Shore Excursions – Timor Sea Justice http://timorseajustice.org/ Thu, 29 Sep 2022 23:17:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://timorseajustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-7-1.png Shore Excursions – Timor Sea Justice http://timorseajustice.org/ 32 32 Holland America hosts celebrity chefs on a delicious series of culinary cruises https://timorseajustice.org/holland-america-hosts-celebrity-chefs-on-a-delicious-series-of-culinary-cruises/ Thu, 29 Sep 2022 23:17:04 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/holland-america-hosts-celebrity-chefs-on-a-delicious-series-of-culinary-cruises/ If you’re a foodie or just love to eat, Holland America Line has a culinary cruise for you. A celebrity chef from the line’s Culinary Council will share their expertise in a variety of events during each cruise in its new Culinary Cruise Series. “Holland America Line’s culinary program is guided by some of the […]]]>

If you’re a foodie or just love to eat, Holland America Line has a culinary cruise for you. A celebrity chef from the line’s Culinary Council will share their expertise in a variety of events during each cruise in its new Culinary Cruise Series.

“Holland America Line’s culinary program is guided by some of the world’s top talent, and no other cruise line has this level of experience from such a team of experts,” said Michael Stendebach, vice-president. president of the cruise line for food, drink and guests. services, in a press release. “It’s not every day that you learn a recipe directly from the celebrity chef who created it and hear their secrets to success in the kitchen. We look forward to re-engaging our talented chefs from the Culinary Council to return on board and provide guests with this exclusive level of access.

Each culinary cruise will include a cooking demonstration led by a celebrity chef and open to all guests. The chef will demonstrate techniques and recipes specific to his areas of expertise. Guests will receive recipes to take home with them. Signature cruise dishes prepared by the chef will be noted on restaurant menus. The highlight of the cruise will be an intimate reservation-only dinner at an upscale restaurant helmed by the Culinary Council chef. These special dinners are available for guests to pre-book for their respective cruises. Prices vary by chef and menu, ranging from $54 to $89 plus service charge.

Note: The Alaska cruise I took on the Holland America Westerdam was an organized press trip.

Zaandam9-day Atlantic Coast, October 1-10, 2022

The Zaandam A 9-day Atlantic Coast cruise from October 1-10, 2022 will take passengers from Montreal, Quebec to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Star chef Jacques Torres is a chef and artisan chocolatier trained in France. Expect to learn how to work chocolate. Torres guides the chocolate desserts on board and the surprise chocolate dessert parade. He was executive pastry chef at the famous Cirque de New York. He is a James Beard award winner and opened a chocolate factory and stores in New York. You can also enjoy seeing him as the head judge of the Netflix cooking show, Nailed it with Nicole Byer.

Koningsdam7 Day Mexican Riviera November 2019, 2022

The guests on board Koningsdam, 7-day Mexican Riviera, Nov. 12-19, 2022 round-trip from San Diego, Calif., will delight Executive Chef Rudi Sodamin, Chairman of the Culinary Council of Holland America Line. He oversees all aspects of onboard catering. Newer ships have Rudi’s Sel de Mer, its namesake French seafood brasserie. On other ships without a restaurant, there is a Rudi night at the Pinnacle Grill. His latest work is a tableware book, food faceswhich features over 150 images of edible creations.

New Amsterdam7 days in the Eastern Caribbean, December 4-11, 2022

The 7-day Nieuw Amsterdam, Eastern Caribbean, December 4-11, 2022, is a round trip from Fort Lauderdale. Chef David Burke has been featured on Iron Chef America and Masters of great chefs. Burke has enhanced the menu at Pinnacle Grill (an upscale restaurant on the line’s ships) with contemporary flavors and signature recipes. Burke’s #FeedTheHeroes program has prepared and delivered 100,000 meals to frontline workers and charities during the pandemic. He recently opened five new restaurants, including David Burke’s Orchard Park.

New Statendam10-Day Southern Caribbean Sailor, December 17-27, 2022

During the holidays, the New Statendam, 10-day Southern Caribbean Seafarer, December 17-27, 2022, will host chef Andy Matsuda. He was born in Japan and is a sushi master. He runs the sushi options at Tamarind, Nami Sushi and Lido Market. He teaches aspiring chefs and other professionals about sushi and Japanese cuisine at Matsuda’s Sushi Chef Institute in Los Angeles, California. He is a leader in sushi techniques and trends.

Holland America Line Port to Table program

If you’re looking for culinary experiences but culinary cruises aren’t for you, check out the Port to Table program. Activities vary by ship and itinerary. You can experience local flavors at a food and wine tasting and learn such things as which wine goes with which fruit. Watch a cooking demonstration and come away with a recipe you can try at home. There are also dining experiences such as a lavish feast featuring Western Australian cuisine.

On my recent cruise to Alaska, the Westerdam offered seafood porridge served in individual pots with a variety of fresh Alaskan seafood. It was such a fun event. Servers dressed in Alaskan lumberjack attire and presented each covered pot with panache. Tops were removed in unison with steam wafting through the air. We just saw it on a sign with other restaurant information. While on the ship, read your daily activity sheet and other information left in your cabin so you don’t miss a thing.

Each cruise itinerary features regional recipes created by the Culinary Council on all menus. Port-to-table menu items for Mexico include Crispy Pork Ceviche, Shrimp Aguachile, camaro (shrimp) quesadillas, Mexican adobo-style lamb shank, catfish escabeche, lamb birria, Oaxaca-style blackened tuna, and much more. Port to Table menu items for Australia and the South Pacific include spicy pork belly with pineapple salsa; braised lamb shoulder gremolata, seared Murray cod with couscous, australian flathead in panko parmesan crust, lamb shank, tuna nikkei, corn chowder with salmon, etc. So many tasty options. I think food and drink is a great way to experience a country’s culture.

Culinary experiences are not limited to the ship. There are a variety of shore excursions that offer culinary experiences. Guest chefs lead guided tours exploring local cuisines while sharing their experiences. There are culinary excursions in partnership with Gastronomy & Wine Magazine, like “A Taste of Peruvian Cuisine” or “Barbados Bites and Rum”. Try a Culinary Walk from Victoria or the Alaskan Cooking School in Tutka Bay.

