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Australia's number one tour operator to Canada and Alaska, Scenic Tours, has launched their 2013 Canada, Alaska and United States of America program with a number of exciting enhancements including the introduction of increased touring in the United States of America.

With Scenic Tours, guests will experience the finest hotels, cruise lines and rail experiences. Scenic Tours is the only tour operator with the exclusive access to the full range of Fairmont hotels and Resorts in Canada; they are partners with the renowned Rocky Mountaineer including a guaranteed upgrade to Gold Leaf class, as well as with luxury Alaskan cruise lines, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises. All tours are in small groups with a maximum of 40 guests ensuring a more personalised experience and extra space.

All Scenic Enrich (once-in-a-life time, culturally enhancing experiences) and Scenic FreeChoice activities (allowing guests the freedom to choose at no extra cost), events and dining experiences are all included. All tours are fully escorted with local Tour Directors and Cruise Directors and include all tipping and gratuities.

The exciting news for 2013 is the extension of the USA program with six new itineraries where guests will discover the California Coast featuring Yosemite National Park, the Grand National Parks and Canyonlands, the historic Trails of the east, the Southern Belles and the Caribbean.

Also new for 2013 are three new Canada and Alaska itineraries. Guests will now be able to travel from Montréal to Victoria including the Rocky Mountains, Vancouver, Denali, Mount McKinley, Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa and Québec City, plus an Alaskan cruise and Arctic Circle flight. Or travel from Toronto to Vancouver including Niagara Falls, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ottawa, Québec City, Victoria, Banff, Whistler, Lake Louise, plus a seven night Alaskan cruise including Glacier Bay and Juneau. In Alaska, guests will discover these extraordinary new destinations on the 28 day Rockies, Voyage of the Glaciers, Kenai Peninsula & the Arctic Circle tour.

Scenic Tours strives in maintaining their lead in Canada and Alaska touring and every year enhances the ultimate of the 5 star all-inclusive touring experience based on customer satisfaction.

Proudly Australian and unashamedly passionate, for 25 years Scenic Tours has been delivering the ultimate in all-inclusive luxury touring experiences to unique and extraordinary places on every continent.

Fiji's Vatulele Island remains closed

Vatulele Island Resort
by Roderick Eime in Fiji

It appears the luxury A$800/night resort, Vatulele Island Resort, will remain closed indefinitely following its sale to controversial developer, Albert Bertini. According to a report in the NZ Herald, Hawera (NZ)-based rural services business and Hanover Finance victim Allied Farmers, borrowed NZ$11.6 million in 2009 to acquire the resort.

The 50-year-old Mr Bertini, apparently made overtures for the Fiji property, winner of the 'Fiji's Leading Resort' title at the 2010 World Travel Awards, as far back as July 2011 when he 'spontaneously' married 24-year-old, former teenage surf competitor Renee Hyman on the island. Bertini hit the news again when the company behind the refurbishment of the South Sydney Leagues Club went into receivership in March raising concerns that partners and pals, Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court, would also be exposed.

Quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald at the time, Mr Bertini said, despite his losses, "Nothing damages me."

A note on the Facebook page placed by outgoing receivers, ANZ (Fiji), dated 8 March 2012, reads:

We are pleased to announce the sale of the Vatulele Island Resort which has been completed on 29 February, 2012 to a Fiji incorporated company, Trivest International Limited, owned by Mr Albert Bertini, a prominent Australian property developer.

The new owner plans a significant expansion, refurbishment and upgrading of the Resort and replacement and upgrading of Resort infrastructure and accordingly the Resort is closing at the end of February, 2012 to allow this expansion, refurbishment and upgrading to proceed during March and April 2012. We see this as an exciting stage for this iconic property.

Accordingly, the Resort will not be open during the period of the refurbishment and all existing bookings will be refunded. Guests with bookings will be offered alternative accommodation at other leading resorts in Fiji. The Resort regrets any inconvenience to those holding bookings during the closure period.

It is expected that the new owner will make an announcement about the reopening of the Resort upon completion of the upgrading works. Having operated the Resort as Receiver/Managers since 14 June, 2011, we wish to thank our staff and partners for their co-operation and continued support for the Resort.

Malaysia Airlines takes delivery of Airbus A380


Malaysia Airlines joins Airbus A380 club

Malaysia Airlines has taken delivery of its first A380 aircraft at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, becoming the eighth carrier of the world’s largest and most eco-efficient airliner.

The new aircraft will fly non-stop from London Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, three times a week, from July 2nd 2012.

Malaysia Airlines’ A380 has a capacity of 494 seats, comprising of 350 economy and eight fully-flat first-class seats on the main (lower) deck, and 66 fully-flat business-class and 70 economy seats on the upper deck.

The airline has six A380 aircraft on order, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines, with the second due to be introduced on the London-Kuala Lumpur route in August 2012, which will provide a daily non-stop A380 service to Kuala Lumpur.

The introduction of the A380 follows the upgrading of the Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge at London Heathrow’s Terminal 4, which features pre-boarding dining and shower facilities and impressive views overlooking the runway at Heathrow, as well as a new Golden Lounge at Kuala Lumpur.

“The A380 showcases our latest premium offering,” said Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Malaysia Airlines’ chief executive.

“This will be our flagship aircraft offering new levels of comfort, luxury and convenience for long-haul travel.

“With the A380 in our fleet, we will reinforce our position as one of the worlds’s preferred premium carriers bringing great Malaysian Hospitality to our customers.”

Providing new levels of unique Malaysian Hospitality to passengers, Malaysia Airlines’ A380 enhancements will include the introduction of the ‘Chef-on-Call’ service – currently only available to first class guests – for business class passengers.

A Thales seat back on-demand system, with easy-to-use on-screen controls, will offer every passenger the latest in-flight entertainment.

All seats in all classes are also equipped with USB ports and satellite telephone facilities.

Malaysia Airlines is due to join the oneworld alliance in the last quarter of 2012.

The carrier is also considered Asia’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards.

Excitement builds as Virgin Galactic given green light for powered flights

It may still be some way off but MTA – Mobile Travel Agents' Managing Director, Roy Merricks and his team are hopeful they will soon be gearing up to start sending the first Virgin Galactic 'future astronauts' into space.

Mr Merricks said the Virgin Galactic spaceline flights were now one step closer following news that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US has granted experimental launch permits for the company's Spaceship Two and WhiteKnight Two spacecraft.

MTA is infact one of only eight agencies in Australia to be handpicked by Virgin Group supremo Sir Richard Branson to sell his space tourism project.

