Wanderlust with 5 On-trend Wonders 

Are you ready for your next travel adventure to unfold? Are you keen to indulge in fascinating cultures and breath-taking landscapes? These on-trend destinations should be on your radar for 2023 – places where culture, beauty, and adventure converge.

Tokyo, Japan: A Symphony of Tradition and Innovation

Tokyo, the bustling metropolis of Japan, is a mesmerising blend of ancient traditions and cutting-edge technology. Imagine strolling through historic temples like Senso-ji in Asakusa and then diving into the vibrant neon-lit streets of Shibuya. Tokyo’s culinary scene is second to none, with sushi and ramen that’ll make your taste buds sing. In 2023, Tokyo is not just a city; it’s an experience that will redefine your idea of urban exploration.

Portugal: The Land of Timeless Charm

Portugal is the under-the-radar gem that’s finally getting the recognition it deserves. From the charming streets of Lisbon to the sun-soaked vineyards of the Douro Valley, Portugal offers an authentic blend of history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. Discover fairytale castles, feast on delectable seafood, and be embraced by the warm hospitality of the Portuguese people. This Mediterranean paradise is perfect for those seeking a relaxed yet culturally enriching getaway.

Tasmania, Australia: The Wilderness Wonderland

For nature aficionados, Tasmania is an absolute dream. This Australian island state is a sanctuary for wildlife and natural wonders. Explore rugged coastlines, hike through ancient rainforests, and marvel at the otherworldly beauty of Cradle Mountain. Tasmania’s rich biodiversity and pristine landscapes are unparalleled, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. In 2023, let Tasmania’s untouched beauty reconnect you with the wild.

Palm Springs, California: The Oasis of Desert Luxury

Palm Springs, California, is back in the spotlight as the ultimate desert escape. With its iconic mid-century modern architecture, palm-lined streets, and luxurious resorts, it’s a throwback to a glamorous era. Tee off on world-class golf courses, soak in natural hot springs, and savour exquisite dining experiences. This desert oasis seamlessly combines relaxation with style. In 2023, indulge in the tranquil luxury of Palm Springs.

What’s the secret to unlocking the full potential of these destinations? Get in touch with us so that we can help you create unforgettable experiences that you won't find in any travel guide.

Smooth Sailing: 7 Essential Tips for Kiwis Embarking on Their First Cruise Adventure 

Ahoy, fellow Kiwis! If you’ve ever dreamed of trading the rolling hills of New Zealand for the endless horizons of the open sea, it’s time to turn that dream into a reality. Embarking on your first cruise is like setting foot on a floating paradise that promises adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable memories. Whether you’re in your thirties, forties, fifties, or beyond, here are seven invaluable tips to ensure your maiden voyage is a resounding success.

1. Choose Your Cruise Wisely:

With a plethora of cruise lines, ships, and itineraries at your fingertips, the first step is to choose the one that aligns perfectly with your travel style. Are you seeking luxury or a budget-friendly option? Interested in cultural immersion or tropical relaxation? Take your time to research and pick a cruise that resonates with your heart’s desires.

2. Plan Ahead:

Preparation is the key to a smooth sailing experience. Make sure you have all your travel documents, such as passports and visas, sorted well in advance. Research the destinations you’ll be visiting, and consider booking shore excursions beforehand to make the most of your time ashore.

3. Pack Smart:

Pack like a pro by including a mix of casual wear, swimwear, and smart-casual outfits for evening events. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, medications, and power adapters. Most cruise ships offer laundry facilities, so you can pack light and refresh your wardrobe as needed.

4. Embrace the Onboard Experience:

Once onboard, get ready to be pampered and entertained. From gourmet dining to Broadway-style shows, fitness centers to spa retreats, cruise ships are a microcosm of delights. Embrace the range of activities, try new experiences, and relish the chance to unwind as the world glides by.

5. Stay Hydrated and Stay Active:

Cruise vacations are a perfect blend of indulgence and wellness. Keep hydrated throughout your journey, especially if you’re exploring sunny destinations. Take advantage of onboard fitness centers, yoga classes, and even morning walks around the deck to stay active and invigorated.

6. Connect and Socialize:

Cruises are a hub of camaraderie and new connections. Don’t hesitate to strike up conversations with fellow passengers and crew members. You might just make lifelong friends and uncover travel tips that enhance your journey.

7. Capture and Cherish Memories:

As you explore exotic ports, indulge in sumptuous meals, and bask in breathtaking sunsets, remember to capture these moments through photographs and journals. These keepsakes will become cherished mementos of your inaugural cruise adventure.

