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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Radisson Mumbai Goregaon opens in the Financial Capital of India

Situated in the main commercial and retail hub of Goregaon suburb of Mumbai, the hotel is an upscale international branded hotel well suited for both business and leisure travelers alike. The hotel is surrounded by shopping districts, entertainment centers, tourist attractions, corporate set-ups and located in proximity to the international airport and Bombay Exhibition Centre.

"We are pleased to announce the opening of Radisson Mumbai Goregaon as this hotel marks an important addition to the Radisson brand family in a key gateway city. The Balwa Group are astute hoteliers and we are looking forward to expanding our relationship with the group," said Raj Rana, chief executive officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

"We are confident and delighted to be working with Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Their proven experience and marketing expertise in India will benefit the hotel. We are committed to offer a differentiated experience at Radisson Mumbai Goregaon and epitomize the business tradition of our city. The team is proud to be a part of the Radisson brand family," said Hussein Balwa, managing director, Balwa Group.

Radisson Mumbai Goregaon features 98 cotemporary rooms with modern amenities. The rooms are spread across three categories namely, superior, business class and suite. The sleekly designed rooms are bright, spacious and modern, complemented with loungers and beautiful furnishings. All rooms are equipped with amenities including free Wi-Fi, 42-inch LED TV with premium channels, and coffee and tea making facilities. The suite includes extra features like a separate living room, dining table, walk-in wardrobe, bath tub and more. With wellness as a brand pillar, the hotel features facilities such as an in-house spa and salon; Tattva, that offers variety of massages and beauty treatments and, a rooftop swimming pool that offers a magnificent view of the city.

The hotel's dining options include 180 Degree Dining, the all-day dining restaurant that serves up Continental, Oriental and Indian cuisines. Craft cocktails and mocktails are served at the open-to-sky restobar, The Tipsy Terrace where guests can unwind and relax in the vibrant ambience and relish bar bites, tapas, local delicacies and international favorites being dished out by the show kitchen. Liquid Lounge, the stylish open bar houses a wide selection of wines, cigars and drinks.

Radisson Mumbai Goregaon boasts 11 banquet halls for meetings and events. The hotel is an ideal destination for weddings, social and corporate events with banquet facilities that can accommodate up to 500 guests with a rooftop pool terrace that offers an option for casual get-togethers before or after a main event. For a more intimate space, the hotel offers a convenient boardroom. Facilities include Wi-Fi, data projectors and other state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment. Business room guests are also provided access to an onsite business center with latest technology.

Panda-Themed Chengdu-Europe Freight Train Promotes Tourism in Sichuan

As of December 4, 2017, 777 rail journeys between Chengdu International Railway Port and 11 destinations in Europe have been completed, with Prague in the Czech Republic and Tilburg in the Netherlands as two of the more common destinations. Among all Chinese cities included in the China-Europe Rail Express plan, Chengdu as a departure or terminating point now has the largest amount of traffic, accounting for nearly one third of the journeys scheduled under the plan. The More Than Pandas - Kickoff Ceremony of China-Europe Trains (Sichuan-Europe Express) Tourism Promotional Campaign was held at the Modern Logistics and Trade Zone in Qingbaijiang District, Chengdu, at 10:00am on December 15, 2017. Co-organized by the Sichuan Provincial Tourism Development Committee and the Chengdu Municipal Port and Logistics Office, the event was designed to support China's One Belt, One Road initiative, create synergy with the upcoming China-EU Tourism Year 2018, and open the door to new and unprecedented opportunities to further boost the development of the province's tourism sector.

 Chengdu-Europe Freight Train Promotes Sichuan as a Compelling Tourism Destination

The panda-themed freight train showcased at the launching ceremony has drawn the attention of visitors. From the locomotive to the individual compartments, the train features a panoply of artistic renditions of the panda, many of which highlight the naive charm that the iconic animal is known for. The renditions show pandas in different poses, including running, sitting, lying prone and lying on their back. The decorative train represents what the collaboration between Sichuan province's tourism authorities and Chengdu-Europe express train services can achieve, demonstrating and further enhancing Sichuan's unique qualities as a leading tourism destination while drawing in more tourists from overseas markets. "Beautiful China, More than Pandas", a large global tourism marketing campaign hosted by the China National Tourism Administration and managed by the Sichuan Provincial Tourism Development Committee, has been kicked off, with pandas galore strolling the streets worldwide. The panda-themed train is the latest of Sichuan's efforts in promoting the province as a great place to visit. In addition to the existing list of stations where the train stops, the Sichuan Provincial Tourism Development Committee has been in talks with stations along the route with the goal of adding more stops in a bid to further promote Sichuan's tourist attractions, brand awareness and marketing campaigns.

SOURCE: Sichuan Provincial Tourism Development Committee

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Monday, December 25, 2017

Tasmania's Top Places to Play and Stay in 2018

2018 is shaping to be a brilliant year of new openings and new products in Tasmania - from hotels and retreats to completely new ways to learn about our history and our future.

wukalina Walk

The Tasmanian Aboriginal (palawa) people's distinctly different culture has evolved in isolation for over 10,000 years.The wukalina Walk is a journey across the larapuna/Bay of Fires area (through wukalina/Mt William National Park) as well as a 'never before' exploration of this unique landscape, culture and history. Tasmanian Aboriginal owned and operated, the Walk offers two nights within the National Park in architecturally designed - culturally inspired huts, and one night in the restored Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage at larapuna. Led by qualified guides and with the chance to spend time with palawa elders and craftspeople, this is a guided walk like no other. The walk opens on 7th January, 2018.
Three Capes Lodge Walk

In September 2018, the Three Capes Lodge Walk opens, taking guests to the edge of the world on a fully guided walking experience along the dramatic Tasman Peninsula. With the Southern Ocean as your constant companion, the 46 kilometre adventure runs over four days and three nights. Starting with a boat voyage, and trekking past dolerite spires and craggy cliffs covering 37,000 years of history, each night is spent in comfortable architecturally designed lodges. As the daily walk draws to a close, the lodge appears offering afternoon tea, a beautiful deck for enjoying a Tasmanian wine under the stars, three course dinners, even restorative bathtubs on the last two nights. Bookings are open now.
Woolnorth Aerial Experience

There's nothing like seeing a region by air to give a true perspective on how spectacular a place really is. The Woolnorth Aerial Experience starts with a scenic flight from Stanley with Osborne Aviation over the iconic Nut, out to the trio of Robbins, Three Hummock and Trefoil islands and onto Woolnorth Station. Once guests are back on terra firma, a personal guide will conduct a behind-the-scenes tour of the Van Diemen's Land Company, Woolnorth Wind Farm's first installation at Bluff Point and a visit to Cape Grim. After the tour, guests will enjoy a three course lunch of local produce such as Cape Grim Beef, Cape Grim Water, Robbins Island Wagyu Beef, Bolduans Bay Oysters, local seafood including crayfish, abalone and calamari, matched with Josef Chromy Wines, all within the historic grounds of Woolnorth.
Pumphouse Point The Retreat and The Shorehouse Dining Room

