Travel on the wild side … a group on Explora’s Los Andes Travesia

South American eco-adventure company Explora is offering four ‘Travesias’ this year — nomadic journeys through remote, little known places and designed for small groups of experienced travellers.
Typical is the eight-night Los Andes Travesia, which crosses the mighty Andes between Chile and Argentina, including three nights in the Calchaqui Valleys, the birthplace of an ancient pre-Columbian culture, and three nights at Explora’s Hotel de Larache, an oasis of luxury in the hostile Atacama.
Prices for Travesias start at US$5080 per person twin-share.

Fancy six days being pampered on a tropical island, including three days learning about cooking from celebrity chef Pete Evans and exploring exotic markets?
Sounds good, but mind, you will need a lazy NZ$9900 (about $7840) and seven friends with the same to take over the four guest bures on Dolphin Island, just off the northern tip of Fiji’s main island Viti Levu.
The price includes arrival from Nadi by float plane, accommodation, all meals and standard bar for entire stay and road transfer in private vehicle to Nadi.
For information about Dolphin Island, visit For information about the cooking school, phone 02 9969 4911 or email
. has combined two nights at Singapore’s renowned Shangri La Hotel with a 10-night cruise through the Malacca Straits on board the Diamond Princess.
The cruise departs Singapore on November 4, with prices from $2879 per person twin-share, including return airfares.
Phone 1300 369 848 or visit

I’ve done a few European rail journeys and it really is the way to travel the continent — fast, efficient and comfortable.
Melbourne-based International Rail is selling discounted passes for the coming northern summer.
An example is a buy-one-get-one-for-half-price offer on the Austrian Rail Pass, valid for three, four or five day passes in both first and second class, for travel until June 30. Children under the age of 16 travel free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Phone 1300 387 245 or visit

Absolute Sanctuary, a detox and yoga resort on Thailand’s Koh Samui island, has special deals to celebrate its fifth birthday — BHT3500 (about $115) single occupancy and BHT3900 double occupancy in April, falling respectively to BHT2800 and BHT3200 in May.
The rate includes breakfast, a daily yoga class, airport transfers and discounts for spa treatments.
Also, pay for five nights and get one extra night free, pay for seven nights and get two free, pay for 10 nights of more and get three free.
Phone +66 77 601 190 or visit

Seafood is of immense cultural significance in Japan and specialist operator Toursgallery makes sure that all seven of its annual small-group excursions provide a wealth opportunities for sampling.
One highlight on the northern island of Hokkaido is a barbeque of prawns and scallops over a charcoal fire, while walks through produce markets and visits to wharves reveal just how diverse the country’s seafood industry is.
Small stalls in most markets also sell bowls of steamed rice with the freshest sashimi and sauce for a quick snack.
The tours stay in traditional ryokans and are priced from $6400 per person twin-share. Phone 1300 307 317 or visit

Tahiti will become the first Pacific Islands nation to host a FIFA tournament when more than 30 international teams take to its pristine beaches for the Beach Soccer World Cup from September 18-28.
It’s one of many highlights on this year’s Tahitian calendar, which also includes the biennial Tahiti Nui Va’a outrigger paddling classic from May 23-25, the 10th anniversary Tahiti Pearl Sailing Regatta from May 8-12 and Heiva, Tahiti’s premier song and dance festival from July 4-20.

Treble Cone, near Wanaka on New Zealand’s South Island is offering skiers and snowboarders the Ultimate Ski Day this winter.
The price of about $585 (NZ$721) includes full breakfast, private helicopter from Wanaka to Treble Cone, ski or snowboard rental, lift pass, lunch and private jet boat, complete with spins, back to Wanaka.

Get a week’s free accommodation in Honolulu, when taking Cruise 1st’s seven-night Alaska Inside Passage journey on the five-star Celebrity Solstice.
Pay from $3299 ex Sydney, including return airfares, seven nights in the Aqua Aloha Surf Hotel and a night post-cruise in Seattle.
Cruise visits Ketchikan, Tracy Arm Fjord, Junea, Skagway, Alaska Inside Passage and Victoria in British Columbia.
Departs May 9. Phone 1300 596 345 or visit

Last-minute Easter specials at Metro Hotel on Pitt.
Pay from $235 per night for two adults and two children under 12 in a Superior Queen Room.
Includes Easter eggs on arrival.
Available until April 15. Phone 1800 004 321 or visit

Get free nights at Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers.
Book a Tower Deluxe Harbour View Room or Deluxe Executive Suite at prevailing available rates for two nights and get a third night free.
Book into Tower Floor and get complimentary daily breakfast, access to Towers Lounge with refreshments and evening cocktail session, complimentary internet access, discounted rates on phone calls, laundry and dry cleaning, hotel restaurants and lounges.
Until December 31. Visit

Save $400 per person on Helen Wong’s Tours’ 14-day China Wonders group tours.
Pay from $3380 per person twin-share, including return airfares.
Highlights include the Terracotta Warriors, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, cycling through Beijing’s hutongs, cruising Hangzhou’s West Lake and three spectacular evening shows.
Departures early June to late August. Phone 1300 788 328 or visit

*John Rozentals is the publisher and editor of, a lifestyle resource for mature Australians.