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Product:STAR Date:10-12-2008Desk: SPC-0001-CMYK/03-10-08/12:56:26

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EXOTIC DESTINATIONS AND CRUISING: ENJOYING SOME QUALIA TIME, G4 BAY OF DRAGONS, G6

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2008

Travel
Heart of JOURNEYING DEEP INTO
THE RAIN FOREST
OF GUYANA ON A SURVIVAL

darkness TRAINING MISSION


PAGE G2

CHERYL HART PHOTO / COURTESY OF BUSHMASTERS

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Product:STAR Date:10-12-2008Desk: SPC-0002-CMYK/02-10-08/15:41:39

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G2 H TORONTO STAR H SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2008 ON V2

TRAVEL Guyana
‘A chilling symphony of howls and hisses made my sleep uneasy’

Jungle
patrol ##unknown###Cheyry Hart photos of Bushmasters for John Moore travel.
UNKNOWN

FINDING YOUR became reality. We waded through


a black river, mud oozing between
my toes as I struggled to keep my
INNER ’DUDE’ pack of supplies above water. Each
step landed softly, cautiously, guid-
DEEP IN ed by an imagination on overdrive.
Craddock and Jones trudged
ahead, while my friend Catriona
THE HEART waited patiently and calmly for me
to catch up. Apparently, she had
OF DARKNESS never seen those Anaconda movies.
We finally reached our dugout ca-
noe, a shapely piece of bark, and set
BY DAN ROBSON off under the canopy of thick
branches shaking with life.
SURAMA, GUYANA—Violent howls Our Amerindian guides, Harold
swept out of the darkness and Captain and Lionel James,
across the thatch-hut roofs of the chopped away at the brush with
village. White mist escaped the their machetes and told us stories
mountains like ghosts climbing about hunting crocodiles and being
from the jungle up towards the pale stalked by pumas.
moon. They grew up on this river, camp-
The wind, warm and constant, ing for weeks at a time in the bush.
was haunting. I scribbled each They knew every bend and tree like
breeze into my journal, next to a we knew the streets around our
flickering lamp. The scrawl, almost childhood homes.
illegible, now maps my memories of Captain said he was once bitten by
Surama — the remote village in a poisonous snake while they were
Guyana where I stared into dark- hunting. He had to endure a two-
ness, took a breath, and stepped in. day journey to the capital, George-
“How did I get here?” I wrote. town, for antivenom treatment. His
It all began when I stumbled left calf is now shrivelled and he
across a couple of British expats, limps.
Ian Craddock and Sarah Jones, “But I’m alive,” he grinned. “Now,
while I was training teachers in Le- I just watch where I step.” Lesson
them, a small town on the Guyana- learned.
Brazil border. Craddock is like a su- As we drifted lazily, monkeys chat-
perhuman cross between Indiana tered around us and macaws soared
Jones and James Bond — a former in pairs high above. The black water
special-ops soldier and a whip- surrounding us was home to ana-
cracking, rum-sipping alpha male. condas, piranhas and caimans —
His partner Jones is just as tough crocodiles that can reach four me-
and adventurous. tres in length. I felt as though in the
They had teamed with some local midst of paradise, we were floating
Amerindian guides to form Bush- on a nightmare.
masters, an ecotourism company It took all morning to reach our
that specialized in “extreme adven- landing point. It was very humid
