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Monday, 23 January 2017

Circumnavigate Australia with Ponant



Cruiseco, the leading provider of worldwide cruising options in Australia and New Zealand, is delighted to offer guests an incredible voyage around our Island Continent, aboard Ponant's luxurious vessel, L'Austral.  Exclusively designed by Cruiseco and Ponant, this 40-night circumnavigation of Australia departs the spectacular Sydney Harbour on 25th January 2018, visiting some of the country's most breathtaking ports, beautiful natural wonders, scenic highlights and tourist attractions along the way.

Laura Clarke, Manager Special Projects & Group Sales, Cruiseco said,

"Cruiseco and Ponant have worked together to design an itinerary that will offer guests a once-in-a-lifetime voyage and exclusive holiday aboard L'Austral, a superb mega-yacht.  This voyage offers a travel concept that is luxurious and authentic, however is also intimate, with only 123 cabins and suites available.  Discerning travellers will have the ability to explore more secluded ports and locations of Australia, which are off the beaten track and more difficult to reach, whilst enjoying stunning scenery, incredible locally produced food and wine and the chance to experience local wildlife in its natural surroundings."

Highlights of the voyage include exploring:
·         Wineglass Bay (Freycinet), Beauty Point (Tamar Valley) and King Island in Tasmania;
·         Port Campbell (12 Apostles) in Victoria;
·         Kangaroo Island and Port Lincoln in South Australia; 
·         Esperance, Albany, Busselton, Fremantle, Geraldton, Turquoise Bay (Ningaloo Reef), overnight in Broome, Talbot Bay (Horizontal Falls) and Wyndham in Western Australia;
·         Darwin and Yirrkala Aboriginal Settlement in the Northern Territory; and
·         Thursday Island, Cape York (the Tip), Lizard Island, Cooktown, Port Douglas, Hamilton Island and Fraser Island in Queensland.

Aboard the majestic L'Austral, guests will be accompanied by a specialist expedition crew which shares information on the history of the ports visited and provides insights into the heritage, flora, fauna and landscape of the country.  The cruise itinerary is also designed for Cruiseco to offer a range of overnight excursions away from the ship, where passengers re-join L'Austral in the next port of call or after visiting a major tourist highlight such as Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest. 

"At Cruiseco we want guests to immerse themselves in the true Australia, by discovering the breathtaking landscapes of the local regions, indulging in food and wine, and learning about the rich history and culture of our country.  Complimentary zodiac tours allow guests to glimpse spectacular parts of the country only seen by a select few.  Many of the ports on the itinerary are only available to smaller ships and some can only be accessed by ships carrying zodiacs.  For those ports that do not have berths alongside, the smaller vessel of L'Austral enables a quick and regular tendering in order to maximise time ashore for guests.  Offering only 123 cabins across nine different categories, many are sure to disappear quickly, so we urge any travellers who would like to cruise with us to secure their places soon," added Clarke.

Each bespoke tour has been custom designed exclusively for this type of expedition, refined and personalised holiday.  Guests aboard L'Austral can expect to experience a luxurious, chic and elegant ambience.  All 123 cabins and suites include controlled air-conditioning, king size bed, minibar, flat screen TV, iPod players, French bath products and plush bathrobes, and complimentary 24-hour room service.

Prices to travel aboard L'Austral on a 40-night circumnavigation of Australia, departing Sydney on 25th January 2018, start from AU$29,000* per person, based on twin share in a Superior Stateroom.
Fares include: all meals onboard, including 24-hour room service; beverages – house wines, beers, sparkling wine, non-premium spirits; and a specialist expedition crew, including experts in the field of botany, marine biology, history and photography and zodiac tours.

For additional itinerary options or to book whilst cabins are still available, visit www.cruising.com.au or call (02) 9492 8520.

*Prices are subject to availability and subject to change.  Terms and conditions apply.

Monday, 16 January 2017

New 2018 cruise package including all three #Cunard liners

#cruise

Sail all Three Cunard liners in one holiday spanning two continents

A unique Cruise Express exclusive

Bonus onboard credit of up to US$1270 per cabin




A new, luxury fly/cruise package from Cruise Express allows cruise-loving Australians to sail aboard all three Cunard liners in one seamless holiday across two continents in 2018.

The 37-night 'Three Queens' package features a trio of back-to-back cruises aboard Queen Elizabeth, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 in Europe, including a voyage across the Atlantic to New York, recreating an iconic route forged by Cunard's pre-jet age ships in the early 1900s.

