• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Star Clippers – Discover the Hidden Wonders of Thailand

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Star Clippers who offer a different sailing experience with the character of traditional sailing but still with the comfort and luxury found on most modern cruises, are offering an adventurous cruise around the hidden parts of Thailand and Malaysia.

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

 

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

These sailings explore some of the most iconic and beautiful parts known as the “Pearl of the Orient” with un spoilt beaches and islands that form part of the

National Marine Park here. The people are friendly, the water beautifully clear and the marine life amazing.

 

Nor do you have to bring your own snorkel and flippers, they are provided. If you need other activities as you sale around the islands and along the coast, you can try sailing, paddle boarding and kayaking – all complimentary.

 

 

 

For 7 nights cruising, 2 nights pre cruise in the Sala Hotel in Phuket and flights the cost is from £2179 per person and always subject to availability.

Please call us for more information on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Destinations Show, Olympia

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 


Photograph by kind permission of UnCruise Adventures

Don’t forget we will be at Destinations Show at Olympia, London, on February 02, 03, 04 and 05. Find us on Stand AC32 which we are sharing with the American company Uncruise Adventures. Most of the team will be there over the 4 days and would love to see a friendly face or two. This is one of the biggest travel shows in the U.K and a great place to find new destinations and experiences that would suit you. If you have a particular place in mind for your holiday next year (or the year after) give us a call to book an appointment with our team expert for that part of the world. However we will be very pleased to see you as and when you are free.

For your free tickets to Destinations Show, please go to: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration  and then type in MSC97 in the appropriate place.

We look forward to seeing you at either event.

Good News For Locals!

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Good News – Cathay Pacific has announced that they will be launching a new service offering direct flights from Gatwick to Hong Kong four times a week. This is in addition to their longstanding routes between Heathrow and Hong Kong, and between Manchester and Hong Kong.

This new route is great news for those living in the South East wishing to visit Australia and New Zealand, as there will be connections through to key hubs in both countries from Hong Kong.

The new service is due to commence in September 2016 with Cathay Pacific’s new Airbus A350-900 with refreshed Business Class cabin and new Premium Economy Class seats.

Hong Kong makes a great stopover location, as well as a holiday destination in its own right. For more information on this, and how these flights could work well for your future holiday plans, give us a call on 01323 446550, or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Top Tips for Japan

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Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

Picture courtesy of JNTO

Picture courtesy of JNTO

If you are planning a visit to the land of the rising sun, whether it is independent travel, private tour or as part of an escorted group, here are some top tips to note before you travel:

 

–          The best times to take a trip to Japan are either late March/April when the cherry                        blossoms are out or the end of September/October for the autumn colours.

–          A visit to Japan would not be complete without a trip on the bullet train, either as a one               off journey or multiple journeys using a Japan Rail Pass.

–          Stay in a traditional Ryokan (Japanese Inn) and enjoy a Japanese Spa

–          Visit the Snow Monkeys and see them bathing in the hot springs.

–          Japan is a great destination for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

–          Hiroshima – take a trip to see the AtomicBombMuseum and the MemorialGardens

–          There are two Imperial Palaces for you to visit, one in Tokyo and the other in Kyoto.

–          Japan is largely a cash based society, so most places do not accept credit cards.                             Change your money to Yen before you travel as not all ATMs accept international cards.

 

If you’d like us to help plan your bespoke, tailor made holiday to Japan then please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk and we would be happy to discuss your personalised itinerary.

Picture courtesy of JNTO

Picture courtesy of JNTO

 

Picture Credit JNTO

Picture Credit JNTO

Summer Cruises in a Tall Ship

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

If you are still wondering about what to do for a holiday this summer and you fancy a cruise with a difference, then consider one of the following adventures with Star Clippers.