 "According to the advice we have received this represents an important milestone in Virgin Galactic coming one step closer to bringing customers into space," Mr Merricks said.

SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo have already made significant progress in their flight test program.

With 80 test flights completed, WhiteKnightTwo is substantially through its test plan while the more recently constructed SpaceShipTwo has safely completed sixteen free flights including three thattested the vehicle's unique "feathering" re-entry system.

Additionally, its vehicle developer, Scaled Composites (Scaled)), has successfully completed ten test firings of the full scale SpaceShipTwo rocket motor, including full duration burns.

According to The President of Scaled Composites (Scaled), the US company which is developing the craft, the  Spaceship program is making steady progress.

Scaled president, Doug Shane, said the company was now looking forward lighting the vehicle's rocket engine in flight for the first time.

Although a handful of experimental launch permits have been granted to other rockets, SpaceShipTwo is the first rocket-powered vehicle that carries humans on board to receive such a permit.

SpaceShipOne, the manned spaceship successfully flown to space in 2004 and the basis for the design of SpaceShipTwo, flew before the Experimental Permit regulatory regime was established.

Virgin Galactic, owned by Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Aabar Investments PJS, is on track to be the world's first commercial spaceline.


Grandparents footing bill for multigenerational travel

May 24, 2012 By Catherine Laughlin, FOR THE INQUIRER
Read Full story at
Here's a few selections from the above article:

The Urises are trailblazers in a growing trend of multigenerational travel, called “grand travel,” which is big and getting bigger.

More than ever, said Jim Lardear, spokesman for AAA’s travel division, three generations of a family are booking adventure tours and checking into exclusive resorts, with grandparents picking up the tab — and savvy travel representatives are taking notice.

Shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, AAA — which has 12 stores in the Philadelphia region — saw an uptick in these kinds of trips at a time when airline bookings were sagging. Families were choosing to spend more time together, and AAA seized the opportunity to publish “Traveling With Your Grandkids,” a guidebook full of tips and splashy ideas for grandparents planning such a trip.
Even more grandparents are footing the bill today.

According to the United States Tour Operators Association, a consortium with 45 members that own and operate more than 150 brands, 50 percent of its clients cited an increase in grand travel in 2011, and of that number, 30 percent reported an increase of 10 percent or more from 2010.

Tauck Tours, an 87-year-old leisure travel company, noticed the grand-travel trend after 2001, and two years later launched Tauck Bridges (as in, build bridges between the ages), offering trips such as Call of the Cowboy Country in Wyoming, Safari Time in Africa, and Jungles and Rain Forests in Costa Rica. All yell adventure for grandkids, grown children, and seniors who are more fit, more hip, and a far cry from the Geritol generations of the past.

Faith-based Travel Resources for Agents (Travel Market Report)

Per the Travel Market Report article by Nick Verrastro, below are some of the resources I cited as being helpful to travel agents in regards to learning about the faith-based travel marketplace. Read full story at:


Faith-Based Travel Guidebooks: Among recommended works are Wright’s own books, The Christian Travel Planner and Catholic Shrines of Western Europe: A Pilgrim's Travel Guide.

Also: The Pilgrim's Travel Guide series; Every Pilgrim's Guide to the Journeys of the Apostles, by Michael Counsell, and A Guide to Biblical Sites in Greece and Turkey, by Clyde E. Fant and Mitchell G. Reddish.

DVDs and Videos: Suggested titles include: “The Christian Traveler,” starring Richard Kiley and produced by Reader’s Digest; National Geographic’s “Secrets of Jerusalem's Holiest Sites,” and the Public Television series “Walking the Bible.”

Tourist Offices: Among tourist offices that provide print and online resources about faith-based tourism for travel agents are:
•    Jordan Tourism Board: Religion and Faith.
•    Israel Ministry of Tourism: Jewish Themes and Christian Themes.
•    Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism: Faith Tourism.
•    Egypt Tourism Authority: Spirituality.
•    Switzerland Tourism: Religious Sites.
•    Bahamas Ministry of Tourism: Explore the Islands of the Bahamas.

Periodicals & Blogs: Wright recommended the magazine Going on Faith

Agents Essential to Dynamic Faith-Based Travel Niche (by Nick Verrastro)

Below are the opening paragraphs to the above story published by Travel Market Report.
To read the full story, click here

Agents Essential to Dynamic Faith-Based Travel Niche

Message to travel sellers: the $16-billion faith-based travel market is no longer just about church groups visiting the Holy Land. And it needs you.

Because agents have strong relationships with credible suppliers, as well as with affinity and family groups – two primary sources for faith-based travel – they are ideally suited to expand the market even further, say industry executives.

Focus at NTA Forum
Reaching out to travel agents was one of the challenges identified during an NTA Faith Tourism Leaders Forum at the NTA Annual Convention last December.

Developing the faith-based travel market is high on the agenda of the NTA, which last year launched a faith-based travel initiative. Forty percent of NTA’s 700 members are involved in faith-based travel at some level, according to president Lisa Simon.

Read the rest of the story at

Australian Gourmet Traveller 2012 Travel Award winners announced

The June issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller, out today, unveils the cream of Australia's travel crop, from the outback to the coast and beyond.

The winners of the sixth annual Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards were announced last night at an exclusive dinner at the lavishly refurbished Park Hyatt Sydney hosted by the editor of Gourmet Traveller, Anthea Loucas, and attended by Australia’s travel industry leaders.

Special guests included Nine Network personality and Getaway Lounge ambassador Catriona Rowntree, who acted as MC; star chefs Neil Perry, Guillaume Brahimi and Justin North; and Renaud Tinel of awards sponsor Nespresso.

Highlights of the 2012 Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards include the revamped Lizard Island (winner of Best Resort or Lodge); new categories such as Best Weekend Away and Best Stopover City (won by Melbourne and Singapore, respectively); South Australia's Arkaba Station (Best Outback Experience); the Whitsundays' Qualia (Best Australian Island Resort and Best Spa); and Hobart's MONA (Standout Australian Travel Experience for the second consecutive year).

London, naturally, is the Hottest International City of 2012: nowhere else will hold a candle, far less an Olympic torch, to the English capital this year.

Gourmet Traveller editor Anthea Loucas said: “While our soaring dollar has sent Aussies overseas in record numbers this year, there are loads of exciting experiences to be had right on our doorstep. We are proud to again celebrate the achievements of Australia's finest travel operators through our sixth annual Travel Awards. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, and a big thank you to our Gourmet Traveller readers and Getaway viewers.”

