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Cruising and Travel Update: John Pond

Our editor-at-sea John Pond gives us the low down on what’s new in cruising and travel this week.

Hyatt Regency Hotel for Sydney

Following a significant $250 million redevelopment and refurbishment, Hyatt Regency Sydney will open on 30 November, 2016, marking the Hyatt Regency brand’s return to Sydney.

The hotel, located at 161 Sussex Street,  was previously part of the Four Points by Sheraton brand and will enjoy an unparalleled location in the Sydney Central Business District adjacent to Darling Harbour, providing the perfect setting for corporate, leisure and meeting and events programs. This expansion will also include a new 24-story tower and 222 additional guestrooms, making Hyatt Regency Sydney the largest upscale, full service hotel in Australia with a total room count of 892.

“We are thrilled to work with M&L Hospitality to bring the Hyatt Regency brand back to Sydney,” said David Udell, group president – Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “Hyatt hotels have been operating in Australia for more than 30 years, providing a solid foundation for future growth in what is a dynamic market. This hotel will resonate with business and leisure travelers alike, and furthermore, we believe this hotel will be a leader in providing outstanding exhibition and function spaces so meeting planners can enable attendees to have a great experience.”

The hotel will feature more than 37,100 square feet (3,450 square meters) of state-of-the-art meeting spaces for events, including two ballrooms that can seat more than 1,000 people. With a four-ton car lift and a four-ton goods lift, as well as a separate coach check-in facility for expedited registration for large groups, the hotel is positioned to become the preferred choice for conference organizers locally and globally.

For more information, visit

Finest Chocolate and Coffee aboard Silver Spirit

Enjoy the delightful flavours and aromas of South America aboard Silver Spirit, as she sets sail on a 17-day voyage roundtrip of Barbados and Brazil. Taste the finest chocolate and coffee the region and this world has to offer, wander the picturesque rain forests, and explore exotic flora and fauna of the Amazon.

This incredible voyage offers guests the opportunity to savour daily coffee tastings by Illy’s Universita? del Caffe?, and single origin chocolate presentations from Domori accompanied by coffee and chocolate presentations and tastings of Neapolitan cakes desserts and gelatos.

Departing Bridgetown, Barbados, on 21 November 2016, Silver Spirit makes her first ports at Bequia, St Vincent and Grenadines and St George’s, Grenada where guests can experience white-sandy beaches, secluded coves and be filled by the aromas of locally grown spices.

Silver Spirit continues her journey to Devil’s Island and French Guiana Santare?m, Brazil, before travelling to Boca Da Valeria, Manaus, Parintins and Alter do Cha?os to explore the villages of the native Amazonians.

Ultra-luxury Silversea has unveiled its new 2017 Voyages and Expeditions digital brochure. The attractive picture book showcases a program of over 260 itineraries exploring seven continents and more than 800 destinations aboard its fleet of nine ocean and expedition ships. “Whether you’re looking for a relaxing voyage to picturesque shores or an exhilarating adventure in exotic lands, our new brochure presents a remarkable range of inspired itineraries and enriching programs that will help you create the perfect luxury vacation experience,” said Karen Christensen, Silversea’s General Manager & Director Sales/Marketing, Australasia.

Carnival Spirit Captain Adriano Binacchi, Carnival Cruise Line VP Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke and Aquanetta Nouata (8)

Carnival Cruise Line Gets a Wiggle

Carnival Cruise Line has announced a new charity partnership in Australia, with its guests set to start wiggling for joy as they donate money to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Under the partnership, guests onboard every Carnival cruise sailing from Australia will be invited to take part in a special “Wiggle for Westmead” top deck dance party to raise funds for the hospital.

The dance event will be held on the last sea day of each cruise, with guests able to join the party by purchasing a special pack featuring a “Wiggle for Westmead” t-shirt and wrist band.  Created by Carnival, the packs will cost $15, with 100 per cent of the purchase price donated to the hospital.

Carnival Cruise Line Vice President Australia Jennifer Vandekreeke said the dance parties were just the first step in a relationship which would see the cruise line support the work of the hospital in a number of ways.

For more information, visit Carnival Cruises.



Not responsible for errors or omissions, prices subject to change.

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Alana Lowes

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