27 September 2023

Japan, Perth and more…

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By John Rozentals.

Matt Adnate’s 25-storey mural: its subjects gaze over the Perth cityscape.

The 250-room Adnate, the giant Accor group’s new Perth Art Series hotel, is due to open in October and has started taking bookings at the special opening rate of from $179 per night.

The hotel is inspired by the powerful multi-cultural portraiture of Australian street artist Matt Adnate, and its east-facing wall features one of the world’s largest ‘mega murals’ — a monumental artwork spanning 25 storeys.

Its subjects gaze over the cityscape in a breathtaking portrayal of Perth’s cultural and community connection throughout the years.

Visit www.artserieshotels.com.au/adnate.

A great experience: fishing at Berkeley River Lodge.

Experience The Berkeley River Lodge’s fishing adventures in true VIP style by booking the lodge exclusively for eight fishing enthusiasts.

Two experienced guides will share their tips to fishing the Berkeley River region of the Kimberley coast, even exploring for the elusive barramundi where the Berkeley River meets the Timor Sea.

By night wind down and enjoy the sunset over the Timor Sea, as you enjoy your chef-prepared meal and a cold drink.

Private villa accommodation features a king bed, air conditioning and en-suite with free-standing bathtub and floor-to-ceiling windows.

Cost of $6000 per person includes five nights of lodge accommodation, two nights accommodation in Darwin, fishing with private guide, all meals, all beer and wine, return charter flights from Darwin, and fishing gear.

Visit www.berkeleyriverlodge.com.au.

Great Keppel Island … features a web of walking trails.

The 1454 hectares of Great Keppel Island includes 17 beaches to explore and is laced with a web of walking trails ranging from a 15-minute beach stroll to a 15-kilometre hike to the lighthouse at the island’s tip.

The network of walking tracks disperses trekkers around the island to secluded beaches or spectacular lookouts featuring the 17 other islands of Keppel Bay along with the real star of the show — the brilliant Southern Great Barrier Reef.

For those preferring a moderate walk, the Lookout Trail is 2.6 kilometres and will take approximately one hour.

The walk commences at the water sports hut on Fishermans Beach and takes participants to the ridge-top shelter and excellent views to the west.

Visit www.greatbarrierreef.org.

James Blundell: a headline act for P&O.

Country-music-star Casey Barnes, The X Factor Australia singer-songwriter Caitlyn Shadbolt and the legendary Country-Music-Awards-Hall-of-Fame inductee James Blundell will be the headliners for P&O’s first country music festival at sea, when the line departs Brisbane on December 7 for a three-night return cruise.

Each of the three artists will take to the ship’s main stage for a solo performance before coming together for a finale at the late-night Country Music Jam Session.

The country theme will extend throughout the cruise with line dancing, ukulele lessons, bush poetry and the cruise line’s Country Music Sailaway Party in full swing as the ship leaves Brisbane.

Fares start from $479 per person for a quad-share cabin.

Phone 132 494 or visit www.pocruises.com.au.

Riviera’s Geoffrey Chaucer: the company’s sixth all-suite ship on European rivers.

Riviera Travel River Cruises will debut its latest five-star European river ship, the Geoffrey Chaucer, in April next year, with itineraries on the Danube, Main and Rhine Rivers as well as the Dutch waterways.

The 169-guest vessel will be Riviera Travel’s sixth all-suite ship and will lift the fleet size to 13 vessels.

The Geoffrey Chaucer will feature two restaurants — a main venue and The Bistro, a more intimate venue with an open kitchen and panoramic windows.

Features include an observation lounge, gym, wellness centre and sun deck with splash pool.

Cabins are reserved for solo travellers, free of any supplement.

Fares start from $1599 per person for a five-day Dutch bulbfields cruise.

Visit www.rivieratravel.com.au.

Cycling Morocco’s Atlas Mountains: scenery includes snow-capped peaks.

SpiceRoads has a new 11-day road-cycling tour of Morocco, venturing across the Atlas Mountains and down to the Atlantic Coast at Essaouira.

Riding begins in the foothills outside Marrakesh, with scenery ranging from rocky arid valleys to sweeping views of the desert framed by the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas.

Daily climbs exceed 1000 meters and there are some challenging passes in eight days of cycling, but the ride is fully vehicle-supported.

The ride is priced at US$1775, including all accommodation, refreshments, full cycling guide and support team, and most meals.

Guests can rent a high-quality road bike for the trip for an additional US$200, and have a private room for an additional US$300.

Visit www.spiceroads.com.

A very special Christmas: sailing the sacred Brahmaputra.

Travellers seeking a unique and memorable Christmas can save 25 per cent on a Adventure Resorts and Cruises boutique seven-night journey along India’s sacred Brahmaputra River, passing ancient palaces, temples, tribal villages, tea plantations, jungles and the towering Himalayan mountains.