This year's Gourmet Traveller Travel Awards attracted more than 22,000 votes. One lucky voter wins the main prize, courtesy of boutique hotel gurus Mr & Mrs Smith: a five-night escape to Shanghai worth $11,250, including return airfares with Qantas and accommodation at The PuLi Hotel and Spa.

The 13 Readers' Choice categories and finalists were chosen by an expert panel of travel writers, editors, photographers and independent industry professionals.

Gourmet Traveller readers and viewers of the Nine Network's Getaway program were then able to vote online in each of the categories.

Winners of a further five Expert Awards categories were chosen by the expert panel alone.


• Nespresso Best Large Luxury Hotel: Crown Towers, Melbourne, Vic
• Best Adventure Tourism: Cradle Mountain Huts, Tas (2nd consecutive year)
• Getaway Best Family Experience: Lord Howe Island, NSW
• Best Weekend Away: Melbourne, Vic
• Best Spa: Qualia, Hamilton Island, Qld (3rd consecutive year)
• Best Indigenous Tourism Experience: Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia
• Best Hotel/Resort Dining: Lake House, Vic (3rd consecutive year)
• Best Cruise Line: Orion Expedition Cruises (4th consecutive year)
• Best Airline Service: Emirates
• Best Stopover City: Singapore
• Best Golf Resort: Coolum Golf and Spa, Qld
• Best Resort or Lodge: Lizard Island, Qld
• Best Cellar Door Experience: Logan Wines, NSW


• Best Capital City Hotel: Park Hyatt Sydney, Sydney, NSW
• Best Australian Island Resort: Qualia, Hamilton Island, Qld
• Best Outback Experience: Arkaba Station, SA
• Standout Australian Travel Experience: MONA, Tas (2nd consecutive year)
• Hottest International City: London, UK

The list of winners and details are published in the June issue of Gourmet Traveller, on sale Wednesday 30 May, and online at

World's Most Visited Sacred Sites (Travel & Leisure)

As faith-based travel is one of the biggest growth markets in tourism today, it naturally begs the question: What are some of the world's most visited holy and sacred sites?

Travel and Leisure recently wrote a full story on the above subject which included highlighting more than 40 global religious sites.

A glance through the number of visitors to each of the above destinations shows how and why faith-based travel comprises one of the biggest segments in travel and tourism.

Read the full story here:

Discover the World Marketing has moved

Discover the World Marketing is excited to announce that we have moved into a new office this week. After 30 years in North Sydney we have relocated to the Sydney CBD, into a newly refurbished office to accommodate our expanding team.

“Over the last few years we have experienced significant growth and as a result we out grew our office in North Sydney” says Birgit Eisbrenner, Discover the World Marketing’s Country Director. “Our new central location will provide great access for our partners and clients”.

“After an initial hitch with our systems, I am pleased to advise that our emails are up and running now. Some of our phones lines are however still affected and we would like to apologise to our valued travel partners for any inconvenience caused" continues Birgit.

We have set up dedicated mobile phones in addition to the below land lines which are in full operation:

Discover the World Marketing:
02 9959 3696 or 0401 857 390

Discover the World Marketing Travel:
02 9959 5309 or 0421 851 381

Expedia TAAP:
1800 726 618 or 0432 491 367

Our new address is Level 7, 89 York Street Sydney.

Tips For Booking Travel Online

The days of the traditional travel agent are pretty much long gone. Although you can still find some traditional agents around the local travel agencies have turned to the internet. The internet provides the casual traveler with many options and up to date pricing. So with a touch of a finger we are now able to get great deals online. With so many sites to choose from which ones will fit your needs?

The goal of each site is to offer you the best deals and to create a smooth booking process. Most of these sites are really a matter of preference for the user, but I like to shop around to compare prices when booking. To get the best deals first you should decide what type of trip you are taking.

Regardless of the site you always want to look at their special deals. Especially if you are not 100% sure where you are going and doing but just want a vacation. Websites like Expedia, Orbitz, and Hotwire will offer some great deals for air, car, and hotel packages to certain highlighted cities. There are some strict rules of booking but you will find them to be lower than if you booked each portion individually.

Hotwire also bases much of their pricing on you being flexible with your times. They provide you with a package price and once you agree they tell you what time you have to travel during those days. It is how they control the pricing and offering you the lowest prices they can. If you are flexible in this respect they do offer some great deals.

Keep in mind with Hotwire that you have to be ready to purchase if they give you a deal you cannot refuse. You are on a time limit to purchase and if you leave and come back you could typically lose that rate and get a different one. If that package price is still valid you will get that back but that is something you take the chance on.

Orbitz and Expedia offer great deals on cruises, ski packages, and more. You have flexibility with time and destinations here and although they do offer those random destinations they do also combine packages for you and are easy to use.

If you are traveling and will need air and hotel, or even air, car, and hotel then you will want to consider packaging your trip. Each website is geared to offer you better deals when you package them together. On average the price is around 30% lower when using packages versus booking each individual piece. One thing you will notice on most travel sites is the ability to add tours, shows, and other amenities that will even further your savings.

On sites such as Orbitz they do provide you extensive information about destinations, activities in those destinations, and rating information. This is a nice perk for travelers that have never been to this destination. If you are looking for information on the properties and overall location then you will find Orbitz to be very user friendly.

Expedia has a great layout and can be used for both business and pleasure. Making for a one stop shopping experience and they help you convert your rewards miles which is a perk. They have extensive maps and destination information which makes them quite valuable. You do have to become a member, but they do offer some tremendous deals.
There are many other websites out there to compare. All of them offer some of the same features but these were the top 3. Each has unique deals and all are geared toward getting you some great deals. With the touch of a finger you can now access the many great deals and book your perfect trip.

So what if you need specific destinations or times? What if you really only need air bookings? Each of these sites is still in line with this type of travel. You can purchase each piece individually with the same features and benefits of these destinations.

One thing I do when I am purchasing individually is go to the deals section first. Many times my destination will be there and I can see what restrictions are out there and if I can get one of these deals. If not then I go and search the deals for my cities in the search boxes. Don't forget to shop around just to compare prices.

One good thing to also try is the airline websites directly. Many sites like Southwest airlines have extensive explanations of rules and restrictions on their prices making it easy to understand. In the travel world they do use a lot of jargon, but some airlines have really tried to help explain certain restrictions in easy to understand blogs.

The airline websites directly can also offer you deals and packages as they have teamed up with hotels and cars to offer overall deals as well. They may not have as many as someone like Orbitz or Expedia but they can offer some great deals.

The airlines also have the luxury of offering web only fares. These are fares they offer to someone willing to book online versus over the phone. These deals are often much lower than the regular fares making it intriguing for you to go in this direction. You can find a lot of bargains in these web only fares.

