Concierge: Travel news and deals

The Oceania Nautica (above) will start sailing in Asia from next month.
The Oceania Nautica (above) will start sailing in Asia from next month.PHOTO: OCEANIA CRUISES


For the holiday season, Qantas is offering 12 days of fare promotions. Every day until Dec 23, the airline will announce a new special fare to popular destinations in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the United States.

The sale started on Dec 12, so there are seven days left to book the special fares, which are launched at 6am daily and include return flights to Sydney from $499, to Los Angeles from $999 and to Adelaide from $599.

Each day's special fare is available for only 36 hours. Go to


Alila Hotels and Resorts is offering family-friendly activities and experiences inspired by the local culture and community.

Learn sugar-making and enjoy a painting class at the newly opened Alila Yangshuo in Guilin, China, located in a former sugar mill.

Room rates start at US$244 (S$328) a night for two adults and a child.

Enjoy outdoor adventures with nature walks, mountain biking, a ferrata cave climb and a 3km Butterfly Trail at Alila Jabal Akhdar in Oman, where rates start at US$532 a night.

At Alila Ubud, where rates start at US$381 including breakfast, children can pick up the art of egg painting (US$25 a child) or create and decorate traditional masks made from recycled wood (US$29 a child).

For more information, go to


From next month, Oceania Cruises, a cruise line dedicated to epicurean enthusiasts, is offering a season of voyages focusing on the culinary highlights of Asia.

Itineraries for Oceania Cruises' Nautica and Insignia ships include the 15-day Eastern Escapade cruise from Hong Kong to Bangkok, which will take guests through picturesque Ha Long Bay in Hanoi to Singapore and to the Gulf of Thailand, with a stop in Koh Samui.

The 15-day Pagodas and Shrines cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong aboard the Nautica will sail through the Gulf of Thailand, stopping at Koh Samui, Bangkok and Sihanoukville in Cambodia, before cruising to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and through the Hainan strait to Hong Kong.

Both ships have four restaurants, world-class fitness centres and spas, multiple lounges and bars, a casino, 342 suites and staterooms for 684 guests.

For more information on these and other cruises, such as a 25-day cruise from Tokyo to Singapore, go to, call 800-616-7096 or contact your preferred travel agent.


Emirates is spreading holiday cheer on board its flights from Dubai to Australia, Europe, the United States and Britain, and from Britain to Dubai.

For this month, the airline has brought back its Christmas menu.

In economy class, there are items such as rolled turkey buffe with cranberry jus lie, mashed potatoes, Vienna chicken sausages and seasonal vegetables, lemon cranberry cake with cream cheese frosting or cocoa cake with white chocolate chips and raspberry coulis in economy class.

First-and business-class passengers can tuck into marinated king prawns with cocktail sauce, rolled turkey buffe with chestnut and apricot stuffing, pumpkin mash and creamy brussels sprouts with turkey bacon and a variety of desserts, as well as Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Chandon champagnes.

Young travellers have a special Christmas menu too, comprising roast turkey, sweet potato mash, carrots and peas, a chocolate brownie and a white chocolate lollipop.

The airline is also releasing new amenity kits, with 16 new Bulgari designs for men and women in business and first class; and six new designs inspired by Expo 2020, which will be hosted by Dubai, for economy class.

There are also special infant amenity kits for parents travelling with babies. The newly designed pouch contains essentials such as a bib, spoon, baby wipes, changing mat, diaper-rash cream and a small diaper bag.

As part of the Emirates Fly With Me Animals range of plush toys, a limited-edition Noel the polar bear is available this month.

Decked out in a festive red scarf, the bear comes with a plastic toggle so it can be hung in the car, on a pram or in the cot.

For more information, go to

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 17, 2017, with the headline 'Concierge: Travel news and deals'. Print Edition | Subscribe