Northern Isles Cruise – Holland America

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This is a great opportunity to visit some unique ports of call not often available on cruises.

14 Day cruise – departure 07 July 2018 from Copenhagen on the MS Zuiderdam (pictured above).

Prices from $3799 p/p (inside cabin) and $4199 p/p (outside cabin).

Highlights

  • Amazing food and superb service make Holland America one of the longest running cruise lines
  • Inspire yourself with a Northern Europe cruise highlighted by Viking legends, grand, looming fjords, and a history of royalty
  • Visits to Iceland, Faroe Islands, Shetland Islands, Norway
  • Copenhagen is a delightful city with some of the world’s most interesting places, like the longest pedestrian street and one of the oldest amusement parks in the world

Zuiderdam – Passenger Capacity: 1918, Year Built: 2002, Last Refurbished: 2015

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Daily Itinerary
Jul 7, 2018 – Copenhagen, Denmark
Jul 8, 2018 – Cruising
Jul 9, 2018 – Bergen, Norway
Jul 10, 2018 – Alesund, Norway
Jul 11, 2018 – Cruising
Jul 12, 2018 – Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Jul 13, 2018 – Akureyri, Iceland
Jul 14, 2018 – Isafjord, Iceland
Jul 15, 2018 – Reykjavik, Iceland
Jul 16, 2018 – Reykjavik, Iceland
Jul 17, 2018 – Cruising
Jul 18, 2018 – Thorshavn, Denmark
Jul 19, 2018 – Lerwick, Scotland, UK
Jul 20, 2018 – Cruising
Jul 21, 2018 – Copenhagen, Denmark

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For more information contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

Noumea and Isle of Pines

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Special offer: 8 days / 7 nights from $2099 p/p

Kanumera Bay, rightly recognised as one of the world 10 best beaches, offers the perfect setting to the Ouré Tera Beach Resort Ile des Pines which is delicately nestled against a big boulder at the end of the magnificent one kilometre long white sand beach.

The hotel offers 30 Beach Bungalows, Tropical Bungalows, Garden Rooms and Family Bungalows that are built in solid wood and elegantly decorated in tropical style. There is no better place to unwind than the resort’s beachside bar, “Le Banian”, as the tropical sunset over the tranquil bay.

The Kanumera Restaurant, with its open-air deck by the pool, provides an elegant and intimate setting in which to enjoy local products and seafood, including the renowned Isle of Pines lobster.

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Your Holiday Includes:

  • Return economy airfares to Noumea with Aircalin, including 23kg of luggage, snacks and beverages
  • Return domestic airfares from Noumea Magenta to Isle of Pines airport with Air Caledonie, including 20kg of checked luggage
  • 4 nights accommodation staying in a Garden Room at Oure Tera Beach Resort (4 stars)
  • 1 night pre-stay and 2 nights post-stay in a Studio Room at Ramada Hotel & Suites Noumea (4 stars)
  • Return airport transfers throughout
  • BONUS – Reduced Rates – Save over $700!
  • BONUS – Free buffet breakfast daily at Oure Tera Beach Resort
  • BONUS – Complimentary use of snorkelling gear, canoes and table tennis

For more information contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

Treasures of Mexico – Contours

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EARLY BIRD OFFER: $500 p/p discount if booked by 29 September 2017.

Departures: 25 Feb, 26 May, 01 Sep, 06 Oct 2018. Cost $9100 p/p.

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Mexico has more UNESCO World Heritage sights than any other country in the Americas; Olmecs, Zapotecs, Toltecs, Mayas and Aztecs have all left their imprint on the modern face of this fascinating country. This tour will show you this unique country from Mexico City to its turquoise blue Caribbean shores.

You will start in Mexico City. This Metropolis will surprise you with the grand scale of its central zocalo, enormous Chapultepec Park and world-class Anthropology Museum. The bohemian district of Coyoacan is a delight with its cobbled streets, terraced cafes and the Frida Kahlo Museum. You will travel through South – Central Mexico to Puebla & Oaxaca visiting the most wonderful places, with vibrant music and arts scene, colourful regional markets, world-renowned cuisine and the stunning beauty of the surrounding valleys.

