One of Australia’s biggest-ever heritage rail trips
Media Release – February 18, 2019
New for 2019!
Australia’s love affair with heritage rail travel continues with the launch of one of the biggest vintage rail trips ever offered in Australia – a five-day journey this July from Sydney to Melbourne and back using 10 different historic steam and diesel locomotives dating back to 1915.
Cruise Express, together with six train preservation societies, have joined together to create one of the largest movements of heritage railway stock in Australian history.
Designed for the growing number of Australians who love authentic train travel, the unique, new ‘Rail Spectacular’ trip is a four-night heritage rail tour organised by Cruise Express, which runs regular heritage rail and sail tours around Australia and overseas. The exclusive journey features a total of 10 locomotives, more than 30 heritage carriages and 12 different rail sectors.
The never-before-offered itinerary will feature special guest Bernie Baker – a colourful loco driver who appeared in Foxtel’s popular Railroad Australia TV show. Regarded as a ‘loco legend’, after more than three decades behind the controls, Bernie has had the 1952-built B61 Streamliner locomotive named after him. Bernie will share with guests stories from his life on the rails.
Departing Sydney on July 18, 2019, passengers will travel by diesel locomotive to Albury for overnight accommodation. The next morning, passengers will travel aboard the former express train, The Spirit of Progress, to Seymour where they will change to another historic train to Melbourne for a two-night stay. A full day’s excursion is offered in Melbourne, starting with a trip to Geelong hauled by the restored 104-year-old A2986 steam locomotive. Guests will enjoy a return journey from Drysdale to Queenscliff aboard the historic Bellarine Railway before rejoining their train at Geelong and heading to the gold-mining city of Ballarat and back to Melbourne under steam – the first time an A2-class locomotive has hauled by itself on the route via Bacchus Marsh in 56 years.
On day four, the R707 steam engine, built in 1951, will take guests to the Newport Heritage Rail Yard – where they can view historic trains up close on a private visit – before venturing north in heritage carriages, including two original cars from the ‘Overland’ service, to see more vintage rolling stock at the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre. Diesel locomotives will complete the journey back to Sydney, with an overnight stay again in Albury on the way.
Including four nights’ accommodation, 10 meals and excursions, the five-day Rail Spectacular will be hosted by Cruise Express and is available from $2590 per person, twin-share, and only $2990 for solo travellers.
Onboard spending credit and complimentary gratuities Book by March 31, 2019
Onboard spending money and complimentary gratuities are available on a special, extended crossing of the Atlantic Ocean this July aboard the world’s last true Transatlantic ocean liner, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2.
Cruise Express is offering a luxury, 23-night fly, stay and cruise package on an iconic, two-week passage across the Atlantic via Iceland.
The ‘Ultimate Crossing’ package begins with a flight from Australia to London for an indulgent, three-night stay at the world-renowned Savoy Hotel, located next to the Thames River on the Strand near Covent Garden.Included is a private car transfer from the airport to the hotel and from London to Southampton to board Cunard’s flagship, Queen Mary 2 for the rare, extended crossing to the US.
The first port on the 14-night voyage is Liverpool, the birthplace of Cunard in 1840. The journey then takes passengers to the spectacular geysers, hot pools and thundering waterfalls of Iceland for an overnight stay in the capital, Reykjavik – a maiden port for Queen Mary 2. Three days of sailing across the North Atlantic will allow passengers to enjoy the world-famous ship’s black-tie balls, white-gloved high teas, spacious teak decks, sumptuous lounges and fine dining restaurants.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Queen Mary 2 will call into the port of Corner Brook on the Canadian island of Newfoundland and Halifax, capital of Nova Scotia.Halifax is also the birthplace of Cunard founder, Samuel Cunard, and the destination of Cunard’s first-ever Atlantic crossing in 1840.In Halifax, a ‘royal’ rendezvous will see Queen Mary 2 joined in port by fleet-mate, Queen Elizabeth.
The voyage ends in New York where Cruise Express has organised three nights at the prestigious Pierre Hotel next to Central Park, allowing guests to explore one of the world’s most thrilling cities.Included is a New York City Pass providing entry into several attractions including the viewing deck of the Empire State Building.
Including flights to London and back to Australia from New York, the 23-night ‘Ultimate Crossing’ package is available from A$9990 per person, twin-share. Bookings made by March 31, 2019, will receive complimentary gratuities on Queen Mary 2.
Fares in Princess and Queens Grills suites are available from $16,990 per person, twin-share, with bookings in these suites made by March 31, 2019, receiving complimentary gratuities as well as an onboard spending credit of up to US$840 per stateroom.
Bonus Bundle Offer – Yarn, books, accessories, kits and workshops – valued at over $1500
Cruise and crochet lovers can relax and unwind on a new, luxurious, 12-night Crochet Cruise which will weave its way to Tasmania and New Zealand this October. Crafted by leading Australian cruise agency, Cruise Express, the Crochet Cruise package includes a bonus crochet kit including premium yarn, patterns, skill kits, books, tools and workshops valued at more than $1500.
The launch of the cruise follows two successful Crochet Cruises in 2018, which proved so popular that many ‘hooked’ crocheters have already rebooked for 2019.
French for ‘hooked needle’ and dating back to the 1820s, crochet is enjoying a revival as a simple, calming activity that expresses creativity and forges friendships, with the number of avid crocheters growing globally.
