June 28, 2013

ms Oosterdam at Sea

Two of Holland America Line’s popular vessels, Oosterdam and Volendam, both favourites amongst Australian travellers, will be returning for the 2013-14 cruise season.  Their planned sailings will visit more than fifty ports of call around Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific islands.

Between October 2013 and March 2014 there will be multiple departures offering round trip sailings from Sydney, or Sydney to/from Auckland, visiting ports such as Wellington, Napier and Tauranga plus Fiordland National Park and Bay of Plenty, some of the most amazing scenic cruising in the world.

“Over the past few years the popularity of the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region has grown tremendously because of its beauty and diversity,” said Richard Meadows, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs for Holland America Line. “Our array of itineraries includes popular ports, stunning island visits, extended stays, overnight calls and enticing pre- and post-cruise options to make the trip in this spectacular region a memorable experience.”

During the 2013-14 season Oosterdam will sail four 14 day cruises from Auckland to Sydney or reverse, as well as three 14 day New Zealand Discovery voyages round trip from Sydney.  There will also be five round trip sailings from Sydney of the 14 day Pacific Treasures cruise, visiting New Zealand and the South Pacific including Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji.

SA06-05110For those who want to spend more time at sea, Volendam will depart Sydney on 20 October 2013 for a 34 day round trip Australia Circumnavigation, featuring more than 20 ports.  Ports on the counterclockwise trip around the continent include Brisbane, Hamilton Island, Townsville, Cairns, Darwin, Exmouth, Fremantle (Perth overnight), Esperance, Port Lincoln, Adelaide (overnight), Kangaroo Island, Melbourne, Burnie and Hobart.  Highlights on the voyage are Komodo Island and a beautiful sunrise call at Lizard Island and sunset call at Booby Island off the coast of Australia.

Departing 20 November 2013, passengers will have the opportunity to travel Melbourne to Singapore on board Volendam.  As well as featuring two days of scenic cruising in The Great Barrier Reef, the 19 day cruise will have stops at Sydney, Burnie, Hamilton Island, Cairns, Darwin, Komodo Island and Semarang, before arriving in Singapore.

One of a kind itineraries are also offered at the beginning of the season with sailings from North America to Sydney.  Volendam’s 21 or 24 day South Pacific Crossing departs Los Angeles or Vancouver on September 25 and September 28, 2013.

Oosterdam’s 24 or 27 day South Pacific Crossing departs Los Angeles or Seattle for Sydney on September 29 and October 2, 2013 and includes an overnight call at Honolulu.  Oosterdam returns to North America on a 28 or 29 day South Pacific Crossing from Sydney to Seattle or Vancouver on April 13, 2014.  The repositioning cruises provide an excellent opportunity to visit the South Pacific and Hawaii, as well as enjoy more relaxing days at sea.

Collectors’ Voyages on Oosterdam and Volendam offer combined back-to-back itineraries from 28 to 58 days covering Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific and are perfect for those who seek a more extensive cruise experience.

Cruisers wishing to make the most of their time in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific can add a three or five night pre or post cruise land tour to the Great

Barrier Reef, Uluru National Park or the Blue Mountains National Park, home of the famous “Three Sisters” rock formation.

Sandra Tiltman    Photos:  Courtesy Holland America


June 28, 2013

Hotel Le Nouvata, Hotel le Parc, Hotel Le Pacifique, Noumea

New Caledonia is only 2.5 hours flying time from Sydney and the perfect place for a family holiday.

For the older kids there is a huge choice of water activities on offer at the local beaches, where they can kitesurf, windsurf or go snorkeling.  Water festivals, sporting events and cultural activities take place on a regular basis, so there is always something going on.   There is even the added bonus of having an opportunity to test their French out on the locals if they are learning the language at school.

Nouvata Parc Hotel and La Promenade are GLP Hotels’ two properties which are located at Anse Vata, the main beach area of Noumea and a popular meeting point for locals.  Anse Vata is home to numerous cafés and restaurants, including Quick, the French equivalent of McDonalds.

GLP Hotels has just released their new family offers for Australians and New Zealanders which are valid for travel through to 15 December 2013 including school holidays.

Nouvata Parc Hotel

Nouvata Parc Hotel

Nouvata Parc Hotel, located opposite the beach, is offering two nights free on a seven night package with complimentary adjoining room for the family special.  Including complimentary breakfast, WIFI and return boat transfers to Escapade Island once per stay, this should be a very popular place to holiday.

La Promenade, their self-catering option, is also offering two nights free on a seven night package in their two and three bedroom fully equipped apartments.  Included is complimentary breakfast, WIFI and return boat transfers to Escapade Island once per stay.

With a combined total of 650 rooms that range from standard rooms to luxurious suites, to self-catering apartments and overwater bungalows, GLP Hotels provide guests with a range of accommodation options.

Sandra Tiltman