They offer cruises in the Adriatic, around Italy and explore the islands of Greece. With the length of cruise varying from 4 to 12 nights there is plenty to tempt you. Perhaps consider one of the shorter trips if you have never cruised before or link it with a special event such as the Monaco Grand Prix. Prices include flights and transfers abroad – all you have to do is to enjoy being under sail, providing the wind blows, and visiting wonderful destinations. And you only have to unpack once.

 To discuss the options available then please get in touch:  tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

 

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

 

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

 

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

 

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

Picture courtesy of Star Clippers

The Great Barrier Reef – The ‘Great Eight’

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Posted by:

Amanda Skingle

 

Picture Credit Lady Elliott Island Eco Resort

Picture Credit Lady Elliott Island Eco Resort

Africa has the ‘Big Five’…The Great Barrier Reef has the ‘Great Eight’

Here you will find eight iconic residents of this fantastic underwater eco-system which until you have seen them all, really means you haven’t seen the Great Barrier Reef at all.

Whales, Manta Rays, Clown Fish, Turtles, Potato Cod, Giant Clams, Maori Wrasse and of course Sharks.

The largest coral reef system in the world is their home. Some might migrate here, some might travel along its length and some stay in exactly the same place all of their lives.

They range in size from 18cms long right up to 18 metres long and are the ‘heroes’ of the reef.

To put it in perspective how wonderful diving the reef is you can spend about an hour in the water on an average snorkel or dive. That dive site changes with the tides, during daytime and night and throughout the seasons so what you see in one half of the day can be totally different in the other.

You could visit exactly the same site every day for a year and always see different things there….so if you think you’ve seen ALL OF the Great Barrier Reef…think again.

So, if you would love to dive off into another world to find the reefs great eight then let us help you make it part of your very own bespoke, tailor made holiday to Australia all you have to do is contact us on 01323 446550 email info@experienceholidays.co.uk or click on the contact us link on our home page.

Picture Credit Tourism & Events Queensland

Picture Credit Tourism & Events Queensland


Picture Credit Tourism & Events Queensland

Picture Credit Tourism & Events Queensland

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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Posted by:

Sue Riggs

 

Courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises

 

Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas Cruises

The most inclusive luxury cruise experience at sea

Regent Seven Seas are having a celebration and would love for you to join them! Next year, they will celebrate their 25th anniversary. To launch the beginning of a year-long celebration, there’s a stunning collection of 25 sailings with savings of up to 25%. 

From the romantic city of Venice, sailing the beautiful Greek Islands aboard our newly refurbished Seven Seas Navigator® to exploring the Baltic Gems with not just one, but two overnight stays in St Petersburg! So, if you’ve a special milestone that you want to celebrate in luxurious style, why not treat yourself. At these prices, now is the time to start celebrating!  Get in touch by calling us 01323 446550 or e-mail us on info@experienceholidays.co.uk to start planning your Regent Seven Seas cruise.

Highly-personalised all-inclusive travel describes the very essence of cruising with Regent Seven Seas Cruises®. The award-winning fleet comprises of three all-suite, six-star ships carrying from 490 – 700 pampered guests to ports across all seven continents of the world. 

Imagine you are one of only a few hundred guests, with no queues or crowds. Public areas are resplendent with rich fabrics, textures and furnishings.  Suites, among the most spacious at sea, measure from 301 to 2,002 square feet, each with private balcony*, hosting a king-sized bed, marble bathrooms with L’Occitane® or Hermès bath products, walk-in closet, flat-screen TV and fully stocked bar.  Choose from up to four, open-seating gourmet restaurants, including two speciality restaurants with no additional cover charge: ‘Prime 7’ – a superb, new steakhouse/grill and ‘Signatures’ – dedicated to French cuisine.

With Regent it’s all included: free return flights on every cruise (or free Business Class flights on all Mediterranean & Northern Europe sailings in suites C-MS), free excursions in every port, transfers, all fine dining including speciality restaurants, all drinks and beverages including fine wines, selected Champagnes and one-night pre-cruise hotel stay for guests staying in Concierge Suites and higher.