Departing Sydney on October 27, 2019, the Crochet Cruise aims to weave together a passion for crochet with the natural beauty of Tasmania and New Zealand, as passengers sail onboard Celebrity Solstice. The ‘tight-knit’ crochet group will be based in a private room with spectacular ocean vistas, where experienced crochet teachers will guide beginner, intermediate and advanced crocheters alike.
The 12-night cruise will take passengers to beautiful destinations such as Hobart, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Picton, Tauranga and the Bay of Islands, with the cruise ending in Auckland. One night’s accommodation and a flight back to Australia are also included. In Auckland, passengers will also enjoy an exclusive tour of ‘Fibrefest’, an annual event dedicated to all things wool, yarn and fibre.
Hosted by Cruise Express and led by three of Australia’s top crochet teachers, Emily Littlefair, Joy Clements and Kathy Hodgetts, the cruise will include skill-building workshops, a choice of three projects according to skill level, crochet-related fun trivia and one-on-one crochet assistance.
The elegant, 14-deck Celebrity Solstice is based in Australia every summer, offering three pools, six jacuzzis, 11 dining venues, nine bars and lounges, spectacular stage shows, a spacious gym and spa sanctuary and a ship-top deck covered in real grass.
Available only through Cruise Express, the Crochet Cruise package is available from $3990 per person, twin-share, including 12-nights onboard the Celebrity Solstice, one night’s accommodation at Auckland, an economy flight from Auckland to Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, a walking tour of Hobart and crochet inclusions valued at more than $1500.
A never-before-offered railway adventure will see slow travel lovers enjoy a heritage steam and diesel journey across NSW and VIC in May 2019.
This unique, six-day ‘Great Southern Loop’ tour has been launched by Cruise Express in response to an ever-increasing demand for long-distance heritage rail travel.
The ‘Loop’ begins on May 30, 2019, when the newly restored diesel locomotive 42103, built in Granville in 1966, hauls heritage carriages from Sydney’s Central Station onto the Great Southern Line. Passengers will relax in period lounge, seating and compartment cars with windows than open for a fresh breeze and a better view of the ever-changing countryside. From Goulburn, steam locomotive 5917, built in 1952, will take the train to Junee, allowing travellers to enjoy the sights and sounds of travel when steam ruled the rails.
After lunch in the historic, 134 year-old Junee Railway Station Cafe, the journey continues by diesel to Albury for a night’s accommodation at the uber-modern Atura Hotel. From Albury, passengers will ride the iconic Spirit of Progress train to Melbourne. The former express train served the Melbourne-Sydney route from 1937 to 1986.Heritage locomotives will haul the original carriages includingcompartment, kiosk and parlor cars.
After a night in the Victorian capital, the giant, blue steam locomotive R711, built in 1952, will thunder to Seymour for breakfast and then head to Echuca where passengers will board a Murray paddle steamer for a lunch cruise. History will then be made when the train crosses the border to Deniliquin – the first time steam has traced the route in more than 20 years. A coach transfer to the Riverina capital of Griffith will see the group enjoy a private and exclusive wine tasting session at De Bortoli Wines and an authentic Italian lunch at the Piccolo Family Farm.
After two nights in Griffith, diesel and steam locomotives will take passengers along railway lines that seldom or never see passenger traffic north to Parkes to visit the ‘Dish’ – the huge, movie-famous CSIRO Observatory Radio Telescope. After a night in Parkes, diesel and steam locos will take passengers back to Sydney via Orange, Bathurst, Lithgow and the Blue Mountains.
Including travel on privately chartered heritage trains, sightseeing and escorted by Cruise Express tour managers, the new, five-night ‘Great Southern Loop’ tour from Sydney on May 30, 2019, is available from $3440 per person, twin-share, and $3790 for solo travellers.
December 19, 2018 – 20 percent saving on two South Pacific music cruises
Book by February 1, 2019
Until February 1, 2019, a 20 percent saving is available on two South Pacific music cruises from Sydney.
The discount is available through Cruise Express, one of Australia’s top sellers of music cruises,.
Offering daily entertainment from top Australian and international performers, the two cruises sail round-trip from Sydney in October and November, 2019, aboard Royal Caribbean International’s locally-based ship, Radiance of the Seas.
Covering contrasting musical genres, the two sailings are:
* ‘Cruisin’ Country’ – Sailing from Sydney October 12, 2019.A seven-night cruise for country music fans to New Caledonia featuring more than 30 country music stars including Lee Kernaghan, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole and Gina Jeffreys.Australian of the Year for 2008, Lee Kernaghan has sold more than two million albums and has won 36 Golden Guitar awards at the annual Country Music Awards in Tamworth – a record beaten only by Slim Dusty.
The Cruisin’ Country cruise is available from $2116 per person, twin-share, including the 20 percent discount if booked by February 1, 2019.
* ‘Bravo- Cruise of the Performing Arts’ – Sailing from Sydney November 12, 2019. A seven-night cruise to New Caledonia starring performers from the stage and theatre including Welsh bass-baritone opera and concert singer, Sir Bryn Terfel, and Australian stars David Hobson, James Morrison and Lucy Durack.
The ‘Bravo- Cruise of the Performing Arts’ cruise is available from $2149 per person, twin-share, including the 20 percent discount if booked by February 1, 2019