All events are complimentary except for the specialty dinner aboard the Culinary Cruise. Each chef will be aboard their designated culinary cruises for four to ten days. For more information on Holland America Line, consult a travel consultant or visit their website.

For more information on travel, check out these articles:

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Where do Canadians book trips? ToursByLocals shares fall trends https://timorseajustice.org/where-do-canadians-book-trips-toursbylocals-shares-fall-trends/ Tue, 27 Sep 2022 22:53:16 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/where-do-canadians-book-trips-toursbylocals-shares-fall-trends/ from Canada ToursByLocals highlights the latest travel trends for fall. The Vancouverhas served over 1.7 million travelers since its inception and is an authority on travel habits in Canada and around the world. “It’s refreshing to see the diversity of destinations Canadians are looking for as we look to 2023,” said Paul Melhus, president and […]]]>

from Canada
ToursByLocals highlights the latest travel trends for fall.

The Vancouverhas served over 1.7 million travelers since its inception and is an authority on travel habits in Canada and around the world.

“It’s refreshing to see the diversity of destinations Canadians are looking for as we look to 2023,” said Paul Melhus, president and co-founder of ToursByLocals. “A year ago international travel was still quite limited, but this summer things really took off. European tours have dominated our bookings this summer, but we are seeing interest in mid-season and off-season travel, as well as a desire to push the envelope and venture further overseas. It’s great to see Japan coming back after such travel restrictions, as well as countries like Argentina and Brazil.

The company recently conducted an extensive survey sent to more than 90,000 active travelers in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The findings, paired with exclusive data, reveal travel motivations, barriers and top destinations for fall and beyond.

The best destinations for fall 2022

Here are the top countries where ToursByLocals tours have been booked by Canadians this fall 2022:

  1. Italy
  2. Portugal
  3. Spain
  4. WE
  5. Greece
  6. France
  7. UK
  8. Turkey
  9. Croatia
  10. Canada

Top 10 destinations for 2023 (so far)

Here are the top countries where ToursByLocals tours have been booked so far for 2023:

  1. UK
  2. Argentina
  3. Japan
  4. Italy
  5. France
  6. United States
  7. Chile
  8. Brazil
  9. Mexico
  10. Peru
  11. Portugal

26% of all tours booked so far in 2023 are personalized itineraries, reflecting a continued trend towards personalized travel.

“No matter where they go, more than ever, Canadians share the desire to have the most memorable travel experiences,” says Paul. “A private tour, led by an experienced local guide, offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a destination and its culture.”

International travel is booming

74% of survey respondents plan to travel by December. Of these, nearly 85% plan to take international trips.


“This suggests that we will see robust sales throughout the fall. The data also tells us that we will continue to experience a shorter than normal booking window, which is a trend that is being felt across the travel industry,” Paul said.

Looking further ahead, 86% say they plan to travel abroad in 2023, with just 1% saying they won’t travel and 10% saying they haven’t decided yet. The others will travel but will remain national.

Evidence of the return of cruising, nearly 50% (49%) of respondents indicated that they were ready to go back to sea and planned to take a cruise in 2023.

“Current bookings show that nearly 1 in 2 tours booked for next year are for shore excursions,” Paul said. “We attribute this to the fact that cruise lines are known to book well in advance, but it also shows how quickly the industry is bouncing back.”

Not COVID, airport issues top travelers’ concerns

Congested airports, lost luggage and flight delays topped the list of top travel issues (43%). This precedes a resurgence of a COVID (28%), inflation (27%) and war in Ukraine (23%).

The ToursByLocals difference

Looking at what travelers are looking for, the history, local culture, arts, and experiences are the best.

“There’s no better way to experience a destination than with a private guided tour,” said Paul, “A ToursByLocals tour allows you to fully customize your experience and venture further afield without having to hire a vehicle. yourself or create an itinerary from scratch.Our guests appreciate that a local guide also helps with any language issues, while prioritizing safety and comfort.

Travel consultants can help their clients design immersive experiences and earn a minimum commission of 5% on every booking made. Agents can register for this incentive here.

Once an agency has booked CA$9,700 (US$7,500) worth of tours, the commission is increased to 10% and applied retroactively to all tours booked that year.


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A long-term holistic strategy “Cruise Malta” https://timorseajustice.org/a-long-term-holistic-strategy-cruise-malta/ Sun, 25 Sep 2022 06:00:00 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/a-long-term-holistic-strategy-cruise-malta/ Our vision is bold – a vision that requires sustained action on multiple fronts to see Malta, Gozo (including Comino and Northern Malta) and the Three Cities become major beneficiaries. This is a long-term strategy, as cruise lines generally plan a minimum of two to three years in advance. 1. Create incentives for rotations and […]]]>

Our vision is bold – a vision that requires sustained action on multiple fronts to see Malta, Gozo (including Comino and Northern Malta) and the Three Cities become major beneficiaries. This is a long-term strategy, as cruise lines generally plan a minimum of two to three years in advance.

1. Create incentives for rotations and homeporting in Valletta

This is a golden opportunity for Malta to make its mark with cruise itinerary planners. Homeporting has significant collateral economic benefits as it feeds the entire tourism ecosystem (airlines, airport, port, hotels, restaurants, transport, shops, etc.).

Financial incentives, such as discounts on port and air passenger taxes, could be an attractive proposition for some cruise lines. However, to increase the proportion of luxury lines, it should not be linked to volume or frequency. Luxury lines seek to avoid repeating the same route and appreciate fast lanes, quick hotel or boat transfers, stylish check-in facilities and possibly also an exclusive berth away from the mega ships.

There must be a sustained effort to attract the home port, as this entails overnight stays for pre- and post-cruise stays, crew accommodation, medical services, provisions, shopping, entertainment and restaurants, while ensuring increased air capacity that can be used for regular tourism as well.

I see this as a unique opportunity for the World Heritage Site of Valletta and its boutique hotels to become part of the appeal of using Malta as a home base. Marquee ports in the Mediterranean are Barcelona, ​​Civitavecchia, Palma de Mallorca, Venice, Piraeus and others that are close to world famous cities and the mainland. Malta needs to exceed its weight and claim to be rich in culture and history by showcasing works by Caravaggio, Renzo Piano and its UNESCO sites as well as security and hospitality and the often overlooked facts that we are English speaking and have excellent medical facilities.

