Next April Worldwide Cruise Centres is offering a 32-night itinerary that combines a 23-night cruise aboard Noordam from Sydney to Vancouver with a seven-night Alaskan cruise.
Prices start at $5999 per person twin-share ex Sydney ($6199 ex Melbourne or Brisbane, $6399 ex Adelaide, $6799 ex Perth), including two nights in Vancouver and flight back to Australia. Those prices are valid to September 30.
The trans-Pacific cruise includes visits to New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, American Samoa and Hawaii (with an overnight in Honolulu).
Massimo Mele … cooking for Carnival.
Celebrated Tasmanian-born chef Massimo Mele will cook on board three five-day Carnival Sydney-Hobart return cruises early next year — on Carnival Spirit’s January 24 and 29 sailings and Carnival Legend’s April 5 departure.
Guests will have the chance to enjoy an exclusive onboard cooking demonstration and lunch with Massimo or attend one his special cooking masterclasses.
Those on the January 24 cruise will also have the option of enjoying an Australia Day lunch in Hobart hosted by Massimo and his mother, Maria.
The cruises will also take travellers to the World-Heritage-listed Port Arthur Historic Site.
Fares start from $699 per person. Phone 133 194 or visit www.carnival.com.au.
Fairmont Resort … warm your literary side.
Indulge your bookish side in the Blue Mountains on September 4 when the Fairmont Resort hosts a literary dinner featuring award-winning author Toni Jordan.
Prices start from $469 per couple and $329 singles, including accommodation, full buffet breakfast, sparkling wine, canapés and a four-course menu featuring locally sourced produce.
The MGallery Collection of nine hotels in Australia recently announced a literary collaboration with The Wheeler Centre, one of the cornerstones of Australia’s literary activity.
Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens … pay from $121 per night.
Save 25 per cent on a stay at the 4.5-star Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens, right in the heart of the renowned Pokolbin wine region.
Pay from $121 per night and spend your leisure time tasting local wines, cheese and chocolates.
Also, take a stroll and enjoy the beauty of the Hunter Valley Gardens which are right on your doorstep.
Book by September 13 for stays through to September 20.
Phone 1800 687 236 or visit Hotels.com.
Surely as spectacular as running gets … the Patagonian International Marathon.
Runners from around the world will head to the end of the Earth on September 26 to take part in the Patagonian International Marathon in Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park.
Eclipse Travel has three-night packages available with accommodation and sight-seeing, allowing runners and spectators to visit some of the spectacular peaks and glaciers of Torres del Paine National Park after the race.
Packages are priced from $905 per person, including accommodation, race registration, meals, park excursions and transfers to and from the race start and finish.
Phone 1300 575 752 or visit eclipsetravel.com.au.
Stuff of many dreams … getting behind the wheel of a Porsche Boxster S convertible.
New half-day Porsche tours of the historic Macarthur region, 50 minutes south-west of Sydney are now on offer, allowing budget-challenged, sports-car lovers to realise their driving dreams – if only for a few hours.
Sports Car on Hire’s new half-day option, priced at $450 per vehicle (one or two people) will allow aspirational drivers to get behind the wheel of a Porsche Boxster S convertible.
The tours trace scenic routes through the hills and dales of the Macarthur region, passing wineries, heritage towns and some of Australia’s oldest farms and colonial houses.
Included is a morning or afternoon tea stop, fuel, insurance and public-liability cover. While guests drive themselves, the tour fleet will be led and guided by an experienced Porsche driver.
Phone 0434 777 986 or visit www.sportscaronhire.com.au.
The Reverie Saigon … an upscale introduction to Vietnam.
You’ll need to be exceptionally well heeled for this new 10-night offer from Quintessential Collection Vietnam.
The asking price of about $26,250 does, though, include ultra-swish accommodation, transfers in Bentleys and Rolls-Royces, a portrait painted by a distinguished Vietnamese artist, highly individualised touring experiences and, of course, nothing but gourmet cuisine.
There are two-night stays in the Reverie Saigon (due to open in September), the Nam Hai in Hoi An, La Residence in Hue, the century-old Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, and one of Paradise Cruises’ four Paradise Peak vessels on Halong Bay.
Spa treatments, cave dinners and sightseeing from one of your boat’s eight stately suites head the list of memorable activities on this sector.
Germany’s river banks hold some of the world’s finest wine country.
APT has seconded a number of leading Australian wine-industry figures to help guide a series of wine cruises along the Danube, Douro, Mosel, Rhine, Rhône and Seine Rivers next year.
The likes of Bruce Tyrrell and Thomas Keith Hardy will host special dinners served with locally paired wines, lead excursions to wineries to meet local vintners, explain the nuances of traditional winemaking techniques and educate guests on European wine heritage and traditions.
An eight-day ‘Rhône Treasures’ cruise from Arles to Lyon, hosted by Bruce Tyrrell from Tyrrell’s Wines, for instance, is priced from $5795 per person twin-share.
Phone 1300 196 420 or visit www.aptouring.com.au.
In full bloom … Ritsurin Garden, Takamatsu.
Save $1000 per couple on Toursgallery’s small-group 14-day 2016 Japan Cherry Blossom Tour.
Pay from $9180 per person twin-share ex Tokyo, including accommodation in both traditional ryokans and western hotels whilst exploring Tokyo, Hakone, Kamakura, Okayama, Takamatsu and Kyoto.
A wide selection of traditional Zen-style gardens, landscape gardens and parks will be seen, in addition to four of Japan’s outstanding art museums.
Book by August 31 for departure ex Tokyo March 31.
Phone 1300 307 317 or visit Website www.toursgallery.com.
Diamond Cliff Resort & Spa … nestled in the hillside of North Patong.
Save more than 60 per cent on a six-night stay at Phuket’s Diamond Cliff Resort & Spa when you book through TravelOnline.
Pay from $355 per person twin-share, including buffet breakfast daily and choice of a free two-hour Thai massage for two or a free four-hour Phuket tour for two.
Nestled in the hillside of North Patong, the resort enjoys spectacular views over the Andaman Sea with the convenience of Patong town only a few minutes away.
Book by October 20 for travel to October 31.
Skiing The Remarkables near Queenstown
Save 25 per cent on five-day New Zealand ski-lift passes.
Pay about $315 to ski Coronet Peak and The Remarkables in Queenstown, and about $310 to ski Mt Hutt near Christchurch.
The passes will provide access to all operational lifts on the applicable mountains and days do not have to be used consecutively.
Book by August 28 for use from September 1 until close of season — projected as September 27 for The Remarkables and October 4 for Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt.
Kathadaw Pagoda, Mandalay, Myanmar.
Get early-bird discounts of up to $1355 per person on a range of Wendy Wu Tours’ group itineraries to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
Pay, for instance, from $5760 per person twin-share for a 16-night Myanmar itinerary, including return flights with Cathay Pacific.
Includes all meals, comprehensive sightseeing, all transportation, visa fees for Australian passport holders, fuel surcharge and gratuities.
Book by September 18 for departures January-July next year.
Phone 1300 789 980 or visit www.wendywutours.com.au.