tures” and survival training. and the air buzzed with life — but
Over a beer one rainy night, Crad- oddly, I felt lonely. It was as if I’d
dock explained that they train ev- stepped into a world where I didn’t
eryone from military personnel to belong, where I was invisible and
middle-aged businessmen looking unnecessary.
for an extreme “team-building ex- Craddock shouted me out of my
perience”. reverie and we hopped back in the
Atlantic
“You should come along, try it out. canoe to hunt for dinner. At a small Ocean
You’ll be a real dude,” he urged, pool — ominously called “Anacon- VENEZUELA Georgetown
laughing off my fear of snakes, deep da Point” — we cast makeshift lines
forests, and dark rivers. into the water. Soon, Captain felt a
Reassured by Craddock’s cool tug and struggled to yank a large pi- GUYANA
British accent and desperately ranha from the river. It flailed and Surama
wanting to be a “dude,” I stepped flapped as we shifted in terror, SURINAME
outside myself. rocking the boat dangerously.
BRAZIL
“Yeah, of course,” I said, with un- Captain jammed an arrow
convincing bravado. “That’d be through its eye to settle the rage. 100 km
great.” Later we gathered by the fire
That’s how I ended up surrounded where our hosts feasted on the
by jungle in the remote village of jagged-toothed fish; I passed and
Surama. British writer Evelyn ate an uncooked package of Mr.
Waugh passed through here more Noodles instead.
than 70 years ago. In his book Nine- We strung our hammocks be-
ty-Two Days, he wrote about the vil- tween ancient trees, stripped damp
lage’s “dozen or 15 huts” spread out wood with machetes, lit the fire
with a small trail running through with a flint, and hid under a tarp as
the middle of the grassy savannah, rain pounded through the leaves.
and described the people as genu- A chilling symphony of howls and
ine, hospitable and friendly. hisses made my sleep uneasy. It was
Not much has changed since then. along night. Sunrise felt like Christ-
Surama, I thought, is a place I could mas morning. I sprang from my
get used to. hammock, just happy to be intact
Then night fell; a restless night, and undigested, and packed for the
the wind stirring visions of things daylong journey back to the village.
slithering and sharp-toothed wait- As we paddled, we marvelled at
ing for me to enter the jungle at rare birds and our guides fired ar-
dawn. At daybreak, those visions rows into the bush. I chopped at
branches blocking our path and
JUST THE FACTS even dipped my fingers in the cool
river.
It was just one night; I had only
BUSHMASTERS OFFERS 16-day learned basic survival skills (the full
trips into Guyana’s remote rain program takes a week of training,
forests. They supply your sur- followed by two days of isolation),
and most of the time I was terrified
vival equipment — hammock, and felt like a complete idiot. But I
machete, fire kit, and a bow had survived; and had slept under
and arrows — and give you an branches that few would ever see.
in-depth boot camp to prepare When we got back to Surama, my
you for a two-day isolation ad- chest was proudly puffed. The jun-
venture. The training can be gle howled behind me in the shad-
ow of mountains that I felt I could
taken by individuals or as a move. And above all, I most defi-
group. Trips can be custom- nitely felt like a “dude.”
ized. Contact Bushmasters at
www.bushmasters.co.uk for Some contributors to TravelExtra are CHERYL HART PHOTOS / COURTESY OF BUSHMASTERS

