New GoHawai‘i App Offers Travel, Safety Advice for Enjoying the Hawaiian Islands State of Hawai‘i’s First Travel Destination Mobile App

Fun and vital travel information about the Hawaiian Islands is now a lot easier to find for visitors always on the go with the launch of the new GoHawai‘i mobile app.
Created by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), tourism agency for the State of Hawai‘i, the GoHawai‘i app is a one-stop mobile reference guide for travelers wanting fast, accurate and trustworthy information while exploring all that Hawai‘i offers.
Randy Baldemor, HTA chief operating officer, noted the travel destination app is the first one produced by the State of Hawai‘i. “The GoHawai‘i app is a fun way to learn about Hawai‘i while having travel and safety information that people need to know about and have access to at all times.”
The GoHawai‘i app offers valuable travel tips for each of the six major Hawaiian Islands: Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i and the Island of Hawai‘i. App users will discover useful information to help them enjoy Hawai‘i’s wide variety of sites, activities, special events and cultural festivals statewide. A listing of essential Hawai‘i websites and phone numbers is also provided to direct travelers to other reliable sources for information and assistance.
Helping visitors experience Hawai‘i safely is a significant aspect of the GoHawai‘i app, which contains important advice for ocean activities, hiking and weather conditions on each island. “Visitors are outdoors all the time in Hawai‘i. This app helps keep them safe while they enjoy the beauty of our Islands,” said Baldemor.
A special app feature is the “Locomoji” – Hawai‘i-inspired emojis that can be shared with family and friends. Locomojis include images of an ‘ukulele, aloha shirt, erupting volcano, shave ice, and Spam musubi, among many others.
The GoHawai‘i app is free and may be downloaded in the Google Play Store and Apple iTunes Store. It is offered in English, German, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. To see a video about the new app, click here.

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Discover island experience with “Krabi Discovery

Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort invites you to enjoy the resort’s fantastic location with direct access to over 1.8km of the pristine white sand of Klong Muong Beach we are delighted to offer an irresistible package “Krabi Discovery.”

Get exciting with the Island-hopping and discover a secret of nature wonder with Krabi 4 Islands trip; Chicken Island, Tub Island, Moh Island and Poda Island. Enjoy many activities i.e. Swimming, Snorkelling, Sunbathing, and more.

Starting from THB 5,880* per person per night, this package includes 1 nights stay in our spacious and comfortable accommodation, daily buffet breakfast, complimentary round trip transfer from Krabi Airport, complimentary Krabi 4 Islands tour and more!

**Terms and conditions apply.

Validity for booking and stay from now until 31st October 2016 via www.dusitthanikrabi.com

Find out more at dtkr@dusit.com or call +66 (75) 62 8000.

 

A Quick Trip to Yosemite National Park Like President Obama and Family?

What a terrific idea, for the First Family to use a visit to Yosemite National Park last month to focus attention on the wealth of beautiful landscapes protected by the National Park Service during its centennial year. After all, Yosemite’s Mariposa Grove of giant sequoia was first protected by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864 “upon the express conditions that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation.” Later, President Theodore Roosevelt visited the area in 1903 for a three-day wilderness trip with naturalist John Muir. The rest is our history.

However, President Obama’s trip could have been so much more, if the White House followed these tips offered by the tourism organization shepherding more than half of the park, the most popular entrance, and the busiest visitor center, in Tuolumne County.

Lembert Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park, California.

For the rest of us who may be planning a visit to Yosemite National Park:

Ask the experts. Karen Foreman, Manager of Tuolumne County’s Visitor Centers, speaks to thousands of visitors each season. What they ask, she says, is how she continues to hone her expert advice. “Visitor questions vary because of age, interest, and home. People from China ask for different advice than people from Colorado.” Her advice? “If it is your first time to Yosemite, you’ll want to see the iconic views from the Valley Floor, but arrive early to avoid crowds and traffic. And for a quiet hike in the wilderness, head to Tuolumne Meadows.”
Let your ‘advance team’ do the planning. OK, this sounds like the White House’s approach, but we mean a local guide who can plan an outing or hike to explore areas of the park which are not overcrowded. (More than four million people will visit Yosemite this year, and 95% will experience two square miles.) It might be just a one-mile hike to the giant sequoia trees, or a 14-mile overnight hike to feel the mist of the Wapama Falls, where you may see fewer people than in your carpool. Check out Yosemite Family Adventures (yfa.com) or YExplore (www.yexplore.com), two local guide companies with lots of options. For big water fun, check out O.A.R.S. rafting adventures (www.OARS.com).
Stay overnight. We get it—this creates a granite mountain of issues for important people, but the rest of us like to stay a few days while on vacation. Choose to stay outside the park where lodging is plentiful and more affordable in Groveland, near the Highway 120 entrance to the park, or in the county’s main city, Sonora – still the darling of the Mother Lode, its twin, Jamestown, or at cooler elevations along Highway 108 in Twain Harte (yes, those guys), at Pinecrest Lake and surroundings. Lodging options are at www.yosemitegoldcountry.com.

Eat local.

Local cuisine and libations can create lasting memories. We don’t know what the Obamas ate during their brief stay, but we didn’t get any requests for our grass fed beef purveyor, the nation’s best-selling organic turkey, mile-high apple pie orchard and restaurant, organic hard apple cider or our duck wrapped jalapenos poppers laced with bourbon. The food scene is burgeoning in Tuolumne County, with big city chefs enjoying affordable lease options and appreciative patrons. yosemitegoldcuontry.com

Don’t drive yourself.

OK, the similarities stop at “taxpayer dollars”, but you, too, can be chauffeured in and out of Yosemite National Park without steering or stressing over parking. YARTS, the Yosemite Area Regional Transit System, offers busy season daily transportation to the Yosemite National Park’s valley floor, which connects to a free shuttle. The motor coach is equipped with air conditioning and restrooms, and the cost includes children under 12 free with paying adult, and park admission. yarts.com

Bring the family.

Bring your children to see Yosemite National park. President Roosevelt said, “There can be nothing in the world more beautiful than the Yosemite, the groves of the giant sequoias…our people should see to it that they are preserved for their children and their children’s children forever, with their majestic beauty all unmarred,” said Theodore Roosevelt.
If you stop by the Visitors Center in Sonora at 542 Stockton Road, Karen Foreman has some advice. Call in advance of a visit at 800-446-1333 or 209-533-4420.

Tuolumne, pronounced “To-All-O-Me” encompasses the Stanislaus National Forest, the gold rush site of Columbia State Historic Park, Railtown 1897 State Historic Park (the Hollywood backlot where the American west has been depicted on screen) and jewel-box towns dotting the windy ribbon road of Highway 49, named after the miners whose fortunes helped build San Francisco. The county’s entrance to Yosemite National Park is the most direct route from the San Francisco Bay Area, just 3 ½ hours. www.yosemitegoldcountry.com.

Three Visitor Centers along the entrance to Yosemite National Park via Highway 120 assist visitors from around the world. The Chinese Camp Visitor Center is on Highway 120, ten miles from Sonora (across from the General Store.) The main Visitor Center is at 542 West Stockton Road, downtown Sonora. The newest Visitor Center is in Groveland on Highway 120 in the Mountain Leisure Center. Here, a National Park Ranger is on hand for assistance daily until Columbus Day. Downloadable maps and visitor guides are available at www.yosemitegoldcountry.com.

KOREA AT A GLANCE

Autumn is the best season to visit Korea not only for the spectacular Autumn foliage that can be seen around the country but some of the best festivals of the year are held during the Autumn months of October/November.

Take your pick from music and dance festivals to the many cultural and historic festivals held annually in Korea. Many are held at Korea’s major tourist sites and UNESCO world heritage villages like the Andong Hahoe Folk Village which is a living museum for visitors to enjoy.

Highlights of the Andong Mask Dance Festival include the Hahoe masked dance dramas where often the audience members join the performers to dance together. Travel back in time in this ancient village and see the life of Koreans through the centuries.

30 September – 9 October, 2016 – See www.maskdance.com

The Jinju Namgang Yudeung Festival is one of lanterns floating on the Namgang River near the Jinjuseong Fortress. It is an historic site where the Jinju Battle, one of three battles during the Japanese invasion of Korea of 1592 took place. During the battle, soldiers and people floated lanterns on the river to communicate with each other.

