GREAT CRUISE ES­CAPES

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

New days dawn­ing: Pa­cific Dawn has ar­rived with a splash at the Milne Bay pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal, Alotau, to launch its maiden PNG cruise sea­son. Pa­cific Dawn will call at Doini Is­land and the Tro­briand Is­lands dur­ing this in­au­gu­ral nine-night round-trip from Bris­bane and will of­fer a sec­ond cruise to PNG later this month; next year’s sched­ule will fea­ture four 10 and 14-night round-trip cruises from Bris­bane and Syd­ney on Pa­cific Dawn and Pa­cific Pearl. Ecruis­ing.travel is of­fer­ing $100 on-board cred­its on se­lected voy­ages; an 11-night cruise de­part­ing Septem­ber 1 starts at $1719 a per­son twin-share. More: ecruis­ing.travel; pocruises.com.au. Lest we for­get: One to book for 2015 — Bat­tle­field Me­mo­rial Travel is of­fer­ing a round-trip 28-night Gal­lipoli Cen­te­nary Cruise through the Mediter­ranean aboard Fred Olsen’s Black Watch de­part­ing Southamp­ton on April 12; for book­ings re­ceived and de­posited this month an all-in­clu­sive bev­er­age pack­age val­ued at $700 a per­son will be in­cluded. The itin­er­ary cov­ers three days in the Gal­lipoli re­gion, in­clud­ing an on­board Dawn Ser­vice off An­zac Cove on April 25. More: 1300 282 788; bat­tle­field­memo­ri­al­travel.com.au. River in­ter­ludes: Book by De­cem­ber 31 for 50 per cent off se­lected Uni­world cruises aboard River Count­ess next year; there’s a 13-day Splen­dours of North­ern Italy, Venice, Florence and Rome itin­er­ary or an eight-day Venice and the Gems of North­ern Italy sam­pler. There are also 50 per cent sav­ings on a se­lec­tion of Uni­world’s Viet­nam cruises in 2014. More: 1300 780 231; uni­world­cruises.com.au. Sail and save: There are com­pli­men­tary flights on of­fer if you book by De­cem­ber 31 to join se­lected eight or 15-day May and June 2014 Na­tional Ge­o­graphic voy­ages in Alaska with Lind­blad Ex­pe­di­tions. Photography in­struc­tors are aboard ev­ery de­par­ture and Lind­blad is hold­ing Aus­tralian and US dol­lars at par­ity for book­ings made by the end of this year. More: 1300 361 012; ori­on­ex­pe­di­tions.com. The ro­mance of sail: Wed­ding pack­ages, priced at j1995 ($2850), are now on of­fer for cou­ples booked aboard lux­u­ri­ous Sea Cloud and Sea

COLIN TAIM­BARI Cloud II; in­clu­sions are a tra­di­tional (and le­gal) cer­e­mony per­formed by the cap­tain; han­dling of of­fi­cial mar­riage li­cence pro­ce­dures, cham­pagne wed­ding re­cep­tion and a raft of ro­man­tic ex­tras. As a sam­ple fare, a seven-night round-trip Caribbean sail­ing on Sea Cloud II ex Bridgetown, Bar­ba­dos, de­parts March 31 and starts at about $4200 a per­son with meals, bev­er­ages, ex­cur­sions and port fees. More: 1300 583 572; sea­cloud.com. Splen­did idea: Croa­tia hol­i­day spe­cial­ist Be­yond Travel is adding six ships to sail the Dal­ma­tian Coast and is­lands next year. MS Splen­did will of­fer 15 round-trip cruises from Dubrovnik to Ml­jet, Hvar, Split, Brac and Kor­cula from $1680 a per­son twin­share; book and pay by De­cem­ber 20 for on­board cred­its of $300 a cou­ple. MBKrilo Pride will op­er­ate eight-day cir­cle cruises from Dubrovnik; the stylish ships each take about 40 pas­sen­gers. More: 1300 363 554; be­yond­travel.com.au. Venice looks nice: Cruise Guru has 50 per cent off var­i­ous Europe voy­ages on Hol­land Amer­ica Line’s MS No­or­dam in 2014. A 22-night itin­er­ary ex Rome on July 12 starts at $3248 a per­son twin-share and in­cludes Dubrovnik, Split and Venice; book by Novem­ber 30 for a bonus $US200 ship­board credit for each cabin. More: 131 303; cruise­guru.com.au. Pole to pole: The just-re­leased 2014-15 pro­gram from Aurora Ex­pe­di­tions fea­tures new des­ti­na­tions such as Ecuador, Gala­pa­gos Is­lands, Alaska, Arn­hem Land, Cape York, Bhutan and Patag­o­nia with 19 itin­er­ar­ies on of­fer. A trekking pro­gram has been added and a re­vamped Antarc­tic of­fer­ing in­cludes a new port and Antarc­tic gate­way, Puerto Wil­liams, and po­lar snorkelling, a first for any op­er­a­tor in the re­gion. More: 1800 637 688; au­ro­ra­ex­pe­di­tions.com.au.

Pa­cific Dawn ar­rives in style at Alotau

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