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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Sailing Safari… Adventure is Calling!


Rediscover adventure while discovering the beauty of Fiji's Mamanuca and Southern Yasawa Islands with Fiji Windjammer Barefoot's three and four night Sailing Safaris onboard the Spirit of the Pacific, a 108ft Topsail Schooner.   

Each morning the Spirit of the Pacific sets sail for a day of discovering islands, exploring reefs and caves and visiting fishing spots. Guests can go island trekking, visit traditional villages, snorkel, swim with the mantra rays, fish, learn the sailor's art from the friendly crew or simply laze on the deck and enjoy the sun and picturesque surrounds.

Each evening guests return to the tropical base camp - Barefoot Lodge, on the beautiful and secluded Drawaqa Island, for an authentic Fijian overnight stay.

The Lodge has a low impact policy so where possible its aim is to preserve the natural environment, maintain an authentic Fijian experience and replace 21st Century noise with the silence of the stars.

Barefoot Lodge also operates on very limited power sources and energy efficient systems are used to blend with the natural environment adding to a truly unique Fijian experience.

The island itself offers guests their own slice of private paradise – sunset swims, snorkelling over stunning coral gardens off the beach, swimming with the local manta rays, night fishing tours, kayaking around the island or lazing between the hammock and lagoon. Nightly Fijian 'lovo' feasts and entertainment are also part of the islands fun.

Accommodation features twin share waterfront bures built and thatched in traditional style by local villagers. The showers and toilets are communal with cool fresh water.

The two nights/three days Sailing Safari departs Denarau Marina, Nadi every Monday at 9.00am and prices start at FJ$545pp for a twin share bure.  The three nights/four days Sailing Safari departs Denarau Marina, Nadi every Thursday at 9.00am and prices start from FJ$725pp for a twin share bure. 

All prices include Sailing Safari aboard Spirit of the Pacific, nightly twin share bure accommodation at the Barefoot Lodge, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), Island treks, use of snorkelling equipment & kayaks, village meke, lovo feast, nightly entertainment, volleyball & fishing, tropical garden nursery, star gazing, yaqona ceremony, and transfers from most Nadi Hotels

For booking visit www.fijisailing.com.fj or contact Captain Cook Cruises on T: +679 670 1823 or e-mail nadi@captaincook.com.fj  

Dreaming of a lost world ... ?


Discover the forgotten Kimberley Coast

In collaboration with the Australian Geographic Society, Aurora Exepeditions invites you to discover one of Australia's least visited regions. Carved by millions of years of extreme tidal patterns, complex river systems, waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes complete the Kimberley's many delights.

Aurora's onboard team, including passionate Kimberley explorer Mike Cusack, a naturalist and a guest lecturer, are Kimberley experts who interpret its unique history, plants and animals from Aboriginal and European perspectives.

In true Aurora style, we cruise with a flexible itinerary and explore islands alive with nesting birds, revel at the amazing Montgomery Reef, uncover the ancient secrets of Aboriginal rock art and participate in the excitement of spotlighting saltwater crocodiles.

Voyage 1 & 2 - Broome to Broome Departs: June 1 & 12, 2009
These voyages take us north to Bigge Island and back again, allowing additional time to explore the intricate maze of coral reefs, hidden valleys and rocky islands along the way.

Voyage 3 - Broome to Darwin
Departs: June 22, 2009
This voyage takes us from one end of the Kimberley to the other, providing an opportunity to visit the magnificent King George River, before crossing the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf.

Download or order your free Kimberley Coast 2009 brochure here

Click here to view our Kimberley photo gallery

Prices are from AU$6,450 per person twin-share, including all meals on board and Zodiac excursions.

Expedition Lord Howe
This September is the perfect time to explore the world heritage beauty of Lord Howe Island, using the luxury of Capella Lodge as your base. Capella Lodge are offering special deals on their last two available suites. Click_here for more information.

To reserve your berth or for further details, contact us on +61-2-9252-1033 (1800-637-688 within Australia) or email Aurora at auroraex@auroraexpeditions.com.au

Kimberley Coast with Aurora Expeditions


Dreaming of a lost world?