FREE Unlimited Exploration…

Waking up in a different port or country almost every day with such ease, is a luxury.  And with every port and destination having its own assortment of ‘must-see’ sights and attractions, you want to make the most of that luxury, ashore. With Regent, the opportunity to delve into the highlights and truly enhance your time ashore couldn’t be easier. There is an unlimited choice of adventure on every cruise, with many individual cruises offering over 40 free excursions in the Mediterranean. Our free excursions will enlighten your cruise in ways you never imagined!

 *Seven Seas Navigator, 90% with private balcony. All ocean view.

Introducing Seven Seas Explorer®

THE MOST LUXURIOUS SHIP EVER BUILT™

Debuting in summer 2016, Seven Seas Explorer®, will set a new standard for ultra luxury, all-inclusive cruising.  Billed as THE MOST LUXURIOUS SHIP EVER BUILT™ she will re-define the concept of ultra-luxury cruising. The maiden voyage for Seven Seas Explorer® will be a 14-night sailing from Monte Carlo to Venice on 20 July 2016. The ship will remain in Europe for its inaugural season, sailing 11 voyages that crisscross the Mediterranean and visit sought-after destinations such as Barcelona, Ibiza, St. Tropez, Venice, Istanbul, Alexandria (Egypt) and Jerusalem.

Luxury Suites: Seven Seas Explorer®, the world’s most luxurious ship, will introduce a new category of luxury suite. Named the ‘Regent Suite’, this plush one-of-a-kind two-bedroom, 3,875 sq ft suite comes complete with an in-suite spa retreat, a first at sea, as well as a glass-enclosed outdoor Vista Garden with 270-degree views to the horizon. Each suite category features its own unique layout and design elements complemented by the largest verandas in the cruise industry with a remarkable 93% of verandas extending beyond 83 sq ft. providing guests ample space to enjoy the ocean breezes.

Lavish gourmet restaurants: Seven Seas Explorer will feature an unrivalled collection of speciality, casual and main dining options from the flagship restaurant, Compass Rose, which will receive a new, contemporary look with a beautiful cascading aqua-blue chandelier conveying a whimsical grotto feel. She will also offer three distinct speciality restaurants including our fleet-side signature steakhouse Prime 7.  Details of our two new dining venues will be announced soon. Guests can also enjoy casual indoor and al fresco dining in the effortlessly chic Italian inspired ‘La Veranda’ with incredible ocean views. La Veranda offers a delectable buffet for breakfast and lunch, and transforms into an elegant fine dining restaurant, Sette Mari at La Veranda, each evening for dinner.

Courtesy of Seven Seas Explorer

Explorer, Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 EXPLORER SUMMARY

  • The most luxurious all-suite, all-balcony ship ever built
  • 56,000 tonnes but accommodating just 750 guests
  • Amongst highest space ratios and staff to guest ratios in the industry
  • 375 suites ranging from 307 sq ft – 3,875 sq ft
  • Over 90% of Suites have an 83 sq ft balcony or larger
  • Over 80% of suites have inside space of 332 sq ft or larger
  • Five open-seating gourmet restaurants for guests to enjoy, all included
  • Spacious spa and state-of-the-art fitness centre operated by world renowned Canyon Ranch SpaClub®

 

With everything included in our fares, such as return flights, unlimited excursions and all-inclusive onboard, together with our dedication to offer port intensive itineraries, Regent Seven Seas Cruises® offers the ultimate way to discover the world.

Courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Seven Seas Navigator in                          Alaska.                       Courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Seven Seas Mariner     Courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Seven Seas Voyager pool deck. Courtesy Regent Seven Seas Cruises

 

 

 

Cruising

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Cruising is a very special holiday, but in our book, it is not the huge ships, but the smaller niche vessels – something with a character of its own, something with fewer passengers, a ship that can creep into the smaller ports, seek out exciting destinations, exploring rivers and fjords, offering something more than the glitz and glamour their larger counterparts.

