LITTLE BLACK BOOK
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: royalcaribbean.com.au. 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: greatescape.net.au. 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: cruiseaway.com.au. 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.