Pumphouse Point at Lake St Clair has just extended their wilderness offering with the opening of The Retreat, a private space designed to show off the raw beauty and unpredictability of the lake via some pretty gorgeous designer digs. Built for two, The Retreat features locally crafted furniture, ceramics and bath products and an abundant larder with local produce, wines, craft beers, ciders and spirits. Farmhouse dinners are included, served privately in The Retreat, or at shared tables in The Shorehouse Dining Room. Inviting togetherness, couples can relax to the sound of water gently lapping at the shore, with privacy in spades. There are even two deep tubs for soaking, one of them under the stars. Now that's a spot for quiet contemplation with a glass of Tasmanian sparkling. The Shorehouse has also been extended with a contemporary wing housing the dining room, honesty bar and cellar, and a new menu in partnership with Coal River Farm featuring the best of Tasmanian produce. Bookings are open now.
Freycinet Lodge Retreat
Nine new Coastal Pavilions are set to open at Freycinet Lodge in March 2018, as environmentally sensitive suites, nestled in the Freycinet National Park landscape. Curved glass, warm Tasmanian timbers and beautifully tactile textures will come together to showcase the natural beauty of the site. Outdoor baths on the expansive decks and lounge spaces taking in the framed views will add to the grounded luxury offering. Each stay includes breakfast, local sparking wine, and refreshments on arrival, as well as a cheeky Tasmanian nightcap to send guests into perfect slumber. Later in the year will see the addition of a lift and a gorgeous accessible suite in the main Lodge building, and six new rooms with floor-to-ceiling views of The Hazards mountain range. Bookings are open now.
Launceston Peppers Silo Hotel

After a $25 million development, Launceston's 108-room Peppers Silo Hotel will open in May 2018 under the Mantra Group banner. Peppers Silo Hotel features the repurpose of the Kings Wharf grain silos, first erected in 1960 and will be the first hotel development to open in Launceston since 2010. The history of the soaring 35 metre silos is incorporated into the interior, with historic photographs and artefacts playing a role. 52 rooms will reside in the silo barrels, with a new North Tower built to house 56 more rooms, overlooking the confluence of the North Esk and Tamar Rivers.
Marriott Luxury Collection 

Repurposed heritage buildings in Hobart's Parliament Square will be home to a new Marriott International Luxury Collection hotel. Scheduled to open in 2018, the hotel will have 128 gorgeous rooms and suites, with care being taken to restore original features including windows, floorboards and fireplaces. Sydney-based hospitality interior design firm JPDC is on the case - maintaining the Georgian and Art Deco styling throughout and drawing on the the hotel group's exacting standards of what luxury is today. Each Luxury Collection property is an expression of its location - the design-led development's harbourside location will be drawn upon, evident in the use of pared back, natural materials. When it's completed, the Parliament Square area will include generous outdoor space, meticulously designed contemporary architecture seamlessly coming together with heritage buildings and exciting local amenity.
For a full and up-to-date listing of Tasmanian events, and information on travelling to Tasmania, visit the Discover Tasmania website

Travel to Tasmania
Travellers can fly to Tasmania on Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas, Qantaslink, Tigerair, Sharp Airlines or Rex Airlines, or take the Spirit of Tasmania ferry from Port Melbourne (VIC) to Devonport (TAS).

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Friday, December 22, 2017

The New Perth - WA's Capital Continues to Transform

People are talking about Perth. Foodies, investors, sun-lovers, entrepreneurs, creatives – and even locals – are experiencing the 'wow' factor as unprecedented investment in Western Australia's cosmopolitan capital comes to fruition.

Long celebrated as one of the world's prettiest and most livable cities, Perth is now striding confidently on to the international stage as a leading player in Australia's cultural, hospitality and events scene. More visitors than ever are marveling at the explosion in attractions, accommodation and nightlife which complements the city's natural beauty – delivering an all-round, exceptional destination.
So what's trending in the capital?
Urban offerings
  • The vibrant waterfront precinct of Elizabeth Quay opened in 2016, connecting Perth's central business district to the Swan River. It's quickly become a focal point for visitors and locals, with an ever-expanding range of attractions. Look out for the Isle of Voyage restaurant inside a heritage pavilion, kids frolicking in the water playground, GoCultural's Indigenous walking tours and new river cruises departing from the Quay and neighbouring Barrack Square. Multiple development projects are taking shape, including the Ritz-Carlton's first WA property in a prime riverfront location.
  • New Indigenous tours in Perth are enabling visitors to discover more about local Aboriginal lands and culture. Jump on board a solar electric boat for Indigenous Experiences Australia's two-hour cruise along the Derbal Yerrigan (Swan River), learning about ancestral stories, sacred places and legendary warrior Yagan. Back on land, walking tours with Go Cultural's Noongar guides reveal fascinating alignments between modern Perth and ancient Aboriginal sites and tracks.
  • Perth's multicultural and authentic flavours are revving up in the form of food trucks. The mobile meals are so popular that they inspired a local foodie and entrepreneur to launch the Food Truck Rumble – a gathering of some of the city's best street food in one place.
  • Previously separated by a train line, the city centre is reconnecting with the Northbridge entertainment precinct through the Perth City Link project, near Perth Arena. Already up and running within the 13.5 hectare development are a state-of-the-art, subterranean bus station and the 120-room Peppers Kings Square, which will soon be joined by other accommodation including The Dorsett. Perth City Link's flagship public space, Yagan Square, is due to be unveiled in late 2017 with a design that celebrates WA through gardens, water feature, public art, and a digital tower and canopies for light, art, video projections and interactive content.
  • Formerly disused heritage buildings and laneways are now home to bustling bars and street art. Through independent non-profit group FORM, more than 80 walls across Perth and surrounding suburbs have become a canvas for local, interstate and international artists.
  • Fremantle was included in Lonely Planet's 2016 Best in Travel guide for good reason. With more than $1 billion dollars of redevelopment in the planning pipeline, look out for new venues such as Seashells and the Sweetwater rooftop bar in the Richmond Quarter, COAST at Port Beach, Segway and self-guided walking tours, a range of cruises and a thriving craft beer scene.
  • Scarborough Beach is on its way to becoming one of Australia's best beachfronts. A $100 million foreshore redevelopment is set to be unveiled in early 2018, including a beachside swimming pool, cafes, restaurants, kiosks, public art and a skate park, as well as improved transport.
  • Slightly further south, popular City Beach is home to lush lawns, white sand and an expanding range of waterfront dining options including the chilled-out deck at newly opened Odyssea Beach Café and watching sunsets from Clancy's Fish Bar.
  • Visitors to Rottnest Island will see upgrades to the golf course and walk trails, as well as a new marina. Luxury refurbishments are complete at the Hotel Rottnest while an upmarket 'glamping' experience is expected to open at Pinky's Beach in late 2017.

International Horseman Guy McLean to Perform in Hervey Bay

World champion horseman and entertainer Guy McLean has wowed crowds of up to 8000 in stadiums across America and Canada and is excited to be bringing his show home to the Fraser Coast in a special one-off performance on January 27.

