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P&O Cruises has just announced plans to homeport the largest ship it has ever deployed in the Kiwi market in 2021. The 2600-passenger Pacific Explorer will sport waterslides, an outdoor bowling green (said to be a Kiwi cruise-ship first), high profile eateries and the Love Riot show.

P&O is the only cruise line to home port in New Zealand and it says Pacific Explorer's deployment is a sign of its long term commitment to the market and enabling its New Zealand guests to cruise from their doorstep.

Pacific Explorer's Auckland deployment Feb-May 2021 is expected to take local cruising to a new level offering and will add a significant capacity boost to the growing Kiwi cruise market.

For more details please contact your local Mondo Specialist on 0800 110 108.

Source: Travel Today.

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Carnival Cruise Line today launched its largest round of sailings ever in Australia; featuring 115 sailings from July 2021 to June 2022. With two ships dedicated year-round from Australia, Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor will boast a variety of unique itineraries including Carnival’s first-ever scenic cruising in the Kimberley and maiden calls to the tropical islands of Papua New Guinea and the pristine sands of Dravuni Island in Fiji.

Carnival’s latest program release will see a 31% increase in cruises compared to the year prior, with 115 sailings departing from Brisbane and Sydney, resulting in 270 port calls and 338 days at sea.

Now on sale, Carnival’s latest program boasts a host of new off-the-beaten path destinations to discover:

The Kimberley: A 15-night sailing between Singapore and Brisbane offering scenic cruising through the Kimberley, including Yampi Sound during sunset and Hunter River at sunrise. This cruise also features a maiden call to Broome, as well as return visits to Bali, Darwin, Cairns and Airlie Beach.

 

Papua New Guinea: For those in search of remote locations bursting with rich culture, pencil in November 2021, as Carnival Spirit visits the tropical islands of Papua New Guinea for the first time. With maiden calls to the ports of Alotau, Kitava, Rabaul, Kiriwina Island and the Conflict Islands, guests can discover vibrant culture, native wildlife and remote pristine beaches.

 

Dravuni Island, Fiji: The 2021­–22 program will also mark the first time both Carnival Splendor and Carnival Spirit visit the exquisite Dravuni Island in Fiji, perfect for adventure seekers and intrepid travellers keen to explore untouched beaches.

Carnival Splendor, soon to be the newest and largest ship home ported in Australia, will deliver Sydneysiders plenty of variety including over 50 sailings to the crystal clear waters and natural wonders of the South Pacific, as well as, closer to home destinations in Queensland and Tasmania.

Carnival Spirit will sail to a variety of family favourite islands in the South Pacific including Isle of Pines, Mare, Lifou, Mystery Island and Fiji as part of her 7 to 11 night itineraries departing Brisbane.

Jennifer Vandekreeke, Vice President and General Manager Carnival Cruise Line Australia said: “With so many unique, off-the-beaten-path destinations to explore on a Carnival cruise, Australians have more reasons than ever to choose Carnival.

Anyone who returns from the Kimberley will tell you it’s absolutely awe-inspiring – we’re excited for our guests to enjoy scenic cruising through Yampi Sound and the Hunter River, lit by the golden hues of sunset and sunrise.”

Fares

Carnival Spirit

  • Four nights from Brisbane to Airlie Beach from A$549 per person, interior twin – based on 30 January 2022
  • Ten nights from Brisbane to Papua New Guinea from A$1,449, interior twin – based on 21 November 2021
  • Fifteen nights from Singapore to Brisbane from A$2,149 per person, interior twin – based on 12 June 2021

 

Carnival Splendor

  • Four nights to Moreton Island, Queensland from A$699 per person, interior twin – based on 5 May 2022
  • Ten nights to Great Barrier Reef from A$1,399 per person, interior twin – based on 29 March 2022
  • Twelve nights to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji from A$1,699 per person, interior twin – based on 3 October 2021

For more information, or to book your Carnival Cruise, please contact your local Mondo Travel Specilaist on 0800 110 108.

Source: Francis Travel Marketing

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Good things may come in threes, but the most fun is to be had in fours – the exact amount of days we suggest spending at Disneyland Resort in California! To make the most of your 96 hours in ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ (and to take advantage of Excite Holiday’s current promotion which offers a 4-Day Disneyland Resort in California ticket at the price of a 3-Day ticket!) here is everything you need to know about planning the perfect itinerary.

DAY 1: KICK THINGS OFF WITH THE CLASSICS

Fuel for your adventures with ‘Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park’ – a delicious buffet breakfast at the Plaza Inn on Main Street in Disneyland Park. The only thing better than the all-you-can-eat spread of Mickey waffles, French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh-baked pastries is the chance to share them with the cast of Disney characters who will join you. 

Hunger satiated it’s time to get a little strategic and organise your route around the rides. The perennially popular ones are those which have withstood the test of time and can be found within the park’s five original lands (including Main Street USA). Enter Fantasyland through Sleeping Beauty Castle and once inside float on Dumbo the Flying Elephant, journey down the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland or get your heart-rate racing on the Matterhorn Bobsleds (before bringing it right back down with a detour to ‘it’s a small world’). Visit Indiana Jones Adventure in Adventureland, weave your way through the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Frontierland and don’t miss the iconic rollercoaster that is Space Mountain (or any of the original Star Wars attractions) in Tomorrowland. Other unmissable adventures include getting your feet wet at Critter Country’s Splash Mountain, experiencing the Topsy-Turvy, Quirky Worlds of Mickey’s Toontown and joining Jack Sparrow on Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square. 

