Down the Danube with Avalon Waterways

“From Vienna to Budapest, a river cruise showcases off-the-beaten path things to experience.”

There’s a fire in the kitchen! Sparks are flying after chef Karl Wrenkh pours a small vial of vodka into a simmering pan of oyster mushroom stroganoff and quickly takes a lighter to it — causing the liquid substance to instantly burst into metre-high flames.

But unlike some failed dinners that accidently transform meals into a charred crisp, his concoction is all about deliberately sealing some extra flavour into a mouthwatering recipe. 

From the newly-remodelled cooking studio of Wrenkh Vienna Culinary School, the budding entrepreneur explained how he and his brother Leo followed in their parents’ footsteps to bring local, fresh and healthy cuisine to life in a destination that’s universally renowned for being the home of the Wiener schnitzel. It’s a rather interesting story too, considering the family isn’t vegetarian but rather, stems from a long history of butchering. 

“Nobody in the family ever was [vegetarian] — we’re actually a family of butchers. We still feel there’s a lack of really good, quality vegetarian food in Austria. It’s great fun cooking vegetarian stuff because we can still always be creative with the recipes,” he said. “My parents were among the first vegetarian chefs in Austria in the 1990s, but then they divorced and we didn’t exist for a couple of years… then my brother and I opened up here in ’09. It’s 80% vegetarian with meat and fish [on the menu] — we say we cook what we hunt and fish.” 

Today, the restaurant has not only become a trendy spot for lunch and dinner, but a cooking hub for visitors and locals alike to learn how to make mainly vegetarian meals with a twist during daily culinary workshops. The Wrenkh brothers, who have their own cookbooks, are also co-creators of Avalon Fresh, river cruise line Avalon Waterways’ selection of healthy and vegetarian menu offerings onboard.

“We had a need to elevate our vegetarian cuisine; we didn’t want to serve pasta every day,” noted Pam Hoffee, the president of Avalon Waterways, who was also on location for the cooking demonstration. “Originally, it was about vegetarian cuisine but then we saw a trend towards healthy eating as well. It’s helped us elevate that and it’s been evolving over time.”

The suite life 

Recently christened by 15-time Emmy Award-winning host, executive producer and anchor Meredith Vieira, Avalon View is the newest ship to join Avalon’s fleet. The 166-passenger ship is mostly made up of 200 sq. ft. Panorama Suites with floor-to-ceiling 11-feet wide windows that slide wide open. There are also two large 300 sq. ft. Royal Suites, complete with two sinks and a powder room for guests for those seeking even more space.

Travellers looking to experience the ship firsthand can take part in a variety of Danube-based itineraries offered this year, including a special Gone Girl! departure on Sept. 15 with author Gillian Flynn.

After transforming the ship from Lot #02338024 to Avalon View, Vieira, well known for her time on television as the host of The View and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, admitted to having a slight fear of water before agreeing to take on duties as godmother. 

“It’s so warm and inviting. I love the size of the ship. You feel like you’re part of a family,” she said, reflecting on her time on the ship. “There’s an intimacy to it that’s really lovely. I really feel like I’m immersed in the culture around me because of the fact that we’re constantly stopping and you have the opportunity to do so many different things in port. The food on this ship is really good and the wine is unbelievable. I would definitely do it again. I could see myself doing it alone, it’s definitely a great experience as a family or friends. You can make it whatever you want.”

Highlights along the route

Unlike ocean cruises where guests often wake up somewhere new every morning, the river cruise journey takes place during the day so that all those onboard can soak up the scenery as the ship moves past historic castles, stunning landscapes and picturesque buildings like Dürnstein’s blue Abbey. Another must on a river cruise down the Danube is an evening illumination cruise past landmarks in Budapest like the The Hungarian Parliament Building and Castle Hill. 