Keep in mind that shopping at each individual airline website can be time consuming. That is where Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, and others will search them all for you and give you the special deals. That is the true appeal to these sites and can give you that one stop shopping experience.

One last great feature of the internet is the ability to research any location you are traveling. You can get up to the minute weather information, tourist attractions, information on the state and climate, and much more. There are many tourist sites out there and Travel sites like Expedia and Orbitz do utilize some of these features but you can locate many tourist sites on search engines.

Some of the best tourist sites are going to be as simple as typing the location name and tourism. Example being Colorado Tourism and several helpful sites come up and will give you added features on this state along with best airports to fly into so you are not traveling hours upon arrival. You can even go as far as virtual tourism sites that have great pictures and details on your destination.

Travel has been made easier using the internet. No driving to a local agency to get the deals, no relying on just a few brochures to show you the locations, and no waiting on destination information. The internet has brought this all to you with the touch of a finger from the convenience of your own home any time of the day or night. You now have the capability to search competitors and make the best decisions that are right for you.

If you are looking to book your next trip then you may want to consider these keen factors. Make your trip not only enjoyable but affordable.

The Ultimate Language Travel Site

A look back at what the Spanish language world was twenty-five years ago is in strong contrast to what it is now. Who would have said only a few decades ago that a community of 250 million speakers with a low economic development would jump into number two as a world langauge and as a thriving culture which has managed to captivate the rest of the world with its arts and entertainment. Now, at over 500 million, Spanish is not just a matter of quantity. In these two or three decades many things have happened. Spain, accounting for over 40 million, has fast developed into the world's 9th industrial power and a key member of the European Union. Mexico, Chile and Argentina have become much more important than they ever dreamed in the entangled economy of the Americas. The Spanish language minority in the United States has reached unforeseen proportions and keeps growing in a development which will certainly reshape the USA into a formally bilingual country sooner than expected. In other words, the Spanish language world had never been so important in the international context since the old days of the Spanish empire back in the 1500s.

Spanish language is not just an interesting extra for our education and our children's. It is indeed an increasingly important part of the ordinary citizen's CV. Spanish language schools in Spain used to receive a large amount of students in their late teens or early twenties, to whom learning Spanish was just a secondary subject and a lot of fun. Nowadays, the amount of these students have multiplied by twenty while thousands of new courses have been launched for minors and, more importantly, also for executives. It has always been normal to see top level executives taking a two week leave to do a super intensive English course in the UK, the heart of the English language. Well, it is now easy to see the same happening around Spain: top bosses from multinational corporations travelling thousands of miles to take an exhaustive course in order to learn Spanish, not for fun, but because it is crucial to their business.

Korea Invites the World to join the fun at Expo 2012 Yeosu

The world's largest international fair in 2012, Expo 2012 Yeosu has opened in Korea on May 12.  Last Sunday, 27 May the Australian Pavilion hosted Australian national day at the Expo and had the opportunity to show the world what Australia has to offer.  With famous international model Jessica Gomez, pop sensation Jessica Mauboy and several other Australian performers they shone the light on the Australian pavilion at Expo 2012 Yeosu.

The Australian pavilion has won popular appraisal from visitors who are warmly welcomed by 'Alpy' the mascot, an Australian little penguin.  The theme of the Australian pavilion is 'In Harmony with the Ocean' where visitors can learn and enjoy many aspects of Australia's high environmental, scientific and technical capabilities in marine conservation and its commitment to sustainable development of our vast natural resources.

Expo 2012 Yeosu runs for three months until the 12th August.  The Expo is drawing great interest from international visitors to its pavilions.  From the world's first off-shore exhibition hall to Korea's largest aquarium and an International Pavilion which houses Australia's exhibition hall to the 'Big O', a 43metre tall structure over water is drawing great interest from around the world.

The 'Big O' is the place to enjoy the beautiful fountain show that features the world's first hologram video technology.  The 'Big O' is an oval shaped steel structure that has an enclosed water screen that shows videos, while the outer rim is installed with devices that produce water jets, mist, flames, lights, lasers etc. 

The Expo Digital Gallery is where Korea's world first digital technology shines, a giant LED display covers the entire ceiling and walls of the main street of the Expo site.  Through diverse exhibitions, the Digital Gallery aims to highlight the importance of nature to humanity.

The amazing structure of the world's first pavilion to be built offshore is the Theme Pavilion exhibition with the theme of the Expo 'The Living Ocean and Coast'.  Different images of the five oceans are shown on the 20 metre long video wall display and the half moon five metre diameter video screen creating an amazing underwater experience

The Korean pavilion built in the shape of a 'taeguk' or yin-yang symbol features an exhibition hall showcasing various media presentations using digital and analogue technologies and a media hall showing films about the future of Korea's role in the global marine industry.

The Aquarium/Marine Life Pavilion at over six thousand square metres is the largest in Korea where visitors can observe rare marine life like beluga whales, Baikal seals and penguins etc.

The Marine Life Pavilion allows visitors to interact with sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, jellyfish and more.  The Eco-Terrarium simulates the ecological features of the Amazon.  The pavilion also houses a mudflat ecosystem centre and a 4D submarine simulator to explore the aquatic life 6,000 metres under water.

There are a total of 106 participating countries in the International Pavilion which is divided into five sections each named after the earth's five oceans.  The Australian Pavilion is located here.  This pavilion also features a second floor restaurant hall serving and selling specialty dishes from around the world.

The Expo Hall showcases diverse cultural performances where visitors to the country will be able to enjoy Korea's traditional music and dance performances.  Also there are five themed Expo Plazas which have daily entertainment and events to enjoy.

The Corporate Pavilion depicts the future of the shipbuilding, marine, IT and green-growth industries.  It is comprised of seven individual company pavilions representing GS, Hyundai Motor, LG, Lotte, Samsung, SK and POSCO.

The Energy Park is designed to demonstrate the vision of 'Low Carbon, Green Growth'  The Renewable Energy Production facility houses a solar power plant and energy promotion centre and the Experience Zone provides platforms for energy education through energy orchestra, water cannon bikes and a dance floor.

A big drawcard for visitors to the event is the many K-POP Concerts being held at Expo 2012 Yeosu over the next two and half months.  The line-up includes some of Korea's biggest stars such as Wonder Girls, BEAST, SHINee, 2AM, Miss A, Super Junior and MBLAQ.

A Hallyu (Korean wave) concert scheduled for June 9 and sponsored by Korea Tourism Organization will include BEAST, Jay Park, A Pink, BTOB.  Big Wave concerts will be held on June 15, 19, 26, July 5, 21 and on August 11 prior to the Expo closing on August 12.

