture).

Others involve travel between San Pedro to Uyuni in Bolivia and Iquique in Chile or from Torres del Paine in Patagonia to El Chalten in Argentina.

The 11-day travesias operate from explora's Atacama and Patagonia lodges with travel to similar remote areas.

The travesias will be available from May until November and include travel in Toyota Land Cruiser vehicles, lodging in traditional, but re-modelled, houses and high quality explora camps with all meals and drinks and daily explorations with bi-lingual guides.

The explorations vary in price from around US$4900 per person twin share.

For more information see your local travel agent, email  or visit


CRUISING on the MS Johann Strauss between Amsterdam and Budapest next year with Travelmarvel comes with free return airfares if bookings are made before September 30 this year.

The lead-in holiday is the 15-day Classical Europe cruise, priced from $5895 which includes 14 nights cruising, 41 meals, complimentary local beer and wines with dinner, services of a dedicated Travelmarvel Cruise Director, airport transfers, all tipping and port charges included (saving up to $1710 per couple) and locally-guided small group shore excursions in every major port (the cruise stops to explore 19 cities, towns and villages).

The deal applies to all nine itineraries, including those with small group land journey extensions to Italy, the Dalmatian Coast, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and The Netherlands.

Details on 1300 805 493,   or travel agents.


EUROPEAN travel experts Beyond Travel have released a range of winter tours which include rail packages, fully escorted tours and itineraries in Finland which include Christmas with Santa in Lapland.

The escorted five day packages which travel from Munich through Bavaria and roundtrip from Frankfurt have guaranteed departures in December and can be combined  with a nine or 10-day rail package which takes in Bavaria and Austria or the tour of the Imperial capitals of Prague, Vienna and Budapest.

Prices start from $755 per person twin share and include transport, accommodation with breakfast and several sightseeing excursions.

The escorted tours start on December 5, 8 and 9 and the rail packages have daily departures.

Christmas with Santa is a five day package from December 23 and costs $1650 with special prices for children whilst an eight-day tour of Helsinki and the Arctic Circle costs from $1585.

For more details phone Beyond Travel at 1300-363-554 or email