Azamara Pursuit Cruise Ship
7 reasons to take a trip aboard the Azamara Pursuit
Not your average mode of transportation between Ol’ Blighty and marvellous France, but as I learnt, climbing aboard the Azamara Pursuit is absolutely the best way to do it, and there are a few reasons why… It should be made clear before you read another word, that I, Olivia Mackinnon love cruising.   It’s in my DNA, you see. My parents actually met while working on board what they called, ‘The Love Boat’, but I suspect it was just a regular boat, with no links to TV cruising royalty whatsoever.   So for as long as I can remember, I have been wooed by the incredible grandness of cruise ships, and up until recently, I’d never been lucky enough to board one in the Azamara fleet.   The brand new Azamara Pursuit was setting off for her maiden voyage, and I had been invited on the two-night journey to experience all she had to offer… Grand is an understatement [caption id="attachment_46070" align="alignnone" width="600"] The Azamara Pursuit is grand in scale[/caption] Landing in London and then travelling to Southampton, UK, I was instantly desperate to climb aboard Azamara’s newest ship, Pursuit as soon as I clapped eyes on her. One of my favourite things to do aboard a ship is familiarise myself with the facilities: ‘Where is the restaurant, how far is my cabin from the pool, where is the spa?!’ I’m simply not satisfied until these questions are answered. However, aboard Pursuit I was enamoured with the luxury feel of the ship. The detail in every hand rail and piece of art. As a small-time cruiser, I simply didn’t feel worthy.   The common areas were furnished with incredible plush chairs, decorated with velvet trimmings and chic finishes, while the restaurant took the whole ‘white tablecloth’ dining experience to a new level with a sense of European style I haven’t ever seen on board a ship before. [caption id="attachment_46073" align="alignnone" width="600"] Spending time in the common areas was a joy thanks to this stunning and comfortable arrangement[/caption] The cabin The feeling of luxury was extended down the hall of the starboard side – as I’m sure it was on port side – and all the way inside my cabin. The bathrooms had more sink space than I was accustomed to. There was an established seating area, a roomy balcony and a beyond-comfortable bed. In fact, with the deluxe sheets combined with the gentle sway of Southampton’s River Itchen, I don’t know if I’ve ever slept so soundly.   I was particularly fond of the colour palette used in the cabins, a mix of moody greys, deep woods and a touch of blush. The marble finishes added a chic cherry to an already delectable cake.   Also, the shower pressure was near-normal – maybe even on par with what you’d get at home. Anyone who has ever cruised before will understand what a big deal that is. A Titanic experience, minus the tragedy What excited me about this trip was that I was going to get the chance to arrive in an entirely different country by the time I woke up in the morning. Yep, we were en route to Cherbourg, a port city in France where you could delight in both French naval history and quality croissants for the day. I also learned that this was the place the Titanic made its final stop on its fateful journey to America – but I tried not to focus on that as I disembarked. [caption id="attachment_46074" align="alignnone" width="600"] The furnishings were elegant, comfortable and luxurious[/caption] If that sounds appealing to you, visitors to Cherbourg are encouraged to visit Cité de la Mer, one of the port’s main tourist attractions, where you can find out more about the infamous ship’s final visit. The on (and off) board delicacies The Pursuit frequents many European ports during its varied itineraries, which means the food always complements your destinations. During my day in Cherbourg I was treated to fresh crepes, soft cheese, macarons and sparkling wine. I pretty much had to roll back to the ship. [caption id="attachment_46071" align="alignnone" width="600"] There are many sights to take in and they aren't all experienced from the ship's deck[/caption] Back on board, passengers celebrated the ship’s maiden voyage with a decadent oyster and Champagne buffet dinner. Chefs were ready and waiting at a personalised pasta station, ready to combine fettuccine with pesto, or spaghetti with carbonara sauce if your heart so desired. It’s differences like these that showcase the level of care – and luxury – you can expect to experience on board an Azamara ship – and from what I hear, the Pursuit’s elegance is certainly no exception to its sister ships: Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey. The pool Despite being August, the weather was a little cooler during our short cruise, and I’m almost certain that I was the only guest to brave the ship’s water amenities. I swam not only in the pool’s accompanying spa on the main deck, but also in the larger spa provided to guests before their scheduled treatment, as an indulgent precursor to what is already guaranteed to be a ‘cloud nine’ level of pampering.   Due to the lack of company in the spas, I felt there was more than ample room – my only gripe would be that they could be made a little warmer – however on a standard August day in Europe I imagine the cooler temperature would ordinarily be ideal. Destination Immersion experiences [caption id="attachment_46072" align="alignnone" width="600"] Just because you're on a cruise ship doesn't mean you don't get to experience the culture of the ports you travel to and from[/caption] The thing that makes the Azamara fleet different to regular luxury cruises is its desire to get passengers off the ship at port and truly immerse them in the activities and culture of that destination. This is what they call their ‘Destination Immersion’ programming.   For example, during my time in Cherbourg on the Pursuit’s maiden voyage, in addition to being treated to iconic French delicacies, we were also wowed by a side-splitting performance by a French dance ensemble. The short itinerary meant that while a full-day of exploration wasn’t an option, Azamara brought a taste of Cherbourg’s culture to us at port – and we loved every second of it.   Sailings with longer itineraries can expect even more incredible immersive experiences. From a three-day/two-night stargazing experience in Chile’s Atacama Desert, to exploring the inside of a volcano in Iceland, they somehow manage to make it about guaranteeing you have as great of a time off the ship as you will on board. They get around, a lot As of 2019, Azamara’s very first Melbourne departure will take place – and the list of destinations worked into their itineraries is longer than ever. This year, the ships will visit a record 250 ports across 69 countries with 94 overnight stays and 145 late-night stays – meaning you get the most out of the places you want to visit. Plus, this year marks the first visit to Alaska – yippee!