Many other K-POP concerts are being held from now until close of the Expo on August 12,   the best way to check the latest schedule of upcoming events is via the official Expo 2012 Yeosu website:

A standard one day pass to Expo 2012 costs 33,000 Korean won for adults (approx. A$28) and children/Seniors 19,000 Korean won (approx. A$15.80)   Tickets can be purchased online on the Expo 2012 website. 

Tour packages from Australia are available through CTS Tours who have tours starting at $2,300 per person twin share for a 6day/5night package tour to Seoul and Yeosu including return airfares Australia/Korea, accommodation, city tour of Seoul, two days at Yeosu expo and return KTX express train tickets from Seoul to Yeosu return. 

Contact:  CTS Tours by email: 


Legend Asia have a three day/2night package from Seoul to Yeosu starting at $380 per person twin share including return KTX train to Gwangju, free shuttle bus from Gwangju to Yeosu, two nights accomodation with daily breakfasts and Expo admission for two days.

Further information:  Legend Asia Email: 


Lotte Travel have three day land only packages from Seoul-Yeosu including return KTX and accommodation from Seoul for $329 per person twin share depending on accommodation choice.  Packages with return airfare to Korea starts from $1,599 till 17 June.

Website:  Lotte Travel  Email:

Smile Travel also have a three day/2nights package from $299 per person twin share including staying in either Suncheon or Gwangju nearby the Expo, return KTX from Seoul and free shuttle to Expo site. 

More information:  Smile Travel  Email:


For more information on travel in Korea or Expo 2012 Yeosu contact the Sydney office of Korea Tourism Organization to request information, travel guide book etc. 

Email:   Phone:  02)9252-1717

Official travel website for Korea:


Chiang Mai death hotel is coming down

by Ian Jarrett/ TravelMole

The Chiang Mai hotel at the centre of a mystery after four guests - three of them tourists - died at the northern Thailand property, is being demolished to make way for a new hotel.

The Downtown Inn made headlines amid claims that chemicals used there might have caused the deaths.

A British couple, a 23-year-old New Zealander, and a Thai tour guide all died within 16 days in adjoining rooms at the three-star Downtown Inn in February 2011.

Thai health authorities initially blamed "toxic seaweed" for one of the deaths, but it later emerged that hotel staff might have been over-zealous with the use of pesticides to remove bed bugs.

The Bangkok Post reported that an official report - released after a five-month probe into the incidents - concluded that three of the deaths were probably connected to the use of pesticides.

Chiang Mai authorities have subsequently introduced a series of public health safety measures which they hope will offer greater protection to tourists.

Boozy 20-somethings deemed trouble by travel insurers

Travellers aged 23 to 30 encounters the most strife when travelling overseas, particularly those under the influence of alcohol, 1Cover Travel Insurance today announced.

Compiled data from the insurer highlights 20-somethings as the age group making the most claims – particularly for medical expenses and lost luggage. Managing director of 1Cover, Eddie Feltham, said he was surprised at the results.

“Our recent claims data reveals that young adults are claiming for medical reasons more so than their older counterparts,” he said. “It’s surprising considering that when people hit a certain age they pay a higher premium. The older you are the more likely you are to have an accident.”

Older people also pay more for pre-existing medical conditions, but Mr Feltham believes the general health of travellers is not what bucked the trend – its alcohol and mindset.

“We can assume that the heightened claims amongst 20-somethings are both due to their stronger belief of entitlement as well as binge drinking and the influence of alcohol.”

The 2007 National Drug Strategy Household Survey found that alcohol is a significant contributor to violence and hospitalisation of young adult and underwriters, Allianz Global Assistance, agree this carries over to behaviour abroad.

Claims Manager at Allianz Global Assistance, Peter Teen, said that they frequently dealt with claims where hospitalisations were attributed to misuse of alcohol and drugs. He warned young travellers about so-called ‘jungle juice’ and drink spiking at popular holiday destinations.

“Keep an eye on your drinks to protect against spiking and be mindful of what you are consuming - drinks can be laced with methanol which is poisonous. People have died from drinking jungle-juice,” he said.

1Cover found that young Australians mostly claim on their travel insurance for:
  • damaged personal items (e.g. iPhones, iPads, camera)
  • fractures or ligament injuries from ski/snowboarding accidents
  • lost passports
  • motorbike/scooter accidents (important for travellers to be licensed as according to local laws and they must also wear a helmet)
  • gastroenteritis while holidaying in remote locations (South America/Asia).

Thank you again to my blog readers from around the world!

I'm so appreciative to all my blog readers and visitors from around the world, so thank you for taking time to visit my blog and keeping up with what's happeniung in today's Growth Markets in tourism.

If you'd like, feel free to add your comments to posts as well as follow my blog.

Want to get sense just how international in scope the Growth Markets are? Here are some of the countries from where my blog readers come from:

What an impressive and diverse list stretching across the globe!

Thank you everyone!



Virgin Atlantic today celebrated its first flight between London Heathrow and Vancouver. 

The inaugural flight arrived in Vancouver today, 25th May and to mark the occasion, Sir Richard Branson was joined on the steps of the aircraft by Amy Williams MBE, winter Olympic Gold medallist from Vancouver 2010.

The new service will operate four times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Initially the service will run throughout the summer up until 27th October 2012 and will see up to 40,000 Virgin Atlantic customers travelling between London and Vancouver in the first season.  As the airline's 32nd worldwide route, it is estimated that Virgin Atlantic's flights will deliver around CAD$20million (UK£12.5m) of tourism revenue to the Vancouver market each year.

Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic Airways commented:

"I am delighted to be here to mark this occasion and especially pleased to be joined by Amy Williams who is undoubtedly the darling of British Winter Sport – she returned home to the UK from Vancouver in 2010 as a National heroine."

"We've had lots of customers asking us to fly to Vancouver over the years, so we're delighted to launch this new route in response to customer demand.  Vancouver is such a cosmopolitan city, full of culture, shopping and restaurants but it also offers stunning beaches and a range of outdoor adventure options on its doorstep.  Vancouver's tourism is thriving and we believe that we can drive demand even higher by providing great competition with our award winning product and service. The UK has the largest number of overseas visitors to British Columbia each year so it is a natural addition to our route network.  This route launch further cements our position as the UK's leading long haul leisure airline."

Amy Williams, MBE, winter Olympic Gold medallist from Vancouver 2020 commented:

 "I've not been back to Vancouver since winning gold over two years ago so I am really excited to be here again.   It will no doubt be an emotional experience to go back to slide centre and to see how I feel and what emotions come flooding back.  Vancouver is a fantastic city and I am looking forward to being part of Virgin Atlantic's celebrations and to see what it's like now and if it's still reminiscent of the Games."