Embarking on your first cruise is not just a vacation – it’s a voyage into uncharted waters of discovery, relaxation, and pure enjoyment. As Kiwis with an innate love for exploration, you’re bound to relish every moment of this unique travel experience. From the stunning fjords of Milford Sound to the white sandy beaches of the Pacific, your first cruise promises to be a journey that redefines your perception of leisure.

Set your sights on the stunning ocean expanse, pack your enthusiasm for adventure, and get ready to create memories that will keep you smiling for years to come. The high seas are calling – are you ready to answer? Bon voyage, intrepid travelers!

Meet Hemal: Your Travel Companion on a Journey of a Lifetime

Are you ready to explore the world, create unforgettable memories, and embark on journeys that inspire your soul? Allow us to introduce you to Hemal, a seasoned travel expert with over 30 years of experience in the dynamic realm of travel. With a journey that began at the grassroots level of the industry and has taken him through every department of a travel agency, Hemal is not just a travel agent – he’s your personal travel companion, dedicated to curating extraordinary experiences for you.

From Handwritten Tickets to Globetrotting Adventures:

Hemal’s voyage in the travel industry started in a time when handwritten tickets were the norm. He’s journeyed through door-to-door travel sales, evolved as a retail sales consultant, delved into the intricacies of corporate travel, and even managed e-Commerce operations. His passion and dedication led him to own and operate a store for a prominent retail firm, solidifying his understanding of every facet of the travel industry. Now operating as an independent agent, Hemal’s journey has come full circle, equipped with a wealth of experience to ensure your travel dreams come true.

A Traveler's Heart:

What truly sets Hemal apart is his love for travel, akin to your own wanderlust. He understands the thrill of exploring new horizons, uncovering hidden gems, and immersing oneself in diverse cultures. Hemal’s wanderlust has taken him to the far reaches of Europe, the captivating cultures of Asia, the breathtaking landscapes of America, and even the idyllic beaches of the Maldives. And, of course, his heart finds its true joy in exploring the world aboard luxurious cruise ships.

Guiding You to Unforgettable Experiences:

For Hemal, being a travel agent isn’t just a profession – it’s a passion-driven mission. He’s on a quest to ensure that every journey you embark upon is nothing short of extraordinary. Whether you’re dreaming of capturing Instagram-worthy moments on pristine beaches, delving into the heart of wildlife on a Kenyan safari, or being awe-inspired by the architecture of Europe, Hemal is your guiding light.

Cruising: A Passion Set to Sail:

Hemal’s fascination with cruising ignited when he had the chance to see a magnificent Britannia ship in the bustling ports of Mumbai in 1987. This spark set him on a course of exploration that led to cruising experiences with renowned cruise lines like Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Ovation of the Seas and the enchanting Blue Lagoon cruises in Fiji. Through ship inspections and a relentless thirst for knowledge, Hemal has empowered himself to understand the nuances of cruise travel – from the various cabin types to the myriad features and benefits each ship offers.

Your Travel Dreams, Our Priority:

Hemal isn’t just your travel agent; he’s your partner in turning dreams into reality. With a heart that beats for exploration and a mind that’s fuelled by knowledge, Hemal is here to guide you on your journey of a lifetime. His genuine care for his clients’ experiences shines through in every itinerary he crafts, ensuring that each moment you spend on your travels is as exceptional as you envisioned.

So, whether you're a culture seeker, an adventurer, a relaxation enthusiast, or all of the above, Hemal is here to ensure that your travel dreams take flight. Let him be your compass, your confidant, and your curator of experiences that will linger in your heart long after you've returned home. Your journey awaits – with Hemal by your side, it's sure to be a voyage of wonder and discovery.

Cruises: A Voyage of Unforgettable Experiences 

If your love for food is as insatiable as your wanderlust, then embarking on a cruise is an adventure that promises to delight your senses in ways you’ve never imagined. It’s time to flip the script – live to eat and set sail to indulge in an array of gastronomical wonders that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.

Cruise lines have mastered the art of catering to food enthusiasts from all walks of life. Whether you’re a dedicated vegetarian, an aficionado of fine dining, or someone who celebrates life through dinners, the culinary offerings on a cruise will tantalize every palate. Prepare to embark on a journey where each meal is a symphony of flavors, and where the phrase “food coma” takes on a whole new meaning.

