World Travel Diaries

Weekend Cairns Exploration

Friday 17 April 2009 | By Carol Horlock |

Accommodation: Sebel Harbour Lights

This accommodation offers a great location on the Waterfront surrounded by a number of new Restaurants, of which, Dundee’s and Olano’s provide charge back facilities and also provide room service.

The Studio Harbour View Room provided good views, a crisp new room and a large bathroom including a bath and large shower. As a bonus the room was self-contained with the kitchen facility including a microwave, washing machine, ironing board and iron. After staying at the Sebel Harbour Lights I would highly recommend it for corporates, couples or singles looking for an extended stay. 

Some other notes about the accommodation are that check-in is strictly 2pm and includes a pool, spa, gym and BBQ area on level 4, whilst car parking is on level 2. As for the aesthetic and feel of the place, it is ultra modern and contemporary.

Note: Mirvac apply a 1.5% credit card transaction fee to the total bill. 

Exploring Cairns:

  • Skyrail - A must for Visitors to Cairns. Rainforest cableway enables you to experience the wonders of the ancient, tropical rain forest en route to Kuranda; stops are made at Skyrails two rain forest mid stations.
  • Kuranda - A true rainforest experience, village and iconic to Queensland.

Cairns has a huge number of well run Tourist attractions and is an ideal destination for local and international visitors looking for a leisurely getaway.

For more information on any of the areas featured in this blog, contact World Travel Professionals to speak with one of our consultants. We encourage and welcome all user comments and aim to use our blog to interact with our interested readers!  

Stunning Scenery and True Charm, Ireland

Tuesday 14 April 2009 | By Ros Bulat |

Ireland - amazing touring routes and sensational drives……..

Absorb the magic of Ireland at your own pace; driving along dramatic coastlines, past serene lakes, over wild mountain terrain and green rolling hills, enjoying the infectious friendliness and humour of the people you meet along the way.

Ireland is the perfect touring destination with quaint roads and lanes with historic buildings and ruins around every corner. Explore country mansions and gardens, romantic castles, charming villages and atmospheric pubs with traditional music as well as a host of world-class attractions.

Ireland’s Capital Dublin is a vibrant, cosmopolitan centre. Dublin is filled with Georgian boulevards, historical buildings such as Trinity College and Dublin Castle. Then there are the more ‘interactive’ museums such as the Guinness Storehouse and the Jameson Distillery. Take a drive out of Dublin city-centre to the pretty coastal villages of Dalkey, Killiney. These are the perfect places for U2 spotting!

The wonders of Ireland are well known, however few realise the beauty and vibrancy of its Northern region. You can cross from coast to coast in a couple of hours, yet every mile is brimming with scenery, history, local colour, legend, activities and attractions. Visit Belfast with its young and vibrant atmosphere full of great shopping, food, music and trendy new pubs. Birthplace of the Titanic with a rich history of shipbuilding, Belfast glows in its Victorian architecture.

Venture into St Patrick’s country and soak up the legacy of Ireland’s patron saint. Derry is another gem, Ireland’s only completely walled city with a history dating back 1,000 years. The Causeway Coastal route which meanders along the Northern Coast and takes in the World Heritage site, the Giants Causeway is one of the most scenic coastal drives in Europe if not the world.

Western Ireland

The Western region of Ireland is bursting with stunning scenery and a rich literary, historical and musical culture. The West is home to four of the nation’s national parks, the cliffs of Moher, numerous Islands, and the majestic River Shannon. The West is a part of the island which casts a unique spell of its own.

Southern Ireland

The South of Ireland has been welcoming tourists for 250 years! The famous lakes of Killarney, the much-loved ‘Blarney Stone’, the beautiful crystal from Waterford and the coastal delights of County Cork are just samples of this region. Inland the pastures and meadows of Carlow and Kilkenny roll and sweep in unchanging beauty.

Eastern Ireland

The East of Ireland is the cradle of ancient Irish aristocracy with over a thousand castles guarding the land from the coastal waters of the Irish to the shores of the serenely flowing Shannon. The East is spoilt with an array of golden beaches, romantic gardens and is home to the sport of Kings with a rich horse breeding and racing history.

Where else in Europe would you find roads so free of traffic through such spectacular scenery? Unwind on a driving holiday, Irish Style. Click Here to find out more about Ireland. 

For more information on any of the areas featured in this blog, contact World Travel Professionals to speak with one of our consultants. We encourage and welcome all user comments and aim to use our blog to interact with our interested readers!   

Brisbane to Cairns; Silversea Cruises & Virtuoso Australia

Monday 13 April 2009 | By Carol Horlock |

Luxury Cruising on the Silversea proved to be a sheer delight. 

Day 1

Time to set off on my 4 day, 3 night luxury cruise from Brisbane to Cairns. Boarding at Portside Wharf located at Hamilton in Brisbane, passengers were easily able to access the location from Brisbane City - only 20 minutes by Taxi. The facility itself offers a selection of Restaurants, world class shopping, a Cinema and the only “Moevenpick” Ice-cream bar in Brisbane.  

I boarded at around lunch time and was greeted and recognised by name at Reception, then escorted to a Midships Verandah Suite by our Cabin Stewardess who introduced herself as Victoria. The suite featured a large Verandah with patio furniture and a floor to ceiling glass door, sitting area, Queen sized bed, large marble bathroom which included a full sized bath and separate shower plus walk-in wardrobe with personal safe, hairdryer and robes. The suite offered a truly beautiful space of 345 sq ft or 32 m, whilst the “Lead in” category Vista Suites were 287 sq ft or 28 m by comparison.  Similarly, they feature large picture windows and are equally well appointed.

Day 2

Whilst on board we did have the opportunity to view other Suites which offered more space and benefits of Complimentary Butler Services and Laundry services. I was delighted by the consistency across all categories of Suites.

Day 3

The ship anchored off Hayman Island where I took the opportunity to participate in an inspection of the accommodation, arranged privately. For ships passengers who chose to disembark by tender this was a complimentary Silversea experience which included two hospitality rooms, drinks and lunch in the Beach Pavilion. Other excursions, including Seaplane and helicopter flights could be bought directly from the Island.

Hayman offers magnificent views of the Pacific and very blue ocean. A great resort with various Accommodation offerings, including; 7 Wings, Beach, Lagoon Lanai, and Lagoon Wing with very large Apartment style accommodation, Central Lanai, Palm Wing, Pool Lanai and Pool Wing, suited to Families. A tropical Paradise is more suited to Executives or clients wishing to 'get away' without being too isolated. The Island offers a number of Restaurants, Activities, Relaxation options, Spa and Beauty treatments plus Resort and Island shopping.

Back to our accommodation on “The Silver Shadow.”

During our time at sea, we experienced:

  • 4 Restaurants - La Terrazza, The Restaurant, and poolside grill. There is also Le Champagne Wine Restaurant operated by Relais & Chateaux (extra charges apply). In suite dining is freely available.
  • Fitness Centre – excellent equipment and I particularly liked the ability to walk against the waves with a view from my treadmill. The Centre next to the Spa & Beauty Salon offered every service from Aerobics to Personal fitness and wellness sessions (private lessons at an extra cost billed to your onboard account).
  • Entertainment – Varied and included a Magician, Pianist, and String Quartet. There was also Lectures on Board, Bingo, Bridge and a number of activities that Guests could participate in. Silversea Chronicles placed in your Suite each day included all the information and news that one would need to plan the day including, Weather, Sunrise, Sunset and Dress Code for the evening.
  • Clothing – Recommend a range of casual to formal wear dependent on the length of the Cruise. 5-9 days would include 2 formal nights, 10-19 days would be 3 and 20 days would be 4 (you will always be advised). i.e. Formal evenings a Suit for Men can be a lounge suit and Tie (does not have to be a Tuxedo but can be if preferred).

The Ship has:

  • A very well stocked library, board games and cards
  • Email & Internet Access via the Internet Café (cost incurred), or your own laptop
  • Wi-fi locations throughout the ship
  • Business Centre
  • Boutique / Shopping
  • Medical Centre
  • Self Serve Laundry
  • Casino
  • Humidor – SMOKING Policy – Smoking permitted in designated areas of the Bar,
  • Pool area, and outside Panorama Lounge as well as the Humidor
  • Currency, on board, USD$
  • Electrical, 110-220 volt

Benefits for Passengers:

The unceremonious and quietly achieved “Wow” factor begins the moment you board Silversea which can be considered as First Class Transport, Accommodation, Service, Food and Beverages. The “all inclusive” fares exceed expectation with the quality provided and with the included gratuities. The “inclusive” pricing is true value for money as everything you desire is available. 

"There is a total feeling of pleasure and relaxation, with the intimacy on board inviting and leading to new friends from all over the Globe. The problem with Silversea is that as far as holidays go, it's as close to perfect as can be - leaving you wanting more and more! "


All excelled and nothing was too much trouble for the Staff of Silversea. Even on our short journey and after our first lunch in La Terraza, our favourite foods and Window tables had been noticed by the Maitre D’, Stewards & Stewardesses.

For more information on any of the areas featured in this blog, contact World Travel Professionals to speak with one of our consultants. We encourage and welcome all user comments and aim to use our blog to interact with our interested readers!  

Tahiti - It's Paradise

Wednesday 8 April 2009 | By Ros Bulat |

When you think of Tahiti, you think of turquoise blue waters, seclusion, and luxury.

Tropical landscapes of crystal clear azure lagoons surrounded by soaring volcanic peaks; of love and romance; of gentle goddesses and fierce warriors, it is the stuff of dreams and legends. The first explorers returned home from here boasting that they had discovered heaven on earth! Tahiti reminds us that life is short and that there is a world of beauty and tranquillity just waiting to be discovered. A truly magical place which is guaranteed to steal a piece of your heart. Marlon Brando loved this place so much; he bought his own private atoll – Tetiatoa. By 2008 you will also be able to enjoy this little piece of luxury, with a 35-villa eco resort being built in the late actors trust, to be aptly named “The Brando”

With an average yearly temperature of 26 degrees– Tahiti is a year round destination. You can find accommodation at all ends of the scale, from your five star luxury to Family-run 'Bed and Breakfast' style pension accommodation.

For those of you who like to 'island hop', what better way to move around than on a cruise? From large ocean liners, to super-yachts to private sailing charters, you just need to unpack once and let someone else 'move the scenery' for you.

Tahiti has been seducing honeymooners, romantics, adventurers and holidaymakers for years. Activities both land and sea are abundant – diving, sailing, windsurfing, swimming with dolphins and sting rays, shark feeding, 4 wheel drive adventures, horseback riding, jeep safaris and of course you can’t beat a round of golf on the majestic setting of Atimaono golf course near Tahiti’s remote and unspoiled peninsular. Tahiti & Her Islands is also home to some of the best surf breaks in the world, not to mention hosting the Billabong Pro Surf tour, among others.

Papeete is your starting point, and the capital of Tahiti, the largest of the 118 islands and atolls that make up French Polynesia. Boasting fabulous restaurants, markets and a lively nightlife. A must do in Papeete is to dine at a colourful roulotte (food wagon) Lining the harbour every evening roulotte’s serve an amazing array of affordable French and International cuisine. If you are a market lover like me don’t miss the public market “Le Marche” with hundreds of stalls filled with traditional Tahitian made crafts

Moorea is located 17 kms northwest of Papeete – a short 10-minute flight, or a 30-minute ferry ride. With breathtaking scenery and magnificent volcanic mountains covered in lush greenery. Be prepared to fall in love with Bora Bora at first sight, lying 259 kms north west of Tahiti in the Leeward Society Islands. This is definitely paradise and must really be seen to be believed!

Tahiti is a truly special place, somewhere you can mix a bit of French Chic with South Pacific charm.

For more information on any of the areas featured in this blog, contact World Travel Professionals to speak with one of our consultants. We encourage and welcome all user comments and aim to use our blog to interact with our interested readers!