Arrivals & Departures Weekly Travel News & Views 14 November, 2023

Shoppers in the Christmas market in Tuileries Gardens, Paris.

With sage advice for school leavers and festive fun in Europe, Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield takes a tour around another week in Travel


Personally, I can’t think of many things scarier than having a teenager (son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, friend) going to Bali for leavers week. Robbie Gaspar, president of Indonesia Institute, adds: “Bali is in the midst of a serious crackdown on unruly and disrespectful behaviour by tourists.

“The Bali governor is deeply worried about the number of foreigners who have been drunk and disorderly or have been acting in a violent or disrespectful way, so police are this year taking a much harder line. If you are a schoolie, please respect Balinese traditions, including dressing modestly when visiting temples, and please avoid getting too drunk in public places. Remember riding a motorbike is illegal if you do not have an international driver’s licence. And finally please arrange travel insurance before you leave Perth. It can cost up to $100,000 to fly a badly injured person back to Australia, so take precautions.” But Robbie adds: “Have a great holiday.”

PS And a final thought from me to any leavers who are reading this, or for anyone who knows one to pass on: “You may be in a group, but make your own decisions”.


Christmas can be a delightful time to visit Europe with all those Christmas Markets to explore. And Viking still has a few places on its river cruise called Christmas on the Main & Moselle, between Paris and Prague. It is a 12-day voyage. A Viking contact tells me there are:

Standard staterooms from $5195 per person twin share, with best availability on November 27 and December 18.

French balcony staterooms on December 11 and 18, sailings from $6195 per person.

Veranda staterooms on December 11 and 18, from $6595 each.

The voyage immerses travellers in French, German and Czech Christmas traditions — from Paris to quaint German towns scented with gingerbread, and with colourful stalls. and 138 747


Our charter flight weekend in Uluru is sold out and we have only 30 seats left at our West Travel Club Christmas Gala Dinner on December 5. It’s at The University Club of Western Australia and will celebrate the “Best of Travel” in food, music and words.


Reader Doreen Pearce has told me off for a photograph in last week’s print edition: “Please try to refrain from sexist pictures in the Travel section. The article regarding hats has one where the model has her jacket pulled down to reveal her bikini-clad breast. This type of picture is not appropriate in this day and age.”

I just saw it as a person in summer attire, but have apologised to Doreen, of course. I see it as a perfectly respectable picture. I must add that, although I fully respect Doreen’s opinion, The West has 500,000 readers on a Saturday and Doreen’s was the only negative comment. But all comments are taken seriously. Incidentally, The Sunday Times has about 400,000 readers — so our 60 pages of Travel last weekend was widely read.


On clothing, I recently wrote a big story about how Patagonia is using used fishing nets to make puffer jackets. I now notice that the company is collecting leftover scraps to make its wool and cashmere sweaters. A spokesperson says of the sweaters: “They enjoy life a little unkempt, but clean up for more responsible situations, too.” (Hopefully, don’t we all.)


Reader Geoff Zimmer has recently returned from a Travelmarvel trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. Mogens Johansen is just back from the same trip, and we feature it in these pages.

Geoff says he’s been catching up with the backlog of Travel supplements and adds:

“I could not agree more about Singapore Airlines punctuality. As we were waiting for our return flight to Australia at the new Angkor terminal in Siem Reap, Cambodia, there were at least 12 announcements apologising for the 10-minute delay to our flight.”

“Your comment about Apple AirTags rang some bells as I have used Tiles trackers for a few years and they have been very reliable. In fact, I have on all our baggage and hand luggage. .”

“Your most recent comment about Pacsafe products also rang true as I have been using their products for a few years now, given they all have RFID screening, anti-slash mesh, anti-cut straps and secure locking arrangements. I have an LS250 cross body bag which easily accommodated a full-sized iPad. I got my wife an LS100 for her travel essentials and she loves it.

“We are considering Europe next year, having decided Egypt and Morocco are probably off the agenda. Your section on river cruising Europe 2024 was very timely! Keep up the great work!”


Holidays of Australia and the World has just 12 cabins left on a “fly free” cruise deal. The passenger gets the free flight (to the value of $400) back from Sydney to Perth after the cruise — which is exclusive to Holidays of Australia and the World. The 13-day, 12-night cruise is called Southern Australia in Depth with Coral Princess from Perth.

It leaves Fremantle on March 15, 2024, to sail to Sydney. On the way, it calls at Margaret River, Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne, Burnie and Hobart. In Sydney, there is then one night at Parkroyal Darling Harbour, including breakfast, before flying home. An interior cabin is from $4099 per person twin share; an oceanview cabin is from $5019 each. Add a balcony and it is from $5669 per person. and look for “Southern Australia in depth with Coral Princess” or call 1300 854 897.