specific details on pricing. freelance writers whose trips to the des- Survival trainees pore over maps of the journey into the Guyana rain forest where they’ll learn basic
tinations were subsidized. survival skills, such as making their way through the jungle, fire-starting, fishing and hunting for food.
Product:STAR Date:10-12-2008Desk: SPC-0003-CMYK/02-10-08/18:32:11

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ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2008 H TORONTO STAR H G3

3:43 p.m.
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*Restrictions and addtitional fees may apply. Price is per person based on double occupancy, unless otherwise stated, from Toronto - Pearson International Airport. New bookings only. Subject to availability. Not applicable to group bookings. Sale price reflects applicable reductions, is subject to change without notice
and cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. International flights operated by Air Canada. For applicable terms and conditions, consult the Air Canada Vacations brochures. Ontario registration #50013537. †Aeroplan Miles are not actual miles, but points towards rewards including travel rewards. Unless
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Product:STAR Date:10-12-2008Desk: SPC-0004-CMYK/02-10-08/13:53:17

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G4 H TORONTO STAR H SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2008 ON

TRAVEL Heavenly hideaways


Communing with nature in Australia and South Africa

The
Enjoying great
some escape
qualia time DIVINE ISOLATION
AWAITS AT ROCKTAIL’S
ECO-FABULOUS RESORT
BY MICHAEL BENEDICT
ROCKTAIL BAY, SOUTH AFRICA—After bouncing along
for an hour on what could be only loosely de-
scribed as a road, the Range Rover delivers us to
our eco-resort destination, Rocktail Bay Lodge.
Greeting us are its senior managers, Tal Fineb-
erg and Genene Howat.
“Welcome to the middle of nowhere,” says Tal.
Not quite, but almost.
True, we are 50 kilometres south of the Mozam-
bique border in the isolated northeast corner of
South Africa, about a four-hour drive from the
nearest airport. But Rocktail Bay Lodge offers
most amenities, except for air conditioning, and
JASON LOUCAS PHOTO / COURTESY OF QUALIA boasts a substantial cellar of the country’s fine
qualia’s very name — which means ‘sumptuous sensory experience’ — indicates that visitors are in for wines to accompany such delicacies as ostrich
something special, such as the ethereal infinity pools or luxurious baths, at the exclusive Australian resort. and seafood from the nearby waters.
The 11-chalet resort, each with a refreshing,
OPULENT sheltered outdoor shower connected to the in-
door one, is nestled on the side of a tropical forest
dune, a rare and precarious habitat.
AUSTRALIAN On the dune’s other side, a five-minute walk
away through greenery filled with birds and but-
RETREAT terflies, is the Indian Ocean and some 100 kilo-
metres of unspoiled
beach. As we view the
A FEAST FOR white sands for the
first time, my normal-
ZIMBABWE
E

ALL THE SENSES


IQU

ly taciturn teenage
son bursts out, “Wow,
AMB

this is the biggest


MOZ

BOTSWANA
BY EMMA VULETIC beach in the world!”
Rocktail Bay itself is
QUALIA, AUSTRALIA—Perched ele-
a four-kilometre-long SWAZILAND
gantly on the northern end of Ham- cove, a stretch of Rocktail Bay
ilton Island, qualia is a luxurious coastline strictly pro- LESOTHO
tected by a South Afri- SOUTH
new island escape that has upped AFRICA
the ante for world-class holidaying can government in-
creasingly conscious Cape
Down Under. Town
Flying into Hamilton Island you of the need to preserve Africa
its unspoiled beauty. Atlantic
could be forgiven for thinking Ocean
you’re in the story-bound pages of Its public beach areas 30 km Map
Robinson Crusoe . . . palm-fringed are restricted to five area

