With the latest options for cruisers, whale watchers and those looking for great value in Bali, Travel Editor Stephen Scourfield dives into another week in travel
Exactly a week ago, on August 12, Seabourn’s second ultra-luxury expedition ship, Seabourn Pursuit, set sail on its inaugural voyage — an eight-day trip from Valletta, Malta, to Rome. It has about 10,000sqm of deck space and indoor and outdoor guest areas with nearly 270-degree views. The ship aims to deliver what a Seabourn spokesperson calls a “luxurious, yacht-like small-ship experience”. It sails with a 24-strong expedition team, and has eight dining venues.
… ALSO SETTING SAIL
Two days later, on August 14, Silversea’s first Nova-class ship, Silver Nova, set off on its maiden voyage. It sailed from Venice, Italy, on a seven-day round-trip voyage through the Adriatic. It is Silversea’s 12th ship and a spokesperson says it is one of the most environmentally conscious ultra-luxury cruise ships ever built. Openness is prized over symmetry, and the ship has 4000sqm of glass.
Precisely 20 years ago, the expedition cruise ship company Kimberley Quest achieved ECO Certification with Ecotourism Australia. Even now, but certainly then, it’s not an easy thing. Ecotourism Australia is the national peak body for eco and sustainable tourism in Australia and certifies businesses and destinations according to global best practice sustainability standards. It’s not an easy standard to meet. But maintaining it continuously for those two decades has earned Kimberley Quest a spot in Ecotourism Australia’s Hall of Fame. kimberleyquest.com.au
SIMPLY FOR SOLOS
Coral Expeditions has expanded its solo traveller program to meet ever-increasing demand. It has added a new Solo Share program to complement the existing Solo Supplement, Solo Standby and Solo Specials.
Under Solo Share, any guest can book in a twin cabin at a single rate with no additional supplement to pay. A spokesperson tells me: “They must be willing to share the twin room with another guest of the same gender. This program allows guests to secure their travel immediately, with no more waiting for a potential room share match to be made. If no match is made with another single, guests will travel alone on the single rate.”
Solo Supplement has cabins on every departure that can be booked by solo travellers with a supplement.
Solo Standby allows guests to book a single-occupancy cabin with no supplement fare if there is availability within 30 days of the cruise departure.
For Solo Specials have reduced or no supplements. coralexpeditions.com
A naturally occurring strain of bacteria can help stop the transmission of malaria from mosquitoes to humans, scientists have revealed. And that discovery happened by chance. Researchers in Spain, at a lab run by the GSK pharmaceutical company, noticed that a colony of mosquitoes that was being used for drug development had stopped carrying the malaria parasite. They had the bacteria TC1 in them. That bacteria may be a new weapon in fighting one of the world’s oldest known diseases, which kills about 600,000 people a year. Trials are underway to work out its safety.
A WHALE OF A VIEW
Perth is about to get something new, whale watching by parasail. In time for the migration of humpback whales along our coastline, Cicerello’s Jet Adventures will board parasailers into a jet boat from the jetty outside Cicerello’s Restaurant in Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, to head out into the blue yonder. Whales migrate to the Kimberley to raise their young before returning to the feeding grounds of Antarctica. The return journey brings them close to Perth’s coastline. There will be 12 guests per trip, per day, departing Fremantle at 9.30am, with each tour lasting about two and a half hours. cicerellosjetadventures.com.au
September and October is Bali’s shoulder season, generally with lower prices and slightly fewer tourists. It also means deals for travellers. For example, Viceroy Bali, which is an independently owned and operated 40-villa resort above Ubud’s Valley of the Kings, has a deal for 35 per cent off stays booked 60 days in advance. viceroybali.com
And My Bali has an eight-night getaway for the whole family at Westin Resort Nusa Dua. The resort welcomes guests of all ages, and is on the beach, with lots of facilities for kids.
For $2090 per person twin share, the My Bali package includes return flights with checked luggage, transfers, eight nights in a premium room, daily buffet breakfast, a tour, a $US500 ($770) wine, dine and spa credit and other bonuses (the team at My Bali reckons it is actually $2300 in bonus value). Book by September 30, 2023, for travel on selected dates between September 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024. MyBali.com.au and 1300 332 254.