Speaking of value for money, cruise aficionados have cracked the code. Approximately 85% of your basic holiday expenses are seamlessly woven into the cruise fare. But wait, there’s more – brace yourself for a whirlwind of world-class entertainment that comes bundled with your voyage. From dazzling shows to captivating performances, you’ll find yourself immersed in a realm of top-tier entertainment that will keep you enthralled from sunrise to sunset.

For those with larger families, a cruise is the ultimate escape. Whether you’re traveling with your extended family or a squad of friends, cruise lines have curated experiences that cater to everyone’s needs. Imagine a vacation where you can bask in quality family time while also indulging in some well-deserved “me time.” With interconnecting rooms, designated kids’ zones, and clubs tailored for various age groups, the entire clan can unwind without a worry in the world.

But hold onto your captain’s hat, because the benefits of cruising don’t stop there. Set your compass for off-the-beaten-path destinations that will quench your thirst for adventure. Unpack your bags once and dive into the heart of captivating locales, learning something new with every shore excursion. And when it comes to retail therapy, cruise ship shopping will have you dropping anchor in a world of exclusive finds.

Are wedding bells in your future? Imagine a destination wedding that’s meticulously planned and organized, leaving you free to savor every moment without the stress of event coordination. Cruise lines specialize in turning your dream wedding into a reality, against the backdrop of azure waters and breathtaking horizons.

Cruise-over aficionados are a diverse tribe. If you’re jetting off to Europe or India, why not make a pit stop in vibrant Singapore and set sail on a 3- or 4-night cruise? Heading stateside? Pause in Los Angeles and hop aboard a Carnival Cruise to Baja Mexico – a blissful prelude to your return home.

So, there you have it – a multitude of reasons why cruising should grace your bucket list. It’s not just a vacation; it’s a kaleidoscope of experiences that promises to redefine how you see the world. From food to family, adventure to relaxation, a cruise is more than a journey; it’s a voyage of a lifetime.

Setting Sail: Your Ultimate Cruise FAQ for Exploring the World

If you’re ready to embark on a seafaring adventure to explore the world’s treasures, you’re not alone. Cruise travel has become one of the most sought-after ways to experience diverse cultures, breathtaking landscapes, and unparalleled relaxation. Whether you’re eyeing the Caribbean’s turquoise waters, the historical charm of Europe, or the exotic allure of Asia, your cruise voyage awaits. Here’s your go-to guide for those burning cruise FAQs, curated to make your journey seamless and extraordinary.

1. Where Can I Cruise?

The world is your oyster when it comes to cruise destinations. From the sun-soaked Caribbean islands to the enchanting fjords of Norway, and from the bustling markets of Asia to the historic cities of the Mediterranean – cruise lines cover virtually every corner of the globe. Whether you’re a tropical paradise seeker or a history buff, there’s a cruise route that caters to your wanderlust.

2. When Is the Best Time to Cruise?

The best time to cruise depends on your desired destination. For Caribbean and tropical cruises, the peak season generally falls during the winter months to escape the cold. European cruises are popular in the summer when cities are bustling and warm. Keep an eye on regional climates and local events when planning and remember that shoulder seasons might offer fewer crowds and more budget-friendly rates.

3. What Type of Cabin Should I Choose?

Cruise ships offer a range of cabins to suit every budget and preference. Interior cabins are great for those who plan to spend most of their time exploring the ship and ports. Oceanview cabins provide a window to the world, while balcony cabins offer a private outdoor space. For a touch of luxury, consider suites with added space and amenities.

4. What's Included in the Fare?

Cruise fares often include accommodations, meals, and onboard entertainment. However, not all extras are bundled. Alcoholic beverages, specialty dining, shore excursions, spa treatments, and gratuities may be additional costs. It’s wise to check what’s covered by your fare and what you might need to budget separately.

5. Is Motion Sickness a Concern?

Modern cruise ships are designed to minimize motion discomfort. If you’re worried about seasickness, opt for a larger ship with stabilizers. Additionally, choosing a cabin in the middle of the ship and focusing on the horizon can help alleviate symptoms. Motion sickness remedies are readily available onboard if needed.

6. How Do I Plan Shore Excursions?

Shore excursions are your passport to immersive experiences at each port. Cruise lines offer a variety of pre-planned excursions, from cultural tours to adventurous activities. You can book these through the cruise line or opt for independent exploration. Research ahead of time to ensure you make the most of your time on land.

7. What Travel Documents Do I Need?

Ensure you have a valid passport with at least six months’ validity beyond your return date. Depending on your destination, you might need a visa. Your cruise line or travel agency can provide guidance on necessary documents. Remember that some countries require specific health-related documents as well.

