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The exciting lands of red-hot tango; ice-blue glaciers; and lush, green jungle come to life when Holland America Line’s Amsterdam, Koningsdam, Volendam and Zaandam head to South America and Antarctica in 2019–2020. From September 2019 through April 2020, the four ships offer cruises ranging from 14 to 48 days that cover the colourful cultures and stunning scenery of this vast continent.

Guests will explore exotic and remote ports that offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences like sailing on the Amazon River, strolling the bustling streets of Buenos Aires, relaxing on the golden beaches of Rio de Janeiro and visiting the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu.

“The contrast of cultures, climates and landscapes throughout South America is a draw for explorers seeking a wide variety on a single itinerary, and our longer cruises offer an exceptional collection of ports that highlight everything this region has to offer,” said Orlando Ashford, Holland America Line’s president. “Travellers can choose from our newest class of ship Koningsdam to the more intimate Zaandam, both featuring localised activities, cuisine and rich cultural experiences brought to life throughout the voyage.”

Departures begin on both coasts of North and South America including Fort Lauderdale, Florida; San Diego, California; Seattle, Washington; Vancouver, British Columbia; Callao (Lima), Peru; San Antonio (Santiago), Chile; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Highlights include Zaandam’s full season of cruising, Koningsdam’s 48-day Voyage of the Americas, the longest itinerary of the season; Amsterdam’s 35-day Incan Empires; and Volendam’s 30-day Amazon Explorer.

Nearly all of the itineraries feature overnight calls at some of South America’s most iconic cities, including Buenos Aires; Callao; Rio de Janeiro; Manaus, Brazil; and Fuerte Amador, Panama, giving guests ample time to explore these remarkable destinations and experience the vibrant nightlife.

Zaandam’s Sensational South America Season
Kicking off its extensive South America season, Zaandam embarks on a 33-day Panama Canal, Inca & South America Discovery Collectors’ Voyage Oct. 16, 2019, from Fort Lauderdale to Rio de Janeiro. The ship visits ports in Aruba, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. The sailing include a transit of the Panama Canal and an overnight at Callao.

Guests also can choose two segments of this voyage: a 17-day Inca Discovery & Panama Canal itinerary from Fort Lauderdale to San Antonio (Santiago) and a 16-day South America Passage from San Antonio (Santiago) to Rio de Janeiro.

Zaandam then sails a series of 14- or 16-day South America Passage cruises between San Antonio (Santiago) and Buenos Aires through March that features calls including Puerto Montt, Puerto Chacabuco and Punta Arenas, Chile; Ushuaia, Argentina; Stanley, Falkland Islands; and Montevideo, Uruguay, as well as scenic cruising in the breathtaking Chilean Fjords and around Cape Horn.

Guests longing for the ultimate white Christmas can embark on Zaandam’s 22-Day South America & Antarctica Holiday Dec. 18 from Buenos Aires to San Antonio. The cruise includes calls in Uruguay, Argentina, the Falkland Islands and Chile. The sailing features an overnight in Buenos Aires and four days exploring the incredible vistas of Antarctica, as well as scenic cruising in the Chilean Fjords. Guests also can embark on this itinerary Jan. 9 or Jan. 31.

Zaandam concludes its South America season with a 31-day South America, Inca & Panama Canal Discovery Collectors’ Voyage from Buenos Aires to Fort Lauderdale. The sailing includes overnights at Buenos Aires, Callao and Fuerte Amador, as well as calls in the Falkland Islands, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Aruba and the Bahamas. For a shorter cruise, guests can embark on a 17-day segment from San Antonio to Fort Lauderdale.

Exploring Incan Empires with Amsterdam
Departing Sept. 23, Amsterdam sails a 21- to 35-day Incan Empires cruise from Seattle to San Diego down the Pacific coasts of North and South America visiting Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala. The voyage includes an overnight in Callao (Lima), allowing time for a visit to Machu Picchu. Holland America Line also offers a 21-day cruise from Seattle to Callao.

In addition to departures from Seattle, guests can book a 34- or 20-day segment from Vancouver; a 14- or 28-day segment from San Diego; or a 14-day sailing from Callao.

Koningsdam Embarks on a Voyage of the Americas
On March 15, 2020, Koningsdam embarks on a 48-day Voyage of the Americas from Fort Lauderdale to Vancouver. The cruise calls at ports in Barbados, French Guiana, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Canada. The sailing also includes an overnight in Buenos Aires.

Along with the full 48-day itinerary, guests can book nine segments: 18-, 32- or 44-day segments from Fort Lauderdale; 14-, 26- or 30-day segments from Buenos Aires; or 12- or 16-day segments from Callao.

