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All Things SANDY – 17th February


Mongolia is an amazing place, and I encourage you to go there once in your life to experience the amazing culture of this nomadic destination, however cruising to Mongolia can only be done if you are cruising on a train or camel – cruising on the water is out of the question!  So for this weeks Cruise Deal of the Week, we are travelling to the other side of the globe as I have a fantastic cruise to the AMAZON RIVER!

On the 6th November you will fly from Australia to FORT LAUDERDALE, also known as the Venice of America.  Enjoy 2 nights at a 5* hotel before making your own way to PORT EVERGLADES to join the stunning 6* CRYSTAL SYMPHONY.

The CRYSTAL SYMPHONY is one of the worlds finest cruise ships, and you join just 848 other passengers on a wonderful 24 day cruise to BRAZIL.  While on board you will enjoy an all inclusive experience with all drinks, meals, gratuities and even WiFi all included in the cruise fare.  Plenty of dining options on board, including a speciality restaurant from world renown Japanese chef, Nobo Matsuhisa.   This cruise also features a fascinating on board lecture programme featuring Jean Michele Cousteau!

Now, are you sitting comfortably, as this is a cruise full of amazing sights, cultures and experiences, so we are going in depth to bring you all the information!..

You will sail from FORT LAUDERDALE across the Straits of Florida to a maiden call for Crystal Cruises, BIMINI, BAHAMAS.  The isles were used as a secret storehouse for rum-runners during prohibition and Ernest Hemingway made no secret of spending time here knocking back libations and trolling for the Bahamas’ world-famous game fish. Today, this tropical locale is a favourite escape for vacationers seeking a laid-back pace, astounding natural scenery, a drink or two of rum and a dip in gin-clear waters.

After a day at sea enjoying Crystal Cruises legendary 6* service, you arrive in GUSTAVIA, ST.BARTS.  St. Barts forms part of the French Overseas Region of Guadeloupe. Descendants of settlers from Brittany and Normandy operate its tiny inns, shops and restaurants. This charming, slow-paced island attracts tourists year-round to its shores. The graceful meadows surrounded by low stone fences, spectacular beaches, the small volcanic mountains and the quaint Creole-style villages are just several of the alluring aspects of this tranquil island.

A cemetery in Guadaloupe

TERRE-DE-HAUTE in GUADALOUPE also rises to the top of holiday hotspots thanks to a magical combination of Caribbean locale and French ‘joie de vivre’. Small at about three miles long and one-and-a-half miles wide, the island is big in international sailing, with yachts and other vessels—including your own—glamorous and glinting in the harbour. Trekking on land, you will encounter colourful, tile-roofed buildings housing all manner of eateries and shops, spiced with a French-Creole culture and mellowed with a sun-warmed vibe. A primary island attraction is Fort Napoléon, built on a bluff as a defensive structure and later used as a prison. Today, it houses a museum dedicated to the island’s history and environment and boasts a botanical garden of succulents.

ST. VINCENT is the largest isle in the GRENADINES, regarded for its black-sand beaches and sky-blue waters – paradise for leisure sailors and a wonderland for scuba divers and snorkelers. The imposing, still-active La Soufrière volcano and its surrounding waterfalls and rain forest make St. Vincent a haven for eco-adventures with exceptional hiking trails and a spectacular Botanical Garden – the Caribbean’s oldest. In the capital city of Kingstown, cobblestone streets lined with arched stone doorways and magnificent churches recall both French and British colonisation, as Fort Charlotte overlooks the city from its perch 600 feet above the sea.

St. Vincent

DEVIL’S ISLAND (Ile du Diable) is one of the three infamous penal colonies of the Iles du Salut archipelago (Islands of Salvation), the other two being Ile Royale and Ile St. Joseph. The penitentiary was first opened by Emperor Napoleon III’s government in 1852, and became one of the most infamous prisons in history before closing in 1946. Each island served a different purpose of the penal colony: Ile Royale was the site of the administrative centre, the wardens’ accommodations and for prisoners deemed less dangerous. The more troublesome convicts of hardened thieves and murderers were kept at Ile St. Joseph. On the almost inaccessible Devil’s Island, political prisoners such as Alfred Dreyfus were held in isolation. A great many of the more than 80,000 prisoners sent to the harsh conditions at disease-infested Devil’s Island were never seen again. Other than by boat, the only way out was through a dense jungle; accordingly, very few convicts ever managed to escape. The prisoner who became world famous was Henri Charriére, immortalized in the movie Papillon, for supposedly being the only convict ever to have escaped from the “green hell”.

