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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

May 6, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Save up to $4700 per couple on the June 10 and 17 departures of Beyond Travel’s seven-night ‘The Land of Ice & Fire’ Icelandic coastal voyages aboard the boutique MV Callisto.

Coastal cruising is a particularly viable option in an increasingly popular destination where accommodation is both expensive and often hard to come by.

Pay from $2005 per person twin-share, including accommodation and all meals.

There are also significant savings to be had on departures from July to September.

The cruises travel between Reykjavik and Akureyri, and feature remote fjords, port visits to some of Iceland’s best kept secrets, picturesque fishing villages, volcanic landscapes and plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Phone 1300 363 554 or visit www.beyondtravel.com.au.

 Norwegian Sky makes its inaugural visit to Havana.

Norwegian Sky has just made its maiden voyage to Havana — the first of 53 four-day round-trip sailings from Miami to Cuba.

All except one of the packages includes an overnight stop the historic and culturally rich Cuban capital, offering guests the opportunity to visit Old Havana (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), absorb the vibrant local music scene, enjoy a farm-to-table dining experience, explore the flora and fauna of Soroa, and see modern Havana from an American classic car.

Norwegian Sky will also call at the line’s private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay, with its white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, watersports galore and lushly landscaped beachside cabanas available for daily rental.

Guests sailing on Norwegian Sky enjoy unlimited complimentary beverages as a part of the ship’s all-inclusive program.

Phone 1300 255 200 or visit www.ncl.com.

 Accommodation with a difference … glass igloos in Rovaniemi.

APT has added five new small-group ‘Discovery’ tours to its European portfolio for 2018, with visits to Iceland, Morocco, Ireland, Lapland, and Northern Croatia and Slovenia, especially designed for guests who appreciate intimate and immersive touring experiences.

Guest numbers are capped at 20 per departure, with tours taking in unique attractions which larger tour groups often bypass.

Travel is in wi-fi equipped coaches which are designed to comfortably seat up to 40, and unique accommodation includes glass igloos in Lapland, castles in Ireland and luxury tents at a private desert camp in Morocco.

Guests on the eight-day Lapland tour, for instance, spend four nights in Rovaniemi, Finland, including two staying in unique glass igloos, and can learn to drive snowmobiles, try out a traditional Finnish sauna or take an ice-sculpting class.

This itinerary dovetails with APT’s flagship river cruise, the 15-day ‘Magnificent Europe’ which sails from Amsterdam to Budapest.

The complete 22-day itinerary is priced from $14,940 per person twin-share.

Bookings made by August 31 include a $1000 airfare credit per couple for guests who book a small-group ‘Discovery’ tour, and free return flights from Australia for guests who combine that with a 15-day ‘APT Collection’ river cruise.

Phone 1300 196 420 or visit www.aptouring.com.au.

 Reef Endeavour … bring a friend for half price.

Book a Captain Cook Fijian cruise on board the recently refurbished 130-passenger Reef Endeavour and bring a friend with you for half price.

The offer is valid for sale until June 30 and for travel until March 31, 2019, on cruises of three, four, seven and 11 nights.

Cruises discover parts of Fiji larger ships cannot get to and passengers visit remote villages, churches and schools and take part in traditional village sevusevu ceremonies and Meke and Lovo feasts.

As well as being immersed in Fijian culture there is plenty of time for relaxing on warm white sandy beaches, swimming in crystal clear waters, and snorkelling or glass-bottom-boating over amazing coral reefs

A complimentary Kids Club is available for children 5-9 years.

Prices start at $1495 for the first adult on a three-night cruise, and $747.50 for a second adult sharing a cabin. Children’s sale fares are also available.

All fares include shipboard accommodation, all meals, guided village, school and island tours, snorkelling and glass-bottom-boat excursions, daily island stopovers and water activities, hikes and kayak safaris, on-board entertainment, onboard wi-fi when at anchor.

Phone 1300 863 454 or visit www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com.

 L’Impressionniste … all-inclusive luxury on the canals of southern Burgundy.

European Waterways is offering 10 per cent discounts on most of its barge itineraries for bookings made by May 30.