Aurora Expeditions offers travellers the chance to experience Australia’s remote Kimberley Coast on board one of their three expedition cruises departing in June 2009.

Led by legendary Kimberley expeditioner Mike Cusack of Australian Geographic’s first ‘wilderness couple’ fame, adventure awaits as Aurora’s trusty ship Coral Princess explores the hidden bays, estuaries and spectacular sandstone gorges of this pristine wilderness. Mike offers a special insight into one of Australia’s least visited areas, where his intimate knowledge reveals the secrets of this ancient and forgotten land.

With such an isolated coastline, many of the Kimberley Coast’s most fascinating sites can only be accessed by sea. Passengers will visit islands with nesting boobies and frigate birds, revel in the amazing Montgomery Reef, uncover the ancient secrets of Aboriginal rock art galleries and participate in the excitement of spotlighting saltwater crocodiles. Carved by millions of years of extreme tidal patterns, complex river systems, waterfalls and freshwater swimming holes complete the Kimberley delights.

As with all Aurora cruises, emphasis is placed on a combination of interactive experiences with the environment and a strong educational element. Aurora’s onboard team of lecturers and naturalists are Kimberley experts who interpret history, plants and animals from Aboriginal and European perspectives.

Voyages 1 & 2 – Broome to Broome

Depart – 1st and 12th of June 2009 (11 days)

These unique expeditions travel from Broome to Bigge Island off the Kimberley’s northwest coast and back again. Along the way travellers wander the long sandy beaches of the Lacede Islands, a prime breeding ground for green turtles and tens of thousands of breeding birds, inspect the tidal pools of Montgomery reef and uncover the secrets of controversial Wandjina spirit paintings.

Voyage 3 – Broome to Darwin

Departs – 22nd of June 2009 (11 days)

Aurora’s third voyage explores from one end of the Kimberley Coast to the other, crossing Joseph Bonaparte Gulf and visiting the spectacular King George River on the north coast. Cruising north, expeditioners will explore the renowned horizontal waterfalls, the shark, turtle and whale rich waters of Montgomery Reef, Prince Regent National Park and the spectacular 90 metre plunge of the King George Falls.

Prices are from AU$6,450 per person twin-share, including all meals on board and Zodiac excursions.

For more details or to obtain a copy of Aurora’s new Kimberley Coast 2009 brochure, contact Aurora Expeditions on 1800 637 688, visit www.auroraexpeditions.com.au or email auroraex@auroraexpeditions.com.au

Monday, 28 July 2008

Cruise The Whitsundays And Stay Free At Hamilton Island

Fantasea Adventure Cruising has added two nights on Hamilton Island at no extra charge to its four night MV Fantasea Ammari cruise of the Whitsunday islands to create a seven day cruise-and-stay package.

The elegant 60 metre cruising catamaran departs Hamilton Island on varying itineraries which include visits to Whitehaven Beach, Blue Pearl Bay off Hayman Island, Whitsunday Island and Fantasea's Reefworld 'floating pontoon' on the outer Great Barrier Reef.

All cabins on the boutique cruise ship, which accommodates 64 passengers and 23 crew, are air conditioned with ensuite bathroom, flat screen TV and bar fridge.

Other Ammari features include a swimming pool, day spa and hair and beauty salon, gymnasium equipment, boutique, Sun Deck Bar, and a DVD and book library. Tariffs include all on-board meals and watersport activities.

Accommodation on Hamilton Island post-cruise is at the recently refurbished four star Reefview Hotel. Cost is Aud$2460 per person. The package is valid for bookings made by October 31 and is valid for travel until December 12.

For more information go to www.fantaseammari.com or book on (Aus only)1800 662 786.


Friday, 25 July 2008

Orion 2009 brochure features new destinations


Orion's latest 30 page full colour brochure, just released, features expansive colour spreads depicting key 2009 destinations, along with an overview of guest experiences and life onboard.

