GREAT CRUIS­ING ES­CAPES

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Holidays Afloat -

Model cruise: Sil­versea — the luxe Ital­ian line that boasts Isabella Ros­sellini as its am­bas­sador— has just launched its Voy­age At­las for July 2007 to De­cem­ber 2008 sail­ings. In­cluded in the mix for later this year are Christ­mas and New Year sail­ings sure to ap­peal to Aus­tralian pas­sen­gers. Sil­ver Whis­per sails from Sin­ga­pore on De­cem­ber 20 bound for Dar­win via Kura Kura and Se­marang in In­done­sia; the seven-day cruise is all-in­clu­sive (drinks, too) and starts at $6058 a per­son twin-share. Or a 10-day Sil­ver Whis­per voy­age from Dar­win to Syd­ney, de­part­ing De­cem­ber 27, vis­its Thurs­day Is­land, Cairns, Fitza­lan (the Whit­sun­days) and Bris­bane; a gala New Year’s Eve will be spent at sea in Great Bar­rier Reef wa­ters. From $7780 a per­son twin-share. Or com­bine the two cruises, from $11,065. More: (02) 9222 2708; www.sil­versea.com. Look north: True North’s seven-night South­ern Sa­fari (max­i­mum 36 pas­sen­gers) ex Ade­laide on Jan­uary 12 in­cludes wine tast­ing in McLaren Vale, cage div­ing with great white sharks, oys­ter tast­ing in Cof­fin Bay and vis­its to re­mote is­lands. A ‘‘ tuna rodeo’’ in Port Lin­coln is also promised. More: (08) 9192 1829; www.north­star­cruises.com.au. Love boat: Spend Valen­tine’s Day 2008 cruis­ing from Shang­hai to Syd­ney on P & O’s Ori­ana. From $3888 a per­son ex Syd­ney, $3939 ex Bris­bane, $3924 ex Melbourne, $3950 ex Ade­laide and $3938 ex Perth for the 14-night cruise, Qan­tas flight to Shang­hai, two nights in a ho­tel, port charges and taxes. De­parts on Fe­bru­ary 14. More: 1800 007 131; www.cruiseabout.com.au. Slow boat to NZ: Save up to $2000 on a 12-night cruise to New Zealand on Sap­phire Princess. Fares have been slashed on se­lected sail­ings from Syd­ney in Fe­bru­ary and March next year, bring­ing the start­ing price to $1899 a per­son, in­clud­ing re­turn flights (air taxes ex­tra). De­part­ing from Syd­ney on Fe­bru­ary 2, 26 and March 21, the itin­er­ary takes in Melbourne, Ho­bart, NZ’s Fiord­land Na­tional Park, Dunedin, Christchurch, Tau­ranga and Auck­land. More: 1300 137 445; www.Cruise­Cen­tre.com.au. Book in: Cruisea­way is of­fer­ing seven-night Hawai­ian fly-cruise pack­ages on Pride of Amer­ica from $2098 a per­son ex Syd­ney (plus taxes). The ship sails from Honolulu on Novem­ber 3, 10, 17, 24 and De­cem­ber 1. The price in­cludes flights, one night’s ac­com­mo­da­tion in Honolulu and trans­fers. More: 1300 887 590; www.cruisea­way.com.au. Dawn date: World­wide Cruise Cen­tre has a fly-cruise deal on Dawn Princess’s month-long Pa­cific cruise in 2008. De­part­ing from San Fran­cisco on Septem­ber 24 next year, the 31-night cruise in­cludes Honolulu and Kona, Christ­mas Is­land, Tahiti, French Poly­ne­sia, Amer­i­can Samoa, Fiji and NZ. From $6698 a per­son with air fares from Syd­ney and overnight ac­com­mo­da­tion in the US. More: 1300 137 445; www.Cruise­Cen­tre.com.au. Come fly: Creative Cruis­ing has fly­cruise pack­ages for Costa Al­le­gra’s 14-night re­turn voy­ages out of Sin­ga­pore visit­ing Viet­nam, China, the Philip­pines, Malaysia and Brunei. From $3479 a per­son ex Syd­ney, Melbourne, Bris­bane or Ade­laide, $3249 ex Perth, in­clud­ing taxes. Cruises start in Novem­ber. More: 1300 362 599; www.cre­ative­cruis­ing.com.au.

Role model: Isabella Ros­sellini acts as Sil­versea’s am­bas­sador

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