coastlines, dinky little boats drift- outside vehicles a day


ing on a cerulean sea. and sports fishermen
Since its grand opening in the ’80s, must, by law, throw any catches back into the sea.
however, Hamilton Island has Even the sea is protected. An official marine re-
maintained a steady stream of mid- serve extends three kilometres from shore. No
dling tourism — families, ocean lov- boats are allowed; not a sailboat, not even a kayak.
ers, divers. Not the Gucci-clad day- pearing just when they should. Deep-sea fishing is prohibited and surfing is
Coral Sea
dreamers of St. Barts or Bora Bora If residents want to explore the is- banned, despite the Indian Ocean’s famous
. . . until now. Hamilton
land they have their own miniature waves.
After selling his Rosemount Island golf buggy (cars aren’t allowed on “Why?” I ask Tal.
Wines for $1.5 billion, businessman the island). Alternatively they can “Because there are no lifeguards,” he answers, as
AUSTRALIA head to the beach where a resident if by rote. Then he whispers the real answer: “If
Robert Oatley visited Hamilton Is-
land for a holiday and bought it on a yachtsman will take them to sea on surfing were permitted, they would come.”
whim — a second neighbouring is- Sydney a catamaran or cruiser to explore Rocktail Bay presents a little-known South Afri-
land was thrown into the deal. neighbouring delights (islands, se- ca. There is no big game here, only some mischie-
Indian cluded beaches, and of course the vous vervet monkeys that will steal food off your
Realizing that Queensland, and Ocean
indeed Australia, needed a world- 500 km
jewel that is the Great Barrier Reef). plate, given one-quarter of a chance. Instead, this
class destination to lure some YSL- It’s no surprise some guests re- haven offers unique marine and forest treasures.
toting beneficence Down Under, he treat to their pavilions to eat, sur- Birdlife South Africa, the country’s leading orni-
embarked on a mission to create his of dreams, with a breathtaking 180- rounded by panoramic views and thological society, has deemed Rocktail Bay a
own Elysian escape. degree ocean view. plush fabrics. “birder-friendly establishment.” Birdwatching
Indeed, qualia is a flourish of con- “You can see the ocean from al- The Windward Pavilions come tours can be arranged, or guests can opt for the
fidence for an island that was suc- most every point of the property, with a private plunge pool and sun- lodge’s dedicated bird trail that ends at a canopy.
cumbing to Bali-ville ordinariness, whether you are driving your bug- lit deck,or, if your prefer the cool- Rocktail Bay Lodge’s parent company, Wilder-
a trait the jet set avoid like the gy, in your room or in the restau- ness of the air inside, you can curl ness Safaris, operates the nearby Rocktail Beach
plague. Take the Latin name for rants,” McNally points out. The on- up with a good book on the sofa and Camp, which shares property with a world-re-
starters. Pronounced kwah-leeah, ly room in the resort without a wa- watch the yachts tracing circles on nowned diving school.
it translates as “sumptuous sensory ter view is the mellow library, the sea. The iPod-friendly sound If you are a qualified diver, either resort will ar-
experiences.” stocked with art books, board systems can be accessed with the range a scuba expedition to pristine coral reefs in
The resort’s general manager, games and novels. remote from any room, even from waters where no one else is allowed. One of the
Shane McNally, is an old hand Since every meal is included in the the eggshell bath if you are so in- highlights is swimming with the docile, pregnant
when it comes to sybaritic get- hefty $1,600-a-night price tag, one clined (another prime vantage spot ragged-tooth sharks that migrate to these reefs in
aways. His work has taken him is encouraged to make peace with from which to assess the nautical December and January. Unfortunately, our mid-
from the Banyan Tree Seychelles to their Epicurean side at each sitting: moves of the day — and the Aesop March visit is about three months too late for one
Amanpulo in the Philippines to seared kangaroo loin with celeriac bath goodies). of the region’s most spectacular attractions, the
Silky Oaks Lodge and nearby Be- confit; wild mushroom terrine and At the other end of the resort, laying of eggs by the giant Loggerhead and even
darra Island. fig flambée port sauce; Hervey Bay perched at the top of a hill, sits spa larger Leatherback turtles who return every year
“qualia has attracted a higher-end scallops with poppy seed crèpes; qualia, a stone pavilion. Situated to to the beaches on which they were born.
traveller to Hamilton Island, and poached King George Whiting with capture soft breezes and tranquil There is so much to see and do here, yet it’s the
opened their eyes to how much is sea urchin tortellini . . . views, the spa has with six treat- things Rocktail Bay does not offer that make it
on offer,” he says. “Never has there “What we hope to achieve will de- ment rooms, steam rooms and out- even more enchanting. It is that rarest of luxuries:
been any perception of five-star fine gastronomic luxury in a new side showers. The Bularri Yarrul a refuge. There is no nightlife here. There is no In-
product here . . . but now clearly and very Australian way,” says chef warm stone massage is the star ternet, no cellular service, no phone or power
this is a hotspot of the Australian Stephan Rio. treatment here, using 300-million- lines. The office won’t be able to find you — and
accommodation industry.” The whippet-thin infinity pool year-old stones from Northern you can’t contact the boss.
Comprising 60 guest pavilions, an (much like the women who holiday New South Wales. Or, if your soul Agenerator supplies electricity from eight in the
elegant main pavilion, two restau- here) shines in the metallic Austra- needs pampering, there is an open- morning until 10 at night. Bedside lamps are bat-
rants, two pools, a spa and excep- lian sunlight. The scent of eucalypt air meditation pavilion where body tery-powered and always available. Hot water is
tional all-day dining, no short-cuts and hoop pine floats up from the and mind can be gracefully aligned., abundant. What more could anyone ask?
have been taken in this charming native gardens, as the staff, dressed 1 For more information, see
resort. Even your entry is the stuff casually yet smartly, drift about, ap- www.qualia.com.au
Product:STAR Date:10-12-2008Desk: SPC-0005-CMYK/02-10-08/19:49:46