Continue your travel to San Cristobal de las casas and the mesmerizing Sumidero Canyon. Visit traditional towns of Chamula & Zinacantan . Visit the most impressive ruins in The Yucatan Peninsula which yields a wealth of natural and man-made wonders- Uxmal, Kabah and Chichen Itza ruins are reminders of the heights Mexico’s ancient empires reached. You will end this beautiful trip relaxing at the stunning Riviera Maya

Highlights

  • Walking tour of Mexico City including the murals of Diego Rivera and Museum of Anthropology – rated one of the top 10 museums in the world
  • Visit historical Coyoacan and the Frida Kalho museum, housed in her former residence
  • Visit Teotihuacan pyramids, walk along the Avenue of the Dead and climb the pyramids of the Sun and the Moon
  • Walking tour of Puebla home to the famous Talavera ceramics
  • 4 nights in UNESCO Cultural Patrimony city of Oaxaca to explore this gorgeous colonial town. Including Market tours, a traditional cooking lesson and a visit to Santa Maria Tule
  • Visit Monte Alban & Mitla Archaeological sites
  • Stay in charming San Cristobal de las Casas and visit the Sumidero Canyon
  • Explore the jungle swathed ruins of Palenque and the famous Chichen Itza ruins
  • 2 nights to relax in Rivera Maya

Inclusions

  • International & domestic economy class airfares & taxes
  • Contours Travel professional locally based English-speaking Tour Director
  • Unique hand crafted travel wallets & luggage tags made in Bolivia exclusively for Contours Travel
  • Guaranteed fully escorted departures maximum of 16 passengers
  • 19 nights accommodation in First Class hotels
  • 31 Meals: 19 (B) Breakfast, 11 (L) Lunches, 1 (D) Dinner
  • Expert English-speaking local guides
  • Ground transportation in private air conditioned vehicles
  • Exclusive Discovery Walks with your Tour Director
  • Tips for local guides & drivers
  • All entrance fees to local sights and national parks

For more information contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au

China: Yunnan and Sichuan Discovery

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16 day fully escorted, inclusive tour with various 2018 departures – departing Melbourne.

SPECIAL EARLY BIRD OFFER of $500 p/p off tour price. From $6060 p/p twin share.

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Yunnan Adventure Itinerary

DAYS 1-2: AUSTRALIA TO KUNMING
Fly overnight to the relaxed city of Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

On arrival into Kunming you will be met in the arrival hall by your Local Guide and/or National Escort from Wendy Wu Tours. Together with all other group members who may be arriving at a similar time, you will transfer approximately 1 hour to your hotel. A tour introduction will be held in the hotel either this evening or the next. Food and drinks will not be served at this meeting, it is simply an opportunity for your group to meet and learn more about travelling in China. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.

Meals included: None

Nicknamed China’s ‘Spring City’ due to its temperate weather, Kunming is the capital of Yunnan Province. Kunming has long been an important city for trade due to its significant location on the borders of Southeast Asia.

DAY 3: KUNMING
This morning drive 1 hour and 30 minutes to the Stone Forest. Spend the morning exploring the unique limestone rock formations of the Kunming Stone Forest, which involves around 2 hours on foot along cobblestone paths. Return to Kunming for an afternoon at leisure and dine this evening on the delicious local delicacy, Across the Bridge Noodles.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Located 120km southeast of Kunming, the Stone Forest consists of thousands of narrow, fantastically shaped pillars of rock, scattered over an area of more than 80 hectares. The park is designed so that you can follow a walkway through the formations of water pools and grey pinnacles, the tallest of which is over 30m high.

Across the Bridge Noodles are a type of rice noodle soup from Yunnan Province served in a broth style. Usually accompanied by meat, bean curd and vegetables, this is a truly therapeutic dish.

DAY 4: KUNMING TO DALI
Drive approximately 4 hours to the pretty city of Dali. In Dali, enjoy some light sightseeing around Dali’s Old Quarter and the symmetrical Three Pagodas.

Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch

Dali – Sandwiched between the Jade Green Mountains and serene Erhu Lake, Dali is naturally striking in its setting. Mainly a base for the Bai people, Dali has played an important role in the history of southern China and was once a post on the old Burma Road.

Three Pagodas – Presented in a perfect triangle, the Three Pagodas date back to the 9th century and were built under the Nanzhao State. Made of brick and white mud, the Pagodas are known for their resilience, having survived many natural disasters, including earthquakes.

