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Monday, 14 November 2016

Celebrity Solstice $11 Million Modern Luxury Makeover




Australia's highest rated ship returns better than ever, boasting a brand new Tiffany & Co. boutique

Celebrity Solstice is already Australia's highest rated* cruise ship, and today she arrives in Sydney more stunning than ever following a multimillion-dollar makeover - including Australia's first Tiffany & Co. store at sea.

Australians will be amongst the very first guests to experience the new and improved Celebrity Solstice. The Sydney-based ship offers even more modern luxuries to revitalise the bodies, minds and spirits of her guests – and a holiday onboard is eleven million times more fun.




"We've added more of the things that Australian guests love," says Adam Armstrong, managing director, Celebrity Cruises Australia.

"Throughout the ship, guests will find new features and fresh touches that have been carefully designed with luxurious, modern travel in mind. We've invested so significantly in Celebrity Solstice, home-ported in Sydney between October and April, so our Australian guests can feel relaxed, refreshed and revitalised after a holiday onboard, and leave feeling like a million dollars," Armstrong concluded.

Highlights of Celebrity Solstice's revitalisation include:

Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co. will sail on Celebrity for the first time. You'll find the distinctive Tiffany Blue Box®—which has contained gifts befitting life's most important occasions for almost two centuries—in a special boutique exclusively on Celebrity Solstice. The legendary jeweller will offer its exclusive designs, the ultimate symbols of style and taste, with tax-free and duty-free savings.

Lawn Club Cabanas

Six brand new alcove-style cabanas border the real grass lawn for additional seating and relaxation space. Guests can adjust the cabanas to their preferred view throughout the day, whether it be out to sea or towards the outdoor movie screen, and enjoy service from a private butler, chilled towels and fresh fruit ice-blocks to cool off on hot summer days

A new outdoor cinema and 'A Taste of Film'

A large movie screen has been added to The Lawn Club where guests can watch movies in the open, sitting on real grass in the middle of the ocean – it's an experience only Celebrity Cruises can provide. In addition, Celebrity Solstice will offer a gastronomic and cinema adventure, "A Taste of Film" which pairs big-screen movies that evoke a specific cultural, culinary or destination experience, with cuisine that brings the scenes on the screen to life through guests' taste buds. Celebrity Solstice will feature 'The 100 Foot Journey' and 'Chef'.

Sushi on Five:




Celebrity's hotly anticipated newest dining experience takes the place of Bistro on Five and feature an expertly crafted à la carte menu, curated by sushi chef Yoshikazu "Yoshi" Okada. Sushi on Five will offer hand-rolled sushi, fresh tableside grated wasabi, house-made soy sauce, Asian-inspired cocktails, Japanese beers and premium sakes, plus an array of mouth-watering starters and entrees.

Photo Gallery:

Guests can now have easier access to keepsakes of their time onboard. Celebrity Solstice's Photo Gallery received a full modern luxury makeover – out are the traditional panel display of printed photos and now the ship has 25 state-of-the-art touch screen kiosks, where guests are able to use facial recognition technology to view their professional photos taken throughout their cruise and purchase a variety of photo formats. Guests are able to download their purchased photos direct to their mobile device at any time during their cruise, and instantly share their cruise memories with friends and family back home via social networking, email or messaging.

Other updates include an expansive Art Gallery featuring a dedicated auction location with contemporary art lining the freshly renovated space, while suites received modern luxury enhancements such as lavish new patio furniture added to the balconies.




This summer cruise season, the newly revitalised Celebrity Solstice offers a series of picturesque itineraries with calls to the green natural oasis of New Zealand, the exotic escape of Indonesia, and to sought-after destinations across Australia.

Fares start at AU$1529 for a balcony stateroom on a seven-night South Pacific Getaway cruise, departing from Sydney on 13 April 2017. The cruise will call at the pristine island of Lifou in the Loyalty Islands and vibrant Noumea in New Caledonia, before returning to Sydney. Guests who book before 30 November 2016 will enjoy savings of up to $400 per person, and up to US$300 onboard credit per stateroom, plus Oceanview bookings and above receive a free Classic Beverage Package, as part of Celebrity's Global Cruise Sale.

