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Travellers’ Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

July 29, 2017 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Tahitian freighter-cruiser Aranui 5 will include a call to the Marquesas Festival in its final voyage for this year.

The festival is held every two years in the far-flung Marquesas Islands, the northernmost of Tahiti’s five archipelagoes.

The 2017 festival will be a four-day extravaganza of Polynesian music and dance from December 18-21, at Tahuata, the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands.

Aranui Cruises’ modern freighter Aranui 5 will make an extended visit to Tahuata to allow guests to participate in a community feast and enjoy the cultural festivities well into the night.

During its 14-day round-trip cruises from Papeete, the mixed cargo and passenger vessel dispenses cargo while guests disembark and explore nine islands across three striking and distinct Tahitian archipelagoes.

The Marquesas Festival cruise is priced from $7970 per person twin-share.

Phone (03) 9449 3778 or visit 

  An exhilarating experience … travelling by balloon over Mexico’s Teotihuacan Pyramids.

Save $1000 per couple on Contours Travel’s 2018 guided tours of either Mexico or South America by booking prior to September 29.

With the earlybird discount, a 20-day ‘Treasures of Mexico’ group tour is priced from $9100 per person twin-share ex Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane ($9400 ex Adelaide or Hobart and $9600 ex Perth), and provides mix of ancient stepped pyramids, colonial towns, deep canyons and world-renowned cuisine.

It begins with four days in Mexico City — with its grand central square, famous anthropology museum and enormous Chapultepec Park — then continues through Central and South Mexico, where travellers will see vibrant musical and art displays, colourful regional markets, scenic valleys, and taste delicious cuisine.

Phone 1300 135 391 or visit

 Icy magnificence … Celebrity Solstice sails past the Hubbard Glacier

Visit Alaska and the Canadian Rockies next year with Celebrity Cruises on a 14-night fly-stay-tour-and-cruise package from Cruise1st.

The pre-cruise tour that starts with a trip to Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Alberta, with other highlights including Lake Louise, the Columbia Icefield, and a trip through the Rockies on the trans-continental railway.

The cruise on board Celebrity Solstice takes in Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord, Juneau, Skagway, Alaska’s Inside Passage and Victoria, before concluding in Seattle.

The package is priced from $3899 per person twin-share ex Sydney.

Phone 1300 596 345 or visit

 Ramada Resort … specials include use of non-motorised water-sports equipment.

The recently opened Ramada Resort, in Port Vila, Vanuatu, is offering a 40 per cent discount on seven-night stays.

Rates include daily breakfast buffet, free wi-fi and use of non-motorised water-sports equipment.

Book by September 1 for travel until March 31, excluding December 30 to January 1.


 Luxury at sea … Viking Cruises knows how to pamper guests.

Viking Cruises has announced six new itineraries for its 2018 and 2019 programs.

Among them are the 13-day ‘In Search of the Northern Lights’ adventure from London to Bergen.

Voyagers will experience Norway’s magnificent far north in winter and, hopefully, the illuminating aurora borealis.

Prices start from $8295 per person twin-share, with guests receiving $1000 air credit per person.

The offer is valid until September 30.

Phone 138 747 or visit

 Metro Hotel Ipswich International … a great base for spring family fun.

Metro Hotel Ipswich International has released a ‘Family Getaway’ package priced from $175 per night, with kids under-12 staying and eating for free.

The package includes apartment accommodation, full buffet breakfast for two adults, plus complimentary wi-fi and car-parking, and is valid for stays until December 31.

Ipswich offers plenty for visitors this spring, including a Lego exhibition at Ipswich Art Gallery, the Story Arts Festival of Children’s Literature, a spring-loaded-trampoline park, the Ipswich Nature Centre in Queens Park, and the Queensland drag-racing championships at Willowbank Raceway.


St Jerome’s … very different mid-city accommodation.

Looking for some very different accommodation in the heart of Melbourne?

St Jerome’s offers boutique luxury camping accommodation on the rooftop of Melbourne Central, one of the city’s busiest shopping centres.

The hotel is home to 21 spacious canvas bell tents, each fitted out with trimmings such as a queen bed, premium linen, split-system heating and cooling, a tablet loaded with movies, plus a stocked esky with beer and cider.

Guests wake to 360-degree city views, plus a delivery of complimentary breakfast and coffee.

On-site amenities include 24-hour reception, a general store serving as the bar and communal area for campers, nine amenity-units with toilets and showers, and a new infrared sauna.


 Kakadu National Park … a bird watcher’s delight at any time.

Kakadu National Park will host one of Australia’s largest gatherings of bird watchers and nature lovers during its annual Bird Week from October 1-7.

Whether it is graceful sea eagles ‘fishing’ on Yellow Water Billabong, or the remarkable ‘Jesus Bird’ seemingly walking on water, or local favourites such as the Jabiru and the tiny, but vividly beautiful, Kingfisher birds, Kakadu is one of the country’s most spectacular location for lovers of exotic birds.

One of the best places to view Kakadu’s immensely rich and diverse bird life is on Yellow Water Billabong, at Cooinda. Yellow Water Cruises and Kakadu Tourism will be offering visitors exceptional opportunities to get close to Kakadu’s rich bird life during the special week.

Cooinda Lodge and the Mercure Kakadu Crocodile Hotel are both offering 15 per cent discounts off normal rates during the week.

Phone 1800 500 401 or visit

 Pure class … owner Lorraine Allanson at the Gatsby in Katoomba.

Mountain Whispers is offering savings of $80 on all four of its Blue Mountains B&B properties — Leura Rose Cottage, Strawberry Patch Cottage, The Gatsby and Varenna — during August and September.

Rates start at $367 per night (two-night minimum stay) and include complimentary champagne and chocolates.

Phone 1300 721 321 or visit

 A wine lover’s delight … South Australia’s Barossa Valley.

A 90-year-old train and a 21st-century cruise ship will take travellers to renowned wine regions in Victoria and South Australia next March as part of Cruise Express’s ‘Voyage to the Vineyards’.

The hosted six-day tour from Melbourne to Adelaide includes visits to Victoria’s Goulburn Valley and South Australia’s Barossa Valley, a day trip on a heritage train and a special wine-paired lunch aboard the 2600-passenger Golden Princess.

The five-night ‘Voyage to the Vineyards’ tour is priced from $1890 per person twin-share, including 11 meals.

Phone 1300 764 509 or visit

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