Luxury for high-flyers taken to a new level
FLYING HIGH: Etihad has launched daily nonstop flights between Brisbane and Abu Dhabi on the airline’s new three-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with latest-design first suites, business studios and economy-class smart seats. In a busy week for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier, Sydney has joined its A380 network of destinations; the aircraft, which will operate one of three daily flights to Abu Dhabi, with seamless connections to London, has been fitted with the ultra-luxe three-room Residence suite, complete with private shower room, London Savoy-trained butler and inarguably the airline world’s most innovative accommodation. More: etihad.com.
SHIP TO SHORE: Silversea has added a Hiking in Cortina three-night option to its land program for passengers on 17 Mediterranean cruises this northern summer to or from Venice, including a 10-day sailing departing Rome aboard Silver Wind on August 22 (from $7650 a person twin-share). The extension can be taken before or after a booked voyage and includes a guided alpine trek for the truly fit, or less strenuous strolls; accommodation is at Rosapetra Spa Resort. More: 1300 306 872; silversea.com.
ONE MORE, PLEASE: Helloworld has a deal at One & Only Hayman Island in the Queensland Whitsundays that gives an extra night for a booking of four consecutive nights; complimentary transfers from Hamilton Island (a saving of $780 for two) and a bottle of wine on arrival are also included. From $1599 a person twin-share, from June 14-September 15 but must be booked by June 30. More: 131 415; helloworld.com.au.
HELPING HANDS: Intrepid Travel has announced it will donate all profits from its next season of Nepal trips, from September through to May next year, to local and international charities involved in the rebuilding of the Himalayan nation after the recent series of earthquakes. The tour operator’s not-for-profit Intrepid Foundation has already raised about $400,000 to support Plan International’s emergency relief program. More: intrepidtravel. com/return-nepal; theintrepidfoundation.org.
CAIRNS CALLING: SilkAir, the regional arm of Singapore Airlines, has launched thrice-weekly flights aboard Boe- ing 737-800s between Singapore and Cairns; the carrier already flies to Darwin and the addition of Cairns brings the network to 49 ports in 12 countries. Passengers are entitled to generous baggage allowances of 40kg in business and 30kg in economy. More: silkair.com
A SLICE OF RAIL LIFE: Western Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer rail service is celebrating its 25th season this year but bookings are now open for 2016, which will see the launch of the extended Rainforest to Gold Rush route. Next year’s season will be longer than before, beginning on April 19, with the last departure on October 16. Rocky Mountaineer offers more than 45 holiday packages on five rail routes, including to Seattle in the state of Washington. More: rockymountaineer.com.
CALM SEAS: Boomers Travel Insurance, a division of Allianz Global Assistance and an online resource for the over-50s, is offering extra cover for holiday-makers at sea; available as an add-on to a Boomers comprehensive travel policy, the Boomers Cruise Pack (plus $10) provides cover for situations such as cancellation of prepaid shore excursions due to illness through to the loss or damage of formal wear, plus unlimited medical services at sea (Medicare does not cover cruises, even in domestic waters). There is no upper age limit for general policies, and services are also available to travellers under 50. More: boomerstravelinsurance.com.au.
FOLLOW THE SNOW: Hakuba Valley has joined Mountain Collective’s ski pass program; pass-holders are eligible to two free days at this ski hub in the Japanese Alps, site of the 1998 Winter Olympics. Mountain Collective passes cover destinations such as NSW’s Thredbo, Valle Nevado in Chile and a range of top snow resorts across the US and Canada. More: mountaincollective.com.
Etihad’s Residence is a three-room suite aboard the airline’s A380 aircraft