In a coup for the region and great family entertainment value on the Australia Day long weekend, Guy will perform a two-hour show at Hervey Bay's Seafront Oval.

The Guy McLean Spectacular is being hosted by Fraser Coast Tourism and Events supported by councillors' discretionary funding.

This has enabled the event to be staged at the special ticket prices of $20 for adults, $10 for children and $50 for a family of four.

Guy grew up at Susan River Homestead Adventure Resort, between Hervey Bay and Maryborough, and has childhood memories of going to rodeos, carols and Aussie Rules footy training on the Seafront Oval. He left Australia in 2010 to launch his international career.

Fraser Coast events manager Robyn Peach said it was a thrill to book the renowned horseman and performer for a local event.

“His shows aren't just for people who love horses, they're for everyone,” she said.

“I think people will be impressed by the special connection he has with his animals and to hear the lessons that he shares, that he's learned from his horses, which are universal.”

Guy said if you were a good horseman, you had the opportunity to be a good parent and a good partner – “it's all just relationships”.

“The lessons they've taught me are far more wide reaching than anything I've learned in the human world,” he said.

Being able to perform at the Seafront Oval “in front of that beautiful beach in one of the prettiest towns in Australia is really exciting”, Guy said.

“I've driven past the Seafront Oval several times and I can already see the arena there and I can already see the crowds around and I'm so excited to go and do that because this is a beautiful area that I take with me all across the world. Now I get to share what I do across the world with everybody here.”

The Australian Stock Horse Ambassador is also looking forward to showing children they can chase their dreams to the other side of the world if they want to.

“That means more to me than anything,” he said.

Guy used to think his performances were about showing what a life dedicated to horses was like “but I realise now that it's showing people what a life dedicated to anything looks like”.

“So when I go to schools, I say to them whether you want to be a doctor, a policeman, a fireman or anything that you want to be, if you dedicate your whole entire life to it, this is what it looks like.”

The youngest of five boys in family of six children, Guy was probably the most awkward but around horses, he felt comfortable.

“To be able to share them with the world and see people get so excited about them is just fantastic,” he said.

“My shows are never the same - they always have the same core principles but I'm able to express what's in my heart and that's the coolest thing.

“That's what I love about horses and my steer Faith, they live in the moment and from moment to moment it can change. They're so real with everything, there's no lies in the animal world and I love that.”

The bush poet and whip cracker also appreciates audiences coming to see his shows.

“I'm very aware that if they weren't sitting there I'd just be performing to myself,” he said.

“I do so many hundreds of hours here at home with nobody watching, I really enjoy the company of the crowd.

“Even as a 42-year-old, I'm still quite a shy individual but I'm an entertainer, when I get out there I love being able to share it with everyone.”

In America, most of the crowd members were extreme horse lovers and “it's like preaching to the choir a little bit”, Guy said.

“The crowds over there are incredible, they just go off, you can get a standing ovation for just winking your eye over there,” he joked.

“Australia makes you work a bit harder.

“I'm really thrilled to have been able to do the Brisbane Ekka and Sydney Royal (Easter Show) over here because it made me as an entertainer.

“You had to do things that would bring non-horse people into it.”

Guy said it was wonderful to see people of all ages delighted by his horses.

“It brings me so much joy to be able to share it with everyone,” he said.

“People say to me all the time 'Guy do you do clinics or do you teach other people', I say if I was doing that I wouldn't have the relationship I have with my horses.

“Everything I do is dedicated totally to the relationships I have with the team here and the two teams in America.

“It's a big job to have so many horses understand at the level that they do but I dedicate my life completely to that.

“If you dedicate yourself, set yourself goals and dreams you can have them.”

To purchase tickets, which go on sale on Boxing Day, or for more information log on to

Guy McLean Spectacular:

Saturday, January 27, 2018
Seafront Oval, Hervey Bay
Gates open 4pm, show 6-8pm
Market stalls
Alcohol-free event
BYO chair
Tickets on sale Boxing Day, Tuesday, December 26 – go to

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Coming in Western Australia in 2018

This year has been a big one for Western Australia, and it's only going to get bigger in 2018, with a number of exciting new projects and experiences coming to life. Everyone is starting to talk about WA, and with Perth, the State's capital city undergoing such a significant period of change – that's not about to stop anytime soon. We've put together a rundown of what will be trending in WA for 2018.
Yagan Square will to open to the public in early 2018, and is set to become one of the city's most popular community, meeting and celebration places. It will be a hub of activity during the day and night with cafes, restaurants, green spaces, native gardens, public art, interactive digital media, pop-ups and shopping providing plenty to see and do.

Perth is fast becoming a sport-lover's dream destination following the construction of the 60,000 seat Optus Stadium, which will officially open in January 2018. The stadium will be one of the major sporting and entertainment venues for Perth and one of the top international sporting venues in Australia.

It'll also be home to Australian Rules Football in WA, with the first AFL game to be between the Fremantle Dockers and Collingwood women's teams on February 10, followed by the main season with the first game at the stadium on March 25.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

New Vibe Hotel North Sydney, Northpoint

TFE Hotels will open the doors of the beautiful new Vibe Hotel North Sydney in the area's most exciting new social and shopping address, Northpoint, in April. Hotel guests will have access to a rooftop pool and bar and Northpoint's exciting new eat street and casual dining atrium, making it a one-stop destination seven days a week.

Cromwell Property Group's newly reimagined Northpoint development offers residents, guests and tenants a new retail precinct packed with specialty stores, and an exciting new array of dining offerings, all in the heart of the suburb's existing cafes and shops, conveniently close to the train station.

Northpoint will offer employees and the 72,000 residents of North Sydney a well-connected destination for work, lifestyle and convenience, with a range of boutiques, a Woolworths supermarket and many great new casual dining options on site.

The new Vibe Hotel North Sydney has an inspired design by Nettleton Tribe throughout its 187 rooms as well as access to a sophisticated new rooftop pool and bar with sweeping views of the urban skyline. The hotel has free Wi-Fi, excellent fitness facilities and four flexible meeting and conference room options, providing a great place to relax, recharge and connect – whether for work or play.

TFE Hotels will operate the new hotel as one of a series of new generation Vibe Hotels to have opened in recent years, including Vibe Hotel Canberra and Vibe Hotel Marysville near Victoria's Yarra Valley. Others are due to open soon at Darling Harbour, Sydney, and Hobart.

TFE Hotels CEO Rachel Argaman said North Sydney had seen very few hotel openings in the past 40 years – serviced apartments opened there in October 2016 and hotels in 1973 and 1978 – so the hotel would meet a supply shortfall that had existed for some time.

"This new addition will give local residents and business people something to celebrate, when this landmark building becomes an attractive social hub and overnight destination," she said. "The area is New South Wales' second biggest commercial office district and the hotel will do very well servicing the corporate clients visiting the area.