Sir Richard Branson along with the plane full of VIPS were greeted by a traditional ice hockey welcome and The Honorable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia who said: 

"It is great news that Virgin Atlantic has chosen to add four weekly flights between London and Vancouver. The United Kingdom is one of our key markets and also serves as a hub for other international travellers heading to our province.

"Virgin Atlantic is recognised around the world as a progressive and innovative airline and we are excited about welcoming their passengers to British Columbia."

Commenting on Virgin Atlantic's first flight into Vancouver Larry Berg, President and CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority, said:

"We have been working for years to bring this world-class carrier to Vancouver as a means to offer passengers more choice and satisfy the high demand for flights to Europe, particularly during the busy summer season."

"This new service means more jobs for British Columbians and increased tourism revenue, particularly given that the UK is B.C.'s single greatest source of overseas visitors."

For further information or to book please contact or call 0844 2092 770.

New Vancouver route facts

§  The new service  begins on 24th May 2012 and will run throughout the summer until 27th October 2012

§  The new service will operate four times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

§  The service will be operated by an Airbus A340-300, which will be configured with 34 Upper Class suites, 35 Premium Economy seats and 171 Economy seats.

§  The outbound sector from London Heathrow (VS95) will depart at 13:00 and arrive in Vancouver at 15:10

§  The inbound sector from Vancouver (VS96) will on Thursdays and Sundays depart at 19:20 and arrive in London Heathrow the next day at 13:15 and on Tuesdays and Saturdays depart at 20:05 and arrive in London Heathrow the next day at 14:00.


Pre-opening bookings available for Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest

Guests can now book their first stay at the new Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest, opening August 2012    

Guests are now visiting to pre-book their first stay at the brand new

Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest.

Located within the Norwest Business Park at Baulkham Hills, the apartment hotel is set for completion in August 2012.

It will feature: 

·         106 apartments including: 

-          21 studio rooms

-          80 one bedroom apartments

-          three two bedroom apartments

-          two three bedroom apartments
·         One conference room
·         Onsite café
·         Fitness centre
·         Swimming pool
·         Car parking facilities

Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest will be a welcome addition to Norwest Business Park - preeminent property developer Capital Corporation's latest development. Known as 22B Norwest, it is a significant and progressive business park fast becoming a thriving commercial hub. Situated just 45 minutes' drive from Sydney's CBD, Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest will make doing business with some of Australia's leading brands easy by offering a place for guests to make themselves at home, along with providing conferencing facilities.

At Adina, there is no need to sacrifice lifestyle when travelling – guests relax in the spacious living areas of the stylish apartments, relish the convenience (and cost savings) of fully equipped kitchens and laundries and wind down at the in-house gym and pool. Also, an emerging dining and retail precinct is close for those making Adina their base while away from home or relocating.

Rachel Argaman, CEO of Toga Hotels, said: "We are delighted to offer guests the chance to pre-book their first stay at the brand new Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest. We are thrilled to introduce our known and loved Adina Apartment Hotel brand to an area with high corporate and leisure demand. Toga has embraced the growth of the Norwest Business Park and an ongoing partnership with Capital Corporation." 

Steve Grant, Director of Capital Corporation, said: "Capital Corporation has been instrumental in the development of Norwest Business Park as we have built and/or developed over 40 properties since its inception. We are pleased to be able to expand our portfolio by developing Norwest's first serviced apartments and are excited to be working with Adina Apartment Hotels on this venture."

The building which houses Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest is comprised of approximately 11,000m² of quality office accommodation and speciality showroom in addition to the quality appointed serviced apartments. Designed by Scott Carver Architects, 22B Norwest will also include a three level open deck car park, coach set down and parking areas.

Toga Hotels is currently pursuing an ambitious growth strategy for the Adina Apartment Hotel brand within Australia. In addition to Adina Apartment Hotel Norwest, coming soon is Adina Apartment Hotel Bondi Beach (2013), Adina Apartment Hotel Mascot (2013) and Adina Apartment Hotel Royal Randwick Racecourse (2014).

For more information about Adina Apartment Hotels visit:

Take In More of Western Canada This Summer with Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer invites travellers to explore more of Western Canada with its new Holiday Extra offer. From now until June 30, 2012, guests who book package tours of four nights or more will receive added value of up to $500 per person to put towards their choice of activities, extra hotel nights in any destination, added meals or a trip onboard the Whistler Sea to Sky Climb route, further enhancing their Rocky Mountaineer journey.

"We are delighted to introduce our enticing new Holiday Extra offer, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy all of the stunning sights of British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies the way they want to," says Hubert Wat, Vice President, Global Marketing of Rocky Mountaineer. "With customizable options such as our Whistler Sea to Sky Climb route and city stop add-ons, guests will be able to enjoy and explore more of what Western Canada has to offer."

On board the Rocky Mountaineer, guests can experience the breathtaking Canadian Rockies first-hand with the Western Explorer package, one of the many great options available with the Holiday Extra offer. The eight-night/seven-night package offers two days onboard the award-winning Rocky Mountaineer and an exciting helicopter tour soaring above through the Canadian Rockies en route to Calgary. With this limited time offer, guests are able to customize their holiday to best suit their preferred itineraries.

Travellers can take advantage of the Holiday offer from now until June 30, 2012. Additional credit of $500 per adult is for GoldLeaf Service bookings. Guests in SilverLeaf Service receive $400 per person and RedLeaf Service bookings are given a $300 per adult in added value. Further restrictions may apply.

For more information on the new Holiday Extra offer or to receive a copy of the 2012 Rocky Mountaineer brochure, please contact your local travel professional or Rocky Mountaineer directly at 00-11-800-0606-7372, or visit For the latest news and offers, follow us on Twitter @rmountaineer or become a fan on Facebook.

About Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer offers over 45 Canadian holiday packages and four unique rail routes, rich in history and natural wonders, through British Columbia and Alberta. This world renowned, luxurious train travels by daylight through the wild beauty of Canada's West and is the best way to experience the majestic Canadian Rockies, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over the past 22 years, Rocky Mountaineer has grown to become the largest privately owned passenger rail service in North America and has welcomed more than one million guests onboard from around the world. In 2011, Rocky Mountaineer received the most awards for service excellence in the company's history. Winning its seventh World Travel Award in 2011 as "World's Leading Travel Experience by Train," Rocky Mountaineer has also been recognized by National Geographic as one of the "World's Greatest Trips."