Holland America Line
Journey Alaska by land and sea with Holland America Line
Holland America Line’s Land+Sea Journeys let you extend your Alaska adventure into the wild interior of Alaska and the Yukon. And who better to show you the Great Land? Holland America Line’s experiences are carefully crafted to reflect the best of Alaska, and even allow you to choose your own path. A Land+Sea Journey may take you to the foot of mighty Denali or venture further to the unspoiled reaches of the Yukon (an experience offered by no other cruise company). The Land+Sea Journeys program allows Holland America Line to focus on this majestic destination and experience while offering guests its renowned combination of elegance and adventure in Alaska and the Yukon. [caption id="attachment_45283" align="alignnone" width="600"] Big brown bear (Ursus arctos) in the mountain[/caption] Need to know Holland America Line is the only cruise company that takes guests to the unspoiled reaches of the Yukon. For the ultimate Great Land getaway, combine an Alaska cruise with Denali National Park and the wild frontier of the Yukon Territory. Ride on the McKinley Explorer glass-domed railcars, pan for gold, or even cruise the Yukon River on a sternwheeler. Located at the very gates of Denali National Park at the magnificent 24-hectare McKinley Chalet Resort, Denali Square serves as both hub and retreat for guests exploring the park, and features cosy fire pits, perfect for gathering around on cool Alaskan evenings as well as outdoor seating to enjoy the scenery in summer. You’ll also find shops offering local goods, and an artist-in-residence cabin where Alaskan native and local artists display and discuss their works. Walking paths in and around Denali Square show off the property’s mountainous landscapes and beautiful setting just across the Nenana River from Denali National Park. [caption id="attachment_45284" align="alignnone" width="600"] Mountains of Denali[/caption] Klondike Spirit Yukon River cruise Step aboard the Klondike Spirit and embark on a cruise to a bygone era on the only operating paddlewheeler in the Yukon Territory (at an additional cost). As you make your way through breathtaking landscapes along the Yukon River, the third-longest river in America, keep an eye out for abundant wildlife, including moose, bears and bald eagles. Tundra landing via helicopter Explore the hills just outside of Denali National Park on this short ride (at an additional cost). Keep your eyes on the horizon to see Denali, North America’s tallest peak, or Mount Deborah, her impressive sister. Just moments after take-off, you will be deeply immersed in Alaskan back country. Your pilot will set down on the soft, alpine tundra, giving you the amazing opportunity to step out into this scenic landscape.   Experience the authentic Alaska you’ve always dreamed of with the cruise line that is the undisputed leader in Alaska Cruises and Land+Sea Journeys. For more information call 1300 987 322, contact your travel professional or visit www.hollandamerica.com/alaska
Ponant
The most delicious way to travel from Lisbon to Dublin
A gastronomic cruise flitting from Portugal’s medieval treasures, then famed French vineyards through to the fascinations and mysteries of Celtic castles and cobblestones. Gastronomy cruising from Lisbon to Dublin with Ponant; where do we sign up? Between perhaps the most famous stretch of culinary coastline in the world, and the French talent for experiencing the very best of everything, Ponant’s back-to-back cruise from Lisbon to Dublin  may be the most luxurious cruise we know.   France’s only luxury cruise line offers The French Touch: a way of living in which excellent gastronomy takes pride of place. Every day brings gloriously fragrant flavours, carefully selected cheeses and wines, specialty breads and sweet pastries imagined by Maison Lenôtre. Maison Taillevent now provides its fine vintage wines by the glass, Maison Veuve Clicquot accompanies gala cocktails, and the infamous Ladurée bakery has a place of honour for afternoon tea. And then there’s the prestigious gala dinners prepped by Alain Ducasse’s teams. You’ll want to tear yourself away from the incessant luxury on board Ponant’s L’Austral, though, as the decadence continues onshore. The first nine nights of the cruise involves several visits (and wine tastings) at the beautiful wine estates of the Saint-Estephe, Margaux and Pauillac appellations. In the evening, the moored ship will have Château Latour as a magnificent backdrop to a gala dinner onboard with expert wine and dish pairings.   Two days in Bordeaux, the wine capital of the world, follow along with its captivating wine-making tradition; don’t miss the chance to visit the Cité du Vin – the medieval village of Saint-Émilion – and other châteaux. Lastly, you will call at Belle-Île-en-Mer and Guernsey before arriving in Portsmouth, in the south-east of England to end the gastronomic portion of the cruise and begin your exploration through the Celtic Sea for seven more nights.   The Isles of Scilly are a strange, wondrous little archipelago whose landscapes seem to have come straight out of Enid Blyton's famous stories. Here, long sandy beaches stand alongside green fields, while ruins of old castles stand proud on hilltops.   