The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Afloat -

GAVIN Smith is man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Royal Caribbean Cruises’ op­er­a­tions in Aus­tralia; he leads a team of 65 em­ploy­ees and since De­cem­ber 2010 has served as chair­man of the In­ter­na­tional Cruise Coun­cil Aus­trala­sia, a not-for-profit in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tion aimed at train­ing con­sul­tants and rais­ing con­sumer aware­ness. More: roy­al­ Must-do cruise ex­pe­ri­ence: There are ac­tive shore ex­cur­sions around Italy’s Amalfi Coast that take about 21/ hours

2 along the spec­tac­u­lar coast­line through lit­tle vil­lages be­fore end­ing in beau­ti­ful Posi­tano. Best new cruise des­ti­na­tion: Asia is re­ally hotting up; there DEALS OF THE WEEK Kim­ber­ley capers: The Great Es­cape Char­ter Com­pany has a new five-day Quin­tes­sen­tial Kim­ber­ley Coast Es­cape vis­it­ing Mont­gomery Reef, Ruby Falls and the Sale River, with var­i­ous de­par­tures in Au­gust 2012; from $3385 a per­son twin-share in­clud­ing flights from Broome and four nights on Great Es­cape. More: are so many amaz­ing des­ti­na­tions to reach by sea, such as Viet­nam, with Ha­long Bay out­side Hanoi, Hue and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as ports in China, Ja­pan and Korea. Ul­ti­mate eco-ad­ven­ture: Take ad­van­tage of a port call at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, to visit the Christ­mas cruise: Get in be­fore Au­gust 31 for a half-price 16-day fly-cruise-stay Euro­pean Christ­mas Mar­kets and Desert New Year’s hol­i­day on River Queen from CruiseA­way, de­part­ing Syd­ney, Bris­bane or Mel­bourne De­cem­ber 19; from $4839 a per­son twin-share in­clud­ing flights.. More: cruisea­ an­cient rain­forests sur­round­ing Mt Kinabalu and then en­joy raft­ing along a peace­ful river be­fore lunch­ing with a lo­cal fish­ing com­mu­nity. Dis­tinc­tive ho­tel: When cruis­ing from Van­cou­ver to Alaska, en­joy a won­der­ful night be­fore or after your voy­age at the Pan Pa­cific Ho­tel at Canada Place, the lo­ca­tion of the 1986 World Expo; it’s above the cruise ter­mi­nal. Best-spent travel dol­lars: A pri­vate guided tour of Rome’s Vat­i­can City with my family, avoid­ing the sum­mer heat, crowds and queues. It’s ex­pen­sive and might seem in­dul­gent but is well worth the cost. This­tle isles: Book be­fore Septem­ber 30 for a 10 per cent early­bird dis­count on Aurora Ex­pe­di­tions itin­er­ar­ies in­clud­ing the 14-day Wild Scot­land and Faroe Is­lands de­part­ing Oban in June 2012; from $7500 a per­son twin-share in­clud­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion aboard Po­lar Pioneer and in­ter­nal flights. More: 1800 637 688.

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