L’Impressionniste, for instance, cruises the canals of southern Burgundy, providing a fascinating blend of countryside, history and viticulture.

Guests will have the opportunity to visit ‘vigne de l’enfant Jesus’, a famous vineyard owned by the Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, whose wine experts will give a real insight into the production of some truly great wines.

There is also a visit to Château de Bussy-Rabutin to see the portrait gallery created by the disgraced courtier of King Louis XIV, before strolling through the gardens and enjoying views of the château surrounded by its moat.

Each of European Waterways’ six-night cruises includes gourmet meals, drinks and tours of local attractions.

Prices for cruises on board L’Impressionniste start at about $6150 per person twin-share.

Phone 1800 828 050 or visit www.gobarging.com.

 Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach … combining proximity to the city with a stunning beachside location.

Book at Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach before May 21 and save at least 25 per cent on stays up till December 31.

The hotel combines proximity to the Sydney CBD with a stunning beachside setting that is a 20-minute drive from Sydney Airport.

As well as enjoying Coogee Beach itself, guests can take in the famous Coogee-to-Bondi coastal walk or just sit and enjoy some of the best of Sydney’s renowned café culture.

The deal is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group’s winter ‘Escapes’ program which offers discounted rates in a range of properties across Australia and New Zealand, including the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, the InterContinental Melbourne The Rialto, and Crown Plaza properties in Auckland, Terrigal, Surfers Paradise and Newcastle.

Visit www.crowneplazacoogee.com.au.

Nadab Lookout, Ubirr Rock

 Kakadu National Park … the local Indigenous people have lived in harmony with this ancient natural landscape for over 50,000 years.

Kakadu National Park is a place bursting with bush-tucker delicacies ranging from barramundi to magpie goose.

From May 12-21 it will host its first ‘A Taste of Kakadu’, an interactive food festival that will showcase produce such as the Kakadu plum — thought to be the world’s first ‘super food’ — as well as providing opportunities for visitors to interact with the local Bininj and Mungguy people who have lived in harmony with this ancient natural landscape for over 50,000 years.

Activities will include boutique dinners, campfire stories, bush-tucker walks, cooking demonstrations, sunset tasting sessions, and hunting-and-gathering talks.

Visit www.kakadutourism.com.

 Metro Hotel Perth … discounted rates till August 31.

Metro Hotel Perth is offering the discounted rates for Thursday-Sunday-night stays until August 31.

Rates are $129 per night for a standard room, $149 per night in a superior room, and $159 per night for an executive room in the Aspire Wing.

All rates include complimentary breakfast for two adults and free car parking. Children under 12 stay and eat breakfast for free in standard and superior rooms.

Visit www.metrohotels.com.au.

 Stromlo’s Vapour Trail … challenging even for experienced riders.

Canberra’s Stromlo Forest Park has answered the call for more challenging mountain-biking circuits by expanding its jump trails — the Vapour Trail and Trump Card.

Both tracks have already been given the tick of approval by the experts at Flow Mountain Bike on-line magazine, and organisers think that the trails will add further to the reputation and attraction of Canberra as an international riding destination.

A shuttle service is now in operation at Stromlo Forest Park, giving riders an opportunity to get a ride to the top of the hill so that they can spend more time exploring the various descents.

Stromlo Forest Park continues to cater for all levels of experience with trails for beginner and intermediate riders to develop their skills, including The Playground, Skyline, The Luge and Double Dissolution.

Visit www.visitcanberra.com.au.

Vivid Sydney 2017 … the Sydney Opera House will provide a focal point, but it’s just one of many attractions.

It’s time to seriously start planning your schedule for Vivid Sydney 2017 — the world’s largest celebration of light, music and ideas — which will burst to life in the harbour city from May 26 to June 17.

While much attention will be drawn towards the sails of the Opera House, there will be 90 light installations and projections, created by more than 180 Australian and international artists, across seven precincts including, for the first time, Barangaroo.

The expanded 2017 line-up includes more than 400 music events and more than 260 Vivid Ideas sessions featuring 370 speakers from 12 countries.

Visit www.vividsydney.com.

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