Furthermore, I would also like to point out that Malta’s stakeholders (airport, port, hotels, transport companies, agents, ground operators) work seamlessly as one team and efficiently. We need excellent connectivity to the source destinations that Malta needs (eg Germany, Italy, France, Norway, UK and especially the USA via alliances aerial).

Last year we broke the mold and saw direct flights from New York for Viking cruise lines. This has clearly demonstrated that air cruise operations from the United States can be successful for the upscale, expedition and luxury market with ships typically under a thousand guest capacity. I truly believe that attracting the likes of this sector will bring to Malta the much sought after, high spender tourist that is so lucrative for the local ecosystem.

2. Increase visibility of Gozo as an additional cruise destination

My company started the ‘Cruise Gozo’ concept in 2006 and it has grown steadily ever since. More than a hundred calls were handled between 2006 and 2022, ranging from ships with a capacity of 100 passengers to 2,000 passengers. With careful micromanagement of the destination, it can be done. However, the potential is enormous!

Cruise tourism injects money into several Gozitan businesses – coaches, guides, shops, bars, taxis, water taxis, Maltese heritage sites and many artisans. What has encouraged cruise lines to add Gozo to Valletta is the short sailing distance (thus lower fuel consumption and emissions) as well as low port charges.

On top of that, again since the stopover is at anchor, Gozo is perceived as an exotic destination, so more guests go ashore (by tender) and with more excursions to earth. This increases revenue on board the ship (shore excursions are an important source of revenue on board and therefore have a great influence on the choice of ports at the stage of itinerary planning). In addition, more and more passengers are disembarking independently, which has an additional direct impact on the local economy. Guests often comment that they are surprised by Gozo’s unique charm and hospitality, complemented by a variety of things to see, including an impressive UNESCO site, Ġgantija.

The Maltese Islands should offer a more holistic approach as a cruise destination now and in the future

3. Senglea Wharf

I think the Maltese Islands should offer a more holistic approach as a cruise destination now and in the future.

Luxury cruise ships love the idea of ​​having an exclusive berth for several reasons, but perhaps the most important is to steer clear of mega liners which can lead to overcrowding in the port destination. . So it would be more beneficial to use Senglea Wharf (Boiler), not as an overflow berth but primarily as a boutique cruise pier (note that I didn’t use the word ‘terminal’).

Port agents and ground operators will need to ensure cruise planners are aware of this possibility and recalibrate tours and port descriptions to reflect this and incorporate the Three Cities and Southern Malta as beneficiaries of this new tourism in their region.

We (MBL) have studied this issue in depth and can make some relevant suggestions. An overhaul and investment in basic facilities (marks, rest areas, toilets) would go a long way in diverting the growth of quality cruise tourism to this hidden gem called Senglea, as our artist’s impression shows, and avoid congestion in the most frequently visited areas when cruise ships are on the Valletta side.

A holistic action plan for this is needed. If mooring fees and service fees are competitive, this could be a big lure to attract more small/medium vessels to the Three Cities and push tourism to these less explored but very fascinating areas which still offer a glimpse of Malta of yesteryear.

4. The “green card”

Most next-gen luxury/adventure cruise lines are adopting greener practices and many are ready for ship-to-shore.

Work on the ship-to-shore links is progressing well. Once in operation, the project will give impetus to the concept of “greener” cruise tourism which, in turn, will boost Malta’s position in the luxury segment. If ships turn around, passengers will stay with us longer (pre/post cruise) in luxury hotels and enjoy our restaurants, tours and shopping.

If, on top of that, the whole supporting ecosystem pivots to a more sustainable mode, it would create a stronger case for Malta as a sustainable destination. Being associated with sustainable cruise lines further bolsters Malta’s green credentials. This aligns with the goals of MTA’s 2021-2030 Cruise Tourism Strategy, which aims to continue to evolve the cruise industry in line with developing global trends and to convert cruise passengers into potential land-based tourists.

The desired result

We are convinced that with the right vision and management, the cruise industry can have a positive impact on the revitalization of our tourism sector. Cruise planners need to be convinced of the new cruise industry mantra: “Safety, Feeling Safe and Visible Safety”.

By actively promoting Gozo as an additional cruise destination to Valletta, adding Senglea as a competitive (and refurbished) cruise pier for small/medium (max 1,000 guests), Malta will have a mix healthier home ports of smaller, medium and large cruise ships, making rotations and calls which would spread the economic benefits to many stakeholders in a more sustainable manner across both islands while enhancing Malta’s image as a premium destination which will also have another collateral benefit of enticing customers to return for leisure vacations and/or luxury travel and MICE events.

Generally, the smaller the ship, the more upscale the clientele, and these generally prefer to explore the destination in a meaningful way, spending more time and money. Thus, it would be to everyone’s benefit if more small and medium sized luxury/expedition vessels frequented the Maltese Islands more.

Ivan Mifsud is a member of the Malta Maritime Forum (MMF) Board of Directors and Managing Director of Mifsud Brothers Ltd DBA Malta Cruise Services. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Mifsud in its final capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views of MMF.

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You can’t beat the Baltic https://timorseajustice.org/you-cant-beat-the-baltic/ Thu, 22 Sep 2022 02:17:41 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/you-cant-beat-the-baltic/ In this week’s travel article, Stuart Green travels the Baltic by sea and ends with a visit to Amsterdam. Many Chronicle readers have extensive cruise experience and will have many of their own stories to tell. But, with only a handful of vacations at sea behind us, my wife Annie and I have just returned […]]]>

In this week’s travel article, Stuart Green travels the Baltic by sea and ends with a visit to Amsterdam.

Many Chronicle readers have extensive cruise experience and will have many of their own stories to tell. But, with only a handful of vacations at sea behind us, my wife Annie and I have just returned from our first vacation with the Azamara cruise line – a 12-night cruise on the Baltic Sea, ending with a transit of the Kiel and a visit to Amsterdam.

Azamara’s Pursuit
In the world of cruise ships, the Azamara Pursuit has to be one of the smallest. At 30,000 tons, it is totally eclipsed by ships such as Wonder of the Seas (230,000 tons) or MSC World Europa (205,000 tons), both of which carry over 6,000 passengers.

Being so small, the Azamara Pursuit has few amenities, only one theater which is used for daytime lectures by specialist speakers and for the evening entertainment program. On board the Pursuit, there is a small swimming pool, a gym and a spa but no discos, casinos, go-karts, zip lines, etc.

And there is absolutely nothing to entertain the children. However, while there were few places for entertainment, the same could not be said for food and drink. From 7 a.m. to midnight, incredibly good food is available somewhere on board – perhaps in the ship’s four restaurants, grand cafe, cafe and six bars, most of which serve the most sumptuous food. Quite simply, the food on board the ship was absolutely superb.

We were spoiled for choice at each meal: Where to eat? What to choose from the fabulous menus? All my good dietary intentions vanished as soon as we sat down to each meal as all the options on the menu seemed irresistible. Every time we stopped for a cup of tea or coffee we were always offered the most wonderful tapas or cakes.

The captain
Born on an island in southern Finland with an apartment in Stockholm, Captain Mikael Palmroos is the perfect man to circumnavigate the Baltic.

The son of a businessman in the yachting industry, Mikael learned to sail when he was six years old.

After national service in the Finnish Navy, he worked in the hotel industry before graduating as a sea captain. His first cruise ship was the huge Sovereign of the Seas before being transferred to the Azamara fleet.

In response to my questions, Captain Palmroos said:
“The best thing about being the captain of an Azamara vessel is the collaboration between teams on board and ashore to deliver the most authentic experience for our guests.”

But wouldn’t he rather be on one of the huge cruise ships, like the Sovereign of the Seas?
“I have sailed on different sizes of ships, including some of the largest cruise ships in the world.

My preference, however, is to be on one of the smaller ships so that we can dock at prime locations and provide the best experience for our customers. Moreover, the family atmosphere and the close interaction between me, the crew and our guests are priceless.

Is the Baltic his favorite part of the world?
“The Scandinavian archipelago will always remain in my heart and I feel privileged to sail as Captain in these waters. That being said, there are many destinations around the world with their own unique beauty, such as the stunning clear waters around Fiji and the islands of French Polynesia and the pristine destinations of the Seychelles, Maldives and St. Barthelemy. But I’m happy to sail anywhere.

The stars of the cruise – the staff
During the cruise I often wished we could have been joined by some of Gibraltar’s restaurant owners and managers so they could watch the ship’s excellent staff at work – and learn from them. There is no doubt that the crew was the star of the cruise.

No matter how often we encountered bar staff, stewards or waiters, they greeted us with a big smile, welcoming us if we had left the ship, wishing us a good day – often remembering our names – and ask if they could help us in any way. They often seemed to know what we wanted before we knew it ourselves. No matter what their multinational and multicultural guests asked of them, nothing was ever too much trouble and every request was met with a smile. Quite simply, the level of service was at least five stars but probably better.

The passengers
When fully booked the ship can carry around 700 passengers, but on our voyage we were only 407 and to meet all our needs there were 400 crew – a ratio of almost exactly 1 :1.
About half of the passengers were Americans, with most of the rest coming from countries in Europe. On different nights we dined with Trump supporters from Nashville, Tennessee, with a Brazilian couple who now lived in Italy, a Scottish policeman and his very successful wife and with a Dutch couple who lived a 15 minute cab ride from our last port. – stopover in Amsterdam.

At this point, I must point out that, while there were a few young people on board, their number was matched by very old people. I would say the average passenger age was definitely 60+.

The route
Annie and I had chosen to arrive in Copenhagen a day before the ship departed and it turned out to be a smart choice as we had a great time wandering around this busiest city – especially the Nyhaven area .

Our first day aboard the Azamara Pursuit was spent at sea as the ship crossed the Baltic before visiting three capitals in three days – Tallinn (Estonia), Helsinki (Finland) and Stockholm (Sweden). All three were fascinating in their own way, but our favorite was Stockholm where the ship was moored for 48 hours so we could make the most of the city’s history, royal palaces and gardens – and shopping.

After finding our way in the Swedish capital, we then sailed to the small island of Gotland where we wandered around the charming fortified town of Visby, before, the following day, September 1, meeting in the port of Gdańsk, our ship moored exactly where the first shots of World War II were fired. It gave us a perfect view of a flyover of the monument and the Polish Navy ships marking the 83rd anniversary of the outbreak of WWII.

After our day of converting the cost of everything into Polish zlotis, we sailed to the smallest town on our itinerary, the town of Ronne on the Danish island of Bornholm, where we were converting the Danish krone again. It might have been the smallest port of call, but Ronne had the best tourist office, the best maps, a small orchestra to welcome us ashore, and free WiFi.

But, of the smaller ports, the best was a place I had never heard of before the cruise – Warnemunde on the northern coast of Germany. This pretty little town was teeming with holidaymakers, many strolling around the open-air pottery market and along one of the longest beaches I’ve ever seen.

After a morning in Warnemünde, we took the train to the nearby university town of Rostock, which was again full of shoppers and tourists on Saturday. After a long day ashore, we were finally welcomed on board by a local Oompa Band with plenty of German beer and sausages to enjoy.

The cruise ended with a fascinating transit through the Kiel Canal and a visit to Amsterdam where we had a lovely canal cruise through the city.

Shore excursions
Every time we arrived in a new port there was a luxury coach shuttle service to take us downtown. The coaches ran every half hour and of course they were available to take us back to the ship when we had had enough of sightseeing or shopping. But, instead of walking around the city center, many people would opt for a guided tour, usually by coach, to a place of interest. Throughout the cruise, 42 circuits were available. Obviously, in some places there would be several options available – in Stockholm there were eight circuits, while in Gdańsk there were only three.

If I had a complaint about the cruise, it would be the exorbitant prices of many of these excursions. The average price of the 8 alternative tours in Stockholm was 117 euros per person and in Amsterdam 115 euros per person. If Annie and I had done a typical visit to each port, we would have spent around 2000 euros on visits. Maybe we’re a little cost conscious, but in most places we did our own research and, armed with a local map, set off to see the sights on our own, using transport premises if necessary.