Your tailor made cruise may well be part of a larger itinerary, it may be your very own barefoot yacht or crewed small vessel sailing the waters of the Whitsundays in Australia – mooring overnight to enjoy a barbeque on a tiny sand cay, or ready to jump into the clear blue waters to explore the Barrier Reef as only you will see it. It may be a small ship cruising the fjords of Alaska, or a voyage of discovery through the Inside Passage or Prince William Sound. It could be you standing on the bow so close to the glacier that you can almost touch it, so quiet that you can hear it creaking and groaning under the pressure of thousands of years. It could be you boarding the helicopter to explore from the sky theextraordinary rock formations of northwestern corner of the Australian continent.

The list goes on …
Click on the links for more information about some of our favourite cruise companies.        

Regent Seven Seas

Un-Cruise Adventures

Star Clippers

Oceania

Costa Rica Adventure

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There is so much to explore in this tropical country as you travel around.  You’ll not want to miss the Cloud Forest with its huge variety of birds and mammals or Arenal Volano, set in the tropical lowlands.  Enjoy this adventure packed tailor made trip through Costa Rica.

Summary

Costa Rica Adventure

Day 1: San José
Day 2: Poás Volcano National Park
Day 3: Pacuare River Rafting
Day 4: Bajos del Toro
Day 6: Arenal
Day 9: Rincon de la Vieja area
Day 11: Conchal Beach
Day 15: San Jose
Day 16: Depart San Jose

Description

Description

Day 1: San José
You will be met at the airport and transported to your central hotel. Take a tour of the capital city including a visit to the Gold Museum which houses the largest collection of Pre-Columbian Gold in Central America. Enjoy a stroll along the Central Avenue Boulevard.
San Jose 2 nights

Day 2: Poás Volcano National Park
Early morning start to the northern mountains of the Central Valley and a full day tour of Poás Volcano National Park. Spend time at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. On the return to San José, visit a family owned coffee plantation.

Day 3: Pacuare River Rafting
Today you will head to the Pacuare River, crossing the Continental Divide and passing through the breathtaking Braulio Carrillo National Park. Take an exhilarating rafting trip down this wild and scenic river which offers some of the finest white water in Latin America winding deep inside one of Costa Rica’s most impressive rainforests. Traverse 20 miles of remote and Class 111 scenic waters that course through a wilderness of dense vegetation and steep sided gorges. You will eventually arrive at your overnight eco-lodge, nestled in a private 1000 acre rainforest reserve overlooking the river. Afternoon at leisure to enjoy optional activities such as hiking and swimming
Rainforest Lodge 1 night

Day 4: Bajos del Toro
Continue your river rafting adventure along the Pacuare, stopping off for lunch along the river. On arrival at your destination, transportation and a guide will be waiting to transfer you to Bajos del Toro. En route visit a former cocoa bean rain forest plantation for a guided hike followed by a hands-on chocolate making session. Continue to Bajos del Toro located in the Tropical Cloud Forest. Your base here is a luxury eco resort and spa set in 500 private acres of tropical cloud forest, dotted with hidden waterfalls and gentle creeks. Relax in your suite which boasts a private outdoor whirlpool tub, viewing deck and gasfireplace.
Bajos Del Toro 2 nights

On your full day here enjoy a nature walk through the cloud forest that will take you past a pristine creek and mesmerizing waterfalls. Enjoy lunch in the riverside restaurant. In the afternoon take a tour of the thriving local rural community with its rich traditions, unsurpassed landscapes and intriguing flora. Visit a local orchid enthusiast; his collection features more than 400 orchids.

