Holland America

A load of cruise specials

Clogging my email intray are a heap of great cruise specials!! But my goodness you’d have to be quick to get some of them…

  • Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises Earlybird savings! Bookings have to be in by Thursday for savings of up $900*pp.
    Plus if you book on local South Pacific, Australian and New Zealand Celebrity Century sailings by 31 March 2011 you will receive up to US$150 Onboard Credit*
    Also Azamara’s 2011 Europe Offer of US$500 OBC* or A$500 air credit* also ends 31 March 2011
  • Receive a $1,000* Onboard Spending Credit with any of these SilverSeas 2011 sailings!
    Reserve your ocean-view suite and receive a $1,000 “Passport to Luxury” Onboard Spending Credit. Customise your Silversea cruise exactly as you wish.
    Options include: spa treatments, speciality restaurants, Silver Shore excursions, Boutique purchases, Internet packages, laundry service, personal training and more.

    More than 50 voyages to choose from starting at AU$4,258.
    Featured Voyages Include:
    15 Apr 2011 Hong Kong to Tokyo
    27 Apr 2011 Tokyo to Shanghai
    7 May 2011 Shanghai to Tokyo
    19 May – Southampton to Barcelona
    18 June – Lisbon to Barcelona

    REQUEST a QUOTE – martin@travelchoice.com.au – don’t forget to put the voyage you are interested in the subject line.

  • Holland America have a book by April 8, 2011 and save up to 50% on 2011 Europe Cruises such as the following …
    –Mediterranean 7 to 24 day cruises starting at $699*
    –Northern Europe, 12 to 35 day cruises starting at $1,399*
    MS Prinsendam 14 to 28 day cruises starting at $2,249*

* Conditions apply of course – just ask me…. and there’s more… but you can see that if you are free to cruise and it takes your fancy there’s plenty to choose from if you are quick. You can call me at work 9968 1600 or email me…martin@travelchoice.com.au

Cruising around South America

It’s been a while since I posted… I’ve been travelling round South America after our cruise in Patagonia and it was a fantastic trip – thoroughly enjoyed Buenos Aires (my third visit) and Machu Picchu (second visit – and even better than the first). You can read all about it on my colleague’s tango blog.

There is so much to explore in South America that we plan to go again soon. We joined a couple of fellow tango dancers in Buenos Aires who had just got off a cruise from Santiago to Buenos Aires. Or you can go the other way if you like …. There are a number of ships that do this trip each year, so there is plenty to choose from.

Holland America’s Veendam 21 Night South America Fly/Cruise/Tour Package starts at $6,399 from Sydney.
Departs 10 November 2010
Price includes flights, accommodation, 2-day tour of Iguassu Falls and 12 night cruise. This cruise departs from Buenos Aires – so tango lovers may prefer us to organize a package for them in Buenos Aires so they can enjoy tango before taking their cruise.
This itinerary takes in Montevideo, the Falkland Islands,two days of scenic cruising in the awesome Romanche and Alemania glaciers, Punta Arenas and the Chilean Fjords. You will call at Puerto Montt, the gateway to Chile’s beautiful Lake District before arriving at Valparaiso (the port for Santiago) , a World Heritage city with unique architecture and famous cable cars.
Fjords, Incas & Andes 21 night package
Includes a post cruise extension to Peru featuring Machu Picchu. This trip begins with a flight from Sydney leaving November 13 and flying to Buenos Aires for 2 days before departing for Iguassu Falls. You then fly back to Buenos Aires to board the Veendam for the cruise round Cape Horn to Santiago.
Festive Tango & Ice 23-night package
includes Christmas and New Year onboard.

Or you might prefer
Silversea’s Silver Whisper Santiago to Buenos Aires 16 day cruise.(The photo is Silver Whisper in Sydney Harbour

Santiago (Valparaiso) Chile to Buenos Aires – 16 days. Departing
3 December 2010 – coming the other way on 19 December.
4 January 2011 – leaving Buenos Aires on 20 January
20 January 2011 sailing back to Buenos Aires – then on 5 February she sails up to Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

Silver Whisper is a 5-star ship (according to the Berlitz Guide) and is part of the Silversea fleet. Fares are all-inclusive (and I love selling these to clients because they know there are no hidden extras) and passengers are typically discerning, well-travelled people who enjoy excellent food and European-style service.

