Monday, 15 April 2013

Westbound Transatlantic Crossing: 8 nights in September 2013

A crossing of the Atlantic on the regal Queen Mary 2 is an experience to be remembered. Although there are no port stops, the ship is enough entertainment for the week spent aboard- and you can also watch the endless Atlantic pass underneath you. The way to travel! The ship departs from Southampton near London and sails in to New York after 8 nights at sea.

Operator: Cunard
Vessel: Queen Mary 2
Ports of Call: Southampton, New York
Sailing Dates: September 2nd 2013- September 10th 2013

Cruise Itinerary

Length of cruise: 8 nights

Day 1: Southampton, departing Mon 2 Sep 16:30
Day 2-8: At sea
Day 9: New York, arriving Tues 10 Sep 06:30

About the Queen Mary 2

The Queen Mary 2 is a modern ship through and through, lacking in no technology, but is also reminiscent of the good old days of ocean liners, in classic Cunard style. She underwent a freshening-up in December 2011 to remain the beautiful and stately ship she always has been! The ship is more formal than your average Mediterranean or South Pacific cruise, with daytimes tending towards country club casual and there are generally 3 formal nights in a crossing- these involve tuxes or dark suits and evening gowns! A crossing on the Queen Mary 2 is all about the old-world glamour.

Queen Mary 2
by Trondheim Havn Flickr Creative Commons

There are plenty of restaurants and bars onboard so you will always be well fed and watered. Those who pay for the top cabin categories dine in the Princess Grill or the Queens Grill, and the main dining room for the rest is the Britannia Grill. There is a great buffet on Deck 7 with stations for various cuisines, which becomes more formal in the evenings with waiter service. For a traditional english dining experience, passengers can dine free of charge in the Golden Lion Pub, and there are several lunch venues around the ship. Todd English is the specialty restaurant, and incurs a small cover charge. Afternoon Tea is a Cunard tradition, and takes place in various venues around the ship, including the ballroom. For drinks after dinner, there is a variety of pubs, bars and lounges onboard, as well as a novel Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar.

Like all Cunard ships, the Queen Mary 2 has a wonderful enrichment program, which allows passengers to put the week of their crossing to good use. There are a huge range of lectures on various topics by persons of interest, and short plays and performances by the Royal Academy of Arts. She is the only ship with an onboard planetarium, and hosts presenters from the Royal Astronomical Society. There is an extensive computer learning program, and of course the requisite art auctions and bingo sessions.

Venues for entertainment include the gym, spa, well-appointed library, basketball court, golf simulators and the swimming pool. The ballroom is utilised in many ways, of which the most exciting is ballroom dancing in the evenings. There is also a two-level disco, and it is easy to make the most of this by dancing into the wee hours, as westbound passengers gain an hour of sleep every night whilst crossing time zones!

Have a look here for great deals on the Westbound Transatlantic Crossing in September 2013!

Monday, 7 January 2013

Hawaii, Tahiti and South Pacific: 35 nights on September 2013

This nice long cruise begins in September and finished in October, lasting for a relaxing 35 days. It is a round trip from Sydney, and the first stop comes after 4 days at sea which will really get you into the swing of cruising on the Sea Princess! The first port of call is Nuku'alofa in Tonga, a beautiful tender port where you can experience some true Polynesian culture. Next is Apia in Western Samoa, the capital and a town that feels like a collection of friendly villages.

After Polynesia, the ship crosses the international dateline and makes its way to Hawaii. The first port of call there is the famous Honolulu, the only major city in the islands and state capital. There are plenty of things to see and do here, including swimming and sunbathing at Waikiki Beach, and visiting the historic Pearl Harbour. After Honolulu the cruise visits many other islands and towns in Hawaii, the first of these being Kauai, the 'Garden Island' and the second being Kona on Big Island. Here you will find a wonderful variety of landscapes, and many impressive volcanoes. Next stop is Hilo also on Big Island, and then a call in at the surfing mecca, Maui. Mount Haleakala watches over this town with excellent beaches.

Waikiki Beach at Sunset
by FHKE Flickr Creative Commons

Tahiti is the next destination as the ship returns to Polynesian waters. There are several nights in the capital city of Papeete, a busy port with strong french influence. Moorea and Bora Bora are next, both outer islands that have mountains, lagoons, white sand and sparkling waters, and are the epitome of Pacific beauty. As the ship moves across the Pacific back towards Australia, it stops in at Pago Pago in American Samoa, where you will see the dramatic harbour surrounded by steep mountains.Suva is the next port of call, a tropical fijian city where many different cultures are represented in the mosques, temples and churches and interesting colonial architecture. The final stop before the ship returns to Sydney is the small and gorgeous Isle of Pines off the mainland of New Caledonia.

Operator: Princess Cruises
Vessel: Sea Princess
Ports of Call: Sydney, Nuku'Alofa, Apia, Honolulu, Kauai, Kona, Hilo, Lahaina, Papeete, Moorea, Bora Bora, Pago Pago, Suva, Isle of Pines.
Sailing Dates: September 2nd 2013- October 7th 2013

Cruise Itinerary

Length of cruise: 35 nights

Day 1: Sydney, departing Mon 2 Se 16:00
Day 2-5: At sea
Day 6: Nuku'Alofa, Sat 7 Sep 08:00-18:00
Day 7: At sea
Day 8: Apia, Mon 9 Sep 08:00-20:00
Day 9-13: At sea
Day 14: Honolulu, Sat 14 Sep 07:00- 23:00
Day 15: Kauai, Sun Sep 15 08:00- 17:00
Day 16: Kona, Mon Sep 16 07:00- 17:00
Day 17: Hilo, Tues Sep 17 08:00-17:00
Day 18: Lahaina, Wed Sep 18 07:00- 18:00
Day 19-23: At sea

Day 24: Papeete, Tues Sep 24 08:00- Wed Sep 25 04:00
Day 25: Moorea, Wed Sep 25 07:00- 17:00
Day 26: Bora Bora, Thurs Sep 26 07:00- 17:00
Day 27- 28: At sea
Day 29: Pago Pago, Sun Sep 29 08:00- 17:00
Day 30: At sea
Day 31: Suva, Wed Oct 2 07:00- 16:00
Day 32: At sea
Day 33: Isle of Pines, Fri Oct 4 09:00- 17:00
Day 34-35: At sea
Day 36: Sydney, arriving Mon Oct 7 07:00

About the Sea Princess

This Princess is a mid-sized favourite, cosy and welcoming with a stunning atrium area. She is intimate and elegant as is the style with Princess cruises. Two main restaurants give you a choice of dining, along with the buffet and specialty restaurants, and the option of anytime dining makes eating aboard a fun and flexible experience. You an catch theatre shows or frequent the pubs, bars and lounges in the evenings, or watch Movies Under the Stars on a big screen. During the day enjoy the cruise staples of lounging by the pool, eating, drinking cocktails and walking the decks, or try out Princess' Scholarship@Sea programme with ceramics classes, computer classes, cookery demonstrations and various lectures.

Sea Princess
by Brent Ozar Flickr Creative Commons

See here for great deals on the Hawaii, Tahiti and South Pacific cruise in September 2013!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Island Gems: 11 nights in September 2013

See the best of French Melanesia on this cruise on the Pacific Dawn from Brisbane, of which the proximity to the islands means more time for port calls! After one relaxing day at sea, the first port is Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia. This city is a mix of french and native cultures, a great blend! The next stop is the small and lovely Isle of Pines off the coast of New Caledonia, then the tiny and uninhabited Mystery Island in Vanuatu, a real secluded tropical paradise! Next is Wala, inother island in Vanuatu home to 200-300 friendly natives. Continuing with the unspoilt theme, there are no roads, phones or any electricity on the island, just amazing beaches and amazing cultural heritage.

by eGuide Travel Flickr Creative Commons

After this island hopping comes a stop at beautiful Champagne Bay, then Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila. This charming town is based around a natural harbour and has some great markets selling handicrafts and produce. The ship then returns to Brisbane over 3 relaxing sea days.

Operator: P&O
Vessel: Pacific Dawn
Ports of Call: Brisbane, Noumea, Isle of Pines, Mystery Island, Wala, Champagne Bay, Port Vila
Sailing Dates: Tuesday 3rd September 2013- Saturday 14th September 2013

Cruise Itinerary

Length of Cruise: 11 nights

Day 1: Brisbane, departing Tues 3 Sep 14:00
Day 2: At sea
Day 3: Noumea, Thurs 5 Sep 15:00- 23:00
Day 4: Isle of Pines, Fri 6 Sep 08:00- 17:00
Day 5: Mystery Island, Sat 7 Sep 08:00- 16:00
Day 6: Wala, Sun 8 Sep 08:00- 17:00
Day 7: Champagne Bay, Mon 9 Sep 08:00- 17:00
Day 8: Port Vila, Tues 10 Sep 08:00- 17:00
Day 9-11: At sea
Day 12: Brisbane, returning Sat 14 Sep 06:00

About the Pacific Dawn

The Pacific Dawn is cruising out of Brisbane year-round, with new additions such as connecting cabins for families, a giant LED screen and some new evening venues like the MIX cocktail bar. Dining happens in the lovely Waterfront Restaurant, and there is a buffet and casual grill for less formal eating. Gourmet lovers can try the specialty restaurants- La Luna for Asian Cuisine or Salt Grill by celebrity chef Luke Mangan. Evenings can be spent in bars, lounges and the theatre, or the Dome which is a large entertainment area with great views and activities during the day and live music, comedy and the like at night. Other day entertainment includes the pool, the gym, the sun loungers, the library and more.

Get great deals on the Island Gems cruise in September 2013 here!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Fiji Adventure Cruise: 14 nights in September 2012

Dravuni Island
by Allan Grey Flickr Creative Commons

This great P&O Australia cruise on the Pacific Pearl ventures past the usual stomping ground of French Melanesia to the islands of tropical Fiji.  The first port is Noumea in New Caledonia, the capital city where French meets the native Kanak culture. Picture-perfect and uninhabited Mystery Island in Vanuatu is next, before a call into Port Vila. The ship then moves along to Fiji, where the first stop is Port Denarau. Here there is great market shopping, or tours to surrounding small islands available. Spectacular Dravuni Island is next on the agenda, where you will be guest to the 200 or so native islanders. Take your camera up the central mountain for amazing views! The capital, Suva, comes next. Explore this multicultural city with many mosques, temples and colonial-era buildings. Visit the Fiji Museum and the University of the South Pacific. On the way back to Sydney, the ship calls in at the Isle of Pines for some more white-sand relaxation.

Operator: P&O Australia
Vessel: Pacific Pearl
Ports of Call: Sydney, Noumea, Mystery Island, Port Vila, Port Denarau, Dravuni Island, Suva, Isle of Pines
Sailing Dates: Saturday 1 September 2012- Saturday 15 September 2012

Cruise Itinerary

Length of cruise: 14 nights

Day 1: Sydney, departing Sat 1 Sep 16:00
Day 2-3: At sea
Day 4: Noumea, Tues 4 Sep 08:00-18:00
Day 5: Mystery Island, Wed 5 Sep 08:00- 17:00
Day 6: Port Vila, Thurs 6 Sep 08:00- 18:00
Day 7: At sea
Day 8: Port Denarau, Sat 8 Sep 08:00- 18:30
Day 9: Dravuni Island, Sun 9 Sep 08:00- 17:00
Day 10: Suva, Mon 10 Sep 08:00- 16:00
Day 11: At sea
Day 12: Isle of Pines, Wed 12 Sep 08:00- 17:00
Day 13-14: At sea
Day 15: Sydney, arriving Sat 15 Sep 07:00

About the Pacific Pearl

The Pacific Pearl embodies everything that P&O Australia has to offer. The line gives a laid-back cruise experience that makes activity or total relaxation possible. There is mini golf, rock climbing, sports facilities, the gym and pools as well as many social venues for those who want occupation, and numerous lounge chairs by the pool for the more chilled out passenger. Adults only are allowed in the Oasis area with deluxe loungers, spa pool and bar. Kids are catered for at all ages. Dining happens in the main dining room, or at the more casual buffet or grill by the pool. Gourmands can try the Salt Grill for a cover charge.

See here for a great deal on the Fiji Adventure Cruise in September 2012!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Turkey and Greek Isles Cruise: 7 nights in September 2012.

Explore some fascinating parts of the world beginning in Istanbul. This city spans Europe and Asia and holds beautiful Mosques and churches. Shop the Grand Bazaar for all sorts of treasures or bathe in the turkish baths! Myrina, Nisos Limnos, Greece is a volcanic island located near the mouth of the Dardenelles packed with a myriad of history. In Izmir find a fine Archaeology Museum and Ethnography Museum house a multitude of treasures and exhibits, while nearby resorts provide distractions of another sort. Earthquakes and fires over the centuries have obliterated most of ancient Smyrna, as it was once known, but remnants of the 4th-century fort atop Mt. Pagos still provide excellent views of the city and Gulf of Izmir. Cesme is a coastal town and seaside resort on the Aegean, west of Izmir and on the extreme western tip of Turkey. It is a popular holiday destination, boasting crystal clear waters and beautiful sand beaches. Kos, Greece has a marvelous climate, lively night life, outstanding beaches and an incredible variety of water sports. Fall in love with the perfection that is Santorini. Santorini is black sands, beautiful white washed houses perched on soaring cliffs overlooking sparkling waters. Santorini is the most picturesque place! Chania is bordered by endless stretches of seashore, with inlets and islands of exotic beauty and sandy beaches tucked away at the foot of the island's forbidding mountains. This is a self-sufficient region that is blessed with rich flora and fauna, as well as impressive gorges, holy caves, rivers and lush, green plains blanketed with citrus groves. Disembark the cruise in Piraeus, the busy port of Athens.

Cruise Operator: Seabourn
Vessel: Seabourn Odyssey
Ports of Call: Istanbul, Myrina, Izmir, Cesme, Kos, Santorini, Chania, Piraeus (Athens).
Sailing Dates: Departs: Sat, Sep 8 2012. Arrives: Sat, Sep 15 2012.

Cruise Itinerary

Total length of Cruise: 7-nights.

Days / Ports of Call / Arrivals and Departures.

Turkey and Greek Isles Itinerary
Day 1 - Istanbul - Sat, Sep 8 2012 17:00
Day 2 - Myrina - Sun, Sep 9 2012 10:00 - Sun, Sep 9 2012 19:00
Day 3 - Izmir - Mon, Sep 10 2012 08:00 - Mon, Sep 10 2012 23:00
Day 4 - Cesme - Tue, Sep 11 2012 08:00 - Tue, Sep 11 2012 18:00
Day 5 - Kos - Wed, Sep 12 2012 08:00 - Wed, Sep 12 2012 18:00
Day 6 - Santorini - Thu, Sep 13 2012 08:00 - Thu, Sep 13 2012 23:00
Day 7 - Chania - Fri, Sep 14 2012 08:00 - Fri, Sep 14 2012 18:00
Day 8 - Piraeus (Athens) - Sat, Sep 15 2012 07:00

About the Seabourn Odyssey
With their unmatched sense of style, elegance and grace, The Yachts of Seabourn beckon you to travel beyond the bounds of the imagination. Aboard Seabourn, every desire is met promptly and with a welcoming smile. Whether it'¬s a warm blanket and a cup of gourmet hot chocolate as you drift along the Norwegian Fjords or a relaxing neck massage poolside, you'll feel that you're a member of a very exclusive club. Read more about the Seabourn Odyssey here!

