Six highlights in your travel week | 13 July

A couple of narwhals [ED NOTE: SPELLING OK] frolicking … a striking, tusked whale labelled the ‘unicorn of the sea’. Image: Michelle Valberg.
A couple of narwhals [ED NOTE: SPELLING OK] frolicking … a striking, tusked whale labelled the ‘unicorn of the sea’. Image: Michelle Valberg.

Polar bears, giant icebergs, remote Inuit communities, the world’s fastest-moving glacier and a striking, tusked whale labelled the ‘unicorn of the sea’ are among the highlights of a new expedition cruise package released by Adventure Canada and Cruise Traveller.

The 12-day ‘High Arctic Explorer’, which departs Ottawa August 5 next year and includes a cruise on board the 198-passenger Ocean Endeavour from Resolute Bay in the Canadian Arctic to Greenland, is priced from about $14,920 per person twin-share, including an early-bird saving of about $1350 per person if booked by August 15 this year.

The adventure includes zodiac shore visits and ground excursions.

Highlights include a visit to Beechey Island to see the graves associated with Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage, and a chance to spot wildlife such as the narwhal — a whale whose swordlike, spiral tusk has earnt it the title of ‘unicorn of the sea’.

Phone 1800 507 777 or visit www.cruisetraveller.com.au 

Sanctuary Retreats is passionate about introducing its guests to authentic flavours … such as learning to make delicious dumplings.

Sanctuary Retreats is passionate about introducing its guests to authentic flavours … such as learning to make delicious dumplings.

Virginia Woolf once wrote: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

Sanctuary Retreats is passionate about introducing its guests to authentic flavours in each one of the destinations in which it operates.

Given their traditional association with good fortune and festivities, it’s little wonder that dumplings have been relished by the Chinese people for over 400 years.

The perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up provides one of the best ways to celebrate a famous symbol of the local culture as you cruise along China’s legendary waterway aboard the Sanctuary Yangzi Explorer.

Learn how to create this deliciously simple dish under the expert guidance of the on-board Chinese chef.

 The mammoth sand dunes of Sossusvlei … site for an exhilarating 4WD adventure.

The mammoth sand dunes of Sossusvlei … site for an exhilarating 4WD adventure.

Journey to Africa … the place where lions stalk, leopards laze and elephants stomp, where whirlwind cities are abuzz, grassy savannahs whisper, and sunsets blaze the sky.

Travelmarvel recently launched its Africa 2019 brochure, which includes earlybird discounts on airfares.

Never before has Travelmarvel ventured into the desert realm of Namibia.

Here is a place where ancient landscapes, rich indigenous culture and unique wildlife come together to form an enchanting world.

Join the nine-day ‘Namibia Revealed’ tour from $5995 per person twin-share, with an earlybird air-credit saving of $500 per couple.

Enjoy guaranteed wildlife sightings at Etosha National Park, visit Omapaha Himba village for an authentic encounter with Namibia’s semi-nomadic group, and take an exhilarating 4WD adventure to the mammoth sand dunes of Sossusvlei.

Phone 1300 196 420 or visit www.travelmarvel.com.au 

Swimming with a dwarf minke whale … a naturally curious animal.

Swimming with a dwarf minke whale … a naturally curious animal.

Combining two of Australia’s natural World Heritage sites — The Great Barrier Reef and the ancient tropical rainforests of Daintree National Park, Majestic Whales Encounters is offering a new 10-night whale-swim adventure in north Queensland.

Travellers will swim with the rare dwarf minke whales, snorkel on the famous reef and stay in rainforest treehouses at Silky Oaks, a luxury eco-lodge and spa.

Majestic Whale Encounters is offering $2000 off for family or four-person bookings in a quad-share cabin if booked by July 31 this year for a holiday beginning June 28 next year.

Highlights include: a three-night stay in five-star treehouses in the Daintree rainforest at Silky Oaks Lodge; a journey to remote Cape Tribulation, a Dreamtime walking tour exploring the lush rainforest of Mossman Gorge, eight days aboard the luxury Spirit of Freedom, swimming with dwarf minke whales and exploring the remote Ribbon Reefs, and snorkelling or diving ribbon reefs which are famous for large marine animals such as manta rays, eagle rays, green turtles, reef sharks, sea snakes and giant cod.

The package is priced from $6400 per person quad-share until July 31, including all main meals, all transfers, land tours, beer and wine with chef-prepared evening meals on the cruise.

Phone 0405 594 253 or visit www.majesticwhaleencounters.com.au 

Only for the seriously fit … follow in the heroic footsteps of Bernard O’Reilly. Image: Sera J Wright.

Only for the seriously fit … follow in the heroic footsteps of Bernard O’Reilly. Image: Sera J Wright.

To commemorate the Stinson airliner’s disappearance on the February 19, 1937, O'Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat hosts bi-annual guided hikes that retrace Bernard’s footsteps from O’Reilly’s to Christmas Creek.

The next hike is from August 10-12 and is priced from $399, including dinner and breakfast for two days, guided walk including transfers and packed lunch, training guidance from an O’Reilly’s guide leading up to the walk, and celebratory drinks and snacks at the end of the walk at Christmas Creek.

Depart the Retreat guesthouse by head torch to witness sunrise at Echo Point before heading off-track to Point Lookout. Some 11 hours later witness the crash site and its remains followed by a very steep decent (including small abseil) to Westrays Grave at Christmas Creek.

Pause to reflect on this extraordinary piece of Australian history while soaking your feet in the crystal creek, followed by a two-hour drive from Kerry Valley back to O'Reilly’s for a well-deserved celebratory meal.

Intense fitness requirements are mandatory for safely completing this walk.

Accommodation is extra, with the requirement of a minimum two-night stay at O’Reilly’s.

Phone 1800 688 722 or visit www.oreillys.com.au.

An array of delights from Little Valley.

An array of delights from Little Valley.

The team behind acclaimed Burleigh Heads restaurant, Rick Shores, has turned to China’s rich and diverse provincial dining scene to seek inspiration for Little Valley, a neo-Chinese dining hall recently launched in Brisbane.

Tucked into an alleyway in the heart of the city’s Fortitude Valley, Little Valley serves a new take on traditional dishes — from char sui pork & kimchi buns to smoked pork & truffle congee and half twice-cooked duck with fermented plum.

Across a formal dining area, casual upstairs bar and open-air beer garden, the venue pays homage to the rich Chinese cultural heritage and melting pot of cuisines that defines Fortitude Valley.