Travellers’ Good BuysBy John Rozentals
Canberra celebrates the centenary of its foundation this year and, as part of the razzmatazz, the Enlighten 2013 festival will provide a raft of free and ticketed events, including exhibitions and rare films, live music and performances, tours into the depths of our national attractions and exclusive dining experiences.
Enlighten 2013, which will run March 1-9, will also light up some of the national capital’s iconic buildings in swathes of colour.
And talking of our capital, Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for Canberra has taken another step towards realisation with the opening of the National Arboretum, set on 250 hectares in Weston Creek, about six kilometres south-west of the city centre.
It features 100 forests and 100 gardens including different types of threatened and symbolic trees from around Australia and the world, as well as a visitor centre, cafe and pavilion housing the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia.
Don’t like coach travel? Bentours’ 16-day Great Northern Cities independent tour uses only rail and air travel while exploring major centres such as Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo, Helsinki and St Petersburg.
Prices start at $7033 per person twin-share, including superior-class hotels, daily breakfast, private city sightseeing, rail tickets and flight Bergen to Helsinki.
Highlights include a train ride from Copenhagen through scenic countryside to Stockholm, a ride on the famous Norway in Nutshell railway through farmland, forests and glacier-capped mountains and three nights in St Petersburg to explore famous sights such as the Hermitage Museum, the Peter and Paul Fortress and the Winter Palace.
Phone 1800 221 712 or visit www.bentours.com.au
Book three nights at Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island and get two complimentary full-day Beauty Spot tours valued at $310.
Pay from $229 per night per couple, including ferry transfers, breakfasts and the tours.
Tour includes Lake McKenzie, the island’s giant ancient satinay forests, the 75-Mile Beach highway and the Maheno shipwreck.
Deal valid until March 28.
Phone 1800 072 555 or visit www.kingfisherbay.com
Save 10 per cent on 12-day holiday on Greece’s Santorini, Ios and Mykonos islands.
Pay from $921 per person twin-share for Tempo Holidays’ Cycladic Adventure, including 11 nights accommodation.
Features daily breakfast, return airport and port transfers and fast ferry tickets, two days to explore Athens.
Book by February 28 for departure between April 1 and October 20.
Phone 1300 558 987 or visit www.tempoholidays.com
Jetwing Hotels has expanded its Sri Lankan portfolio to include a suite of boutique villas that provide guests with privacy amid tasteful luxury.
Saffron & Blue, for instance, is a four-bedroom beachside villa only a few metres from the famous Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery.
The four individually decorated bedrooms come off the main living area and the property also features a 10-metre pool with its own terrace.
P&O Cruises is offering its first Mother’s Day cruise, with a three-day round trip on Pacific Jewel, departing Sydney on Friday May 10.
Prices start at $419 per person quad-share and $449 per person twin-share.
Dining options include Waterfront restaurant, Luke Mangan’s Salt grill, the Asian-inspired La Luna and a dedicated chocolate café.
Phone 132 494 or visit www.pocruises.com.au
Get three nights for free and save at least $700 per person on a seven-night Reef Endeavour cruises through Fiji’s Yasawa Islands or a Discovery cruise through the country’s northern islands.
Pay from $1220 per person twin-share instead of $1922.
Includes meals, guided village and island tours, glass-bottom-boat excursions, tropical island lovo feast and kava ceremony, on-board entertainment, child minding (5-10 years) at selected times.
Book by February 28 for cruises departing between April 1 2013 and March 31 2014.
Phone Captain Cook Cruises Fiji on 1300 863 454 or visit www.captaincook.com.fj
Save up to 50 per cent off published brochure fares on more than 100 voyages during 2013-14 on Seabourn’s fleet of six ultra-luxury cruise liners.
Pay, for example, from $2599 per person twin-share for a seven-day Mediterranean cruise and from $6199 for a 16-day cruise from Bali to Sydney.
Features include all-ocean-view-suite ships carrying 208 to 450 guests; complimentary open bars throughout the voyage; itineraries in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, trans-Atlantic, India, Asia, Canada and New England, the Caribbean, Australia and New Zealand.
Booking by February 28 recommended to secure desired itinerary.
Phone 132 402 or visit www.seabourn.com
Get off the beaten track and experience the true taste of Tuscany and Umbria with Carolinasusi Italia Tours.
Savour fine local wines, handmade chocolates, olive oils and the best of regional dining — and cook with a celebrity Florentine chef in his kitchen overlooking the Chianti Valley.
Prices start from $6045 per person twin-share for a 17-day autumn tour departing Rome on September 9, including Australian tour escorts, all breakfasts and most dinners. An earlybird discount of $500 per couple is available.
Phone (07) 3396 8652 or visit www.carolinasusi.com.au
Air Whitsunday has completely refurbished Sun Dancer and Coral Dancer, the pair of semi-submersible craft it uses for coral viewing and snorkelling on its private Hardy Lagoon on the Great Barrier Reef.
The vessels take 20 and 10 guests respectively.
Packages are priced from $360 (adults) and $280 (children), including return scenic flights from Shute Harbour, snorkelling equipment, sparkling wine, fruit juice and snacks.
Phone 07 4946 9111 or visit www.airwhitsunday.com.au
Worldwide Cruise Centres’ 30-night Walls of Ice to Great Wall adventure combines Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer train with a 22-night Diamond Princess cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage and on to ports in Japan, Russia, South Korea and China, finishing with four nights in Beijing and a visit to the Great Wall.
Prices start from $5999 per person twin-share, including return flights from Sydney or Brisbane, cruise and accommodation in Vancouver, Beijing and the luxurious Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
To find out more about John Rozentals click here.