Monaco Set to Wow Australians With “Green Glam” Experiences in 2018

Visit Monaco is ready to bring sustainable luxury travel to new heights in 2018 with the Principality revealing a variety of new and old “green glam experiences” available to the discerning traveller who likes to indulge whilst leaving a positive impact.

Bridging the gap between luxury and sustainability is a mission that has been at the heart of the Principality’s strategy for decades but, according to Visit Monaco, 2018 will make the Principality’s green assets shine even brighter than ever before.

“There is a lot happening in that space in Monaco at the moment and there is no doubt that 2018 will mark the beginning of a new era for the Principality” said Alison Roberts-Brown, Regional Director of Visit Monaco in Australia and New Zealand.

“Monaco is a feel-good destination all around and we are thrilled to be able to introduce visitors to a side to the Principality they may not have known about before and make them discover the dynamic, sustainable, fresh and unexpected destination that it is.”

Some of Monaco’s best sustainable feel-good experiences for travellers to discover include:

Roam the F1 circuit by electric Mobee
F1 – but not like you know it! Take advantage of the innovative electric carsharing service ‘Mobee’ available to travellers for all mobility needs. If you want to join the electric mobility movement but prefer a more exertive way, electric bikes are also available for rent all over the principality.

Join the ‘Eat Local’ movement
There are plenty of experiences available to the health- and environmental-conscious foodie. For those who like the finer things, head to Elsa, the world’s first 100% organic Michelin-starred restaurant or, for a more local experience, head to the Condamine market to savour some of the best local produce and mingle with the Monegasque community.

Smell the Roses
The preservation of biodiversity is one of the Principality’s priorities. Home to more than 23,000 carefully tended plants belonging to thousands of species, the Principality harbours huge amounts of treasures in this domain. Favourites include the Princess Grace Rose Gardens created by Prince Rainier III in memory of his wife Princess Grace. For one of the largest variety of species, head to the Exoctic Gardens.

Go behind the organic foodie scenes
Meet Terre Monaco, a project whose mission it is to institute urban agriculture, especially eco-friendly vegetable and fruit gardens, on the roofs, balconies and buildings of Monaco and neighbouring municipalities. Terre Monaco offer regular workshops for locals and travellers educating them about their organic offering.

Hit the Spa
…and where better to do so than in The House of Givenchy’s first spa in Monaco that opened its doors in the prestigious Hotel Metropole earlier this year. An all-round wellbeing destination, Monaco is also home to a number of other award-winning spas such as les Thermes Marins by Monte-Carlo SBM.

Sustainability and stewardship have been amongst the most important priorities of the Principality for decades with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation continuing to support sustainable and ethical projects which focus on climate change and developing renewable energies; combating the loss of biodiversity; and improving universal access to clean water and fighting desertification.

Where to spend your New Year’s Celebrations in Asia-Pacific

Is your perfect New Year’s Eve spent partying with your besties on a beach in Thailand? Perhaps you have young kids and so Tokyo’s Disney resort seems more appropriate? Whatever your preference, Flight Centre has you covered this New Year’s Eve with some great destination ideas to bring in 2018 with a BANG.

A Detox Retreat, in a French Castle, in Malaysia. Yes, you heard correctly, Malaysia!

The Chateau Spa and Organic Resort is our top pick for a relaxing and above all luxurious start to 2018. Modelled on a 12th Century French castle and nestled amidst 16,000 acres of lush tropical Malaysian rainforest (even better, only a 45-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur), this is the world’s first organic spa and wellness resort!
Ski away that Soju-induced hangover Korean-style!

Be sure to book a room at the GLAD LIVE Hotel located in the super cool hipster neighbourhood of Gangnam. It truly is the ultimate playground for trendsetters with its stylish and design-conscious rooms. And on New Year’s Day, head to Yongpyong, one of the many nearby ski slopes, for good dose of fresh mountain air and powder?