8. How Should I Pack for a Cruise?

Pack smartly by considering the destination and onboard dress code. Casual wear is ideal for daytime activities, while smart-casual attire suits most evening events. Don’t forget swimwear, comfortable walking shoes for shore excursions, and any specialized clothing for themed nights or formal dinners.

9. What About Internet Connectivity?

Most cruise ships offer internet access, but it’s important to note that connectivity can be slower and more expensive at sea. Many cruise lines offer internet packages that provide a certain amount of data or minutes. Disconnecting can be a great way to fully immerse yourself in the cruise experience, but if you need to stay connected, plan accordingly.

10. How Do I Stay Safe and Healthy?

Cruise lines prioritize passenger safety and health. Follow onboard safety procedures and attend the mandatory safety drill. To stay healthy, wash your hands frequently, use hand sanitizers, and follow any health protocols implemented by the cruise line. Additionally, make sure you have adequate travel insurance to cover any unexpected situations.

With these cruise FAQs in hand, you're primed to set sail on a journey of a lifetime. From the moment you step aboard, you'll find yourself immersed in a world of exploration, relaxation, and discovery. Whether you're uncovering ancient ruins, diving into vibrant coral reefs, or savoring local delicacies, your cruise adventure promises to be an experience that lingers in your heart long after you've returned home. So, get ready to sail into the sunset – your cruise awaits!

Why You Should Cruise At Least Once in Your Lifetime 

Are you ready to embark on a voyage that tantalises your taste buds, stretches your dollar, and redefines your idea of a perfect vacation?

If you’re a true lover of food, a savvy spender, or someone who craves both family bonding and solo escapes, then a cruise experience is your ticket to all-encompassing enjoyment. Buckle up as we set sail into the top reasons why cruising should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.

1. Savor the Culinary Odyssey:

For those who live to eat rather than eat to live, cruise lines are a culinary wonderland waiting to be explored. From gourmet vegetarian dishes to opulent fine dining and festive feasts, cruise ships cater to every palate. Seafood aficionados, barbecue enthusiasts, and dessert devotees can all find their bliss. A gastronomic journey that transcends the ordinary awaits, making your taste buds dance with delight.

2. Value that Sets Sail:

Worried about your hard-earned money going adrift? Fear not! Cruisers are known for their savvy money sense, and cruise fares are designed to provide unparalleled value. Surprisingly, approximately 85% of your holiday essentials are already bundled into the cruise fare. On top of that, world-class entertainment becomes part of the deal. So, you not only get an exotic journey but also a bang for your buck!

3. Family Fiesta, Me Time Included:

When it comes to travel, the more, the merrier! Large families and friend groups can rejoice, as cruises offer tailored experiences for both collective joy and individual relaxation. With interconnecting rooms for the clan, exclusive kid-free zones for adults, and vibrant kids’ clubs for various ages, everyone finds their personal paradise aboard. Bonding moments and personal escapes – a cruise is a vacation where family and “me time” harmoniously coexist.

4. Uncharted Adventures Await:

Cruises aren’t just about visiting popular destinations; they’re about exploring the offbeat and the extraordinary. Unpack just once and open the door to a world of hidden gems. Learn something new, indulge in retail therapy until you drop, and relish unparalleled family time – all while cruising to captivating ports of call.

5. Love Sets Sail: Destination Weddings Reimagined:

Dreaming of a wedding that’s enchanting and hassle-free? Set your sights on a destination wedding cruise. Let the ship’s experts curate your special day, eliminating the stress of event planning. Exchange vows against the backdrop of azure waters and stunning sunsets, creating memories that will forever ride the waves of your heart.

6. Cruise-Over: Travel Redefined:

For all types of travelers, cruise-over is the trendsetter. En route to far-flung destinations like Europe or India? Why not break the journey with a 3- or 4-night cruise from Singapore? Headed to the USA? Dock in Los Angeles and board a Carnival Cruise to Baja Mexico – an exciting prelude to your return home. It’s a novel way to enrich your itinerary and ensure relaxation before you touch down.

In a world where exploration knows no bounds, cruising emerges as a gateway to unparalleled experiences. Whether you’re a food connoisseur, a family-first traveler, a value-conscious voyager, or simply someone eager to redefine travel, a cruise offers a tapestry of delights that promise memories for a lifetime. So, set your compass for adventure and cruise at least once in your lifetime – it’s a journey that encapsulates the essence of living life to the fullest.