Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Best Way to See Australia and New Zealand

Recently, Anne Campbell of ShipCritic Blog wrote a remarkable post detailing cruises that should be considered even for those who ‘wouldn’t be caught dead on a cruise ship.’  We feel she made some tremendous points in stating that seeing Antarctica or Alaska best should be done by cruising.  Being able to see the vast size of a glacier from afar on the deck of a cruise ship truly gives you the full picture of the amazement of Antarctica.  Much the same, at the railing of a cruise ship, you might best capture breeching whales as you sail the coast of Alaska.

Anne’s words intersected a conversation that we recently had in our office about an upcoming group sailing we have on the 2012 Beyond Group Travel calendar with Oceania Cruises Regatta for Australia and New Zealand.Beyond Group Travel Splendors of Down Under New Zealand Oceania Cruises RegattaAs you look at the 16-day itinerary below, truly think about how you would actually do this much within the same amount of days yet by air/land.  Realize that, by land, you’ll be packing and unpacking for each destination.

February 5th – Embark from Auckland, New Zealand at 10:00pm
February 6th - Tauranga, New Zealand from 10:00am to 8:00pm
February 7th - Cruising By White Island/Great Mercury Island
February 8th - Napier, New Zealand from 8:00am to 5:00pm
February 9th - Wellington, New Zealand from 8:00am to 6:00pm
February 10th - Christchurch (Lyttelton), New Zealand from 8:00am to 6:00pm
February 11th - Dunedin, New Zealand from 8:00am to 6:00pm
February 12th - Cruising the Fjords of Milford Sound
February 13th - Cruising the Tasman Sea
February 14th - Cruising the Tasman Sea
February 15th - Hobart (Tasmania), Australia from 8:00am to 6:00pm
February 16th - Cruising the Tasman Sea
February 17th - Geelong, Australia from 8:00am
February 18th - Geelong, Australia to 3:00am
                       Melbourne, Australia from 8:00am to 6:00pm
February 19th - Cruising the Tasman Sea
February 20th – Arrive Sydney, Australia at 8:00am
February 21st - Sydney, Australia

Taiaroa Head, Otago Peninsula, Aramoana and entrance to Otago Harbour, near Dunedin
Seeing this much of Australia and New Zealand in this amount of time is definitely a challenge by land.  Your travel time involved is excessive, requiring you to have additional days to experience each of these destinations above.  Not to mention, the beauty of White Island/Great Mercury Island, the Fjords of Milford Sound, and the Tasman Sea would all likely be missed.  With this fabulous Oceania Cruises sailing, you can pack once and return to the same accommodations each night.  There’s no change of mattresses to adjust to, learning a new hotel every night or two nights, or discovering a new place to eat in each destination.  You enjoy the plush accommodations of Regatta and delight in the magnificent cuisine, including Toscana, Polo Grill, Terrace Café, Waves and the extraordinary Grand Dining Room, of Oceania Cruises.  Not to mention, you can efficiently use your two weeks of vacation for the year!Beyond Group Travel Splendors of Down Under Map Oceania Cruises Regatta
For these reasons, we echo Anne’s comments when cruising is a necessity, and experiencing Australia and New Zealand during the same trip is the perfect time for a cruise.  This mode of travel allows you to see bodies of water that are a photographer’s dream, view country sides thought to be creations in movies, and visit landmarks that will fulfill your bucket list.  Even better, you still have additional time at the end of your cruise to see Sydney.  No other hotel arrangements are needed as you can return to Regatta to stay for your last night and continue to explore Sydney further the following day.

Without a doubt, we know you will enjoy this cruise with us!  After all, not only is it an incredible destination, but this cruise sails on the marvelous Oceania Cruises with the finest cuisine at sea and exquisite service.  Come see the splendors of Australia and New Zealand.

Take the hassle out of group travel; call us to plan your next group trip or join ours!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Five European Countries in One Cruise

Wouldn’t you love to sip wine in France for your next vacation?vineyard_cahors_lot_valley

What about shopping for authentic and handcrafted Spanish ceramics and antiques?

How about taking a tour of a real Belgian chocolate factory?belgian-chocolate-1

Undoubtedly, you’d surely love a canal cruise through Amsterdam, no?01_citycanalcruise amsterdam

To top off your dream vacation, how about a ride on the London Eye to catch a full glimpse of the city of London?London at night

Guess what?  You can do all of this and more on a 12 day cruise embarking this July!  Have you ever dreamed you could do all of the above and more in one voyage?  That’s FIVE different countries all in one vacation.  Wait…not just one vacation, a 12 day vacation.  You can take this summer’s vacation time and return to the office a well-traveled, cultured and relaxed individual.  Gander at this invigorating Treasures of the Continent itinerary:

July 29th – Embark from London (Dover), United Kingdom at 6:00pm

July 30th - Amsterdam, Netherlands 10:00am to 10:00pm

July 31st - Bruges (Zeebrugge), Belgium 10:00am to 7:00pm

August 1st - Paris (Honfleur), France 9:45am to 11:00pm

August 2nd - St. Peter Port (Guernsey), United Kingdom 8:00am to 6:00pm

August 3rd - Saint-Malo, France 11:00am to 8:30pm

August 4th - Pont-Aven (Concarneau), France 11:00am to 6:00pm

August 5th - La Rochelle, France 8:00am to 6:00pm

August 6th - Bordeaux (Le Verdon), France 8:00am to 9:00pm

August 7th - Biarritz (Saint-Jean-de-Luz), France 8:00am to 6:00pm

August 8th - Santander, Spain 8:00am to 4:00pm

August 9th - Cruising the Bay of Biscay & English Channel

August 10th – Disembark London (Dover), United Kingdom at 5:00am

As well as embarking on any one of the aforementioned excursions/activities, this itinerary allows you the opportunity:

  • to visit Normandy and the landing beaches where D-day occurred.
  • to learn more about the history of Anne Frank and visit the museum and home/annex where she and her family sought shelter during WWII.
  • to visit Vannes, France (considered to be the premier tourist town in southern Brittany).
  • to experience the Guggenheim Museum.

In addition to all of these sites, countries and marvelous outings…oh yes, there’s more…this sailing is onboard the ALL-NEW Marina!!!Fwd_exterior_MarinaYou’ll be able to experience each and every one of Marina’s fabulous details that we told you about from Cindy and Linda’s inaugural sail.  As if these destinations weren’t spectacular in and of themselves, your accommodations will be plush, exquisite, and all new with Oceania CruisesBalcony Suite_MarinaWithout a doubt, you’ll dine in top notch restaurants onboard your brand new ship with exquisite cuisine under the direction of Chef Jacques Pépin.Toscana Restaurant_Marina

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind sailing as well as this new state of art ship that is being called the most sophisticated and elegant ship to debut in the past 50 years.  We have staterooms available for you, so give us a call today to make sure you are onboard the classiest ship at sea for the most exciting itinerary in Europe!

Take the hassle out of group travel; call us to plan your next group trip or join ours!