Six highlights in your travel week | 22 June

A giant fish-tank dominates the reception area in the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.
A giant fish-tank dominates the reception area in the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

What is thought to be Australia’s largest hotel fish-tank has been unveiled at the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, providing a spectacularly vivid welcome to Sydney for visitors from around the world.

The 12-metre, 12,000-litre aquarium, which is designed to evoke Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, holds more than 50 marine species, including many fish varieties from ‘The Tank Gang’, which starred in Finding Nemo, the famous animated film set in Sydney Harbour and along Australia’s east coast.

The giant fish-tank is the inspiration of the Sofitel’s owner, Dr Jerry Schwartz, who has introduced aquariums to a number of his other hotels in Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

“Australia is dominated by its seascape, and we wanted to give visitors a really meaningful and vivid experience when they checked in,” said Dr Schwartz.

Le Laperouse and the Kimberley … a magnificent combination.

Le Laperouse and the Kimberley … a magnificent combination.

Cruise Express has an exclusive allocation of cabins on five luxury 10-night Kimberley cruises next year aboard Ponant’s five-star French mega-yacht Le Laperouse.

Prices start at $9990 per person twin-share, a saving of up to $6000 per couple compared to the current full fares.

Also, a free scenic flight over the beehive-shaped peaks of the Bungle Bungle Range is available on three voyages.

The Kimberley wilderness boasts magnificent waterfalls, remote coves, indigenous rock art, abundant wildlife and majestic coastal cliffs that glow red at sunset.

The 184-guest Le Laperouse takes guests to attractions such as the majestic King George Falls, Mitchell Falls and Montgomery Reef.

The itinerary also features the world-famous Horizontal Falls, where the sea thunders horizontally at high tide through a narrow break in the cliffs, forming huge rapids.

Each cruise includes shore excursions and zodiac expeditions ashore. Onboard drinks and a complimentary minibar are also included.

Phone 1300 766 537 or visit www.cruiseexpress.com.au 

It’s not quite sunset but you get the drift … the outstanding outlook from a river-view balcony at Metro Hotel Perth.

It’s not quite sunset but you get the drift … the outstanding outlook from a river-view balcony at Metro Hotel Perth.

Relax and enjoy the sunset views from your private balcony with a glass of bubbly and gourmet cheese platter.

Metro Hotel Perth is offering a ‘Girls Night In’ package priced from $159 per room per night and valid for stays until January 25.

The package includes accommodation in a river-view room, a bottle of sparkling wine in room on arrival, complimentary cheese-and-antipasto platter delivered to room at 5pm, complimentary eye masks for each guest, complimentary buffet breakfast, and a 20 per cent discount off dinner at Red Bill Restaurant & Bar.

Exotic South America … dancers in front of government palace in Lima.

Exotic South America … dancers in front of government palace in Lima.

Enjoy all the attractions and cultural wonders of Mexico and South America on this 20-night fly/stay/cruise package from Cruise1st, starting in Los Angeles and finishing in Santiago.

Departing Sydney on November 19 next year, guests will fly to Los Angeles for a night pre-cruise and a chance to explore LA and Hollywood.

Guests then embark on Celebrity Eclipse for a 16-night cruise, with stops in Mexico, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, before disembarking in San Antonio, Chile.

There are two nights post-cruise in Santiago before flying back to Australia.

Celebrity Eclipse is a state-of-the-art vessel with many recreation and entertainment options, including two theatres putting on specially prepared shows and large-scale productions.

Prices ex Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane start at $3499 per person twin-share.

Phone 1300 596 345 or visit www.cruise1st.com.au

Dinner at the Oberoi … a great way to experience the Taj Mahal.

Dinner at the Oberoi … a great way to experience the Taj Mahal.

Abercrombie & Kent has joined forces with Oberoi Hotels & Resorts to offer savings up to $3850 per couple on an eight-day journey through India.

Travellers will experience the colour, history, culture and cuisine of Northern India with visits to vibrant bazaars and the most famous landmarks, from the Taj Mahal and Amber Fort to Delhi’s Jama Masjid and Udaipur’s City Palace.

All transport is in private air-conditioned vehicles, with expert A&K guides on hand to bring the journey to life, plus extras such as daily yoga sessions and butler service.

Prices start at $3995 per person twin-share and from $7680 for solo travellers.

Santorini … not so hidden these days, but still an integral cog in Peregrine’s ‘Hidden Gems of Greece’ cruise.

Santorini … not so hidden these days, but still an integral cog in Peregrine’s ‘Hidden Gems of Greece’ cruise.

You’ll probably have to be on the next flight to Europe but there are some bargains to be had once there.

Peregrine Adventures, for instance, has cut 30 per cent off the August 1 departure for its eight-day ‘Hidden Gems of Greece’ cruise, which highlights beaches, villages and ancient archaeological sites.

Travellers experience the stylish island life of Mykonos, view the sunset under the magnificent temple of Poseidon, explore the ancient sites of Akrotiri and Delos’ and escape to the hills of Paros.

Pay from $3742 for the experience,