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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

August 13, 2016 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

29286c71-7866-4c82-9e9c-33a6f7a8bd1eJoin Botanica’s 14-day ‘Japanese and South Korean Spring Blossoms, Gardens & Culture Cruise’ from Tokyo to Osaka next year and you can fly business class for $1995 per person.

Another option is to take advantage of Botanica’s special solo offer on this cruise, whereby the single supplement has been waived, enabling solo travellers to save $3000.

The cruise is priced from $16,995 per person twin-share and sails aboard the 114-passenger MS Caledonian Sky.

Included in the price are: all sightseeing, meals with wine, beer and soft drinks, expert lectures, services of a cruise director and specialist guides, airport transfers on the first and last day, and all tipping and port charges.

The deals apply to bookings made before 31 August this year.

Phone 1300 305 202, or visit


The Intercontinental Real Hotel in San Jose … the five-star start and finish to a Costa Rican adventure.

Toursgallery’s 2017 small-group tour of Costa Rica offers a diversity of accommodation styles — a five-star city hotel, resort-style beachfront hotels and isolated lodges surrounded by jungle — to create a holiday for nature enthusiasts who like a little luxury.

Designed for mature-age travellers, this escorted tour introduces guests to the exotic birdlife, flora and fauna of Central America, as well as the sensational flavours of local cuisine.

Relax in Tabacon Hot Springs near Arenal Volcano and visit a coffee plantation. Watch macaw and heron fly by and listen to the calls of howler monkey echoing through the forest.

Prices start at $9650 per person twin-share, including all meals, entry fees and private-charter coach transportation.

Phone 1300 307 317 or visit


 Xian’s famous terracotta warriors … part of an exclusive post-cruise China tour

Sample the exotic delights of Asia on a 19-night Cruise1st fly-cruise-and-stay package next year.

The price of from $4099 per person twin-share includes return flights from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne ($4399 ex Canberra, $4199 ex Adelaide and $3999 ex Perth), a pre-cruise stay in Singapore, a 12-night cruise from Singapore to Beijing aboard Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, and an exclusive post-cruise China tour featuring the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, The Great Wall and the terracotta warriors of Xian.

Port stops include Ho Chi Minh City, Hue/Danang, Hong Kong and Seoul (Incheon).

Phone 1300 596 345 or visit


The Dungog Festival … highlighting local food. Image: Cynthia Sciberra

Organisers of the Dungog Festival have unveiled a sumptuous program of food, film and arts offerings for visitors to the picturesque Hunter Valley region from 27-30 October.

For the third year running, Dungog’s Dowling Street will be taken over by the popular Long Table Dinner, for a communal dining experience showcasing the fine local produce.

The Winemakers Lunch will match the Hunter’s finest wines with the delicious local and sustainably sourced menu of guest chef Christine Manfield.

The Dungog Festival is also renowned for its short-film program which offers one of the highest prize pools in the country — $30,000.



Emerald Princess … will base itself in Sydney from November for 13 round-trip cruises.

Princess Cruises’ 3082-guest Emerald Princess will make its maiden Australian visit in November, starting with visits to Fremantle, Busselton and Melbourne before being based in Sydney for a five-month season.

Emerald Princess will then sail 13 round-trip cruises to destinations in the South Pacific, New Zealand and around Australia, with fares starting from $1199 per person twin-share for an 11-night South Pacific cruise visiting five ports in New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

The ship’s highlights include Share, a 125-seat restaurant overlooking the aft decks and featuring dishes designed by award-winning chef Curtis Stone.

Phone 132 488 or visit


Shangri-La Fiji … eight nights from $999 per person twin-share.

Save nearly $3000 per couple and indulge yourself for eight nights in a Superior Lagoon View Room at the Shangri-La Fiji from $999 per person twin-share, with two kids aged 16 or younger staying for free.

The resort is set on the private island Yanuca Island, a 45-minute drive from Nadi Airport and accessible by causeway.

The package includes daily buffet breakfasts, dining experiences, indulgent spa treatments, a daily beer or wine each and three hours of babysitting services.

The limited offer is available for purchase until August 21 for travel until December next year.

Phone 1300 889 900 or visit


 Nasama Resort … four-night deals from Virgin Australia Holidays.

Virgin Australia Holidays is offering four-night Vanuatu packages priced from $730 per person twin-share ex Brisbane and $814 ex Sydney, including return airfares to Port Vila and accommodation at Poppy’s on the Lagoon.

The same package with accommodation at Nasama Resort is priced from $730 Per person ex Brisbane and $814 per person ex Sydney.

The offer is valid for bookings made by 31 August for ravel from 11 January to 27 March next year.



 Getting up close to migrating whales on Australia’s Coral Coast. Image: Rory Hodgkinson.

A four-month trial of swimming with humpback whales has commenced in Coral Bay and Exmouth on Australia’s Coral Coast, with immediate interaction success in both locations.

Eleven tour operators are participating in the trial in the Ningaloo region, where the world’s largest humpback whale population, estimated at 30,000, annually migrates south.

Tourists have the chance to get close to the humpbacks, either as spectators on board a boat, or as they take to the temperate water in groups of no more than five.


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