Vancouver to Tokyo Cruise: 16-nights in September 2012.

What could more interesting than cruising Canada and Japan! Totemo ekisaitingu! (very exciting!) Depart Vancouver and cruise the spectacular scenery and dramatic landscapes of the inside passage! Ketchikan, Famous for its colorful totem poles, rainy skies, steep streets, and lush island setting,is a favorite stop for travelers and your next stop. Juneau, is on the North American mainland but can't be reached by road. Its dramatic hillside position and historic downtown buildings provide a frontier feeling, but the city's cosmopolitan nature comes through in its fine museums, noteworthy restaurants, and literate and outdoorsy populace. In addition to enjoying the city itself, you will discover a tramway to alpine trails atop Mt. Robers, densely forested wilderness areas, quiet bays for sea kayaking, and even a famous drive-up glacier. The pretty town of Skagway, sitting on a deep water Fjord is your next port followed by Kodiak, Alaska. Russia is not a common tourist destination but who doesn't want to tell people they've been to Russia? Kamchatka is a spectacular, lavish landscape dotted with fuming volcanoes , fast-running rivers, and a wilderness that is inhabited by the largest brown bear population in the world. The largest eagle in the world, the Steller's sea eagle , is also found in the region. After spending a couple of days at sea, be welcomed by the Japanese into Hakodate. Hokadate has the most extensive bricks-and-mortar history of any Hokkaidō city. In addition to the most important and interesting sights recommended here, you'll find many wonderful decaying buildings, which are best appreciated by hiking the slopes of the historic Moto-machi area. Sendai is an open city with a generous planting of trees that justifies its nickname "Mori-no-Miyako": the City of Trees. With eight colleges and universities, including the prestigious Tōhoku University, the city has intentionally developed an international outlook and appeal. Sendai has a larger number of sights worth visiting, and you can easily spend a day looking around. Tokyo. A must see in everyone's life, this major city is perhaps the hardest to understand or to see in any single perspective, but you will love Tokyo!

Cruise Operator: Silver Sea
Vessel: Silver Shadow
Ports of Call: Vancouver, Cruise Inside Passage, Ketchikan- Alaska, Cruise Tracyarm/Sawyer Glacier, Juneau- Alaska, Skagway- Alaska, Kodiak- Alaska, Date Line Lose A Day, Petropavlosk(Kamchatka), Hakodate, Sendai, Tokyo.
Sailing Dates: Departs: Thu, Sep 6 2012. Arrives: Sat, Sep 22 2012.

Cruise Itinerary

Total length of Cruise: 16-nights.

Days / Ports of Call / Arrivals and Departures

Vancouver to Tokyo Itinerary
Day 1 - Vancouver - Thu, Sep 6 2012 18:00
Day 2 - Cruise Inside Passage - Fri, Sep 7 2012 03:45 - Fri, Sep 7 2012 04:45
Day 3 - Ketchikan, Alaska - Sat, Sep 8 2012 08:00 - Sat, Sep 8 2012 16:00
Day 4 - Cruise Tracyarm/Sawyer Glacier - Sun, Sep 9 2012 07:00 - Sun, Sep 9 2012 10:00
Day 5 - Juneau, Alaska - Sun, Sep 9 2012 13:00 - Sun, Sep 9 2012 23:00
Day 6 - Skagway, Alaska - Mon, Sep 10 2012 07:00 - Mon, Sep 10 2012 17:00
Day 8 - Kodiak, Alaska - Wed, Sep 12 2012 08:00 - Wed, Sep 12 2012 18:00
Day - 13 Date Line Lose A Day - Mon, Sep 17 2012 00:00 - Mon, Sep 17 2012 00:00
Day - 14 Petropavlosk(Kamchatka) - Tue, Sep 18 2012 07:00 - Tue, Sep 18 2012 18:00
Day - 17 Hakodate - Fri, Sep 21 2012 08:00 - Fri, Sep 21 2012 14:00
Day - 18 Sendai - Sat, Sep 22 2012 08:00 - Sat, Sep 22 2012 14:00
Day - 19 Tokyo - Sun, Sep 23 2012 08:00