"This will be the first Vibe Hotel to be incorporated into a mixed-use development, highlighting the growing trend for emerging lifestyle precincts featuring drinking, dining and retail together with a hotel at their hub and heart."

Cromwell Head of Property Damian Horton said the Northpoint redevelopment was a central component of North Sydney's broader rejuvenation to a seven-day destination.

"We have shaped the development with both convenience and style in mind, tailored to the ever-growing professional population in the area," he said. "The base of the retail façade will feature Woolworths and Westpac, as well as a suite of speciality retailers, with the upper levels dedicated to dining and leisure.

"Once it opens in early 2018, Northpoint will fill the gap in quality retail, dining and accommodation in North Sydney. Partnering with Vibe Hotels has helped us to create a truly integrated, one-stop destination for residents, workers and travellers alike. With all the pieces coming together, it's exciting to see our vision for the North Shore being realised."

Located on the corner of Miller Street and Pacific Highway, Northpoint will be directly across from the proposed Victoria Cross Metro station to be opened in 2024. The hotel is due to open in April.

Marine biologist steers passions for the Great Barrier Reef

Marine biologist Gareth Phillips has been fascinated with coral regeneration since he started his career some 18 years ago growing coral in a laboratory in South Africa.

These days he has swapped the laboratory for the Great Barrier Reef in Tropical North Queensland where the annual coral spawn puts on a spectacular regeneration show each year.

"I joined a crew documenting the recent coral spawn and saw the most amazing spectacle. Corals releasing egg parcels and clouds of genetic material, like a fog rising from the huge boulder corals," Mr Phillips said.

"The coral spawn occurs two to six nights after the full moon in November which this year was early and the water was still cool so we there was a second Great Barrier Reef spawn early in December.

"There has been a decline in coral from the two bleaching events, but there is still more live coral than deceased coral in the places I visit and as this spawning event has been so successful, it is looking good for the recovery of the reefs in the next few years."

Mr Phillips skippers Passions III for Passions of Paradise, a carbon-neutral locally owned Great Barrier Reef operator, and operates Reef Teach, an entertaining interactive presentation by marine biologists about the Reef.

"I love boats and I've always like the ethos of Passions so when I was invited to skipper their new catamaran I was very excited – who doesn't want a new boat," he said.

"The crew send passengers who want to know more to talk to me as I have three degrees in marine science and the crew ask questions too which means their knowledge of the Reef is increasing."

Mr Phillips' first foray into tourism was in South Africa coordinating a centre for dolphin studies and he still enjoys encounters with the larger marine animals, especially the dwarf minke whales that visit the Ribbon Reefs north of Port Douglas each June and July.

"Some of the more intimate encounters with smaller animals can be just as exciting, for example watching a rock mover wrasse lift up coral and feed on small crustaceans and other tiny invertebrates underneath.

"I also have a few favourite places like Tracy's Bommie at Flynn Reef which is just stunning with sharks, turtles, immense coral cover and diverse fish life.

"My ultimate place to go is the north-eastern outer shoulder of Thetford Reef where there is almost 100 per cent live coral cover and big drop-offs with the potential for megafauna to be seen."

A big year for Adelaide

2017 has certainly been a big year for Adelaide, South Australia with the destination having just hosted its biggest ever incentive visit, its biggest conference and to top off the year, the Adelaide Convention Bureau has just announced it has just had its biggest year ever with respect to the value of business won.

In June, almost 3000 delegates from Perfect China visited Adelaide in waves of 500 and each for 3 days at a time. For a destination famous for its wine regions, and visits to these sites being requested not be included as part of the event itinerary, it was exceptionally pleasing to have received high post event praise from the visitors and organisers. Adelaide rated an average 91.8% ‘Very Satisfied’ score for its overall itinerary, transport, food and accommodation.

In September, the newly expanded and re-developed Adelaide Convention Centre played host venue to the biggest conference to be held in Adelaide – the 68th International Astronautical Congress.

4470 delegates from 71 nations plus visits by 700 school children and several thousand members of the public (who attended the public exhibition day), made the 2017 congress one of the biggest in IAC history. Of major significance in these numbers is that the distance to Australia from the northern hemisphere was not seen as a negative by industry delegates, Governments, space agencies, organisations or corporations.

2017 was also a year of big famil showcases with the Bureau’s calendar of events expanding from their annual Destination SA in April and a Health Sciences and Medical event in May to the inaugural Agricultural showcase held in June. All three events were exceptionally well attended, received positive feedback from invited buyers and the desired results on leads and confirmed events on target.

To cap off a year that can’t be described as anything but BIG, the Adelaide Convention Bureau posted its most successful result ever with a record $247m of business won in the last financial year. Key events won over the period include:

· 2018 Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting, 2,000 delegates, 2018

· Royal Australian College of Ophthalmologists 50th Scientific Congress, 1,700 delegates, 2018

· Human Proteome Organisation World Congress, 1,200 delegates, 2019

· Cardiac Society of Aust & NZ Endovascular Therapies Annual Scientific meeting (2019)

· 38th International Symposium on Combustion (2020)

· Australasia Conference of Radiological Technologists (AACRT) & Annual Scientific Meeting of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (ASMMIRT) 2019

· Land Forces (2018)

Quote from Damien Kitto – CEO Adelaide Convention Bureau

“Adelaide truly came of age this year. As a destination we’re more large group incentive ready than ever with the local industry learning a lot since Dreamtime and the Perfect China visit in June. The rating we received from that event told us we are well and truly heading in the right direction.

“In September following the completion of the final stage of our world class Convention Centre, we again stepped up to the challenge with the IAC. Organisers and delegates highly praised the venue and destination for delivering what is one of the most successful IACs in recent times.

It’s an exciting time to be in a relatively undiscovered destination that seems to be on a lot of ‘must see’ lists.”

