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TRAVELLERS’ GOOD BUYS Compiled by JOHN ROZENTALS

November 9, 2013 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

bentoursWith next year marking the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s historic Endurance expedition to the Antarctic, Bentours is offering 21-day Spirit of Shackleton cruises departing Ushuaia, Chile, in January 2014 and 2015.

Prices for the journey on MS Expedition start at $15,999 per person twin-share, including all onboard meals, access to lectures and education programs with experts in the field, scheduled visits to scientific research stations and photography programs, as well as Antarctic excursions and landings in Zodiac boats.

Guests will also visit the Falkland Islands and other sub-Antarctic islands.

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

Cruise1st has combined an eight-night Asian cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas with an 11-day tour of China that includes a four-night Yangtze River cruise.

The Singapore-to-Shanghai cruise visits Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Xiamen, while the Chinese sector includes visits to Xian to see the Terracotta Warriors, and Beijing to explore the Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the Great Wall.

Prices start at $3999 ex Sydney, Melbourne and Perth at $3999, $4099 ex Brisbane and Adelaide, and $4199 ex Canberra, creativeincluding return airfares, internal flights in China and a night in Singapore.

Phone 1300 596 345 or visit www.cruise1st.com.au.

Creative Holidays reports that an increasing number of Australian travellers are breaking their journeys to Europe with stopovers in Asian and Middle East hubs … and immersing themselves for a few days in cultural experiences rather than just booking a night in a hotel.

The company is offering, for instance, a three-night stopover at the five-star Le Meridien Abu Dhabi from $329 per person, including and a city tour, breakfast daily and return airport transfers. It’s available for sale until November 30 for travel from April 25 to August 3.

Phone 1300 301 711 or visit www.creativeholidays.comedna

Stay at the top end of the Monopoly board and farewell Barry Humphries at the London Palladium.

The very classy five-star Athenaeum Hotel, in Mayfair, is offering an Eat, Pray, Laugh — Stay package from £452 per couple, including overnight accommodation in a superior room festooned with gladioli in abundance, well placed seats at the show, full English breakfast, and free snacks and soft drinks from the minibar.

The offer is valid November 13 to January 5.

eurodamVisit www.athenaeumhotel.com.

Worldwide Cruise Centres’ Baltic Adventure starts with a couple of nights in Rome before a 24-night cruise from Rome to Copenhagen aboard Holland America Line’s Eurodam, with ports of call including Copenhagen, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Tallinn, Gibraltar, Helsinki, Berlin, Zebrugge in Belgium, Cadiz, and Portland in Dorset.

Prices start at $6099 per person twin-share, including return airfares ex Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth. Earlybird discounts are available to November 13.

Visit worldwidecruisecentres.com.au.  penny

On February 22, antique bike enthusiasts will flock to Evandale for the annual penny-farthing race day, with the northern Tasmanian village’s historic main street providing an ideal circuit for the tweed-garbed competitors atop their brakeless, 1.5-metre-high bicycles.

It’s a highly competitive event, culminating in the break-neck National Penny Farthing Championship race.

Away from the track visitors can browse stalls at the Evandale Village Fair, partake in the Penny Farthing Food Fest in Pioneer Park or enjoy a traditional pub meal in the leafy beer garden of the Clarendon Arms Hotel.

Visit www.evandalevillagefair.com.

sarojinThailand’s boutique The Sarojin resort, at Khao Lak, a 55-minute drive north of Phuket International Airport, has launched Day in the Life of a Local tours, designed to showcase authentic Thailand and take guests into the heart of the local community surrounding the resort.

Guests can travel to Khao Lak’s rural areas and shadow a local fisherman, a Buddhist monk, an elephant mahout, a fruit farmer and a market seller as they go about their daily lives.

Rates for the full-day tours start from about $210 per person.

The Sarojin is set on an 11-kilometre stretch of secluded beach in and is surrounded by five spectacular national parks and the world-famous dive sites of the Similan and Surin Islands.

Visit www.sarojin.com.  tweed

Follow the journey from paddock to plate at the Tweed Foodie Fest in northern NSW from November 27 to December 1.

The program includes farm tours and farmers’ markets, food-themed day-trips, self-drive food trails and open days, giving festival-goers an up-close and personal opportunity to meet local growers and producers on their home turf.

There will also be nightly feasts in different locales, including Tweed’s Biggest Dinner Party at the rustic allureMurwillumbah Showgrounds against the stunning backdrop of Wollumbin Mt Warning.

Visit www.tweedfoodiefest.com.au.

Spring into Summer packages at Allure Stradbroke Resort.

Pay from $345 per room for two nights, breakfast daily and midday checkout.

Onsite facilities include heated swimming pool, gymnasium and children’s playground.

Until December 14.

Phone (07) 3415 0000 or visit www.allurestradbroke.com.au.  la

Grab a last-minute deal on Mega Holidays’ Los Angeles package.

Pay from $1975 per person twin-share ex Sydney ($1914 ex Melbourne and $1975 ex Adelaide), including return flights and five nights at the Comfort Inn in Anaheim close to Disneyland.

Features a Hollywood night tour taking in films stars’ handprints on the famous Walk of Fame, exclusive Rodeo Drive in Beverley Hills, the neon lights of Sunset Strip and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion — the original home of the Academy Awards.

Book by November 19 for departure before December 9.

norfolkVisit www.megaholidays.com.au.

Enjoy Viva! Holidays’ The Tin Sheds special on Norfolk Island.

Pay from $1307 ex Brisbane and $1341 ex Sydney per person twin-share, including return airfares and three nights five-star apartment accommodation in The Tin Sheds.

Convertible car hire for duration of stay, sparkling wine, cheese platter and chocolates in room on arrival, 75-minute Hanakasumi Body Ritual, Foxtel and wireless internet access.

Until March 31.

Phone 1800 848 246 or visit www.vivaholidays.com.au.  oaks

Oaks Hotels & Resorts is offering an opening special to celebrate its takeover of Cypress Lakes Resort in the Hunter Valley … the group’s first NSW property.

Pay from $159 per night for a one-bedroom villa.

Two swimming pools, tennis courts, fully equipped gymnasium, sauna, spa, the recently refurbished Bodega Restaurant and Bar, and an 18-hole championship golf course at the neighbouring Cypress Lakes Golf & Country Club.

Low rate applies Sunday to Thursday nights for minimum two-night booking. Valid for sale to November 11 for travel to March 3.

Visit www.oakshotelsresorts.com.

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