Virgin Atlantic and Visit Britain launch a jointly funded marketing campaign, Great Britain by Virgin Atlantic, marking the beginning of a year-long partnership aimed at inspiring more Australians to visit Britain in 2012 and 2013.

The $1million partnership uses elements of Visit Britain's current 'This is Great Britain' branding and Virgin Atlantic's 'London by Virgin Atlantic' creative to deliver a bespoke multi-platform, integrated marketing campaign. Creative was developed by Virgin Atlantic's creative agency RKYR London and GPYR Sydney, with media planning and buying by OMD Sydney.

Virgin Atlantic and Visit Britain have combined marketing resources to increase the share of voice of both brands in a very competitive environment. Leveraging their strengths both have aimed at creating a campaign that communicates the multiple attractions of the destination in a uniquely Virgin way.

Margy Vary, Marketing manager of Virgin Atlantic says;

"The Union Jack flag is one of the most recognisable brand symbols in the world. To highlight all that's great about Britain, we built a uniquely intriguing flag collage from multiple images of British destinations and icons.

We added the Virgin wit and flair for cut-through, and the crew girl who symbolises the sparkling premium service that we are famous for.

Finally, we seamlessly integrated Visit Britain's core brand elements and logos to leverage the awareness they have already built in this market with the 'Great' branding campaign"

Capturing Australians at the research stage of their travel plans, the Great Britain by Virgin Atlantic campaign is focused around a two phase strategy;

· Driving awareness and interest in the destination
· Closing the sale with great offers on Virgin Atlantic,

The campaign will feature;

· Online primarily with Yahoo!7, SMH and Ninemsn travel sections
· Weekend travel sections of all major metropolitan newspapers
· Radio live reads
· Social media presence on Facebook
· Travel trade media

With the Australian dollar at an all-time high against the British pound, Virgin Atlantic saw significant opportunities in the Australian market to grow leisure traffic to Britain. 2012 is a landmark year for Britain and Visit Britain are the perfect partner to help Virgin Atlantic capitalise on the increased awareness and attention that will be drawn to this exciting destination.

To mark the launch of the partnership Virgin Atlantic launched the joint creative alongside competitive sale fare to London, flying economy from $1507 including taxes.

Through this collaboration, the Great Britain by Virgin Atlantic campaign communicates both organisations' commitment of inspiring Australian travellers to visit Britain not just in 2012 but beyond into 2013.

Royal Caribbean Deploys Mariner of the Seas to China in 2013

Royal Caribbean International, at a press conference in Beijing, said Mariner of the Seas will be based in Asia in June 2013 and will offer a number of itineraries from China and Singapore to Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea throughout the rest of the year.

Mariner of the Seas is the second 3,114-passenger ship to move to the China market, joining Voyager of the Seas. Royal Caribbean executives said this illustrates the company’s commitment to the growing cruise industry in Asia. Together, the two ships represent the two largest and most modern cruise ships operating in the region.

Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., and Adam Goldstein, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean International, made the announcement with Dr. Zinan Liu, group managing director for China and Asia.

Royal Caribbean will deploy Mariner of the Seas to China in June 2013. The ship will offer a wide variety of itineraries, ranging from three nights to 12 nights. The move is designed to offer additional capacity to a fast-growing cruise in China, as well as attract cruise guests from around the world to visit China and sail around Asia. The ship will adopt the same product customizations made for Voyager of the Seas' entry in the market, including Chinese-style menus, as well as enhanced retail and entertainment offerings, and language services.

“The opportunities to attract guests from China to cruise are abundant,” says Goldstein. “Mariner of the Seas recently received a host of Royal Advantage enhancements and I’m confident cruisers here will be amazed by the Oasis-class innovations available for everyone of all ages on this ship.”

“We’ve made it clear we see Asia in general, and China in particular, as a strategic objective,” adds Fain. “We have been so pleased by the market’s response to bringing Voyager of the Seas to Asia that it made strategic sense to send a second ship of equal size.”

Mariner of the Seas, which displaces 138,279 gross registered tons, will depart the Caribbean in April 2013 and head to Singapore and onto China via Dubai and the Suez Canal. When the ship sails into China in June 2013, Mariner of the Seas will offer guests the benefits of the company’s Royal Advantage strategy, including enhanced staterooms and other innovative features.

Underscoring the significance of the growing Chinese cruise economy and established desire to sail with Royal Caribbean International, Voyager of the Seas is confirmed to return to China in 2013 for a second season. Meanwhile, Legend of the Seas, which has operated out of Singapore and Shanghai for the past three years, will return to Europe.

Spa Travel Stays Strong, Even in Down Times (by Nick Verrastro)

Another example of a Growth Market is Spa Travel, as Nick Verrastro wrote for Travel Market Report on May 17.

Here are a few select insights and statements from the article. Click on the link at the bottom to read the full article at Travel Market Report:

Consumers are increasingly interested in spa travel for its health and wellness benefits, rather than mere pampering, and suppliers are responding with attractive pricing and product to satisfy the demand.

These developments account for the resiliency of the spa travel segment during the recent economic downturn, according to Susie Ellis, president, SpaFinder, Inc.

“Spas’ greatly expanded focus on health, wellness and prevention, rather than mere pampering – combined with their ongoing attractive pricing – have been the two keys to this travel category’s resiliency over these last tough years,” said Ellis.

Increased customer interest in spa travel specifically for its health and wellness benefits was the number one emerging trend in spa travel identified by travel agents in the SpaFinder survey.

Pampering and pleasure have become less important as motivating factors in consumer desire for spa travel, agents indicated.

Health is very important to people traveling today, whether for business or for leisure, Ellis told Travel Market Report. Understanding that is key to agents developing this niche market successfully.

The growth of wellness tourism shows that “a new vacation concept is gaining traction,” Ellis said.

Read full article at:

A sailing yacht charter could be most exciting and peaceful

With a wide range of destinations available, such as the Caribbean, North America and the Far East, sailing offers the chance to experience natural landscapes that are unable to be seen or explored from land. There is often the opportunity to swim, snorkel or dive off the yacht, allowing those on board to observe marine life up close, as well as enjoy tropical waters. With different charter options available for sailing holidays, it is easy to find the best type of charter to suit those who will be on board.

For those who are still unsure about whether a sailing holiday is the right holiday, consider sailing in the UK over a long weekend, as this is the perfect way to experience what sailing can offer.

Crewed Charters

Many people who choose sailing holidays prefer a crewed yacht charter. This type of charter means that there is a full crew on board, the number of which will depend on the size of the vessel. For those who have no previous experience of sailing, this is an ideal way to ensure safety on board. Travelers on these types of charters may have to assist the crew with some of the basic on-board tasks, but there will be plenty of time to sit back, relax and enjoy the experience.

