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All Things TONGA – 1st September

Officially known as The Kingdom of Tonga, this Polynesian nation consists of 169 islands, of which just 36 have permanent residents.  Tonga has become a very popular holiday spot for visitors looking for something South Pacific, that has a different flavour to the likes of Fiji or Vanuatu.  Of course Travel Masters has holiday packages to Tonga, so give them a call for details.

As much as Tonga is a popular holiday destination, it is surprisingly not on the itinerary of many cruise ships.  Most cruise ships only stop here once a year, as a port of call during a World Cruise.  So its only fitting that if we are to feature a cruise to this ‘Kingdom’, we do it in royal style….

On the 4th February you will fly to San Francisco, and enjoy 2 nights hotel accommodation.  plenty of time to see the many attractions The City by The Bay offers.  Take in the Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street and Chinatown, and make sure to book your tickets to Alcatraz before you go!

San Francisco

Its then time to be acquainted with royalty as you walk up the gangway, and on board Cunard’s Queen Victoria.  This spectacular ship is full of all the time-honoured traditions that go with the Ocean Liners of yesterday.  Traditional British touches (such as afternoon tea) meld with all the modern facilities of today’s cruise ships.  And you have 21 nights to take it all in, as you make your way back across the Pacific Ocean, back to Australia.  After you sail under that famous bridge, you can sit back and enjoy 4 days at sea.

Your first sight of land is a sight to behold as you arrive in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Home to nearly half a million people, Honolulu is Hawaii’s state capital and only major city. The city of Honolulu and the island of Oahu offer a wealth of historic, cultural and scenic attractions. Beyond the city lie tropical rain forests, the lush Pali Lookout and the North Shore known for its excellent surfing beaches.

Honolulu

5 days at sea will magically become 6 as you arrive at your next port as during your voyage south from Hawaii you have not only crossed the equator, but the International Dateline also!  Apia in Samoa awaits your visit.  Lush and volcanic, the nine islands of Samoa constitute a reef-fringed oasis in the vast Pacific Ocean. One of Apia’s greatest attractions is a hotel—Aggie Gray’s— immortalized by Michener and frequented by Robert Louis Stevenson, Marlon Brando and Gary Cooper. Other worthy elements include rain forests, waterfalls, craters, blowholes, beaches, and the ever-present fa’a Samoa—the Samoan Way.

You then arrive for a day in Tonga, and the Tongan Capital City of Nuku’alofa.  Talk a walk past the Royal Palace, shop for handicrafts in the downtown shops (a Lava Lava is a must buy gift for the guys!)  Tonga was dubbed Tonga the “Friendly Island”,  by explorer Thomas Cook when he landed for the 3rd time on the islands and was invited to dinner and celebrations.  Little did he know that the party was actually an excuse for the local kings to decide on the best plan to kill him. He did manage to escape, as they could not come up with the right method!

The first of 3 ports in New Zealand is next – Tauranga.  Tauranga, meaning “shelter” (named by Capt. Cook the Bay of Plenty), with its population of 48,000, is now a modern thriving city supported by the export of lumber and farming.  Rotorua (some miles inland from the port of Tauranga) is the center of New Zealand’s thermal area on the North Island. Spectacular phenomena such as geysers, boiling mud, hot pools, hot springs, and spouts of gushing steam can be seen. Lake Rotorua’s waters are icy, yet the sandy shores are too warm for bare feet to walk upon. Rotorua is also the center of Maori life and culture, with a model village, displays of carving, and concerts of Maori music and singing.

The City of Sails is next as you enjoy the largest city in New Zealand, Auckland.  Opt to see the city from above with a visit to its Sky Tower, complete with a revolving restaurant!  Sail on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour for a taste of its yachting culture.

Auckland

Finally a day in the spectacular Bay of Islands to enjoy.  A subtropical micro-region known for its stunning beauty and history.  For those who love beaches and water activities, you may have stumbled on paradise!

It doesn’t matter how many times you have done it, arriving into Sydney by cruise ship is special.  This will be no exception as you sail past the Opera House and into Circular Quays.  The cruise doesn’t end there as you have an overnight on board, and a chance to enjoy an evening in Sydney before your cruise comes to an end.

This is a wonderful, relaxing and unique cruise on a very special cruise.  23 nights in total during this fly, cruise and stay holiday.  And an equally special price to go with it – just $6,395 per person – PLUS $90USD on board credit per person – PLUS a free upgrade from an Inside Cabin to an Ocean View Cabin!!

Call Travel Masters on 1800 672 988 to GRAB THAT CABIN!!

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THE ESCORTED TOUR TO THE HARBIN ICE AND SNOW FESTIVAL, INCLUDING THE EXTENSION TO THE SNOW MONKEYS OF NAGANO, CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS!