To the Poles & Beyond
French cruise company Ponant will launch the cruising world’s first natural gas powered electric
hybrid ice breaker in 2021. The newly ordered, custom-built vessel will offer guests access to
the most remote polar regions, including the geographic North Pole, the Ross and Weddell
Seas, and Peter I Island. The new ship will be built by Norwegian shipyard VARD, with design by
Stirling Design and icebreaker specialists Aker Arctic. Boasting just 135 staterooms, a fleet of
military grade zodiacs, and chic, contemporary interiors in keeping with the line’s other vessels,
the yet-to-be-named ship will be Clean Ship-certified and environmentally friendly. Ponant joins
the likes of Scenic, Crystal Cruises, Hurtigruten and Aurora Expeditions in announcing exciting
new custom-built vessels for the growing expedition cruise market.
If you’re looking to splurge a little on your next visit to Monaco, you might like to try the city-state’s newest luxury penthouse. Monaco’s iconic Hotel de Paris has unveiled the most extraordinary suite on the French Riviera, a jaw-dropping two-floor penthouse suite, entirely dedicated to Princess Grace.
Stretching across the two top-floors of the five-star property, the Princess Grace Suite is a showcase of the mark the Princess left on the history of the Principality with the suite’s interiors displaying her work and personal souvenirs, including her favourite poems and books. Located in one of Monaco’s most exceptional settings, the two-bedroom suite boasts a refined, modern decor and offers a 180-degree views of the Mediterranean from three terraces and a patio. Other features and services include a private in-suite concierge, an infinity pool which opens onto an outdoor lounge area, a granite jacuzzi, a shower-hammam, a dedicated private room at the property’s renowned spa, the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, in winter, and a tent at the Monte-Carlo Beach Club in summer.
Hotel group Wyndham will debut in Indonesia when it opens on spectacular Lombok Island later this year. The all-suite Wyndham Lombok Sundancer Resort is set on 48 hectares of beachfront land in southern Lombok and offers close proximity to one of the world’s most famous surfing breaks, Desert Point. The all-suite resort will feature 66 one and two-bedroom suites with a living area overlooking the Lombok Straits and its surrounding islets. The resort will also offer a host of leisure facilities including an all-day dining restaurant; a 900sqm pool with swim-up bar and deep water area for diving lessons; and a private beach club. An idyllic island in Indonesia’s West Nusa Tenggara province, Lombok is gaining international repute for its pristine beaches, spectacular diving, clear waters and challenging surf breaks, which are among the world’s best. To the north of the island lies Mount Rinjani, Indonesia’s second highest volcano, offering outdoor enthusiasts a scenic ascent to the peak with lush hiking trails leading to waterfalls, hot springs and a picturesque crater lake.
Putting Mums in the Frame
Mums everywhere have faced the struggle of trying to capture family photos that include the whole family. It seems that mothers have become the unofficial family photographer for holidays or special occasions, creating a trend known as ‘ghost mums’ – always missing from family photos. Now, a new website, Travelshoot, is solving this problem by connecting all types of travellers with local photographers across the globe to capture moments from family holidays, honeymoons, destination weddings and more. Travellers simply select their destination and available dates before leaving for their trip and Travelshoot arranges for the photographer to guide them through photo shoots at iconic locations around the city. Travelshoot experiences start from US$399 and are currently available in more than 100 destinations across Australia and the world.
Bali’s Hottest Opening
One of the most anticipated openings on the Island of the Gods, Capella Ubud opens in Autumn, bringing new levels of luxury to Bali’s spiritual hub. A hidden sanctuary within densely forested terrain, Capella Ubud features 22 ultra-luxurious tents designed by celebrated architect Bill Bensley. Located along the sacred Wos River, where the Balinese regularly gather for festive processions, each tent featuring an individual plunge pool set against the backdrop of a densely forested terrain. Other amenities include the signature Capella Library, a canopied cistern pool, tented gymnasium, Robatayaki grill, garden specialty dining and the award-winning Auriga Spa and wellness retreat. A Capella Personal Assistant is on hand to attend to every guest’s preferences from the point of reservation until departure. To curate the perfect Balinese adventure, the Capella Personal Assistants can help to prepare a bespoke programme that is as active or relaxed according to individual desires.
New Great Barrier Retreat Opens
Australia’s newest relaxed luxury accommodation, Zen Beach Retreat offers relaxed luxury in addition to a host of private iconic reef, beach and island experiences. Positioned on absolute beachfront in Bargara, on Bundaberg’s coastline, Zen is less than an hour’s flight from Brisbane and is within easy access of two Iconic UNESCO World Heritage Listed wonders, the majestic Great Barrier Reef and spectacular Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. Hosts Shane and Pascaline Emms design tailor-made holidays featuring unique, private and fully-hosted experiences from the boutique retreat, which can accommodate up to twenty-two guests across five residences. Experiences include snorkelling and diving the turquoise waters of the pristine, unspoilt Great Barrier Reef on Lady Musgrave Island and the world leading eco-tourism destination of Lady Elliot Island; private discovery tours of the sand paradise of Fraser Island; swimming with sea turtles before witnessing nesting and hatching of turtles including the endangered Loggerhead Turtle in ranger-led encounters; and exploring the extraordinary food bowl of the Bundaberg region, including internationally-acclaimed iconic and craft beverages, with behind the scenes farm tours and private chefs.
Room to Rock
Pioneering holiday park operator Away Resorts has kicked off 2018 with the launch of an innovative new caravan accommodation option that gives its guests the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll treatment. The Rockstar accommodation – the first of its type in the UK – takes its inspiration from great British rock music, paying homage to our country’s best and biggest rock legends with an interior décor that’s part country chic, part Brit-cool, and part punk. Featuring a central living space with 55-inch television and DVD player, the caravan also features a dedicated kid’s bedroom with huge windows and bunk beds, and an adult’s bedroom with king-sized bed, en-suite and plenty of storage. There’s even a hot tub that can fit the whole family.
Move with the Migration
Safari specialist Audley Travel will add the award winning and unique safari experience, Bush Rover Migration Camps, to its programme for 2018. Travellers staying in one of the Bush Rover Migration semi-permanent camps will find themselves in the very heart of the great wildebeest migration. The camps are set in one of three private locations in the Serengeti, dependent on the time of year – at the Grumeti River (May to July), close to a crossing point for the migrating herds on the Mara River (July to October) and the Gol Mountains in Ngorongoro Highlands (December to March). The Bush Rovers move to the best places for clients to experience the safari of a lifetime, folding up to a moving vehicle and setting off to the next exciting vantage spot. The unique accommodation, which was the 2017 winner of the National Geographic Traveller Big Sleep Award ‘Happy Glampers’ category, sees clients sleep in large elevated bedrooms housed on the top of fully working land rovers, each with a balcony for the best views. The mobile rooms also have en-suite wood panelled bathrooms with shower, flush toilet and a bath, as well as large double beds, seating areas and space for a fantastic evening meal deep in the wilderness. The accommodation is solar powered to give hot water, light and power wherever it is parked up.