Thursday, August 23, 2012

MSC Cruises' Massive Sale - $1 Fares for 2nd Passenger!

Like we needed any excuse to set sail aboard one of these incredible cruises! From September 3-9, anyone who books an MSC Cruises’ 2012 Grand Voyage will only pay $1 plus port charges for the second passenger. Seriously!

This hot deal for couples is one of a number from the leading cruise line during the inaugural International Cruise Week promotion, organised by the International Cruise Council of Australasia.

The offer applies to five sailings, one aboard MSC Opera from Venice on November 1, 2012, to South Africa’s Cape Town - 19 nights, the first passenger paying from $1319, the second guest from $476, including the port charges.

Other sailings and prices are as follow:
  • MSC Magnifica, from Genoa on October 27, 2012 for 17 nights to Santos in Brazil, from $1289 and $426;
  • MSC Fantasia, from Genoa on November 11, 2012 for 16 nights to Santos in Brazil, from $1249 and $401;
  • MSC Orchestra, from Genoa on November 25, 2012 for 15 nights to Rio de Janeiro, from $1099 and $376;
  • MSC Lirica, from Genoa on November 30, 2012 for 15 nights to Antilles in the Caribbean, from $1169 and $376.

In addition to the Grand Voyage specials, MSC Cruises will offer $100 per person onboard credits on 2013 cruises of the Mediterranean and Northern Europe with prices starting at $609pp twin share for a seven-night Mediterranean cruise and from $1288pp, twin share for a 14-night Grand Mediterranean cruise.

Seven-night Northern Europe cruises start at $919pp twin share, 14-night Grand Northern Europe cruises from $2058pp, twin share.

What are you waiting for? Phone MSC Cruises on 1300 028502 or  head to their website and book that dream cruise!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Short Break Special: Gold Coast

So it's finally starting to show signs of warmer weather and we're already feeling that ache inside for a quick holiday, and some time out from work and chores and stress and ... well, from life in general! If you're feeling the same, it might be time for that well deserved short break, heading to a place where you can chill as much as you like, or play hard and let off some steam. Some place like the Gold Coast ... that mecca of sun, surf, fine dining and late night partying! And with Springtime just around the corner, it's looking great on the beaches - the perfect way to shake off the winter blues, re-energise and re-charge. 

There's always plenty of romance to be had with a beachside holiday, so Holidays for Couples have found some great special deals from Virgin Australia that makes the Gold Coast lifestyle feel all the more enticing. How does return economy airfares plus three nights accommodation starting from just $350pp* sound? Pretty awesome value, for that perfect short break holiday, we think!

There's a range of deals to choose from, from the casual to the trendy and the super-luxe, and lots of extras you can add on if you please. Check it out right here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Enjoy the 'Slow Life' in style at Soneva Kiri - Koh Kood, Thailand

Hands up, who could do with a break? We're hearing you! And as it's Friday, we're taking some time out to explore some really exotic and different destinations. We stumbled and fell pretty hard on Soneva Kiri by Six Senses on the island of Koh Kood in Thailand, 350 kilometres southeast of Bangkok and world's away from normality!

Surrounded by ancient rain forest blanketing hillsides that slope down to deserted, coconut palm shaded beaches and the Gulf of Thailand's pristine cobalt waters, with mostly fishermen among your closest neighbours, this secluded and peaceful retreat has some of the most amazing private residences where couples and whole groups can zone out and chill out in style. 

The 29 villas at Soneva Kiri are all vast and luxurious, from intimate one-bedroom suites to the palacial five-bedroom Private Beach Reserve. They've been built from local, sustainably sourced timbers and furnished in effortlessly chic style. Some villas face the sunset, some the sunrise, all with magical views of the secluded bay and private swimming pools. We love how Soneva Kiri has a SLOW LIFE policy. Just what everyone needs, wouldn't you say?

As You Like It - Shakespeare's England in an App!

