Cruise through the tulips: Barge though Netherlands during its spectacular spring

TULIP MANIA

UTracks bookings are now open for its popular 2020 springtime Tulip Tours by barge in the Netherlands. Guests can choose between three levels of barges, from standard to deluxe, and journey on four- or five-day itineraries that include guided visits by bike to the world's biggest flower auction in Aalsmeer, and to flower garden Keukenhof, famous for its spectacular displays of springtime colour and floral designs created with hyacinths, daffodils and tulips. Tours include twin-share accommodation with private facilities, all meals, seven-speed bike hire and multilingual guides, and run from mid-March to mid-April 2020.

Phone 1300 303 368. See utracks.com

LAND AHOY

Azamara Club Cruises has created what it says is the largest selection of pre- and post- land voyages in the cruise industry, with more than 1700 land programs in 41 countries promising interactive experiences with local specialists, in-depth city explorations and stays in boutique inns, luxury hotels and lodges. Among the many options is a train ride across Australia on the Indian Pacific, a journey into the Borneo rainforest to encounter orang-utans, a safari in South Africa's Kruger National Park and a visit to the Bolivian Salt Flats and Chile's Atacama Desert.

Phone 1800 754 500. See azamaraclubcruises.com

GOING SOLO

Coral Expeditions has a new range of options for solo travellers, including No Single Supplement offers available on all Great Barrier Reef departures year-round, and on selected itineraries in regions such as Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and South Pacific. There are also Single Occupancy fares for guests who would like a confirmed booking, and Standby Single fares for flexible travellers who would like a private cabin without paying a single supplement. Solo travellers can also be matched up with a like-minded single under a Single Guest Match fare.

Phone 1800 079 545. See coralexpeditions.com

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BACKWATER BOATING

Adventure Resorts & Cruises is launching seven-night cruises on the Kerala Backwaters in southern India, with regular sailings from October 2019 aboard the nine-cabin RV Vaikundam, modelled on a traditional rice barge. The cruises will meander between Kochi and Alappuzha for an in-depth insight into the life, traditions and landscapes of the peaceful coastal waterways. Passengers will visit villages, temples and churches, spice markets, a martial-arts schools, ayurvedic medicine centre and elephant shelter. There are also opportunities to meet craftsmen and farmers, enjoy dance displays and see how coir (coconut fibre) is used to make traditional products.

See adventurerivercruises.com

CHRISTMAS CHEER

British-based premium river-cruise company Riviera Travel, which operates 13 ships on Europe's major rivers, has released a new Yuletide market sailing on the Danube in 2019, with solo travellers able to join in the seasonal spirit without having to pay single supplements for selected cabins. The six-day Danube's Imperial Cities & Yuletide Markets cruise, departing in November 2019 aboard the newly launched William Wordsworth, will take in Christmas markets in Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna. This year sees Riviera Travel offer a record 25 Christmas market cruises on the Danube and Rhine rivers.

Phone 1800 507 777. See rivieratravel.com.au

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