Disney World Tokyo is not just for kids

Head to Tokyo Disney Resort this New Year’s Eve – it’s one of the best times of the year to visit the park and the only time you will see your favourite Disney characters dressed in traditional attire! Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea provide guests with all night entertainment and shows, traditional Japanese food (only available on NYE), limited merchandise and the chance to play all night long in the parks!

The highly trained travel consultants have a genuine passion for travel and first-hand knowledge of destinations around the world. Find out more at www.flightcentre.com.hk.

World’s Most Instagrammable Hotels

Kieran Smith, Head of Asia at luxury tour operator, Lightfoot Travel inspires clients with travel tips from the World’s Most Instagrammable Hotels and shares a wealth of stunning backdrops illustrating the many travel options and experiences available created by an expert team of dedicated travel advisors across their Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai offices.

Marrakech, Morocco – Amanjena

Located at the gateway to the Sahara Desert, Amanjena is a luxury resort set within an oasis of palms and olive trees. The luxury resort is exceptionally stylish and offers a serene paradise away from the city. Moorish heritage is reflected throughout the pisé-walled resort, which echoes the style of a sultan’s palace. The graceful arches are definitely one to take note of! The colours and the architecture are simple and serene. Position yourself at the outdoor dining areas which can fully capture the beautiful arches for a nice picture.http://www.lightfoottravel.com/property/amanjena/

Namibia – Little Kulala

Little Kulala is a stylish and intimate setting closest to the formidable beauty of the dunes. Each unit blends seamlessly into the timeless desert landscape with a private plunge pool and sleeping outdoors with the sky as your roof. Every guest can enjoy romantic stargazing with their partner and capture intimate moments on Instagram.http://www.lightfoottravel.com/property/little-kulala/

Finnish Lapland, FinlandKakslauttanen Arctic Resort

Not to say the Igloos itself are something rare to see and having a chance to stay at one will undoubtedly be worth capturing several photos. A luxury boutique hotel located at the north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort, is famous for its glass igloo with the world’s largest smoke sauna and igloo bar. The hotel is perfect for adventurous couples, honeymooners and families seeking an unforgettable Arctic wilderness experience in an enchanting setting to share on Instagram. http://www.lightfoottravel.com/property/kakslauttanen-arctic-resort/

St. Lucia, Caribbean Jade Mountain

Overlooking the dramatic Pitons and the sparkling Caribbean Sea of St. Lucia, this stunning 600-acre hillside resort is the ultimate romantic retreat. Take a dip in the pool with the backdrop of the serene views of St. Lucia which are just breath taking and Instagram worthy. Jade Mountain is perfect for couples and honeymooners looking for a romantic and private escape in a captivating setting. http://www.lightfoottravel.com/property/jade-mountain/

Paris, France – Hotel Plaza Athenee

Newly refurbished, Hotel Plaza Athenee is a luxury hotel in the heart of Paris known for its striking façade covered in bright red window awnings and matching flowers. Travelers are commended to head over to La Cour Jardin and don’t forget to take a picture of the beautiful ivy surrounding the garden. Capturing the exquisite Eiffel Tower-view at any angle makes your Instagram posts look even more perfect. http://www.lightfoottravel.com/property/hotel-plaza-athenee/

Paro, Bhutan – COMO Uma Paro

COMO Uma Paro is a luxury resort perfectly situated for an adventure in Bhutan. The 29-room resort is perched proudly on the mountainside, flanked by thick pine forests, offering transcendently beautiful views. The hotel offers nine private villas and 20 luxury rooms combining the colourful accents of traditional Bhutanese craftsmanship with clean-lined contemporary design and natural lighting coming into rooms perfect for showcasing on Instagram. http://www.lightfoottravel.com/property/uma-paro/

 

Five Surprising Reasons to Love ‘Winterpeg’

More and more Aussie travellers seeking authentic North American winter experiences are adding a side-trip to Winnipeg to their Canadian winter holiday, immersing themselves in snowy outdoor adventures, quirky festivals and friendly locals.

