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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

June 3, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Book Antarctica XXI’s 13-night ‘Fires of Tango & Antarctic Ice’ package by June 30 and receive a complimentary three-night stopover in Buenos Aires with a city tour and a tango dinner show.

Fly to Buenos Aires on November 23 next year and enjoy the colourful city before flying to Ushuaia to visit the End of the World Museum and a day trip to Tierra del Fuego National Park.

From here, board your vessel, the Ocean Nova, for a four-night cruise which features five Antarctica landings led by experienced guides in Zodiacs.

An on-shore visit will also be made to Cape Horn, before crossing Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands.

Prices are from $9629 per person twin-share, including return economy airfares from Australia.

Phone 1300 369 848 or visit www.ecruising.travel.

 Monks at the Hemis Monastery celebrate the birth of Guru Rinpoche.

Timing your next adventure with a festival is a wonderful way to learn about the local customs and traditions of your chosen destination – and to interact with the locals as they celebrate the event.

Upcoming festivals include India’s Hemis Festival, held in the northern province of Ladakh in early July and celebrating the birth of Guru Rinpoche (Lord Padmasambhava).

Celebrated at the Hemis Monastery, this colourful festival probably originated in the eight century and is famous for the masked dances that represent good prevailing over evil.

World Expeditions includes the festival in its 20-day ‘Hidden Valleys of Ladakh’ itinerary, which is priced from $3490 per person twin-share.

Visit www.worldexpeditions.com.

Women will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Indian culture.

Active Travel is waiving solo supplements for single travellers keen to join a womens-only cultural tour of northern India this November.

The 16-day small-group tour will immerse travellers daily in the authentic and colourful culture of Rajasthan and surrounding areas, with guests learning how to dance, cook, weave, tie saris and apply traditional henna dye for temporary tattoos. The tour also includes a visit to the iconic Taj Mahal in a round-trip itinerary that begins in Delhi on November 17.

A train trip aboard the Kerala Express will take the group from Jhansi to Agra to see the majestic Taj Mahal at sunset. The grand forts and palaces of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur in Rajasthan are then featured, along with folk performances, textile villages, produce markets, a crystal gallery, a sunset cruise on Lake Pichola, and a traditional meal in a private home.

The 16-day tour includes accommodation, 31 meals, domestic flights and extensive sightseeing and is available from $6493 per person twin share.

Phone 1300 783 188 or visit activetravel.com.au.

 MSC Meraviglia … a multi-purpose sports arena coverts into a dance floor.

MSC Cruises is taking its concept of family-friendly cruise holidays to a new level on its biggest and latest ship, MSC Meraviglia, which will cruise the Mediterranean after a scheduled June 3 christening.

Entertainment options will include a multi-purpose sports arena with sweeping sea views and the ability to convert into a dance space at night, a full-length bowling alley, two F1 simulators and a flight simulator, 5D cinema, and arcade games.

On the top deck, the Polar Aqua Park includes three water slides, a splash pool and champagne flute slide — and thrill-seekers can cross the ship on the Himalayan Bridge, suspended 80 metres above the sea.

One of the standout eateries along the promenade is the Jean-Philippe Maury chocolate atelier, where guests can watch chocolatiers at work and sample sweet treats.

Visit www.msccruises.com.au.

 The great migration … herds of wildebeest on the move through East Africa.

Each year the plains of East Africa bear witness to the great migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra as they make their way around the Masai Mara and Serengeti — a never-ending 1800-mile journey in constant pursuit of life-giving rains and greener pastures.

The migration usually passes through Kenya’s Masai Mara between July and October. Close on their heels, lion, hyena and cheetah all take advantage of this blanket of moving prey. Dramatic river crossings are also the order of the day, as crocodiles lie waiting for herds to cross.

Between December and March the migration then moves to the southern Serengeti in Tanzania where an estimated 400,000 wildebeest calves are born during a six-week period each year.

Sanctuary Retreats offers a mix of luxurious accommodation and game viewing in exclusive wildlife locations.

In Tanzania, for instance, the Sanctuary Serengeti Migration Camp moves between three different locations, literally following the migration as it travels across the Serengeti. Rates are from about $625 per person per night twin-share.

Visit www.sanctuaryretreats.com.

 Kangaroo Island … a gourmet paradise.

Spoil your senses, indulge your taste buds and explore some of the island’s famous natural attractions on SeaLink’s new two-day ‘Food, Wine & Natural Wonders of Kangaroo Island Tour’, which departs Adelaide every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, commencing September 1.

All tours are in an air-conditioned coach with the driver, a Kangaroo Island local, providing informative and fun commentary.

Accommodation is at Kangaroo Island Wilderness Retreat, which is nestled amongst 113 acres of pristine wilderness adjacent to Flinders Chase National Park.

The tour is fully inclusive and focuses on experiencing the island’s much sought food and wine.

Prices are from $725 per person twin-share ex Adelaide.

Visit www.sealink.com.au.

Mantra Hervey Bay … 20 per cent discount off whale-watching tours.

There’s good reason why Queensland’s Hervey Bay is known as the whale-watching capital of Australia. Each winter, the coastal haven welcomes thousands of humpbacks as they take time out from their annual northward migration.

Mantra Hervey Bay, the only absolute marina-front property near cruise departure points, is including a 20 per cent discount off Hervey Bay Whale Watch Quick Cat Two Tours when booked through hotel reception.

Stay from $115 per night (Sunday to Thursday, two-night minimum), including tour discount, a bottle of wine and a whale-watching gift pack.

The property features a heated outdoor pool, sauna and day spa.

Phone 131 517 or visit www.mantra.com.au.

Australia’s heartland … the Indian Pacific makes light work of the great Outback.

International Rail is offering a 5 per cent discount on the entire value of packages on the Ghan and Indian Pacific when booked June 29.

Save up to $215 per couple, for instance, when you book the three-night Sydney-Adelaide-Perth journey on the Indian Pacific, with prices starting from $2149 per person in a Gold Service twin cabin.

The price includes private cabin accommodation, all-inclusive dining, beverages and a range of off-train excursions.

Phone 1300 387 245 or visit www.internationalrail.com.au.

Tigerair Australia … customers can easily compare a large variety of vehicles at competitive prices.

Leading Australian car-rental company VroomVroomVroom has established a partnership with Tigerair.

Customers booking with Tigerair Australia now have access to car-rental deals across the airline’s 13 main airports around the country, enabling them to book their airfare and rental car together on the Tigerair Australia website in one seamless transaction.

The partnerhip also allows Tigerair Australia customers to easily compare a large variety of vehicles at competitive prices, from all airports and regional locations all around Australia.

Visit cars.tigerair.com.au.

 Hardy Reef … guests can still expect to snorkel amongst the colourful corals and abundant marine life.

Cruise Whitsundays has recommenced daily departures to Hardy Reef, using its Heart Pontoon, which has been thoroughly refurbished after facing 11-metre waves and strong winds during Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

The refurbishment of Cruise Whitsundays’ other pontoon, Reefworld, is continuing.

The cyclone apparently hasn’t scared off the star attractions at Hardy Reef. Chip the Turtle, George the Queensland Grouper and Wally and Maggie, the two maori wrasses have all been seen by dive crew around the pontoon.

Guests can still expect to snorkel amongst the colourful corals and abundant marine life.

Visit www.cruisewhitsundays.com.

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