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ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2008 H TORONTO STAR H G5

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Product:STAR Date:10-12-2008Desk: SPC-0006-CMYK/02-10-08/15:08:37

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G6 H TORONTO STAR H SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2008 ON

TRAVEL Vietnam
Dragons descending from the sky spit out pearls which became islands

The
wave
of the
future
CRUISE LINES
UP THE ANTE
IN QUEST FOR
’WOW’ FACTOR
BY DIANE TIERNEY
From parks with real grass to zip-
lines that soar between decks,
cruise ships have become floating
resorts with theme-park envy.
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian
Cruise Line are two lines launching
ships with wow factor to entice pas-
sengers.
Fishermen have When Royal Caribbean Interna-
JUST THE FACTS long lived on tional’s (RCI) Oasis of the Seas
floating houses, launches in December of next year,
surrounded by it will be the largest and, arguably,
HALONG BAY IS about a Halong Bay’s the most revolutionary cruise ship
magnificent in the world.
three-hour drive from Ha- limestone peaks
and caves, whose The ship is expected to cost about
noi on the Bay of Tonkin. A $1.4 billion (U.S.). It carries 5,400
natural beauty is
number of companies of- attracting a passengers, has 16 decks, 2,700
fer tours on Vietnamese growing number staterooms, is 360 metres long and
of tourists to the encompasses 220,000 gross
junks, many of which have region. tonnes.
sleeping quarters. For a SUSAN PIGG PHOTOS / TORONTO STAR The ship’s overall theme is the cre-
ation of seven neighbourhoods.
taste of real luxury and

