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Our preferred partner, World Journeys recommend a new small group journey -  andBeyond’s “Phinda Impact Story” - for clients who are true wildlife enthusiasts and keen conservationists.  The privately guided, 7-day small group journey aims to highlight andBeyond’s conservation and community work, alongside thrilling safari experiences, in South Africa’s Phinda Private Game Reserve.  Guests will gain an insight behind the scenes into the training of andBeyond guides, visit a local community and experience a day in the life of a school pupil, as well as having access to renowned conservationists and a specialist photographic guide.  Staying at the exclusive andBeyond Phinda Zuka Lodge, complete with private chef and butler, wildlife sightings on game drives may include the rare black rhino of the Reserve.  With a maximum of 8 guests, the set departure dates are 24 Nov 2018 and 12 May 2019.  Contact Mondo Travel for rates on this exceptional and rare experience - 0800 110 108.

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

In conjunction with our preferred partner, World Journeys, we can now offer some fascinating in-depth touring options in Rio de Janeiro, for those travellers who want to see beyond the usual tourist sights.  A Brazilian Food Tour sees you strolling the streets with a foodie host, eating at bustling street markets and rubbing shoulders with the locals as you visit their favourite little eateries and bars, getting a glimpse of local life.  Of course everything goes better with beer – take a Brazilian Craft Beer Tour of the burgeoning craft beer scene, visiting local brewers and bars, hearing the stories behind their beers and tasting some uniquely Brazilian beers.  Samba is the rhythm that swings Rio.  On a By Night Samba Lesson & Rio Scenarium Tour,  learn the basic steps then head out with your instructor to the bohemian clubs of the Lapa district, including Rio Scenarium, where locals gather to enjoy Brazilian jazz and samba.  Or head for a charming café in Copacabana for a Brazilian Coffee Tasting with the passionate barista who leads you through a sensory experience, and talks through the history of coffee in Brazil – how it became the black gold of the 19th century, leaving a rich heritage of historical farms in the mountains of Rio and Sao Paulo states.  Prices vary per tour, with rates starting from NZ$109 per person, and they can be booked in conjunction with other tailor-made travel arrangements.  Contact Mondo Travel on 0800 110 108 for details.

submitted by -- Tony Terrill

Princess Cruises has unveiled new details revealing features onboard its new ship Sky Princess, including a first look at its first-ever Sky Suites.

As seen in the first released image of the Sky Suites, the accommodations are centrally located on the top decks of Sky Princess and feature the largest private balconies ever offered by the cruise line.  Measuring 65 square metres, the balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining. The two suites will also offer a 270-degree panorama and have sleeping capacity for five guests, and more for entertaining -- making them ideal for families. 

“Our two new Sky Suites reflect Princess Cruises’ continued commitment to offer new and expansive accommodations that meet the needs of our guests who wish to explore the world in ultimate comfort,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises 

Debuting in the Mediterranean in October 2019, the 143,700-tonne Sky Princess will include the best of the stunning features found on its three sister ships - Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess - as well as new offerings that represent an evolution of the current ships’ designs.

New for Sky Princess will be the addition of a Wakeview pool on its aft decks. In addition to the Wakeview pool, Sky Princess guests will enjoy two new deep-tank top deck pools, a restorative Retreat Pool, and more Jacuzzis than previous Royal-Class ships including two Jacuzzis cantilevered over the deep-tank pools.

Meanwhile Sky Princess will introduce more ways for guests to unwind, with its relaxing Sanctuary area offering a new contemporary design and twice as many private cabanas as its sister ships. Guests will also be able to enjoy the new look of the ship’s Vista Lounge complete with a full bar offering, an evolution of the popular lounge on other Princess ships. Guests can take advantage of a new café in the Princess Live venue, serving barista made coffee, tea and quick bites.

Ms Swartz said Princess Cruises’ guests could look forward to the rollout of more new features as the cruise line’s fleet expanded. “Following the recent announcement that we will be adding two 4,300 guest liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships to the Princess Cruises’ fleet, we now have five ships arriving between 2019 and 2025, giving us a wonderful opportunity to continue to evolve our offering and increase our popularity worldwide."

 

submitted by -- Gayle