The unpretentious city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, allows travellers to live and play alongside the locals, embracing the winter months with gusto as only the ‘Peggers can. Read on for five delicious and exhilarating adventures in ‘Winterpeg’:

  1. Why go out for dinner to a fabulous restaurant when you can go out to five? With ‘A Moveable Feast‘ guided tours you’ll jump on a fat bike and cycle your way through downtown Winnipeg with its eclectic alley ways and snow-covered buildings. Cruise from coal fired pizza to global street food, taking in the city sights along the way.
  2. Strap on some skates and experience a true Winnipeg tradition as you glide your way along the Red River Mutual Trail, the longest naturally frozen skating trail in the world. Start in the heart of the city at The Forks where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers converge, a gathering place for recreation, shopping and dining. Pause along the way at the unique warming huts that feature during January, as well as renowned pop-up restaurant RAW:almond.
  3. Performing the downward dog on a frozen lake is something you’ll never do in Australia – it’s the ultimate Instagram moment! Held at FortWhyte Alive during the Fire & Ice Festival in February, the hour-long yoga class is followed by roasted marshmallows and wildcrafted tea.
  4. Head to The Forks and try your hand at a quintessentially-Winnipeg past time, Croki-Curl. The game was invented right here in January 2017 as a life-sized version of the board game Crokinole, where players flick small discs across a circular board, aiming to land the discs in the high-scoring zones. Croki-Curl, a cross between Crokinole and curling, is the perfect way to warm up and make friends with the locals. Warning: ‘Peggers are a competitive bunch! Check out Croki-Curl in action HERE.
  5. Aching muscles from all that Croki-Curl? Make a beeline for  Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature.  Lose yourself in the twinkling fairy lights adorning the snowy trees as you float blissfully in the outdoor hot pools. Roast in the sauna, step into the cold, and then indulge in a treatment for the ultimate rejuvenation for mind, body and spirit. https://www.thermea.ca/

Cathay Pacific increases services to Barcelona, Tel Aviv and Fukuoka

Airline to operate the most non-stop flights to Spain from Asia with launch of year-round service to Barcelona,
while popular Japanese and Israeli hotspots set to receive additional frequencies

Boosting Barcelona

Cathay Pacific today announced that its seasonal operation to Barcelona during the summer peak will become a year-round service from 15 April 2018. Starting with three weekly services from Hong Kong, it will become a four-times-weekly service from 1 July 2018.

The new flights, which will be operated by the technologically-advanced Airbus A350-900, will complement Cathay Pacific’s existing four-times weekly service to Madrid (which increases to five times a week from 29 October 2017), meaning the airline will provide more non-stop flights to Spain from Asia than any other carrier.

Cathay Pacific Director Commercial and Cargo Ronald Lam explained that the popularity of the seasonal route, which commenced on 2 July and is scheduled until 28 October 2017, was pivotal in the decision to make Barcelona a year-round destination.

“Our customers will benefit from more options and greater flexibility through our network expansion and increased frequencies,” said Mr Lam. “We’re delighted to soon be serving the great city of Barcelona throughout the year.

“Demand on the route has exceeded expectations and customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Growing our reach to destinations not otherwise served from Hong Kong enables us to capture new sources of revenue and solidifies the city’s status as Asia’s largest international hub.”

Tel Aviv to go daily

Customer demand and satisfaction for Cathay Pacific’s services between Hong Kong and Tel Aviv are also reasons behind the airline’s decision to announce additional frequencies between the two cities from next summer.

Launched in March 2017 as a four-times-weekly operation, the Airbus A350-900-operated route will be served six times a week from 25 March 2018, increasing to daily throughout October and November.

Mr Lam said: “We are delighted by how well the Tel Aviv service has been received, with high load factors being sustained since its launch.

