GREAT CRUISE ES­CAPES

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

Royal repast: Cu­nard’s grand liner Queen Vic­to­ria has un­veiled a 100-seat al­ter­na­tive din­ing venue, the Ve­ran­dah, which re­places Bos­ton chef Todd English’s epony­mous diner; the Ve­ran­dah is mod­elled on sis­ter ship Queen El­iz­a­beth’s restau­rant of the same name and the menu has been cre­ated by Jean-Marie Zim­mer­mann, Cu­nard’s global culi­nary ambassador, with sig­na­ture dishes that in­clude a carpac­cio of smoked beef with mar­i­nated aubergine, quail’s egg and truf­fle may­on­naise. More: 132 441; cu­nard­line.com.au. On the fly: Cruise Ex­press has an ex­clu­sive 13-day Art of the Kim­ber­ley fly/cruise pack­age aboard the lux­ury ex­pe­di­tionary ship Orion that fo­cuses on Abo­rig­i­nal rock art and in­cludes re­turn do­mes­tic air­fares from any state cap­i­tal, two nights’ ac­com­mo­da­tion with break­fast in Dar­win, on­board drinks, fish­ing trip, he­li­copter tour of King Ge­orge Falls and Bun­gle Bun­gles sight­see­ing flight; de­parts Au­gust 14, from $9300 a per­son twin­share or from $12,900 for sin­gle ho­tel and cabin oc­cu­pancy. More: 1300 766 537; cruise­ex­press.com.au. Sail away: Wind­star Cruises has an­nounced the de­but of its all-suite yacht, the 212-pas­sen­ger Star Pride, and de­tails of its 2014 Pride Voy­age Col­lec­tion; next year’s de­par­tures, from May 5 to Oc­to­ber 21, are now on sale and fea­ture four new itin­er­ar­ies (in­clud­ing the Black Sea) across nine dis­tinc­tive voy­ages high­light­ing small ports in­ac­ces­si­ble to large lin­ers through the Mediter­ranean, the Aegean, the Adri­atic and along the canals and la­goons of Venice and the French Riviera. More: 1300 950 622; trav­elthe­world.com.au. Ker­ala’s wa­ter world: Tra­di­tional house­boat tours on the ex­pan­sive water­ways of Ker­ala on the south­west coast of In­dia are on Ex­plore World­wide’s 12-day small-group ad­ven­tures (12 to 16 peo­ple), from $1153 a per­son twin-share for nom­i­nated de­par­tures be­tween Au­gust 13 and early 2014; rec­om­mended for ad­ven­tur­ous trav­ellers, the itin­er­ary in­cludes sight­see­ing in Kochi, a homes­tay, a sa­fari in Peri­yar National Park and a visit to a tea plan­ta­tion at Mun­nar hill sta­tion. More: 1300 439 756; ex­plore­world­wide.com.au. South Pa­cific call­ing: Avail­able un­til sold out, Coral Princess Cruises, spe­cial­ist in small-ship ex­pe­di­tion cruis­ing, has deals of 25 per cent off se­lected South Pa­cific and New Zealand ex­pe­di­tions aboard its 72-pas­sen­ger Oceanic Dis­cov­erer; sin­gle sup­ple­ments have been waived on var­i­ous voy­ages, such as a Novem­ber 23 de­par­ture on a 13-night Me­lane­sia ex­pe­di­tion to ports in Pa­pua New Guinea, Solomon Is­lands, Van­u­atu and New Cale­do­nia. More: 1800 079 545; coral­princess.com.au.

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