Win at travel expo

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - NEWS -

OVER its three decades as South Aus­tralia’s big­gest travel show­case, the AFTA Sun­day Mail Hol­i­day Expo has given away al­most 40 in­ter­na­tional trips as prizes plus nu­mer­ous do­mes­tic hol­i­days to lucky vis­i­tors.

Last year it was Kay Tay­lor of Millswood (pic­tured) who found her­self the win­ner of a dream hol­i­day for two.

Tay­lor went to the expo look­ing for in­for­ma­tion on a Euro­pean river cruise and came away as the win­ner of a ro­man­tic eight-day Avalon Water­ways cruise for two along the Seine from Paris, in­clud­ing a visit to the D-day land­ing beaches at Nor­mandy. The prize val­ued at $10,000 – cour­tesy of the Sun­day Mail and Turn­styles Exhibitions & Events – in­cluded re­turn flights with Malaysia Air­lines from Ade­laide to Paris and in­sur­ance with QBE Travel In­sur­ance.

Tay­lor is now a cruise con­vert af­ter the Avalon trip.

‘‘ We had never ex­pe­ri­enced cruis­ing be­fore and thor­oughly en­joyed it – it was fault­less,’’ she said. ‘‘ We sailed on the Avalon Cre­ativ­ity and every­thing was just won­der­ful, from the idea of un­pack­ing just once to the floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows in our cabin, to the ex­cel­lent ser­vice and fab­u­lous food.

‘‘ We saw a lot of the coun­try we would not other­wise have seen and had a ter­rific time, so much so we would like to have an­other cruise.’’

The Avalon Water­ways cruise started with a wel­come re­cep­tion on board af­ter ar­rival in Paris. The next day in­cluded the sights of Paris, in­clud­ing Notre Dame Cathe­dral, the Lou­vre Mu­seum, the com­mem­o­ra­tive Arc de Tri­om­phe, the Champs-el­y­sees and the Eif­fel Tower.

On day three the ship sailed down the River Seine, pass­ing through sub­ur­ban Paris with op­tions at Con­flans, in­clud­ing a guided ex­cur­sion to Au­vers-sur-oise, where Van Gogh lived and died, or Napoleon and Josephine’s Chateau de Mal­mai­son.

The cruise con­tin­ued to Ver­non, where op­tions in­cluded a guided tour of Claude Monet’s house and gar­dens at Giverny or a visit to Bizy Cas­tle.

Rouen, the cap­i­tal of Up­per Nor­mandy and an im­por­tant com­mer­cial city, then fol­lowed. It is per­haps best known for its con­nec­tion to Joan of Arc, who was burned at the stake in the mar­ket­place in 1431.

Later op­tions in­cluded ex­cur­sions to the coastal town of Hon­fleur or to the port city of Le Havre fol­lowed by a choice of a full-day ex­cur­sion to the his­toric Nor­mandy land­ing beaches or an in-depth look at the re­gional area.

This year the AFTA Sun­day Mail Hol­i­day Expo will again have a trip of a life­time for two on of­fer for a lucky vis­i­tor. Full de­tails will be in next week’s Es­cape sec­tion, but imag­ine a Turk­ish de­light . . .

The 2012 AFTA Sun­day Mail Hol­i­day Expo will be held at the Ade­laide Con­ven­tion Cen­tre, North Tce, start­ing on Fri­day, Fe­bru­ary 3, from 4pm-8pm, and con­tin­u­ing on the Satur­day and Sun­day from 10am-5pm. En­try is $9, se­niors/con­ces­sion $8, with free park­ing at the Tor­rens Pa­rade Ground.

A spe­cial sup­ple­ment as a guide to the expo will be pub­lished in the Sun­day Mail on Jan­uary 29 and will in­clude a map of the expo booths, full de­tails of ex­hibitors, cinema timeta­bles, handy travel tips and other in­for­ma­tion. More than 150 ex­hibitors will be at the expo of­fer­ing the best in hol­i­day ideas, from ma­jor world tours to week­end get­aways.

Ex­hibitors will in­clude national tourism or­gan­i­sa­tions, ma­jor air­lines, lux­ury re­sorts, travel com­pa­nies and do­mes­tic tourism com­mis­sions of­fer­ing hol­i­day ideas rang­ing from beach breaks to ski ad­ven­tures, from es­corted coach tours to rail and self­drive breaks, from Euro­pean va­ca­tions to Asian, African, Amer­i­can and Antarc­tic es­capes.

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