Itinerary - Southern Hemisphere
November 3rd - December 2nd, 2012
OUR JOURNEY BEGINS FROM YOUR CHOICE OF TORONTO or VANCOUVER
Saturday, November 3rd - TORONTO » HAWAII
We depart Toronto at 11am and arrive in Vancouver early afternoon where we welcome aboard our “West Coast” passengers. We then continue our journeyto Honolulu, on the beautiful island of Oahu,in Hawaii - the first stop on our World Tour. This evening, we gather at our hotel on Waikiki Beach for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Here we’ll be formally introduced to our Tour Leaders and Flight Crew, before sitting down to our first Special Dinner. IFL,SD
Sunday, November 4th - HONOLULU
Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii and is situated on the island of Oahu. It is home to the famous Waikiki Beach and many treasured historical landmarks. Our Tour will take us through downtown Honolulu, the world-famous Waikiki Beach strip, Diamond Head and other Hawaiian favourites. We will have time at leisure to enjoy the amenities of the hotel, or explore the many galleries, boutique shops and restaurants along the Beach Walk. B,L
Monday/Tuesday, November 5th/6th - HAWAII » FIJI - MV Reef Endeavour
Today we bid farewell to the Hawaiian Islands and cross the Equator, enroute to our next destination - Fiji. Nestled directly over the 180° meridian, we lose a day (which we’ll slowly make up day-by-day as we head westward around the globe). Upon arrival in Fiji, we will be taken to the Harbour Pier to board our private cruise ship, the Reef Endeavour, for a threenight cruise around the Yasawa group of Islands. At 240 feet in length and over 3,000 tonnes, our ship is the perfect size to negotiate the remote reefs, islands and shallow bays, while providing a wide range of comforts and appeal - from swimming and spa pools to bars, lounges and timber-laid leisure decks. This evening we’ll enjoy a Welcome Dinner followed by introductions to our ship’s crew, who will also perform a short show, followed by music and dancing. B,IFL,D
Wednesday, November 7th - MV Reef Endeavour
Each day we will dine on fresh local produce, lavish buffet breakfasts and luncheons featuring Fiji Islands seafood and à la carte dinners with a range of menu selections. This morning, we will go ashore on Sacred Island where we can enjoy snorkelling, swimming and coral viewing from the glass bottom boat or just laze on the beach. We will return to the ship for lunch in the pool area, after which, we’ll go ashore at Nova Beach for an afternoon of relaxation, snorkelling or swimming in the beautiful azure water of the South Pacific. Afterwards, we head back on board to enjoy cocktails and canapés, while being entertained by Saimoni in the Yasawa Lounge. We’ll have dinner in the Captain Cook Saloon, followed by a small show performed by the crew for our enjoyment. B,L,D
Thursday, November 8th - MV Reef Endeavour
After breakfast, we’ll go ashore at Yalobi School Beach where we can again enjoy snorkelling, swimming and coral viewing from the glass bottom boat. After an à la carte lunch back on board, we’ll then visit Namara Village School on Waya Sewa Island and enjoy a show preformed by the school’s children. Later, we will join the villagers for a traditional evening at Yalobi Village. We’ll experience the “Sevusevu” ceremony and the “lovo” feast - a traditional Fijian dinner cooked in an earth oven, followed by a spectacular “Meke” celebration - which is a song and dance performed by the villagers. After our Farewell Feast, we reboard the ship for a dessert buffet, tea, coffee or a nightcap in the Yasawa lounge. The crew will join us for some singing and dancing. B,L,D
AUCKLAND and ROTORUA NEW ZEALAND
Friday, November 9th - FIJI » AUCKLAND
