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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

June 24, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Aurora Expeditions is expanding its portfolio of Antarctic activities for the 2017/18 season with the introduction of ski touring and snowshoeing.

Antarctic ski touring will offer the experienced and the bold an opportunity to ski near-virgin glacial slopes, traverse remote areas to iceberg-studded bays rarely seen by human eyes, gaze at penguin rookeries and breaching whales in hard-to-access locations, or even follow in Shackleton’s footsteps across South Georgia.

Travelling in small groups with highly experienced mountain ski guides, expeditioners will learn mountaineering and ski-touring skills such as ice-axe and crampon use, roped glacier travel, avalanche procedures and emergency shelter construction.

The two new activities are available on selected 2017-18 itineraries. Expedition fares start from about $11,700 per person, with ski touring starting from an additional $1200 per person and snowshoeing from about an additional $330 per person.

Phone 02 9252 1033 or visit

The German town of Bamberg … a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1993.

Book a Travelmarvel cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest in 2018 and you could fly there free with the company’s early-bird offer.

The offer applies to all cabin types and brings the starting price of an itinerary down to $4995 per person twin-share ex Australia.

Guests who combine one of Travelmarvel’s ‘European Gems’ cruises with a land tour can save an additional $1000 per couple, while premium economy fares of $995 and business class fares of $2995 are also available for select cruises and cabin categories.

The 15-day ‘European Gems’ itinerary takes in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, stopping to explore up to 18 towns, cities and villages along the way.

Phone 1300 196 420 or visit

Kenya … a jewel in the African crown.

From the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya, to flamingo-ringed soda lakes and the Indian Ocean coast, rolling savannah, vibrant tribes, shimmering desert and big-game wildlife, Kenya is one of the jewels in the African crown.

It is where the concept of the safari was born, and home to many of Africa’s most celebrated national parks and game reserves.

Perhaps the best known is the Masai Mara, which lies in the country’s south-west and is effectively the northern continuation of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in — and provides the stage for one of the natural wonders of the animal kingdom, the annual wildebeest migration, in which more than two million wildebeest and zebra follow greener pastures.

Sanctuary Retreats’ tented Sanctuary Olonana is situated on a private stretch of the Mara River in the heart of the Mara.

Rates normally start from about $465 per person per night twin-share, but there are discounts of 30-40 per cent for extended stays of at least three nights.


Singapore … discover a medley of sights, tastes and colours

Prices on Cruise1st’s 14-night cruise/stay/fly Sydney-Singapore package on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas start at $2499 per person twin-share, including air travel back to Australia and two nights post-cruise in Singapore.

Departure is March 26 and ports of call include Brisbane, Darwin and Kuala Lumpur.

Phone 1300 596 345 or visit

 MSC Splendida … heading for nine nights around Japan.

Next May, just in time for Japan’s famous cherry blossom season, MSC Splendida will set sail on a nine-night round-trip from Yokohama, taking in some of the islands’ most beautiful natural, historic and contemporary sights.

The ship will circumnavigate the main island of Honshu, calling at Fushiki-Toyama, Kanazawa and Maizuru, then spend half a day at Busan in South Korea, before visiting Kagoshima on Kyushu Island and Kochi on Shikoku Island.

Two separate days at sea offer the chance for guests to make the most of MSC Splendida’s many attractions.

Prices for the round-trip cruise are from $1549 per person, with children under the age of 18 sharing a cabin with parents cruising free and only paying port charges.


 The top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge … climbers greeted by live music.

Twilight climbs on all weekends in July and August will see four local musical artists serenade climbers at the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

After a bucket-list journey ascending the iconic bridge to a vantage point 134 metres above the harbour, climbers will be greeted by a series of musicians, comprised of three duos and one singer-songwriter, waiting at the top with acoustic instruments safely attached and in hand.

There they will perform for each group as they climb the final stairs to the summit, in the genres of art folk, soulful reggae and Americana-inspired folk music.

This musical experience is included in the standard price of the ticket.

Phone (02) 8274 7777 or visit

 Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel … pampering mothers-to-be.

Brisbane’s Emporium Hotel has launched a new babymoon package, offering a special pampering experience for mums-to-be.

Defined as a romantic getaway or planned period of calm for expectant parents, the babymoon allows a restful getaway before baby arrives.

The Emporium’s package includes a 24-hour movie package, ice-cream and popcorn, a mum-and-bub gift pack including a signature plush zebra toy, valet parking, late checkout and a 10 per cent discount voucher at the Cheeky Bambino family concept store in the Emporium precinct.

The babymoon package is priced at $150 on top of whatever room rate is chosen.

Phone 1300 833 611 or visit

Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport … special opening rate.

The Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport is offering a special introductory rate special of $159 per night in a studio king room for when it opens on July 19.

The rate is valid for stays to September 29 and includes 1GB of internet access daily, a welcome drink voucher and room upgrade, subject to availability.

The 136-room, nine-storey hotel is located close to T2 and T3 terminals and features 24-hour service, express check-out and internet kiosk.

The restaurant and bar will serve a provincial menu, featuring the regional NSW beef and sustainably sourced local seafood, served with local draught beer, wines and hand-crafted cocktails.

Phone 131 517 or visit 

 Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel … a great base for Darwin’s popular winter events.

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel in the heart of Darwin is offering early-bird and longer-stay deals with up to 15 per cent off standard rates.

Darwin plays host to a wide range of sporting and cultural events during winter, including the Royal Darwin Show (21-23 July), Darwin Fringe Festival (July 11–23), Darwin Cup Carnival (July 8–August 7) and this year’s Darwin Festival (August 4–21), an 18-day calendar of activities featuring local and touring artists, outdoor concerts, workshops, theatre, dance music, comedy and cabaret, film and visual arts.

Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel is located in the city centre, close to Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, Darwin waterfront and Darwin Casino, and within walking distance of Darwin Mall and popular night spots.

The property offers serviced apartments, ranging from studios to three bedrooms. All apartments feature separate living and dining areas, fully equipped kitchen, private laundry facilities and balcony, plus complimentary high-speed wi-fi.

Phone 1800 004 321 or visit


Fingal Beach … people line up to make giant humpback.

Each year in Port Stephens, hundreds of people gather on the beach to make the shape of a giant humpback and celebrate the whale-watching season.

The creation of the mammoth mammal will take place at noon on Saturday, July 15, as the finale of the region’s winter Naturefest celebrations. The event will be held on Fingal Bay Beach with free registration available from 10am.

This year visitors can also take advantage of a special winter accommodation deal offered by Marty’s at Little Beach.

Groups of up to four people can stay at Marty’s at Little Beach — 10 minutes from Fingal Bay — in a two-bedroom apartment for $200 per night on the weekend, based on a minimum two-night stay.

Larger family apartments, suitable for up to six people, are available for $250 per night.

Phone bookings will secure a further discount on accommodation.

Nestled between the sheltered stretches of sand at Shoal Bay Beach and Little Beach, Marty’s offers studios and self-contained apartments with balconies, a heated swimming pool, free wi-fi and Foxtel, and an undercover poolside barbecue.

Phone 02 4984 9100 or visit For general regional inquiries visit

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