WIN­NER’S CIR­CLE

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - CRUISE NEWS - BRAD CROUCH

Cruise to the Mel­bourne Cup this year on a six-night trip on P&O Cruises’ lat­est and big­gest ever Aus­tralian ship, Pa­cific Ex­plorer, which is due to de­but from Sydney on June 22. The round-trip sail­ing priced from $3990 a per­son, twin share, de­parts Sydney on Novem­ber 4, 2017, and fea­tures two nights docked in Mel­bourne where Cruise Ex­press guests will re­ceive free trans­fers, en­try to Flem­ing­ton Race­course and a fully-in­clu­sive, VIP Win­ning Post pack­age for the Mel­bourne Cup on Novem­ber 7.

Guests will sail to Mel­bourne and back aboard the 2000-pas­sen­ger

Pa­cific Ex­plorer, which has four pools, two wa­ter­slides, bare­foot bowl­ing, zip line and a rock-climbing wall. Din­ing op­tions in­clude three restau­rants, nine eater­ies in The Pantry food court, a gourmet burger cafe, the 400 Gradi pizze­ria de­signed by famed Mel­bourne pizza chef Johnny Di Francesco and a new Black Cir­cus Sup­per Club of­fer­ing a din­ner and show pack­age. PH 1300 764 509, CRUISEEXPRESS.COM.AU

EX­PE­DI­TION TO NOR­WAY

Head to where po­lar bears out­num­ber humans on a 12-night lux­ury voy­age around the Nor­we­gian ar­chi­pel­ago of Sval­bard over July 16-28, 2018, when the mid­night sun does not set and po­lar bear view­ing is at its prime.

The voy­age sails round-trip from Longyear­byen in the Arc­tic Cir­cle aboard the Po­nant ship Le Bo­real.

Priced from $14,250 a per­son, twin share, in a bal­cony state­room – al­though dis­counts de­crease as space is sold – the pack­age in­cludes ParisLongyear­byen-Paris flights, open bar, ex­pe­di­tion parka, boot hire, out­ings in Zo­di­acs with the ex­pe­di­tion team

and on-board pre­sen­ta­tions. The voy­age will ex­plore the wild east coast of the is­land of Spits­ber­gen be­fore reach­ing the green val­leys of Bell­sund fjord, fol­lowed by a visit to Ny-Ale­sund, the for­mer min­ing town and the most northerly post of­fice in the world, and the blue-tinged Monaco glacier. PH 1300 737 178, PO­NANT.COM

MAGIC OF MYAN­MAR

Ex­plore fas­ci­nat­ing Myan­mar in style on a pack­age that in­cludes a com­pli­men­tary two-night stopover in Sin­ga­pore at the Man­darin Ori­en­tal Ho­tel and six-night over­land trip be­fore fly­ing to Ba­gan to board the five-star Sanc­tu­ary Ananda.

Set sail for seven nights along the Ir­rawaddy and take in the stun­ning coun­try­side views with daily ex­cur­sions, all meals with bev­er­ages and lo­cal wine at lunch and din­ner and pre­paid gra­tu­ities.

The 15-night pack­age de­part­ing on Septem­ber 19, 2017, has been re­duced to $6999 a per­son, twin share, in­clud­ing re­turn air­fares from Australia, do­mes­tic air­fares in Myan­mar and trans­fers, a sav­ings of more than $2000 a per­son if booked be­fore July 31. PH 1300 636 848, LATITUDE33.TRAVEL

VIK­ING STYLE IN EGYPT

See the glory of the pharaohs in Scan­di­na­vian style aboard Vik­ing River Cruises’ new ship Vik­ing Ra to sail a new Egypt itin­er­ary from March 2018.

The all-suite Vik­ing Ra (named in honour of the an­cient Egyp­tian sun god) will have 24 suites for 48 guests, re­flect­ing Vik­ing’s Scan­di­na­vian de­sign with fea­tures such as a spa, two whirlpools and out­door pool.

The 12-day Pharaohs & Pyra­mids itin­er­ary starts with a three-night stay in Cairo vis­it­ing sites such as the Great Pyra­mids of Giza, the Ci­tadel of Sal­adin and Mosque of Muham­mad Ali. Guests will then fly to Luxor to board Vik­ing Ra for a seven-day roundtrip sail­ing on the Nile River to Aswan, fea­tur­ing ex­cur­sions to the Tem­ple of Kh­num in Esna, the Den­dera Tem­ple com­plex in Qena and a visit to a Nu­bian vil­lage be­fore a flight back to Cairo for a fi­nal night.

Book by June 30, 2017, for the May 18, 2018, de­par­ture and save $2000 a cou­ple, plus fly free to Egypt, on a pack­age priced from $6895 a per­son, twin share. PH 13 87 47, VIKINGCRUISES.COM.AU

SAIGON TO SIEM REAP

Ex­plore sights be­tween Saigon and Siem Reap such as float­ing mar­kets, Bud­dhist monas­ter­ies and the grandeur of Angkor Wat while sail­ing on the 60-guest Cruiseco Ex­plorer.

An 11-night pack­age cruis­ing in ei­ther di­rec­tion is priced from $4099 a per­son, twin share, or $6299 a per­son for sole oc­cu­pancy, in­clud­ing re­turn air­fares, gra­tu­ities, drinks with meals and lux­ury ac­com­mo­da­tion in the Car­avelle Ho­tel in Saigon and Raf­fles Ho­tel D’Angkor in Siem Reap.

There is a va­ri­ety of de­par­tures avail­able this year and in 2018. PH (02) 9492 8520, CRUIS­ING.COM.AU

ASIA ON A GRAND SCALE

Princess Cruises has an­nounced two new 14-day Grand Asia voy­ages sail­ing be­tween Shanghai and Sin­ga­pore on its new­est ship, Ma­jes­tic

Princess, launched in April. The sail­ings will visit Ja­pan, South Korea, Viet­nam and Thai­land and of­fer more time ashore with a late night call in Hong Kong.

The first voy­age de­parts Shanghai on Fe­bru­ary 25, 2018, with the sec­ond de­part­ing Sin­ga­pore on March 11, 2018, fares start from $2519 a per­son, twin share. Ma­jes­tic Princess will be based out of Sydney for a sea­son of lo­cal cruis­ing from Septem­ber 2018 to March 2019. PH 13 24 88, PRINCESS.COM

PICTURES: SUP­PLIED, ISTOCK

Guests will be spoilt for choice when it comes to din­ing on the Pa­cific Ex­plorer (main); and view po­lar bears on a Po­nant ex­cur­sion to Nor­way (above).

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