Silver Whisper’s itinerary boarding in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day 1 Montevideo, Uruguay
Day 2 Punta del Este, Uruguay
Day 3 Day At Sea
Day 4 Puerto Madryn, Argentina
Day 5 Day At Sea
Day 6 Stanley, Falkland Islands (called Las Malvinas by Argentina)
Day 7 Chilean Fjords/Magellan Strait
Day 8 Punta Arenas, Chile
Day 9 Punta Arenas, Chile
Day 10 Cruising The Chilean Fjords
Day 11 Cruising The Chilean Fjords
Day 12 Laguna San Rafael, Chile
Day 13 Puerto Chacabuco, Chile
Day 14 Puerto Montt, Chile
Day 15 Day At Sea
Day 16 Santiago (Valparaíso)

If cruising to or around South America appeals to you – we can find the package to suit. Send us an email – martin@travelchoice.com.au and let us know what you would like to do.

11 new cruise ships in 2009 and 2010

Aimed at the growing cruise market, these vessels are mostly sailing from ports in the northern hemisphere and each has a special focus.

  • Carnival’s Splendor
    With 1,503 this ship, which caters for families and those who a love an endless program of Vegas-style entertainment, also has a water slide in the second pool and a retractable glass dome over the midship pool
  • Celebrity, Solstice and Equinox
    Perfect for the “ style-conscious thirtysomethings drawn by edgy design” this ship is a mini art gallery of modern art valued at over $6million US. Features include a real grass croquet lawn. The Solstice is already plying routes from Florida to Italy, and sailing the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. The Equinox will launch in August.
  • Costa Luminosa
    This ship has an 800 seat 4-D cinema, a gold simulator and a Formula One Grand Oriz driving similator. It also has more cabins with balconies than any other Costa ship.
  • Costa Pacifica.
    This ship has a musical theme and includes a sound studio where guests can cut their own CDs with a sound engineer.
  • Holland America Eurodam
    Cruise loving food fanatics are the market for this ship which includes a Culinary Arts Centre where guests can watch cooking demos and take classes.
  • MSC Fantasia and Splendida
    For those who like to be waited on, these ships are old-school according to T+L. 99 suites have their own butler. The Fantasia is sailing already, Splendida is due to be launched in July.
  • Princess Cruises, Ruby Princess
    Aimed at those who are looking for value, the outstanding features of this ship include the Sanctuary at bow where adults can lounge and listen to iPod playlists while they are spritzed with Evian water!
  • Seabourn Odyssey and Pride
    With only 225 cabins Odyssey will undertake her first world cruise in January 2010. The marina on the aft side enables passengers to snorkel or kayak off the side of the ship. The Odyssey will visit Sydney February 2010. Pride is due to be launched in 2010.
  • Silversea Prince Albert
    For those who love adventure, this 66 cabin ship has a fleet of Zodiacs, all cabins have ocean views and it sails to Antarctica, the Arctic and South America.

For tips on the best cabins – and more info check out the Travel+Leisure website.

55% saving on Volendam cruise from Singapore to Sydney in March – but be quick!

It’s an 18 night package on the luxurious Volendam, a Holland America ship that is currently sailing in the Pacific and Australian waters – this is an amazing offer!
This cruise leaves Sydney on 19 March – well actually you overnight in Sydney and sail the next day. This is a fabulous opportunity to enjoy Sydney, a chance to book a performance at the Sydney Opera House – and walk back to your accommodation afterwards! or to eat at one of Sydney’s top restaurants.
Volendam departs Sydney on 20 March at midnight and sails towards the Whitsundays, arriving at Fitzalan in the Whitsundays on 23rd, and Cairns the next day. Sailing through the beautiful Whitsundays is always a special experience and the Volendam makes a leisurely trip to Lizard Island, the Ribbon Reef Region and the blue, blue waters of Torres Strait before reading Darwin on 28th March.
From here you will visit Komodo Island in Indonesia – the home of the Komodo Dragon, the world’s heaviest and largest lizards – they average 2 to 3 metres in length and 79 kilos in weight.
Padang, Bali and Semarang in Java are the other Indonesian ports of call before arriving in Singapore on 4th April.
Accommodation in Singapore is at the Concorde Hotel for 2 nights. Many of us visit Singapore as a stopover but with 2 nights this is a great opportunity to do a day tour of parts of Singapore that you would usually not see.
You will arrive back in Sydney on 6th April.
As well as the cruise and accommodation your trip includes all meals, entertainment and activities on board, cruise taxes, NDAs and air taxes and surcharges, transfers and a one-way economy fare with Qantas from Singapore to Australia (upgrades are available, of course).
Prices start at $2,909, so if you are interested be quick. You can phone me on 2 9968 1600 – or email martin@travelchoice.com.au