As the sun sets, finish the day at either Frontierland or New Orleans Square and settle in for a night of entertainment with Fantasmic!. This half-hour night-time spectacular features projection, water, fire and fireworks to invite visitors into the mind of Mickey with featurettes from classic films such as Aladdin, The Lion King and Disney’s epic live-action adventure Pirates of the Caribbean – all set to a magical score.

Handy Hint: Make sure you’ve downloaded the Disneyland Resort App before you visit. Once you’re at the Resort, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase Disney MaxPass service via the App which allows you to skip the lines for some of your favourite attractions through the FASTPASS service, as well as capture all your memories with unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads for a day.

DAY 2: ADD A LITTLE ADVENTURE TO THE OCCASION

Make your time in Disneyland Resort in California count by dedicating day two to the thrill-seeking stretch that is Disney California Adventure Park. Enter via Buena Vista Street then visit some of your favourite lands – and the rides contained within. Fans of the Cars movie franchise will love Cars Land where they can enjoy a ride on the Radiator Springs Racers, while aspiring adventurers can learn to fly at Goofy’s Sky School or opt for The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Paradise Gardens Park. Foodies are encouraged to take a Bakery Tour through the charming waterfront destination that is Pacific Wharf or stop for lunch at Smokejumpers Grill in Grizzly Peak. The afternoon is best dedicated to Hollywood Land where you have the chance to meet Frozen’s Anna, Elsa and Olaf or the crew of Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! 

By night, experience World of Color at Paradise Gardens Park. The after-dark spectacle is a breathtaking extravaganza that weaves water fountains, lights, music and perfectly timed pyrotechnics in an impressive ode to all things Disney. And with scenes from a plethora of beloved Disney and Pixar films – both classic and new releases – projected onto a grand fountain spraying 19,000-square-feet of water, it’s a wondrous way to cement Disneyland Resort in California’s status as ‘The Happiest Place on Earth.’

DAY 3: ALL THE NEW (AND NEWISH!) THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Always evolving, Disneyland Resort in California continues to enchant visitors with fresh attractions, openings and offerings every year.  

Among the latest is the brand new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land in Disneyland Park. The themed area is inspired by the Star Wars franchise, and its 14 acres (named one of Time magazine’s ‘World’s Greatest Places 2019’) include rides like Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, workshops (such as Droid Depot – where you can assemble a Custom Astromech Droid Unit and Savi’s Workshop – where you can construct your own legendary lightsaber) and experiences certain to transport you to a ‘Galaxy Far, Far Away.’ Impressively big and incredibly immersive you’ll probably spend the better part of the day here. 

Then head back over to Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure Park and the newly launched Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! to join Rocket in a mission to save the other Guardians from the Collector’s Fortress. 

While you’re there, explore the many neighbourhoods of the recently re-imagined Pixar Pier. Stroll along the whimsical boardwalk and watch your favourite Pixar stories and characters come to life, channel your inner Woody at Toy Story Midway Mania!, or take a mad dash alongside the Parr family on the thrilling Incredicoaster. End the day atop the Pixar Pal-A-Round ferris wheel and give yourself a moment to take in the sweeping views of the entire Disneyland Resort in California below you.

DAY 4: SHOW - AND STOMACH - STOPPING!

While there is no shortage of amazing night experiences every evening at Disneyland Resort in California, the Parks are also packed with stage shows best experienced by light. And day four is the time to take a break from the rides and dedicate yourself to enjoying one of these alternative experiences. Performances are often on several times a day so check the daily schedule for up-to-the-minute start times.

Start at Disneyland Park, where the Royal Theatre (an open-air medieval-style tent and charming stage) at Fantasyland sets the perfect backdrop for storytelling and lets you experience new worlds with Disney favourites. Here, dynamic thespian duo Mr Smythe and Mr Jones direct their own version of scenes from Beauty and the Beast or Tangled, and transport viewers to a funny, fantastical version of ‘happily ever after.’ Or head back to the Hyperion Theatre in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure Park for a 55-minute Broadway-style musical of Frozen. Another option is a stroll through the Downtown Disney District, where you can immerse yourself in mind-blowing stories and discover amazing worlds on virtual-reality walkthrough adventures at The VOID (and stock up on souvenirs from one of the many stores in the area, while you’re there!).

Today is also the perfect time to check out some of the unique eateries and dining (and drinking!) options scattered throughout Disneyland Resort in California. 

Don’t miss the iconically oversized Turkey Legs at Fantasyland’s Edelweiss Snacks, try the Dole Whip soft-serve frozen pineapple at the Tiki Juice Bar in Adventureland, hunt down a churro (often available in special themed, limited-edition flavours), tuck into The Monte Cristo (a deep-fried ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese sandwich sprinkled with icing sugar at Cafe Orleans), grab a Cheese Corn Dog at Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure Park’s Paradise Gardens, or indulge in a drink at Oga’s Cantina at the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – served with a side of musical entertainment courtesy of droid DJ R-3X – to keep the good times rolling! 

To finish off your Disneyland Resort adventure, keep an eye out for seasonal fireworks. The schedule varies depending on the time of year and is released 40 days in advance so check the Disneyland app or website for details.

For details please contact your local Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108 - they have access to all Excite Holiday deals. 

Source: Excite Holidays.

submitted by -- Tony Terrill