Monday, December 18, 2017

18 Reasons to Put Auckland on Your Holiday Wish List for 2018

  1. ASB Classic, ASB Tennis Arena, Stanley St – January 1-13. Consistently a player favourite on the international circuit, kick off the year with world-class tennis, food and entertainment nestled at the edge of a stunning heritage park, the Auckland Domain. Check out
  2. The Art of Banksy, Aotea Centre – January 4 – February 6. An exclusive exhibition by one of the world's most elusive, provocative and thought-provoking artists of our time - Banksy. The exhibition of around 80 works is here for 33 days only.
  3. Tāmaki Herenga Waka Festival (and Auckland Anniversary Weekend), Viaduct Events Centre and Viaduct Harbour – January 27-29. Celebrate Auckland's unique Māori heritage and culture on the city's stunning waterfront, with live traditional and contemporary music and kapa haka; authentic crafts and delicious kai (food); traditional healing and tattooing; and paddled and sailing waka. This is one of a host of exciting events happening on Auckland's waterfront and harbour over Auckland Anniversary Weekend, including Ports of Auckland SeePort Festival, Sunset Symphony & Fireworks and the Ports of Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta. 
  4. Vector Lights, Auckland Harbour Bridge – January 27 onwards. On Auckland Anniversary Weekend, Auckland Harbour Bridge will be transformed by the launch of Vector Lights. It features a ground-breaking renewable energy technology powered light show that will ignite imaginations and demonstrate a smarter way to power our city. The six minute specially-composed Vector Lights opening show sequence will feature original music and spectacular lighting effects, vividly demonstrating the new lighting capabilities.
  5. Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover, Viaduct Events Centre and Viaduct Harbour – February 24 – March 18. Auckland – a world-renowned sailing host city – welcomes eight teams competing in the Volvo Ocean Race, the world's toughest sailing challenge that covers four oceans, six continents and eight months of battling the forces of nature. Auckland's Viaduct Harbour is home to the race village, where people can get up close to the teams and their boats, enjoy the best of Auckland hospitality and entertainment, and try their hand a fun, free sailing activities.
  6. Auckland Lantern Festival – 1-4 March. The Auckland Lantern Festival is Auckland's largest cultural festival – and New Zealand's largest Chinese festival – attracting more than 200,000 people to its home at the Auckland Domain.
  7. Auckland Arts Festival, various venues – March 8-25. A non-stop showcase of New Zealand and international acts, spanning theatre, dance, music, circus and visual arts and ranging from the most gloriously classical to the very edge of contemporary.
  8. Pasifika Festival, Western Springs - March 24 & 25. Renowned as the world's largest festival celebrating of Pacific Island culture, featuring 11 villages each showcasing authentic food, crafts and performances from different Pacific Island cultures. Performers and artisans from around the Pacific travel to Auckland every year to take part alongside local Auckland artists.
  9. SKYCITY Auckland Double-Header, Mt Smart Stadium - April 7. Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium will be the stage for an NRL doubleheader extravaganza with the Vodafone Warriors and the Wests Tigers hosting their fifth-round games against 2017 premier Melbourne Storm and beaten grand finalist North Queensland Cowboys.
  10. Park Hyatt Auckland, opening April. This will be the first Park Hyatt hotel in New Zealand. This exciting project is an exemplar of what the Wynyard Quarter revitalisation is all about: quality design and build at the highest sustainability standards and a site use that contributes to economic activity on the waterfront.
  11. Techweek 2018 – 19-27 May. The focus for Techweek'18 is 'innovation that's good for the world', and within that a celebration of New Zealand's unique, interconnected innovation ecosystem. Techweek provides a week-long opportunity for connection and cross-pollination, and an independent platform through which to amplify New Zealand's unique and inspiring innovation stories to the world
  12. Auckland Art Fair, The Cloud, Queens Wharf – May 23-27. New Zealand's premier showcase for contemporary art from the Pacific region. For an art-lover who likes nothing more than looking at paintings, prints, video installations and sculpture, it's quite possibly a dream come true.
  13. SO Sofitel Auckland, opening May. The highly anticipated SO Sofitel Auckland strategically located in the heart of central Auckland. Neighbouring the lively Britomart precinct and waterfront, the hotel combines innovation, design and luxury service all delivered in a uniquely playful manner the hotel combines innovation, design and luxury service all delivered.
  14. Auckland Restaurant Month – all of August. Indulge in some of Auckland's best cuisine during Restaurant Month. Try specially created menus at more than 100 central city restaurants and 25+ foodie events on during Auckland Restaurant Month. The line-up of special events is spectacular, from the enormously popular Street Eats and Taste of Federal Street in the first week, to The Big Cheese and Dinner in the Dark wrapping the month up, with new events and menus every year.
  15. New Zealand Fashion Week - August 27 – September 2. New Zealand and international designers showcase and promote their collections and their brands during this week which includes a trade and industry event for thousands of fashion-focused delegates throughout the week before inviting the style-savvy public to the party during NZ Fashion Weekend.
  16. Sculptureum – year-round. Sculptureum is a new world-class sculpture park which has opened up in Matakana, presenting a new destination for art, food and wine. Located an hour north of Auckland city, it has three sculpture-filled gardens, six galleries, a vineyard, an event space, a restaurant and bar. Owners Anthony and Sandra Grant have spent ten years creating a destination that is designed to unlock the imagination, fuel creativity and ignite the mind. They have spent many more years collecting the displayed works, which have been brought together for an art experience that is internationally unique.
  17. The Hunting Lodge – year-round. A stunning spot to grab a bite and sample some great New Zealand wine, set on 80 acres in the Northwest of Auckland - only a 30 minute drive from the city. The Hunting Lodge provides the opportunity for visitors to get a taste of the region with seasonal locally produced food, wine and crafted beers. There are different tour packages available to choose from, and they have live music playing during summer.
  18. Top international and local live music in Auckland – throughout the year. From international acts, to multi-faceted music festivals and the best of home-grown artists, you can hear the best in Auckland. Check out Splore, St Jerome's Laneway or Auckland City Limits festivals, grab a ticket to The XX, Roger Waters, Mariah Carey, Foo Fighters, Paramore, Macklemore, Robbie Williams, Queen + Adam Lambert, Bruno Mars, Incubus, James Blunt, The National, Pink, Lionel Richie, The Killers, Katy Perry, Fleet Foxes, Ed Sheeran, or home-grown Kiwi music like Fat Freddy's Drop, Neil and Liam Finn, The D4, Marlon Williams, Teeks, Tiki Taane and a celebration of Māori music great, Mahinārangi Tocker. To learn more about Auckland and all the great things to experience while you visit, check out

Traveloscopy |

Endless Fun in Canberra These Summer School Holidays

Explore Australia's award-winning national attractions in Canberra and let your children learn the stories that have shaped Australia.

Discover PlayUp's new exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (MOAD) that in the name of democracy, takes play – and the rights of children, seriously. Listening pods, a fuzzy felt wall and a Kindness café are all part of the space, and during this summer the school holiday program will offer Open Air PlayUP with activities in the Senate courtyard. (Suitable for preschool and primary aged children)

Or take a journey across the Australian desert at the National Museum of Australia's Aboriginal-led exhibition Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters about the epic Seven Sisters Dreaming, or dodge sniper fire or peer through the periscope of a Cold War submarine at the Australian War Memorial's Discovery Zone. (Suitable for children aged 8+ years)

Celebrate Australia Day in the Capital on 26 January with the ActewAGL Great Aussie Day Breakfast, kids entertainment, an impressive flyover, the National Flag Raising, Citizenship Ceremony and an evening concert with a fireworks finale. Or try the Australia Day Family Festival at the National Museum of Australia where you can enjoy Australian-inspired music, dance, demonstrations, games, craft and family fun. (Suitable for children of all ages)

Friday, December 15, 2017

A New Roadmap for Responsible Indigenous Tourism

G Adventures, Planeterra Foundation and the International Institute of Tourism Studies Publish Pioneering Guidelines to Improve Tourism's Impacts on Local Communities

Global, small-group tour operator G Adventures, The George Washington University's International Institute of Tourism Studies and the Planeterra Foundation have announced the release of a comprehensive set of ground-breaking guidelines for companies working or travelling with Indigenous groups.