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1 – 16 October, 2016 – See www.yudeung.com

The Jarasum International Jazz Festival is held every autumn when the leaves begin to turn into vibrant colours on Jarasum Island. Located in the Gyeonggi province close to Seoul the Australian War Memorial to Australian soldiers who died in the Korean War is also in this area. The festival brings some of the world’s most prominent jazz musicians to Korea for the festival.

1 – 3 October, 2016 – See www.jarasumjazz.com

Autumn is harvest season in Korea and there are many cultural festivals related to the land.

Sancheong Medicinal Herb Festival – 30 September – 10 October, 2016 – www.scherb.or.kr

Icheon Rice Cultural Festival 19-23 October, 2016 – www.ricefestival.or.kr

Ganggyeong Fermented Seafood Festival – 12-16 October, 2016 – www.ggfestival.co.kr

Sunchang Fermented Soybean Festival – 13-16 October, 2016 – www.jangfestival.co.kr

Goesan Red Pepper Festival – 1-4 September, 2016 – www.festival.goesan.go.kr

Historic festivals like the Hanseong Cultural Festival allow a great understanding of Korea’s long history. Hanseong Baekje is the area where the history of Seoul began 2,000 years ago. The highlight of this festival is the History and Culture Street Parade and visitors can enjoy experience programs such as wearing costumes of Baekje, making Baekje pottery and archery.

6-9 October, 2016 – www.hanseong.songpa.go.kr

Nearby Busan, the Dongnae Eupseong History Festival allows visitors to experience the exciting performances and join in the very unique Korean tug of war (Dongnae) in which thousands of people join in the fun. Visitors can enjoy the nearby hot springs and taste the famous Korean green onion pancake (Dongnae pajeon)

7-9 October, 2016 – www.festival.dongnae.go.kr

These are just some of the festivals taking place around Korea this Autumn. If you are visiting the country during September-November there could be no better time to fully immerse yourself in the culture and history of Korea.

More Korea festival information visit www.visitkorea.or.kr

SILVERSEA EXPANDS ‘SILVER SELECT’ PROMOTION TO VOYAGES IN 2017

Ultra-luxury Silversea Cruises has expanded its popular Silver Select program to include 12 additional voyages in 2017. Originally launched on dozens of worldwide voyages sailing in 2016, the program enables guests to personalise their voyage with a choice of three savings options: a US$1,500 per suite Onboard Spending Credit, a two-category suite upgrade, or 50% off a second suite. For select expedition voyages, Silversea is offering the choice of a two-category suite upgrade or 50% off a second suite.

Silver Select is available on new bookings made 01 August 2016 through 31 August 2016 for select voyages sailing to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asia Pacific, South America, Antarctica, Galápagos, Africa, and the Indian Ocean.

“The outstanding value proposition of Silver Select has clearly resonated with travellers, and we’re delighted to expand the promotion to a selection of additional voyages sailing in 2017,” said Andrea Agostini, Silversea’s Chief Operating Officer.

Below is a sampling of the 2017 itineraries now offering the Silver Select promotion:

SILVER CLOUD (OCEAN VOYAGES)

— South Africa: Depart 04 January 2017 on a 14-day, roundtrip sailing (#1701) from Cape Town with calls in Walvis Bay, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Richards Bay, and Mossel Bay.

— South Africa: Depart 07 February 2017 on a 10-day, roundtrip sailing (#1704) from Cape Town with calls in Port Elizabeth, Maputo, Richards Bay, Durban, and East London.

— Indian Ocean & Arabia: Depart 17 March 2017 on a 15-day sailing (#1707) from Mahé to Abu Dhabi with calls in Maldives, Cochin, Mubai, Muscat, Fujairah, Dubai, and Sir Bani Yas.

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SILVER DISCOVERER (EXPEDITION VOYAGES)

— Africa & Indian Ocean: Depart 30 January 2017 on a 12-day sailing (#9703) from Mahe to Colombo with explorations of the Seychelles, Maldives, India and Sri Lanka.

