December 7, 2013

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Komune Resort & Beach Club, situated at Keramas on Bali’s east coast, is a new resort for those who love to surf or wish to experience the surfing lifestyle. This hip resort consisting of 33 rooms, that overlooks the world-class surf reef break of Keramas, opened its first stage in late 2012. The second and third stages are set to open in 2014.

45 minutes from Ngurah Rai international Airport in Denpasar via the new Sanur bypass toll road, the resort is only 3 minutes from Bali Safari and Marine Park and a 25 minute drive from Sanur’s shopping district and Bali’s arts & cultural centre, Ubud.

Komune Resort & Beach Club is now offering surf lovers a world first, with the recent launch of a permanent night surfing installation. Each night, guests and visitors can watch the local Bali board riders put on a spectacular performance of surfing the waves.  After  seeing the display, guests can book a night surf, with only five others sharing the waves.  Guests can choose either the night surfing sessions which run from 7pm to midnight each evening, or from 4am to 6am for those early risers, at a cost of $20 per hour.

2013-09-25 22.42.06The resort specialises in finding surf spots to suit individual ability. There is a dedicated tour desk to book boat transfers from Keramas to breaks such as Nusa Lembongan which is great for intermediate surfers, and for more experienced surfers, Tanjung Sari, Hyatt Reef and Sanur Reef.

The resort is part-owned by champion Australian surfer Luke Egan who said “Keramas is the most hi-fi performance wave in Bali so the action in the water is always electric at Komune Bali.”

In February 2014, Komune’s ten Junior Suites will be opened with a launch rate from $140 per night.  Late 2014 will see the launch of luxury Beach Villas that will enjoy sweeping ocean views overlooking the Keramas right-hander, enabling guests to view night surfing from their private villa. Each of the twenty-four two and three bedroom villas will have their own private swimming pool, Bose sound system, internet connection, fully equipped kitchen, outdoor showers, BBQ, outdoor lounge, king size beds and a lounge area with surf views.

Komune Bali prides itself on being environmentally and socially conscious, incorporating solar power, LED lighting, water harvesting and purification, cross flow ventilation, sewer and storm water management, river channel and beach management, cleaning and monitoring.

Co-owner Tony Cannon said “If you want a perfect place to chill on family sized pool deck loungers, desert island style hammocks listening to the waves crashing down whilst snacking on fresh and tasty food with vegetables picked from our own garden, Komune is for you”.

Sandra Tiltman 



October 7, 2013

Azamara Quest

For the first time in Azamara Club Cruises’ four year history, Azamara Quest will visit Australia in 2015.

As part of a 14 night holiday and New Year’s voyage departing Bali on 22 December 2015, Azamara Quest will make maiden port calls at Thursday Island and Darwin, as well as at the Great Barrier Reef destinations of Cooktown and Port Douglas, ending the cruise in Cairns.

Azamara Quest is a mid-sized ship for 694 guests with comfortable uncrowded social spaces.  The bars, restaurants, lounges, casino and cabaret are relaxing havens and the cabins feature modern amenities, furnishings and European linens.  Many of the cabins have their own verandas

Azamara Club Cruises are known for their destination focus and their itineraries feature longer stays and more overnights in port.  This allows guests to enjoy a fuller experience at each destination, including the nightlife experience, not offered by the majority of other cruise lines.  Their ships are smaller and offer a more boutique style of cruising, while their size makes them particularly well suited to calling in at the smaller, off the beaten track ports.

Azamara Prime C Rest and Wine Cellar2Earlier this year, the cruise line introduced AzAmazing Evenings, a complimentary night tour on each voyage that provides guests with an exclusive and bespoke slice of a destination’s authentic culture and character. They have also expanded their complimentary beverages to include wines, select standard spirits, sodas, international beers, bottled water and barista coffees plus included gratuities. There is also a complimentary self-service laundry, shuttle transportation to city centres in ports where available and English Butler service for suite guests.

Both Azamara Quest and Azamara Journey were recently refurbished.  As well as refreshing all public spaces and staterooms, a caviar & champagne bar was added, as well as a new Chef’s Table venue on both ships.

Perfectly suited for the sophisticated traveller, many of Azamara Club Cruises’ voyages are timed with major events and celebrations, so guests can join in the festivities.

Gavin Smith, Regional Vice President, Asia-Pacific of RCL Cruises Limited said “Azamara Club Cruises is a hidden secret amongst savvy Australian cruisers, but even though its ships have never sailed in the region, Australians are now the third biggest nationality of guests onboard. It has long been our dream to bring an Azamara ship to Australian waters and our whole team is very excited to welcome Azamara Quest in 2015.”

The deployment of the Azamara brand to this region completes a hat-trick for the Royal Caribbean family of brands.  Azamara will be joining sister cruise lines Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.

Sandra Tiltman  


June 13, 2013

Camp Leakey 1 s

Popular Australian expedition cruise ship Orion has several voyages visiting Borneo during September, October and November 2013.

“Now in our third year of voyages to this extraordinary island we have refined the destinations to present two exceptional itineraries across three voyages.  Both itineraries offer the chance to experience connection with endangered wildlife in their natural habitat including a highlight visit to Dr Galdikas’ orang-utan rehabilitation centre, Camp Leakey” said Joel Katz, Chief Operating Officer of Orion Expedition Cruises.

Camp Leakey 752 low resGuests will encounter endangered wildlife, explore ancient Buddhist temples, gain insight into remote cultures and discover extraordinary marine habitats on Orion Expedition Cruises’ Borneo voyages.

A highlight for guests will be interacting with some of the 300 or so orang-utans cared for at Camp Leakey orang-utan rehabilitation centre.

Depending on the selected itinerary voyages either start or finish in Bali.

Orion offers expedition cruising with a touch of luxury – no roughing it here.  Elegant lounges to relax in after a day ashore exploring, gourmet food that will have you looking forward to each meal and spacious cabins that offer every comfort, plus knowledgeable expedition staff who accompany you on shore excursions as well as providing on board educational lectures, are just some of the reasons why Australians love cruising with Orion.     Sandra Tiltman.