You can step ashore at Cobh, a maritime port in County Cork in southwest Ireland, and discover the picturesque village of Blarney, famous for its castle, and Kinsale, a charming little port sheltered within the picturesque Bandon Estuary.   L’Austral will take you to the celebrated City of Pop, Liverpool, then to the Isle of Man, in the waters between the United Kingdom and Ireland; its capital, Douglas is a postcard from the United Kingdom of the Victorian era. During your stopover in Belfast, you can visit the Giant's Causeway, a massive geological formation and UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring more than 40,000 basalt columns, then it’s off to Dublin, a beautiful end to your voyage, its cobbled streets brimming with fabulous shops, pubs and arts centres deserving a few more nights at your leisure. The French Touch Whether you choose a Mediterranean cruise or a voyage into the heart of the Antarctic ice floes, Ponant’s exceptional levels of customised and attentive service are renowned, giving you the privileged feeling of sailing aboard your own private yacht.   A French crew welcomes you and sets about ensuring your comfort and wellbeing throughout your cruise on L’Austral, an impressive ship featuring innovative and environmentally friendly equipment, and just 132 elegantly designed staterooms and spacious suites with large windows, as well as lounge areas that open onto the outside. The cruise line’s hallmark is a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort. Experience a different kind of cruising on a back-to-back cruise from Lisbon to Dublin, departing on 13 April 2019 for 16 nights aboard L’Austral. Fares start from $11,053 per person twin share in a Prestige Stateroom on Deck 4. For more information visit cruising.com.au/book-today or call the Cruiseco concierge on 1800 270 747 to find your nearest Cruiseco Cruise specialist travel agent.
V2V Vacations
The luxurious Canadian cruise you’ve always dreamed of
Passengers can frequently spot wildlife such as orcas, bald eagles or sea lions along the coastline of British Columbia. The waters of south-western British Columbia in Canada, are some of the most spectacular in the world, and the uniquely beautiful, comfortable and convenient journey aboard the V2V Empress between downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria aims to showcase this stunning corner of the world with unparalleled commitment to service, comfort and luxury.   Whether you are looking for an exciting add-on to your Alaska cruise or your Rocky Mountaineer train journey, or you simply wish to discover Victoria for a day, cruising to Vancouver Island on this stylish 242-passenger high-speed catamaran is an opportunity to spend the voyage learning about the rich culture in the region.   Sailing directly from downtown Vancouver past Stanley Park, across the Salish Sea and meandering through the stunning British Columbia Gulf Islands into Victoria’s Inner Harbour on Vancouver Island, passengers can frequently spot wildlife such as orcas, bald eagles or sea lions. Throughout the 3.5-hour journey, guests also have the opportunity to taste local flavours through the on-board menu, which features foods and non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic beverages exclusively sourced from the region.   All seating is reserved, so when you go up to the sundeck to enjoy the incredible 360-degree views, you can be rest assured that your seat won’t be occupied by someone else once you come back inside. [caption id="attachment_44989" align="alignnone" width="600"] Cruising - but with all the comforts of a luxury hotel[/caption] Need to know In Vancouver, the V2V terminal is located downtown by the convention centre, within short walking distance of the Vancouver Cruise Terminal, a variety of luxury accommodation options as well as boutique properties. In Victoria, the ship arrives and departs directly from the Inner Harbour across from the British Columbia Provincial Legislature, within an easy four-minute walk from all pick-up points for the best Victoria and Butchart Gardens sightseeing tours and activities. See Victoria If you cruise to Victoria for the day, you will have enough time to wander the quaint, historic downtown with its British colonial architecture, visit the stunning Butchart Gardens, or linger over afternoon high tea. [caption id="attachment_44990" align="alignnone" width="600"] You'll be amazed at all the wildlife spotting you can do![/caption] Go Royal Class The V2V Empress cruises past some spectacular British Columbian wilderness; the views from Royal Class seats are unbeatable. V2V’s two classes, Premium and Royal, both feature comfy ergonomic leather seats equipped with international power outlets (and free wi-fi throughout the ship), but Royal class is tailored to those who appreciate more personalised service. Up on the upper deck, Royal guests enjoy the best views, with food and drinks served directly to their seat. A welcome drink and a three-course light meal in both directions is included, as well as unlimited non-alcoholic drinks.   For more information visit V2Vvacations.com
Celebrity Edge
Celebrity Edge is the ship that will change cruising forever