— Asia Pacific: Depart 23 March 2017 on an 11-day sailing (#9707) from Bali to Broome with explorations of Kodi (Sumba), Komodo’s Loh Liang and Pink Beach, and Savu Island in Indonesia, as well as Wyndham and the Kimberley Coast in Australia.

Silver Select is a capacity-controlled program and subject to availability. The US$1,500 per suite Onboard Spending Credit applies regardless of the number of travellers in the suite, and is not available on expedition cruises. The offer of 50% off a second suite allows both single and double occupancy of the second suite, which must be of equal or lessor value and booked on the same voyage as the first suite in conjunction with the booking of the first suite at full fare. Deposit must be made by the same party for both suites.

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For a complete list of Silver Select itineraries, details, and fares, visit Silversea.com/exclusive-offers/silver-select or contact your travel professional or Silversea +61 2 9255 0600 or visit www.silversea.com

Explore The Wonders At The Bottom Of The World: Seabourn Launches New Excursions to The South Pole

Seabourn, the world’s finest ultra-luxury cruise line, is launching new pre-cruise experiences taking guests to the South Pole on select Antarctica and Patagonia itineraries during the 2016-17 season.

Guests bound for the Great White Continent aboard Seabourn Quest can extend their adventure with two new travel packages that feature UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Polar Quest, Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Iguazu Falls.

“Seabourn has made its reputation for offering guests astonishing experiences in places that are beyond the ordinary, and there are few travel opportunities less-expected or out-of-the-ordinary than a visit to the South Pole. These experiences will be the icing on the cake for guests bound for Antarctica aboard Seabourn Quest over the season ahead,” Seabourn Senior Manager Expedition Planning and Operations Robin West said.

Both of the pre-cruise packages include a transantarctic flight and landing at the South Pole as well as stays at Union Glacier Camp in the southern Ellsworth Mountains, one of a few private seasonally occupied camps in Antarctica. Operated by renowned land-based tour operator Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions (ALE), the full-service camp offers spacious, double-occupancy sleeping tents, freshly prepared gourmet cuisine, and a spectacular setting for activities from scenic excursions to technical climbs and ski tours.

South Pole plane excursion_Photo credit Seabourn and Rory Martin

The new Antarctica and Patagonia pre-cruise experiences also include:

  • Polar Quest & Patagonia (15 days) – This overland journey takes guests on an exploration of breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site Torres del Paine National Park that encompasses 180,000 hectares of forests, rivers and lakes in southernmost Chile. Included excursions provide daily opportunities to explore vivid blue ice pools, raw glacial moraines and abundant wildlife from guanacos to Andean condors. Packages start from $66,000 per person based on double occupancy and depart on December 4, 2016, followed by Seabourn Quest’s December 19 sailing to Antarctica.

 

  • Polar Quest, Tierra del Fuego & Iguazu Falls (17 days) – Guests will join a select company of intrepid explorers at one of the world’s most remote and unspoiled destinations – the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iguazu Falls National Park on the border of Brazil and Argentina. From Santiago in Chile to Buenos Aires in Argentina, guests will explore the falls and its surroundings from extensive walkways or take options such as inflatable boats or helicopter tours. Packages start from $70,000 per person based on double occupancy and depart on December 26, 2016, followed by Seabourn Quest’s January 12 sailing to Antarctica.

Seabourn’s intimate ships offer key elements that set the line apart: spacious, thoughtfully appointed suites, many with verandas; superb dining in a choice of venues; complimentary open bars throughout the ship; fine wines poured at lunch and dinner; award-winning service and a relaxed, sociable atmosphere that makes guests feel right at home on board. The ships travel the globe throughout the year, sailing to many of the world’s most desirable destinations, including marquee cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and lesser-known ports and hideaways.

For more information call 13 24 02 or visit www.seabourn.com

Wish Upon a Star with Virgin Limited Edition

Let Virgin Limited Edition enchant you with a stay at one of Sir Richard Branson’s award-winning retreats. Set in some of the world’s most stunning locations the properties not only offer spectacular views by day, but breath-taking views of the night sky. We’ve selected our favourite places to spot shooting stars and even arranged some supernatural offers to allow guests to make the most of their stay.