The liner-hopping adventure in the northern spring begins on May 7, 2018, with a flight from Australia to London for a two-night stay. After free time to explore the city, guests will be transferred by private car to Southampton to board Queen Elizabeth for a 14-night, round-trip cruise to seven ports in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and also Russia where the ocean liner will dock overnight to allow passengers to explore the famous, treasure-filled palaces and castles of St Petersburg.

After a one-night stay ashore in Southampton, Cruise Express guests will return to the docks to board Queen Victoria for a seven-night, round-trip cruise to four ports in Norway, including sailings through Norway's most spectacular fjords such as World Heritage-listed Geirangerfjord, which is lined by sheer, snow-topped peaks and thundering waterfalls.

Guests will stay two nights back in Southampton before boarding the third Cunard liner and the flagship of the fleet, Queen Mary 2, for a seven-night crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to New York - the world's most famous sea route. Aboard, passengers can indulge in the signature experiences common to all three ships – grand ballrooms, dazzling chandeliers, sweeping staircases, fine cuisine, high teas, spacious teak decks and white-gloved service.

A three-night stay in New York follows before a flight back to Australia on June 13, 2018.

The 'Three Queens' package is available from $10,999 per person, twin-share. Fares include return economy class flights, the three voyages and eight nights' accommodation in London, Southampton and New York. Each booking also attracts an onboard spending credit of up to US$1270 per cabin.

Call Cruise Express on 1300 764 509 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Viking Ocean Cruises 13 new itineraries in Australia, Alaska, Asia and the Caribbean.

New 2017-2019 Itineraries Expand Destination-Focused Offerings Around the World
Viking Ocean Cruises (http://www.vikingcruises.com.au/oceans) today announced 13 new itineraries that will roll out in 2017, 2018 and 2019. By 2019, fast-growing Viking Cruises will be the largest small ship ocean cruise line, with six 930-passenger ocean ships, and will offer guests new opportunities for exploration in Australia, Alaska, Asia and the Caribbean.



“Viking will mark major milestones in 2017. We celebrate our 20th anniversary; we will welcome two new Longships on the rivers in Europe; and we will double our ocean fleet to four sister ships by the end of the year,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises. “Our destination-focused ocean itineraries are built on the same successful principles as our river itineraries – we offer our guests more time in port, enriching cultural experiences and the best-designed ships at sea. Starting later this year, our guests will have even more choices to explore around the world in ‘the Viking way.’”

“We are super excited to be bringing the Viking Ocean experience to Australian and New Zealand shores. Our ships are like no other, contemporary yet classic, spacious yet intimate. They certainly boast more than their share of wow factors. We’re thrilled to have Viking Spirit based here for summer 18/19,” said Michelle Black, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand.



New 2017 – 2019 Itineraries

Viking’s new ocean itineraries will bring guests to a growing number of iconic destinations around the world, providing behind-the-scenes insights and opportunities in each port of call. Highlights of the new itineraries include:

· Australia & New Zealand – (Sydney to Auckland and the reverse; sailing on Viking Spirit; December 2018 – February 2019) –From the metropolitan cities of Melbourne and Sydney to the natural beauty of coastal New Zealand, guests will explore nine ports of call during this 15-day journey Sip on famous regional wines, explore UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Blue Mountains; explore the historic treasures of Dunedin, and capture panoramic views from Mt. Victoria in New Zealand.

· Komodo & the Australian Coast – (Sydney to Bali or the reverse; sailing on Viking Spirit; November 30, 2018 and March 10, 2019) – During this 17-day sailing, guests will experience 11 ports of call including Bali and Lombok in Indonesia, the Great Barrier Reef’s Whitsundays And Newcastle’s picturesque coastline. Viking will also bring guests face-to-face with the region’s residents, including the Komodo dragon, at the Komodo National Park in Indonesia.

· Turquoise Seas of the Western Caribbean – (Miami to Miami; sailing on Viking Sky; November 2017 – February 2018) – Discover the diverse treasures of the western Caribbean during this eight-day itinerary, from ancient ruins to colonial architecture. Guests will explore the mysterious temples of Altun Ha in Belize, harking back to the ancient Mayan Civilisation; walk in the steps of Hemingway’s Key West haunts; and marvel at Cozumel’s blue waters at Punta Sur. Sailing roundtrip from Miami, guests will visit three countries and five ports.

· Panama & Central America – (Miami to Miami; sailing on Viking Sky; November – December 2017 and January 2018) – From Central American countries including Costa Rica, Columbia, Honduras, Belize and more, guests will immerse themselves into the colourful cities and rich cultures, visiting eight countries and nine ports on this 15-day itinerary. While making the roundtrip from Miami, guests will experience one of the world’s great engineering feats, the Panama Canal, discover Costa Rica’s famous rainforest and explore Old Town Cartagena’s colonial architecture, a UNSECO World Heritage Site.