For Celebrity Cruises®, the name for its newest ship was obvious. Set to launch in December of this year, Celebrity Edge® is the ship that will change cruising forever.   This revolutionary ship is like no other before – every design element was pushed to the edge of possibility, and carefully considered to exceed all expectations. And that it does, with some of the most attainable luxury, innovation and transformational concepts at sea. Everyone gets a view – and a King sized bed ‘Some resorts have a beautiful view, ours has thousands’, Celebrity says of its suites on board Celebrity Edge®, which feel more like modern urban apartments than ship accommodation. The largest suites in the entire Celebrity fleet, Celebrity Edge’s Iconic Suites are located high above the bridge, making guests feel on top of the world – or perhaps at the edge of the Earth – with panoramic views, two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and an outdoor area with hot tub and day bed. The breathtaking two-storey Edge Villas are the first of their kind in the Celebrity fleet – boasting one bedroom, two bathrooms, private terraces, floor-to-ceiling windows, plunge pools and personal butler service. While those in the Edge Staterooms can, with the simple touch of a button, transform the entire stateroom into an ‘Infinite Verandah℠’. The floor-to-ceiling window retracts, allowing even larger living space and access to sea breeze whenever one likes. So long, pokey cabins and portholes!   The beauty of Celebrity Edge® is that all staterooms and suites offer a luxurious experience, due to its thoughtful design which allows for a king-size bed in 99 per cent of the rooms. There are also a number of interconnecting options, making it easier for larger families to comfortably travel together in a variety of accommodation options. Add to that twice-daily housekeeping, custom-blended bath products, and Celebrity’s eXhale™ bedding with exclusive Cashmere mattresses. Take a trip through the Garden of Eden Outside of guest sleeping quarters, the public areas also have an edge to them. No expense was spared, from a seven-tonne chandelier in The Grand Plaza that is the central gathering space, to 7000 square feet of glass in Eden, a space resplendent in lush greenery that transforms from day to night. It has a café and bar, indoor and al fresco dining, activities such as yoga, cooking classes, wine tasting and pairing, and artistic performances that are integrated into an unforgettable dining experience.   [caption id="attachment_44018" align="alignnone" width="1500"] First to ever be designed in 3D by world renowned architects and designers[/caption] Entertainment like you’ve never seen before ‘We’re not pulling back the curtain, we’re taking it away’, Celebrity says, with all aspects of the ship possessing a wow-factor, be it with performance, immersive or aesthetic. Though if you prefer to sit back and enjoy the spectacle, the entertainment at The Theatre has four shows that will keep guests on the edge of their seat, with transformative stages, projectors, spiralling staircases and aerial rigging. There’s an actual Magic Carpet hovering above the water But if that’s not extraordinary enough, make like Aladdin and take a Magic Carpet ride on board Celebrity Edge®. This unique feature is the world’s first cantilevered platform on the edge of the ship, 13 storeys above sea level. Transforming into different spaces, depending on which level it is on, the Magic Carpet can be a dining room, pool deck, or space for enrichment talks and workshops, with the added thrill of feeling like you’re soaring over the ocean. Private cabanas, martini hot tubs and film-inspired food Up on the pool deck, a 22-metre lap pool is flanked by sun lounges, private cabanas that overlook the ocean, and a couple of two-storey martini hot tubs (as in, they are shaped like a martini glass) offering a sky-high soak. The jogging track winds its way around a living Rooftop Garden, where you can feast on a barbecue grill, enjoy a cocktail, listen to live music and experience A Taste of Film, where the food is inspired by the film. [caption id="attachment_44019" align="alignnone" width="600"] Every design element was pushed to the edge of possibility, and carefully considered to exceed all expectations[/caption] Cuisine from around the globe Indeed, food, glorious food is a key part of the cruising experience, and onboard Celebrity Edge®, world class dining is at your fingertips. Gone are the days that it is all just about gluttonous buffets. On board Celebrity Edge® guests have the exciting choice of four complimentary dining options! Choose between new American with global influences, refined French cuisine, Mediterranean fare and rustic Italian, with ample spots to relax with a drink, whether it be at the dazzling Martini Bar, country club-style Sunset Bar or the glitz and glamour of the Casino Bar.   Rivalling some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, the Celebrity Edge® is cutting-edge design, a refreshing new-look cruising experience that brings luxury to everyone. Details To find out where Celebrity Edge® is sailing, visit http://www.cruising.com.au/ Or call 1800 270 747 for more information.    
