Archive for: March, 2019

Going Places Deals

Mar 20 2019 Published by under 苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Early bookers earn discounts for a new seven-night paddleboat cruise on the PS Murray Princess on the Murray River. Photo: suppliedTOUR


Scuba diving in the Philippines? Cruising the canals of Bangkok? Climbing to the top of Angkor Wat at sunset? Checking out the views from the world’s tallest twin towers, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur? TripAdvisor company Viator is offering 10-20 per cent discounts off 50 tours in Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. For the full list, see viator苏州美甲美睫培训学校/Asia-tourism/Southeast-Asia-on-Sale/d2-t24471


Meet and chat to local Canadians as you travel around on their trains, buses and ferries during this 12-day tour, exploring the best of the west, including Vancouver, Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff and Victoria. With a discount of $700, it’s now priced at $4999, including flights from Australia. Ph 1300 813 391. See ditravelcom419论坛



All aboard a new seven-night paddleboat cruise on the Murray River for historic towns, vineyards, wetlands, orchards, ancient rock carvings and even a hairy-nosed wombat or two. With PS Murray Princess voyages departing once a month from April 2017, early bookers earn discounts with fares starting at $1902 a person twin share. Ph 1300 729 938. See murrayprincess苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛


Drive the family from Italy to England in a new fully equipped motorhome from March to May 2017, with 10 days free if booked by December 24. With hiring rates starting at $43 a day for a 20-day rental, the fee also includes unlimited kilometres, European insurance, a one-way drop-off and the ferry crossing from Calais to Dover. Ph 1300 363 500. See driveaway苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛



Renowned for its scenic hinterland and white sand beaches, Airlie Beach is also a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. High on a hill with breathtaking views, its Toscana Village Resort is offering five nights for the price of four in a one-bedroom apartment starting at $338 a person twin share, for select periods to January 31, 2017. Ph 1300 883 887. See travelonline苏州美甲美睫培训学校


With four pools, five restaurants, three bars and a Balinese amphitheatre, the five-star Grand Nikko Bali is offering pay four nights and stay seven, as well as an upgrade to an ocean-view room, buffet breakfast daily, free Wi-Fi, late checkout and a welcome fresh fruit platter. From $595 a  person twin-share if booked by September 30 for travel on select dates September to March 27, 2017. Ph 1300 799 783, quoting deal 4259304. See escapetravel苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛



Sail from the glorious former imperial capital, St Petersburg, with its palaces and cathedrals, to Moscow and the Kremlin, with excursions around culturally and historically rich towns along the way. This 10-night cruise is now from $1499 a person, after a discount of $1200 a person if booked by September 13 for travel May to September 2017. Promotion code BBRRC670A. Ph 1300 653 618. See gate1travel苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛


Stay in three fairytale French chateaux as part of two luxury new cruise tours, either a 19-night, $12,990-a-person twin-share itinerary which includes a Seine River cruise, or a 25-night $13,990-a-person, twin-share with a cruise from Luxembourg to Hungary. There’s a saving of up to $2000 a couple for bookings by September 15 for the trips which both depart April 22, 2017. Ph 1300 764 509. See cruiseexpress苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛



Check out the snowfall at the picturesque alpine resort the Falls Creek Country Club, go for a ski or snowboard, and take advantage of low-season mid-week specials. A three-bedroom apartment costs only $75 a person per day, including ski/board hire, on eight guests sharing – a saving of up to $465 each. Valid September 11-October 2.  Ph (03) 5758 3391. See fallscreekcountryclub苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛


Ever been to the Perth Royal Show? There’s something for everyone, from sheepdog trials to shearing sheep, patting a pig to poultry judging, craft demonstrations to cattle inspections. Special packages for the Rendezvous Scarborough Hotel nearby for September 23-October 1 start at $235 a night for a couple, including show tickets and breakfast, and $265 for a family of four. Ph 13 86 42. See TFEhotels苏州美甲美睫培训学校/packages/perth-royal-show-package

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The Trip

Mar 20 2019 Published by under 苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Vintage cars of Cuba – 1940s and 50s Chevrolets, Buicks and Oldsmobiles are everywhere. Photo: SuppliedNAME: Meg Wilson, Mona Vale, NSW

THE TRIP: Cuba via Toronto, Canada

THE ITINERARY:  Sydney to Toronto, Canada, direct for five days of sightseeing before departing for Havana, Cuba, for 10 days. Our visit to Toronto includes a day trip to the spectacular Niagara Falls where we do a boat tour and a helicopter flight. In Toronto we make use of the Toronto Greeter website and enjoy a city walking tour with local Stan, who gives us an insider’s knowledge of the city.

