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Air New Zealand is introducing a new, more spacious Economy product on its widebody fleet from late 2020, offering customers extra legroom and perks on long-haul flights.

Economy Stretch is a comfort-led enhancement to Air New Zealand's leading Economy service with a roomy 35-inch pitch seat and amenities such as a premium headset and plush pillow.Economy Stretch is a comfort-led enhancement to Air New Zealand's leading Economy service with a roomy 35-inch pitch seat and amenities such as a premium headset and plush pillow.

Air New Zealand is currently reconfiguring its Boeing 777-200, 777-300 and 787-9 aircraft to fit a stretch zone at the front of the Economy cabin, with up to 42 of these spacious spots.

Through innovations such as the ground-breaking Economy Skycouch, Air New Zealand has set the standard for economy travel, and the airline's Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace says it's exciting to introduce further choice to the Economy cabin.

"We know one size doesn't fit all and we want customers to have a fantastic experience, whatever the cabin. Economy customers told us they want more space and comfort and we're looking forward to giving customers a new option when travelling long haul.

"While our premium cabins will remain the first choice for those wanting all the luxuries, Economy Stretch is a step-up at a competitive price, and we're confident it will appeal."

Economy Stretch customers will enjoy Air New Zealand's warm Economy service with New Zealand wine and cuisine, gate-to-gate entertainment and free Wi-Fi on enabled aircraft.

The new product will be available for purchase from early next year and will be offered on all Air New Zealand operated long-haul flights from late 2020.

Source: Air New Zealand 16 Oct 2019

Photo: Auckland Airport

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

There are some exciting new destinations, including cruising on the Douro, luxury Nile & Ganges river cruises and a Scottish Canals & Coastal charter amongst the eight new lines.

Here's a brief summary of each:

A-ROSA CRUISES - EUROPEAN WATERWAYS
The German line operates excellent value, luxury river cruises on the Seine, Rhine, Roane, Danube and Douro. The innovative concept consists of casual but stylish feel-good holidays. All the meals are gourmet buffet meals and most beverages are included throughout the day. In 2020 there will be a total of seven ships in the fleet.

ATLAS ADRIATIC CRUISES - ADRIATIC
The line are one of the leading cruise operators in the region. The fleet of eight ships, with 15 – 19 cabins, are grouped into three levels of comfort. They offer 8-Day cruises along the Croatian coastline, with itineraries between Dubrovnik and Split, Zadar and Poreč, cruising around the Islands during the day and staying overnight in port.

HERITAGE RIVER JOURNEYS – INDIA
They have three unique and beautiful ships sailing on the Ganges River, offering 7-night round trip itineraries from Kolkata or 11-night itineraries going from Kolkata to Varanasi or vv. The quality of the product is superb and it offers the opportunity for guests to visit a part of India unspoilt by tourism for a very cultural and authentic experience. The vessels, Ganges Voyager I & II are all-suite with private balconies and are truly beautiful with hand painted walls, original traditional furniture – very special.

LOTUS CRUISES - CAMBODIA/VIETNAM
Lotus Cruises have two beautiful ships with only 34 outstanding luxury suites, sailing  4- & 7-night voyages on the Mekong River between Saigon and Siem Reap. It is an amazing, top quality 5-star product, the attention to detail is phenomenal and its very reasonably priced!

MOVENPICK CRUISES - EGYPT
Egypt is a great destination and it is rapidly returning to popularity. Mövenpick have spent the last three years refurbishing the entire fleet, which now offer 4- 15 day cruise combinations between Cairo, Asyut, Luxor and Aswan. One of the smallest and most luxurious dahabiyas on the Nile, the SB Feddya is a boutique sailing yacht with the enormous appeal of having just four attractively decorated guest suites that come complete with butler service. The other larger ships range from 52 – 72 cabins. The MS Misr is the only steam ship/paddlesteamer sailing on the Nile River, with just 24 Suites, it’s like a floating museum, all antique furniture onboard, and it has a pool.

PAUKAN CRUISES - MYANMAR
Paukan Cruises offer an incredibly high quality product in Myanmar. They have four luxury ships in service offering a quality service and yet represent good value for money. Their fleet range from 16 to 28 cabins and sail between 4 and 12 nights on the Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers.