Today Show cruise deals: Best domestic and International offers
With 1.4 million Aussies choosing to cruise last year, it’s no wonder there’s a bounty of phenomenal deals on incredible vessels to choose from. Whether you’re keen for a European adventure, or have exploring the Kimberleys on your bucket list – there’s a cruise, and a suitable discount – to suit.
How to cruise the British Columbia Coast in style
For travellers seeking a highly personalised and truly authentic experience, V2V Vacations promises to provide a uniquely beautiful, comfortable and convenient journey between downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.
Why you need to explore the world with Gate 1 Travel
Founded in 1981 with just three employees, Gate 1 now boasts more than 400 staff in their international offices that offer around-the-clock support for travellers, with a promise to deliver more of the world for less by developing quality, affordable holidays for Australians.   Gate 1 Travel offer escorted tours, European river cruises, small group tours and customised international travel packages. Our diverse tour offering covers destinations across every continent, even taking travellers to Antarctica. With its own ships that sail along the Rhine, Danube and the Netherlands’ waterways, European River Cruising is the most popular product and also among the cheapest on the market, with a deluxe seven-night Rhine River cruise from $2199 per person. Visit gate1travel.com.au to see the full list of tours and save $500 per person on all 2019 European River Cruises at the time of booking when you quote promo code INT500RCA by 31 December 2018.   The facts -Great pricing without sacrificing quality; we often include 4-star or higher ranked hotels on escorted tours and our river cruises are 4- and 5-star. -Time and time again travellers comment on the high quality of our local Tour Managers. They are extremely knowledgeable, considerate of the needs of the tour group and passionate. -We have a diverse selection of tour destinations across every continent. From Antarctica to Asia, Africa and more, we offer More of the World for Less! -European River Cruising is one of our most popular packages and our cruises are much more affordable than the ones you’ll see advertised elsewhere. We operate our own luxurious ships and travel along the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, as well as the Netherlands’ waterways. -Gratuities are included on all our escorted tours and river cruises. -A normal deposit is all it takes to lock in our Early Bird deals and we don’t charge any credit card fees. You can even get 5% off the balance when you pay by bank deposit. -We have been operating for over 35+ years. -In a recent survey, 100% of Gate 1 travellers said they would travel with the company again.   Classic European River Cruise 14 nights / from $4179 per person Enjoy a 14-night Classic European River Cruise from $4179 per person when you quote promo code INT500RCA at the time of booking. Spend 14 nights aboard the Deluxe Monarch Empress, First Class Monarch Governess, or Monarch Duchess and journey through the heart of Europe from Hungary, through Austria and Germany, finishing in the Netherlands where you’ll tour the canals of Amsterdam. Along the way you’ll see magnificent panoramic views of Budapest from atop Fisherman’s Bastion, visit romantic Vienna with its legendary opulence and elegance, and walk in Bamberg’s medieval centre with its 11th-century Romanesque cathedral. The cruise includes 41 meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners with unlimited wine and beer with dinners. Plus you’ll receive river port charges of $380 per person, entrance fees per itinerary as well as comfortable wireless earphones for excursions.   For more information, please head on over to Gate1travel.com.au
Voyages To Antiquity: everything you need to know
With only 350 guests on board, travelling on a boutique ship with Voyages to Antiquity is the best way to see the world... see how.
Saint Basil's Cathedral located in Red Square
Why you should be booking a Beyond Travel cruise through Russia
Established in 1994, Beyond Travel have over 24 years of expertise helping Australian travellers experience the best that Russia has to offer. Renowned leaders in travel to this fascinating country, in 2019 we are pleased to present the largest range of Russian river cruises available, with a dedicated Cruise Russia website and brochure.

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