Captain’s Choice Introduces New Voyages Aboard Europa 2

By Staff Writer

One of the world’s leading curators of life-enriching journeys and experiences, Captain’s Choice, has partnered with award-winning Hapag-Lloyd Cruises to deliver a new series of voyages on board EUROPA 2 in 2019 focusing on wellness and gastronomy.

Awarded five stars-plus by the highly respected Berlitz Cruise Guide 2018, Hapag-Lloyd’s flagship vessel accommodates 500 passengers in a relaxed and contemporary setting, with no formal dress code and flexible mealtimes with open seating in a variety of dining venues.

And if you’re travelling on board EUROPA 2 with Captain’s Choice, everything is included from comfortable stateroom accommodation to onboard drinks, sightseeing, travel insurance, luggage valet, transfers and exclusive ‘Your World’ experiences.

Travelling with a small group of like-minded people, Captain’s Choice guests are accompanied by an experienced tour manager and host, English-speaking local guides, and experts including academics and sommeliers.

Also included is a generous ship’s credit allowing guests to customize their onboard experience, as well as thoughtful extras such as private welcome and farewell receptions and exclusive shore excursions and experiences curated by Captain’s Choice.

The dress code is smart casual in each of the ship’s seven gourmet restaurants. Other facilities include a fitness studio with customised programs, a culinary school, theatre and art gallery exhibiting more than 800 artworks.

Immersive and authentic destinations span the globe from fishing villages in Italy’s Cinque Terre to meeting orphaned elephants in Sri Lanka. Each destination has been selected carefully to offer luxury pre- and post-cruise accommodations, as well as memorable sightseeing and dining options.

Gourmet food and wine play an integral part of the Captain’s Choice EUROPA 2 experience, from the vineyards of Puglia to barbecuing ocean-fresh seafood on a beach in Langkawi to restaurant terraces overlooking Venice’s lagoon and Grand Canal.

Luxury voyages in 2019 include an 18-day Indian Ocean sojourn, departing May 24 and taking in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi and Sri Lanka, among other ports; a 19-day Mediterranean sailing, departing June 26, and visiting Lake Bled, Venice, Dubrovnik, Puglia, Sicily, Capri, Bonifacio and Portofino, and a 30-day voyage departing August 17 and featuring the best of Scandinavia.


For further information and bookings, contact Captain’s Choice on 1800 650 738 or visit

Cairns’ New Luxury Hotel Opens Bookings

Riley, A Crystalbrook Collection Resort

Cairns newest luxury hotel, Riley, A Crystalbrook Collection resort, will open its doors on 6 November 2018

Cairns is getting its first new five-star hotel in over 20 years with the new Crystalbrook Collection Resort, Riley, opening its doors on 6 November. Located on Cairns’ Esplanade, Riley’s contemporary design and ambience will nod to sustainability and environmentalism, and rooms will feature Apple iPads complete with healthy living apps, Staycast by Google Chromecast for video streaming, access to hundreds of complimentary movies and box sets and Nespresso machines (with recyclable pods).

To celebrate the launch of Riley, Crystalbrook has a collection of special opening offers:


Opening Special Advance Purchase

Pre-pay your Riley stay and receive a complimentary upgrade on bookings made before 19 December 2018 for stays between 6 November and 19 December 2018.


Laze and Graze

Spend the night and enjoy a full buffet breakfast for two at Paper Crane, valet parking and late check-out from $339 per room per night for stays between 20 December 2018 and 30 December 2020.


Pay Two, Stay Three

Stay a little longer. Book any Urban, Resort or Sea room for two nights  before 29 April 2019 and the third night is on Riley. Valid for stays between 6 November 2018 and 30 April 2019. Offer is also available for longer stays, i.e. stay four, pay three; stay five, pay four; stay six, pay four and stay seven, pay five.


Conditions apply to the above special offers. Visit for more information.

Inspiring Journeys Releases Four New Australian Tours

Byron Bay, Australia

The luxury small group travel operator now offers 13 hand-crafted itineraries across Australia and New Zealand

Inspiring Journeys has released its 2019/2020 brochure featuring 13 itineraries including four new journeys across Australia, so guests can experience more of one of the world’s most naturally diverse continents.

“By expanding our Australian offering, we can now provide guests with our most extensive boutique luxury travel collection to date,” said Hans Belle, Managing Director of AAT Kings and Inspiring Journeys. “We are privileged to share the unsurpassed beauty of Australia and New Zealand with travellers looking for a more specialised boutique travel experience or a first-timer that wants to experience these unique and vibrant countries in style.”

The 2019/2020 tours range from five to 22 days and groups consist of no more than 20 likeminded travellers (and no children under the age of 12). The four new Australian trips include:

The Ultimate Territory Adventure in Style

The dramatic landscapes of the Red Centre take centre stage in  this tour where guests explore Kakadu’s ancient gorges, spectacular wetlands and wildlife before flying to the awe-inspiring Red Centre and experiencing iconic Uluru and the mystical domes of Kata Tjuta across 10 days.


Tasmania’s Footsteps and Trails

On this new seven-day trip, guests will get to discover Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the spectacular Bruny Island, glorious Wineglass Bay and take part in an aboriginal guided walk around the magnificent natural landscape of the Bay of Fires and Mt. William areas, which will provide them with in-depth cultural insight.