Santarem Museum

After a small technical stop in Macapa, you arrive in the AMAZON RIVER, and the port of SANTAREM.  First settled by Jesuits in 1661, Santarem quickly became a focus of American interest during the rubber boom of the early twentieth century. Today, Santarem remains one of Brazil’s most important trading centres, and is imbued with the energy of a growing city. Be sure to view the “Wedding of the Waters,— the unique merging of the Tapajos clear water with the Amazon’s muddy water.

PARINTINS is small village located on Tupinambarana Island is situated in the largest river archipelago of the mid-Amazon. This two-century old village is rich in Indian culture, as celebrated with an annual “Boi Bumba” festival, an event that has been taking place in the Parintins for over 80 years, and that is a ritual of magic, mystery, passion and faith. Enjoy the exotic appeal of the Amazon via this fascinating area.

The Stunning Manaus Opera House

The capital of the State of Amazonas, the belle époque splendor of MANAUS is still evident in the graceful mansions and the Teatro Amazonas opera house. This city, resting on the Rio Negro, was created by the rubber boom of the mid-19th-century, when steam navigation opened up the Amazon to entrepreneurs and the social elite. Today, stroll down the Parisian-styled boulevards and Italian piazzas, or watch the fisherman at Municipal Market unload their catch of the day on the river’s edge.   The Crystal Symphony will spend TWO DAYS in Manaus, giving you ample time to explore the city

For a real experience in tribal Amazonian life awaits you in BOCA DA VALERIA.  The “mouth— of the Valeria River, the colorful Caboclo village contains a few wooden houses and an abundance of local wildlife, including monkeys, birds and several varieties of flora. As Crystal remains anchored off-shore, canoes bearing the local inhabitants will glide through the river’s waters, providing a fascinating display of the colorful culture of the Amazon region.

A Beach in Trinidad

You leave the AMAZON RIVER behind you and make your way back up the Caribbean Sea.  Just off the coast of Venezuela sit the Caribbean islands of TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, birthplace of steel pan and calypso music, chutney and limbo. The island country is raising the bar for what it means to venture to a tropical destination, offering what seems to be just the right combination of things to do and opportunities to do nothing at all, if you so desire. If the “doing— part of that equation is your speed, then take the ferry that runs between Tobago’s Scarborough and Trinidad’s Port of Spain to see the larger island’s Emperor Valley Zoo, Botanical Gardens, Asa Wright Nature Center and impressive colonial houses, known as the Magnificent Seven. Just off the shores of Tobago lies Buccoo Reef, a natural wonder viewable by glass-bottom boat, and up on a hill with magnificent, coastal views is Fort King George, a vestige of the islands’ colonial past.

SAN JUAN is the capital city of the island of PUERTO RICO.  The dramatic sandstone fortress of El Morro, begun by the Spanish in 1540, was built to guard the harbor against Sir Francis Drake and his British privateers. Stroll the breezy boulevards of Old San Juan, lined with five centuries of palaces and great homes, as well as outdoor cafés where you can sample the island’s famous coffee and seafood delicacies.

Colourful streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Finally, the CRYSTAL SYMPHONY arrives back into FORT LAUDERDALE and you wave good by to what has been an amazing journey.

This once in a lifetime 26 day fly, cruise and package must not be missed.  Its the perfect opportunity to visit one of the worlds most spectacular regions, all in 6 star, all inclusive comfort.  With flights from Australia included, plus the 2 nights 5* hotel stay in Fort Lauderdale AND the 24 day cruise onboard Crystal Symphony…all for a give away fare of $9,299 per person for an Ocean View Stateroom, or upgrade to a Verandah Stateroom for an additional $1,730 per person

So call the crew at TRAVEL MASTERS on 1800 672 988 to grab a Stateroom on this amazing AMAZON ADVENTURE!!!!