While in port, a variety of daily tours ranging from active hiking or biking outings to classic city explorations are offered to give visitors the chance to have a deeper connection and understanding of the destination. These options allow travellers to customize their river cruise journey from start-to-finish based on personal interests. In Bratislava, for example, a classic option would be a city tour with a stop to enjoy Slovakian liquor tasting at the St. Nicolaus Distillery. Meanwhile an active option would be hiking through the forest and vineyards of Raca, followed by a wine tasting. There is really no wrong choice and it can be tough to narrow down which tour to choose. The convenient thing about being docked in the heart of the city is that it’s also easy to get on and off to explore. There’s ample free time built into each itinerary so that those who are torn between two daily excursions will be able to cross off some of those sights on their own.




This super low-cost carrier is offering super cheap flights to almost anywhere in Canada

Swoop, Canada’s ultra-low cost airline is celebrating four years of making air travel more accessible and affordable for Canadians. The airline kicked off festivities with two inaugural flights departing from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Swoop flight WO370 arrived in Deer Lake, NL at 11:40 a.m. local time, and Swoop flight WO750 landed for the very first time in the Big Apple, at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport at 10:15 a.m. local time.  

Since the airline’s first flight on June 20, 2018, Swoop has proudly served over four million travellers, connected Canadians to 33 destinations in five different countries with a total of 52 routes currently operating, and over 28,000 flights operated in these past four years.

Swoop is inviting travellers to join the festivities at airports across the country, with giveaways and special birthday treats. The ultra-not-expensive airline is also GIF(t)ingCanadians with 40% off base fares with promo code BDAYGIFS.   

Feel like royalty on this luxury barge that offers private tours down the River Thames

European Waterways’ Magna Carta hotel barge, which cruises Britain’s River Thames, takes guests on daily, sometimes private tours to some of the opulent royal residences that feature prominently in the UK’s celebration of the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

Along the way, they cruise in utmost comfort, dine on gastronomic meals prepared by their personal chef, drink the finest regional wines, and enjoy views of castles, lavish estates, and the rural beauty of the English countryside that are fit for dignitaries.

With cabins on the Magna Carta quickly selling out for the 2022 season, travellers can still book 2023 and beyond at current prices, which start at $5,190 per person, based on double occupancy. Whole-boat charters start at $38,200 and allow guests to indulge in interests such as antiquing, golf and tennis, as well as family activities.

Magna Carta’s interior.

Palaces and Castles

Among the numerous excursions on Magna Carta’s itinerary is a private tour of Hampton Court Palace. Guests visit some of Henry VIII’s apartments and the Palace’s haunted gallery, where rumor has it that his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, ran screaming to confront Henry VIII when she found that he had discovered her affair. Guests will visit the original Tudor kitchens, which are complete with a hearth that is still used to demonstrate how meat was cooked on a spit. They will also tour the wood-beamed Great Hall that dates to the sixteenth century, as well as the elegant, manicured grounds of the East-facing Privy Garden.

 Magna Carta guests can also enjoy a cruise to Windsor Castle, Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite residence. Built by William the Conqueror more than 900 years ago, it is the largest castle in the world that is still inhabited today.  Guests will be treated to a “Behind the Scenes” tour of the College of St. George and visit St. Georges Chapel, where the Royal Wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was held. They will also enjoy breathtaking views of the 2.5 mile Long Walk which leads to the Castle. 

Windsor Castle

Depending on the itinerary, Magna Carta can also provide guests with a private tour of Dorney Court. This Tudor manor house has been owned by the Palmer family for more than 450 years. It has served as a filming location for well-known titles like “Poirot” and “The Other Boleyn Girl.”
 
The Magna Carta’s classic cruise includes an excursion to Cliveden Estate, which once belonged to George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and a favorite of Charles II’s court. Cliveden was later also home to the American Astor family, during which it became a destination for high society, entertaining Prime Ministers like David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill.
 
“An all-inclusive European Waterways hotel barge cruise is the perfect way to celebrate your own jubilee or any other special occasion – or just to spend a week of pampering, gentle touring, and relaxation,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways.  “Regardless of the cruise region you chose, you will always get the royal treatment!”
 

Sailing away with Holland America Line

As a company that’s been around for going on 150 years, Holland America Line is no stranger to adapting.