We take a direct 3½-hour flight from Toronto to Havana and join our tour of Cuba. The first two days we spend in Hotel Meson Flota in old Havana. Our large room overlooking the narrow cobbled streets is thronged with tourists and Cubans alike. We sample Cuban music, old-world restaurants with great food and much of the local rum in the form of mojitos, all within a reasonable budget. We marvel at the history and architecture and enjoy a cigar degustation where we watch one being made, before accepting a tot of rum and a puff on a cigar. We love the 1940s and 50s Chevrolets, Buicks and Oldsmobiles that are everywhere.

Touring the countryside, we visit Vinales, Playa Larga, Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus and Santa Clara. The accommodation is all homestays run by local families. The standard of accommodation is excellent and we love the chance to learn more about Cuba from the locals. The families serve us plentiful home-cooked meals with an abundance of seasonal fruit.

BEST BITS: Toronto is a friendly city and Niagara Falls within easy reach is a must. Cuba is a mixture of the old and new. Five-century-old Sancti Spiritus with its small cobblestone lanes and Santa Clara with Che Guevara mausoleum and monument with country road traffic from horse-drawn vehicles to modern buses.

WORST BIT:  Cuba is a struggling economy, looking to tourism for improvement. Just chill and work on Cuban time.

BEST TIP: Cuba via Canada suited our plans. The direct flight from Toronto to Havana made it an easy travel destination.

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Repositioning cruise: The best type of cruise to relax

Mar 20 2019 Published by under 苏州美甲美睫培训学校

Oceania terrace Dining. Spend three days at Le Meridien Bora Bora on a South Seas sojourn. Photo: supplied

Ray Solaire plans the entertainment, lectures, activities and cocktail parties on the Seven Seas Explorer.

MS Noordam is departing Sydney on April 8, 2017.

Ray Solaire.

If you love lots of sea days and can spend anything from 14 to 49 days away from home, a repositioning cruise could be your ideal holiday. Sometimes marketed as Discovery Voyages, Transition Cruises, Transpacific or Transoceanic voyages, a repositioning cruise is simply one that sails from one region to another when the season changes.

Because you’re not visiting ports every day it’s a very relaxing way to cruise – you’ll have plenty of time to make the most of the ship, so look for one that offers the sort of facilities and entertainment that you enjoy. If you’re the sort of person who needs lots of distractions, a repositioning cruise is not for you.

To find an itinerary that appeals, check out regions that have annual cruise seasons, and the routes ships take as they move around the world chasing an endless summer. At the end of the season in Alaska (September/October), ships reposition to the Caribbean along the west coast of America and through the Panama Canal; or they head to Hawaii and then on to Asia and Australia, for the October-March wave season.

Another popular route is from the east coast of America to Europe, across the Atlantic, for the northern spring and summer season (April to October); then the ships return to America to spend a season in the Caribbean. Ships also move seasonally from South America to the Caribbean, and from Europe to Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Repositioning cruises are usually cheaper per day than round-trip cruises, because they’re harder to fill – passengers have to find transport to and from ports at both end of the cruise – but cruise lines obviously prefer ships to sail as full as possible.

Several lines offer repositioning cruises that begin or end in Australia, which makes the cost of flights less daunting. Look at Princess Cruises’ Golden Princess’ 49-night Sydney to Los Angeles cruise, departing in May 2017; Royal Caribbean’s five ships’ outward journeys in 2017 (Explorer, Legend, Ovation, Radiance and Voyager of the Seas); or Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) between the UK and Australia. ITINERARIES AND FARES

Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend: 19-night Sydney to Honolulu, departing April 1, 2017, and visiting Mare, Suva, Papeete, Moorea, Bora Bora and Maui, with 10 sea days. From $2699.

