Beyond Travel has added several new Christmas-market river cruises to its European portfolio for the 2016 season.
The new four-day ‘Advent on the Rhine’ cruise, for instance, is priced from $995 per person ex Cologne, with stops at Koblenz, Boppard and Rudesheim, with their charming local Christmas markets in which to stroll around with a warm gluhwein.
A single supplement is available from $95.
The rate includes accommodation in a river-view cabin, all on-board meals, complimentary wine with dinner, services of a multilingual cruise director, arrival and departure transfers, and comprehensive sightseeing focused on the charming Christmas markets held over the winter season.
Phone 1300 363 554 or visit http://www.beyondtravel.com.au.
Lapostolle … just four suites, each with a private deck
Contours Travel is offering 12 nights of five-star accommodation at four of Chile’s top hotels with a saving of $3211 per person. The deal is available for travel between till September this year and for selected dates next year.
The package is priced from $10,644 per person twin-share and includes stays with gourmet meals, beverages and private excursions at three Relais & Chateaux properties in Chile — Awasi Atacama, Lapostolle and Vira Vira — plus The Singular in Santiago.
The four-suite, family-owned Lapostolle, for instance, is two hours south of Santiago in the wine region of Colchagua Valley.
Guests will enjoy Chilean cuisine, prepared using local products from the organic vegetable and herb garden and local fresh markets, and Lapostolle’s own wines.
Phone 1300 135 391 or visit www.contourstravel.com.au.
Serious tasting … the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Competition.
I can assure readers that attending the 10-day Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Hawaii’s oldest food festival, is a truly memorable experience.
This year, the celebration of Kona coffee’s cultural traditions begins on November 4, and includes a calendar of special events firmly planted in Hawaii’s heritage by the Japanese immigrants who became Kona’s coffee pioneers in the early 1900s.
The festival showcases traditional arts of all the ethnic groups that contribute to Kona coffee’s enduring success and celebrates the modern harvest throughout the Kona Coffee Belt.
One of many highlights is the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Competition, which annually judges the region’s top brews.
Italy’s picturesque Ligurian Hills … a joy to explore on foot.
Australians can explore Italy’s picturesque Ligurian Hills, sampling local wines and cuisine along the way, on a self-guided, inn-to-inn walk offered by On Foot Holidays.
Liguria is a coastal region in north-western Italy near the French border, known for its mountains, rolling hills and seaside ports.
Perfect for the seasoned walker, the eight-night hike travels across the foothills of the scenic Apennine Mountains range in its westward extension from Pisa, beginning with two days walking through vineyards and woods, followed by high-ridge walking, before finishing at the picturesque fishing port of Camogli.
Guests will stay in small, family-run B&Bs, offering authentic Italian hospitality with sophisticated home cooking and local wines.
The package is priced from $1650 per person twin-share, including all breakfasts, five evening meals and all luggage transfers.
Visit www.onfootholidays.co.uk .
Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments … base for a five-night skiing escape.
Hit New Zealand’s famous ski slopes on a five-night escape based at the Rees Hotel & Luxury Apartments in Queenstown.
Pay from $1095 per person twin-share, including free shuttle service to Queenstown centre, free wifi, complimentary movies, three days return Coronet Peak or Remarkables mountain transfers, three-day lift pass and ski hire, and return airport transfers.
The package is valid for sale until August 31 and for travel from September 1 to September 30.
Phone 1300 883 887 or visit www.travelonline.com.
Rio de Janeiro … one of this year’s global focal points.
Globus has unveiled an updated range of Latin American holidays, including new Brazilian tours designed to capture the spirit of Rio after this year’s Olympics.
The tours are available with $100 per person air credit when booked by September 13 and there is a 10 per cent discount on land content for bookings made by November 29.
Among the new itineraries is the seven-day ‘Brazilian Getaway’, which combines Rio de Janeiro and Iguassu Falls and is priced from $3238 per person twin-share, including 10 per cent discount.
Phone 1300 230 234 or visit www.globus.com.au.
On the trail from Lake Louise to Skoki Lodge
Canada quite rightly reckons that when it comes to wilderness lodges it really wrote the rule book.
One of the best is Skoki Lodge, in Alberta, high in the alpine Banff National Park, at the end of an 11-kilometre trail from Lake Louise.
It’s the gateway to breathtaking mountain ridges, valleys and crystal lakes, and is only accessible by hiking or skiing.
Chef Katie Mitzel creates gastronomical masterpieces from local ingredients and seasonal fare. Think seafood chowder, Alberta beef, Canmore coffee, cheese and wine.
Everyone’s Chinese favourites … the giant pandas of Chengdu.
Wendy Wu Tours is offering savings of up to $250 per person on a selection of popular tours across China, Indochina, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and India, with more than 50 departure dates up to December this year.
The nine-day ‘In Pursuit of Pandas’ tour, for instance, takes in Beijing, Xian, Leshan and Chengdu — to check out the adorable pandas and the conservation and research efforts at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.
Discounted prices on fully inclusive China itineraries start at $3730 per person twin-share ex Australia.
Phone 1300 727 998 or visit https://www.wendywutours.com.au.