The premium cruise line started out as a shipping and passenger line, slowly gaining a reputation for safely bringing emigrants from Europe to North America. Nearly one million people made the journey to new beginnings and adventures on a Holland America ship — including Albert Einstein, Olympic boxing champion Bep van Klaveren, Alfred Hitchcock, Ernest Hemingway and Roald Dahl — to name but a few.

During the First World War, several ships were called upon to carry and transport soldiers. In the Second World War,, ships like Nieuw Amsterdam were even converted into troopships, eventually resuming regular operations after being refitted back to passenger ships post war.

At the height of the prohibition, the company offered what could be dubbed the original booze cruises — taking passengers into international waters from New York City to serve alcohol. Now doesn’t that sound like a party?

Facing other challenges like stiff competition and the takeoff of trans-Atlantic air travel, HAL charted a course for new destinations in the Caribbean and Alaska, transitioning to a primary focus on cruise holidays.

And while the pandemic dealt another blow, the cruise line forged ahead to make sure the return to the waters would be strong by enhancing its content and putting in place new programming to mark its 75th year of operations in Alaska.

“The pandemic has been hard, but as I stand here today, I’m flooded with hope and filled with confidence that our best days are still ahead,” Michelle Sutter, vice president of North America sales, said kicking off a session during the Attitude of Gratitude trade appreciation cruise held on the Rotterdam from March 10 to 13.

The new Pinnacle-class ship is the seventh to hold the Rotterdam name, including the company’s first ship, the original Rotterdam. Although the flagship has come a long way since those original cross Atlantic sailings with offerings like the Music Walk, featuring nightly entertainment ranging from B.B. King’s Blues Club to the Rolling Stone Rock Room, where a live band plays classic rock and roll hits, and a culinary scene with high-end options like Tamarind and Rudi’s Sel de Mer to quick bites like gourmet hotdogs and burgers, elements of the past are still evident throughout.

“Our first ship was Rotterdam. The company was headquartered in Rotterdam — it’s actually a hotel now,” explained Gus Antorcha, president of Holland America Line. “There’s always been a Rotterdam as part of the fleet. The history of the company is very important to us — it’s acknowledging our roots, where we’re coming from and where we started.”

The evolution of HAL plays out during an evening staged presentation called Origin Story on Rotterdam and look no further than the cocktail menu at Half Moon Bar for a drink called the Three Mile Run, in honour of the prohibition days.

And for those truly wanting to get back to HAL’s origins, Rotterdam will be replicating the first crossing from Holland to New York on a special itinerary set for Oct. 2, 2022. Although unlike the original crossing 150 years ago, there are added ports of call on the docket like Copenhagen and Paris.

“We’re adding a few other ports because just a straight-shot Rotterdam to New York wouldn’t be that interesting — but in October, this ship will go from the Netherlands to New York, we stop in Paris along the way, which is nice. That voyage in particular will have a lot of our history and some of the memorabilia,” said Antorcha. “It’s pretty cool when you’ve been operating 150 years and started around bringing emigrants and doing it in a way that was safe. It was safe passage, it was quality, but it was focused on emigration.”

And stay tuned for 2023, as the company marks a milestone 150 years of operations since officially being founded on April 18, 1873. More details about highlights and the celebrations that are in store will be released closer to the anniversary date.

“The not so obvious advantage for booking a cruise right now, at least in the short term, is service,” he said. “The ships are staffed up and the service is excellent. Compare it to other options today where costs may be high with service gaps due to staff shortages and supply chain issues. This was not a issue on board which was a delight to experience.”

As for the Rotterdam, Pearlman said the flow of the ship made sense and it was apparent that “HAL is just as delighted to be back to cruising.”

“The Pinnacle class ships are great,” he said. “Small enough not to feel crowded but big enough for lots of extra space and energy. I think there something for everyone but I would say it’s geared more towards adults — of any age — with an affinity for music and food.”

Ritz-Carlton is adding two new super yachts to its luxury collection

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is expanding its fleet with the addition of two newbuild superyachts, Ilma and Luminara, slated to set sail in 2024 and 2025, respectively.

These superyachts will be constructed in collaboration with world- renowned shipyard, Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Sant-Nazaire, France, with an option for additional vessels. Chantiers de l’Atlantique will carry out all production and development, including enhanced design and sustainability features, guided by the highest shipbuilding and marine engineering practices within the ultra-luxury sector. The announcement comes at an exciting time as The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection prepares to launch its first superyacht, Evrima, this summer.

The specially designed superyachts feature the highest space ratios at sea, with 228 suites, each with its own private terrace, and will offer a high percentage of larger suites, with two new, spacious upper suite categories measuring up to 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) in size. Both vessels will showcase modern craftsmanship and interior finishes imagined by London-based architect and design firm, AD Associates, and lighting designer, DPA. Finland-based yacht stylist, Aivan, developed the exterior design of the newbuilds, taking inspiration from the elegant aesthetics of private yacht design.

The onboard experience will reflect the sublime comfort and legendary guest service for which the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized. Having the highest staff-to-guest ratios in the luxury cruising category, Ilma and Luminara will provide nearly one staff member for every guest. In addition to unparalleled accommodations, the new superyachts will include five restaurants, six bars, a wine vault, and signature spaces found on Evrima such as an expanded marina with a new mezzanine feature, a Ritz-Carlton Spa, and a special space for Ritz Kids programming. For special events, groups can enjoy an exclusive cocktail reception on the yacht’s expanded bow.

Reaffirming The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s commitment to implementing sustainable practices throughout the business, each vessel will be fitted with four dual-fuel engines and utilize liquefied natural gas (LNG) as its main fuel source, significantly reducing emissions as compared to traditional practices. Additionally, the yachts will include advanced water treatment systems, an efficient heat recovery loop, LED lighting, and more, with the goal of minimizing environmental impact.

Reservations for the 2024 season of itineraries will open to the public this fall. The new superyachts will feature itineraries ranging from seven to 10 nights in the Caribbean and Mediterranean and offer an all- inclusive experience. These superyachts will also be available for private charter.

This new Canadian airline can take you to The Rockies for less than $100

Dubbing itself an ultra-affordable airline rather than an ultra-low cost carrier, Lynx Air has big plans for the Canadian market. During an event held in Toronto on March 17, CEO Merren McArthur announced a major expansion out of the Toronto region, adding four new destinations and five new routes to its network.

“By the end of July, we will be flying 92 flights per week in and out of the Toronto area, which is more than 17,000 seats per week. This is a big investment for a small startup like us,” said McArthur. “We’re offering really great prices and that’s what we want to do to attract people to our airline, but then we want to earn loyalty from our customers through providing great customer service. Our model is about growing the market share, so we’re not going to steal traffic from our competitors, we want to grow the market.”

In Ontario, Lynx will operate out of both Toronto Pearson Airport and John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport, with service to six destinations: Halifax, St. John’s, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Depending on what time of the year it is, travellers can score deals on fares less than $100 each way to popular destinations like Vancouver or Edmonton.

The newly announced Lynx routes are:

  • Toronto Pearson – Halifax: Three flights per week, commencing June 30, and increasing to five per week from July 30.
  • Toronto Pearson – St. John’s: Two flights per week, commencing June 28, and increasing to seven flights per week from July 28.
  • Toronto Pearson – Edmonton: Seven flights per week, commencing July 28.
  • Hamilton – Calgary: Two flights per week, commencing June 29, and increasing to four flights per week from July 29.
  • Hamilton – Halifax: Two flights per week, commencing June 29.

“We already had three destinations, which were Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver on our network map,” she said. “We believe airfares have been far too high for far too long in Canada.”

Lynx is set to takeoff on its first flight between Calgary and Vancouver on April 7, followed by Calgary and Toronto on April 11 on brand-new Boeing 737 aircraft. Lynx will also be increasing its frequencies between Toronto Pearson and Calgary from seven flights per week to twelve flights per week from June 28.

— Story by Ann Ruppenstein

South America’s first-ever luxury train will take you on one of the highest rail routes on earth

As of Mar. 31, the Andean Explorer, the first luxury train in South America, rides the rails once again after a brief hiatus.

A journey on the Andean Explorer is a magical experience designed to connect guests with the nature of the Peruvian Andes while travelling through some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country.

This luxury train traverses one of the highest train routes on earth and travels between the ancient Inca capital of Cusco to Puno on the shores of Lake Titicaca and the dazzling white city of Arequipa. Along the way, guests experience floating islands, fascinating archaeological sites, majestic natural wonders, and ancient kingdoms. 

Andean Explorer’s 20 beautiful cars evoke a contemporary aesthetic, perfectly designed to frame the awe-inspiring Andean vistas. Each carriage is named after flora and fauna found along the route.

Guests can take a seat for a world-class feast in the train’s two beautiful dining carriages – Llama and Muña – and enjoy a series of unique dining experiences against a backdrop of spectacular mountain scenery.

Muted hues and luxurious leathers mingle with artisanal millwork, and polished macramé divider screens keep culinary adventures intimate. Soothing treatments are available in the spa car, Picaflor, and further relaxing spaces include the Observatory Bar Car and Piano Bar Car.

For more information on Belmond’s Andean Explorer, click here!

The pandemic has caused private jet bookings to soar. Here’s why.

Once reserved for the rich and famous, private jets have become an increasingly popular method of travel due to the exclusivity, convenience, and privacy they offer. As a result, several Canadian companies have expanded their fleets, noting an influx of passenger demand that can be attributed to several factors.

“Private jets have always been quite in demand even pre-pandemic, but there is no denying that we have seen that demand almost double in the industry throughout and as a result of the pandemic,” says CEO of FlyGTA Airlines, Chris Nowrouzi. Founded in 2015 at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto, the charter airline has expanded to six locations in Ontario and Quebec. The company currently operates seven private aircraft, and intends to expand its fleet throughout the year. “We fly to any destination in North America, and have fixed destinations in the South such as Miami, Fort Myers, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, and areas within that region,” Nowrouzi says.

Photo supplied by FlyGTA.

Earlier this year, private aviation services company Chartright Air Group added a Citation Ultra aircraft to the Chartright West Coast fleet. The current Calgary-based fleet has several strong performers under its brand in the luxury private jet space, including the Falcon 2000LX (a large jet) and the Challenger 300 (a super midsize jet). The new Citation Ultra is smaller and classified as a light jet, making it the ideal choice for more intimate groups and leisurely activities.

One of the most popular aircraft for leisure and corporate travel, the aircraft can easily reach several popular U.S. sun destinations, including Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Scottsdale, and Las Vegas, as well as sought-after Canadian escapes like Kelowna, Vancouver or Fort McMurray from a Calgary gateway, as of Feb. 1, 2022. “Since the Ultra is a private jet, we can depart from over 5,000 airports,” says Svitlana Gaidamachenko, marketing manager, Chartright Air Group. “The same can be applied to our private jet, the Challenger 300 located in Regina, Saskatchewan. One of Saskatchewan’s most premier aircraft can fly directly from Regina across North America.”

Welcome aboard

Although airlines have reinvented their cabins over the years to appeal to their clientele of luxury travellers, offering a suite of upgrades and amenities, the onboard experience aboard a private jet is simply unparalleled, Nowrouzi says. “It’s very private, and it’s over too quickly! Generally once we take off, the cockpit door is closed, and you have the aircraft to yourself. You have the option to enjoy yourself with a movie, or browse on WiFi, or enjoy the premium bar on the aircraft. The best part in my opinion, is the arrival experience. Customs meets the aircraft on the tarmac, and you’re off within five to ten minutes.”

Photo supplied by TCS World Travel.

FlyGTA can also supply custom catering and exclusive branding for its guests. FlyGTA currently allows passengers to request a tailor made private jet rental, or use the instant book feature via the company’s website. The tailor made option is created by means of a custom quote, whereas the instant book feature is commonly reserved for more common destinations, like between Toronto and Montreal to Florida and the Caribbean. This year, airplane tours aboard the company’s private jets begin March 2022.

Custom experiences

The Four Seasons Private Jet, which offers travellers a choice of group jet expeditions or custom private travel, provides a fully all-inclusive luxury experience. “There are completely bespoke and personalised trips for individuals, families or friends for anywhere they want to go, using either private or commercial flights,” says Becky Youman, Communications Director, TCS World Travel. “These trips are all encompassing—from first-class commercial or chartered transportation and world-class accommodations to savvy local guides, curated dining experiences, transfers and end-to-end service.”  

TCS World Travel is the exclusive operator for the Four Seasons Private Jet experience, working very closely with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. TCS World Travel has been operating private jet journeys for Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts since 2012. Booking on the Four Seasons Private Jet also provides complimentary luggage handling, ground transportation, and a veteran expedition team who handles all of the logistics of the trip. 

Photo supplied by Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.

What’s the cost?

As far as pricing is concerned, the cost of booking a private jet typically depends on the aircraft and destination, as opposed to individual ticketing. “The cost to fly private is generally for the whole aircraft,” says Nowrouzi. “Prices [for FlyGTA passengers] can range from $6,000 for Toronto to New York, $25,000 to the Caribbean, and upwards of $50,000 to $150,000 for flights to Europe or South America. In general, I would say the prices compare to a first-class ticket for each person in your group, if you were to fill the plane.”  The price of a private jet experience also depends on what is offered onboard, as well as the overall trip at hand. Adult pricing for 2022 Four Seasons Private Jet itineraries, for example, begins at USD $173,000. The trip cost does not include airfare to and from travellers’ home city; passport and visa fees; personal expenses such as laundry or telephone charges, optional additional activities, such as golf fees or spa services not covered by resort credits, private cars and drivers; and food and beverage consumed outside of the private jet and regular daily meals.

New this year, TCS World Travel launched a small group jet expedition to Canada with a set itinerary. Running Aug. 13 to Aug. 27, 2022, Unchartered Canada is a 15-day journey that transports 12 guests to six Canadian cities including Vancouver, Clayoquot, Churchill, Halifax, Fogo Island, and Montreal. Along the way, guests will stay in luxury five-star accommodations, discover Canada’s breathtaking wildlife, and enjoy the comforts of an all-inclusive journey from beginning to end. As Canadians continue to seek out new experiences, jetting off on a private aircraft is a trend that will likely remain. 

“From 2012-2020, 10 per cent of all Four Seasons Private Jet guests were Canadian,” says a media spokesperson for Four Seasons. “The benefits of travelling by private jet have become more desirable in the current state of the world,” adds Youman. “Fewer people per plane, a more controlled environment, smaller airports, private or expedited customs and immigration, and the ability to make changes and pivot up to the last minute are all hallmarks of travelling by private jet that guests are prioritizing.”




Oceania Cruises Insignia ship in Sydney harbour infront of the Sydney Opera House

You can visit 96 destinations in just 180 days aboard this luxury cruise

Oceania Cruises has just released its 2024 Around the World in 180 Days itinerary in addition to four distinct Grand Voyages of 72 to 82 days in length. Featuring 96 destinations in 34 countries, the world cruise aboard the luxurious 684-guest Insignia departs Los Angeles for New York on January 14, crossing three oceans and 15 seas from the South Pacific to the coasts of Europe.

Commencing an intriguing westward route, Insignia sails across the Pacific to legendary beauties in the Hawaiian Islands, French Polynesia and the Samoan Islands. She continues south toward the dramatic fjords of New Zealand and on to adventures Down Under. Navigating the most thrilling corners of Asia, guests will have the chance to immerse themselves in everything from the spiritual haven of Bali and the Japanese culinary powerhouses of Tokyo and Kyoto to the dramatic landscape of Ha Long Bay and a true feast for the senses, Yangon. More revelatory explorations await on the exotic shores of India and the Arabian Peninsula, followed by experiences in jewel-box destinations across the Mediterranean and the northern reaches of Europe before crossing the Atlantic to crown the journey on the Eastern Seaboard with her final call in New York.