“This customer support has encouraged us to increase frequency on the route, which will provide even greater convenience and gives our customers another reason for choosing Cathay Pacific.”

Customers travelling to and from Hong Kong and Barcelona and Tel Aviv can be assured of a premium experience on-board the Airbus A350. The fuel-efficient aircraft is equipped with the airline’s latest cabin products, an enhanced inflight entertainment system and Wi-Fi connectivity in Business, Premium Economy and Economy classes.

 

Fukuoka up to two flights a day

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific’s regional carrier Cathay Dragon will be increasing the frequency of its services between Hong Kong and Fukuoka from 18 December 2017.

The airline will initially operate an additional weekly flight to Japan’s fifth largest city, bringing the total number of flights per week to eight, increasing to 11 flights per week between 14 January and 24 March 2018.

Such is the popularity of the route that Cathay Dragon will consider increasing frequency yet further from summer 2018.

Where is AWESOME to visit for AUTUMN?

It’s not just the weather that gets cooler in autumn – here are our top picks of cities that become crazy with colour, culture and festivals during the fall!

Kyoto, JAPAN

When we think of Kyoto we often think of their world-famous cherry blossom trees in the spring, however those in the know will tell you that Kyoto’s autumn foliage is even more spectacular! The Japanese maples turn brilliant shades of red, orange and yellow and the autumn weather is cool and dry so you can easily walk around to appreciate them in all their glory.

The peak of autumn colour takes place in November however the annual Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages) on October 22 is one of Kyoto’s largest and most famous Japanese festivals, which needs to be experienced!  Japanese locals dressed as Samurai riding on horseback are amongst thousands of others dressed in colourful costumes partaking in a five-hour long procession.

What’s even more impressive is that come dusk the festival where the rule “do not play with fire” is completely ignored begins, which is known as the Kurama no Hi-Matsuri festival – it certainly puts the Olympic Torch Relay to shame!

To experience five blocks of restaurants, food stalls and retail shops a visit to Nishiki Market is a must. If you are into super cool cafes then Prinz is well worth the trip to get there – it is arguably Kyoto’s best and hippest cafe. An art gallery, bookshop, garden, library and cafe all in one, it is a destination in its own right!


Beijing, CHINA

Beijing it or not, this city shouldn’t always be associated with too much pollution and too many people. Beijing is simply beautiful in autumn! As the trees begin to change colour the views of the fall foliage surrounding the Great Wall become incredibly impressive this time of year. There is no better month to visit Beijing than October as the sweltering heat and urban humidity has begun to subside and Golden Week takes place from 1st to the 7th October. Golden Week holds China’s largest public holiday (Chinese National Day) and the Mid-Autumn festival. Beijing comes alive as people flock to the capital for flag-raising ceremonies, dance and song shows, fireworks and best of all major shopping discounts!

If the budget allows, a must stay is the gorgeous glassy boutique hotel, The Opposite House. The design and styling of the hotel is unlike anything you would have seen and it hosts some of Beijing’s best eateries.

Everest Base Camp, NEPAL

I bet when you think of autumn a trek to Everest Base Camp doesn’t spring straight to mind? September to November is the best season for trekking in and around Mount Everest and the Himalayas. Autumn comes after Nepal’s monsoon season and therefore you will witness stunning green mountains, blue skies and mild temperatures, and crystal clear views of the surrounding Himalayas.

Whether you are religious or not, trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp is really special during Nepal’s religious month of October. Dashain is the longest and most notable Nepalese festival on their calendar, and falls in either late September or early October (depending on the moon). Kites are flown, homes are decorated, new clothes are purchased (any excuse!), and massive swings made of bamboo are constructed for children to play on.