After breakfast on our cruise ship and a special Fij ian farewell , we depart on our private aircraft for New Zealand. Auckland, its biggest city and home to the largest Polynesian population of any city in the world, is affectionately known as the "City of Sails". Rich in natural, Māori and European history - Auckland is located on a uniquely narrow strip of land, flanked by both western and eastern coastal shorelines, with a mere 800 metres between them at the narrowest point. Af ternoon at leisure. We’ll enjoy a special dinner this evening at the Orbit Revolving Restaurant, situated at the top of the Sky Tower, 190 metres above the ground. The dining room rotates once every hour, providing a truly unique experience and amazing 360-degree views of Auckland. B,IFL,SD
Saturday, November 10th - AUCKLAND to ROTORUA
We board our coaches for our journey to Rotorua. The Bombay Hills signal the end of the sprawling city, where the lush Waikato pasture lands take us past Hamilton and on to the Waitomo Glow-worm Caves for a subterranean boat ride under an eerie canopy of “lights”. We stop for lunch before continuing across the Waikato and Mamaku Hills, to fiery Rotorua and our hotel. B,L,D
Monday, November 12th - ROTORUA via AUCKLAND » SYDNEY
We drive back to Auckland’s Airport, with a stop for lunch along the way. We board our jet to Sydney, Capital of New South Wales. Sydney is Australia's largest and oldest city and sits astride Port Jackson - one of the most beautiful deep water natural harbours in the world. The city boasts famous landmarks, such as the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, as well as a fine array of restaurants, theatres, shopping complexes and some of Australia's best surfing beaches. This evening we enjoy dinner at our hotel. B,L,D
Tuesday, November 13th - SYDNEY
This morning, we’ll depart on a sightseeing tour of Sydney. We’ll see many highlights of Sydney, with a stop at the historical Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, offering views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge together. We’ll visit the Gap, the entrance to Sydney Harbour and stop to stroll along the promenade at Bondi Beach. Afterwards, we’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious buffet lunch, as we take in the sights of beautiful Sydney Harbour aboard our private charter boat - “Matilda III”. The afternoon will be at leisure to explore personal interests, which could include a tour of the Sydney Opera House or the Aquarium at Darling Harbour - all within walking distance of the Pier and our hotel. Dinner at our hotel this evening. B,SL,D
Wednesday, November 14th - SYDNEY
After breakfast, we depart for a stroll through the Featherdale Wildlife Park, located 40 minutes drive from Sydney. Here we see the indigenous animals of Australia, including: kangaroos; emus; wallabies; and koalas (with an opportunity to get pictures taken with our arms around one). With over 2,200 animals, birds and reptiles (including a 4½ metre saltwater crocodile and the world’s deadliest snake - the Inland Taipan), we’ll greet the animals in their natural bush setting, spread over seven level acres.
Following the Park visit, the balance of the day will be free to explore the many interests that Sydney has to offer. For many, shopping in the Rocks District adjacent to our hotel will be of interest, while for the more adventurous - the 3½ hour Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb offers a unique experience and brilliant view (advance reservations requi red). B
AYERS ROCK AUSTRALIA
Thursday, November 15th - SYDNEY » ULURU (AYERS ROCK)
Lying just over 400 km to the south-west of Alice Springs, in the “Red Centre” of Australia’s vast Northern Terr itory, it is the world's largest monolith - measuring over 9 km around the base and rising 348 metres above the Mulga Plain. Named "Uluru" by the indigenous Aboriginal people, it is a sacred monument to them. Its cave walls, which comb the base, are covered in Aboriginal carvings and paintings - many of which are thousands of years old. Upon our arrival at Ayers Rock Airport, we will be transferred to our hotel for lunch. After lunch, we tour the Kata Tjuta (also known as the “Olgas”, meaning “many heads” - some 36 of them). We’ll have time to stroll in the Olga Gorge with our local
guides, who will explain the heritage of the site to the Aborigines.
