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John Rozentals checks out the week’s travel bargains.

July 20, 2020 Travel Deals No Comments Email Email

Crowne Plaza Hobart has opened, marking the arrival of the first Crowne Plaza and IHG hotel in Tasmania.

Located in the heart of Hobart, on Liverpool Street, the new-build Crowne Plaza Hobart welcomes guests into the new era of Crowne Plaza, offering a contemporary design-led experience, inspired dining destinations, and innovative spaces to blend work and play — while ensuring sustainability remains at its core.

The 235-room hotel offers guests a distinct sense of place with harbour or Mount-Wellington views from each room, including the Club Lounge that allows guests to cosy up with complimentary evening canapés and beverages.

Crowne Plaza Hobart’s proximity to cultural landmarks is sure to attract those seeking Hobart’s new undercurrent of creative edge and intrigue.

Guests will also be greeted by a collection of Tasmanian fine arts, which have been curated throughout the hotel’s lobby, by local artists, including Tasmanian pieces from Melissa Smith, Jonathan Partridge and Luisa Romeo.

Rooms at Crowne Plaza Hobart start at $175 per night.


 Inspirational: Victoria’s High Country.

This winter, Victoria’s High Country unveils a dream come true for all the oenophiles out there.

Beyond Cellar Door, is a suite of 10 curated, private and immersive cellar door experiences and tours that showcase the beauty of the High Country, the depth of its wine offering and the skill and passion of the people who create it.

From chauffeured wine-focused getaways staying in stunning boutique accommodation to intimate, winemaker-guided barrel tastings of rare, aged Muscat, these new experiences offer journeys through the rich and varied terroir of a spectacular region’s six diverse and exciting wine regions.

Take, for instance Cento Passi (100 Steps) at Dal Zotto Wines in the King Valley and be embraced by the warm hospitality of the Dal Zotto family.

Enjoy a vineyard-and-garden tour followed by a four-course lunch with the family at the Trattoria
prepared by chef, Nikki Kennedy, with carefully selected matched estate-grown Italian varietal wines.


 Kangaroo Island: survived an inferno.

To aid the recovery of Kangaroo Island in the aftermath of devastating bushfires, Kangaroo Island Odysseys has launched a new one-night/one-day ‘Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour’.

The tour operates daily at a rate of $599 per person twin-share, normally $650 per person twin-share, and is available for travel in August, including a free breakfast.

Designed in consultation with the company’s local tour guides, the ‘Road to Recovery Tour’ visits the bushfire-affected areas at the western end of Kangaroo Island, including Bunker Hill, Remarkable Rocks, Cape du Couedic and Admirals Arch, all in Flinders Chase National Park which re-opened recently only to Certified Tour Operators.

The tour also visits the fire damaged areas of Vivonne Bay Beach and Point Ellen at Vivonne Bay and the north coast of Kangaroo Island.

The rate includes return SeaLink ferry transfers from Cape Jervis, shuttle transfers from ferry to accommodation, overnight accommodation at the Mercure Kangaroo Island Lodge in a Superior Bayview Room, free breakfast, ‘Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour’, all entrance fees, guided tours, special permits, and lunch.


 Picturesque and can be challenging: NSW.

It’s time for locals to discover what the rest of the world loves about one of Australia’s leading tourist destinations — New South Wales.

Life’s An Adventure offers nature-based adventure tours across the state including multi-day luxury hikes, sea kayaking on Sydney Harbour and day walks that access some of NSW most-loved scenic wonders.

The company’s two-day pack-free Royal Coast’ walk, for instance, features the jewel in the crown of the city — the Royal National Park.

Experience picturesque freshwater lagoons, the unusual milky white cliff faces sculpted by the sea, ancient Aboriginal carvings and the tranquil Palm Jungle rainforest.

This year pay $799 and save $200.


 American Countess: save up to US$1800 per couple.

The latest authentic paddlewheeler on US rivers, the majestic, new American Countess, will ply the iconic Mississippi River in 2021.

To mark its debut, the American Queen Steamboat Company and Australian partner,  Cruise Traveller, are offering savings of up to US$1800 per couple for bookings made by September 30 this year.

Boasting a fully working paddlewheel, the 245-guest American Countess is a riverboat replica with a sleek and contemporary design, grand dining room, elegant lounges, library, theatre, gym, sun deck and modern staterooms with plush bedding and flat-screen TVs.

Two-thirds of staterooms offer an open or private veranda from which to take in the spectacle of river scenery and culture made famous by author Mark Twain.

A new, eight-night ‘Autumn on the River’ cruise-and-stay package begins in Red Wing, Minnesota, on October 9, 2021.

Beginning with an included one night’s accommodation in the city of Minneapolis, guests will board the new American Countess and begin their journey along the Mississippi River amid the anticipated colourful hues of autumn.


 Viking Mississippi: all set up for coronavirus safety.

And still on that mighty river.

Viking is taking bookings on 2023 sailings of its Mississippi River cruises.

The company’s Viking Mississippi will debut in August, 2022, sailing voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi River between New Orleans and St Paul, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 17,000 guests to the region in 2023.

Viking Mississippi voyages include the 15-day ‘America’s Great River’ from New Orleans to St Paul, or vice versa and priced from $16,995 per person, including savings of up to $1000  per couple.

Purpose-built for the Mississippi and currently under construction in Louisiana, Viking Mississippi will be the largest and most modern cruise ship sailing America’s great river.


 Kinosaki Onsen: known for its serene ambiance.

Kinosaki Onsen, one of Japan’s best hot-spring towns, is celebrating its 1300th anniversary this year.

The charming village, known for its serene ambiance and its authentic old-Japan allure, has been a local favourite since the 8th century when hot springs were discovered in the area.

And whilst wellness and relaxation have remained the obvious drawcards luring local and international visitors every year, the Kinosaki Onsen experience is about way more than simple wellness pleasures.

The town’s 1300 years of history can be felt at every turn, from the quaint willow-lined streets, its original architecture and heritage of the unique traditions of the locals.

For the 1300th anniversary, various facilities throughout Kinosaki Onsen are offering special events/items, including special menus at select restaurants, a stamp rally, and limited-edition sake-and-sweets.


 True luxury: the  Victoria Mekong.

Wendy Wu Tours has launched its ‘Let’s Go’ 2021 program, offering savings of $500 per person on group tours to Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Central Asia and Eurasia for bookings made by August 14.

The offer is valid for a range of more than 70 tours, including the 17-day ‘Classic Mekong’, which incorporates three nights aboard the deluxe Victoria Mekong and is priced from $6380 per person.

Tour highlights also include seeing local life on Tonle Sap, a cyclo tour through Phnom Penh, an immersive downstream cruise along the Mekong River, wandering charming Hoi An and soaking up the atmosphere of Hanoi’s colonial quarter.

Prices include international flights and taxes, all accommodation, all meals, transport, English speaking guide, visas, touring and entrance fees.


NOTE: Potential travellers should check the status of individual events and establishments with regard to the coronavirus outbreak.

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