Conclusion
If you want a floating theme park or a wonderland for kids, then Azamara Pursuit is definitely not for you. If you want to dress in formal clothes for every meal, Azamara’s more casual style isn’t for you. If, however, you want to eat delicious food, be served by the most wonderful staff, and visit fascinating places, then I suggest you consider a cruise on Azamara Pursuit. We enjoyed every moment.
By the way, there has been absolutely no sponsorship from Azamara at the time of writing this article.

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MSC Seashore Live Blog – Day 3 – Sea Day https://timorseajustice.org/msc-seashore-live-blog-day-3-sea-day/ Tue, 20 Sep 2022 13:01:01 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/msc-seashore-live-blog-day-3-sea-day/ Today is our first day at sea, as we leave the Bahamas and head southwest towards Mexico and our next port of call in Cozumel. A day at sea is the perfect time to leisurely explore the ship and make the most of the sunny weather we have enjoyed so far. I have thoroughly enjoyed […]]]>

Today is our first day at sea, as we leave the Bahamas and head southwest towards Mexico and our next port of call in Cozumel.

A day at sea is the perfect time to leisurely explore the ship and make the most of the sunny weather we have enjoyed so far.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my cruise on MSC Seashore so far and look forward to trying new spots on board, as well as relaxing.

Here’s how I spent my day.

Morning activities

Thought I might try the main dining room for breakfast; however, the captain announced that the clocks were going back an hour as we traveled west, so I was way too early for that option. I visited the Marketplace Buffet and tried delicious blueberry pancakes.

Afterwards I wandered around a bit, noticing the calm waters as we passed Cuba, close enough to see buildings and later mountainous areas. The weather was fantastic with clear blue skies and quite warm even in the morning.

I also took advantage of this time to book a shore excursion for our port call in Roatan. The rep mentioned that MSC Seashore doesn’t usually stop there, so she wasn’t very familiar with the details of the tour. I can’t imagine the planning and logistics involved in changing a cruise itinerary on a day’s notice. So many people had to make changes, and I could tell it was a tough time for the staff.

Luckily my previously booked excursions have already been refunded to my account and everything was in good order for my next few days.

Lunch / afternoon

Being a day at sea, the ship is naturally more crowded. The MSC Seashore does not have a large open pool deck, but is rather sectioned off in places. The main pool area on Deck 18 was very crowded, with little wiggle room in some areas; and not a single chair to spare. The Jungle Lounge and pool are part of an open-air space and have a much cooler vibe, with mostly adults relaxing in the leafy tropical surroundings.

A good thing about the design of the ship is that many restaurants and bars have outdoor seating, so if you don’t need to be by the pool there are plenty of chairs and chairs. tables available outside. The sports bar was fairly quiet when I visited.

I didn’t want a heavy lunch so opted for a salad and a hot dog from the buffet. There were a lot of people, but it’s a very big room. So expensive, in fact, that I hadn’t even noticed until today that there are at least two bar stations where you can get an alcoholic drink with your lunch (for an extra charge).

You don’t have the option to add a tip to your bar bill, so I made a habit of carrying small bills for the staff. I wish MSC made it easier to tip their hard working staff. They deserve it.

Vessel details

Another thing I noticed while walking around is all the unique decor and themes on board. Separate from the art gallery, there is an immense variety of artwork. Adorning part of the atrium is a replica of the Statue of Liberty, appropriate as this ship has a New York theme.

Taking advantage of our first day at sea with the shops open, I took the time to window shop at the many stores that sell everything from fine jewelry and watches to fun souvenirs.

MSC has tried many technologies, one of the most important being its elevator system. You need to select your floor before entering the elevator, and the screen tells you which specific elevator to go to (options ranging from AD). Once inside, there are no buttons, so you can’t change your mind. I keep looking for pimples every time I enter, though.

Just before lunch, I was walking past the sushi bar and noticed an electronic treadmill circling the seats. I have never seen anything like this before on a cruise ship.

Cabin comments

So far my cabin has worked well. I brought a fan; however, the temperature controls are excellent, and I can make it as cold as I want, and the ventilation is good.

Thought I’d be smart, bring a previous cruise card to put in the key fob to keep current when I left the cabin; however, the system knows the difference. The cabin also has do-not-disturb and make-up buttons, so your attendant doesn’t need to disturb you unnecessarily. Mine has been very nice so far, ensuring I have everything I need.

MSC offers a selection of minimalist products with just gel and shampoo. No body lotion, conditioner, or Kleenex, so be sure to bring whatever you need. The bathroom is compact, but there is plenty of storage for products. The toilets are surprisingly noisy when flushed; I can even hear my neighbor’s toilet flush.

There is a fully stocked mini bar with Italian water, soft drinks, spirits, beer and snacks. Beer is $7.50 and soft drinks $3.25. You have the option of washing with laundry packages at $45 for 20 items or $64 for 40 items with 48-hour service.

Dinner/evening activities

Before dinner, I took a few minutes to enjoy the majestic view and sail towards the sun. MSC Seashore is designed to soak up the sun, and it certainly does so from many vantage points.

In the atrium we were treated to relaxing jazz music, a great way to start the evening. For tonight’s meal, I have booked another specialty restaurant as part of my meal package. Ocean Cay (also the name of the island we visited yesterday) is a seafood-focused place.

I started with a delicious crab cake, followed by seared tuna with asparagus and beets. Another wonderful meal with attentive and friendly servers. For dessert I had chocolate ice cream and lemon sorbet. It is said that Marco Polo brought ice cream back to Italy from his trips to China. If so, I’m very glad he did, because Italians are serious about good ice cream, and MSC is no exception.

Tomorrow we venture to Cozumel for a port day and I can’t wait to see all it has to offer.