About the Silver Shadow
These elite and intimate ships are specifically designed for fewer guests, featuring more space and the highest levels of personalised service. Accommodations are amongst the largest at sea; all have ocean views and butler service and most feature private verandas. Dining is an exquisite affair with open-seating options so guests dine when, where and with whom they desire. Read more about the Silver Shadow here!

Iberian Highlights Cruise: 10-nights in September 2012.

Spend ten night's aboard the Queen Mary 2 witnessing the Iberian highlights. Depart Southampton and embark on Vigo, Spain. Shaded squares and cobbled streets make for an excellent amble around this old fishing town. Seafood restaurants are plentiful in the harbour, make sure you leave time to sample your favourite dish! Lisbon, Portugal spreads its ancient sites on seven hills overlooking the Tagus River. Atop the highest hill, St. George’s Castle overlooks the city. Balconies ablaze with geraniums and wrought iron lamps light up the medieval Alfama quarter. Sorrowful fados ring out from cafés in the Alto and shoppers browse in the affluent Chiado district. Valencia is an exhilarating mix of history, art and intellectual activity. Its rich Hispanic culture is visible everywhere in art and architecture reflecting Roman, Visigoth, Moorish, and Aragonese traditions. Barcelona- Step back in time and soak up the atmosphere of the Gothic Quarter. Time to put your feet up? A shady spot in a café provides the perfect vantage point for watching the colourful street performers on Las Ramblas. Ride the cable car to Monjuic and you’ll discover the 1992 Olympic area – not to mention golden views over the city and Mediterranean Sea. Visit the vibrant Fruit market and enjoy Gaudi's architecture which spreads across the city!

Cruise Operator: Cunard
Vessel: Queen Mary 2
Ports of Call: Southampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Valencia - Spain, Barcelona, Southampton.
Sailing Dates: Departs: Tue, Sep 4 2012. Arrives: Fri, Sep 14 2012.

Cruise Itinerary

Total length of Cruise: 10-nights.

Days/ Ports of Call / Arrivals and Departures

Iberian Highlights I Itinerary
Day 1 - Southampton - Tue, Sep 4 2012 18:00
Day 3 - Vigo - Thu, Sep 6 2012 09:00 - Thu, Sep 6 2012 17:00
Day 4 - Lisbon - Fri, Sep 7 2012 08:00 - Fri, Sep 7 2012 17:00
Day 6 - Valencia - Spain - Sun, Sep 9 2012 08:00 - Sun, Sep 9 2012 18:00
Day 7 - Barcelona - Mon, Sep 10 2012 08:00 - Mon, Sep 10 2012 17:00
Day 11 - Southampton - Fri, Sep 14 2012 06:30

About the Queen Mary 2

Welcome to Queen Mary 2 - the grandest, most magnificent ocean liner ever built. She's a true heir to the timeless elegance, legacy and inspiration of the great Cunard liners of legend. You'll notice it the moment you walk through her doors into her soaring Grand Lobby, and be awed from the first instance you experience the famous Cunard White Star ServiceSM. Yet this sophisticated monarch also boasts the most modern luxuries and amenities - from the pampering services of the only Canyon Ranch SpaClub® on the seas to the fascinating Oxford DiscoverySM enrichment programme led by professors from the University of Oxford and other prestigious experts. Read more about the Queen Mary 2 here!
Iberian Highlights I, 10 - nights