Tihar or the Festival of Lights is the other main festival in autumn. During this five-day festival many lanterns are lit and animals are worshipped, including their puppy dogs (Cuuuute!) Before you take the small plane to Lukla from Kathmandu to begin your trek, get the celebrity treatment with world-class service at The Dwarika’s Hotel. Once you are close to reaching Mount Everest Base Camp be sure to climb to the top of Kala Patthar for Insta-bragging close up views of Mount Everest – it remains the top viewpoint of the mountain in Nepal.

Budapest, HUNGARY
Are you hungry for Hungary? Autumn is harvest time in Hungary and so the Budapest Wine Festival (in September) and the Chimney Cake Festival (in October) are two of the best ways to experience Budapest’s delicious local food and the best wines of Hungary. Who wouldn’t want to drink too much wine while enjoying breathtaking views from the most prestigious sight in Budapest, Buda Castle?

With the summer heat fading and temperatures hovering in the early 20s through to the end of October, autumn is a great time of year to immerse yourself in this trendy city! These temperatures make it ideal for wandering through the winding streets and exploring cool and cosy cafes and bars in the Jewish quarter. The famous Szimpla Kert is a must, as is the Israeli restaurant Mazel Tov. Tip: Book ahead!

To see the city’s trees and their stunning autumn leaves you must head to Margaret Island and the City Park. You’ll also get an Instagram-worthy view of the city
from Gellert Hill.


Berlin, GERMANY

Berlin is a city that has so much to offer but travelling here during autumn to experience the spectacular light festivals and the famous beer festival Oktoberfest is a must!

Berlin has two major light festivals during autumn – the Berlin Lichterfest (in September) and the Festival of Lights (in October). Various artists illuminate the city’s iconic historic buildings and set the city aglow. What’s better is you don’t need to be deep underground inside Berlin’s famous nightclubs until the early hours of the morning to experience incredible light shows! Oktoberfest in Berlin may not be as large as the one in Munich, but it is still great fun to attend if you are there in early October or late September!

Berlin is a city with nearly half a million trees (fact! Not sure who’s counting?) So, you are also going to see a lot of colourful changes in the parks such as the Grunewald or the Botanical Gardens whilst visiting. You can walk here along one of its two lakes or head into the forest and climb the Teufelsberg Mountain for amazing views.

Where to stay?  Berlin is very much a neighbourhood-oriented city. Kreuzberg (affectionately known to the locals as Xberg) is a centrally located Berlin neighbourhood full of hipsters, Berlin’s best bars and great restaurants.


New York, USA

Leaf peeping enthusiasts from around the world flock to New York’s Central Park every autumn to explore its vibrant-coloured trees. It is simply stunning during this time of year and you can either admire its carpet of bright colours from up high atop the city’s many viewing platforms, or you can wander through the park to get up close and personal with the city’s gorgeous leaves.

If you have time you can also take a trip out of town to see the colours across New England. It’s world famous for a reason: the neighbouring states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are equally beautiful at this time of year.

If you’re looking to p-a-r-t-y, there are plenty of Halloween events and parties happening on and around October 31st! Pack your costume and prepare for some serious trick or treating.

Be sure to book a room at New York’s Ace Hotel – it houses one of New York’s most accomplished meat restaurants The Breslin. The vibe is cool, the music is great, the menu is fab and the lighting is complimentary! What more do you want?!

WONDERFRUIT RETURNS 14-17 DECEMBER 2017,

ANNOUNCES RICHIE HAWTIN, ROOTS MANUVA, KHRUANGBIN, GUI BORATTO AND MORE

Thailand’s pioneering, sustainable, cross-cultural, live celebration of the arts, music and ideas — returns for its fourth year, leading its preview of the first-phase line-up with a ground-breaking announcement about its ongoing sustainability initiatives. Where barefoot luxury meets awe-inspiring architecture and natural adventures, Wonderfruit is far from your average music festival and Wonderers from all over the world are invited to return to the beautiful Thai countryside for the ultimate destination retreat from 14-17 December 2017. Phase one tickets are on sale now.