Kasbah Tamadot, situated in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, provides un-beatable dark skies. Paired with virtually no light pollution, Kasbah Tamadot offers incredible star gazing opportunities. With only Berber villages lacing the slopes and the vibrant Moroccan cities miles away, the Milky Way lights up the landscape and you can expect to see the planet Saturn and double star Albireo from the mountain peaks. Make the most of the scenery and enjoy dinner on the roof or kick back and relax watching a Moroccan inspired film in the open air under the stars. Guests staying for three nights or more in one of our stunning rooms or suites will be treated to their last night on us. The offer is available for new bookings for stays of 4, 5 or 7 nights until 31st August 2016.

Mahali Mzuri, Sir Richard Branson’s 12-tented luxury safari camp in the Kenyan Bush, is situated in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy in the wider Maasai Mara ecosystem. The mind-blowing Masai Mara covers 1510 km2 of extraordinary habitat and is nature at its finest. The name itself Mahali Mzuri means ‘beautiful place’ in Swahili, and after a day of spotting the animals it is time to behold another breath-taking sight and enjoy a bush dinner under the Kenyan sky. As a final touch, guests staying 3 nights or more in August will receive their last night for free, giving even more opportunities to spot those unforgettable shooting stars.

Ulusaba, situated in The Sabi Sand Game Reserve, forms a part of the Greater Kruger Park which in its entirety is 2.3 million hectares in size. The vast open space far removed from pollution and sources of artificial light make for a magical lunar experience. Guests can enjoy an evening game viewing experience which

includes a stop at our Observatory in the Bush. Our Rangers will teach all about the constellations you can see from points in the southern hemisphere! To make the most of the beautiful scenery guests staying for at least 4 nights will be gifted their final night for free.

Necker Island, situated in the British Virgin Islands is about as remote as it gets. Given its proximity to the equator the Caribbean sky not only appears enormous but it offers a particularly bright view of objects in the celestial equator—like the constellations of Canis Minor, Aquarius, and Eridanus. Those lucky enough to be on island for a full moon can take part in a special sailing trip around the island. It really is the best way to take in the beauty of this lunar spectacle. Necker Island may be Sir Richard Branson’s home and favourite hideaway, but he doesn’t mind sharing and we now have individual rooms available to help end the summer in style. Guests can book a seven night stay for the following dates:

3 September 2016 for 3, 4, 5 and 7 nights
10 September 2016 for 3,4,5 and 7 nights
17 September 2016 for 3, 4, 5 and 7 nights (adults only)
24 September 2016 for 7 nights (adults only)
For bookings please call 0800 716 919 (toll free) or +44 (0) 208 600 0430 alternatively visit www.virginlimitededition.com for more details.

Oscar winning filmmaker James Cameron shares his passion for New Zealand

James Cameron and his wife chose New Zealand as their second home four years ago. Now the Hollywood filmmaker wants to show the world why he is so passionate about the place he describes as ‘my kind of country’.

(US Version)James Cameron and his wife chose New Zealand as their second home four years ago. Now the Hollywood filmmaker wants to show the world why he is so passionate about a place located one sleep away from California that he describes as ‘my kind of country’.

James Cameron is sharing his love of New Zealand, fronting a new video that gives the world a glimpse of what it is about the country that captivates him like nowhere else.

Cameron’s personal connection with New Zealand stems from his very first visit in the mid-nineties. “I came as a stranger, I knew very little about New Zealand, and I left in love with it. Not just the beauty of the land that is very seductive, but the dynamic spirit of the people. I had never felt a connection to a place that strongly before. And I never really lost that dream.”

In a collaboration with Tourism New Zealand, Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron spent four days filming, taking in the natural wonders of New Zealand’s spectacular South Island. The couple walk on the Tasman Glacier, kayak through a Dart River canyon and take in the sweeping views of Blanket Bay by helicopter. They hike on the alpine Routeburn Track, cycle beside Lake Pukaki and visit Mount Alfred in the Glenorchy area near Queenstown.

