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Traveller’s Good Buys Compiled By John Rozentals

July 20, 2013 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

laplandVisiting Rovaniemi, Santa’s hometown in Finnish Lapland, must be one of the ultimate Christmas experiences.

Bentours is offering a five-day package starting from Rovaniemi on December 23 and including a visit to Santa’s secret hideaway deep in the forest, a reindeer sleigh ride, a traditional Finnish Christmas dinner and a surprise visit from Santa after the meal.

Prices start at $2058 per person twin-share.

Phone 1800 221 712 or visit www.bentours.com.au.

Get right off the beaten Indonesian tourist track at Villa Voyage, on Nusa Lembongan, an island just 30 minutes by boat off the east coast of Bali.ak

The resort has just five bedrooms to provide an exclusive experience for a group of friends or families. Activities range from snorkelling and diving to outrigger fishing boat trips, walks and surfing.

Abercrombie & Kent’s six-day Hideaway: Villa Voyage package is priced from US$5050, based on family of six in three bedrooms, including private transfers, all staff services and a jukung boat trip with picnic lunch.

Phone 1300 590 317 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.au.

burmaIntrepid Travel has launched sailing adventures through the 800 islands of Burma’s Myeik archipelago.

Relax on Myauk Ni Island’s secluded white-sand beaches, swim among schools of colourful fish and spot giant whale sharks at Palu Bada, snorkel with turtles near Ba Wei Island, take a jungle hike on Kho Yinn Khwa Island and meet a nomadic tribe of “sea gypsies” on Bo Cho Island.

Nine-day itineraries are priced from $1895, including return flights from Bangkok or Yangon, two nights hotel accommodation, six nights in a twin-berth cabin, snorkelling equipment, excursions, and most meals.

Visit www.intrepidtravel.com.  fleurieu

Off Piste 4WD Tours is offering full- and half-days tours exploring South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region, Coorong and Murray mouth, as well as the Fleurieu Peninsula’s coastline, beaches and national parks.

The tours include tastings from local chefs, artisans food producers and boutique wineries.

The routes take visitors on old horse tracks, fire breaks, cattle runs and disused roads to provide a unique insight into the peninsula.

christchurchVisit www.offpistetours.com.

Christchurch has taken a significant step towards recovery from the 2011 earthquake with the reopening this month of its much loved and iconic Cathedral Square.

The Transitional Square project includes vibrant art installations, new seating and a performance space.

In addition to Cathedral Square, the first fully restored building at Christchurch’s Arts Centre — the Registry — is now complete. The Arts Centre of Christchurch is a collection of 23 heritage buildings constructed in the Gothic Revival style.

Visit www.visitchristchurch.infocuba

Small Ship Cruises is offering seven-night voyages around Cuba from Jamaica’s Montego Bay on board the modern, yacht-like Louis Cristal.

Prices start at about $770 per person twin-share and there are visits to many of the island’s highlight locations.

Visit smallshipcruises.com.au.

skywalkKeep some of Sydney’s best views to yourself with a private Skywalk experience, accompanied by your own guide, at the Sydney Tower Eye Observation Deck.

Look down from 268 metres through the glass-floor viewing platform for a bird’s-eye perspective of the city below and up to 80 kilometres in any direction on a clear day.

Pay from $199 for a tour for two on Saturdays and Sundays at 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm, excluding school holidays.

Book online through www.sydneytowereye.com.au.

Pay for two nights and get a third night free during July and August at Yeranda, just three hours yerandanorth of Sydney in rugged bushland at the foothills of the Barrington Tops.

That means paying from $325 at one of the property’s three handcrafted hideaways and getting a winter-warmer bonus of a voucher for a $50 breakfast, brunch or lunch hamper from Cafe Dungog.

The modern cottages are fully self-contained, with solar power, gas appliances, log fires and outdoor barbecues, and also offer a choice of indoor or outdoor showers, plus a glass-walled ‘loo with a view’.

Phone 02 4992 1208 or visit www.yeranda.com.au.

Russian dolls ... some of the treasures you’ll experience on Travelmarvel’s 12-day river cruise.Save up to $3100 per couple on Travelmarvel’s 12-day Treasures of Russia river cruise.

Pay from $6095 per person twin-share, including return airfares ex Australia.

Includes an on-board vodka-and-caviar tasting and a visit to the home of a Russian family for traditional pastries and tea.

Book by November 30 for travel next year.

Phone 1300 300 036 or visit www.travelmarvel.com.au.

And, talking of Russia, save 15 per cent on Cox & Kings’ eight-day Classic Russia small-group russia_st_basilsjourney to Moscow and St Petersburg.

Pay from $2739 per person twin-share, including accommodation in centrally located five-star hotels and a full-day visit to the Hermitage Museum.

Includes a tour of Moscow taking in Red Square, St Basils Cathedral and the Kremlin, and St Petersburg’s most famous sights, including Nevsky Prospekt, Peter and Paul Fortress and Hermitage Museum.

Departs September 13.

Phone 1300 836 764 or visit www.coxandkings.com.au.

Get free excursions to Alcatraz and the Grand Canyon on Cruise1st’s 15-night fly, stay and cruise package exploring San Francisco, Alaska and Las Vegas.

Pay from $3899 per person twin-share, including return airfares and a 10-night Alaska cruise on Grand Princess.

Stops include Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Tracy Arm Fjord as well as Victoria in British directColombia.

Departs September 5.

Phone 1300 857 345 or visit www.cruise1st.com.au.

Enjoy discounted flights to Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore.

Pay from $845 ex Sydney return with full-service flights with Malaysia Airlines.

You’ll need to be quick, though. Book by July 22 for travel until March 21.

Visit www.directflights.com.au.

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