The guidelines are intended to educate travel companies that work or intend to work with Indigenous people, while helping communities more directly benefit from responsible and culturally sensitive tourism.

Speaking before event hosts from the World Bank Group, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Government of Jamaica, as well as leading representatives from 150 different countries, G Adventures' Vice President of Social Enterprise and Sustainability, Jamie Sweeting, delivered a message of inclusion and change when unveiling the guidelines earlier this month.

"For far too long, governments and businesses have prioritised rapid growth over respect for Indigenous peoples. Their ancestral lands, traditional culture and legacies have been threatened, and in many cases undermined, by the impatient pursuit of profit," said Sweeting.

"As more travellers seek immersive, experiential, off-the-beaten path holidays, I regret to say that the tourism sector has also contributed to this problem.

"We have an opportunity to rewrite that story; to lead from within, and make tourism a greater force for Indigenous well-being."

Published in an online PDF available for free download now, Indigenous People and The Travel Industry: Global Good Practice Guidelines is a 23-page, open-source booklet intended to be a learning tool for anyone working in travel and tourism.

Its 17 guidelines were developed after a thorough review of existing literature and primary surveys with communities and travellers, and then finalized after input from an expert panel including the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, Community Based Tourism Institute, and Sustainable Travel & Tourism Agenda.

The guidelines are organised into three categories to be of maximum relevance to the variety of organizations that interact with or affect Indigenous people through tourism: (1) developing tourism experiences, (2) operating tourism experiences, and (3) marketing tourism experiences

Their release is a key, first step toward G Adventures' plans to fully audit its 700+ tours, 1000+ vendors, thousands of tour experiences, and its digital, print and video marketing materials, toward the development of a governing Indigenous Tourism Policy that will go into effect later in 2018.

"From the Maasai in East Africa, to the Quechua in Peru, our partnership with Indigenous communities is what makes our tours truly special for our customers and life-changing for local people," explained G Adventures founder and owner Bruce Poon Tip.

"I have always admired the way traditional communities continue to practise their culture, and consider myself fortunate to have learned from some wise, Indigenous teachers along the way. If we can give back, by bringing the travel and tourism industry along to collectively do more help than harm for these people, it will be a sea change in in our industry."

Seleni Matus, Executive Director for The International Institute of Tourism Studies (IITS), said, "I'm confident that this tool, which is primarily intended for use by travel companies, will ultimately support the many Indigenous groups that depend on visitors for their economic well-being and for their cultural survival. The guidelines can facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship—one that's in the best interest of businesses, communities and travellers."

G Adventures today partners and/or contracts the services of 94 different Indigenous communities in 44 different countries. Its social enterprise model – which seeks to earn profit while delivering social impact -- is built around a strategy of identifying the unique, but often excluded communities who have so often been left out of the tourism economy, then bringing them into the company's supply chain. That way, communities like the San Bushmen in South Africa, the Wiwa people of Colombia's Lost City, and the Red and Black Lahu and Karen people of Northern Thailand's hill tribes, for example, directly benefit from sharing their lands, talents and stories with paying customers. Their accommodations, transportation, food and handicrafts become part of customers' travel experiences.

Kelly Galaski, the Planeterra Foundation Project Manager overseeing the guidelines project, added her hopes for the guidelines' impact: "As the world hyper-connects, the cultural survival of the world's 370 million Indigenous people hangs in the balance. So, it's our great hope that others in the travel and tourism sector join G Adventures in putting these guidelines to positive, expedient use."

information, please visit the International Institute of Tourism Studies website:'

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

MSC Seaside Welcomed by a Star-Studded Line-Up in Port Miami

MSC Cruises Announces Ricky Martin, Andrea Bocelli and More for MSC Seaside Naming Ceremony Celebration

Today MSC Cruises announced the line-up for the official launch and Naming Ceremony of MSC Seaside, which will be held on December 21st in PortMiami. As part of the traditional Naming Ceremony that is held for every new ship, MSC will welcome special guests and entertainment, Miami authorities, global media, and key partners from across the travel industry. For this very special Miami launch, MSC Cruises is proud to reveal an international list of celebrated invitees that reflects the Company’s European heritage and global presence.

A New Era of Wellness for Chiva-Som

Chiva-Som International Health Resort in Hua Hin, Thailand, which enjoys a reputation as a pioneer in global wellness, is proud to unveil the first images of a mock-up renovated Thai Pavilion room and new Thai Pavilion Suite which will open in November 2018.
Along with the accommodation, renovations to the Fitness area, Emerald Room and Orchid Lounge will also be unveiled next November.
This enhancement to the resort's offering follows the launch of the new Ocean Rooms and Suites in January 2017 and is part of the resort-wide renovation plan which, after short periods of closure from 1 May to 31 October 2018 and the same period in 2019, will see the resort relaunched into a new era of wellness.
The style of the new interior is contemporary Thai and is realised with materials including local teak, silk and bamboo.
With an outdoor terrace, the aesthetic of the Thai Pavilion Suite is light and serene, creating a calming effect and reflecting the tranquility of the resort.
The enlarged space makes the surrounding greenery much more relevant to the guest experience.
The Thai Pavilion Suite comprises a bedroom and en suite bathroom spread across 76 sq m.
Space has been maximised to give guests an expanded bedroom and living area, including an additional long sofa and study desk; a larger bathroom, now with two vanity counters, a new make-up counter and more connecting space for shower room and bathtub; and a larger dressing room with two luggage racks and floor to ceiling wall mirrors to reflect even more light.
For more relaxation and well-being, the ceiling has been raised to give an airy feel.  
The Thai Pavilion Suite is approximately 107 sq m. and includes an outdoor pantry and its own outdoor private sala.
This glass-walled private space for around six guests is set amidst the tranquil gardens and is suitable for private breakfast, lunch and dinner, meditation or just for relaxing.
Glass doors, automatic blinds and insect screens in the sala can be kept open or closed, in either case offering beautiful views of the surrounding lake and gardens.
The wellness resort's multifaceted renovation will be implemented under the direction of Mr. Krip Rojanastien, Chairman and CEO of Chiva-Som International Health Resort, together with Designrealization Siam Co., Ltd, a distinguished design company, allowing for innovations in Chiva-Som's offering and a unique wellness experience for guests throughout their stay.
Chiva-Som is Asia's first comprehensive wellness resort, providing proven transformations towards optimal wellness.
Nestled in seven acres of tranquil grounds, it is a beachfront resort dedicated to revitalising the mind, body and spirit (represented by its tri-part logo).
Western practices and Eastern philosophies are brought together in a wellness resort which provides services for guests to develop healthy habits and lifestyle transformation; it has been given recognition by readers and industry experts alike as one of the outstanding wellness resorts in the world for since its launch 22 years ago.
The resort is dedicated to operating as ethically and sustainably as possible and has received the prestigious Green Globe certification which recognises its commitment to the world's highest environmental standards in all levels of operation.

A dedicated CSR team has implemented many initiatives, policies and practices at Chiva-Som for energy efficiency and conservation, waste water treatment and reuse, fresh water conservation, waste minimisation and recycling, air quality management and environmentally friendly product usage.

