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The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Afloat - MERRY KIRK­WOOD

Cruise with friends: Sea Cloud Cruises has $400 a per­son air credit on its seven-night voy­age from Si­cily to Spain de­part­ing Oc­to­ber 20, plus a fur­ther $600 a cabin dis­count when you bring friends; from $3500 a per­son twin-share aboard Sea Cloud, a 64-pas­sen­ger lux­ury float­ing ho­tel, in­clud­ing six gourmet meals a day, wine and beer with lunch and din­ner, guides and port fees. More: 1300 583 572; sea­cloud.com. Me­an­der the Mur­ray: Un­til Fe­bru­ary, Cap­tain Cook Cruises has a 25 per cent dis­count on all three, four and seven-day Mur­ray River pad­dle­wheel cruises from Man­num in South Aus­tralia aboard Mur­ray Princess. Three­night Dis­cov­ery Cruises de­part Fri­days, from $599 a per­son; fournight Out­back Her­itage Cruises de­part Mon­days, from $799 a per­son; and seven-night Murraylands & Wildlife Cruises de­part Fri­days and Mon­days, from $1233 a per­son, in­clud­ing meals, most tours and coach trans­fers. More: (02) 9206 1111; cap­tain­cook.com.au. North­ern ad­ven­tures: Save 20 per cent with Cruiseabout’s seven­night, small-group Pa­pua New Guinea lux­ury voy­age aboard True North de­part­ing Novem­ber 24; from $8396 a per­son twin­share in­clud­ing a char­ter flight from Cairns to Kavieng (or Alotau to Cairns on re­verse itin­er­ary de­part­ing De­cem­ber 1), all ex­cur­sions, ac­tiv­i­ties, fine din­ing and non-al­co­holic re­fresh­ments. Of­fer is valid for book­ings made by Septem­ber 30. More: 1300 450 133; cruiseabout.com.au. To Rus­sia with love: Also from Cruiseabout, the 12-night Wa­ter­ways of the Czars river cruise deal aboard Vik­ing Rurik cov­ers re­turn air­fares to Europe from $995 a per­son. The cruise de­parts St Peters­burg on May 8 for Moscow; from $5545 a per­son twin-share in­clud­ing meals and guided tours. Of­fer valid for book­ings by Septem­ber 30 and in­cludes $500 a cou­ple off the cruise cost, com­pli­men­tary on­board bev­er­age pack­age (usu­ally worth up to $900 a cou­ple) and gra­tu­ities (worth up to $500 a cou­ple). More: 1300 450 133; cruiseabout.com.au. Gar­dens ga­lore: There are 11 gar­den-themed ex­cur­sions on Botan­ica’s 15-day river cruise from Am­s­ter­dam to Bu­dapest de­part­ing April 27; from $8795 a per­son twin-share aboard AmaVerde, in­clud­ing lec­tures, tour­ing and trans­fers. Book by Septem­ber 30 for a fly-free of­fer from Aus­tralia or $2000 busi­ness­class air credit on se­lected suite cat­e­gories. More: 1300 305 202; botan­ica.travel. New Burma sail­ings: Pan­daw Cruises’ new ship, Sa­gaing Pan­daw, will op­er­ate on the Ir­rawaddy and Chind­win rivers from next July. Book a voy­age at least 12 months be­fore the se­lected de­par­ture date and re­ceive 10 per cent off pub­lished fares. More: pan­daw.com. Full sail ahead: The Royal Clip­per sail­ing ship will of­fer 25 cruises and two trans-At­lantic cross­ings in 2013. More: 1300 362 599; star­clip­pers.com.

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