Legendary origins;
Each has been top-secret since the
French colonial-era tradi- first was released in April, and the
tion (most of which has seventh will be announced Oct. 21.
The six neighbourhoods unveiled
disappeared in the rest of so far include Central Park, the
the country), take the Boardwalk, Entertainment Place,
wood-lined paddle steam-
er, The Emeraude, a repli-
ca of a cargo and passen-
ger ship built around 1905
natural splendour the Royal Promenade, Pool and
Sports Zone, and the Vitality at Sea
Spa and Fitness Centre.
Central Park is longer than a foot-
ball field, located in the centre of
the ship and opens to the sky. It will
by the Roque family which
made a fortune in French THE LIMESTONE PEAKS into a sight that you imagine the
Lost City of Atlantis would look
feature flower gardens and canopy
trees and will allow folks to picnic
Indochina in the late 19th like. in the park and enjoy concerts and
century. Cruises range
AND CAVES OF VIETNAM’S While the caves are stunning (es- “street” performances.
pecially Hang Sung Sot’s landmark The Rising Tide Bar is said to be
from $375 to $624 per HALONG BAY ARE TRUE GEMS giant “penis rock”), the most jaw-
dropping sights in Halong Bay are
the first moving bar at sea. It as-
cends and descends beside three
cabin, double occupancy.
its almost 2,000 limestone peaks decks.
See www.emeraude-cruis- BY SUSAN PIGG 100 km
formed more than 250 million The Boardwalk neighbourhood is
es.com for more informa- TO RO N TO STA R CHINA years ago, some of which jut 200 reminiscent of piers that dot the
VIETNAM metres into the air. They form lush, coast of England and amusement
tion. HALONG BAY, VIETNAM—This stun- Hanoi green natural shelters for wooden parks such as Coney Island. A
ning bay of towering rock peaks and homes, and even tiny school hous- handcrafted carousel — believed to
AIR CANADA VACATIONS Halong
floating fishing villages may be LAOS es, neatly balanced on pontoons. be the first at sea — is the cen-
has a host of Asia tour Bay
known as the “Bay of Descending “There are a lot of children who trepiece.
packages, including the Dragons,” but today, at least, it’s the Gulf of live here,” says Hoang as a young Just off the Boardwalk, the Aqua
Bay of Descending Tourists. Tonkin mother steps gingerly from a boat Theater offers two experiences.
Complete Vietnam Experi- While thousands have been onto the platform of a brightly During the day, guests can swim
ence, a 13-day, 11-night dumped here by bus and by car, the painted floating home where and even learn to scuba dive in the
tour that includes Ho Chi daily sorting out of who takes what THAILAND clothes are flapping from a rope line kidney-shaped, freshwater pool.
junk is turning out to be surprising- in a late afternoon breeze. At night, passengers are enter-
Minh City and the Mekong ly orderly. “Some of the fishermen sell fruit tained with theatrical performanc-
Delta up the coast to Ha- “This is quiet,” says guide Lan and vegetables or souvenirs to tour- es featuring dramatic acrobatics,
noi and the spectacular Hoang, 29, who lives three hours ists. They used to sell coral, but synchronized swimming, water
away in Hanoi but first came here CAMBODIA that’s illegal now.” ballet and high-diving.
scenery of Halong Bay. For as a high school student when Ha- According to legend, Halong Bay The Royal Promenade neighbour-
prices on packages, which long was just a haven for fishermen. was formed when a mother dragon hood opens to Central Park. Natu-
include return flights out “When it’s really busy, sometimes and her children swooped down to ral light cascades down from the
you have to jump from one boat to help the Vietnamese fight off invad- sky to the first zip-line at sea sus-
of Toronto or Vancouver, Gulf of South
the next just to get to your own Thailand China Sea ers whose vessels were attacking pended nine decks above the
accommodation, some tour.” the mainland. Boardwalk, as well as two rock-
You can thank UNESCO for all As the dragons descended in climbing walls.
meals, transfers and tours, that. water, put in your time jockeying flocks from the skies, their sweep- The most recently announced
see aircanadavacation- Since this stunning seascape close for space within the area’s ing tails formed the area into a mas- neighbourhood is a nightclub dis-
s.com, call 1-877-274- to Vietnam’s northern border with spectacular limestone caves and sive archipelago and they spit out trict called Entertainment Place.
China was declared a World Heri- then set your sights on the horizon pearls which changed into islands Casino Royale, located here, is re-
2228 or contact a travel tage Site in 1994, it’s become — where old traditions are kept very as they hit the water, forming a portedly the largest casino at sea
agent. quite rightly — one of the three much alive in floating fishing vil- stone barrier against the attackers and is designed to evoke images of
must-sees along Vietnam’s increas- lages just out of reach of the tour- and smashing their approaching the casinos of the French Riviera.
FOR INFORMATION on Ha- ingly well-worn seaside tourist ism rush. vessel to pieces. The Pool and Sports Zone and Vi-
long Bay, including at- track (the other two being the “Even the boats are becoming big- Geologists, on the other hand, tality at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre
towns of Hoi An and Hue.) ger and bigger and faster and fas- have a much less colourful explana- features two large Flow Rider surf-
tempts to preserve its That made it inevitable that devel- ter,” says Hoang, as the cluster of tion. They insist that more than ing simulators, four pools and pri-
sensitive ecology and nat- opers would set their sights on Ha- junks and sailboats offering tours 230 million years of rains and sea- vate cabanas.
ural beauty, see www.ha- long city, throwing up Western- for a few hours, chugs toward Viet- water eroded the limestone land- Surrounding the neighbourhoods
style highrise hotels and resorts at nam’s Gulf of Tonkin and Halong scape into peaks while carving out are 37 categories of accommoda-
longbay.gov.vn. such a dizzying speed that both lo- Bay’s legendary caves of Hang Dau too many fantastic caves to count. tions, including 28 two-level loft
cals, and tourists, complain what- Go (Grotto of Wooden Stakes) and It really doesn’t matter who is
FOR MORE on Vietnam, see ever charm there once may have Hang Sung Sot (Surprising Cave), right. Any way you look at it, Halong WAVE continued on G7
vietnamtourism.com been is long gone. whose limestone interiors have Bay is a true gem.
That’s until you head out on the been shaped by the waters of time spigg@thestar.ca
Product:STAR Date:10-12-2008Desk: SPC-0007-CMYK/02-10-08/19:49:48