Scratch First, the organizers behind Wonderfruit announce the first names from the music line-up, led by veteran techno DJ RICHIE HAWTIN and British hip hop artist ROOTS MANUVA, who will perform with a full bandHailing from Texas, psychedelic trio KHRUANGBIN will delight crowds with their Thai Molam-inspired sound, while Brazilian house legend GUI BORATTO will light up legendary after-hours destination, The Quarry. Lending a local Thai flavor to the soundscape in The Fields will be KHUN NARIN and Wonderers will also be treated to the soulful stylings of English songstress IZZY BIZU. In addition, NICOLA CRUZ from Ecuador and Danish techno maverick BE SVENDSEN join Hawtin and Boratto on the DJ roster. With a line-up that spans the musical spectrum, Wonderfruit will confirm more acts in the coming months. Meanwhile, demo submissions will soon be open for bands and artists hoping to be selected for Intermission – Wonderfruit’s initiative to mentor and provide a platform for unsigned talent to perform on the main stage.

Wonderfruit is built on six pillars: Arts, Music, Family, Farm to Feasts, Talks & Workshops and Wellness & Adventures, all of which are informed by its ethos to use the event as a platform to catalyze meaningful and positive impact. Wonderers can look forward to the full complement of interactive, visual and culinary marvels, not to mention unique activities for all ages — more to be announced shortly.

Phase one ticket pricing begins at US$147 (THB5,000 or £115) for an adult 4-day pass, which includes general camping.

Satellite Tags Reveal Surprising Whale Shark Movements

In 2015 guests on-board the adventure-cruise ship TRUE NORTH teamed-up with marine researchers from Conservation International and started to deploy fin-mounted satellite tags on whale sharks encountered during the ship’s Whale Sharks of Cenderwasih Bay itinerary. And the results have proved to be quite surprising.

Each year the revered TRUE NORTH visits biodiverse Cenderwasih which lies adjacent to the spectacular Raja Ampat islands in West Papua and, everybody on-board gets a chance to swim with the ‘resident’ population of whale sharks. These encounters are quite different to more typical whale shark encounters because the sharks have formed a unique relationship with the local fisherman and, they are easily approached.

Their docile behaviour has allowed biologists to fix fin-mounted tags – a more durable type of satellite tag and, the tags have been providing unexpected data about where the sharks travel when they are not in swimming in the bay.

Conservation International’s Mark Erdmann reports “Perhaps the most surprising finding has been just how differently each of the tagged sharks has behaved. We expected to see some generalized tracks of migration but in reality each shark has largely done its own thing!”

One of the sharks has been a bit of a homebody only leaving Cenderawasih Bay once in 25 months, whilst one of the smallest sharks to be tagged – a 3 metre individual known as “Fijubeca”, has clocked-up an impressive 9000 kilometres during a similar period. The 6 metre “Moby” has recorded the deepest dive getting down to 1856 metres in the Mariana Trench whilst similar sized “Cheggers” has spent most of his time close to the surface. “Wally” has preferred to spend his time close to shore whilst other individuals have completed impressive oceanic swims.

Importantly, the satellite data has highlighted several regions of West Papua that are frequented by migrating whale sharks and, those areas are now being considered for inclusion in Indonesia’s marine park system.

The TRUE NORTH returns to Cenderawasih Bay in October and it is hoped that more sharks will be added to the tagging program.

