GREAT CRUIS­ING ES­CAPES

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Holidays Afloat -

SEVEN nights on P & O Cruises’ Pa­cific Dawn starts at $675 a per­son, in­clud­ing taxes, in Har­vey World Travel’s Count­down Sale. Choose from three trips de­part­ing Syd­ney in early 2008, ex­plor­ing New Cale­do­nia, Van­u­atu and the Loy­alty Is­lands. Pa­cific Dawn has sep­a­rate child and teen-mind­ing pro­grams that run from 9am to 10pm daily. Up­grade to an out­side cabin for a low $5 a day; cruise must be booked by June 17. More: 132 757; www.har­vey­world.com.au. Inside Arn­hem: Ex­plore rugged Arn­hem Land in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory from the com­fort of the ex­pe­di­tionary ship Orion, which car­ries a max­i­mum of 106 pas­sen­gers. The ship’s 10-night ex­pe­di­tion, leav­ing Dar­win on Septem­ber 6, in­cludes a num­ber of spe­cial­ists on Arn­hem Land, in­clud­ing a lec­turer in in­dige­nous af­fairs and a col­lec­tor of in­dige­nous art. From $7200 a per­son, in­clud­ing meals, tours and lec­tures. More: 1300 361 012; www.ori­on­cruises.com.au. World view: Sun Princess, the largest cruise ship to be based in Aus­tralia year round, will sail from Syd­ney on its world cruise on July 14, visit­ing a swag of des­ti­na­tions in­clud­ing Tahiti, Hawaii, Viet­nam, Alaska, Rus­sia, China, Ja­pan and South Korea, be­fore re­turn­ing in late Septem­ber. Free re­turn flights to Syd­ney from any Aus­tralian state cap­i­tal are be­ing of­fered. Un­til Au­gust 31, fares for the 75-night cruise start at $13,495 a per­son with an on­board credit of $750. The 77,000-tonne Sun Princess, which car­ries 1950 pas­sen­gers, fea­tures a choice of for­mal or ca­sual din­ing, three pools, spa and a casino. More: 132 488; www.sunprincess.com.au. Rivers by de­mand: Avalon Wa­ter­ways has launched a se­lec­tion of Euro­pean river cruises com­bined with city stays and coach tours. The mix-and-match hol­i­days are a re­sponse to grow­ing de­mand for river cruises among Aus­tralians keen to ex­plore the con­ti­nent from the wa­ter, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany. TV per­son­al­ity Steve Lieb­mann will host the 15-day Mag­nif­i­cent Europe cruise on Septem­ber 7, which trav­els from Hun­gary through Slo­vakia, Aus­tria, Ger­many and The Nether­lands on the Avalon Im­agery. All trips in­clude an English-speak­ing cruise di­rec­tor, meals and wine with din­ner. From $4033 a per­son but there are dis­counts of up to $900 on book­ings made be­fore the end of July. More: www.aval­on­wa­ter­ways.com.au. Rhine host: Watch the vine­yards and cas­tles float by with Cruiseabout’s four-day trip along Ger­many’s ro­man­tic Rhine Val­ley. The cruise to and from Stras­bourg starts at $1090 a per­son, in­clud­ing a cas­tle tour in Hei­del­berg. More: 1800 007 131; www.cruiseabout.com.au.

Arn­hem ad­ven­ture: Cruis­ing on Orion

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