In addition to spreads on each major region visited, the 2009 brochure contains useful information for potential travellers with a detailed deck plan of the ship and her 5 star facilities, the range of guest accommodation (with floor plans from Staterooms to Owner's Suites) and examples of the onboard comforts such as boutique, massage, elevator and lounges – and Serge Dansereau's award winning cuisine.

For the technically minded there is comprehensive information on Orion's specifications including details on size, speed, tonnage, ice class hull construction, sonar and oversized stabilisers.

Personal insights by members of the onboard Expedition Team make interesting reading, adding another dimension to each itinerary.

Included with this year's brochure is a useful lift-out reference booklet featuring in-depth itinerary details by destination, 2009 pricing and Calendar of Sailings detailing all expeditions throughout 2009 and early 2010.

Landscape format and photography reflect seascapes and vistas typically encountered on Orion expeditions. The Kimberley spread features a dramatic photo of King George River taken from above the falls, then by way of contrast is a photo of the massive falls themselves towering above Orion's Zodiacs on the river.

Arnhem Land is full of bright colours, indigenous interaction and the ancient rock art of the Dreamtime; while the popular voyages to Papua New Guinea and Melanesian islands features photography of World War II relics, idyllic beaches, crystal waters and fascinating village cultures.

New for 2009 are Orion's Spice Islands, Gulf of Siam and Vietnam Explorer voyages to Asia, plus a Forgotten Islands itinerary and expeditions to New Zealand and the remote World Heritage-listed Sub Antarctic islands.

The Antarctic continent remains a strong Orion drawcard for adventurers lured by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the historic Antarctic explorer bases of Mawson, Scott and Shackleton.

Those seeking warmer climes can cruise our own Great Barrier Reef – perfect for a short break in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

The Orion 2009 brochure can be downloaded from www.orionexpeditions.com/brochure/ebrochure or mailed simply by contacting Orion Expedition Cruises: 61-2 9033 8777 (Sydney callers) 1300 361 012 (regional and interstate) or visiting your travel agent.

Email: info@orioncruises.com.au

Ranked #2 expedition cruise ship in the world in the current Berlitz Cruise Guide, Orion is the world's latest purpose-built luxury expedition cruise ship, featuring an unmatched range of onboard facilities.

With 75 crew and a maximum of just 106 passengers Orion offers the highest staff to guest ratio and guest to public space ratio of any ship based in Australian waters.

Further information on Orion Expedition Cruises can be obtained by visiting the website www.orionexpeditions.com

Monday, 21 July 2008

Book a Coral Princess Vanuatu Cruise and Get Free Flights



Coral Princess Cruises is offering free flights to Vanuatu from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane as part of a special fly-cruise package exploring the beautiful islands of Vanuatu. This red-hot deal includes free international flights, and a luxury five-night small-ship cruise aboard the Oceanic Discoverer, starting and finishing in Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila.

The cruise itinerary includes Ambrym Island, where the ship anchors in the glow of two active volcanoes, and Maewo Island, which is said to have been the inspiration for the mythical island of Bali Hai in James Michener's epic novel, Tales of the South Pacific. The largest island in Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo, is renowned for natural attractions such as the beautiful swimming pool known as the Blue Hole and picturesque Champagne Beach.

Throughout the cruise, guests can disembark the ship to swim, snorkel, bush walk or participate in nature and wildlife excursions. Vanuatu also has some of the world's best wreck dive sites such as the sunken American troopship the SS President Coolidge, with plenty more to see either snorkelling or from a guided glass bottom boat tour.

Carrying a maximum of just 72 guests, this intimate cruise is aboard Coral Princess's luxury small-ship Oceanic Discoverer, complete with modern staterooms and ensuites, friendly and knowledgeable crew, and onboard naturalists and experts who interpret the natural, cultural and historical highlights of the islands. The itinerary may vary to take maximum advantage of opportunities to go snorkelling or diving, or to visit local villages and attractions. The ship's small size enables it to explore 'off the beaten track', visiting remote and beautiful bays that larger ships can't access.