Volendam Cruises the Longest River in the World
Conveniently sailing roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale Nov. 20, 2019, Volendam sets sail on a 30-day Amazon Explorer voyage. The ship will sail throughout the Caribbean visiting St. Bart’s, St. Lucia, Barbados, Curaçao and Grand Cayman. However, the highlight of this cruise is Brazil. Guests will enjoy two weeks exploring this dynamic country with calls at multiple ports, including an overnight at Manaus at the end of the Amazon River and three full days of cruising the world’s longest river.

South America’s Many Cultures Come Aboard with EXC Programmes
Throughout the cruises, EXC programming brings South America local traditions, culinary tastes and cultural experiences to life on board. Guests will experience a full immersion into the natural wonders of the region, guided by Holland America Line’s onboard Antarctic Exploration Team.

Guests who want to learn more about the region can attend an EXC Talk about the ports of call, or enjoy a cooking demonstration or themed mixology class featuring local fare. The Dining Room and Lido Market also will showcase the flavours of South America.

South America cruises feature a diverse selection of immersive shore excursions that provide guests with an authentic experience at each port of call. Tours focus on culture, history, nature, architecture, adventure, culinary and family outings. Exclusive culinary-themed FOOD & WINE shore excursions showcase the regions' food scene from a local perspective.

For more information, please contact your local Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108.

Source: Francis Travel Marketing

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Windstar Cruises is taking its culinary program to the next level with its latest partnership: a new specialty restaurant named Cuadro 44 in partnership with renowned chef, Anthony Sasso. One of the youngest chefs to be recognized by the Michelin Guide, and celebrated guest chef at the James Beard House, Sasso promises a menu of modern and inventive Spanish cuisine inspired by his own travels across the Iberian Peninsula. Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso will first debut on Windstar’s award-winning small ships, beginning in March 2020 on Star Breeze, and later in 2020 on sister ships Star Legend and Star Pride as part of the $250 Million Star Plus Initiative.

Sasso is known for his groundbreaking work at New York restaurant Casa Mono, where he spent 13 years and earned the restaurant a Michelin star 10 individual years. Sasso’s connection to Windstar began in 2018, as guest chef on a James Beard Foundation Culinary Collection themed cruise in the Mediterranean. As an expert culinary guide on the Spanish Symphony sailing, Sasso led cruise guests on small-group “Shopping with the Chef” walking tours to local markets to procure fresh produce and local specialties to use in his onboard cooking demonstrations and wine-paired dinners.

“I've spent a lifetime studying Spanish food and culture, working in several Catalan kitchens, traveling the Iberian landscape and learning from and getting inspired by the masters: everyone from the Roca Brothers of El Celler de Can Roca to the unmatchable Pablo Picasso,” says Sasso. “This new venture with Windstar will be the perfect vehicle to showcase the universally enticing flavors of Spain and its coastal seas. I'm extremely excited and honored to be involved with this innovative company.”

“Culinary leadership is one of our core competencies at Windstar, and one of the reasons we are consistently awarded as the leader in small ship cruising,” says Peter Tobler, Director of Hotel Operations. “Chef Sasso also exemplifies culinary leadership as evidenced by his ten years of Michelin Stars and we are thrilled to be working with him on this new Spanish restaurant that expands and elevates our culinary offerings with on trend, tapas-style cuisine that encourages experimentation.”

The announcement of the culinary partnership and Cuadro 44 was made by Windstar’s President John Delaney and Chef Sasso during an intimate media event in New York City at Bar Jamón, the adjacent sister bar to Casa Mono on June 25, 2019.

For more information on Windstar Cruises please contact your Mondo Travel Specialist.

Source: Francis Travel Marketing  

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Travel with Fiji Airways from New Zealand to Hong Kong, Singapore or Tokyo and enjoy the stopover you deserve. Don’t flyover Fiji without stopping and experiencing the friendly hospitality of Fiji for yourself. Come and set your watch to ‘Fiji Time’.

Inclusions:

  • 2 nights at the Tanoa International Hotel on twin share basis
  • Free return Airport Transfers

Single use surcharge: NZD$155 for the stay
Blackout Stay Periods: 19 Apr 2019 - 22 Apr 2019, 22 Dec 2019 - 01 Jan 2020

Start dreaming about what to do in Fiji NOW!

Note: *Fiji Airways Year Round Published Fares

This program is valid for two passengers traveling together from AKL/WLG or CHC to HKG/SIN OR NRT on any year round published business or economy class fares.   Not valid on any special short life fares.  Valid on FJ operated services and tickets validated on FJ (260) ticket stock only.

For full details speak to a Mondo Travel Specialist.

Source: Fiji Airways 

submitted by -- Tony Terrill