For more information about Celebrity Cruises or to book a cruise, visit www.celebritycruises.com.au, call 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent.

Monday, 7 November 2016

World's largest cruises ships meet at sea


Royal Caribbean International's Oasis-class ships, Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and the new Harmony of the Seas, struck a chord over the weekend, greeting each other at sea for the first and possibly only time. In a meeting of unprecedented proportions, the three record-breaking sisters came together to celebrate the U.S. arrival of Harmony of the Seas on the eve of the ship's debut in her new permanent homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The Oasis-class ships are architectural and engineering marvels, boasting industry-changing and unexpected onboard experiences. Each ship features seven themed neighbourhoods – a distinctive feature of the Oasis-class ships – and a number of spectacular amenities, adventures and thrills, including the lush and tranquil Central Park with nearly 12,000 plants and trees, FlowRider surf simulators; a thrilling 25 metre long zip line that races guests nine-decks in the air, luxurious multi-level loft suites with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, the outdoor AquaTheater that hosts dazzling high-diving, aquatic and acrobatic performances, a Boardwalk with a hand-carved carousel, and The Rising Tide Bar, the first moving bar at sea.

The newest and youngest of the three ships, Harmony of the Seas, officially claimed the title of world's largest cruise ship, beating her sisters by a mere 30 centimetres in length and nearly 1,700 gross registered tons. The ship features a bold lineup of new thrilling experiences, imaginative dining, unparalleled entertainment and the latest technology, including VOOM, the fastest internet at sea. Harmony combines the iconic seven neighbourhood concept with some of the most modern and groundbreaking amenities and offerings that will appeal to guests of all ages. From The Ultimate Abyss, a dramatic 10-story tall slide, to unparalleled entertainment including Broadway's hit musical Grease, sophisticated dining in venues ranging from Jamie's Italian Cuisine by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver to Royal Caribbean's whimsical restaurant Wonderland, which is a unique culinary adventure for the senses, and robot bartenders, there is an adventure for everyone onboard Harmony of the Seas.  

The world's largest cruise ship now joins her sister ships Oasis of the Seas homeported in Port Canaveral, and Allure of the Seas homeported in Port Everglades, sailing from the east coast of Florida. Harmony offers seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries, providing new adventures from the islands of the Caribbean to the shores of Mexico.

For further information or to book a Royal Caribbean cruise, visit www.royalcaribbean.com.au, phone 1800 754 500 or see your local travel agent.

Friday, 4 November 2016

MSC to feature new ports in 2017



Starting in April 2017, MSC Cruises will add inspiring new destinations to its itineraries. Exotic must-see locations will include Sarande, Kingstown and Riga. Bookings are available now for exciting new locations.Starting in April 2017, MSC Cruises will add inspiring new destinations to its itineraries. Exotic must-see locations will include Sarande, Kingstown and Riga. Bookings are available now for exciting new locations.

A call at Sarande, on the East Mediterranean, will feature on the MSC Poesia itineraries from 9th April 2017 to 28th October 2017. Sarande is a major port and resort town at the southernmost point of Albania, on the coast opposite Corfu.

Situated on one of the most beautiful stretches of Albania’s coastline, Sarande is the latest must-see Mediterranean destination on the MSC Poesia. The gorgeous beach and wonderful blue sea are only the start of its attractions. Despite being one of the most modern cities in the region, it boasts a wealth of historic gems for visitors to explore, as well as sites of outstanding natural beauty.

Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is situated close to Sarande. The current archaeological site includes an impressive Roman amphitheater, a Byzantine Basilica, a Roman temple with mosaic floor, a carved lion's gate and numerous constructions built throughout history.

Prices for the MSC Poesia 7 night cruises at Sarande start from $879 per person (NZ$969) *Based on departing Venice on 22 & 29 April 2017.

Visits to La Romana are replaced with a call at Kingstown, the capital of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, on the MSC Fantasia. Journeys on these Southern Caribbean itineraries will be from 25th November 2017 to 7th April 2018. St. Vincent is part of the Windward Islands, in the eastern Caribbean. It is home to tropical valleys and mountains, hummingbird and hibiscus.