The offer is available on all new bookings. Prices for the fly-cruise package start at $3,150 per person, twin share from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane. The price includes the five-night cruise aboard Oceanic Discoverer, all meals and excursions (excluding SCUBA diving) – and the international flights ex Sydney Melbourne or Brisbane are thrown in for free (taxes are additional, depending on point of departure). Passengers departing from other Australian ports will need to purchase a connecting domestic flight to the east coast international departure points. There are departures on November 10, 15 and 20, 2008.

For further information and reservations contact Coral Princess Cruises on 1800 079 545 or visit www.coralprincess.com.au.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Save the Murray & Save 50% - July 2008



Early this month Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the Minister of Climate Change & Water, Senator Penny Wong visited to the Lower Lakes of the Murray River. Unfortunately the resulting media has created a public perception that the entire Murray/Darling system has run dry. This is far from the truth and we want to reassure our passengers that PS Murray Princess continues to cruise to our current itinerary between Murray Bridge and Swan Reach and we do not foresee any change to this itinerary in the coming months.

PS Murray Princess has been operating on the Murray River since 1987 and the ship has seen many floods and droughts. Our Captain and Crew have first hand knowledge of the river and its environs. Below is the latest report, direct from Captain Ray Weedon on the Murray River.

July 2008

There has been no change in the operation of the Murray Princess since December 2007. The Murray Princess continues to provide a "must see" cruising experience.

Should the worst case scenario be reached and the Lower Lakes dry completely, the main channel of the River Murray between Wellington and Swan Reach will retain enough water to ensure a continued water supply to Adelaide and thus allowing tourism on the Lower Murray to prevail. All water related tourism continues to flourish and visitors are surprised to see so much activity on the Murray.

The lower water levels are providing our passengers with amazing new sights. Historic artifacts, old stone causeways and huge red gum snags that haven't seen the light of day for over half a century are emerging from the river depths. Newly-formed mud flats are becoming feeding grounds for a variety of fauna. The conditions have proved ideal for Southern River Red Gums with thousands of seedlings forming mini forests up to two metres high. This is providing a new habitat for a diversity of birds and small animals. And as inland sources of water recede, animals and birds are migrating to the river environment in a concentration of animal life rarely seen on the river.

Don't take our word for it, take a well deserved break and check it out for yourself! Experience this once in a lifetime opportunity to view the astounding scenery presented by the drought.

Book before 31 Aug 08 for travel Aug & Dec 08, or Jan-Feb 09 and as a Club Member you will not only save a massive 50% but help to restore confidence in this spectacular cruising waterway. Excludes Christmas and New Year's Eve cruises. Click here for full details

Phone 1800 804 843 from Australia or 61-2-9206 1100 International or visit www.captaincook.com.au

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

UNIQUE CRUISE-AND-STAY HONEYMOONER SPECIAL IN TAHITI


Talpacific Holidays have an extra special island-and-cruise honeymoon idea later this year in what is arguably the Pacific's most romantic location – Tahiti.

And not only does it include three nights in Papeete at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort with a Welcome Honeymoon Gift, another in Rangiroa in the outer Tuamotu Archipelago, but as the piece-de-resistance three nights aboard the boutique motor-cruiser Haumana that carries just twelve couples.

While not cruising the placid waters of the vast Rangiroa Lagoon, guests can spend days ashore enjoying guided village walks, strolls on uninhabited beaches, snorkelling over coral reefs, kayaking, swimming, organised fishing excursions… or simply lazing around with a book and the sun-block.

There's even a 4-star beach picnic one day at which tables and chairs are set under palm-frond shades in the waters of a pristine island beach.

An exclusive "honeymooners-only*" price starts from $5249pp ex-Sydney and from $5419pp ex-Melbourne or Brisbane inclusive of return air and taxes, hotels, all return airport transfers within Tahiti, all meals aboard Haumana including wine with lunches and dinners, and shore excursions and activities.