CHARTER ONLY:

EXPAIR CRUISES - CROATIA
This is a collection of five vessels sailing the coast of Croatia on 7-night itineraries departing every Saturday from April till October from Dubrovnik and Split. They have only 18 cabins onboard and they offer a great experience for more active clients wishing to explore Croatia. Three of the fleets vessels were built in the last two years. Available only on full charter basis.

LORD OF THE HIGHLANDS - SCOTLAND
This 5-Star luxury yacht-style product is launching in May 2020. The vessel is specially designed to navigate both the Caledonian Canal (and fit into the locks, that aren't very wide) in the Scottish Highlands as well as the coastal waters around the Scottish West Coast. It’s a completely unique experience featuring Scottish cuisine and select excursions such as visiting a Whiskey Distillery. The restaurant, lounge, bar and exterior are in Orient Express style and located on the top deck for improved viewing. With a maximum of 42 passengers, this product is available for charter or part charter only.

For more detail on these Cruise offerings please contact a Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108.

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Holland America Line’s popular new Club Orange premium amenities program will be available on all ships in the fleet by October 2019. Currently on nine ships, Club Orange gives guests an additional level of luxury and service with priority access, exclusive amenities and special events.

Club Orange is available to purchase for a limited number of non-suite staterooms on each sailing, and features stateroom upgrades within the category booked and a special “Captain’s Choice” onboard event. Guests in Neptune and Pinnacle suites will also receive all of the benefits of Club Orange at no additional charge (excluding the stateroom upgrade and onboard event). All Club Orange guests are privy to extra privileges — from a private dining venue to priority services and a dedicated concierge hotline.

“Club Orange is fast becoming a favorite on board with its exclusive services like priority access and private dining, so we’re pleased to expand this program fleet wide so even more guests can take advantage of the benefits,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “Club Orange is an exceptional value and our guests appreciate how much the extra touches and services enhance their cruise experience. And with the newly added stateroom upgrade and special event for guests purchasing the program, the value is even greater.”

New Amenities for Club Orange

Guests who purchase Club Orange will receive an upgrade within the booked category to the best available stateroom. The upgrade will be based on availability at the time of Club Orange purchase. Also new to the program is a “Captain’s Choice” event that takes place during the cruise, also exclusively for guests who purchase Club Orange. The event could be one of several planned special experiences that may include a behind the scenes hotel department tour, exclusive pre-opening shopping access, private coffee chat with Music Walk musicians and cast members and more. 

Priority Access

Amenities that come with the exclusive Club Orange program include priority check-in and disembarkation, priority tender service and priority alternative restaurant reservations made on board. Club Orange guests also have a dedicated line at Guest Services and the shore excursion desk, as well as a dedicated concierge hotline on board for dining reservations, tour assistance, general questions and support.

Private Dining

For most of the fleet, a dedicated section of the dining room will be designated for use by Club Orange guests for breakfast and dinner. On Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam, a separate Club Orange restaurant is open every day for breakfast and dinner. The venue serves the same menu featured in Pinnacle Grill for breakfast and the dining room for dinner. Menus on all ships will feature additional daily dishes exclusive to Club Orange.

Additional benefits to Club Orange members include an enhanced in-stateroom à la carte breakfast dining menu with complimentary premium selections such as steak and eggs or smoked salmon Benedict, a welcome glass of sparkling wine at dinner on embarkation day, premium bathrobe for use in stateroom (and available for purchase and monogramming), and an exclusive Club Orange tote bag.

The cost of Club Orange is $47 AUD per person per day on Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam and $33 AUD per person per day on all others ships. The first and second guest in the same stateroom are both required to purchase the program. There is no additional charge for third and fourth guests in the same stateroom. Club Orange must be purchased prior to cruise departure for the full length of the cruise and is not available for purchase on board.

Once a guest has booked their cruise, their travel advisor can add Club Orange by contacting their Mondo Travel Specialist on 0800 110 108.

Source: Francis Travel Marketing

submitted by -- Tony Terrill