The capital of Kingstown offers the animated fruit, vegetable and fish markets, dramatic coastal views from historic Fort Charlotte, and the luxuriant Botanical Gardens (oldest in the Americas).

Nearby Soufriere features a volcano and the 60ft waterfall of Baleine. Scenic drives lead travelers through the verdant Mesopotamia Valley, to the Montreal Gardens full of tropical flowers.

MSC Fantasia will visit Kingstown in the Caribbean
Prices for MSC Fantasia at Kingstown, 7 night cruises, from $989 per person (NZ$1089) *Based on departing Fort de France on 25th November 2017.

One day at sea is replaced with Riga, Latvia, on the MSC Magnifica. Journeys will be from 13th May 2017 & 24th May 2017.

Situated at the mouth of the River Daugava, Riga is Latvia’s capital and largest city. It is an industrial, commercial, cultural and financial centre. The city includes a historical centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Prices for the Riga MSC Magnifica, 11 night cruise, start from $2049 per person (NZ$2269) *Based on departing Copenhagen 12th May 2017.

All new MSC Cruises destinations offer scenic getaways and fascinating attractions.

Further information about Sarande is available at the MSC Cruises web site:
https://www.msccruises.com.au/en-au/Cruise-Deals/Deals-By-Destination/Sarande-new-destination.aspx

https://www.msccruises.com.au/en-au/Cruise-Destinations/Mediterranean/Albania/Sarande.aspx

For our wide range of cruise itineraries and special prices, visit: www.msccruises.com.au or call 1300 028 502 (in Australia) or 0508 4278 473 (in New Zealand)

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Australia Day Celebrations on special Murray Princess Cruise


Celebrate historic Australia Day on a special four night Murray Princess Australia Day cruise and enjoy Australia Day festivities while discovering the real history of the outback. The four-night cruise departs Monday 23rd January, 2017.

The Australia Day cruise features the popular four-night itinerary combined with Australia Day fun and games including Two Up and thong throwing and a special Captain's Australia Day Buffet Dinner.

On-shore excursions include a guided walking tour of Swan Reach and a visit to the Swan Reach Museum.

Learn about Aboriginal history at the amazing Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Reserve - one of Australia's most significant archaeological sites and enjoy a guided boardwalk tour of ancient rock carvings.

Fall in love with the animals at a visit to a Native Wildlife Shelter and experience a fun and very Australian Woolshed Show.

Experience the excitement of cruising through Lock 1 at Blanchetown and enjoy some cellar door tasting and a tour of the vineyard at Burk Salter Boutique Winery.

Wildlife lovers can spot an abundance of nocturnal wildlife on the riverbank and birdwatchers can spend endless hours spotting a wide variety of river birds.

Plant life is also thriving and led by on-shore guides guests can enjoy nature walks, eco-tours and learn about the thriving ecology of the river.




Guests can sit back in one of two air-conditioned paddlewheel lounges and enjoy the amazing views as the Murray Princess cruises past towering limestone cliffs, and along riverbanks lined with mallee scrub and red gum forests. They can even watch the working paddle wheel through a spectacular two-story glass window in the Paddlewheel Lounge.

Food on board the Murray Princess is a highlight of the cruise. Guests will enjoy a hearty hot buffet breakfast each morning, a two-course or buffet lunch each day and a three-course or buffet dinner each evening. There is a spectacular Captain's dinner and dance, a special Captain's Australia Day Buffet Dinner and even an Aussie-style campfire barbecue dinner and bush dance on the river bank.

The four night Australia Day cruise departs from Mannum at 4.30pm on Monday 23rd January, 2017 and Early Booking Saver fares start from only $1076 per person twin share.

Fares include accommodation, all meals, guided nature walks, eco-excursions, onboard presentations, onboard free Wi-Fi, the Captain's Australia Day Buffet Dinner, live entertainment, use of ship's facilities including a sauna, spa, sun deck, bar, two lounges, restaurant and mini gymnasium with complimentary scenic coach transfers from Adelaide or secure car-parking in Mannum.