G7 SUNDAY ON SU3
!SU3 121008ON G 007K!
007C!
007M!
007Y! BLACK
YELLOW
MAGENTA
CYAN CMYK

ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2008 H TORONTO STAR H G7

TRAVEL Cruising
Revolutionary new ship’s Central Park is longer than a football field
TOP CRUISE
DESTINATIONS
1. Caribbean 42.8
2. Alaska 15.5
3. Mexican Riviera 8.5
4. Europe & Mediterranean 7.9
5. Hawaii 4.4
6. Bermuda 3.6
7. Panama Canal 3.2
8. Europe & Baltic 2.3
9. Trans-Atlantic 2.0
10. New Eng./Maritime Can. 1.8
ARTIST’S RENDERINGS COURTESY OF ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL

Cruise lines are


increasingly thinking
outside the boat
to entice new guests,
adding features such
as extravagant themed
“neighbourhoods,” massive
on-board entertainment
complexes with acrobatics
and high-diving
performances — even a
floating
Ice Bar at Sea.

Pull up a cube at the Ice Bar


WAVE from G6 called the F3 generation. Each will box,” says Colin Veitch, NCL’s pres- Mediterranean, seven-day Alaska call. For shore excursions, Thom-
carry 4,200 passengers. ident and CEO. and five-day western Caribbean son says, “passengers may really
suites with floor-to-ceiling, double- The ships feature unusual night- Docks and piers around the Carib- cruises are the top long-term, mid- enjoy a Mediterranean cruise, but a
height windows — believed to be time entertainment — bars and bean are being widened and im- term and short-term itineraries for private guided tour of the Vatican,
another first. lounges with Riviera chic and Ibiza proved to make way for the mono- this year. exploring the stunning ruins of
“The seventh neighbourhood is style. lithic beasts that will be disgorging Most popular Mediterranean Ephesus or kayaking in Dubrovnik,
still under wraps, but it will be fami- The first true Ice Bar at Sea fea- thousands of passengers a day. ports include Rome, Venice, Barce- can turn a great vacation into an
ly-oriented,” says Kelly Gonzalez, tures giant ice cubes for bar stools. Cozumel, St. Thomas, St. Maarten lona and Santorini. unforgettable experience.”
Royal Caribbean’s assistant vice- (Now that’s cool.) and Nassau all are having work Other European favourites are St. For more information on RCI’s
president of new building and ar- NCL’s New Wave staterooms fea- done, as is the Falmouth Cruise Petersburg, London, Copenhagen new ship, visit oasisoftheseas.com;
chitectural design. ture contemporary curved walls Pier in Jamaica. and Amsterdam. royalcaribbean.com or call 800-
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) re- and ultra-modern styling. Haiti plans to build a pier at Laba- For emerging destinations, Du- ROYAL-CARIBBEAN and for NCL,
vealed its vision for the future of “Gone are the regimented typical dee to eliminate tendering to shore. brovnik is considered the hidden visit ncl.com or call 1-866-
cruising with the announcement of designs and in place are sleek state- According to Cruise Holidays’ treasure on itineraries and the 234.7350.
two new 150,000-tonne ships, rooms that are totally outside the 2008 travel trends survey, 12-day most underrated European port of

CARIBBEAN
CRUISING
7 nights on the beautiful MSC Orchestra... only

$
999
Includes flight from Toronto to Ft. Lauderdale and all shipboard meals.
January 10, 24, 31 & February 7, 2009 sailings
Inside cabin - cat. 1 - Eastern or Western itineraries
Taxes & port charges up to $483.44