Chiva-Som is located in the town of Hua Hin, which lies 185 km south of the capital of Bangkok. It can be reached by car in under three hours, private plane in 25 minutes from Bangkok and chartered helicopter in 40 minutes from Bangkok.

For Chiva-Som bookings contact your travel agent or a Chiva-Som Specialist on 1300 857 437.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Silversea's ultimate Cuban adventure



"The most beautiful land that eyes have ever seen" – Christopher Columbus

Join Silver Cloud on a journey of indefinable magic, departing Nassau, Bahamas on 3 October 2018 for a spectacular 12 day expedition to Colon, Panama, taking in the incredible sites of Cuba, Colombia and Jamaica.  Fares start at AU$7,830 per person in a Vista Suite, based on double occupancy and includes Early Booking Bonus savings if paying in full before 28 December 2017.

Guests will discover the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Cuba and Colombia, sample local Cuban and Caribbean food and drink, relax on sandy white beaches and admire a dazzling array of tropical fish and colourful coral on this expedition beyond the beaches.

A particular highlight of this voyage is a two day stopover in La Habana, the largest city in Cuba, where a guided tour will take in the sights of Metropolitan and Modern Havana, Revolution Square and the Historical Centre of Old Havana.  Guests will experience the luxurious and spectacular Havana Tropicana Show before being driven to the 'Cigar Factory' in vintage American cars to learn about the history of cigars and discover how Cuban cigars are hand-rolled.

On-board and ashore, between 20 and 22 Expedition Team members conduct immersive destination experiences, aided by an on-board fleet of 16 Zodiacs and 10 kayaks – all of which are complimentary.  The enchanting island of Punta Frances provides the opportunity to join an on-board Marine Biologist for a snorkel tour to discover damselfish, jacks, surgeonfish, trumpet fish, parrot fish, triggerfish and turtles, whilst a Zodiac tour will transport guests to one of the 365 uninhabited islets and islands of Guna Yala.

A number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites will also be encountered on this voyage including: the city of Trinidad, complete with cobble-stoned streets, tiled roofs, ornamental grilles and inner patios dating to colonial times; Morro Castle, a fortress guarding the entrance to Havana bay; and Cartegena de Indias, one of the most important ports of Spanish South America.

Silver Cloud is positioned as the premier luxury expedition vessel and almost all of her all-suite accommodations feature generous private verandas along with luxury touches that include a choice of European bath amenities, butler service for all guests, sumptuous Pratesi bedding and a nine-option pillow menu.

For more information contact your travel professional or Silversea Cruises on 1300 306 872 or 0800 701 427 (New Zealand).

Monday, December 11, 2017

Finnair brings Nordic flavours to business and economy class

Finnair brings Nordic flavours to business and economy class passengers in cooperation with top chefs

Finnair is investing in its food offering as part of the acclaimed carrier's drive to present customers with  a unique Nordic experience.

Finnair General Manager – Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia, Geoff Stone said food was one of the items that frequently comes up in airline customer satisfaction surveys, especially on long-haul flights, where dining has a strong impact on the overall customer experience.

Finnair has been delighting its business class customers with signature menus designed by top Finnish chefs since 2013, and is now introducing its first Nordic cooperation with top Swedish chef, Tommy Myllymäki, a nominee for Chef of the Year in Sweden and Creative Director for five Stockholm restaurants who has also represented Sweden, enjoying great success in the prestigious Bocuse d'Or competition.

Tommy Myllymäki's Signature European Winter menu will be served on all Finnair long-haul flights departing Helsinki from 7 February 2018 and feature Nordic flavours including Jerusalem artichoke with cep mushrooms and pear, and braised ox with celeriac and kale.

The European Summer menu will have more emphasis on seasonal, crisp fresh vegetables to celebrate the freshness of the Nordic Summer.

"It was exciting to translate my food philosophy into the airline environment. In the end, the restrictions are also opportunities," said Tommy Myllymäki

"Seasonality is key for me, and I want to bring more vegetables, freshness and different textures to the meals on board."

Finnair has also teamed up with the Culinary Team of Finland, who represent Finland in international culinary competitions, to design a menu for the economy class of Finnair's long-haul flights departing Helsinki.

"We want to showcase the best of Finnish cuisine to the world and created a menu that celebrates Finnish traditions and specialties, so that everyone traveling between Europe and Asia with Finnair get a taste of modern Finnish cuisine," said Finnair's 2017 Signature Menu Chef,  Eero Vottonen, who is also a member of the Culinary Team of Finland.

The European Winter menu will be offered for economy class passengers on long-haul flights departing Helsinki from 7 February 7, 2018 and feature a marinated potato salad, lamb with oven baked turnips, and a cheese curd cake. Seasonal menus will follow in the European Summer and Autumn.

"Our new chef co-operations bring the best of Nordic flavours to our customers," said Maarit Keränen, who oversees Finnair's on-board food concepts.

"Food plays a key role in the customer experience, and we are delighted to offer a little piece of the Nordics to the thousands of customers, who fly with us every day from Helsinki to Asia and the Americas."

Finnair will also introduce a classic Finnish tradition in the business class of its long-haul flights departing Asia in the morning - a coffee serving with seven different treats.

This exclusive coffee service will allow customers to spend some quality time enjoying traditional Finnish treats including Carelian pies, cinnamon buns, coffee cake and traditional Finnish chocolates between the two meal services.

Finnair offers excellent connections from Australia with oneworld partners and flies between Asia/North America and Europe with an emphasis on fast connections via Helsinki.

Finnair carries more than nine million passengers annually and connects 17 cities in Asia and 3 cities in North America with more than 60 destinations in Europe.  Finnair offers excellent connections from Australia with oneworld partners.

Finnair has been named Best International Airline – Offline in the prestigious 2017 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards for the fifth consecutive year.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Intrepid opens Costa Rica base as sustainable travel grows in Americas

Intrepid has this morning announced a new addition to the group, a new DMC in Costa Rica with a satellite office in Mexico City. PEAK Central America is the nineteenth destination management company in the global network and the next logical step for the company to grow sustainable tourism in the Americas.
Pic: Intrepid Group's CEO James Thornton and General Manager of PEAK Central America, Bradley John-Davis 


Friday, December 1, 2017

MSC SEASIDE New flagship prepares to set sail to become the new star of Miami

#cruise #travel

MSC Seaside will be officially named in Miami on December 21st

Today (Italy time) in the port of Trieste, MSC Cruises celebrated the coming into service of MSC Seaside, the new flagship for MSC Cruises, as she prepares to welcome the first guests and cross the Atlantic for her new home in Miami. MSC Seaside is the Company's 14th addition to the MSC Cruises fleet and the second MSC Cruises ship to come into service in 2017 under the Company's industry-unprecedented investment plan.

