Copy
Dear G&L Traveller,

We can't quite believe how fast 2016 has gone.  Before we know it 2017 will be upon us.  
The G&L team have been travelling all over the world this year.  Please enjoy our experiences below.  
We hope you and your families have a wonderful Festive Season and may you have many travelling experiences in 2017!

Enjoy !
» MELINDA'S MARKETPLACE
» HOME AND AWAY
» DESTINATION
» BACK AT THE OFFICE
» STU'S CORNER
» Q&A WITH G&L
 
Last Minute Sensational Deals!
 
 
EUROPEAN AIRFARES

Economy Class- 
Return airfare with Cathay Pacific
from Brisbane to London
from AUD1,625.00 per person including current taxes and fees.

Premium Economy Class – 
Return airfare with Cathay Pacific
from Brisbane to Paris
from AUD2,815.00 per person including current taxes and fees.

Business class – 
Return airfare with Cathay Pacific
from Brisbane to Rome
from AUD5,300.00 per person including current taxes and fees.

The above fares must be booked and paid prior to 21 December 2016 and are subject to availability - conditions apply.

There are other fares to major European cities and from other cities in Australia. Please give us a call on 07 5447 4666 or email noosa@gregorlewis.com.au for further details.




CHRISTMAS CRUISE ESCAPE

Crystal Cruises has just advised that they have 2 cabins on their sold out Christmas/ New Years  cruise on Crystal Symphony from Auckland to Melbourne.  Price is USD8,154.00 per person for a Category C1 - Deluxe Stateroom with large picture window.
 
Be among the first in the world to ring in the New Year from an enviable spot in Sydney Harbour.

Depart Auckland 21 December 2016 - Arrive Melbourne 05 January 2017
15 days on board Crystal Symphony

Including 3 days in Sydney

If you are interested in this cruise and in New Years Eve on Sydney Harbour give us a call on 07 5447 4666 or email noosa@gregorlewis.com.au immediately.

 
 
Sea lions on the beach
Blue Footed Boobies
Whale encounter
Lava flow
Swimming with sealions
Local fish market
Animals of all shapes and sizes
 
Galapagos Islands - Simply a once in a lifetime experience!
 
If you think you have been everywhere and have not been to Galapagos make sure it is on the top of your bucket list.  It was certainly one of the best trips I have ever done. I cruised with Silversea onboard Silver Galapagos in late August on the North Central Galapagos itinerary.  Silversea operate 7 night cruises with two alternate itineraries.  Honestly I could have stayed onboard for the second week to continue exploring this fascinating place.

The Galapagos Islands are a part of Ecuador and are located on the equator about a 2 hour flight from Guayaquil, Ecuador.  There is one main airport on the islands located in Baltra and this is where all the cruises operate from, a very efficient little airport.  It is a 5 minute drive to the pier where you board Zodiacs for a 10 minute transfer to the Silver Galapagos.  Upon arrival you are welcomed by a glass of champagne!  Let the adventure begin. 

Silver Galapagos takes a maximum of 100 guests.  Each day you are in a different location and some days you may visit one site in the morning and then cruise during lunch and another in the afternoon. 

So what do you do and see??

Each day there is a morning excursion which entails a short zodiac ride to shore and then normally a 2 hour walk around and similar in the afternoon.  You are often greeted by sea lions on arrival.  Each day was completely different.  During our week long cruise we saw Red Footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, Red Frigate birds, the amazing dancing Blue Footed Boobies, the beautiful red crabs and sea lions just basking in the sun.  On several days we had the option of deep water snorkelling.  This was amazing.  The water is not as clear as here in Australia nor is the coral as prolific but the fish and sea creatures are amazing.  We swam with manta-rays, sting rays, sea turtles, had a half hour snorkel with a group of about 10 juvenile sea lions, they just swam up to us and would not leave us, simply amazing.  We had a hammer head shark swim beneath us.  Wetsuits, flippers and all snorkel gear is provided by Silversea.  We were fortunate to have two encounters with humpback whales whilst out on the Zodiacs, they were just playing and we got up so close to them, another amazing experience.  We saw albatross, penguins, pelicans, land iguanas, marine iguanas as well as the Galapagos Giant Tortoise. We walked on a lava flow dating back to 1897 which was fascinating.  We kayaked a couple of times, once at sunset and once in the morning with seals and sea turtles swimming around us, very relaxing and a nice way to start or finish the day.  We visited the largest town on the islands Santa Cruz where it is a must to go to the Fish Markets, never in my life have I seen a fish market like this!!  Sea lions and pelicans hang around the markets for scraps. 

The Galapagos has been so well preserved by the Ecuadorians and they are very strict about the number of visitors in any one place and it is working.  The animals are not threatened by humans and will walk right by you, you have to be careful of where you step!

The pictures really do tell the story!  

For more information contact Melinda at melindagregor@gregorlewis.com.au 
Wendy with Le Soleal.
Japanese Dancers
Cherry Blossom Trees.
Wendy enjoying a meal in her traditional ryokan.
 
Japan - Wendy's New Favourite Country!
 
I recently set sail from Hong Kong to Japan on a 12 night cruise aboard Ponant’s 260 passenger ship Le Soleal.  The sleek, well appointed ship was extremely comfortable and the small size enabled visits to smaller Japanese ports such as
Aburatsu, Shimizu, Shimoda and Shingu.
 
Japan has so much to offer – stunning scenery, extremely friendly and hospitable people, great food, efficiency and cleanliness.
 
After disembarking from the cruise in Osaka we began to negotiate the Japanese rail system which was a little daunting to begin with but was fairly quickly mastered with assistance from many local commuters.
 
A 30 minute train ride from Osaka got us to the culturally rich and beautiful city of Kyoto.  With cherry blossoms in full bloom the temples and historical sites were amazing.  From Kyoto we experienced the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagoya which ended before I could even finish my glass of wine, relaxing in my extremely comfortable seat.  Another spacious and comfortable train took us from Nagoya to Takayama following a river through gorgeous scenery.  Takayama has a beautifully preserved old town with interesting narrow streets and many wooden merchant’s houses.
 
The highlight was a two night stay at a traditional Ryokan in Takayama.  It is a very authentic experience where shoes are removed at the front door and you sleep on very comfortable futon beds which are prepared after dinner and efficiently put away before a traditional Japanese breakfast is served in your room the next morning.  This Ryokan also had its own Onsen – the traditional Japanese hot spring bath which was fabulous in this cool climate.
 
Although we had to take the same train journey back to Nagoya, I was still glued to the window admiring the scenery. We got to experience a longer Shinkansen journey from Nagoya to Tokyo, then onto the Metro to our hotel. 
 
Japan is definitely  a country I will revisit in the near future as its diversity allows for many different travel options and experiences.

If you are interested in travelling to Japan send Wendy an email wendyhopping@gregorlewis.com.au
The stunning Sagrada Familia.
Montserrat.
Beautiful San Sebastian.
Gauggenheim Museum.
Picos de Europa National Park.
Porto from the rooftops!
Kristen with her new Tauck friends.
 
Paradors of Northern Spain with TAUCK
 
Spain has always been on my bucket list, and I was recently lucky enough to experience this amazing destination – along with Portugal – travelling with Tauck World Discovery.
We began our journey in Barcelona. This bustling city is bursting with culture, history and architecture. There is so much to see and do that a few days stay is not nearly long enough. For me the highlight was visiting Gaudi’s famously unfinished cathedral – Sagrada Familia. This amazing piece of architecture needs to be seen to be believed.
After our stay in the city we headed off to journey through Northern Spain, staying in a mix of hotels and Paradors. Paradors are government owned buildings (often castles, monasteries, palaces, convents etc) that have been converted into hotel accommodation. The buildings are rich in tradition and located in areas of outstanding beauty. Staying at these properties  really gave us an authentic experience and it also supports the local communities.
Our journey took us to the mountain top monastery at Montserrat to view the Black Madonna, into La Seu d’Urgell in the Pyrences to a luxury mountain chalet, a walking tour through Pamplona along the Running of the Bulls route, and into the charming seaside town of San Sebastian. Here we visited the Old Town, walked along the shell shaped bay and out for our first taste of Pintxos (small snacks, individually portioned, generally eaten at bars and taverns, and typically spiked with a skewer or toothpick).
Next we were off to Bilbao to experience the spectacular Guggenheim Museum with its eclectic collection of art pieces, before travelling into Picos de Europa National Park for our stay at Parador de Fuente De. This property is set right at the foot of the mountain and from here you can take the cable car up to El Cable Mirador (6000ft up) for spectacular views of the forest and mountains below. During our visit the mountain ranges were snow-capped and this really added to the natural beauty.
We made our way to Santiago de Compostela – the end point of the El Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Here, hundreds of thousands of faithful journey to visit the grave of Saint James and the Santiago Cathedral. The pilgrims can be seen walking between the towns leading to Santiago and are recognisable by the shell ornament attached to their backpacks.
Our journey then headed into Portugal, first stop Porto. Here we visited the renowned winery “Taylors” to sample their port and local wines, before visiting Livraria Lello bookstore – recognised as one of the world’s most beautiful stores and thought to be where JK Rowling got her inspiration for Harry Potter. A walking tour of Coimbra had us seeing the famous university and historic St Michael’s Chapel, before time for shopping for Portugal cork products. Here they use cork to make jewellery, shoes, handbags, hats, table settings – you name it!
Our tour ended in Lisbon with visits to the Maritime and National Coach Museums, Tower of Belem, time for last minute shopping – and of course a taste of the world famous Portuguese tarts!
Travelling with Tauck is travelling made easy. Our tour director Todd was a consummate professional who went out of his way to ensure that all in our group had the trip of a lifetime. Nothing was too much trouble and all arrangements ran smoothly.
It is the little things with Tauck that make the big differences – and it's all included! We were able to take part in cooking classes, attend a private concert, do wine tastings, go on walking tours and experience gourmet dining all while travelling with a wonderful group of people who soon become friends.
Tauck – “How you see the world matters”.

For more information on Tauck and this amazing destination contact Kristen at kristencahill@gregorlewis.com.au
One of the stunning Kimberley sunsets.
Horizontal Falls
 
Silversea Kimberley Cruise
 
I recently cruised with Silversea onboard Silver Discoverer their expedition ship for 10 days exploring the Kimberley Coast from Broome to Darwin.  This was my first experience with Silversea and their expedition team and crew gave us a warm welcome as we boarded.  The majestic coastline that we call home is in a word – awesome!  The magnificent rock formations dating back thousands of years took our breath away.  The zodiac boats enabled us to get up close and personal with crocodiles, sharks, waterfalls, rapids and reefs. The Silversea expedition team are so knowledgeable and passionate about the coast and love to tell stories and history of the area.  The highlights for me were the Horizontal Falls, Mitchell Falls, Montgomerey Reef and a plane ride over the Bungle Bungles.  If you would like to know more about the Kimberley Coast and sailing Silversea Expedition ships I’m your girl. 

If you are interested in cruising the Kimberley contact Joanne at jorowland@gregorlewis.com.au
Roger with the Paddle Wheel!
The American Queen.
 
American Queen Steamboat
 
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of doing a river cruise of a different nature, I joined the American Queen steamboat on the Mississippi River.  These grand paddle-wheelers have been plying the rivers of the USA for well over a hundred years so it’s a journey that’s filled with character, history, lore, music and wonderful food.
 
Today’s steamboats are grand in nature and there’s no mistaking the American Queen, the largest paddle steamer ever built.  Originally purpose built for the cruise market in 1996 it had lack-lustre success up until 2012 when it changed hands and then over 8 million dollars was spent on it.
 
It now features beautifully appointed cabins with traditional furnishings sourced from all over the USA. There are expansive promenade decks, 2 restaurants, snack bar, swimming pool, bars and a gift shop.  The staff are fantastic, very friendly and helpful, there are some real characters onboard.  Included in your cruise are excellent meals, wine & beer with lunch & dinner, exceptional entertainment and at most ports of call a hop-on hop-off style tour is included as well.  The stately plantation homes we visited were extraordinary.  Cruising on a paddle-steamer is a very relaxed affair, it really is a lovely way to travel, gliding on the river, I can thoroughly recommend it.
 
Your fellow passengers are mainly Americans who all have stories to tell and ALL have an opinion on Donald Trump. You‘ll find a few Europeans onboard and now the Aussie’s are also discovering this hidden gem.  It’s smart casual dress onboard or as one lady said to me “laidback elegance”.
 
All in all the cruise was a lovely experience and I’d encourage just about anyone to consider it.

For more details contact Roger at rogerkoller@gregorlewis.com.au
 
 
G&L has added to our team with Tracey Standing joining us in October.  Tracey is an old friend of G&L’s and we are thrilled to have her back as part of our team.
 
 
 
  Gregor & Lewis | 11 Arcadia St, Noosa Heads, Queensland, 4567 Australia
T + 617 5447 4666 | E noosa@gregorlewis.com.au | W www.gregorlewis.com.au
 
finalist CLIA 2016 atas-logo-reversed BOOKSMART LOW RES WHITE FONT
magellan-logo (1) Cruiseco_stack_white virtuoso-reverse-logo
Copyright © 2016 Gregor & Lewis Bespoke Travel, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp