GREAT CRUISE ESCAPES
FLOWER POWER: Garden and culture operator Botanica is offering free economy flights, air credits and deals on business-class upgrades for a range of 2018 tours and cruises; for best offers, book by July 31 for next year’s 21-day Gardens & Art of Portugal and Spain, departing April 27, or an 11-day garden and historythemed cruise of Britain, departing May 29. More: 1300 305 202; botanica.travel.
HAVE AN ICE DAY: Australian-owned Chimu Adventures has a collection of Antarctica experiences for hardy travellers that includes camping on ice, mountain climbing and skiing in the icy continent’s remote interiors; itineraries are also built around exploration cruises in the wake of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Sir Douglas Mawson. More: chimuadventures.com.
BE AN EARLY BIRD: Buy a luxury river cruise in Europe for next year with Scenic and pay 2017 prices; a limited time applies for advance bookings. There’s also a flyfree deal to Europe year-round for standard suite bookings on cruises of 11 days or more and solo passengers can save 50 per cent off the single supplement on selected departures. Book now and pay for the journey in full by May 31 this year for further discounts, such as $600 a couple on cruises of 11 days or more or $300 a couple for 10 days or less. More: 138 128; scenic.com.au.
HAVANA, AHOY: Until November 4, Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas has cruises of four or five nights to Havana, Cuba, from Tampa, Florida, incorporating stops in Key West and Mexico’s Cozumel. It’s a Cubanthemed fiesta aboard, too, with special menus at Cafe Royal and salsa music and dancing in the Boleros Latin Lounge. More: 1800 754 500; royalcaribbean.com.au.
SNEAK PEEKS: Avalon Waterways has released its 2018 “Preview Brochure” with an offer of holiday credits up to $2800 a couple on departures in Europe and Southeast Asia on bookings made by April 4 this year. Credits can be applied to international flights, a second cruise, a Monograms city break, or a cash cut on a booking. The program covers more than 30 itineraries on rivers including the Danube, Rhine, Moselle and Main and a new eight-day Tulip Time cruise from Amsterdam. Also included are Mekong and Irrawaddy voyages. More: 1300 230 234; avalonwaterways.com.au.
MEKONG MAGIC: The 2018 Evergreen Tours brochure has extra eight-day sailings aboard the 68-passenger RV Mekong Navigator between March and November; cruises can be linked with regional touring in Vietnam and Cambodia. Fares for the voyage start at $2595 a person twin-share with a two-for-one flight offer if booked by September 30 this year. More: 1300 383 747; evergreentours.com.au.
BARGE AHEAD: To celebrate the centenary of the exclusive eight-passenger hotel barge L’Art de Vivre, European Waterways has 10 per cent off selected cruises this year in France’s Burgundy region. More: 1800 828 050; gobarging.com.