· Atlantic Crossing – (Miami to Barcelona; sailing on Viking Sky; March4, 2018) – During this classic trans-Atlantic journey, guests enjoy dining, taking in the ship’s amenities and relaxing while cruising the Atlantic Ocean. The 14-day sailing will also call on ports in both Europe and the New World, including Florida’s sun-kissed city of glorious beaches and art deco buildings. In Europe, destinations include the “Garden Island” of Madeira and the artistic, vibrant city of Barcelona.

· Passage to India – (Athens to Mumbai; sailing on Viking Spirit; August 19, 2018) – On this 21-day itinerary, guests will trace the routes of the earliest merchants from Greece to India, with ports of call in six countries including Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Oman. Along the journey, guests will accompany local guides to ancient treasures, visit the astonishing red sandstone city of Petra and see the Great Pyramids and Sphinx in Cairo.

· Across the Bay of Bengal – (Mumbai to Bangkok; sailing on Viking Spirit; September 8, 2018) – Guests will experience five unique countries on one spectacular 16-day journey, including overnight ports of call in Mumbai, Colombo and Bangkok to fully explore these exciting cities. From meeting the caretakers of the National Gandhi Museum to mingling with shoppers at a traditional Bangkok market, guests will immerse themselves into the experience of each city and discover its rich culture first-hand.

· Capitals of the Far East – (Hong Kong to Beijing or the reverse; sailing on Viking Spirit, October 7 and October 21, 2018) – Voyage to the iconic cities across three countries including China, Taiwan and South Korea. Along this 15-day journey, guests will experience the region’s culture and heritage while exploring sites including the Forbidden City and Great Wall of China, and the Huaxi Street Night Market in Taiwan. Guests will also enjoy a day of sailing along the Yellow Sea, relaxing with complimentary tea service on board in the Wintergarden or yoga on the Sports Deck.

· Southeast Asia & Hong Kong – (Bangkok to Hong Kong or the reverse; sailing on Viking Spirit; September 23, 2018, November 4, 2018 and April 7, 2019) – Discover the gems of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong during this 15-day cruise visiting four countries and seven ports. Spend two days in Bangkok touring the vibrant city and its landmarks, including the Grand Palace featuring the Emerald Buddha, and sampling Thai cuisine. Guests continue the journey with ports of call in Cambodia and Vietnam and then enjoy two nights visiting the many museums and stores in this shopper’s paradise of Hong Kong.

· Bangkok, Bali & Beyond – (Bangkok to Bali or the reverse; sailing on Viking Spirit; November 18, 2018 and March 26, 2019) – Spanning 13-days, guests will experience the capitals of Asian art and culture in the seven ports of call throughout Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Witness Southeast Asia’s fascinating juxtaposition long-held traditions infuse bustling capital cities. Marvel at Kuala Lumpur’s soaring Petronas Towers, and absorb the cultural diversity of Singapore with a resident by your side; and experience the historic riches of Jakarta.

· Far Eastern Horizons – (Hong Kong to Tokyo; sailing on Viking Spirit; April 21, 2019) – Explore the imperial treasures of one of the most captivating corners of Asia during this 15-day sailing. Mingle with merchants in Hong Kong’s vibrant Stanley Market; learn the nuances of Taiwan from a local resident; and witness the bustling Japanese culture. This itinerary calls upon four countries and nine ports, with overnights in Hong Kong, Hiroshima, Shimizu and Tokyo to fully explore these cities.

· North Pacific Passage – (Tokyo to Vancouver; sailing on Viking Spirit; May 5, 2019) – Guests will experience the cultural riches and majestic beauty of Japan, Russia, Alaska and Canada on this 23-day sailing. Unravel the mysteries of Japan with local guides, and learn about life in a remote Russian city before crossing the Bering Sea, tracing the legendary path of the first human migration to the Americas. In Alaska, sail into glacier-strewn, mountain-ringed bays onto iconic frontier towns, such as Kodiak, Sitka and more. Guests will also enjoy scenic cruising through the famed Inside Passage.

· Alaska & the Inside Passage – (Vancouver to Seward or the reverse; sailing on Viking Spirit; May – August 2019) – During this 11-day itinerary, guests will sail into the wilds of the “Great Frontier,” immersing themselves in a world of Tlingit heritage, exploring charming seaside towns and pristine glacier-lined bays, and cruising the narrow channels of the famed Inside Passage. Sailing from Vancouver, Canada, guests will experience eight iconic ports of call including Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau and Skagway.