The Uncharted Coast

For those seeking a more relaxing escape, there’s the new eight-day itinerary on Southern Queensland’s coast, staying at the luxurious Spicers Hidden Vale before travelling to the internationally renowned coastal towns of Byron Bay and Noosa.


A Journey to the West

Across the other side of the continent, guests can experience the best of the West with a new seven-day tour. From the award-winning vineyards of surfing mecca Margaret River to the endearing native quokkas on Rottnest Island and the laid-back, historic cities of Perth and Fremantle – guests will have no shortage of activities to choose from in Western Australia.


New Zealand

Across the Tasman, the collection of Inspiring Journeys through New Zealand takes travellers through dramatic snow-capped mountains, volcanic fields, crystal-clear Fiordlands and pristine lakes. Guests can explore the Land of the Long White Cloud on four dynamic trips, including the 12-day The Southern Drift tour, which will see guests venture into parts of the South Island less travelled from the spectacular vistas of Mt. Cook through to Milford Sound.

The Endless Shores will reveal some of New Zealand’s most mesmerising natural wonders, from the luminous glow of Waitomo to the fantasy-land of the Shire on an 11-day exploration from Wellington through to Auckland.


For more information, visit call 1300 669 175.

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort to Open Next Month

The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort - Island Villas Aerial
The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort - Island Villas Aerial

Marriot International says the resort will position the Westin brand as a leader in wellness in the Maldives

Marriott International has announced its new resort  –The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort – will open in the holiday oasis of the Maldives next month, with the resort set to herald the Westin brand’s wellness positioning.

Nestled on a beautiful coral island in the Baa Atoll, a designated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve site, The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort will feature 70 villas and suites, 41 on-island and 29 overwater. Poised over the sea on stilts and with an area of almost 200 square meters each, the overwater suites are amongst the largest a resort has to offer in the Baa Atoll region. Assembled by award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Associati, the resort’s design takes inspiration from the ocean with a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability.

The dining options will include three resort restaurants and a rooftop bar, with the all-day restaurant Island Kitchen’s Chinese, Indian and Maldivian cuisine staying true to the Westin brand’s Eat Well pillar. Specialty restaurant The Pearl will serve up high-end Japanese cuisine in an elegant setting with sweeping ocean views, while at Hawker guests can sample authentic Asian food in a casual and buzzing restaurant and bar with a live kitchen. The Sunset Bar will be the place to be for a relaxed lounge setting with tapas and imaginative cocktails created by talented mixologists on the menu.

The new resort will also feature Westin’s signature branded spa concept, the Heavenly Spa by Westin, the 24-hour WestinWORKOUT fitness centre and the Westin Kids Club.

Crystal Cruises Australia Announces Partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer

By Staff Writer

Crystal Cruises Australia has announced a multi-year partnership with Qantas Frequent Flyer to offer members the opportunity to earn Qantas Points on all 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Crystal Experiences – by ocean, river, and yacht expedition.

Crystal’s recent period of rapid growth has seen the company expand from what was a two-ocean-ship cruise line, to include some of the world’s most awarded luxury travel experiences including Crystal River Cruises in Europe and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises to idyllic island playgrounds and remote destinations around the world.

The partnership will offer up to three Qantas Points per US$1 on all Crystal Experiences including Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises itineraries.

“Offering Qantas Points is a great way to reward our Crystal Society members for choosing to book with us,” said Crystal’s Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Australasia, Karen Christensen. “Crystal has long been celebrated as the leader in luxury cruising, and this new partnership is a wonderful opportunity for Qantas customers to discover the hallmarks of the acclaimed Crystal Experience.”

Qantas Loyalty Executive Manager Commercial, David Young, said: “Qantas Frequent Flyer members love to travel and the partnership with Crystal provides them with another way for them to make their whole trip more rewarding by earning points on their cruise booking as well as their flights.”

The partnership between the two companies was made last night at an intimate media dinner at the Sydney Opera House to celebrate the unveiling of Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises’ newest expedition vessel, Crystal Endeavour’s inaugural season of itineraries.

Beginning in Tokyo on August 10 2020 with a 17-day Russian Far East Maiden Expedition, the luxury expedition yacht will sail voyages of 12 to 22 days through January 2021 to some of the world’s most far-reaching regions. Voyages will explore the cultural and bio-diversity of Japan and the Russian Far East, New Zealand, Australia and Antarctica, with tropical wildlands also featured.

Crystal’s Qantas Points Offer

Qantas Frequent Flyer members can earn:

  • 3 Qantas Points per US$1 spent on all bookings made on any 2018 Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises itineraries from 1 September 2018
  • Double Points for all 2019, 2020 and 2021 Crystal Experiences
  • 2 Qantas Points per US$1 spent on all bookings made on any 2019, 2020 and 2021 Crystal Cruises, Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises itineraries between 1 September 2018 and 31 March, 2019

Crystal’s Qantas Points promotion is applicable to all guests who book with an Australian or New Zealand based travel professional or with Crystal’s Australian reservations office.


For more information and Crystal reservations, contact Crystal’s Sydney office on 1300 059 260 or visit