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Byte Size Travel: 9th Aug 15

There’s so much happening in the world of travel at the moment so I thought I’d start a weekly whip around of what’s on, what’s new, and what needs to be on your radar.

Here’s the first of what (hopefully) will become a weekly update.

At Home

Qantas goes double daily to Japan

Qantas is preparing for a significant expansion of its presence in Japan with the recent launch of double daily services between Australia and Tokyo. Refurbished A330 aircraft will operate the airline’s new Brisbane to Narita route.

Photo: Qantas Photo: Qantas

Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans said the almost doubling of capacity to Tokyo marked a new era for the national carrier’s presence in Japan in the wake of a growing Australia-Japan travel market.

“This significant capacity expansion has been extremely well-received by Qantas customers and especially by corporate travellers heading directly to downtown Tokyo, who can now save up to one and a half hours on their airport commute by flying into or out of Haneda,” said Mr Evans.

Visit qantas.com for more info.

COMO Hotels launching in Perth this October

COMO Hotels has announced it will be opening a new hotel in Perth this October. COMO The Treasury, the centrepiece of a new city centre development designed by architect Kerry Hill, will be the first Australian property for the brand. The hotel will feature 48 stylish guest rooms, a fine dining rooftop restaurant with views of the Swan River, and a more casual Modern Australian restaurant on the ground floor.

The new COMO The Treasure, Perth. Photo: COMO Hotels The new COMO The Treasure, Perth. Photo: COMO Hotels

The hotel was designed by Singapore-based Australian architect Kerry Hill, whose previous projects have included Ogilvie House, Queensland, and the State Theatre Centre of Western Australia. Ninety-five per cent of the original heritage building has been returned to its 19th-century origins, and features re-installed dormer windows, rooftop copper trimmings and a stripped facade showing off the original render.

Visit comohotels.com/thetreasury for more info.

New look for a P&O favourite

P&O Pacific Pearl is due to emerge from her dry dock on August 15 sporting a fresh new look. The new and improved decor will include contemporary furniture, wallpaper and artwork, creating a modern feel for the ship’s many public spaces and restaurants. The Plantation Buffet has been redesigned to offer a trendy cafe vibe. The ship will also feature a new P&O Adventure Park with 15 activities, including a surf simulator, bungy tramp, flying fox, and popular walk the plank. The multi-million dollar refurbishment sees a general refresh of guest cabins and other public spaces including the Dome, spa and Waterfront restaurant.

Visit pocruises.com.au for more info.

The trendy new Mix Bar. Photo: P&O Cruises The trendy new Mix Bar. Photo: P&O Cruises

Overseas

Anantara unveil new ‘Walking with Giants’ experience

Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, an incredible property I stayed at last year, have recently launched a new experience designed to get you up close and personal with their resident elephants. The new two-hour Walking with Giants activity allows guests to join the elephants on their daily stroll and gain insight from scientifically qualified experts as to how these gentle giants think and behave.

Walking with Giants. Photo: Anantara Hotels & Resorts Walking with Giants. Photo: Anantara Hotels & Resorts

John Roberts, Anantara’s Director of Elephants and Conservation Efforts, says “One of the most inspiring and heart warming aspects of the camp is when we can give the elephants freedom to roam in their native jungle habitat, and creating this new activity provides guests with a prime opportunity to experience the pure joy of simply being with elements as they socialise and behave completely naturally”.

Visit goldentriangle.anantara.com for more info.

Shangri-La opens new property in Yunnan

Shrouded in mist, myth and mystery, explorers have long searched to find the long fabled paradise of Shangri-La – rumoured to be hidden deep within the mountains of north western Yunnan. That search just got a whole lot easier with the opening of the new five-star Hylandia by Shangri-La in Yunnan.

Hylandia by Shangri-La. Photo: Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts Hylandia by Shangri-La. Photo: Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts

Many of the staff are locals of the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture the hotel is located in, making them ideal ambassadors and guides for the hotel’s signature experiences. These range from cycling in the nearby 1,000-year-old Dukezong Old Town and hiking to a local temple; to horseback riding in the Pudacuo National Park; and making black pottery in an artisan’s workshop in Nixi Black Pottery Village.

Visit shangri-la.com/yunnan for more info.

Norwegian Cruise Lines headed down under

As if Australian cruisers weren’t already spoiled enough for choice, Norwegian Cruise Line are set to join the stellar line-up of ships calling Australia home. The newly refurbished Norwegian Star will be operating from Sydney in 2017, and will also be offering departures from Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.

Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line
Photo: Norwegian Cruise Line

Andy Stuart, Norwegian’s president and CEO, says: “We are truly excited to offer these incredible new itineraries to our guests who now have the opportunity to explore areas of the globe that we haven’t called on in many years and some that we’ve never before visited.”

Visit norwegiancruiseline.com.au for more info.

Chris Ashton

We’re Chris Ashton and Simon Ceglinski, two Aussie travellers with a love of exploration and adventure, and the odd bit of luxury thrown in. We seek out street art, street food, and scuba diving wherever we go, and prefer the road less travelled over well-worn tourist paths.

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