Classified by Cruise Critic as “small ships,” Viking’s ocean ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons, boast 465 cabins and accommodate 930 passengers. This year, the company will welcome Viking Sky and Viking Sun to join Viking Star and Viking Sea in its fleet. Viking’s fifth ship, Viking Spirit, will be delivered in 2018, and its sixth, yet-to-be-named ship will be delivered in 2019.

For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 1300 845 464 (Australia) & 0800 447 913 (New Zealand) or visit www.vikingcruises.com.au . To join the Viking Cruises community online, visit www.facebook.com/vikingcruisesAUNZ.



Friday, 13 January 2017

Australian Women's Weekly Treasure Hunt Cruise 1970

Our Treasure Hunt Cruise under way

The first of our two 1970 Treasure Hunt Cruises was off to a memorable start with one of the most colorful sailings on record.

CROWDS of relatives and friends farewelled the streamer-decked Orcades out of Sydney Harbor bound for 15 days in the Pacific.

Demand for berths on this cruise was so great that World Travel say they could have filled two ships!
If you missed out, there are still a few berths remain-ing on our second Treasure Hunt Cruise this year.

This cruise leaves Sydney on July 2, calling at Bris-bane, Noumea, Suva, Pago-Pago, and Nuku'alofa, returning to Sydney on July 17.

What better way to spend an annual vacation than to leave the dreary winter weather and spend 15 days soaking up sunshine, lazing on deck, making friends, playing deck sports, dancing far into the night. And, of course, calling at the exotic Pacific islands.

All this costs as little as $289. But you must book soon, as there are only a few berths still available.
As if the cruise itself were not enough: There is "treasure" aboard for a lucky passenger on each of our 1970 cruises.

Each prize is worth $6000
— two tickets on our five-month 1971 World Discovery Tour, plus plenty of spending money.
The winners are presented with their prizes at a costume Pirates' Ball aboard the cruise ships.

Our three new Treasure Hunt Cruises for 1971 will be announced in two weeks.

Watch for the exciting details.

GAY FAREWELL (below) for Sydney passengers Max Bonner, of Fairlight (second from left), and Harry Polley, of Bondi (far right), from Christine A'Bell, of Newport Beach, Annette Thomas, of Pymble, Trevor Crowther, of Fairlight.

ORCADES leaving Sydney on the cruise. The P & O liner will again be our cruise ship in July.

HONEYMOONERS Mr. and Mrs. John Faull, of Ballarat, Victoria, who were passengers on the cruise. Mrs. Faull was Miss Gay Davies, of Ballarat.

VICTORIAN passengers Miss Dot Schmidt, of Geelong, and Miss Gwen Hodgson, of Geelong, on board the Orcades before leaving for the 15-day cruise of the Pacific — to Auckland, Suva, Noumea and Brisbane.

Australian Women's Weekly 15 April 1970


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Ships we'll never see in 2017 - or ever again


While we mourn and lament the passing of movie stars and artists in 2016, let us spare a moment to remember the cruise ships we will never see again.

Just like every year, the old must make way for the new and a fleet of ghost ships sets sail for the world’s scrap yards.

Which ships did we wave goodbye to and will never see in 2017?

The Pacific Sun has finally set.

Beginning life as Carnival Jubilee in 1986 and spending seven years as Pacific Sun in Australian waters, time is up for this 1500-passenger liner. It spent its final years as Henna for HNA Cruises in Asian waters. A notable event was In July 2008, when 42 passengers were injured in a storm near New Zealand. Her Holiday-class sister ship sails as Magellan with CMV.

Unloved: Pacific Princess awaits dismantling

The famous Pacific Princess which starred as The Love Boat in the famous 1980s TV series of the same name is under the torches in Turkey after being struck off in 2013.

The sun has finally set on this former P&O funship.
Infamous for its unwitting role in the unfortunate death of Dianne Brimble, the former Pacific Sky ended its days at Aliaga in Turkey like so many beautiful ships. Notable for being one of the very last steam turbine-powered ships.

Kong (King) Olav looking anything but regal in Burma

One of the sadder losses, is the vintage, former Hurtigruten vessel, Kong (King) Olav. After a struggle to recover and preserve the historic vessel from Burma, it appears that battle is now lost and the darling ship is destined to be converted to razor blades or some such.

Coming apart at the seams: Costa Concordia

Dismantling of the famous - for all the wrong reasons - Costa Concordia continues in Genoa, Italy.

QE2 languishes with other derelict vessels at Mina Rashid, Dubai.

Questions hang over the fate of the QE2, still laid up in Dubai. Efforts were made to bring the famous ship back to its birthplace in Scotland, but campaigners are resigned that will never happen.

