Travel update

News from the world of travel

The AJN takes you around the world to see what’s new in travel.

Computer image of the 113,000-tonne Queen Anne.
Computer image of the 113,000-tonne Queen Anne.

Cunard’s newest queen to cruise into Australia

CUNARD has announced the maiden visit to Australia and New Zealand of its newest ship Queen Anne as part of its 2024-25 cruising season.

The 113,000-tonne ship is Cunard’s first new vessel in 14 years since the launch of Queen Elizabeth in 2010.

Queen Anne will come into service in May next year and in January 2025 will embark on its first World Voyage visiting more than 30 ports in five continents over 108 days including Australia.

From October 2024, Queen Elizabeth will spend the summer months embarking on a series of cruises in Australian and New Zealand waters.

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Hotel Morris in Sydney.

Accor launches new boutique collection of hotels

GLOBAL hospitality group Accor has launched the Handwritten Collection, a portfolio of charming and stylish hotels from around the world.

Two Australian hotels are among the initial members – Hotel Morris in Sydney and the Wonil Hotel in Perth.

Other hotels in the Handwritten Collection include Hotel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental, Le Saint Gervais Hotel & Spa in France, with Le Splendid Hotel Lac d’Annecy in Annecy, France joining next month.

The Handwritten Collection portfolio is expected to reach more than 250 hotels by 2030.

Alex Schellenberger, Accor’s chief marketing officer for premium, midscale and economy brands, said: “Handwritten Collection enriches Accor’s offering in the ‘collection brands’ segment with a curated selection of hotels that exhibit charming and one-of-a-kind concepts.

“Our aim is to support the growing number of independent and boutique hotel owners looking to boost their global profile.”


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Full steam ahead on Europe’s canals

The eight-passenger European Waterways’ Renaissance.

EUROPEAN Waterways, a luxury hotel barge cruising specialist, is reporting up to 25 per cent increase in advance bookings compared to pre-pandemic levels.

“Whether you call it ‘revenge travel’ or simply a reflection of pent-up demand, our cabins and charters have been selling faster and more consistently through 2023, with our program already 80 per cent full,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways.

“We are also busier than ever taking bookings for 2024 and 2025.”

Hotel barging is becoming increasingly popular with travellers seeking experiences in the natural and cultural attributes of destinations.

European Waterways operates vessels that cruise through picturesque countryside, sailing past castles, grand estates, wineries and small villages. Its flagship hotel barge, the eight-passenger Renaissance, cruises the Canal de Briare, which connects the Rhone and Saône rivers and Seine valleys.

In addition to its classic cruises, Renaissance offers themed cruises for families, sports enthusiasts and wine lovers.

With a fleet that spans nine countries, European Waterways is the largest luxury hotel barging company in Europe.


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