John Pond Travel Camera 11 Sept. 2015


AZAMARA _Atrium1AZAMAZING APP!  Azamara Club Cruises launches its App boasting a cruise industry first by featuring a series of 360-degree virtual reality video experiences.  The video series, known as Azamara 3di and featured on the dedicated website, uses virtual reality technology to help immerse future guests in what it’s like to be onboard Azamara Journey via ship tours and to experience destination excursions in South and Central Ame rican ports of call.

From touring the onboard amenities of Azamara Journey or escaping to destinations like Costa Rica for zip lining or Cartagena, Colombia for a midnight carriage ride, the new Azamara App helps guests get a flavour of what the line offers. Known for its destination immersive experiences, ensuring guests have longer stays in port, more overnights and night touring on all voyages, Azamara developed its Azamara 3di programming to help guests be as close to “being there” as possible. “We didn’t want to launch an App just to have an App.  When perfecting our first App, providing this sensory journey was not negotiable,” says Larry Pimentel, President and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises. “As we continue to redefine the luxury cruise experience for the next generation, we need to reach them in meaningful ways and provide information to them where they are looking for it.  Having an App is important, but more important is the content it provides.” For further information visit,

Murray Princess & Cliffs

Murray River Loxton Cruise  Captain Cook Cruises has announced the dates for its popular seven nights Loxton to Mannum cruises onboard the small ship paddle-wheeler, PS Murray Princess.

The Loxton to Mannum cruise will depart Loxton at 4.30pm on Friday 4 December and disembark in Mannum at 9am on Friday 11 December, 2015. This historic 339km voyage between Loxton to Mannum, South Australia only operates every two years and follows in the wake of great 19th century pioneers on a unique journey through three Locks.

The Loxton cruise visits Katarapko, Cobdogla Creek, Overland Corner, Old Distillery, Morgan, Sunnydale and Piggy Flat/Coolcha for overnight stops with shore excursions along the way.

There’s a food and wine trail that enables tastings at a rustic cellar door and an Aussie-style campfire barbecue dinner to be enjoyed on the river bank. The seven night Loxton to Mannum cruise is priced from $1888 per person twin share including accommodation, all meals, guided nature walks, eco-excursions, onboard presentations, the Captain’s Dinner and Cocktail Party, live entertainment, use of ship’s facilities including a sauna, spa, sun deck, bar, two lounges, restaurant and mini gymnasium and complimentary scenic coach transfers pre cruise from Adelaide to Loxton and post cruise Mannum to Adelaide. For further information visit

QM2 email.jpg

QM2 from Sydney & Melbourne  Cunard has announced its majestic flagship Queen Mary 2 will sail on two historic cruises from Sydney and Melbourne in 2017, giving Australians an opportunity to experience the liner’s legendary style as she makes her maiden visits to Tasmania and South Australia’s Kangaroo Island.

Releasing details of its latest world voyage program, Cunard revealed that Queen Victoria will also make history in 2017, claiming the title of the largest ship ever to sail on the mighty Amazon River, with a five-night cruise on the famous waterway as part of her global circumnavigation.

Cunard’s trio of Queens will all visit Australia during their 2017 world cruises, with Queen Mary 2 set to embark on two regional jaunts in Australian waters.


The Ultimate Greek Island Adventure  Peter Sommer Travels is offering the ultimate island-hopping adventure in Greece next year – a two-week cruise among some of the most spectacular isles and ancient sites of the Aegean Sea.

Cruising to the Cyclades departs April 30, 2016, and travels aboard a magnificent wooden yacht to world-renowned destinations like Santorini as well as hidden treasures like remote Astypalaia and tiny Anafi. Hosted by archaeologists and historians Heinrich Hall and Anthi Dipla, the itinerary combines a fascinating historical insight with an opportunity to relax amid the clear turquoise waters and stunning island scenery of the Dodecanese and Cyclades archipelagos. Travelling with no more than 18 guests, the expedition avoids the crowded tourist trails to explore secluded coves and unspoilt locations as well as the picturesque and historic harbours, while at the same time enjoying superb traditional food and wine served onboard by a private chef.

It includes more than a dozen islands in all, with archaeological sites ranging from Bronze Age cities to classical temples, Roman towns, Byzantine monasteries and crusader castles. Cruising to the Cyclades (April 30 to May 14, 2016) departs from the Turkish port of Bodrum and is priced from £3775 per person (approx A$8180) including all transport, accommodation, most meals, crew and guide services, and all entrance fees and tips on excursions (airfares additional). Contact Peter Sommer Travels in the UK on 0011 44 1600 888 220, email or visit

Hydro Majestic 01Raise a Stein for Oktoberfest  At the original Blue Mountains party palace, the Hydro Majestic Hotel, for Oktoberfest and dip into an often overlooked part of the history of one of the world’s most famous hotels. The inaugural festival celebrating the golden draft will be held at the Hydro Majestic at Medlow Bath in the Blue Mountains on the October 3 and 4 weekend.

All offers subject to availability. Terms and conditions may apply. Not responsible for errors or omissions.





Author: John Pond, J.P.

Pioneer in television as producer of thousands of hours of TV shows on Australian and American television including Graham Kennedy, Tommy Leonetti, People in Conflict, Hollywood Bowl, Major Specials and Dr John‘s Casebook TV Shows. TV manager J. Walter Thompson & McCannErickson Advertising and head of production for Columbia Pictures TV. John changed careers to the hospitality industry working for Sydney’s top 5 star hotel as director of sales and marketing and GM. Then with Harrah’s/Caesar's World, the world’s largest hotel and casino group in Nevada. Playboy Magazine in Chicago, head of worldwide PR/Marketing, for their Resorts, Clubs, Hotels & Casinos. Producer at Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Co-creator of hit US network TV show Joker, Joker, Joker, first TV show to give away a million dollars. Writer travel articles for magazines and newspapers including Washington Post, New York Times, American Playboy as well as local Australian papers and magazines. In the USA represented many personalities including Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Mel Torme, and many other major names. John is Editor at Sea of Australia’s leading cruise magazine, Travel & Cruise writer for The Retiree Magazine, Destinations Magazine and Spectator Group of Newspapers. John reviews cruise ships, Destinations and Hotels, and is ably assisted by his Associate Editor Sandra Tiltman.

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