Container ships are being scrapped at record rates.

In a world suffering from overcapacity in the freight and container sector, 2016 is expected to see about 150 vessels scrapped, some barely ten years old.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

MSC next-generation Meraviglia-plus ships announced



MSC Cruises announced today, they are commencing in earnest on the construction of their next-generation Meraviglia-plus ships. Two options were previously confirmed, during Meraviglia’s Coin Ceremony on 1st February 2016 and today 22nd December 2016, MSC Cruises and STX France announced this contract has come into force, with delivery of the Mega-ships due in 2019 and 2020.

MSC Cruises and STX France have agreed on all the ship specifications and now construction can commence in earnest to meet the required timings. The two next-generation ships – the largest ships ever built for a European cruise line and the second largest globally – will be delivered in October 2019 and September 2020, respectively.

Lynne Clarke, Managing Director of MSC Cruises Australia, appreciates the great achievement, “We continue to deliver our future plan, with the commencement of the two ‘Meraviglia-Plus’ ships. Up to eight more ships are planned to be built in France at STX through until 2026 in an unprecedented €9 billion investment plan.”

The MSC Cruises “Meraviglia-Plus” class is the next-level generation of ships for all seasons, at 331 meters-long. Thanks to innovative maritime technology, together with their “Meraviglia” class sister ships, they will be the only ones in their class able to call at all world cruise ports.

The two “Meraviglia-Plus” ships’ interior 111 meters long promenade will feature an LED sky screen ceiling measuring 95 by 6 meters, beaming out visual events and vistas around the clock to create a unique atmospheric experience for guests.

Cirque du Soleil will again bring its unique brand of world-class shows exclusively to MSC Cruises two Meraviglia-Plus ships in a purpose-built dining and entertainment venue in the aft lounge.

“Meraviglia-Plus” ships will also feature a unique cultural experience for guests at sea, with the first-of-its-kind classic and contemporary fine art museum. This industry-first feature will enable guests to experience masterpieces from around the globe in collaboration with the world’s premier cultural centers, classic and modern art museums as well as public and private art institutions.

Additionally, the “Meraviglia” and “Meraviglia-Plus” ships will feature the latest STX France’s ECORIZON and other next-generation environmental technologies. Among other things, they will result in air emission levels that are already in line with all upcoming 2020 regulatory requirements.

Additional information

Summary of delivery schedule for MSC Cruises’ “Meraviglia” and “Meraviglia-Plus” cruise ships:
May 2017 : MSC Meraviglia
March 2019: MSC Bellissima
October 2019: “Meraviglia-Plus 1” (name still to be announced)
July 2020: “Meraviglia-Plus 2” (name still to be announced) 

Explore the new world of MSC Meraviglia today with cruises on sale for departures from June 2017. 7 nights cruising starts from $AU699pp or $NZ769pp visit www.msccruises.com.au or www.msccruises.co.nz for full details.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Thomas Keneally to join Silversea World Cruise sector


Silversea Cruises, the world’s leading small-sized cruise line, renowned for its opulent levels of service is pleased to announce its newest guest enrichment lecturer, acclaimed Australian author, Thomas Keneally. Joining an Australian sector of the incredible World Cruise 2017, from Melbourne to Bali (Benoa), guests have the unique opportunity to delve deep into thought provoking enrichment lectures with Keneally, while experiencing a multitude of wondrous destinations and the unparalleled service Silversea guests are accustomed to.

Keneally is the critically acclaimed Australian novelist, playwright, and essayist, publishing more than 30 novels and screenplays. Keneally is an Officer of the Order of Australia and has received an array of national and international accolades including the Booker Prize in 1982 for his novel, Schindler’s Ark, which was later adapted into the Steven Spielberg directed Academy Award winning film, Schindler’s List.

Amber Wilson, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific said,

“We are absolutely thrilled to have one of Australia’s most distinguished novelists, Thomas Keneally aboard Silver Whisper in February 2017. Guests will have the opportunity to attend fascinating and stimulating discussions with the highly regarded author where he will cover personal stories and experiences.”



Departing Melbourne on 09 February 2017, guests on this 13-day voyage will also experience the stunning scenery of the southern coastline of Australia, before sailing into the tropical wonderland that is Indonesia.

World Cruise 2017 is an exclusive 116-day ocean voyage from San Francisco to Monte Carlo aboard Silver Whisper. This extraordinary travel adventure will encompass 62 unique destinations in 25 countries, with numerous late-night and overnight stays allowing ample time to take in all the amazing sights, sounds, and flavours of beautiful cities, great wine regions, and architectural spectacles both old and new.

For more information contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand), or visit www.silversea.com