Holland America Line’s MS Noordam: 22-night Sydney to Vancouver, departing April 8, 2017, and visiting Noumea, the Loyalty Islands, Lautoka, Dravuni Island, Pago Pago, Hilo, Honolulu and Victoria, with 14 sea days. From $4449. MEET THE CREW

NAME Ray Solaire, from the Lake District, UK

POSITION Cruise Director, Regent Seven Seas’ new Explorer

MY JOB I plan the cruises’ entertainment, lectures, activities and cocktail parties; and on longer cruises that have formal nights I am the ship’s host.

A TYPICAL DAY I’m up at 4.30am every day to record my daily TV show (wearing my pyjama bottoms out of shot) then I go back to bed until 6.30am. After that I’m in my office, see all the excursions off, have meetings and then I walk around the ship, chatting to people. In the afternoon I plan future cruises, host the trivia game, and after cocktails with guests I host a table at dinner every night. I introduce the shows and also perform my own show and then I’m in bed at 11.30pm.

FAVOURITE CRUISE MOMENT When I met Nelson Mandela on a cruise in South Africa in 2001. He was a guest speaker and before I escorted him to the theatre he asked for a cup of coffee, and I had five minutes with him. I danced with Ginger Rogers on a Cunard ship – that was also very special.

FAVOURITE CRUISE PORTS I love sailing into Sydney Harbour, Rio de Janeiro and New York – they’re the big ones.

INSIDER TIPS First-timers should look at a short cruise, somewhere with calm seas and lots of port visits so they can get their sea legs, and at least one sea day to get to know the ship. TIP

Pack a travel-size eco-friendly air freshener when you’re sharing a bathroom; the aptly named Poo Pourri comes in a 59ml pack in five scents and costs $16.95 from latestbuy苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛.      NEWS 

South Seas sojourn

Latitude 33’s 21-night island-hopping adventure in October 2017 combines the magic of Tahiti and the mystique of Easter Island. The fly/stay/cruise holiday starts with two nights at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort and Spa followed by a 10-night cruise through French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands on board the exclusively chartered 24-passenger Island Passage. Then there are three days at the Le Meridien Bora Bora staying in an overwater bungalow and a flight to Papeete for dinner before the flight to Rapa Nui, better known as Easter Island. Former prime minister Bob Hawke, who has visited the island with Latitude 33’s director Brett Dudley, reckons it’s “better than the Galapagos”. You can see for yourself during a five-day stay at the all-inclusive five-star eco lodge, Explora Rapa Nui. See

Award-winning Oceania

For the sixth consecutive year Oceania Cruises has been recognised by international luxury travel network Virtuoso as the Best Premium Cruise Line. Renowned for its immersive destination and culinary experiences, Oceania Cruises’ fleet of six mid-size vessels – Regatta, Insignia, Nautica, Marina, Riviera and the recently acquired Sirena, which joined the fleet in April 2016 – visit more than 330 destinations in some 150 itineraries worldwide. With all restaurants on board included in the fare, Oceania Cruises offers some outstanding fine-dining experiences, ranging from Italian, French and contemporary steakhouses to Asian fusion. Cooking classes are led by top chefs at The Culinary Centre on Marina and Riviera. Special bonuses apply to bookings made by September 30; see oceaniacruises苏州美甲美睫培训学校FILM FESTIVAL AT SEA

Sydney Film Festival and Princess Cruises are presenting the second Travelling Film Festival at Sea on board Dawn Princess, on a five-day round-trip cruise from Sydney to Tasmania that departs on November 1, 2016. The floating festival is unique to Princess and a key part of the cruise line’s partnership with the festival. Movie buffs can enjoy a selection of special screenings selected by Sydney Film Festival director Nashen Moodley; films include Mr Holmes, Phoenix and Iris. The cruise, which spends two days in Hobart and a day at Port Arthur, will feature a full program of film-related events, including Q&A sessions and cocktail parties where you can meet fellow film fans. See princess苏州美甲美睫培训学校 DEAL OF THE WEEK

