GREAT CRUISE ESCAPES
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