For Further information and bookings please contact:

T: 1300 729 938 from within Australia or +61 9 8202 8697 from Overseas

Email: murrayprincess@sealink.com.au

Visit: www.murrayprincess.com.au


Thursday, 6 October 2016

SeaDream scores top spots with Berlitz

SEADREAM Yacht Club's SeaDream I and SeaDream II have been awarded  the top two Boutique Passenger Vessel placings in the prestigious 2017 Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships – the so-called "bible of world cruising." 

The Guide is researched and written by Douglas Ward who, with more than 1,100 cruises behind him, is considered the world's top authority on cruising and cruise ships. For each year's edition, Mr Ward takes into account hundreds of separate items based on personal cruises, and portside visits and re-visits to ships during the year.

Mr Ward scored SeaDream I a total of 1,754 points out of a possible 2000 points in his year 2017 Guide that's just been published, and SeaDream II a total 1,750 points, and noted the SeaDream twins' reputations for being "beautiful, intimate and with excellent food."

President of SeaDream Yacht Club, Bob Lepisto said the company was honoured and delighted to once again be so highly distinguished in the world-renowned Berlitz Guide.

"We thank Mr Ward and his publishers," Mr Lepisto said. "And I add my own thanks to our colleagues at sea, and those in our offices around the world who have all contributed to our continued success."

SeaDream I and SeaDream II each carries a maximum of just 112 guests in 56 staterooms, served by 95 crew. Included in sailings aboard the mega motor-cruisers are wines with lunches and dinners, premium drinks from the open bars, power and sail water sports where locally permitted, mountain bikes for shore expeditions, an onboard golf simulator and fitness centre, and port charges and taxes

For more information about SeaDream I and II, see travel agents or go to www.seadream.com

Record Breaking Cruise Season Kicks off with the Return of Australia’s Favourite Cruise Ship, Celebrity Solstice




The arrival of Australia's highest rated cruise ship*, Celebrity Solstice to Sydney on Saturday 8 October signals the official start of a bumper international cruise season for Australia and New Zealand, as well as the biggest ever local season for RCL Cruises Ltd with a capacity increase of 15 per cent, year on year for the company's trifecta of cruise lines, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises.

"This summer, our three cruise lines and seven ships based down under will sail 101 itineraries, carrying over 300,000 guests who will inject more than $208 million in passenger spend alone in Australian ports," said Adam Armstrong, managing director for RCL Cruises in Australia and New Zealand.

Sydney itself will see an injection of more than $144 million into the local economy, with 76 calls to the port by 6 ships.

With around 15 per cent of the international RCL Cruises Ltd fleet now based in Australia and New Zealand between October and April, this season will see the company introduce two new ships, spend $11.25 million refreshing another, as well as offer a whole host of new and unique itineraries on a range of cruise ships to suit every taste.

"This is undoubtedly our biggest and most exciting season to date.  And nothing will be bigger than the debut of Royal Caribbean's all-new Ovation of the Seas. She represents not only a whole new way to cruise, but a new holiday category entirely – what we've dubbed supercruising. This is truly going to blow Australia away!"



Ovation of the Seas cost USD$1 billion to build, weighing in at 168,666 GRT with capacity for close to 5000 passengers, making her by far the largest, the newest and the most technologically advanced cruise ship to ever call Australia home.

She'll depart Singapore on 30 November and reach the Australian coast for the very first time in Fremantle on 6 December, before calling in Adelaide, Hobart and Sydney. Once she arrives at her new southern hemisphere home port of Sydney on 15 December, she'll offer seven roundtrip itineraries to New Zealand, the South Pacific and Australian destinations, plus a repositioning cruise to Singapore departing in February 2017.

Ovation of the Seas joins the South Pacific Sisters - twin sisters Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas - along with Radiance of the Seas sailing out of Sydney. Together, the biggest ships in the Southern Hemisphere will offer 65 voyages around Australia, the South Pacific, New Zealand and Asia.