Just before sunset, we will head a little deeper into the Outback, to the site of our Special Dinner. There, we’ll be served champagne and canapés as we watch the Olgas become a darkening silhouette before a deepening sky of intense reds and oranges. Dinner is served, balancing a blend of a true Outback setting with the finest barbecued tastes of the Territory, including: kangaroo; emu; barramundi; steak and chicken. Out of the darkness, the haunting sounds of the didgeridoo approach. With the fire and lanterns extinguished - we sit back, gaze upward to the stellar brilliance of the southern night sky and experience the unforgettable "Sounds of Silence". B,IFL,SD
The largest monolith on earth , situated in the middle of the Simpson Desert – “Uluru” is a sacred site to the Anangu, the Aboriginal people of the area , who believe it to be the symbol of all creation. Leg end holds that Uluru was once an ocean - but after a great battle at its shores, it rose up in revolt at the bloodshed – forming the great blood-coloured rock . Named “Ayers Rock” in 1873, in honour of the then Chief Secretary of South Australia, it has been officially dual-named “Uluru/Ayers Rock” since only 2002. Formed over 500 million ye ars, it was created when sand piled-up on the bottom of an ocean that once covered the centre of Australia . Over time, the originally deposited horizontal layers of sand stone tilted, to their current near-vertical orientation, leaving the majority of the Rock’s vast bulk lying underground. Millions of years of wind and rain have reshaped it (including infrequent water falls), leaving it as we see it today – with scars cut into its sides and pockmarked with caves. Far from desolate, Uluru is home over 150 types of birds and 26 types of mammals – now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is protected as part of Uluru-KataTjuta National Park.
Friday, November 16th - ULURU (AYERS ROCK) » BALI
Before departing the Outback, an early start this morning will afford us one final opportunity to witness the magic of mighty Uluru, as its colours change from deep hues of purple to shades of rust and bright orange - as the sun rises over “The Rock”. Our local guides will take us on several short walks for an up-close view of some of the Aboriginal rock carvings and waterholes, created by the local tribe thousands of years ago.
We then continue to the Airport and our waiting jet , for our flight to exotic Bali. Upon arrival, we’ll be met and transferred to our resort hotel for a relaxing afternoon by the pool, with an opportunity to enjoy sipping on a cool drink at one of the many bars. Dinner at our hotel this evening. B,IFL,D
Saturday, November 17th - BALI
“Lonely Planet’s Best of Travel 2010” awarded Bali Second Place among the world’s Top Regions. Also known as the “Land of the Gods”, Bali appeals to all - through its sheer natural beauty of looming volcanoes and lush ter raced ri ce f ields, that exude peace and serenity. It enchants us with its contrasts, from dramatic dances, colourful ceremonies, arts and crafts, to its luxurious beach resorts and exciting night life.
Our tour today begins with a stop to see the Rumah Bali - a compound comprising traditional Balinese houses. We’ll visit Batuan - to see the different styles of Balinese Paintings, the village of Kemenuh - renowned for its fine woodcarvings and Ubud - the artistic centre of Bali, where local and foreign artists and dancers gather. We’ll enjoy lunch enroute and return to the hotel mid-afternoon.
This evening we’ll enjoy a Special Dinner, while being entertained with a Traditional Balinese Show. B,SL,SD
Sunday, November 18th - BALI
Today is free for us to relax - to sleep-in if we choose, to enjoy all the amenities of our resort hotel, stroll the endless stretch of white sand beach or, perhaps, to explore more of this “Land of the Gods”. B
PORT LOUIS MAURITIUS
Monday, November 19th - BALI » MAURITIUS
We depart on our flight over the Indian Ocean for Mauritius, a beautiful island contrasting a multitude of colours, cultures and tastes. The island, set in the turquoise waters off the coast of Madagascar, is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Mauritius is a melting pot, where past and present are smoothly blended together, offering an essential beauty that compels guests to return to its shores - time and time again.
We transfer to our luxurious hotel , ideally located on the Caudan Peninsula by the Marina, overlooking the Mauritius capital’s Harbour of Port Louis. Dinner tonight at our hotel. B,IFL,D
Tuesday, November 20th - PORT LOUIS
This morning, we’ll enjoy an introductory tour of the island. We’ll explore the diversity of the landscape and the cultural differences that exist on the island.
Next to the hotel is the Barkly Wharf and Le Pavilion, where its 62 shops offer a great variety of items, ranging from international brands to local designs and duty-free goods. Le Caudan Waterfront caters to all eating preferences, in an incomparable setting featuring a beautiful view over the Port Louis Harbour, with laid-back coffee bars, pastry counters, icecream vendors and numerous friendly pubs.
This evening we’ll meet for a Special Dinner in the hotel, accompanied by a local Jazz Band. B,D
KRUGER SOUTH AFRICA
Wednesday, November 21st - MAURITIUS » KRUGER MPUMALANGA
Once we land, we will be taken through immigration and customs procedures and board our coaches that will take us to the Protea Winkler Hotel - near the gates of Kruger Park. As one of the oldest and largest reserves in Africa, Kruger Park boasts a tremendous variety of game and bird life in its numerous habitats. An early evening game drive will take us by open 4 x 4 vehicles into the Park’s Nkambeni Reserve.
We’ll enjoy a Sundowner drink before returning to the hotel for dinner. B,IFL,D
Thursday, November 22nd - KRUGER
Today, we’ll depart on a full-day game drive in our open 4x4 vehicles - giving us a chance to encounter the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, African elephant, black rhinoceros and Cape buffalo), in addition to the plethora of other animals that inhabit the area, including: giraffes; gazelles; zebras; wildebeests; cheetahs; hyenas; jackals; baboons; a multitude of bird species and
many, many more.
We’ll stop at Skukuza Restcamp for lunch.
This evening, we’ll enjoy a Special Private BBQ Dinner on the banks of the Boma River, with traditional Shangaan dancers performing for us. B,L,SD
CAPE TOWN SOUTH AFRICA
Friday, November 23rd - KRUGER MPUMALANGA » CAPE TOWN
Following a brief flight across South Africa, we arrive in Cape Town and drive directly to Table Mountain - one of the city's greatest attractions. We’ll take the revolving cable car - whisking us to the Mountain top in a just a few minutes. The views in all directions are magnificent and the feeling of being on top of the world is what makes this such a popular destination. Dinner will be served at leisure this evening. B,IFL,D
Saturday, November 24th - CAPE TOWN
One of the most beautiful cities in South Africa, Cape Town is strategically situated at the south-western tip of Africa. The city lies about 60km north of Cape Point, in a natural bowl flanked by the magnificent Table Mountain on one side and the vast Atlantic Ocean on the other. Our tour today takes us to view many points of interest in and around Cape Town and along the Atlantic Coastline, to Chapman’s Peak and Cape Point. We’ll see the Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach and stop for a seafood lunch at the Seaforth Restaurant.
This evening, we’ll have a Private Dinner at the hotel - with a guest speaker and a surprise guest. B,SL,SD
Sunday, November 25th - CAPE TOWN
This morning, we board our coaches to catch the Ferry to Robben Island - a place of banishment, isolation and imprisonment for centuries. The highlight of our tour is a visit to the infamous Maximum Security Prison, a World Heritage Site, where we’ll be shown around by a former political prisoner and see the cell in which Nelson Mandela spent so many years. After a light lunch at the Victoria & Alfred (“V & A”) Waterfront, we’ll continue on a sightseeing tour of Cape Town, including a visit to the National Museum and the “District Six” Museum.
This evening, we depart for a Private Dinner at the Natida Restaurant. While dining, we will be entertained by the Cape Minstrels. B,SL,SD
RIO DE JANEIRO BRAZIL
Monday, November 26th - CAPE TOWN » RIO DE JANEIRO
After breakfast this morning, we depart to the Airport for our trans-Atlantic flight to Rio. We’ll be met upon arrival and transferred to our hotel. B,IFL,IFM
Tuesday, November 27th - RIO DE JANEIRO
This morning, we’ll be introduced to one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the world, start ing at the famous beach districts and our first sight of Sugar Loaf Mountain. The downtown business district is next, with it’s contrasts of colonial and modern architecture. We will take a helicopter flight, for a spectacular bird’s-eye view of the city from the sky, where we’ll see the Rio Beach districts, Flamingo Park, Sugar Loaf, Botafogo Harbour, Corcovado Mountain, as well as fantastic views of Guanabara Bay and the surrounding mountains. Our helicopters will land us directly on Urca Hill, part of the Sugar Loaf complex. Here, we’ll have the option of enjoying the view from the Hill or taking a second cable car to the Summit of Sugar Loaf Mountain itself.
We’ll have lunch at the Real Estoria Restaurant, st rategically located at the water’s edge on Botafogo Harbour. This afternoon, a shuttle service brings us to Ipanema and Barra shopping districts. Evening at leisure. B,SL
IGUAÇU FALLS BRAZIL
Thursday, November 29th - RIO DE JANEIRO » IGUAÇU FALLS
After breakfast, we transfer to Rio’s International Airport for our brief flight to Iguaçu. Upon our arrival, we transfer directly to the Hotel das Cataratas, at the edge of the spectacular Falls.
This afternoon, our Tour starts in front of our perfectly situated hotel. We’ll descend on-foot, along the walkways, while enjoying breathtaking views of the Falls - where the Iguaçu River drops into a gigantic canyon. We’ll continue on to the panoramic elevator and lookout point for picture taking and experience the roaring thunder and majestic exuberance of the Falls.
Next, we’ll transfer to the Macuco Trail, located within the Iguaçu National Park, and board Jeeps for a three kilometre ride through the Rain Forest. The Trail brings us to the banks of the Iguaçu Canyon, where we’ll board twin-engine inflatable boats - specially designed for our local river conditions. We cruise up into Iguaçu Canyon, and shoot-the-rapids to the very base of the majestic waterfalls. As our experienced River Pilots safely maneuver in the midst of the Falls themselves, we’ll experience the thrill of a different and breathtaking view of the Falls - an adventure never to be forgot ten. Dinner at hotel tonight. B,IFL,D
One of the great natural wonders of the world and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Iguaçu Falls are situated near the borders of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Over its 2.7 kilometre edge, they comprise over 150 smaller water falls and cataracts, some plummeting down
270 feet into the “Devil’s Throat ” . The Iguaçu Water fall is a true spectacle of nature - heralded by many visitors as the most beautiful water fall in the world.
Although Iguaçu is best known for its Falls, the surrounding jungle is well worth exploring. A rich abundance of animals and birds make their home in the lush vegetation around the Iguaçu National Park.
Friday, November 30th - IGUAÇU FALLS » CARACAS
After breakfast this morning, we depart to the Airport for our flight to Caracas, on the North Coast of South America. We’ll be met upon arrival and transferred to our hotel. B,IFL,D
Saturday, December 1st - CARACAS
Today, we will tour the sights in and around Caracas. We’ll visit the Quinta Anauco - which portrays li fe during the colonial era; the historic quarter - where we’ll visit the Panteon Nacional, Plaza Bolivar and the Cathedral - a viewpoint which offers a panoramic view of the city; and the charming colonial quarter of El Hatillo - with its picturesque houses; as well as, the best and biggest handcraft shop in Venezuela.
Tonight, we will have an unforgettable farewell banquet with live music and dancing. B,L,SD
Sunday, December 2nd - CARACAS » TORONTO
We will have seen many Wonders of the World, experienced cultures east to west, landscapes from deserts to jungles and made many new friends - but, sadly, we’ll have to bear-down on our respective suitcases one-last-time on our World Tour - as we head back to the Airport for our final flight together - Home to Canada. B,IFM
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