Six highlights in your travel week | 3 Sept

‘Curated by AccorHotels’ … tailor-made for those seeking gourmet, arts-and-culture, or health-and-wellness pleasures.
‘Curated by AccorHotels’ … tailor-made for those seeking gourmet, arts-and-culture, or health-and-wellness pleasures.

AccorHotels’ network of luxury brands, including Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery by Sofitel and Swissotel, have introduced bespoke packages in more than 30 destinations across Australia.

More than 50 experiential hotel packages, coined ‘Curated by AccorHotels’, have been tailor-made for those seeking gourmet, arts-and-culture or health-and-wellness pleasures, with one-night getaways to leisurely escapes of up to five nights offering savings of up to 50 per cent.

Guests can transport themselves to the French Riviera at the Sofitel Noosa Pacific Resort, for instance, creating moments of abandon and decadence with a half-day Cote Piscine poolside cabana experience for two with personalised butler service, a 40-minute aqua-therapy soak and a 60-minute massage for two, breakfast, valet parking and two nights accommodation priced from $858.

Linger longer with a five-night indulgent stay at Pullman Palm Cove Sea Temple Resort & Spa with handpicked inclusions of a private degustation dinner with matching wines under the stars for two, a 30-minute massage and 30-minute facial for two at Vie Spa, a cocktail master class, bottle of Taittinger Champagne and breakfast priced from $1595.

Bookings are available until 31 October for stays from now until 31 March.

Groote Eylandt … it will soon be peak fishing season.

Groote Eylandt … it will soon be peak fishing season.

Experienced anglers and novices can in coming months enjoy some of the most exciting and diverse sports fishing in the world at Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria.

It will soon be peak season, through to the New Year, for giant deep-water marlin and sailfish, bluewater queenfish and giant trevally, golden snapper and red emperor around the extensive coral reefs, plus, of course, the world-renowned barramundi that teem in the tidal estuaries and mangrove-lined rivers.

To celebrate the start of the prime season’ Groote Eylandt is offering Fishing Safari Bonus Packages:

— three nights from $3700 per person twin-share, with upgrade to a Waterfront Spa Bungalow valued at $750 and $50 bar credit per room.

— four nights from $5135 per person twin-share, with room upgrade valued at $1000 and $75 bar credit.

— five nights from $6200 per person twin-share, with room upgrade valued at $1250 and $100 bar credit.

— six nights from $7270 per person twin-share, with room upgrade valued at $1500 and $125 bar credit.

These packages are for a minimum of two guests and are based on four people travelling together. They include return airfares from Darwin, all transfers on Groote Eylandt, breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, and two, three, four or five days of guided private fishing.

Phone (08) 8987 7077 or visit www.grootefishing.com.au

Mitchell Falls … a Kimberley gem.

Mitchell Falls … a Kimberley gem.

APT has released its 2019 ‘Kimberley Wilderness Adventures’ program and to celebrate is offering a range of deals for early-bird bookings.

APT’s popular 15-day ‘Kimberley Complete’, for instance, showcases the best of the Kimberley’s remote landscapes in groups of no more than 20 guests.

Soar over Mitchell Falls in a helicopter, admire impressive Wandjina and Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) rock art, and watch the sun set over the striking Bungle Bungle Range.

Prices start at $9995 per person twin-share, with an additional fly-free offer available on all departures if booking is made before December 15. 

New to the program in 2019, APT is now offering a range of short breaks.

As an example, APT’s three-day ‘Purnululu 4WD Experience’, has prices starting at $1695 per person twin share.

Phone 1300 196 420 or visit www.aptouring.com.au

The Glacier Express … a slow, winding journey over the Swiss Alps.

The Glacier Express … a slow, winding journey over the Swiss Alps.

A new cruise tour launched by Cruise Express will take Australians on a luxury Mediterranean cruise and across the roof of Europe by train to the Swiss Alps and one of the world’s most photographed mountains, the Matterhorn, in June next year.

The 20-night ‘Mediterranean to Matterhorn’ package includes a nine-night cruise from Barcelona to Venice and a seven-night overland tour by coach and rail to Zurich.

The itinerary begins with two nights in Barcelona, including a classic Spanish tapas dinner and a visit to Antoni Gaudi’s mammoth, multi-spired basilica, which is still under construction after 136 years and with completion expected 100 years since the death of the famous architect.

Guests then board Celebrity Constellation for a nine-night cruise to Toulon on the French Riviera, Monaco, Pisa/Florence, Rome, Naples, the fjord-lined medieval port of Kotor in Montenegro and Split on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast before disembarking in Venice.

The journey then heads inland to a cruise on Lake Maggiore before guests board the Bernina Express train for a spectacular ride over 196 bridges and through 55 tunnels, and the Glacier Express train for a slow, winding journey over the Swiss Alps.

Including return flights from Australia, the package is available from $10,990 per person twin-share.

Phone 1300 766 537 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au

Standing their ground in from of the Taj Mahal … a group of millennials.

Standing their ground in from of the Taj Mahal … a group of millennials.

Intrepid has released its first 18s-to-29s brochure, offering socially conscious millennials the chance to get way off-the-beaten-path on more than 80 travel experiences, ranging from flying high in Turkey to camping around Iceland and island-hopping in Croatia.

With a focus on sustainable, immersive experiences, the new tours have been created especially for the next generation of responsible travellers who want to make a difference and connect with their fellow guests, while discovering new places and cultures.

The central belief is that millennials want big-time experiences without a big-time price tag, an so the trips are priced at the same level as Intrepid’s Basix range, with tours starting from $390 for a five-day tour of Cappadocia, a historic region of Central Anatolia.

Majestic wild creatures … orcas off the coast of Norway.

Majestic wild creatures … orcas off the coast of Norway.

Swimming with wild whales during winter in Norway may sound intrepid but with the help of dry suits, expert guides and a central-heated expedition vessel, travellers can swim with humpbacks and orcas on an adventure holiday offered by Australian-based Majestic Whale Encounters.

The nine-night Norway cruise-tour also includes opportunities to meet the Arctic’s indigenous people and witness the stunning Northern Lights.

The tour is available for two departure dates next year — November 16 and 22 — and guests can save up to $600 per couple by booking by October 1 this year.

Guests will sail aboard the 16-passenger MS Stronstad, an expedition vessel with hot tubs and central heating.

Led by renowned Scottish photographer and conservationist, Grant Thomas, the expedition includes a six-night cruise along Norway’s wild coastline and three nights in boutique mountain cabins near Tromso — one of the best vantage points in the world to see the spectacular phenomenon of the Northern Lights.

The tour culminates in a day at the Tromso Husky Farm, where guests will be greeted by 120 Alaskan huskies and, depending on conditions, lead a team of dogs through the scenic landscape.

Prices under the early-bird deal are from $8100 per person twin-share, including use of dry suits, all main meals, transfers, husky safari, reindeer experience and Northern Lights tour.

Phone 0405 594 253 or visit www.majesticwhaleencounters.com.au