Sail the Mississippi River, find Dreamtime tours on the coast

View from the top: the spectacular Sun Terrace and infinity plunge pool on the aft deck of the new Viking Mississippi.
View from the top: the spectacular Sun Terrace and infinity plunge pool on the aft deck of the new Viking Mississippi.

Sailing the Mississippi

Viking River Cruises is setting sail on the historic Mississippi River from 2022. Earlier this year, the line announced the launch of several itineraries which will take visitors to places such as New Orleans and Baton Rouge. But the 15-day itinerary quickly sold out for 2022, so the line has opened bookings for 2023.

The company's first custom vessel, Viking Mississippi, will debut in August 2022 sailing voyages on the Lower and Upper Mississippi rivers between New Orleans and St Paul, with the new cruises expected to bring more than 5800 guests to the region in 2022 and over 17,600 during the first full sailing season in 2023. The five-deck ship will feature cutting-edge design and Scandinavian-inspired spaces.

A Dreamtime cruise along the Sunshine Coast

With no big-ship cruising on the cards, seafarers can get a taste of ocean sailing along Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Young Tourism Leader Simon Thornalley, who is of Torres Strait Island descent, started Saltwater Eco Tours to showcase the region's rich marine environment and Indigenous culture. The two-hour cultural tour (while it may not be the two-week cruise holiday you planned for this year), takes passengers on the timber sailing vessel, Spray of the Coral Coast, to sites of cultural significance and places where Dreamtime stories and songs originated.

But you will also see sea birds, turtles and dolphins. There will be storytelling, didgeridoo performances and bush-tucker tastings paired with local craft beer or sparkling wine.

Crowne Plaza debuts in Tasmania

Looking for a holiday in Tasmania? Crowne Plaza has recently opened its first hotel in Hobart, on the Myer department store site on Liverpool Street.

The 235-guest hotel offers stunning views of the harbour or Mount Wellington. For art lovers, the hotel lobby also showcases a carefully curated selection of artworks from a local gallery by Tasmania's best artists.

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Is it a plane? No, it's a train!

This month Japan put in motion its first new shinkansen in 13 years. JR Central's brand-new bullet train can even operate during an earthquake. Operating on the Tokaido Shinkansen line between Tokyo Station and Shin-Osaka Station in Osaka, it can hit record speeds of 360 kilometres per hour but it will be capped during service at 285 kilometres per hour.

Work is still underway on a maglev line between Tokyo and Nagoya. The magnetically levitated trains can travel at 505 kilometres per hour, cutting 30 minutes off the journey between the two cities.

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