DAY 5: DALI
Visit Mount Weibao (Weibaoshan), one of China’s fourteen sacred Taoist mountains. Steeped in legend, the mountain features 20 Taoist temples nestled on its forested slopes. Enjoy a 3 hour walk to a handful of these intricately decorated temples, stopping at Qinxia Temple where you will be met by a Taoist priest for a relaxing 40 minute meditation session.

Return to Dali and visit the Golden Flower Tie Dye Shop

Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch

Mount Weibao – Dotted with Taoist temples dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties, Weibaoshan plays a spiritually important spot in Yunnan Province. Weibaoshan is also one of fourteen sacred Taoist mountains.

DAY 6: DALI TO LIJIANG
Drive 2 hours to Shaxi, a former ancient market town on the famous Tea Horse Road and enjoy some easy sightseeing around the old town.

Continue driving 1 hour to the quaint town of Lijiang where you will have free time to explore the Old Quarter. There are many dining opportunities in this area.

Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch

Shaxi Ancient Town – An important trading point on the Ancient Tea Route from the Tang Dynasty, Shaxi has arguably been called the most well preserved town on the Ancient Tea Route

Lijiang – A beautiful tapestry of cobbled streets, rickety wooden buildings and sultry streams, Lijiang is a vision of idyllic wonder; a great place to just take a stroll and soak up the atmosphere.

DAY 7: LIJIANG
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain: altitude 3,240m. Visit Baisha Naxi Village today and meet a Shaman Dongba who you will demonstrate how to write ancient Dongba written characters, before attempting this quirky art form yourself. Sample traditional Naxi cuisine and visit the Mu Family Embroidery School.

Continue to the magnificent Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, which incorporates several peaks, the tallest of which is 5,500m. Today you will explore one of the beautiful high meadows and enjoy the amazing vistas, to avoid the large crowds of people queuing at the same time; the local government’s tourist authority allocates times to each group. The bus will drive to the base of the mountain where you will take a 10 minute ride on a chairlift from the base to Yunshaping (Cloud Fir Meadow) at an altitude of approximately 3,200m. From the chairlift, there is a wooden pathway to the meadow and this walking route takes approx 1 hour. Descend by chairlift and re-board the bus returning to Lijiang.

Please note this section of the itinerary is subject to change at late notice. Your local guide will keep you informed of any changes as they are made aware of them. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is at an altitude of 3,200m. All passengers should stay well hydrated to acclimatise to the higher altitude.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Baisha Naxi Village and Frescoes – Once the capital of the Naxi minority group, the Baisha Old Town is home to typical Naxi architecture and a great place to see the Naxi people going about their daily lives. The Naxi people are known for their Dongba pictograph writing style.

Mu Family Embroidery School – Watch as locals make intricate pieces of embroidery and take advantage to buy a piece yourself.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain – Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is known for its mysterious ambience and snow-covered peaks and is considered the Holy Mountain amongst the Naxi ethnic group and other ethnic minorities in Lijiang. Popular for hiking, mountaineering, botanising and skiing, JadeDragon Snow Mountain attracts thousands of visitors every year who enjoy exploring its lofty peaks.

DAY 8: LIJIANG TO ZHONGDIAN
Zhongdian altitude 3,200m. Start the day with a visit to the picturesque Black Dragon Pool where you can enjoy spectacular vistas of the JadeDragon Snow Mountain.

Drive approximately 2 hours to Tiger Leaping Gorge, over 3,000 metres deep and with its backdrop of snow-capped mountains, is one of China’s most extraordinary sights. The whole area is spectacular – prepare for breath-taking views. The bus will drop you off at the southern end of a walkway, which follows the gorge as far as the upper rapids. It is a newly constructed, even walkway. There are sedan chairs offered by local vendors, which can be organised at your own cost. Lunch today will be a simple meal as the choice of restaurants in this area is limited.

Continue another two and a half hours on to the Tibetan monastery town of Zhongdian, also known as Shangri-La.

Please note: Zhongdian is at an altitude of 3,200m. All passengers should rest and stay well hydrated to acclimatise to the higher altitude.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Black Dragon Pool – Constructed in 1737 during the reign of the Qing Dynasty, the Black Dragon Pool is a popular pond in Lijiang, which offers stunning vistas and walking opportunities. From this area, visitors can enjoy beautiful panoramas of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the tallest mountain in the area. It is said that there is a black dragon living within the pond’s waters, hence the name.

Tiger Leaping Gorge – is believed to be one of the deepest and most dramatic gorges in the world, measuring at 16km. Hiking along Tiger Leaping Gorge has become incredibly popular, as those who do can view its roaring stream, cascading waterfalls and magnificent scale –great for those who crave an adventure.

Zhongdian – Seen as the joining point between Yunnan & Tibet, Zhongdian is a beautiful Tibetan town home to rugged scenery and remote temples. Known in Tibetan as Gyalthang, the town is said to be the location of the author James Hilton’s fictional land of Shangri-La.

DAY 9: ZHONGDIAN
Today visit the Songzanlin Monastery, one of the most significant centres of Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet. There are steep steps to climb at the monastery. From here walk approximately 3 hours to Napa Hai Grassland enjoying the stunning countryside and a packed lunch. In the rainy season the grasslands become a lake and this ever-changing area is popular with birdwatchers and nature lovers. Later visit a TibetanVillage where you will pay a visit to a local family and learn how to make Tibetan Butter Tea. Tonight feast on a traditional home cooked Tibetan Style family dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Songzanlin Monastery – This 17th century monastery is the largest of its kind in Yunnan. The Songzanlin Monastery is sometimes referred to as the ‘Little Potala Palace’ due to its resemblance to its bigger counterpart in Lhasa. The Monastery is coated in beautiful golden roofs and is a fusion of Tibetan and Han Chinese architecture.

Napa Hai Grasslands – Napa Hai is Shangri-La’s largest grassland covering an area of 66 square kilometres, sitting at 3270 metres above sea level.

Tibetan village – Gain an insight into how the local people live, maybe taste some local snacks and see the traditional Tibetan architecture.

DAY 10: ZHONGDIAN
Take a walk through Zhongdian Old Town. In January 2014, two thirds of the Old Town was burnt down in a tragic fire, fortunately the remaining one third of the town is still intact for us to explore. Later visit Dafo temple before enjoying an afternoon at leisure.

Meals included: Breakfast and Lunch

Zhongdian Old Town – Though unfortunately two thirds of the town was burnt down in January 2014, the remaining section has managed to maintain its original quaint charm, which makes Zhongdian so alluring. See the perfect blend of Tibetan and Han cultures, architecture and people in this charming little town.

DAY 11: ZHONGDIAN TO KUNMING
Fly 1 hour to Kunming and transfer to your hotel to check in. The rest of the day is free to explore independently.

Meals included: Breakfast

DAY 12: KUNMING TO JIANSHUI
Travel approximately 2 hours to Tonghai and visit the unique Xingmeng Mongolian village on the way, where the residents wear traditional costumes and keep old traditions alive.There will be around 2 hours sightseeing on foot here. After a stroll around Tonghai market, continue 1 hour and 30 minutes to the antiquated town of Jianshui for an overnight stay and visit the Confucian temple, one of the largest in China.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Jianshui – With a history over 1,200 years, Jianshui has retained a traditional appearance and traditional way of life. Its style dates back to the Ming Dynasty with an intact city wall and gate tower.

DAY 13: JIANSHUI TO YUANYANG
This morning visit the Zhang Gardens before travelling 3 hours and 30 minutes further south to Yuanyang where you can explore the bustling market, full of fresh produce and locals in traditional, colourful costume.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Yuanyang is well known for its rice terraces, a beautiful intricate patchwork of different coloured rice fields.

DAY 14: YUANYANG
This morning, take an easy hike around the rice terraces, admiring the spectacular natural beauty. You will hike for around 3 hours on cobbled streets through the rice terraces. At some points, the path will be at a steep incline or decline. This evening dine on a mix of Han and Hani cuisine.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 15: YUANYANG TO KUNMING
Drive approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes to Kunming stopping at Lendun Village Market on the way. There will be some light sightseeing and opportunity to shop here. Upon arrival into Kunming, the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure before your farewell dinner this evening.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 16: DEPART KUNMING
Any time before your flight is at leisure. You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport, according to the departure time of your international flight.

Meals included: Breakfast

Late checkout is not included in our China group tours. If you wish to book a late checkout for your final day in Kunming, please contact us.

DAY 17: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

For more information contact us on 03 9600 1482 or email us at contact@transotwaytravel.com.au