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Royal Caribbean cruise ship changes port due to Tropical Storm Fiona https://timorseajustice.org/royal-caribbean-cruise-ship-changes-port-due-to-tropical-storm-fiona/ Sat, 17 Sep 2022 16:23:48 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/royal-caribbean-cruise-ship-changes-port-due-to-tropical-storm-fiona/ Cruise lines scramble to find suitable alternate ports as Tropical Storm Fiona looks poised to turn into a full-fledged hurricane as it passes over the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Following the arrival of Tropical Storm Fiona, Royal Caribbean has announced several changes to the Harmony of the Seas itinerary for […]]]>

Cruise lines scramble to find suitable alternate ports as Tropical Storm Fiona looks poised to turn into a full-fledged hurricane as it passes over the Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Following the arrival of Tropical Storm Fiona, Royal Caribbean has announced several changes to the Harmony of the Seas itinerary for departure tomorrow, September 18. While the call for Perfect Day at Cococay will continue, the rest of the original itinerary has been completely changed.

Fiona forces a change Harmony of the Seas Itinerary

With safety at the forefront of any decision made by cruise lines, Royal Caribbean has decided to make several changes to the itinerary to Harmony of the Seas sailing tomorrow September 18th.

Originally planned to sail from Port Canaveral to the Eastern Caribbean, Harmony of the Seas will shift to the Western Caribbean instead. The choice was made due to the imminent approach of Tropical Storm Fiona in the Eastern Caribbean, where Harmony of the Seas should be operational in the next few days.

Guests will be disappointed that their cruise does not sail to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and Philipsburg, St. Maarten. But, the ship will sail to Costa Maya and Cozumel in Mexico, two ports that have always proven themselves.

Photo credit: Jillian Cain Photography / Shutterstock

The itinerary changes are not surprising, as Royal Caribbean’s chief meteorologist, James Van Fleet, released a statement that route changes should be expected with the arrival of Fiona.

Royal Caribbean has issued a statement to customers who booked on September 18 that clarifies the need for itinerary changes to Harmony of the Seas:

“With our Chief Meteorologist, James Van Fleet, we have been monitoring adverse weather conditions along our planned route due to Tropical Storm Fiona. As a result, we have replaced our visits to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.”

“Instead, we will visit two beautiful Mexican ports, Costa Maya and Cozumel. We apologize for the impact of the weather on our itinerary. Although these aren’t the ports originally planned, we know you’ll have a wonderful time. And know that being on a ship is one of the safest places because we are faster and can get away from any bad weather.

Harmony of the Seas by Royal Caribbean
Photo credit: byvalet / Shutterstock

Harmony of the Seas Itinerary a CocoCay in the Bahamas on September 19, St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on September 21 was changed to a day at sea. The following day, September 22, would have been a call to St. Maarten, but this was replaced by Costa Maya.

Instead of a day at sea, the 226,963 gross ton Oasis class Harmony of the Seas will be in Cozumel on September 23, followed by a day at sea and back in Port Canaveral, Florida on September 25.

Customers who have pre-booked shore excursions for St. Thomas and St. Maarten will be automatically refunded.

Fiona is expected to become a hurricane force but misses Florida

Currently tracking over the eastern outer Leeward Islands of St. Maarten, Barbuda, Antigua and Guadeloupe, Fiona will strengthen as she moves near the US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic later this weekend. The storm will likely upgrade to a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches.

Tropical Storm Fiona
Tropical Storm Fiona (NOAA Image)

“Fiona could be near hurricane strength as it moves near Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic this weekend, and it could reach hurricane status on its own before reaching the Dominican Republic. early Monday, said the National Hurricane Center (NOAA).

Although the storm is developing into a hurricane, its track has also changed from expectations yesterday, September 16. Forecasts now indicate that the storm will continue over Puerto Rico, the eastern part of Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos Islands, but is expected to return to the Atlantic Ocean later next week.

If that happens, it would be good news for cruise ships sailing to and from Florida and the Bahamas, as the effects are likely to be relatively minor compared to what people in the Eastern Caribbean are currently experiencing. As always, Cruise Hive will be monitoring the situation closely, while you can also help those affected.

Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas cruise ship
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Railway strike: What you need to know about cancellations after a tentative agreement https://timorseajustice.org/railway-strike-what-you-need-to-know-about-cancellations-after-a-tentative-agreement/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 20:10:00 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/railway-strike-what-you-need-to-know-about-cancellations-after-a-tentative-agreement/ Debra Edwards was organizing her suitcase in her hotel room in Chicago on Tuesday morning when a message from Amtrak appeared on her phone. His to-do list trip – which was due to leave on Wednesday – has been cancelled. There was no additional information on who to contact for assistance. “I should have left […]]]>

Debra Edwards was organizing her suitcase in her hotel room in Chicago on Tuesday morning when a message from Amtrak appeared on her phone. His to-do list trip – which was due to leave on Wednesday – has been cancelled. There was no additional information on who to contact for assistance.

“I should have left Denver right now,” Edwards told The Washington Post on Thursday.

Edwards’ long-distance train from Chicago to California was one of many Amtrak canceled this week as a precautionary measure ahead of a possible national rail strike. While the labor dispute was between the freight railroads and the unions that represent their employees, most Amtrak routes outside of the Northeast Corridor and many commuter rail systems operate on freight tracks.

On Thursday, the White House announced a tentative agreement between carriers and union leaders to avoid a strike. In an alert the same morning, Amtrak said it was “working to quickly reinstate canceled trains and contacting affected customers directly to accommodate the earliest available departures.” Operations are expected to return to normal by Friday, The Post reported.

Back at her home in Dayton, Ohio, Edwards said Amtrak hadn’t contacted her beyond the alerts and boilerplate responses she received via email. The recent retiree, 65, lost hundreds of dollars after a tumultuous rush to find new accommodation, transportation and deal with refunds and cancellations.

Here’s what customers facing similar issues need to know about the current situation.

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Barbados seeks to cushion small cruise interests | New https://timorseajustice.org/barbados-seeks-to-cushion-small-cruise-interests-new/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 05:09:42 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/barbados-seeks-to-cushion-small-cruise-interests-new/ GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands: The government of Barbados will create a cooperative aimed at protecting the interests of small players in the thriving cruise tourism sector. Responding to the ripple effect cruise tourism could have on her country’s small businesses, Tourism Minister Lisa Cummins said plans were already in place to fund a cooperative, in […]]]>

GRAND CAYMAN, Cayman Islands:

The government of Barbados will create a cooperative aimed at protecting the interests of small players in the thriving cruise tourism sector.