FAST FACTS

  • True North Adventure Cruises has won a plethora of awards for excellence including state and national tourism awards, export awards and numerous consumer awards.
  • Australia’s premier luxury adventure-cruise ship, the TRUE NORTH is purpose-built to sail deep into the heart of the wilderness, visiting areas that larger ships cannot access. Guests are privy to very-high quality off-ship experiences courtesy of the ship’s biologist and a team of naturalists, a ship’s helicopter and six dedicated adventure boats.
  • Exceptional food and wine are also at the heart of a TRUE NORTH experience. The ship’s modern Australian cuisine is supplemented with locally sourced ingredients and complemented by an outstanding selection of Western Australian wines. Cabins are spacious and modern; there is a panoramic lower deck dining room, an alfresco bar, an observation lounge and a dedicated sports deck.
  • Daily activities include scenic walks, fishing, snorkelling, diving, picnics, cultural events and spectacular flights in the ship’s helicopter.
  • Destinations include the Kimberley – a panorama of rugged mountains, spectacular gorges and majestic waterfalls; the still-wild coast of Western Australia featuring the intriguing Abrolhos Islands, world-famous Ningaloo Reef, fishing paradise at the Montebello Islands and, the pristine Rowley Shoals; some of Indonesia’s most stunning volcanic islands including Komodo – home to the largest lizard on the planet; the breathtaking islands of the Raja Ampat; the whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay; the mighty Sepik River and the un-spoilt islands of Papua New Guinea; beautiful Sydney Harbour and, a seafood safari around South Australia’s delightful Eyre Peninsular!

For more information go to www.truenorth.com.au

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INTREPID’S NEW NORTH AMERICAN PROGRAM IS CANADIAN AND COOL

In response to growing demand for the Great White North, Intrepid Travel is launching new trips to Canada as part of its 2018 North America program, which offers more than 34 unique itineraries from Chicago to Calgary including the first dedicated tour of Vancouver Island.

Winter trips are also on Intrepid’s 2018 hot-list, with three brand new trips into the North American winter added to the range.

Highlights of Intrepid’s 2018 North American program include:

A new six-day Highlights of Vancouver Island trip which combines with the popular Canadian Rockies for the ultimate Canadian adventure. Priced from $1320* per person twin share, the new tour takes guests to Victoria, Tofino – a mecca for surfing and whale watching – and bustling harbour town and foodie haven Nanaimo.

To take advantage of the lack of crowds and the beauty of the North in the winter, Intrepid has added new departures in the off season including December and January departures for its Canadian Rockies and Northern Lights tour. Encompassing the best of Canada from Lake Louise to Calgary, Jasper and Banff, the 11-day trip starts from $4760* per person twin share.

Meanwhile travellers on the new 12-day US and Canada Discovery Winter trip will experience the magic of a white Christmas with New York’s skyscrapers dusted in snow, ice skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, a snowshoe hike in Vermont and depending on the departure, the chance to experience a Christmas market in Chicago, ice hockey in Toronto, Winterlude in Ottawa or Montreal en Lumiere.

“With its pristine wilderness and friendly people, Canada has always been popular, but the ‘Justin Trudeau effect’ has made Canada even cooler this year. These new trips let travellers experience the magic of a North American winter like a true local,” said Brett Mitchell, Intrepid Travel’s Regional Director Asia Pacific.

While Canada has seen sales on popular trips increase by more than 150 per cent in the past year, Intrepid has seen a 20 per cent decrease in bookings to the United States since January 2017, with the country sliding down the hot list almost immediately after Trump’s inauguration.

Intrepid Travel recently announced that it would double its carbon offsetting on all trips to the United States, in response to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. This increased commitment to supporting sustainable tourism in the United States includes the new range of 2018 trips.

“North America has a huge diversity of landscapes, people and opinions. Intrepid travellers want to rediscover different sides of Canada and the States. We believe it’s more important than ever for tourism to play its part in conserving the environment for future generations,” said Mitchell.

For more information or to book visit: www.intrepidtravel.com.au

*subject to availability, conditions apply

Top Ten Alternative Travel Destinations for 2018

Lightfoot Travel, a leading luxury tour operator specialising in designing holidays for families, honeymoons and corporate travel, introduces its top ten alternative travel destinations to inspire avid travellers in 2018.