The type of yacht available for charter will often depend on the requirements of the travelers. There are different sized yachts available that are ideal for families or groups of friends as well as catamarans.

Bareboat Charters

A bareboat charter is the name given to those charters where an experienced sailor is required among the group. Because there is no crew aboard a bareboat yacht charter, all of the on-board tasks need completing by those who are renting the yacht. Not only does this include housekeeping such as cooking and cleaning, but also duties such as cleaning the deck and managing the rigging.

The experienced sailor will need to captain the crew to ensure task completion. Although this type of charter can be hard work at times, a crew will enjoy the challenge of working as a team to manage the yacht and of course, bareboat charters offer a great deal of flexibility around destinations and schedule.

Flotilla Holidays

A flotilla is a number of yacht charters sailing together. Although a group of family or friends will have their own yacht, they remain part of a flotilla. This means that there is independence as well as the security of being part of a group. Flotillas have a lead crew who provide a flexible schedule for the remaining yachts. They are also able to give advice and practical support. Being part of a flotilla offers the chance for crews to meet up at specified destinations for activities such as dining or beach parties.

With many destinations to choose from, as well as being able to select the most appropriate type of charter, this is now the time to have a change from the usual beach holidays and experience sailing.

Airfare Transparency Group Says Airline Fees Hit Families Hard

Travel Pulse > Travel News > Airfare Transparency Group Says Airline Fees Hit Families Hard
By James Shillinglaw
May 24, 2012 10:35 PM

Open Allies for Airfare Transparency, a group that is seeking full disclosure of airline fees, said that as millions of Americans take to the skies for the opening weekend of summer, families are encountering “unprecedented” hurdles to air travel that could be eased if airlines truly focused on customer needs and kept fees for seating, boarding and the like transparent through and purchasable from travel agents. Since most airlines fail to do so, the group said, whether it's fees for seating that make it hard for parents to sit with their children, or barring pre-boarding for families with small children, families are particularly susceptible.

“What makes the behavior of the airlines even more exasperating for families is the failure to provide airfares on an all-in (fares, taxes and fees) basis upfront," said Art Sackler, executive director of Open Allies for Airfare Transparency.  "Because many airlines withhold that information, families can't figure out how much more it will cost them to sit together until after they purchase their basic tickets -- and that could be hundreds of dollars round trip.” Sackler also said it was very difficult for families to compare prices among airlines that have fees for seats or other add-ons.

Read full story at:

New ferry connects Alaska's rainforest islands

A new ferry service is in the works for Alaska's rainforest islands. Stretching out through the pristine waters of the Inside Passage, the rainforest islands offer access to glaciers, mountains, ancient forests and caves and is a destination known for fishing and bear viewing opportunities. The 70-passenger, 14-vehicle ferry features an observation deck, recliner lounge, coffee shop and food and beverage service. It will connect Wrangell, Petersburg (via South Mitkof) and Prince of Wales Island (via Coffman Cove) four days a week, with additional service to Ketchikan (via Saxman) three days a week. Throughout the winter, service will be maintained three days a week between Wrangell, Petersburg, and Prince of Wales Island. The Rainforest Islands Ferry will also provide transportation between ferry terminals and towns on both Prince of Wales and Mitkof islands as well as to connecting points for recreational opportunities for travellers without a vehicle. For more information visit


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 Biggest cruise ship in the region arrives for first Asian season, then Australia is next

Sailing an incredible six week voyage from New Orleans via the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, Dubai and India, Royal Caribbean's Voyager of the Seas will finally come to rest in Singapore on Saturday 26 May, but not for long. Her arrival in the island nation kicks off her debut Asian season, which will see her sailing 25 cruises ranging from three to 14 nights. Immediately following her season in Asia, Voyager of the Seas will sail to Australia and New Zealand for her first summer cruise season Down Under.

While she made the monumental journey from one corner of the world to the other, Voyager of the Seas has also been busy in other ways. In preparation for her big debuts in Asia and Australia, she's enjoyed a freshen-up with the addition of new carpets throughout and flat screen televisions in cabins, while her casino and sports decks were also refurbished.

"Voyager of the Seas is going to astound guests with unparalleled experiences on Asian waters such as an ice-skating rink onboard and an exclusive DreamWorks experience at sea – where Po and Shrek and other celebrity DreamWorks characters will engage guests with special events like parades and interactive breakfasts. And now after her recent refreshment, guests are going to love cruising on her even more," says Adam Armstrong, commercial manager, Royal Caribbean Cruises Australia.

The largest and most amenity-filled cruise ship to sail in the region, Voyager of the Seas, will offer five cruises from Singapore, before sailing to China where she presents itineraries from Shanghai (Baoshan) and Beijing (Tianjin).  Voyager of the Seas will offer cruise guests a wide range of short cruises – three-, four-, five-, seven- and eight-night itineraries in Asia – to longer, 14- to 18-night cruises in the South Pacific to New Zealand and Australia.  Voyager of the Seas will wrap up her Asian season with a 14-night repositioning cruise sailing on October 22, 2012 from Singapore, arriving in Fremantle, Australia on 5 November 2012. 

Those who cannot wait for her arrival in Australia can escape winter with an Asian cruise on Voyager of the Seas. Fares for the seven-night "Pearls of the Orient" cruise departing on 4 August 2012 start from $1119 per person. For additional information, visit

About Voyager of the Seas

At 137,276 gross registered tons, Voyager of the Seas ranks among the world's 10 largest and most innovative cruise ships and will offer vacationers unparalleled experiences in the region.  She introduces several unique concepts never before seen at sea in Asia. These signature onboard amenities include the:

Royal Promenade – an indoor "main street" stretching nearly the full length of the middle of the ship, lined with places to eat, drink, shop and be entertained.  Guests can stroll up and down the four-story street and enjoy regular street parades.
"Studio B" Ice Rink – an ice skating rink for guests that doubles as a sensational 700-seat venue for ice show productions with world-class figure skaters.
Eleven dining venues include specialty restaurant "Portofino" for classic Italian fine dining and 50s inspired American diner "Johnny Rockets". There's also the grand three-story, 1,919-seat main dining room.
Unparalleled sports facilities including an inline skating track, Royal Caribbean International's signature rock-climbing wall, a nine-hole mini golf course, a golf simulator, a full size sports court with basketball court, three swimming pools and six whirlpools.

Forr additional information, call 1800 754 500 or visit or the Royal Caribbean Australia and NZ Facebook page. Travel professionals can call 1300 754 500 or visit


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