Twin sister megaliners, Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas will be dedicated to the South Pacific this coming season, offering twice the fun thanks to recent US$180 million revitalisations. Until Ovation of the Seas arrives, Explorer of the Seas boasts the title of largest ship in Australia and both the South Pacific Sisters are packed full of fun for families of all shapes and sizes. They boast an array of features that can only be found on Royal, like the twin FlowRiders, ice skating rinks where the young and young at heart can test their skills and virtual balconies for real time ocean views in interior staterooms. As well as calling to idyllic destinations like Vanuatu and New Caledonia, the South Pacific Sisters will make almost double the calls of any other cruise brand to island favourite, Fiji.

Nicknamed the "culinary ship" for her rich variety of onboard dining options, Radiance of the Seas is set to make waves this season. She'll make the industry's first ever passenger cruise ship visit to Wollongong on the South Coast of NSW on 30 October 2016, plus she will make maiden calls for the cruise line to the idyllic islands of Tonga; Vava'u on 12 December 2016 and Nuku'alofa on 13 December 2016.



Legend of the Seas returns to her Brisbane homeport for her second and final season down under in November. Only two sea days from the South Pacific, she'll primarily offer voyages to Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji, before bidding farewell to Australian waters in February 2017.

After kicking off the 2016/17 cruise season this weekend, Celebrity Solstice, will make her way to Singapore for an extensive $11.25 million revitalisation. Sailing her fifth consecutive local season, the modern luxury ship will return in November with stunning new features including "A Taste of Film" cinema experience under the stars, new Lawn Club cabanas, an authentic Japanese sushi restaurant and an all-new digital photo gallery.

Celebrity Solstice will offer a range of new ports and itineraries during her seven month season, including her maiden debut to the tranquil coastal NZ town of Picton on 10 April 2017, as well as a record three overnight calls to the picturesque harbour town of Tauranga in New Zealand.  She will also introduce a new Great Barrier Reef itinerary for the first time, departing Sydney 13 March 2017. 



Rounding out the season will be the maiden arrival of boutique cruise brand Azamara Club Cruises' second ship, Azamara Journey, which will her debut in February 2017, first arriving to Darwin on 8 February 2017 as part of her Asia repositioning and then to Sydney on 20 February 2017. She'll make the cruise company's maiden call to Kaikoura, New Zealand's whale watching capital, on 13 March 2017, and will remain in the region until late March, offering two Australia & New Zealand sailings and a return Asia repositioning voyage.

Fresh from an all-encompassing make over which left no space untouched, Azamara Journey's recent revitalisation saw the addition of new venues and technologies, a beautiful redesign and rework of her suites and staterooms, a complete refresh of all public spaces and pervasive wi-fi throughout.

For more information about or to book a cruise, visit royalcaribbean.com.au, celebritycruises.com.au or azamaraclubcruises.com, call 1800 754 500 or contact your travel agent.

* Celebrity Solstice is the highest rated ship in Australia according to the Berlitz Guide and was awarded Best Cruise Ship – Domestic 2015 at the AFTA National Travel Industry Awards.

 

Friday, 30 September 2016

SeaDream's taste of the Mediterranean's good life


START TO 2017 WILL HAVE YOU SEADREAMING

IF you'll be in the USA come early next January and know you'll have a few spare days up your sleeve, fill them in with an unforgettable 4-day start to 2017 aboard the world's highest-rated boutique motor-cruiser, SeaDream I on a big-discounted round-trip sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados in the Caribbean.

Departing on January 3, the price of this 4-day sailing has been slashed from US$4624pp twin-share to just US$2223pp twin-share.

You'll visit the uninhabited Tobago Cays with their green turtles and coral reefs (and doubtless recognise where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed,) Union Island dubbed "the Tahiti of the West Indies," Port Elizabeth that's home to the famed "Mac's Lobster Pizza," and tiny Mayreau where crew will host SeaDream's exclusive Champagne and Caviar Splash in a picture-perfect secluded bay…

Included will be wines with lunches and dinners, premium drinks from the open bars, power and sail water sports where locally permitted, mountain bikes for shore expeditions, a no-charge onboard golf simulator and fitness centre, and port charges and taxes.

For full details see travel agents or visit www.seadream.com; SeaDream I carries a maximum of just 112 guests served by 95 crew.

[] IT'S unique Champagne and Caviar Splash will be a feature of SeaDream I's 4-day Caribbean sailing from Bridgetown, Barbados next January.