Thursday, 6 December 2012

Myamar, Machu Pichu, Singapore, Botswana, Atacama Desert, MSC, Peppers, more

Travellers’ Good Buys

   By John Rozentals

Some of the thousands of temples at Bagan...
visited on Cosmos’s Myanmar holiday.

Cosmos has added Myanmar to its range of 2013 Asian holidays with a 10-day excursion featuring the pagodas and monasteries of Yangon, the old royal city of Mandalay, the thousands of temples at Bagan and a cruise on the Irrawaddy River.
   It is priced from $2480 per person twin-share, including a $300 per couple earlybird discount on bookings made by January 31.
   The program also includes tours in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Japan, India and China.
   Phone 1300 230 234 or visit

Luxury specialist Abercrombie & Kent’s 2013 Latin America brochure contains several new offers among its 28 itineraries and extensions.
   Included is a selection of adventure treks to Peru’s Machu Picchu, ranging in length from two to seven days with a variety of styles and routes. A&K’s two-day Inca Trail in Brief is priced from $1450 per person twin-share.
   A three-day Lake Titicaca extension focuses on the highest navigable lake on Earth and is priced from $2355 per person twin-share.
   Phone 1300 851 800 or visit

Amara Sanctuary Resort
Amara Sanctuary Resort: close to Sentosa’s many

You’ll have to be quick to grab these Singapore specials from Direct Flights, which is offering return flights with full-service Singapore Airlines plus four nights at the five-star Amara Sanctuary Resort on fantasy-themed Sentosa Island.
   Book by December 21 for travel between January 16 and March 31. Pay from $1781 per person ex Sydney.
   The hotel is close to Sentosa’s many attractions, including a Universal Studios theme park, the world’s largest oceanarium, a casino and beaches, and is a 15-minute drive away from the Orchard Road shopping district.
   Flight-only deals are also available from $953 ex Sydney.

Interested in photography but feel you’re constantly holding up the bus for those who aren’t? Problem solved with Pangolin Photo Safaris, a new company operating in Botswana’s game-rich Chobe National Park and catering purely to people with an interest in wildlife photography.
   Packages range from single three-hour photo safaris to five-day Better Wildlife Photography workshops with acclaimed international wildlife photographers.
   The company can also supply digital SLR cameras and zoom lenses.
   Phone +27 71 591 2822 or visit

Photographing flamingos in the Atacama Desert.
Photographing flamingos in the Atacama Desert.

Also of special interest to serious snappers, South American eco-adventure operator Explora has introduced a series of five-day photographic expeditions from its Hotel Salto Chico in Patagonia and Hotel de Larache in the Atacama Desert.
   The experiences will be operated in conjunction with Nikon and led by renowned New York photographer Katsuyoshi Tanaka, a specialist in Latin American photography.
   Prices, including all accommodation, meals, beverages, daily activities and transfers to the lodges, start from $3640 per person twin-share.

Combine two fascinating voyages in one European holiday with MSC Cruises’ 22-night Cossacks and Classics fly-stay-and-cruise package, which is priced from $4678 per person twin-share and departs Australia on May 7.
   It combines an 11-night return cruise from Genoa on MSC Lirica with seven nights aboard sister ship MSC Sinfonia, as well as a night in Genoa and return Emirates airfares from Australia to Milan.
   The MSC Lirica cruise will call on Civitavecchia (Rome), Istanbul, Piraeus (Athens) and Sorrento and span as far north as the Ukraine’s Odessa and Yalta. The MSC Sinfonia will venture to St Tropez, Mallorca, Mahon (Spain), Olbia and Salerno (both in Italy).
   Phone 1300 028 502 or visit

Peppers Salt Resort & Spa ... summer special on the NSW North Coast.
Peppers Salt Resort & Spa summer special on the
NSW North Coast.

Peppers Retreats and Resorts in Eastern Australia and on New Zealand’s South Island are offering a range of summer specials and Valentines Day escapes.
   At Peppers Salt Resort & Spa, in Kingscliff on the North Coast of NSW, for instance, the deal is a one-bedroom spa suite and buffet breakfast from $188 per couple per night with a minimum three-night stay.
   Also included are full use of resort leisure facilities and unlimited in-room movies and wifi internet access. Valid until March 29.
   Phone 1300 987 600 or visit

Sail across the Tasman for a good-value scenic cruise around New Zealand.
   Cruiseabout is charging from $1599 per person twin-share for the 14-night cruise on board Holland America Line’s MS Oosterdam, including Auckland-to-Sydney airfare. Fares back to other Australian cities are available on request.
   Cruise from Sydney to Auckland, via Hobart, Dunedin, Christchurch, Tauranga and Waitangi.
   Book by December 31 for departure ex Sydney March 16. Phone 1300 450 133 or visit

Enjoy a midweek package at Mercure Hunter Valley Gardens for the hotel’s annual Christmas Lights Spectacular.
   Pay from $244 per night midweek for two adults and two children, including accommodation and entry fee.
   New features for this year include a miniature village with a white chapel, shopping village, ferris wheel and carousel; scenes from Jurassic Park with fearsome dinosaurs and lava-filled volcanoes; plus crystal sculpture lights of Santa and his reindeers.
   Until January 26. Phone 02 4998 2000 or visit

Cruising the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Venice
Cruising the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Venice
Cruise the Mediterranean from Barcelona to Venice on the brand-new Royal Princess for less than $300 per day, including return airfares from Australia and all on-board meals.
   Pay from $4669 per person twin-share for the 16-night holiday, including three nights at the Hilton Diagonal Mar in Barcelona and a night at the Hilton Molino Stucky in Venice.
   Also receive a City Sightseeing pass in Barcelona. Ports of call include Toulon, Florence, Rome, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul, Ephesus and Athens.
   Board Royal Princess on September 23. Phone 1300 369 848 or visit

Save 20 per cent on stays of five nights or more in Manhattan with Thompson Hotels. The deal applies to 60 Thompson, Thompson LES, Smyth TriBeCa and Gild Hall properties in New York’s Financial District.
   Features include complimentary cocktails, upgrades, free wifi.
   Valid for stays until March 31. Visit