PLUS...
FREE CABIN UPGRADE
Book by October 31, 2008

Call: 1-888-7BELAIR
or visit BelAirTravel.com
Price is per person double, based on limited inventory available at press time and apply to new bookings only.
Flight via Skyservice. For full product information and terms & conditions, see our Sunquest Caribbean Cruise SQ22006
2009 brochure or visit Sunquest.ca. MSC Orchestra Gross Tonnage 92,400, registered in Panama.
Sunquest Vacations, 130 Merton Street, Toronto Ontario M4S 1A4. Ontario Reg #04555751
Product:STAR Date:10-12-2008Desk: SPC-0008-CMYK/02-10-08/19:08:55

G8 SUNDAY ON SU3
!SU3 121008ON G 008K!
008C!
008M!
008Y! BLACK
YELLOW
MAGENTA
CYAN CMYK

G8 H TORONTO STAR H SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2008 ON

Experience the ultimate in pampering


in extraordinary surroundings,
while enjoying enhanced services
and facilities with great added value.
ONLY FROM TRANSAT HOLIDAYS Escape to true travel!

An outstanding line of 24 luxury hotels offered


exclusively to Transat Holidays guests.
BARCELÓ HOTELS OCCIDENTAL GRAND GRAND PALLADIUM
PRESTIGE CLASS PREFERENCE CLUB IMPERIAL CLUB
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic Dominican Republic
A FEW OF THE
Punta Cana • Puerto Plata Punta Cana Punta Cana EXCLUSIVE PRIVILEGES
Mexico Cuba Mexico WHEN YOU BOOK
Riviera Maya Holguin Riviera Maya TRANSAT DISTINCTION
Cuba Jamaica
7 NIGHTS Accommodation in rooms
Cayo Santa Maria • Varadero Lucea
FROM
$ closest to the beach
7 NIGHTS
FROM
488 7 NIGHTS
FROM
Concierge service
Occidental Grand Playa
$ 648 Turquesa Preference Club
$ 618
####, Holguin 24-hour room service
Barceló Marina Palace Prestige Fri, Nov 7 - Dec 5, add taxes $199 Grand Palladium Bavaro
Class ####1/2, Varadero Resort Imperial Club ####1/2,
Thu, Nov 6 - 20, add taxes $199 Punta Cana
Separate check-in/check-out
Thu, Nov 13, 20, add taxes $308
Private pool with butler service
Turn down service

BAHIA PRINCIPE EDENH PRINCESS Guaranteed reservations


ROYAL GOLDEN LE MIRAGE ALL SUITES RESORT for à la carte dining
Dominican Republic Dominican Republic REGENCY CLUB
La Romana • Samaná Punta Cana
Bathrobes, slippers and
Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata • Punta Cana
Mexico Punta Cana beach towels in room
Mexico Riviera Maya Mexico
Riviera Maya Riviera Maya
VIP room amenities
7 NIGHTS
Jamaica
FROM 7 NIGHTS Mini-Bar Stocked Daily
Runaway Bay
$ 558 FROM
7 NIGHTS $ 968
FROM EdenH Real Arena Le Mirage
####1/2, Punta Cana
$ 898 Thu, Nov 6 - 20, add taxes $308
Grand Sunset Riviera Princess
All Suites Resort & Spa Regency
Club #####, Riviera Maya
Gran Bahia Principe Jamaica
Fri, Dec 4, 11, add taxes $267
Royal Golden #####, Jamaica
Sat, Nov 1 - 22, add taxes $256

Flights are from Toronto via Air Transat, Skyservice, Westjet or Canjet. Prices shown are per person, based on double occupancy in lead room category. Taxes and travel related fees are extra and noted above. Spaces are prices are subject to availability at time of booking and subject to change without notice.
For full descriptions and terms and conditions refer to the Transat Holidays 2008-2009 Sun brochure. Transat Distinction Product: Not all resorts include the above inclusions, for complete list of privileges; consult the inclusions section in the Transat Distinction hotel as outlined in the brochure. Transat
Holidays, 191 The West Mall, Suite 800, Etobicoke, ON M9C 5K8. Ont Reg 50009486