Frustrated thespians and well-versed indie travellers can now discover Shakespeare country and surrounds with a new App designed to showcase some of the best of the heart of England, from Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwickshire to the culinary capital of Ludlow and the romantic Welsh Marches.
The 'Stratford & West Midlands: As You Like It' App for iPad, iPhone and Android takes you on a journey of discovery through romantic villages with country pubs, 'black and white' wooden architecture, historic houses with beautiful gardens and the seductive English countryside. It's all very historic and romantic and oh-so-very British ... and as it shows you the way to some of the country's finest boutique hotels (and a budget hotel or two), regional food and wine, micro-breweries and drives with classic cars for hire, it's also loads of fun! There's also ideas for biking and walks as well as gorgeous gardens and properties to view, including those in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

And it's not all about Shakespeare. Add a little J.R.R. Tolkein with places that inspired his characters for The Hobbit, and you can really indulge your imagination!  

You can buy 'Stratford & West Midlands: As You Like It' for US$3.99 through itunes, or look for 'Stratford +
Shakespeare's Country & Surrounds' on Google Player for the android version.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Singapore in bloom at Gardens by the Bay

If you're planning a trip to Singapore, be sure to get along to the recently opened (and eagerly-anticipated!) Gardens by the Bay, a 54 hectare garden located in the super-cool Marina Bay area.

This unique man-made botanical paradise comprises of three waterfront gardens covering - Bay South, Bay East and Bay Central.  Bay South Garden alone houses over 2,000 species plus more than 700,000 plants from across the globe, including the incredible 18 man-made futuristic Supertrees, ranging from 25 - 50 metres in height. The gardens have a 128-metre long aerial skywalk set amongst the treetops, 22 metres above ground, enabling visitors to take in panoramic views of the gardens and city below, making for a memorable experience (and some pretty amazing photo opportunities too!).

Gardens by the Bay is open to the public from 5.00am to 2.00am daily. Opening hours for the cooled conservatories and the aerial walkway in the Supertree Grove are from 9.00am to 9.00pm daily (conditions apply).  General entry is free of charge; however fees to the Skywalk, Flower Dome and Cloud Dome conservatories apply.

Skywalk: Child = SIN$3 (AUD$2.30), Adult =SIN$5 (AUD$3.80)
Conservatories: Child = SIN$15 (AUD$11.50), Adult = SIN$28 (AUD$21.50)

And plan more of your Singapore visit at

Find your groove at the annual Noosa Jazz Festival

Noosa gets set to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Noosa Jazz Festival which runs from the 30th August to the 2nd September 2012.  
There will be over 90 performances from Australian and international artists in local restaurants and open air venues overlooking Noosa's stunning main beach and river, not to mention a long lunch on Noosa's Hastings Street. Festival headline acts include Australian jazz great Grace Knight, US troupe Bill Watrous and the San Gabriel 7,  and Liam Burrows who was recently named Best Jazz Artist at the 2012 Australian MusicOZ Awards. Other artists include Motown legend Gil Askey, jazz funk group BULLHORN (pictured) & the Barksdale Brass Band, James Morrison and renowned Australian artists Monsieur Camembert, Andrew Lawson, Emma Pask, Bob Barnard, Geoff Bull and Ed Wilson.

Enjoy the winter sun and get your groove on ... are you going to be there?

For further information on the Noosa Jazz Festival visit or

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Singapore revs up for the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix

Singapore is gearing up for the 2012 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, with exciting entertainment in store on and off the track from 21st – 23rd September this year. And there's no better time to visit this buzzing metropolis if you're into high speed and thrills, with all the fast cars,  glamorous parties, music sensations and memorable events you can dream of.

Be trackside to experience this phenomenal night race with Formula 1 cars speeding past some of Singapore’s most well-loved landmarks, but also enjoy a power-packed line-up of international headliners and parties taking place behind the scenes.

This year’s headlining acts at the Padang Stage include global superstar sensation Katy Perry, chart topper Noel Gallagher, Grammy award winning rock group Maroon 5, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee The Pretenders, chart topping group Bananarama, as well as iconic 80s duo The Proclaimers across three fully loaded days!  

Trackside tickets start as low as AUD$45*, while a three-day Premier Walkabout ticket averages at AUD$115* per day with access to all zones and 350 entertainers within the circuit park.

To guarantee your spot at the action packed 2012 Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix, Creative Holidays is offering packages to the Grand Prix from AUD$829. Packages include three nights 4 star accommodation between 21-23 September, return airport transfers and a 3-day Bay Grandstand ticket with access to Zones 3 & 4. Flights are not included. For further information or to book please visit their website.

For details on the performance location and timings, please visit for the latest updates.

For further information on Singapore visit

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A small ship expedition through Asia aboard the Silver Shadow

Silver Shadow is offering a series of 9 or 11 day sailings from Hong Kong, Bangkok or Singapore to fascinating ports in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam later this year. The bonus of travelling on the smaller Silver Shadow is that it can venture into the heart of many small ports and harbours inaccessible to larger ships. That means each of these six Silver Shadow cruises includes an overnight stay in Ho Chi Minh City, moored close to the city centre - a fantastic sight from onboard and a memorable experience!

With a maximum of only 382 guests in ocean view, all-suite accommodation, the all-inclusive fares start from US$5399 per person, double occupancy, in a Vista Suite. Guests also receive US$1000 onboard spending credit per suite, to spend on spa treatments, boutique purchases, shore excursions and premium wines. Your stay onboard also includes personal butler service in every suite, informative guest lecturers, all fine dining and complimentary wines, Champagne and drinks, 24 hour room service, spacious suites and all gratuities.

 Silver Shadow will also explore Asian waters between February and May next year before returning to Alaskan waters in late May 2013.

For more information and a brochure contact Silversea Cruises on +61 2 9255 0600 or toll free 1300 306 872 (Australia) or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand), or visit

Passenger comfort and a great deal with Cathay Pacific's new cabins

Cathay Pacific is introducing its new Business Class, new Economy Class and, for the first time, its brand new Premium Economy experience on flights to Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth from August and on flights to Brisbane from October 2012, with Cairns joining from January 2013.

Offering exceptional value, Cathay Pacific’s new Business Class boasts one of the longest and widest beds on any commercial airline, with the superb new Business Class seat over two metres long and complete with design features that allow for optimum privacy or openness when travelling with a companion. Each aspect has been thoughtfully designed around passengers’ needs, providing a space in which to sleep, dine, work, read, watch TV or simply relax. You can even adjust the seat to recline into a fully flat bed, at the touch of a button. 

And for the first time, Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy Class presents a wide range of extras both on the ground and in the air. Guests will enjoy a dedicated check-in counter, priority boarding as well as an extra luggage allowance (which means more shopping, ladies!). The seats are way more comfy thanks to a new design and deeply cushioned seats, you get extra leg room and a seat pitch of 38 inches - six more inches than Economy. Not to mention a glass of champagne or orange juice on take-off and an enhanced meal selection. With only 28 seats in the Premium Class cabin, the experience will feel just a little more private. 

Every passenger in Premium Economy will also receive an amenity kit with dental kit, socks, eyeshade and earplugs for use during their journey,  larger pillows, a personal bottle of water and additional snack choices, including more fresh fruit, an energy bar and dessert, and the same noise-cancelling headsets they would find in Business Class. 

And if you're still travelling economy, you're not missing out on too much of the extra comfort - Cathay Pacific has introduced a new Economy Class Seat offering added comfort and exceptional value for money, with more living space and personal storage, high-resolution 9-inch touch-screen TVs, featuring Cathay Pacific's new Studio CX entertainment system that offers more than 100 movies, 500 TV programmes, 888 CDs and 22 radio channels to all passengers on the aircraft, and a USB and iPod/iPhone outlet that allows passengers to connect their own mobile devices so they can view their content through the larger personal screens. 

To celebrate the launch of the new cabins, Cathay Pacific is holding a Premium Economy Super Sale until 8 August with jaw dropping prices. Fly to Beijing return ex Sydney for as little as $1514!

Visit or see your travel agent for more information.