*This 7-night package is valid for travel 24 November to December 8 2008; Guests need to provide a Wedding Certificate and travel within 12-months of their wedding date. Details including costs of honeymooner travel at other times of the year, phone 1300 137 727 or visit www.talpacific.com.au


Monday, 7 July 2008

CHRISTMAS IN ANTARCTICA – A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY


Christmas in Antarctica is amongst a series of cruise holidays aboard the smaller, classically-styled expedition ship Discovery from South America in December and January.

And savings of up to $1500pp can be enjoyed by those who book and pay through Cruiseco by July 31 for these 15- to 18-night adventures, bringing the 15-night Christmas package from as low as $4195pp twin-share.

Guests will have two-nights pre-cruise in Buenos Aires including a half-day's organised sightseeing, and on December 17 fly to Ushuaia to join Discovery for Drake Passage, six days in Antarctica's South Shetland Islands, Antarctica Sound, Paradise Island to celebrate Christmas Day, and Half Moon Island.

There's also a rounding of Cape Horn, cruising the Beagle Channel and Strait of Magellan, Punta Arenas, 2-nights and a half-day's sightseeing in Santiago.

Other packages on the luxury Discovery include 16-nights return from Buenos Aires to Antarctica and the Falkland Islands on December 4; Santiago to Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Buenos Aires for 19-nights on December 27; and 18-nights Buenos Aires to Santiago via Antarct-ica and the Chilean Fjords on January 11 2009 (or vice-versa January 25.)

Prices include all onboard dining, airport/hotel/ship transfers, and gratuities for cabin stewards and restaurant waiters; for full details including costs of air to join these cruises, phone 1800 225 656 or visit www.cruising.com.au for the name of your nearest Cruiseco cruise specialist agency Australia-wide.

ADDITIONAL DISCOVERY DETAILS: The uncrowded 20,000 tonne Discovery that carries just 700 passengers has two restaurants and optional on-deck alfresco casual dining, ten bars and lounges, a nightclub, guest lecturers, a theatre and cinema, library, casino, card room and internet café.

There are two pools, two jacuzzis, a gymnasium, health centre and beauty salon.

                                               

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Kangaroo Island & Murray Princess Combo



Enjoy three or four nights cruising the Murray River aboard Captain Cook Cruises P.S Murray Princess, one night in Adelaide staying at the four star Rockford Hotel and two days on Kangaroo Island with the value packed Murray Princess and Kangaroo Island Combo on sale now until March 2009.

Passengers will spend the first part of the trip cruising the Murray River and exploring the big river gorges, the bio-diverse Murray wetlands, the unique flora and fauna of the outback and the rich legacy of old riverside ports on the romantic paddle-wheeler PS Murray Princess.

On-board they will enjoy outside cabin accommodation, all meals, the use of two spas, two saunas, a sun deck, two bars, two lounges, a single sitting dining saloon and great entertainment.

Following the cruise passengers will then be transferred by complimentary scenic coach to the newly refurbished Rockford Hotel in Adelaide. Here guests will enjoy one night's accommodation. The Rockford hotel is situated in the vibrant West End and is in walking distance to all of Adelaide's main tourist attractions including Rundle Mall, Skycity Casino, museums and art galleries.

The next morning guests will be transferred by coach to Cape Jervis where they will join the Sealink Ferry to Kangaroo Island.

Day one on Kangaroo Island will be filled with a Seal Bay Discovery Tour including a delicious lunch, followed by a Nocturnal Penguin Tour. After a busy day guests will then settle into their choice of overnight accommodation on the island.

Guests will enjoy by a Remarkably Wild tour which also includes lunch on day two on Kangaroo Island, before returning to Penneshaw for the return ferry and coach to Adelaide. For a few dollars more guests can upgrade to the late afternoon flight from Kangaroo Island to Adelaide.

Prices for the five nights package starts as low as AU$1442 per person, twin share and includes three nights on the Murray Princess, one night at the Rockford Hotel and one night on Kangaroo Island. The six night combination starts at only AU$1698 per person, twin share and includes four nights on the Murray Princess, one night at the Rockford Hotel and one night on Kangaroo Island.

This offer is valid for sale and for travel to March 2009.