Friday, 30 August 2013

FREE Bag Wrapping Service for SA Express Passengers

FREE Bag Wrapping Service

In an attempt to reduce pilferage, SA Express is offering customers a three months free bag wrapping service. Statistics reveal that the wrapping of bags reduces pilferage by up to 70%.

This trial run commences on 1 August 2013 and will only be available to the Domestic markets only at the following airports: Bram Fischer, OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International. 

We encourage you to make use of this value added service.

For any flight quotes please contact us:
Holiday Cafe / XL Travel by Arrangement
T: 011 794 4900
First Floor trinity Village
65 Knoppiesdoring Street
Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg

Monday, 26 August 2013

MAURITIUS up to 22% cash back with Discovery Card

Discovery Card is the Visa credit card that rewards you with cash back for booking your dream holiday. You can get up to 22% cash back (land portion only) when you book and pay for your holiday through us using your Discovery Card. Your cash back percentage is based on your Vitality status. Here is how much cash back you can get with Discovery Card

Vitality status  Vitality status cash back percentage
Blue     15%
Bronze 18%
Silver   19%
Gold    20%
Diamond 22%

Terms & Conditions Apply
Please call us for full details and to find out which Hotels/Resorts apply for the above discounts.

Holiday Cafe / XL Travel by Arrangement
T: 011 794 4900

First Floor trinity Village
65 Knoppiesdoring Street
Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines returns to the Caribbean

Back by popular demand, guests can now take a Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ Caribbean fly-cruise in January 2015! With the fun and excitement of the Christmas and New Year celebrations all over, guests will have the opportunity to escape the cold British winter on a Fred. Olsen 14-night sunshine cruise, taking in the stunning Caribbean Islands, aboard 929-guest cruise ship Braemar. Flying from London Gatwick or Manchester and departing from Barbados on 12th January 2015, this exotic cruise is predicted to be one of Fred. Olsen’s most popular voyages, with a general on sale date of Saturday 17th August 2013.

One unusual feature of Fred. Olsen’s most modern ship, Braemar, is the promenade deck – a complete wrap-around deck ideal for a gentle stroll in the evening sun, making it an excellent choice for warmer cruising.

Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“We have been inundated with requests to return to the Caribbean and we are very excited to be able to offer our loyal cruise guests the opportunity to enjoy the beauty and charm of the Caribbean Islands once again, on board Braemar, the ideal ship for relaxed, sunshine cruising.

“New customers can book from Saturday 17th August 2013, but due to the high demand that we expect for this cruise, priority is being given to previous Fred. Olsen guests, who can book before this date.”


This is the first time, since 2012, that Fred. Olsen has offered a Caribbean fly-cruise option. Fred. Olsen had operated a winter fly-cruise programme, based in Barbados, from 2001 to 2012, but this was concluded to extend the wide choice of ex-UK departure ports, giving greater convenience to guests from all over the British Isles, as well as allowing those loyal Braemar fans to cruise on the ship all-year-round from the UK. However, Fred. Olsen has listened to guests’ feedback and brought back this very popular cruise itinerary on board Braemar.

Hypoallergenic Staterooms for Crystal Cruises

Allergy sufferers can check their discomfort at the door – of 70 Crystal Serenity doors, that is – when ultra-luxury Crystal Cruises launches the cruise industry’s first hypoallergenic staterooms. Already renowned for the highest standards of sanitation and comfort, Crystal is introducing a whole new category of luxury accommodations for the most refreshing night’s sleep possible on the world’s #1 cruise line: Deluxe PURE Staterooms.

Crystal is partnering with PURE Marine Solutions, sister company of leading allergy-friendly hospitality innovator PURE Global, for a comprehensive transformation utilising the only hypoallergenic process patented and proven to deliver a safe and healthy environment.