The seven-night cruise is one of the few sailings through a national park, Kaziranga which is home to wild buffaloes, elephants, Bengal tigers, freshwater dolphins, over 400 species of bird and two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceros.

Other highlights include views of the 7000-metre-high Himalayas, visiting the birthplace of English breakfast tea and the opportunity to have bonfires on deserted river islands at night.

Fares are from US$1975 per person twin-share, including all shipboard main meals, transfers and daily shore excursions.

Visit www.adventurerivercruises.com.

Okinawa: a plethora of marine activities such as stand-up paddle boarding. Image: David Kirkland.

Okinawa, a group of islands in southern Japan, is famed for its sub-tropical climate, relaxed lifestyle, and untouched nature, featuring a plethora of marine activities such as snorkelling and stand-up paddle boarding.

Stand-up paddle boarding creates an elevated vantage point and is great exercise, with Aka Island a popular spot for the activity.

It can be reached in 50 minutes via high-speed ferry from Tomari Port in Naha.

In the Nanjo Chinen area of southern Okinawa, yoga is combined with stand-up paddle boarding to create a unique experience, with increased difficulty due to the unstable setting creates — a great workout.

Visit www.visitokinawa.jp.

Raffles Singapore: a hotel synonymous with its location.

Raffles Singapore has reopened following the iconic hotel’s three-phased restoration which began in February 2017.

“There are few hotels in the world whose names have become virtually synonymous with the cities in which they are located — and none more so than the Raffles Hotel in Singapore,” said Christian Westbeld, General Manager of the hotel.

Raffles Singapore offers all-suite accommodation, across nine distinct suite categories, with the total suite count increasing from 103 to 115.

The Raffles Arcade has been newly outfitted and guests and locals will delight in exploring restaurants and bars at the hotel.

At the refreshed Long Bar, travellers will continue to enjoy the hotel’s most famous cocktail, the original Singapore Sling, along with the tradition of tossing peanut shells on the floor.

The hotel was first opened in 1887, and declared a National Monument a century later by the Singapore Government.

Visit www.accorhotels.com.

The Reina Silvia Voyager … a high-end Galápagos touring vessel.

G Adventures has introduced a sixth yacht to its fleet of vessels for touring the Galápagos Islands — a catamaran which will be among the most comfortable passenger touring vessels of its size in the Galápagos.

The Reina Silvia Voyager will cruise the area as a high-end touring vessel, accommodating up to 16 passengers in 10 cabins on two decks.

Eight of those cabins are designed as twins or doubles, and two are dedicated to solo travellers. Eight rooms offer private balconies.

Common areas on board include a third deck for sunbathing, covered cocktails bar, grill station and an outdoor jacuzzi tub.

An indoor, air-conditioned salon with large video screen will enable visual presentations from trained naturalists, who will guide each group’s tour and help guests learn about the iconic wildlife and culture of the Galápagos Islands’ inhabitants.

Landings and exploration of the region’s remote ports and wild, rocky coasts will be accessible to guests, thanks to the Reina Silvia Voyager’s nine on-board kayaks and two zodiacs.

An eight-day voyage is priced from $7499 per person.

Visit www.gadventures.com.au.

Silversea Cruises: special deals for solo travellers.

Solo travellers with Silversea Cruises are being offered a 10 per cent single supplement on a select range of voyages in India, Asia and Central and South America in October and December this year.

Voyages on offer also include return international economy flights and overseas transfers, with select voyages also offering additional benefits of US$1000 shipboard credit per suite and a one-category suite upgrade.

On 20 October, for instance, Silver Cloud departs Lima on a 25-day sailing to Buenos Aires.

From the rugged shores and dry deserts of Chile to the stunning beauty of Patagonia, this voyage around the tip of South America takes in fascinating scenery, including glaciers, fjords, and the mysterious Nazca lines, whilst also allowing guests to delve deeper through local cuisine.

Visit www.silversea.com.

Ski in Japan: from $2480 per person quad-share, including Qantas air.

Fly Qantas non-stop to Japan and ski and snowboard for a week at Rusutsu — winner of Japan’s Best Ski Resort in 2017 and 2018 — in a package that includes seven nights at the four-star ski-in/ski-out resort hotel.

The deal includes direct Qantas flights ex-Sydney to Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport, airport round-trip shuttle bus to Rusutsu, a two-day Rusutsu ski lift pass, daily breakfast and the majority of taxes, service fees and surcharges.

Cost is from $2480 per person quad-share, a saving of up to $1000 on SkiJapan.com’s normal rate for Rusutsu packages.

The hotel is located about two hours from New Chitose Airport, and 40 minutes from Niseko.

Depart from December 16, return by March 21.

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