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June 2010

  
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29 June 2010 - Cruising and the Solo Traveller

Posted by: Nic Rone

Single sailors back in the spotlight

Next week’s debut of 128 studios on Norwegian Epic has turned attention to the solo traveller, with special deals across several cruise lines.
 
THE STUDIO CABINS ON NCLS NEW NORWEGIAN
Epic have been hailed a hit by agents and media on preview sailings, and it’s focused the industry on the needs of the single cruiser.
 
More cruise lines have dropped their single supplement policy which forces solo travellers to pay up to double the ‘per person twin share’ price to have a cabin to themselves – a difference of several thousands of dollars in many cases.
 
Sea Cloud Cruises is the latest to ditch the surcharge on selected Danube Delta cruises aboard its 88-passenger yacht, River Cloud II, in August and September 2010. (Sea Cloud is also offering 50% off for the second guest in a twin-share cabin on the same Budapest-to-Bucharest river cruises). The first nine-night cruise departs on 11 August and visits Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary, with fares from €2825 ($3975 at today’s exchange rate) including wine and beer with lunch and dinner, soft drinks, complimentary laundry, bicycle hire and tour guide.
 
Last week Uniworld Boutique River Cruises waived the single supplement on some of this year’s sailings along Europe’s Rhine, Danube, Main and Duoro rivers.  An eight-day cruise from Basel and Amsterdam is priced from $2577; a 10-day ‘holiday  markets’ cruise from Nuremberg to Cologne starts at $3214; and 11 days from Lisbon, Portugal, to Porto, Spain, costs from $3952 per person.
 
Luxury cruise ships are also getting into the singles action, with Silversea recently reducing its supplement to as low as 10%.
 
Azamara Club Cruises also dropped its surcharge from 100% to 25% for sailings in the Mediterranean, valid until tomorrow. Fast-acting solo travellers can pay as little as $1938 (normally $3100) for a seven night cruise on Azamara Quest, departing on October 16 from Rome to Barcelona via Sorrento, Taormina, Malta and Menorca – plus they are eligible for a bonus US$500 in onboard spending credits.
 
For the rest of the year, Cruise West has set aside a limited number of cabins on all of its small ships for solo sailors with no supplement. Meanwhile, the ‘everyday’ single supplement charged by Crystal, Hurtigruten, Regent Seven Seas and Seabourn is less than 25%.
 
Other cruise lines with cabins built-for-one include Costa, Holland America, Swan Hellenic, Viking River Cruises, Fred Olsen, Cunard, P&O UK, Saga, and Hebridean Island Cruises; however numbers are very limited and tend to be on older vessels. Norwegian Epic, which will be named in New York on 2 July, has an industry-record 128 studio cabins, measuring 10 square metres, with a communal lounge area.

 

Article writtena and published by Cruise Weekly

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25 June 2010 - Want to live at Disney World?

Posted by: Alan

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida has unveiled its long awaited residential resort community dubbed Golden Oak.

The gated community will offer a limited collection of custom homes priced from US$1.5 to $US8 million, for sale right on the front door of the theme parks.

Golden Oak features 30 home sites with three types of single dwellings initially being offered.

When complete, the project hopes to include 450 homes.

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24 June 2010 - Snow in Queenstown

Posted by: Alan

Queenstown recorded 15cm of fresh snow at its Coronet Peak and The Remarkables ski resorts yesterday.

"The timing of the snowfall couldn’t be better with winter celebrations set to kick off this weekend", said Tony Everitt, Destination Queenstown ceo.

Meanwhile, Queenstown Airport was closed for several hours yesterday morning due to snowfall, leading to a number of air services being delayed or diverted to other airports.

 

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23 June 2010 - A free way to join the Qantas FF program

Posted by: Alan

 Have you thought about joining the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program, but been put off by the $82.50 joining fee?

Well, there is a way around that.

Join the Woolworths Everyday Rewards Program for free.
Once you are a member, you can join the Qantas Frequent Flyer Program for free!

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22 June 2010 - P&O Earlybirds

Posted by: Alan

P&O CRUISES has today launched an Earlybird Sale, offering savings of up to 60% and cabin upgrades from just $50.

The deals are available across the Pacific Jewel, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Sun.

The 2011 Earlybird Sale is now on sale through to 28 Nov 2011, with fares subject to availability.

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21 June 2010 - Radiator Springs opening in 2012

Posted by: Alan

Disney California Adventure park is set to become an even bigger playground for kids and adults alike with the opening of Cars Land in 2012, as part of a US$1.4 billion expansion plan.

The all-new 12 acre addition to the park will involve recreating the entire town of Radiator Springs, inspired by the Disney Pixar film "Cars".
Three family rides showcasing some of the most popular characters and scenes from the movie, including Radiator Springs Racers, a high-speed adventure through the town, will be one of the most elaborate attractions ever created for a Disney park.

Currently being built, the additional landscaping, new restaurants and retail shops is expected to draw bigger crowds to Disney California Adventure, increasing the value of admission and Park-Hopper tickets in conjunction with Disneyland.

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18 June 2010 - Sir Richard Branson at it again

Posted by: Alan

Human headline Sir Richard Branson was at it again yesterday, helping Virgin Atlantic celebrate a decade of flights to US playground Las Vegas.