Mongolia

There’s no stopping Mongolia in 2017 with the opening of a new state-of-the-art airport, new roads being built across the countryside as well as big hotel groups entering the market. Visit now to experience culture previously untouched by ‘Westernisation’ eg. Eagle Hunters combined with vast landscapes and still in its infant stages of tourism. An Adventure Through Mongolia is a great option for the more off-the-beaten track family holiday.

Iran

Since international sanctions were lifted, it has become one of the hottest travel tickets in town. One of the most culturally rich and colourful countries in the world, Iran is an open-air museum brimming with architectural wonders and bustling bazaars, rural mountain villages and dramatic, unexpected landscapes at every turn. The 9-day Classic Iran itinerary will certainly appeal to those looking for a completely unique destination experience.

Tibet

Tibet is very much a place that should be visited sooner rather than later. It is a staggeringly beautiful region with dramatic landscapes, centuries-old sacred sites and wonderful people. Discover the Lhasa and the surrounding areas with The Highlights of Tibet itinerary to truly immerse in the spectacular scenery, Tibetan culture and history.

Cuba

Whether one’s mind conjures images of powdery Caribbean beaches, cigars or the old-world charm of Havana, there’s no doubt that Cuba is an evocative place. Historically complicated, culturally rich and surprising at every turn, Cuba is a country of an endless interest provided you jump in with both feet. Explore Havana, Trinidad and Vinales Valley with the Classic Cuba.

Fiji

With direct flights now operating from Singapore and Hong Kong via Fiji Airways, this archipelago is the perfect option for a tropical island escape. Combined with the warm hospitality of the Fijians, pure white sand, sparkling clear waters, balmy breezes and bright sun, Fiji satisfies the needs of both families and honeymooners with an abundance of resorts ranging from over water villas, private islands and secret hideaways. Comprised of over 300 islands, Island Hopping in Fiji is perfect for experiencing the country.

Colombia

This South American country shot to fame last year thanks to an addiction to Narcos and Netflix, and is on everyone’s list to visit this year. Blessed with sublime beauty and staggeringly diverse topography, Colombia has emerged from years of civil strife to become one of South America’s ‘must see’ destinations. The Classic Colombia 10-day itinerary takes in the sights, sounds and smells of Colombia’s finest attractions.

Croatia

One of the hottest beach spots in Europe, combining Medieval history with the glorious beaches reminiscent of the Mediterranean. You won’t be short of places to stay as 50 new hotels and resorts will open in 2017. For blissful Mediterranean holiday surrounded by sapphire waters and ancient towns, Highlights of Croatia offers a perfect mix of beach and culture experiences for travellers.

Rwanda

Despite its painful past, Rwanda has come a long way to become one of the most stable and welcoming countries in eastern Africa. There are less than 800 mountain gorillas left in the wild and Rwanda is one of the best places in Africa to see the animals. Join the 4-day Gorilla Tracking Rwanda itinerary to learn about the history of Rwanda and come face to face with some of the endangered Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park.

Jordan

As travellers look to discover more during their holidays and see lands far removed from their own, Jordan has quickly risen to the top of people’s travel lists due to its compact nature. From

being transported back in time whilst exploring the lost city of Petra to the white sands of the Red Sea coast, travellers can go from traversing the Wadi Rum by camel to luxuriating in the Dead Sea in a matter of days with the Highlights of Jordan 5-day itinerary.

Ethiopia

With its magnificent architecture, enchanting culture and dramatic scenery, Ethiopia is one of the most rewarding, diverse and unknown travel destinations in Africa. With tourism still being quite a new concept, an adventure in Ethiopia is an opportunity to discover the secrets of a nation less travelled and is far from short of astonishing experiences. For travellers who are keen to visit the ancient city and relive the history, they can choose The Churches of North Ethiopia and for those interested in nature, wildlife and tribes can opt for The Lakes and Forests of Southern Ethiopia.

Local Vendors sell fruit and baked goods on the side of the street in Cartagena Colombia

For more information, please visit www.lightfoottravel.com