This epic voyage features over 100 UNESCO World Heritage sites across 96 destinations, with 24 overnight stays and a series of curated complimentary special onshore events and optional multi-day overland programs. Starting at $48,499 per person, the world cruise boasts free first-class roundtrip airfare, an array of included amenities with the Exclusive Prestige Package such as free laundry services, a free visa package, free Internet, free pre-paid gratuities, free luggage delivery, plus Oceania Cruises’ inclusive OLife Choice amenities.

In addition to Insignia‘s Around the World itinerary, Oceania Cruises’ four new Grand Voyages range from 72 to 82 days and feature extended evening port stays plus meaningful excursions ashore that connect guests to the place, culture and people visited. Whether choosing a Grand Voyage that reveals the colorful and varied countries and cultures within the vast expanse of the Eastern world or a journey that links multiple distinct regions together, such as the South Pacific, Australia, Southeast Asia and Africa, guests will experience the beauty of leisurely global travel with more time to indulge in the luxury and comfort of Oceania Cruises.

Four new Grand Voyages

  • Grand Pacific Expedition from Los Angeles to Sydney: This 77-day voyage departs Oct. 4, 2023, on Regatta and visits 12 countries with 10 overnights in iconic ports such as Kyoto, Shanghai, Bali and Perth. From $15,199 per person.
  • Odyssey of Discoveries from Abu Dhabi to Tokyo: This 82-day voyage departs Dec. 29, 2023, on Riviera and visits 18 countries with an array of discoveries across the Arabian Peninsula, India and Asia, plus calls at less-trodden corners such as Sri Lanka and the secluded paradise of the Maldives. From $21,199 per person.
  • Epic Eastern Explorer from Mumbai to Tokyo: This 72-day journey departing Jan. 8, 2024, on Riviera visits 15 countries with calls in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Bangkok and Seoul while also exploring Myanmar’s monasteries, contrasting rural and city life in Vietnam, experiencing revered culinary traditions in Japan and more. From $19,599 per person.
  • Ultimate Exotic Traveler from Papeete to Cape Town: This 79-day voyage departs Feb. 19, 2024, on Nautica with a 15-country itinerary featuring a remarkable array of top attractions such as the gorgeous lagoons of Moorea, the unique geothermal landscapes of Rotorua, the iconic Sydney Opera House, the UNESCO-protected Komodo National Park and the renowned game reserves of South Africa. From $19,999 per person.

These Grand Voyages feature extraordinary value with amenities such as free business-class airfare, free airport transfers, free pre-paid gratuities, free luggage delivery and Oceania Cruises’ inclusive OLife Choice amenities like the choice of either free shore excursions, a beverage package or shipboard credit.

Detailed brochures for Oceania Cruises’ 2024 Around the World in 180 Days cruise may be found here and for the 2023-2024 Grand Voyages here. 

This Canadian airline can take you to the U.S. and the Caribbean for less than $200

Swoop is adding non-stop flights to five new destinations this summer — New York, Chicago, Nashville, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

In addition to serving five new destinations, it will also extend its current seasonal services to San Diego, Palm Springs, Las Vegas, St. Pete-Clearwater, Orlando (Sanford) and Phoenix (Mesa) into the summer season.

In total Swoop will serve 11 U.S. destinations with flights from its three main Canadian bases in Toronto, Hamilton, and Edmonton.

Bert van der Stege, head of commercial & finance at Swoop, said that: “As part of our planned growth in 2022, we’re excited to be adding five new popular U.S. destinations to our network. As Canada’s leading ultra-low-cost carrier, we are growing our fleet, expanding our network, and adding service to existing destinations to ensure we are ready to meet Canadian’s pent-up demand for travel experiences south of the border.”

In addition to the new U.S. destinations, Swoop previously announced it will begin service to 10 new Canadian destinations bringing the airline’s total number of destinations served to 33 this summer.

Swoop’s announced U.S. expansion comes as the ULCC reports significantly increased domestic passenger numbers and record bookings, on par with pre-pandemic demand.

The airline expects to see that pent-up demand trend extend to U.S. leisure travel this summer as more than 30.5 million fully vaccinated Canadians look to resume their transborder travel habits.

For more details, including pricing, click here!