During Crystal Serenity’s “Extreme Makeover” dry-dock in November, each of the current 70 “AA” balcony rooms will undergo PURE’s seven-step air and surface purification process to remove allergens and reduce the risk of common irritants.  Among the many steps to maintain this superior allergy-friendly indoor environment, a state-of-the art medical grade air purifier will continue to filter out 99.9% of all impurities and dust. While PURE rooms are usually sold at a premium at shoreside luxury properties such as the SLS Beverly Hills, Park Hyatt Toronto and Fairmont Chicago, Crystal’s Deluxe PURE Staterooms will be available to guests at no additional cost. The rooms debut on 27th November and will be designated as “P1” and “P2” in April.

“Imagine returning to your room after a full day ashore in a bustling city such as Rome or Bangkok, and then slipping into your purified sanctuary of ultra-clean air and hypoallergenic bedding,” says Philip Ordever, Crystal’s vice president of international sales & marketing.  “For guests who suffer from allergies, have mild respiratory issues such as asthma or who simply desire a respite from the air quality in many cities, these staterooms will become a haven of fresh air – at no additional cost.”

How does a room become PURE?


Phase 1: Disinfection
Deep Clean Air-Handling Unit: Each room’s air handling systems (heat and air-conditioning), including fan blades, condensation lines and drop pans, are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected using PURE’s advanced treatment, leading to a dramatically improved overall air quality in each room.
PURE Clean: Every surface of the room, including furniture, curtains and carpeting, is deep-cleaned and sanitised using special vacuums and a patented PURE cleaning solution that disintegrates bio films and maximises removal of dirt and bacteria that traditional cleaners may leave behind.
High Ozone Shock Treatment: An advanced shock treatment completely eliminates particles, viruses, germs, and odors from every inch of the room, resulting in a fresh, crisp environment.

Phase 2: Prevention and Maintenance
*  PURE Shield. A patented bacteriostatic barrier is applied everywhere, from light switches and TV screens to countertops and artwork, repelling new micro-organism growth for up to two years and making it nearly impossible for bacteria and viruses to survive in a PURE environment.
*  PURE Tea Tree Oil Cartridge. A natural anti-microbial disinfectant, safe even for scent allergy sufferers, is strategically placed to maintain the room’s sanitised conditions.
*  Air Purification System. A patented PURE air purifier is discreetly installed inside the room, providing 24-hour defence against airborne irritants. Listed by the FDA as a Class II Medical Device, PURE’s state-of-the-art system is 150 times more efficient than HEPA and proven to eliminate 100% of organisms from the air as they pass through the purifier.
*  Allergy-Friendly Bedding. Micro-fibre, mono-filament mattress and pillow encasements add an extra layer of allergen protection while sleeping.

Crystal’s housekeeping staff will be trained in any daily maintenance routines required.  Every six months, PURE specialists will also re-service the rooms ensuring spaces are kept to the highest of hygiene levels indefinitely.

What are the tangible results guests may see, feel, and experience from staying in a Deluxe PURE Stateroom?

*  Relief from allergies and mild respiratory issues, including coughing, sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes.  (Crystal’s PURE particle-free reduction process exceeds asthma and allergy community recommendations.)
*  More sound sleep, waking refreshed.
*  Breathing of clean, crisp, ultra-fresh air, thereby enhancing the relaxation and recuperation that people expect from holiday.
*  No chemicals, no lingering odours—PURE’s cleaning solutions are completely invisible to the eye, smell, and touch.

Panama Canal continues investing in maintenance

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will invest in its fiscal year (FY) 2014 (October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014) approximately US$238 million in maintenance of structures and equipment to continue providing an efficient service to the international maritime community.

“The key to the Panama Canal’s operational excellence is a combination of its committed workforce and constant maintenance,” Executive Vice President for Operations Esteban Saenz said. “Each year we dedicate significant resources to this aspect of the Canal.”

About to reach its centennial, the Canal guarantees its efficiency through the permanent maintenance and modernisation of its infrastructure. Approximately, US$2 billion have been invested since 2000.

