GREAT CRUISE ESCAPES
Silver linings: Silversea’s Silver Cloud will feature a series of new enhancements from next month. A stem-to-stern refurbishment has been taking place, including refreshed decor and artwork, upgrade of the Relais & Chateaux restaurant Le Champagne and remodelling of other dining outlets. All suites will have mattresses custom-made for Silversea ships and revamped ensuites with a glassenclosed ‘‘rainforest shower with sitting area’’. More: (02) 9255 0600 or 1300 306 872; silversea.com. The wow factor: Royal Caribbean is holding a Global WOWSale from tomorrow to October 17, which includes inducements such as bonus onboard credits of up to $200 a cabin and half-price deposits on all worldwide sailings of three nights or more from January next year. There will be three Royal Caribbean ships based in our region this summer. More: royalcaribbean.com.au. Big-ship bonanza: MSC Cruises is set to hold a 48-hour sale for nine of its ships, with seven-night Mediterranean sailings on MSCSplendida starting at $354 a person twinshare or about $50 a day. Bookings for 11-night Grand Voyages aboard MSC Divina, launched this year by the Italian line’s godmother, Sophia Loren, will start at $554 a person twin-share. The two-day sale goes live at 9am (AEDT) on October 16. More: msccruises.com.au. Plan ahead: Avalon Waterways has earlybird deals on its Europe river cruises next year or book selected April departures by November 27 and add a return airfare from Australia from $1635 a person. And if you book any Avalon Waterways 2013 European cruise of 11 days or more by December 15, there’s a saving of $300 a couple. More: 1300 230 234; avalonwaterways.com.au. Hello, sailors: Cruiseabout suggests novice sailors could get a taste for cruising on a three-night outing on Pacific Pearl, departing Sydney on December 14. The offer starts at $2199 for two adults and two children (aged 2-11) sharing an outside cabin and with all the usual shipboard inclusions. Cruiseabout also has good-value deals on a 12- night Pacific Dawn cruise from Brisbane to Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia, departing Brisbane on December 15. More: 1300 450 133; cruiseabout.com.au. Free and easy: Book by November 30 for a free return airfare deal from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth or Sydney to join Travelmarvel’s river cruises between Amsterdam and Budapest next year. The special offer applies to nine itineraries, including small-group land journey extensions to regions in Italy, Croatia, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and The Netherlands. More: 1300 300 036; travelmarvel.com.au. Luxury in the Kimberley: Pearl Sea Coastal Cruises is offering a 20 per cent discount for bookings made during October and November on four Kimberley Coast cruises aboard the exclusive 18-passenger Kimberley Quest II during the March-September season next year. A 10-day Adventure Quest return from Broome starts at $7920 a person, twin-share (usually $9900). More: 1300 156 035; kimberleyquest.com.au. Clipper odysseys: Luxury 170-passenger clipper ship Star Flyer will return to the Baltic next year after a bumper inaugural season this year. Diverse new itineraries have been added, including four-night ‘‘taster cruises’’ from Amsterdam to Hamburg in May and Hamburg to Ostend in August. More: 1300 362 599; creativecruising.com.au. Calypso cruising: MSCCruises is also offering Caribbean voyages in early 2013 from $469 a person twin-share for seven nights ex Fort Lauderdale aboard MSC Lirica. Exclusive to Australian passengers is a Caribbean Calypso fly, stay and cruise package departing February 8, featuring a 14-night sailing and return flight to Miami with one-night stay before the cruise. From $4417 a person, twin-share, depending on departure port in Australia. MSC Cruises has a policy of free voyages (only port fees are charged) for children under 18 years if sharing with two adults. More: 1300 028 502; msccruises.com.au. Big-wave season ahoy: Carnival Australia is predicting a record summer of cruising ahead down under with 19 ships from its fleets scheduled to make 310 calls to Australian ports and carry a record 325,000 passengers. The October-April season will feature the Australian debut of Carnival Spirit, which will be based here full time, as well as maiden visits from two other ships under the Carnival Australia umbrella, Holland America’s Oosterdam and the ultra-luxury Seabourn Quest. Season highlights will include the return of Cunard flagship Queen Mary 2, which will make its maiden circumnavigation of New Zealand on a round-trip voyage from Sydney in March. More: 133 194; carnival.com.au.
Bargain voyages are on sale aboard MSC Cruises’ Divina, launched this year by the Italian line’s famous godmother, Sophia Loren