As well as making a cameo appearance in Cirque du Soleil's new VivaELVIS stage show and crashing a jetski in the famous fountain pool in front of the Bellagio casino, Branson posed on the wing of a VS 747-400 with "the world's most famous burlesque performer," Dita Von Teese - with the aircraft pictured officially renamed in her honour.

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17 June 2010 - Disney Cruise Lines

Posted by: Alan

Disney Cruise Line has announced two new itineraries incorporating Alaska and Mexico, bringing voyages back to the West Coast in 2011, in conjunction with the debut of its newest ship, Disney Dream early next year.

Touted as a leader in family cruising, passengers under 17 will also be able to cruise free on its new seven-night cruises to the Mexican Riviera aboard the Disney Wonder commencing January 23 to March 20 2011, when accompanied by two full-fare paying guests occupying the same stateroom.

In a world first, Disney Cruise Line will offer Alaska voyages, departing from Vancouver B.C next year.
The Alaska cruises is expected to be a hit with both adults and youngsters, combining natural wonder and adventure.

Disney Cruise Line is also the only cruise ship in the world to conduct fireworks at sea, and have plans to offer a first-of-its-kind water coaster spanning above four upper decks of its brand new Disney Dream.

Disney Dream, currently being built in Germany, will be 40 per cent larger than its sister ships.

The Disney Dream will also feature a Virtual Porthole for all guests staying in the inside staterooms, giving a real-time view outside the ship, which will also from time to time, be visited by Disney characters.

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16 June 2010 - HAL to have 2 ships in Oz

Posted by: Alan

Yet more cruise capacity will be deployed in Austalasian waters in 2011/12, with confirmation by Holland America Line yesterday morning that it will base its ms Zaandam in Sydney for a series of cruises from Nov 2011.

It will be the first time that Holland America has had two vessels down under operating a series of itineraries at the same time, with Holland America the latest line to announce local expansion.

Read more here . . .

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15 June 2010 - Strange way to travel

Posted by: Alan

A man who stowed away inside the wheel compartment of a Private 747 Jumbo Jet flying from Vienna to London has been released without charge.

The 20-year-old Romanian was arrested after he fell onto the tarmac as the plane landed at London Heathrow on Sun night.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said it was an unusual way to travel, adding "I think most people buy a ticket".

The lucky man survived the trip because stormy weather forced the plane to fly at a lower altitude than normal.

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11 June 2010 - Keep Track of your Kids . . .

Posted by: Alan

 A US company called SecuraTrac has released a new product which allows parents to really keep track of their kids.

The system appears to be similar to the kid-tracking system offered on board Royal Caribbean’s high-tech Oasis of the Seas but uses GPS technology to work anywhere.
 
A small Personal Automated Locator can be placed in a child’s pocket or attached to a belt - and even has an SOS button which sends a text message or email to the parents identifying the kid’s location.

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09 June 2010 - Flights in Space

Posted by: Alan

IF Virgin Galactic space flights are a bit pricy for you, why not try a new NASA service which allows you to get your face into space.

A special website is online at faceinspace.nasa.gov, allowing aspiring travellers to upload a photo and choose which one of the final two space shuttle missions will carry it into orbit.

Participants can track their face’s ‘flight’ on the site, and after the mission returns to earth they can also download an official commemorative certificate signed by the Mission Commander.

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07 June 2010 - Princess Cruises from Brisbane

Posted by: Alan

Princess Cruises have announced that the Sea Princess will be coming to Australia - she will be based in Sydney.

The Sun Princess will be moved up to be based in Brisbane from September 2011.
This means that the Sun Princess will become the first Princess line vessel to be based in the Queensland capital.

From Brisbane the ship will offer a brand new 41-night itinerary of Asia with stops including Brunei, Vietnam, Japan and China including Beijing. New Zealand and South Pacific itineraries will also be on the agenda.

Follow this link to read more about the Sun Princess from Brisbane.

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04 June 2010 - Birth Tourism

Posted by: Alan

I've heard of Eco Tourism, Agro Tourism, Medical Tourism and even Dental Tourism, but how about this?

A hotel in New York has launched a range of Birth Tourism packages for expectant mothers who want to make sure their babies are US citizens.

The Turkish-owned Marmara Manhattan offers a one-bedroom suite for US$7750 per month, with airport transfers, a gift set and a baby cradle thrown in.

The deal is centred on the Fourteenth Amendment to the US constitution which stipulates that children born on US soil automatically become citizens.

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02 June 2010 - Australia's Biggest Morning Tea

Posted by: Alan

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea

On the 26th of May 2010, VLT held a Morning Tea at their office in support of the Australian Cancer Council's Biggest Morning Tea.

We raised $124.05 for this very worthy cause.

A big thank you to everyone who helped or donated!

 

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02 June 2010 - Harry Potter is coming soon . . .

Posted by: Alan

Harry Potter

The arrival of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to Universal Orlando is iminent.

The new theme park began admitting guests with select hotel packages this weekend, ahead of it's grand opening on 18 June.

This caps more than five years of planning and almost $400 million of investment.

 

Did you know that you can do a Harry Potter tour in London?

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