Day 6: Arenal
After breakfast, you may join in an optional Yoga session or a guided cloud forest trail walk. After lunch transfer to Arenal. Your journey passes through the agricultural town of Zarcero before continuing to the northern lowlands in Alajuela Province where we find the Arenal Volcano, active since 1968. Here you will be based for 3 nights
Arenal Volcano 3 nights

Your first morning is filled with adrenaline as you drive into the tropical rainforest outside the town of La Fortuna. When you arrive at the waterfalls you will abseil from the top down into the beautiful pristine canyon below. After trekking through the canyon there will be more abseiling down to other waterfalls that will take you to the tranquil pools. Enjoy some bird watching, or just relax in this unspoiled paradise. Before sunset, visit the best lookout point in La Fortuna to enjoy Arenal Volcano and Lake at the same time! You can simply sit, take pictures and relax waiting for the frequent volcanic activity or hike along the lava trails.

Your second full day here takes you through citrus groves, pineapple and sugar cane plantations to Los Chiles on the northern border with Nicaragua. From here you’ll be taken on a comfortable boat ride up the Río Frío, a tropical river alive with an immense variety of animals. Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge consists of over 18,000 acres of lagoons and marshland (tropical everglades). The area attracts many bird watchers and nature lovers. Capuchin, spider and howler monkeys, sloth, garfish, roseate spoonbills, many types of herons, caimans and turtles are commonly found in this unique reserve. As many as 60 different types of birds have been spotted on this adventure tour. Lunch included in a local restaurant in the village of Los Chiles. On the way back, stop by the iguana bridge to observe some huge specimens. Arrive back at the hotel in the mid afternoon before enjoying a gentle evening float trip down the Peñas Blancas River. Witness the jungle transform from day into night. Regular sightings include the common opossum, common gray four-opossum, brown-throated three toed sloth, Hoffmann’s two-toed sloth, long-nosed bat, mantled Howler monkey, yellow-crowned night-heron, spectacled owl, the american crocodile and plenty of baby crocodiles.

Day 9: Rincon de la Vieja area
Travel from the northern lowlands to the Guanacaste Volcanic Mountain Range where the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano is located. Your base for 2 nights is a family owned cattle ranch which offers a contrasting volcanic activity experience. During your stay here you have a choice of activities including horseback riding to a waterfall, river tubing and cattle herding. Or relax in the hotel’s spa and swimming pool.
Rincon de la Vieja 2 nights

Day 11: Conchal Beach
After breakfast transfer to all inclusive beach resort Paradisus located by one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, for a few nights relaxation at the end of your holiday.
Paradisus Beach Resort 4 nights (or longer)

Day 15: San Jose
Your guide will meet you at your beach resort and transfer you back to San Jose. En route enjoy lunch at a Hacienda, perhaps sampling the fresh tilapia. Continue towards San Jose for your final night

Day 16: Depart San Jose

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Courtesy of ICT


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Courtesy of ICT


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Courtesy of ICT

            

 

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

An increasingly popular way to visit Costa Rica, or to add to a land based itinerary is to join a cruise ship.  Several smaller companies now offer voyages that begin or end in Costa Rica – ask us for details
 

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Oceania

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Oceania Cruises ® is one of the world’s upper-premium cruise lines and offers an unrivalled combination of the finest cuisine at sea, elegant accommodations, exceptional personalised service and extraordinary value. Award-winning itineraries visit more than 300 ports in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Americas aboard the luxurious Regatta, Insignia, Nautica or the larger Marina and Riviera. With itineraries tailored to include many overnight port stays, passengers are allowed time to immerse themselves in the history, culture and local flavour of the region. The onboard atmosphere is relaxed and reminiscent of the casual elegance of a country club – no Tuxedos and gowns required so you can dress and enjoy the evening comfortably.

The flexibility of open seating restaurants allows you to dine when, where and with whom you choose, with 5-star menus. Oceania Cruises will appeal to a discerning, sophisticated traveller in search of world-class cuisine, unparalleled personal service, and an enriching, in-depth, destination-oriented experience.

Contact us for more information

Oceania Marina

Credit Oceania Cruises


Oceania Regatta

Credit Oceania Cruises


Ship_santorini[1]

Credit Oceania Cruises

            

 

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