Responding to the ripple effect cruise tourism could have on her country’s small businesses, Tourism Minister Lisa Cummins said plans were already in place to fund a cooperative, in addition to paying insurance ensuring its sustainability during the first years.

“The co-op is specific to smaller operators, while being careful not to sideline larger players,” Cummins, a senator, told reporters during a Caribbean Tourism Organization press briefing Monday at the Ritz- Carlton of Grand Cayman.

The cooperative is a direct buffer for cruise lines, which capture onboard revenue by selling pre-booked tours, food and drink and transport, leaving little room for some land-based players to cash in.

Cummins said stakeholders should face the reality that cruise operators don’t want to leave money on the table.

She said cruise spending is overwhelmingly tied to shore excursions, 90% of which are booked online.

“So we need to be able to look at what their business model is and target our interventions to a business model that allows revenue to be generated in a national economy,” the tourism minister said.

Plans are in place to host a dedicated session on September 23 engaging manufacturers, growers and agro-processors in a sourcing seminar.

By October 10, cruise lines will travel to Barbados to meet with operators on their bids, the minister said.

Cummins said the government was also targeting recruitment drives for ships’ crews.

Already, the government has participated in a job fair, targeting workers at different salary scales.

With the winter cruise season extended by a month, Barbados expects to welcome just over 850,000 passengers. Compared to pre-COVID inflows in 2019, which was a record year, the country will achieve over 90% of its target.

The island welcomed more than 900,000 cruise passengers in 2019.

Barbados will also host the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, making Barbados its winter home, with 20 sailings to the capital Bridgetown.

Traditional partners such as MSC, Seaboard, Carnival and Royal Caribbean will continue to rebuild the market after their two-year absence.

Cummins was quick to point out that there could be no conversation about tourism on the island without addressing the challenges of the climate crisis.

Like his Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who has pushed for action on climate change, which disproportionately affects small and developing states, Cummins has spoken of the importance of protecting the environment from the scars of industry. and trade.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com

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6 best beaches in Antigua and Barbuda to visit in October 2022 https://timorseajustice.org/6-best-beaches-in-antigua-and-barbuda-to-visit-in-october-2022/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 18:38:22 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/6-best-beaches-in-antigua-and-barbuda-to-visit-in-october-2022/ People always want to take a break from their busy daily schedule to unwind and relax. Breaks help them recharge for work, improving their performance. The options are endless. Here are fantastic coastlines for visitors who want to visit Antigua and Barbuda. Read on to learn more about the beaches, how to get there, their […]]]>

People always want to take a break from their busy daily schedule to unwind and relax. Breaks help them recharge for work, improving their performance.

The options are endless. Here are fantastic coastlines for visitors who want to visit Antigua and Barbuda.

Read on to learn more about the beaches, how to get there, their distinctive features, the enticing activities, and the amenities present.

1. Long Bay

Long Bay is a family beach that occupies the eastern part of the island. It’s near Devil’s Bridge on the Atlantic side outside the town of Willikies.

This coastline is renowned for its distinctive flora and fauna. It has huge turtles and underwater inhabitants like dolphins and parrotfish. In addition, visitors like to observe harmless sharks and frigatebirds on the shore.

Travelers can choose whether they like to stay active or relax in the sun and sand. Long Bay is also perfect for swimming. It is surrounded by reefs which do not allow coastal waves to reach the beach. Thus, it is a safe bathing place for families with children.

No visitor leaves the place disappointed, however. Couples can enjoy romantic sunsets while strolling along the sandy beach. They can also take mini bike tours on the coastline to assess their love life and progress.

Additionally, travelers can enjoy boat fishing trips. Most of the boats have a glass bottom allowing them to enjoy incredible marine life. They can also make their meals exciting by catching and cooking seafood.

The beach has impressive facilities that make travelers’ stay enjoyable and comfortable. It has the Pineapple Beach Resort for delicious Italian and Caribbean cuisines.

Visitors should not worry about accommodation either. There are villas and guesthouses to ensure restful nights.

2. Ffryes Beach

The beach is located at Ffryes Point on the west coast. It is divided in two by a small rock wall occupied by a restaurant. One side is called the Big Ffryes, and it’s more crowded, while the other side is known as the Little Ffryes, and is calmer and quieter.

Visitors access the coastline using public transport. They can board a bus that has stops nearby to reach the shore. They can also walk from Cocobay in the Jolly Harbor area.

The amazing destination stands out with its perfect background. It is adjacent to green hills which offer fantastic views. It makes a beautiful background for travelers who love photos as it contrasts with the clear waters of the beach.

Travelers can visit the coastline at any time of the year, thanks to its crystal clear waters. They can enjoy snorkeling. In addition, the shore has a gentle slope and shallow waters and is therefore suitable for beginner swimmers and children.

Guests who want more adventurous activities can rent jet skis. Generally, the shore offers enough fun to satisfy most visitors.

In addition, Ffryes Beach is blessed with exceptional facilities to unwind and relax. There is natural shade where travelers can sit on sunny afternoons sipping wine from local vendors. They may also appreciate a colorful environment in the shade.

Don’t forget to stop by the Dennis Beach Bar and Restaurant. It offers a variety of native foods and international specialties.

There is no shortage of accommodation on this coast. Customers are spoiled for choice, depending on their budget.

3. Fort James Beach

Fort James is located in Fort Bay to the northwest, just a short drive from the cruise port. This amazing destination is close to the city, allowing residents to escape the hassle of the city, relax quickly, and then get back to business.

Guests can get there by taxi or hire chauffeur services. They are then collected from the cruise port and dropped off at the spectacular coastline.

The beach stands out for its appeal to cruise tourists – the reason for this is its proximity to the cruise liner dock in St Johns.

The coast offers fun activities to its visitors. They will find beach volleyball and cricket games to participate in. Also, it is suitable for different water sports, such as kayaking and snorkeling.

Another activity to consider is horseback riding. Tourists can rent horses from merchants and use them to explore the coastline. They can easily access the nearby ruins of Fort James, which are quirky at sunset.

