GREAT CRUISE ESCAPES

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Afloat - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

Fiord es­cort: Sil­versea has a seven-day voy­age from Van­cou­ver to Alaska on Sil­ver Shadow, de­part­ing May 22; cruise the fiords of the In­side Pas­sage and stop at Ketchikan, Juneau, Sk­ag­way and Sitka prior to dis­em­barka­tion at Se­ward for a scenic train jour­ney to Anchorage. Departures are avail­able on other dates in May and through to Au­gust; from $3750 a per­son twin-share, allinclu­sive. More: 1300 306 872; sil­versea.com. Fi­esta at sea: Mex­ico, Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Gu­atemala are on the agenda in a fly­cruise hol­i­day from Cruise1st that in­cludes 30 nights aboard Hol­land Amer­ica Line’s MS Sta­ten­dam; the pack­age de­parts March 14 ex Perth (from $4549 a per­son twin-share); or on March 15, ex Syd­ney and Mel­bourne (from $4499); Bris­bane and Ade­laide (from $4549); and Can­berra ($4699). More: 1300 596 345; cruise1st.com.au. C’est si bon: French lux­ury cruise and ex­pe­di­tion line Com­pag­nie du Po­nant has re­leased its 2014-15 pro­gram fea­tur­ing sis­ter ships Le Bo­real, L’Aus­tral and Le Soleal, each with 132 state­rooms and suites; voy­ages range from six to 17 nights and in­tro­duc­tory of­fers for Aus­tralian pas­sen­gers in­clude 30 per cent early­bird dis­counts and spe­cials for sin­gles; a 15-night In­done­sian ar­chi­pel­ago itin­er­ary from Bali to Cairns de­parts De­cem­ber 12 and starts at $5260 a per­son twin-share (based on early­bird bonus). More: 1300 737 178; po­nant.com. Pas­sage to Lau: Cap­tain Cook Cruises Fiji has an­nounced de­par­ture dates for its 11-night Lau Is­lands Dis­cov­ery Cruise; the next cruises sail on April 22 and Novem­ber 4 with 2015 departures on April 28, Au­gust 4 and Novem­ber 3. Early­bird fares start at $3208 a per­son twin-share, in­clud­ing com­pre­hen­sive cul­tural ex­cur­sions. More: cap­tain­cook.com.fj. Is­lands fling: Royal Caribbean In­ter­na­tional has deals around the Caribbean from $1209 a per­son twin­share; it is also of­fer­ing free bal­cony up­grades and up to $US150 on­board cred­its on selected sail­ings. Al­lure of the Seas de­parts fort­nightly from Fort Laud­erdale for Haiti, Ja­maica and Mex­ico; Oa­sis of the Seas de­parts fort­nightly from Fort Laud­erdale for St Maarten, St Thomas and the Ba­hamas, while Free­dom of the Seas de­parts fort­nightly from Port Canaveral for St Maarten, St Thomas and a se­lec­tion of ports in the Ba­hamas. More: 1800 754 500; roy­al­caribbean.com.au. Spree and breezy: Claim a $1000 on­board spend­ing credit per cabin or a state­room up­grade on a 30-night Europe pack­age that in­cludes a 24-night cruise on Aza­mara Jour­ney; book by Fe­bru­ary 28 for an Au­gust 20 de­par­ture. More: ecruis­ing.com.au.

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