Royal Caribbean is offering up to 30 per cent off all its cruises (except China sailings) departing after September 4, 2016, when booked by October 1. Radiance, Voyager, Explorer and Legend join first-time visitor Ovation of the Seas in Australia for the 2016/17 season. For example, fares for Voyager of the Seas’ 12-night South Pacific & Fiji cruise, departing Sydney, January 31, 2017 start from $1329. Phone 1800 754 500, see royalcaribbean苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛 MORE DEALS

CRUISECO Book by December 31 to save up to 40 per cent on a 17-night QM2 fly/cruise/stay package from Sydney to Hong Kong. The newly refurbished liner departs March 2, 2017, and the 16-night cruise visits Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Cairns, Bandar Seri Begawan, Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Trang (Vietnam) en route. From $4140; phone 02 9492 8520, see cruising苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛

OUTDOOR TRAVEL has some last-minute offers on its bike and barge cruises in September and October. You can save up to $1500 per person on cycling cruises on the canals and rivers of Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy, Austria and Croatia. Tours are equally suitable for leisure cyclists and more serious enthusiasts; call 1800 331582, see outdoortravel苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛

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Art hotels featuring famous artists’ work

Mar 20 2019 Published by under 苏州美甲美睫培训学校

A John Olsen mural dominates the lobby of The Olsen. The Olsen showcases the work of one of Australia’s greatest artists.

The Lobby of The Johnson.

Charles Blackman’s work features in every room of The Blackman.

Ever switched on your in-room TV and watched a piece of video art? Or eaten breakfast next to a world-famous painter whose work hangs in your hotel room? If not, it’s time you checked out – and checked in to – the next generation of art-loving accommodation.

“Everyone wants a piece of the contemporary art scene nowadays,” says art advisor Amanda Love, explaining why hoteliers and their guests are embracing contemporary art. Rather than just buying up artworks, however, a new breed of hotelier is building relationships with the artists themselves.

That may include commissioning original work, as Love has done for Australia’s QT hotels, sourcing original pieces from Australian artists such as Daniel Crooks and Grant Stevens.

“For QT Sydney, we decided to focus on moving image works to distinguish the art content from the hotel’s design-rich environment,” says Love. Digital art is found not only in the hotel’s public spaces, but also on the televisions in the individual guest rooms.

“For a hotel like QT, these museum-quality art works are like jewellery,” Love says. “They add one more layer [to the] sophisticated, privileged experience that they offer their guests.”

The Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai is also taking art off the wall. The hotel invites artists of all kinds – including musicians, dancers, filmmakers, photographers – to apply for a residency of three to six months. In return, each artist is asked to leave a “trace” of their stay, which is then displayed online in the hotel’s virtual museum.

Even more traditional hotels are getting in on the act. London’s Savoy Hotel has been building a contemporary art collection since 2011. As might be expected from such a historic property, The Savoy favours figurative art, and commissions pieces that have a direct connection with the hotel.

“All of the artists have been immersed in the hotel for a period of time, so that the culture and heritage of the hotel is linked to each piece,” says art consultant Sally Vaughan of Go Figurative, who works with The Savoy.

Recently acquired works include a panoramic David Downes painting of the River Thames as seen from the hotel roof, and a triptych by Dawn Coulter Cruttenden titled The Legend of Melba. The triptych commemorates the invention of the peach melba dessert by Savoy chef Auguste Escoffier.

“The hotel has been a source of inspiration for each of these pieces; they could really only work in the hotel,” Vaughan says.

No hotel group is more fully committed to contemporary art than Australia’s Art Series hotel group. Each of its seven properties is dedicated to, and named after, a specific artist. Melbourne is home to The Olsen, The Blackman, The Cullen and The Larwill, while Adelaide’s The Watson showcases the work of indigenous artist Tommy Watson. The hotels are designed to give guests an immersive experience, according to the group’s CEO, Will Deague.

“There are original artworks in the foyer, museum-quality digital prints in the room, a dedicated channel, and books about the artists. All our staff are trained to talk about the artists, and we have an in-house curator who gives tours,” Deague says.