Fort James offers everything visitors desire in terms of beach comfort. It has amazing umbrellas where they can relax and fresh water showers where they can cool off after a long day in the sun.

Moreover, it is home to recognizable beach resorts where guests can enjoy refreshments at affordable prices. They serve local dishes and cocktails. They also offer seafood, such as fresh lobsters, and kid-friendly meals, including fries, burgers, and amazing desserts like ice cream and cakes.

The incredible restaurants can host private events, such as beach weddings, birthdays, baby showers and birthday parties.

The coastline offers ample parking lots. Here, travelers do not have to worry about parking spaces even when the seaside is busy.

4. Pink Sand Beach

Pink Sand Beach is one of the visually stunning shores between Spanish Point and Palmetto Point on the southern shore of Barbuda.

The shore is distinguished by its pink sands on the coastline. However, the pink tint is not always visible. It is only visible when the breaking waves deposit the seashells from which the color originates.

This is a great place for people who want to do a solo retreat. There is less people ; travelers can walk along the beach without encountering other people. The walk is nice because the shells are not difficult to walk on, even barefoot.

Vacationers can also enjoy other aquatic adventures, such as snorkeling. Sometimes the waters are choppy; however, they are protected by reefs which make them ideal for scuba diving.

It is also a magical place for lovers to spend an afternoon. Visitors can set up camp for a day and soak up the sun on the sandy shore.

5. Princess Diana Beach

It is located on the southern coast of Barbuda and was previously known as Access Beach or Coco Point. It is named after the iconic British Royal who vacationed on the island.

Although less developed, it is only known as Princess Diana’s favorite vacation spot. Additionally, it has five overwater bungalows occupying the solitary stretch of shore. They are only accessible by boat.

There are a variety of activities visitors can enjoy on the shoreline, such as snorkeling or scuba diving. The crystal clear waters also lend themselves to paddleboarding and kayaking.

In addition, the waters are shallow and therefore suitable for children. Travelers will enjoy walking the long stretch of soft, sometimes pink, white sand.

There is a small beach kiosk on the coast where people can buy lobsters and rum punch. They can also buy drinks to stay hydrated.

Unfortunately, there are no changing rooms. Visitors mainly use the bar’s storage room to put on their bathing suits.

6. Deep Bay Beach

It is a beautiful crescent-shaped beach located near Dickenson Bay. Tourists can easily access it via St John’s by car or taxi.

The seaside offers a unique opportunity to watch the sunken ship. It is a wreck from the Andes, a sailboat with three steel masts. It is protected by law for locals and visitors to enjoy; no part can be removed.

Tourists also visit this beach to engage in snorkeling activities. They love to snorkel around the Andes wreck in the middle of the bay. Scuba diving around the wreck is fun as tourists also see a wide range of aquatic life that dwells around the wreck.

Swimming on the shore is also pleasant. It’s like splashing water in a natural pool. Additionally, people can soak up the sun in the warm sand on the coast before cooling off in the sea water.

Travelers can also choose to walk to the northern end of the beach. They can visit the magical ruins of Fort Barrington. It is one of the finest ruins to explore in the area, with remnants of gun installations.

In addition, vacationers can go fishing or visit the casino on the beach. On the other side, they can relax at nearby spas or visit gift shops to purchase items to shape their tour experience.

It is important to mention that there are fewer facilities on the shore. Visitors with children should note that there are no toilets on the shoreline. In addition, it is not equipped with toilets which is the main downside. There are however a few cafes and bars with snacks.

Why visit Antigua and Barbuda?

Antigua and Barbuda offers an excellent beach experience and has luxurious resorts with fantastic cuisine. Vacationers can enjoy the island’s warm and satisfying climate. In addition, the natives are friendly and welcoming.

The options above are perfect for people looking for a good vacation spot in a seaside setting in Antigua and Barbuda. They will surely enjoy the desired coastal experience and comfort.

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Grab itravel Darwin’s limited year-end Oceania cruises! https://timorseajustice.org/grab-itravel-darwins-limited-year-end-oceania-cruises/ Tue, 06 Sep 2022 05:18:15 +0000 https://timorseajustice.org/grab-itravel-darwins-limited-year-end-oceania-cruises/ itravel Darwin is now accepting bookings for Oceania Cruises “Close to Home” sailings to Singapore and Sydney coming in November. Begin your magnificent voyage in Darwin and sail to Singapore or Sydney aboard the Oceana Regatta and enjoy savings and cruise inclusion on your voyage. Grab this great opportunity to sail closer to home aboard […]]]>

itravel Darwin is now accepting bookings for Oceania Cruises “Close to Home” sailings to Singapore and Sydney coming in November. Begin your magnificent voyage in Darwin and sail to Singapore or Sydney aboard the Oceana Regatta and enjoy savings and cruise inclusion on your voyage.

Grab this great opportunity to sail closer to home aboard the Oceania Regatta with itravel’s 11-day cruise from Darwin to Singapore on November 10, with fares starting at $2,199 per passenger.

Take advantage of these special offers as part of the ‘OLife Ultimate’ package and enjoy six complimentary shore excursions, beverage package and $600 onboard credit.

itravel Darwin also offers the 32-day trip from Darwin to Sydney, also aboard the Regatta with fares starting at $6,699 per guest.

Guests can enjoy an even more carefree experience with ‘OLife Choice’, which offers guests the ability to customize their vacation experience by choosing a complimentary package from the following: 14 Free Shore Excursions, a Free Drinks Package or a $1,400 complimentary onboard credit.

The Regatta Class, Oceania’s recently rejuvenated flagship, personifies the re-inspired re-imagining of classic elegance, boasting lighter and brighter suites and staterooms as well as revitalized public spaces. On board, 400 friendly staff are on hand to make the 684 guests feel right at home on this sleek and stylish vessel where comfort blends seamlessly with style.

itravel Darwin is an ATAS accredited travel agent and a member of AFTA and IATA. Call us now on 08 8985 2737 or by [email protected] to book this fabulous holiday package for your family, or visit us at itravel Darwin.com.au to preview our other fabulous holiday packages.

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