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March 22, 2014 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

belgiumBelgium is taking centre stage in this year’s centenary commemorations of the outbreak of World War I.

A quite different way to experience the country’s involvement in the grossly mislabelled “war to end all wars” — as well as enjoy its medieval cities and towns, not to mention its great beers and chocolates — is by self-piloted canal boat.

Le Boat offers a range of hiring options, priced, for instance, from $1845 for seven nights in a six-berth Caprice ex its base in Nieuwpoort.canada

Phone 02 8912 7041 or visit


Worldwide Cruise Centres is offering a 19-day fly-cruise-and-stay package including a five-night package to this year’s Calgary Stampede — an event billed as the greatest outdoor show on Earth.

It also provides a seven-night Alaskan Inside Passage and Hubbard Glacier cruise aboard Celebrity Century, and a four-night stay in Vancouver.

Prices are from $5689 per person twin-share for the holiday, which begins on June 25 with a flight from Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast or Melbourne to Canada.


Cruiseco’s new 27-night Authentic Asia India itinerary combines 10 nights on board the luxurious RV Ganges Voyager between Kolkata and Patna with 17 nights touring India and staying in five-star hotels.

The journey continues from Varanasi to Mumbai, visiting the iconic Taj Mahal, the Pink City of Jaipur, and the desert fortress of Jodhpur.

Earlybird prices start at $16,499 per person twin-share, including return airfares from Australia, all meals, most beverages, sightseeing, transfers and gratuities.

Phone 02 9492 8520 of visit

Cunard Line ships will undertake a series of celebratory voyages next year to mark the 175th anniversary of the inaugural cross-Atlantic sailing by its first vessel, Britannia.

The anniversary program includes a special 10-night voyage by Cunard’s flagship Queen Mary 2, departing Liverpool on July 4, 2015, 175 years to the day after Britannia’s inaugural sailing.

It will also be the first time since January 1968 that a Cunard ship has departed from Liverpool margaretfor America. The 10-night cruise is priced from $2749.

Phone 132 441 or visit

Margaret River artisans will open the doors to their studios in a 16-day trail of discovery over the Easter and Anzac Day period.

From April 19 to May 4, visitors will be able to take an inside peek of the work spaces of more than 80 leading artists and craftspeople in an area stretching from Cape Naturaliste to Cape Leeuwin.  Visit

The Sebel Noosa has launched accommodation packages for the annual Noosa International Food & Wine Festival from May 15-18, noosawhen more than 250 chefs, producers, winemakers and entertainers will descend on the town.

The Hastings Street property is offering one-bedroom apartments during the festival period from $218 per night.

Daily general-admission tickets to the festival are $40 (adult) and $20 (child) and include celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, culinary exhibits, The Courier-Mail Annexe, food critics’ cooking competitions and live entertainment.


olivesEvery November, the olive harvest is an important social and commercial occasion in Tuscany.

Back-Roads Touring’s seven-day Harvest in Tuscany itinerary allows guests to participate in the event while travelling through San Gimignano, Siena, San Miniato and Chianti.

Departures are available November 11 and 18 priced from $2418 per person twin-share, including an earlybird saving of $127 when booked and paid by May 31.

Other highlights include a cooking lesson with a local chef, visits to wine, cheese and vinegar producers with tastings, relaxing in the therapeutic water of Saturnia thermal baths and a stay in a 12th-century castle.

Phone 1300 100 410 or visit 

One of the best ways to see Japan’s fabled cherry blossom season — which runs from

mid-March until early May — is by train.

Melbourne-based International Rail has a range of Japan rail passes, including the Japan National Rail Pass which is available on a  seven, 14 or 21 consecutive-day basis and must be purchased prior to arrival.

The pass gives access to JR trains, Shinkansen “Bullet” trains, urban and rural local trains and JR ferry service in Miyama.

Prices start from $43 per day. Phone 1300 387 245 or visit

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in United Arab Emirates Abu DhabiBreak that long-haul flight between Australia and Europe with a one-to-four-night Creative Holidays stopover in Abu Dhabi.

Pay, for instance $559 per person twin-share for four nights at the five-star Sheraton Abu Dhabi.

Above deal includes breakfast daily, Ferrari World & Yas Waterworld combo one-day pass, Sundowner Dune dinner and return airport transfers.

Book by April 10 for travel from June 1 to August 31.

Phone 1300 301 711 or visit

Save up to $1300 per couple by flying free for APT’s 23-day New Zealand Splendour itinerary.apt

Pay from $8495 per person twin-share, including return flights and 37 meals.

Features eight of APT’s Signature Experiences, including a dolphin-watching cruise in the Bay of Islands, a Maori hangi feast in Rotorua, a cruise aboard the Interislander Ferry, a ride on the TranzAlpine train and a cruise along the full length of the Milford Sound.

Book by July 31. Phone 1300 196 420 or visit

A relaxed ride ... enjoying the French countryside.Save more than $3000 per twin-share cabin on selected departures of Outdoor Travel’s 14-night bike-and-barge itinerary between Bruges and Paris.

Pay from $3135 per couple ex Bruges or Paris.

Features a two-night stop in Peronne, a small town in the Somme, just 35 kilometres from Villers-Bretonneux where Anzac Day is now celebrated.

Departures April 12 and 26. Phone 1800 331 582 or visit

Head west this Easter for a Family Escape package at Perth’s Crown

Pay from $549 for two nights accommodation for two adults and two children.

Get free chocolates and bottle of sparkling wine on arrival, plus free wifi.

Available April 6-27.


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