MSC Seaside is a brand new prototype, designed specifically for sun lovers and to bring MSC Cruises guests closer to the ocean than ever before. The ship boasts generous outdoor public spaces so that guests can make the most of the sunshine but the design also brings guests closer to the navigational moments, which are the highlights of a cruise holiday. This is now the fifth new prototype from MSC Cruises and each and every new ship is designed to further enhance the cruise experience, bringing something unique and different every time.

Quite unlike anything else at sea, MSC Seaside will be the new star of Miami, truly recognisable and with a distinctive design inspired by a Miami beach condo. But it is not just the design of this ship that sets her apart but also the onboard experience that distinguishes an MSC Cruises holiday. MSC Seaside will offer world-class entertainment, a whole host of new international dining concepts, outstanding facilities for families, the MSC Yacht Club, which has become MSC Cruises' signature luxury offering and much more. It is this that will differentiate the MSC Cruises brand and cruise experience in the North American market and provide yet another reason for international guests to opt for a fly & cruise holiday in the Caribbean. Some of the main highlights of MSC Seaside include:

Unique design features - Inspired by the beach condos that have made Miami famous, MSC Seaside has a number of distinctive and innovative design features unlike any other ship. Two unique glass-floored catwalks and a 40m high 'Bridge of Sighs' give guests a view of the ocean like never before. A waterfront boardwalk, the widest on any ship ever built, wraps around the ship, while panoramic lifts connect everything together.

A connected cruise experience -MSC for Me is the digital innovation program that uses the latest cutting-edge technology to connect holidaymakers seamlessly with the experiences that matter to them, whether at sea or on land.

Variety of accommodation -Developed to offer the perfect accommodation for every type of guest, the ship offers flexible modular cabins for groups of up to ten guests, exclusive aft corner suites with stunning sea views, terraced balcony cabins with extended private terraces overlooking the waterfront boardwalk and luxurious suites with their own outdoor whirlpool bath.

Rich and varied entertainment -  MSC Seaside doesn't just feature a full-sized bowling alley, XD cinema and the longest zip line at sea, but also the most interactive aqua park at sea with five water attractions: the first cruise ship Slideboarding™ attraction, 160 metre long duelling body slides and two spray areas for kids. There is never a dull moment on board!

Extensive dining options -MSC Seaside will offer an extensive choice of indoor and outdoor dining venues with a tempting range of international restaurants. One of the highlights is Asian Market Kitchen from renowned Pan-Asian chef Roy Yamaguchi. Other highlights include a luxury seafood restaurant, Ocean Cay, an authentic American-style steakhouse, the Butcher's Cut and a new French bistro, La Bohème.

Outstanding facilities and services for families and kids of all ages -MSC Seaside features brand new entertainment on top of everything families have already come to expect from MSC Cruises. As well as all-day kids' entertainment and six dedicated areas for babies and kids of all ages, guests can also take part in the brand new DOREMI Family Cinema and a new exciting buzzer game.

MSC Seaside will depart Trieste on December 1st, making a 21 day trans-Atlantic crossing, arriving in Port Miami, her new home on December 21st. That evening, the new MSC Cruises flagship will be officially named in a glittering ceremony and no MSC Cruises naming ceremony would be complete without the Godmother, Sophia Loren, who has played the leading role in this time honoured tradition since 2003.

MSC Seaside will sail year-round from Miami to the Caribbean offering 7-night eastern and western Caribbean itineraries starting December 23rd 2017.

Discover the MSC Voyagers Club:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Magic of coral spawning captured in Reef Chat

The Great Barrier Reef coral spawning has captured the imagination of media around the world with extraordinary coverage of the Reef regenerating.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) Chief Executive Officer Pip Close said the annual coral spawn, which occurred last week and should happen again after the full moon in December, was a sign of hope for those concerned about the future of the Great Barrier Reef.

"It is fantastic seeing the media reports which are appearing multiple times in newspapers, broadcast bulletins and digital media around the world and across Australia," she said.

"News about the coral spawning is included in this month's free e-newsletter Reef Chat which shares some great images and videos of the annual event.

"Focusing on the people, places and science of the World Heritage area, Reef Chat has been published for the past three months in response to media, travel agent and traveller requests for up-to-date information on the Great Barrier Reef.

"This monthly newsletter will introduce people around the world to the thousands of stories the Great Barrier Reef holds.

"To subscribe go to and we encourage those already on the subscription list to forward it to their contacts to encourage more people to discover what is happening each month on the Reef.

"The Great Barrier Reef is the number one drawcard for Tropical North Queensland and our operators are passionate about sharing this World Heritage area with the world.

"An extraordinary number of people from school children to scientists are doing their bit for the Great Barrier Reef both on the land and in the water and their stories are an inspiration for people who care about the Reef.

"We want to keep the conversation about the Great Barrier Reef going and encourage people around the world to be knowledgeable advocates for this beautiful and diverse ecosystem."

Image taken by Darren Miller aboard Divers Den's ReefQuest on December 9 at Saxon Reef.

Witness the coral spawning with marine biologists and film makers Stuart Ireland, Gareth Phillips, Pablo Cogollos and Paul Waghorn at Moore Reef beside the Sunlover Cruises pontoon:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

NSW Blue Mountains Roaring 20s Festival: Majestic art deco weekend

The Hydro Majestic Hotel will revive its most mischievous traditions and host the ultimate day-long vintage revelry on Saturday, February 24.                          

The Roaring 20s Festival celebrations will high kick off with a community Charleston for Charity dance in front of the Majestic Pavilion at 11am.

The naughty knees-up will be an opportunity for art deco buffs to don their most sophisticated 1920s-inspired costumes befitting the elegant venue (eg: feather boas, spats, fedora hats).

There will be prizes galore for best dressed lady, man, couples and hats. Cost: gold coin donation towards Blue Mountains Rural Fire Service.

The Charleston for Charity will be followed by a decadent regional food and wine showcase of shared plates featuring the culinary skills of Hydro Majestic head chef Mate Herceg and his team as well as other exceptional local producers.

A fashion parade of exquisite 1920s clothing will add an extra course to the long lunch menu. Cost: $95pp.

Sumptuous high tea will be available in the Wintergarden Restaurant overlooking the Megalong Valley throughout the day, along with history tours of the world-famous hotel.

That evening, the grandest of the grand Blue Mountains hotels will again resound with the likes of Al Capone, Dutch Schultz and Bugsy Siegel when the Hydro Majestic holds a Gangster Casino Night in support of Katoomba Hospital.

Guests can play all the traditional games at casino-quality tables with professionally trained casino standard croupiers.

There will be an array of prizes, and money raised at the 18 years plus-restricted event will go towards refurbishing the waiting room in the local Katoomba Hospital emergency department. Cost: $55 per person general admission to Casino includes welcome cocktail.

Visitors are encouraged to fully immerse themselves in the Roaring 20s Festival by staying for at least one night at the Hydro Majestic Hotel or one of its nearby sister properties Parklands Country Gardens & Lodges, Echoes Boutique Hotel or Lilianfels Resort & Spa.

Go to or phone (02) 4782 6885 to book any/all of the Roaring 20s Festival events, accommodation and dining.


The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
Venturing to the world's special places