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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

January 9, 2016 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

f7da1fc7-64b7-4add-b13f-1631b699e7eb Save more than 40 per cent on an eight-night package at the five-star Avista Hideaway Resort & Spa, with spectacular views over the Andaman Sea from its hilltop location above Thailand’s Patong Beach.

Pay from $549 per person twin-share, including breakfast daily, free wifi, return private-vehicle airport transfers and the choice of a two-hour Thai massage for two or a four-hour Phuket tour for two.

Guests have easy access to a range of nearby attractions including the Big Buddha, elephant trekking and day trips to Phi Phi Island or Phang Nga Bay.

The deal is on sale until January 15 for travel from April 1 to October 31.

Phone 1300 883 887 or visit


MS Monarch Empress … specifically built for the 2016 cruising season.

Beyond Travel is offering a 12-day premium European tour and river cruise using the new deluxe MS Monarch Empress, which was specifically built for the 2016 cruising season.

The itinerary begins with a stay in Paris for two nights before travelling through the Champagne region for a night in Nancy. Cross over to Germany for a night in Karlsruhe before boarding the 72-cabin vessel for a seven-night cruise to Budapest.

Prices start at $5480 per person twin-share, including four nights accommodation in four-star hotels, land touring and sightseeing with a tour director, seven nights cruise accommodation with all meals on-board and complimentary wine with dinner, daily shore excursions in each town and city, and arrival and departure transfers.

Phone 1300 363 554 or visit


 Getting up close to Antarctic wildlife with Chimu Adventures.

Looking forward to February 2017, Chimu Adventures is offering a 12-day Antarctic Peninsula journey accompanied by TV personalities Andrew Denton and Jennifer Byrne.

Both are committed fans of Antarctic travel and have made 11 trips there between them.

Prices start from $8790 per person twin-share.

Phone 0437 867 726 or visit

Interior of the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) in Istanbul, Turkey

 Turkish delight … Istanbul’s Blue Mosque.

Whirling Dervishes, ancient cities and ruins dating back thousands of years will be the focus of Cruise Express’s new 25-night ‘Cradles of Civilisation’ cruise-tour in the eastern Mediterranean next October.

The itinerary consists of an eight-night land tour of Turkey, including a visit to the Gallipoli Peninsula, a 12-night Mediterranean cruise to Rome aboard Celebrity Constellation, and two nights in Rome, including a tour of the Vatican.

Prices are from $9989 per person twin-share, including return flights from Australia.

Cruise Express is also offering sneak previews of Celebrity Cruises ships in Melbourne and Sydney as part of special onboard lunch events in January and March to enable Australians to sample life aboard before booking a voyage.

Phone 1300 764 509 or visit


 Felton Food Festival … showing what paddock-to-plate is all about.

Queensland is offering a bevy of food-and-wine festivals over coming months.

Among them are Yandina’s Ginger Flower & Food Festival from January 22-24, the Stanthorpe Apple & Grape Harvest Festival from February 26 to March 6, the Gold Coast Italian Festival from March 26-27, and Kenilworth Cheese Wine & Food Fest on March 26.

One of the lesser known but quite fascinating events is the Felton Food Festival on April 10, when the Darling Downs town throws the spotlight on the region’s delectable produce and stunning landscapes, to really show visitors what paddock-to-plate is all about.

Visit or, for more general information,


 Hoi An’s old town … a fascinating hodge-podge of streets to wander through. Image: Ian Richards,

Insider Journeys is offering saving of $1000 per couple on all its small-group journeys of 10 days or more to Vietnam, Laos and/or Cambodia, if booked by 28 January for travel before June 30.

A 10-day ‘Highlights of Vietnam’ itinerary, for instance, is priced from $2460 per person twin-share before the savings.

Groups are limited to a maximum of 16, and the journeys include famous sites coupled with the chance to get off the tourist trail for unique ‘Insider Experiences’.

Phone 1300 362 777 or visit


The Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival … a feast of country racing.

Ferry operator SeaLink is offering a range of packages to the Coopers Kangaroo Island Cup Carnival, a three-day celebration of racing, entertainment, food, wine and fun from February 18-20 at Cygnet River Racecourse.

The two-night KI Cup Carnival package is priced from $861 per person twin-share, including morning pick-up and evening set down at selected Adelaide hotels, return SeaLink ferry, two nights accommodation at Mercure KI Lodge, racecourse transfers and admission, Coopers Long Lunch, a Seal Bay Discovery Tour, an optional Remarkably Wild Tour and two breakfasts and dinners.

Phone 131 301 or visit


 An Ainu elder on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

Visit Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido to meet Ainu people, once the main inhabitants of this vast island and a society of hunter-gatherers, who lived mainly by hunting bear and fishing.

Today’s visitors can learn about Ainu dance, art and music from descendants who are trying to keep their culture alive.

Toursgallery has a 16-day Hokkaido tour in October, which coincides with the peak of autumn-coloured foliage and is priced at $8850 per person twin-share in traditional Japanese style ryokans and western hotels.

Phone 1300 307 317 or visit

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