“John Olsen says [the hotel] is the best retrospective he could have,” says Ken McGregor, the art consultant who works with Art Series Hotels. All the artists can stay free of charge at “their” hotels, and McGregor says guests love interacting with Olsen when he is in residence. McGregor has the difficult task of choosing which artists will be honoured with a hotel of their own. For the group’s latest hotel, opening in Brisbane this month, McGregor chose artist Michael Johnson, known for his vibrant abstract works.

“Johnson is not a Queenslander but he lived in Queensland, a period which was a massive turning point in his career,” McGregor explains. “To me, his work is pure Queensland. It’s the shimmering patterns of colourful fish in the water, the patterns on butterfly wings.”

McGregor says the process of selecting the appropriate artist for each hotel can take around a year. He starts by examining the building itself. “The art has to look good where it’s going to hang,” he says. “Looking at the building helps me narrow down the choice and select a few artists that may suit. The modernist lines of this building are one of the things that made me think of Johnson.”

The artist also has to suit the location. “When we opened the hotel in Prahran, I wanted something quirky to suit the area, which is one of the reasons that Adam Cullen was a good choice.”

Many other factors come into consideration, McGregor says; not least, the way the name will sound. It was that consideration which ruled Queensland artist Ray Crooke out of consideration for the Brisbane property. “He is an incredible artist,” McGregor says, “But we can’t call a hotel The Crooke!”

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Free Wi-Fi tips on family holidays

Mar 20 2019 Published by under 苏州美甲美睫培训学校

He explores the urban jungle – a 21st century warrior – seeking signs and signals.

Taj Thompson thinks he’s Bear Grylls in Man v. Wild (without drinking his own urine. Yet).

Instead of a scrotum full of maggots for sustenance, our son searches for something even more elusive: connectivity.

On each Odyssey, the 11-year-old wanders – iPod in palm, as a compass – until he sees the symbol. “Mum, this cafe has Wi-Fi. Let’s have lunch here!”

Families are accustomed to the dark arts of scavenging Wi-Fi, because it takes up so much of our travelling budget.

Technology is an essential part of our lives: We want to stay in touch back home, remain entertained during the journey, and keep a record of our experiences.

It’s easy to grab a travel pack from your local telco, but they’re extortionately expensive.

“The best, and the one I use, is Vodafone, which allows customers to make and receive calls, and use the data their plan entitles them to, for just $5 a day in more than 55 countries,” Stephen Fenech, the editor of TechGuide苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛, says.

But this isn’t the best option. Overseas, you’re better off buying a pre-paid SIM at your destination: More data for your money. (Of course, get your smartphone or tablet unlocked by your telco before hopping on the plane or ship.)

“The advantage of having a SIM, especially if you’re travelling as a family, is the ability to make the smartphone with the foreign SIM a hotspot, so the kids can use it to connect to the Internet,” Fenech says. “Instead of buying a SIM card for everyone, you buy one with a lot of data and share that connection.”

Most places have free public Wi-Fi these days. But the strength of signal varies wildly.

In one episode of Boy v. Wild, Taj crams into the corner of a corridor in a shopping centre, screaming, “I’ve got a signal!” He proceeds to – loudly – FaceTime his best friend.

When travelling overseas for work, Stephen Fenech FaceTimes his family from Apple Stores, because “they have especially fast Wi-Fi”.

“I just remember to carry a pair of earphones so I can hear them easily and they can hear me without me having to shout in the middle of the store/restaurant/cafe/airport lounge.” You can check your emails on the computers in Apple Stores, too.

Remember this rule is for each family device: Turn off data roaming or you’ll be slugged with $3 a MB. That’s a costly Facebook post. Also, switch off location services and push notifications.

We always carry a powerboard with four points. Then, you only need one international adaptor to connect to the wall. A portable battery is handy, if you’re on the move.

You don’t have to send the children to scrounge for connectivity, like Bear Grylls seeking beetles on the rainforest floor.

Search the urban jungle for a tech store instead: It’s infinitely more civilised.

[email protected]苏州美甲美睫培训学校419论坛

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