LITTLE BLACK BOOK
SYDNEY-based writer Helen Hutcheon was presented the 2010 International Cruise Council Australasia award for ‘‘outstanding contribution to the cruise industry’’. She is the regional correspondent for Seatrade Cruise Review. More: seatrade-global.com. Desperate to get back to: Valletta, Malta’s capital and a World Heritage site. Top shopping secret: My favourite jeweller, Wai Kee in Prince’s Building, Hong Kong Central. Must visit: The medieval village of Saint-Paul de Vence near Cannes; take lunch at La Colombe d’Or’s garden terrace restaurant. DEALS OF THE WEEK Across the ditch: Celebrate the maiden season down under of Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas on a 14-night Sydney to New Zealand round-trip; from $1599 a person twin-share for an inside cabin. Departures November 20, December 4, and January 15 and 29, 2012. More: 1800 754 500; royalcaribbean.com.au. Perfect place for indulgence: A cruise ship: at sea you have the time to be pampered in all those beauty salons and spas. Ultimate eco-adventure: The 2km round-trip hike on Komodo Island, Indonesia, escorted by rangers to guard Alaskan adventure: Book now to explore the Inside Passage’s western coves and bays from Ketchikan to Juneau this July or August; from $1999 a person twin-share for seven nights on board Wilderness Adventurer, including all meals, entertainment, port charges and fees. Flights extra. More: 1300 362 599; creativecruising.com.au. against those dangerous komodo dragons. Stand-out afternoon tea: At cruise ship Crystal Symphony’s Palm Court, with panoramic ocean views, white-gloved stewards and a musical trio. Inviting culinary destination: The elegant setting of the Silversea line’s Le Champagne, the only wine restaurants at sea by Relais & Chateaux. Inspirational travel narrative: Scott Baty’s Ships that Passed. Most memorable splurge: Exquisite black silk evening shoes bought from Rodeo Drive during a Los Angeles stopover. Best experience afloat: Coming through Sydney Heads at the end of a cruise. Romantic rivers: Book and pay by July 29 for earlybird discounts on all Viking River Cruises’ 2012 itineraries, such as the popular eight-day Romantic Danube from $1799 a person for selected low-season departures, including all meals, shore excursions, complimentary wine with lunch and dinner, gratuities and port taxes. More: 1300 363 554.