The Panama Canal will continue the maintenance programs necessary to ensure the waterway’s optimal operating conditions. The main areas of maintenance include, among others, the navigation channel through dredging operations; the control of erosion and landslides; floating equipment such as tugboat, dredges, cranes and launches; the locks and their components; and the dams, landfills, power plants, buildings and facilities.

Belfast Harbour welcomes back Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is ‘bringing the world closer’ to the people of Belfast, with three exciting cruise itineraries in Autumn 2013. Sailing on board 880-guest Boudicca, guests will have the opportunity, for the first time since 2007, to embark on a Fred. Olsen cruise from Belfast, without having to endure an expensive flight or long ferry crossing to reach its ships. Boudicca will be offering a 10-night D1322 ‘Scandinavian Cities Cruise’, departing on 23rd September 2013, a 12-night D1323 ‘Portugal, Madeira & the Canaries’ cruise, departing on 3rd October 2013, and a two-night mini-cruise, D1324 ‘Liverpool Highlights’, departing on 15th October 2013.

Fred. Olsen’s historical connections with the seafaring city of Belfast run deep; the Fred. Olsen group of companies includes Fred. Olsen Energy, which comprises Offshore Drilling and Engineering & Fabrication, owner of the Harland & Wolff Shipyard, where the ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic was built.

Joe O’Neill, Commercial Director of Belfast Harbour, said:

“We are delighted to once again have the opportunity to work with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and offer the Northern Ireland public the opportunity to begin a cruise from their local port. Belfast Harbour previously worked alongside Fred. Olsen in 2007, when 500 local people embarked on the Black Prince to begin their cruise.”

Nathan Philpot, Sales and Marketing Director for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:


“Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is very excited to be sailing from Belfast again. This will give our guests from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland the opportunity to begin a cruise so much closer to home, and we are reaching out to them with an extensive national and regional TV and radio advertising campaign until late August 2013. We are also planning to increase our sailings from Belfast in 2014 to five departures, highlighting our commitment to Belfast Harbour and our local guests, and further enhancing our reputation as the UK’s ‘local global cruise line’.”

- 10-night D1322 ‘Scandinavian Cities Cruise’, departing on 23rd September 2013

Guest feedback has shown that cruises with extra time in port are an increasingly popular option, so Fred. Olsen is offering this great-value ‘Northern European City Stay’ cruise. A bonus for guests is that, in this increasingly cost-conscious climate, what better – and cheaper – way to visit the famously-expensive highlights of Scandinavia than by cruise ship, where there are no worries about flights, hotel accommodation, food or drink?

The first stop, Norway’s capital, Oslo, boasts the National Gallery, home to Edvard Munch’s haunting ‘The Scream, as well as works by other European artists, from Manet to Picasso. Overnighting in the city gives guests the chance to take in all these incredible sights, now reported to be the most expensive in the world.

From Oslo, this cruise visits Gothenburg, Sweden’s second city, with its Dutch-designed 17th Century canals and its famous ‘Fish Church’, ‘Feskekôrka’, named after the building’s resemblance to a Gothic church.

Two September days are perfect for strolling around Copenhagen, the cosmopolitan capital of Denmark. As well as the famous Little Mermaid, a highlight of any visit must be the delightful Tivoli Gardens – blueprint for Disneyland – with its award-winning combination of scenic, themed gardens, traditional rollercosters, including the world’s oldest, and the most modern ‘white-knuckle’ rides.

- 12-night D1323 ‘Portugal, Madeira & the Canaries’ cruise, departing on 3rd October 2013

This Autumn, the first stop for guests on board Boudicca’s Iberian cruise will be Leixoes, for tours to Oporto, Portugal’s second largest city. An eclectic mix of styles, Oporto is filled with narrow medieval alleyways, baroque churches, lush squares and wide boulevards, and no visit here would be complete without sampling some of the region’s famous Port wine.

Boudicca then moves onto Funchal, Madeira, which is set in a natural amphitheatre looking out over the Atlantic, from where guests can explore the city and enjoy its many cafés and restaurants, or can visit its botanical and tropical gardens and the surrounding countryside.

The Canary Island of Tenerife is the next stop, where guests will visit the capital Santa Cruz, with gorgeous beaches, a wildlife park and its very own volcano, Mount Teide. After stopping at Arrecife, Lanzarote, the ship moves onto Lisbon, Portugal’s stylish capital. Visitors can delight in its tree-lined streets, Gothic cathedrals, monasteries and museums, and gain a real taste of Portuguese life, before heading back to Belfast.

- Two-night D1324 ‘Liverpool Highlights’ cruise, departing on 15th October 2013

Guests looking for a short break somewhere a little closer to home could consider Fred. Olsen’s two-night mini-cruise to Liverpool. Boudicca will take guests to the conveniently-located Pier Head Cruise Terminal, right at the heart of the city. This 2008 ‘European City of Culture’ is home to Tate Liverpool, the Maritime Museum and The Beatles Story, so there will be plenty to see and do before it is time to board the ship once more to return to Belfast.

Norwegian offers bonus for booking newest ship

In anticipation of the upcoming launch of Norwegian Getaway, Miami’s hottest new ship, Norwegian Cruise Line has launched “Norwegian Getaway Bonus Days”, offering guests who book any seven-day Eastern Caribbean sailing on Norwegian Getaway a $100 on-board credit, regardless of stateroom category. Guests who take advantage of this limited time offer before August 24, 2013, can use the credit towards an array of shore excursions in the Caribbean; treatments in the ship’s award-winning Mandara spa; dinner in any of Norwegian Getaway’s delicious specialty restaurants, including Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian, and much more. Additional offers such as free upgrades, AARP and Military discounts and up to $1,000 in air credits are also available on select sailings.

Setting sail from Miami year-round, this spectacular new ship will call on some of the Caribbean’s most popular ports of call including: Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; and Nassau, Bahamas. Embodying the essence of the Magic City, the ship’s hull artwork was designed by Miami’s own David “LEBO” LeBatard featuring a whimsical mermaid holding the sun above the waves.

Entertainment lovers who set sail on Norwegian Getaway will enjoy two first of its kind entertainment experiences; the GRAMMY® Experience at sea, which will include artifacts chosen and curated by the GRAMMY Museum® along with live performances by past GRAMMY winners and nominees, among others, and The Illusionarium is an all-new dining and entertainment experience that will envelop guests in the fascinating world of magic, inviting them to experience the astonishing illusions of world-class magicians and supernatural special effects. In addition, Norwegian Getaway boasts sizzling Latin-inspired dance productions by Broadway sensation, Burn the Floor; performances of the seven-time Tony Award nominated musical LEGALLY BLONDE; hilarious comedy headliners produced by Levity Entertainment Group; and the sing along fun of the dueling pianos of Howl at the Moon.  To cap off a spectacular cruise experience, every sailing will feature a dazzling fireworks show at sea, set to music and part of a dance party at Spice H20.

Similar to sister ship Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Getaway will dazzle guests with the excitement of 678 Ocean Place and The Waterfront, a variety of interconnected indoor and outdoor venues on three dynamic decks that creates multiplex of dining, activities and more and enhances guests’ connection with the ocean.

Foodies setting sail from Miami on Norwegian Getaway can feast in their choice of 27 incredible dining options, including one of Celebrity Chef and Food Network star Geoffrey Zakarian’s three dining concepts: Ocean Blue by Geoffrey Zakarian; Ocean Blue on the Waterfront and The Raw Bar.

Monday, 5 August 2013

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Saturday, 3 August 2013


Holiday Cafe / XL Travel by Arrangement

T: 011 794 4900

First Floor trinity Village, 65 Knoppiesdoring Street,
Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg