January 20, 2017

SeaLink Travel Group unveiled their new twin passenger catamarans, “MV Blackwattle Bay” and “MV Cockle Bay” at a christening ceremony in Darling Harbour recently.

Business Events Sydney Chief Executive, Lyn Lewis-Smith officially launched the vessels in the traditional maritime way, breaking a champagne bottle across the bow. Ms Lewis-Smith said “Congratulations to BESydney’s partner, Captain Cook Cruises on a dedicated Sydney ferry route for conference delegates. I am honoured to take part in the launch of the two new vessels that will make our city even more accessible for visitors and locals alike.”

Christening Blessing

Christening Blessing

The two catamarans, which were designed in Sydney by Incat Crowther and built in Tasmania by Richardson Devine Marine, are the first of their kind to join the Captain Cook Cruises Sydney Harbour fleet. These12 meter boats have the capacity to carry 60 passengers and with their innovative design and light weight, are highly maneuverable. They are low wash and like the rest of the fleet are fuel efficient, eco-friendly and equipped with the latest technologies to reduce their carbon footprint.

Jeff Ellison, Lyn Lewis-Smith & Anthony Haworth

Jeff Ellison, Lyn Lewis-Smith & Anthony Haworth

According to Managing Director, SeaLink Travel Group, Jeff Ellison “At a time when Sydney’s road congestion is creating significant challenges for both government and commuters, “MV Blackwattle Bay” and “MV Cockle Bay” will offer a welcome solution, opening new inner city routes and offering regular high speed travel to commuters. These twin boats will also operate services for Captain Cook’s Hop On Hop Off, White Bay ferry service and act as a regular transport service for conference delegates to the new International Convention Centre, providing them with easy access between Darling Harbour and Circular Quay.”

Sandra Tiltman.  Photos: John Pond/SeaLink



September 4, 2016

Cirque du Soleil Big Top

Cirque du Soleil’s latest production, “Kooza”, is currently wowing Sydney audiences with performances in their famous blue and yellow Big Top, at The Showring in the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park.

The Big Top stands 20 meters high and is 51 meters in diameter. The canvas for the tent and its eleven tunnels weighs approximately 5000 kilograms.

Paying homage to the traditions of circus, with a variety of spectacular acts including death defying acrobatics that make your heart pound, incredible contortionists who twist their bodies into positions that seem impossible as well as a variety of clown characters who have the audience laughing hysterically, especially the kids, this is a show the whole family will enjoy.

Sandra Tillman with Kooza guide

Sandra Tiltman with Kooza guide

Hula hoops and chairs are just two everyday items that the master performers use to take their acts to extreme heights

Cirque du Soleil’s unique music, performed live by their musicians and singers, adds another element of drama to the performance of every act.

The Big Top, which seats approximately 2,600 people, is very comfortable and provides good sight lines from every angle. The evening I went it was extremely cold outside but inside the Big Top was warm as toast.

Make sure you don’t miss seeing “Kooza”.

Sandra Tiltman


August 26, 2016


Making his Australian debut, Japanese/American violin star, Shunske Sato, will lead the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra into the rarely visited territory of historically informed Romantic music, performed on gut strings. Together they’ll perform music of the Romantic giants Mendelssohn (a symphony written at the age of 12), Grieg (Romantic music inspired by the Baroque) and an epic and rarely heard violin concerto written by one of history’s greatest and most revered violinists, Paganini.

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Artistic Director, Paul Dyer commented: “Shunske Sato is a brilliant international talent, one of the most dynamic and exciting violinists of his generation.  He’s performing the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 4 on gut strings. Who does that? It is something only the bravest of the brave would dare to tackle!” Shunske said: “The violin I will be using is made by Auguste Bernardel in Paris in 1846, in those days it was quite the fashion to copy Paganini’s Guarneri violin Il Cannone and my fiddle is one of those, so quite appropriate to play his Concerto on it.”

Born in Tokyo, Shunske immigrated to the USA at the age of four, but now lives in The Netherlands. At the age of 12 he won the Young Concert Artists award, the youngest ever to date. He studied at the Juilliard School (New York), Conservatoire National de Région (Paris) and Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Munich). Shunske is the concertmaster for Concerto Koln and the Netherlands Bach Society and in 2013 he was invited to join the faculty of the Amsterdam Conservatory, where he teaches violin in the context of historical performance practice.

Shunske is enthusiastic about his Australian debut, saying “This will be my very first time in Australia, and there’s simply too much to look forward to. There is the famously flawless coffee, and the odd encounter with an exotic animal of course and I have many dear and close Australian friends and am terribly excited to finally get to know their home country. I’m also incredibly honoured to work with such a world class ensemble as the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra on my very first trip. Starting at the very top and going upwards!”

Sato & The Romantics will be performing at City Recital Hall, 2 Angel Place Sydney on 7, 9, 14, 16 & 17 September at 7 pm
plus a Matinee on 17 September at 2 pm.

Sandra Tiltman