PR9037 James Cameron on the Tasman Glacier - credit Alistair Guthrie copy

The Cameron family have a coastal estate north of the capital city, Wellington, where he is immersed in the development of the next Avatar. They divide their time between New Zealand and California. He says: “There is so much to see and experience and you can do it all because everything is so close together. We go on hikes, cycle the incredible trails, kayak in the ocean and walk through the forest. If you enjoy the outdoors and you enjoy a sense of adventure, you’re not going to be able to beat this place anywhere in the world.

“If you happen to like helicopters like I do, you could see ten of the most stunning places you’ll see in your lifetime in a day. If you are driving, an hour and a half or two hours, the country just unrolls toward you like an IMAX film.”

A world renowned explorer and environmentalist, Cameron is passionate about discovery. “When you see something you have never seen before, it’s a wonderful experience. It’s like a living painting; it’s never the same view two days in a row.”

The Cameron video will roll out in Tourism New Zealand’s key markets around the world and Chief Executive Kevin Bowler is confident it will inspire more people to visit New Zealand. He says: “Having someone of the calibre of James Cameron sharing his personal stories and insights while exploring some of New Zealand’s most beautiful places is of immeasurable value for New

Zealand. James and Suzy have chosen to have a home in New Zealand and continue to be inspired by our beautiful landscapes and welcoming, creative people.

In a collaboration with Tourism New Zealand, Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron spent four days filming, taking in the natural wonders of New Zealand’s spectacular South Island. The couple walk on the Tasman Glacier, kayak through a Dart River canyon and take in the sweeping views of Blanket Bay by helicopter. They hike on the alpine Routeburn Track, cycle beside Lake Pukaki and visit Mount Alfred in the Glenorchy area near Queenstown.

‘‘I am sure that this video, which perfectly captures James’s passion for exploration and his curiosity, will inspire many more people to travel to New Zealand and discover the country for themselves.”

Daniel Borgman, the Auckland resident and New Zealander who directed the video says: “Having been born and bred in the South Island, it has been a poignant moment in my career to be telling its story through the eyes of James Cameron. As one of the most respected filmmakers of our time, to have him in front of the camera has allowed us to create a really special and atmospheric piece of content we are all extremely proud to share.”

To view James Cameron’s video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TdKLyvesVE

New Look Pacific Dawn Set to Slide into Brisbane with Exciting Features

P&O Cruises has underlined its commitment to the Queensland cruise market, announcing a major multi-million dollar refit for its Brisbane-based ship Pacific Dawn which will include a new state-of-the-art waterpark.

The 2000-guest ship will be refurbished in February 2017, emerging from its drydock with a stylish new look and a host of new features never before seen on a Queensland-based ship including a waterpark with two exhilarating waterslides and an interactive kids-only play area.

P&O Pacific Dawn - Pantry P&O Pacific Dawn - Orient Bar

The refit comes as P&O prepares for its biggest year of Queensland cruising, with two ships sailing from Brisbane year round. Between them, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria will offer a record 108 cruises to holidaymakers in 2017 – up from 98 cruises this year.

P&O Pacific Dawn - water park P&O Pacific Dawn - Dome

Maintaining the cruise line’s reputation for innovation, the Brisbane-based superliner will emerge from its revamp with The Pantry, an international market place of fresh food outlets which will replace the traditional ship buffet. In addition to the tried and tested outlets that have made the dining concept hugely popular, Pacific Dawn’s Pantry will include a new Mediterranean-inspired offering called Nic and Toni’s. Also on offer will be the extremely popular poolside Grill, offering casual dining options.

Several of Pacific Dawn’s public spaces will be redesigned to mirror the striking contemporary look which has become a trademark of the P&O fleet including the atrium, Charlie’s, The Orient and the Promenade Bar, which will be styled with similar décor to sister ships Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden.

The Dome nightclub will be completely revamped and will offer more live music than ever before, as well as a sophisticated new design. The Orient will take on a new summer pub vibe and the Promenade Bar will be transformed into the perfect venue to enjoy a delicious cocktail with friends while listening to live music.

P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the refurbishment would kick off a big year for the cruise line in Queensland.

“With the new waterpark, dining options and a refreshed interior design, we’re creating a great new look for Pacific Dawn which will combine some fun innovations with the winning features of our existing ships,” Mr Myrmell said.

