Monday, 27 April 2009

With Princess to Venice


With John Crook 

Royal Bengal tiger country

Depart Delhi and head for India's major conservation forests, home of the famous tiger.  This 15-day safari also includes a visit to the Taj Mahal, the sensual carvings of Kama Sutra and the busy market streets of Delhi.   Pricing starts from $1285 plus a local payment of INR Rs 12000.  This includes 14 night's accommodation, five breakfasts, one dinner, transport on tour, tour leader and sightseeing as specified.  Airfares to Delhi are not included but can be arranged in conjunction with the tour.  There are several departures between November 2009 and March 20 2010, with ticketing valid for sale until December 31 2009.   For bookings and details contact Escape Travel on 1300 779 783 or visit  

Sail the islands

There is a series of great seafaring options including seven-night cruises priced from $1599 per person, twin share.  These are part of a huge European program which are absolutely enticing.    Australians have fallen for this range of touring so to get the full facts, prices, inclusions and conditions, see your travel agent or call 1324 88 or visit    Princess Cruises features some of the world's most exotic locations,.. such as Venice. 

Paris on your doorstep at the 'new' Brisbane

Brisbane is home to  a special Parisienne precinct.  Truly a most amazing development within Fortitude Valley.   In fact Emporium has put a brand new face on what was once a Brisbane bus depot.   This is a real living slice of Paris, with its narrow tree lined streets.   The precinct includes the award winning Emporium Hotel and its neighbour Belle Epoque, which is a café, bistro, bar and patisserie. Stylish fashion-conscious big-name boutiques and dining options  add to the ambience.  This is one tremendous experience and not to be missed.  Check out the precinct by going to  or telephone 1300 883 677. 

Just think of the money you'll have, not having to access an international fare to sample Paris! 

Victor Harbor – true South Australia

Some weeks back, I did a mention for one of the great accommodation properties of Victor.  Since that story there has been a change of email address.  It's worthwhile noting the new address is   Take time off to have a look at what is a crisp and clean web site.  Then head to Victor Harbor. 
$20 not a bad security investment

An Australian security device keeps subscribers up to date and aware of travel alerts.  For instance travellers in Bangkok and those in Mumbai received warnings of internal unrest and dangers via SMS messages to their mobile phones.  Most travel agents have these priced from $20.  Visit  

It's a dog's life in NSW

Well at least the tourism industry has finally accepted that there are some of us who want to travel with our family pet.  With a pet friendly website it's now possible to check which accommodation, restaurants, cafés and the like actually extend a welcoming paw for visiting pets.  The listings include shops and spas, each of which cater for your furry (or feathered) travelling companions.  For instance, take pooch along to the 4.5 star Sebel Pier One in Sydney, book the De Ville pamper pet package, pay $315 per night and that'll get you room service breakfast for two, bedding for your dog, and a bonus squeaky toy for your pet.  Get the facts and the conditions by clicking on to  

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  This information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agency.   Block-out periods may apply.    Need a holiday ?  We're archived on 


Visual :    Princess Cruises includes Venice in the tour planner.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Music in the jungle


By John Crook


There's a series of Turkish tours between now and July 31 selling at a discounted price from $1600 per person, twin share.   That's $200 difference from the published price.  Some of the features include a tour of Istanbul's city highlights, a Bosphorus day cruise, Cappadoccia's underground city, the Gallipoli Peninsula and the beautiful Turkish Mediterranean coastline.   Contact Transglobal Destinations on 1300 552 848 or your local travel agent.

Your own private island

There's a 'secret' island located in Westernport Bay, off Victoria's Mornington Peninsula. There are not any roads, nor shops. Guests stay in a self-contained residence and have access to a sheltered sandy beach for swimming, a jetty from which to fish and plenty of walking options.  The home can accommodate six people and is fully equipped with modern appliances.  Travel there in your own boat, or take the French Island barge which offers transfers.  For tariffs and more detailed information check  

Too good to be true

Head to Noosa and snap up accommodation rates which are truly interesting. has accommodation at Nautilus Noosa from around $120 per night and that's for a two bedroom apartment which sleeps four. Each apartment is self-contained.  Conditions apply so be quick to check out availabilities.  Telephone 1800 002 333

Brisbane to Fremantle, via Bali

There are some great deals floating around, in some instances as much as 50% and on-board credits of up to $150 on selected cabin categories.  I refer to  the first-ever cruise from Brizzie to the Top End, then Bali and onwards to Fremantle.  The 5-star Sun Princess will be based in Brisbane from April 2010.

The departure date is April 20 2010. To check on those savings take a look at or ring 1300 369 848.

The French are generous

Savings of up to $750 are currently available on several brand new Citroen from European car leasing specialists globalCARS, if you book prior to 30 April. The French government allows manufacturers to lease to non-French residents free of all duties and taxes. Savings are offered for vehicles collected by December 31 2009.  There could even be an additional bonus of between seven and nine free days depending on the vehicle. Visit 

Music in the jungle

Canberra has had its folk festival, Woodford as well.  Now it's the turn of the world famous music festival held in the Borneo jungle.  Three days and nights have been set aside for musicians from around the world.  The package includes accommodation with daily breakfast at the Hilton Kuching hotel, a three day pass for the music festival (with daily return transfers), sight seeing tours and also return airport transfers.  The tour starts July 9 with prices from $1196 per person twin share and available for sale until May 31.  It's also possible to add extra touring days.  To find out how to do that and what's included, check out 

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  This information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agency.   Block out periods may apply.   

Need a holiday ?  We're archived on

25% off some Antarctic cruises


By John Crook

Fit for a king

There's a special weekend planned for Victoria's King Valley, on the 6 – 7 June 2009, offering you the chance to do a test run of the local cuisine, premium wines and get the toes a-wiggling in time with plenty of music.   It appears the entire community is behind a cram packed program.     A taste of Italy down-under,  including  authentic Calabrian vino, even a gypsy band.  Far too much to mention here, so be an early bird and get a copy of the program and book accommodation. To set the pace go to or email      

25% off some Antarctic cruises

Such good news for those who are considering a trip to the deep South.  There's a 25% discount on the latest adventures aboard M/S Expedition, that is, if you book before June 30 2009.  Prices now begin from $5576 per person, cruising from  the southern tip of South America.  Check out the four different itineraries which are on offer. This is your chance to get up close and personal at the great white continent.  The full facts and conditions are available by visiting or maybe telephone 1300 363 055.

A touch of the Irish

Ireland's Connemara region and Galway are just two of the top spots included in a' Live like a Lord' offer.  It is an eight-day self-drive package priced from $1507 per person twin share. Book before May 31 2009  and quote TH20LLAL24P  and a 5% discount price applies.  Car hire in Ireland is from $36 pr day. Contact you favourite travel agency or check out   

My kind of cruise

There's an inaugural Australian circumnavigation cruise next year, offering savings of up to $1458 per person for those who book before 31 May 2009.   Eighteen ports of call and a two day Great Barrier Reef experience.  

Departing Sydney on 14 March 2010, the 34-night cruise takes in a multitude of experiences visiting such locations as Port Arthur, the Western Australian coastline including Esperance, Perth and that's just a taste.  

Even an option to visit Indonesia's Komodo national park.  This is the kind of tour I've been searching for.  How about you?   This is one tour which almost demands a visit to or telephone 1300 766 566.

Enjoy a drink? Then read on ..

There's a four-day beerfest package for the opening, middle or closing weekends when the annual Oktoberfest kick starts in Munich from September 19 to October 4.  This is one heck of a festival. The package from Student Flights includes three nights' hostel accommodation, buffet breakfast for those who survive the previous night's activities. Services of a tour leader, transfers to and from the beer grounds.  Prices start from $62 per person, based on multi shared accommodation.  The package is valid on September 18 and 25, and October 2 2009.  International fares to Munich are not included.  Check the details on or ring  1800 069 063.

Go take a walk

Adventurers please note. There is now an indulgence package which takes in Queensland's scenic rim. Hidden Peaks Walk  sets a new standard  for luxury outdoor adventure, with two or three days of guided walks, one of two nights accommodation in well appointed tents and one night in a five-star lodge suite at Peppers Spicer's Peak.  All meals and drinks, including breakfast each day and a degustation  dinner on day-three.  For the full story telephone 1300 773 425 or visit www,  

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  This information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agency.   Block out periods may apply.    Need a holiday ?  We're archived on

Pictured: MS Expedition (Antarctic cruise)

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Six Magical Weeks


By John Crook

April 30 is the key.

Book and pay deposit by April 30, 2009,  and benefit with some decent savings on a 13-day Eastern European Panorama tour which includes Vienna, Budapest, Krakow, Warsaw, Berlin and Prague.  Pay from $3719 per person, twin share and the saving is $532 per couple. Choose travel in the months of April, May and June 2009 to make those savings.  The price includes accommodation, daily breakfast ad transportation in a high quality air-conditioned coach. Get the facts by contacting 1300 363 554 or visit 

Six magical weeks

Set sail out of New York on July 25 2010 and be prepared for 40-days of pampering aboard the luxury Dawn Princess.  The cruise takes in  the Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Tahiti and the South Pacific and on to Sydney Harbour.  There's a free cabin-category upgrade and if you book before July 31 this year there's an added bonus of $200 per person onboard spending credits.  Prices begin from $8499 per person twin share, plus air taxes and fuel surcharges.  Included in the price is air from Sydney to New York.  Full details by visiting or telephone 1300 369 848. 

Fishing school

The current seafood cooking school in Sydney is attracting he attention.  The June line-up at the Sydney Seafood School features classes led by Matt Kemp of the Restaurant Balzac and The Burlington, James Kidman from Otto and Matt Moran from Aria.  Check the full list of tutors and dates by viewing or ring (02) 9004 1111.

Take the kid to Africa

There's a 'you beaut' eight-day safari package where a child travels free, when travelling with two adults.  It is the Great Kenya Safari which starts in Nairobi, then to the Masi Mara game reserve, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli national park, Tsavo national park and ends on the Swahili coast in Mombasa.  The deal costs from $2900 per adult and that includes transport, accommodation and most meals. The package also includes entrance fees to game parks and game-viewing drives listed on the published itinerary.  The offer is from June 1 to November 30, 2009.  Call (02) 9290 2877 or visit

Great holiday spot

Do the holiday capital of the Queensland coast, at sale price.   Stay at the multi-award winning Mantra Hervey Bay and if you book and travel by April 30 2009, you pay from just $111 per room per night. This has to be a perfect spot for a tranquil holiday.  To get the facts visit or telephone 13 15 17.   

Fly SAS and discover Copenhagen

There's an easier way to check out Copenhagen these days.  A special card, available throughout April and May 2009,  offers up to 20% at a number of restaurants and car rentals.  The card, valued at EUR31 is free, to those flying  SAS on a return ticket, into Copenhagen.   For more information check  

* Please note conditions may apply to these packages  and prices are subject to change and availability.  This information is provided as a guide only.  Check with your travel agency.   Block out periods may apply.    Need a holiday ?  We're archived on