“There’s no question that Queenslanders love holidaying at sea with P&O, so we’re very excited that our Brisbane guests will soon be able to enjoy a stylish new look Pacific Dawn as part of their cruise holiday experience, alongside one of our latest ships, Pacific Aria.”

P&O’s increased presence in Queensland follows the impressive growth in the number of passengers cruising from Brisbane since P&O became the first cruise line to base a ship in the city in 2004. Latest industry statistics show that Queensland leads Australia in terms of cruising growth with the State’s passenger numbers rising almost 30 per cent to 282,000 in 2015.

Holidaymakers will be able to enjoy Pacific Dawn’s new features from March 2017. Cruises include a seven-night South Pacific itinerary departing Brisbane on May 13, 2017, priced from $849* per person quad share.

*subject to availability, conditions apply

For more information visit pocruises.com.au, call 13 24 94 or see a licensed travel agent.

PANDANUS RESORT MUI NE VIETNAM BY CHRISSIE HARDING

Pandanus Resort

If you’re seeking the perfect getaway, hunt no more.

Vietnam is already becoming one of the hottest, most sought after, destinations in South East Asia. With rich cultures, delectable cuisine and eons of stunning coastlines, its no wonder that tourists are flocking to its shores.

Along the eastern coast of Vietnam lies dozens of stretches of newly arisen, luxe resorts lining the beach at each seaside town. The tourism industry in Vietnam is flourishing, with huge numbers of imports from the Western World vying for the best spot on the beach.

Situated north of bustling Phan Thiet, The Pandanus Resort offers travellers the perfect Vietnamese escape. A three-hour drive from Ho Chi Minh City (traffic permitting!), the Pandanus proudly stands upon a premium location directly on the beach, spanning a massive 10 hectares and superseding all competition in the area.

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Named after the Pandanus Palm, a native plant to the region, the resort cleverly entwines the new with the old. Designed to reflect the Cham people of Vietnam, the buildings are built to incorporate their traditions of high ceilings, open-air corridors and descending lotus ponds.

Upon arrival, guests are immediately greeted by friendly faces and outstanding service. The expansive lobby welcomes its guests, opening out to showcase the stunning grounds. With lush greenery at every turn, the hotel is one vast garden to explore. The gardeners, who take so much pride in their work, lovingly attend to each bright flower and every thriving tree daily.

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The spacious Family Suite, where we stayed, is the perfect accommodation for small families or groups of friends looking for a modern, immaculate living space. Furnished in bright colours and modern decorations, the rooms are the ideal hideaway for peace and quiet. Guests can expect to be astounded by the pristine conditions of the rooms and the care in which the staff preserve them. With stunning views of the extensive coastline from most lodgings, there was nothing better than sitting on the balcony enjoying the sunrise each morning.

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PandanusBungalow

The sprawling property additionally features a large pool, where visitors can enjoy beach side dining, or spend the day lounging under an umbrella with a book in hand. A games room lies nearby, tucked away, for anyone of all ages to enjoy. The onsite spa will leave you feeling relaxed and pampered with the help of the experienced staff, offering a wide variety of services.

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Managed at the helm by Steve Raymond, The Pandanus has experienced a steady growth since its beginnings in 2004. Raymond, having managed the hotel for the past decade, is a testament to the passion and determinedness of the team that has lead to the success of the resort. The Pandanus prides itself on exceptional service and providing the atmosphere that travellers crave when seeking a beachside holiday. This beautiful resort can also boast on being the only one of its kind. With family facilities, the resort is the only location in South East Asia with an all-inclusive program similar to Club Med. Take advantage while here of the extensive and exclusive free tours on offer, and immerse yourself in the rich cultures and traditions of Vietnam. See the area through the eyes of the locals and experience the enrichment a holiday in Vietnam has to offer. Unwind in the differing restaurants onsite while enjoying the sounds of the in house bands, another unique offering from the resort, and meet Raymond at the wine and cheese function every afternoon.

photo Steve Raymond

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy Vietnam: encompassing the culture and soaking up the sunshine, look no further. The Pandanus Resort is the perfect location to come for the ambiance and to stay for the experience.

http://www.pandanusresort.com

By Chrissie Harding